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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 26, 1953


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    Mikhailov reports to Khrushchev that mass rallies had taken place in 14 large factories in Moscow in response to the June uprising in East Berlin. He reports that the workers had been protesting “provocative” acts by West Germans and American occupiers to disturb peace in the GDR.
    "Secret Memorandum from Secretary of the Moscow Committee N. Mikhailov to Nikita Khrushchev," June 26, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, per. 4546, op. 30, pap. 5, ll. 87-91. Published in German in Gerhard Beier, Wir wollen freie Menschen sein (Köln: Bund, 1993), pp. 125-126. Translated from German by Christiaan Hetzner.
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Yesterday, on 25 June, mass rallies of workers took place in 14 large factories in Moscow. They were dedicated to the events of the 17 June 1953 in the Eastern sector of Berlin.

The rallies were well organized and lively. The workers and employees appearing spoke with deep anger and indignation about the criminal attempts by the enemies to peace, about the heinous atrocity of the fascist provocateurs, and the attempts of the Bonn revanchists to instigate a conflict between the German people and to strike at the GDR. They denounced the inflammatory propaganda of the American occupation power and welcomed the complete failure of the fascist adventure.

In all rallies in which the workers of the factories and plants of the capital decisively protested against the provocative acts by the West German imperialists and their American masters, resolutions were unanimously accepted to approve fully the measures of the GDR government and ask the workers to support the peace policy and the policy of the reunification of Germany even more energetically. Particularly large was the rally in the first Kaganovich Ball-Bearing Factory. 10,000 people participated in this demonstration. Party Secretary Comrade Masanov said during the opening of the rally:

“The Soviet people are deeply disturbed by the report on the adventure of the foreign slaves in Berlin. The reactionary circles in the USA and the FRG in West Germany are afraid and do not want peace. They make shameful attempts at sowing hostility between the peoples and at starting a new war. [...]”

Then the best Stakhanovite worker of the automatic lathe division, Comrade Droshina, and the winner of the Stalin Prize, division head Volkov, spoke.

In the unanimously-adopted resolution, the workers of the ball-bearings factory declared:

“We express our rage and indignation against the criminal attempts of the enemies of peace, the provocateurs, to strike at the GDR. We, Soviet workers, know well from our own experience of fighting against domestic and foreign enemies of the Soviet land, that the shameful attempts by the enemy will always be crushed by the monolithic unity of the working class and their party. We call upon the workers and the people of the GDR to support the peace policy, the policy of the reunification of Germany, even more energetically. We wish the workers of the GDR new successes in the building of a peaceful life, in the struggle for a united, peace loving, independent, democratic Germany. Long live the friendship between the Soviet and German peoples!”

With great political enthusiasm, the rally in “The Red Warrior” factory took place. 4,000 workers participated in it. Party Secretary Comrade Kvotchkhina spoke, reporting on the provocation of the foreign lackeys on 17 June in Berlin which had the goal of destroying the peaceful life in the GDR. “The provocateurs urge the German people onto the path of war. But they had completely miscalculated, since the German people will not follow the adventurers and the provocateurs.” [...] Then the shift leader Comrade Novikov, who had worked in this factory for 40 years and who holds the Order of Lenin, spoke.

With vivid speeches, the worker from the galoshes division, Pashkova, inspector Orobeiko, and the deputy head of the galoshes division, Grigoryan, appeared. The rally unanimously accepted the call to the workers of the Buna-Werke Synthetic Rubber Factory [...]

Altogether, 52,000 people took part in the 14 rallies. In the CPSU Moscow City Committee, a discussion was held with agitators and propagandists. Comrade P. N. Pospelov gave a report.
The participants of the discussion asked the following questions:

- What has happened to Comrade Wilhelm Pieck?
- Was the SED slogan-–to build the foundations of socialism in Germany-–correct?
- What constitute the main mistakes of the SED?
- Had the Adenauer clique been incited by the American imperialists to undertake new provocations?
- What is the situation in Berlin today?

Today rallies in other factories are being held.