192. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State0

2996. Deptel 2551.1 In forty-five minute meeting today, I made oral statement to Zorin as per reftel.

Replying, Zorin referred to first part my statement (expressing USG’s surprise at Sov representation) and said US did not answer May 22 statement and apparently did not wish to answer it. US did not wish to admit that Adenauer presence West Berlin while President there could not be viewed as factor contributing to Sov-US exchange of views and to lessening of international tension, both between US and USSR and with regard to situation in Europe. He said he could not view our “surprise” as justified. When Adenauer decided to visit West Berlin during President’s visit there, he understood full well this would serve to sharpen tensions between US and USSR. If US finds Sov statement surprising, this means US doesn’t recognize importance of such step. He could therefore only regret that statement had not been accepted and express Soviet concern on that account.

With regard portion of statement setting record straight on East Berlin, Zorin said this did not relate to his oral statement, but to comment he had made on my commentary on statement. He did not want to polemicize about it, but could only conclude from it that we agreed with what he had said about West Berlin’s not being part of FRG since we did not dispute that part of his statement. In that case, what business did Chancellor of FRG have there, what connection was there between his visit and that of President? This confirmed that his statement had been well-founded.

So far as what I had said about East Berlin was concerned, Zorin said he could not agree. US and its closest allies might think this, but whole rest of world regarded East Berlin as capital GDR, since government of that country is located there. But this point was in dispute and we could not settle it here.

I said I agreed that it was first part of our statement which responded to theirs, but that my government had wanted to set the record straight with the second part so as not to leave him under any impression that we agreed with his remark on status of East Berlin.

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I said I wished, too, to straighten out any inference he appeared to be drawing in his statement, and still seemed to be drawing, that there might be different points of view between USG and FRG on Adenauer trip. Such implications had been made in Sov press, as well, most recently in Izvestiya May 25 article by M. Mikhailov. I then read him brief statement from May 9 Wireless Bulletin to effect President always assumed Chancellor would be with him in Berlin.

I said I might comment a little further on his statement that West Berlin is not part of FRG. This point had in a sense been answered by second part of my statement. Fact is that, by Four-Power agreement, all of us had agreed that all of Berlin should have Four-Power status. Within limits of possibilities, USG had remained faithful to that agreement, while USSR had made East Berlin a separate part. In these circumstances, closest possible ties and working conditions had developed between West Berlin and FRG. Not whole rest of world, but USSR and its close friends, may believe East Berlin is part of GDR. This is, however, one of important points at issue between us.

Zorin broke in here to ask if I were saying West Berlin was part of FRG.

I said I was not, but was saying all of us had agreed Berlin should be kept together as the capital of a future reunited Germany.

Zorin said it had not been they, but the US, which first created a self-sufficient West Berlin. Not the USSR, but the US, had created the FRG before the GDR had been created. Not the USSR, but the [omission—US?], had first violated the Four-Power status of Berlin. Four-Power agreements on Berlin had no juridical force today and this was result solely of unilateral Western actions. It was not to advantage of US to look for the guilty ones, since historical facts were not on side of US. He could therefore confirm from second part of my statement that US does not consider West Berlin a part of FRG. Thus, burden of his May 22 statement remains justified. Why should Chancellor Adanauer be in West Berlin together with President? This decision had been dictated by political considerations and was not directed toward reducing tensions, but only towards aggravating them. That had been whole point of their statement: To warn US about political consequences of this step.

I said I must take issue with a couple of his remarks, since we differed on some of facts involved. Fact is that Sov side had walked out of Berlin Kommandatura in 1948 and had instituted blockade. Allied Kommandatura, now continuing as tripartite organ, had suspended provision of FRG Constitution making Berlin Land of FRG.

But West Berlin must live and, with Allied sanction, has developed close political, economic, financial, and cultural ties with FRG. Even Chairman Khrushchev has publicly recognized West Berlin and West [Page 523] Germany have same political system. We think it quite natural Chancellor should be in West Berlin when President is there.

I said I trusted I had not heard correctly about our agreements on West Berlin. I assumed Bolz-Zorin agreement, with which he was certainly familiar, was still in force.

Zorin said it was clear he could argue endlessly with me on subject. I agreed and repeated we did not want to assume work of Secretary and Amb Dobrynin.

Zorin said I had forgotten about separate currency reform in West Berlin, which had been put through long before blockade. It was that which had led to division of Berlin and Germany.

I said we differed on history, but I hoped he would consider seriously our position that we could see nothing provocative or tension-heightening in Chancellor’s accompanying President to West Berlin.

Rising, Zorin said they could not agree with us on this and must maintain the view expressed in the May 22 statement.

Comment: Zorin nodded to my statement about Bolz-Zorin agreement but did not specifically comment. By his reasoning, appears we can take his failure to respond as agreement that it remains in force.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/Kennedy. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bonn and Berlin.
  2. Document 191.