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Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 23 (January 1946)

German reactions,   pp. 12-14 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 12


germnan 6Peactions
A German
Newspaper Discusses
Oermanv's Destrovefl Cities
One of the most important factors in
the re-education of the German people
is the fast-growing press. Not only do
German newspapers attempt to give their
readers "all the news that's fit to print"',
they also endeavor to create a proper
sense of moral and political values in
their readers so that news will have
meaning for them beyond its mere factual
significance. In some quarters objections
have been made that the German press
gives too much emphasis to this edu-
cational aspect of its function. However,
this objection is greatly outweighed by
the fact that there is a most pressing need
for a thorough re-education of Germany
and no other medium exists at present
with such far-reaching contacts.
In addition to exposing the nazi regime
for what it was, the newspapers also at-
tack the hydra-headed form of nazism
as it keeps reappearing in rumors, com-
plaints, and so-called arguments. In a
recent issue the Frankfurter Rundschau
examines one of these arguments which
seems to be quite popular in circles fre-
quented by former nazis. The argument
runs like this, according to the Frank-
furter Rundschau: "Certainly, it is in-
*excusable that such inhuman acts were
committed in concentration camps, and
for them to have taken place in Ger-
many, a nation of culture, it is a fright-
ful disgrace." But, and here comes the
refrain, "the vast majority of Germans
knew nothing at all about these things."
After this opening gambit, which is com-
mon to many German discussions, design-
ed, presumably to impress the listener.
with the speaker's sense of fair play,
the shade of Gdbbels takes over: "But
was it not just as inhuman and cruel to
destroy senselessly all of our cities and
to annihilate millions of defenseless
people. That is what English and Ameri-
can bombers did. Was that not also crim-
inal? But who mentions such things?
Simply because we lost the war are we
not supposed to talk about them?"
Then the Frankfurter Rundschau ans-
wers: "We not only can talk about such
things but we must talk about them, and
particularly now, during these difficult
winter weeks when we shall most acutely
feel the privations imposed upon us by
the destruction of our cities. We must,
because it is well known that the writer
of the above lines is not alone in his
opinion. Many have voiced the same argu-
ment. It is part of the whispering cam-
paign directed against the men onwhose
shoulders falls the task of building a
new Germany out of the ruins of the
Third Reich. It is part of a campaign
designed to arouse suspicion in thepublic
mind and to discredit our public officials,
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