Delays a basic human function

Adenauer hesitates

In June 1953, the Federal Republic was in the middle of the federal election campaign. The polls were scheduled for September. At the same time there were uncertainties in relation to the western allies. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was not sure how the new US administration under President Dwight D. Eisenhower or the governments of Great Britain and France would react to the first more conciliatory tones from Moscow after Stalin's death. Adenauer was just as surprised by developments in East Berlin and the GDR as the SED leadership.

On the one hand, the federal government sympathized with the popular revolt against the SED dictatorship. On the other hand, she feared a development that could provoke dangerous reactions from Moscow, such as a direct confrontation between the great powers at the Iron Curtain. In the late afternoon of June 16, the federal government was still relying entirely on a policy of appeasement.

The Minister for All-German Issues, Jakob Kaiser, had a speech broadcast via the RIAS at 10:40 p.m. in which he said: "(I am addressing) every single East Berliner and every inhabitant of the Soviet zone, not to avoid distress or Let yourself be carried away by provocations into careless actions. Nobody should endanger themselves and those around them. The fundamental change in your existence can and will only be achieved through the restoration of German unity and freedom. " A certain amount of power can also be deduced from these formulations.

Adenauer also formulated cautiously and rather in general phrases in front of the German Bundestag on July 1st: "The Federal Government has appealed in urgent messages to the President of the United States, the British Prime Minister and the French Prime Minister to do everything in its power that unity and freedom will be restored to the German people. "