The United States Political Adviser for Germany ( Murphy ) to the Secretary of State

No. 226

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a thoughtful memorandum29 prepared for General McSherry of G–5 Division, SHAEF, by Lt. M. M. Goodsill, USNR, on the subject of certain defects of Military Government in the Aachen area and steps which might be taken to correct these defects. The complaints on which the memorandum comments were contained in certain PWD reports.

The Department will be interested in noting that according to the memorandum, Military Government has concentrated to a great extent on establishing “efficient”, functional administration. In the process, mistakes have been made in the appointment of Nazis or other Germans with bad past records and in general insufficient consideration has been given to the de-Nazification objectives of the Allies. Lt. Goodsill comes to the conclusion that in addition to the drafting of clearer and more detailed directives on de-Nazification, the extent to which local German political action will be permitted, and other subjects, it will be necessary to give to Military Government officers a considerable amount of education on the fundamental ideas of our policy toward Germany. There has been too much concentration on functions and administration and not enough on policy.

The memorandum discusses also the necessity of permitting left wing and democratic elements of the German population to make a start at organizing themselves and securing representation in local government, where the field is now too often given as a monopoly to conservative and right wing elements in appointing public officials.

While the memorandum covers only the situation in a very small occupied area, I believe it is significant as foreshadowing on a small scale the political problems which will confront us in the near future on a vast scale.

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The necessity of supplying more adequate political guidance to Military Government detachments is receiving our careful attention. Advantage is being taken of the current visit of Assistant Secretary of War McCloy to emphasize the need on the part of the lower echelons of Military Government officers in the field for more personal guidance than is afforded by the mere transmission of written directives filtering down through regular Army channels. The need for more prompt reporting from the Military Government detachments in the field is also emphasized in order that corrective measures where necessary may be taken promptly.

In view of the nature of the assignment of the Departments personnel to US Group CC, I wish particularly to ask that this report be given only the most limited circulation within the Department and that its contents should not be discussed with any outside department or agency in Washington.

Respectfully yours,

Robert Murphy
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