Full Citation

  • Title New Soviet Line Woos Reich Right
  • Author Higgins, Marguerite From the Herald Tribune Bureau
  • Publication Title New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Sunday,  Oct. 27, 1946
  • Issue Number 19827
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
New Soviet Line Woos Reich Right RussiansPromise to Give Non-CommunistParties MoreGo vernmentY oice Election’s Results Bring Modification Poll Defeat Interpreted As Repression Protest By Marguerite Higgins From the Herald Tribune Bureau BERLIN Ot 26Th fit BERLIN, Oct. 26.—The first Russian reaction to the resounding defeat at.the Berlin polls of then- protege, the Socialist Unity party, has been to promise the rightist politicians more freedom and poli¬ tical power in the Soviet Occupa¬ tion Zone, it was learned today. The promise was made yesterday to two Christian Democratic Union leaders who were summoned out to the Russian political headquarters at Karlshorst, a suburb of Berlin. The move was interpreted by some political circles in Berlin, to mean that the Russians considered the Berlin vote against the Social¬ ist Unity party as a protest against certain repressive measures, such as political arrests, made in the Rus¬ sian Occupation Zone. The Russians, according to these political observ¬ ers, will for the time being change their practice and become more liberal with non-Communist parties, hoping thereby to dissolve the asso¬ ciation in the German mind be¬ tween dictatorships and the Soviet- sponsored Socialist Unity party. Line Is Consistent The new Russian line is not con¬ sidered at all inconsistent, with their deportations to Moscow of German >vorkers because, according to informed American and German sources, these were planned long in advance and were not, as origin¬ ally reported, reprisals against the defeat at the Berlin polls. These deportations, originally scheduled for earlier this month, were in fact postponed until after the elections at the plea of the Communist- dominated Socialist Unity party, which warned of their unfavorable effect on the vote. The motive behind the Russian conciliatory words—their actions are yet to bear them out—is ac¬ counted for here also by the fact that the non-Communist parties made considerable gains almost everywhere in the Soviet Zone in the elections last Sunday. In spite of the fact that some difficulties were made for towns which voted against the Soviet-sponsored party in the September elections and in spite of handicaps in propaganda facilities, the Christian Democratic Union, for instance, gained in the October zonal elections more than 200,000 votes in such provinces as Mecklenburg and Brandenburg over their totals in the September election. In their two-hour Interview with Soviet officers the Christian Demo¬ cratic Union leaders were assured: 1. That both themselves and the Liberal Democratic party would have vice-presidents in‘every pro¬ vince of the Russian Zone. The Socialist Unity party will continue to hold the presidencies. 2. That the Christian Democrats and Liberal Democratic party will be allowed to print daily news¬ papers in “several provinces” in the Russian Zone. At present they have no daily newspapers, any¬ where in the zone. 3. That in the counties -where either of the rightist parties at¬ tained a plurality, their represen¬ tatives would be given the county leadership. Up till now all county leaders have been members of the Communist - dominated Socialist Unity party. Defeat Was Surprise Germans in close touch with the Russians declared here that the defeat in Berlin of the Socialist Unity party, which is composed of Communists and a splinter wing of the Social Democrats, came as a complete surprise to the Russians. To the last they had been assured by Communist officials, in Berlin that the Socialist Unity party would win. The victors in the Berlin election were the Social Democrats, who are not permitted to organize in the Russian Zone. i It is believed that the Russians will certainly in the near future make overtures to the Social Demo¬ crats, asking at least that they work together in an anll-Fascisl front with the Socialist Unity party. Whether the Social Democrats, who have been more bitterly anti-Soviet in their propaganda than the more conservative Christian Democratic Union, will accept such overtures is a moot question. It is one of the potential dangers of the future political progress in Germany, according to many ob¬ servers in Berlin, that the current leadership of the Social Democrats has shown such vitriolic opposition to the Russians. Whether the Russians will go so far as to offer the Social Democrats permission to organize in the Rus* sian Zone is unforseeable until the results of the first meeting with the Russians are known. In telling the Christian Demo¬ crats that the Rightists would be given more opportunities in the Russian Zone, the Soviet colonel acting as liaison declared: “It is clear that the vote conducted In the Soviet Zone was entirely demo¬ cratic. Therefore! the results will be respected and . the Christian Democratic Union and the Liberal Democratic Union will be permitted a further share in the government.”