24. Editorial Note

On November 10 Soviet Premier and First Party Secretary Nikita S. Khrushchev addressed a friendship meeting of the peoples of the Soviet Union and Poland at the Sports Palace in Moscow. During this address, he stated that because of their violations of the Potsdam Agreement, the Western Allies had forfeited their legal basis to remain in Berlin. The Premier declared that the time had come for the powers that signed the Potsdam Agreement to give up the remnants of the occupation regime in Berlin, and to that end the Soviet Union would hand over to the German Democratic Republic those functions that the Soviet Government still exercised in Berlin. In concluding Khrushchev called upon the Western Allies to establish their own relations with East Germany if they were interested in questions connected with Berlin. An extract of Khrushchev’s address is printed in Documents on Germany, 1944–1985, pages 542–546.

The immediate response to this address was made by Department of State spokesman Lincoln White on the same day when he stated that none of the four powers could walk out on the occupation agreement on its own, and reiterated that the three Western powers were prepared to fight, if necessary, to defend West Berlin’s freedom. A copy of White’s statement is in Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/11–1058.