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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 Soviet Foreign Ministry to the American Ambassador at Moscow (Thompson), regarding Berlin, November 27, 1958,   pp. 317-331 PDF (7.1 MB)

Page 318

not only the. national interests of the German people but also the,
interests of all nations desirous of establishing lasting peace in,
Europe. Here in the historic capital of Germany two worlds are in'
direct contact and at every turn there tower the barricades of the
"cold war." A situation of constant friction and tension has pre-
vailed for many years in this city, which is divided into two parts.
Berlin, which witnessed the greatest triumph of the joint struggle of
our countries against Fascist aggression, has now become a dangerous
center of contradiction between the Great Powers, allies in the last
war. Its role in the relations between the Powers may be compare&
to a smoldering fuse that has been connected to a powder keg. Inci-
dents arising here, even if they seem to be of local significance, may,
in an atmosphere of heated passions, suspicion, and mutual appre-
hensions, cause a conflagration which will be difficult to extinguish.
This is the sad pass to which has come, after the 13 postwar years, the-
once joint and concerted policy of the Four Powers-the USSR,.
the USA, Great Britain and France-with regard to Germany.
To assess correctly the real importance of the Berlin problem con-
fronting us today and to determine the existing possibilities for-
normalizing the situation in Berlin it is necessary to recall the devel--
opment of the policy of the Powers parties to the anti-Hitler coalition,
with respect to Germany.
It is common knowledge that the USA, as well as Great Britain
and France, by no means immediately came to the conclusion that
it was essential to establish cooperation with the Soviet Union for-
the purpose of counteracting Hitlerite aggression, although the Soviet
Government constantly indicated its readiness to do so. In the capi-
tals of the Western states opposite tendencies prevailed for a long
time and they became especially marked in the period of the Munich,
deal with Hitler. Entertaining the hope of controlling German
militarism and of pushing it eastward, the governments of the West--
ern Powers tolerated and encouraged the policy of blackmail and
threats pursued by Hitler and acts of direct aggression by Hitlerite-
Germany and its ally, Fascist Italy, against a number of peace-loving
It was only when Fascist Germany, upsetting the shortsighted
calculations of the inspirers of Munich, turned against the Western
Powers, when Hitler's army started moving westward, crushing Den-
mark, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and toppling France,
that the governments of the USA and Great Britain had no alterna-
tive but to admit their miscalculations and embark upon the path of
organizing, jointly with the Soviet Union, resistance to Fascist Ger-
many, Italy, and Japan. Had the Western Powers followed a more
farsighted policy, such cooperation between the Soviet Union, the-
USA, Great Britain, and France could have been established much.
sooner, in the first years after Hitler seized power in Germany, and
then there would have been no occupation of France, no Dunkirk, no
Pearl Harbor. Then it would have been possible to save millions of
human lives sacrificed by the peoples of the Soviet Union, Poland,,
Yugoslavia, France, Britain, Czechoslovakia, the USA, Greece, Nor-
way, and other countries to curb the aggressors.
The creation of the anti-Hitler coalition is a fact without precedent
in modern history, if only because states with different social systems
united in a defensive and just war against the common enemy. The-

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