226. National Security Action Memorandum No. 1171


  • The Secretary of State


  • Contingency Planning on Berlin

In reviewing the latest reports on the status of contingency planning on Berlin, I do not find any contingency plan for the case of disturbance along the sector border which might lead to riots on both sides and possible rebellion in East Berlin. The recent protests of West Berliners, at a time of relatively low tension, suggest that one of the real possibilities in this situation is that we may have a citizen explosion of some sort at a later stage of the crisis.

I would like to have your recommendation as to possible courses of action in this range of contingencies. I recognize the difficulty of framing precise plans ahead of time for a matter so unpredictable as a civilian uprising, but it does seem to me that we should be thinking ahead on this one.

John F. Kennedy 2
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, NSAMs. Top Secret. Copies were sent to McNamara and Taylor.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.