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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

Memorandum from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Soviet Foreign Ministry, on German reunification, May 27, 1957,   pp. 207-210 PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 207

Memorandum from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Ger-
many to the Soviet Foreign Ministry, on German Reunification,
May 27, 1957'
The Federal Government considers in agreement with the Soviet
Government, "a continued exchange of views * * * on the questions
of the relations between the two countries desirable".
Naturally, however, one cannot confine oneself to negotiating on
questions which interest the Soviet Government only-such as the de-
velopment of trade between the two countries-; one must also discuss
those questions in which the Federal Government is especially inter-
ested, in particular the basic problem of Russo-German relations: the
reunification of Germany.
The Federal Government is unable to understand that the Soviet
Government describes itself as on the one hand a "consistent supporter
of the re-establishment of the national unity of Germany as a peace-
loving and democratic State", whilst on the other hand it is not willing
to sanction reunification except by way of negotiations between the
Governments of the two German States'allegedly existing. It is easier
to restore the unity of a State, which- has only temporarily been dis-
turbed, but which exists under international law and in the con-
sciousness of its people by national elections, than it is first to com-
pletely separate the parts of the State in question and then to reunite
them through diplomatic negotiations-a procedure which gives each
side the right of veto.
The Federal Government does not consider it useful to argue with
the Soviet Government on the character of. the regime in the Soviet
zone. The Federal Government is-unable to recognize that regime
and negotiate with. it, even if it were only because that, by so doing,
it would be taking the decisive step in partitioning Germany.
The contradiction in the attitude taken by the Soviet Government
is explainable by the fact that that Government gives the words
"peace-loving" and "democratic" meanings differing from
those ac-
cepted in normal usage. When the Soviet Government accuses the
Federal Republic of reviving militarism and violating the elementary
rights and liberties of the population, its accusations are in complete
contradiction to the true circumstances.
The membership of the Federal Republic of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization-a purely defensive alliance in conformity with
the Charter of the United Nations-is above all, a consequence of
such events as the war in Korea and the blockade of Berlin. There
can be no question of hostile feelings towards, or thoughts of revenge
against, the Soviet Union. Nothing of all that took place during the
last war and subsequent to it must ever happen again.
1 German Federal Press and Information Office Bulletin, May 28, 1957. The
dunm was delivered May 24.

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