221. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Meeting in the Cabinet Room


  • Germany
    • Chancellor Adenauer
    • Foreign Minister Schroeder
    • Defense Minister Strauss
    • Dr. Carstens
    • Ambassador Grewe
    • Mr. Krapf
    • General Schnez
    • Dr. Schnippenkoetter
    • Mr. Weber (interpreter)
  • United States
    • President Kennedy
    • Secretary Rusk
    • Mr. Kohler
    • Mr. Bohlen
    • Ambassador Dowling
    • Mr. Nitze
    • Mr. Bundy
    • Mr. Hillenbrand
    • Mrs. Lejins

The Secretary indicated that it was the intention to release a joint communiqué at 2:30 this afternoon,2 whereupon the German Foreign Minister pointed out that no German translation had as yet been made of the communiqué and therefore there would be no possibility to compare the two texts until at least a rough translation was received.

The President pointed out that in view of the importance which everyone attached to these meetings with the Chancellor, he wanted to be sure that the communiqué conveyed the meaning clearly that these present meetings had been preparatory meetings only, and that although agreement had been reached on many points, additional preparations were necessary before negotiations with the Soviets could begin. In effect, he wanted it to be clear that the communiqué would set forth that a series of meetings, for instance with General de Gaulle, Prime Minister Macmillan and by the Foreign Ministers were contemplated before Soviet negotiations could begin. The President also wondered whether the communiqué was explicit enough about the limitations which were being maintained with reference to German armament. He felt that there was still a great deal of suspicion left in some quarters about a reawakening of the German militaristic spirit and therefore wanted to emphasize the fact that West Germany is a peace-loving nation and that the record so indicates. Subsequently, a suggestion was [Page 621] made to change the word “peace-loving” to peaceful as a more preferable term.

The President then suggested that the words “firmly believes and has demonstrated that it” be included in the first line of Point two after “The Federal Republic of Germany”.

The Chancellor expressed the opinion that it was important to stress the defensive nature of the Alliance, whereupon the President suggested including a statement to the effect that: the Chancellor, in emphasizing the defensive character of the German military effort pointed out that the Federal Republic is the only large country that has placed all its forces under multinational control. The Chancellor agreed to this.

The Secretary then pointed out that it was the intention to inform the diplomatic representatives of UK and France this afternoon about the general outcome of the meetings.

The President wanted to know how much detail it would be wise to give them concerning the various points on the list of questions on which there had been disagreement prior to these meetings between the US and Germany. He wondered whether this would serve a useful purpose.

The Secretary pointed out that all these matters had been discussed in the Ambassadorial Group before, and everyone was therefore familiar with these problems. To be sure, it was not at all certain whether any of these points would really come up in negotiations with the Soviets. Nevertheless, it was necessary to continue to work on them in the Ambassadorial Group.

The President then turned to Ambassador Grewe and asked him how he felt about the security aspect with reference to the Ambassadorial Group. The Ambassador answered that it would be impossible to conceal these matters from the Ambassadorial Group. The President stated that he agreed, but he was concerned about security nonetheless and asked what could be done to keep this matter out of the press.

The Chancellor expressed concern that if there were a press leak, there would be no purpose in his writing to General de Gaulle. The President thereupon asked whether it might not be possible to withhold any information until Friday, in other words until after the Chancellor had had a chance to get a letter to the General and he himself had written to Prime Minister Macmillan in this matter. Moreover, press pressure would be much less two days hence. The Chancellor agreed and it was so decided.

The President then indicated that Ambassador Bohlen would undertake a background briefing for the American press, and he understood that von Eckhardt would do the same for the German press. He admonished both to steer the briefings very carefully so that nothing [Page 622] definite would come out until after the exchange of letters. If it were agreeable to the Chancellor, the President stated, the briefings should concern themselves primarily with the atmosphere of the discussions rather than with substantive matters.

The Chancellor was in complete agreement, stating that if we wish to win over General de Gaulle the latter must be made to feel that something special is being done for him. Everything would be completely ruined if the General were to read in the papers details about the US-German understandings reached. This information should come to him in the Chancellor’s letter. Dr. Carstens is leaving for Paris tonight with the letter, so that the General should have it by tomorrow.

The President thought it would be helpful if the press background briefings dwelled upon the fact that an overall concert was reached between US and Germany on matters discussed, but that the details remain to be worked out.

The German Foreign Minister pointed out that he would soon face this very same problem himself, since he was speaking shortly before the Press Club.3 He stated that he would also take part in the German press briefings, and he would say as little as possible about details, leaving the atmosphere to be covered by von Eckhardt.

There followed a brief discussion of an Alsop column in this morning’s paper which discussed General de Gaulle’s reactions to negotiations with the Soviets, and the President stated that we must be very careful lest we damage our chances by unwise action. The German Foreign Minister indicated that he had seen the article and would keep this point in mind.

The President then pointed out that it would be most helpful from the standpoint of the US if the German people were made more aware than they now are of the effort which the US has expended with reference to meeting the Berlin crisis, including the military forces sent over there, the cost thereof, etc. The German Foreign Minister requested that the appropriate figures be made available to him for use in the German press briefings. This might take the pressure off with regard to disclosing other details.

The Secretary then indicated that a number of points had been discussed earlier this morning which would not necessarily come up for discussion during the negotiations with the Soviets.4 Among these was [Page 623] the topic of boundaries. The Germans are willing to reaffirm with reference to this point that they will refrain from using force to change their boundaries. The Western Allies would be willing to guarantee this. Western Germany would prefer to see mention of the Oder-Neisse line kept out of any formal agreement with the Soviet Union, since they feel that this matter should be left to a later settlement. The US does not believe that it can support any German wish to move this frontier further east. The Secretary invited the German Foreign Minister to comment on this.

The Foreign Minister indicated that West Germany did not consider the question of frontiers a closed question. In general, however, the Germans felt that it was not wise to bring into the discussions with the Soviets all sorts of questions which did not rightfully belong there but should rather be deferred until a final peace treaty. To take these matters up now would weaken the German stand, and Germany felt that frontiers were a matter that was to be decided by a reunited Germany. This had always been the German stand and a joint stand, too. If the Soviets see that the West is willing to discuss all sorts of really unrelated topics in connection with the discussions about Berlin, they will only increase their pressure and try to exploit the Berlin situation as a lever to obtain concessions on almost anything. For this reason, the Foreign Ministers felt that a declaration on the part of Germany such as indicated by the Secretary above should be sufficient and no further negotiations should take place with the Soviets concerning frontiers.

The President then wanted to know, for his information, what the Germans thought the German frontier would be when a peace treaty was signed and Germany reunited. Would it be the present boundaries? In 1959 General de Gaulle had made a statement to that effect. The President doubted that the Federal Republic accepted this. While they agreed not to use force to change the boundaries, they did not necessarily agree on the boundaries as they were, and might use other means to get them changed.

The German Foreign Minister once more indicated that he felt it was better not to include this matter in any negotiations with the Soviets at this time. If, for instance, the question of German frontiers was settled in connection with the Berlin crisis, the interest on the part of other countries in concluding a peace treaty with Germany would considerably decrease, and Germany’s bargaining position would be greatly reduced since there would be nothing left for a give-and-take settlement. In 1946 Mr. Byrnes had expressed US opinion on the matter of German frontiers and had indicated that the US would be willing to support efforts to improve Poland’s situation with reference to the Western frontier at the time of a peace treaty. No more had been said about this since. It was correct that General de Gaulle had made a statement about German [Page 624] frontiers in 1959 and the Chancellor had subsequently asked the General to refrain from further statements on this subject, which de Gaulle had complied with. The Foreign Minister was afraid that if this matter were now taken up outside of the all-German question, there was danger that the all-German concept would be weakened and gotten away from. Moreover, if these matters were now discussed in connection with Berlin, it meant bringing in issues which could not be treated in a positive manner. The Foreign Minister pointed out that he was well aware of the fact that 16 years after the conclusion of the war might be a good time to discuss some of these points, but this should be done in a peace treaty and it was not the Germans’ fault that no peace treaty had been concluded so far. For all these reasons he felt it was of tactical advantage not to include these matters in the Soviet negotiations.

The Chancellor pointed out that if the question of frontiers were to be included in the negotiations, he would find himself in a most embarrassing position vis-á-vis General de Gaulle. Back in 1959 the General had made the statement on frontiers referred to. The Chancellor had asked him to refrain from further statements of this sort and the General had promised to do so and had kept his word. If this matter were now brought up and subscribed to by Western Germany, the Chancellor would feel embarrassed to face de Gaulle again.

The Foreign Minister added that from the German domestic standpoint it was very difficult to discuss this topic in a positive manner, because to the German population it would appear like giving up a position long adhered to by taking the matter out of context. The German people would hardly understand this.

The President indicated that he had only wanted to confirm the German view for his own information, since the Secretary had indicated as much to him. Thus he suggested going on to other questions. He agreed that the question of frontiers should be passed over insofar as possible and should not be made into a major issue in the Soviet negotiations.

The Chancellor then made the statement that it was very clear to him that in an eventual peace settlement the eastern frontier of Germany would look very much like the present line and would be much like what the Poles wanted. In view of past events it was impossible to roll back history.

The President felt that it would be important not to put the topic of frontiers on any list of possible disagreements. Naturally the US did not wish to assume any position which was inimical to Germany. In any event it was not at all positive that the question of frontiers would be raised at all and he again suggested that we go on to other topics.

[Page 625]

The President felt very strongly that by the time of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Paris in December, a definite plan aimed at the wall dividing Berlin should be ready, a realistic plan, which had a chance of Soviet acceptance. He hoped that this plan could be of such nature that it would maintain the morale of the Berlin population and prevent a major exodus.

The Chancellor agreed that this plan was a very serious matter and he wondered whether it should be put forth by the Three Western Powers or by the Federal Republic. He indicated that it would be difficult for Germany to propose such a plan and he proposed discussing the matter with some of the Berliners themselves.

The President agreed that perhaps the US would have to take on the job of presenting the plan, and the German Foreign Minister promised to try to come up with a plan before the Foreign Ministers’ meetings by consulting the Berliners in the matter.

The Chancellor then pointed out that the Soviet Ambassador in Bonn had told him in August that if a general improvement in relations were brought about there might be changes in the Berlin wall as well. The President indicated that he did not feel the Soviets would dare take the wall down now, since there would then be a general exodus.

Mr. Kohler pointed out that the topic of nuclear weapons had been discussed. Nothing conclusive had so far been achieved, and Secretary McNamara and Minister Strauss would continue discussions.5 So far, the Secretary had tried to define exactly what the US was talking about and that anything decided upon would have to be in line with any general disarmament plans, would not interfere with the present NATO stockpiling program, etc.

The President then pointed out that he agreed with what he gathered to be the German view that the German declaration of 1954 concerning ABC weapons should continue in effect for the time being at least. He did not know what conditions might prevail three or four years from now. He also understood that Germany did not want such a declaration mentioned in any agreement with the Soviets, since that would give the Soviets the right to ask for inspections of what the Germans were doing and thus the power to interfere with German sovereignty. Nevertheless, this was an issue that might become important in talks [Page 626] with the Soviets. Would Germany have any objection if it were mentioned in the general context that this declaration remains in effect.

The Foreign Minister reiterated very much the same objections as on the inclusion of the Oder-Neisse line into the framework of Soviet negotiations. If it was inevitable to mention nuclear weapons, Germany would prefer a US declaration on these matters, which might possibly be supported by a German declaration. The matter should not, however, be included from the start. The Chancellor concurred in this.

The President stated that this was understandable and that we did not wish to give away any more than we had to, or before we had to, but it might prove helpful in the final analysis.

The Chancellor then stated that he would like to remind the persons present of the circumstances under which he had made the declaration. He had made it at the time of the founding of the Western European Union, and it had been directed at Germany’s partners in this Union for the purpose of removing their fears of a rearmed Germany. The declaration had never been made with any reference to the Soviet Union. Moreover, the Chancellor wished to point out, the declaration spoke of not producing ABC weapons. It made no mention of stockpiling in Germany such weapons made by others, or of Germany not using ABC weapons given her by others. The Chancellor felt that if this matter were now brought into the Soviet negotiations it could have very serious consequences. He also wanted to point out that the German commitment also included a promise not to build certain types and sizes of naval vessels or guns of certain sizes. But possible exceptions were provided for and, in certain instances, such exceptions had been made. He wanted to re-emphasize however, that the declaration had never been intended to have anything to do with the Soviet Union. The President stated that he did not know what all of this might be worth in negotiations with the Soviets. He would certainly like to avoid including anything in the agreement with them that would give the Soviets the right to police or inspect what Germany was doing. But a unilateral statement by Germany in these matters might prove useful.

The Chancellor stated that the Western European Union had inspection provisions through the Brussels Pact. But under this Pact the inspection would be carried out by a friendly power. If these matters were included in the Soviet negotiations, the Soviets would demand the right to inspect and that would be extremely bad.

The Foreign Minister once more pointed out that the important fact was that the Soviets were trying to achieve under the guise of Berlin talks what should rightly be taken up under the peace treaty. In the latter, however, any German concessions or adjustment would result in a unified Germany. If these matters are settled by the Berlin talks, the Germans would risk losing all their bargaining points which they would [Page 627] need in order to achieve a satisfactory peace settlement and would still be left with two Germanies, while all advantage went to the Soviets.

The President agreed in general but felt that we must be thinking in terms of two things: 1. a fallback position, and 2. a basic negotiating position, and he felt that with respect to the latter all these matters should be laid down in as much detail as possible, for example, the international highway and Berlin wall. Mr. Kohler indicated that these matters were being discussed in the Ambassadorial Group. Mr. Kohler then indicated that there was no need to discuss the topic of surprise attack nor the topic of European security; a subgroup was working on the latter topic.

The President then pointed out that the matter of European security appeared to give considerable concern in West Germany, where there existed fear of US disengagement. He wished to assure the Chancellor that there was no sense to the rumors of US disengagement. He himself had not heard anyone suggest any such thing in the course of at least the past two or three years. Nevertheless, he felt that certain non-aggression agreements or declarations might be useful.

The Chancellor stated that he did not know where the bad rumors came from; whether they were traceable to the American press, American correspondents, the German press or German correspondents. He was inclined to suspect certain German journalists. He had spoken to the President about the Springer Press and had expressed his view about it. He advised the President not to worry about these recurring rumors in Europe, since he himself did not feel that they had the effect the President appeared to fear they might have.

The President then asked the Chancellor what he thought about reaching an agreement with the Soviet Union that neither side should have more than 30-35 divisions in either West or East Germany. He based his reasoning on the fact that the West could not hope to have more than about 30 divisions available within the next three or four years. So what did we have to lose by making this the limit for the Soviets as well?

The Chancellor pointed out that in the first place even if the Soviets agreed to such a limitation they would never adhere to it, since they are in the habit of breaking any and all treaties and agreements into which they enter. The German Communists do exactly the same thing he added. The Chancellor advised against giving up anything unless one absolutely had to vis-á-vis the Russians. He warned that it is difficult to foretell at present what developments might take place, so why impose limitations which might become burdensome later on. Moreover, if such a limitation were agreed upon, the Sovs would immediately demand the right to inspect Western compliance, and that would give the Soviets an excuse for coming right into Western Germany. The Chancellor strongly felt that we should take the offensive in the negotiations rather [Page 628] than being on the defensive. That was the only way in which to impress the Russians.

Defense Minister Strauss indicated that he wished to leave aside for the moment the political implications of this matter, but there were certain facts he wished to point out: 1) if such a limitation were agreed upon, then the West could never station more than 30 divisions within a useful distance, even if this should become urgently necessary. All of us knew that France would not agree to having forces stationed there. The Soviets, on the other hand, while keeping only 30 divisions in East Germany, could station as many divisions as they wanted immediately adjacent in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, etc. Moreover, the Soviets had a very fast line of communication between the Soviet Union and East Germany. In the case of need, additional Western forces would have to be shipped all the way across the Atlantic from the US. Secondly, Strauss reminded the group that the military briefings of the day before had stressed the importance of building up conventional forces. For this reason it was altogether likely that the Western Allies would have to increase their divisions to the vicinity of 40, including German, US, Canada, etc., in order to be able successfully to counter Soviet pressure and to make the Soviet Union understand that the West can and is prepared to fight a conventional war if necessary. We must show the Soviets that they cannot hope to beat us in a conventional war. If, however, the limitation is set at 30 or 35, the Russians will immediately take note of that, and if ever the West should station even one additional division anywhere, the Soviets would denounce the West as war-mongers, etc. and we would be playing into their hands propaganda-wise. Moreover, Strauss wished to point out that while the Soviet divisions are generally somewhat smaller than the divisions of the NATO countries, the Soviets had many other independent units additionally and separately (for instance armored units, etc.). The Minister felt that calculations presented at yesterday’s military briefing were in error to some extent. They spoke of 20 Soviet divisions in the Soviet Zone of Germany, but German intelligence has very definite information that the Soviets have already moved into Eastern Germany the equivalent of from two to three additional Soviet divisions. By equivalent the Minister implied the manpower and equipment, although not in the form of actual divisions. The same held true of Poland. In other words, Minister Strauss felt very skeptical about the limitation, since it would not really bind the Soviets in any way.

The President reiterated that he was afraid we would never get more than 30 divisions. He had spoken of the gold problem which all this military effort meant to the US, and Germany had, to be sure, been very helpful in this respect. The US certainly could not continue to increase its efforts unless an all-out effort became necessary and there was no indication that Britain would increase her contribution. The French, [Page 629] perhaps, might pull a few more divisions out of the Algerian area, but even this would not appreciably increase the Western potential. Thus, the President did not see how the Western Allied total could get up above 30, unless Germany were to up her contribution substantially. Thus the figure of 30 appeared to be well nigh our limit. Thus, the President reiterated that he was wondering what the value of entering into some kind of a limitation agreement might be, after we calculated carefully what our maximum expectation might be within the next 2-3 years, provided we could keep the Soviets from gaining inspection powers thereby. On the other hand, he felt that the day might come when a nuclear stalemate would be reached, when the Soviet Union would be in a position to destroy the US and the US in a position to destroy the Soviet Union. Then the conventional forces might again become decisive, and in that event any limitation could of course be bad.

Strauss proceeded to point out that there were two over-riding considerations insofar as he could see. One was that for the Soviet Union the divisions in East Germany were not as important as the divisions in West Germany were for the NATO countries. The Soviet Union could send more very quickly at almost any time, while the West would have to bring additional divisions across the Atlantic, thus losing valuable time. Secondly, if in a period of crisis we were to exceed the number stipulated by the agreement, the crisis would be increased and the resulting propaganda effects would play into Soviet hands.

The Chancellor added that he would never agree to any fixed limitation, since it would constitute a confession of weakness and the Soviets would interpret it as such.

The President countered by saying that it is a weakness, since it is a fact that we cannot come up with more.

The Chancellor answered that both in political and military life there was a need for bluffing and one could not do without it.

In conclusion the President brought up the question which he felt would be one of the more subtle ones to handle, namely the degree of recognition to be or not to be accorded East Germany. No doubt, this is one matter the Soviets will push for and it will be a difficult problem and the US is fully aware that the West should not offer more in this respect than Germany is prepared to concede. This is a matter that has to be taken up carefully with some of our Allies, Britain for instance, since certain elements are ready to concede more on this point than Germany can agree to.

The Chancellor stated that Russian tactics are very simple. They are pressure, pressure, and more pressure. Unfortunately the person pressured finally yields, and that is the manner in which the Soviets achieve their successes. If the GDR should emerge from the forthcoming [Page 630] talks with a substantial degree of recognition, what a victory this will constitute for the Soviet Union. The Chancellor will undertake to discuss this matter very carefully with Prime Minister Macmillan and warn him of the consequences of yielding to the Soviets on this point. At the same time the Chancellor has no illusions about achieving German reunification at an early date. He himself is not particularly perturbed about this, citing the historical example of France, which lost Alsace Lorraine in the war of 1870-71. Although France did not regain possession of the territory until 1918, she never abandoned hope nor gave up her claim. What are 10 or 20 years in the course of history after all. It is important however, that the people of East Germany not be deprived of their hope of eventual freedom, and recognition of the GDR would destroy the morale of the people of East Germany. The Chancellor emphasized that he can certainly not be called a nationalist. He would like to say that if he were sure that he could return the people of East Germany to freedom and a life in which they could again determine their own destiny, he would be prepared for any sacrifice, even if this should mean giving up the idea of reunification. But he could not raise his hand to assist any measure that would deprive these people of their hope for eventual freedom. The Chancellor then wished to add one more thing. The entire world was up in arms about colonialism and the need to set the African nations free. Actually, the Chancellor stated, the peoples of Africa, or at least many of them, were eating off golden plates and living much better than the people in the Soviet Zone, who were leading a most deplorable existence, much more so than the Africans of late. It would be inhuman to leave them under the Russian yoke indefinitely. The President then stated that he was most gratified by the amount of understanding the Germans have evidenced for the stand of the US in these matters. The Soviet and US positions, alas, were still very far apart and the President was not very optimistic that any good result would come from the forthcoming negotiations. Gromyko certainly had not made any concessions. The President had noted however, that in his discussions with Ambassador Kroll, Khrushchev had appeared somewhat less adamant than in the talks he had had with President Kennedy. Still there were many points of difference, and there was a good chance that the talks might be unsuccessful. The question to be decided then was what to do in that eventuality. For this reason the President felt that he must insist on all NATO partners keeping up their military commitments. He had recently read about the remarks made by a certain American officer at a reserve meeting to the effect that it was time to recall the troops sent overseas because of the Berlin crisis, now that the crisis was over. This was completely false reasoning and we had to maintain our strength all through the negotiations. Another point the President wanted to mention was that he felt that we were at present in a [Page 631] strong position. While the US no longer had a monopoly on nuclear weapons, he felt we still had the edge on the Soviet Union and therefore he feels we must try to negotiate now. At the same time we must approach these negotiations not feeling that we are being forced into them. It is not as though Khrushchev were taking us to the table. We should appear confident, and we are strong enough to protect our interests. That is the best attitude for achieving success.

The Chancellor stated that the West had made a big error in the past in that it did not know its own values. He understood that Mr. Kennedy was attempting to improve this situation and he wanted to congratulate him on this effort. The Chancellor understood that the President was endeavoring to enlighten the rest of the world on what Communism really is. He wanted to explain the position of the West and place the issue on the level of an intellectual challenge, which is more important than the possession of military divisions. The Chancellor has had a chance to speak with Mr. Lodge who, he understands, is to head up this international effort. The Chancellor hoped that this endeavor will really come about. Then he turned to the matter of Gromyko’s making concessions. How could Gromyko make concessions in his talks with the President? The Chancellor recalled his experience with Ambassador Smirnov. On an occasion, when the Chancellor had doubted the Soviet Ambassador’s statements, he had told the latter that it was easier to talk to Smirnov’s master than to Smirnov himself, and Smirnov had answered that his master is permitted greater freedom of decision. The Chancellor then expressed his opinion that he was convinced that success can be achieved in the negotiations with the Soviets. If, however, too many concessions are made, the affair will register in the eyes of the world as a failure of the Free World under the leadership of the US. But he encouraged the President to be more optimistic about the future, since he himself had seen the change in fortunes in political life, and one must never lose courage. With one thing the Chancellor agrees however. He feels that the President is right in insisting that the other NATO partners must do more and that the Western Allies must remain militarily strong until the Soviet Union has given up its purely aggressive designs.

The President thanked the Chancellor for his visit and expressed his gratification at meeting Minister Strauss. He stated that Khrushchev had frequently mentioned Minister Strauss in their talks in Vienna. Of course, the President smiled, Mr. Khrushchev only says good things about people who are dead and everyone living is bad. Thus Khrushchev mentioned former Secretary of State Dulles as an example of a person with whom it had been possible to reach agreements. The value of the present discussions, the President said, was that there appeared to be mutual understanding between Germany and US of each other’s problems and confidence in each other. The President had never had [Page 632] more necessary or more valuable meetings than these since he assumed his office. It was essential and vital for the US and Germany to proceed together. The problem before us is defense of the freedom of Europe and the President had told Khrushchev in Vienna that this is a matter of such vital importance to the US that this country has fought two wars to uphold it. In order to succeed we must have confidence in each other and we must remain in very close contact. In that connection the President reiterated that in view of the Chancellor’s fear that it might not always be possible to reach the President in case of emergency, he had explained to him yesterday about the two-minute contact maintained at all times by phone or radio wherever the President went. He again mentioned the direct telephone lines to London and Paris and suggested that a similar arrangement be made with Bonn if it did not now exist.

The Chancellor indicated that he thought this was a good idea. He then thanked the President for his invitation to come to Washington and for taking so much of his time to have such exhaustive talks with him. The President had called these talks valuable, the Chancellor termed them extremely successful from the German point of view. He assured the President that he could always count on Germany to do her duty.

(Note: The German translation of the communiqué never appeared, so that there was no comparison of the texts, or for that matter, agreement on them, at this meeting. The Secretary and Foreign Minister Schroeder and V. Eckhardt left separately prior to the end of the meeting.)

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Germany, Adenauer Visit. Secret. Drafted by Lejins and approved in the White House on December 1.
  2. For text of the communiqué as released, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, pp. 538-540.
  3. For an extract from Schroeder’s speech at the National Press Club, see Dokumente zur Deutschlandpolitik, Band 7, pp. 953-954.
  4. In a conversation with Rusk at 9 a.m. Strauss had stated that the Germans would prefer to exclude discussion of the proliferation of nuclear weapons from the negotiations on Berlin. (Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 65 D 366, CF 1993)
  5. On November 26, when Strauss and McNamara discussed Berlin further, McNamara handed Strauss a rationale paper on U.S. strategy for the Berlin crisis. A memorandum of their conversation (I-19370/61), November 27, is in the Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 B 3542, 091 Germany. The meeting is also described in Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, p. 205.