PSB files, lot 62 D 333, PSB D–21 Series

No. 156
Paper Prepared by the Psychological Strategy Board1

top secret
PSB D–21
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A National Psychological Strategy With Respect to Germany

Section I

problem

To formulate a national psychological strategy with respect to: (a) the integration of Western Germany into Western Europe, (b) the reduction of Soviet capabilities in Eastern Germany, (c) the achievement of German unity, and (d) the role of unified Germany in the unification of Europe.

Section II

applicable approved policies

As set forth in NSC 20/4, NSC Actions No. 212, No. 266a, NSC 115, NSC 68/4, NSC 86/1, and the Mutual Security Act of 1951.2

Section III

summary and analysis

A. Estimate

Our psychological strategy outlined in this paper is based on the following estimate of the situation:

1. Overall Strategy:

Our action in Germany can succeed only if they are conceived as an integral part of overall United States strategy, especially in the context of a European Community, to build up positions of strength from which to reduce Soviet-communist expansionism and aggression.

2. Balance of Power:

Western capability to support this strategy is likely to increase within the next two to three years, but not necessarily to a degree which would assure a relationship of forces between the Westen nations and the Soviet Union permitting successful negotiations with the Soviet Union.

3. Cold War:

The present state of tension between the Soviet bloc and the West may increase in intensity, and the Soviet Union will feel free to employ all of its capabilities for lures and pressures on the West, short of deliberately provoking general war.

4. Integration:

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The process of integrating the Federal Republic with the Western European Community through the EDC, the Schuman Plan, the Contractual Agreements, the Council of Europe, and similar instrumentalities will involve continued difficulties, during which ratification of the Agreements and their implementation may be slowed down and impeded by oppositionist elements within and outside the Federal Republic, and the Soviet Union will encourage elements in the Federal Republic and other European countries to delay and obstruct the process of integration.

5. Contractuals:

The present coalition government will honor the Agreements, when they come into force, but it will be subject, by coalition members and the opposition, to demands for liberalization; there will be continuing pressure for abandonment of reserved rights; and, in connection with the 1953 election campaign, there will be increased demands for a revision of the Contractual Agreements and other commitments with the West.

6. German Unity and the Peace Treaty:

It will not be possible in the foreseeable future to agree with the Soviet Union on a formula guaranteeing a satisfactory basis for the unification of Germany and for the conclusion of a peace treaty; but the Soviet Union may continue to use diplomatic and propaganda channels to press for quadripartite negotiation of a peace treaty as well as East-West German discussions on unity.

7. Berlin:

The Western Powers will maintain their position in Berlin, but the situation in Berlin and in particular the morale and standard-of-living of the British3 population may be severely affected by the Soviet attrition strategy.

8. Soviet Zone and East Berlin:

The population of the Soviet Zone will remain fundamentally opposed to communism but the Soviet Union, through its East German puppet authorities will continue to tighten its controls, isolate East Germany from the West, and proceed with its attempts to set up a satellite state with an army of its own.

9. German Military and Economic Potential:

The build-up of an integrated German military force in the Federal Republic will proceed substantially as contemplated but will require pressure from the West, especially since the required draft legislation and the actual organization of the forces will be subject to continued criticism and resistance by the opposition; also, any rearmament in the Federal Republic will be accompanied or preceded by a build-up of an East German army, designed to instill apprehensions of civil war and to cancel out the Federal Republic’s military contribution to Western defense.

10. Western Europe:

Attempts to promote Federal Republic integration into Western Europe will be inadequate unless they are supported by—and closely [Page 373]coordinated with—parallel attempts to promote the integration of Western Europe, particularly France, into a community capable of accepting the Federal Republic as a partner.

11. France:

The Federal Republic’s capability for leadership within a unified Western European community will be feared by France, unless potential German predominance in a united Europe is compensated by closer and more organic ties between Europe and the United States within the framework of a developing Atlantic Community as provided by U.S. existing policies.

12. Eastern Europe:

The Soviet-orbit countries are firmly under Soviet control now and will be in the foreseeable future; their liberation will come about only as a result of a major change in the existing relationships between the U.S.S.R. and the Western Powers; and their peoples generally entertain hopes for eventual liberation from Soviet domination but, especially in Bohemia-Moravia and Poland, fear a possible renewal of German domination.

B. Objectives

Note: The order of priority and emphasis is based on U.S. policies reflecting the present world situation.

1. Concerning the Federal Republic:

a.
To maintain and develop friendly and mutually beneficial relations between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany.
b.
To encourage and facilitate effective participation by the Federal Republic on a basis of equality in the European Community, included in a developing Atlantic Community, and a contribution by the Federal Republic to the political, economic, and social welfare, as well as to the defense structure, necessary to a strong and durable Europe.
c.
In the event of unification on terms acceptable to the West, the above objectives will apply to all of Germany.

2. Concerning West Berlin:

To maintain and reinforce our political, economic, cultural, and psychological position in the western sectors of Berlin, and to nullify Soviet efforts to harass the population and to disturb and undermine the normal life of the city.

3. Concerning the Soviet Zone and East Berlin:

To maintain contact with the population in the Soviet Zone and East Berlin in order to stiffen their spirit of resistance to Soviet-communist rule and thus (a) to weaken the political, economic, and military system in the Soviet Zone; and (b) to lay the groundwork for eventual incorporation in the free Western Community.

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4. Concerning German Unity:

To demonstrate U.S. support of German unity attained by peaceful means; and to frustrate Soviet-communist efforts to obtain control of all of Germany and eventually to bring about Soviet withdrawal from Germany.

5. Concerning Eastern Europe:

To maintain contact with the people of Germany’s Eastern European neighbors in order (a) to stiffen their spirit of resistance and thus weaken the Soviet system of political, economic, and military control of these countries; and (b) to sustain their hopes for eventual liberation and inclusion in an all-European Community free of domination by Germany, the U.S.S.R. or any other Power.

section IV

tasks

The following are the Tasks of our psychological strategy in support of the achievement of our objectives:

1.
Concerning the Federal Republic:
a.
To facilitate the transformation of the Allied-German relationship on the diplomatic, political, and economic as well as military levels from the occupation status toward that of equal partners and allies.
b.
To foster, encourage, support and facilitate efforts of the population and the Government of the Federal Republic toward the integration of their political, economic, cultural, and military interests with those of the European Community and the Atlantic Community; to help pave the way for acceptance by other governments and peoples (particularly French) for participation by the Federal Republic in the development of the European and Atlantic communities.
c.
To support the development in the Federal Republic of democratic institutions, and to assist the German democratic elements in their opposition to authoritarian and extremist elements.
d.
To gain the support of the German people and government for U.S. policies, and to strengthen their will to resist and their confidence in the ability of the U.S. (and the West) to frustrate Soviet-communist aggression.
e.
To stimulate maximum Federal Republic contribution to the development of increased military and economic strength in Western Europe.
f.
To convince the Germans of the need to weaken Soviet aggressive capabilities by impeding the flow of strategic materials to East Germany and the Soviet bloc; and to provide Western markets and raw materials to the Federal Republic.
2.
Concerning Berlin:
a.
To demonstrate to the Soviet Union, the Berliners, the Germans, and the rest of the world our right, ability, and determination to maintain the Allied and West Berliners’ position in and access to Berlin.
b.
To exploit the continued existence of a free West Berlin as a “show window of democracy,” and as a base of psychological operations in the Soviet Zone and beyond it in the Soviet orbit, in order to weaken Soviet influence throughout Germany, and particularly in order to encourage and strengthen resistance to Soviet rule in the Soviet Zone and East Berlin.
c.
In order to maintain the morale of the Berlin population and strengthen their diplomatic, political, cultural, and economic ties with the West in the face of increasing Soviet pressures, to plan and coordinate jointly with the U.K., French, and the Federal Republic governments, psychological measures to nullify the Soviet harassments, and to enlist and build up the active interest of governmental and private elements throughout the free world in support of Berlin’s cause as a symbol of free-world unity of purpose.
d.
To stimulate and assist the Federal Republic to provide maximum economic and psychological support for Western Berlin.
3.

Concerning the Soviet Zone and East Berlin:

. . . . . . .

c.
To keep the population informed of world events and of U.S. and Western policies, particularly with respect to Germany.
d.
To maintain hope in the Soviet Zone population for a unified and democratic Germany integrated within the European Community.
e.
To weaken the confidence and ability of the Soviet authorities and communist leaders to maintain or extend their controls in the Soviet Zone, or their influence in West Berlin or the Federal Republic.

4.
Concerning German Unity:
a.
To demonstrate our willingness to initiate and enter, jointly with the French and U.K. Governments, in negotiations with the Soviet Union for German unification under conditions guaranteeing a unified Germany with a democratic government established by free democratic elections, provided that a reasonable basis for such negotiations exists.
b.
To support any legitimate proposal for action seeking peaceful solution to existing territorial problems within the framework of European, rather than national, interests, but to avoid giving official encouragement to German territorial aspirations toward areas external to the Federal Republic, the Soviet Zone, and Berlin, beyond acknowledgement of the established U.S. policy that no definitive German frontiers were laid down by the Potsdam decisions, and that the final determination of territorial questions must await the peace settlement.*
. . . . . . .
d.
To expose and exploit Soviet moves aimed at permanent partition of Germany and satellization of Eastern Germany.
5.
Concerning Western Europe:
a.
To enhance popular confidence in:
i.
the peaceful future of a European community, within an Atlantic Community, which includes the Federal Republic;
ii.
the prospect of mutually beneficial relations with the Federal Republic;
iii.
the determination of the Western world to strive for a unified, democratic Germany as a member of a viable European community; and
iv.
the intentions of the Western Powers to safeguard the European Community against the resurgence of aggressive German nationalism.
b.
To produce among European leaders and people a realistic awareness of the deadly menace of Soviet expansionism and of the strength accruing to the USSR if Germany were included in the Soviet orbit.
c.
To stimulate the realization among Europeans that only a tremendous effort of imagination, productivity, and cooperation, far surpassing the present effort of the Atlantic Community, including Germany, will enable them to surmount this threat; and to convince them that the creative energies latent in the free societies, including Germany, when fully developed, will not only nullify the enemy’s aggressive moves or plans but also raise the Western peoples to unprecedented levels of material and moral well-being.
d.
To promote the concept of the Atlantic Community as provided by existing U.S. policies so that it may be used to support and supplement the concept of European unity as the dynamic and unifying element of our psychological strategy in Europe.
e.
To create among the peoples of Western Europe a sense of positive participation in the international community which is now emerging.
6.

Concerning France:

In addition to the specific effect desired in paragraph 5 above:

a.
To stimulate popular acceptance of:
i.
a genuine political settlement with the Federal Republic;
ii.
the capability of the European Community, within the Atlantic Community, to develop for the common benefit German manpower, heavy industry, and steel production in such a way as to eliminate French fears.
b.
To provide reassurance that the distinctive historic culture of France can vigorously flourish within the framework of the European Community, including the Federal Republic.

7.
Concerning Eastern Europe:
a.
To stimulate popular suspicion of Soviet intentions with respect to Germany.
b.
To persuade Soviet-orbit peoples that a unified Germany integrated into a European Community is a guarantee against the revived German drive to the East.
c.
To convince Soviet-orbit peoples that the weakening of Soviet power in East Germany is necessary prerequisite for their own liberation.
d.
To sustain the resistance of Soviet-orbit peoples toward the day when their active participation in their own liberation will be required.

Section V

desired actions

Part A—General Guidance

1.
In developing and carrying out the specific actions to implement prescribed tasks, psychological strategy must give attention to the following opportunities and handicaps which influence the courses of action required for the psychological support of our policies in Europe and especially in Germany:
a.
Opportunities.
i.
The friendly orientation of large parts of European nations toward the U.S. and their growing confidence in U.S. strength;
ii.
A strong sense of cultural and political identification in Germany with the West and the reservoir of good-will created by U.S. political initiative and by ECA, MSA and other assistance for German rehabilitation;
iii.
The existence in the Federal Republic of a government and population sympathetic towards the U.S. and its policies and opposed, largely through personal experience, to communism and to the policies of the Soviet Union; and
iv.
The steady decline of the strength of the West German Communist Party.
b.
Handicaps.
i.
The complexity and fluidity of the European political situation which has already on several occasions necessitated major adjustments of the U.S. tactical positions, and which will continue to require a flexible strategic psychological plan;
ii.
The present elimination of U.S. influence on European government and peoples coinciding with the need to exert special U.S. pressures to induce Europeans to take actions which appear to be in their own interests; and
iii.
Allied with this, increasing sensitivity in Western Europe to U.S. intervention, with the accompanying danger that at times strong U.S. political, economic, or psychological pressures may run the risk of self-defeat, unless offset by measures which emphasize that these programs will serve the best interests of the developing European and Atlantic Communities.
2.
In order to gain the most effective support for U.S. policies by the German public, our approach must be conceived and carried out in a manner which is both palatable and persuasive to the German people. We must adjust our approach in accordance with the changes in public opinion and with impressions and impacts which various political, economic, and cultural issues have on the German psychological climate. This will require a major effort of imagination on the part of the U.S. operating agencies to develop new and more effective forms of psychological activities, and it implies a constant review of existing programs—including those recommended hereafter—in the light of their demonstrated effectiveness or ineffectiveness.
3.
Our operations in Germany, furthermore, must be closely coordinated with our psychological strategy in other parts of the world, and to achieve maximum effect they should preferably be carried out within the framework of an integrated psychological strategy plan for Western Europe.
4.
U.S. psychological operations designed for Germany and Western Europe should be guided by the following principles:
a.
While supporting programs endorsed by U.S. which promote European and Atlantic integration, e.g., the Schuman Plan, the Council of Europe, the European Defense Community, etc., we should avoid raising false expectations by committing the U.S. to a fixed timetable.
b.
Care should be taken in the application of any official pressure to primarily domestic issues of European states, in order to avoid the impression of excessive U.S. intervention.
c.
In official statements or other forms of official propaganda, avoid over-extending our psychological objectives beyond established policies, thus arousing false, unlikely, or premature expectations.
d.
Avoid artificially creating needs or desires for U.S. economic or financial aid.
e.
In the furtherance of U.S. psychological strategy programs in the Federal Republic, indigenous pressures should be utilized or created that will parallel and support the attainment of U.S. political objectives, and at the same time instill in the Germans a sense of participation in the achievement of these objectives.
f.
In fostering indigenous pressures through official and unofficial support of private groups and organizations the United States should:
i.
in official programs concentrate on those groups and organizations sympathetic to our policy-objectives which manifest strong spontaneous motivation and are financially self-sustaining; and avoid supporting organizations, groups, and individuals that are unable to win solid indigenous support;
ii.
in psychological programs, concentrate to the greatest possible extent on established organizations and media, and limit the use of imaginary sponsors in the Federal Republic.
g.
In order to create a psychological climate in which the new U.S.-German relationship will be more effective, avoid emphasizing purely legal and formal aspects of this relationship;
h.
Wherever possible, propaganda by deed is preferable to verbal propaganda. Our propaganda should, therefore, be tied to specific developments and concrete action designed to implement U.S. policies. Moreover, we should seek to express our themes, whenever appropriate, in the form of live demonstrations and special events which will effectively symbolize U.S. attitudes and intentions. We should encourageUincreased emphasis by German or other European organizations on constructive social and cultural activities, and on serious research.
i.
In supporting German (or other West European) activities in promotion of European or Atlantic solidarity, we should give higher priority to those which actually establish institutional links with other countries than to those which merely publicize the idea within Germany or any single country.

Part B—Capabilities

1.
Since psychological strategy programs involve all United States action and means which are able to influence people’s attitudes directly and indirectly, all elements of the United States Government and appropriate private U.S. organizations in, or conducting activities that affect Germany, should be enlisted in the execution of the United States psychological strategy plan for Germany. In the Federal Republic the following capabilities already exist or should be developed:
a.
United States State Department representatives in the Federal Republic including those responsible for the Department’s Cultural Affairs and Information Program, will continue to be in a position to influence the Federal Republic Government by direct representations and will also be able to have an indirect influence upon Federal Republic officials in government and the public at large through business and social contacts.
b.
Members of official United States economic and military missions to the Federal Republic have a corresponding capability for influencing German official and private attitudes.
c.
United States military forces and their dependents stationed in Germany in fulfillment of United States security pledges to NATO and the Federal Republic, constitute an important medium for conveying an impression of America, and its people to the German population.
d.
The policies and administration of United States military and defense support programs in the Federal Republic, carried on by the Mutual Security Agency, can make a significant contribution to United States psychological strategy for Germany, and should be conceived and directed with this in mind.
e.
Official statements of United States policies by recognized U.S. Government spokesmen in Washington which affect the Federal Republic, must be calculated and fully used to further psychological strategy objectives.
f.
Efforts should also be encouraged among private firms, agencies, associations, etc. A suggestive list of such instrumentalities may be found in “Inventory of Resources Presently Available for Psychological Operations Planning” (PSB D–19, Confidential, dated January 5, 19524), previously furnished to the Departments and Agencies concerned.
g.
In addition to developing and using the psychological capabilities of official U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities, and individuals, the U.S. Government within its capabilities should continue to use and further develop other mechanisms (Annex A) in the Federal Republic and West Berlin which have the greatest potential to attain U.S. psychological strategy objectives, and to accomplish the Tasks enumerated in Section IV.
2.
Other capabilities to the United States related to the Soviet Zone or East Berlin are:
a.
The U.S. military mission to the Soviet military command in Potsdam;
b.
U.S. diplomatic and military contacts with Soviet Occupation authorities in Berlin;
c.
U.S. diplomatic relations with the U.S.S.R.;
d.
U.S. representation in the U.N.; and
e.
State Department information media.
3.
In developing our psychological strategy, we should be aware of and guided by the changing military and economic factors apt to modify the current relationship of forces between the Western nations and the U.S.S.R.
4.
Suggested actions in support of this national psychological strategy are listed in the balance of this Section.

. . . . . . .

  1. PSB D–21 consists of a cover sheet; a letter of transmission from the Director of the PSB, Alan Kirk, dated Oct. 23, which stated that the paper had been conditionally approved on Aug. 7 and finally approved on Oct. 9 and which indicated that copies were being sent to Acheson, Lovett, Smith, Harriman, and General Young of the JCS; a table of contents; a note making the correction in paragraph 7; and the text of the paper and annex printed here.

    A psychological warfare plan for Germany had been under consideration since December 1951 and became in January 1952 the chief concern of the Psychological Strategy Board Panel on Germany, chaired first by Byroade and then Riddleberger. The panel, subsequently called Panel “F”, produced its first draft on July 28, 1952 which included 30 pages of text, annexes entitled “Summary and Analysis” and “Covert Operations”, and a supplement on Berlin. This draft was considered at a meeting of the PSB on Aug. 7 at which it was decided that further drafting was needed to reconcile various different points of view. After soliciting the views of the members of the Board and extensive comments from HICOG, a new paper was prepared with only one annex (the former second annex on covert activities). This paper was designated PSB D–21 and approved by the PSB on Oct. 9. Documentation on the evolution of PSB D–21 described above is in PSB files, lot 62 D 333, PSB D–21 Series.

  2. For documentation on the NSC 20 Series for 1948, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, pp. 507 ff. For NSC 115, Aug. 2, 1951, see the memorandum to the President, ibid., 1951, vol. iii, p. 849. For documentation on the NSC 68 Series for 1950, see ibid., 1950, vol. i, p. 234. NSC Action No. 266a, NSC 86/1, and the Mutual Security Act of 1951 are not printed.
  3. The note referred to in footnote 1 above indicates that “British” should be changed to read “Berlin.”
  4. U.S. note to the Soviet Government dated March 26, 1951. [Footnote in the source text. Apparent reference to the note of Mar. 25, 1952, transmitted in telegram 2209, Document 78.]
  5. Not printed. (PSB files, lot 62 D 333, PSB D–19 Series)
  6. Limited Distribution only. [Footnote in the source text.]