Bericht über die Befragung Rudolf Pauls
The Russian aim in regarding to the present administration (in the narrow, technical sense of the word) of the Soviet Zone in Germany are described by source as follows: the overall tendency is gradually to remove the real administrative power from the States, which are under the single, though actually very weak control of the Landtage, and to transfer this power to the so-called central administration. These central administrations, which possess no parliamentary control whatsoever, receive orders from SMAD Karlshorst (i.e. Moscow).
The future Russian aim is to expand the central administration to a Zone Government. In this regard, the left wing of the SED (Ulbricht, Ackermann, Maerlser,
Dahlem, and the exclusively Communist Ministers of the Interior of the States) even dream that this East Germany will be a part of the USSR.
It might also be of interest that whenever the constitutions of the States under Russian administration stand in the way, the administrations are aided by orders which make the self-administration of the States almost illusory when they are carried out. Such orders arrive daily in rather large number in the office of the Minister-President, who is made personally responsible for their execution.
In the uproar over unity, it appeared that Berlin was played up as the future capital of Germany. The lost party battle for Berlin has brought an unusual sobriety. At the time, art and culture were show-pieces. The States of Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, and Mecklenburg are supplying Berlin with extraordinary quantities of foodstuffs (Thuringia about 500 German tons of butter and 2,000 German tons of meat quarterly). This is about the same quantity as the three million inhabitants of Thuringia receive. These deliveries (the same quantities are supplied to Saxony from Thuringia) are an open and heavily bleeding wound which is hard to bear in the long run. For propaganda purposes, the deliveries to Berlin take precedence over the needs of the States themselves.
If the German population in the Eastern Zone were not kept in check by occupation forces, it would kick out the founders of an East German State, and also the police.
The W - (Economic) Committee is still in the process of development. Dr Appel,
Minister of Economics, who had gone to Berlin to attend a session, could not give source a clear picture as yet.
In Thuringia, the land reform has not been very thorough. It was always the land of small- and medium-sized farms, only about 10% of the arable land, that figured in the reform. For this reason, the land reform here has had scarcely any noticeable effect on the crop yield. Any encroachments that have occurred cannot be corrected at present because of political pressure.
Collectivism has no prospect of success. The percentage of so-called poverty-stricken farmers is very insignificant. Collectivism could be carried out only by terror instigated by the occupation power. The unusually short threshing periods, the increase in the delivery quota, and the unusually rigorous tactics of the occupation power to attain the delivery quota is intended to make the farmer tired of his own soil. That power obviously misjudges the toughness and tenacity of the German farmer.
Regarding the future of the LDP and CDU, source claims to know the situation in Thuringia well. Although LDP and CDU have some men who are better than those in the SED, both parties evidence weaknesses. In all fairness it must be added that, compared to the SED, the other parties are discriminated against in the use of press and radio facilities, and that the NKVD is breathing down their necks. The LDP and CDU have an unrecruited ally in the population, which is very much against the occupation and the SED. However, the LDP and CDU make little use of this ally. Until recently, the SED had orders to avoid situations in the Landtag where it would try to force a decision by using only its small majority. Even this opportunity was missed, although the attention of the LDP and CDU leaders was repeatedly called to it. Unfortunately, it seems that many opportunist are in power, and not only in Thuringia. It is known that the Soviets show hatred for both parties. Nothing is known about the man Kaiser and/or his future.
An SPD undergroun[d] movement seems to be forming, but it is not yet solidly organized. It is true that former SPD members are seeking and promoting each other. Until two months ago, they seemed to be successful. At the moment, radicalism is gaining again. In a truly democratic election, the SPD would receive almost the entire
vote, and parts of the LDP and CDU vote.
Regarding liaison between the SED in the East and the KPD in the West, source calls Ulbricht, who is in close contact with Tulpanov, the top liaison agent. (Source himself held no office in the Party, and thus has no insight into Party affairs.) Views are exchanged by those who travel back and forth. It is also known that several months ago Ulbricht and other members of the central secretariat met with Western KPD representatives at Wartburg Castle. Source was there for a short period. Source heard later that Ulbricht met general opposition because of his stand on Munich.
The SED leadership already regards the London Conference as a failure. The population, however, banks on the Conference.
The population of the Eastern Zone welcomed the Marshall Plan. The opinion of the population is basically opposed to that of the controlled press of the zone. For the thousandth time the population took hope again. The appeal against the Marshall plan by leading men of the Eastern Zone was signed at the head with source’s name and the resounding titles of “Minister President, Professor, and Doctor”. This signature we completely forged.
Source states that he was told that the administration was to be more definitively and closely knit together. This seems credible as many District Kommandantura (Kreis Kommandanturen) considered themselves as generalissimos and were unwilling to carry out higher orders.
The Marshal combines the duties of head of the executive body for orders and office administration for the Soviet Occupation Zone. He has a deputy office for administration and troops. GeneralSeminov
was on hand to act as political adviser. In his staff are so-called experts, sometimes civilians, sometimes military, for the various branches of economy: e.g. coal, forestry, finance, agriculture, traffic, etc.
There were also members of the NKVD and GPU. Colonel Tulpanov is liaison officer for the central secretariat of the SED. He has a far greater influence in the Zone and indeed on all sides than his military position would lead one to suppose. All important questions are decided in Moscow and not in Karlshorst. Karlshorst is in the main only the receiver and distributor of orders to the SMA in the States (Ländern). The occupation forces and the administration in the states (Ländern) are very sharply divided.
In addition there are also the NKVD and the GPU. The leader of the NKVD in the States (Ländern) is supposed to be subordinate to the Chief of Administration, and supervises the judiciary and police systems as a special duty. In addition the NKVD receives urgent orders from the General in Karlshorst. The NKVD also keep an eye on the executive officers of the SMA and the occupation forces.
The GPU has an independent existence. It apparently gets its orders direct from Moscow and uses the German criminal underworld for its dirty work. For instance, in Thuringia the GPU took ten blank passes and criminal badges from the police. An underworld scoundrel who had been annoying source’s interpreter (female) Bauer was imprisoned by the Germans. On him were found a criminal pass and badge. These were taken from him. The GPU, who interfered, soon let him free. Source got wind of the affair and demanded that the remaining nine blank passes and badges be given back. This was not done.
Source suggests that his interpreter (female) Bauer be contacted for further information on the GPU and NKVD.
Interesting from a political point of view is the fact that in each administration, in addition to the NKVD (in Thuringia, Lt Col Ivanov), there is also a political section (in Thuringia, Col Varakin), which takes care of supervision of the press and of political meetings and relations with political parties and their guidance.
The officers of this section take part in the group sessions of the parties and try to maintain an even balance, until a short time ago the secretariat meetings of the SED were also directed in this way. Now the State Chairmen (Landesvorsitzenden) or the competent functionaries of the SED visit the Administration (political section) very regularly and frequently.
The Central Administration in Berlin hardly ever interferes. In Hörnle (agriculture and forestry) Boulanger (vice-president for industry) Sobotka
(fuels) and others, the Central Administration has reliable apostles of the so-called “politically consistent line”, as Moscow says.
Source does not know from personal experience the work of the Central Administration with the SMAD, as he was never present. His presence was undesirable because he was an opponent of the Central Administration in his Zone.
Source knows this much that, as a result of discussions between a Central Administration official and the corresponding specialist officer in Karlshorst, an order of the SMAD is sent through the right channels to the SMA of the States (Länder) or that the Central Administration official in question is empowered by Karlshorst to issue binding directives or even regulations to the states (Länder). In doing so, the Central Administration accepts no responsibility toward the German population. The responsibility belongs entirely to the departmental minister concerned in the various States (Länder) or to the minister-presidents.
Source only knows from hearsay about the visit of the dreaded B.
Soviet occupation politics is now dropping its mask more and more each day. The treatment of the people has become brutal and is not influenced in the least by their growing discontent, one might almost say hatred.
a. Contrary to the repeated official declarations of Marshal Sokolovsky, dismantling has again been started:
first, railroad tracks,
then electrical plants.
As a result of conversations with the Administration Chief, source fears further dismantling will take place, as it was explained that “in Thuringia it was possible there were still some armament plants and that the State (Land) was still above the industrial potential of the Potsdam agreement”.
b. The police force of the States (Länder) has been taken over silently without written order from the Ministry of the Interior Administration (Reschke, Berlin).
c. Sequestration has started again. It had been terminated, and the persons freed by verdict of the State Commission had even received a document concerning their freedom, with the signatures of the minister-president and the departmental minister.
d. The NKVD and the Administration meddle with justice and offer protection to professional criminals who belong to the extreme Left and have official positions or are NKVD informers.
e. “The politically consistent line”, in the persons of the Ministers of the Interior of the Zone (all former KPD members), is brought forward more and more under the direction and coordination of Ulbricht (his colleague Fechner, a decent fellow, is too weak to combat Ulbricht).
f. Increase in the shadowing of and spying on all important persons not belonging to the extreme Left Wing. Thus, for instance, three members of source’s interpreter section were forced to become NKVD informers, and those closest to source have been interrogated by the GPU so often in the last few weeks about source and his “counterrevolutionary” ideas, that three of them have fled to the West.
g. The intelligentsia, with whom one felt in sympathy under the mantle of culture, are no longer interested; on the contrary, they are now regarded with distrust.
I recommended that the following men of outstanding intellect be rescued: Prof. Lange, Jena, Deacon of the Law Faculty;
Prof. Harms, Jena, Vice-rector, the famous biologist;
General State Prosecutor Kuschnitzki
, Gera, (LDP), the best attorney in the Zone; Prof. Döderlein, Jena, famous gynecologist; Prof. Gulicki,
Jena, the most famous brain specialist in Europe.
Membership in the SED is required for membership in the police. Former Wehrmacht NGOs are being removed. The Police School in Erfurt has been in good hands until now. The influence of the SED over the police is strong. Their slogans against German discipline and the German constitutional state are having an undermining effect, and the standards of the police are now falling. The police are even considered to be partially corrupt. The NKVD is in constant touch with the president of the police force. He and his deputy Jonas, who is considered a radical, are weak people and are not specially trained.
In regard to the relations between the central administration and the State governments, source states that he was an opponent of the central administrations and had had an argument with these administrations in the presence of Marshal Zhukov. At the time, the Marshal agreed with source’s point of view and ordered that nothing be done without or against the State President. This arrangement continued with few exceptions until the end of 1946. Since that time the tables have turned on favor of the central administration. Under pressure from Karlshorst, the central administrations, supported by pressure from the present State administration in contraction with the individual departmental ministers (with the sole exception of the Minister of Justice), have concluded so-called agreements, which will terminate around the end of 1947 (the individual dates vary). According to these agreements, the right to issue direct orders in the State is granted to the central administrations. The administrations may be directly active on the spot. Despite everything, though, the departmental minister has exclusive responsibility – an impossible situation.
Hay: 30-40 % of normal crop.
Potatoes: (Early and late crop): Satisfactory.
Late potatoes and beets: Only immediate heavy rains can prevent poor crops.
Oleiferous plants: Above average.
The following picture results: Because of the shortage of feed, cattle stocks, which in Thuringia are only 6 % below the peak year of 1938, must be killed off, and/or else sent to Mecklenburg and Brandenburg.
The feed shortage has brought about a decrease in milk and butter. A good crop of oleiferous plants will only partially remedy this shortage.
Figures for comparing present SMA demands on Zonal economy against previous demands are not available. Stocks on hand have been exhausted, consequently, raw materials are lacking in many fields. This is the principal reason for decrease in production.
A second reason for decrease of production is that mining equipment has been dismantled, rolling stock has been requisitioned in ever increasing mounts, track has been removed, and health conditions have grown worse for coal miners. In addition, incomes of the German worker has decreased.
The laborer, the employee, the merchant, and the housewife are always faced with the question: What is left over for you?
Here, a shocking fact stands out: According to the figures published by the Ministry of Supply on 23 August 1947, the following data is given (per capita):
in 25 years one pair of gloves
in 15 years one pair of leather shoes
in 50 years one shirt
In other words, reparations to be paid out of current production and obligatory deliveries to the Russian purchasing agencies and the occupying forces are so high as compared to the reduction in production that there is nothing left over for the individual. The misery of the population is thus increased from day to day.
Quelle: Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Z 45 F (OMGUS), POLAD, Box 34, Folder 1-3 (ms. Ausfertigung).