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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 02, 1969

TRANSCRIPT OF A MEETING BETWEEN THE DELEGATIONS OF THE PZPR AND THE SED IN MOSCOW (EXCERPT)

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    Excerpt from a conversation in which Polish Communist leaders Jozef Cyrankiewicz and Wladyslaw Gomulka remind Walter Ulbricht of how they suggested closing the border between East and West Berlin years before the Berlin Wall was constructed.
    "Transcript of a meeting between the delegations of the PZPR and the SED in Moscow (Excerpt) ," December 02, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AAN, KC PZPR, p. 110, t. 16. Translated for CWIHP by Douglas Selvage. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112008
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... [Polish Premier Jozef] Cyrankiewicz: Earlier you spoke about closing the border [to West Berlin]; I would like to remind you of how many times the Poles [i.e., the Polish communists] proposed that it be closed.


Gomulka: And how much earlier!


Ulbricht: We know about this and have not forgotten. We were always of the same opinion as you. Even then, when something was hurting us — I have in mind the matter of the open border.


Gomulka: I would have shut it far earlier. How many times I told Khrushchev about it!


Ulbricht: We know about that, but Khrushchev believed after all that he could conclude a treaty with the FRG modeled after Rapallo....