A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 17: Czechoslovak Politburo Resolution
on Mobilization Readiness with Respect to the Berlin
Question, July 25, 1961

This resolution of the Czechoslovak party Presidium reflects a decision to increase defense readiness in view of the possible consequences of the signing of a separate peace treaty with East Germany. Coincidentally, the resolution comes on the same day as President John F. Kennedy's important speech announcing a troop buildup in Eu- rope. Clearly, the Czechoslovak decision was not in response to the American move but it shows that even before the United States raised the ante the Soviets had already been preparing the Warsaw Pact for the possibility of a military confrontation arising from the expected sharpening of the crisis. This meant that Khrushchev was pushing the separate peace treaty with East Germany even though he knew he was taking a mil- itary risk. The Czechoslovak decision, coordinated with Moscow, was analogous to those reached by the Poles, East Germans and possibly Hungarians—to make arrange- ments for housing troops, commandeering vehicles, dispersing aircraft, and preparing for the defense of borders with the FRG. That all this was to be done by October 1 indicates that Khrushchev must have been planning to make a decision on the peace treaty, or on the building of the Berlin Wall, or both, by that date.

"…"

1. Measures to increase the readiness of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in connection with the solution of the German and Berlin questions. Cde. B"ohumír" Lomský, Cde. O"takar" Šimůnek, Cde. L"ubomír" Štrougal

Resolution:

The Politburo of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Central Committee:

I. acknowledges the report on measures that will have to be implemented in order to increase the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic's readiness in connection with the solution of the German and Berlin question, and on the potential consequences which implementation of the measures referred to above may have;

II. instructs:

a) Defense Commissions of Provincial Committees of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia:

1. to provide quarters for troops pursuant to Act No. 40/1961 of the Collection of Laws on defense of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, in accordance with requirements of Cde. B. Lomský; "…"

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