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

German reactions,   pp. 16-19 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 18

sta'nces have forced them to accept or -
dinary labor' tasks. Similarly, !othe'rs com-
plain that their work is too hard. Former
Nazi Party members who have been de-
nal. ified complain frequently that their
present work is humiliating. Another
complaint is that the income today is too
low in view of the high taxes.
Another question probed the general
public's feeling about jobs most difficult
to find. Half of those answering think
that white collar and office positions
come under this category. A smaller
group consider -any light work and jobs!
which provide food as most desired.
HOUSEKEEPING POPULAR
A special analysis was also' made of
non-workers in the population. Nearly
half 'of the non-worker's claim to be
housewives a4nd do not consider obtain-
ing any other type of work. About a
quarter 'of the non-employed report that
they are unable to work - were too old,
sick, incapacitated, pensioned,: etc. A
more interesting category of non-workers
is the former Nazis who had been denazi-
fied. They make up about one in ten of
the non-working population in the Amer-
ica'n Zone. In Berlin, d'enazified Nazis
made up a considerably smaller propor-
tion (2 percent) 'of the nonemployed
group.
About the same proportion of non-wor-
kers (2 percent) complain that there is
no work to be found in their 'area or that
they can not find desirable types of em-
ployment. On the basis, of this survey,
then, it appears that about one in five
non-workers can be considered as un-
employed in the strict sense, that is, they
iare neither housewives nor those physi-
cally incapable of work.
THE SPECTER OF INFLATION
The German public is becoming more
and more concerned over the possibility
'of inflation. This trend is apparent from
two OMGUS Information Control Sur-
vey Unit samplings 'of popular confidence
in price stability, conducted in mid-Jan-
uary and mid-February in the US Zone.
The price situation is regarded in
terms 'of two separate problems. Most
people queried, recognized or conceded
the ability of the authorities to keep
prices down. In fact, on successive polls,
the number of people agreeing that MG
and the German authorities can hold
prices down has actually increased, prob-
ably because the authorities in the in-
terim successfully demonstrated their ab-
ility to keep prices from rising. But, a'p-
parently, the public has become less con-
fident that the authorities will continue
to exercise the rigid controls that have
kept prices down.
The public seems to have become more
confused and uncertain as to what con-
trol policy MG will choose to exercise
lover currency and prices in the futurie.
One reason for this may be that by dis-
continuation of subsidies to farmers the
cost;of living has been permitted to rise
slightly. This change in policy was an-
nounced by MG in early F'ebruary - in
the period between the two public opin-
ion surveys, the results of which indicate
increased fear iof price rises.
Fear of a possible devaluation of the
currency is another factor contributing to
public uncertainly about price stability.
During the wartime prosperity, a large
number of people accumulated consider-
able holdings of money. Unable for the
most part to safeguard their savings by
converting them into durable goods,thesie
people worry about the future value of
18
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