Full Citation

  • Title An East German Republic Established
  • Author From Our Own Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Times
  • Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
  • Date Saturday,  Oct. 8, 1949
  • Issue Number 51507
  • Page Number 4
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
AN EAST GERMAN' REPUBLIC ESTABLISHED GOVERNMENT TO BE FORMED EARLY NEXT WEEK The, German "People's Council" proclaimed itself in Berlin yesterday tO be the provisional Volkskamner,,or Lower House, of the Parliament of the new "German Democratic Republic," the eastern counterpart of the Bonn federation. A Government is to be formed early next week by Herr Grotewohl, joint chairman of the Communists' Socialist Unity Party. Representatives of the Soviet Government are to make a declaration on Tuesday to a joint meeting of the Volkskammer and the Landerkammer (composed of representatives of the Land Parliaments). POLICY OF NEW REGIME SETTING ASIDE BONN REPUBLIC From Our Own Correspondent BERLIN, OcT. 7 Herr Otto Grotewohl, the former Social Democratic leader and joint chairman of the Socialist Unity Party, will be Prime Minister of the new Government which the Russians and their German Communist allies are establishing here as a counterpart of the western German Federal Government in Bonn. This was announced here to-night after the " People's Council" had constituted itself the provisional Lower House of the new Parliament. The nomination of Herr Grotewohl was expected, as the Socialist Unity Party is the strongest party in the Volkskammer.| Herr Johannes Diekmann (Liberal Democrat), who was appointed president of the provisional Volkskammer, has asked Herr Grotewohl to speed up the formation of his Cabinet so that it can be presented to the Volkskammer early next week. There will be a joint meeting of the Volkskammer and the Landerkammer on Tuesday aftermoon, when the representatives of the Soviet Government will make a declaration, no doubt to announce the policy of the Soviet authorities towards the new regime. At the same meeting the president of the new " German Democratic Republic " will be elected. So far the only candidate unofficially mentioned here is Herr Wilhelm Pieck, the other joint chairman of the Socialist Unitv Party, who presided at to-day's meetings of the "People's Council." The new Cabinet, described as the " provisional Government of the German Democratic Republic," will consist of the Prime Minister, three deputy Prime Ministers, and 14 Ministers. There wiU be Ministers for foreign affairs, interior, planning, finance, industry, agriculture and forestry, foreign trade and supply, internal trade and supply, labour and health, transport, post and communications, reconstruction, culture, and justice. The next meeting of the Volkskammer is on Wednesday and presumably the mnembership of the Cabinet will be announced then. ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR It was announced by Herr Wilhelm Pieck, that there would be elections to the Volkskammer but that they would not take place until October 15, 1950. Another resolution was adopted by the People's Council " asking that meetings of the Governments of the five States of the Soviet zone should be held on Monday. The Landtage are asked to elect representatives to the Upper House of Parliament, and also to pass a law postponing all elections in the Soviet zone until next October. T-he " People's Council " also adoptedwith the familiar unanimity that marked all the proceedings to-day and which -err Pieck hoped would continue in the Volkskammera propagandist resolution asking the Foreign Mvlinisters of the four Powers for a joint reconsideration of the German question and of measures " calculated to lead to the accelerated conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany." After referring to the " thousands of resolutions " received by the " People's Council" from the eastern zone and the eastern sector of Berlin on the occasion of " International Peace Day " last Sunday. the resolution continued: " The German peonle . . . are no longer disposed to forgo implementation of the Potsdam agreements. The German people therefore demand the formation ot a German Democratic Government whose task it will be to assure peaceful democratic reconstruction and to present to the occupying Powers a demand for a.peace treaty and the withdrawal of occupation troops." 'APS OF GOVERNMENT The proceedings to-day opened with the reading by Herr Pieck of the long manifesto of the " National Front," one of the propagandist extensions of the council. The manifesto contained a 20-point programme described as the " aims of the National Front of Democratic Germany." In effect these points are a rdsume of the policy of the Government which is expected to be in existence by the middle of next week. The first aim is the restoration of the political and economic unity of Germany through the setting aside of what is called the " construction of a West German separate State," the rescinding of the Ruhr Statute and of Saar autonomy. and the " establishment of an all5erman Government of the German Democratic Republic." The second aim is the conclusion as quickly as possible of a " just peace treaty," the *vithdrawal of all occupation troops from Germany within a short period after the signing of the treaty, and the full and unconditional recognition of the Potsdam agreements on the democratization and demilitarization of Germany as well as of the obligations of Germany towards other nations as set out in the agreements. Thirdly, there is the fall restoration of the sovereignty of the German nation with recognition of the right to an independent foreign policy and independent foreign trade. Another demand is the immediate restoration of the unity and the normalization of the life of " Germany's capital, Berlin." This manifesto and a later speech by Herr Pieck set the tone of the meeting which was faithfully followed by the other speakers who represented the political parties of the zone and the " mass organizations " which are a powerful instrUment of Communist policy in support of the Socialist Unity Party. There was the usual insistence that everytbing the western Powers have done was wicked and everything the Soviet Union bad done was good. POSITMON OF BERLlfN There has been much speculation here on whether the eastem sector of Berlin wiD become the " sixth Land " of the new State. Partly in anticipation that this would happ:n there has been increasing pressure from the western Berlin politicians that the western sectors of the city should be made the " twelfth Land" of the west German federation. On the Communist side there appears to be a disposition -to leave asleep those doubts which, if awakened, might be troublesome. Herr Ebert, the burgomaster of the eastern sector Magistrat, is quoted to-night by the German news agency as having said that bis sector will not belong to the east German Republic, that the Potsdam agreement. will be observed, and that the four-Power s:atus of Berlin will not be disturbed. The Berlin representatives would have only an advisory voice in the new Landerkammer and the new Volkskammer would decide whether tie position would be the same in that House. This reproduces the position of the western sector representatives at Bonn, which the western Berlin politicians regard as unsatis factory. The situation is being closely watched by the western Powers, who are not inclined zo overlook this, or any other step that they mnight regard as interference with the four-Power status of the city.