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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 208

The Federal Government reaffirms its statement of September 2,
1956, to the effect that it is desirous of taking into consideration to
the greatest possible extent the wishes of the Soviet Union in regard
to security although the Federal Government is unable to recognize
any objective justification for such wishes in regard to security.
The partition of Germany is not due to any violation by the Gov-
ernments of the three Western Powers of the Four-Power Agree-
ments respecting the development of Germany; its origin lies in the
fact that the Soviet Government was not prepared to unite its zone
of occupation in Germany with the other zones of occupation. The
Communist counter-government set up in that zone up to this very
day does not rest upon the will of the population as expressed in free
When the sovereignty of the Federal Republic was established, the
Governments of the three Western Powers reserved such rights as
enable them to exercise their responsibilities in regard to Berlin and
to Germany as a whole, including reunification. Those reservations
are in the interest of the Federal Republic herself; it goes without
saying that they do not stand in contradiction to the right of self-
determination. The only obstacle to the exercise of the right of self-
determination by the entire German people is the Soviet Govern-
ment's veto; if the Soviet Government were to agree to reunification,
the reservations made in the Paris Conventions would be superfluous.
The Federal Government believes that the Geneva proposals, which
it helped to draft, put forward by the three Western Foreign Minis-
ters contain a constructive plan for solving the interdependent prob-
lems of German reunification and European security, and that they
take into consideration all the legitimate interests of the Soviet Union.
The Federal Government has already emphasized that it will not turn
a deaf ear to any other proposals that might be put forward for the
elements of a security system.
The Soviet Government, however, has for years constantly been in-
venting reason after reason for obstructing reunification:
First of all, the accession of the Federal Republic to the Paris Con-
ventions was cited; then it was said that the 'social achievements' of
the so-called 'German Democratic Republic' would first of all have
to be safeguarded; then the disbandment of the Communist Party
of Germany, a party inimical to the Constitution, was stated to be
an obstacle. In its note of October 22, 1956, the Soviet Government
stated that the question of reunification today first and foremost de-
pended upon a change of the present political course of the Govern-
ment of the Federal Republic. In its latest note, the Soviet Govern-
ment now says that arming the German Federal forces with atomic
weapons would deal the cause of the national reunification of the
Germ-an people an irreparable blow.

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