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Speech by Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev at a Soviet-Polish Meeting in Moscow (November 10, 1958)

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Financially, too, Western Germany is today stronger than either Britain or France. Consider their gold and currency reserves, for instance. According to official figures, Western Germany’s reserves amounted to over 5,600 million dollars at the end of 1957, as compared with Britain’s 2,370 million and France’s 775 million dollars. All these economic resources of Western Germany are being placed at the service of reviving German militarism.

Whichever basic provisions of the Potsdam Agreement concerning the demilitarization of Germany and prevention of the resurgence of fascism we may consider, we shall arrive at the conclusion that these provisions, bearing the signatures of the United States, Britain and France, have been violated by them.

What then is left of the Potsdam Agreement?

One thing in effect: The so-called four-power status of Berlin, that is, a position in which the three western powers – the United States, Britain and France – have the possibility of lording it in Western Berlin, turning that part of the city, which is the capital of the German Democratic Republic, into some kind of state within a state and, profiting by this, conducting subversive activities from Western Berlin against the German Democratic Republic, against the Soviet Union and the other Warsaw Treaty countries. On top of all this, they have the right of unrestricted communication between Berlin and Western Germany through the air space, by the railways, highways and waterways of the German Democratic Republic, a state which they do not even want to recognise.

The question arises: Who stands to benefit from this situation and why have the United States, France and Britain not violated this part of the quadripartite agreement as well? The answer is clear: They have no intention of violating this part of the Potsdam Agreement. On the contrary, they cling to it, for the agreement on Berlin is advantageous to the western powers and to them alone. The western powers, naturally, are not averse to perpetuating such privileges of "allies" forever, even though they have long demolished the legal basis for their presence in Berlin.

Is it not time for us to draw appropriate conclusions from the fact that the key items of the Potsdam Agreement concerning the maintenance of peace in Europe and, consequently, throughout the world, have been violated, and that certain forces continue to nurture German militarism, prompting it in the direction in which it was pushed before the Second World War, that is, against the East? Is it not time for us to reconsider our attitude to this part of the Potsdam Agreement and to denounce it?

The time has obviously arrived for the signatories of the Potsdam Agreement to renounce the remnants of the occupation regime in Berlin and thereby make it possible to create a normal situation in the capital of the German Democratic Republic. The Soviet Union, for its part, would hand over to the sovereign German Democratic Republic the functions in Berlin that are still exercised by Soviet agencies. This, I think, would be the correct thing to do.

Let the United States, France and Britain themselves build their relations with the German Democratic Republic, let them reach agreement with it themselves if they are interested in any questions concerning Berlin. As for the Soviet Union, we shall sacredly honour our obligations as an ally of the German Democratic Republic – obligations which stem from the Warsaw Treaty and which we have repeatedly reaffirmed to the German Democratic Republic.

If any forces of aggression attack the German Democratic Republic, which is a full-fledged member of the Warsaw Treaty we shall regard this as an attack on the Soviet Union, on all the Warsaw Treaty countries. We shall then rise in defence of the German Democratic Republic, and this will mean defence of the vital security interests of the Soviet Union, of the entire socialist camp, and of the cause of world peace.

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