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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • March 11, 1953

    Memorandum of Discussion at the 136th Meeting of the National Security Council

    The US National Security Council discusses the effect that Stalin’s death had on Soviet policy and on Communist Parties outside of the USSR, as well as the opportunity it provided the US to use Stalin’s death in a psychological strategy to influence the Soviets. The Council also discusses the possibility of negotiations for a settlement with the Soviets in Korea.

  • May 18, 1953

    Memorandum from General Vasilii Chuikov, Pavel Yudin, and Ivan Il'ichev to Georgii Malenkov Critically Assessing the Situation in the GDR

    The Soviet Control Commission in Germany reports statistics and a detailed assessment to Malenkov, analyzing the migration of the East German population to West Germany. It also includes proposals for implementing measures to prevent further departure from the GDR.

  • May 29, 1953

    CIA Report Evaluating Vladimir Semyonov’s Appointment as Soviet High Commissioner for Germany

    A CIA report presents an analysis of the dissolution of the Soviet Control Commission (SCC) and the return of V.S. Semyonov to Germany as the Soviet High Commissioner for Germany.

  • May 29, 1953

    Cable from Ambassador Charles Bohlen to John Foster Dulles regarding Transfer of Soviet Control in East Germany to Soviet High Commissioner Vladimir Semyonov

    Bohlen informs Dulles of the transfer of Soviet Control in East Germany, which does not yet provide much indication of future Soviet policy in East Germany except the solidification of East Germany's continued existence under the control of the USSR.

  • June 02, 1953

    Cable from Major General Wilton B. Persons to Col. Robert L. Schulz Explaining the Department of State’s Views on the New Course

    The U.S. state department comments on East German announcement to ease government policies following the East German Uprising. They believe the Soviet Union intends to compromise with Western powers on Germany before the rearmament of the Federal Republic through the European Defense Community plan.

  • June 17, 1953

    Cable from Cecil Lyon to the State Department Reporting on Afternoon Meeting of the Western Commandants, 9:00 p.m. (CET)

    Lyon reports developments in Berlin and measures taken by the British, French, and American CDT’s to maintain order in West Berlin. decision to restrain the use of Allied military forces unless a widespread disturbance occurs in the West.

  • June 18, 1953

    Report from A. Grechko and Tarasov to N.A. Bulganin, 2:30 p.m.

    The authors state that Berlin was calm, but there were a few demonstrations in some smaller GDR cities. The authors referred to military intelligence information according to which the US 7th Army and the 12th Air Force Army were put on alert in the US zone at 5.30 a.m. on June 18. But the alert state for the 7th Army was canceled after three hours.

  • June 18, 1953

    Report from Andrei Grechko and A. Tarasov in Berlin to Nikolai Bulganin, 1:00 p.m.

    Grechko and Tarasov report on the calm state of Berlin. Some attempted riots and demonstrations have occurred in other cities throughout the GDR, but have been suppressed by the Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany. Intelligence information suggests that US forces have been put on alert at this time.

  • June 18, 1953

    Telegram from Cecil Lyon to John Foster Dulles, Reporting on Developments in Berlin

    In a telegram following the recent uprising in East Germany, Lyon reports from Berlin that there is currently no reported action in East Berlin, and the inner city is now completely controlled by Soviet troops and police with orders that no one may enter or leave the Soviet sector.

  • June 18, 1953

    Report, Anton Plenikowski, 'Events in the Apparatus of the Local Government Agencies'

    Plenikowski reports on municipal councils and local officials who participated in the uprising.

  • June 18, 1953

    Report from A. Grechko and Tarasov to N.A. Bulganin, 8:00 a.m

    Soviet General, Tarasov, reports on the situation in the GDR and in the city of Berlin on the morning of 18 June, 1953. He primarily discusses the location and movements of sectors of the Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany.

  • 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 19, 1953

    CIA Current Intelligence Digest 'Comment on Berlin Rioting'

    According to the CIA report, as of the 19th of June, the situation in East Berlin has been repressed by Soviet troops and the East German police, and inter-sector traffic is strictly controlled. However, in other areas of East Germany, strikes and disturbances are still being reported.

  • June 19, 1953

    National Security Council Report, NSC 158, 'United States Objectives and Actions to Exploit the Unrest in the Satellite States'

    Recommendations adopted by the National Security Council at the suggestion of the Psychological Strategy Board on covert actions to be undertaken in the Soviet Satellite States. Authorized by the National Security Council, NSC 158 envisaged aggressive psychological warfare to exploit and heighten the unrest behind the Iron Curtain. The policy was endorsed by President Eisenhower on June 26, 1953.

  • June 19, 1953

    CPCz Information Bulletin on Czechoslovak Reaction to the Events in East Germany

    The Czechoslovak Communist Party reports the reaction of the Czechoslovak public to the recent East German Uprising. Regional and demographic differences are discussed.

  • June 19, 1953

    Minutes of Discussion at the 150th Meeting of the National Security Council, 18 June 1953

    The US National Security Council discusses recent release of prisoners of war in South Korea. The riots and disturbances in East Germany and Czechoslovakia are discussed in the context of the general “softening” of Soviet policy. The Council also discusses the possibility of a four-power meeting, and other alternative courses of action.

  • June 20, 1953

    Special Report No. 2 of the WUBP in Wroclaw (Poland), Regarding Spillover from Events in Berlin

    Polish repercussions following the recent East German Uprising are reported, including hostile public opinions by “ethnic Germans” towards the GDR government and the Soviets. It is noted that hostile commentaries often cite “imperialist radio broadcasts” as a source of information.

  • June 21, 1953

    Diary Entry from US HICOG James B. Conant on the Effects of East Zone Troubles on Russian Policy

    Conant briefly speculates over possible complications with Russian policy as a result of the East German Uprising.

  • June 21, 1953

    Memorandum from Karl Schirdewan to First Secretaries of the District Leadership of the SED

    Schirdewan orders the First Secretaries of the District Leadership of the SED to employ party members to seek out personal conversations and inquiries with individuals in the GDR after the East German Uprising. He provides specific questions for Party members to ask, in order to determine the temperament of the workers towards the GDR government and suggestions for improvement.

  • June 21, 1953

    CIA Current Intelligence Bulletin on Comments by Charles Bohlen and the Deployment of Soviet Troops

    Charles Bohlen, ambassador to the Soviet Union, speculates on liberalization reforms in East Germany and their potential impact on Soviet leadership and the reaction of other Satellite nations, following the East German uprising.