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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 01, 1953


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    This bulletin contains information regarding the public reception of the GDR government’s response to the events in Berlin. According to the report, most Czechoslovak workers were indifferent to the GDR government response to the uprising, though kulaks, former entrepreneurs, were hopeful for the return of their businesses and free enterprise.
    "Czechoslovak Communist Party Information Bulletin," July 01, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archiv SV KSC, fond 014/12, svazek 11, ar. i 184, listu 16. Translated by Caroline Kovtun.
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Informational Bulletin # 46/53.

1. Reception of the resolution of the government of the GDR and the events in Berlin.
2. From the meetings of the regional committees of the party in Ceské Budejovice, Hradec Králové and Pardubice.

From the party work in the counties and townships:
1. The regional committee of the CPCz in Karlovy Vary is still concentrating its efforts on solving mainly economic problems at the expense of party-political problems.
2. A solution to the situation in Motorlet in Velesín, township of Kaplice.

Reception of the resolution of the government of the GDR and the events in Berlin

As evidenced from further reports sent from the regions of Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, Hradec Králové, Brno and Banská Bystrica, a large segment of our workers has correctly grasped the resolution and the measures of the government of the GDR and understands the situation as being a provocation on the part of the Americans. Nowhere did it result in a provocation [sic]. Only the kulaks, former merchants and entrepreneurs are spreading various rumors: that their property will be returned to them, that similar measures will be undertaken here, that workers who oppose the Red Army are being shot in Berlin, that there is martial law in Berlin, etc.

In the village of Chudolazy, Roudnice district, Ústí nad Labem region, three members of a cooperative lodged a statement from the JZD [Standard Farming Cooperative]. According to the reports of the regional committee of the CPCz in Roudnice, several citizens from Prague have houses in Chudolazy and neighboring villages, and influence individual cooperative members with their speeches.

In the township of Bílina, Ústí region, it is mainly people hit by the currency reform who are spreading various “Radio Free Europe” reports, but on the whole they are not garnering either a response or support from the workers.
In the iron foundry Ruvodol, Liberec region, furnace expert and party member Comrade Karel Holina recommended to the factory organization that they abstain from strengthening factory norms on the basis of the international situation.
In the CSD [Czechoslovak State Railways] workshops in Liberec, sergeant Kopta announced that the measures being taken in the GDR are stealing from the workers just like the currency reform back home.

The GDR government resolution left some comrades and especially citizens of German nationality with some uncertainties. In the Jablonec glass works in Desná three German nationals did not report to work, but went drinking in a tavern. At 2 they came to the factory and one of them, Petrásek, rudely abused master Korbelár. A complaint has been filed against him.

On Friday, 19 June, German nationals gathered in small groups or in private apartments in all the districts of the Liberec region. Even if it cannot be said that it was a massive campaign, these groups and meetings caught the attention of the local citizens.

In Raspenava, Frýdlant region, where tuning into enemy broadcasts is particularly pronounced and gatherings of German nationals occur in even greater measure, the attempt of these citizens to create an independent German school made itself known on Tuesday, 16 June. After an explanation at the initiative of the German Gietzová, several Germans provocatively left the room where the affair was being discussed.

In the villages of Vratislavice, Lestkov, Vselibice, Vyske? and Újezd pod Troskami and in the Semínova Lhota community several cooperative members lodged statements from the JZD.

In the village of Rychnov nad Kneznou, Hradec Králové region, the farmers are saying that in the GDR it was not about reparations, but about a fundamental reversal in GDR politics.

In the factory Tepna 01 in Náchod it was said that the Red Army is putting down rebellions in the GDR and is continuing westward.

In Broumov on the town square a paper American flag was glued to the glass of a display case during the night of the 17th to the 18th of June.

The majority of German workers in the Jan Sverma mine in Zaclér took a positive view of the measures in the GDR.
In the CSD station in Zarnovice, Banská Bystrica region, an unidentified man telephoned Comrade Kacera during the night hours of his shift, and threatened him with disclosure of the events in the GDR. In connection with the distribution of various reports on the events in the GDR, even reports of strikes in Ostrava and the CSAD [Czechoslovak Bus and Road Haulage Company] chauffeurs’ frustration with wage payments in the first half of May are being spread.
Party organs in all regions are following the reception of the resolution of the government of the GDR and the events in Berlin, and are answering any unclear questions.

In all, it is possible to say that the GDR government resolution and the events in Berlin did not in any way shake the working resolve of our working people. Among the ranks of the workers there was neither reception nor support for the dissemination of false reports about how similar steps must be taken in our country, etc. Only a few farmers and citizens of German nationality let themselves be carried away and succumb to panic. They are, however, only individuals and the party and state organs will devote more attention to them. Former entrepreneurs, kulaks and those otherwise afflicted are rejoicing once more and are hoping for the return of their businesses and enterprises. Their efforts are most often met with opposition from the workers.