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OMGUS Survey on the Choice between National Socialism and Communism (1946-49)

The collapse of 1945 made it necessary for Germans to find a new political orientation. Surveys conducted in the American occupation zone in November 1946 showed that two-thirds of those polled rejected National Socialism and Communism in equal measure. By February 1949, that figure had shrunk: only about one-half of survey respondents rejected the two systems equally. In November 1946, about 10% of those polled expressed a preference for the Communist system. Difficulties in the Soviet occupation zone caused that figure to drop a few percentage points by 1949. Over the same period, the percentage of those who preferred life under National Socialism (and thus implicitly rejected the political development in the Western zones) rose from around 15% in 1946 to 40% in February 1949.

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If you had to choose between Communism and National Socialism, under which government would you prefer to live?

Source: A. J. and R. L. Merritt, Public Opinion in Occupied Germany. The OMGUS Surveys. Urbana, IL, 1970, p. 55.

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