232. Paper Prepared by the Operations Coordinating Board1

OUTLINE PLAN OF OPERATIONS WITH RESPECT TO EAST GERMANY

I. Introduction

A. References:

(1)
U.S. Policy toward East Germany (Supplement to NSC 160/ 1) approved by the President September 12, 1956;2
(2)
National Intelligence Estimate (NIE 12–56), dated 10 January 1956, entitled “Probable Developments in the European Satellites Through I960”.3

B. Special Operating Guidance

1.
General. The general considerations set forth in reference A (1) above continue to hold true in the present situation in East Germany. The caution in reference A (2) against incitements to violence or other action which would yield a net loss in terms of U.S. objectives is particularly applicable to the present situation in East Germany. A mass revolt along Hungarian lines is not anticipated, and U.S. policy in Germany would not be served by encouraging a similar East German revolt because harsh Soviet military measures to repress it would be certain to follow. In addition, the situation could develop in such a way as to threaten involvement of the U.S. in a general war with the Soviet Union.
2.
Basic Objectives. The United States seeks as a basic objective the eventual reunification of Germany in freedom. The refusal of the Soviet Government to enter into serious negotiation of this problem at the Geneva Meeting of Foreign Ministers in 1955 and the openly negative position which it has taken on the question since that time offer little prospect for progress toward reunification in the immediate future.
3.
Interim Objectives. In the present situation the United States should seek to place the Soviets on the defensive with respect to reunification. Efforts should consist essentially of actions designed to [Page 573] focus world opinion on the injustices of the continued division of Germany. The United States should also continue to bring the pressure of public opinion and diplomatic action to bear with a view to convincing the Soviets that German reunification in freedom is in the Soviet interest as well as the general European interest. In pursuing these aims it will be necessary as in the past to work in close harmony with the governments of the U.K., France and the Federal Republic of Germany. It is in the general interest to be as aggressive and flexible in the promotion of German reunification as the maintenance and development of vital Western security requirements in Europe will permit.

In seeking to undermine Soviet control over East Germany, to diminish the reliability of the East Germany armed forces and to minimize the East German contribution to Soviet power, the United States must be guided by the following considerations: the East German regime continues to be essentially a tool for Soviet domination of the area and is generally regarded as such by the whole German people; there is no significant popular demand in favor of Titoist evolution in East Germany nor is there any potentially effective national Communist leadership; and because of the strong and continuing German demand for reunification and the equally strong rejection of the East German regime, the U.S. could not, without risk of alienating all of Germany, adopt a course of encouraging national Communism in East Germany as a first step toward disengaging Soviet control. For these reasons the United States must continue to treat East Germany differently from other East European satellite areas and to resist all attempts of the Soviet government and the East German regime to gain international recognition for the regime outside the Soviet Bloc.

To conserve and strengthen those assets in East Germany which may contribute to U.S. interests, the United States should continue its encouragement of democratic elements in East Germany by stressing the religious, cultural and social aspects of the common German heritage and by undertaking special projects which will maintain in East Germans a sense of identification with the West and which will manifest our concern for their hardships.

C. U.S. Commitments for Funds, Goods and Services

None.

II. Actions Agreed Upon

Individual action items when extracted from this Plan may be downgraded to the appropriate security classification.

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NSC Citations OCB Courses of Action
Para. 11: “Use appropriate means short of military force to oppose, and to contribute to the eventual elimination of, Soviet domination over East Germany and to promote the reunification of Germany in freedom, including, when appropriate concert with NATO or other friendly powers, resort to UN procedures, and diplomatic negotiations.” Para. 11 1. Continue to consult with Federal Republic, UK and France on the problem of German reunification in relation to European security with the purpose of bringing pressure to bear on the Soviet Government to change its position.
Assigned to: State
Supporting: USIA, Defense
Target date: Continuing
2. Review the possibility of inscribing the German reunification issue on the agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations with the intent of obtaining wide and more active support of the free world for German reunification in freedom. Prepare plans to make maximum use of such a move to expose the injustices of continued German division and the techniques and the extent of Soviet controls exercised against the will of the German people. Stress the threat to peace and stability in Europe and the world of continued Soviet refusal to seek a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the German problem.
Assigned to: State
Supporting: USIA
Target date: July 30, 1957
3. Publicize as appropriate to the Soviet Zone of Germany, and other nations of the Soviet Bloc as well as nations of the Free World, efforts by the United States, NATO and the United Nations to bring about reunification of Germany in freedom.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
4. Prepare appropriate contingency plans to cover the event of an uprising in East Germany, in order that U.S. and allied counteraction and West German reactions can be formulated and ultimately coordinated with our allies in the area. (See studies now underway under the terms of paragraph 25 of NSC 5616/2.)4
Assigned to: State, Defense
Target date: Continuing
Para. 12: “Seek to increase popular and bureaucratic pressures against the present regime through the exploitation of discontent with political and economic conditions in East Germany.” Para. 12 5. Continue operations within the limits established by Reference I A (2) with emphasis on encouragement of popular demands that the GDR fulfill its promises (e.g., more consumer goods and better living and working conditions).
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
6. Nourish the spirit of opposition to Communism currently being manifested in the Soviet Zone by intellectuals, youth groups, workers, farmers, etc., indicating the legal means for redress of their grievances.
Assigned to: USIA, State
Target date: Continuing
Para. 13: “Continue basic opposition to the Soviet-Communist system and continue to state its evils.” Para. 13 7. (a) Expose as a farce and a mockery the June 23, 1957 East German communal election and attempt thoroughly to discredit the use of the “unity list” ballot.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Before June 23,1957
(b) Expose Soviet attempts to exploit the population of East Germany for Soviet ends, or for the benefit of other satellites or the Communist puppets of East Germany.
Assigned to:
USIA Target date: Continuing
Para. 14: “Encourage democratic, anti-Communist elements in East Germany. Stress the healthy aspects of a common German heritage and cooperate with other forces—such as religious, cultural, social—which are natural allies in the struggle against Soviet imperialism and seek to maintain the morale and will to resist Communist domination.” Para. 14 8. Continue special East Zone projects described under para. 22. In particular, continue to render assistance to the churches in their welfare and general spiritual activities in East Germany.
Assigned to: State, ICA
Target date: Continuing
9. Seek to expand interest of U.S. churches in assisting East German churches through well-conceived programs which the Communist government could not oppose.
Assigned to: State, USIA
Target date: Continuing
10. Report to East Germany news of discontent in the other satellite countries, being careful, however, not to contribute to an atmosphere which might incite the East German population to open rebellion.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
11. Report fully, through RIAS (Radio in the American Sector) and other media, with particular emphasis on the coming elections in West Germany, on the operation of the democratic process in West Germany.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
12. Give full publicity in East Germany to ceremonies, speeches, events, etc., planned in conjunction with the opening of the Berlin Congress Hall.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: September, 1957
Para. 15: “Stimulate and exploit conflicts within the Communist regime in East Germany and between it and other Communist regimes, as appropriate to the achievement of our policy objectives.” Para. 15 13. Stress the fact that the Warsaw Pact is a device for maintaining Soviet control over the satellites.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
14. Continue to raise questions through RIAS and other media as to the implications for East Germany of the developments in the Soviet Union and other satellite areas following in the wake of the denigration of Stalin.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
Para. 16: “Exploit the developing organizations of Western unity (NATO, WEU, OEEC, CSC, etc.) as a force working for a free European community including a reunified Germany.” Para. 16 15. Seek NATO support for diplomatic and propaganda actions resulting from decisions among U.S., U.K., France and Federal Republic relating to the German problem.
Assigned to: State
Supporting: USIA
Target date: Continuing
16. Report fully to East Germany on such developments as the establishment of EURATOM and a common market, commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the founding of OEEC, and other major developments relating to European integration, portraying European integration as a development which holds promise for the people of East Germany.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
Para. 17: “Utilize both public affairs and diplomatic channels to focus world opinion on the injustices of a forcibly divided Germany and the oppressive actions taken by the East German regime against the population. Emphasize that the people of East Germany have been deprived of their right to self-determination by the violation of international agreements by the Soviet Government, particularly the agreement of the Heads of Government at Geneva regarding the reunification of Germany by means of free elections.” Para. 17 17. Seek, through U.S. Diplomatic Missions abroad, the widest possible governmental and popular support of friendly nations for other measures set forth in this outline plan relevant to this paragraph.
Assigned to: State, USIA
Target date: Continuing
18. Continue the public affairs campaign begun in 1956 to focus world opinion on the dangers and injustices of the continued division of Germany.
Assigned to: USIA, State
Target date: Continuing
Para. 18: “Maintain contact with the people of East Germany and encourage resistance to the Communist regime by specific projects (administered by the West German Government through West German and private organizations supported by the United States to the extent necessary and appropriate) designed to (a) maintain a sense of identification with the West and (b) manifest our concern for hardships of East Germans. This should include the provision of cultural, educational, welfare, and travel opportunities. However, an organized official program for the exchange of persons between the United States and East Germany would be inconsistent with our policy of the non-recognition of the East German regime.” Para. 18 19. Support existing projects of public and private West German organizations which maximize the contacts of the East German population with Berlin and West Germany, assist churches, render aid to special groups and foster educational and cultural opportunities for East Germans. In this connection attempts should be made to induce the Federal Republic to increase its support of various projects enabling East Germans to exchange limited amounts of East German currency for West marks for the following uses in West Germany: pocket money, book purchases, return rail transportation.
Assigned to: State, ICA
Target date: Continuing
Para. 19: “Reassure the East German people of our continued confidence in the eventual reunification of Germany in freedom by evidence of continued strong Western support for Berlin and our determination to remain in Berlin. Hamper Soviet exploitation of East Germany by maintaining Berlin as an example of Western accomplishments and as an island of resistance to consolidation of Communist control in East Germany, and by prompt and clear response to any Communist harassment of the city.” Para. 19 20. See Outline Plan for Berlin.5
21. Report fully to the Soviet Zone, but especially to the countries concerned, on the visits of foreign delegations to Berlin (example: N. Y. Herald Tribune Student Forum). Continue to publicize visits of U.S. cultural groups to Berlin.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
22. Continue to provide information—through the America Houses, film showings, reading rooms, distribution of printed materials, etc.—to East Germans visiting West Berlin and West Germany.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
23. Participate in the 1957 Berlin International Building Exposition, which is expected to attract large numbers of East Germans, with an exhibit on the U.S. building trade, exhibits on the “U.S. City of Tomorrow”, and other appropriate exhibits at the Amerika Haus and Congress Hall.
Assigned to: USIA, State
Target date: September, 1957
24. Seek enlargement of the facilities and faculty of the Free University of Berlin and the Technical University to enable as many students as possible from East Berlin and East Germany to gain admission to these institutions.
Assigned to: State, ICA, USIA
Target date: As soon as possible
25. Take advantage of the large East German attendance at West Berlin events such as the annual Agricultural Fair (Gruene Woche) to distribute materials, show films, present exhibits, etc., designed to maintain a sense of East German identification with the West.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
26. Continue to supply radio and TV materials to Sender Freies Berlin, including the unattributed show, Pictures from the New World.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
27. Continue to report widely to East Germany U.S. programs in support of Berlin as well as speeches, statements, declarations, etc., by U.S. officials reaffirming the determination of the United States to bring about the reunification of Germany in peace and freedom, especially actions which contribute or could contribute to this end.
Assigned to: USIA
Target date: Continuing
Para. 20: “Oppose the recognition of the East German regime by other countries, seek to limit its influence, and support the Federal Republic in preventing the admission of representatives of the East German regime to international organizations or meetings.” Para. 20 28. Continue to take appropriate diplomatic and other measures to prevent GDR recognition through its participation in international conferences or through establishment of official relations by it relating to trade or other GDR activities outside the Soviet bloc.
Assigned to: State
Supporting: USIA
Target date: Continuing
[5 lines of source text not declassified]
[13 lines of source text not declassified]
  1. Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, Germany. Top Secret. Attached to the source text were a cover sheet, a memorandum which noted that paper had been revised and approved by the OCB at its meeting on April 10, and a one-page paper entitled “Purpose and Use of the Outline Plan of Operations (Complete Text).”
  2. Document 230.
  3. For text, see vol. xxv, pp. 115118.
  4. Entitled “Interim U.S. Policy on Developments in Poland and Hungary,” November 19, 1956; vol. xxv, pp. 463–469.
  5. Document 190.