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

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Upon her accession to the North Atlantic Treaty and the Brussels Treaty, the Federal Republic declared at the London Conference that she would “refrain from any action inconsistent with the strictly defense character of the two treaties [and would never] have recourse to force to achieve [ . . . ] reunification [ . . . ] or [ . . . ] modification of [her] present boundaries. [ . . . ]”

In notes of September 10, 1954, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France assured the Soviet Union that “the association of the German Federal Republic [ . . . ] in a defense system long after the rearming of Eastern Germany, far from constituting a threat to European security, is intended to prevent any nation from having independent recourse to the threat or use of force. This is the best guarantee for the security of all Germany's neighbors, of Germany herself and of Europe as a whole.”

President Eisenhower made the same point abundantly clear during the Geneva Conference of 1955 when he said “in no case are any parts of the forces allowed to Germany complete or whole within themselves. They are all intertwined with the forces of the other Western nations, making it impossible for them to conduct any effective military operation by themselves.”

In addition to the limitations placed upon the Federal Republic's capability for independent military action as a member of the interdependent NATO command structure, there are the voluntary undertakings of the Federal Chancellor (Protocol No. III of the revised Brussels Treaty) not to manufacture in the territory of the Federal Republic atomic, biological, or chemical weapons. The Federal Chancellor also renounced the production of long-range missiles, guided missiles, warships, with the exception of smaller ships for defense purposes, and strategic bombers.

Source: Analysis by the Department of State of the Soviet Note on Berlin (January 7, 1959); reprinted in Documents on Germany, 1944-1959: Background Documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a Chronology of Political Developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956. Washington, DC: General Printing Office, 1959, pp. 415-39.

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