Nikita Khrushchev on a State Visit to the GDR (August 1957)
From August 7 to August 14, 1957, a Soviet party and government delegation headed by Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, visited the GDR. According to official reports, about 50,000 people greeted the Soviet delegation at the Berlin Ostbahnhof [Eastern Train Station]. After giving a speech to the People’s Parliament [Volkskammer], Khrushchev visited Leipzig and Magdeburg, while a second group of delegates, headed by Anastas Mikoyan, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, toured the northern cities of Sassnitz and Rostock. At the conclusion of the state visit, a rally was held on East Berlin's Marx-Engels Square. According to Neues Deutschland, the central organ of the Socialist Unity Party (SED), 250,000 people were in attendance. On the occasion of the visit, the Agitation and Propaganda Department of the SED's Central Committee produced a richly illustrated publication titled The Call of the Heart [Der Zwang des Herzens], which used enthusiastic tones to glorify Khrushchev's sense of humor and down-to-earth manner as well as German-Soviet "friendship." Here, we see Walter Ulbricht (center) and Khrushchev (on the right) conversing during the state visit. Photo by Herbert Fiebig.