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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
(1959)

Note from the German ambassador to the secretary of state, transmitting a memorandum from the Federal Republic of Germany to the Soviet Union, September 2, 1956,   pp. 189-190 PDF (859.4 KB)


Page 189

DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
Letter from   President Eisenhower to Premier Bulganin, on
Reduction of Foreign Forces in Germany, August 4, 19561
[Extract]
*        *         *        *        *         *        *
You refer in your letter [of June 6, 1956] to a possible reduction
of our respective forces in Germany. Obviously the problem     of
forces in G'ermany cannot be dealt with as an isolated matter. In
this respect, I must confess that I am greatly disturbed by the develop-
ments which have occurred since we met at Geneva last year. We
there agreed that the reunification of Germany was a common respon-
sibility of the four Governments at Geneva, and we also agreed that
Germany should be reunified by means of free elections carried out
in conformity with the national interests of the German people and
the interests of European security.2 Not only has this not happened,
but I hear of statements from your side which seem to imply that your
Government is determined to maintain indefinitely the division of
Germany.
I must confess that I am perplexed as to how we can work together
constructively if agreements which are negotiated at the highest level
after the most thorough exploration do not seem dependable.
*        *         *        *        *         *        *
Note from the German Ambassador to the Secretary of State,
Transmitting a Memorandum from the Federal Republic of
Germany to the Soviet Union, September 2,19568
The Heads of Government of the United States of America, France,
the United Kingdom, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
reached agreement at the first Geneva conference in July 1955 that
the settlement of the German question and of the question of reunifi-
cation should be accomplished by means of free elections, "carried out
in conformity with the national interests of the German people and
the interests of European security." At the second Geneva confer-
ence, in October and November 1955, it unfortunately proved impos-
sible to agree on ways and means of putting this resolution into effect.
And now more than half of 1956 has elapsed without any progress
having been achieved in this matter.
The German Federal Government feels constrained to call the at-
tention of the Government of the United States of America to the
gravity of this fact.
All four Powers have at all times recognized the responsibility
incumbent on them with regard to the reestablishment of Germany's
unity as one state. This responsibility is not adequately discharged
by mere assent to the principle of reunification without any agreements
being reached regarding practical ways and means of realizing it.
I White House news release, August 7, 1956. See also Premier Bulganin's letter
of June
6, 19,56 (8upra).
2 See Geneva Directive of July 23, 1955 (8upra).
3 Department of State Bulletin, September 24, 1956;, pp. 485-486. Ambassador
Krekeler
handed the note to Secretary Dulles on September 7, 1956; on the same day
similar notes
were delivered to the British and French Governments, and the memorandum
(infra) was
delivered to the Soviet Government. See also American notes of October 9,
to the German
Federal Government and of October 10 to the Soviet Government (infra).
189


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