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Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 41 (May 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 5-12 PDF (4.0 MB)

Page 7

-Allied prisoners in German hands was
extracted and transmitted to' the Allied
governments through the International
Red Cross at Geneva, Switzerland.
When the agency was captured .an
Allied Commission was dispatched to
Meiningen, charged with completing the
records and- extracting and removing
those concerning United States, British
Commonwealth, French, Dutch, Belgian,
Luxembourg and Norwegian prisoners of
war. Another Allied Control Commission
took over the headquarters at Saalfeld
'and both Commissions immediately set
to work screensing personnel and :ap~prais-
ing the documents now in their hands:.
Of the almost 1,100 German civilian
clerical help (mostly women) !at Saal-
feld, surprisingly few were found to have
belonged to the Nazi Party, but those
who had joined prior to May 1, 1937,
and those whose husbands or near rela-
tives held offices in any German organi-
zation, or those who could in any manner
be considered security threats, were dis-
*charged. Approximately 400 were thus
let go.
The screening of the documents at Saal-
feld revealed about 17,000,000 individual
card files on men who had passed
through the XWehrmacht between 1939
and 1945. From a study of graphs found
in the files it was possible to reconstruct
the strength of the German Armed Forces
at any given period. It is interesting
to note in this connection that the p'eak
strength of the Wehrmacht was reached
in December, 1943, when it numbered
10,983,000. men. Also uncovered was the
Identification File mentioned previously,
containing lists of names of personnel of
all German Army and Air Force units
mobilized during the war, from which an
"Order of Battle" was extracted by the
Allied Commission. It is this set of rec-
Cords which is being considered for de-
struction when they have served the pur-
pose of the Allies, for it is from this
data that a future Wehrmacht tould be
Another prize of great value was discov-
ered: Lists 'of names. of perlsonnel of
German intelligance units, sabotage units,
secret: field police iand training units.
This set of records has already been used
by Allied Counter - Intelligence, the U-
nited States Depiartment of Justice and
many other agencies, including the Inter-
national War Crimes Commission.
In the latter part of June 1945, three
months after the capture, the work of
screening personnel, examining  docu-
ments and extracting intelligence data
from the files was suspended to permit
the organization to make its second
move, this time to Fuerstenhagen near
Kassel. Some 500 tons of documents were
packed and moved and 365 personnel
were retained for continuing the work of
the agency in its new location. At F4er-
stenhagen new documents consisting of
1,000,000 records of dead and prisoners
of war were received from the Interna.-
tional Red Cross at Geneva and records
from the Abwicklungsstab of the German
Army, the staff whose duties were to
determine the fate 'of the individuals
whose units were destroyed in combat.
These files,, obtained from the Third US
Army area. in- Bavaria, consisted -of -a
million interrogation reports concerning
individuals and two million file cards
relating to members of destroyed units.
Beca.use 'of the pressure of work in examin-
ing, sorting, and briging then extensive
files up to date it was impossible to
dispatch, any death notices from Fuer-
The redeployment of US Forces from
the Fuerstenhagen area during the fall of
1945 was the signal for the agency to
make its third and final move.-This time
it returned to Berlin. It took two months
-from, 15.De.cember, 1945 to 16MFebruary
1946  -   for  the  movement -to, be
completed and the agency-to be. rctvrned

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