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Censorship Guidelines II (1914)

This document, an addition to the original censorship guidelines for the press, goes much further than limiting information about troop movements. The German government instructed the German press on opinion-making and on maintaining support for the war effort.

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The War Ministry, most humbly, forwards to the Royal Deputy Commanding Generals, enclosed, a Supplement to the Memorandum for the Press, which itself had been published according to the mobilization plan §20 B. 7. This supplement was written and published by Order of His Majesty the Kaiser and King.

The War Ministry requests that the press be informed of this Supplement in the same manner it was informed of the previously mentioned “Memorandum.” The War Ministry requests further that it be made a duty to follow the guiding principles expressed in the Supplement, and, in cases of offences, that appropriate action be taken.

In order to support the Royal Deputy Commanding Generals in this task, the War Ministry will note those articles which are objectionable when we become aware of them and inform the Commanding Generals of such. We request from you, most humbly, to give us the opportunity to comment on cases where there is some doubt.

On behalf of,

[signed] von Wandel

[Enclosure: Supplement to the Memorandum for the Press]

It must be emphasized that the attitude of the press and its observance of the rules laid down in the “Memorandum for the Press” so far deserves and finds full appreciation. In spite of that, it must be noted that certain papers use now and then a language which is not adapted to the importance of the time. This circumstance forces the War Command, in order to supplement the “Memorandum for the Press,” to formulate the following regulations, the observance of which during the duration of the state of war is urgently recommended. The War Command is convinced that the hitherto patriotic attitude of the press is evidence that the press also endeavors in the future to prevent unintentional injuries to our great cause.

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