7 August 1961
Over the weekend of 6/7 August, the Marienfelde refugee centre registers 3,268 refugees.
In the morning, Ulbricht reports to the SED Politburo on the results of the Warsaw Pact conference in Moscow from 3 to 5 August in an extraordinary meeting. The SED Politburo sets the date of the closure of the border for the 12/13 August. The resolution states: "The beginning of the planned control measures will take place in the night from Saturday to Sunday according to a resolution by the Council of Ministers." The Volkskammer is to be convened on Friday, 11 August 1961, and Walter Ulbricht is to invite the Council of Ministers "to a gathering" on the weekend.
Colonel Ernest von Pawel, the head of the US military mission in Potsdam, reports to the US headquarters in Heidelberg that the National People’s Army has mobilised four divisions.
In a radio and television address, Nikita Khrushchev reacts to John F. Kennedy’s speech of 25 July 1961 with a sabre-rattling speech. "If the leaders of the USA are aware what a war involving thermo-nuclear weapons means, why are they making the atmosphere so white-hot in the way President Kennedy did in his speech?", Khrushchev asks rhetorically. It was obvious, he says, "that a third world war, if it were to break out, would not remain limited to a duel between the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States of America. (…) We have taken all this into consideration and, if the imperialists do start a war, we have the necessary weapons at our disposal not only to deal a devastating blow to the territory of the USA, but also to render the aggressor’s allies harmless and to combat the American bases scattered all over the world."
Khrushchev accuses the Western Powers of being responsible for the Berlin crisis: "We do not want a war, but our people will not tremble at any ordeal; it will answer violence with violence and strike any and every aggressor on the head." However, like Kennedy, he also shows his willingness to negotiate. He says he does not intend to restrict Allied access to Berlin or to block off West Berlin.