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Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 42 (May 1946)

General,   pp. 11-12 PDF (1.0 MB)

Page 11

A barter syndicate of 20 stores opera-
ted by responsible German merchants is
now in operation in Stuttgart. Used cloth-
ing, household ;articles and other scarce
items may be acquired by German civil-
ians through the syndicate, according to
a study made by the Price Control and
Rationing Section of OMG, Wuerttem-
Each of the cooperating stores in the
syndicate specializes in a separate cate-
gory of merchandise facilitating the bar-
ter of merchandise and at the same time
increasing the business of the Stutt-
gart merchants. Transactions have reach-
ed a value of RM 150,000 per month.
A person desiring to exchange an elec-
tric iron for a more needed commodity
takes the iron to the electric appliance
store, where it is appraised on the basis
'of pre-war prices, with deductions for
depreciation The seller receives the cash
value of the merchandise and a barter
certificate authorizing him to purchase
any article available in the cooperating
stores up to thirty percent above the
value of the item he has sold. The thirty
percent allowance covers the overhead of
the syndicate and the profit to the dealer.
Examples, of the controlled prices pre-
vailing in the exchange include a pair of
used shoes for seven and a half marks,
a twenty four piece set of silverware for
fifty marks and a pocket knife for three
and a half marks.
An extensive publicity campaign won
public confidence in this barter system to
the extent that in a recent public opinion
poll, 99 percent of those questioned knew
of the existence of the barter pxchange,
93 percent thought it a useful institution,
63 percent had patronized it at least once,
and 94 piereent said that they preferred
thte system to any other form of barter.
Faced with a scarcity iof consumer
goods, other cities throughout the US
Zone have been following the example of
Stuttgart. In Essilingen, a city iof 50,000
population, there have been more than
50,000 syndicate transactions.
MG economists have given their full
support to the barter exchanges, pointing
'out that the syndicates, have eased an
over-strained rationing system during the
transition period from war to a peace-
time ieconomy. In addition the exchanges
have ieffected a more widespread dis-
tribution of reserves of consumer goods
and controlled a certain amount of mer-
chandise which would otherwise be bart-
tered 'or sold on the black market, but-
tressing the ~legall price level.
Reported Arrests Denied
Recent newspapers reports that eighty
ex-Wehrmacht officers have been arrest-
ed in Landkreis Miesbach, 40 miles south-
west 'of Munich, for subversive activity
have been branded as untrue by MG
intelligence 'officials.
Various versions of this news account
appearing in both the German and Allied
press also related finding of a list of 400
,names of German anti-Fascists, all slated
for assassinations. Bavarian Minister Pres-
ident Dr. Wilhelm  Hoegner reportedly
headed this list. MG's investigations re-
vealed no trace of such a list.
Meanwhile MG's Public Safety Branch
reported a large scale raid in southern
Bavarigan mountains, conducted by Amer-
ican and German p!olice authorities dur-
ing April, had resulted in tonly 35 per-
sions being held on suspicion of "Edel-
weiss activities." Incomplete statistics re-

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