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December 15, 2016
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September 8, 2003
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July 8, 1953
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Approved F 25X1 NSC Briefing 8 July 1953 To turn now to Germany and the implication of recent events. 25X1 has prepared an analysis 25X1 25X1 of the East German uprisings based on all information available Since the full facts of the situation are still not known, this is not a final analysis. Nevertheless, it strikes me as valuable as the best possible estimate to date The uprising in the East zone began on 16 June as an appar- ently spontaneous, small-scale movement launched by the working class. It appears that the East German regime winked at the early stages of the development. The uprising grew in size strators. DnCUhIEN+ NO. -____ NO c I IANG,_ IN c A ~.,. M TS 's C 2010 71:3 _ nr- v GPITE: State Department review completed AUi tip~ ~~Ht-01) DA-ifr.l= _-REVIEGNER: I 25X1 25X1 25X1 Approved 1or Release 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R0089 as other segments of the population joined the original demon- 25X1 During the early stages, the intervention of the East German People's Police was sporadic and half-hearted, and was successful only where backed by Soviet military might. Soviet intervention reflected a swift appraisal that the situation was getting out of control. It also indicated a definite lack of trust in the'ef- fectiveness of the People's Police. The situation which developed rapidly was potentially rev- olutionary. It was generally based on widespread popular hatred of the SED functionaries, the managerial bureaucracy and the organs of repression. A number of additional factors seem to account for the explosion of feeling at this time: A. The ten percent raise In production norms was only the last straw. It inflamed the prevalent bitterness over drastically reduced living standards under the SED economic program. The repressive measures accom- panying this program had caused large-scale desertions from the East zone. A further aggravation was-the food shortage and the chronic lack of consumer goods. Approved 25X1 Approved Fort Release 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R0089W00100060013-6 25X1 ' Appro A000100060013-6 B. The new course of conciliation announced by the East German Politburo on 9 June afforded enough respite for the uprising to get underway. The workers apparently felt that under the new line reprisals against them would be less severe. The SED leadership seemed con- fused and unable to chart a course for the workers -- so the workers took things into their own hands. The resulting large-scale uprisings were unquestionably spontaneous. Some of the local demonstrations, however, showed a remarkable degree of organization which suggested good mass discipline and ad hoc leadership by experienced tacticians. There was a visible pattern in most of these local uprisings,. First the news of the East Berlin strike, next declarations of solidarity, then strikes, and finally marches against such strongholds as SED headquarters, city halls, jails, and police installations. 25X1 Approve For Release 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R00890 Approved Foil It is believed that shop stewards and the revolutionary tradition of the German trade union movement played a vital role in providing leadership and unity. "New" Soviet methods of production had affronted the pride of the German worker and upset the accepted pattern of organization of the working class. East German developments have demonstrated that an uprising from below is possible, under certain circumstances, even in a Communist police state. The Kremlin faces the imperative neces- sity of forestalling similar developments in the Satellites, but.is loathe to admit the popular nature of the German up- risings. Consequently, Soviet propaganda insists that the riots in East Germany were engineered by outside agents who exploited "justified grievances" for their own ends. The "uprising from below" theme should be useful in psychological warfare against the USSR. The following points inevitably suggest themselves: Approved For felease 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R008904000100060013-6 25X1 Approved ~ A. SED authority is demonstrably based on Soviet bayonets. B. The SED not only does not have the support of the workers, but is an instrument for their repression. C. Soviet troops, "protectors of the workers," were used against them. D. Communism, far from being progressive as it claims, is reactionary in that it represses the revolution it claims to espouse. The riots in East Germany have created problems of great magnitude for the Kremlin. In the first place, Soviet capabil- ities there may have depreciated to the point where the Soviet leaders must question the value of East Germany as a base for an offensive against Western Europe. They must be gravely con- cerned over the security of their lines of communication through East Germany in the event they launch an attack. The Kremlin must fear that the morale of East German paramilitary and police forces would break under the impact of a major war, and that these instruments could not be trusted to maintain order in the Rp$YAM e - 00060013-6 25X1 ? Approved Fc The new economic policies of the SED run counter to the East German quest for economic self-sufficiency. If the SED policies are implemented, the build-up of heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods production will have to be scrapped. Emphasis must be placed on the farmers and consumer goods pro- ducers, but this will weaken the SED and in turn the Soviet hold over the East zone populace. The disclosure of the extreme hostility of the East Germans to the communist system may make the German Democratic Republic less useful to the Kremlin as a base for penetrating and sub- verting West Germany. The appeal of communism to the West Germans , never great, has now vanished. While Soviet unity appeals still carry some weight with the West German electorate, they no longer constitute a potent draw- ing card--this despite German socialist contentions that the riots prove the validity of their "unity before integration" policy. 25X1 Approved Fo Release - 00060013-6 25X1 Approved Fo In East Germany itself, it is now unlikely that the SED can muster popular support on a mass scale. Eventually it may have to be reduced to a mere cadre organization. However, reports that the East zone regime is about to be reorganized with the SED out and the bourgeois parties taking over appear to be highly wishful and premature. Moves which would bring the bourgeois parties more to the fore and give them an ostensible role in the government are, of course, possible. And it seems likely that an attempt will be made to broaden the popular base of the BED. The future position of Deputy Premier Ulbricht is uncertain. However, in the light of his present treatment in the East German press his continued influence seems assured. Despite the critical damage to the East German government's prestige it appears that the Kremlin has no other logical choice at present to maintaining the SED in power. To restore its authority, however, the USSR may be forced to compromise its 25X1 Approved For 9elease 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R00890A 00100060013-6 25X1 Approved Fo policy of concession by resorting to mass arrests. These actually have already begun. In general, however, the conciliatory course set earlier by the SED politburo will probably undergo no major change as a result of the uprising. But the concessions dictated by this.course should be recognized only as tactical detours. It is expected that the USSR will make every effort to restore order in East Germany before any four-power conference is proposed. At the moment, the Kremlin could not very well de- mand that SED representatives be present at such a conference. In preparation for the remote contingency that it may have to concede German unity on Western terms, the Kremlin will main- tain a covert nucleus of communist control within the East German bourgeois parties, as it probably would in any event. The long- range prospects for the success of this maneuver are not very bright, however. 25X1 Approved For Release 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R00890Ad00100060013-6 25X1 Approved F This analysis of the German situation deals ably with the most pressing and immed- iate problems confronting the Kremlin as a result of the riots in the East zone. The Soviet position in East Germany and the Kremlin?s entire German policy have sustained at least temporarily a paralyzing blow. The broader, and perhaps in the long run more serious, im- plications of the German developments for the Orbit as a whole are still unfolding. Germany highlights for the Kremlin the question whether an alien people can indefinitely be held by force alone o If, as an alternative to, force, a policy of con- cession be adopted, then can this be implemented without changing the basic character of the satellite regime and in the end for- feiting a serious measure of the control on which it depends? That is the dilemma, 25X1 25X1 Approved For ~elease 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R00890A~00100060013-6 25X1 Approved For Western press reports of large-scale demonstrations in Poland as an aftermath of the East German riots are denied by US embassy officials in Warsaw. They report that the situation is calm in Warsaw, and they noted no evidence of demonstrations or increased security precautions during trips through central, northern and southwestern Poland in late June. Similarly, reports of strikes and demonstrations throughout the other Satellites are unconfirmed and probably untrue. of the other Satellites is known to have taken additional security precautions. Folldwtng the riots in East Germany, the Hungarian, Albanian, and Rumanian governments announced concessions designed to im- prove living conditions and bolster morale. While the timing of these concessions may have been partially influenced by the 10 25X1 25X1 25X1 Approved For Felease 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R00890A000h00060013-6 25X1 Approved F events in East Germany, there is no evidence that a sudden worsening of the situation forced the changes. Moreover, the nature and extent of the Hungarian Party and government reorgan- ization, coinciding with the announced intent of the regime to slow down the tempo of socialization, appear to be more a reflect- ion of the Kremlin?s new conciliatory tactics, now applied to Eastern Europe. Failure of the Hungarian Parliament to meet on June 17 as prescribed by the constitution suggests that the internal changes were at least being formulated prior to the outbreak of the East German riots. The changes in the top leadership in Hungary, which appar- ently ended Rakosi?s one-man dominance, resemble those in the USSR following Stalin's and in Czechoslovakia following Gottwald's death. Although Rakosi retains his post as the principal member of the new Politburo and Secretariat, his post as sec- retary general has been abolished and he has been dropped from 25X1 Approved ForiRelease 2003/10/01 : CIA-RDP79R00890A00g100060013-6 Approved Fc the government. Imre Nagy, a long-time Communist and former minister of Crop Collection, was promoted to the premiership, while former number-two man Erno Gero retained his post on the Politburo and assumed the additonal responsibilities of first deputy Premier and minister of interior. The new government has pledged a slowdown in industriali- zation and collectivization, a partial return to private trade, the abolition of internment camps, an amnesty, and a rise in living standards. In Albania, the government on 22 June cancelled all agri- cultural debts for the years 1949-1952. Rumania recently re- laxed its grain' collection program and released additonal food supplies in order to alleviate a severe shortage of foodstuffs. On 6 July the Czech government suddenly repealed a week-old decree specifying stringent measures to combat labor absenteeism. Although there have been no similar developments in Bulgaria and Poland, these concessions in the other Satellites may presage a softer policy throughout the Orbit. Approved For R - 100060013-6 25X1