28. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Khrushchev Statement on Berlin


  • Ambassador Wilhelm C. Grewe, German Embassy
  • Acting Secretary Herter
  • Mr. C. Burke ElbrickEUR
  • Mr. Martin J. HillenbrandGER

At his request Ambassador Grewe called on the Acting Secretary today to discuss the Khrushchev statement on Berlin made in Moscow on November 10. Dr. Grewe said that he was carrying out instructions received from his Foreign Office on Monday to approach the Department at the highest possible level to express the deep concern of the Federal Government at the implications of the Khrushchev statement.1 That he should do this was not surprising; far more surprising would have been his failure to do this. He would appreciate an expression of the Acting Secretary’s views.

The Acting Secretary said that we understood the reasons for German concern, and referred Dr. Grewe to the statement made late on November 10 by the Press Officer of the Department.2 We were considering what might be the best way to reaffirm our position, and would, of course, keep in close touch with the German Embassy as the situation developed. In response to the Acting Secretary’s query, Dr. Grewe said he had no specific points to make at this stage as to the views of his Government. Mr. Elbrick asked what had been the reaction in the Federal Republic to our press statement. Dr. Grewe stated that it had caused great satisfaction and added his personal view that the Khrushchev speech was in line with the Soviet policy of probing and creating tension around the world.

The Acting Secretary concluded the conversation by suggesting that Mr. Elbrick might inform Dr. Grewe in some detail of the views of our Ambassador in Moscow.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/11–1258. Secret. Drafted by Hillenbrand on November 13 and initialed by Elbrick.
  2. Late on November 10 German Counselor Pauls informed the Department of State that Grewe had been instructed by the Foreign Ministry to express “at high level” the Federal Republic’s concern over Khrushchev’s speech. Grewe sent Pauls instead, who was informed that there was no need for panic, and that the Embassy would be informed as the situation developed. (Telegram 964 to Bonn, November 11; ibid., 762.00/11–1158)
  3. See Document 24.
  4. See Document 29.