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Information bulletin
No. 146 (October 19, 1948)

The Berlin crisis (US white paper),   pp. 32-42 PDF (9.0 MB)

Page 32

Soviet Interference with Access
to Berlin
"I shall be glad to discuss with you or
your representatives the procedure which I
have outlined above, although not on 24 hours
In the same letter, General Gailey also
"The agreement under which we entered
Berlin clearly provided for our free and un-
restricted utilization of the established corri-
dors. This right was a condition precedent to
our entry into Berlin and our final evacuation
of Saxony and Thuringia. I do not consider
that the provisions you now propose are con-
sistent with this agreement."
In his reply of April 3, General Dratvin
challenged this statement and claimed that
there was no agreement "concerning the or-
derless and uncontrolled traffic of freight
and personnel through the territory of the
Soviet Zone of occupation." He termed the
new regulations "an Internal matter" con-
cerning the Soviet occupation authorities and
saw no possibility of changing the new
In his reply of April 4, General Gailey
pointed out that on June 29, 1945 a clear
understanding was reached between Marshal
Zhukov and US representatives that the US
Forces in Berlin would have free and un-
restricted use of the established corridors to
meet their requiremonts, subject only to nor-
mal regulation of movements. He reiterated
our  willingness  to  provide  appropriate
documents for both passenger and freight
trains, made up as military trains, but
refused  to  agree  to  entry  of represen-
tatives of another power into our military
trains while in transit between Berlin and
our zone of occupation.
Meanwhile on April 1, two US passenger
trains were stopped at the Soviet Zone border
and turned back upon refusing to accept
Soviet inspection. Two British trains were
turned back under the same condition.
Beginning April 1, the Soviets refused to
permit mail cars containing packages to de-
part from Berlin to the west, and demanded
the filing of additional forms, the character
of which was not adequately clarified. On
April 3, 1948 the Soviets closed the Hamburg-
Berlin and Bavaria-Berlin rail routes requiring
all freight to move to Berlin via Helmstedt.
On April 2, the Soviets requested the
American authorities to dose down effective
May 1, the US aid station which was midway
on the only automobile highway
between Berlin and Helnmstledt.  a
also requested removal by April IS
Signal Corps personnel stationed
Soviet Zone at Weimar for the m#al
of repeater stations required for ona
telephone communications with Bar
British received a similar request to
their Signal Corps men from Magdebi
request was protested by our letter of
but the personnel were removed on
On April 20, the Soviets Impa
requirement for Individual clearance 4
moving through the Soviet Zone to a
Berlin. Protest by the British had as
On April 23, international train
from Berlin was suspended by a Sov]
prohibiting the two international
from being attached to the interzoz
between Berlin and Osnabruech.
On May 20, a new documentation
ment for barge traffic entering t
Zone was instituted. When British as
thereupon  reciprocally  introduced
requirements on barge traffic, a Is
suspension of all barge traffic acro
boundaries resulted. Subsequently th
was resumed for a time on a reciprot
On June 9, the Soviets Introduc
laterally new regulations for Gerson
*Into the Soviet Zone, demanding
authorization  in  contravention  of
Control Council directives.
on June 9, the Soviet authorities, b
to German railway officials, tried to
with operations In the railroad yard
US Sector of Berlin. This interfere
prevented by the appearance of US
On June 12, the Soviets ennoum
closing of the Blba bridge on the, I
(superhighway) between Berlin and
for repairs. A detour and ferry serv]
On June 16, the Soviet delegation
out of the Allied iKommandatura. of I
After the announcement on June t
currency reform for all of westernI
(but not western sectors of Berlin), ths
on June 19 suspended all passestg
traffic between western and easteri
All road traffic from western zones
Soviet Zone, including traffic on ii
hahn to Berlin was also stopped.
rail freight was reduced in volume b
of technical procedures and water
was subject to stricter regulations.
The French commandant, chatr~a
Berlin iKommandatura, invited on'Ju
other members to a special meeting t
the effects of the currency reform 01
but the Soviet member declined the is
On June 22, at the request of4i
western powers, a quadpartite me
financial and economic advisers' 10n
in Berlin. to discuss the problem of
for Berlin. The Soviet representative
that there could be no currency ft
different from the currency of the~ onr
Soviet Zone. They would not accede
dripartite control othcurny to
Immtediately after the -meeting .the
authorities issued their orders for
reform in the Soviet zone and all 0
In view of the inability to r.btain 8I
on a currency for Berlin under. quid
The text of the US White Paper,
"The Berlin Crisis," was provided
by the Office of the Political
Adviser, CINCEUR, and the In-
formation Services Division and
Public   Information  Office,
OMGUS. ISD prepared a German
translation of the full text and
made it available to German
newspapers and other informa-
tional media.

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