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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

Note from the United States to the Soviet Union, on Berlin, December 31, 1958,   pp. 347-350 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 347

United States that, being thus ready in good faith to bring the occupa-
tion period to a close by, legitimate means, there can be no legal or
moral doubt of the right of the United States to maintain its right of
,occupation in Berlin and its corollary right of access -thereto and that
Iefforts of -the Soviet Union to assail and interfere with those rights
are in violation of international law.
Note from the United -tates to the Soviet Union, on Berlin,
December 31, 19581
'The Government of the United States acknowledges the note which
-was addressed to it by the Government of the U.S.S.R. under date of
November 27.
The note contains a long elaboration on the events which preceded
'and .followed -athe last war. It- attempts to portray the Western
'Powe     rance, the United Kingdom and the United States-as
'supporters of Hitlerism as against the Soviet Union. This portrayal
is in sharp contrast with the actual facts. In this connection we refer
'to the contemporaneous statement made by the Soviet Minister of
Foreign Affairs to the Supreme -Soviet of the U.S.S.R. on October
t31, 1939. In that statement he refers, among other things, to the
"conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact of August 23"
and points out "we now had a rapprochement and the establishment
Iof friendly relations between the U.S.S.R. and Germany". The state-
-ment goes on to assail the British and French Governments for their
opposition to Hitlerism in the following language: "The ruling
circles of Britain and France have been lately attempting to depict
themselves as champions of the democratic rights of nations against
.'Hitlerism, and the British Government has announced that its aim in
,the war with Germany is nothing more nor less than the 'destruction
4of Hitlerism' * * * everybody will understand that an ideology can-
-not be destroyed by force, that it cannot be eliminated by war. It is
therefore not only senseless, bu4t criminal to wage such a war-a war
"for. the 'destruction of Hitlerism' camouflaged as a fight for
The:situation of Berlin of which the Soviet Government complains
and which it considers abnormal is a result of the very nature of the
German problem such as it has, existed since 1945. When the empire
of Hitler collapsed the Western Allies were in military possession of
~more than one-third of what subsequently was occupied by the Soviet
The Soviet Union was in possession of Berlin. On the basis of the
agreements of September 12, 1944 and May 1, 1945, the Western Allies
-withdrew, thereby permitting a Soviet occupation of large parts of
Mecklenburg, Saxony, Thuringia and Anhalt and concurrently, the
three.Western Powers occupied the western sectors in Berlin, then an
.area of rubble.
The Soviet Union has directly and through its puppet regime-the
,-so-called German Democratic Republic-consolidated its hold over
{he large areas which the Western Allies relinquished to it. It now
dIbid., pp. 32-36.

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