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The Communist Justification for the Division of Berlin (August 14, 1961)

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Subway traffic ran smoothly and was operating on schedule in accordance with the new regulations. Only on suburban rail lines did delays arise for some time due to the changes that had suddenly become necessary.

As on any Sunday, thousands of Berliners traveled with the suburban rail to recreational areas outside the city. The German Travel Office pavilion at the Friedrichstrasse train station was as busy as on any Sunday. The excursion routes of the BVG [municipal transit authority] busses were crowded.

Many West Berliners crossed over from West Berlin yesterday via the designated checkpoints. They did not let themselves be deterred from their travels by the mendacious assertions of rabble-rousing West Berlin broadcast stations and reactionary police officers. The number of West German citizens who visited democratic Berlin with short-term entry permits was just as high as on recent days. Also, two U.S. State Department representatives remained unbothered as they drove through the capital of the GDR on Sunday with two drivers and two vehicles. They were processed politely and properly, as stipulated in the announcement of the Ministry of the Interior of the government of the GDR, which provides for members of the diplomatic corps and the Western occupying forces to visit democratic Berlin in accordance with the regulations valid up to now. The U.S. State Department representatives returned to West Berlin through Brandenburg Gate at 3:20 in the afternoon.

Traffic on the roads from West Germany to West Berlin continued to flow normally and peacefully.

From West Berlin it has become known that the people of West Berlin received with the resolution of the GDR Council of Ministers to secure peace and protect the workers’ and peasants’ state with seriousness and composure. This calm acceptance of the resolution of the Council of Ministers by broad circles of the West Berlin population contrasts sharply with the hectic agitation among the agent organizations, human traffickers, and head hunters, who have exploited the front-line city politics of West Berlin, turning it into a trading ground for human trafficking, an open floodgate for agents, and a dangerous center of provocation, and who have now been dealt a painful blow.

In the residential areas of the Western sectors, normal Sunday tranquility prevailed, in obvious contrast to the hectic activities of the front city powers holders in Schöneberg City Hall [in West Berlin]. Totally surprised by the measures taken by the GDR, they were rushing from one consultation to another.

In the early Sunday afternoon hours the West Berlin police set up barriers to the democratic Berlin on the side of the Western sectors. Police squads are posted on Potsdamer Platz and other places and have been given orders to prevent West Berliners from entering democratic Berlin. A chain of police officers also marched in several hundred meters west of the Brandenburg Gate. Police riot vans are standing by behind them.

Source: “Maßnahmen zum Schutz des Friedens und zur Sicherung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik in Kraft“ [“Measures for the Protection of Peace and the Safeguarding of the German Democratic Republic Take Effect”], Neues Deutschland, August 14, 1961.

Translation: Allison Brown

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