18. August 1950: Artikel des amerikanischen Journalisten Raymond in der Tageszeitung "The New York Times" über ein Interview mit dem Bundeskanzler Adenauer


Bonn Chief Calls for Defense Force - Asks West German Unit Equal to East Zone Police - Urges U.S. to Send More Troops

Chancellor Konrad Adenauer urged today the creation of a West German defense force equal in size and strength to the powerful Soviet zone People's Police Army. He also called for the immediate enlargement of the United States military establishment in Europe.

He said time was limited, that he had information the Russians were building up their own military forces in East Germany in attack formations, and that only a quick demonstration of Western power and preparedness could forestall Soviet aggression.

In addition, he said the United States must set all diplomatic qualms aside and intervene in the political affairs of Western Europe to bring about the political and social unification the non-Communist countries had been slow to achieve by themselves.

During an interview in his office at Shaumberger Palais, the Chancellor spoke quietly and seriously of these "sad and decisive days" and laid great stress on the critical decisions that must be reached by the Western Big Three Foreign Ministers in their New York meeting next month.

West German participation in a West European force must await these decisions, he said.

"Let us hope they will act quickly and a quick start can be made", said the Chancellor.

In the afternoon the Chancellor met with the three Western High Commissioners at Petersberg, where they discussed the subject of defense during a closed three hour session. The details of their discussion were not disclosed but it may be said that Dr. Adenauer outlined his views more or less the same way as he expressed them during the interview.

The Chancellor and the High Commissioners were understood to have discussed also the recent plans for the enlargement of the West German state police forces.

Dr. Adenauer said in his interview that the West German police forces must be strengthened in size and better trained.

Communist centers of sabotage already have been established, said the Chancellor.

The reason these "days are so sad" is that the people, not alone in Germany, make things complicated when the position is actually "quite simple", Dr. Adenauer said.

"Does one build for defense or not?" he asked. "Until now the people in Germany maintained their spirit against the threat of communism by their faith in the United States armed forces. But events in Korea have had a noticeable effect and there is a sense of helplessness that the Russians will take over.

The People's Police army in the Soviet zone is obviously the basis of a real aggressive force. Its duties are not restricted to mere police work. It is kept from the regular police, housed in barracks and given army training.

The only aspect of this we can be grateful about is that they undoubtedly are having great difficulties in getting veterans and officers and are dependent, especially for officer material, on youngsters.

In addition the Russians have their own strong military forces in the Soviet zone. I am no military expert but military experts tell me that their formations are such as are organized only for attacking purposes. These include many tank outfits.

Under the circumstances, the present psychology of the people of Western Germany must be immediately bolstered by the enlargement of the American forces. The United States must send two or three more divisions to Europe in the next three months and keep its forces growing to include about ten tank divisions so as to provide a protective curtain for preparations by Germany and other Western nations.

We must recognize the necessity of creating a strong German defense force. I will not speak of an army or weapons, but this force must be strong enough to ward off any possible aggression by the Soviet zone People's Police in the Korean manner. As strong as they are, so strong must we be. The size of armament and training must correspond to the size of the armament and training of the Eastern People's Police (The size of the People's Police in the Soviet zone has been variously estimated at between 200 000 and 400 000 men, including preparedness units as well as naval and glider outfits.).

Obviously this defense force would have to be armed by the United States. The speed with which it would be created would depend on the delivery of the arms required. In addition, provision must be made for defense against aircraft and in general for civil defense projects.

Our participation in West European armies should be decided quickly, as well as concrete steps taken for general West European defense. But what is required also is a strong American intervention in the European political arena to press for the political and social unity of Western Europe as the United States successfully has been pressing for the economic integration of Western Europe.

It has been said that the present Western advantage in Europe lies in the United States possession of the atomic bomb. However, one must foresee the time when the Russians will consider themselves in a position to retaliate with atomic bombs. When that time comes, as in the case of poison gas, possession of the atomic bombs on either side would be neutralized and once more military power would rest on the size and equipment of the ordinary air and ground forces.

In such a situation the strength of the German defense force will have special significance. Not only must it be increased in size vis-a-vis the Soviet zone Police Army but West German police units within the federal territory must be better trained and strengthened.

Of course, we shall do all in our power to combat Communist propaganda and threats, but it must be recognized that anything we do in this respect depends on the visible strength of the Western Allies, as well as the German defense forces I have described. The people of West Germany fear that twice more their country may be subjected to scorched earth, once in an invasion by Russian troops and then again in liberation by the West. Such a fear can be dispelled only if more United States troops, including tank forces and aircraft, are established here. This also would prevent the Russians from attacking in the first place.

Quelle: The New York Times. 99. Jg. Nr. 33809 vom 18. August 1950, S. 1, 7.