740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–1846: Telegram

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


549. Twenty-third Political Directorate meeting February 14 dealt with two papers to remove Nazi and militarist literature from circulation in Germany. That from military directorate orders surrender and destruction of all documentary matter, printed or photographic, and any other material, if published after 1914 and usable in military instruction. That from unofficial information control committee proposes [Page 662] prohibit sale, loan or distribution of any publication tainted in any manner by Naziism or by specified ideas. Because papers overlap, Political Directorate referred them to sub-committee for transformation into one new paper.

Military Directorate paper also proposes punish any responsible person failing within given time surrender prescribed material. Mayors and local autonomous agencies must enforce surrender, also prohibition publication similar material. Confiscated material will be either destroyed or utilized as paper pulp. In execution of Control Council Law 8 (chiefly its Article (7) but also (1)) and dependent for enforcement on penalty clause in that law,39 information Control Committee paper proposes ban from circulation those documents: published by or under auspices of Nazis or sympathizers; written by or for known Nazi leaders or active supporters; extolling Nazi, Fascist or German military leaders, or containing extracts designed support Nazi, Fascist or related anti-democratic ideas, propagating, supporting or seeking justify Naziism, Fascism or related anti-democratic ideas or giving Nazi or Fascist interpretation law, economics, govt, history, philosophy, art or science; designed create divisions between United Nations, or teach disrespect or animosity towards other nations or people; propagating Nazi or related race or culture theories or racial hatred; propagating militaristic ideas, pan-Germanism, imperialism, geopolitics or chauvinism, or teaching theoretical or applied military science.

Such measures would fail to attract substantial popular favor for application in countries of democratic tradition. And there many people also no doubt are convinced that to inaugurate them even in conquered Germany in whose people we try to inculcate democratic principles would be reprehensible if not impolitic. However, Articles (1) and (7) of Control Council Law 8 already prescribe sweeping prohibitions of general character. Furthermore, during early stages of occupation when Germans are exposed to democratic way of life which many of them still regard as alien and with which many others [Page 663] are unfamiliar, a wisely drawn paper giving more precise content to Law 8 and perhaps also incorporating provisions curbing possible abuses of police power in matter of restraint of public expression, might be beneficial.

Sub-committee expects convene February 25. Dept might desire to instruct me whether it favors additional legislation of this type, and, if so, also make suggestions for incorporation in or omission from new paper.

  1. For text of Control Council Law No. 8, Elimination and Prohibition of Military Training, see Official Gazette of the Control Council for Germany (Berlin, Allied Secretariat) No. 2 (November 30, 1945), p. 33. The sections referred to, Articles I, VII, and VIII (the penalty clause), read as follows:

    “Article I. All activity of any organisation, group of persons or individual which teaches directly or indirectly the theory, principles, technique or mechanics of war or prepares the participants for any war activity is hereby prohibited and declared illegal.”

    “Article VII. Any propaganda or agitation, whether conducted in writing or orally or by any other method, which is aimed at keeping alive, reviving or promoting the military or Nazi spirit and institutions, or to glorify war, is prohibited.”

    “Article VIII. Any person violating any provision of this law shall be liable to criminal prosecution.”