740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–1245

The United States Political Adviser for Germany ( Murphy ) to the Secretary of State

No. 474

Sir: As of interest to the Department, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a communication to SHAEF from the U.S. Military Government Detachment at Heidelberg transmitting a report50 drafted by a German informant which seeks to demonstrate the success of Russian propaganda in Germany.

This report develops logically the propaganda advantage which the Russians at present enjoy and for this reason is worthy of careful study. While nothing is known here concerning the reliability of the German author of the report, it will of course be realized that the arguments he stresses are just those which many Germans would readily employ in playing the Russians off against the Americans and the British. Nevertheless the problem he deals with is recognized as a most serious one and is being closely followed by the Psychological Warfare Division of this headquarters which may shortly transmit its conclusions and suggestions to higher authorities in Washington.

It may be mentioned that less glowing reports of conditions in the Russian area are being brought back by Germans who have recently come across the Allied lines. These are gaining circulation slowly and, of course, do not have the same widespread effect as the Russian radio propaganda from Berlin.

Captain Haskell’s51 covering letter contains several points of interest, in particular his account of Russian action in explaining to the Germans that the Allies and not the Soviets were responsible for the bombing of German cities. Note has been taken here of Captain Haskell’s statement that “a dangerous surge toward communism in the Russian sense has taken place in the last two weeks.” This assertion is not considered to be generally valid as regards the Allied area of occupation, but a close watch of political trends in this direction will be kept by the Intelligence Branch of G–5, SHAEF.

Respectfully yours,

Robert Murphy
  1. Neither printed.
  2. Capt. E. H. Haskell, Commanding Officer, Military Government Detachment, Heidelberg.