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To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower
May 11, 1945 Radio No. W-80614. Washington, D.C.
Elmer Davis1 tells me that there has developed an intense public reaction, approaching and in many cases reaching bitterness, as a result of press reports on the treatment which Goering and certain other German Officers have received upon capture.2
He cites especially reports of our Officers shaking hands and drinking with Germans and points to the variance between such actions and the Non-Fraternization Policy.3
Document Copy Text Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower Papers, Pre-Presidential 1916-52, Principle File, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Elmer Davis served as director of the Office of War Information.
2. On May 8 Marshal Hermann Goering surrendered to the U.S. Seventh Army. The press reported that Brigadier General Robert I. Stack, assistant commander of the Thirty-sixth Division, shook hands with Goering when the German officer surrendered. (New York Times, May 10, 1945, pp. 1, 3.)
3. Directives calling for nonfraternization with German officials and civilians were issued in September 1944 and April 1945. The April 26, 1945, directive listed among the basic objectives of the occupation forces in a post-defeated Germany: “Germany will not be occupied for the purpose of liberation but as a defeated enemy nation. Your aim is not oppression but to occupy Germany for the purpose of realizing certain important Allied objectives. In the conduct of your occupation and administration you should be just but firm and aloof. You will strongly discourage fraternization with the German officials and population.” (Foreign Relations, 1945, 3: 487. For the similar nonfraternization policy issued in the September 1944 directive, see Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States: The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945 [Washington: GPO, 1955], p. 144.) For further information regarding this subject, see Marshall to Eisenhower, May 13, 1945, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-131 [5: 185-86].
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 183-184.