Commentary Magazine


Article Preview

Khrushchev's Visit: The German Problem Remains
Possibilities for a Settlement

- Abstract

IN A letter to Dr. Konrad Adenauer some time before his own trip to the United States, Premier Khrushchev warned the Federal German Chancellor against “fanning of passions and preparation for conflict” and declared that in his meetings with President Eisenhower “we naturally cannot limit our talks to the question of corn or cucumbers. We shall discuss political questions, state affairs, and unsolved problems. And the main unsolved problem is the elimination of the last traces of the Second World War, without which it is difficult to consolidate peace and the security of nations.”

These words, which Khrushchev was quick to repeat on his arrival in the United States, were certainly intended to make Adenauer feel uneasy. There was a definite suggestion that Khrushchev and Eisenhower, as the leaders of the two world superpowers, were going to settle the affairs of Central Europe in secret negotiations, with out regard to the views or rights of the West German government. To reassure Adenauer that this was not his intention was the main reason Eisenhower made Bonn the first stopping place on his European tour. Needless to say, Eisenhower’s pledge not to negotiate an agreement with the Soviet Union behind the back of the West Germans greatly disappointed those circles in the United States and in Britain whose idea of a settlement between the Soviet Union and the West is essentially of one at Germany’s expense; one leading British newspaper even expressed the hope that Eisenhower would not take “too literally” any promises to his allies which might restrict his freedom of action.



About the Author