October 11, 2017

1950. Adenauer and Schuman Meet in Bonn

Germany and France Seek to Establish Closer Ties
"West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer greets French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, left, upon his arrival on January 14, 1950 at the main railway station in Bonn, West Germany for the start of his visit to the 'temporary' German capital" (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

January 13, 1950

French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman arrived in Germany today for an official visit that already is being hailed as the beginning of a new rapport between the French and West German republics.

Schuman was greeted in Mainz and will go to Bonn for conferences with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and on Sunday come to Berlin for a two-day stay. It is the first French reply to Adenauer's appeals for Franco-German cooperation toward settlement of Western Europe's problems. A trade treaty between the two nations is now under negotiation.

A spell of snow and cold weather has kept things quiet in Germany for the past week or so, but there is every indication that the news will revive with the coming of spring.

The Communist East German state is reviving its National Front campaign for the third time and is beginning to open up its propaganda for a concerted all-German move to drive the Americans, British, and French out of Berlin and Western Germany.

As preparation, the Communist press today announces that the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen will be liquidated. These camps have been run by East Germans under Russian military direction. Inmates include former Nazis, political prisoners, and convicted criminals. Their existence has been most embarrassing to Communists trying to sell people's democracy to the Eastern Germans.

The Communist-led Free German Youth organization announces today a mass rally on the 27th of May under the slogan, "Let's Move on Berlin." Present plans call for shipment of more than a half-million young persons from all over East Germany to stage demonstrations to convince West Berliners of the error of their ways.

I've got to go for an important conference with my three-day-old son. His mother says that he knows as much and seems less concerned about the German situation than I am. As a matter of fact, they both feel fine about everything.

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

Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

January 15, 1950

Foreign Minister Robert Schuman of France meets today with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of the West German republic. The two men are expected to discuss the position of the Saar region—now under French stewardship in their zone of occupation.

The Schuman government is incorporating the important Saar economy into France and is attempting to obtain long-term leases for Saar coal production. The Germans are resisting. They maintain the nationalized Saar coal mines are German property and that the settlement of their future production is up to the German people.

No decisions are expected out of the Schuman-Adenauer conference in Bonn today—only an exchange of views. Final settlement of the Saar problem must await agreement on a peace treaty.

The three Western Berlin commandants have sent another letter to Russia's General Kotikov protesting failure of the Soviet rail directorate to deal satisfactorily with strikers who last year tied up Berlin transport. The letter charges that the Western rail workers are being victimized; that the Russians are not living up to the terms of settlement. These exchanges of protests are virtually the only official contact existing between the Eastern and Western parts of the city.

An Enoch Arden tragedy was enacted in Germany the other day. Two years ago Mrs. Paula was informed that her husband had died in a Russian prisoner of war camp. She later married Konrad Kluger. Last week she received word that her first husband was alive and returning to their home in Mülheim. She told Kluger of the situation and it was agreed that all three would sit down and arrange a satisfactory settlement.

The 28-year-old woman went to the railroad station to meet her first husband. But when she got there she was told that he had died an hour before of a heart attack brought on by the excitement of returning home.

Mrs. Kluger returned home. There she found that her second husband had committed suicide as a way of solving what he thought was an insoluble problem.

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