University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

Memorandum from the Federal Republic of Germany to the Soviet Union, on German reunification and European security, September 2, 1956,   pp. 191-200 PDF (4.6 MB)


Page 197

DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
mental difference between the Soviet proposal and that of the West,
however, consisted in the fact that the former envisaged the member-
ship of two German States in this treaty system.
Together with the Governments of France, the United Kingdom,
and the United States, the Federal Government believes that a Eu-
ropean security system participated in by two German States is ill
itself a contradictory idea doomed to failure. This idea is also in-
consistent with the directive issued by the four Heads of Government
on 23 July 1955, which explicitly states the close relation between the
reunification of Germany and the problem of European security, and
which therefore envisages the simultaneous treatment of both ques-
tions. The reasons for this relationship have often been explained:
The partition of Germany represents an abnormal situation. A se-
curity system based on that situation would in fact petrify it, so to
speak, while the aim of a security system should, after all, be to
create normal conditions and, at the same time, to satisfy the alleged
or real security needs of those directly or indirectly participating.
The Federal Government therefore considers it indispensable to
link the solution of both questions to each other in such a manner
that, from the very beginning, only one German State, namely reuni-
fied Germany, joins the European security system.
12) This demand leads to the question of how the reunification of
Germany can be achieved.
Even as recently as 23 July 1955, the Chairman of the Council of
Ministers of the U.S.S.R., Marshal Bulganin, reached an agreement
with the Heads of the Governments of France, the United Kingdom,
and the United States, to the effect that "the settlement of the Ger-
man question and the reunification of Germany by means of free
elections shall be carried out in conformity with the national interests
of the German people and the interests of European security."
When this agreement was signed on 23 July 1955, the Paris agree-
ments of 23 October 1954, had been in force for quite some time and
the Federal Republic was a member of NATO and WEU.- None-
theless, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Mr. Molotov, on 8 November
1955, declined the proposal of the three Western Powers in Geneva
that free elections should be held in the whole of Germany by secret
ballot before the end of September 1956, substantiating his rejection
by saying that the situation which had prevaailed since the Berlin
conference in 1954 had undergone a serious change in consequence
of the Paris agreements. Contrary to the Geneva directive issued by
the four Heads of Government on 23 July 1955, Mr. Molotov ex-
pressed the view that the question of holding free all-German elec-
tions was not yet ripe for discussion and that first of all a "rapproche-
ment and cooperation" between the two German States-existing in
his opinion-was necessary.
Thus the Soviet Foreign Minister imposed a new condition for
the reunification of Germany which, in effect, amounted to making
the reunification of Germany impossible for a long time to come.
The Soviet Government should not close its eyes to the fact that the
regime of the so-called "German Democratic Republic" has not suc-
ceeded, even in the course of several years, in winning the confidence
and assent of its population. That regime claims to represent a state
of working people, particularly laborers and farmers, and the labor-
40109-59--14
197


Go up to Top of Page