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Official Peace Policy of the GDR (June 28, 1965)

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We accuse the Erhard government and the American government of inciting war against the German Democratic Republic.

The American President Johnson had the presumption on May 8, 1965, to demand that the GDR disappear. The entire population of West Germany is supposed to get used to the war preparations and be softened up for war through a flood of provocative facts and speeches by its leaders. An unbridled wave of chauvinism and nationalism is supposed to wash away reason. At hundreds of revanchist rallies over the last days and weeks, sovereign peoples are being denounced, their borders already extinguished, their right to self-determination dissolved once again into imperialistic rule.

How often and ever more frequently do pointed, provocative vituperations against the state borders of the GDR spring forth from West Germany and West Berlin! Bonn’s machinery is running at dangerously high speeds in order to create the internal prerequisites for external aggression. Devoid of all scruples, Bonn’s war minister Hassel summarized the essence and goal of the Emergency Acts in one sentence: “Without internal stability, the Bundeswehr’s order to fight cannot be fulfilled!” Their stability – that is military dictatorship! Their orders to fight – that is aggression! In German history, internal dictatorship always preceded external aggression.

Does that affect only us Germans? It is precisely in Europe that peace cannot be divided! We warn against the assumption that the western governments could save themselves from the potential consequences of the West German war policy by supporting this very policy. History has taught a different lesson. When we listen to Erhard, Hassel, and Schröder, when their words and actions start to show signs of a military dictatorship, then it makes us think of the torch-lit parade on January 30, 1933, and how these torches lit the entire world on fire.

In profound concern for peace, for the future of our nation, and all nations, we are turning, on the eve of the World Congress for peace, national sovereignty, and universal disarmament, to all who want peace, in West Germany and in all countries, and to all their organizations and movements.

[ . . . ]

Source: “An alle, die den Frieden wollen. Appell des Friedensrates der DDR an die Friedensanhänger in Westdeutschland und in allen Ländern“ [“To All Who Want Peace: Appeal of the Peace Council of the GDR to the Advocates of Peace in West Germany and in all Countries on the Occasion of the World Peace Congress in Helsinki”] (July 28, 1965), Neues Deutschland, June 29, 1965, p. 3 B.

Translation: Allison Brown

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