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that they lower the reparation payments."

In support of Ulbricht, the Director of the State Administration for Material Supply, Binz, said: “I believe that we will be able to get out of this catastrophic situation and improve our position only if the Soviet Union renders us the same help that the USA is giving Western Germany through the Marshall Plan.” No one reacted to this statement by Binz.

During the break the Minister for External Trade of the GDR, Gregor,79 characterized the situation at the Politburo meeting, saying: “This is not a Politburo, but a madhouse."

2. Politburo member, Com. Oelßner, with whom a conversation took place on the first of July of this year, believes that the Politburo committed a mistake when it announced the Politburo's and Government's New Course program in a very brief form without announcing the reasons for the party's policy change beforehand. In his opinion, it would have been better to put the New Course into operation step by step, accompanying this with broad propagandistic-explanatory work.

Com. OelBner further criticized the party leadership for not heeding the signals of discontent among the populace earlier and for not understanding that this discontent could have serious consequences.

In the opinion of com. Oelsner, the measures which are currently being carried out by the party and the government to improve the living standard of the populace have not yet yielded the expected results. The workers, in his words, continue to take a wait-and-see position, not yet trusting the party.

In the words of com. Oelsner, they can take such a wait-and-see position for a month or a month and a half. If in that time the party does not eliminate the mistakes which have occurred, then the situation could worsen again.

In the opinion of com. Oelsner, the admission of mistakes by the leading officials of the party and government had an unhealthy effect. Speaking before workers, they try to admit to as many errors as possible and, to an extent, such expressions of atonement provoke mistrust on the part of the workers. At the same time, they themselves still have actually not recognized the full depth of the erroneous actions by leaders of the party organs in the past. In com. Oelßner's opinion, com. Ulbricht most of all has not understood the erroneousness of his conduct. He has not understood that as a matter of fact he lost touch with the masses and that his methods of dictatorial leadership were one of the serious reasons that errors were committed. In his practical activity, Ulbricht had not changed and continued to work as before; of note was only the fact that he had become more passive. Ulbricht was still inclined to create an atmosphere of pomp around his person.

Thus, for example, through his wife, Lotte Kuhn, who is a member of the committee organizing the celebrations for his 60th birthday, Ulbricht demanded that a celebration

be held in the most majestic circumstances. At the same time, when com. Pieck, during a conversation with Ulbricht in Moscow, drew his attention to the undesirability of such excessive ceremonies, Ulbricht replied that he knew nothing about the plans being made for the celebration, and that if something was being planned, it was without his participation.

At the conclusion of the conversation, com. Oelsner stated his opinion that at present there was no complete unity of views in the Politburo.

Thus, he recounted that when he recently went into Grotewohl's office where Zaisser and Herrnstadt were sitting, those present were embarrassed and quickly ended their conversation. Previously, com. OelBner noted, nothing of the sort had been apparent.

3. Politburo member com. Matern, with whom a conversation took place on 2 July of this year, stated his opinion that the party at present did not have a really militant leadership and, related to this, that its work was disorganized. The Politburo meetings which took place in June were—on the whole of an elemental and unorganized character. The Politburo made almost no practical decisions. In a series of meetings less than half of the members and candidates of the politburo were present.

The executive party members, including the members of the Politburo, did not have a concrete idea of how to proceed at the 15th Plenum of the SED CC, which is planned in the near future. Up to this point, the fundamental documents had not been assigned.

The secretaries of the SED CC, after the arrival of com. Ulbricht in Moscow at the beginning of June, were not really doing any work; meetings of the secretariat were not being held. Com. Ulbricht had not explained the reason for the halting of work.

Touching on the work of the secretariat, com. Matern stated that, in his opinion, this work was incorrectly organized. The secretariat has been turned from a political organ into Ulbricht's personal office. The members of the secretariat did not take any personal responsibility for their separate spheres of work, but only prepared materials at the direction of Ulbricht and “nodded their heads in agreement with all the proposals of the secretary-general.”

Com. Matern believe that the secretariat should become the basic executive organ of the party and should carry out all of its practical work. In connection with this, the secretariat should be reduced to be composed of approximately 5 persons who were also members of the Politburo and bear responsibility for precisely defined spheres of work.

Com. Matern pointed out the poor leadership on the part of the SED CC of the district, regional, and local party organizations. The chairmen of the district parties' governing boards did not receive concrete principled instructions from the SED CC. Lately they did not even have the chance to communicate with com. Ulbricht by telephone, since, on his orders, the telephone operators did not connect them with him.

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for this, in his opinion, is the continuation of the policy of embroidering the truth by the party. The CC delegates who travel to the factories promise the workers everything they demand. Moreover, every (official] making a report considers it his duty to surpass the promises of his predecessor. As there is still no practical fulfillment of promises, the workers have again stopped believing in them.

In conclusion, com. Matern noted that correcting the errors that have been made and strengthening the party will in large part depend on what position com. Ulbricht will take at the 15th plenum of the SED CC, on whether he will admit his mistakes and find the courage for selfcriticism. Ulbricht's current passive behavior, in the words of com. Matern, does not inspire optimism in this respect.

Leader of the First Chief Directorate of the MIA of the Union of SSR Fedotov

Representative of the MIA USSR in Germany Fadeikin 5 July 1953

For this reason, the leaders of the district organizations were obliged to deal only with members of the secretariat-Axen 80 and Schön, 81_-who, however, could not give them concrete instructions and usually limited themselves to statements about the fact that they did not know anything and that the leaders of the organizations had to make decisions as they saw fit. At the same time, com. Matern noted, the party organizations, given existing practice, were not versed in independent work.

In the opinion of com. Matern, the party workers had lost the ability to look at life with their own eyes, to take stock of circumstances independently, [and] were afraid to take decisions at their own risk, even if this was urgently called for. During the June events, for instance, not one of the leaders of the local party organizations held a meeting, explaining this by an absence of instructions.

All of this, com. Matern observed, was the result of the defective leadership methods on the part of Ulbricht, whose motto was “No one can do anything without me."

At the upcoming plenum of the SED CC, com. Matern is determined to speak out, particularly with a criticism of these leadership methods on the part of Ulbricht.

Touching on the disorganization in party work, com. Matern cited the following example: Ulbricht, Grotewohl and Oelsner, who were in Moscow at the beginning of June of 1953, sent a telegram to the SED CC with the order to take all literature touching on the work of the second party conference82 out of libraries and commercial circulation. On the basis of this telegram, the Central Committee sent a directive to the local party organizations which initiated a mass confiscation of the specified literature. The matter went so far that in the central library of Leipzig all of the works of Ulbricht which referred to CC directives were removed.

In the opinion of com. Matern, the party is at present disunited, once more sectarian tendencies were emerging. Com. Matern divides all of the members of the party into three groups:

1. communists with a longstanding record of service who understand the New Course of the party and support it;

2. young party members who entered the party after 1945, many of whom do not understand the New Course of the party, consider it a step back from the construction of the foundations of socialism and for that reason do not

(Source: AP RF, f. 3, op. 64, d. 925, Il. 156-165. Translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie (CWIHP).)

agree with it;

3. former social-democrats, who consider that if the former social democratic party still existed, the events of 17 June would never have happened. Com. Matern noted that he knew of a whole series of cases where former social democrats demanded the party leadership to return their membership cards to the social democratic party. In the opinion of com. Matern, Buchwitz, 83

one of the veterans of the Social Democratic Party, is the leader of this third group.

Com. Matern believes that so far the mood of the population has not changed decisively. One of the reasons

(The following excerpt is from a secret 9 July 1953 memorandum from MID German affairs specialist Georgii Pushkin84 to first deputy foreign minister Andrei Vyshinskii

, 85 indicating the measures taken in response to Sokolovskii's, Semenov's and Iudin's proposals regarding the situation in the GDR.86]

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The MVVT is preparing proposals on the Soviet Union's
renunciation of reparations

3. In order to create a stable economic situation in the Republic and to raise the standard of living of the GDR's populace to that of West Germany's populace, to examine the issue of halting the delivery of goods to the Soviet Union and Poland and of counting the export of goods to the USSR as revenue for the Soviet enterprises in the GDR from the first half of 1953 with the aim of applying these goods toward the development of the GDR's external trade and the satisfaction of the internal needs of the Republic.

To preserve reparations in marks on the scale necessary to assure the normal function of A/O "Wismut."

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The proposal will be discussed in connection with the visit by the leadership of the SED CC to Moscow.

8. In light of the fact that lately the SED CC has adopted an incorrect method in leading the state and the economy, replacing the state and economic organs; to undertake a strict separation of functions between the government of the GDR, on the one hand, and the SED CC on the other, bringing only the major principal issues of building the state and developing the economy to the SED CC for examination. To concentrate the attention of the SED CC on developing political work in the masses of the population and on placing the SED's internal party work on the basis of the broad development of internal party democracy, criticism, and self-criticism from the bottom to the top (of the party).

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Will be discussed in connection with the visit by the leadership of the SED CC to Moscow.

9. To limit the functions of the Secretariat of the SED CC to: issues of monitoring the implementation of the CC's Politburo decisions, organizational issues, the selection, placement, and training of cadres, and also issues of party-political work amongst the masses.

To carry out a change in the personnel of the Secretariat of the SED CC with the aim of moving a series of new employees, including intelligentsia members, into the Secretariat. To reduce the number of members of the Secretariat from 11 persons to five. To eliminate the presently existing post of General Secretary of the SED CC, introducing the posts of secretaries of the CC.

Issue will be discussed in connection with the visit by the leadership of the CC SED to Moscow.

10. To consider it crucial to hold, in the course of the coming 3-4 months, the upcoming Fourth Congress of the SED, at which the issues of the party's tasks in connection with the implementation of the New Course would be discussed. To carry out a serious

renewal of the CC personnel at the Congress, in order to replenish it with young cadres who have proved themselves in practical work with the masses, the working class, the working peasantry, and also the intelligentsia. To renew in a fundamental manner the personnel of the Politburo of the SED CC, removing from it those who do not stand at the level necessary for the leadership of the party and the state in the current circumstances.

Proposal will be implemented through operational procedure and no resolution is required for this.

11. To conduct (both] a special investigation into the work of trade unions and sto carry out) a decisive change in the personnel of the unions' leadership organs, as well as adopting new Charter which would fundamentally change the character of the work of trade unions in conformity with the tasks of the new course.

The leadership of the GDR are to present their proposals, which are now being prepared, on the issue of the police.

12. To re-examine the numbers, organization, and distribution of the People's Police of the GDR, equipping them with modern arms, including armored transport vehicles, armored cars and communications equipment, as well as creating from the current divisions of barracked police, sufficiently strong, mobile, (operationally) ready divisions of the People's Police, which are capable of preserving order and calm in the republic without the help of Soviet troops.

To consider it necessary to transform the presently existing army corpus of the GDR into a troop formation for internal service in the GDR by analogy with the corresponding formation present in West Germany.

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