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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 American ambassador at Bonn (Conant) to the Soviet ambassador at Berlin (Pushkin), protesting the paramilitary units (Kampfgruppen) in East Berlin, February 10, 1956,   pp. 185-186 PDF (838.7 KB)

Page 185

DOCUI MENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59           185
This spirit of fellowship, which fortified our common effort in a
common cause, is one of the important products of the Geneva
The statement which I make to you tonight follows extended con-
ference with President Eisenhower. He authorizes me to say that
he fully shares the evaluation which I have made of the Geneva Con-
ference and of its impact upon our national policies. That evaluation
stems from the President's ruling and life purpose for a fair, just
and durable peace for the world, a purpose which I share and which,
with him, I strive to implement.
And now, in closing, let me read from my verbatim notes of our
conference at Gettysburg this morning. As I was leaving, the Presi-
dent turned to me and said:
"I know that no setback, no obstacle to progress will ever deter this
government and our people from the great effort to establish a just
and durable peace. Success may be long in coming, but there is no
temporal force so capable of helping achieve it as the strength, the
might, the spirit of 165 million free Americans. In striving toward
this shining goal, this country will never admit defeat."
Note from the American Ambassador at Bonn (Conant) to the
Soviet Ambassador at Berlin (Pushkin), Protesting the Para-
military Units (Kampfgruppen) in East Berlin, February 10,
I am instructed to inform you of the growing concern of my Gov-
ernment over the developnent in recent months of para-military activi-
ties in the Soviet Sector of Berlin. These activities assumed an
ominous form when some thousands of civilians, armed with machine
pistols and other weapons, marched through East Berlin in a demon-
stration on January 15. We note that this demonstration even in-
cluded the participation of young boys and girls carrying firearms.
The formation of para-military groups and their employment in
provocative displays have serious implications which my Government
cannot ignore. Their continued activity can only create unrest among
the population and result in a heightening of internationual tension
in the Berlin area.
Such activity could have the gravest consequences. As your Govern-
ment is aware, the United States, in common with the United Kingdom
and France, has formally undertaken to defend the safety and- welfare
of the populations in their sectors against attack from any quarter.
The United States cannot recognize any waiver of responsibility by
the Soviet Government for acts which could lead to any such attack.
As you are aware, the bearing of arms by members of the general
public is prohibited by a body of quadripartite legislation to which
the British, French and United States commandants attach great
importance and which they have been careful to observe in their sec-
tors. My Government hopes that the Soviet Government as the re-
sponsible authority will prevent the local authorities in the Soviet
Sector from creating dangers to the peace of Berlin through the
Department of State press release 77, February 10, 195O. The British and
Ambassadors delivered similar notes.

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