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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 99 (June 1947)

German reactions,   pp. 19-[20] PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 19

Munich Results Reviewed
the Munich Conference of the Min-
isters-President: "The End of an Illu-
sion." It quoted a French Zone paper
which claimed that the fate of Ger-
many was finally sealed as a result
of the action of the Eastern ministers-
president, continuing:
"For the time being the longed-for
unity of Germany hat not material-
ized... Munich was only a kind of
-epilogue to Moscow for politically
deaf people, a translation of Moscow
into German. Stubborn optimists will
now perhaps hope for the London
Conferencee in November. Bit it
cannot be assumed that the American-
Russian contrast will, in the mi antime,
have turned into pure harmony."
"All speeches on German unity, the
ones given at Munich included, will
be more declarations as long as each
of the two great powers whose chess-
board is the world today, uses parts
of Germany as chessmen in their
game. (Not in a major role, we like
to forget again and again that we are
not the center of the world.) Even
the Potsdam Decisions, referred to
once in a while, cannot change any-
thing in that. They are antequated."
The writer disputed the theory that
western and southern Germany could
not exist as an independent economic
unit: "It is better to vegetate capital-
istically than to starve socialisti-
The Suedoeutsche Zeitung (Munich)
pointed out the limited effectiveness
of the conference because of inade-
quate powers, but termed the result
as good. It also praised the effective
organization and ability of Minister-
President Ehard:
"These resolutions are nothing more
than eleven mournful songs, impressive
and touching, to attract the attention
of the world. And if people say the
Germans wail too much and assume
too great an air of importance, the
conference proved that they can
hardly do anything else in the present
30 JUNE 1947
indicated, it is a little too simple to
shout to a drowning man from the
shore: 'Don't lament and increase
your importance.' The German weak-
ness has been the result of criminal
ambition for German Omnipotence.
Hitler's successors, burdened with
troubles, are sitting on worn-out chairs
and can only go begging. May every-
one remember that criticism of the
German government, triumphantly in-
terwoven with malicious comparison,
has come fourteen years too late."
The Fuldaer Volkszeitung felt the
Munich  Conference was the    last
chance to overcome the contrast be-
tween western and eastern Germany
-the "canyon without a bridge." It
"Three of the five 'Russian' min-
isters-president were leading members
of the SPD until 1933, one (Paul) was
a Democrat, and the fifth (Dr. Hueb-
ner) is today one of the leaders of
LDP in the Eastern Zone. All of them
ar~e seen as 'Russians' and represent-
atives of a foreign power when they
appear in a different zone.
"The fact that leading politicians of
the Western Zones are in turn defamed
as darkest reactionaries in the Eastern
Zone, is the other side of the coin.
This example shows most strikingly
how much we Germans have sep-
arated from each other, and how
little willingness there is for under-
standing the varying development of
countrymen of the other zones."
Der Mannheimer Morgen comment-
ed: "The 'resolutions' worked out in
Munich are the combined cry of dis-
tress of a people that is desperately
struggling for its right to live ... Even
if the ministers of the five Soviet Zone
Laender thought it necessary to re-
fuse their cooperation, under badly
disguised foreign pressure, the Munich
decisions concern their Laender as
well as the remnant of the German
people.  The  circumstances  under
which the Soviet Zone ministers
wnicn they, or at least some of theme
played their part only half-heartedly."
The Neue Presse (Coburg) expressing
a minority view, blames both western
and eastern ministers-president for
their intransigence, leaning more in
the direction of defending the eastern
ministers-president: "What gave Ger-
mans the right to get excited when
Marshall, Molotow, Bevin, and Bidault
could not come to an agreement on
German problems, if they themselves
were not able to declare their united
German will, but demonstrated their
discord? . .
The paper continued: "The proposal
of the Soviet Zone representatives to
begin the discussion on relief for Ger-
man distress with a discussion on
German unity can by no means be
denied a logical basis  . . Because
Moscow despaired against the contrast
between East and West, it was the
task of the German ministers-president
to give clear and distinct declaration
of what they the present represent-
atives of the German people, think
of German unity . . . There was too
much tactics, too much diplomacy, too
much shifting. That concerns all, the
representatives of the West as well
as those of the East, who seemed to
hear the 'voice of their master' while
they were meant to raise their Ger-
man voice quite freely."
The Schwaebische Donau Zeitung
(Ulm) considered the Munich Con-
ference a success in spite of the
"regrettable" absence of the Soviet
Zone ministers, and in spite of the
fact that it does not have executive
power. It said:
"The restrictions of sovereignty
impair the German government. Re-
cognizing the situation, expectations
should not be too high, and the Con-
ference could result only in resolu-
tions. To grant the German represent-
atives more freedom  of action two
years after the war finished, is cer-
tainly not an unreasonable request to
the occupation forces."

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