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E.R. McKinney

Meader Report Maligns Negro
and Jewish Soldiers

(23 December 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 51, 23 December 1946, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

No one above the intellectual level of a beetle should be surprised at the attempted suppression of the Meader report on the carryings-on of the U.S. Army in Germany. In the first place, what is reported by Meader is nothing new except in quantity and degree. Occupying armies of conquest have always lived off the conquered country and its people. Military conquerors have always been plunderers and despoilers. This fact is not obliterated by calling the conquering military force an “army of liberation.”

Conquered peoples are considered inferiors. This is particularly true in cases where the conquerors are “Nordics” taking over the territory of “lesser breeds.” If it is not the case of “Nordics” against non-Nordics, it may be the simple case of the enemy being a “foreigner.” White Americans, in Germany, have conquered some “foreigners.” There are thousands of “displaced persons,” most of whom are Jews. There are Negro soldiers in the occupying army of the United States, and there are German women who are white and who may not have the same attitude toward Negroes as prevails in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” All of this creates quite a situation for the American “men of good will” charged with the responsibility of making a “democratic” nation out of Germany.

“Free Enterprise”

It seems that the top military men and their civilian experts haven’t done a good job in the eyes of some people. According to investigator Meader, the army in Germany has a high rate of venereal disease: 70 per cent for Negro troops and 30 per cent for white. Meader also found what he called “flagrant miscegenation.” (Evidently this was something brand new to Meader. He had never heard of any miscegenation in the U.S., “flagrant” or mild.) A “low quality” of white troops is being sent to Germany. Meader doesn’t say what constitutes the “lowness” of their quality. Perhaps they prefer being back in the U.S., and doing something useful.

There are about 450,000 nationals from Russian-dominated countries who don’t want to go back home. They are a heavy expense to the American taxpayer according to Meader. There are 200,000 Jews in the U.S. zone from Eastern Europe. Meader seems to believe that they “ought to go back where they come from,” and get off the backs of the overburdened American taxpayer. It doesn’t occur to Meader that these oppressed Jews may have heard something about “freedom from fear,” and have come to the American zone to enjoy some of this freedom.

Meader discovered that high army officers, true to the Spirit of “our system of free enterprise,” were engaged in all sorts of indiscriminate “free enterprise” operations with U.S. government property and German property. And, according to Meader and his informant, a U.S. lieutenant colonel, “the worst offenders were generals and high-ranking colonels.” One of these very patriotic gentlemen engaged in black market operations and bought a hotel. Another deposited $50,000 in a Swiss bank. Several officers, according to the report, were “charged with . white slavery.” This translated into everyday language means that these officers were peddling German women for “immoral purposes.” Officers were engaged in hauling at my coal, wood and food to the homes of their “mistresses” in army vehicles. These officers had requisitioned both houses and luxurious furnishings for the use of these mistresses.

Meader on Negroes

While the escapades of the white officers are very disquieting to Meader, he is particularly perturbed over what he found the Negro troops doing. After all, a limit must be set somewhere. The War Department, according to the report, is aware of the problem “but is reluctant to take any action to correct it because of fear of political repercussion from Negro groups.” And what is it that should be corrected? Negroes move “freely and unsupervised among the civilian population ... they have ready access to army supplies.” (They are cutting in on the generals’ racket!)

Worst of all these Negroes use these army supplies for “gaining favor with frauleins.” And how is this possible? Because German women were “propagandized by Hitler into a psychology of moral laxness, and in view of the food shortage ...” The report does not explain just how this can be the result of “moral laxness” induced by Hitler since one cornerstone of Hitler’s teaching was white German superiority, and especially the inferiority of the Negro. How could any German white woman, “educated” by Hitler, consort with a Negro no matter how hungry she might be? Furthermore, it seems to us that the proper way to remedy this situation is to send over more “generals and high-ranking colonels.” What else should be corrected? Well, “in Moosberg a Negro private and his white English WIFE were occupying a house BY THEMSELVES which had been requisitioned.” According to the report, the local military officer “deplored this.” Also “about 150 Negro troops, housed in private dwellings, brought with them certain German women with whom they had been fraternizing.” This, of course, is terrible. The military authorities in Germany for one reason or other have not yet established the four freedoms American style. Negroes are not completely segregated and Jim Crowed. There haven’t been any lynchings. The report makes no charge that Negro soldiers are “raping” German women. No German women, it seems, has seen fit to yell “rape.”

The report does not charge that the Negro soldiers are engaging in “white slavery.” This is a monopoly of the white officers.

There is venereal disease among the troops, more among Negroes, according to the report than among the white troops. Meader was alarmed at this. There isn’t much venereal disease in the U.S. and of course no one ever heard of this ailment in the army any place outside.

A Piece of Tripe

We say again that no one with a higher intelligence than a beetle should be surprised that this report was suppressed. First of all, it is a piece of tripe, prepared by a glorified scissor-bill. We do not mean by this that the report is false. Every statement made by. Meader may be true. That is beside the point. What he reports in substance has been reported for every country occupied, by hosts of returning ex-servicemen. This report could have been called: “What Every GI Knows.” It would be suppressed for the reason that it would never do to let it become public that white men and officers of the U.S. Army were carrying on like a bunch of hoodlums, gangsters and degenerates. The report was not suppressed because Negro soldiers were doing things which they ought not be doing, or which some people think they ought not be permitted to do.

The War Department might be disturbed over repercussions from Negro groups. They ought to be disturbed over the Jim Crow asininities of this backwoods car-window sociologist. That is not what really worries the top brass hats in Washington, but rather the revelations about the “generals and high-ranking colonels.” Their “looting,” “black marketing,” “white slavery,” their numerous “mistresses,” and their shady business transactions.

If Meader were not what he is revealed to be by his own report; that is, a high-placed yokel, he would never have turned in this report. His report reveals that anybody in Germany, so inclined, may have all the women he wants, may use government supplies to get those amenable to such persuasion, may use his position to engage in illicit business transactions and take whatever is available in the way of German property, personal or government. In a word, at least a part of the army in Germany is carrying on in the traditional manner of military conquerors and imperialists.

The real tragedy of the situation either escapes Meader altogether or his attitude toward the situation is totally reactionary, inhuman and indecent. We cite his attitude toward the refugees who are fleeing from Stalinist barbarism and the Jews who come to the American zone because they believe that here they will find security and freedom from oppression. Furthermore this little hurry-up investigator, like so many of his tribe, is not favorably impressed with the liking of the German women for the Negro soldiers who are civilized enough to refrain from using them in the “white slavery” traffic. To this mess the real answer is to remove all the armies of occupation out and return Germany to the German people.

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