2. You may think it might be worth considering at this stage some views elaborated
in Northern Department on Russian intentions as regards Germany and Berlin.
These may be very briefly stated as follows:
The Russians regard the preservation of the satellite system as a vital
East Germany is an integral part of the satellite system and there is
no prospect that the Russians will agree to her detachment from it, whether
by German re-unification on terms acceptable to the West, or otherwise;
Thanks to her indeterminate international status, to the fact that her
frontiers are indeterminate and to the Berlin escape-hatch, East Germany is
the least satisfactory of all the satellites;
Quite apart from the intrinsic Russian interest in stabilizing East Germany,
Khrushchev is under direct pressure from Ulbricht and Gomulka to achieve this.
He may also be under pressure from the other satellites and perhaps from China
also. The stabilization of the East-German regime may well be regarded in
the Communist world as one of the most important tests of the success of Khrushchev's
policy of 'peaceful co-existence'.
We must believe Khrushchev when he says that a 'settlement' of the German
question this year is necessary. The question is: what is his minimum requirement?
Three elements which he would consider an adequate framework for stabilising
East Germany are always present in Khrushchev's mind when he talks of Germany:
International recognition of the East German regime;