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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 93 (May 1947)

German reactions,   pp. 13-14 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 13

Marshall's Appraisal
The Sueddeutsche Zeltung (Munich)
carried a penetrating editorial analy-
sis of the report by Secretary of State
Marshall to the American people on
the results of the Moscow Conference.
It said:
"None of the responsible men,
either in Moscow or in the Western
Hemisphere, thinks of war. Each of
them knows that a new total war
would lead, of necessity, to the total
destruction of mankind. The statement
of the American Secretary of State is
designed to give us the reassuring
certainty that there is a third way;
that the disagreements about peace
must neither remain at a total impasse
nor be solved with methods of vio-
lence. This third way lies in the
realm of power politics and is nothing
more than the stubborn and persistent
employment of political and ideolo-
gical potential  through  peaceful
means ...
"Finally, let us not forget that
according to Marshall's clear words the
peace for Germany, and that means
for Europe and the world, can en-
dure only if it creates a just solution
for all participants, victors and con-
quered. It is America's clear desire
to set up a fair boundary between
Germany and Poland, 'in which a de-
mocratic Poland and a democratic
Germany will live as good neighbors.'
"Here, too, the last word has not
been heard. We can now draw new
courage. We may cherish the con-
viction that America will not lose
sight of the entity of the indivisible
world and will draw upon all the
means within its power to achieve for
tortured and confused mankind an
age of peace and convalescence."
The Stuttgarter Zeitung said: "The
ultimate test for the world and for
Germany is not decided, as pessimnsts
might perhaps believe. It is probable
that the termination of a state of
suspense, which cannot possibly last
forever, might turn out well for us
and even for the Eastern Zone. A Ger-
many tentatively divided into two
halves will become the experimental
area of two contradictory economic
"That is not a very pleasant situa-
tion as a whole, but is perhaps a fruit-
ful one. They could compete in work-
ing, building, and compensating past
injustices according to varying prin-
ciples. They would thus arrive at
better results than by merely disput-
ing principles: the question of man-
kind, limitation of private rights
against social or political ones, which
has not been solved satisfactorily by
either the capitalistic or the anti-
capitalistic sphere."
The Nuernberger Nachrichten (Nu-
remberg) made a thorough appraisal
of Germany after the Moscow Con-
ference and deplored particularly the
resigned attitude of the population.
It also feared that the division at
Moscow will lead to a division of
Germany, which it considers dis-
astrous. It added:
"Moscow has revealed that, at least
for the time being, we live in a 'Di-
vided world' until late autumn when
the foreign ministers meet again. Dan-
gerous apathy will have time to
spread until then. It will be linked
with indifference which will prove to
be disastrous in our situation.
"The German situation is by no
means hopeful. It must have become
obvious to even the most unconcerned
among the Germans that the con-
sequences of our defeat are being felt
more and more every month, without
our being able to evade them . . .
"We consider the greatest danger
to lie in the fact that a final division
of Germany is now more likely than
ever. Many Germans do not want to
face this danger at the moment be-
cause it is still disguised by the
memory of the former state of unity
and by the sovereign position of the
Control Council that extends over the
whole Reich territory."
Wiesbadener Kurier the German ten-
dency to return invariably to old
tradition after each catastrophe.
"It is not true that the burnt child
dreads the fire," Kloeck began. "No
more than the moth dreads the flame
which burns its wings."
"It must seem strange that the con-
servative can conceive of no other
movement than that which leads back
to the starting-point (of the slide). But
action, for all too many, is always
reaction. For most, it would be better
to remain static."
He pointed out how the slide oper-
ates, moving Germany back to the
days of 1918:
"'What happened in Germany Is
dreadful. But there were decent Ger-
mans...' Certainly. Who can deny
that? - But after a while we find
that really the great majority of Ger-
mans was decent. Later, the idea is
crystallized that, all in all, there was
only a handful of criminals. The mass
of the people was undeniably inno-
cent. Still later? 'Criminal? The others
were also no saints...' Leading poli-
ticians now speak again of a 'just
peace' but by no means of a 'merciful'
peace. No German statesman will
sign an unjust peace dictatel For to
be treated unjustly is as atrocious
to a German as to act unjustly him-
selfl What's more, the ground for a
coming conflict is simply being pre-
pared, unless..."
Hope in Work
The Mittelbayerische Zeitung (Re-
gensburg) carried a May Day editorial
which, like many others newspapers,
looked for some ray of hope, and
stressed the saving grace of work
and the value of freedom:
"Today the German people cele-
brate May Day under a new sign, in
an entirely different world. Non-poli-
tical and neutral trade unions have
been created again. Class hatred has
spent itself as a result of the total
19 MAY 1947
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