Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
Letter from President Eisenhower to Chancellor Adenauer, on the East German uprising, July 23, 1953, pp. 110-112 PDF (1.3 MB)
DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 19 4 4-5 9 Announcement is being made simultaneously in the two capitals of the return to the Federal Republic of approximately 350 vessels form- -erly of German ownership. Arrangements for their transfer to Ger- man authorities will be completed by the U.S. High Commissioner in Germany. The President and the Chancellor are convinced that the conversa- tions just concluded have made a solid contribution to the achieve- ment of common goals of the two countries, in strengthening the ties of friendship now happily re-established and in consolidating the aims and- strength of the free world. Letter from President Eisenhower to Chancellor Adenauer, on the East German Uprising, July 23, 19531 During the development of the conversations between the U.S. Secretary of State and the Foreign Ministers of Great Britain and France, it occurred to me that it might be helpful if I were to write you a letter in amplification of the thoughts so tightly compressed in the final communique. It seems to me that certain definite patterns are emerging from the situation in East Germany and the Eastern Europe satellite coun- tries-patterns which will unquestionably have a profound effect upon the future, including the proposed meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Four Powers. I think, therefore, that it will be useful for me to share my thoughts with you in some detail at this time. Great historical developments, such as the recent Berlin and East German anti-Communist demonstrations, rarely have single roots. Nevertheless, I am quite certain that future historians, in their analy- sis of the causes which will have brought about the disintegration of the Communist empire, will single out those brave East Glermans who dared to rise against the cannons of tyranny with nothing but their bare hands and their stout hearts, as a root cause. I think also that those same historians will record your own extraordinary steadfast- ness in the cause of European peace and freedom over many, many years. In analyzing these recent developments, there appear to be five points of greatest significance. First, this eruption against Communist oppression was spontaneous. I know that I need not go into any elaborate denial with you of the fantastic explanation put out by Moscow that the uprising was caused by American provocateurs. No provocateur of any nationality can persuade human beings to stand up in front of rumbling tanks with sticks and stones. Such action comes from the heart and not from any foreign purse. Second, this uprising was not just a momentary flash of desperation. The continuing news of disorders in Eastern Germany indicates a fundamental and lasting determination to be fully and finally free, despite long years of stern Sovietization. I Department of State Bulletin, August 3, 19.53, pp. 147-149. See alo comwuniqu,6 of July 14, 1953 by the Western Foreign Ministers (American Foreign Policy, 1950-1955, vol. I, pp. 14,63-14,67).
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