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Details about  Bernard Montgomery WW2 Memo Signed re Germans

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Bernard Montgomery WW2 Memo Signed re Germans
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08 Jan, 2014 02:12:52 GMT
US $17,500.00
Approximately £11,444.64(including postage)
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Last updated on  27 Dec, 2013 22:00:47 GMT  View all revisions

Nate D Sanders Collectibles

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Incredibly interesting hand-edited draft memo signed by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery who, as Commander in Chief of the British Forces of Occupation in Germany, was responsible for the country's transition to a peaceful democracy. Dated 14 July 1945, five-page memo is entitled ''British Zone / Notes on the Present Situation by Field Marshal Montgomery'' who writes ''Draft'' on the first page and signs at the conclusion, ''B.L. Montgomery.'' Hand-edits by Montgomery in both pencil and pen read in full, ''Our present attitude towards the German people is negative; it must be replaced by one that is positive and holds out hope for the future'' which follows the typed sentence, ''There is much fertile soil for the seeds of trouble.'' On the second page, after a section on encouraging the Germans to process the ramifications on the war on their own, Montgomery writes, ''We ourselves must have real contact with the people so as to know what is really going on.'' On the third page, the draft reads in type, ''Political activities will be allowed...The immediate objective...will be towards an orderly and well governed Zone'' to which Montgomery adds in his hand - betraying in part the negative perceptions of the Germans to which Montgomery alluded earlier, ''and no more, until it has been proved that the Germans are at least capable of achieving that.'' Under the ''Fraternisation'' section, Montgomery writes, ''allow conversation with adult Germans in the streets and in public places.'' Prior to this time, British soldiers were not allowed to talk, or even smile at German citizens, in order to show the German people how the Nazi party destroyed much of the world (since they had been inoculated by German propaganda); Montgomery decides here that that phase of reconstruction is now over. Finally, on the last page, Montgomery writes that he has been in communication with President Eisenhower ''and he has agreed'' on relaxing the present rules. ''Orders are being issued accordingly to the British forces. We are issuing statements for release to the Press at 1800 hrs on 14 July.'' Document has much more fascinating typed content including Montgomery's ''objective'' as being ''The re-habilitation of the mentality of the German people on the right lines.'' Montgomery writes that the ''allies of Nazism...are idleness, boredom, and fear of the future'' and continues, ''The German people have had National Socialism, and Nazi doctrines, pumped into them for many years; they have become receptive to propaganda, and they like being told what to do and being given 'the form' generally. Suddenly it all ceased; their minds are blank and they are hungry for information; they want to be told what to do.'' He writes, ''I am anxious to restore freedom of the press: possibly gradually'', in order to prevent Communist or Nazi propaganda, as ''the over-riding consideration will always be military security.'' Regarding ''The German Youth'', Montgomery writes, ''Among the first things to be suppressed by Hitler were the Church's youth work and the Boy Scouts. The stronger such organizations are, the stronger the bulwark against Nazism...Our service chaplains...should get into touch with German pastors or priests who have resisted Nazism...The church is possibly one of the few bridges of confidence between the two countries that is not down.'' In an order both strategic and sweet, Montgomery writes that ''At present we allow all members of the British forces in Germany to speak to, and play with, little children.'' Finally, the Commander-in-Chief writes, ''We must issue a series of Messages or Proclamations which will tell the Germans what we are going to do, and will demand their co-operation. These must be issued by 'The British C-in-C', and must be signed by me. The German people understand this, and will do what they are told.'' Each page of this 5pp. document measures 8'' x 13'', held together by the original brad tack in the upper left corner. Pages are lightly toned and some rust from the tack is present, but overall the document is in very good condition, entirely legible, and Montgomery's writing and signature are clear and bold. An important, fascinating document that delineates the successful integration of Germany back into the world community after WWII.


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