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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany / A program to foster citizen participation in government and politics in Germany
(1951)

1. Citizen participation in government,   pp. 7-9 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 8

organization and programs, visits to the United
States and European countries for observation of
citizens' and community groups, and simple ex-
planatory pamphlets will be available as indicated
in the following paragraphs.
(2) Visiting Consultants
Three U.S. consultants have been requested for
the summer of 1950.
(a) One will be a specialist on techniques of
arousing interest in public movements and stim-
ulating public opinion. He will prepare a plan
adapting U.S. techniques to German conditions.
This will be used to assure that other programs
are best suited to arouse the interest of the in-
dividual German citizen.
(b) Two will have special experience in work-
ing with citizens' and community groups in the
field of government and politics. Under the super-
vision of the Land Commissioners' Offices they will
confer with German leaders, community groups,
local legislative schools, town councils, and local
officials on the practical aspects of citizen participa-
tion in government and politics.
For 1951, six U.S. and five European consultants
have been requested.
(c) One from the U.S. will be a journalist with
special interest in governmental affairs to work
with local newspaper editors and community
groups on coverage and constructive presentation
of governmental and political matters.
(d) Another will be a radio consultant with sim-
ilar special interests to work with radio program
directors and community groups on radio presenta-
tion of governmental and political matters.
(e) Four will continue the program outlined in
paragraph (b) above, together with the five Eu-
ropean consultants.
(3) German Visits to the US and European
Countries
It is planned to send forty-eight Germans to the
United States during the fiscal year 1951.
In groups of eight they will visit selected U.S.
communities to study the relationship of citizens
to -local; government and community and methods
of.: organization and operation of similar groups
in the U.S. The program will include university
seminars, conferences with U.S. group leaders, ob-
servation of group meetings, meetings of local legis-
lative bodies, public hearings, political party meet-
ings and other phases of citizen participation in
public affairs.
While usually such groups are selected from the
entire U.S. Zone we shall experiment here with
the selection of a group as a unit from the same
general local area, e. g. a large city or two or three
contiguous counties (Kreise). The group will represent
a cross-section of local leaders - a newspaperman,
a local councilman, a local official, a Union leader
a 'church leader, a leader of women's groups, and
two leaders of other citizens' groups. It appears
probable that after their return the effect of such
a group working in cooperation in a limited ter-
ritory'may be heightened.
(4) Pamphlets
To meet the need for information on citizen
participation in public affairs and organization
for that purpose, the following pamphlets will be
made available to German leaders and group
participants who wish them.
(a) "Is Politics Your Business?" Reprint of U.S.
League of Women 'Voters' pamphlets, adapted to
German conditions. In type, 100,000 copies avail-
able for distribution about 1 July 1950.
(b) "Citizen's Organizations and Rules of Order".
Adaption to German conditions of U.S. League of
Women Voters' pamphlet, giving suggestions on
structure of organization, duties of officers and
rules of order for conduct of business. Text com-
pleted. 100,000 copies available for distribution
about 1 July 1950.
(c) "Let's Hold a Discussion". Adaption to Ger-
man conditions of U.S. League of Women Voters'
pamphlet making suggestions to group leaders and
participants upon effective preparation for and
conduct of discussions. In type. 100,000 copies ready
for distribution about 1 July 1950.
(d) "The State and I". A simple presentation by
a leading German publicist of the theory of the
state and its relation to the citizen and his rights
and duties in connection therewith. Intended for
persons with elementary and secondary school
education. In type. 100,000 copies available for dis-
tribution about 1 July 1950. (Additional printing,
if this pamphlet is accepted for use in the elemen-
tary and secondary schools, as is hoped.)
(5) Land Offices
Much of the activity of the Land Office in this
program will consist of coordinating and super-
vising the activities of the Kreis Resident Officers
(see Part III, subd. 3 and 4).
In addition, it is planned to continue a seminar
program initiated in Bavaria, and if it is suc-
cessful, to extend it to other localities and Laender.
Selected young Germans meet for two-week
periods for discussion with German leaders and
experts and U.S. and European consultants on
democratic governmental and political principles,
organization, and procedures.
(6) Kreis Offices
Because the success of this program depends so
completely upon the participation of the Kreis
Resident Officers and because their activities cover
Program items 1-4 in common, this has been made
the subject of a separate section in Part III, subd. 4.
(7) Newspapers and Radio
In addition to the work of the consultants de-
scribed in (2) (c) and (d) above a series of con-
ferences will be organized during the fiscal year
1951 in cooperation with the Press and Publica-
tions Branch of the Information Services Division.
Four different localities will be selected in the
American Zone in each of which either two or
three conferences of twenty newspaper reporters
and editors will be held to discuss the effective
coverage of news concerning political and govern-
mental matters. These conferences will be under
German auspices. It is desirable to hold them after
the arrival of the newspaper consultant, if that
can be expedited.
A series of similar conferences will be held for
radio program men on a zone-wide basis in co-
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