Captive East Germany

September 1, 1961

Report Outline
Concern Over the Situation in Berlin
Red Rule of East Germany Since War
Economic Troubles of the Red Republic
Soviet Russia's Goals in East Germany

Concern Over the Situation in Berlin

Berlin has become a partitioned city. Closing of the border between its eastern and western sectors has not only barred the route over which every day hundreds of East Germans were fleeing to the West. It has also broken virtually the last remaining contacts between East Germans and West Germans, East Berliners no longer can rely on the protection of postwar agreements that were intended to give Greater Berlin a four-power status and to assure its people full freedom of communication. East Berlin, whose district of Pankow was already the seat of government of the so-called German Democratic Republic, has been made in effect an integral part of East Germany. And East Germany now must be considered no less a captive nation than other Soviet satellite countries.

Choking Off of Refugee Flow from the East

Secretary of State Dean Rusk declared a few hours after the sector borders had been sealed on Aug. 13 that “Limitation on travel within Berlin is a violation of the four-power status of Berlin and a flagrant violation of the right of free circulation throughout the city.” Observing that the action had “doubtless been prompted by the increased flow of refugees in recent weeks,” Rusk said:

Having denied the collective right of self-determination to the peoples of East Germany, Communist authorities are now denying the right of individuals to elect a world of free choice rather than a world of coercion. The pretense that communism desires only peaceful competition is exposed; the refugees, more than half of whom are less than 25 years of age, have “voted with their feet” on whether communism is the wave of the future.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 22, 1989  A Primer on German Reunification
Apr. 19, 1985  German Reconciliation
Feb. 25, 1983  West Germany's ‘Missile’ Election
Jan. 14, 1970  German Reconciliation
Jan. 29, 1969  West German Prosperity
Mar. 30, 1966  German Border Question and Reunification
Aug. 18, 1965  West German Election, 1965
Feb. 24, 1965  War Guilt Expiation
Jul. 01, 1964  German Question
Sep. 01, 1961  Captive East Germany
Aug. 23, 1961  West German Election, 1961
May 04, 1960  Berlin Question
Dec. 24, 1958  Berlin Crisis and German Reunification
Aug. 21, 1957  German Election, 1957
Oct. 19, 1955  European Security
Jun. 15, 1955  Germany and the Balance of Power
Oct. 19, 1954  German Rearmament
Jan. 19, 1954  West German Recovery
Mar. 12, 1953  Harassed Berlin
Apr. 26, 1950  German Problem
Feb. 18, 1948  Rehabilitation of the Ruhr
Oct. 23, 1946  Future of Germany
Nov. 25, 1944  Transfers of Populations
Nov. 01, 1940  Economic Controls in Nazi Germany
Mar. 09, 1939  Foreign Trade in German Economy
Apr. 02, 1936  Germany's Post-War European Relations
Nov. 02, 1934  The Coming Saab Plebiscite
Apr. 23, 1931  The Austro-German Customs Union Project
Feb. 05, 1929  The Rhineland Problem
Nov. 07, 1924  German National Elections December, 1924
Apr. 30, 1924  The German National Elections
Regional Political Affairs: Europe
U.S. at War: Cold War