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Case 415

The German Question and the Cold War


David S. Painter
Georgetown University

Copyright 1995, 1988 by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD). Reprint with ISD permission only. ISBN 1-56927-415-0 PEW CASE STUDIES IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Institute for the Study of Diplomacy Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Georgetown University 1316 36th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20007 Tel.: Fax: Website: E-mail: (877) 703-4660 / (202) 965-5735 (202) 965-5811 http://www.guisd.org dolgasc@georgetown.edu

Case 415, Part A


THE GERMAN QUESTION AND THE COLD WAR
David S. Painter
Georgetown University

COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL
Do Not Duplicate This is Copyrighted Material for Classroom Use. It is available only through the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. 202-965-5735 (tel) 202-965-5811 (fax)

This is one of the moments . . . when you hear the garments of the Goddess of Time rustling through the course of events. Who ignores this rustling, does so at his peril.1 On 24 June 1948, Soviet occupation forces in Germany imposed a total blockade of surface access routes to the western sectors of Berlin and cut off the flow of electricity from the Soviet sector of the city to the western sectors. There were 2 million people in the western sectors of Berlin. On hand was enough food to last them thirty-six days, enough coal for forty-five days.2 General Lucius D. Clay, head of U.S. occupation forces in Germany, responded by initiating air supply operations to Berlin. In contrast to ground and water transportation routes, air corridors were guaranteed by written agreements.3 Because of the disparity between the initial airlift capacity and the citys needs, Clay also urged that an armed convoy be sent through the Soviet zone to break the blockade. Clays political adviser, Robert Murphy, strongly endorsed this proposal. Policymakers in Washington, however, warned President Harry S. Truman that an attempt to break the blockade by force ran too high a risk of war and that the local balance of forces strongly favored the Soviets. Determined not

to abandon Berlin, President Truman ordered the air force to give the airlift top priority. The President also ordered sixty B-29 long-range, atomic bombers to forward bases in the United Kingdom. (Although described in U.S. press releases as atomiccapable, the bombers that arrived in the United Kingdom in late July and early August had not yet been modified to carry atomic bombs.) In addition, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France instituted a counter-blockade against the eastern sectors of Berlin and the eastern zone of Germany, denying the Soviet-controlled areas important industrial goods.4 Finally, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France initiated discussions with the Soviets looking toward a diplomatic solution of the crisis. The Soviets, however, insisted that any negotiations concerning Berlin could not be separated from the larger question of four-power control of Germany.

THE LONDON CONFERENCE AND THE BERLIN BLOCKADE


As a State Department policy statement pointed out in late August: Failure to achieve a definitive solution of the German problem which is central to a general European settlement has given rise to a critical situation. Germany has become an area of strategic importance in the East-West conflict over the shaping of Europes future.5

Copyright 1995, 1988 by Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. ISBN: 1-56927-415-0 Publications, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 200571025 http://data.georgetown.edu/sfs/programs/isd/

David S. Painter

Case 415, Part A

The current developments in regard to Germany and Berlin, the statement noted, resulted from the fact that the United States, with its associates, has seized the initiative in Germany. Unable to reach agreement with the Soviets on treating Germany as an economic unit, the United States and the United Kingdom, joined belatedly and reluctantly by France, had gradually moved toward a consolidation of political and economic institutions in their three occupation zones.6 In late February 1948, following the failure of the Fifth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers to reach a comprehensive German settlement, U.S., U.K., and French representatives, later joined by representatives from the Benelux countries, met in London to decide what to do about Germany. To relieve French fears about the long-term strategic consequences of reviving the German economy and about the short-term risks of provoking a Soviet attack, the United States agreed to creation of a military security board to ensure German disarmament and demilitarization, to formation of an international authority for the Ruhr to oversee the allocation of the regions strategic resources, and to keep U.S. troops in Germany until the peace of Europe was secure and not to withdraw them without prior consultation. In return, the French agreed to merge their zone with the U.S. and U.K. zones and to allow the formation of a German government with extensive powers, while reserving key powers to the occupation authorities. In addition, the participants agreed to full German participation in the European Recovery Program. These decisions were announced on 7 June.7 Moreover, on 17 March 1948, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg had signed the Brussels Treaty establishing the Western European Union (WEU) and linking them in a fifty-year military alliance. President Truman immediately extended a pledge of support to the new organization, and discussions looking toward U.S. association with the WEU were soon underway.8 The Soviets had immediately protested the London Conference proceedings as a violation of the Potsdam agreement. On 20 March, the Soviet representative walked out of the Allied Control Council, and ten days later Soviet occupation authorities began interfering with travel and freight transport between the western zones of Germany and the western sectors of Berlin. When the Western military governors sought to implement the London decisions by extending a currency reform for the western zones to their sectors of Berlin on 23 June,

the Soviets responded by blockading surface access routes to the western sectors of Berlin. The same day, 24 June, foreign ministers of the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, and Yugoslavia issued a declaration from Warsaw that denounced the London accords as a gross violation of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements concerning the unity of Germany, the demilitarization, denazification and democratization of Germany, the destruction of its war potential, and the elimination of conditions which might facilitate a recrudescence of German aggression. The Warsaw communique concluded by demanding: First, the adoption of measures, by agreement between Great Britain, the USSR, France, and the USA, which will guarantee the completion of the demilitarization of Germany. Second, the establishment, for a definite period, of control by the Four PowersGreat Britain, the USSR, France, and the USAover the heavy industry of the Ruhr, with a view to developing the peace industries of the Ruhr and preventing the rebuilding of Germanys war potential. Third, the formation, by agreement between the Governments of Great Britain, the USSR, France, and the USA, of a provisional democratic and peaceable all-German government, composed of representatives of German democratic parties and organizations, with the purpose of creating a guarantee against the repetition of German aggression. Fourth, conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany in conformity with the Potsdam decisions, and the withdrawal from Germany of the occupation forces of all the Powers within a year after the conclusion of the peace treaty. Fifth, the drawing up of measures to ensure the discharge by Germany of her reparations obligations toward the countries which suffered from German aggression.9 In early August Stalin informed the Western allies that if they would postpone implementation of the London agreements, overall agreement on the future of Germany as well as Berlin could be reached. The Western allies insisted on co-equal four-power rights in Berlin, unequivocal lifting of the blockade, and quadripartite control of Berlins currency. They

Case 415, Part A

The German Question and the Cold War

would not agree to postponing implementation of the London decisions. After elections to a constituent assembly were held in the western zones in early September, a tentative agreement on ending the blockade collapsed. The Berlin Blockade accelerated the momentum toward the development of a Western security organization. On 11 June the U.S. Senate had passed the Vandenberg Resolution, which approved U.S. association with such regional collective security arrangements as the Western European Union. Between July and September, representatives of the Western European Union, Canada, and the United States conducted a series of discussions concerning common defense issues. Known as the Washington Security Talks, the meetings resulted in proposals for a North Atlantic Treaty.10 The Berlin airlift proved to be a technical and political triumph for the West. Not only did it succeed in supplying the western sectors with greater quantities of vital materials than before the blockade; it also galvanized German sentiment in support of the West. Its technical and political success notwithstanding, the airlift was too costly to be continued indefinitely and, military officials warned, it put at risk too great a proportion of the nations air assets.11 In a 30 January 1949 interview with a Western journalist, Stalin indicated that he would be willing to end the blockade if the Western powers postponed establishing of a separate West German state pending a Council of Foreign Ministers meeting to consider the German problem, and suspended their counter-blockade.12 According to a CIA analysis, the Soviet Union apparently had anticipated that the blockade would make the position of the Western powers in Berlin untenable and would force them to reopen negotiations on Germany as a whole under conditions favorable to the Soviet Union. The success of the airlift had defeated this objective. Moreover, developments in Western Europe seemed to threaten increasing consolidation against the Soviet Union, the prospect of growing Western military strength, and the firm integration of a West German state into the Western orbit with the armed forces of the Western powers indefinitely in occupation. On the Soviet side, the blockade increased anti-Soviet sentiments among the Germans and, temporarily at least, strengthened their attachment to the West. In addition, efforts to effect the political consolidation and economic development of East Germany, and Eastern Europe in general, had been hampered by the Western counter-blockade.13

Following Stalins statement, confidential conversations between U.S. and Soviet representatives at the United Nations culminated on 4 May in a Soviet agreement to end the blockade in exchange for termination of the Western counter-blockade and reconvening of the Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss Germany. The blockade ended on 12 May, but the airlift was continued until August in order to build up reserves of food and fuel.14 The end of the blockade came just after the Western allies had reached agreement on a wide range of issues precedent to establishment of a separate West German state. At discussions in Washington in early April 1949, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, and French Foreign Minister Robert Shuman agreed on terms for an occupation statute for their zones of Germany, and confirmed and approved earlier agreements on plant dismantling, prohibited and restricted industries, establishment of an international Ruhr authority, and creation of a military security board to maintain the disarmament and demilitarization of Germany.15 The occupation statute, while intended to extend the maximum degree of self-government to the German people, reserved the right of the occupying powers to resume full authority if they considered it necessary for security reasons, to preserve democratic government in Germany, or in pursuance of their international obligations. In addition, the occupying powers reserved the right to pass judgment on German actions affecting disarmament, demilitarization, controls over the Ruhr, reparations, foreign trade, and foreign affairs. Any amendment of the Basic Law (constitution) would require the express approval of the occupation authorities before becoming effective. The three powers also agreed to enter into a trizonal fusion agreement prior to the entry into force of the occupation statute. Military government would be terminated upon the establishment of a German government and replaced with an Allied High Commission, composed of one high commissioner from each occupying power. Decisions of the High Commission were to be by majority vote, except those regarding approval of amendments to the Basic Law, which were to be unanimous, and those having to do with reserved powers over foreign trade, which would be weighed proportionately according to the funds made available to Germany by the respective governments. While in Washington, the three foreign ministers and representatives of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Nor-

David S. Painter

Case 415, Part A

way, and Portugal signed, on 4 April, the North Atlantic Treaty, which joined them in a military alliance. Under the treatys terms, an armed attack against any member country or its forces in Europe would be regarded as an attack against all.16 On 12 May, the Military Governors approved, with reservations, the Basic Law drafted by the constituent assembly elected in September 1948. The Basic Law entered into force on 24 May, after approval by all the West German Lnder except Bavaria.17

DEFINING A NEGOTIATING POSITION


Meanwhile, the imminent Council of Foreign Ministers meeting had precipitated a full-scale review of U.S. policy toward Germany. Work on the U.S. negotiating position had already begun. In an 12 August 1948 memorandum, State Department Policy Planning Staff head George F. Kennan posed the alternatives: Is it in our national interest to press at this time (emphasis in the original) for a sweeping settlement of the German problem which would involve the withdrawal of Allied forces from at least the major portion of Germany, the termination of military government and the establishment of a German government with real power and independence? Or should we, and could we, be content to carry on for the time being, as we have been doing, with a divided Germany, holding the line with our own forces and our own prestige while we endeavor to strengthen western Europe?18 Kennan, who in March 1946 had argued that the only alternative to Soviet domination was to carry to its logical conclusion the process of partition which was begun in the east and to endeavor to rescue [the] western zones of Germany by walling them off against eastern penetration and integrating them into [the] international pattern of western Europe rather than into a united Germany, now favored the first alternativeseeking a broad settlement of the German problem.19 He explained: 1. It would avoid congealment of Europe along the present lines. We can no longer retain the present line of division in Europe and yet hope to keep things flexible for an eventual retraction of Soviet power and for the gradual emergence from Soviet control, and entrance into a free European community, of the present satellite countries [of East-

ern Europe]. The recent London and Western Union developments have demonstrated that if Europe continues to be divided, both we and the Russians will have to take measures which will tend to fix and perpetuate, rather than to overcome, that division. We have been able to avoid this congealment thus far only because the reconstruction of Europe has not progressed far enough to give this effect to the measures taken on both sides. Today, we have come to a point where our measures are bound to have a more lasting effect. If we carry on along present lines, Germany must divide into eastern and western governments and western Europe must move toward a tight military alliance with this country which can only complicate the eventual integration of the satellites into a European community. From such a trend of developments, it would be hardharder than it is nowto find the road back to a united and free Europe. 2. It would solve the Berlin problem without detriment to ourselves or to the Berlin population. We could then withdraw from Berlin without loss of prestige, and the people of the western sectors would not be subjected to Soviet rule, because the Russians would also be leaving the city. 3. It would permit us to take advantage of a peculiarly favorable political situation in Germany. All reports indicate that the Berlin conflict has radically improved political sentiment throughout Germany, from the western standpoint. . . . The present would therefore be a favorable moment to effect the transition from military government to German political responsibility. There may not be another such moment. 4. It would bring about a certain withdrawal of Soviet forces toward the east. Getting the Soviet forces out of the major portion of the present Soviet zone should go some distance toward assuaging the fears of the members of the Brussels Union, providing U.S. forces remain somewhere in or near Germany. It might actually be possible to arrange for the stationing of U.S. and Soviet garrison forces at points where they could be supplied by sea, thus obviating the necessity for supply lines through Poland. But even though this were not possible, the Russians would still, under the arrangement contemplated, not be able to deploy their forces in strength or hold large scale maneuvers outside their own frontiers except on the territory of their ally, Poland, which

Case 415, Part A

The German Question and the Cold War

would be less satisfactory to them and less menacing to the western European countries than the present situation. 5. It would greatly reduce the size and cost of our military establishment in Germany (including its present military government appendages), and the scope of its responsibilities. To these advantages, of a positive nature, should be added the following disadvantages of the alternative course: namely, of carrying on with a divided Europe. If we carry on as we have been doing: 1. The Berlin situation would still be with us, in one form or another. . . . 2. It would mean the establishment of a rival German government in the Soviet zone, with corresponding complications for the political progress of our western zones. 3. We would face a growing problem in our relations with the western zone Germans. Available information indicates that there is developing among the Germans a strong current of political restiveness and a determination to regain responsibility for the conduct of their own affairs. At the moment, this current is not directed against us; but it could easily become so. The real German leaders will continue to shun governmental responsibility in terms of a divided Germany. With Germany divided, and with the continued responsibility for occupation in the West, we will find it more difficult than we now anticipate to turn over to German authorities enough power to attract these German leaders to open assumption of responsibility. . . . 4. The ERP action for Germany must lead to unsatisfactory results. Without the loosening up of the situation in Europe and without a considerable development of east-west trade, there is no prospect of German viability. ERP will certainly not eliminate the dependence upon ourselves of the western zones of a divided Germany. If we are not to be faced with an ugly problem upon the termination of the ERP program we must find some way to broaden the background of German recovery and to relieve ourselves of the excessive responsibility we now bear for the German economy. . . .

5. Continuance of the present situation raises questions with regard to future appropriations. At the present time, the most vital elements of our German policy are absolutely dependent on the willingness of the Congress to make recurring appropriations for the occupation and military government of Germany. This involves an element of uncertainty which is bound to increase with time. Somewhere there must be a time-limit to Congresss willingness to support this operation. A sudden shift of congressional sentiment could now place us in an extremely embarrassing position, which would be detrimental to our whole situation in Europe. . . .20 Kennan admitted that his preferred approach carried with it certain risks and that there were advantages to carrying on with current policy. Nevertheless, he concluded: If the division of Europe cannot be overcome peacefully at this juncture, when the lines of cleavage have not yet hardened completely across the continent, when the Soviet Union (as I believe) is not yet ready for another war, when the anticommunist sentiment in Germany is momentarily stronger than usual, and when the Soviet satellite area is troubled with serious dissension, uncertainty, and disaffection, then it is not likely that the prospects for a peaceful resolution of Europes problems will be better after a further period of waiting.21 Kennans memorandum was circulated within the State Department for comment. The head of the Office of European Affairs felt that the dangers of Kennans proposed approach outweighed its advantages, and added: An agreement with the U.S.S.R., as we all know, is respected by that country only so long as it suits Soviet interests to do so. The other side must possess sufficient strength to make it unprofitable to the U.S.S.R. to do violence to the agreement. It seems to me that it would be highly dangerous to agree to unite Germany along the lines you propose until Western Europe is stronger, both economically and militarily.22 Similarly, the Bureau of Economic Affairs argued that establishment of an independent, unified, but neutral Germany, as Kennan proposed, would

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Case 415, Part A

involve a risk of uncertain but considerable magnitude to the ultimate success of the European Recovery Program, and might bring about conditions in Germany, which, in the short run, would provide a favorable economic climate for the spread of Communism and other authoritarian ideologies. . . . Unless an agreement regarding Germany is thought likely to alter fundamentally the objectives of Soviet foreign policy, it would be wiser to develop Western Germany politically and economically as part of a Western European system under the supervision and protection of the Western Allies until a firmer basis for a democratic Germany emerges there, than at this time to cast Germany loose in the hope that things will work out for the best.23 In a series of papers and discussions, Kennan explained that his proposals encompassed the prospect of contracting Soviet power in east Germany, of undermining Soviet predominance in Eastern Europe, of thwarting Soviet prospects for subverting Western Europe, and of preventing the Soviets from co-opting German power in their own behalf. Moreover, they provided a means to capitalize on Titos defection, to appeal to Eastern European nationalist sentiment, and to maneuver the Russian bear back into his cage where he could no longer threaten to gobble up, co-opt, or integrate the technical skills and industrial infrastructure of Europe with the manpower and resources of the Soviet Union. Recaging the bear would also open up the raw materials and foodstuffs of Eastern Europe to West Germany and Western Europe, thereby allaying the chronic dollar shortage in the West, reducing the burden on U.S. taxpayers, and ensuring the success of U.S. reconstruction policies. Finally, rejoining Eastern and Western Europe would create a European unit large enough to absorb German energy and power without risking German domination.24 In November, the Policy Planning Staff presented a detailed version of Kennans proposals. Labelled Program A, the plan called for a new approach to a four-power settlement in Germany involving internationally supervised elections throughout the country, establishment of a provisional German government with broad powers, abolition of zonal boundaries, and simultaneous withdrawal of occupation forces to specified garrison areas (preferably seaports to avoid the need for overland supply routes).25 The Policy Planning Staff argued that sufficient safeguards were imbedded in the proposals to ensure against the capture and exploitation of Germany by Russia, as well as against a revival of Ger-

man aggression. In order to reduce the ability of the Soviets to interfere in internal affairs, the plan called for returning to the Germans as much authority over their own affairs as possible. In addition, the German economy would be allowed to revive, and trade with both east and west would be encouraged. Disarmament and demilitarization controls, however, would be sweeping and complete in order to prevent not only renewed German aggression but also any connivance by either side with the Germans to permit rearmament against the wishes and the interests of the other. The Policy Planning Staff also explained that: This program has been so devised that it could ... be implemented to the overall benefit of U.S. interests. The program has also been devised on the theory that it must constitute a genuine and sincere bid for agreement. Every effort has therefore been made to meet legitimate Russian interests and requirements to a reasonable degree. Kennans plans for Germany were linked with his belief that U.S. policy should be directed toward the eventual peaceful withdrawal of both the United States and the U.S.S.R. from the heart of Europe, and accordingly toward the encouragement of the growth of a third force which can absorb and take over the territory between the two.26 Extending membership in the North Atlantic Treaty to most of the countries participating in the European Recovery Program, he warned, . . . would amount to a final militarization of the present dividing line through Europe. Such a development would be particularly unfortunate, for it would create a situation in which no alteration, or obliteration, of that line could take place without having an accentuated military significance. This would reduce materially the chances for Austrian and German settlements, and would make it impossible for any of the satellite countries even to contemplate anything in the nature of a gradual withdrawal from Russian domination, since any move in that direction would take on the aspect of a provocative military move. Under Secretary of State Robert Lovett and John Hickerson, director of the Office of European Affairs, argued that what Kennan proposed would jeopardize the progress already made toward integrating western Germany and Western Europe into a larger Atlantic community. In particular, Lovett and Hickerson feared that Kennans proposals would result in

Case 415, Part A

The German Question and the Cold War

the gradual emergence of Europe as a third force in world affairs, and thus would undermine the prospects for the proposed North Atlantic Treaty. Lovett and Hickerson won over Averell Harriman, who was in charge of implementing the European Recovery Program.27 In February 1949 testimony before Congress, Harriman explained: In terms of productive ability, and in terms of population, the free countries of Europe, the United States, Canada, and others, the preponderance of strength is on our side. In the case of steel, we have 90 million tons of steel production. By the end of the year, European countries will have about 50, and Russia and dominated European countries have about 30, as so it goes. . . . We can reestablish the balance of power . . . preponderantly in favor of the free countries if we take leadership, and if we insist upon . . . the unity of the free countries. . . . I think the Atlantic Pact will be a very important way to assert leadership and what we want to avoid is that which was discussed some time ago, this idea of a third group. In other words, Russia, Europe, and the United States. It seems very clear to me that what we want is a unity of free nations and not the development of perhaps a neutral third group.28 In a 8 March 1949 paper, Kennan argued that there is no solution of the German problem in terms of Germany; there is only a solution in terms of Europe. Plans to set up a West German government, he warned, would exacerbate the problem of German nationalism, and risked that a resentful and defiant West Germany might strike a deal with the Soviets behind our backs for the return of the Eastern Provinces. In addition, Kennan criticized the projected relationship between a new German government and the Western allies as too complicated to work, and argued that establishment of a separate West German government would hinder efforts to solve the Berlin situation. As an alternative, he suggested changing the concept of a West German government for the time being to that of a provisional administration, while retaining for the occupying powers full sovereign power. This alternative, he noted, was essentially what Program A called for.29 Robert Murphy, head of the newly created Office of German and Austrian Affairs, agreed with Kennan

on the necessity of viewing the German problem in the context of Europe, but argued that the constructive program for the economic and political rehabilitation of Western Germany that the United States and its allies were pursuing offered a real prospect for the successful assimilation of Western Germany into Western Europe, first economically and in due course perhaps politically as well. Murphy admitted that such a course could prevent an all-German settlement, but noted that the resistance of the Western European countries to such a development is in fact likely to be less in the case of a manageable portion of Germany than with a united Germany of preponderant magnitude and uncertain orientation. Murphy also maintained that a stable, orderly, democratic, and reasonably prosperous West Germany would exert an inevitable magnetic force on Eastern Germany and make even more difficult Soviet control of that area. Murphy thought four-power agreement on the terms of German unification was unlikely. Moreover, even if compromise solutions were obtained, they would be open to the risk of forcing the Western powers to abandon the initiative with respect to by far the larger part of Germany. Therefore, he recommended that the United States proceed with implementation of the London accords and the establishment of a West German government. If the issue came up at future Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, the United States should propose the appropriate essentials of the Western German program as a pattern of all of Germany.30 An annex to Murphys paper warned of the danger of a segregated Germany: A segregated Germany, which developed in a manner unrelated to Western Europe would constitute a danger to Western Europe and our objectives. Economically, the interrelationship of Germany and the rest of Europe is so close and Germanys economic potential so great that if it were again to pursue a policy of seeking only its own economic well-being and the greatest degree of autarchy, it might well dominate Western Europe. Further, the maintenance of a recovered Western European economy would be much more difficult and perhaps even impossible. Politically, a segregated Germany would be under irresistible temptation to seek, through its central geographic position and potential strength, to achieve dominance in Europe, playing off the East against the West. . . .

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Case 415, Part A

Experience has shown that if a segregated, centrally organized Germany were created, imposed limitations on armaments, industrial production and the use of resources might well prove to be impractical and create merely a delusive sense of security. Although the permanent, enforced suppression of Germany is not practicable and could only result in encouraging the most undesirable forces and motivations, a segregated Germany would provide a fertile field for the rebirth of aggressive German nationalism and permit a rapprochement with the Soviet bloc. The fear of these developments constitutes the heart of the German problem.31 In a 21 April paper, the Office of German and Austrian Affairs considered the policy and tactics the United States should follow in the event of a Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting on Germany: It follows from the recent meeting of Foreign Ministers in Washington that the North Atlantic Treaty has a wider significance than that simply of a defense pact and is to be assessed rather in terms of offering the framework for a consolidation of the western world. The problem of Germany must consequently be viewed in this light. One of the consequences already has been to make possible an agreement of the three western powers which aims at the incorporation of the major part of Germany itself in the western European system. By a closer identification of common interests, western Germany, figuratively speaking, is to be developed as a captive member of the free community of western Europe. A basic assumption is that the process of assimilation can best be started with the absorption of a manageable portion represented by the three western zones. . . . The long-term implications of this policy call into question the conception that a reunited Germany can safely be allowed to play an independent or ostensibly neutral role in Europe. The facts of the present situation in a certain sense cast obsolescence on the hope expressed by Secretary Byrnes in his Stuttgart speech of September 1946 that Germany should be neither pawn nor partner of any great power combination. This does not imply that a reunification of Germany can at no time be tolerated, but it does mean that a united Germany must be held bound by integration in a wider European free commu-

nity in the same degree that it is intended to absorb western Germany in western Europe. The questions to be resolved are whether early fourpower agreement on German unity can be reached on any other terms than those which would cut Germany loose from both the western and eastern systems; whether such terms would promote an extension of the free European community; or whether they would enable Germany to play an independent role which would upset the present balance of forces to the detriment of the western nations. There is probably little doubt that under a system of nation-wide free elections a crushing anticommunist majority would be the immediate German reaction to recent Soviet policy. Nevertheless, a unified Germany re-created against the background of present Soviet intentions would present a series of almost insoluble problems. It has been argued that in order to obviate the destructive power of the veto, which the Soviets could employ to promote a state of distress conducive to the communization of Germany, controls should be of a minimal nature virtually to leave Germany the master of its own policies. Politically, Germany might be disposed to consider itself one of the western nations as long as the latters prospects continued fair. Economically, however, the East has more to offer Germany than the West; and Germany could develop its natural trade channels in that direction to strengthen itself as well as, inevitably, the Soviet area. The degree of Germanys association with the West would always remain questionable as long as it were able to further its own aggrandizement in bargaining between East and West. While ERP might serve as a temporary inducement and check to keep Germany oriented toward the West, it is doubtful whether it would prove a sufficiently potent weapon to prevent a Germany of uncertain political temper from exploiting to the full a favored position which has been misused by Germany in the past to the jeopardy of European peace. Most important is the strain which the creation of, and adjustment to, a united Germany would place upon European unity. Whatever the logic of the argument that controls over the new entity should be virtually abolished to obtain total exemption from Soviet interference, it is doubtful whether the western nations, and in particular France, could be brought to accept the prospect

Case 415, Part A

The German Question and the Cold War

of a revived Germany acting as an independent force. This new entity would risk subtracting from western European solidarity the assured contribution of western Germany under the present program. At the best, were it to associate itself with western Europe, it would risk dominating that combination by its sheer magnitude and increased opportunity to strengthen itself as a free agent profiting from both the western and eastern political and economic systems. At the worst, Germany would be an uncertain factor either as a strong nationalist state or as a willing partner of Soviet Russia, in either eventuality placing an intolerable strain upon the western defense arrangements. . . . The London and Washington Agreements were intended to fix and secure the position of western Germany within western Europe. It is submitted that a U.S. program for a united Germany should envisage an evolutionary development of this principle in order to guarantee fulfillment of the western nations requirements in Germany and to assure them, by a majority voting procedure, the preponderant position they at present dispose of in the management of over two-thirds of Germany. The substantive program which the western nations should present at a CFM should embody the principles, although not necessarily the exact form, of the Washington Agreements....32 General Clay gave his assessment of the Soviet proposal for a CFM on Germany on 1 May: My own concept of the Soviet proposal is that it means a complete change in Soviet tactics to win Germany. If my concept is correct, the Soviet government (although its representatives will argue bitterly) will accept a solution of the German problem very largely on our terms, to include acceptance of the occupation statute and perhaps even the Bonn Constitution. Their purpose will be, however, to prevent the new Germany from being oriented toward the West and integrated into an association of Western European nations. Thus, they would create a buffer state which if we tended to lessen our present efforts they could exploit by promises and other means. The creation of the new German government under these conditions could be to our advantage if, after its creation, we continue the type and kind of effort which has been so disastrous to Commu-

nism in Europe during the past two years. The inherent danger is the well-known tendency of Democracies to rest on their laurels and their probable loss of enthusiasm in proceeding with rearmament and similar measures vital to a restoration of balance in Europe.33 A 6 May telegram from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow gave the following evaluation of Soviet motives for seeking a CFM: . . . 4. There has been no indication Kremlin prepared to alter German policy. . . . Despite this, we feel drastic and dramatic shift may well be coming at CFM. . . . Kremlin has always regarded Germany as key to control of Europe, and undoubtedly realizes West zones decisive to control Germany. Unexpectedly rapid development NAT and plans for organization West Germany, together with successful maintenance West position in Berlin faces Soviets with imminent prospect complete exclusion from heart of Germany and even precarious position their own zone. This would also mean an end to reparations hopes, with West closed and Soviet zone milked dry. At same time, Moscow very preoccupied with Titos rebellion and must be prepared make considerable material sacrifices over long period to avoid second Tito problem in China. Dtente in West which would keep the Soviets in overall German picture, pending development expected capitalist crises must, therefore, have strong attraction. 5. Consequently believe quite possible Soviet delegation may be prepared meet US at CFM practically on terms recently agreed among Western allies at Washington. Needless say, they would not do this without first trying achieve maximum attainment their Warsaw aims, especially centralization German government, highest possible reparations, and wider use veto power control machinery. However, Soviets likely finally settle relatively close West position these issues, counting on being able to extend their voting powers by exploiting Western differences on specific German problems. Essentials would be: location of central German government in Berlin; early peace treaty; and early withdrawal occupation forces (or as compromise, drastic reduction and removal to specified border areas). Secondary objective would probably be 4-power confirmation Oder-Neisse line enabling Soviet later exploit possible rectification unilaterally.

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We think possible Soviet delegation would also revise and accept Byrnes 1946 offer German demilitarization treaty and to which they have never entirely closed door. At very least, this would take some of curse off NAT. And it might even be proposed as substitute for that treaty, with intention exploiting our refusal as proof Soviet allegation treaty directed not against revived Germany but against Soviet Union. . . . 7. Such Soviet approach would clearly shake Western foreign policies to very bottom, disorient developing West public opinion and present practical problems of first magnitude. Effect on NAT ratification, passage military aid legislation, size military aid appropriations, and general willingness West peoples be taxed in support military preparedness are obvious questions. . . .34 On 7 May Ambassador at Large Philip Jessup, who handled critical aspects of German policy for Secretary of State Dean Acheson, listed the following points as representing certain general considerations to be kept in mind in the development of the U.S. negotiating position: 1. It is a major premise that the problem we are considering is not Germany in itself but the future of Europe as a whole. Germany is merely part of this problem. Thus the main objective is not the unification of Germany as an end in itself. The end in view is to support the Western European strength which has already been achieved and to expand it. 2. In considering the problem of the future of Europe, it is clear that the continued presence of Soviet troops in the eastern part of Germany in undesirable. 3. We must recognize that, in order to secure the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the eastern part of Germany, it may well be necessary to agree to some withdrawal of Western troops along the lines suggested in Program A or possibly along some other lines. 4. An alternative possibility would be that the U.S.S.R. would simply announce that it was effecting a complete withdrawal from all of Germany leaving the Western Powers the sole responsibility of dealing with the entire country.

5. Such a move by the Russians would result in a compulsory unification of Germany whether we wished it or not. 6. This leads to the conclusion that, if we do not desire the unification of Germany, we must be prepared to contemplate the continued presence of Soviet forces in the Eastern zone. 7. As noted in paragraph 3 above, the permanent continuation of Soviet troops in the Eastern Zone is not a desideratum. 8. We are thus led to examine the question of timing in terms of any moves toward a German unification. This question of timing must be examined from both the European point of view and from the point of view of the United States. 9. In considering the matter from the United States view, it is necessary to take into consideration a variety of factors including the economic situation in this country and the probable future attitude of Congress. 10. Our preliminary consideration of the domestic factors and their relation to the European factors leads to the conclusion that we cannot with safety count on next year being a better time than the present to proceed toward German unification. 11. No alternative which we decide upon is free from objection. Any decision made now must be a painful decision, but some decision must be made. 12. A number of additional points need to be considered. These include: A. The question of tactics involved in determining whether we or the Soviets should advance the first proposals in the CFM regarding a plan for a unified Germany. B. Is the matter of reparations definitely closed in the sense that if the Soviets will not agree on this point we would be prepared to state that we would adjourn the CFM immediately? C. Regarding the control of the Ruhr, is the present agreement final or can modifications be made?

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13. Finally, there is the question of ultimately falling back on some modus vivendi between the East and the West in case no agreement is reached.35

the existing state of tension between East and West. 5. Although it remains possible that the USSR may have in mind only the limited objective of Alternative I, the factors outlined above suggest strongly that it will attempt to follow Alternative II. 6. A decision to follow Alternative II would mean a shift in policy but not in ultimate Soviet objectives in Germany and Western Europe. It would reflect a recognition that (a) the opportunity to exploit the postwar revolutionary situation and to set up communist-dominated governments in Western Europe and Germany had passed and (b) the USSR must now take a long-term approach to its German and European objectives by accepting a temporarily neutralized Germany which it would attempt to subvert by other methods. 7. Alternative I would not present the Western powers with any serious policy decisions. It would mean the continuation of past Soviet policies in Germany and Western Europe and the maintenance of the status quo except for Berlin. The Western Powers have already agreed on the measures to deal with this situation. Under Alternative II, however, the Western Powers would face an entirely new situation, requiring important policy adjustments. These would center about two major problems: a. A united Germany which, for a time, would be under the supervision of a four-power control organ (including the USSR) and which would be in a position increasingly to play off East against West in an endeavor itself to fill the power vacuum in Central Europe; and b. The effects of the new situation upon those aspects of the present policies of the Western Powers which are designed to strengthen to the maximum practicable extent their military position and correspondingly to restrict the Soviet war potential.36

The CIA examined the Soviet Position in Approaching the CFM in a 18 May report, which also attempted to assess the implications for the West of alternative Soviet policies: . . . 2. Soviet objectives in the CFM will probably be to counteract, in some measure, the following developments which adversely affect the position of the USSR: a. US and Western European rearmament. b. The establishment of a west German state, tied in with the Western Powers and occupied indefinitely by the armed forces of the Western Powers. c. The economic pinch in Eastern Europe resulting from restrictions on trade between East and West, which is hindering the political consolidation and economic development of the Satellites and the economic development of the USSR itself. d. The steadily increasing antagonism of the Germans toward the USSR. 3. The two basic alternative approaches open to the USSR in countering these unfavorable developments appear to be: a. An approach which is limited to freeing the USSR from the adverse effects of the Berlin blockade and regaining maneuverability for a continuation of the cold war, and b. An approach which aims to reach agreement on Germany and a detente in Western Europe. 4. The USSR must now recognize that it cannot hope to prevent the formation of a west German state, impede US and Western European rearmament or eliminate the restrictions on trade between East and West (other than those resulting from the Berlin blockade) unless it is prepared substantially to meet the terms of the Western Powers for a German settlement and to relieve

The Intelligence Organization of the Department of State dissented from this assessment: The second of the two alternatives which ORE 4849 says is open to the USSR, namely, an

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approach which aims to reach agreement on Germany and a dtente in Western Europe is vague and confused in conceptparticularly with respect to the problem of the concessions which the USSR is prepared to make in following such an approach. Discussion of this alternative implies that the USSR will simultaneously be getting a German arrangement in accord with its long-standing objective, and an arrangement which would mean essential acceptance of longstanding Western objectives. It is the opinion of the Intelligence Organization of the Department of State that for genuine agreement on Germany between the USSR and the Western Powers it will be necessary for the USSR to accept a modification of its exclusive control of Eastern Germany without at the same time securing the right of veto over German affairs generally. It is consequently believed that despite the advantages to be gained by coming to an agreement on unification the USSR would be most hesitant to make the concessions necessary to achieve it. The necessary concession would be that the USSR go so far as to admit a unified Germany, without protection of negative control through veto power. We feel that the only circumstance which could conceivably lead the USSR to make such a concession would be a realization that the CFM is in the process of collapsing and with it the last chance to recreate a fluid situation and to prevent the definitive incorporation of Western Germany into the Western European system.37

APPENDIX A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF FOUR-POWER CONTROL, 19451947


Potsdam and Reparations At the Potsdam Conference, 17 July1 August 1945, the victorious Allies, while agreeing to divide Germany temporarily into four zones of occupation pending a peace settlement, had also agreed to treat it as a single economic unit with central administrative agencies to oversee the German economy. The military commanders of the respective zones of occupation would exercise supreme authority in their respective zones and jointly in matters affecting all of Germany through an Allied Control Council (ACC). Decisions of the ACC had to be unanimous.

On the important issue of reparations, the Potsdam agreement provided that the reparations claims of each victor would be met by removals from the territory each occupied. The Soviet Union, which had turned over to Polish administration a portion of its zone, agreed to take care of Polands reparations claims. The claims of other countries would be met from the western zones and from German external assets. In addition, the Potsdam protocol provided that the Soviet Union, in return for taking care of Polands claims, would receive from the western zones, which contained the bulk of German heavy industry, 10 percent of such capital equipment as is unnecessary for the German peace economy, and was entitled to another 15 percent of such equipment from the western zones in return for an equivalent value of food, coal, and other raw materials from its zone. The Allied Control Council would decide how much capital equipment could be spared from the western zones, subject to the final approval of the zonal commander from whose territory the material was to be taken. Otherwise, the protocol provided that payment of reparations should leave the German people enough resources to subsist without external assistance and to pay for essential imports.38 In its early months, the Allied Control Council enacted measures relating to the destruction of all Nazi organizations, the arrest and punishment of Nazi leaders, disarmament and the destruction of war matriel, and the vesting of German external assets. In late March 1946, the ACC reached agreement on a level of industry plan for Germany which reduced German industrial capacity to 70 percent of its 1936 level, prohibited all military production, and limited to varying degrees the machine tools, chemical, electrical, and automotive industries.39 The agreement opened the way for final determination of reparations. The United States and the United Kingdom insisted that the level of industry program and the reparations issue were linked to treatment of Germany as economic unit. At Potsdam, the United States and the United Kingdom had opposed Soviet demands for heavy reparations because they feared that heavy reparations would undermine Germanys ability to contribute to European recovery.40 Moreover, reparations in the absence of economic unity would in effect mean that the United States and the United Kingdom would pay for reparations by financing the trade deficits of their zones. A common export-import program, on the other hand, would help reduce these deficits by giving the western zones access to foodstuffs and raw materials

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from the Soviet zone. Therefore, immediately following agreement on the level of industry plan, the United States proposed establishment of a central agency to coordinate the import-export programs of the zones.41 Both the French and the Soviets objected. The French had not been party to the Yalta and Potsdam agreements and refused to be bound by them. The French feared for their security as long as Germany possessed the industrial resources to reconstitute its military power. As General Charles DeGaulle told the U.S. ambassador to France in November 1945, you are far away and your soldiers will not stay long in Europe. It is hard for you to understand the difference: it [the German problem] is a matter of life and death for us; for you, one interesting question among others. The French insisted on annexation of the Saar, permanent French control of the Rhineland, and internationalization of the Ruhr. They opposed central administrative agencies until these demands were met. Meanwhile, they extracted all the coal and transport equipment they could get from their zone.42 The Soviets also feared a revived Germany, and therefore sought to curtail German war-making potential and to keep Germany weak and impotent. Large-scale reparations, which the Soviets had insisted on since Yalta, served these ends as well as providing the Soviet Union with much needed reconstruction assistance. The Soviets did not dispute the desirability of unified economic administration and endorsed the idea of a common exportimport program. They maintained, however, that until administrative and economic unity were a reality and the reparations program completed, foreign trade should be conducted on a zonal basis. They also pointed out that the Potsdam protocol did not require that delivery of reparations from the western zones await settlement of other issues.43 While angry at French obstructionism, the United States and Britain acquiesced in French actions. The State Department was reluctant to pressure the French due to concerns about French stability. As part of general strategy of building up a Western European bloc to counterbalance Soviet power, the British Foreign Office wanted to rebuild France and was also reluctant to antagonize an important potential ally.44 Moreover, both the United States and the United Kingdom were becoming increasingly concerned about Soviet intentions and policies, not only in Germany, but throughout the world. Soviet actions in Germany were viewed as part of a carefully conceived and deliberate plan to take over Germany. In

late February 1946, Robert Murphy, the State Departments political adviser in Germany, warned that the Soviet Union might be exploiting the delay in establishing central administrative agencies in order to solidify its position in its zone as a prelude to seeking to dominate a unified Germany.45 State Department Soviet specialist George F. Kennan, whose views carried considerable weight since his analysis of Soviet policy the previous month had struck a responsive chord in Washington, argued in a March memorandum that central administrative agencies were a two-edged sword. The Soviets, he maintained, would only accept them when they were sure they could use them to consolidate their control in their own zone and expand their influence in the other zones. According to Kennan, the Soviet program for Germany aimed at creation of an anti-Fascist republic as a road-paver for [a] Soviet Socialist state which is to follow. Loss of German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line had left the rest of the country seriously crippled and unbalanced economically, and psychologically extensively dependent on the Soviet Union. Thus, a unified Germany would be extensively vulnerable to Soviet political penetration and influence. In these circumstances, the only alternative to Soviet domination was to carry to its logical conclusion the process of partition which was begun in the east and to endeavor to rescue [the] western zones of Germany by walling them off against eastern penetration and integrating them into [the] international pattern of western Europe rather than into a united Germany.46 The Breakdown of Four-Power Control At the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting (CFM) in Paris on 29 April, the United States proposed a fourpower treaty to keep Germany disarmed for twentyfive years. The preliminary text of the treaty proposed establishment of a four-power inspection force to prevent German rearmament, defined the procedures for requiring German compliance, and reserved the right of the four powers to take whatever steps they deemed necessary to secure compliance. Action under the treaty would be taken by majority vote to prevent any one state from blocking joint action.47 The British responded favorably to the U.S. initiative. The French, however, argued that such a treaty was an insufficient guarantee of their security and thus would have to be supplemented by other measures such as absorption of the Saar into France and international control of the Rhineland and the

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Ruhr.48 Although Stalin had welcomed the idea when it was suggested to him in December 1945, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyachaslav Molotov complained that the treaty ignored the highly important decisions adopted by the Allies in Tehran, Yalta, and Berlin [Potsdam], and charged that it could lead to a relaxation of inter-Allied controls aimed at preventing a resurgence of German aggression.49 In July, when the CFM resumed after a months recess, Molotov again criticized the proposed treaty. He also condemned the action taken by the commander of the U.S. zone in early May halting reparations from the U.S. zone until agreement was reached on treating Germany as an economic unit. Later in the meeting, in response to a question from Secretary of State James F. Byrnes as to what the Soviet Union wanted, Molotov replied that the Soviet Union wanted what it had asked for at Yalta 10 billions of dollars of reparations and also participation with the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in a four-power control of the industries of the Ruhr (emphasis in the original).50 The United States viewed the treaty as a test of Soviet intentions, and the Soviet attitude seemed to confirm the views of those who were suspect of Soviet intentions toward Germany. By this time, the British had come to the conclusion that if they could not secure a united Germany on their own terms, a divided Germany, with the Ruhr and the western zones oriented toward the West was preferable to a united Germany under Communist control. Moreover, the United Kingdom was being forced to spend scarce dollars to support the population of its occupation zone because it was not able to obtain needed food and raw materials from the other zones of Germany.51 On 10 July British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin blamed the Soviets for the ACCs failure to agree to a common export-import program, and stated that the United Kingdom would cooperate on a fully reciprocal basis with the other zones, but insofar as there is no reciprocity from any particular zone or agreement to carry out the whole of the Potsdam protocol, my government will be compelled to organize the British zone of occupation in Germany in such a manner that no further liability shall fall on the British taxpayer.52 Molotov responded by disclaiming any intention on the part of the Soviet Union to dismember or to agrarianize Germany and championed German unification. Byrnes announced the following day that pending agreement among the four powers to implement the Potsdam agreement requiring the administration of Germany as an economic unit, the

United States will join with any other occupying government or governments in Germany for the treatment of our respective zones as an economic unit.53 The British agreed at once. The French agreed on condition that the Saar be excluded from the jurisdiction of the proposed supra-zonal agencies and be administered by France as part of the French economy. The United States and Britain were willing to accept the French condition, but the Soviets maintained that exclusion of the Saar required further study. When the U.S. offer was repeated before the ACC on 20 July, the British again accepted, but the French and the Soviets reserved comment. After detailed discussions, the United States and United Kingdom signed an agreement pooling the resources of their zones and establishing a joint export-import agency. Meanwhile, after careful consultation with President Truman, General Clay, and others, Byrnes called for reviving Germanys economy before a large German audience in Stuttgart on 6 September. European recovery would be hindered if Germany were turned into a poorhouse, he warned. Byrnes also reaffirmed U.S. support for the principle of economic unity, noting that if complete unification could not be secured, the United States would do everything in its power to secure the maximum possible unification. The United States, he announced, also favored early establishment of a German provisional government. To dispel any doubts about U.S. intentions to stay in Germany and Europe, Byrnes pledged that U.S. troops would stay in Germany as long as Germany was occupied. Byrnes stated that the United States supported Frances claims to the Saar and favored controls over the resources of the Ruhr and the Rhineland. Polands claims to German territory, on the other hand, would have to be settled at a peace conference.54 In early 1947, a report by former President Herbert Hoover argued that European recovery was linked to the restoration of the German economy. The report called for raising the level of industry permitted Germany and subordinating German reparations to the larger goals of Western European stabilization and U.S. tax reduction.55 The British also stressed the need to rehabilitate the German economy. Europes problems, the British argued, were linked with Germany. German economic recovery was essential to any substantial European recovery. Moreover, if the Soviets were allowed to continue to block German recovery, economic chaos would sow the seeds of communism

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both in Germany and in Europe. In these circumstance, the British argued that it was better to accept the division of Germany in order to exclude the Soviets from the western zones, thus enabling the western zones to play their part in the restoration of a stable Europe.56 While the United States believed that Germanys economic potential should be developed and utilized to further European recovery, it was unwilling to restore the natural resources and productive facilities of the Ruhr and its adjacent industrial districts to unilateral German control. Several important voices in the United States warned that German control of the Ruhr would allow the Germans to dictate the conditions and extent of European recovery, and that Germany might once again be tempted to use its strength to dominate its neighbors, either by itself or in alliance with the Soviets.57 U.S. policymakers also were concerned about the danger of the Germans turning to the Soviets. In a lecture at the Air War College in early April, Kennan, who was about to form the Policy Planning Staff, warned that a merger of German and Soviet power was the greatest potential threat to U.S. security. The United States should insist that either a central German authority be established along lines that will make it impossible for the Soviet Union to dominate Germany and tap its resources, or that we retain complete control over the western zones of Germany.58 The question of a German peace settlement dominated the agenda of the Moscow foreign ministers meeting which opened 10 March 1947. The Soviets continued to maintain that it had been agreed at Yalta that they should receive $10 billion in reparations from Germany, including the right to take reparations from current production. The Soviets also joined the French in calling for four-power control of Ruhr. The United States and United Kingdom opposed reparations from current production. U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall stated that he was firmly opposed to policies that would keep Germany an economic poorhouse in the center of Europe. The United States and United Kingdom also refused to give the Soviets a voice in the control of the Ruhr. These differences produced an impasse. The Moscow Conference took place amid increasing U.S. concern that Western Europes failure to recover from the ravages and dislocations of war could lead to social and political turmoil, enabling Communist parties to win or seize power, thereby bringing additional countries and their resources within the Soviet orbit. While the foreign ministers were meeting, President Truman, on 12 March,

pledged U.S. economic and military assistance to Greece and Turkey and to all free peoples resisting totalitarian aggression, noting that the seeds of totalitarianism were nurtured by misery and want. The United States suspected that the Soviets were blocking agreement on Germany in hopes of benefiting from Western Europes economic distress. Although Stalin insisted that compromises would eventually be possible on all the main questions after everyone had exhausted themselves in dispute, Marshall felt that action could not await compromise through exhaustion. Concerned that the patient is sinking while the doctors deliberate, Marshall, on his way back from Moscow stopped in Berlin and instructed General Clay to proceed vigorously with the rehabilitation of the bi-zonal economy. In addition, immediately on his return to the United States, he set in motion the planning that resulted in the Marshall Plan.59 An April 1947 analysis by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) underlined the interdependence of Germany, Western Europe, and the United States. The JCS argued that it would be impossible for the United States to live safely if France and/or Great Britain were under Soviet domination. In turn, the complete resurgence of German industry, particularly coal mining, is essential for the economic recovery of Francewhose security is inseparable from the combined security of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.60 With these considerations in mind, the western zones of Germany were included in the planning for the European Recovery Program. In July, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a new directive to guide U.S. occupation policy in July. JCS 1779 instructed the U.S. military government to take measures to bring about stable political and economic conditions in order that Germany could make a maximum contribution to European recovery. In August, U.S. and British military authorities raised the ceiling on the level of industry permitted Germany, thereby reducing the amounts of machinery and equipment theoretically available for reparations.61 Marshall explained in a speech in Chicago in mid-November: The restoration of Europe involves the restoration of Germany. Without revival of Germanys economy there can be no revival of Europes economy.62 In a report drafted for Marshall in November, Kennan argued that if native forces in western Europe are to take over the burden of opposing communism, it is essential that Germany be fitted into this picture. Kennan thought that it was doubtful that the Soviets would be willing to take their chances on a genuinely democratic united Ger-

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many, and warned that at the coming Council of Foreign Ministers meeting they would try various ruses to get the West out of western Germany under arrangements that would leave that country defenseless against communist penetration. If the Soviets followed such a strategy, the United States would have no choice but to make the best of a divided Germany, and to try to bring the western part of Germany into some acceptable relationship with the rest of western Europe.63

Three weeks of fruitless talks at the foreign ministers meeting in London, 25 November16 December, convinced the United States that agreement with the Soviets could be reached only under conditions which . . . are likely to bring about effective domination of all Germany by the Soviets. It would regard such an eventuality as the greatest threat to the security of all Western nations, including the United States.64

NOTES
1. George F. Kennan, 29 March 1949, quoted in Melvyn P. Leffler, The United States and the Strategic Imperatives of Reconstruction Policy in Europe, 1945 1949, unpublished paper, 1987, 38. 2. Daniel Yergin, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977), 37677. 3. William M. Franklin, Zonal Boundaries and Access to Berlin, World Politics 16 (October 1963), 2431. 4. John R. Oneal, Foreign Policy Making in Times of Crisis (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1982), 24151. 5. U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, vol. 2, 1318. Hereafter, FR, followed by year and volume number. 6. Ibid. 7. Leffler, U.S. Reconstruction Policy, 3031; U.S. Department of State, Documents on Germany, 19441985 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985), 14346. The London Conference took place in two parts; the first lasted from 23 February to 6 March, the second from 20 April to 1 June. 8. Alan K. Henrikson, The Creation of the North Atlantic Alliance, in American Defense Policy, fifth edition, edited by John F. Reichart and Steven R. Strum. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982), 298303. 9. Beate Ruhm von Oppen, ed., Documents on Germany Under Occupation, 19451954 (London: Oxford University Press, 1955), 300307. 10. Henrikson, Creation of NATO, 303305. 11. Leffler, U.S. Reconstruction Policy, 3334; FR 1949, 3:12728. 12. Documents on Germany, 19899. 13. Central Intelligence Agency, The Soviet Position in Approaching the CFM, ORE4849, 18 May 1949, Declassified Documents Reference System, 1978, doc. no. 140C. 14. FR 1949 3: 694751; Documents on Germany, 218 221. 15. Documents on Germany, 212217. 16. Ibid., 20912. 17. Ibid., 26062. 18. FR 1948, 2:1288. 19. FR 1946 5: 515520; Kennan expressed similar views as late as November 1947; FR 1947 1: 774775. 20. FR 1948, 2:129093. 21. Ibid., 1295. 22. Ibid., 1295. 23. Ibid. 1287n1288n. 24. The above closely paraphrases Leffler, U.S. Reconstruction Policy, 35. 25. FR 1948 2: 13201338. 26. FR 1948, 3:287; John Lewis Giddies, The United States and the Question of a Sphere of Influence in Europe, 19451949, in Western Security: The Formative Years: European and Atlantic Defence, 19471953, edited by Olav Riste. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), 7677. 27. Leffler, U.S. Reconstruction Policy, 3536. 28. U.S. Congress, House, Committee on International Relations, Selected Executive Session Hearings of the Committee, 19431950, vol. 4, Foreign Economic Assistance Programs: Part 2: Extension of the European Recovery Program (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976), 2425. 29. FR 1949, 2:96101. 30. Ibid., 11831. 31. FR 1949 3: 131132. 32. Office of German and Austrian Affairs, U.S. Program for a CFM on Germany, 21 April 1949, National Archives. 33. FR 1949, 3:746. 34. FR 1949, 3:86466. 35. Jessup, Memorandum, 7 May 1949, National Archives. 36. Central Intelligence Agency, The Soviet Position in Approaching the CFM, ORE4849, 18 May 1949. 37. Central Intelligence Agency, The Soviet Position in Approaching the CFM, ORE4849, 18 May 1949. 38. Documents on Germany, 5464. 39. Ruhm von Oppen, Germany Under Occupation, 11318. 40. Bruce Kuklick, American Policy and the Division of Germany: The Clash With Russia Over Reparations (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1972), chap. 7. 41. Geoffrey Warner, The Division of Germany, Inter-

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national Affairs 51 (January 1975), 63. 42. Thomas T. Helde, Full Bellies . . . Receptive Minds: General Clay and the American Occupation of Germany, 19451949, Reviews in European History 3 (March 1977), 170; John W. Young, The Foreign Office, the French, and the Post-War Division of Germany, 19451946, Review of International Studies 12 (July 1986), 22324. 43. Avi Shlaim, The Partition of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War, Review of International Studies 11 (April 1985), 12526; Warner, Division of Germany, 63. 44. Kuklick, American Policy and the Division of Germany, 19598; Young, Foreign Office, the French, and Germany, 22434. 45. Shlaim, Germany and the Cold War, 126; Warner, Division of Germany, 65. 46. FR 1946 5: 515520. 47. Documents on Germany, 7982. 48. R. Harrison Wagner, The Decision to Divide Germany and the Origins of the Cold War, International Studies Quarterly 24 (June 1980), 181. 49. Ruhm von Oppen, Germany Under Occupation, 13841; Lloyd C. Gardner, America and the German Problem, 19451949, in Politics and Policies of the Truman Administration, edited by Barton J. Bernstein. (Chi-

cago: Quadrangle Books, 1970), 13233. 50. Warner, Division of Germany, 64. 51. Anne Deighton, The Frozen Front: The Labour Government, the Division of Germany, and the Origins of the Cold War, 19451947, International Affairs 63 (Summer 1987), 45156. 52. FR 1946, 2:86469. 53. Ibid., 86973, 89798. 54. Documents on Germany, 9199; John Gimbel, On the Implementation of the Potsdam Agreement: An Essay on U.S. Postwar Germany Policy, Political Science Quarterly 87 (June 1972): 24269. 55. Leffler, U.S. Reconstruction Policy, 17. 56. Deighton, Frozen Front, 458461. 57. Leffler, U.S. Reconstruction Policy, 1718. 58. Ibid., 19. 59. Documents on Germany, 123; Shlaim, Germany and the Cold War, 13031. 60. FR 1947, 1:73850. 61. Documents on Germany, 12435; Ruhm von Oppen, Germany Under Occupation, 23945. 62. Shlaim, Germany and the Cold War, 131. 63. FR 1947, 1:77475. 64. Documents on Germany, 135139; FR 1948 2: 72.

Case 415, Part B


THE GERMAN QUESTION AND THE COLD WAR
David S. Painter
Georgetown University

COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL
Do Not Duplicate This is Copyrighted Material for Classroom Use. It is available only through the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. 202-965-5735 (tel) 202-965-5811 (fax)

After long and detailed discussions of the alternatives, the United States concluded that the London Conference program was less risky, both in terms of preventing possible Soviet domination of the entire country, and in terms of relations with the British and the French, who were concerned about the revival of German strength. Secretary of State Acheson explained the rationale behind the decision: Our concern is with the future of Europe and not with Germany as a problem by itself. We are concerned with the integration of Germany into a free and democratic Europe. We have made and are making progress to this end with the part of Germany which we control and we shall not jeopardize this progress by seeking a unified Germany as in itself good. If we can integrate a greater part of Germany than we now control under conditions which help and do not retard what we are doing, we favor that; but, only if the circumstances are right.1 Acheson made the same points in executive session testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 19 May 1949. In response to a question from Senator Arthur Vandenberg, Acheson admitted that the U.S. negotiating position was cal-

Copyright 1995, 1988 by Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. ISBN: 1-56927-415-0 Publications, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 200571025 http://data.georgetown.edu/sfs/programs/isd/

culated to elicit a negative response from the Soviets. After commenting that the U.S. position meant that the result of this meeting is going to establish to all intents and purposes the fact that there is a permanent cold war between the East and the West, Vandenberg asked: Is there no sugar that you can put on this sour apple that you are presenting? Acheson responded: We have tried to find some, but the only kind of sugar you can put on it is so dangerous to what you are doing Vandenberg replied: I do not recommend any dangerous sugar, but for purposes of negotiation I would wish that there was something somewhere in the program which offered some sort of a safe concession.2 The Council of Foreign Ministers met in Paris, 23 May20 June. The Soviets seemed equally unwilling to risk losing control over their part of Germany, and, faced with an unyielding Western position, confined themselves to repeating former proposals. After rejecting each others proposals concerning German unification, the four powers agreed only to continue to discuss the problem in the future. They also reaffirmed the agreement lifting the Berlin Blockade.3 On 20 June, the day the CFM ended, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France signed a charter establishing an Allied High Commission for Germany and providing for the transfer of control from the military governors upon entry into force of the occupation statute. After elections in the western zones in mid-August, delegates met in Bonn on 6 September, constituted themselves as the federal legislature, and chose a president and a chancellor. On 21 September the three Allied high commission-

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ers met with the newly formed cabinet and recognized its authority under the occupation statute, thereby inaugurating the Federal Republic of Germany.4 Meanwhile, the North Atlantic Treaty had become effective 24 August 1949, following ratification by all members. The Soviet Union protested the formation of the Federal Republic, charging that the creation of a separate West German state violated the agreements reached at Paris in June as well as the Potsdam agreement.5 Nevertheless, on 7 October the East

German Peoples Council, elected in May, proclaimed the establishment of a Provisional Government of the German Democratic Republic. Three days later, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany announced that it would transfer administrative functions to the new government, and that a Soviet Control Commission would be established to replace the military administration. The Western powers refused to recognize the new state, and announced that they regarded the Federal Republic as the legitimate government of all Germany.6

NOTES
1. FR 1949, 3: 87274. 2. U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Reviews of the World Situation: 19491950, Historical Series: Executive Session Hearings (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974), 13, 1617. 3. 4. 5. 6. Documents on Germany, 26970. Ibid., 27374. Ibid., 27478. Ibid., 306309.