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Report by the Central Administration for German Resettlers [Umsiedler] in the Soviet Occupation Area (December 23, 1945)

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g) Oversight and auditing.
The systematic work of oversight and auditing was only recently begun in the Central Administration. These controls have revealed that the previous instructions and directives by the Central Administration on the organization of the camps, medical care, and the economic-provisioning of the resettlers were seriously neglected. Embezzlement, poor organization, incompetence, and a lack of oversight are the order of the day. Whenever embezzlement or incompetence is discovered, the situation is remedied in accordance with the state/provincial administration. The guilty are handed over to the courts, the incompetent are replaced.

[ . . . ]

III. Mood among the resettlers.

(Concrete facts about complaints as well as positive statements should be listed.)
It is understandable that the Central Administration receives only complaints from the resettlers. For the resettlers turn to the Central Administration only when local authorities or the provincial/state administration fail to respond or cannot address the resettlers’ complaints. Most of the complaints concern problems and shortcomings with the transports (delays in the allocation of trains, a lack of locomotives and thus days of standing around at train stations and along tracks, overcrowding, poor provisioning with foodstuffs, cold temperatures, a lack of medical care, the misdirection of trains).

Complaints in Mecklenburg concern the housing shortage above all. A very particular kind of complaint is lodged by resettlers against the native population, above all in Mecklenburg; in small villages they are often at the mercy of the farmers and local authorities. Excessive rents, an asocial attitude by some farmers when it comes to providing work, poor provisioning with foodstuffs, usurious prices for food, poor medical care – these are the chief complaints that have been brought to us so far. In all cases where concrete facts are presented to the CA, we try to prevail upon the local authorities, through the provinces and states, to remedy the abuses. However, a real change in conditions can occur only if the resettlement problem, as a political problem, is taken on by the political parties on the broadest basis. Controls by the political parties, organized social help via the political parties, a strengthening of the work of the resettler committees, and the ruthless punishment of usurer and asocial elements are the precondition for creating a healthy atmosphere.

While complaints – though not numerous – have made their way to the Central Administration, so far we have not received any letters of thanks from the ranks of the resettlers.

[ . . . ]

The positive moments really manifest themselves only when the resettlers have found work and housing somewhere and have settled into their new workplace. In the future, we will place special emphasis on collecting these positive examples.

[ . . . ]

Source: BArch, DO 2/1164, copy (excerpts); reprinted in Udo Wengst, Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland. Bd. 2/2: 1945-1949: Die Zeit der Besatzungszonen. Sozialpolitik zwischen Kriegsende und der Gründung zweier deutscher Staaten. Dokumente [The History of Social Policy in Germany, Vol. 2/2: 1945-1949. The Era of the Occupation Zones. Social Policy between the End of the War and the Founding of Two German States. Documents]. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2001, no. 41, pp. 113-15.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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