860F.01/4–3045

The Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force ( Eisenhower ) to the Commanding General, 12th Army Group ( Bradley )49

AG 014.1–1 (Czechoslovakia) GE–AGM

Subject: Civil Affairs Directive for Liberated Areas of Czechoslovakia

1.
It is the policy of the United Kingdom and the United States Governments that Czechoslovakia be treated as an Allied liberated country and that the Sudetenland be treated as part of Czechoslovakia. The German regime in the Sudetenland, as well as in other areas of Czechoslovakia, is an alien one to be uprooted and destroyed. In this and in all other respects, Czechoslovakia, including the Sudetenland, will be considered and treated as Allied liberated territory.
2.
In areas of Czechoslovakia liberated by forces under your command, you are authorized to take all measures deemed by you necessary for the success of your operations and safeguarding the persons, property and security of your forces. You will, as soon as possible, post in all such areas a proclamation, copies of which will be forwarded to you very shortly.
3.
So far as feasible, you will, however, as in other Allied liberated countries, permit loyal Czechoslovakian authorities when found to conduct all matters of civil administration, including the re-organization of the administrative and judicial services and the elimination therefrom of Nazis and Nazi collaborators.
4.
You will give the loyal Czechoslovakian authorities all assistance you consider possible to enable them to conduct the civil administration in accordance with your requirements and, so far as not inconsistent with the success of your operations, with the programs and policies of the Czechoslovakian Government.
5.
It will be for Czechoslovakian authorities to take the necessary administrative and judicial measures to deal with Nazi and hostile persons and institutions. You should request the Czechoslovakian authorities to take appropriate steps to block their accounts and properties. It will also be primarily a matter for the Czechoslovakian authorities to regulate local financial and economic questions and you should notify this headquarters if they appear to be unable to do so. You will further notify the Czechoslovakian authorities of their responsibility for safeguarding United Nations property.
6.
In the Sudetenland and any other parts of Czechoslovakia incorporated into the Reich, you will probably have greater difficulty than [Page 438] in other areas and must exercise greater care in finding loyal Czechoslovakians to whom you may look for the conduct and re-organization of the civil administration. In such parts you will also probably find that you will have to render such loyal authorities, when established, greater assistance than in other areas. However, the controlling principle in the Sudetenland, as in other areas is that stated in paragraph 3 above.
7.
As a measure of assistance to loyal Czechoslovakian authorities and for the maintenance of law and order, if you deem the successful conduct of your operations so requires, you may issue such orders to the civil population or otherwise of a civil administrative or governmental character as you consider appropriate. For the enforcement of such orders and for the punishment of offenses against the persons, property or security of the Allied forces, you may, in your discretion, establish Allied Military Courts. The organization, jurisdiction and procedure of such courts will be in accordance with that established for Military Government courts, with such changes therein as you may consider appropriate to the conduct of such courts for the purpose hereof. Offenders tried by such courts will be restricted to those who purported under German Law to be Germans, except as you may arrange with loyal Czechoslovakian authorities or may consider necessary to your operations.
8.
Allied service courts and authorities shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all members of their respective forces and all other persons subject to their respective service laws.
9.
Your forces, members thereof, persons subject to their service laws, and attached organizations shall be exempt from all direct taxes, state or local.
10.
Procurement of supplies, facilities and services, including civilian labor, will be effected when practicable through the Czechoslovakian Government and loyal local authorities in accordance with Czechoslovakian law. You may, however, exercise the right of direct requisition for such purposes when you deem necessary to your operations. You should as far as possible avoid making cash payments for such requisitions but if it becomes necessary to do so in order to obtain your requirements you should make payments only in accordance with prevailing local prices.
11.
Such payments as you may make for the purpose of the foregoing paragraph, for payment of your forces, or for other authorized purposes in Czechoslovakia shall be made in Allied Military Marks until adequate supplies of Czechoslovakian currency become available and are released to you for that purpose by this headquarters. If prior to that time, supplies of such currency become available to you, you will report at once to this headquarters for further instructions. Until expressly authorized by this headquarters you will quote no rate [Page 439] of exchange between Czechoslovakian currency and the pound sterling or the U.S. dollar. So long as you are using Allied Military Marks you may take such action as you deem necessary to secure the ready acceptance of such marks as equivalent in all respects to an equal number of Reichsmarks, including, as a last resort, the issue of a general order that such Allied Military Marks will be legal tender for all purposes in areas of Czechoslovakia liberated by the Allied Expeditionary Force on a parity of one Allied Military Mark equals one Reichsmark. If you should determine the issue of such order to be necessary, you will report to this headquarters at least 48 hours prior to its issuance.
12.
You may retain and use all enemy war material falling into the hands of your forces in Czechoslovakia which you may require. You shall, however, release against physical receipt to the Czechoslovakian Government or loyal local authorities at the earliest possible moment any such war material which you do not require and which is suitable for civilian use or which was, prior to its acquisition by the enemy in Czechoslovakian ownership. You shall report to this headquarters for further instructions any such war material retained by you and not so used or released.
13.
Your responsibility for displaced persons and refugees will be the same as in Army areas in other Allied liberated countries. Full discharge of that responsibility is an integral part of your military operations.
14.
You will be responsible for calling forward supplies to meet your requirements under the foregoing paragraph 12 and for such relief and rehabilitation within your areas of responsibility in Czechoslovakia as may be necessary to insure the accomplishment of your mission. You will be responsible for completing arrangements for the bringing forward and delivery of such supplies to loyal Czechoslovakian authorities or other appropriate distributing agency and will obtain physical receipts for all such deliveries.
15.
So far as military considerations will permit, you will deal with the Czechoslovakian Government or loyal local authorities and you will otherwise exercise your powers hereunder through or with the advice of Czechoslovakian liaison officers or other representatives of the Czechoslovakian Government who will be attached to your command or otherwise made available to you for that purpose as soon as possible.
16.
Appropriate delegation and redelegation to subordinate commanders of the powers herein granted is authorized.

By direction of the Supreme Commander:

T. J. Davis

Brigadier General, USA Adjutant General
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the United States Political Adviser for Germany at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), in his despatch 319, April 30, 1945; received May 5.
  2. Forward Headquarters of SHAEF at Rheims, France.