Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title Another Puppet Government
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Saturday,  Oct. 8, 1949
  • Issue Number 29417
  • Page Number 4
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Editorial
  • Publication Section Opinion and Editorial
  • Source Library The Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
ANOTHER PUPPET GOVERNMENT ?HE ? TELEGRAPH AND MORNING POST DAILY TELEGRAPH - June 29. 1855 MORNING POST-November 2. 1772 [Amalgamated October 1, 1937] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1949 135. Fleet Street. London. E.C.4. Telephone: Centrat 4242. ALL the pageantry amid which the People's Council of Eastern Germany yesterday transformed itself into the "People's Chamber" of a German Democratic Republic cannot either deceive the world as to the character of the new administration or conceal the wires by which the puppet is moved. This so-called Government comes into existence without elections, which are purposely ' postponed for many months. Its birth is attended by an ostentatious Russian absence from the accouchement, but its Communist parentage is beyond all doubt. Its leading figure is Herr WiLHELM PiECK, the Communist chairman of the People's Council, with a long record of the closest association with Moscow, and destined for the Presidency of the new Republic. For the Premiership of a Government that has yet to be chosen the obvious nomination is Herr OTTO GROTEWOHL, another active supporter of the Soviet regime. These men, who probably represent a very small proportion of the Germans even in the Eastern zone, lnstal themselves—or rather are installed—as the " democratic" rulers of the Russian-controlled area of the country and as aspirants to power over all Germany. Farce has seldom been staged with more solemnity. It was preceded by the admission on the part of the chief of the Russian propaganda service that " elections would be a dangerous experiment which would nullify all the successes gained in the last four years." The parties, other than the Communists, who desired an appeal to the people, have been persuaded, by one means or another, to change their minds. An answer was wanted to the action of the Powers in creating a Western German Government, so an administration is set up on orders from Russia and imposed by German Communists. The purpose of this caricature of democratic government is sufficiently proclaimed in the first demand of an elaborate manifesto, which is the abolition of the West jGerman State. Further clauses in this document would destroy almost every vestige of the rebuilding of the German economy for which the Western Powers have been responsible. The Western Zone, like the Eastern, would be compelled to submit itself to an imposed Communist administration. The challenge is intentional, and the more unmistakably so because the new Government has been housed in Berlin within a short distance of the sectors controlled by the Western Powers. A move is made in the cold war by which it is hoped to frighten out Americans, British and French from the former capital. It would not be surprising if, with that intention, Berlin were again subjected to an ordeal similar to that from which it has only recently been rescued. There can be but one answer to any such threat, and that is to stand arm. Many of the purposes set out in the manifesto, such as " the building up of a democracy that will give other peoples a guarantee that they will never again be attacked by Germany," and a just peace treaty, are as much the purpose of the Western Powers as they can be of the Russian sponsors of this mock Government. But when the means of attaining these desirable aims are approached the Western Powers' response to this latest move will be, " This is not the way/*