Information Control Division

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The Information Control Division (ICD) was a department of the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) during the early part of the American occupation of Germany following World War II. Formed on 12 May 1945 from the Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF (PWD/SHAEF), the ICD was led by Robert A. McClure,[1] with a mission defined as:

[to] provide the Germans with information, which will influence them to understand and accept the United States programme of occupation, and to establish for themselves a stable, peaceful, and acceptable government. Such information will impress upon the Germans the totality of their military defeat, the impossibility of rearmament, the responsibility of the individual German for war and atrocities, the disastrous effects of the structure and system of National Socialism on Germany and the world, and the possibility that through work and cooperation Germany may again be accepted into the family of nations.[2]

Its initial task was sanitising the German media, removing figures with Nazi associations or histories and prohibiting overly nationalist or militarized content. It was charged with licensing the German newspapers, selecting editors who favoured creating a democratic society, and pre-approving content before it was published - although from August 1945 the model switched to approval post-publication. Initially entirely independent of the military government of Germany, it was merged into OMGUS in in February 1946.[1]

As the Cold War became a priority in United States foreign policy, the ICD focused on using Germany as "the first battlefront of psychological warfare between the U.S. and the USSR", forcing licensed newspapers to publish content compatible with the direction of U.S. foreign policy and revoking the licenses of those that would not.[1]

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References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Edward Carlton Breitenkamp. U. S. Information Control Division and Its Effect on German Publishers and Writers, 1945 to 1949.