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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 56 (August 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [4]-[17] PDF (8.0 MB)


Page 8

land.
I: 4n addition.tothe training areas in the
US Zone,: terebare alsoaut 150 airfields
and landing: grounds. Many of these are
being retained by the air forces, but about
90 have beed released for farming.
Mostof the land; on the training areas is
more suitable for grazingthan brfo  tilled
crops :;;?becaue: the ground is gener   of
poor or meaiium quality However,'the air-
fields' are: bter suited to farming because
they are usually located; oflat, alluvial
ground where the'soil is of good quality.
EXPANSION OF ARMY HOLDINGS
The  greatest expansion of Wehrmacht
lands began in 1935'when the"Reich passed
a law -proiding for the acquisition 'of land
for :the 'aGerman Army. The' methods used
in: securing  desired lands were: typical of
those ;used. .by- the . Nazis. After the. .Wehr-
:..macht. - or 'the. Luftwaffe- decided '! which
groundĀ° it 'wanted, the owner was offered
g;;;:gerous price.' If' he:'accepted, he was
paid the agreed price and provision was
made for him and his family to settle on
another farm or' in a nearby city.
.   ..~~~~~~~~~~.
However, if the owner did not care to
move from his property, the Nazis used such
methods as were necessary to accomplish
their purpose. An example of such proce-
dure was in two villages on the Hammelburg
area in, northern Bavaria. These villagers
did not wish to leave their comfortable homes
so the Nazis proceeded to remove the roofs
from all of the buildings and made 'the houses
uninhabitable. Then, after the people had
moved from the area, the sites were incor-
porated into the training grounds.
PLACING IDLE LAND IN USE
One of the first actions of MG after V-E
Days was to place all idle land in the US
Zone in productive' use. MG detachments
ordered the mayors and officials of. the "local
areas to see that the order was carried out..
By this prompt action much of the Wehr-
macht. property was yielding produc'e. only
a few hmonts after. th  occupation began.
In August 1945' MG intructions dizected
that certain lands n were to beretained for
the use of 'occupation I.t    and' that all
other-land ''was' to be'turned over immediately
to thef German aLuthoritie's and placed: 'in
cultivatione
MG Law No. 54, entitled "Use..of.Wehr-
:macht,, Property,"  was issued 27 August
1945 to-govern'the disposal of former lWehr-
macht lands. 'The statute states.: that all for-
mer properties of the' German armednforces,
para-military ..organizations and individuals
or -agencies_ acting for -L:them, were to be
'turned, over to the German government of
the .L.and in'0 which they were located. The
Land government in turn was resp onsible
to"MG. for seei  that all.suh land was put
to productive use. Agricultural - prop.erties
were to be leased for short. terms ..under
prevailing conditions of the area, and .prop-
erties not suitable,, for agricultural- pur-
poses .were to' be retained . under control.. of
MG 'until released. In addition, a, detailed
description of each piece of property was
required..
SEPARATE FUND FOR INCOME
In  a. directive  issued  last December
supplementing Law'No. 54, the Land gov-
ernments: were' required to outline plans for
the eventual disposition of the Wehrmacht
properties. A further provision is that. all
income from the lands is to be retained in a
separate fund,' to be us'ed as approved or
directed by MG. MG has since 'specified
that 'these funds shall be'used for the pur-
pose of strengthening democracy and pro-
moting self-government and has asked the
local German governments for suggestions
in this matter.
The over-all policy at the present time
is; to turn. over- all available Wehrmacht
lands to' thet German -authorities as,. soon as
conditions 'permit. Plans for the future dis-
posiĀ§tion' of these demilitarized installations
involve first, giving its custody to the de-
centralized Land Governments, and secondly
insisting it be used for peaceful purposes..
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