The crucial question to any Western conservative is why our nations seem to have completely lost their will to survive and flourish. The following text, first published by Judith in „Vaterland“, December 281h, 2010, highlights the methods with which one nation was made lose this will. So this article is not on German self-pity or on accusing the allied nations. Read what was done in Germany as a blueprint to be applied anywhere.
Translation by Manfred Kleine-Hartlage:
In his book „Die Psychologie der Niederlage“ (The Psychology of Deafeat), Thorsten Hinz calls it „the third war against Germany“: The time after 1945 when after the bombs the psychological warfare started – a war that hasn’t stopped up to now. Hans-Joachim von Leesen names in his worth reading essay the institutions, the means, the methods and the compliant assistants.
The Re-education of the Germans as a Part of Psychological Warfare
Hans-Joachim von Leesen
The third war against Germany
„We will extinguish the entire German tradition.“
After the war Archibald McLeesh, then Deputy US Secretary of State, who had founded, in 1939, the institution of the Psychological Warfare in the USA, at the Potsdam conference defined the aim of the re-education: to change the character and the mentality of the German nation, so that Germany, finally, a life without supervision could be permitted. This required inevitably a treatment of the Germans comparable to that of a criminal in a modern prison. „We will extinguish the whole German tradition.“ At the end of this process, a German „Self Reeducation“ would have to stand (detailed in Schrenck-Notzing, Charakterwäsche, as well as in Mosberg, Reeducation).
„General psychic inferiority of the German human“
In the „Report of a Conference on Germany after the War“, worked out in Summer, 1944 by „Joint Committee on Post-War-Planning“ at the Columbia University, New York City, the timetable was found for the re-education of the Germans which became then an official directive on the American post-war policy. (reported in Mosberg, Reeducation.)
It was developed by scientists from the faculties of medicine,
psychology, sociology etc.
The Swiss psychoanalyst C. G. Jung who belonged to the spiritual fathers had warned against making a difference between „decent and indecent“ Germans (cited in Mosberg, Reeducation). The Germans are „collectively guilty“. The reason for this is a „general psychic inferiority of the German human“. In his view the Germans are „degenerated“. The only effective therapy was that the Germans were to be made recognise their guilt, and that they publicly confess being guilty over and over again.
The Stuttgart guilt confession of the Protestant church of Germany
One of the first steps to this aim was the Stuttgart confession of the Protestant church of Germany (EKD). As the leaders of the German Protestant church which belonged predominantly to the „Confessing Church“ [Bekennende Kirche; a group of anti-Nazi theologians] tried to join the World Council of Churches that was being built up at that time, the condition was that they had to confess German guilt publicly. Secretary general of the World Council of Churches was of the Dutch Visser’t Hooft which had belonged during the war to the British Secret Service.
On the 18th/19th of October, 1945 the leaders of the German Protestants, from bishop Lilje and pastor Martin Niemöller to Dr. Dr. Gustav Heinemann, declared the desired confession, not only for the Protestant church, but for the German people as a whole, so, for example, also for the Catholics and those without denomination. (In detail the Kiel theology professor Walter Bodenstein in „Ist nur der Besiegte schuldig? Die EKD und das Stuttgarter Schuldbekenntnis von 1945/Is only the defeated guilty? The EKD and the Stuttgart confession of 1945“)
Press, radio, film
Over and over again, you are confronted with the re-educators‘ assumption that the collective guilt of the Germans had its cause in their biological disposition. This was to be imprinted on their memory until they are persuaded of it themselves. The instruments were the media, at that time above all press, radio, and film.
First of all, the media available in Germany had to be removed. They were forbidden. The next step was to remove all men and women from public life who could have opposed to Re-education . Between 314,000 and 454,000 persons (the information in literature differ) disappeared in internment camps up to three years, without a basis in international law
and without accusation – from BDM [Bund deutscher Mädels = League of German Girls, Hitler’s girls‘ organization] leaders up to high ministry officials, from local group leaders of the NSDAP, to authors and diplomats.
The staff of the radio companies was dismissed, the leading journalists and publishers were imprisoned in internment camps. The German media were first replaced by radio stations of the allied military governments. What they had to publish was delivered by the occupying powers and their news agencies, in the US zone the DANA, later DENA, in the British under the direction of Sefton Delmer, a leading man of the PSW, the German news service = GNS. Newspapers and radio stations in German language were forbidden to publish anything but what these agencies provided.
After some time one loosened the personnel politicy and also hired journalists who were no emigrants, but were neutralised in the third Reich for political reasons. After one to two years the first editors trained by the occupying powers started working. (An impressive picture is delivered by the German first hour journalists Richard Tüngel and Hans Rudolf Berndorff in their book „Auf dem Bauche sollst Du kriechen“ that appeared in 1958.) The campaign in the US zone was headed by Leon Edel, later Eugene Jolas. The head of the press officers was the Intelligence Officer Alfred Rosenberg.
The German journalists worked under strict American or British control. They had to implement tha strategy of psychological warfare. The crucial purpose was that „the Germans confessed their collective guilt, and that they were persuaded of their inferiority“, as Helmuth Mosberg writes in „Reeducation – re-education and licence press in the post-war Germany“ , his dissertation that also appeared as a book. „Every journalist had to be a reeducator“.
The German character is washed
In the long run, one couldn’t feed the Germans only with newspapers and radio programs of the allied military authorities. Thus one searched for Germans who seemed suitable to run the newly founded newspapers. About that Caspar von Schrenck-Notzing reported already in 1965 in his basic work „Charakterwäsche“ which appeared again and again in new editions and recently in a revised version. The new German newspaper and magazine publishers should represent „the other Germany“, i.e. be people who differed from the present Germans clearly. Competence was secondary, compared with character.
The victorious powers assumed that most Germans had a wrong character because they had been shaped by their authoritarian families. What kind of men had to belong to the new élite had been worked out by a professional group of scientists under the direction of Max Horkheimer (we will meet him again as one of the mentors of the 68th revolt) and been presented in a 5-volume work „Studies in Prejudice“ , among whose authors were f.e. Theodor W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel J. Levinson, R. Nevitt Sanford. They wanted to uncover and to exterminate the prejudices from which the Germans allegedly suffered. Literally: „Extermination means re-education which is academically planned.“ With it „potentially fascistic individuals“ were to be uncovered.
Thus one searched for people in whose personality the values typical in Germany, like „externally correct behaviour, diligence, ability, physical cleanness, health and uncritical behaviour“ did not exist, because these qualities hide supposedly „a deep weakness of the own ego“. [No, this is not a translation mistake! The allied considered just such men qualified for leadership of German media who did not have these qualities. M.K.-H.]
The considered persons were asked, among other things, how their relation to father and mother was. One preferred men who had a broken relation to her parents, i.e. were not formed by the authoritarian German family. And they went forward with good conscience, as they regarded the Germans as ill, as patients who had to be cured of her paranoia. The new newspaper publishers and editors in chief were submitted to suitable tests, and if they turned out to have such broken characters, they were shortlisted.
So to speak, as a reward they received the licence for a newspaper or magazine, of course still supervised by the press officers. The new newspaper publishers avoided offending against the given rules, otherwise they would have lost the licence or their position. Most worked as requested, and even real beliefs played a role, as most people prefer being on the winnig side.
It goes without saying that the trials against the German ruling class and against supposed and real war criminals played a major part in the reeducation. The trial in the international military court of law in Nuremberg against the leaders of the Reich as well as the next ones of the American military justice were reported by the newspapers of the allied military governments. They had to make clear the collective guilt to the German population in all details, and at the same, to justify the allied war crimes as for example the aerial war against the civilian population.
Every journalist has to be an Re-educator
All these measures were in harmony with the main demand of psychological Warfare : to separate the enemy people from its leaders. This was already an aim of the allies in the First World War when the Kaiser was allegorized as a monster dripping with blood. All newspapers as well as the broadcasting company were subject to the principle that every journalist had to be an Re-educator. If he did not obey this, he ran the risk to lose his job. This explained not least the line loyalty of publishers and editors (in detail Mosberg, Reeducation). When in 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany was founded, the licensing of the press by the military government came to an end. But in the years from 1945 to 1949 one had educated a younger generation, which had passed through the school of the Re-educators supervised by the military governments.
This explains why today the German journalists,
though free in their judgment on single subjects, have to agree with some basic statements, f.e. the German collective guilt and Germany’s exclusive responsibility for the Second World War, however.