Foreign News: Blackmail

East Germany's Reds needed machinery and tools from West Germany to bolster their lagging Five Year Plan. This is how they went about getting it:

Four weeks ago they stopped trucks leaving West Berlin for Germany's West zone, demanded a toll of $75 a round trip to pay for "road upkeep." They had already cut off the Berlin-Mittelland barge canal for "repairs" and hampered railway parcel-post shipments on still another pretext. Meanwhile, Red negotiators sat down with West German officials to talk about a new trade agreement between East and West Germany.

Last week, Bonn signed the one-year treaty the Reds wanted,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!