58. Memorandum of a Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Chancellor Adenauer, Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, June 14, 1956, 9:50 a.m.1

The meeting was attended by the President, Mrs. Eisenhower, Secretary Dulles, Chancellor Adenauer and myself acting as interpreter.

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The President opened the conversation by welcoming the Chancellor and expressing his regret that he had been unable to participate more actively in the formal discussions and to greet the Chancellor’s son and daughter.

The Chancellor thanked the President for the welcome and expressed his hope and that of the German people that the President’s recovery would be a complete and early one. He then stressed his extreme gratification about the President’s appearance which he considered as nothing short of a “miracle”.

The President remarked that the Secretary and he had been giving a great deal of thought to the German problem and particularly to the question of helping “bring together again” the two parts of Germany.

The Chancellor expressed his appreciation for the President’s remarks and stated that, in this connection, he was highly pleased with the course of the discussions and with the communiqué.

The Secretary remarked, humorously, that of course we were always prepared to give the Chancellor what he desired to have.

The Chancellor responded in similar vein remarking that in that case he would have liked to have some of the “$10,000 German assets”.

The Secretary remarked that that was one of the problems created by the war which required time for final settlement.

The President added that this problem had been with us ever since the end of the war. It was one of the questions which we would like to see solved, but unfortunately we had not been able to do it, so far.

The remainder of the conversation was devoted chiefly to personal pleasantries. The President and Mrs. Eisenhower inquired about the Chancellor’s children and grandchildren. Mrs. Eisenhower expressed her appreciation of the silver which Mrs. Werhahn, the Chancellor’s daughter, had had presented to her. The Chancellor in turn expressed his thanks, in the name of his daughter, for the portrait which Mrs. Eisenhower sent her as a personal present and hinted that he might yet be tempted to “steal” it from his daughter.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.62A11/6–2656. Secret. Drafted by H.J. Kellermann of EUR as a memorandum for Secretary Dulles. The time and place of the meeting is taken from the President’s Appointment Book. (Eisenhower Library) The memorandum was forwarded to Goodpaster by Howe on June 26.