THE SITUATION AND PROSPECTS IN EAST GERMANY

Created: 5/3/1960

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

THE SITUATION AND PROSPECTS IN EAST GERMANY

Svemltled by tha -DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Tha foSoving intelligence organization* participated In the preparation of thli eitlmate: Th* Ctnltal Intelligence Aemcvf intelligence organUatlon* of tha Department! ot Stale, the Amy, thaAi Air rorea, and Tha Joint Staff.

Concurred in by lha ONTTED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD

ay IKO. Concurring vara tha Director ol InttUU genet and Research. Department of State; the AirUtont Chief of Staff for munioente. Department of tha Anas; the Airuf-ant Chief of Hevol Operation* for tateUlgeace. Department Of tha nary; the AaUtent Chief of Staff, Intelligence, tfSAf; tha Director for Inteaietnca. Tha Joint Staff; theto the Secretary of Defenu. Specialnd theof the Sattonal Security Agency. The AtomU Energy Commotion ftepreientatlin to the USIB, and lha Aisiitant Director. Federal Bureau of [nrtttlgattan. abstained, the nb-tect being outiidt of their JurOdicHpn.

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DISTTMBO-nOM: j ' j

National Security ComdlDeportment ofDepartment of Defense peraUcnj CoordlnaUns Board Atomic Xrtt'ty Commission Federal Bureau ol iDTfjiiffat'on

THE SITUATION AND PROSPECTS IN EAST GERMANY

THE PROBLEM

To assess the situation in East Germany and the outlook for the Communistthere over the next several years..

CONCLUSIONS

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strength and stability of Easthas grown significantly inThe regime ln the lastupon'- Soriet support, andof Soriet troops tends toleadership any ultimate test ofbut it is strong enoughwithstand those interna] stressesstrains it is likely tohe SED

(the Communist Party) now has nodifficulty in enforcing its political will. !The recent growth of East German industry has been rapid, and there will probably be substantial increases inover the next few years. There will remain, however, serious troubles ln agriculture. Though living standards will remain lower than in West Germany, they will probably continue to rise, and the political importance of the disparity and the economic incentive to move West will continue to decline. {Paras.S-1S)

hasradualby the population to the regime,the sharp decline in thethat the Western Powers will be able toommunist withdrawal and restore the unity of Oerrnany.U-tude is, however, purely conditional;the surface there remain strong anti-Soviet sentimentseep-seated all-German national consciousness. The very nature of Communist totalitarian rule Is such that Lf opposition broke out It would probably do so suddenly,and without previous planning. If disorders became widespread, theforces, including the army, would probably not be reliable or adequate.)

e believe that the time is not far off when the Soviets, without hazarding the Internal security of thc regime, could make substantial troop withdrawals,as much as cne-half of their presentmaller withdrawal, though one large enough lo have propaganda,might be made at any time.we believe that the Soviets will feel obliged for the foreseeable future to maintain in East Germany sufficient

troops to copeeneral breakdown of regime security. The Soviets areto underestimate the hazard to Communist control of East GermanyIn the continued existence of another and stronger Germany.)

The Soviet and SED leaders almostdo not consider the final end ol their policy to be merely the achievement of politicalconomic stability in this area fragmented from the OerrnanThey almost certainly hope that, by fashioning East Germany into anof the "superiority of the socialisthey can have in theowerful Instrument which can advance their cause in West Germany now and be ready to exploit the internal crisis in West Germany and the Western alliance which they anticipate.

The manner in which the West Berlin problem is handled will have aeffect on the prestige and authority of the East Oerman regime. Should the

East German people come to consider that the freedom of West Berlin Is likely to be lost or even compromised, the belief that Communist powerst Germany was unshakeable would increase greatly. On the other hand, if the Communists appeared clearly rebuffed on Berlin, the prestige of the East German regime would be set back, and the tendency towardwith it would be at least temporarily arrested.

f Germany continues divided for many years. East Germany will probably continue to gain in political stability and economic power, and Internal threats to public security wili diminish. Itragment of the German nation and,reature of Soviet policy, its regime is unlikely ever to be able to associate with itself tbe force of German national sentiment. Its security will continut to be threatened by any shift ln the relation of forces In Central and Eastern Eu rope which seems likely to give ar. opportunity for the reossertlon ofnational aspirations.

DISCUSSION

INTRODUCTION

n3 the East German regime was challenged by an open revolt from which lt was saved only by the Intervention of Soviet troops. Developments since then, and the continued presence of Soviet troops, make any similar challenge today seem Improbable. Our purpose In this estimate Is to appraise the trends which have strengthened thishold on power and to estimate Its prospects.

II. TRENDS AFFECTING THE STRENGTH AND STABILITY OF THE EAST GERMAN REGIME

The Politicol Syitem

S. In East Germany, as tn any Ccmmunlst stale, the strength and effectiveness of the party apparatus, the main Instrument ofpower. Is crucial. Sincehe Socialist Unity Party (SED) hasno serious difficulty In enforcing Its political will on the country. Its success has doubtless been aided by Oerman submls-

slvcncss to constituted authority, but even moreoviet military occupationarger scale than anywhere else In Eastern Europe. There continues toertain amount of tension between central parlyand local administrators who, caught between orders from Berlinisaffected population, tend to crag their feet Inparty prr-grams. Even though much of the rank-and-file membership Joined forreasons, the party has developed administrative cadres down to the local level which appear to be at leust effective enough for Its purposes. While the bulk of the younger generation ln East Germanyubstantial part of the party apparatus ls now composed of younger members who have been carefully selected and schooled and who are probably generally reliable. I

he real strength of the SED. however,In the hard core of professionalwhich forms the central partyThe continuity of5 byhasthis strength. Although he Iseven within party ranks, hiapersonality and personalsaved the SED from seriousmoat dangerous disease to whichparties are exposed. With8 of the opposition led bythe party's unity seems tofirmly restored. Disagreements ovsrpolicy, mainly with respect lo themethods of pushing on toward fullcontinue to arise, but these seembe resolved within the framework ofdiscipline. The chanceserioussplit over the main lines of partyto have declined as the worsthave been overcome and thepopular resistance has subsided. Inthe more open commitmentrolonged division of Germanysilenced those Communlsta whoolicy of avoiding aof that division.

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he capability of the regime to cope with internal security problems has improved. The security police has gained In professional quality and experience. Attempts atconspiratorial activity are now unlikely to escape detection, and significant srganlxed opposition ls for all practical purposesThe German Evangelical Church remains the only Important body havingconnections outside Eastbut its significance is chieflyocus of moral opposition. Local outbreaks ofcould and probably would be suppressed by tho Internal security forces. If they were to become widespread, however. It Is doubtful that even the East German Army could beupon to quell them. The presence oftroops as the final guarantee of theof the regime tends to spare the Eastforces any ultimate test.

nother Indication of the regime'sIs the considerable reduction of direct Soviet control over the day-to-day affairs of the regime. Soviet advisers, who as late34 were stationed In all Important East Oerman ministries and In the armed forces down to battalion level, have been gradually withdrawn. By the fallew Soviet advisers remained, and these were principally with the security andservices. There are no longer Soviet advisers In the party Itself, control now being exercised through contacts between the top East German and Soviet leaders. This change ln direct Soviet control reflected the alteration In Soviet methods which occurred ln all the satellite countries after the death of Stalin, In consequence, the East Oerman leaders, having been encouraged to do so by thehave tried to act more as If theirs were an Independent regime, and they probably at times have evenertain pressure on Moscow to adopt the kind of policies which best suited East German Interests.

Popular Attitudes

lso Important to the more stable security situation has bea gradual accommodation cn the part ofpulatlon to theregime. Both the growing economic

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of thc regime and the relative ln> crease in Soviet power have contributed to this trend. There is even some pride In East Germany's achievements. Large numbers of those least willing to make the accommoda. tion left in thc heavy refugee exodus ofyears. The attitudes of thoseharp decline. Intensified by the events ln Hungaryn any expectation that Western policy will be able toommunist withdrawal and restore the unity of the country. There Is even someof what is taken toack of Interest and effort for reunification In West Cermany, and this acts psychologically to favorThe economic Incentive toor flight la also diminishing for most groups as living conditions improve.

n part due to these factors and also ln part to the Increased effectiveness of GDR security measures, the flow of refugees has declined sharply over the last two or three years.1Periodic upsurges continue to occur, however, as new pressures are brought to bear on particular occupational groups. The movement to East Germany from the West, although It has remained approximatelynow probably amounts to about one-third the movement out of East Germany. The current outflow of refugees probably hasinor effect on economic growth, though it does from time to time accentuate shortages of specific skills. East Oermans continue to have extensive personal and family contacts with West Germans, and this factor probably has sustained the refugee flow to some extent. These contacts are likely to diminish over time, especially ln view of the obstacles which the East Oerman regime Imposes.

t should be emphasized, however, that the growing attitude of accommodation to the regimeurely conditional one. It springs primarilyense of theof any prospect for removing the Communist power rather than from anyacceptance of It. Beneath the surface In East Germany there continues to be strong antl-Sovlet sentimenteep-seated all-German national consciousness. It may even be that German nationalism is stronger today in East than In West Cermany. The veryof Communist totalitarian rule are such that If opposition breaks out It will probably do so suddenly, violently, andprerloua planning, and become In such an event, the security forces, including the army, would probably no* be reliable or adequate, and the regime would be obliged to call upon Soviet forces. Barring some fortuitous combination of circumstances, however, which by Its very nature cannot be foreseen, the East German population is not I'kely to resort to acts of desperation against the regime.

Economic Development

he economic achievements of the regime in recent years arc one of the main sources of its growing strength. With the nearof the Soviet Imposed drain on the East German economy, and with recent Increases in Investment and foreign trade, the East German economy hasoingIt is still much less productive than the West German economy, but has ahigher rate of growth. Industry Is heavily dependent cn the USSR for creditsaw materials, which has resulted in agreater orientation of the wholeto the Bloc system. Aboutercent of East German trade is now wlfh Bloc countries,ercent with West Oermany,ith other non-Bloc countries. In two

of the past three years, East Germany was the USSR's most Important trading partner, and9 was second only to Communist China.

plans for overtaking WestIn per capita consumptiono be realized, living standardsGermany have now reached orlevels, except ln housing, andconsumption now Isercent of that In West Germany.ls unlikely to change significantlynext few years, although theGerman level will continue to rise.process, the difference In livingEast and West Germany Islose its political Importance, and theincentive to move West, especiallyEast German Industrial worker, ls

remains the weakest spoteconomy. Last fall the partythe course of fixing responsibility forresults ln agriculture, again focusedon the question of farmand reaffirmed Ulbrlcht's program ofpressure on private farmersSubsequently, unexpectedsuccesses ln overcoming resistance toledecision to pressa "blitz" campaign throughoutand onpril the regimeagriculture was fully collectivized.the campaign has for the most partthe paper consent of farmers toActually attempting to carrynecessary organizational measures Inalmost certainly will add toconsiderable short-term problemsregime in agricultural production.in the next year or so, thehave to reckon with strong passivefrom the peasantry, and withadded expense In providingmachinery and farm buildingsIn the change-over from privatefarming. Food supplybe aggravated temporarily, andmorale. In the longer run.will probably result Inln production, because it willthe Introduction of Improved farming methods, for which the private fanner had little Incentive under Communist policy.

Summery cf Trend*

Is evident that the Communistsfar in their effort to give strengthto the political and economicare Imposing on East Germany.that the state Israil,of the Soviet military occupationlonger tenable. The regime Is by noa position as yet to stand on Its ownunassisted, nor would the Sovietsat present to run the risk of lettingNevertheless, Its Internal structureenough now to withstand moststrains arising from Internal causes.seems established so long asno general challenge to SovietEastern Europe.

HE LONGER TERM OUTLOOK

Scviet and SED leaders almostdo not consider the final end ofto be merely the achievement ofand cccr.cmlc stabilitytatefrom the German nation, evenhas become an Important andof the Bloc. They almostthat, by fashioning East Germanyexample of the "superiority ofspecially over the system inthey can advance theirhole. The Immediateto show the world and the GermansGermany Is an established politicalthat Its Internal measures ofare Irrevocable and acceptable toand that Itermanentthe Bloc They apparently hope Infew years to realize theirto raise per capita productionevel comparable to thoseGermany, and at the same timesocialization of the country. Theythese achievements would materiallythe regime's prestige at home andin vtnl Ocrmany and enhance the

prospects of at least neutralizing Westand ultimately achieving theof Germany under Communist aegis.

Whether East Germany proves able to play the role assigned to it by Communist policy obviously also depends heavily onln West Germany and elsewhere. In the Communists' view, West Germany and the Western alliance are bound to encounter an Internal crisis ultimately, and it Is their aim to have in the Cast German regime ainstrument ready to exploit the occasion when It arrives, end Indeed, help to precipitate it If possible. In the meantime, however, the East German regime may Itselfumber of Important tests over the next several years.

The manner ln which the problem of West Berlin Is handled, now that the Soviets have madeajor issue, will have considerable significance for the prestige and authority of the East Oerman regime. The latter clearly regards thc Western presence ln Berlin and the "activities" originating thereajor obstacle. For the East German population, West Berlinrimary source of information about and contact with the West, and arefuge should regime pressures finally make flight Imperative. Above all. Itymbol meaning that Communist power In East Germany is not finally consolidated. Should the East German populace come to conclude that the freedom of West Berlin is likely to be lost or even compromised, the belief that Communist power ln East Germany was permanent and Irresistible would increase greatly. There would probablyew rush of refugees,nal chance for escape. Among those who remained, the tendency to seek accommodation with the regime would be greatly stimulated. On the other hand, If the Communist assault on the freedom of West Berlin should seem to have been clearly rebuffed, the prestige of the East Oermanwould be set back, and the tendency toward accommodation with It would be at least temporarily arrested.

Communists attach greattheir persistent campaign to winstatus for East Germany bywider diplomatic recognition. by Important states would not onlyto internal stability, but would alsoong step In qualifying the regime for Its intended role In the contest for Germany. To date, It has obtained formal recognition from only one non-Bloc country, Yugoslavia, but It maintains trade representationne post. Cairo, has achieved the statusonsulate general, though not yet thatiplomatic post The UAR. Iraq, India. Finland, and Cuba are major targe's, but the mainerman effort at present is directed at the new African stales, where they seem to have the best chances of achieving abreakthrough. Recognitionew' countries could resultingle important stimulus, such as Soviet signature of apeace treaty with East Germany,'gnflcant Western setback on Berlin. Such events couldretext for thesewhich already desire to recognize East Germany and are onlyuitable Prospects for widespread recognition within the next few years, however, willnot only upon Bonn's ability to counter East German economic and political activities, but upon the strength of the Western reaction as well

Within the next several years, the SED may well be faced for the first time with acrisis. There docs not appear to bedesignated successor to Ulbrlchttruggle for power will probably ensue.Soviet views will probably remainauthoritative within the party toan orderly outcome. An Internal crisis which thc party Itself could not handle seems unlikely. At most, there might be same loss of prestige for theew leadership might seek to recoup by turningore lenient Internal line than has been favored by UlbrtchL

Evenuccession crisis is successfully surmounted, however, the leadership willbe less Imposing after Ulbrlcht.candidates for hit post seem few lnand are probably of leaser caliber.has been by norilliant leader, but his political sagacity and his will to power have been assets to the party and regime.

Even if no equally powerful leader appears, however, UJbrtchfa loss will tend to be offset by the development, as the regime matures, of an elite class entrenched in positions of power In the party, state, and economicThus, whatever changes of leadership may occur In the future, they are unlikely lo diminish the capacity of the regime to maintain and administer power.

The Soviets would probably regard eof their troops In East Germanyseful maneuver at an appropriaten connection with the Summit, or at some stage in the disarmament game, or as anpolitical pressure against West German and NATO armament programs. They would expectove to be taken also as aof their confidence In the viability of the Communist regime ln East Germany. We believe that the time Is not far off when the Soviets, without hazarding the Internal security of the regime, could reduce their treeps In East Germany substantially,by as much asmaller withdrawal, though one large enough to have propaganda impact, might be made at any time.

Nevertheless, we believe that the Soviets will feel obliged for the foreseeable future to maintain Ln East Germany sufficient troops to cope with the possibilityeneralof regime security. However effective the regime's security apparatus may be against internal opposition, or howeverits economic development, the Soviets are unlikely to underestimate the hazard to

Communist control of East Germany Inherent In the continued existence of another and stronger Germany. Although Germansentiment seems, in consequence of the defeat5 and the subsequentof the country, to remain largelytoday, it> deep-rooted to be wholly without effect on the long-term relations of the two Germanles.

f the division of Germany continues for many years, we believe that East Germany will continue to make gains ln political stability and economic power. Its population willremain fundamentally alienated from the regime, but will Increasingly accommodate lt*elf to lifeommunist state so that any threat to public security arising from purely Internal causes will progressively diminish. Institutional and personal ties between the two parts of Germany will probably have less and less political significance. The effective Influence of West Germany on developments ln East Germany will probably continue to decline. Nevertheless, the persistence ofsentiment In both Germanles willotential hazard to the East German regime.ragment of the Germanwhose regimereature of SovietEast Germany Is unlikely ever to be able to assectate the force of national sentiment with Itself and Its policies. Ita security will continue to be threatened by any shift In the relation of forces In Central and Eastern Europe which would seem likely to give an opportunity for the reasscrtlon of Germanaspirations.

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