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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 08, 1953

CABLE FROM JAMES B. CONANT TO JOHN FOSTER DULLES

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    Conant suggests that while US policy towards East Germany should, on principle, encourage the “spirit of resistance” brought about by the East German Uprising, it is believed that Communist authorities will continue to use brutal tactics to restrain such resistance, and therefore US initiatives towards the situation should be restrained as to not provide East German authorities an opportunity for more brutal repressions of the population.
    "Cable from James B. Conant to John Foster Dulles," August 08, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, NARA, RG 59, 762B.00/8-853. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111341
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Secret Security Information

From: Bonn
To: Secretary of State
No: 582, August 8, 2.00 p.m.

Sent Department 582, Repeated Information Berlin 125.

We are in general agreement Berlin's thoughtful analysis SED policy (Berlin 211 to Bonn, repeated Department 188, August 6) and the conclusions. From principal conclusion, namely that any uprisings workers would be ruthlessly put down, it follows, we believe, that US policies toward East Germany while aimed at encouraging and keeping alive the intensified spirit of resistance awakened in mid-June should still carefully avoid and if necessary endeavor to restrain East Zone resistance from taking such overt forms as would give Communist authorities excuse for brutal and bloody repressions of population and particularly their leaders. As long as western world believe such freedom brought into sight by recent events, US propaganda and other initiatives (essential and timely though they are) must continue [to] be governed by restraint. Otherwise smoldering fire [of] East German resistance may be prematurely fanned up and stamped out; and the fetters of Communism tightened again and Communist propagandists given opportunity to fasten responsibility upon USA.

Conant