The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 22—6:05 p.m.]
591. In reading our telegraphic summaries of Berlin press (such as my 589, Sept 22, 10 p.m.70), Department should bear following in mind:
Ever since these newspapers began to appear following the capture of Berlin, the four political party organs and the Berliner Zeitung have been subject to considerable Russian censorship. This presumably causes little trouble for either the KPD organ Deutsche Volkszeitung or the Berliner Zeitung. Though the latter is published by the Magistrat (Berlin municipal administration) and is allegedly non-political, it rather clearly expresses the views of dominant element in Magistrat, i.e., the “Communists.” However, the three other party papers are not able to express their views freely. Censorship is both negative and positive, in that papers are even instructed to carry certain articles. In fact censorship is apparently based largely on views identical with those of the other political party, the KPD. All these five papers are permitted to accept only articles passed by Russian censor, which means in practice that all of the foreign items emanate from Tass. Russian censorship is based largely on facts that papers are published in Russian sector of Berlin, and have to obtain their newsprint from Russian-controlled sources. The three non-Communist papers have to appear in much smaller formats than either the Deutsche Volkszeitung or the Berliner Zeitung, and also receive newsprint sufficient for much fewer copies than either of these two.
We are studying this whole situation with a view to taking appropriate action, through the Kommandatura or otherwise, to try and ensure each political party here freedom and equality in expressing its views.
- Not printed.↩