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Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 41 (May 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 5-12 PDF (4.0 MB)


Page 5


6W#INy
4/er War
MG Agency Notifies 9,000 Next-Of-Kin Daily from Former Wehrmacht
Personnel Files. Captured Records Enable Analysis of the Rise and Fall of
Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht. Collection Widely Used by Inter-Allied Agencies.
A year ago doughboys of the 87th
Infantry Division of the First US Army
were closing in on Saalfeld, Thuringia.
When the city was finally captured on
12 April 1945, "Operation Goldeup" was
initiated. Saalfeld had been not only, a
military objective but the known location
of an extremely valuable prize - the files
of the Germanh Armed Forces Information
Bureau for Prisoners of War and War
Casualties - and this was one of the
targets 'of "Operation Goldcup." At first
the significance of the capture was not
fully ;appreciated. But today, more than
a year later, the records have been thor-
oughly examined and their crucial im-
portance established beyond all doubt.
The captured agency contained about
17,000,000 individual card files on men
who had passed through the Wehrmacht,
including the Luftwaffe, from 1939 to
1945. Valuable as was this information, it
was surpassed by an even greater find:
Complete rosters of troop units of the
Army and Air Force in the form    of
identification lists, including vital statis-
tics. It doesa not require too vivid an
imagination to guess what the possession
of such documents could mean in the
hands of a vengeful reconstituted Ger-
maln General Staff, bent upon the rebirth
of a military machine which could once
again.threaten the peace of Europe and
'of the world.
Since 'one of the aims of the Potsdam
Agreement is the complete demilitari-
zation of Germany - guaranteeing.that
she will never aga.in be in a position
to constitutfe a- threat to her neighbors
it is very fortunate that these records
of the former German Armed Forces
are now in Allied possession, and it is
imperativie that they remain there. The
US Department of Justice and Allied
Counter Intelligence agencies have. evi-
denced interest in -this wealth 'of data,
for it contains the names of members
of Wehrmacht intelligence units. Of partic-
ular interest are men who had managed
to worm their. way into the US Army in
pursuit of espionage activities for the
fatherland.
iIt is characteristic of democracy that
the work of casualty notification inter-
rupted at the time of surrender, is today
resumed. This work is now being ac-
complished under a new   name, under
entirely new management and for only
one purpose: To notify near relatives
of the death of fallen members of the
former Wehrmacht. Now known as "The
German Agency for the Notification of
War Deaths in the Former German Ar-
med Forces to Next of Kin," it is func-
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