Uprising in East Germany, 1953

The Cold War, the German Question, and the First Major Upheaval behind the Iron Curtain
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-17-6
cloth
$63.95 / €53.95 / £38.95
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-57-2
$40.00 / €35.00 / £30.00
Foreword by Charles Mailer, Harvard University
Publication date: 
2001
492 pages 170 mm x 243 mm (6.6" x 9.5")

Christian F. Ostermann is director of the Cold War International History Project, editor of the CWIHP Bulletin, a senior fellow at the US National Security Archive, and an expert on the Cold War in Germany. Before joining CWIHP in January 1997, he worked as a research fellow at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. He won the DAAD Article Award of the German Studies Association for "Best Article in German Studies (History), 1994-1996".

This volume is the second in the series Cold War Documentary Readers, a project of the US National Security Archive and the Cold War International History Project.

The volume is the first documented account of this early Cold War crisis from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Based on the recent unprecedented access to the once-closed archives of several member states of the Warsaw Pact, this collection of primary-source documents presents one of the most notorious events of post-war European history in a highly readable format.

Previously unreleased Kremlin records, once highly classified American documents, materials from the Soviet Foreign Ministry, and transcripts of internal East German Communist Party Politburo meetings in the days leading to the uprising in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) are among the highlights of this sensational documentary.

In this volume, as in the previous one in the series, each part is preceded by a detailed introductory essay to provide the necessary historical and political context. The individual documents are introduced by short headnotes summarizing the contents and orienting the reader. A chronology, glossary and bibliography offer further background information.

Preface
Charles Maier, Harvard University
Introduction and Acknowledgements
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chronology of Events

PART ONE
THE ORIGINS OF THE CRISIS

Introduction
Document No. 1: Soviet and East German Minutes of Conversations between Josef Stalin and SED Leaders, 1 April and 7 April, 1952.

Document No. 2: CPSU CC Resolution Approving the Deployment of Border Guards along the Eastern Border of the GDR, 2 January, 1953

Document No. 3: Memorandum of Discussion at the 136th Meeting of the National Security Council, 11 March, 1953

Document No. 4: Draft Instructions for General Vasilii Chuikov and Vladimir Semyonov regarding GDR Control of Borders, 18 March, 1953

Document No. 5: Memorandum by Ivan Tugarinov, “On the Western Powers’ Policy regarding the German Question,” 18 April, 1953

Document No. 6: Memorandum on the German Question, from Georgii Pushkin and Mikhail Gribanov to Vyacheslav Molotov, 18 April, 1953

Document No.7: Soviet Foreign Ministry Memorandum, “Regarding Further Measures of the Soviet Government on the German Question,” 28 April, 1953

Document No. 8: Cable from N. Spencer Barnes to U.S. Department of State Reviewing Developments in the GDR since Stalin’s Death, 30 April, 1953

Document No. 9: Memorandum from Vladimir Semyonov to Vyacheslav Molotov Evaluating the Prospects for a Successful Resolution of the German Question, 2 May, 1953

Document No. 10: Report on 4 May Disturbances at the Tobacco Depot in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 7 May, 1953

Document No. 11: USSR Foreign Ministry Draft Memorandum, “On Further Soviet Government Measures Pertaining to the German Question,” 8 May, 1953

Document No.12: Memorandum from the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs, to Vladimir Semyonov, “On the Question of Preventing the Defection of Inhabitants from the GDR to West Germany,” 15 May, 1953

Document No. 13: Memorandum from General Vasilii Chuikov, Pavel Yudin, and Ivan Il’ichev to Georgii Malenkov Critically Assessing the Situation in the GDR, 18 May, 1953

Document No.14: CIA Report Evaluating Vladimir Semyonov’s Appointment as Soviet High Commissioner for Germany, 29 May, 1953

Document No. 15: Cable from Ambassador Charles Bohlen to John Foster Dulles regarding the Transfer of Soviet Control in East Germany to Soviet High Commissioner Vladimir Semyonov, 29 May, 1953

Document No.16: Materials for a Meeting of the Organizational Secretariat of the CPCz CC, with Attached Report on Party Activities in Plzeň in Connection with the Events of 1 June 1953, 31 July, 1953

Document No.17: Radio Free Europe Report on the Strikes in Plzeň during Early June 1953, 8 September, 1953

Document No.18: USSR Council of Ministers Order “On Measures to Improve the Health of the Political Situation in the GDR,” 2 June, 1953

Document No.19: Otto Grotewohl’s Notes of Meetings between East German and Soviet Leaders in Moscow, 2-4 June, 1953

Document No. 20: SED CC Politburo Minutes Discussing Moscow’s Directives for the New Course, 6 June, 1953

Document No.21: Cable from Samuel Reber to U.S. Department of State Outlining U.S. Perspectives on Four-Power Talks, 13 June, 1953

Document No.22: Transcript of Conversations between the Soviet Leadership and a Hungarian Workers’ Party Delegation in Moscow, 13 and 16 June, 1953

Document No. 23: Letter from Lavrentii Beria to Georgii Malenkov Reflecting on the Events of Spring 1953, 1 July, 1953

Document No. 24: Transcript of the CPSU CC Plenum Meetings Regarding Beria’s Views on the German Question in Spring 1953, 2-3 July, 1953 (Excerpts)

PART TWO
THE UPRISING

Introduction
Document No.25: Situation Report from Vladimir Semyonov and Andrei Grechko to Vyacheslav Molotov and Nikolai Bulganin, 17 June 1953, 7:26 a.m. Moscow Time (5:26 a.m. CET)

Document No.26: Situation Report from Vladimir Semyonov and Andrei Grechko to Vyacheslav Molotov and Nikolai Bulganin, 17 June 1953, 11:15 a.m. CET

Document No. 27: Cable from the Czechoslovak Mission in Berlin to Foreign Minister Václav David, 17 June, 1953, received 1:45 p.m. CET

Document No. 28: Secret Radio Telegram from Vladimir Semyonov Providing Situation Report to Vyacheslav Molotov and Nikolai Bulganin, 17 Junem 1953, as of 2:00 p.m. CET

Document No. 29: Situation Report from the Czechoslovak Mission in Berlin to Foreign Minister Václav David, 17 June, 1953

Document No. 30: Situation Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov to Nikolai Bulganin, 17 June, 1953, received 6:30 p.m. Moscow Time (4:30 CET)

Document No. 31: Situation Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov to Nikolai Bulganin, 17 June, 1953, as of 5:30 p.m. CET

Document No. 32: Cable from Cecil Lyon to U.S. Department of State Relaying Minutes of the First Meeting of the Western Military Commandants in Berlin, 17 June, 1953, 6:00 p.m. CET

Document No. 33: Situation Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov to Nikolai Bulganin, 17 June, 1953, as of 11:00 p.m. Moscow Time (9:00 p.m. CET)

Document No. 34: Cable from Cecil Lyon to the State Department Reporting on Afternoon Meeting of the Western Commandants, 17 June, 1953, 9:00 p.m. CET

Document No.35: Telephonogram from Vladimir Semyonov and Marshal Vasilii Sokolovskii to Vyacheslav Molotov and Nikolai Bulganin Reporting on the Situation in East Berlin, 17 June, 1953, as of 11:00 p.m. CET

Document No. 36: Pravda Correspondent P. Naumov to Dimitrii Shepilov, “Report on the Events in Berlin on 16 and 17 June, 1953,” 22 June 1953

Document No. 37: Situation Report from Marshal Vasilii Sokolovskii and Marshal Leonid Govorov to Nikolai Bulganin, 18 June, 1953, 2:05 a.m. Moscow Time (12:05 a.m. CET)

Document No. 38: Psychological Strategy Board Memorandum from John M. Anspacher to George A. Morgan, 17 June, 1953

Document No. 39: Cable from John Foster Dulles to HICOG Bonn on the Propaganda Value of the East Berlin Demonstrations, 17 June, 1953, 7:02 p.m. EST (18 June 1953, 1:02 a.m. CET)

Document No. 40: Situation Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov to Nikolai Bulganin, 18 June, 1953, as of 8:00 a.m. Moscow Time (6:00 a.m. CET)

DOCUMENT No. 41: Situation Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov to Nikolai Bulganin, 18 June, 1953, as of 1:00 p.m. Moscow Time (11:00 a.m. CET)

Document No. 42: Secret Telephonogram from Vladimir Semyonov and Vasilii Sokolovskii to Vyacheslav Molotov Reporting on the Situation in East Berlin, 18 June, 1953, as of 2:00 p.m. CET

Document No. 43: Situation Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov to Nikolai Bulganin, 18 June, 1953, as of 6:00 p.m. Moscow Time (4:00 p.m. CET)

Document No. 44: Telegram from Cecil Lyon to U.S. Department of State Reporting on Developments in Berlin, 18 June, 1953, 7:00 p.m. CET

Document No. 45: CIA Current Intelligence Review Analyzing the “Communist ‘New Look’” and “Recent Unrest in Eastern Europe”, 18 June, 1953

Document No. 46: Minutes of Discussion at the 150th Meeting of the National Security Council on 18 June, 1953, 19 June, 1953

Document No. 47: Report from KGB Resident in Berlin Col. Ivan Fadeikin to Marshal Vasilii Sokolovskii, 19 June, 1953

Document No. 48: Telephonogram from Vladimir Semyonov and Marshal Vasilii Sokolovskii to Vyacheslav Molotov and Nikolai Bulganin Reporting on the Situation in East Berlin, 19 June, 1953, 3:35 p.m. CET

Document No. 49: CPCz Information Bulletin on Czechoslovak Reaction to the Events in East Germany, 19 June, 1953

Document No. 50: Order from Stanisław Radkiewicz, Polish Minister of State Security, to Regional Branches Outlining Steps to be Taken to Limit Spillover of Events in East Germany, 19 June, 1953

Document No. 51: CIA Current Intelligence Digest, “Comment on Berlin Rioting,” 19 June, 1953

Document No. 52: Situation Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov to Nikolai Bulganin, 20 June, 1953, as of 10:00 a.m. Moscow Time (8:00 a.m. CET)

Document No. 53: Special Report No. 2 of the WUBP in Wroclaw (Poland), regarding Spillover from Events in Berlin, 20 June, 1953

Document No. 54: Memorandum from Karl Schirdewan to First Secretaries of the District Leadership of the SED, 21 June, 1953

Document No. 55: Diary Entry from U.S. HICOG James B. Conant on the Effects of East Zone Troubles on Soviet Policy, 21 June, 1953

Document No. 56: CIA Current Intelligence Bulletin on Comments by Charles Bohlen and the Deployment of Soviet Troops, 21 June, 1953

Document No. 57: CPSU CC Memorandum to the SED CC, Enclosure to Minutes No. 40 from the SED Politburo Session of 21 June, 1953, 23 June, 1953

DOCUMENT No. 58: Minute from Selwyn Lloyd to Winston Churchill, Reflecting British Perspectives on the Berlin Uprising, 22 June 1953

DOCUMENT No. 59: Special Report No. 4 of the WUBP in Wroclaw (Poland), Noting the Spread of Rumors about East Germany, 23 June 1953

Document No. 60: Report from Vasilii Sokolovskii, Vladimir Semyonov, and Pavel Yudin “On the Events of 17-19 June, 1953 in Berlin and the GDR and Certain Conclusions from These Events,” 24 June, 1953

Document No. 61: CIA Intelligence Memorandum “Indications of [Soviet] Intentions in Europe,” c. 24 June, 1953

Document No. 62: CIA Information Report, “Continuing Resistance among Workers,” 25 June, 1953

Document No. 63: Secret Memorandum from Secretary of the Moscow Committee N. Mikhailov to Nikita Khrushchev, 26 June, 1953

Document No. 64: Report from Lt.-Gen. F. Fedenko to Lt.-Gen. N. D. Pavlovskii Summarizing Data on the Number of Participants in the East German Uprising, 27 June, 1953

Document No. 65: Protocol #1 of a Meeting of the Vyshinskii Commission to Draft a Proposal Pertaining to the GDR, 2 July, 1953

Document No. 66: Memorandum from Vladimir Semyonov and Pavel Yudin to Vyacheslav Molotov Regarding Inter-Zone Movements in Berlin, 4 July, 1953

Document No. 67: Otto Grotewohl’s Handwritten Notes of a SED CC Politburo Meeting, 8 July, 1953

Document No. 68: Report from Maj.-Gen. Sergei Dengin to Vladimir Semyonov, “On the Situation in the Soviet Sector of Berlin,” 8 July, 1953

Document No. 69: Secret Memorandum from Georgii Pushkin to Andrei Vyshinskii Regarding Proposals Made by Semyonov, Sokolovskii and Yudin, 9 July, 1953 (Excerpt)

Document No.70: Note from Sergei Kruglov to Georgii Malenkov, with Attached Communication from Pyotr Fedotov and Ivan Fadeikin Regarding the SED CC Politburo, 9 July, 1953

Document No. 71: CIA Information Report, “Berlin as of 5 p.m., 9 July 1953,” 10 July,1953

Document No. 72: Memorandum from Sergei Kruglov to Georgii Malenkov Summarizing an East German Investigation into the Alleged Western Role in the Provocations of 17 June, 15 July,1953

PART THREE
THE AFTERMATH: IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. POLICY

Introduction

Document No. 73: Summary of Discussion at the 151st Meeting of the National Security Council, 25 June, 1953

Document No. 74: NSC 158, “United States Objectives and Actions to Exploit the Unrest in the Satellite States,” 29 June, 1953

Document No. 75: Czechoslovak Communist Party Information Bulletin, 1 July, 1953

Document No. 76: Memorandum of Informal Psychological Strategy Board Meeting, 1 July, 1953

Document No.77: Memorandum of Informal Psychological Strategy Board Meeting, 8 July, 1953

Document No. 78: Report of the Chief of the WUBP in Olsztyn for June 1953, 9 July, 1953 (Excerpts)

Document No. 79: Telephone Conversation between John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, 10 July, 1953

Document No. 80: CIA Special Supplement to the Current Intelligence Weekly, 10 July, 1953

Document No. 81: CIA Information Report, 13 July, 1953

Document No. 82: Letter from President Eisenhower to Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein, 14 July, 1953

Document No. 83: Intelligence Advisory Committee, Special Estimate (SE-47), “Probable Effect of Recent Developments In Eastern Germany on Soviet Policy with Respect to Germany,” 21 July, 1953

Document No. 84: Letter from James Conant to John Foster Dulles, 28 July, 1953

Document No. 85: Draft Resolution of the CPSU Central Committee, c. 31 July, 1953

Document No. 86: CIA Information Report, 7 August, 1953

DOCUMENT No. 87: Conclusions from Reports of the SED District Leaderships, 8 August, 1953

Document No. 88: Cable from James Conant to John Foster Dulles, 8 August, 1953

Document No. 89: Memorandum from John A. Bross to Allen Dulles Regarding Food Depots along Zonal Boundaries, 11 August, 1953

Document No. 90: Memorandum from Leonid Brezhnev to Nikita Khrushchev, 20 August, 1953

Document No. 91: Report of the Polish Diplomatic Mission in Berlin for the Period 21 June-31 August, 1953 (Excerpts), c. September 1953

Document No. 92: CIA Information Report, 10 September, 1953

Document No. 93: HICOG Report on the U.S. Food Aid Program for East Germany, 17 September, 1953

Document No. 94: CIA Information Report, 16 October, 1953

Document No. 95: National Security Council Report No. 174, “United States Policy Toward the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe,” 11 December, 1953

Main Actors

Bibliography

Index

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