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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 57 (September 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [4]-20 PDF (9.3 MB)


Page [4]


PRISONS min
Atall blonde youth clicked his heels and
stood at rigid attention as you entered
his cell. A minute previously, when you
squinted through the little peephole in the
heavy wooden door, he was looking forlornly
at the blue sky framed in the high barred
window of his confinement chamber. Out-
wardly he appeared docile and gave the im-
pression of being. contrite. He seemed grateful
for your "Guten Tag." If he's like his com-
patriots he is a model of deportment and
gives no trouble to his jailers. Behind his
servility may be genuine humility or perhaps
a cunning mind that contrived some
outrageous crime. His offense could have
ranged from the unlawful possession of
American cigarettes to the deliberate murder
of another human being. Whatever he did
and however long he is forced to stay, his
lot is difficult and he receives the barest
comforts of life. He is in a German prison.
PREVAILING CONDITIONS
There are no "country clubs" among-the
28 major prisons and the 222 jails super-
vised by Military Government in the US
Zone. Most of them are old, dungeon-like,
bleak and depressing. Some are converted
monasteries, built centuries ago, with thick
walls and other structural features reminis-
cent of medieval history. Modern plumbing
is almost unknown, central heating is seldom
provided, and all utilities are in keeping
with the period ideas of their architecture.
All institutions have one common problem:
They are full to overflowing with prisoners
of every description, age and extent of
criminality.
The lack of space in German prisons
(Left) A prisoner is shown work-
ing in the shoe repair shop of the
Butzback prison. Signal Corps Photo


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