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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

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 199

and social systems must not be allowed to stand in the way of their
being accorded the opportunity of an election with freedom of
A year ago, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Mr. Molotov, stated in
San Francisco:
As far as our proposals, the proposals of the Soviet Union,
concerning the reunification of Germany are concerned, we hold
the following view: The regime prevailing at present in Eastern
Germany should, of course, not be extended to a united Germany
any more than should be the regime existing in Western Germany.
What regime is to exist and will exist in a reunified Germany-
that is a matter which the German people will have to decide for
themselves in all-German free elections. (TASS, 27 June 1955.)
The Federal Government is in complete agreement with this dec-
laration. It is, naturally, aware of the fact that the partition of
Germany, which has lasted many years, has led to considerable dif-
ferences in the social structure within Germany. But only a national
representation elected by the entire German people has any right to
create an order which brings the two parts of Germany closer to-
gether again, and secures such social achievements as are regarded
y the entire German people as progressive. Any other solution is
impossible, if only for the reason that the workers of the Federal
Republic are entitled to insist that the reunification of Germany should
niot- lead to their political and social achievements being jeopardized.
Jnl this view, the Federal Government believed itself in agreement
with several earlier statements by the Soviet Government. The lat-
ter, in its note of 15 August 1953, said, for instance, that, in conse-
quence of all-German free elections, "the German people themselves
will, without interference from foreign countries, solve the problem
of the social and national structure of a democratic Germany."
In consequence of more recent Soviet utterances, the Federal Gov-
ernment is unfortunately no longer certain of that agreement. Ad-
dressing the Geneva Conference of Foreign Ministers on 2 Novem-
ber 19r55, the Soviet Foreign Minister stated that the re-establishment
of the unity of Germany could not be brought about at the cost of
the social and economic achievements of the workers in the DDR. It
is the -belief of the Federal Government that a national assembly
elected by the entire German people would be the best guardian of
achievements regarded as such by the whole of the workers. How-
ever, Mr. Molotov continued by saying that the statement made by
the Government of the DDR to the effect that the DDR would not
allow its democratic and social reforms to be encroached upon must
be taken into account.
It is generally known what features are counted in the DDR among
the so-called "democratic reforms": the suppression of the Social
Democratic Party, the assimilation of the Christian Democratic and
Liberal Parties, the obstruction of free elections for the People's
Chamber, the suppression of freedom of opinion and of the press,
the abolition of freedom of coalition and of the right of workers to
strike, the systematic removal of the professional middle class, the
suppression of freedom of worship, and the practice of a despotic and
politically controlled system of jurisdiction. Is a future all-German
parliament to be committed to the perpetuation of this policy ?

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