862.00/11–2146: Telegram

Mr. Donald Heath, Chargé in the Office of the United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy), to Mr. Murphy

top secret

2685. Personal for Ambassador Murphy only.2 General Muller’s3 findings are that Joseph Mueller4 lacks the necessary political and moral qualities to be CSU leader and Landtag Delegate (mytel 2655, November 185). He recommends Military Government approval be withdrawn but that announcement be postponed until immediately after closing of polls December 1 in order not to influence vote or give impression that Military Government was dissatisfied with elections results. Dossier discloses Mueller was Captain in Abwehr since 1939 (which he mentioned in Fragebogen but has only now been discovered) and contains signed statements by political opponents that [Page 696] he had threatened them with arrest by US authorities. Aryanization charges unconvincing in present form.

Dorn6 and Wells7 oppose outright removal but believe law compels formal charging on Abwehr membership despite fact this has long been known and despite Mueller’s claimed service to OSS. Announcement of charge would be made December 1 and Mueller would be suspended from political activity pending trial. Meantime Landtag would presumably elect somebody else Minister-President but Mueller would be allowed resume activity if exonerated. It was proposed these steps be taken on basis automatic application of law without reference to absent high authority. Public Safety,8 however, believes this would be interpreted as a subterfuge and suggests that either no action be taken or that Mueller be given both barrels in form of Military Government declaration on lack of confidence plus denazification proceedings.

Opinion general that Mueller is far from ideal and that any course may subject Military Government to criticism since latter may be attacked because of Mueller’s Abwehr connections if he is allowed to become Minister President. Question is on way to Keating9 and we shall advise that in view of undoubted repercussions Clay be informed through regular channels. Meantime we are obligated that this information should not be passed through other channels. Therefore I have marked this for your attention only.

Incidentally pressure from political parties accumulating in favor revision denazification law10 in sense of limiting article 58 to classes 1 and 2, withdrawing follower class from Tribunal trial, easing automatic disqualification pertaining to party membership before 1937, etc. Dorn and Public Safety not unfavorable and staff study being prepared on first two recommendations which if approved would be submitted to German Ministers to implement.

  1. Ambassador Murphy was at this time a member of the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Economic Unification of the British and American Zones of Occupation in Germany, being held in “Washington.
  2. Brig. Gen. Walter Muller, Director of U.S. Military Government in Bavaria.
  3. Josef Mueller, Chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU).
  4. Not printed; it reported concern within American military government circles in Bavaria over alleged Nazi connections and activities of Josef Mueller (862.00/11–1846).
  5. Walter L. Dorn, Special Adviser on Civil Administration, OMGUS, and Personal Adviser on Denazification to General Clay.
  6. Roger Wells, Civil Administration Division, OMGUS.
  7. Reference is to the Public Safety Branch, OMGUS.
  8. Maj. Gen. Frank A. Keating, Assistant Deputy Military Governor, U.S. Zone of Occupation in Germany; Acting Deputy Military Governor during General Clay’s absence in November and December 1946; also U.S. Commandant, Berlin.
  9. Reference is to the law promulgated on March 5, 1946; see despatch 2330, March 7, from Berlin, p. 667.