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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 87 (April 1947)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 4-13 PDF (5.9 MB)


Page 12


german Leaders
# . .ink
The German people are described by their
leaders in the US Zone as generally ap-
proving of the Allied occupation and wishing
for the establishment of economic unification
throughout the four zones. This was dis-
closed in a recent survey made by the In-
formation Ccntrol Division, OMGIJS.
From the replies given by 188 leaders Qf
towns and villages throughout the Zone, In-
formation Control officials concluded the
report of the survey with the statement:
"The leaders feel that few Germans desired
world dictatorship in 1938 - and these few
were those who would profit through position
or material gain from such a rule. They
agree, in the main, that the United States
should and will stay in Germany another
10 years, and insist that the economic uni-
fication of the four zones of occupation is
basically important.  Many of them have
been impressed by the Nuremberg Trials and
by Secretary Byrnes' speech as being impor-
tant milestones of the past year. But the
Trials have not done too much toward estab-
lishing truly international law because the
rule of law applied to Germany alone."
German leaders from 180 towns and vil-
lages of the US Zone were questioned on
international problems concerning Germany.
They were people whose interest and activity
in community affairs marked them as leaders
in their respective communities. All except
three of the 188 leaders interviewed were
men. averaging 50 Years of age. I-Talf of
them were Catholic. Educational backgrounds
of the leaders were diverse: 41 percent had
had some college training, but 29 percent -
a large minority -had had seven years of
schooling or less.
More than half of the leaders were em-
ployers; less than one-third were govern-
mental officials; and one-eighth were farmers.
Forty-five percent belonged to political par-
ties, and of these, 55 percent showed a pref-
erence for the rightist parties of the zone.
One-fifth said they were not interested in
political parties or politics because "nothing
is being done." This disillusioned minority
generally was better educated and more pro-
fessionally trained than the group as a whole,
indicating that there are capable, leading
men among the population who are failing to
inspire among the people of their communi-
ties respect for and confidence in political
activities in Germany today.
Interviewers put the following question to
the leaders: It is often charged that a large
part of the German people wanted Germany
to be given a chance to rule the world. How
many Germans do you believe really wanted
this, say in 1938?" Seventy-five percent of
the leaders, revealing a desire to defend the
German people in general from such a
charge, claimed that less than one-fourth of
the Germans ever wanted such a thing, and
50 percent felt that only one-tenth had any
such intentions.
About 49 percent of the group cited such
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