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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 Soviet Union to the United States, protesting high-level flights in the Frankfurt-Berlin air corridor, April 4, 1959,   pp. 412-413 PDF (929.9 KB)

Page 412

412           DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
Tensions are created primarily by governments and individuals that
are ruthless in seeking greater and more extensive power. Berlin is
a tension point because the Kremlin hopes to eliminate it as part of
the free world. And the Communist leaders have chosen to exert
pressure there at this moment. Naturally they always pick the most
awkward situation, the hard-to-defend position, as the place to test
our strength and to try our resolution. There will never be an easy
place for us to make a stand, but there is a best one.
That best one is where principle points. Deep in that principle
is the truth that we cannot afford the loss of any free nation, for
whenever freedom is destroyed anywhere we are ourselves, by that
much, weakened. Every gain of communism makes further defense
against it harder and our security more uncertain.
*        *       *        *       *        *       *
Note from the Soviet Union to the United States, Protesting High-
Level Flights in the Frankfurt-Berlin Air Corridor, April 4,
[Unofficial translation]
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics on the instruction of the Soviet Government deems it nec-
essary to bring the following to the notice of the Government of the
United States of America.
On March 27 a C-130 type American transport plane, going from
West Germany to Berlin along the air corridor lying over the terrin
tory of the German Democratic Republic, rose to a height of 7,000
meters, which is a crude violation of the existing procedure of flights
along this route. The demonstrative character of this violation is
evident from the very fact that the American representative in the
Berlin Air Safety Center, which regulates flights of foreign airplanes
between Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany, was informed
in good time by the Soviet side about the inadmissibility of the flight
of the- said plane at a height of more than 3,050 meters, which is the
maximum for flights of the Western powers using the air corridors.
Moreover, this same airplane, completing on the same day a return
trip from Berlin to West Germany, again flew at a height twice ex-
ceeding the usual ceiling of flights in the air corridors, although a
protest was made by the official Soviet representative to the U.S. rep-
resentative against the violation of flight rules which had taken place.
One cannot help noting that the violations by American planes of
the existing procedure and established practice of flights over the terri-
tory of the German Democratic Republic are undertaken at that mo-
ment when agreement has been reached concerning the carrying out
soon of negotiations between East and West on the question of Berlin
and other questions having prime significance for the cause of peace.
All this is taking place after the U.S. Government through its Am-
bassador in Moscow declared at the time of the transmittal of the
note on the question of the planned negotiations that in its opinion
unilateral actions of any Government in the period of preparation
for the forthcoming conferences will hardly help their successful
'Department of State Bulletin, May 4, 1959, p. 63,4.

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