August 24, 2017

1950. West Germans Scoff at Communist Declaration of "Liberation Day"

Berlin on the Fifth Anniversary of the End of World War II
"Berlin Communists gather around the city's Soviet War Memorial in 1950" (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

May 8, 1950

Sitting here in Adolf Hitler's former capital on this fifth anniversary of the end of the Second World War prompts one to ponder over who won what in the recent defeat of Nazism.

A look at the public comments in East and West Berlin today reveals that about the only thing the conquering nations achieved in their victory is the right to make another war.

Communist East Berlin is making the anniversary a public holiday. Wreaths were laid at two Russian war memorials in the city. At the big Soviet cemetery in Treptow, German puppet officials hailed the occasion as "Liberation Day," paid tribute to the Red Army and Stalin, and said that the Anglo-American warmongers want to use German youth as cannon fodder. America is preparing a new aggressive war, one German speaker said, but if it comes, the US will suffer a defeat worse than Hitler suffered at Stalingrad.

Over the weekend, West Berlin police arrested fifty-seven agitators attempting to collect signatures on a Communist petition for the outlawing of the atomic bomb. This morning three more persons were arrested at Anhalter railroad station on the American-Russian border for attempting to hold an unauthorized meeting.

West Germans scoff at the Communist "Liberation Day," coming as it does only three days after the Russians announced no more German war prisoners will be repatriated. This announcement is probably history's greatest public relations blunder if the Communists hoped to win any measure of sympathy from the German people.

Carl Schwennicke, leader of the West Berlin liberal party, says that the Russians have completely mistaken German psychology in calling this anniversary "Liberation Day," and that May 8 is rather an anniversary of plunder and the beginning of a new dictatorship. The Soviet Union has missed its chance for a peaceful and confident collaboration with the Germans. The true liberation day, he says, will come when eighteen million Germans in the East zone are free from the dictation of Soviet bayonets.

This is Bill Downs in Berlin. Now back to CBS in New York.