December 28, 2017

1950. Downs Returns to Berlin

Downs Returns After a Week in New York
The Berlin headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union during the 5th annual conference, September 17, 1950 (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

January 6, 1950

Getting back to the German beat after a week in New York leaves a reporter with a lot to catch up on. In the first place, every politician and his brother have been making New Year's statements. And there has been other incidental business in both East and West Germany that must be noted.

West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer lists a six-point program to guide his government during 1950, a program tackling the housing and unemployment problems and calling for foreign investment and liberalization of European trade barriers.

America's High Commissioner John McCloy has challenged the Soviet-sponsored East German state to hold free elections as the basis for the unification of the country.

The Communist president of the East German government also is calling for unity—but as usual on Communist terms. The satellite administration is reviving its National Front campaign and announces that unity administrations will be organized in the West during the coming months.

There are the usual reports of yet another purge in the German branch of the party. Tomorrow and the next day, the Ruhr Communists will stage peace demonstrations.

President Truman's State of the Union address today is hailed by the Western press as one of great promise and optimism; by the Eastern press as warmongering.

In other words, things are about as I left them ten days ago.

When you return here from the United States, as I did, the question everyone asks is: "How was it?"

Looking at America through European eyes, the answer is: "The people are well-fed. They have good clothing and shoes, there is lots of construction, the shop windows are full, and there are marked American tendencies toward internationalism."

In other words, it was swell.

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