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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 foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (von Brentano) to the Soviet Ambassador (Smirnov), regarding nuclear weapons in Germany, May 23, 1957 [extracts],   pp. 205-206 PDF (822.5 KB)

Page 205

Q. Does that rule out that pilot area for central Europe that has
been discussed as a test for inspection and other devices for security?
A. Well, as I said in answer to an earlier question, we do not ex-
clude the possibility of having such a zone in Europe. If there is such
a zone in Europe, it would have to be worked out in cooperation with
NATO, with the Federal Republic. There are very considerable
complications about that, so that in line with the policy which I
enunciated in my New York speech of a month or so ago, where I said
that progress will probably have to be taken by steps, carefully
measured and carefully taken, it may be that that is not the best place
to start because of the complications.
Q. Mr. Secretary, in your mind is the German reunification and
any disarmament reached in Europe, still the two factors that must be
resolved at the same time, pretty closely related?
A. I think it is very difficult to work out an effective and depend-
able limitation of armanent arrangements for Germany which is not
connected somewhat with the reunification of Germany. As I indi-
cated before, our views in that respect would be very largely in-
fluenced by the views of the German authorities themselves, particu-
larly Chancellor Adenauer. I don't say it is impossible, but I would
think that their judgment would carry a great deal of weight in that
Q, I was thinking more of a general disarmament in Europe. Is
that in your mind linked with the problem of German reunification?
In other words, would we reach a limited disarmament agreement with
the Russians without at the same time insisting some progress be made
on-the German problems?
A. Well, that again I don't want to answer without consultation
with the Germans. I think their views are entitled to a great deal
of weight.
*       *        *       *       *        *       *
Note from the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Ger-
many (von Brentano) to the Soviet Ambassador (Smirnov),
Regarding Nuclear Weapons in Germany, May 23,19571
The frightful dangers of atomic warfare have not been conjured
up by the Federal Republic of Germany, which is known not to belong
to the Powers possessing or manufacturing or testing atomic and hy-
drogen weapons.
The statements by the Soviet Government that there may either
now or at some future date be claimed to exist a concentration of
atomic weapons in the territory of the Federal Republic, or a conver-
sion of the Federal Republic into the main European assembly base
and main striking power of NATO for atomic warfare in Europe are
completely erroneous. There is not a shred of evidence to support
1 German Federal Press and Information Offlce Bulletin, May 28, 19,57.

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