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Information control

The History of U.S. Information Control in Post-War Germany

Research | Books at Memorial

In May of 1945, the American army, along with those of its Allies, occupied the cities and towns of Hitler’s Third Reich.

While most American soldiers wondered how Germany’s citizens were going to feed and shelter themselves, The History of U.S. Information Control in Post-War Germany, by Dr. Erwin Warkentin, associate professor of German and communications at Memorial, introduces the reader to another group of men who were concerned about a different form of starvation.

Steady diet

The men of what was to become the Information Control Division (ICD) in the American Zone were preparing an antidote to 12 years of National Socialist propaganda, which was to be a steady diet of carefully selected bits of information that were calculated to change the way the German people understood the world.

It was designed to transform the Germans into staunch defenders of democracy.

Mass re-education

In addition to providing the first historical overview of the activities of the ICD and the methods they employed, Dr. Warkentin’s book offers a unique perspective on how the U.S. occupation utilized psychologists, psychiatrists, anthropologists, sociologists and other academics to vet potential candidates for media licences in Germany.

The narrative takes the reader through the various steps of the process of becoming a literary publisher, newspaperman, magazine editor, radio programmer and filmmakers, and reveals how the American military government in Germany used the establishment of new media empires to attempt the mass re-education of an entire nation.

The History of U.S. Information Control in Post-War Germany is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.