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)
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 Conference. 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, 19561 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 French Ambassadors delivered similar notes.
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