University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 49 (July 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [4]-[29] PDF (18.0 MB)

Page 11

:uP0 TO TH Er GERMANS"                                    :i:;0
Task o'fDenazifying Reich Rests with Germans after Year in which MG
Carried Out Program for Removal of Nazis from Employment in the US Zone
In mid-June of 1946 MG handed over the
job of denazifying Germany to the people
most vitally concerned  -  the Germans
themselves. MG did not thereby relinquish
all interest in the program, which will, in
fact, be under constant review by the Amer-
ican authorities. The Americans will also
continue to vet certain prospective German
employees of MG as well as candidates for
jobs in connection with the new denazifi-
cation law, and key executives and policy
makers in government and industry. But the
major task of building a democratic Ger-
many has become a German task, and the
success of its performance a factor of
tremendous consequence in determining the
future of both the conquered and the con-
querors. As the denazification program
enters this new and decisive phase, it is
appropriate to trace its development and
achievements from the beginning of the oc-
cupation to the point where MG handed over
the reins.
The denazification aims of MG, first set
forth by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in
JCS 1067/6, were restated for the occupying
authorities in the Potsdam Declaration of
2 August 1945:
... Nazi leaders, influential Nazi sup-
porters and high officials of Nazi or-
ganizations and institutions and any other
persons dangerous to the occupation or its
objectives shall be arrested and interned.
"All members of the Nazi Party who have
been more than nominal participants in its
activities and all other persons hostile to
Allied purposes shall be removed from
public and semi-public office, and from
positions of responsibility in important
private undertakings. Such persons shall
be replaced by persons, who, by their
political and moral qualities, are deemed
capable of assisting in developing genuine
democratic institutions in Germany."
The purpose of this program was threefold:
to strengthen the democratic elements in Ger-
many, to provide security for these elements
and for the occupying forces, and to punish
the active Nazis and militarists.
The American denazification program
actually became operative without benefit of
clergy, so far as the Tripartite Agreement
of Potsdam was concerned, for it went into
action when the first German town was oc-
cupied,' and the first large Special Branch
Office was set up in Aachen following its
capture in October, 1944, seven months be-
fore the conquest of Germany made the Pots-
dam Agreement possible. The functions of
the early offices were limited in comparison
with later developments but the same task
was paramount - to investigate the po-
litical backgrounds of Germans in public
office and in important positions in public
and quasi-public enterprise for the purpose
of removing Nazis and militarists from those

Go up to Top of Page