110. Telegram From the Mission at Berlin to the Department of State 1

197. Paris for Embassy, USRO, Stoessel and McGuire. At Senat request Commandants and Deputies met at noon today to hear Mayor Amrehn present situation report and Senat views formulated in morning session. In insistent manner Amrehn saw fit to impress on Commandants significance of East German measures and reiterated that in Senat’s view protests alone could not suffice in light gravity of situation. Amrehn stated that Senat aware that all necessary steps could be decided upon only in capitals but asserted that indignant and aroused public would not be satisfied by just a Commandants’ protest, which press had reported to be intent of last sentence of Secretary’s Aug. 13 [Page 333] statement. Amrehn stated mood of Berliners reflects indignation with East German measures and growing disappointment with failure of West take immediate steps. He said Senat also wondered why Commandants had not already protested and recalled that in past far less important incidents had produced Commandants’ protest on same day. Amrehn repeated Brandt’s hope that diplomatic démarche be made at highest level. (Amrehn was reminded seriousness of situation explained delay as decisions being made and coordinated in capitals where all aspects of problem under urgent consideration.)

Amrehn also reported that—allegedly at popular demand—Senat urgently considering variety of countermeasures within West Berlin. In this connection he reiterated that West Berlin crowds this morning vocally critical of Brandt for making high-sounding statements but failing to take concrete measures. Senat too is reportedly under heavy popular pressure to close SED offices and SED West Berlin newspapers, take measures against display of East German regime decrees and propaganda in West Berlin S-Bahn stations, and deprive West Berliners employed in SovSector of wage equalization fund benefits. Amrehn emphasized that Senat aware it could not take such measures without Allied approval, and that Senat realized necessity for coordinating any local measures with larger action decided upon by governments.

Chairman Commandant ended conference with Germans by informing Mayor that Allied governments dealing with situation and Commandants awaiting decisions.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/8-1461. Confidential; Priority. Received at 6:58 a.m. on August 15. Also sent to Bonn and repeated to London, Paris, Moscow, and POLAD USAREUR.