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Kurt Wittler Papers

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Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

RG-40.01, Bavarian Day, in German, newspaper published by US Military Government in Germany

RG-40.02, German anti-Semitic literature

RG-40.03, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials

RG-40.04, Materials related to Nazi crimes

RG-40.05, Allied Military Operations in Germany and the Pacific

RG-40.06, Kurt Wittler Family History



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Kurt Wittler Papers, 1944-1945 | Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

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Collection Overview

Title: Kurt Wittler Papers, 1944-1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1944 -- 1945

ID: RG-40/RG - 40

Primary Creator: Wittler, Kurt (1944 -- 1945)

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Collections and documents developed and assigned by the processor

Subjects: Collective revival of ethnic Germans, Germandom and restoration of the new German society, Morality versus State interests, Germany, National Socialist Ideology, Theory of State and Nation, Germany

Languages: German, English

Abstract

This record group, subdivided into six collections, contains by and large materials that reflect on the US geostratigical perspective of the post-Nazi Germany. These materials relate to the counter-argumentation created of the US military intelligence agencies. The documents of these collections shed light on the measures undertaken by the US military administration to ensure de-nazification of Germany. The evidences of Nazi crimes against humanity and war-crimes are also present in these collections.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This record group comprises narratives, publications, photographs, and preparatory materials from the office of Kurt Wittler, editor of the German-language newspaper Bayrischer Tag (Bavarian Day) published by the  American Military Administration for the German civilian population in Bavaria. Kurt Wittler documents also shed light on American intelligence activities vis-à-vis to the German Army in 1944, 1945. The Collection could be conditionally subdivided on editorial materials, warfare matters, and evidences of the Nazi crimes.

The follwoing collections comprise this record group,

RG-40.01, Bavarian Day, in German, newspaper published by US Military Government in Germany;

RG-40.02, German anti-Semitic literature;

RG-40.03, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials;

RG-40.04, Materials related to Nazi crimes;

RG-40.05, Allied Military Operations in Germany and the Pacific;

RG-40.06, Kurt Wittler Family History

Collection Historical Note

This record groups comprised collections that relate to the US politics with regard to the warfare and then de-nazification of National Socialism. Allied in general and the US military and judicial administration acted in compliance with the international treaties and the United Nations' provisions and obligations to regard all those German to be in culpability according to the afore mentioned principles.

RG-40.01, Bavarian Day, in German, newspaper published by US Military Government in Germany

RG-40.01.01, Bavarian Day, in German, newspaper published by US Military Government in Germany, 29 September 1945

RG-40.01.02, Kurt Wittler, editorial, military and civil affairs:

Leaflet

Title: Der Totenkopf – Das Abzeichen der Himmler-Clique (The Skull – The Symbol of Himmler’s Clique)

Language: German

The leaflet encourages German troops to surrender, claiming that Himmler and the Gestapo are more interested in themselves than in Germany

Instructions for Surrender

Language: German

The notice describes to German soldiers what to say to American soldiers in order to surrender themselves and how they will be subsequently treated

Leaflet Draft

Language: German

Addressed to Deutsche Offizieren (German officers), leaflet draft portrays a caricature of a distressed-looking Goebbels who is saying phrases used by the German leadership to cast defeats into a more favorable light

Surrender Appeal Note

Language: German

Addressed to Deutsche Soldaten (German Soldiers), this note encourages surrender and lists procedures to do so safely

Flyer

Title: Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions No. 12

Issued by: PWD – SHAEF – Leaflet Section – 3/11/44

Describes reaction of the German leadership to leaflets dropped to German forces

Clipping (Picture with caption)

Title: Prisoners from Siegfried Line

Photo Credits: War pool photo, not for use in British Isles or Western Hemisphere. Serviced by London OWI

Picture shows a group of German soldiers being led to the rear by US infantrymen

Clipping (Picture with caption)

Title: Nazi Surrender Banner

Photo Credits: War pool photo, not for use in British Isles or Western Hemisphere. Serviced by London OWI

Pictures shows two German soldiers holding up a Red Cross flag on a shovel, with two US soldiers in the background. Near Metz

Clipping (Picture with caption)

Title: Nazis Fly the White Flag

Photo Credits: War pool photo, not for use in British Isles or Western Hemisphere. Serviced by London OWI

A group of German soldiers fly a white flag in a trench as US soldiers look on. In the Geilonkirchen area

Clipping (Picture with caption)

Title: Psychological Warfare leaflet

Photo credits: Serviced by London OWI

A 24-year-old Nazi paratrooper is shown giving his surrender pass to American Lieutenant W.F. Kinney of Chicago

Four collected newspaper clippings

Title: (Two have no titles); US Civilian Directs Cherbourg Press Unit; Breger over Germany.

All four articles relate stories which show the effectiveness of the Psychological Warfare Department

Confidential memo to: Major Louis Huot, PWO, Third US Army

From: Kurt Wittler, T/4

Subject: Enemy documents

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – APO 403

Dated 2 September 1944

The memo is sent along with five letters from the correspondence of two German non-commissioned officers in a regiment composed mainly of Russians (Kosaken-Regiment). The sender states that certain portions of the letters are reflective of the general morale of Germany’s civilian population

Sheet of Paper bearing the seal of the US Army

The initials JS are written prominently in the middle of the page

Memo to: Major Huot, PWB, Third US Army and Lt. Markham, Liaison Officer, 19th TAC

From: Morris Wigler – 1st Lt. S.C.

Subject: Leafleting

Issued by: Headquarters Twelfth Army Group – Publicity & Psychological Warfare – APO 655

Dated 29 December 1944

The memo informs that General McClure, after talking with a PW cage, is very enthusiastic about the effectiveness of leaflets

Memo to: Major Huot, PWO, Third US Army

From: Staff/Sgt Kurt Wittler

Subject: Interrogation of German Propaganda Man

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Psychological Warfare Branch – APO 403

Dated by 12 March 1945

The sender accounts the interrogation of a German soldier involved in interrogation of PWs and also the counteraction of Allied Propaganda. The soldier reported that Allied Propaganda was effective in persuading German soldiers to surrender

Memo to: Major Louis Huot, PWO, Third US Army

Title: Comments on latest SHAEF leaflets

Issued: 4 February 1945

Signed: Kurt Wittler S/Sgt – PWB, Publications

This memo details the structure and effectiveness of six propaganda leaflets created by SHAEF. Several of the leaflets are described as outdated and the relevant corrections and updates are mentioned as being made. The final portion of the memo urges SHAEF and Group Operations to send their leaflet samples sooner, since the copies received by PWB are often outdated and useless upon their arrival

Memo to: Major Louis Huot, PWO, Third US Army

Subject: Leaflet ZG-112 K

Issued by: the Headquarters of the Third United States Army, Psychological Warfare Branch, APO 403.

Dated 19 February 1945

Signed Kurt Wittler, S/Sgt, Publications - PWB, Third US Army

The memo concerns the leaflet identified as ZG-112 K. The sender calls into question the effectiveness of the leaflet, which uses a Germanized spelling for the phrase “I surrender”. The sender believes that this would not be useful as a means of demoralization and suggests a revision

Memo to: Colonel C.R. Powell, P & PW Officer, 12 Army Group

Subject: Special Edition of Army Group Newspapers

Issued by: Supreme Headquarters – Allied Expeditionary Force – Psychological Warfare Division

Dated 8 June 1945

This memo conveys thanks to Col. Powell that a special edition of a newspaper containing the full text of the Four-Power Declaration was available the morning after the declaration had been signed. The sender also notes that four million copies of other papers are being distributed throughout Germany. The second section thanks the receiver’s staff, especially Captain Habe, the chief of Press and Publications Section

Memo to: S/Sgt Kurt Wittler

Signed by: Oscar W. Koch – Colonel, GSC – AC of S, G-2

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 APO 403

Dated 9 May 1945

The memo states that a large job is ahead and personnel changes are likely to occur. He sends his congratulations and thanks for the section’s service

General orders (Num. 70) to: The officers and men of the Third Army and the XIX Tactical Air Command

From: G.S., Jr. – Lieut. General, US Army, Commanding

Issued by: Headquarters – Third United States Army – APO 403

Dated 23 March 1945

Patton commends his men and officers on recent successes and lists the amount of territory seized and the number of killed and captured enemy. The crossing of the Rhine is mentioned toward the end of the text

Letter to: Major General Kobart R. Gay – Chief of Staff – Headquarters Third US Army – APO 403 – US Army

From: G.S. Patton, Lieutenant. General, US Army, Commanding

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Office of the Commanding General – APO 403

Dated 14 April 1945

Patton passes along the praise and thanks of General Eisenhower. The message is then forwarded to members of all sections, Headquarters Third US Army, APO 403 by Major General Gay

Letter to: Major Louis Huot, P.W. Officer – Third US Army – APO 403, US Army

From: Robert A. McClure – Brigadier General, G.S.C. – Chief, Psychological Warfare Division

Issued by: Supreme Headquarters – Allied Expeditionary Force – Psychological Warfare Division

Dated 22 December 1944

McClure sends a letter of thanks to Major Huot and his men for making the department of Psychological Warfare effective and worthwhile

Letter from: H.L. Gasaway, Major, F.A.

To: To Whom It May Concern

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Psychological Warfare Branch – APO 403

Dated 27 February 1945

The sender, who has worked with Wittler, states that Wittler has a trustworthy nature and impeccable character

Letter from: Louis Huot – Major, Infantry, Psychological Warfare Officer

To: Colonel CR Powell

Subject: Recommendation for Commissions

Dated 18 January 1945

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – APO 403

The memo asks for three additional names to be added to the list of those who are being considered for commission. Another note says that Kurt Wittler is a capable officer who took over the job duties of three other men. It informs the receiver that Wittler’s educational background and Army record are attached

Piece of posted material

Addressed to: Sgt. Kurt Wittler, 39574524 – G-2 Section HQ, Third US Army – APO 403, US Army

Stamps from a censor (No. 11689) and the Czechoslovak Fieldpost are present

Christmas Prayer Card

Signed by: G.S. Patton, JR. – Lieutenant General - Commanding, Third US Army

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army

This Christmas card includes a short prayer for safety and thanks for the service rendered by all the soldiers

Memo to: All officers and enlisted men of the Second Mobile Radio Broadcasting CO

From: Arthur Jaffe – 1st Lt., Infantry

Issued by: Headquarters – 2d Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company APO

Dated Christmas 1944

The sender congratulates the section for their service and states that brotherhood can be strong even during a war

Letter to: Miss Thompson

From: Sgt. Kurt Wittler, 39574521 – Psychological Warfare Branch – G-2 Sect., HQ, and Third US Army – APO 403, c/o Postm, New York

Dated 9 December 1944

A note of approval concerning Ms. Thompson’s idea that Austria could be made into a “world District of Columbia”

Letter to: Publishing House Saarlouis

From: Chancellery of Adolf Hitler – Berlin W8 – Wilhelmstrasse 55

Language: German

Dated 15-3-1934

This memo thanks the publishing house for a recently-received brochure on the history of the Saarland statutes by Dr. Groten

Secret Document

Issued by: Psychological Warfare Branch – Headquarters Third US Army

Dated 1 January 1945

Document shows the general structure of the Psychological Warfare Branch

Letter to: the “Gang”

From: Arthur H. Jaffe – 1st Lt., Inf.

Issued by: Headquarters – 2d Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company – APO 655

Dated 29 December 1944

The sender conveys his thanks and congratulations to his men and lists several statistics of the company, such as number of miles driven by men in the unit and number of hours of recorded messages

Letter from: Louis Huot – Major, Infantry, Psychological Warfare Branch

To: Colonel C.R. Powell, P&PW Sec, Twelfth Army Group

Subject: Promotion of Tec 4 Kurt Wittler, 39574521

Issued by: Headquarters – Third United States Army – APO 403

Dated November 1944

Major Huot recommends Tec 4 Kurt Wittler for promotion for Tec 3rd grade and describes him as a capable and hard-working individual

Memo to: Commanding Officers, all Military Government Detachments; Ober and Mittel Franken (Franconia)

From: Headquarters, Military Government Detachment E1B3

Date: 6 July 1945

Subject: News

Content: Seeking information about Nazi Party members and public services that would be of general public interest

War Propaganda Poster

Red Background, white and black text

Created by the PWD.3.

Poster proclaims leaflets are “Sapping the Nazi will to resist” and includes a quotation from Goebbels dated Sept. 1944 which emphasizes the effectiveness of leaflets as weapons

Paper Headings

Various Dates

One includes a heading of a paper by the Ministry of Economic Warfare dated 7th December 1944

Clipping from unknown Document

Title: For Soldiers: Ill-treatment of Prisoners

Dated 28 November 1944

Issued by: PWE/OSS

A short note describing “Front und Heimat” (Front and Homeland), which tells soldiers that the idea of German soldiers receiving good treatment at the hands of the Allies is false and spread only as propaganda

Newspaper Clipping

Title: War and the Radio

Refers to Radio Luxembourg as a propaganda tool and describes the station’s four fifteen-minute shows per day as being produced by a captain, six noncoms, and four civilians

Newspaper Article

Title: Propaganda Bombs

Written by: Ted Patrick – Advertising expert, formerly with OWI

Article looks into effectiveness of leaflets and provides examples

Newspaper snippet from unknown paper

Headline: Frontline Flashes

The short article writes about an American soldier who taught the words “I surrender” to a couple of German soldiers he found studying English

Poster (Green, Black, White)

Title: Leaflets Help Win Battles

A German soldier is depicted presenting a surrender leaflet to an American soldier. The phrase “Ai Soerrenda” (phonetic spelling of “I Surrender”) appears. An excerpt from a 12th Army Group Report emphasizes the effectiveness of the leaflets

RG-40.02, German anti-Semitic literature

RG-40.02.01, Jews in the USA - Selected Captions (Word document)

RG-40.02.02, Jews in the USA - Selected Captions (PDF)

RG-40.02.03, Propaganda Book

Title: Die Juden in USA: Ueber Hundert Bilddokumente (The Jews in the USA: Over 100 pictures)

By: Dr. Hans Diebow

Published by: Zentralverlag der NSDAP (Central Publishing of the NSDAP) - Berlin

Dated: 1941

This book presents pictures of various prominent Americans of Jewish ancestry, often in embarrassing or unfavorable poses. Accompanying the pictures are captions which clearly display an anti-semitic bias. The author alludes frequently to Jewish stereotypes prominent in Germany at the time of publishing, such as gluttony, excessive wealth, and a fondness of non-Jewish women. A frequent target of the disparaging captions is New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who is often shown eating or talking with other prominent US politicians, including President Roosevelt. These pictures, along with several comments made at the end of the book, are intended to suggest the existence of a Jewish, Bolshevik conspiracy whose goal is to appropriate all positions of power in the US

RG-40.03, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials

RG-40.03.01, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence correspondence

Memo to: Major Louis Huot, PWO, Third US Army

From: Kurt Wittler – S/Sgt – PWB, Publications

Subject: CG of 256th VG-Division answers leaflet PWB-48

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Psychological Warfare Branch – APO 403

Dated: February 1945

Wittler attaches a message found on members of the 256th Volksgrenadier Division. The note, from a German division commander, warning troops about the danger of leaflets and loud-speaker addresses. Wittler also includes a translation in English

Special Orders authorized by Richard Gaumond, Captain, AGD, Adjutant.

Issued by: Twelfth Army Group – Headquarters 72D Publicity Service, BN – APO 655

Dated 3 January 1945

A number of men are promoted to different positions. Kurt Wittler is noted for having achieved the rank of S/Sgt

Informational Brief

Title: Scorpion Informationsdienst (Scorpion Information Service)

The brief reports on Stimmen zu den Fronten (Voices of the Front), mainly foreign news dispatches which intend to bolster morale of German forces by claiming that Allied leadership is discordant and volatile

Letter to: Lt. Col. Louis C. Huot, PW Officer – Headquarters, 3rd US Army – APO 403

From: Robert A. McClure, Brigadier General, G.S.C., Chief, Psychological Warfare Div.

Issued by: Supreme Headquarters – Allied Expeditionary Force – Psych. Warfare Div.

Dated 10 May 1945

The sender sends his congratulations regarding the Psychological Warfare section under the command of the Lt. Col. The letter is followed by a memo from Lt. Col Huot to his inferiors in which he congratulates them for their service

RG-40.03.02, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials

Memo to: Psychological Warfare Officer, Third US Army

From: Kurt Wittler – S/Sgt – PWB, Third US Army

Subject: Interrogation of German Civilian

Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Psychological Warfare Branch – APO 403

Dated 1 April 1945

An interrogation of civilian engineer Robert Raths revealed some details concerning the factories in unoccupied Germany, the state of their workers, and the general morale of the Volksturm group

Surrender Notice

Language: German

One side of the flyer states that further resistance is useless since the Allies have firm control over the German homeland. The reverse details the method of surrendering yourself to Allied troops

Note to: Sgt. Wittler – 2 Mobile Radio Broadcast Co. – APO 655 US Army

From: Lt. C. Lowenthal 01320245 – 2 Mobile Radio Broadcast co. – APO 655

Dated 12 December (Year not stated)

A private note of thanks to Wittler for his work on the leaflets

RG-40.03.03, Kurt Wittler, intelligence discourse

Title: Germany Day by Day – Deutschlandspiegel – Selections from transmissions in German of the Schreibfunk, the Grossdeutscher Rundfunk and other stations broadcasting in German

Issued by: BBC Monitoring Service

Dated 28 November 1944

On the reverse, a transcript entitled “Kein Perpetuum Mobile” (No Infinite Mobiles) by Dr. Rudolf Semmer who insists that recent Allied successes are primarily due to unprecedented American industrial output whose pace cannot be maintained for a long period of time

Leaflet Draft

Language: German and English

The paper presents some of the phrases used by the German leadership to disguise defeats and retreats and encourages German soldiers to save their lives for the rebuilding of Germany. English translations attached

Public Address Broadcasts with attached note

[Note] from: Kurt Wittler, editor of “Bayrischer Tag”

[Note] Issued by: US Forces European Theater – Information Control Division – Publishing Operations Section – APO 757

[Broadcasts]: Range in dating (mainly late 1944)

[Broadcasts] Language: German

The Broadcasts provide updates of Allied progress in all areas of both the European and Pacific Theaters

Restricted Report

Title: The Leaflet Propaganda Front – A Review of March Activities

Dated 30 April, 1945

Reports on the production and distribution of various leaflets, both to soldiers and civilians. Testimony from various US Armies is attached

Memo to: Panzer-Division Abteilung

From: Lieutenant General Witersheim

Dated 18 October 1944

The sender references an Allied leaflet which brought up the lack of reinforcements, mail, and proper leadership in the German ranks. Witersheim then refutes these points and encourages his men

Memo to: not stated

From: Kurt Wittler - T/4. PWB-Publications – Third US Army

Dated 26th October 1944

The sender’s commentary on a draft for a leaflet. Suggestions for revisions are mentioned and a translation of the original leaflet is attached

Letter to: Col. Clifford R. Powell – Psych. Warfare Officer – Headquarters. 12th Army Group

From: Robert A. McClure, Brigadier General, G.S.C., Chief, Psychological Warfare Div.

Issued by: Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force – Psych. Warfare Div.

Dated 10 May 1945

The sender writes to congratulate the Psychological Warfare section under the command of the colonel and emphasizes the significant effect his section played on the moral deterioration of the enemy and the ultimate surrender of the Wehrmacht. Attached is a memo from Col. Powell to his inferiors congratulating them for their service and mentioning Brigadier General McClure’s approbation

Restricted Report

Title: The Leaflet Propaganda Front – A Review of February Activities

Dated 20 March, 1945

Reports on the production and distribution of various leaflets, both to soldiers and civilians. Testimony from various US Armies is attached

Restricted Report

Title: The Leaflet Propaganda Front – A Review of January Activities

Dated 12 March, 1945

Reports on the production and distribution of various leaflets, both to soldiers and civilians. Testimony from various US Armies is attached

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (1)

Dates: November 24, 23, 27, 17, 1944

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (1), reverse sides

Dates: November 24, 23, 27, 17, 1944

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (2)

Dates: November 21, 25, 14, 15, 25 & December 6, 1944

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (2), reverse sides

Dates: November 21, 25, 14, 15, 25 & December 6, 1944

Clipping of secret/confidential memo (3)

Date: November 16, 1944

RG-40.03.04, Kurt Wittler, service communications

Memo to: Assistant Governor of S G-2 Iceberg

From: Alfred B. Poch, Captain CE, OIG, Iceberg IPW#79

Subject: Special Interrogation Report #17

Dated 29 Oct. 1944

Issued by Iceberg IPW #79

The composition and strength of 361 Volks Gr. Division 953 Volks GR. Regt. 3 Co is detailed. Attached is a recounting of the story of an American soldier who escaped from a PW camp

Newspaper Clipping

By: Jimmy Cannon – Stars and Stripes Staff Writer

Title: Act Draws Fire – Mortars Applaud

The article recounts the story of Pvt. Paul Eisler of the 4th Inf. Div. at the Siegfried Line and his propaganda loud-speaker. Addressing the German positions, he was met with a burst of mortar fire. Eisler tells the reporter that, “Mortars are my applause”

Short Newspaper Clipping

Presents the story of a pair of German soldiers who were forced to swim upriver in order to surrender

Newspaper Clipping

Title: The Enemy – Please Refrain…

Describes a German response to the dropping of Allied leaflets over German positions. Luftwaffe planes later dropped their own leaflets which mockingly say any German soldier carrying this note wishes to go into captivity, betray his fatherland, and never see his family again

RG-40.03.05, Kurt Wittler, Surrender Notice

RG-40.04, Materials related to Nazi crimes

RG-40.04.01, Kurt Wittler, Czechoslovak Jewish Committee. Committee Bulletin

Title: Czechoslovak Jewish Committee Bulletin No. 14 (May-June 1945)

By: Czechoslovak Jewish Committee – Affiliated with the World Jewish Congress

A short bulletin contains names of Czechoslovak Jewish women liberated from Bergen Belsen and information about various Terezin inmates

RG-40.04.02, Kurt Wittler, Nazi crimes in the camps

RG-40.04.03, Large photograph with caption

Title: Hitler and his Works

Credits: US Signal Corps Photo ETO-HQ-45-35829

German prisoners-of-war unearth a mass grave with the bodies of murdered Jewish prisoners at “Lager No. 3” by Landeberg, Germany. The caption asks the viewer to contrast Hitler’s stay in prison in 1923 to the situation in which Jewish prisoners found themselves

RG-40.04.04, Large photograph with caption

Title: The Nazis Burn the Living

Credits: Keystone Photo 489966

The aftermath of a German massacre of political prisoners is shown. Men were forced into a barn which was subsequently set ablaze. Any fleeing prisoners were promptly shot down by the German soldiers

RG-40.04.05, Collection of large photographs

Title: Third US Army Exposes Horror of Buchenwald Camp

RG-40.04.06, Credits: US Signal Corps Photo ETO-HQ-45-32746

Townsfolk from the town of Weimar react to the atrocities of Buchenwald after being marched through the camp by US military policemen

RG-40.04.07, Credits: British Combine Acme Photo 408021

A horrifically emaciated Jewish prisoner of Buchenwald is shown

RG-40.04.08, Credits: US Signal Corps Photo ETO-HQ-45-32408

A large pile of ashes and bones (one-day’s supply of killed prisoners) is placed in the courtyard of the camp

RG-40.05, Allied Military Operations in Germany and the Pacific

RG-40.05.01, Australian soldiers landing on the Labuan islands

RG-40.05.02, Collision of an American troop transport with a freight train near Weingartens. The manager of the signal tower expects his sentencing

RG-40.05.03, A burning Japanese tank shows traces of heavy fighting on the Luzon islands

RG-40.05.04, Japanese war prisoners are evacuated from Guam

RG-40.05.05, A Japanese war prisoner gets medical treatment from a US paramedic

RG-40.05.06, Japanese snipers are fought by American Navy soldiers with hand machine guns

RG-40.05.07, American Navy soldiers push forward against former Japanese barracks in Shuri Castle, South Okinawa

RG-40.05.08, A floating dry dock is used by the American fleet to repair the warships used in the Pacific Ocean

RG-40.05.09, Commander of the American 3rd Army, General George S. Patton, after his return to the US, with his grandchildren

RG-40.05.10, American troops and American material is landing in Okinawa (Ryukyu). The island was first attacked on March 31, 1945

RG-40.05.11, Condolence service honoring the American soldiers who died on the island (Pacific)

RG-40.05.12, Japanese prisoners at their registration

RG-40.05.13, American big fortresses during an attack on Japanese navy arsenals

RG-40.05.14, Scottish troops at a parade in Graz, Austria

RG-40.05.15, French generals who were imprisoned in Koenigsberg were liberated by the 9th US Army

RG-40.06, Kurt Wittler Family History

RG-40.06.01, Ancestry Certificate

Title: Abstammungs-Nachweis bis zum Jahre 1800 (Ancestry Certificate since 1800)

Dated 1 April 1940

Issued to: Ameliene Drebber from Essen

Document chronicles the family of Ameliene Drebber and provides names, occupations, and dates of birth and death of several ancestors. Stamped by the rectory of Horn

RG-40.06.02, Letter to Dr. Siller to Epenstein

Language: German

German Field Post

Dated 15 September 1915

These collections and documents introduce the reader to the new thinking of ordinary German that came into being since the Nazis fully implemented their paradigm of the new German nation.

By reading of the National Socialist literature we comprehend by and large non comprehensible, namely that the Nazi belief system does not qualify as a moral or even coherent ideology. Compared with, for example, Adam Smith's liberalism or Karl Marx's communism, die Ideee of Nazism lacks formal understanding and a human social vision. Nonetheless, Nazism fulfilled the functions we associate with ideology.

It supplied answers to life's imponderables provided meaning in the face of contingency and explained the way the world works. Nazi ideas embedded the individual within the collective well-being of the nation.

Biographical Note

Kurt Wittler, a former émigré from Nazi Germany, served for the US intelligence agencies in Germany. In 1945 he worked for the American Military Government of the US occupation zone in Germany. Wittler was editor-in-chief of the German-language newspaper Bayrischer Tag (A Bavarian Day) published by the American military administration for German population of Bavaria.

Subject/Index Terms

Collective revival of ethnic Germans
Germandom and restoration of the new German society
Morality versus State interests, Germany
National Socialist Ideology
Theory of State and Nation, Germany

Administrative Information

Repository: Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions. Credits to the Museum are required.

Digital copies are available upon request

Use Restrictions: Copyrighted materials


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[Sub-Collection 1: RG-40.01, Bavarian Day, in German, newspaper published by US Military Government in Germany, 1945],
[Sub-Collection 2: RG-40.02, German anti-Semitic literature, 1941],
[Sub-Collection 3: RG-40.03, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials, 1944 -1945],
[Sub-Collection 4: RG-40.04, Materials related to Nazi crimes, 1944 -- 1945],
[Sub-Collection 5: RG-40.05, Allied Military Operations in Germany and the Pacific, 1943 -- 1945],
[Sub-Collection 6: RG-40.06, Kurt Wittler Family History, 1800 -- 1960],
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Sub-Collection 3: RG-40.03, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials, 1944 -1945Add to your cart.

This Collection comprises materials issued as directives, circularity and correspondence by the US military intelligence agencies and anti-Nazi propaganda offices. During the war, the attention was given to diminish the Wehrmacht resistance and persuasion of surrender. The other direction of these agencies' activity was to record and circulate the evidence of Nazi crimes against humanity, war-crimes and the annihilation of the European Jewry.

In the postwar period, the attention shifted to focusing on de-nazification, de-militarization, on the vetting process of German former military personnel and civil servants in order to prevent the former members of the Nazi party and the supporters of the Nazi regime from taking positions in the German civil administration.prises materials issued as directives, circularity and correspondence by the US military intelligence agencies and anti-Nazi propaganda offices.

Subject/Index Terms:
de-Nazification and de-Militarization in postwar Germany
surrender of German military personnel
preservation and circularity of the evidence of Nazi crimes against humanity
Vetting process to ensure de-nazification of German civil service
Creators:
Wittler, Kurt (1944 -- 1945)
US military intelligence agencies (1944 -- 1949)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 1: Kurt Wittler, army intelligence correspondence, 1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Army intelligence correspondences created by Kurt Wittler and Robert A. McClure.

Memo to: Major Louis Huot, PWO, Third US Army From: Kurt Wittler – S/Sgt – PWB, Publications Subject: CG of 256th VG-Division answers leaflet PWB-48 Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Psychological Warfare Branch – APO 403 Dated: February 1945 Wittler attaches a message found on members of the 256th Volksgrenadier-Division. The note, from a German division commander, warning troops about the danger of leaflets and loud-speaker addresses. Wittler also includes a translation in English

Special Orders authorized by Richard Gaumond – Capt, AGD, - Adjutant Issued by: Twelfth Army Group – Headquarters 72D Publicity Serv BN – APO 655 Dated 3 January 1945 A number of men are promoted to different positions. Kurt Wittler is noted for having achieved the rank of S/Sgt

Informational Brief Title: Skorpion Informationsdienst (Scorpion Information Service) The brief reports on Stimmen zu den Fronten (Voices of the Front), mainly foreign news dispatches which intend to bolster morale of German forces by claiming that Allied leadership is discordant and volatile

Letter to: Lt. Col. Louis C. Huot, PW Officer – Headqrtrs, 3rd US Army – APO 403 From: Robert A. McClure, Brigadier General, G.S.C., Chief, Psychological Warfare Div. Issued by: Supreme Headquarters – Allied Expeditonary Force – Psych. Warfare Div. Dated 10 May 1945 The sender sends his congratulations regarding the Psychological Warfare section under the command of the Lt. Col. The letter is followed by a memo from Lt. Col Huot to his inferiors in which he congratulates them for their service.

Subject/Index Terms:
official correspondence
American Military Government, Germany, US zone of occupation
Functions of US Military Government in postwar Germany
US Military intelligence
Creators:
Kurt Wittler
Robert A. McClure
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 2: Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials, 1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Memo to: Psychological Warfare Officer, Third US Army From: Kurt Wittler – S/Sgt – PWB, Third US Army Subject: Interrogation of German Civilian Issued by: Headquarters – Third US Army – Psychological Warfare Branch – APO 403 Dated 1 April 1945 An interrogation of civilian engineer Robert Raths revealed some details concerning the factories in unoccupied Germany, the state of their workers, and the general morale of the Volksturm group

Surrender Notice Language: German One side of the flyer states that further resistance is useless since the Allies have firm control over the German homeland. The reverse details the method of surrendering yourself to Allied troops

Note to: Sgt. Wittler – 2 Mobile Radio B’cast Co. – APO 655 US Army From: Lt. C. Lowenthal 01320245 – 2 Mobile Radio B’cast co. – APO 655 Dated 12 December (Year not stated) A private note of thanks to Wittler for his work on the leaflets.

Subject/Index Terms:
US Military Official Correspondence
official correspondence
surrender of German military personnel
Surrender of Germany
Creators:
Kurt Wittler
Lt. C. Lowenthal
Military Government of the US occupation zone in Germany (1944 -- 1952)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 3: Kurt Wittler, intelligence discourse, 1944--1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Intelligence discourse and documents of official correspondence by Kurt Wittler between him and his superiors.

Title: Germany Day by Day – Deutschlandspiegel – Selections from transmissions in German of the Schreibfunk, the Grossdeutscher Rundfunk and other stations broadcasting in German Issued by: BBC Monitoring Service Dated 28 November 1944 On the reverse, a transcript entitled “Kein Perpetuum Mobile” (No Infinite Mobiles) by Dr. Rudolf Semmer who insists that recent Allied successes are primarily due to unprecedented American industrial output whose pace cannot be maintained for a long period of time

Leaflet Draft Language: German and English The paper presents some of the phrases used by the German leadership to disguise defeats and retreats and encourages German soldiers to save their lives for the rebuilding of Germany. English translations attached

Public Address Broadcasts with attached note [Note] from: Kurt Wittler, editor of “Bayrischer Tag” [Note] Issued by: US Forces European Theater – Information Control Division – Publishing Operations Section – APO 757 [Broadcasts]: Range in dating (mainly late 1944) [Broadcasts] Language: German The Broadcasts provide updates of Allied progress in all areas of both the European and Pacific Theaters

Restricted Report Title: The Leaflet Propaganda Front – A Review of March Activities Dated 30 April, 1945 Reports on the production and distribution of various leaflets, both to soldiers and civilians. Testimony from various US Armies is attached

Memo to: Panzer-Division Abt. Ic From: Lieutenant General Witersheim Dated 18 October 1944 The sender references an Allied leaflet which brought up the lack of reinforcements, mail, and proper leadership in the German ranks. Witersheim then refutes these points and encourages his men

Memo to: not stated From: Kurt Wittler - T/4. PWB-Publications – Third US Army Dated 26th October 1944 The sender’s commentary on a draft for a leaflet. Suggestions for revisions are mentioned and a translation of the original leaflet is attached

Letter to: Col. Clifford R. Powell – Psych. Warfare Officer – Headqrtrs. 12th Army Group From: Robert A. McClure, Brigadier General, G.S.C., Chief, Psychological Warfare Div. Issued by: Supreme Headqrtrs. – Allied Expeditionary Force – Psych. Warfare Div. Dated 10 May 1945 The sender writes to congratulate the Psychological Warfare section under the command of the colonel and emphasizes the significant effect his section played on the moral deterioration of the enemy and the ultimate surrender of the Wehrmacht. Attached is a memo from Col. Powell to his inferiors congratulating them for their service and mentioning Brigadier General McClure’s approbation

Restricted Report Title: The Leaflet Propaganda Front – A Review of February Activities Dated 20 March, 1945 Reports on the production and distribution of various leaflets, both to soldiers and civilians. Testimony from various US Armies is attached

Restricted Report Title: The Leaflet Propaganda Front – A Review of January Activities Dated 12 March, 1945 Reports on the production and distribution of various leaflets, both to soldiers and civilians. Testimony from various US Armies is attached

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (1) Dates: November 24, 23, 27, 17, 1944

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (1), reverse sides Dates: November 24, 23, 27, 17, 1944

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (2) Dates: November 21, 25, 14, 15, 25 & December 6, 1944

Clippings of secret/confidential memos (2), reverse sides Dates: November 21, 25, 14, 15, 25 & December 6, 1944

Clipping of secret/confidential memo (3) Date: November 16, 1944

Subject/Index Terms:
American Military Government, Germany, US zone of occupation
US Military Official Correspondence
newspaper clippings
Creators:
Kurt Wittler
Military Government of the US occupation zone in Germany (1944 -- 1952)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 4: Kurt Wittler, service communications, 1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Service communications between Kurt Wittler and other officers.

Memo to: Asst G of S G-2 Iceberg From: Alfred B. Poch – Capt CE, OIG – Iceberg IPW#79 Subject: Special Interrogation Report #17 Dated 29 Oct. 1944 Issued by Iceberg IPW #79 The composition and strength of 361 Volks Gr. Div 953 Volks GR. Regt. 3 Co is detailed. Attached is a recounting of the story of an American soldier who escaped from a PW camp.

Newspaper Clipping By: Jimmy Cannon – Stars and Stripes Staff Writer Title: Act Draws Fire – Mortars Applaud The article recounts the story of Pvt. Paul Eisler of the 4th Inf. Div. at the Siegfried Line and his propaganda loud-speaker. Addressing the German positions, he was met with a burst of mortar fire. Eisler tells the reporter that, “Mortars are my applause”.

Short Newspaper Clipping Presents the story of a pair of German soldiers who were forced to swim upriver in order to surrender

Newspaper Clipping Title: The Enemy – Please Refrain… Describes a German response to the dropping of Allied leaflets over German positions. Luftwaffe planes later dropped their own leaflets which mockingly say any German soldier carrying this note wishes to go into captivity, betray his fatherland, and never see his family again.

Subject/Index Terms:
official correspondence
US Military Official Correspondence
newspaper clippings
Creators:
Kurt Wittler
Military Government of the US occupation zone in Germany (1944 -- 1952)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 5: Kurt Wittler, Surrender NoticeAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.

A copy of a surrender notice that would be given to US military soldiers by German soldiers to proclaim that they surrender of their own free will and that they should be treated well according to the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

The majority of the text is in German and translates: How does one surrender? As soon as you approach our position, one of our reconnaissance troops or our soldier:

1. hold your hands over the head, the palms forward 2. if possible, show this handbill or otherwise something white, in order to declare your intention 3. go in usual step, in a straight line, and unarmed 4. do not run, do not hide behind trees or shrubs in a way that would arouse suspicion; if heavily wounded or unable to remain in an upright position in a protected place, announce your intention as well as possible. 5. if in earshot, call "ei ssoerrender".  That means "I surrender". 6. show this handbill to the first Allied soldier that you find (a handbill is sufficient also for groups).

At the bottom, it includes an English paragraph for Allied soldiers that states:

This soldier surrenders of his own free will.  He is to be treated well, according to the provisions of the Geneva Convention, and removed to the rear as soon as possible.  If wounded, he should be given immediate medical care.

Subject/Index Terms:
surrender of German military personnel
Surrender Notice
American Military Government, Germany, US zone of occupation
Geneva Convention
Creators:
Kurt Wittler
Military Government of the US occupation zone in Germany (1944 -- 1952)

Browse by Sub-Collection:

[Sub-Collection 1: RG-40.01, Bavarian Day, in German, newspaper published by US Military Government in Germany, 1945],
[Sub-Collection 2: RG-40.02, German anti-Semitic literature, 1941],
[Sub-Collection 3: RG-40.03, Kurt Wittler, army intelligence materials, 1944 -1945],
[Sub-Collection 4: RG-40.04, Materials related to Nazi crimes, 1944 -- 1945],
[Sub-Collection 5: RG-40.05, Allied Military Operations in Germany and the Pacific, 1943 -- 1945],
[Sub-Collection 6: RG-40.06, Kurt Wittler Family History, 1800 -- 1960],
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