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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 100 (July 1947)

US information centers,   pp. 4-5 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 4

ON 8 July 1947 the 20th US Inform-
ation Center was formally open-
ed in Wiesbaden. It marked almost
to a day the second anniversary of
the first US Information Center at
Bad Homburg (later moved to Frank-
furt) on 4 July 1945.
In opening the center in Wies-
baden, Dr. James R. Newman, Director
OMG Hesse, declared: "For long years
the people of Germany have lived in
a cultural isolation almost without
equal in modern times. The history of
culture shows that such isolatlon, es-
pecially in the rapidly integrating
world of this century, leads to barren-
ness in the arts and stultification in
the sciences . . . The libraries such
as this one at Wiesbaden . . strive
solely to open a window to the
German people on current political
and cultural thought in America and
Western Europe."
War did not spare German public
and private libraries, Some German
authorities estimate that as many as
30,000,000 volumes were lost. Even if
the libraries had escaped intact, how-
ever, they would fail to meet pre-
sent-day needs. Long before the bomb-
ings the Nazis succeeded in removing
those materials necessary to a liberal
education and a well-balanced view
of the outside world. Works by Jew-
ish authors, regardless of the subject,
and many volumes of objectively
scientific and critical-liberal content,
were weeded out ruthlessly. In their
places stood volumes dealing with ra-
cial discrimination, war-mongering,
and other doctrines of National Social-
ism. Fortunately the'end of the war
broke the shackles on liberal thought
in Germany and at the same time
underlined the acute need of the Ger-
mans for literature previously for-
American leaders in intellectual and
international affairs long had been
aware of the highly-distorted picture
of the world given the Germans by
the Nazis. Until the outbreak of war
in 1933, however, many American
publications still entered Germany
through  the  mails  and  through
the  international exchanges  con-
ducted  by  various  learned  so-
cieties  and  governmental offices.
At that time the first channel was
curtailed and the second cut off. All
normal communications finally ended
with Germany's declaration of war
upon the United States. At the same
time the bitterness of the attacks upon
the United States and other democra-
cies conducted by the Axis propa-
ganda ministries, and by the press
under their control, increased.
V ICTORY therefore presented the
United States with the difficult
problem of reviving cultural and in-
tellectual contacts between the people
of the US Zone and other peoples of
the world. A recently published state-
ment of US policy declares "that
the untrammeled pursuit of truth is a
prerequisite for the maintenance of
justice; and that free communication
between individuals, groups and na-
tions is a necessary condition for na-
tional and international understand-
The carrying out of this policy in
the occupied countries is the work of
Scholar making use of the materials
available at one of the US Information
Centers. Each Center has approxi-
mately 7,000 volumes. These collec-
tions of technical and popular works
give Germans a window on the outside
world.    (ARMY SIGNAL CORPS photo)
%./ # V 0
FORA414 T/ O)V
7 JULY 1947

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