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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

Remarks at news conference by Secretary of State Dulles, on Germany, January 27, 1959 [extracts],   pp. 375-378 PDF (1.7 MB)

Page 375

. Mr. 'Secretary, is it' our position that free elections are the only
method of reuniting Germany? In other words, do we say, "No free
elections, no reunification"?
A., Well, we never have said' that-. ' The formula of reunification by
-free elections was the agreed formula. It seems to us to be a natural
method. But I wouldn't say that it is the only method by which
reunification could be accomplished.
*   .* .            i.   .*       *        *       *
Q. Mr. Secretary, to clarify an earlier answer that you made, you
said that "free elections. are, the natural method. for' unifying
Germany, but it is not. the only method." Could you tell us what
other methods there might be which could be acceptable to us and
the West Germans and our Allies?
A. No, I wouldn't want to speculate about that. There are all kinds
of methods whereby countries and peoples draw together, and I
merely said that I did not feel that we should treat any one method
as an absolutely exclusive one.
Q. Mr. Secretary, when you said that the Soviet plan for Germany
is "stupid" because it wouldn't work, in what sense did you mean
wouldn't work? What bad'result did you see flowing from it?
A. I believe that if you try to isolate and segregate a great people
like the Germans in the center of Europe that they wvill become a
restive and dangerous force; they will attempt to gain advantages
to themselves by trying to play 'off the East against the West. I don't
think that you can put the Germans within the kind of a smothering
blanket that the Soviet Union has in mind and expect that that will
hold. That, in a way, was the approach of the Treaty of Versailles,
and it just didn't work. And I don't think it will work again. I think
that a so-called "neutralized" and largely demilitarized Germany,
attempted to be demilitarized in the middle of Europe, is just some-
thing that won't work, and that, instead of trying to isolate Germany
the best way is to tie Germany in.
Now, that is the basic thesis of Adenauer. I believe that Adenauer's
claim to greatness rests upon his effort to assure that Germany will
not again follow the path which Germany followed in 1914. and again
in 1939. He is the one who has invented, you might say, this solution.
And I believe it is the most practical and sound solution for those who
really want to end for all time the kind of danger that has come from
Germany in the past.
*  *       *       *.       *       -*       *-
Remarks at News Conference by Secretary of State Dulles, on
Germany, January 27, 1959
*   ,    *       *     .  *       *        *       *
Q. Mr. Secretary, there are reports that the West German Govern-
ment is studying the various' angles of possible confederation of'-East
and West Germany. Can you tell us whether the' State Department
l Department of State press release 70, January 27, 1959$.

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