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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 74 (January 1947)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [4]-18 PDF (8.7 MB)

Page 17

Occupation Progress Reviewed
Military Governor Outlines Achievements of Past Year and Outlook
For Future in Message to German People; Grants Amnesty Extension
I take this opportunity to extend to you my
Christmas greetings and my hope that you
will have the best holiday that present cir-
cumstances allow. I realize that with the
unfavorable picture which has existed in the
German economic scene this past year, there
will not be in Germany during the next few
days the same happy celebrations that mark-
ed your peacetime Christmases. You must
realize that present conditions are the direct
result of the wartime destruction of both
human and physical resources. Therefore,
to most of you, this Christmas can only be
celebrated in a sober spirit.
I can assure you, however, that the Amer-
ican Occupation Forces in Germany are not
motivated by revenge. They have no wish
to prolong the difficulties with which you
are faced.
The policy of the United States Govern-
ment in regard to Germany was clearly set
forth in an address by the Honorable James
F. Byrnes, United States Secretary of State,
at Stuttgart on 6 September. In that address,
Secretary Byrnes emphasized that "the
American people who fought for freedom
have no desire to enslave the German people.
The freedom Americans believe in and fought
for is a freedom which must be shared with
all willing to respect the freedom of others."
Secretary Byrnes also said:
"The American people want peace. They
have long since ceased to talk of a hard or
soft peace for Germany. This has never been
the real issue. What we want is a lasting
peace. We will oppose harsh and vengeful
measures which obstruct an effective peace.
We will oppose soft measures which invite
the breaking of the peace."
Viewing the past few months in retrospect,
on the negative side we see that great pro-
gress has been made in demilitarization and
generally in denazification. Although the
progress made by your own tribunals in the
application of your law for liberation from
national socialism and militarism has not
been altogether satisfactory, we are hearten-
ed by the increased effort which has become
evident in the past six weeks. On the
positive side, substantial progress has been
made in building up democratic institutions.
I refer specifically to the development of
local and state government, culminating in
the adoption of constitutions and the election
of constituent assemblies by the freely ex-
pressed will of the people in each of the
three Laender in the US Zone.
When we turn to the economic, industrial,
and financial fields which are of vital concern
to every German, we find that less progress
has been made.   Shortages of food, coal,
transport, industrial raw materials, and con-
sumer goods of virtually every kind still
characterize the German scene. This highly
unsatisfactory economic situation, candor
compels me to say, has been accentuated to
some extent by failure of the four occupying
powers jointly to implement that very im-
portant part of the Potsdam Agreement pro-
viding for the unified economic treatment of
Zonal boundaries should exist only for de-
limiting occupational areas and not to hamper
Germany's economic life. Neither the equit-
able distribution of essential commodities
between the zones nor the working out of a
balanced economy for Germany as a whole
to provide payment for essential imports has
been accomplished.  Both of these are re-
quired under the provisions of the Potsdam
Agreement, as Secretary Byrnes pointed out
in Stuttgart. Moreover, the Central German
Administrative Department for Finance,
Transport, Communications, Foreign Trade

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