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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • January 31, 1947

    Meeting Friday in Moscow with Stalin

    Stalin meets with a German delegation to discuss economic conditions in Germany as well as to discuss the political situation in Soviet occupied territory.

  • December 18, 1948

    Result of the 4-hour Meeting with Wilhelm Pieck, Walter Ulbricht, Otto Grotewohl, Fred Oelsne, and Stalin

    Stalin meets with German officials to discuss various aspects of the post-war German economy and government.

  • April 30, 1953

    Cable from N. Spencer Barnes to US Department of State Reviewing Developments in the GDR since Stalin’s Death

    Barnes analyzes developments within the GDR following Stalin’s death. Although there was an initial period of confusion within the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany), it has been confirmed that Ulbricht is now directing SED and is continuing to implement socialization policy, though perhaps less dramatically than in the past. Barnes suggests that the Soviets may also be striving, to some extent, to decrease zonal tension.

  • May 15, 1953

    Memorandum from the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs to Vladimir Semyonov, 'On the Question of Preventing the Defection of Inhabitants from the GDR to West Germany'

    The large-scale migration of GDR’s population to West Germany is becoming a major issue in Germany. The SCC in Germany, the SED, and GDR government discuss and outline measures for preventing this defection in the future.

  • June 18, 1953

    CIA Current Intelligence Review Analyzing the Communist 'New Look in East Germany' and 'Recent Unrest in Eastern Europe'

    A CIA report discusses new policy modification in East Germany following the East German Uprising. It is reported that measures are being taken by the regime to relieve political and economic tension and to improve the quality of life in East Germany. This includes shifting the some of the production of heavy machinery to the production of consumer goods. The report also reviews details on recent social unrest in Eastern Europe.

  • June 24, 1953

    Report from Vasilii Sokolovskii, Vladimir Semyonov, and Pavel Yudin, 'On the Events of 17-19 June 1953 in Berlin and the GDR and Certain Conclusions from these Events'

    The authors accuse "fascist and other organizations, working primarily under the leadership of American intelligence," to be responsible for the uprisings in Berlin and other GDR cities. The authors stated that "Adenauer intended to exploit this disenchantment to strengthen his position before the upcoming Bundestag elections in August-September of this year." The CC SED is accused having not paid attention to short-lived strikes in early June. According to the authors "the events in Berlin on 16-19 June were completely unexpected to the leadership of GDR". Finally the authors drew a few conclusions and gave some recommendations "in order to correct the situation in the GDR."

  • July 04, 1953

    Memorandum from Vladimir Semyonov and Pavel Yudin to Vyacheslav Molotov Regarding Inter-Zonal Movement in Berlin

    SED CC Politburo requests to resume movement across the sector border between East and West Berlin. This report includes step-by-step instructions in how this could be implemented.

  • July 09, 1953

    Memorandum from Georgi Pushkin to Andrei Vyshinskii Regarding Proposals Made by Semyonov, Sokolovskii, and Yudin

    This memorandum outlines proposals for measures that should be taken in order to implement a new political course in the GDR, with a focus on economic development and increased standard of living.

  • August 08, 1953

    Conclusion from Reports of the SED District Leadership from 7 August 1953

    The SED District leadership reports on the public opinion towards the New Course of the Party and Government. One of the most significant challenges stated is the public dissatisfaction towards the coal and energy supply.

  • July 18, 1967

    Memorandum on a Meeting with a Delegation from the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK on 3 July 1967

    A memorandum of conversation between Ri Yeong-ho and Hermann Matern in which two discuss bilateral relations, East Germany's domestic and foreign policy, North Korea's foreign policy, incidents in the Demilitarized Zone, and North Korea's military policy.

  • June 08, 1989

    Assessment Paper by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, '[Excerpt] Eastern Europe; Current Assessment'

    The paper addresses the change in economics, politics, and social structures in the Soviet bloc (Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the GDR) as a result of the USSR loosening up regulations.

  • October 12, 1989

    Assessment Paper by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, '[Excerpt] Eastern Europe; General Assessment'

    The Assessment Paper outlines new change is Eastern Europe, mostly surrounding political and economic diversification, following Gorabachev's leadership in the USSR. The report then evaluates the GDR's economy, emigration, and anticipated political changes in light of the new geopolitical climate.

  • November 11, 1989

    Record of Telephone Conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and Chancellor of the FRG Helmut Kohl. Moscow-Bonn.

    Gorbachev and Kohl discuss reforms in the GDR to stabilize the situation and to decrease the number of people crossing the border.

  • November 24, 1989

    Memorandum of Conversation Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky and East German Prime Minister Hans Modrow, East-Berlin

    The conversation details various changes needed in the GDR, including within the economy, electoral law, and foreign relations. They further discuss Austria's role in the two German states.