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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 17, 1953

REPORT FROM A. GRECHKO AND TARASOV IN BERLIN TO N.A. BULGANIN, 6:30 P.M.

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    In the Soviets' view the situation in Berlin was improving as the principal gorvernment buildings were safe and were guarded by Soviet forces. Martial law has been declared in Magdeburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Halle, Goerlitz, and Brandenburg.
    "Report from A. Grechko and Tarasov in Berlin to N.A. Bulganin, 6:30 p.m.," June 17, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AGSh, f. 16, op. 3139, d. 155, ll. 8-9. Provided and translated by Viktor Gobarev. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113123
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OPERATIONS DIVISION,
MAIN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION,
GENERAL STAFF OF THE SOVIET ARMY

Top Secret
Copy #6

To Comrade BULGANIN, N.A.

The situation in Berlin is improving. The principal government buildings, such as the one occupied by the Council of the Ministers, by the Central Committee of the Socialist United Party of Germany, and the police headquarters, are safe and guarded by our forces. The major districts of the Soviet sector of Berlin are under the control of our forces.

According to preliminary data, forty-six active instigators were arrested. The situation at the buildings occupied by the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and the government is peaceful.

All the roads on the way to these buildings are blocked by our troops, tanks, artillery. The tanks and armored personnel carriers finish dispersing the demonstrators. Some demonstrators are leaving the columns and hiding themselves along the streets. Some three thousand demonstrators are gathering at Friedrichsstra=DFe in the American Sector of Berlin. Demonstrators have cried out anti-government slogans, demanded the immediate resignation of the present Government of the German Democratic Republic, and asked to decrease prices by 40%, to protect those on strike, to liquidate the [East] German armed forces and the People's Police, to regain the territories of Germany that were given to Poland, as well as other anti-Soviet slogans.

Martial law was introduced in the Soviet Sector of Berlin at 1:00 p.m. on 17 June, local time.

The 2nd Mechanized [Soviet] Army, consisting of the 1st and the 14th mechanized divisions and the 12th tank division, was brought into Berlin to restore complete order in the city by 9:00 p.m. on 17 June.

The units of the above divisions will be reaching the outskirts of the city.
The members of the GDR Government have been evacuated from the dangerous areas and are in comrade Semenov's residence.

With the intention to restore public order and terminate the anti-government demonstrations which have occurred, martial law has been declared in Magdeburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Halle, Goerlitz, and Brandenburg.
Today, at 2:00 p.m., local time, a declaration was issued by the Government of the German Democratic Republic to the German people which explained the nature of the events that have taken place and called for unity and opposition to the fascist and reactionary elements.

GRECHKO [and] TARASOV

Received on telephone by Lieutenant-Colonel N. PAVLOVSKY

17 June 1953, 6.30 p.m.