Full Citation

  • Title Russians Cut off West Berlin from Surrounding Red Zone
  • Author Higgins, Marguerite From the Herald Tribune Bureau
  • Publication Title New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Tuesday,  Oct. 19, 1948
  • Issue Number 20443
  • Page Number 3
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
Russians Cut Off West Berlin From Surrounding Red Zone From Now on Traffic from iZone May Enter City Only Through Soviet Sector; New Orders Are to Stop Small Supplies of Food By Marguerite Higgins From the Herald Tribune Bureau Copyright New York Herald Tribune Inc. BERLIN, Oct. 18.—The Russians today put on the last possible squeeze in their land blockade by cutting off all vehicle traffic between iwest Berlin and the Soviet Zone which surrounds the city. From now on traffic from the zone may enter Berlin only via the Soviet sector of the city. y This action, designed to cut off the Western sectors from the food and other supplies brought in from time to time by travelers to the sur¬ rounding zone, was supplemented by a “little blockade” set up today within the city itself. During the day Russian-controlled German police took up positions on all key thoroughfares connecting the Rus¬ sian-occupied sector of the city with the Western sectors and confiscated all goods being transported from one area to another. It was not clear whether this control is per¬ manent; The drastic tightening of the land blockade goes rfluch farther than the action taken last Saturday, when the police announced that check points would be set up at all key rail and road routes between Berlin and the Soviet Zone. By cutting out traffic completely, the Russians have a much firmer guar¬ anty that goods and food will not seep into the Western sectors. Ban Is Blow The traffic ban is admittedly a blow to west Berliners, who could previously forage supplementary ra¬ tions in the countryside around the city. The police order, which was an¬ nounced. at a Soviet Zone police conference held today at Potsdam, will cause serious inconvenience to the Russians themselves. For in¬ stance, many top-ranking officials living in the Potsdam area adjacent to Berlin used to drive to the So¬ viet headquarters through the West¬ ern sectors. Now, in order to follow their own rules they will have to circle the city for fifty extra miles in order to enter via the Soviet-oc¬ cupied sector, The traffic ban was announced at the poliae officials’ meeting by Police Chief President of Berlin Paul Margraf, according to the So¬ viet-licensed German agency. A curious coincidence to Mr. Mâr- graf’s announcement was the state¬ ment printed in the Communist evening paper "Nacht Express” to the effect that the Soviet Zone province of Brandenburg—the state which surrounds Berlin—is quite prepared to supply enough food to feed all of Berlin including the Western sectors. The paper added, however, that supplies from the Russian Zone could not be brought In by "illegal looting measures” as carried out in the past by West sector residents.