Pauley Files

No. 940
The Representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations ( Pauley ) to the Secretary of State 1

Dear Mr. Secretary: Yesterday I visited five plants in the American area of Berlin located in Zehlendorf and Tempelhof. These plants manufactured artificial wool and artificial silk from wood fibre, electrical instruments, radios, telephones, etc. Will Clayton accompanied me in looking over two of the plants.

These plants are strictly peace-time concerns. We made the following observations:

Very little damage was done to the plants as a result of bombing and shellfire.
Subsequent to the armistice, virtually all machinery was removed by the Russians. The machinery was numbered and removed out of our zone some of it just across the line. The work was tremendously rushed toward the end. A few pieces of machinery were left behind.
The technical information in the plants, process records and specifications were also taken.
In every case, a few foremen and supervisors were “persuaded” by the Russians to accompany the machinery to Russia.
Two of the plants visited belonged to the International Telephone and Telegraph and were 94% and 100% American owned. They have been completely stripped of machinery down to even small tools.

It would appear that all these removals were in complete violation of all efforts to maintain “non-war potential” industries in Germany. The effect of the removals will be the complete destruction of employment opportunities in the area.

What we saw amounts to organized vandalism directed not alone against Germany, but against the U. S. forces of occupation. Incidentally, under the techniques used, Russia will withdraw two to three times as much from any area as would be withdrawn by the U. S. or U. K. under similar circumstances. In the area which we captured and turned over to the Russians we made no removals except for a few samples of unique equipment.

You may draw your own conclusions.

Respectfully yours,

Edwin W. Pauley

Factory Equipment Removals From the American Zone of Berlin 2

Area Covered

On July 26 the Reparations Mission Staff, headed by Edwin W. Pauley and Isador Lubin, accompanied during part of the trip by Will Clayton and others, visited five industrial plants in the American sector of Berlin under the guidance of Major Gentle of the U. S. Military Government. The plants were in Zehlendorf and Tempelhof, in the U. S. sector of Berlin.

Specific Plant Observations

The three plants most carefully inspected were the artificial fibre plant of the Spinnstofffabrik Zehlendorf A. G., the Zeiss Ikon lens and adding machine plant, and the glass works of the Sendlinger Optische Glaswerke. These were selected because they are among the largest plants of the area and are peace-time industries rather than war plants, though their products were used by the military during the war.

[Page 890]

The following paragraphs will give a brief view of the facts:

1. Spinnstofffabrik Zehlendorf A. G.

Normal products: Artificial wool and silk, from wood pulp.

War products: Same

Plant: About 770,000 sq. feet, mostly one story. About one half built during the war and equipped with new machinery. War damage at end was 20% to buildings and to machinery practically none.

Employees: At end about 2,000 of whom 300 were foreign “slave labor” and were reported by the superintendent to be “just as good as the Germans”.

Removals: 80% of all machinery removed, including all modern equipment; conveyor systems; 2 modern steam turbines, 12,000 KWH; pumping equipment from 7 deep wells (leaving 2); all specifications and process records; 4 technicians.

2. Zeiss Ikon A. G. Goertzwerke

Normal products: Cameras, adding-machines

War products: Optical devices

Plant: 270,000 sq. feet, modern 5 story concrete reinforced. War damage, buildings 50%, machinery 5%

Employees: 2,300 including about 300 “slave labor”

Equipment removed: 95% of machine tools, some 1800; all locomotive and rolling stock; all technical reports, drawings and specifications; several technicians went to Russia with the machinery.

3. Sendlinger Optische Glaswerke GmbH.

Normal products: Raw glassware for illumination, Röntgen glass, lenses, magnifying glasses, condensers, raw glass for optics.

War products: Same, with emphasis on raw glass and lenses for optical instruments.

Plant: 117,700 square feet, modern 5 story main plant; war damage to buildings 25%, to machinery none.

Employees: 420, about 25% “slave labor”

Removals: All machinery except 14 old machines removed since Armistice, kilns and furnaces remain. Some plumbing, electrical fixtures are missing. All measuring machines taken.

In addition two International Telephone and Telegraph plants were visited. They manufactured telephones, pneumatic conveyors, radios and other electric equipment.

General Observations

These were not “war potential” plants.
These plants were in full operation up to May 1945. Several of the plants had been damaged during the war mostly by fire, but were repaired and brought to 100% production or more in 30 to 90 days. Some I. T. & T. machinery had been moved out into plants in Czechoslovakia, otherwise there was no evidence of “dispersal.”
Managers or superintendents reported that all plants were operated as parts of various cartels, though they could not give all details.
“Slave labor” made up around 20% of the labor force, somewhat less than we found in heavy industry. Foreign labor was highly regarded by the superintendents we talked with.
Superintendents said that the bulk of their former labor force is still available in the neighborhood, though their living accommodations are very crowded. Present employment is 7% to 10% of normal, and is engaged in repair and clean-up work.
Raw materials and semi-finished materials on hand in the plants are very limited or non-existent, in contrast to the stock-piles in the steel plants. This may be an indication of the breakdown in transport toward the end of the war.
Virtually all useful machinery, including some boilers, turbines, generators and pumps were removed as well as plumbing and electrical fixtures.
Removals were executed by Russian military personnel under some technical supervision. Some 100 men were employed in removals, which may be compared with the 2000 normal employees of the plant. Removals continued up to the time we took over physically. Some machinery, taken from place, was left behind for lack of transport.
The removed machinery was carefully numbered and addressed and apparently sent to places selected in advance, to be set up on the former pattern.
Superintendents reported that the high precision and measuring machinery was not properly protected and was allowed to stand outdoors and along the streets and roads after removal.
German technicians were taken with the machinery to assist in its installation and operation. These technicians went voluntarily, according to the superintendents, though they implied that various “strong inducements” were offered. The Russians wanted many more, but could not persuade them to go.
Two of the plants belonged 94% and 100% to the I. T. & T. Co. They were completely “looted”. They had been more seriously damaged than the other plants we visited, but most of their machinery was in good condition at the end of fighting.


The USSR considers all industrial equipment as war booty, including the equipment of plants engaged in making textiles, cameras, optical instruments, radios, telephones, switchboards and pneumatic tubes and conveyors.
Removals are systematic and in some cases supervised by technical personnel. Machinery is numbered and addressed to places selected in advance. (This conflicts with some evidence seen at the [Page 892] freight marshalling yards. Practices may differ for general purpose machinery). Technical personnel is persuaded but not forced to accompany the machinery.
Special effort was made to strip the Zone turned over to us in Berlin before we came in. The I. T. & T. in our Zone was stripped before July 4, while the AEG (General Electric) plant in the Russian Zone is only now being stripped.
There will be serious industrial unemployment no matter what we do in our Berlin Zone, because the tools of the former peace-time industries are gone.
  1. Printed from a carbon copy on which there is an uncertified typed signature.
  2. This paper bears the following typed notation: “Field notes and report by Luther Gulick July 27, 1945”.