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Censorship Guidelines I (1914)

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If the press is conscious of its heavy responsibility and the ramifications of its reports, it will not make itself an ally of our opponents against its own will. It will be grateful to the military leadership for informing it about publications that can harm the Fatherland. By selflessly refraining from reporting any information of a military character, it will spare the military and naval authorities from having to take legal action, which the sovereign interests of the state demand be ruthlessly applied in cases where the prohibition on publication is violated.

The military leadership in its turn will do everything in its power to satisfy the nation’s legitimate demand for news. If these reports are at first necessarily meager, the patriotic efforts of the press will best succeed if it enlightens the nation about the reasons and need for secrecy and urges patience.

Via the Press Office of the General Staff and the Admiralty Staff of the Navy, reports will be sent out – as copiously as possible – to the Commanding Generals and the Commanders of Naval Stations for delivery to the editorial staffs of newspapers in their respective districts. This will remain a more rapid and secure way for all editors to gain access to the news than if they dispatch their own reporters, who can be permitted into the theater of war only in very limited numbers and with limited freedom of movement.

All inquiries from the press are to be directed to the local Commanding Generals or – if they have moved up to the front, to the Deputy Commanding Generals – to the Commanders of Naval Stations, in Berlin to the Press Office of the Great General Staff, Berlin NW 40 – and to the Admiralty Staff of the Navy, Berlin W 10, Königin Augustastr. 38/42.

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