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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 Department of State to the German Embassy, on German reunification and European security, October 9, 1956,   pp. 200-201 PDF (914.7 KB)

Page 200

The Federal Government would appreciate a clear statement by
the Government of the U.S.S.R. that it does not intend to restrict the
freedom of decision of a freely elected all-German people's repre-
sentation in fundamental questions affecting the internal order of the
German people.
14) The Federal Government is convinced that free elections
throughout Germany, whatever their outcome, should have only oe
aim, viz., to unite the German people and not to divide them. The
formation of a new system of government must therefore not be al-
lowed to lead to the political persecution of supporters of the old sys-
tem in any part of Germany. That is why the Federal Government
is of the opinion that measures should be taken to insure that, after
the reunification of Germany, nobody should be legally prosecuted
or discriminated against in any other way merely on account of his
former activity for the authorities or a political organization in either
part of Germany.
15) The Federal Government would appreciate a reply from the
Government of the U.S.S.R. to the questions broached in the fore-
going. It would consider it useful if in this way an exchange of
views were initiated which would promote agreement of the Four
Powers on reunification.
Anybody postponing indefinitely the solution of the problem of
German reunification is incurring a heavy responsibility not only to
the German people, whose only reaction to their deprivation of the
recognized right to reunification is bitter disappointment; rather
does this problem affect peace, easing of tension, and security in the
whole of Europe-in fact, in the world. By no means least worthy of
mention is the fact that its solution is in the fullest interest of the
Russian people itself. It cannot be desirable in the long run to the
Soviet Union, either, for the entire German people to regard Soviet
policy toward Germany as continual interference in internal German
affairs. The establishment of normal neighborly relations between
the German and Russian peoples is dictated by the interests of both-
nations. As long as almost seventy million people in the heart of the
European continent have the feeling that the Soviet Union is arbi-
trarily refusing, in the face of every international law, reunification
and free self-detemination within a national order of their own
choosing, the establishment of genuinely normal relations between the
two peoples will be impossible.
Note from the Department of State to the German Embassy, on
German Reunification and European Security, October 9,1956'
The Government of the United States of America presents its com-
pliments to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and
has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Federal Government's
note of September 2, 1956,2 which enclosed a copy of the memorandum
addressed to the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Re-
publics on the question of the reunification of Germany.3
f Department of State press release 531, October 10, 1956 A copy of this
note was
transmitted to the Soviet Government on October 10, 19i5, (oi!ra)

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