Truman Papers

No. 951
The Representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations ( Pauley ) to the President

My Dear Mr. President: Marshal Zhukov presented what purports to be an exposé of U. S. and U. K. removals of industrial equipment in Germany.1 It is clear that this report is designed as a smoke screen for the unilateral U. S. S. R. action in shipping to Russia, before the approval of any reparations plan, whole plants, including factories with no war-potential. Some areas, such as our sector of Berlin, have, as you know, been stripped of virtually all peace-time industrial employment possibilities, in violation of principles agreed to with us and the British in Moscow.

I asked Committee I of my staff to analyze the Zhukov Report. The Committee includes well known American industrialists, machine tool experts, and industrial economists, most of whom visited plants in Eastern Germany just before the release of this territory to the Russians by our Armies. Robert G. Sproul, President of the University of California, is Chairman. I attach their report as you should see it. I think it summarizes the situation accurately, and from my own observations, I concur in the statements made.

[Page 905]

The Zhukov report will surely be heard from again in the international scene, certainly next winter when the ghastly and costly results of the Russian policy become evident and known. I am sure you will want to be prepared for this development. A careful report by the U. S. and U. K. Military Authorities should also be in your hands.2

Respectfully submitted,

Edwin W. Pauley
[Attachment 1]


Subject: Report of Marshal Zhukov on Removals by Allies from Russian Zone

After analyzing the report of Marshal Zhukov on the removal by American and British armies of equipment and other properties from the factories and other institutions in the Soviet zone of occupation, we have the following comments:

The report is probably largely correct, but compared to the removals of industrial equipment reported and observed in the Berlin District and elsewhere, the removals reported by Marshal Zhukov are trivial.
Most of the removals listed, of equipment, documents and personnel, have to do with recent German technical advances, for immediate use in war or war production, and are clearly war booty.
The removals of gold and artistic or cultural objects have been made public and are subject to action by the Reparations Commission.
Much of the damage to instruments and equipment, in the light of our observations, was caused by looting and destruction by foreign slave labor; souvenir hunters, as in all armies, also played their part.
Personnel removed were those suspected of being war criminals or of contributing to German war potential.
The removals of equipment described in Marshal Zhukov’s document are not those required for Germany’s peacetime economy, but rather for war purposes, whereas the Russian removals observed, such as agricultural equipment, sewing machines and textile machines, are certainly not war potentials.

[Page 906]
[Attachment 2—Translation]

The Commander in Chief of the Soviet Forces of Occupation in Germany ( Zhukov ) to Generalissimo Stalin

Marshal Zhukov’s Report on Removal by the Allies of Equipment and Other Property From the Factories in the Soviet Zone of Occupation

Hereby I report that the Americans and British when withdrawing from the Soviet zone of occupation, i. e., from the territory of Saxony, Thüringen, and province of Saxony and province of Mecklenburg removed the following equipment, property and technical experts:

Morsleben near the town of Helmstedt, Province of Saxony from the aviation equipment plant of the Company “Ascania Werke” in the salt mines were removed to Braunschweig:

  • 200 universal metal-cutting machine-tools;
  • All technical documentation;
  • All optical instruments from the laboratory.

Town of Hadmersleben near town of Oschersleben (Saxony); the Junkers underground plant in the salt mines:

All the optical instruments were damaged, the microscope and micro-photocamera’s lenses were removed.

Unseburg near town of Stassfurt; From the underground plant of the B. M. W. Company in the salt mines were removed:

All technical documentation for new motors and the turbine 0018;
Chief designer of the new reactive turbine 0018 and a group of technical experts with their families were taken away.

Town of Schönebeck: from the Junkers’ plant producing HE–162 aircraft were removed:

50 turbines of the firm B. M. W. were dismantled from the finished HE–162 aircraft;
Chief engineer of the plant and a group of technical experts with their families.

Beendorf near town of Helmstedt; from the Siemens plant situated in the salt mines, the pit “Maria”, for the production of the aviation equipment and autopilots for the V–1 and V–2 aircraft were removed:

  • All technical documentation; all optical instruments and the laboratory;
  • Chief engineer of the plant and a group of technical experts with their families.

[Page 907]

Tarthun near the town of Schönebeck; from the underground Junkers aviation plant were removed:

  • Technical documentation and draughts;
  • Chief engineer and a group of designers and technologists with their families.

Town of Stassfurt: from the Berlepsch salt mine were removed:

  • 10 precise geodesic instruments and devices.

From the pits “Ludwig–1” and “Ludwig–2” of the “Ludwig” mine from the underground commissary stores of the German War Office were removed:

  • More than 100 railway cars of ammunition and fabrics inclusive of the fabrics produced by the Russian Morozov Factory.

Town of Kleinwanzleben westward of the city of Magdeburg; from the institute of beet-sugar production (a research institute of worldwide importance) were removed in April:

  • All the main laboratory equipment and the scientific and research works;
  • Two doctors of biological sciences with their families.

Town of Merseburg: from the “Leuna” plant producing synthetic gasoline, carbon and ammoniac were removed:

  • A suitcase full of platinum (that was in the store in the plant);
  • 28 engineers;
  • The American [commander?] gave permission to Krupp to remove the plant. The commander of the Soviet 129 Rifle Corps stopped the removal of the equipment but all the principal technical staff has been taken away.

Town of Halle:

  • 24 scientists including the outstanding physiologist, the Nobel prize winner, Professor Doctor Emil Abderhalden, were taken away from the institute of Physics and Chemistry;
  • The laboratory of the Institute was removed.
  • From the Siebel plant were removed:
  • The draught-designs of new speed aircraft;
  • Chief designer of the plant.

Town of Schkopau:

  • 1400 tons of finished rubber products and 40 klg of platinum were removed from the Buna plant.
  • Simultaneously 26 leading chemical engineers including inventors, research-workers with their families and personal belongings were taken away; many engineers raised a protest against this, but they were made to leave by force.

[Page 908]

Village of Berka (Saxony):

  • Up to 100 tons of gold were removed from the store of medical supplies.

Town of Niedersachswerfen (Saxony):

  • A plant producing V–1 and V–2 weapon was partially removed.

Town of Ilfeld (Saxony):

  • The equipment of plant producing Faust cartridges was partially removed.

Town of Langensalza (Saxony):

  • The workers of Krupp and Junkers plants were taken away;
  • The machine tools of the aviation school-factory producing aircraft JU–88 were partially removed.

City of Jena: from the Zeiss plant were removed:

  • The central optical control laboratory;
  • The reproduction laboratory;
  • The physics laboratory;
  • The electro-technical laboratory;
  • The range-finder laboratory;
  • The crystallographic laboratory;
  • The metallographic laboratory;
  • The microscopic laboratory;
  • The medical laboratory;
  • The geodesic laboratory;
  • 20 million R. M. worth of finished optical mechanical devices;
  • All the original draughts of all kinds of optical mechanical production;
  • 77 leading experts, including the chief engineer of the plant, 3 professors and 35 doctors of technical sciences.

From the “Schott” optical plant were removed:

  • The optical control laboratory;
  • The physics laboratory;
  • The range-finder laboratory;
  • The crystallographic laboratory;
  • The microscopic laboratory;
  • The geodesic laboratory;
  • 3 million R. M. worth of the finished production;
  • 50 key-experts including the chief engineer of the plant Doctor of technical sciences Berger.

Town of Weida: from the Berlin Physical and Technical Institute were removed:

  • All the supplies of radium and polonium;
  • 2 complexes of quars clocks [sic];
  • A series of etaloons [sic] and measuring instruments (magnitons, vacuum pumps, electromagnets, etc.);
  • Modern technical literature;
  • The draughts of apparatus of new constructions;
  • The records of physical observations;
  • 13 experts of the high frequency laboratory, including Doctor Scheibe, the head of the laboratory and Doctor Meller, President of the Institute.

Town of Eisenach: from the Bavarian motor-building plant were removed:

  • 302.000 R. M. worth of equipment;
  • Engineers and designers of the plant.

Town of Gera: from the Siemens–Halske electro-technical enterprise were removed:

  • The most valuable equipment and finished production, for example the newest signal-speaking system for railroads;
  • All technical key-personnel including Keyser, the manager, and Paetz, the chief engineer;

From the “Califon-Fabric” were removed:

  • All chemical experts and the manager of the factory.

City of Egeln:

  • From the aircraft factory “Junkers” was removed the chief engineer with drawings.

City of Bad Blankenburg:

  • A part of the laboratory of the firm “Telefunken” was removed.
  • 20 experts in military wireless technique were removed.

City of Leipzig: from the factory of the firm “Leis Schoper” were removed:

  • Drawings of non contact combined fuses;
  • 3 experts;
  • Drawings and two experts were removed from the factory where gyroscopic compasses for U–boats of the firm “Schitzsche” were manufactured.

City of Zwickau: from the “Horch” factory of the “Autounion” concern were removed:

  • Electrical torpedo drawings;
  • The chief designers of torpedoes.

City of Werdau:

Three experts and drawings were removed from the “Schwarzkopf” factory where principal engines and governing instruments for torpedoes were manufactured.
Three experts and drawings were removed from the “Siemens” naval instruments factory.

[Page 910]

City of Bitterfeld: from the “IG Farben Industrie” were removed:

  • 25 experts;
  • Recipes, reports on research work, drawings, patents for production of chlorine, calcium, chloride, hydrogen, chloride-benzole, chlorineiron and etc.

City of Bernburg: from the “Deutsche Solne [Solvay?] Werke” were removed:

  • 10 experts;
  • Recipes;
  • Reports on research work;
  • Drawings;
  • Patents on production of calcinated soda; sodium hydroxide, bicarbonate, calcium chloride and cement.

City of Plauen: from the works of the firm “Horn” were removed:

  • All technical documentation;
  • Specimens and manufactured goods of automatical control of the plane and flying bombs;
  • Chief constructor—Doctor Edhard Horn and his 2 assistants;
  • Many documents, drawings were blown up and burned.

City of Kahla (Thüringen): from the works of the firm “Gustloff Werke Reimag” were removed:

  • Original drawings of Me–262, the reaction engines and turbines;
  • All copies documents and experimental specimens are burned.

Village Molsdorf (Thüringen):

  • Research laboratory of the firm “Siemens Schukert” for the application of high frequency currents and ultraviolet rays for gluing of wood, its drying, increasing of vitamins in food stuffs, catalytic agent for chemical process, change of atom structure of some of solutions on other.
  • All reports on finished works and researches as well as research personnel of 4 men and staff technical personnel with most valuable apparatus were removed.

City of Suhl: from artillery-rifle works of “Gustloff”, where there has been a central engineering bureau for rifle and small-calibre artillery production and the largest laboratory were removed:

  • All designers to the last;
  • All engineers which worked directly in shops;
  • Technical experts with drawings and technical data.

Village of Merkers (near city of Gotha):

  • Some time ago from Berlin to the mines of Kaiserode and Grossgerzen were removed: gold and other valuables of German State Bank, paintings and other objects of art of state museums of Berlin, acts and apparatuses of Koenigsberg canals.
  • According to the Manager of the Kaiserode joint stock company and the chief mining engineer from this mine were removed all these valuables including:
  • Gold of German bank—over 100 tons;
  • Paper currency approximately 4 railroad cars load [carloads?];
  • All paintings and other valuables from Berlin museums;
  • Acts and instruments of the Koenigsberg canal board.

Village of Wertenrode [Wernrode?] (Harz):

  • It is reported that in the potassium mine in Wertenrode were hidden 250 extremely valuable paintings, 4 sculptures, 48 Gobelins and 3 boxes containing the so-called royal treasures from the Prussian Royal Palace (crowns, swords, sceptres and etc.).
  • Enquiries made of local inhabitants revealed that cultural valuables hidden in Wertenrode were removed by the American[s] round about April 8, 1945.
  • According to incomplete information received from a commission investigating synthetic oil plants in the area of Magdeburg, Chemnitz, Leuna (“Troglitz”, “Schwartzheide” and “Ruhland” factories) managers, chemical experts, mechanics and technical documents were removed.
  • In all up to 80% of all military doctors, all gold, silver deposited in banks were removed from the province of Thüringen.

In addition the British City of Beuzenberg [Boizenburg?]:

  • Partly removed the equipment from Dornier aircraft factory.
  • Removed ready-made output from the motorboat and self-propelled barges.
  • Experts with families—6 persons.
  • Part of turbine drawings.

City of Halberstadt (province of Saxony): from the works “Malakhite” for production of engines “B. M. W.” were removed:

  • Model of reaction turbine 004;
  • Its drawings;
  • Experts-engineers and technologists—6 persons.

City of Wernigerode: from the works of “Rautenbach” for aircraft engine castings were removed:

  • X–ray apparatus for inspection of castings—7;
  • Precision machine tools (including 1 SIP)—2;
  • All drawings of production objects;
  • Equipment of metallography and mechanic laboratories.

From the branch works of the firm “Junkers” were removed:

  • All drawings for turbine 004 and motor.

Village of Königshütte (near [town?] of Elbingerode): a number of parts and equipment of Kiev Movie Studio were removed:

  • Movie apparatus—3.
  • Parts of movie projectors.

[Page 912]

City of Osterwieck:

  • From the clothing factory of brothers “Asmole–Galle” all the equipment of factory was removed.

City of Salbelel [Salzwedel?]:

  • 200.000 tons of gasoline and workshop equipment were removed from the airfield.

City of Oschersleben:

  • Removed: A part of the equipment, drawings of all sort of production, leading and technical personnel of the “Junkers” aircraft factory that produced turbine fighter planes.

The investigation into the removal of equipment and valuables is continuing.

  1. Attachment 2, infra.
  2. Following this paragraph is the following manuscript notation: “7/30/45[.] Memo sent to Eisenhower requesting investigation & report[.] H[arry] S T[ruman]”. See document No. 958.