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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 Embassy to the Soviet Foreign Ministry, regarding German reunification, September 30, 1958,   pp. 305-307 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 305

Note from the American Embassy to the Soviet Foreign Ministry,
Regarding German Reunification, September 30, 19581
The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compli-
ments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics and on instruction of its Gov-ernment has the
honor to state the following:
The United States Government wishes to refer to the Soviet Gov-
ernment's note of September 18. It regrets that the Soviet note
ignores the proposals made by the, Government of the Federal Re-
public of Germany, which were contained in an Aide Memoire of
September 9 addressed to the Governments of France, the Soviet
Union, the IJnited Kingdom and the United States. These proposals,
based on an unanimous, resolution of the German Federal Parliament
which was endorsed by the German Federal Council, also called for
the establishment of a Four-Power group to discuss the German prob-
lem. The United States Government observes that instead, the
Soviet note is based on proposals made by the so-called "Government
of the German Democratic Republic".
The UInited States Government fully shares the view expressed in
the Soviet Government's note that "no one has the right to deprive
the German people for such a. long time of the, opportunity to enjoy
all the advantages of a state of peace".
It also notes with satisfaction the. statement that the Soviet Govern-
ment is "in favor of a fundamental settlement of the German ques-
tion." It is well known to the Soviet Government that this has long
been the aim of the United States Government. It is sufficient to
recall the opening words of the Berlin Declaration which was made
by the Governments of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the
United Kingdom and the United States on July 29, 1957:
"Twelve years have elapsed since the end of the war in Europe.
The hopes of the peoples of the world for the establishmient of a basis
for a just and lasting peace have nevertheless not been fulfilled. One
of the basic reasons for the failure to reach a settlement is the con-
tinue-d division of Germany, which is a grave injustice to the German
people and a major source of international tension in Europe".
The United States Government agrees that, as stated in the Soviet
note, "the conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany would finally
draw the line below the last, war"' and that the German people should
themselves participate in the preparation of such a treaty. An essen-
tial prerequisite for the negotiation of a, peace treaty is, however,
the creation of a Government which truly reflects the will of the Ger-
man people. Only a Government created on such a basis could un-
dertake obligations which would inspire confidence on the part of
other countries and which would be considered just and binding by
the people of Germany themselves. Moreover, German representa-
tives at any discussions about a peace treaty which were held in ad-
vance of the reunification of Germany would, as the Soviet Govern-
ment must be aware, have no power to commit a future all-German
Government to any of the conclusions reached. For these reasons, the
United States Government considers that the first task in any dis-
IDepartment of State press release 5,73, September 30, 19i5. The British
and French
Embassies delivered identical notes on the same day.

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