University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 49 (July 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [4]-[29] PDF (18.0 MB)


Page 12

positions. The procedure for making these
investigations, adhered to through MG's de-
nazification program in the US Zone, had
been worked out by British and American
public safety officers months before the in-
vasion of Normandy. Essentially it con-
sisted of requiring Germans in positions
where political reliability was demanded to
submit politically relevant information in a
detailed questionnaire known as the Frage-
bogen. Instructions for the use of Special
Branches in the evaluation of Fragebogen
according to degrees of ideological culpa-
bility had also been prepared in advance and
were put to use in the early days of denazi-
fication and followed as long as the MG
program was operative. When a Frage-
bogen had been evaluated and checked
against confiscated Nazi party files and
other sources, the recommendations of
Special Branch were made sent on an action
sheet to the supervising MG officer in the
area, who was charged with seeing that the
employer acted upon those recommendations.
When the appropriate steps had been taken,
the completed action sheet was returned to
Special Branch to complete the record.
USFET DIRECTIVE
The first directive formally defining
categories of Nazis whose removal from
employment was mandatory was published
by SHAEF on 9 November 1944. After
the dissolution of SHAEF, a new denazi-
fication directive was published by USFET
on 7 July 1945, which remained in force
until it was rescinded on 14 June 1946, at
which time the German denazification law
became fully effective and the majority of
vetting by MG ceased. With two major
differences, the 7 July directive followed
closely the policy and procedure patterns
incorporated in the SHAEF directive. In
defining the degree of culpability of members
of the Nazi Party, the USFET directive
established the date of 1 May 1937 to divide
active Nazis (pre-1937 members, whose re-
moval or exclusion from employment was
made mandatory) from nominal Nazis (post-
May, 1937 members, whose removal or ex-
clusion from employment was discretionary).
The SHAEF directive had used 1 January
1933 as the line of demarcation. The second
major difference between the two directives
was the provision in the USFET version for
a Military Government Denazification Re-
view Board to reconsider the cases of-.- in-
dividuals whose  removal from   crifically
important positions had been declared man-
datory, when in the supervising MG officer's
opinion the individuals concerned were no
more than nominal Nazis.
CLOSING LOOPHOLES
The provisions of the 7 July directive
were applied to Germans occupying positions
of "more than minor importance" in public
office and of importance in quasi-public and
private enterprises, as had been the case
before; it also encompassed the top persons
in leading industrial, commercial, agricul-
tural and financial institutions. A still
broader base for denazification was described
by a directive of 15 August, which extended
the sanctions of earlier directives to include
business and professional people and also
wealthy and influential people outside of
industry, public life and the professions.
This revision closed the loopholes for those
well-heeled and powerful Nazis who did not
happen to hold public office or otherwise
fall within the categories established on
7 July.
PROGRAM FURTHER EXTENDED
The denazification program was still
further extended late in September, 1945, by
Military Government'Law No. 8, which had
three main objectives: to extend dena zi-
fication over the entire German economy,
removing active Nazis from every class of
industry, large or small, public or private;
to make German employers criminally liable
for failure to remove Nazis from all po-
sitions in business and industry above
ordinary labor; and to give the German
people a measure of responsibility for
denazification by creating German Review
12


Go up to Top of Page