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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 08, 1953

TELEGRAM NO. 362 FROM F. MOLOCHKOV TO V. M. MOLOTOV

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    The correspondence from Molochkov at the USSR Mission in Switzerland to USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs Molotov addresses the growing concern of the representation of East and West Germany as two independent states in international organizations.
    "Telegram No. 362 from F. Molochkov to V. M. Molotov," June 08, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, fond 082, opis 41, portfel 18, papka 271, listy 85-90; translated for CWIHP by Daniel Rozas. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121066
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Secret. Copy #1

USSR MISSION IN SWITZERLAND Outgoing #362
BERN 8 June 1953

TO USSR MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

comrade V. M. Molotov

I believe it is necessary to inform you of the following:

During the past two months, international conferences have been held in Switzerland, during which there were discussions to one extent or another of the question of concurrent participation in these conferences and, consequently, in corresponding international organizations by the German Democratic Republic and West Germany as separate and independent states.  It seems to me that recognition of the GDR and West Germany’s rights to be represented at international organizations as two separate states reinforces within the international arena the division of Germany into two parts and contradicts the decisions of the Potsdam conference, according to which, despite the presence of different occupied zones, Germany must be regarded as a single economic and political whole.

However, the positions of the GDR and our delegations on this question are not consistent with this.  Thus, for example, in April of this year, the GDR delegation to the International Railroad Union meeting in Bern brought with them a draft protocol which provided for the admission (more precisely, inclusion in the Convention) of the GDR and West Germany to the aforementioned Union on even terms.  Concurrently, I had received telegraph instructions that the delegations of people’s democratic nations must support the admission of the GDR into the International Railroad Union with rights equal to West Germany.   

In late May of this year, a USSR sports delegation (headed by com. K. V. Krupin) arrived in Switzerland in order to participate at the International Conference of the Union of Amateur Rowing.  In accordance with the instructions, our delegation inquired at this conference as to the reasons for not examining the application of the corresponding GDR sports organization for its acceptance to the International Union of Amateur Rowing.  West Germany is already a member of this Union.

At the Conference of Trade Experts of the European Economic Commission that took place in Geneva in April of this year, East and West German experts participated as members of independent delegations.  

These examples are not of equal importance.  However, our point of view was the same, both with respect to GDR’s participation in the International Railroad Union, as well as its participation in the International Specialized Sports Union.  Its application to other international organizations, i.e. the expansion of the above examples, may lead to a situation where the practical line regarding the concurrent participation of the GDR and West Germany in international organizations will, in my opinion, bring harm to our defended principle of a single Germany, adopted at the Potsdam conference.

It is possible that I am not taking into account some reasons which determine our practical line on the matter in question.  However, the clarification of this problem is of operational importance to me, since the USSR delegations arriving at the international conferences in Switzerland turn to the Mission for assistance in realizing their centrally-received directives on questions concerning the GDR.  Thus, for example, the head of our delegation to the Conference of Trade Experts, com. Bakhtov, having received instructions to regard the GDR delegation as independent, did not know how to act on a number of questions.  No answer had been received to the inquiry sent to the center.  A few questions arose during the conference of the International Railroad Union.

ENVOY - [signature]

(F. MOLOCHKOV)