Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title 2,000,000 Nazis Disbanded in British Zone
  • Author Mann, Anthony, Daily Telegraph Special Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Thursday,  Dec. 6, 1945
  • Issue Number 28228
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
2,000,000 NAZIS DISBANDED IN BRITISH ZONE REPLY TO SOVIET CHARGE From AMHOXA MANN. Daiiv Telegraph Speclut Correspondent BERLIN, Wednesday. An article in the Moscow news paper Izvestia asserting that large German land, air and antiaircraft forces are still in existence- in the British zone of Germany. and suggesting, in effect, that the British are secretly maintaining the Wehrmacht. contrary to the Potsdam Protocol. has caused surprise and indignation in British circles here This sort of article, in an official Soviet organ, is the more surprising since the whole question of the employment of exWehrmacht personnel, in all four zones, has, following a complaint by Marshal Zhukov, been referred to a co-ordination committee of the Control Council for investigation. There is no secret about the exmembers of the Wehrmacht at present retained in uniform in the British zone. An official British statement issued here to-night said: " In the British zone of Germany, up to date, a total of 2.000.000 members of the former Wehrmacht have been disbanded, leaving about 500.000 to be disbanded. These have been retained for employment of essential importance, or for eventual transfer to the Russian and French zones. " It has not been found possible during the last few months to carry out these transfers. In view of the Heavy administrative commitments entailed in retaining these Germans, and the sharp decline in British man-power available in Germany, it is now planned to accelerate the disbandment. " Under this plan Germans previously domiciled in the French and Russian zones may have to be disbanded in the British zone." FEW MEN ARMED Any suggestion that these men are armed military formations is absurd. Only a handful of their own military police have been allowed rifles or pistols and a few rounds of ammunition to enable them to guard food stores and keep order; In concentration areas in Schleswig-Holstein we hold the residue of the 1.250.000 prisoners who surrendered there and in Scandinavia. In Hamburg there is a small administrative staR with the somewhat misleading title of " Wehrmacht Staff North." This totals 40. including typists and office personnel. . Apart from small numbers of Luftwaffe prisoners employed as labourers by the R.A.F.. and German minesweeper crews engaged in clearing North Sea mineRelds, these are all the ex-Wehrmacht personnel left in uniform in the British zone.