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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 19, 1953

CIA CURRENT INTELLIGENCE DIGEST 'COMMENT ON BERLIN RIOTING'

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    According to the CIA report, as of the 19th of June, the situation in East Berlin has been repressed by Soviet troops and the East German police, and inter-sector traffic is strictly controlled. However, in other areas of East Germany, strikes and disturbances are still being reported.
    "CIA Current Intelligence Digest 'Comment on Berlin Rioting'," June 19, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central Intelligence Agency (FOIA Release). On file at the National Security Archive, “Soviet Flashpoints” Collection. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111339
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Copy No. 333
OCI No. 4248

19 June 1953

Current Intelligence Digest

Central Intelligence Agency

OFFICE OF CURRENT INTELLIGENCE US OFFICIALS ONLY

SECRET

[1/3 Page excised]

19. Comment on Berlin rioting: The situation in East Berlin has apparently been brought under control. Soviet troops continue to back up East German police, and numerous arrests have reportedly been made. Public transportation in East Berlin was still disrupted on 18 June, however, and Soviet zone traffic into the city irregular. Strict controls over intersector travel have been imposed.

There are numerous unconfirmed reports of strikes and disturbances in other areas of East Germany, and martial law has reportedly been extended to some of them.
The government has obviously been frightened by these events and continues to alternate promises of generous concessions with threats of severe punishment. It is probable that at various levels the government has been compelled to relinquish authority to the Soviet military establishment.

American observers in Berlin tentatively attribute the riots to popular suspicion that the recent conciliatory moves of the East German government were a confession of weakness and that demonstrations would be dealt with less ruthlessly than in the past.