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OMGUS (Office of Military Government, U.S.) Survey on the Greatest Worries of Germans in the American Zone (1945-49)

In October 1945, the Americans started conducting regular opinion polls in the American occupation zone to collect information on Germans’ moods and views. This table shows how Germans’ cares and worries evolved from the fall of 1945, shortly after the end of the war, to late winter 1949, shortly before the founding of the Federal Republic. In the winter of 1945/46, worries about prisoners of war and the missing predominated. At the same time, the first signs of problems in the food, clothing, and shoe supply also started appearing, and these shortages would be the primary cause of concern for the next two years. Worries about daily survival came to an abrupt halt with the currency reform in June 1948, since food and consumer goods were available in sufficient quantities thereafter. But the conditions of the free market economy quickly brought new worries, which centered on income levels and the availability of jobs.

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What are your greatest cares and worries at the present time?

Source: A. J. and R. L. Merritt, Public Opinion in Occupied Germany. The OMGUS Surveys. Urbana, IL, 1970, pp. 16-17.

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