28. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at Berlin 0

199. Your 353, 377, 378, 384, 385; Bonn’s 739.1

Department concurs in Berlin’s analysis of flag incident and plans for handling future attempts along similar lines.
Essential that no more half organized countermeasures be undertaken by West Berlin police which serve only to embolden Communists and undermine West Berlin morale.
Agree that Allied troops should not participate in actions unless police clearly unable to handle situation. Knowledge that troops alerted and on stand-by basis may prove sufficient in certain circumstances to obviate their actually participating in countermeasures.
Further major incidents of this type must be anticipated and insofar as possible advance agreement reached on actions to be taken.
Agree that new flag incident would require no new protest and that US should press for removal of flags in all “3 zones”,2 after submission by Lipschitz of detailed operational plans for evaluation.
Believe thorough review of past incidents of similar nature such as invasion of West Berlin by East German “goon squads” to break up political rallies would be helpful in outlining courses of action and eliminating future errors.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/10–1559. Confidential. Drafted by McFarland; cleared by Hillenbrand, Lampson, and Gleysteen; and approved by Kohler. Repeated to Bonn, London, Moscow, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 377 from Berlin is printed as Document 25. Regarding telegrams 353 and 378, see footnote 2, Document 23, and footnote 2, Document 25, respectively. Telegrams 384 and 385, October 15, and 737, October 14, all dealt with various aspects of the flag-raising incident. (Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/10–1559 and 762.0221/10–1459)
  3. The three zones were: 1) exterior of buildings which could be seen from the street; 2) rear of S-Bahn buildings; and 3) buildings not traversed by the public.