178. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State 0

1795. Heidelberg for USAREUR. Paris pass CINCEUR, USRO, SHAPE. From Bruce. Every day one or more new proposals for settling German and Berlin problems are outlined by concerned citizens of various countries. Most of them seem to assume some form of reunification presents most feasible solution, without much regard to what Western position might be after concessions to attain this end. I should like to comment on certain phases question.

Reunification in freedom has been slogan of FedRep Govt, supported by its Western Allies, for many years. Today, it seems as much of a will of wisp as ever. Now we are playing around with a variation on [Page 374] theme of free elections in both Germanies being necessary prelude to reunification. It consists of saying there are other ways of bringing about unity, and free elections may follow rather than precede an agreement for the joinder of territorially separated parts of a formerly integrated country.

History affords examples to support argument that chronological relationship between free elections and unification need not require the first precede the second. But in most opposite precedents proofs of previous ill-faith were not present. Now, pledges given by Soviets for future performance should be judged in light past repudiation of equally solemn engagements. This would not preclude possibility of agreement to be implemented step by step, but should render us cautious over bartering away actual positions for future prospects.

Without entering upon analysis as to whether majority of West Germans, and especially their political leaders, really believe reunification soon achievable upon terms tolerable to them, position of West, including FedRep Govt, has to date been postulated on such assumption. This has resulted in frozen policy, responsive to what people hope rather than expect.

Re-examination is in order, and beneath official surface is taking place in FedRep. For a political figure of any prominence to abandon goal of reunification would be as dangerous as for him openly to advocate the most degraded immoral practices. He must either cling stubbornly to doctrine of reunification after free elections, or, if in opposition, assert only lack of imagination and of negotiating suppleness by executive has prevented this easy coalition.

However, increasingly, people and politicians of all parties here wonder whether unification, be it called confederation, is attainable on tolerable basis. Estimate of Soviet purposes confuses and divides them, according to individual views Soviet intentions.

Let us apply our attention to one preoccupation on which opinion is split. The Allies decided in 1945 to fragmentize Germany, despite apprehensions of the forces that might later seek to rejoin the severed members. Before long, both Soviets and ourselves mutually vied in protestations of will to reverse the process.

Meanwhile, two states with different constitutional and ideological institutions had come into being. One turned freely toward West, the other, through duress, was polarized toward East. Although vast majority of East German citizens are anti-Communist, their volition is frustrated by their inability to implement it. In a police state, dissidents can[not] indulge in seditious thoughts without shaking totalitarian mastery.

[Page 375]

Nothing seems to justify assumption that Soviets will permit free elections as preliminary to reunification, in any form, of the two Germanies. Nor would promises of free elections, after some imperfect and partial constitutional framework had been erected, be trustworthy. But the Soviets have offered a scheme with which they hope to beguile the West: confederation, out of which credulous Westerners might hope would finally evolve, because of the supposed superior attractions of West for East, an entity strongly Atlantic and permitted by the Soviets to become such.

This is a dangerous illusion to cherish or accept. In such confederation, even if Soviet troops were withdrawn from German soil, and guarantees against re-entry were effective—an optimistic theory—the influence of the Kremlin over 17 million East Germans under a Communist, and not freely elected government, possessing juridical rights equivalent to those of 52 million West Germans, would be formidable. Yet, even if this were not the case, I suppose parties to such a confederation would already have renounced membership in the Warsaw or NATO Pacts. This would be coupled with or lead to neutralization. Regardless of the size of armies permitted the two Germanies, effective neutralization of the Federal Republic would sound the death-knell of Adenauer’s policy of the incorporation of FedRep in the Western European complex.

Monnet invented the so-called European idea. Adenauer contributed to it the strongest and most consistent single support. Some accuse him, as is case with all successful politicians, of cynicism, lack of conviction in respect anything for which he would stake his political existence, without alluding to other instances in which he had demonstrated high political courage and deep moral sensibility, such as reparations to Israel. On one score I have never heard even his bitterest opponents question, even while criticizing, his sincerity; that is his passionate belief in the merit of encasing Germany in a veritable Western European straitjacket.

To destroy, entirely apart from military implications, FedRep’s new-found allegiance to the West would be to kill the most promising development in Europe for centuries. One consequence would be to accept the prospect of a vital people adrift in Central Europe, without anchor or moorings, repudiated by friends, wooed by enemies.

I do not propose off-hand rejection of countless plans for settlement of German problems, but do urge that in approaching any design for German unity we bear constantly in mind that neutralization of the Federal Republic, and/or its withdrawal from NATO would deprive us of our strongest ally in Europe, and turn Germany into a floating mine.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/2–1759. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution; Noforn. Repeated to Berlin, Heidelberg, London, Moscow, and Paris.