GHDI logo

The U.S. State Department Analyzes the Soviet Note on Berlin (January 7, 1959)

page 23 of 25    print version    return to list previous document      next document

V. Rearmament

Soviet Allegations:
The Soviet note says that the Western powers are rearming West Germany, encouraging and restoring the forces which had built up Nazi military power. The Soviets maintain that this is a violation of the Potsdam Protocol and that the Soviet Union has been compelled to establish the Warsaw Pact as a defensive system. The note says:
Having embarked upon the restoration of the military and economic potential of West Germany, the Western Powers revived and strengthened the very forces that had forged Hitler's war machine. Had the Western Powers honored the Potsdam Agreement, they would have prevented the German militarists from regaining their positions, checked revanche tendencies, and not permitted Germany to create an army and an industry manufacturing the means of destruction.
However, it is a known fact that the governments of the Three Powers not only failed to do this but, on the contrary, sanctioned the creation of a West German army and are encouraging the arming of the Federal Republic of Germany, disregarding the commitments made at Potsdam. Moreover, they included West Germany in the North Atlantic bloc, which was created behind the back of the Soviet Union and, as everyone is aware, against it, and are now arming West Germany with atomic and rocket weapons.

The Facts Are:
1. The United States in 1945, 1946, and 1947 proposed the negotiation first of a 25-year and later of a 40-year treaty which would guarantee against resurgence of German militarism. The Soviet Union effectively killed the negotiations by dragging in numerous extraneous and controversial issues.
2. In the U.S. Zone of Germany the United States carried out fully the demilitarization provisions of the Potsdam Protocol by 1950.
3. Beginning in 1948 the Soviets built up a sizable “police force” in its zone, arming it with military-type weapons and having it trained by former German army officers.
4. In 1954 (a year before an army was established in West Germany) 140,000 German military personnel were under arms in the Soviet Zone plus a police force of 100,000. At this time West German police numbered 150,000, although there are three times as many people in West Germany as in East Germany.
5. The military forces of the Federal Republic are integrated into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has purely defensive purposes within the framework of the United Nations. The Federal Republic has renounced aggressive purposes and accepted specific limitations on armaments. The Western powers have repeatedly assured the Soviet Union on these points.

The terms of the Potsdam Protocol with respect to the demilitarization of Germany were as follows:
3. The purposes of the occupation of Germany by which the Control Council shall be guided are:
(1) The complete disarmament and demilitarization of Germany and the elimination or control of all German industry that could be used for military production. To these ends:—
(a) All German land, naval and air forces, the S.S., S.A., S.D. and Gestapo, with all their organizations, staffs and institutions, including the General Staff, the Officers' Corps, Reserve Corps, military schools, war veterans' organizations and all other military and quasi-military organizations, together with all clubs and associations which serve to keep alive the military tradition in Germany, shall be completely and finally abolished in such manner as permanently to prevent the revival or reorganization of German militarism and Nazism;
(b) All arms, ammunition and implements of war and all specialized facilities for their production shall be held at the disposal of the Allies or destroyed. The maintenance and production of all aircraft and all arms, ammunition and implements of war shall be prevented.

first page < previous   |   next > last page