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John G. Wright

Nazi Officials Retained
in Conquered Territory

(10 March 1945)

From The Militant, Vol. IX No. 10, 10 March 1945, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The cynical pledges of the Crimea conferees not to rest until “Nazism is destroyed” are given the lie direct by the policy of Allied military authorities in occupied German areas. The whole sordid story of Allied collaboration with the Hitlerite scum still remains to be told. But enough has already been made public to enable even the most gullible to tell just what the score is.

Let us take, for example, the setup in Aachen. According to recent exposures in the London Daily Express and the N.Y. PM, the government there was entrusted completely to “reactionaries,” that is, either avowed Nazis or their henchmen. “Out of 325 city officials, 57 were Nazis.” Appointed as Mayor was a big business executive, Oppenhof, formerly personnel manager of the Veltrup munitions works. Not a single genuine fighter against Fascism, no member of the German underground was included among these Aachen officials.

In short, Aachen was governed under the Allies in virtually the same way – and even by many of the same individuals – as under Hitler. When news of this leaked out, there was a reshuffling. Some of the Nazis were replaced by less notorious elements, but again the genuine anti-Nazi forces in Aachen were completely excluded.

Aachen is the rule and not an exception. The columnist Dorothy Thompson has made the flat charge that “nowhere have we (i.e. the “democracies”) bestowed office upon men with a clean anti-Nazi record, as indicated, for instance, by a concentration camp career.” This charge has not been denied. It can’t be. It is the truth. The exclusion of even the mildest anti-Nazis is part of a calculated Allied policy.

Deal with Nazis

This does not prevent the Stalinists or cowardly liberals, like the editors of PM, from trying to cover up for the Allies. For instance, PM’s Max Lerner cabled from Aachen that the situation there was simply the product of “incredible blunder and political naivete on the part of the original Military Government setup here.”

This assertion is made in the face of such statements as the one issued by an official spokesman of the American Seventh Army to the effect that the only Nazis to be removed from office were those whose membership in the fascist party dated prior to 1933.

The N.Y. Times, central organ of American imperialism, does not hesitate to interpret the gist of Crimea decisions as they relate to political life for Germany precisely in the same sense as have the Allied military authorities in Aachen. Thus, the Times Paris correspondent cabled, Feb. 19, that “it is considered too early now to deal with German refugees, anti-Nazi organizations or Free Germans.”

In the meantime, if is obvious, the Allies propose to “deal” only with Nazis and pro-Nazis, as they have been doing. While Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin proclaim it is impermissible to differentiate between the Nazis and the German people, they themselves proceed to draw a line of distinction – against the anti- Nazi elements and in favor of the Hitlerites themselves.

Expressed in this policy is the determination of Washington, London and Moscow not to permit the German masses to have any voice in determining their own destiny. They hope to repeat on an even vaster scale their feats in Italy.

The weekly U.S. News, March 2, blurts this out:

One reason why top German Nazis are not being named formally as war criminals at this stage is that there is hope and even expectation that some one among their number will turn out to be a Darlan or a Badoglio ...”

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Last updated: 19 September 2018