740.00119 control (Germany)/8–2045

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

No. 817

Sir: I have the honor to enclose, for the Department’s information, a copy of the report43 prepared by Lt. Col. Richmond, Local Government and Administration Officer in Military Government Detachment A1A1, which takes care of the American Sector of Berlin and in practice constitutes the G–5 Section44 of the American Element of the Kommandatura.

This report deals with an apparent attempt by the German Communist leadership to remove from office the mayor of Neukölln, one of the boroughs in the American Sector. It is interesting for several reasons. As indicated in pargraph 4a of the report, the Personnel Office of the Berlin Magistrat, which is run by Wilhelm Pieck, leader of the German Communist Party, approached the local Russian commander, General Gorbatov, on the grounds that the mayor of Neukölln had “established close relations with the American Army Commandant” and was “trying with his help to free himself of the influence and control of the anti-Fascist parties.” By the latter phrase, Pieck of course meant the present four-party bloc which is dominated by the Communists and left-wing Socialists. Paragraph 8 of the report gives further evidence of the reasons for this move, when the Communist Party’s headquarters in speaking of two of the mayor’s assistants, points out that “as persons near to the Bürgermeister, and therefore in close contact with the Americans, (they) would energetically oppose our activities in the Neukölln District.”

This is an interesting example of some of the problems facing American Military Government in Berlin, which will obviously call for considerable patience and tact. Colonel Richmond’s recommendation that an attempt be made to discharge Pieck from his office, as well as the First Deputy Lord Mayor, who is Karl Maran, another KPD leader, is not of course likely to be carried out at the present time.

This mission hopes to report more fully on the Berlin Military Government picture in the near future.

Respectfully yours,

Robert Murphy
  1. The office of the Political Adviser, U.S. Group Control Council (Germany) was moved to Berlin August 9. Mr. Murphy also maintained an office at Hoechst in his capacity as Political Adviser to the Commanding General, U.S. Forces, European Theater.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Army General Staff Section dealing with Civil Affairs.