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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • May 06, 1953

    Memorandum from Lavrentiy Beria to the CPSU CC Presidium regarding Mass Defections from the GDR, 6 May 1953

    Excerpt of a memorandum from Lavrentiy Beria to the CPSU CC Presidium regarding mass defections from the GDR. By early May 1953, declining conditions in the GDR finally started to draw the attention of the Soviet leadership. Lavrentiy Beria’s 6 May report to the CPSU Presidium is one of the first high-level documents to reflect concerns about the situation, in particular the increased flight of farmers and small businessmen brought about by the forced socialization policy. Beria may have been prompted to submit this report by the discussion of the German issue at a CPSU Presidium meeting on 5 May.

  • May 07, 1953

    Report on Disturbances at the Tobacco Depot in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

    Report on the disturbances at the Plovdiv Tabacco depot on 4 May 1953 following job cuts at the plant.

  • May 08, 1953

    USSR Foreign Ministry Draft Memorandum, 'On Further Soviet Government Measures Pertaining to the German Question'

    Memorandum from the Soviet Foreign Affairs Ministry on Soviet foreign policy options with regard to the German Question. The memorandum looks at the effects on Soviet policy toward the western powers in the context of the Postdam conference and at the future state of the Soviet-East German relations.

  • May 11, 1953

    Telegram to V.M. Molotov from Beijing from the USSR Ambassador to the PRC, V.V. Kuznetsov

    Results of a conversation with Mao Zedong, on 11 May 1953, regarding the falsification of evidence proving US use of biological weapons.

  • 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.

  • May 17, 1953

    Memorandum from the Chairman of the Party Control Commission Shkiriatov to G.M. Malenkov about the Results of the Party Investigation of the Actions of the Former Minister of State Security of the USSR S.D. Ignatiev

    The results of the party investigation of the duplicitous actions of the former minister of State Security of the USSR S.D. Ignatiev in connection with the report of the former advisers to MOB and MVD DPRK, Cdes. Glukhov and Smirnov; calls for dismissal of Ignatiev from the CPSU.

  • May 18, 1953

    CIA Criticizes American Committee for Liberation Policies

    Dana Durand, chief of the CIA/DDP SR Division, now responsible for the Radio Liberty project, concludes that efforts to unify the Russian emigration have become counterproductive, that RL broadcasting should be separated from émigré politics, and that AMCOMLIB president Leslie Stevens is too wedded to the old approach to continue in office.

  • 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 23, 1953

    Letter by United Nations Commander Mark W. Clark to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Solving the Prisoner of War Issue

    General Clark relays to the US Joint Chiefs of Staff the terms of the United Nations proposal to repatriate prisoners of war captured during the conflict in Korea. The agreement grants prisoners the right to refuse to be repatriated.

  • May 24, 1953

    Sample Plan for the Draft Response to the Notes of the Three Powers

    Unhappy with the call for a conference in Lugano, this plan outlines several points that should be taken into consideration when drafting the official response including the Soviet awareness that any lack of results from this conference would result in blame being placed on the Soviet state and the dismissal of questions raised by the Soviet government in prior correspondence. The Soviets conclude that they should arrange the program of the conference in order to maximize the conferences effectiveness in resolving lingering post-war problems.

  • May 27, 1953

    Telegram from Abdallah Mubarak al Sabbah

  • May 27, 1953

    About the Situation in Yugoslavia and its Foreign Policy

    M. Zimianin reports to Molotov on the internal and foreign policy of Yugoslavia after breaking with the USSR.

  • May 28, 1953

    Record of Molotov's Conversation with US Ambassador Bohlen

    Molotov and Bohlen discussed the US government's recent proposal to the Delegation of the United Nations.

  • 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 01, 1953

    Telegram from the USSR Charge d’Affaires in the DPRK, S.P. Suzdalev to V.M. Molotov

    North Korea’s response to Soviets about falsification of evidence concerning American use of biological weapons.

  • June 02, 1953

    Otto Grotewohl’s Notes on Meetings between East German and Soviet Leaders in Moscow

    Consulations between Soviet and GDR leaders to improve the economic situation in GDR

  • June 02, 1953

    Decision of the Party Control Commission of the CPSU CC regarding Comrade S.D. Ignatiev

    Ignatiev’s dismissal from the CPSU

  • June 02, 1953

    Decision of the Party Control Commission of the CPSU CC regarding Comrade S.D. Ignatiev

    A report describing the decision to revoke the CPSU party membership of S.D. Ignatiev.

  • 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.