Germany and Berlin, 1969–1972


1. Memorandum Prepared by the Ambassador to Germany (Lodge)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 681, Country Files, Europe, Germany, Vol. I. Top Secret. Lodge signed and dated the memorandum by hand. Richard Nixon, then Republican candidate for President, was in New York on October 31 for a nationally televised campaign rally at Madison Square Garden. Lodge may have given Nixon the memorandum before attending the rally. (Nixon, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon , p. 322) On November 9, “while returning to his post in Bonn,” Lodge stopped in Key Biscayne to “brief the President-elect on the situation in Europe.” (The New York Times, November 10, p. 73) No evidence has been found to indicate whether the two men discussed this memorandum at that or any other time.


2. Telegram From the Mission in Berlin to the Department of State

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL USUSSR. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Bonn, London, Moscow, Paris for Harriman, USNATO, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrade, Sofia, Munich, Saigon, and for POLADs at CINCUSAREUR (Heidelberg), CINCEUR (Vaihingen), and CINCUSAFE (Wiesbaden).


3. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Germany

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL USUSSR. Secret. Drafted by Johnpoll on January 9; cleared by Leddy, Puhan, Dubs, and Brown; and approved by Rusk. Repeated to London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, and USNATO.


4. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 681, Country Files, Europe, Germany, Vol. I. Confidential. Sent for action. According to another copy, Sonnenfeldt drafted the memorandum. (Ibid.) For Kissinger's account of the decision-making process, see White House Years, p. 406.


5. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 681, Country Files, Europe, Germany, Vol. I. Confidential. Drafted by Puhan. The meeting was held at the White House. The State Department Executive Secretariat sent the memorandum to Kissinger on February 1 for approval. Upon receiving the memorandum, Sonnenfeldt noted: “As far as I know this has long since been distributed. But, in any case I have no objection to contents (since I wasn't there trust Puhan) or distribution.” (Ibid.) According to a handwritten notation, the White House informed the Secretariat on March 10 that the memorandum had been cleared. (Ibid.) For Pauls' report on the meeting, see Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1969, Vol. 1, pp. 138–139.


7. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 689, Country Files, Europe, Germany (Berlin), Vol. I. Secret. Sent for information. Kissinger forwarded the memorandum to the President on February 11 under a note that reads: “In view of the information about Berlin, I thought you might like to take a look at the attached.” (Ibid.) The memorandum is based on one Sonnenfeldt sent Kissinger on February 10. (Ibid.) According to another copy, Lesh drafted this memorandum to the President. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 285, Memoranda to the President, 1969–1974, Jan.–May 1969)


8. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 GER W. Confidential. Drafted by Dubs and approved in S on February 18. The memorandum is part III of V. The time of the meeting is from Rogers' Appointment Book. (Personal Papers of William P. Rogers) Rogers summarized his conversation with Dobrynin for the President's Evening Reading on February 13. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 2, President's Daily Briefs, February 9–14, 1969) In a February 14 memorandum forwarding this summary to the President, Kissinger commented: “The conversations appeared to be exceptionally forthcoming although his [Dobrynin's] comments on Berlin might suggest some fairly severe actions by the East Germans were in the wind.” (Ibid.)


9. Memorandum From Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 689, Country Files, Europe, Germany (Berlin), Vol. I. Secret; Noforn. Urgent; sent for action. Drafted by Lesh. A checkmark indicates that Kissinger saw the memorandum. With minor revisions and deletions, Kissinger transmitted the text of the memorandum in his written intelligence brief for the President on February 15. (Ibid., Box 2, President's Daily Briefs, February 15–18, 1969) Several of the President's markings on the text of the brief are noted below.


10. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 28 GER B. Confidential; Immediate. Repeated to Bonn, Berlin, USNATO, London, Paris, CINCUSAREUR, CINCEUR, and USELMLO. Kissinger forwarded the text of the telegram in a February 15 memorandum to the President. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 2, President's Daily Briefs, February 15–18, 1969)


12. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers, Secretary of Defense Laird, and Director of Central Intelligence Helms

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 689, Country Files, Europe, Germany (Berlin), Vol. I. Top Secret; Sensitive. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Printed from a copy that indicates that Kissinger signed the original. According to Kissinger, “the President, on my recommendation, ordered a step-up in US military traffic over the access routes to Berlin” to underscore his warning to Dobrynin on February 22 against “unilateral acts.” (Kissinger, White House Years, p. 406)


14. Draft Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 834, Name Files, Sonnenfeldt, Helmut. Secret. No drafting information appears on the memorandum, which is marked “Uncleared—For Embassy Use Only.” The time of the meeting is from the President's Daily Diary. (Ibid., White House Central Files) In a March 10 letter forwarding the memorandum to Sonnenfeldt, Fessenden explained: “Attached are the draft records of the three meetings we discussed on the phone. The record of the private session between the President and the Chancellor was done by Hans Holzapfel, our interpreter. The other two were prepared by me. We prepared them during the night you were here, and I then gave them to Marty [Hillenbrand] the next morning on our way to Berlin.” (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 834, Name Files, Sonnenfeldt, Helmut) An earlier draft, including handwritten corrections, is ibid., RG 59, Conference Files: Lot 70 D 387, Box 484, CF 338, President Nixon's Trip to Europe, 2/23–3/2/69, Chronology; Memcons— Vol. I of VIII) For a German record of the meeting, see Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1969, Vol. 1, pp. 273–278.


15. Draft Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 834, Name Files, Sonnenfeldt, Helmut. Secret. No drafting information appears on the memorandum, which is marked “Uncleared: For Embassy Use Only.” For an explanation, see footnote 1, Document 14. Another, nearly identical, draft is in the National Archives, RG 59, Conference Files: Lot 70 D 387, Box 484, CF 338, President Nixon's Trip to Europe, 2/23–3/2/69, Chronology; Memcons—Vol. I of VIII. Pedersen also took notes of the conversation. (Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 75 D 229, Pres. Trip to Europe, Feb.–Mar. 1969) For a German record of the meeting, see Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1969, Vol. 1, pp. 278–283.


16. Draft Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 834, Name Files, Sonnenfeldt, Helmut. Secret. No drafting information appears on the memorandum, which is marked “Uncleared—For Embassy Use Only.” For an explanation, see footnote 1, Document 14. Another, nearly identical, draft is in the National Archives, RG 59, Conference Files: Lot 70 D 387, Box 484, CF 338, President Nixon's Trip to Europe, 2/23–3/2/79, Chronology; Memcons—Vol. I of VIII. For a German record of the meeting, see Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1969, Vol. 1, pp. 283–291.


18. Paper Prepared by the National Security Council Staff

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1320, NSC Secretariat, NSC Unfiled Material, 1969 [9 of 19]. Secret; Nodis. No drafting information appears on the paper. Sonnenfeldt forwarded it to Kissinger on March 11 as an attachment to a memorandum drafted by Hyland. Haig noted on the memorandum: “HAK has seen says fine job.” Kissinger presumably requested the paper after his meeting with Dobrynin on March 3 (see Document 17). As Hyland explains in his memoirs: “One of the early surprises for the Nixon administration had been Soviet interest in talking about Berlin. Dobrynin had said as much to Kissinger in early 1969. This was one of my first assignments on the NSC staff: to assemble some background on the history of the long, tedious negotiations over Berlin that had taken place at various times since 1945.” According to Hyland: “The idea of new talks about Berlin appealed to Kissinger. Berlin was a concrete issue on which progress could be clearly measured. In other words, it did not involve a vague, abstract improvement in atmosphere. And given the long history of Berlin, almost any progress would be a significant signal that superpower relations were improving.” (Hyland, Mortal Rivals, pp. 29–30)


20. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 38. Secret. Drafted by Johnpoll and approved in S on April 15. The meeting was held in the Secretary's office. Brandt was in Washington for the biannual meeting of NATO Ministers. The memorandum is part III of V. The other parts are: I, Brandt's Visit to Canada (ibid., POL 7 GER W); II, Non-Proliferation Treaty (ibid., DEF 18–6); IV, The Budapest Appeal (ibid., DEF 1 EUR); and V, Four Power Talks on the Middle East (ibid., POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR). For a German record of the meeting, see Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1969, Vol. 1, pp. 459–461.


22. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 US–GER W. Confidential. Repeated to USNATO, USEC, Berlin, London, Paris, Moscow, Rome, The Hague, Luxembourg, and Brussels.


23. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 278, Memoranda of Conversations, Feb. 1969–Sept. 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only; Nodis. Drafted by Obst. The meeting was held in the White House. Kissinger revised the memorandum by hand and wrote the following instructions: “Send to Rogers with note that circulating to be confined to him & Elliott. Bracketed part to be omitted from copy for State.” A copy of the version sent to Rogers is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1023, Presidential/HAK Memcons. Substantive revisions to the memorandum and excisions from the State version are noted in footnotes below. Nixon and Kiesinger also met at the White House the next day from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. A memorandum of conversation, including discussion of the National Democratic Party in Germany, problems of the young generation, space cooperation, and the future of Europe, is ibid. For German records of both meetings, see Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1969, Vol. 2, pp. 887–898, 906–909. For text of the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the visit, see Public Papers: Nixon, 1969, pp. 632–634.


24. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 28 GER B. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated to Bonn, London, Paris, USNATO, and Berlin.


26. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 689, Country Files, Europe, Germany (Berlin), Vol. I. Secret. Sent for information. According to a handwritten notation, the memorandum was returned from the President on October 1. The memorandum is based on another, dated September 12, from Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger, who, upon reading it, left the following handwritten instruction: “Turn into memo for Pres but strengthen danger of pushing negotiation which may force Soviets to back GDR.” (Ibid.) According to another copy, Hyland redrafted the memorandum, including several minor corrections as well as one substantive addition noted in footnote 4 below, on September 23. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 286, Memoranda to the President, 1969–74, June–Sept. 1969)


27. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 682, Country Files, Europe, Germany, Vol. III. Confidential. Sent for information. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. According to a handwritten notation, it was returned from the President on October 1.


29. Memorandum From Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 682, Country Files, Europe, Germany, Vol. III. Confidential. Sent for action. According to another copy, Downey drafted the memorandum on October 1. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 2, Chronological File, 1969–75, 1 July–31 Oct. 1969)


30. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 GER W. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated to Berlin, London, and Paris.