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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July, 1973


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    A report on Stage I of the CSCE prepared for the SED Politburo.
    "Possible Ideas for the Introduction of a Submission in the Politburo," July, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PA AA: MfAA C 388/78
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Undated memorandum[1] by Bock [2], July 1973 [3]

Possible ideas for the introduction of a submission in the Politburo [4]

The first written information was prepared the day the delegation returned; the presentation submitted herewith contains the detailed report on problems of substance and the conclusions to be drawn for the second stage.

Additionally, I want to point to the following questions:

1. The Foreign Ministers Conference [5] went according to the final recommendations from Dipoli [6]; which means that there was only a presentation of every government's principal standpoints without discussion of them.
Generally speaking, the conference was a remarkable success for the foreign policy pursued by the Soviet Union and the other socialist states. It was an impressive demonstration of the fact that the NATO and EEC states were forced to participate in the politics of peaceful coexistence. But we have every reason not to underestimate the activities of the EEC and NATO states with regards to the conference. Therefore, [there is] in the presentation [a] detailed elaboration of Western attempts at "re-functioning" [the conference].

2. With their demagogic performance the Western states are trying to pretend to the public that they "represent the true interests of the people". The attention paid towards the Security Conference by the Western press, already at its very start but particularly after its first phase, must be seen in this context. According to the West's assumption, the socialist states have to pay the "price" of so-called "human relief" [7] in return for a multilateral recognition of frontiers. [. . .]

5. From all this, we have to draw conclusions for both the preparation as well as for the public during the second phase of the conference, and for efficient public relations work. At the same time [we need] preparation for complicated, long drawn-out disputes in Geneva. [8]


[1] Copyright: Project 'CSCE and the Transformation of Europe', University of Mannheim and the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center. All rights reserved. The "CSCE and the Transformation of Europe" Project is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung. If cited, quoted, translated, or reproduced, acknowledgement of any document's origin must be made as follows: "Oliver Bange/Stephan Kieninger (eds): "Negotiating one's own demise? The GDR's Foreign Ministry and the CSCE negotiations - Plans, preparations, tactics and presumptions," CWIHP e-Dossier Nr. 17, on behalf of the Project 'CSCE and the Transformation of Europe', University of Mannheim 2008 (

[2] Siegfried Bock headed the GDR's delegation to the CSCE from the start of the Multilateral Preparatory Talk to the closing stage of the conference. At the same time, he was director of the 'Grundsatzabteilung' in the MfAA.

[3] Bock's memorandum must have been written in July 1973, as Stage I of the CSCE – which he referred to – took place in Helsinki from 3 to 7 July 1973.

[4] Bock wrote these notes on behalf of Foreign Minister Otto Winzer. During a session of the SED Politburo on 12 June 1973, Winzer was instructed to prepare directives for the GDR's CSCE delegation at stage I of the CSCE, the Meeting of Foreign Ministers from 3 to 7 July 1973 in Helsinki. Furthermore, the SED Politburo – during its session on 12 June – instructed Winzer to prepare a report on Stage I and to submit guidelines to the Politburo for securing a resolution about the GDR's performance in Stage II. SAPMO: DY 30/ J IV 2/2A/1691 and -/1693. On 17 July 1973, the SED Politburo discussed Winzer's report on Stage I. SAPMO: DY 30/J IV 2/2A/1698. On 21 August 1973, the Politburo took its decision on the guidelines for the CSCE delegation in Stage II. SAPMO: DY 30/ J IV 2/2A/1715.

[5] Stage I of the CSCE consisted of the Foreign Ministers' Conference, which took place in Dipoli, near Helsinki, from 3 to 7 July 1973.

[6] The Multilateral Preparatory Talks (MPT) for the CSCE were held at Dipoli, a conference centre close to Helsinki, from 22 November 1972 to 8 June 1973.

[7] The original German term - "menschliche Erleichterungen" – has no equivalent in English. "Erleichterungen" is the plural of the German word for relief, and is therefore best described as measures in aid against personal hardships (like family reunions, marriages etc.).

[8] Stage II of the CSCE negotiations took place in Geneva, starting in September 1973. The talks were concluded in July 1975.