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Information bulletin
(January 1952)

McCloy, John J.
Test of democracy,   pp. 35-36 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 36

that our influence will continue to be felt. And there are
many who will continue with these efforts. Many of you,
however, will be going home as most of us will be
before many months are gone by.
Whether you go or whether you stay, you have a duty
to perform. You have been a part of one of the great
phases of American and European history and you can
be thankful you have had a part in this. You have fre-
quently heard some Germans say: "Sie haben so viele
Fehler gemacht" (You have made so many mistakes).
I hear it too frequently. But you can be quite certain that
you and your predecessors have made an impression and
a contribution. Both have been good.
IT IS PARTICULARLY to those who are going home that
I say that you must face your new task with the same
inspiration and the same devotion and loyalty which you
have displayed here. For your own country also needs
such examples. Whether you find yourselves in govern-
ment or whether you find yourselves simply as members
of the community, you must realize that your country
faces great problems and difficulties such as the American
Republic has never faced before, problems realized by
too few of those nations and peoples that the United
States has aided. But you must appreciate them. And just
as you have set an example in the county where you have
worked, so it is necessary when you go back to the United
States or wherever you go to exert the same example.
Our country is now in an era of history in which it is
one of the great moral factors in this world. If our country
is to continue great, it must continue to exert this moral
leadership. No country, however great in physical power,
has ever long continued great unless it could exert such
moral force.
You and your wives have been a part of an era. You
are better prepared than most of your fellow citizens to
exert leadership. You have seen the impact and the im-
portance of American helpfulness in periods of great
stress -and great distress-in an area far from home.
I ask you to look back on your service with satisfaction
and look forward to your new tasks with faith - faith in
the work you have done for the future of a democratic
Germany, and faith in the moral strength of the United
States whkch you have served so well.       +END
Youth Gaines in Berlin Bacdfire on Reds
EAST GERMAN YOUNG PEOPLE, herded to Berlin last
summer for a ballyhooed Communist youth festival*,
returned home stronger allies of the West and more dis-
satiislfied with their life behind the Iron Curtain. The
influence of their favorable impressions of Western de-
mocracy has spread widely throughout the Soviet Zone.
This was the consensus of a series of confidential sur-
veys carried out by the Reactions Analysis Staff of HICOG
during and after the youth festival and made public Dec.
12. A random sampling of opinion was made among the
hundreds of thousands of youths who visited West Berlin
despite strict Communist precautions to keep them in the
East. Two hundred were interviewed for each of five
surveys. Most of the surveys were made among recent
Soviet Zone visitors to Weislt Berlin to determine how
widely the impressions of festival participants had spread.
The latest survey declared: "The youth rally (Aug. 5-19)
had considerable impact on the East zone population, but
its repercussions were almost entirely favorable to the
West. The youthful visitors apparently had not hesitated
to talk about their experiences to friends and acquaint-
ances on their return home. Especially they had stressed
... what they had heard, seen and done in West Berlin.
Freedom, prosperity and hospitality sum up the over-all
impressions of the West which they had passed on to
their East zone neighbors."
EARLIER SURVEYS, MADE among the visiting youths
themselves, showed that 50 percent of those who
attended the festival were compelled to attend. Only
* See articles on the Communist youth festival in the Information
Bulletin, September 1951.
three percent came enthusiastically. The other 47 percent
came for personal reasons, generally unflattering to the
East. Of those who visited West Berlin, nearly two out of
three were better impressed by the city than they had
expected. Only one percent were disappointed.
Among the reasons given for visiting West Berlin dur-
ing th6 festival were the following: To see what it's really
like in the West; to get away from the pressure in the
East for awhile; to buy some leather for shoes; to see
if it was really as bad as the Communists said; to see the
shopwindows and movies; to get a breath of fresh air.
The young people displayed an almost unanimous opin-
ion that Western information is; factual and honest, while
the Communist output is distorted, dishonest and ficti-
tious. One survey declared: "The youths appear to be
fully aware that they are not only being deceived and
deliberately misinformed by the Communists, but that
they are being forced to accept misinformation. In con-
trast, they feel that the West makes no effort to coerce
them into accepting Western views."
On the other hand, the report added, "it is equally clear
that a far from negligible fraction of the East zone youth
advance views which reveal some degrees of absorption
of Eastern propaganda themes."
A survey of radio-listening behavior of East German
youth (aged 15-30) showed that the American sponsored
RIAS station in Berlin is the favorite of nearly three-
fourths of all radio-listening young people in the Soviet
Zone. RIAS, the survey said, is regularly heard by more
than three times as many youths as iany Communist
station. Three-fifths of those interviewed urged that more
information and commentary should be made available.
INFORMATION BULLETIN
36
JANUARY 1952


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