740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–745

No. 347
The Political Adviser in Germany ( Murphy ) to the Secretary of State
No. 576

Subject: Report on Denazification

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith the following report on denazification matters.

. . . . . . .

Some time ago Lt. General Clay considered the question of holding a press conference on denazification and requested the Political Division to prepare necessary basic information on which such a press conference could be conducted. The question of the advisability and also of the nature of such a press conference was discussed at the informal Denazification Interdivisional Committee meetings, the results of which were reported to the Department in my confidential despatch no. 535,1 referred to immediately above. In accordance with the suggestions made at these committee meetings, a series of basic questions and a statement of fundamental elements of the denazification program was prepared and are transmitted herewith in enclosure no. 3.

. . . . . . .

Respectfully yours,

Robert Murphy
[Page 494]
[Enclosure 3]
Information for Press Conference on Denazification 2
Denazification as War Aim. One of the principal objectives of the war is the denazification of Germany. The announcement of the Crimea Conference states that the aim of the three Powers is “to destroy German militarism and Nazism” and “to remove all Nazi and militarist influences from public offices and from cultural and economic life of the German people.”
Objective of Denazification Program. The denazification program embraces the following: a. Arrest and detention of Nazi leaders and influential Nazi supporters and any other persons dangerous to the Allied occupation or its objectives; b. Removal and exclusion from public office and from positions of responsibility and importance in quasi-public and private enterprises of members of the Nazi Party who have been more than nominal participants in its activities, active supporters of Nazism, and other persons hostile to Allied purposes; c. Eradication of Nazism from German legislation and decrees; d. Liquidation of the Nazi Party, together with its affiliated and subsidiary organizations, and the prevention of their revival; e. Elimination of Nazi symbols, anthems, flags, and insignia; f. Prevention of Nazi propaganda in any form and the removal of Nazism from German information services, education, and religion.
Quadripartite Program. This program will be discussed and if possible coordinated on a quadripartite basis. Pending such quadripartite discussion and decision, however, the US Group CC is proceeding with its own plans to effect this program in the American Zone of Occupation.
Staff Responsibility within US Group CC . The staff responsibility within the US Group CC for the planning and implementation of this program devolves upon the following Divisions and Branches:
Political Division: over-all denazification policy coordination.
Legal Division: elimination of Nazism from German legislation and decrees, courts, and legal institutions.
Counter Intelligence Branch: dissolution of the Nazi Party and its affiliated and subsidiary organizations, arrest and detention of Nazi leaders and influential Nazi supporters, and prevention of Nazi underground.
Information Control Services Branch: denazifying German information services.
Education and Religious Affairs Branch: denazifying German education and religion.
Local Government Branch: applying denazification to German street names and memorials.
Finance Division: denazifying financial institutions and blocking Nazi financial holdings.
Economics Division: denazifying economic and industrial concerns.
Manpower Division: denazifying German labor organizations and labor reserves.
Property Control Branch: custodianship of the property of the Nazi Party and its members.
The Staff Divisions/Branches are responsible for seeing to it that denazification is given appropriate priority and that denazification policy and directives are applied in the field by Military Government Detachments.
Liquidation of Nazi Party and Organizations. The dissolution of the Nazi Party is required by Military Government Law No. 5,3 which declares illegal some 50 Nazi Party offices and organizations and prohibits their activities. The same is true of the Party paramilitary organizations, including the SA (Sturmabteilung), the SS (Schutzstaffel), HJ ( Hitler Jugend ), and the Organisation Todt. Military Government Law No. 5 is posted in every occupied community and violators are subject to arrest and conviction by Military Government Courts. At present, reports indicate that there is no organized effort to create a Nazi underground.
Arrest Program. The arrest program is enforced by Counter Intelligence officers in the field. Plans call for the detection and detention of the following two groups: those who are included in prescribed arrest categories and are arbitrarily to be arrested by virtue of the positions they held in the Nazi Party or the German government, and those who are included in the Blacklist and are individually sought out by name.
More specifically, automatic arrest of the following groups is required:
All persons who have held office in the Party administration, down to a low level.
All persons who have held Party ranks, down to a low level.
All persons who have held commissions, down to and including the equivalent rank of major, in the para-military organizations.
All officials in the higher ranks of the German Civil Service.
All officers and senior NCOs in the SS.
Although accurate information as to the arrests made to date is not yet possible, because reporting through channels is apt to lag, nevertheless, it is estimated that to date upward of 40,000 persons [Page 496] have been arrested. This figure is for the entire SHAEF area and it includes war criminals and other persons on the Black List and also those to be arrested on the basis of the arrest categories.
In addition, when German Prisoners of War are released, they are screened in order to weed out those Nazis who fall within either the Black List or the arrest categories. Thus, a sizeable number of such Nazis are already under detention and when screened will be transferred directly from Prisoner of War cages to arrestee detention camps.
Removal from Office Program.
It is not intended to remove all members of the Nazi Party from all jobs. Plans rather call for the removal and exclusion from public office and from positions of importance in quasi-public and private enterprises of active members of the Nazi Party, active supporters of Nazism, and persons hostile to Allied purposes.
Mandatory removal from office is required for former officials and officers of the Nazi Party and Party members who have been more than nominal participants in its activities; certain categories of officials and officers of the various Nazi Party formations, and affiliated, supervised and other organizations; Germans who received certain Nazi Party decorations; and certain officials in the German Government and Civil Service. Such mandatory removals will embrace the upper levels of Nazi leadership, and will affect a broader group than those subject to the arrest program.
In addition, other groups are subject to removal from office at the discretion of the Military Government Detachments. Such groups include those individuals who did not per se constitute Nazi leadership and therefore are subject to removal on the basis of their individual acts.
As far as private enterprise is concerned, plans call for the removal of individuals in policy making and executive positions and personnel officers in important industrial, commercial, agricultural, and financial institutions. Such institutions include all those directly supervised, utilized, or controlled by Military Government and industrial, mining, public utility and commercial enterprises, combines and cartels which by virtue of their capitalization (more than RM 1,000,000), number of employees (more than 250), type of products produced or services rendered—are important factors in the German economy or in the economy of the region or community in which they operate. In the discretion of the Military Government detachments, the removal of Nazis from less important industrial, commercial, agricultural, and financial institutions is authorized.
The removal procedure is founded upon a system of vetting and screening. All persons used by Military Government in public office [Page 497] or in positions of importance in quasi-public or private enterprises are required to fill out a detailed six-page personnel questionnaire called the Fragebogen, prepared by the Public Safety Branch. The purpose of this Fragebogen is to obtain information which will enable Miliary Government officers to determine whether a person should be removed or excluded from the position he held or seeks to hold.
The Fragebogen includes questions intended to make the person reveal his personal history; secondary and higher education; professional and trade training; record of full time employment, experience and military service; membership and role in all types of organizations before and after the Hitler regime, especially the Nazi Party and its organizations; writings and speeches since 1923; income and assets since 1 January 1931; and travel and residence abroad.
When the Fragebogen has been filled out the person signs and certifies that the answers are true and that he understands that he will be prosecuted in a U. S. Military Government Court for falsification. The Fragebogen is then evaluated, in close cooperation with the Counter Intelligence Corps by a Special Branch Section of the U. S. Public Safety Division of US Military Government Detachment. Answers are checked against all available police, civil service, Nazi Party, intelligence and other records. Military Government officers have prosecuted cases of falsification and offenders have been sentenced from two to five year imprisonment by Military Government Courts. Publication of the results has served to keep violations to a minimum.
Vetting is not a mere arbitrary process. Careful screening must be done. A process is being established that safeguards the purely nominal member of the Nazi Party who was forced to join in order to retain his position of livelihood or escape the concentration camp. Under approved directives and procedures, however, not even a nominal party member may be hired without additional screening and evaluation, and then only upon approval of the Supreme Commander of U. S. Military Government.
Valuable service is rendered by reliable Germans who are used by Special Branch/Section of Public Safety in evaluating Fragebogen and for field investigation to verify information contained in the Fragebogen. Such Germans are not used, however, in making actual decisions as to removal or retention of an individual. That is done by Military Government officers.
Denazification of German Law. Nazi ideology and concepts are to be eliminated from German law. To this end, according to Military Government Law No. 1,4 certain specified fundamental [Page 498] laws enacted since 30 January 1933, with all subsidiary and carrying out laws, decrees, and regulations, are to be abrogated. Furthermore no German law is to continue in force if it either (a) discriminates against any person by reason of his race, nationality, religious beliefs, or opposition to the Nazi Party or its doctrines, or (b) favors any person because of his connection with the Nazi Party or its affiliated or subsidiary organizations.
Denazification of Education. The purely Nazi schools such as the Adolf Hitler Schulen (AHS), National-politische Erziehungsanstalten (NAPOLAS, or National Political Education Institutes), Ordensburgen (or Nazi Leaders Colleges), and other Nazi schools, are to be liquidated. Ordinary schools and educational institutions gradually will be opened, but only after objectionable courses of instruction are eliminated, the teaching staffs have been screened, and the textbooks revised. The teaching program is to be oriented towards (a) the eradication of Nazi and militaristic influences or doctrines, especially instruction giving support to the “ Führer ” principle, aggression, nationalism, militarism, and the right of world domination, and discrimination on the basis of race and religion; and (b) encouraging the inculcation in the German people of democratic and humanitarian principles and values.
Denazification of Religion. In the field of religious affairs the denazification program is largely a matter of removing Nazi restraint on the freedom of religion and establishing the protection of freedom of religious belief and worship, and the abrogation of Nazi laws and decrees directed against any particular religious group as such; and upon the use of religious groups and leaders in the reeducation of Germans through emphasis on moral values.
Elimination of Nazi Ideology. The problem of eliminating Nazi ideology from public information media is one of the important aspects of the program. German information services, including the radio, press, books and periodicals, films, theaters, operas, concerts, and the like, are to be controlled in order to eliminate the dissemination of Nazi propaganda and to regulate the nature and substance of information made available to the Germans. This program is to eliminate information media which:
Propagate Nazi or related “völkisch” ideas including racism and race hatred.
Propagate Fascist or anti-democratic ideas.
Constitute an incitement to riot or disorder, or interfere in any way with the process of Military Government.
As conditions permit, fuller scope for self-expression is to be permitted to reliable Germans, but not until we are certain that the information services will not be used for Nazi and militaristic purposes.
Nazi Symbols.
No German parades, military or political, are permitted in Germany, and no Nazi anthems may be played or sung in public or before any groups or gatherings.
Public display of Nazi flags and other paraphernalia of the Nazi Party is prohibited.
Names of parks, streets and public ways, institutions and buildings named after persons or things associated with Nazism are to be removed from display and use and will be replaced by more suitable names. Movable monuments and statues associated with Nazism will be removed. Emblems, insignia, or symbols of Nazism will be removed from such statues, monuments or edifices which are not amenable to removal, and the eventual disposition of such statues, monuments, and edifices will be decided upon later. This program is to be carried out by Germans themselves under the direction of the Military Government Detachments.
Nazi Property and Finances. Property, owned or controlled by the Nazi Party will be seized and held. The same is true of the property of leading members and officials of the Nazi Party.
  1. Not printed.
  2. The draft questions to which this statement is responsive, which questions were also part of enclosure 3, are not printed.
  3. Military Government Regulations (Frankfurt, Office of Military Government for Germany (U. S.), 1947), sec. 23–204.
  4. Military Government Regulations, sec. 23–201. Text also in Ruhm von Oppen ed., Documents on Germany Under Occupation, 1945–1954, p. 9.