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

Letter from Premier Khrushchev to President Eisenhower, on the question of a summit meeting, June 11, 1958,   pp. 281-290 PDF (4.6 MB)

Page 286

It seems to us that it should have been recognized long ago as an in-
disputable truth that under present conditions the unification of
Germany can be brought about solely as the result of the efforts of
the two sovereign states now existing on German territory. The
GDR and the FRG can, given the desire on both sides, reach agree-
ment between themselves much more easily without the interference
of third countries. After all, the Germans in the East and in the
West of Germany speak one and the same language; they will not
even need interpreters for their negotiations, not to mention foreign
guardians who would decide for the Germans questions concerning
the destiny of the German people.
As is well known, even the Government of the FRG has stated that
discussion of the problem of the unification of Germany should not
be considered as a condition for convening a sununit conference. Ap-
parently it is not inclined to assume the heavy responsibility of frus-
trating a conference the convening of which has been long awaited by
the peoples of the world. Should the position of the three Western
Powers be understood to mean that they are prepared to assume such
a responsibility, and are they not using the question of the unification
of Germany as a means of creating additional difficulties for an agree-
ment on convening a summit conference?
In the proposals of the Western Powers there have been set forth
considerations concerning the matter of European security. Thee
importance of this problem at this time is of course indisputable.
A great deal must and can be done to strengthen peace in Europe
and to lessen the danger of a war breaking out on the European con-
tinent. But what proposals are made to us in this matter?
If we are to speak frankly-and I think that only under conditions-
of complete frankness can our exchange of opinions be really useful-
the sense of these proposals, which are presented as a plan for
strengthening European security, amounts to the following: the,
Western Powers desire to draw all Germany into their military
grouping and wish to reassure the peoples of Europe by statements
concerning the furnishing of "guarantees."      >
As long ago as our meeting in Geneva we called attention to the
fact that the proposal concerning some sort of guarantees for the-
Soviet Union was strange, to say the least. It is'a known fact that
guarantees are usually given by a strong state (or states) to a weak
state. In this connection the basic premise is the inequality of
strength, and a strong state determines the conditions with respect
to the weak state. A state to which guarantees are given is made
dependent on the state which gives these guarantees. History con-
tains many examples where a state that had given guarantees violated
its obligations and thereby created a situation where there was no-
way out for the state to which the guarantees had been given. You
will agree, Mr. President, that the Soviet Union is not a weak state
and that, consequently, it needs no guarantees, since it is able to de-
fend its interests itself. Thus the conditions which would justify the;
very raising of the question of guarantees are lacking in this par-
ticular case. Behind the raising of the question of guarantees as
applied to the U.S.S.R. there is obviously the desire to place our state
in a position that would be unequal with regard to other states, which
in itself demonstrates how unfounded this desire is.

Go up to Top of Page