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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 03, 1961

KHRUSHCHEV'S SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF THE MEETING OF MOSCOW CONFERENCE, 3-5 AUGUST 1961

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Khrushchev makes the opening statement to the secretaries of the CC's of Communist and Workers' Parties of Socialist Countries at a conference in Moscow. The purpose of the conference is to discuss the preparation and conclusion of a German peace treaty.
    "Khrushchev's Speech at the Opening of the Meeting of Moscow Conference, 3-5 August 1961," August 03, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SED archives, IfGA, ZPA, J IV 2/202/130. Published in CWIHP Working Paper No. 5, "Ulbricht and the Concrete 'Rose.'" Translated for CWIHP by Hope Harrison. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117197
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Comrade N.S. Khrushchev's Speech at the Opening of the Meeting on August 3, 1961

Let me in the name of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union warmly welcome the representatives of the fraternal parties of the countries of the socialist commonwealth, who are assembling in the capital of our country.

The current meeting was called, as you know, on the initiative of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany for the exchange of opinions on questions concerning the preparation for concluding a German peace treaty.  This proposal, contained in a letter from Comrade Ulbricht, found support from the fraternal parties of the socialist camp, which testifies to the unanimity and unwavering attempt to resolve at last this important issue--a peace settlement with Germany.

At the last session of the Political Consultative Committee of the member-states of the Warsaw Pact, which occurred in March of this year, we came to the unanimous opinion that if as a result of the meeting with Kennedy and other contacts, the Western powers did not show readiness to find a real path for the resolution of the question of a peace treaty with two German governments, then our countries would start preparing to conclude a peace treaty with the GDR.

As you know, the Western powers met with bayonets our proposal for a German peace treaty and the resolution on this basis of the West Berlin issue.  They still have not come up with any sober and constructive approach to the proposals put forward by us.  We, of course, must try again and again to use all means and possibilities which we have to persuade the Western powers to agree to the conclusion of a peace treaty with the two German states and to the resolution of the question of West Berlin under conditions acceptable to both sides.  In addition, evidently, it is now time to occupy ourselves with the simultaneous and immediate preparation for the conclusion of a peace treaty with the GDR so as to implement this step if the Western powers do not give up their negative position.

The goal of our conference, as presented to you, is to have a detailed discussion of the question of concluding a German peace treaty, to consult about practical measures which must be taken in the near future, and to work out united tactics.  This is all the more necessary, since in his recent appearance on American television, the U.S. President Kennedy openly spoke about the intention of the imperialist powers to prevent us from concluding a peace treaty with the GDR. Kennedy essentially threatened us with war if we implement measures for liquidating the occupation regime in West Berlin.  Under these conditions, we must work out a detailed plan of agreed upon action on all lines--foreign policy, economic and military.

I express my certainty that in the course of the exchange of opinions at this meeting, we will work out these agreed upon measures on all issues connected with the preparation for concluding a German peace treaty.

Permit me, comrades, to open our meeting.

[Khrushchev then announces the times of the different sessions and then gives the floor to Ulbricht.]