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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 319

Soviet Government highly reveres the concord of nations that took
shape in the struggle against Fascism and was sealed by the blood
of the freedom-loving peoples. The Soviet people would like to pre-
serve and develop the feelings of trust and friendship that marl ed
their relations with the peoples of the USA, Britain, France, and the
other countries of the anti-Hitler coalition during the grim years of
the last war.
When the peoples were celebrating victory over Hitlerite Germany
a conference of the heads of government of the Soviet Union, the
USA and Great Britain was held in Potsdam in order to work out a
joint policy with respect to post-war Germany. The Potsdam Agree-
ment, to which France acceded soon after it was signed, generalized
the historical experience of the struggle waged by the peoples to
prevent aggression by German militarism. The entire content of
this agreement was directed toward creating conditions precluding
the possibility of yet another attack by Germany against peace-loving
states, toward preventing German militarists from unleashing an-
other world war so that Germany, having abandoned forever the
mirage of a policy of conquest, might make a firm start on the road
to peaceful development.
Expressing the will of the peoples who made untold sacrifices for
the sake of crushing the Hitlerite aggressors, the governments of the
Four Powers solemnly undertook to eradicate German militarism and
Naziism, to prevent forever their revival, and to take all steps to
ensure that Germany would never again threaten its neighbors or
the preservation of world peace. The participants in the Potsdam
Confereiiee expressed their determination to prevent any Fascist and
militaristic activity or propaganda. They also undertook to permit
and encourage all democratic political parties in Germany.
For purposes of destroying the economic foundation of German
militarism, it was decided to eliminate excessive concentration in
Germany's economy, represented in the form of cartels, syndicates,
trusts, and other monopolies, which ensured the assumption of power
by Fascism and the preparation and carrying out of Hitlerite
The Potsdam Agreement contained important provisions whereby
Germany was to be regarded as a single economic entity, even during
the occupation period. The agreement also provided for the creation
of central German administrative departments. The Council of For-
eign Ministers, established by a decision of the Potsdam Conference,
was instructed to prepare a peace settlement for Germany.
The implementation of all these measures should have enabled the
German people to effect a fundamental reconstruction of their life and
to ensure the creation of a united, peace-loving, democratic German
Such are the main provisions of the Potsdam Agreement, which
ensured an equitable combination of the interests both of the nations
that had fought against Germany and of the fundamental interests of
the German people themselves, and at the same time created a sound
basis for carrying out a joint policy by the Four Powers concerning
the German question, and, hence, for extensive and fruitful coopera-
tion between them in European matters in general. However, further
developments deviated a great deal from the direction mapped out at
Potsdam. Relations between the USSR and the Three Western

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