740.00119 Control (Germany)/9–1145: Telegram

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

497. Thus far the Soviet authorities in Germany have not advised us formally regarding the establishment of the new regional German administration for the Soviet zone of occupation referred to in my 456 of September 5. Sobolev,63 however, has confirmed the creation [Page 1052] of regional administration64 to me informally, stating that it had been found necessary for practical reasons of administration to place more responsibility on the Germans for the public administration of this territory. He denied that in authorizing the setting-up of this administration the Soviet authorities entertained any thought of creating a nucleus of a new central German national government. He said, among other things, that one of the purposes the new organization would serve is the destruction of the old framework of the Prussian state administration. The central administrative units concerned, that is Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, Pomerania, Saxony, Silesia and Anhalt, are thus taken out of the Prussian state organization framework and operate relatively as autonomous units directly responsible to the Soviet Military Government authorities. In Sobolev’s opinion this action is in harmony with the policy of decentralization, which he states the Soviet authorities respect.

I asked Sobolev whether he thought that the establishment of a central German Government was a matter of the very distant future or whether he believed that it might occur sooner, say within a year. He replied that he thought that it would be years before a central German Government could be reestablished. I also inquired whether the Soviet authorities had any immediate plans for the holding of municipal elections and he replied in the negative.

  1. Arkady Aleksandrovich Sobolev, Political Adviser to the Chief of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany.
  2. On September 13, the Soviet Military Administration announced the establishment of the central administrative agencies in the Soviet zone. The Department was informed via undated telegram 533 from Berlin (862.9111 RR/9–1645). The text of the Soviet announcement is printed in von Oppen, Documents on Germany under Occupation, p. 64. The Directors of the various administrations as finally appointed differed somewhat from those named in telegram 456, September 5, from Berlin, p. 1048; cf. von Oppen, pp. 64–66. Mr. Murphy analyzed these changes in telegram 534, September 14, from Berlin, and reported that Leo Skrzypczinsky was “apparently regarded as senior member and potential chief of this new administration.” (740.0019 Control-Germany)/9–1445)