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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 02, 1953

CABLE FROM MAJOR GENERAL WILTON B. PERSONS TO COL. ROBERT L. SCHULZ EXPLAINING THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S VIEWS ON THE NEW COURSE

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    The U.S. state department comments on East German announcement to ease government policies following the East German Uprising. They believe the Soviet Union intends to compromise with Western powers on Germany before the rearmament of the Federal Republic through the European Defense Community plan.
    "Cable from Major General Wilton B. Persons to Col. Robert L. Schulz Explaining the Department of State’s Views on the New Course," June 02, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, DDEP, Ann Whitman File, International Series, Box, 14. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110394
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_________________________

11 June 1953

PRIORITY SECRET DTG 1121 30Z

CAPITAL REF NBR: 148

FROM : General Persons

TO : Col. Robert L. Schulz [tk: Schultz? See doc title], for the President

Following comments are offered by State Department regarding recent East German announcement of modification and easing of government policies.

State believes these measures are part of build-up for a Soviet proposal for Four Power talks, probably on Germany. They are designed to convince the world that Soviet Union is prepared to compromise on Germany and that western powers should therefore enter into talks with Soviet Union before proceeding with the rearmament of the Federal Republic through the EDC. State's estimate is that these measures will increase pressure for Four Power talks, particularly when added to impression created by recent Soviet conciliatory actions in Austria and elsewhere. C. D. Jackson suggests following line in the unlikely event president has to answer question on East German announcement.

1. Avoid discussion as to question of sincerity of this move on part of Russians.

2. Regardless of reasons for move, the important fact is that there have been some very brutal and oppressive [tk: word missing] against the East German population which have now been promised to be lifted or alleviated. Anything that helps beings anywhere is welcomed by us.

3. If precedent has any relevance these moves were not made for humanitarian reasons, but probably because Soviets sensed a determination on the part of the western allies which gave them pause. That determination for peace-through-strength remains unabused in the American mind, and nothing would give the American people greater joy than continued alleviation of human suffering as a result.

4. The promised ending of the persecution against the churches and against the church youth organizations is a particularly pleasing development. Would that it could be repeated in many other communist controlled countries.

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