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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 Federal Republic of Germany to the Soviet Union, on German reunification and European security, September 2, 1956,   pp. 191-200 PDF (4.6 MB)

Page 191

Memorandum from the Federal Republic of Germany to the
Soviet Union, on German Reunification and European Security,
September 2,19561
[Unofficial translation]
1) A unanimous decision was reached in Moscow in September 1955
between- the Government delegations of the Federal Republic of
Germany and the Soviet Union to resume diplomatic relations. Since
this agreement has been put into effect, and the Embassies in Bonn
and Moscow have assumed their functions and familiarized themselves
with their duties, the Federal Government thinks it time to call to mind
another agreement reached in connection with this matter. The agree-
ment in question is contained in a communication written by the Soviet
Prime Minister, Marshal Bulganin, to the Government delegation of
the Federal Republic of Germany on 13 September 1955, and is
expressed as follows:
The Government of the Soviet Union expresses its conviction
that the diplomatic- relations now being resumed will contribute
to the development of mutual -understanding and cooperation
between the Soviet Union and the Federal Republic of Germany
in the interests of peace and security in Europe.
In expressing this conviction, the Soviet Government bases
itself on the belief that the establishment and development of
normal relations between the Soviet Union and the Federal Re-
public of Germany will contribute to -solving open questions affect-
ing the whole of Germany, and will thus -help to solve the main
national problem of the entire German people-the re-establish-
ment of the unity of the German Democratic State.
In its reply of the same date, the Federal Government confirmed
this agreement expressing it in the same words.
The Federal Government bases itself on the assumption that it was,
and still is, the earnest intention of both sides to realize that agreement
and to conduct their policy accordingly.
In the spirit of this agreement the Federal Government takes the
liberty of outlining to the Government of the U.S.S.R. its ideas as
to how the reunification of the German people can best and most
quickly be accomplished in a manner satisfactory to those primarily
concerned, and, at the same time, to all nations.
2) The, Government of the U.S.S.R. has of late on various occasions
expressed the opinion that the existence of two German states is a
reality which must be taken into account and that it must therefore
be left to these two states to bring about reunification. It has re-
peatedly hinted that it does not at present consider the reunification
of Germany urgent. Accordingly, it has repeatedly proposed that a
European security system should be created in which initially two
German States should participate as members.
(On the other -hand, it was the Soviet Government itself which, only
a few years ago, designated the solution of the German problem as a
task which brooked no delay (note .addressed by the Soviet Govern,-
ment to the Governments of France, the United Kingdom, and the
United States, on 28 September 1953). The Soviet Government ex-
.pressed its view at that time in the words-
a Department of State Bulletin, September 24, 195,6, pp. 486-49,3. The memorandum
delivered September 7, 1956.

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