740.00119 EAC/1–344

Memorandum by the Working Security Committee31


Provisions for Imposition Upon Germany at the Time of Surrender

Preliminary Comment to Accompany WS–1032

Detailed comment has been prepared in the State Department on most of the articles in Document WS–10. These draft comments are now being reviewed in the Working Security Committee which is composed of representatives of the State, War and Navy Departments under the chairmanship of Mr. James C. Dunn33 of the State [Page 101] Department. It is intended to forward them to the American representative34 as the review is completed.

However, in order that some explanatory material may be made available immediately, the following preliminary comments are offered on certain provisions:

Comment on Nature of Surrender Document

It is believed that the capitulation of Germany should be recorded in a single document of unconditional surrender. The statement of principles embodied in WS–10 would, it is felt, provide an adequate legal basis for the principal security, political and economic controls which the United Nations will need to impose on Germany at the time of surrender and thereafter. The principles listed therein should not, however, be considered as exclusive of such additional conditions which it may be found advisable or necessary to impose. Nor should it be considered that all such terms must necessarily be included in the instrument of surrender so long as the instrument includes the complete and unconditional surrender of Germany and such other broad and general terms as the three Governments may agree should be included therein in order to safeguard their rights and powers. In general, it is believed that the document of unconditional surrender should be a relatively brief instrument, with full power reserved to implement it by such proclamations, orders and ordinances as the occupation authorities and the Governments which they represent may deem advisable or necessary.

Comment on Article 1. The Signatories

It it believed to be desirable to have the instrument of surrender bind the German Government, whatever its political structure or complexion at the time of final defeat, to the acceptance and execution of the desired terms. To that end it is requisite that the individual or individuals making the formal capitulation for Germany possess suitable authorization to sign the document on behalf of the German Government as well as of the High Command.

Should there be a political regime with which to deal, it is further believed to be desirable to require the signatures of the highest military authorities who continue to hold responsible positions for the purpose of declaring their responsibility to carry out the conditions which may be imposed upon Germany as well as for the purpose of emphasizing the responsibility of the German military for the defeat. Should the German Government retain to that time essentially a National Socialist character, it would be equally desirable to stipulate the presence of such high National Socialist governmental [Page 102] officials at the formal surrender as may be available to participate in that act.

Comment on Article 4. Occupation Organs

Despite the precedent of the Italian Control Commission35 and also of the provision for a Control Commission for Germany in earlier versions of WS–10 (S 94 and S 94A),36 Article 4 does not contain any recommendation for the establishment of an agency with this name. It is recognized that, in view of the chaotic conditions to be anticipated in Germany, whether a capitulation occurs before invasion or after invasion and consequent establishment of military government, an initial period of military government in Germany is inevitable and should be provided for.

In general it is believed that the necessary enforcement agencies, their composition, functions, and authority, and the relation between them and the commanders of occupation forces in Germany should be explored jointly and agreed upon by the United States, United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R. in advance of the time of occupation. Specifically, the problem of coordinating the administration of civil affairs in Germany by the forces under the Supreme Allied Commander and those under the Soviet Commander-in-Chief require study by the Commission and it is hoped that the recommendations of the Commission on this subject can be formulated and transmitted to the three governments at an early date. This problem is presently being analyzed with a view to providing the American representative with a more complete statement of the views of the Working Security Committee.

Comment on Article 7. Surrender of Materials of War

The phrase “arms, ammunition and implements of war” has been used in this article because it has a definite meaning in the United States, and, generally throughout the world. The generally understood meaning is based on the President’s Proclamation of May 1, 1937,37 listing the items included within the meaning of the phrase. However, its use here should not be interpreted as restrictive, but merely as illustrative, the idea being that it should be of use to the occupation authorities in defining the phrase at the time of surrender of materials of war.

Comment on Article 8. Occupation

No reference is made in this article to certain areas requiring particular consideration in the occupation of Germany. Two classes of [Page 103] areas are envisaged: (1) areas of predominately German population, for example, Austria, Danzig and Memel, which have been annexed by the German Reich but which were not part of Germany on January 1, 1938, and (2) areas which were within Germany on January 1, 1938, but which may come under consideration for transfer to other states. The occupation problems, especially of a political and administrative character, which will confront the occupation authorities in these areas are receiving special study.

Comment on Article 13. War Criminals

Because of the statement signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin regarding atrocities38 and because of the consideration now being given to this Subject by the United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes39 no attempt is made in Article 13 to specify the procedures which should be employed in dealing with war criminals. The article is a statement of principle which it is felt should be included in the surrender document.

Comment on Article 24. Economic Reconstruction

The measures referred to in this article are those which may be undertaken by the United Nations with a view to the economic rehabilitation and reconstruction of Europe and of the world in general as well as those which may be taken by the governments of the occupying powers within Germany.

Comment on Article 25. Cooperation in Peace Measures

Because the United States, through the President, has called for the complete disarmament of Germany it is felt that Germany should not be in a position for an indefinite period in the future to provide any armed forces for the maintenance of international peace and security. If it is felt to be desirable by the United Nations, however, Germany might make contributions of a technical, economic, or otherwise acceptable character and the present article has been drawn in such a way as to permit the rendering of assistance of this kind.

Comments on Article 27. Duration and Enforcement of Instrument of Surrender

Consideration was given to the thought of drawing this article so that the instrument of surrender would be terminated by the entrance into force of the treaty of peace with Germany. This thought was rejected, however, because of the difficulty of predicting at present [Page 104] the time and the exact nature of the arrangements which will bring the war against Germany technically to an end.

Prepared and reviewed in the Working Security Committee:

Lieut. Col. E. P. Allen,
 Civil Affairs Division,
 War Department
Lieut. Comdr. Willis Sargent,
 Naval Office for Occupied
James W. Riddleberger, Division of European Affairs
Henry P. Leverich, Division of European Affairs
Leroy D. Stinebower, Division of Economic Studies
D. C. Blaisdell (drafting officer) Division of Political Studies
David Harris, Division of Political Studies
Philip E. Mosely, Division of Political Studies
  1. For a discussion of the functions of the Working Security Committee, see telegram 392, January 15, 9 p.m., to London, p. 111.
  2. Document WS–10 dated December 29, 1943, not printed; it was the preliminary version of document WS–10a, January 6, infra.
  3. Director of the Office of European Affairs.
  4. John G. Winant, Ambassador in the United Kingdom, was the United States Representative on the European Advisory Commission.
  5. For correspondence regarding the function of the Italian Control Commission, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, pp. 402 ff.
  6. Not printed.
  7. 50 Stat. (pt. 2) 1834.
  8. For text of the Declaration of German Atrocities, signed at Moscow, November 1, 1943, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 768.
  9. For correspondence regarding the establishment of the United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes, see ibid., pp. 402 ff.