PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN EAST GERMANY THROUGH 1955 (NIE 12.4-54)

Created: 1/22/1954

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN EAST GERMANY5

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PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN EAST GERMANY5

THE PROBLEM

To estimate the current situation and probable developments in East

CONCLUSIONS

believe that the USSR regards its conlrol over East Germany as essential to thc pursuit of its aims in Germany and to the security of the Bloc. For the period of this estimate, the Kremlin will almost certainly not adopt policies or acceptwhich it believes would endanger that control.'

We believe that the USSR can with lis present controls count on the continued subservienceative regime in East Germany. Although the vast majority of the population is disaffected, widespread outbreaks of popular resistance areso long as substantial Soviet forces arc present.

So long as thc USSR still hopes tothe rearmament of West Germany in alliance with the West, internal policy in East Germany will be influenced by

'SeeProbable Soviet Courses of AeUon with Respect to Germany, througharagraphn which with respect to theot Soviel forces from East Germanytaled that, "it Is conceivable that at aome stage Ihe Soviet leaders might withdraw all Soviet forces from East Germany. If they werethattep would lead to the with-drawal of all US force* from Europe and would create conditions favorable lo lhe Imposition of Soviet control ow all of Gennany. This Isemote possibtllly. at least for tha period of this estimate. But we believe ll cannot be eseluded enUrely."

considerations related to the contest for Germanyhole. The new emphasis on improved living standards rather than on thc rapid sovietization of the economy is likely to continue for the present. If West German rearmament begins, there may be an attempt to accelerate thebuild-up of East German forces,this might be limited by economic considerations and by concern for the reliability of these forces. The USSR might also take stepsrovisional peace settlement with the so-calledDemocratic Republic (GDR) and association of the latter with the mutual assistance treaties of the Bloc states.

he East German economy haslow but steady postwar recovery and2 its gross national product Isto have represented about 8of the Blocargerto total Bloc output than that of any other Satellite. The agreementor termination of reparations, the return of Soviet-expropriatedto East German control, and the reduction of occupation costs, probablyecis'on to reduce thcdiversion of East GeTman resources to Soviet use in the interest of the longer-term build-up of the East German

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oviet ground forces in East Germanyen. Since3 the USSR has withdrawn six regiments ofet light bombers and oneeconnaissance regiment, whichan important striking force.of combat supplies have beensteadily, and it is estimated that these are now sufficient to support pres-

ent forces in combat for four months. East German forces, composed mainly of ground forces,resent estimated strength of. Because of their political unreliability and limited training these forces could playimited combat role and would probably be assigned to support and/or security duties.

DISCUSSION

EAST GERMANY IN SOVIET POLICY

5 East Germany has been anelement in the total Soviet powerrelative to that of the West. Theof East Germany has enabled the USSR to retain an advanced military position In the heart ol Euiope. East Germany haa provided the Bloc economy with substantial economic assets, particularly in key industrial goods. It has given Communistolitical bridgehead from which to pursue Its aim of subjugating all Germany, or failing that, of preventing the great resources of the German nation from being added to the power of the Western alliance.

We believe, therefore, that the USSRIts control over East Germany asto the pursuit of its aims in Germany and to the security of the Bloc. For the period of this estimate, the Kremlin will almostnot adopt policies or accept proposals which it believes would endanger that control.*

Sec NIB-SI. "Probable Soviet Courses ol Action with Iteipect to Germany, througharagraph g. In which with respect to Uieof Soviet fotces from East Oermany It ls staled that: "It Is conceivable that at some stage the Soviel leaders might withdraw all Soviet forces Irom East Oermany, If they werethattep would lead lo lheof all US forces from Europe and would create condtuons favorable to the ImposlUon of Soviet control over all ot Germany This isemote possibility, at least for lhe period of this estimate, but we believe It cannot beenUrely."

II. POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS Current Situation

Since the establishment of the so-called German Democratic Republic (GDR)he USSR has reduced its overt controlin East Germany and enhanced the apparent Independence of the local regime. These measures. Including the appointmentivilian High Commissioner inave been intended to parallel developments in Wesl Germany and to give the GDR the appearance of equality with thepokesman for German opinion. Thc East German regime remainsunder effective Soviet control with respect to all ils major policies and actions.

Tlic Socialist Unity Party (SED)onopoly of key government posts and is Uie principal instrument of Soviet control Although its mass membership Includes many opportunists and unreliable elements, Its top leadership Is composed of Communistlong in Soviet service. We believe that the USSR can with its present controls count on the continued subservienceative regime in East Germany.

The other East German political parties arc puppet organizations which arefor show-window purposes andeans of indirect control^xversegments of the population. Theirare small and their funds are supplied in part by the SED. They have no capability for independent political action.

Thc popular support which the Eastregime enjoys Is probably limited to its Immediate beneficiaries in the SEO and aof the youth. Anti-Russian sentiment, desireeunification of Germany,contacts with the West, and the low scale of living combine to keep the vast majority of thc population disaffected. Despite thecurrent efforts to improve economic conditions. It ls unlikely that any large part of the East German population can be won to support of the Communist cause.

On the otheridely organizedcapable of effective opposition to the regime does not exist. The open resistance which broke out onas largely spontaneous. Active participants In the demonstrations have since been subjectedrutal suppression by the police and the courts. The security policehich Ls under close Soviet supervision, ls probably capable of delecting and breaking up any subversive organization extensive enough toanger to the regime. The knowledge that Soviet troops can and would bo used to enforce the authority of the regime if necessary constitutes an importantto new outbreaks of mass resistance. However, if Soviet forces were withdrawn, we do not believe that the security organs of the East German regime could be relied upon to control outbreaks of mass resistance.

Probable Developments

long as the USSR still hopes torearmament of West Germany inthe West, internal policy In Eastwill be influenced by considerationsto the contest for Germany as anew emphasis on improved livingrather than on the rapid sovietizalioneconomy Is likely to continue forCompared to the otherpercentage of GNP devoted to totalwill probably be lower, andin retail trade and Inmanufacture will probably bea greater extent No substantialagricultural collectivization arcbe attempted. The present truce inagainst the churches will probably

be observed, although some pressure on the churches will be maintained. The relaxation of controls over interzonal traffic will probably continue also, although police vigilance against the organization of resistance and against anti-Communist agents will be

We do not believe that any substantial withdrawal of Soviet troops from EastIs likely during the period of thisThe Kremlin might believe thatof some of its forces would lendto its present tactics toward the Western alliance, that is, to appear to reduce the threat of war while holding out the prospect ofsettlements as an alternative to armed stalemate.mall part of present Soviet forces in East Germany would suffice to support the internal security organs of the GDR.ajor withdrawal of Soviet forces would endanger other Important Soviet advantages and interests in East Germany.

If West German rearmament Is launched, there is unlikely to be any reduction of Soviet forces In East Germany, and there may be an effort to accelerate the present build-up of East German forces. The latter might be limited, however, by economic considerations and concern for the reliability of such forces.ilitary build-up appeared likely to cause increased economic burdens or an expansion in forced recruitment, thc East Germanmight seal off East Germany from West Germany and West Berlin by more vigorous measures than any undertaken previously, llie USSR might also take steps inrovisional peace settlement and the association of the GDR with the mutual assistance treaties of the Bloc states.

III. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS Current Situation

area, East Oermany is about halfas West Germany; its populationonc-thlrd that of West Germany;resources are on^one-fourthagricultural resources aboutof West5 thc econ-

' For purposes of this comparison, East Berlin Is Included In East Germany.

omy. except lor agriculture, has been largely reorganized on the Soviet pattern. Aboutercent of its industry, Including allndustry, has been nationalized and the entire economy Is directed by state planning organs. The goals characteristic of the SovietIncluding sacrifice of standards of living to efforts to force rapid industrial growth, have been adopted.

Postwar economic recovery has been steady, although the gains have laggedbehind those achieved ih WestIndustrial production did not reach6 level1 and was estimatedercent of that levelowever, agricultural output still laggedehind prewar. Meanwhile population has increased byercent. Lowand Soviet exactions In the form ofand occupation costs, have kept the scale of living more thanercent below prewar levels.

The forced assimilation of East Germany into the economy of the Soviet Bloc has been markedhift in foreign trade from the West to the East. Although7 Eastin accordance with the prewar pattern, still transacted almostercent of its total trade (excluding reparations) with the West, at present more than three-fourths of its trade is with Soviet Bloc countries. Trade with West Germany (Including West Berlin) has fallen to lessercent of totaltrade. At the same time, theof trade has been altered in an effort toaximum contribution to Eastand Bloc industrial development,

In2 under the slogan of "building socialism" the East German regime began to accelerate thc sovietizatlon of the economy. From that date untilressure on the remaining private sectors of the economy was increased in an atmosphere of terror and class warfare. New taxes were exacted from private industry and ration cards were denied to certain categories of self-employed andpersons. Farm producequotas were increased and pressure was applied to farmers to accept thc newly in-

augurated program looking toward theof agriculture. Higher work norms were imposed on labor. These forcing measures resultedapid Increase In" the flow of refugees to the Westrom2 throughnd finally In the riots and demonstrations of

before the riots, the regimethat the Increased pressurenew strains rather thanand had taken steps toune It Inaugurated awhich revoked most of theof the preceding year andreduction in the rate of Investment Inas well as an Increase In theof consumer goods. Private tradewere encouraged and the pressurefarmers was also cased. Thc drivenew farm "cooperatives" wasabandoned. Some Improvement Inof living of the population has inin the form of wage increases,and increased availability ofconsumer goods. However, therebeen Indications lhat someare being rcimposed. Planseduction of Investment inand for increasing investmentindustry and energy producUon.

East German Contribution! to the Soviet Bloc

takings from the Easthave probably averaged close todollars annually in occupationreparations, and from Germanby the USSR However, theGerman agreement ofor terminaUon of reparations,occupation costs, and the return toownership of enterprises seized byat the end of the war. If thisis implemented, the Soviet exactionsreduced from aboutercent to aboutof thc gross nation alproduct.of the Soviet burden will greatlyEast German regime in fulfillingexpansion programs and Inscale of living By sacrificing some of its

directthe USSR may over the longer term Increase the value of Bast Cermanyroductive factor In the Bloc.

ven at present, the East Germansurpasses that of the other European Satellites In total output and In ratio ofproduction to total ONP.2 the East German ONP Is estimated toercent of the Bloc total, and to have equalledercent of thcONP.

The value of the East German economy to the Bloc is even more significant In qualitative than In quantitative terms, lor East German exports to Bloc slates are concentrated ingoods which support Bloc programs of industrial expansion. Thus2 theconstruction Industry contributed about one-third ol these exports, chemicals constituted about one-fifth, and electricalproducts and precision equipment about one-fifth. Moreover, In certain o( the key Items in these fields Eastubstantial percentage of total Bloc production, forf machineercent ofand transformers, andercent ofrubber.

Armaments production In East Germany Is stillelatively small scale. However, itide range of items, includingparts for artillery and aircraft, small naval vessels, light weapons, ammunition and explosives, and various instruments. Byxtensive preparations had been made for the assembly line production of aircraft,and tanks, but these programs seem to have been stopped abruptly after the June revolt Thc aircraft program apparently was sufficiently advanced so that production could be resumed on fairly short notice.

Ore from the East German mines isto provide approximatelyercent of Bloc production of uranium. While the USSR's atomic energy program could probably be supported from sources elsewhere in the Bloc, the USSR will almost certainly wish to continue its rapid and large-scale extraction of uranium ores from East Germany in order to

accumulate maximum reserves within the boundaries of the USSR For the period of this estimate, uranium ore extraction willcertainly continue at least on Its present scale.

II is probable that the Soviet termination of reparations and the return ofenterprisesecision tothe Immediate diversion of East German resources to Soviet use ln the Interest of the longer-term build-up of the East German economy Sinceolicy resembles In many respects that being followed In other Bloc states, and is compatible" with theSoviet intention to retain East Germanyember of the Bloc, we believe that the "concessions" made ln the Soviet-Eastagreement of3 will be largely fulfilled. Although occupation troops and the cost to the East German state of themining enterprises (Wismutill stilleavy burden, it Is estimated that the economy can maintain an annual rate of growth ofercent during the period of this estimate.

The promise* of continued Improvements in the scale of living in connection with the "new course" could be made good indegree from Bloc resources alone,it Is unlikely that standards of living would approach those In West Germany. Thus far improvements have been due to emergency shipments from the USSR and releases from reserve stocks Further Improvements or even continuation of the present gains will depend largely on the extent to which the East Ger-man regime expands consumer goodsand increases agricultural production,urther expansion or its trade within and/ or outside the Bloc, and on better terms of trade with the Bloc.

Agriculture will probably continue lo lag. however. Not only is production still well be-low prewar levels, but the population is aboulerceni larger than pra^r. Moreover,some concessions to farmers under the "newhe regime is unlikely, because of the doctrinal commitment of Communism to ccJIeclivitaUon. lo adopt measures which

would induce the farming population toproducUon grcaUy. With aboutercent of arable lands still in Individual farms, any attempt to push the establishment df "cooperatives" would seriously reduce farm production.

IV. SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENTS

East Cerman scientific capabiliUes are based on the vigorous German scientificand on extensive research facilities intechnical institutes, and industry. Substantial financial support has beenby the state and centralized direction has been given to scientific efiort by the East German Academy of Science and the Slate Planning Commission. Nevertheless, there has continued toevere shortage ofand technicians. In partonsequence of defections to the West, and this shortage Is likely to continue over the next several years.

he USSR began to abandoncontrol over East German scientific Institutions. Nevertheless. East German scientific effort continues lo receive Soviel supervision in thc interestaximumto Bloc scientific resources. Forit is estimated that al leastercent of al) East German electronic andresearch and development isdirectly for the USSR. Significant contributions are also made In optica,radiology, and bio-chemistry. While much of the effort in these fields is potentially Important for military purposes, we believe lhal little work on direct military applications is in progress at present No majorin military weapons or equipment are likely wlUiin the period of this estimate.

Allhough East Germany makes acontribution in uranium ore shipments, it supplies little scientific support directly to the Soviet atomic energy program. Most of the scientists and engineers taken lo the USSR for this program afler World War II are suil there, but are apparenUy employed only on the periphery of the atomic energy Procurement of instruments and

equipment In East Germany continues, but apparenUyesser scale than.

V. MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS

East Gorman Forces

Thc creation of national armed forceseading feature of the program of "building socialism" announced by the East German regime In Within the following six months Ihe over-all strength of theforces was approximately doubled. wlUi most of the increase taking place In the ground forces. During the period January loecruiting activiUes were curtailed as thc exisUng forces underwent consolidation and reorganizaUon. In the six-week period following the riots In mid-Juneen were released. During the last five months3ecruiting for all the militarized forces has proceeded at lhe rate ofen per month esult, the present esU mated strength ofground including 0 border police, naval; air) is actually greater than that

We believeradual Increase In thc strength and combat effectiveness of the East German forces will occur. However, political considerations and the amount of resources which the regime can make available under its revised economic programs will conUnue to be limiting factors. These forces could playimited combat role and would probably be assigned lo support and/or security duties

GroundGarrisoned Peoples Police (KVP) is organized into two corpserlin Area Command. The lalter consists of one mechanized division and headquarters units. Each corps is made up of onedivision, two rifle divisions, and sup. porting elements. Soviet advisors are piesenl at all levels from regiment upwards. Dtvislon-levet training exercises scheduled for3 werehe June riols and no exercises higher than battalion level are believed to have been conducted. The Border Police (GP) are lighUy aimed and trained In small unit UcUcs.

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Wawi*naval lorces operateatrolinesweepers, and thirty-odd service craft. Plans have been made to Increase the number of vessels and toaval air armowever, no large Increase In strength is expected. The naval forces may be given additional responsibilities in coastal defense over the next two years.

ForcesThe East German airredesignated thc "Associations organized into onecomposed of three regiments.aircraft strength of,urrent actualto be onlyraining typeOperational training inin progress prior to the June riots,that date these aircraft have beenCurrently, the VdA has no

Soviel Forces in East Germany

Soviet ground forces in East Germanyenroops) and arc organized inechanizediflertilleryntiaircraftThese forcesigh degree of combat readiness. Stockpiles of combat supplies have been Increasing steadily, and it is estimated that these arc now sufficient to support present forces in combat for four months.

Soviet naval forces stationed in Eastare small, as most Soviet naval vessels In the area operate from Polish bases.thereroupinesweepersbased at Sassnitz.etachment,oastal minesweepers andinesweeping boats based at Warnemu-ende. Naval air forces in East Germanyof one Jet fighterircraft) based at Peenemuende.

The estimated authorizednd E) aircraft strength ofh Soviet Tactical Air Army stationed in East Germanyircraft.etiston type attack.ransports, andiston type reconnaissance aircraft. Current actual strength Isercent of the above. The withdrawalquipped bomber regiments and oneeconnaissancefrom their East German bases, during the summereaves this force without the Jel bomber types, which constituted astriking force. It ls believed that thc units withdrawn arc now based in Western USSR, but It is not known whether they have been permanently resubordlnated to other air armies in the Soviet border area.

The USSR, in developing its European SalelUte airfield program, placed majorupon the East German complex to assure itselfighly developed advanced European base for air operations.3 this East German program apparentlyeak and the pace of construction has now slackened. Of the approximatelyirfields in this area.rc suitable for sus laincd operations of heavy and medium bombers, jet fighters and jet light bombers, whilethers are suitable for limited bomber operations and sustained Jet fighterA significant development since2 has been the constructionarge "forest clearing" airfields In the proximity o( the West German border. Such airfields could be utilizedariety of purposes, one of which might be airhead operations.the period of this esUmate some newconstruction In East Germany wilt be undertaken and existing facilities will beit seems probable, however, lhat thc major Soviet airfield effort in the European Satellites has shlllvd from East Germany tc Poland,

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