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Information bulletin
No. 145 (October 5, 1948)

Soviet order tightens press shackles,   pp. 14-15 PDF (1.3 MB)


Page 15

Soviet Militatry Administration issued
Ordeir No. 105.
The newsdealer and the! subscriber
to the papers from the West could
read the first pant of thisi Oirder 105
with  satisfaction.  For  it piously
acknowleldrgged the, past abuses, and it
stated its purpose as 'the! 'el'imination
of "the aforementioned irregularities,
which lead to misunderstandings
between the occupational authorities,
and in order to install the proper
procedure necessary to insure the
strict and undeviating execution of
Control Council Directive No. 55."
B UT WHAT WAS THIS in the
following paragraphs? Whait did
this mean about establishing a single
organization  a  Press  Distribution
Agency to control the distribution
and sale of all newspapers, magazines
and other publications in the Soviet
Zone? What did this mean about a
single organization-a Postal News-
paper Office being set up to control
thef circulation of all printed matter
through postal channels? And ithis
sentence! What did it mean - that the
Postal Newspaper Office would be
given the authority... to organize the
collection of individual subscriptions
through local branches...?
Well, it didn't take long. Soon it
became   obvious  that Order   105
reestablished in an even stricter form
a system of control over the reading
public developed by the Nazis to
prevenlt the circulation of ideas and
news which that dictatorial regime
considered inimical to its political
interests. Order 105 placed in /a state
agency, the Postal Newspaper Agency,
and in a state-controlled monopoly,
the Newspape!r Distribution Agency,
the power to determine what the in-
dividual German may or may not
read.
By now   the businessman in the
eastern zone city, who had subscribed
to the western-licenseid newspapers,
knows what Order 105 means for him.
He knows what the sentence meant
which said the Postal Nelwspaper
Office would have authority  over
"individual subscriptions." He had
heard rumors about 'the criminal
Police and the NKVD trying to obtain
lists of subcribers to Western-licensed
Papers. And now he learns that the
OCTOBER 5, 19418
post office in the city where he lives
has been ordered to report the names
of all such subscribers.
He walks with the same old fear as
in the years past. Now it is the fear
that the presence of his name on
those subscription lists to free, papeirs
will mark him as an enemy of com-
munism, as a candidate for the new
concentration camps.
What this means 'to retailers and
wholesalers of publications is also all
too clear. Under the Soviet order they
must re-register foar a license to stay
in business. They become dependent
agents, virtually employees in itheir
own shops.
Not every retailer has been able
to obtain a license, particularly
those who 'ha'd been so bold as
to sell papers from  the West. The
specific dealer referred to at the
beginning of this article was a case.
When hie tried to re-lregister in his
city he was denied a li'cense. The
SMA had scratched his name from
the list of eligible dealers. That made
him unemployed, so he had to register
with the local labor office. Very soon
that office gave him a card. It told
him that he had "volunteered to work
in a uranium mine." He was due there
about two weeks ago, but he and his
wife have succeeded in escaping to
the West, and remain free people.
YES, that is what SMA Order 105
means to dealers and to readers.
Recently, US Military  Government
officials studied the effect of Order
105 on the circulation of American
authorized publications in the Soviet
Zone. This s'tudy showed beyond all
doubt 'that despite repeated assurances
the Russians had not only failed
to correct the situation existing in
May, but had even created new ob-
stacles to ithie free interchange of
information.
As it has made abundantly clear at
international 'conferences, and by its
actions in Germany, the US Govern-
ment has maintained a fixed, policy
to further the development of a free,
demociratic press in Germany. It is
also the aim  of US authorities to
achieve a free flow of information,
news and ideas throughout Germany.
When the Soviet Military Ad-
ministration was signatory to the
15
four-power Directive 55, which gua-
ranteed  this, it was necessarily
aissumed that these principles would
be adhered to. However, it seems
'that no international agreement is of
any more value than the good faith
evidenced by each of its signatories.
MPC Collections
The collection of Military Payment
Certificates (US occupation money) by
the Deutsche Post for personal com-
munications services provided to
members of the occupation forces in
the US-occupied area 'during June
totaled more than $220,000, the high-
est monthly sum since the Deutsche
Post was authorized to accept MPO's
from Allied personnel in May, 1947.
T'his 'brings the total of MPC collec-
tions since that date to $1,900,000.
Allied payments for international
telecommunications services accrue to
Germany's export credits in the JEIA
account.
In June, some $120,000 of the total
collections was for international ser-
vice. The total collections in 'this
category up to July had been more
than $900,000, not including a balance
of $45,000 from private carriers' 'collec-
tions for international services while
they were still operating in the
Bizonal Area of Germany.    From
Mililary Governor's Monthly Report
No. 37
Claims for Properties
In anticipation of many petitions
expected to be filed under Law
No. 59 for properties not presently
under property control custody, Pro-
perty Control Circular No. 2 has been
issued, setting forth the  general
procedure to be followed to safeguard
such properties until claims are
settled.
Upon receipt of a proper petition,
German property control authorities
will automatically take steps to con-
trol or to inform holders of the
blocking of such properties, as the
case may require. Such control or
blocking shall be maintained until the
final disposition of claims in question.
INFORMATION BULLETIN


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