Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title 500,000 Berliners Greet End of Blockade
  • Author From Our Own Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Friday,  May 13, 1949
  • Issue Number 29290
  • Page Number 8
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
500,000 BERLINERS GREET END OF BLOCKADE -+- NEW SOVIET MOVES FEARED FROM OUR 0)FN CORRESPONDENT BERLIN, Thursday. Western Berlin to-day celebrated its Rrst day of relative freedom after the lifting of the blockade. There was a special meeting of the Municipality, attended by the Western Military Governors and the Berlin Commandants, and a huge mass meeting before the temporary City Hall in the American, sector. l hlid There were also holidays for school children, factory workers and shop assistants. Not once, however, have I heard an expression of unqualiRed optimism either from a German or an Allied oRicial. Every Berliner ^echoes the words of Prof. Carlo Schmid, leader of the Social Democrats in the Bonn Constitutional Assembly, who said in Berlin this morning: " We must take great care that the triumph of the lifting of the blockade does not turn out a Pyrrhic victory." There is apprehension lest the United States Congress and the House of Commons should be pressed by the American and British electorates to cut down expenditure on European commitments now that Russia gives an appearance of being oh the defensive. Russian demands for representation on the International Ruhr Authority, the Military Security Board, and West German coal and steel control groups, are also anticipated with some uneasiness. At the Municipality this morning, Herr Neumann, chairman of the Social Democratic party in Berlin, proposed that the square before the Tempelhof airReld be renamed Airbridge Square, in memory of the 50 Allied Ryers and eight German workers who lost their lives during the air lift. The proposal was unanimously adopted. West Berliners turned out in immense numbers this evening at a, demonstration outside the Town Hall at Schoeneberg. in the United States sector. According to some estimates, nearly half a million people were present. GERMAN LEADER'S DEMANDS Prof. Carlo Schmid said that Berlin had shown the people of the East how to Rght against slavery. He added that there was a general hope that the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Paris on May 23 would lead to the economic and political uniRcation of Germany, but there were doubts about the price that might be exacted for that unity. It might include the opening of the door to the West to the forces of evil. There must be no unity at the price of *' allowing Eastern inRuence to spread in Western Germany." He added: " We demand that the new concentration camp at Buchenwald be torn down, and that the new Gestapo in the Soviet zone, the so-called People's Police,, be abolished. " The Western nations must maintain the solidarity which they have developed during the past few months and has proved stronger than Eastern propaganda." Herr Kaiser, the Christian Democratic leader, brought great applause when he said that Germany wanted the return of Breslau, Stettin and the "other cities of the Eastern provinces now under Polish administration." " They are symbols." he said, " and we can never give them up." The Communists staged a demonstration in the Soviet sector this afternoon. About 100.000 people were present. They marched around the streets in the central part of the city. LORRIES TURNED BACK The Telegraf am Abend reported to-night that at 3.45 a.m. to-day four German lorries whose drivers had the inter-zonal passes and travel orders stipulated in Gen. Chuykov's blockade-raising order, were turned back to Berlin by the Soviet control post at Drewitz. The ofBcer in charge of the control point told the drivers that they could pass to the West only if they had a pass from Soviet H.Q. and an Eastern zone travel order. TraiRc on the Helmstedt-Berlin autobahn was sparse this morning. Among the Rrst German vehicles to leave for Berlin was a lorry from Deidesheim, Rtted as a travelling wine bar to dispense Rhine wine to thirsty Berliners. The Rfst freight train carrying coal from the West arrived at Wannsee station, in the American sector. R.A.F. planes to-day landed in Berlin the Rrst platoon of the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, who are to relieve the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. - The R.A.F. announced to-night that when the blockade ended today, 90,063 British and American aircraft landings had been made 8.t Gatow airReld during the blockade This represents an average landing rate of one plane every 5min 4sec and the delivery of 1 l-3rd tons of freight per minute.