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The Soviet Government’s Explanation of its Berlin Policy (December 24, 1962)

In a letter to Konrad Adenauer, Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev justifies the Berlin Wall, describing it as a defense against subversive Western activities. He criticizes West German efforts to resist Communist infiltration and demands the conclusion of a peace treaty that would make West Berlin a “free city” without NATO protection.

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Recently, many new, meticulously verified facts and documents about unheard-of crimes orchestrated in West Berlin over the course of more than a decade have been made public and have thus occasioned warnings, protests, and objections.

Not long ago, a documentary book on this subject appeared; you probably already own it (if you wish, a copy of this book will be sent to you). As a rule, the occupation authorities of the three powers and the German authorities in West Berlin have remained silent about the aforementioned objections because the facts cannot be refuted. Evidently, they do not even wish to condemn these facts indirectly, since their policy was conceived of, so to speak, at the state level by means of these sorts of crimes, and they have no intention of distancing themselves from this policy. On the contrary: the agencies of the German Federal Republic presented this policy openly and shamelessly as well-thought-out and useful. Now, however, they want to look elsewhere for those responsible for the tense atmosphere that has developed.

Espionage and diversionary acts of various sorts, the smuggling of money and property out of the country [Devisenschiebung] and diverse corruption (both on an unprecedented scale), and the recent provocations on West Berlin’s border to the GDR – West Berlin has tried just about everything possible to undermine the socialist order of the GDR and of other countries, to erode the edifice of peace.

As is known, the German Federal Republic has absolutely no right to West Berlin. Federal agencies, however, have totally flooded this city with official and unofficial institutions, with civil servants of all ranks and shades. They recruit West Berlin youths for the Bundeswehr and want to adapt the city’s economy to the military demands of the German Federal Republic. The government of the Federal Republic initiated a shameful trial [Schandprozeß] there against the Association of Victims of the Nazi Regime [Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes], a trial against individuals who embodied the honor and the conscience of the German people in the years of struggle against the Hitler regime and who openly stand up for their antifascist attitudes today. This fact alone speaks volumes about the character of the entire series of events.

Day after day, your ministers, party functionaries, parliamentarians, and all sorts of visitors, whose numbers are legion, foment angry and dangerous agitation in West Berlin against peace and against the security of the neighboring socialist countries. After visits by these “guests,” new provocations occur in West Berlin, as do gang raids at the GDR border and other such things.

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