September 8, 1956

GERMANY-UNIFICATION: London, 7 – The West German government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer has asked Moscow and the three Western powers (the USA, UK and France) to enter into negotiations on the unification of Germany (the Federal Republic and German Democratic Republic) through free elections. Bonn is appealing solely to Moscow, which it is trying to convince (in a lengthy memorandum) that a unified, democratic Germany would pose no military threat to the USSR. The reply, however, came immediately from the Soviet government. The deputy to the Russian foreign minister, Andrei Gromyko, who received the German ambassador, told him that the «remilitarization of (Western) Germany and its abolition of rights and liberties makes the unification of Germany impossible.» (…) Mr Gromyko was obviously referring to the ban on a communist party in West Germany… The Foreign Office spokesman’s comment on the German announcement said, «There can be no real peace and security in Europe as along as the unjust division of Germany continues.»