SWNCC 257 File: Telegram

The Commanding General, United States Forces, European Theater (McNarney), to the Joint Chiefs of Staff74

top secret

S 7556. Subject is denial and exploitation of German scientists and technicians. References: JCS 1363 series. CCS 870 series. AGWar cables W 87317 dated 7 December 45, W 97733 dated 19 February 46, W 98408 dated 26 February 46, W 82433 dated 28 March 46, W 85738 dated 25 April 46, W 85905 dated 27 April 46, W 87016 dated 7 May 46, W 89264 dated 25 May 46, W 89850 dated 31 May 46; USFET cables S 33190 dated 29 November 45, S 2121 dated 23 February 46, S 2458 dated 28 February 46, S 2214 dated 20 April 46, S 2215 dated 20 April 46, S 2413 dated 23 April 46, S 3442 dated 5 May 46, S 4903 dated 31 May 46.75

In response to cables W 97733 dated 19 February 46, and W 98408, dated 26 February 46, a list of 834 German scientists and technicians was forwarded to Washington on 16 May 46.73 A revised list containing 869 names has been prepared for dispatch about 27 June 46. These lists contain the names of scientists and technicians of outstanding prominence or ability based upon their reputation over a number [Page 683] of years, but naturally such a list will not contain the names of all those who may gain prominence during the next few years. In compliance with cable W 82433 dated 28 March 46, a relatively large number of scientists and technicians are included who by background and training have little or no real military significance.
Changing conditions are making it exceedingly difficult to deny to personnel of Allied Powers, other than the United Kingdom, direct or indirect contact with German scientists and technicians now under United States control in Germany. Since some of the factors involved may be unknown in Washington, the following are presented:
It is becoming increasingly more difficult to prevent interzonal movement. This problem will become more acute from the denial aspect as further progress is made on relaxing of restrictions on interzonal travel. Such restrictions may be removed insofar as British and French boundaries are concerned within a short period.
There is a large number of former Nazis and mandatory unemployables among those shown on the lists. These cannot now or later be employed in the United States Zone of Germany except in the common labor category.
It has been the policy in the United States Zone to not permit the establishment of favored groups. Actually, it is felt that the establishment in this case of a favored group is no sure deterrent to interzonal movement and contact.
The issuance of extra rations, fuel and clothing alone will not deter movement of individuals or families. We cannot compete with rumored scales and extras offered by France and Russia.
The stand has been taken that the employing of all classes including scientists and technicians is a function of the German Government. Actually in this case, the establishment of Land research centers to employ all top scientists and technicians was discussed with the minister presidents who, though in favor of the idea, feel it will require months to accomplish.
Some German scientists have been contacted by the Russians through German mail channels, and doubtless the German has furnished, in some cases, the information requested of him.
There is no assurance that the names of important Germans of a few years hence appear on present lists. In fact, if all on lists were removed from the United States Zone, Germany would of necessity, have to bring forth a new group of specialists.
Some German scientists and technicians, including many of great military importance, already have disappeared and supposedly are in Russia or the Russian Zone. If rumors are true, a number undoubtedly are assisting in the operation of underground V-weapon plants in the Harz Mountains.
Since the object to be gained is mental knowledge, it would appear useless to remove personnel for work in the United States or United Kingdom unless the particular German is willing to volunteer.
A number of non-Nazi German scientists and technicians will be required to establish an economic balance in Germany and to staff the school system.
It is concluded here that German scientists and technicians now under United States Control in Germany can be denied Allied Powers, other than the United Kingdom, only in two ways:
Detention in camps within Germany under United States military guard.
Movement from Germany to the United States or United Kingdom.
It is therefore recommended;
Overall plan of denial of scientists and technicians within United States Zones of Austria and Germany be abandoned.
Those scientists and technicians who are determined to have attained unusual military significance in fields which may be detrimental to United States security, were their services to become available to other nations, be screened from the lists furnished Washington and moved, together with their families, from Germany to the United States or United Kingdom.
That this headquarters immediately canvass all the above scientists in the United States Zones for voluntary shipment to the United States and that the volunteers be shipped immediately.
  1. Sent for information purposes to OMGUS, Berlin.
  2. None printed.
  3. Not printed.