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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • February 11, 1953

    State Department Views of Radio Liberty Broadcasting

    The State Department comments on the January 22, 1953 CIA paper ["Radio Liberty Editorial Policies Defined"], raising the issue of likely restraints from West Germany when it regains sovereignty.

  • July 14, 1953

    Letter from President Eisenhower to Field Marshall Montgomery of Alamein

    In a personal letter to the Field Marshall regarding to his assumptions made in a memoranda, President Eisenhower presents an opposing view that the successful integration of West Germany into Western Europe would increase pressure within East Germany for reunification.

  • October 27, 1954

    Memorandum of Conversation with British, French, and German Embassy Officials, 'German Atomic Energy Program'

    In this meeting, Werner Heisenberg, a key figure in Nazi Germany’s atomic bomb project, reaffirmed the West German commitment not to manufacture atomic weapons to a group of U.S., British, and French officials in Washington.

  • November 21, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation, Private Conversations Between the President and Chancellor Adenauer, 'Germany'

    The ongoing crisis over West Berlin brought Adenauer to Washington for talks on strategy, diplomacy, and contingency planning. During this discussion, Kennedy wanted to determine where the Chancellor stood on the nuclear questions, specifically whether his government would continue to observe the 1954 declaration renouncing the production of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

  • October 22, 1962

    Cable from Federal Republic of Germany Embassy, Washington (Knappstein)

    An analysis of American decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the economic blockade, as well as of American perceptions of Soviet intentions during that time period, by the West German Ambassador to the United States.

  • October 23, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation, Federal Republic of Germany Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Dean Acheson, Special Envoy of US President Kennedy, Bonn, West Germany

    A conversation between Federal Chancellor Adenauer with the Special Adviser of the U.S. President, Acheson. They discuss plans to destabilize the Cuban regime by domestic unrest, how the missile bases in Cuba should be destroyed, Russian soldiers stationed in Cuba and the lasting impact of the Bay of Pigs landing.

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable from Federal Republic of Germany Embassy, Washington (Knappstein)

    West German Ambassador Karl-Heinrich Knappstein in Washington, D.C. sends a report to Federal Minister Schröder about the Cuban crisis situation in both military and political terms. He discusses the presence of both American and Soviet submarines and aircraft in Cuba. He also discusses several of the diplomatic meetings that have taken place regarding the Cuban crisis - between Kennedy, Khrushchev, Rusk and others.

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable from Federal Republic of Germany Embassy, Washington (Knappstein)

    A cable from the West German Embassy in Washington, D.C. discussing the threat to American security posed by an "offensive" Soviet base in Cuba, insights provided by recent intelligence, the purpose and the impact of the American blockade of Cuba, negotiations that have taken place at the United Nations, Soviet intentions during the Cuban crisis and, finally, a comparison of Cuba to the situation in Berlin.

  • October 28, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation, Federal Republic of Germany Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and US Ambassador Walter Dowling, Rhöndorf, West Germany

    In preparation for an upcoming NATO Council meeting, the US and West German representatives discuss the current situation in Cuba - the developments of Soviet missile bases thus far, the United Nations negotiations in process, talks (letters) between Kennedy and Khrushchev, American surveillance planes coming under fire, and Soviet ships approaching the blockade line. Giving these circumstances, they feel the United States will perhaps feel compelled to resort to military action shortly.

  • November 14, 1962

    West German Record of One-on-One Conversation between FRG Chancellor Adenauer and US President Kennedy, Washington

    F.R.G. Chancellor Adenauer and U.S. President Kennedy discuss the Cuban crisis and the sense they both have that the situation is not yet entirely resolved. "The President indicates that one never knows what’s going on in the Soviets’ heads. The Americans never thought that the Soviets would dare bring missiles to Cuba and the Soviets never thought that the Americans would react so decisively. Both sides had false ideas about each other…"

  • February 27, 1963

    President Kennedy to Honorable William Tyler [Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs] and Honorable Paul Nitze [Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs]

    In a memorandum to senior officials at the Departments of Defense and State, President Kennedy expressed doubts over whether West Germany would abide by the non-nuclear weapons commitment that West German Chancellor Adenauer had made in 1954. Also mentioned in the memorandum is Kennedy's description of a meeting with West German defense minister Kai-Uwe von Hassell to discuss these concerns; von Hassell assured the President that West Germany would not go on any "nuclear adventures."

  • May 25, 1963

    Under Secretary of State George Ball to President Kennedy, 'Policy Recommendations: NSAM 241 - French Gaseous Diffusion Plant'

    In this memorandum, Under Secretary Ball recommended making a greater effort to find more information about German or Italian interest in financial and other kinds of support for the Pierrelatte plant. Ball also suggested that Washington minimize German interest in acquiring nuclear fuel from non-US sources by making “assurances of a long-term supply of cheap nuclear fuel for peaceful uses."

  • May 29, 1963

    Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs William Tyler to Secretary of State Rusk, 'Rumored Secret Military Annex to Franco-German Treaty' with Attachment on Same Subject

    In this document, Assistant Secretary to European Affairs, William Tyler, discussed the State Department's request to the US Embassy to ask the West German government whether there was an arrangement in the French-German Friendship Treaty that included a secret annex on military and nuclear cooperation.

  • June 11, 1963

    A.A. Wells, Director of Office of International Affairs, AEC, to Dr. Ragnar Rollefson, Director, Office of International Scientific Affairs, 'Reported Franco-German Cooperation in Development of the French Gaseous Diffusion Efforts'

    In this memorandum, Wells reported on comments that West German Minister for Scientific Research Hans Lenz made during a meeting at the Atomic Energy Convention. Noting that West Germany had been holding talks with the French and EURATOM about building a reprocessing plant at Karlsruhe, Lenz “implied that this proposal quite likely had resulted in reports that Germany might be undertaking a cooperative program with France in the development of their gaseous diffusion plant at Pierrelatte.” Lenz then reaffirmed West Germany's commitment to the 1955 Brussels Treaty pledge, declaring that West Germany would not initiate action to develop military applications of atomic energy.

  • August 02, 1963

    US Embassy Bonn Airgram A-250 to State Department, 'Secretary McNamara’s Conversation with Chancellor Adenauer'

    In this conversation, Chancellor Adenauer and Secretary McNamara discussed the West Germans signing the U.S. proposed Limited Test Ban Treaty, which Adenauer felt would be a "success" for the Soviets. Adenauer worried that signing the same documents as the Soviets would recognize the Soviet Occupied Zone.

  • June 04, 1965

    Memorandum of Conversation with West German chancellor Ludwig Erhard, 'Nuclear Matters'

    In this conversation, Erhard mentioned a briefing by McNamara that detailed U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in the Federal Republic. After Erhard wished that the numbers could be publicly disclosed, Ambassador George McGhee observed that it was “often overlooked that Germany was actually the third largest nuclear country in the world.”

  • October 20, 1965

    US Embassy to West Germany, Memorandum, 'German Attitudes on Nuclear Defense Questions'

    In this memorandum, an unnamed official at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn analyzed various West German nuclear and non-nuclear alternatives in the event of failure of the proposals for collective nuclear defense arrangements. An independent nuclear capability was ruled out as an alternative because “no responsible political leader in Germany of any party, any known private group, or any discernible body of Garman opinion … considers it desirable.”

  • October 27, 1965

    'The Danger from a Psychotic Germany,' Appendix to 'The Case for a Strong American Lead to Establish a Collective Nuclear System That Would Help the Western World from Repeating an Old Mistake,' attached to George W. Ball to Secretary Rusk, et al.

    Under Secretary George W. Ball signed off on a fervent expression of his apprehensions about the direction of West German policy should the West fail to establish an MLF leading Bonn to feel “rejection and discrimination.” Ball saw three bad possibilities: a national nuclear program, a French-German nuclear deal, or “the real danger, a German political adventure.”

  • April 28, 1966

    National Intelligence Estimate 23-66, 'West German Capabilities and Intentions to Produce and Deploy Nuclear Weapons,' excised copy

    This NIE estimated that within two years Bonn could produce enough fissile material to produce a nuclear weapon, but only by violating safeguards on its nuclear facilities.The estimators, nevertheless, believed that Bonn “will probably want to keep open what options it has for the eventual production of nuclear weapons.”

  • July 01, 1966

    Memorandum of Conversation between William C. Foster, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and Karl Carstens, State Secretary at the West German Foreign Office, 'Disarmament and Related Problems'

    In this conversation, West German State Secretary Karl Carstens told ACDA director William C. Foster that Bonn was still committed to a “hardware” solution, “if not in the form of an MLF than in some form.” Refraining from making any commitment, Foster wanted to leave the question “open.”