announced that 25 people were killed and 378 were injured. During the last two weeks of June, the riots were suppressed. Mass arrest of suspected opponents of the regime were made, and many people were executed. Only one execution was ever announced, that of a West Berliner, Willy Goettling. He was used to "prove" that the riots were inspired by Western agents. However, the riots served notice on the regime that popular discontent had reached a dangerously high level.
On June 24 Otto Grotewohl (see Grotewohl, Otto) declared that, although the riots had been instigated by "capitalist agents," they could not have happened without serious mistakes being committed by the communist authorities. He stated that serious food shortages occurred because of the flight of hundreds of thousands of peasants to West Germany. The scarcity of consumer goods, resulting from a concentration on heavy industrial development, was another factor. He said that the government had learned from its mistakes and would take prompt steps to remedy them. The Soviet role in suppressing the riots was another indication of the nature of the East German regime, of its complete dependence on Soviet tanks for survival.
The West German parliament proclaimed June 17 a day dedicated to the communist victims of the uprising. The West German government also announced that it has received information to the effect that over 25,000 people were imprisoned after the riots. The workers of East Germany were greatly disappointed by the lack of vigorous Western response to the atrocities. President Dwight Eisenhower sent a message to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer that the United States would make $15 million worth of foodstuffs available for East Germany (including grain, sugar, and other necessities). He also appealed to the Soviet occupational authorities to cooperate in the distribution of food to the population. This offer was rejected by both the East German and Soviet authorities. In spite of the rejection, Eisenhower sent large quantities of food to West Berlin where local authorities were given jurisdiction over its distribution. The people of East Berlin were then invited to pick up food at designated distribution centers. The food distribution program lasted until October 10. By then, over 3 million East Germans had obtained food. It was estimated that eighty percent of the people of East Berlin obtained at least two rations each. Sixty-eight percent of the people who crossed over to West Berlin for food came from East Germany outside of East Berlin.
Brant Stefan, The East German Rising ( London, 1955); Keesing Research Report. Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945: From the Potsdam Agreement to Chancellor Brandt's Ostpolitik ( New York, 1973).
Ebert, Friedrich (1894-1979). Friedrich Ebert was the son of the first president of the Weimar Republic of Germany. His father signed the Versailles Peace Treaty with the victorious Allies in 1919. He was considered a traitor to Germany by right-wing extremists who murdered him in the early 1920s.
Friedrich, his son, became a journalist. He was also a member of the German So-