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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 97 (June 1947)

Books on Germany, part 3,   pp. 10-12 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 12

SURVEY OF YOUTH WORK
The magnitude of the problem faced
by the American occupation forces
in reorienting the German youth is
shown by a study recently made by
the Surveys Section of the Information
Control Division, OMGUS.
A scientifically selected cross section
of one thousand boys and girls aged
10 to 18 answered a list of 46
questions dealing with the American
GYA project. The youngsters live in
Frankfurt, Kassel, Heidelberg, and
Munich, and most are elementaray,
commercial, or high school students.
Ninety percent of the girls queried
and 83 percent of the boys had never
taken part in the American sponsored
German youth program, although from
one-third to one-half said they had
engaged in youth activities before the
occupation. However, they qualified
their preoccupation participation by
saying they had taken a passive
rather than' active part in youth
organizations.
Only a small minority of the
children questioned in these cities
seemed to be well informed on the
GYA program.
About half of the youngsters con-
sidered food and candy the most im-
portant thing about the youth program.
Twenty-six percent 'regarded the
opportunity to participate in sports as
GYA's most glowing inducement, but
almost as many, 23 percent, attended
meetings in order to show "our former
enemies what Germans are really
like."
A comparatively large proportion
of the children interviewed in each of
the cities thought the youth program
was making a very important contri-
bution to the preservation of peace.
Two questions were included to
check up on whether or not the youth
program was succeeding in teaching
the children the ideals of democracy.
The first was "Have you yourself re-
ceived a better understanding of the
meaning of democracy through the
program?" and the second, "How many
of the youth you know have received
a better understanding. .. through the
program?"
Nine percent in Frankfurt, 19 per-
cent in Kassel, nine percent in Heidel-
berg, and 12 percent in Munich said
they "understood democracy much
better" as a result of the GYA pro-
gram. Over nine percent of all the
children asserted they understood
democratic ideals "somewhat better"
as a result of the program. Six per-
cent of those answering claimed that
they took part in GYA activities
specifically to "learn about demo-
cracy." But 66 percent said they
"didn't know" whether their acquaint-
ances had learned to understood the
democratic way any more compre-
hensively through the program. Only
five percent thought their friends had
learned  complete  "understanding"
through the program. Perhaps this
very unsureness can be regarded as
encouraging.
Engagingly enough, ten percent of
the kids said frankly that they went
to the meetings "to learn to know
some Americans". Nine percent of the
kids wistfully wanted "to learn about
America from soldiers."
Leaders in OMGUS Education and
Religious Affairs Branch say they are
not unduly concerned because of the
"candy and games" appeal of the GYA
which the survey reveals. It is felt
the reaction is a natural one from
children of that age group, and is
"not evidence that this was the chief
value secured from the contact."
German Firm Named
OMGUS has designated a German
corporation to accept all releases of
materials to the German economy by
the US Army through OMGUS. This
corporation is known as Gesellschaft
zur Erfassung von Ruestungsgut m. b. H.
Effective as of 10 April, all releases
of captured enemy and US material
destined for the German economy are
to be made only to representatives of
the corporation, who are to be iden-
tified by a pass issued by the cor-
poration and countersigned by a MG
representative of the Land in which
the release is to be made.
Attacks on Press
Assailed by Licensee
License Hermann Knorr wrote in the
Rhein-Neckar Zeitung (Heidelberg) on
the role of the licensed press, pointing
out how its "position of power" was
attacked by government offices and
parties. He defended the press:
"It became apparent that the new
German authorities showed little un-
derstanding for personal initiatives and
criticism expressed in the press, and
that their new governmental power
meant the temptation of giving direct-
ives to the press or of degrading it in
a disdainful manner as 'non-German,'
if their wishes were not met."
He concluded: "It cannot be astonish-
ing if the independence of the press
as it exists today will always remain
contested. But it is a fact that it is
only the licensed press which re-
preisents the decisive force for devel-
oping in the German people the habit
of learning opinions of others and of
taking issue. The licensed press of
the American Zone... would be very
much missed in Germany the moment
it would cease to exist."
Payments to Ex-POW's
Payment of released German pri-
soners of war residing in the US Zone
who possess credit certificates in
Pound sterling has been agreed upon
by the -US/UK Military Governments.
Payment will be made in Reichsmark
at the rate of RM 15 for 1 Pound
sterling.
Payment must be     applied  for
directly to the Oberfinanzpraesident
Hamburg,    Abrechnungsstelle  fur
Kriegsgefangenengelder, Hamburg 11,
Roedingsmarkt 83.
The application must contain the
following particulars: PW-No., rank,
name, surname and all Christian names
in block letters, first name underlined,'
camp prior to discharge, date of
discharge, D. C. U. making discharge,
present address to which payment is
to be made.
The credit certificates must be
attached to the application. Payment
will be made in the form of a postal
cheque through the office of the Ober-
finanzpraesident.
WEEKLY INFORMATION BULLETIN
12
16 JUNE 1947


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