SKU: A01588 Category:


Description: This 4-page, typed letter signed is dated June 25, 1945. In it, Habe writes to Colonel Clifford R. Powell, passionately stating his 8 reasons for wanting to be “relieved of [his] present engagement and to be returned to the United States.” 1. He does not believe in the Psychological Warfare Division policy (under the leadership of General Robert A. McClure). He strongly states that he cannot bring himself to side with a policy that punishes the “Germans by not giving them theaters, music and newspapers.” He boldly asserts that “the Russian policy toward Germany [was] wrong and should not be imitated.” He is also opposed to “sterile” newspapers and “the policy of indiscriminate licensing.” 2. He deems the licensing policy “detrimental to the Allied cause.” 3. He plainly states that he is unwilling to work with General McClure who for no apparent reason “does not have any confidence” in his abilities or his loyalties. 4. He sees “the latest attitude of SHAEF,” one of “permanent criticism of everything the team is doing . . . neither constructive nor . . . correspond[ing] to the size of [the Allied] enterprise.” He sees the many interferences, such as minor editorial matters, “reducing the papers to such newspapers as are produced in fascist countries, synchronised by fascist censors.” 5. All the above have a “personal meaning” for him. He rails against the “attempts . . . to reduce the chief editor of the Allied newspapers in Germany . . . [to] a glorified copy boy.” He adds, “I prefer being a ‘kleiner mann,’ (little man) which we all in the army are, in a field which is not my own.” 6. He cites an example of his team being bypassed for a newspaper job in Berlin because, he later learns, one of his team was seen as untrustworthy. 7. Having served the war efforts in many capacities, he more pressingly feels the need to return home to America and write about his “recent experience . . . in the great struggle of ‘winning the peace.’” 8. Undeterred by his rank while serving under Col. Powell, he now considers his Captaincy as a handicap. He calls attention to the significance accorded to those who outrank him. Finally, he assures Col. Powell that he would train the new section head before he left, should his request be granted. The letter is signed, “Respectfully Yours, Hans Habe. Capt. AUS”

Hans Habe (1911-77, born Jean Bekessy) was a prolific novelist, newspaperman, and an outspoken Nazi opponent. He was drafted into the US Army in 1942 and trained in psychological warfare. He claimed to have “shaped Radio Luxembourg into one of the most successful instruments of psychological warfare,” while working under Col. Clifford R. Powell. He was the first to publish Hitler’s real name, “Schicklgruber,” for which the Nazis burned his books. The Hollywood film, The Cross of Lorraine (1943), is based on his most successful autobiographical novel, A Thousand Shall Fall.

Colonel Clifford R. Powell was Eisenhower’s Deputy Information Director during WWII, and a Commanding Officer of the 12th Army Group’s Psychological War Service Battalion. He and Robert A. McClure were the principal consultants for the study of “Psychological Warfare in the European Theater Operation.” He was also a member of the New Jersey Senate, 1928-39.

Brigadier General Robert A. McClure was appointed the Director of PWD-SHAEF in 1944; the Division controlled broadcasting and newspapers in Germany.

PWD-SHAEF was the acronym for: Psychological Warfare Division of Supreme Headquarters of Allied Expeditionary Force. As a joint Anglo-American effort during the WWII, it was headed by Brigadier General Robert A. McClure and General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Item #A01588

Condition: The 4-page letter is typed on ivory 10 ½” x 8” paper. It is stapled at the the left-hand upper corner, but the last page is detached. Some light creasing. Letter is easily readable and clear.