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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 04, 1953


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    SED CC Politburo requests to resume movement across the sector border between East and West Berlin. This report includes step-by-step instructions in how this could be implemented.
    "Memorandum from Vladimir Semyonov and Pavel Yudin to Vyacheslav Molotov Regarding Inter-Zonal Movement in Berlin," July 04, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, f. 0742, op. 41, port. 92, pap. [illegible], ll. 114-115. Translated by Daniel Rozas.
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To Comrade V.M. Molotov

Cde. [Boris P.] Miroshnichenko informed from Berlin via VCh that the SED CC Politburo adopted today, 4 July, the decision to turn to the USSR High Commissioner in Germany with the request to resume unhindered movement across the sector border between East and West Berlin. The SED CC Politburo is motivated by the fact that there is dissatisfaction among the Berlin inhabitants with the existing situation at the sector border and, in particular, with the absence of normal operation of the city electric railroad and subway that connect different sectors of the city. So far these feelings are reflected in conversations between workers at various enterprises and in lines at the bureau for access to the sector border. However, these feelings may reveal themselves in the form of organized demands. Considering this, the SED CC Politburo deems it expedient to resume the movement of city transport between sectors. Such a measure would have the appearance of a consistent implementation of the GDR government policy to remove the restrictions that were put in place in connection with the establishment of martial law in the city.

We believe it would be expedient to agree with the SED CC Politburo proposal to reestablish unhindered movement between East and West Berlin. This measure could be implemented in the following manner:

1. As of 5 July, reestablish normal movement of the city electric railroad and subway between East and West Berlin, as well as movement of pedestrians across the sector border without the issue of inter-sector passes to inhabitants.
The movement of automobiles should continue to be controlled as it had been prior to 17 June.

2. Close traffic on a number of streets, particularly in the region of Leipziger Strasse and Potsdamerbrücke, since this is the location of GDR government buildings that were subject to attack by provocateurs from West Berlin on 17 June.

3. Publicize instructions in the name of the Berlin Police headquarters for the immediate detention and transfer to government organs of those persons from West Berlin who carry out anti-democratic propaganda, attempt to organize disturbances or engage in other criminal activity on the territory of East Berlin or the GDR.

4. Charge the German authorities to implement the appropriate police patrol in the city with the aim of suppressing any attempts to organize disturbances on the part of West Berlin criminals.

5. Send a letter to the High Commissioners of the USA, England and France in response to their letter to the High Commissioner of the USSR in Germany, stating that the GDR government has adopted the decision to reestablish movement between East and West Berlin concurrent with the announcement of the severest punishment for persons from West Berlin who attempt to carry out anti-democratic propaganda, organize disturbances, or engage in other criminal activities in East Berlin or the GDR. In addition, this letter to the High Commissioners of the Western powers should also reaffirm our demands for an end to the criminal activities of the diversionary-terrorist organizations based in West Berlin and for the cessation of the dispatch of provocateurs from West Berlin to East Berlin and the GDR, placing all responsibility for the consequences of the criminal activities by these organizations on the occupation authorities of the Western powers.

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V. Semyonov
P. Yudin
4 July 1953
Outgoing 1449/3s