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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 198

ers and farmers of Central Germany are the very people whose over-
whelming majority deeply resents that regime. The Federal Govern-
ment does not doubt that the Soviet Government itself did some ear-
nest thinking on the matter after 17 June 1953. Unfortunately, con-
ditions in Central Germany have not in any way improved since those
events. On the contrary, a continuous stream of refugees continues
to pour, month by month, from the Zone into the Federal Republic.
Contrary to this picture, which sketches the real state of affairs in
the Zone, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Mr. Molotov, asserted in
Geneva on 8 November 1955, that a "mechanical fusion of the two
separate parts of Germany by so-called free elections would lead to
violation of the vital interests of the workers in the DDR [German
Democratic Republic]." It would reestablish the rule of large mo-
nopolies, the Junkers, and the militarists, throughout Germany. The
workers of Germany, said Mr. Molotov, had, for the first time, found
their real fatherland in the form of the DDR, a German State in
which not the large monopoly owners and Junkers but the working
people themselves were the masters.
These comments reveal how little the Soviet Foreign Minister is
acquainted with economic and social conditions in Germany. Any
conversation that he cared to hold with German laborers and farmers
would prove to him that he has a completely inaccurate idea of the
social conditions prevailing. On the other hand, the concept of the
functionary is familiar to every worker in Central Germany, and every
one knows that no private contractor in the Federal Republic would
dare to impose "quotas of work" such as are being dictated by the
tionaries of the Socialist Unity Party and the "Free" Association
Trade Unions.
The Federal Government would appreciate it if, as the result of the
establishment of a Soviet Embassy in Bonn, the Soviet Government
would obtain a true picture of the political and social conditions pre-
vailing in the Federal Republic. The Soviet Government would then
indubitably have to drop the objections to the holding of free elections
that it now raises in view of the political and social conditions in both
parts of Germany.
13) Since its great peace edict of November 1917, the Soviet Gov-
ernment has ever been the champion of the cause of self-determina-
tion for all peoples. This principle, which is regarded by the Fed-
eral Government also as fundamental for the peaceful co-existence of
nations and which has found expression in the charter of the United
Nations, in the Atlantic Charter, and in many other documents of a
decisive nature, says: Every nation shall be entitled to determine
freely its own destiny. It shall decide for itself in what community
of states and under what form of government it chooses to live, what
social order it prefers, what foreign policy it pursues, and with what
states it desires close cooperation.
The Federal Government appeals to the Government of the
U.S.S.R. to remain faithful to this principle it has continually pro-
claimed. If the German people were accorded the possibility to de-
cide their own fate, they would undoubtedly vote in their entirety
against the formation of two German States and for their immediate
reunification within one German State. The fact that they have to
choose between different forms of government and different economic

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