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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 17, 1952

NOTES OF S. RADHAKRISHNAN’S MEETING WITH THE EAST GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Radhakrishnan speaks, unofficially, with Wilhelm Pieck. Radhakrishna asks the GDR about the prospect of German reunificaition, and the GDR responds that it is open to this possibility, but criticizes the involvement of "Western imperialists" with West Germany politicians as a main factor preventing reunification.
    "Notes of S. Radhakrishnan’s Meeting with the East German Foreign Minister," October 17, 1952, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SAPMO-BA, NY 4090/493, p. 4-5. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119266
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In early October, the [GDR Foreign] Minister received a message through private channels that the Indian Military Mission wanted to discuss options for a meeting between the Indian Vice President, Mr. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, and the president of the German Democratic Republic. The author of this letter wanted to note a significant Indian interest in developing trade relations. The meeting proposed, the letter said, would result in concrete conclusions for the relationship between India and the German Democratic Republic.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs first responded through the author of the above-mentioned letter, but later it communicated directly with the Indian Military Mission. From our German side, we stated that an unofficial audience was to be granted in case Dr. Radhakrishnan had an according desire to meet with the president of the German Democratic Republic.

On 7 October 1952, the president of the German Democratic Republic granted the desired audience to the vice president of India. Mr. Radhakrishnan talked primarily about the issue of how to bring about Germany’s unity. He attempted to explore which “patent solution” is going to be proposed by the president of the German Democratic Republic. The response by the president repeated the publicly known proposals of the German Democratic Republic’s government, and he also referred the vice president to the most recent steps undertaken by the German Democratic Republic towards Bonn. Dr. Radhakrishnan was informed that the president of the German Democratic Republic supports an early reunification of Germany on a democratic and peace-loving basis. Unfortunately, the Western imperialists undermine the unity of the German fatherland with the support of German politicians in West Germany. After the German side moved the conversation to Indian affairs, like for instance the Kashmir question, the meeting soon came to a close.

Mr. Dr. Radhakrishnan was accompanied by Mr. Dutt, head of the Indian Military Mission and ambassador to the Bonn Government, and by Mr. Menon the 2nd Secretary of the Indian Military Mission. From the German side, State Secretary Winzer and State Secretary Opitz, Main Department Head Florin, and an interpreter were present.

Berlin, 17 October 1952