1Less than a week after American troops first set foot on German soil, reports of soldiers fraternizing with German civilians had already reached the United States. Associated Press and United Press correspondents filed stories about friendly German civilians who welcomed the invaders. The New York Times printed both articles on 16 September and on the following day published a photograph of a smiling German family gathered around a jeep conversing with American soldiers.1 On 17 September, the day that photograph was published, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, contacted his commanding generals, ordering that such behavior be "nipped in the bud." It was a violation of the Allied non-fraternization policy banning "friendly, familiar, or intimate" contact between Allied soldiers and German nationals.2 Four days later, Eisenhower received a message from President Franklin D. Roosevelt via Army chief of staff George C. Marshall. While urging Eisenhower to "discourage" fraternization, the president was more concerned about appearances than actual behavior. He demanded that photographs documenting friendly relations between Germans and Americans be "prohibited." On the following day, Eisenhower assured the president that he and his generals were committed to both concealing and suppressing friendly contact between Americans and Germans. Stories and photographs of fraternizing soldiers had been added to the military's list of censorable news items, and any documented violation of policy would be "dealt with by proper disciplinary procedure."3 Private correspondence was likewise censored, and letters that referred to serious violations of the ban were to be forwarded to the Army's personnel section for further action.4

2From the start, censoring letters, news reports, and photographs proved easier than enforcing the Allied non-fraternization policy. Although the majority of soldiers probably conformed to the policy, a large minority did not, and violations increased as the war progressed. The problem of fraternization became more complicated once fighting stopped. Before V-E Day, it was an internal issue of conduct and security; afterwards, it unfolded into a public relations nightmare. The Army retained the fraternization ban through the summer of 1945 with an eye to appeasing home front opinion, but this strategy caused even greater scandal. Violations skyrocketed just as censorship regulations were relaxed.

3Fraternization between American soldiers and German women exploded into a national debate in the summer of 1945. What troubled so many Americans, including the soldiers themselves, was the sexual nature of German-American relations. The ban covered all friendly mingling with former enemy nationals, but the term "fraternization" quickly became synonymous with illicit and adulterous sex. Although some servicemen attempted to shift the blame to unfaithful wives or uncooperative Wacs, this episode highlighted male, rather than female, sexual misconduct and threatened to sever the loving bonds that had sustained men and women through separation and hardship.

4Months before the Allied invasion of France, the question of how soldiers should behave toward enemy nationals was a major topic of concern for American and British officials. Prior history suggested that prohibiting social relations would be futile. After World War I, occupation soldiers had been ordered to treat the conquered Germans with "dignified reserve," but relations quickly grew warmer, in part because of the practice of billeting Allied soldiers with German families. The friendships resulting from the failure of anti-fraternization measures eased the administration of occupied territories. The problem, from the standpoint of Allied policy makers, was that Germans remained unconvinced of their war guilt after World War I. Determined to learn from past mistakes, the policy makers drew up new, more stringent rules of conduct. From the beginning, however, key military officials involved in formulating the non-fraternization policy predicted that the prescribed standard would be impossible to maintain, warning that soldiers would be tempted to fraternize with young women, no matter their nationality. Bowing to "realism," policy makers recommended that British and American servicewomen and volunteers be included in "large numbers" among the occupying forces.5

5Officially announced on 12 September 1944, one day after American troops first entered German territory, the non-fraternization policy was designed to protect Allied soldiers and to punish Germans. The policy directive distributed to Army commanders in fall 1944 explained the need for non-fraternization primarily in terms of Nazi ideology and German versus American or British national character. Military planners anticipated that Germans, believing themselves a master race, would not accept defeat and that Allied forces would have to confront a strong underground resistance movement assisted by a word-of-mouth propaganda campaign. Women, children, and old men might attempt to associate with Allied soldiers, appealing to their conquerors' "generosity and spirit of fair play" in order to "influence the sympathies and thoughts of the occupying forces," thus "minimizing the consequences of defeat and preparing the way for a resurgence of German power." Non-fraternization was intended to combat such "insidious" stratagems and also to "command respect" from citizens of the occupied nation. Army planners believed that an aloof and well-disciplined occupation force would be particularly impressive to Germans, who had been taught to revere military order and power. Finally, the "avoidance of mingling" was intended to show German soldiers and civilians that their support of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist regime had "brought them complete defeat and . . . caused the other people of the world to look upon them with distrust."6

6This directive was very clear about what constituted fraternization, but materials addressed to the individual soldier were less straightforward. The non-fraternization policy prohibited social association between Allied soldiers and Germans and even restricted official contacts to "the minimum necessary."7 A booklet designed to orient soldiers on proper attitudes and conduct in Germany, however, served to confuse the situation by suggesting that the men might converse with, or even marry, German nationals without violating American military law. The Pocket Guide to Germany was prepared before the non-fraternization policy had been fully formulated. Like the Army's Pocket Guide to France, it included a guide to conversational German that, in Army historian Joseph Starr's words, "would have been of use principally to those bent upon violating the policy of non-fraternization." A soldier who read the guide would learn how to introduce himself to Germans; a quick study might figure out how to barter with cigarettes and chocolate. To discourage such interactions, the booklet was withdrawn from circulation before it could be distributed.8 The drawback was that without the guide, individual soldiers lacked guidelines on how to behave in enemy territory.

7The editors of Stars and Stripes attempted to fill this void with news stories, editorials, and cautionary tales intended to warn soldiers away from German civilians. They launched their anti-fraternization campaign with a 22 September editorial that cautioned American soldiers against giving gum to German children who—like other European children—begged for the treat. The editors explained that such gifts sent the wrong message. Americans came to Germany as conquerors, not as "pals," "liberators," or "suckers."9 A few days later, the armed forces newspaper published a story on "enemy agents and soldiers in civilian clothes" believed to be responsible for an attack on three American military police. This story emphasized the importance of non-fraternization as a security measure to prevent espionage and sabotage. "Don't get chummy with Jerry," another editorial advised; civilians might seem friendly and harmless, but every German man, woman, and child was "part of the Nazi war machine."10 The guide to German language printed to the left of the newspaper's masthead was anything but friendly. Beginning on 4 October (the day the Pocket Guide was withdrawn), the newspaper provided American soldiers with the vocabulary appropriate to a conquering force, words and phrases such as: "surrender," "come here," "step aside," and "get off the street."11

8Although bombarded with anti-fraternization messages from a variety of sources, American soldiers did not receive individual orders until January 1945, when the Army issued its "Special Orders for German-American Relations." Published in the form of a small booklet designed to be tucked inside a helmet liner, these orders instructed soldiers to avoid contact with Germans except on "official business." On those unavoidable occasions, the Army advised servicemen to be "firm but fair," warning that Germans "regard kindness as a weakness" and would take advantage of any relaxation of Allied vigilance.12

9The stern tone of military orders and pronouncements was not equaled by enforcement of the fraternization ban. Posing as an enlisted combat replacement, Maj. Arthur Goodfriend, editor in chief of Stars and Stripes in Europe, investigated the effects of the non-fraternization policy in October 1944. "Pvt. Arthur Goodwin" was assigned to an infantry unit near Aachen where he interviewed his temporary comrades and witnessed several troubling incidents of American kindness toward German civilians. GIs treated Germans as a liberated rather than as a conquered people. They flirted with German women, played with local children, assisted housewives with their chores, and provided food to hungry families. Violations of Allied policy were flagrant. Both officers and enlisted men disregarded the fraternization ban, but not one man had been court-martialed for unlawfully associating with German civilians.13

10In addition to lack of guidance, Goodfriend blamed the GIs' "generous" nature and the lure of domestic comforts for the non-fraternization policy's present, or perhaps imminent, failure. American soldiers, he argued, were led astray by their sense of "decency," treating enemies as well as allies with kindness. GIs' desire for female companionship was another threat to Allied policy. "The mere fact that German companionship can generally be found indoors—a welcome relief from the cold, wet and mud without—is an important influence," Goodfriend wrote. The seductive warmth and cleanliness of German homes was difficult for even the most "principled and motivated" soldier to resist. Goodfriend advocated stricter enforcement of the fraternization ban and a more effective information and education campaign but concluded that "unless the basic human desires of the soldier are taken care of . . . there can be no solution of the problem."14

11 The Army warned GIs away from "loose women" in allied as well as enemy nations. Although Goodfriend's analysis focused on the domestic rather than the erotic allure of fraternizing, a Stars and Stripes editorial based on his findings acknowledged that when a GI's "arm isn't hugging an M1 [rifle], it aches to hug a girl."15 American military officials were well aware of the sexual desires that motivated servicemen to seek female companionship and used every weapon in their public education arsenal to scare soldiers away from sexual partners deemed dangerous. An 18 October Stars and Stripes editorial, for example, warned readers to beware of "Jerry's deadliest V weapon—VD." It focused on the dangers of sexual contact with prostitutes and pick-ups in recently liberated countries, characterizing them as "time-bombs," "mines," and "booby traps" (pun probably intended). Any soldier who lacked the "character," "caution," or "common sense" to avoid such women would likely contract a sexually transmitted disease "left behind" by German soldiers.16 This equation of women and weapons was common in the Army's VD prevention materials. In the summer of 1943, for example, one "educational" poster designed to combat a wave of syphilis in England pictured a pistol floating above the heads of three "loose" women. The question, "Loaded?" was superimposed between the women and the gun. "Don't take chances with pickups," the poster warned. "Loose women may also be loaded with disease."17

12Sexual intimacies were more perilous in Germany, where women were infected not only with disease but also with "hate." This message was communicated in a radio spot broadcast over the American Forces Network:

A tap tapping of heels, a German girl walking by—pretty to look at. Her smile is nice too.
Don't play Samson to her Delilah. . . she'd like to cut your hair off—off at the neck.
Don't fraternize!18

Like the biblical seductress Delilah who betrayed her lover Samson, German women, the radio spot suggests, were tempting but treacherous. They lured American lovers into bed only to kill or castrate them. This announcement was one of a series of anti-fraternization messages broadcast regularly during the winter and spring of 1945. Designed to scare servicemen away from German civilians, several of the spot announcements focused on the specific dangers of associating with enemy women.

13The admonition "you can't be friendly" animated the military's anti-fraternization campaign and was the title of a purportedly true "frontline vignette" about a soldier who carelessly walked into a trap set by an elderly couple and baited with an attractive teenage girl. Another story in the same issue of Warweek (a weekly insert in Stars and Stripes) told of a hauntingly beautiful "mystery woman" who appeared every night near American lines wearing a white gown that looked transparent in the moonlight. This "lady in white" turned out to be a spotter who helped German artillery target American troops, but by day, she was indistinguishable from the other civilian women who lived near American lines.19 A few weeks later, Stars and Stripes editors sought to discourage their readers from giving rides to female refugees walking along German roads: "The hitchhiker looks like a harmless sort of gal. Like an ordinary civilian trying to get away from the war. And maybe she is." But, the editors warned, she might be an agent of the German Army, carrying radio equipment in her bags that would allow her to transmit American conversations to her superiors.20

14Despite all the warnings, most of the women encountered by GIs in the fall and winter of 1944/1945 posed little threat to their conquerors. In the 1930s, most of these women had supported (or at least not actively opposed) the Nazi regime; perhaps they had joined the Bund deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls), the auxiliary of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth). If young and unmarried once the war began, they might have been drafted for service to the state on farms, in factories, or with the military. But after years of devastating aerial attacks by Allied bombers and with the German Army in wholesale retreat, civilians of both sexes looked to American troops for freedom from the hardships of war and as a bulwark against the Red Army advancing from the East. During the early days of the Allied invasion, many civilians ignored orders to evacuate; they greeted the advancing Americans with banners, flowers, smiles, and V-signs.

15American soldiers encountered little resistance from German civilians. By most accounts, Germans were extremely docile and eager to please their conquerors.21 Although some servicemen argued that these civilians should be treated with kindness, others viewed German friendliness with distrust. To their eyes, smiling faces masked deep hatred. "[T]he fraulein with the pretty smile is liable to stab you in the back," one infantryman wrote, "and that brat coming down the street . . . is liable to pull a luger out and shoot."22 Certainly the National Socialist resistance movement, the Werwolf, recruited heavily among teenage boys and girls. Although initially relegated to support roles, young women fought side by side with their male comrades and felt the same strong commitment to the "ideals of our irreplaceable Führer." Particularly during the final months of war, Werwolves were responsible for acts of sabotage and for small-scale attacks on Allied soldiers. They also intimidated and punished Nazi dissidents and Germans who cooperated with their conquerors. But the military press and many individual soldiers overestimated the threat of such attacks, for during the last few months of war, support for the Nazi regime had largely eroded. As historian Perry Biddiscombe points out, Werwolf attacks simply "increased public hatred of an already discredited regime."23

16Despite their distrust of German civilians, some GIs defied the fraternization ban, cooperating with enemy nationals in order to evade detection by military police and avoid punishment. The non-fraternization policy, although designed to protect Americans and to punish Germans, actually penalized Americans but not Germans.24 A soldier found guilty of fraternizing might be fined, jailed, and reduced in rank, whereas a German civilian faced no punishment. This frustrating situation spurred protests by soldiers and debates among Army officials about whether and how to punish Germans. In a letter to Stars and Stripes, Capt. J. A. Witt blamed fraternization on American friendliness and German craftiness, accusing the Germans of "attempting to induce the soldiers into conversation and into their homes" with smiles and bottles of schnapps. Reflecting the attitudes of many fellow servicemen, Witt urged the Army to punish both parties.25 However, during the war Germans were often unaware of the Allied non-fraternization policy, and even if they were, punishing them for associating with American soldiers defeated the ban's intended purpose. Such a practice would suggest to Germans that the U.S. Army was unable to control its soldiers, instead of demonstrating civilized abhorrence for German militarism. If Germans were legally responsible for upholding Allied policy, American soldiers might excuse themselves from conforming to military discipline. Finally, imprisonment was probably not an effective threat to hungry people, many of whom had lost their homes. In the end, the idea of charging Germans with violating the non-fraternization policy was rejected in favor of placing large sections of German towns "off limits" to American troops. Germans could then be charged with the offense of "[i]nviting or conducting any member of the Allied Forces into a place designated 'Off Limits' or 'Out of Bounds,' or supplying goods or services to such member in any place."26

17Soldiers' letters from the early months of 1945 reveal divided opinions on the fraternization ban and a considerable amount of fraternizing. Many servicemen heeded the warnings with which they were bombarded, commending the policy and asserting that they had no wish to socialize with "Hitler's frauleins." Others testified to sexual frustration and bemoaned the penalties imposed by the fraternization ban. "If only I could figure out a way to beat this fraternization thing," one infantryman wrote. "Honest, these darn women are driving me nuts."27 But as early as February and March 1945, some American soldiers had already begun to brag about romantic conquests. A corporal with the 748th Tank Battalion, for example, described a new girlfriend: "I know a girl here she is German and she is nuts about me and I could get anything I want off of her, she sure is OK."28

18 Allied bombing raids destroyed much of Cologne. Undeterred by threatened punishments, many soldiers fraternized flagrantly. In March 1945, an Associated Press reporter interviewed Sgt. Francis W. Mitchell who was among the first American troops to enter the German city of Cologne. Based on the interview, the writer described this scene in the ruined city: German civilians greeted American soldiers by tossing them loaves of bread and feeding them beer, pretzels, and cherry preserves. Meanwhile, young women ("very pretty too," Mitchell commented) played music on a phonograph. "It got real cozy," Mitchell said, "but soon we had to break it off to get on with the job." The article concluded that the fraternization ban could only be enforced once military police arrived. The reporter quoted Mitchell, "Non-fraternization works if somebody is there, with a club, but right at the front where a soldier is risking death, you cannot scare him with a $65 fine."29

19The problem, according to Stars and Stripes, was that military police and military government personnel were busy performing more pressing duties. The fast paced Allied advance left them stretched too thin to enforce the fraternization ban. By March 1945, lonely soldiers who longed for female companionship might violate the policy with some guilt but little fear of punishment.30 This news article, however, only told part of the story. Observation and interviews of American troops by Army social science researchers in April 1945 revealed that men performing occupation duties were among the worst offenders. Assigned to one locale for several weeks or even months, the men found time to form liaisons. Many had casual sexual contact with German women, and some had regular girlfriends. Furthermore, the MPs and security guards who enforced the fraternization ban were notorious for arresting erring soldiers and then returning later to continue other men's seductions. Frontline soldiers had fewer opportunities to establish stable relationships but did engage in casual sex in German towns on their way to the front or back to the rear.31 When the fighting stopped, combat troops quickly caught up with their rear echelon comrades, as evidenced by skyrocketing rates of sexually transmitted diseases during the first months of the occupation.32

20 American servicemen ogle a young woman in a two-piece bathing suit. This was not a one-sided seduction. To the eyes of many American servicemen, German women were astonishingly forward. They gathered on the sidewalks near Army billets, "talking and laughing among themselves, and smiling at passing soldiers." Riding bicycles through town or stopping to adjust their skirts, pretty young women displayed shapely legs for the benefit of their American admirers. These actions provoked the desired response, turning soldiers' heads and fueling sexual desires. The motive behind such behavior was a mystery to Army investigators. Never considering how economic necessity might serve as incentive, social scientists speculated that such displays were "a spontaneous reaction to prolonged [sexual] deprivation" and a possible result of Nazi soldier worship. They also feared that German seductiveness might be part of a "deliberate program of subversion." Whatever the underlying intent, flirtatious behavior attracted the attention of the men assigned to occupation duties, among whom violations of the fraternization ban were common. Army field observers predicted that the "woman problem" would only grow worse after V-E Day.33

21During the late months of the European war, the problem of fraternization took on an "ugly new angle." In March 1945, Stars and Stripes correspondent Ernest Leiser reported that American soldiers were responsible for a wave of violent sexual attacks on German women. This article was never published.34 Instead, a little over two months later, the newspaper reported a wave of false rape charges by "frauleins bent on sabotage." A poster entitled "Hello Sucker" expanded this theme by depicting a shapely German woman beckoning a soldier into a tavern. Sitting on his lap, she raises a glass to his lips; later in bed, she yells "rape."35 Although publicly accusing German women of sabotage and perjury, military officials were privately worried about the troubling increase in rape complaints brought against American troops; they rose from 31 in February 1945 to 402 in March and 501 in April.36 These numbers are small by comparison to those attributed to the Red Army, but U.S. Army officials believed that rape accusations represented only a small portion of actual assaults.37 Such underreporting was and is common in rape cases, but in wartime Germany, the percentage reported was likely lower than in allied or liberated countries. As enemy nationals, German women were often reluctant to bring their cases to the attention of American military authorities, and typically only the most violent attacks and furious self-defenses went to trial,38 for rape was judged less on the question of consent than on the degree of physical resistance.39

22One case from the final weeks of the European war illustrates the difficulties Army officials experienced in deterring sexual violence and judging rape cases. On 27 and 28 April 1945, eight enlisted members of a field artillery battalion entered a German house near their gun position in Geisling. They went to wash up, shave, and drink schnapps. Inside the house, they found two women living with an elderly bedridden man. Over the course of two days, at least four of the eight men had sexual intercourse with the two women on several occasions. The women did not struggle, but they did not submit willingly. The Americans outnumbered them and carried guns. One of the two women could not identify the soldiers who undressed and penetrated her but remembered crying as they did so. The other woman, Frau N,40 recognized the men she accused of raping her. She testified that on the evening of 27 April, she was awakened by a man holding what looked like a pistol, taken from her room, and raped by her abductor and several of his comrades. The following day, Frau N grabbed hold of the kitchen stove when a soldier tried to pull her into the bedroom. He succeeded and had sexual intercourse with her while she, in her own words, lay "like a piece of wood." Three more men followed their comrade's example and violated her again. A little over a week later, the men involved were arrested on rape and fraternization charges, although the person who brought charges against them remains a mystery.41

23 American soldiers search a German home for contraband items. This incident followed a scenario that was common during the final months of the European war. Armed soldiers, usually in pairs or in groups, entered a strange house and forcibly engaged in sexual intercourse with the female occupants. In some cases, servicemen threatened the women and their families with violence; in others, the threat was implicit. Some men were caught in the act or charged afterward, but most went free, because fear also inhibited their victims from reporting the crime.42

24The details of this otherwise unremarkable rape case have been preserved, because approximately five days after the arrest, the commanding general of the artillery corps to which the accused men belonged called battalion officers and noncommissioned officers to assemble before him. Gen. S delivered a lecture to his men, using this case to illustrate the seriousness and dire consequences of rape. Directly following this meeting, the general had the arrested enlisted men brought before him and several other officers. The precise wording of the general's statement was a matter of dispute, but all involved agreed that he threatened the accused rapists with quick conviction and execution. Although this incident had an ameliorating effect on discipline within the corps, it triggered an investigation of the general's actions. While awaiting trial, the alarmed enlisted men wrote letters to Sen. Beriah Green of Rhode Island and to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas asking for help. Green and Douglas forwarded the letters to the Under Secretary of War who ordered an investigation of the general's alleged threats and of the charge that German women were "creating a feeling of utter insecurity among our soldiers by untrue charges of rape and that these tactics may be part of a plan by the Germans."43

25Gen. S was reprimanded for actions deemed "indiscreet, intemperate, and lacking in good judgment." The accused enlisted men escaped punishment, despite investigators' failure to uncover any evidence of false accusations. The Army's case against them was weak. Although the women involved did not consent to sex, by their passivity they failed, in the judge advocate's opinion, to "put the accused on notice" that they were committing sex crimes; on his advice, rape charges were withdrawn. The defendants were instead tried for fraternization and acquitted even of this lesser charge.44 In light of the ample evidence of fraternization, it is surprising that the accused soldiers were not convicted even though the dismissal of rape charges was common practice.45 Without proof of a violent struggle, sex crimes committed by American soldiers were often tried as fraternization cases.46

26 An Italian civilian tears down a Nazi propaganda poster featuring an African American rapist and white European victim. Judging the crime of rape was complicated by the conditions of war. The legal argument that accused soldiers were unaware that they were engaging in nonconsensual sex was certainly self-serving, and Army judicial officials deplored the idea that a soldier on entering a strange house with rifle in hand might believe he had "accomplished a seduction."47 On the other hand, German women, although seldom saboteurs, were not simply victims of male aggression. Many of the women encountered by American soldiers had supported and even benefited from the war, at least in its early stages. Their welfare depended on that of the German Army and the National Socialist state, and as the war progressed, they suffered as a result of German military defeats.48 Like the young soldiers who were their peers, German women often refused to continue fighting in the face of almost certain defeat. Instead, they preferred to surrender to their conquerors, having been warned by Nazi propagandists to expect rape.

27During the final months of war and the hungry times that followed, many German women lived in a precarious state "between rape and prostitution," in the words of sociologist Annemarie Tröger,49 a grim continuum between violent coercion and desperate choice. Most women were not raped by American soldiers, nor did they prostitute themselves. Some performed domestic services for individual soldiers. Taking in laundry, for example, gave women access to American food, soap, and cigarettes, the black market currency of postwar Germany. Others found employment as translators, clerks, or food service workers with the American occupation. As historian Petra Goedde points out, because these women enjoyed better access to American commodities and a higher ration status, they were "under less material pressure to seek relationships with American soldiers than others." In fact, having an affair might jeopardize their employment.50 On the other hand, working for or near American troops also opened women to sexual advances and sometimes exposed them to violence.

28Women lucky enough to be employed by the U.S. Army did double duty as objects of desire. In June 1945, for example, attractive German women replaced male waiters, adding cheer to the 116th Infantry Regiment's officers' mess in Bremerhaven. It was a notable event for the bored, "female-starved" soldiers who had little else to occupy themselves.51 At around the same time in Oberliederbach, Pfc. M took advantage of an assignment to accompany kitchen worker Fräulein H on an errand to collect irons. The driver, who witnessed the event, reported that Pfc. M kissed and embraced Fräulein H and that "the girl did not object." At Pfc. M's request, the driver turned down a dirt road and got out of the jeep to give his comrade a chance to "lay her." Again the young woman did not protest, and the extent of her cooperation or resistance is unclear from the driver's testimony.52 She probably felt that she had little choice but to tolerate Pfc. M's advances but seems to have averted the serviceman's determined effort to pressure her into sex.

29Although rape cases were uncommon after the war's end, the relationship between American soldiers and German women (a disproportionately large percentage of the population of occupied towns) was fraught with potential violence. Billeted in a private home that also served as their company's command post, officers of the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment in Hainstadt employed two sisters, fräuleins B, to perform domestic tasks. The B sisters owned the house and visited it several times a week. The younger sister characterized the servicemen who occupied the house as generally well behaved, except for Lt. H who made "improper advances" on several occasions and once struck her when she refused him. The sisters reported this incident to another officer but did not pursue the matter further. A week later, with the help of two comrades (including the officer to whom the sisters reported the earlier attack), the lieutenant attempted to rape another Hainstadt woman. Fräulein G had had less contact with American soldiers stationed in her hometown than the B sisters. She took in laundry for a soldier named Sam, but Sam was not among the men who broke in to the G family home, assaulted Fräulein G, and threatened to shoot her father on that night in mid-July. All three women involved enjoyed "good reputations in the town"; they were not known to date or socialize with American soldiers.53

30These incidents might never have come to the attention of the Army inspector general. Fräulein G did not report the attempted rape to American authorities, because she feared "that the soldiers might avenge themselves" and correctly believed that the men would "all stick together." The other members of the assailants' combat unit were silenced by loyalty, as well as by fear. Pfc. C, a cook who learned about the attempted rape from a comrade, wanted to do the right thing but was unwilling to report the crime, because he explained, "I would only be proven a liar and my life would be made a living HELL under their command." Suffering pangs of conscience, the devout enlisted man unburdened himself in a letter to his wife: "[I]t's disgusting to know so many men have fought and died thinking they were fighting for things that are right then after the victory has been won to see such crimes by our leaders. I wonder how long the leaders of our nation think that America will escape the judgement of God?" Despite his wish to see the guilty punished, Pfc. C was a reluctant witness when interviewed in the course of the investigation prompted by his letter. The letter had been forwarded to Gen. George C. Marshall by Pfc. C's equally devout wife, who counseled the general to "let God be your guide in such matters and . . . act accordingly."54

31Pfc. C's letter reached his wife because postal censorship had been relaxed following the German surrender. Unit officers were no longer required to read enlisted men's mail. The relaxation probably emboldened Pfc. C to vent his feelings. The regulations that had kept news of the American crime wave in Germany from publication in American newspapers were also eased after the Allied victory in Europe. But while American forces fought in the Pacific, news reports were still subject to oversight by Army press censors.55

32Censorship of both mail and press served several functions. Although its primary purpose was to prevent strategic information from falling into enemy hands, it also provided military authorities with intelligence on soldiers' attitudes and conduct. For the purposes of this chapter, the most important aspect of wartime censorship was its role in domestic propaganda. By withholding information that might present the Allied war effort in a less-than-virtuous light, military officials ensured that Americans on the home front received a whitewashed version of World War II.56 Even after the fighting stopped, self-censorship on the part of soldiers, reporters, and publishers softened the image of American forces in Europe. In January 1946, for example, a senior editor at W. W. Norton deemed Conqueror's Road, Australian journalist Osmar White's unflattering account of the invasion and occupation of Germany, "not suitable for publication in the United States at the present time." White's manuscript criticized Allied military and occupation policies and portrayed American GIs as looters, fraternizers, and worse.57

33While American troops still fought Hitler's army, news stories on GI misconduct in Germany were heavily censored. In the winter of 1944/1945, the Army admitted that renegade soldiers sold military supplies on the French black market and publicized the severe punishments administered to those involved.58 Combat troops, however, were immune from journalistic criticism. Press censors restricted publication of stories on the orgy of looting in Germany that was, by one journalist's account, so virulent that a "bystander often wonders whether we are not fighting a war on [the] side and as [our] chief occupation waging [a] campaign [of] grand larceny on [a] colossal scale." The same censored news story criticized soldiers for their mistreatment of German prisoners and civilians, particularly women; the writer reported that "since enforcement [of the] non-fraternizing rule [the] proportion [of] rape cases has taken [a] steep bound upwards." This account was withheld by press censors, but in May 1945, at the behest of Gen. Omar N. Bradley, it circulated among the corps and division commanders in Gen. George S. Patton Jr.'s Third U.S. Army. Bradley urged his subordinates to give GI misbehavior "further attention" and to use "whatever steps . . . as you deem necessary" to combat the problem. "Now that the fighting is over," Bradley's memo concluded, "[misbehavior] may be one of our most important questions, as it effects the reputation of our Army and the attitude of our men when they go home."59

34American civilians would eventually learn of looting, black marketeering, and fraternizing in Germany,60 but rape remained a taboo subject. Under the topic of "sex crimes," for example, the New York Times Index for 1945 listed only a few overseas stories; these included reports of rumored mass rapes by Soviet, French colonial, and African American soldiers in France and Germany and by Japanese troops in Manila but not the general increase in serious crimes by American soldiers overseas. Together, these stories suggested that rape was a crime committed by foreigners or by black men but not by white GIs.61

35 Page from "Let’s Look at Rape," an Army pamphlet designed to discourage sex crimes and to foster racial pride among African American troops. This journalistic approach mirrored American policy, which treated rape as a racial, rather than as an Army-wide disciplinary, problem. Military statistics seemed to confirm racist preconceptions. African American soldiers in Europe were charged with rape at rates disproportionate to their numbers. For example, of seventy-seven rape cases reviewed by the Third Army's judge advocate, twenty-six involved black servicemen.62 Theater-wide statistics were even more worrisome.63 To combat this problem, Army officials recruited black chaplains, including Presbyterian minister Beverly Ward, to tour Europe as part of a crime and disease prevention effort. Appealing to love of family and racial pride, Ward exhorted his listeners to avoid "women of easy virtue," who might "accuse you of rape for the purpose of creating racial trouble in the Army and back home."64 There is no evidence of such a scheme. Rather racial discrepancies in rape accusations and sexual assault charges likely derived from both Nazi ideology and American bigotry. As noted earlier, German women expected to be raped by their conquerors, particularly by racial Others. They also recognized that most white soldiers shared their prejudices. Many of the white officers who commanded black troops believed the worst of their men, and white GIs generally were angered by the interracial liaisons that developed between African Americans and European women.65 Furthermore, interviews of occupation soldiers (MPs, security guards, and military government personnel) in April 1945 revealed that the "alleged sexual activity of American Negro troops has had the effect of aligning American white troops as 'protectors' of white (German) women against black (American) soldiers."66 On the other hand, women, like Fräulein G, who were assaulted by white servicemen, particularly officers, might justifiably expect little assistance or justice from American authorities.67 Together this evidence suggests that German women underreported sexual assaults by white as compared to black soldiers and that the American military was more likely to pursue charges against African Americans.68

36Even news of lesser crimes was slow to appear in the American press. The majority of news stories about the criminal and otherwise objectionable behavior of American soldiers in Europe were not published until spring 1946 or later, when most of the men who participated in the fighting had been replaced by new arrivals. Possibly this lag in reporting incidents of misconduct can be attributed to a reluctance to criticize the behavior of soldiers who had sacrificed years of their lives for the Allied war cause. In their 1947 exposé on the American occupation of Europe, former Stars and Stripes reporters Bud Hutton and Andy Rooney (later of Sixty Minutes fame) criticized their journalistic colleagues for self-censorship, but Hutton and Rooney's report was similar to those published in the popular press at the same time. They attributed the worst of the misconduct to "Occupation Joe," rather than to his fighting predecessor, "GI Joe."69

37American soldiers were also responsible for civilian ignorance. Although many servicemen freely admitted to theft, they were far more circumspect on the topic of sexual misconduct. Like fraternization, looting was a court-martial offense, but most soldiers seem to have felt little compunction about stealing watches from German prisoners, silverware from German homes, or shoes from German stores. In letters to family and friends, they freely admitted to having "liberated" valuable objects from their owners; many GIs sent portions of their spoils home as "souvenirs."70 Pfc., later Cpl., Cliff Hope, for example, suffered no qualms about mailing home a package of contraband articles from Germany but felt extremely guilty about his attempts to fraternize both just before and soon after the end of hostilities.71

38For many American soldiers, sex was a far more troubling issue than theft. Certainly some men, disregarding censorship regulations and legal penalties, were unable to resist the temptation to brag about sexual adventures abroad. This letter from a married sergeant addressed to a friend, probably a fellow soldier, was excerpted in a bimonthly censorship report:

You should see my girl over here too, she sure is a honey. She is only 21 and she said she is sure she will like the U.S. when we are married and I take her back with me. As tho, after seeing these Nazis kill our boys off, I would be crazy enough to take her back with me even if I were not married. All the boys have German girls now and they sure are good. They will make good wives for the German boys after we leave them. They will be a lot smarter too.72

Other men, like Pfc. C, felt obliged to confess misdeeds committed by members of their military unit. Most, however, wished to keep this knowledge from ever reaching their parents, siblings, and sweethearts—especially their mothers and wives. By having sex with an enemy national, a serviceman might betray not only American war aims but also his mother's moral teachings and his own marriage vows.

39This form letter was designed to reduce sexually transmitted diseases among American troops.One division commander attempted to harness soldiers' fear of exposure to combat promiscuous sex and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. In response to a sharp increase in rates of infection just weeks after the end of hostilities, Gen. Holmes E. Dager, commander of the 11th Armored Division with troops performing occupation duties in Germany and Austria, ordered a letter of notification sent to the "nearest relative" of any infected soldier. Informing the recipient that his or her son, brother, or husband had "contracted a social disease," the letter assured anxious relatives that the soldier would "receive the finest and most modern treatment available." This highly unpopular policy came to the attention of the Army inspector general division after outraged GIs sent copies of the form letter to Stars and Stripes. One anonymous serviceman complained: "I haven't contacted any of the social diseases, nor do I intend to, but . . . if I should happen to contact any such disease I certainly would not want my mother to know of it." Another man charged that the policy would "ruin many homes" and "contribute to more wrecked health." The division chaplain concurred, asserting that the policy was flawed from both a practical and a moral standpoint. First, it would encourage servicemen to conceal their symptoms, likely spreading infection to "the innocent" on their return home. Moreover, the chaplain believed that "a husband should confess all faults and sins to his wife as well as to his God . . . face to face and not be reported on by a third party." Because it violated the War Department's policy on reporting and treating sexually transmitted diseases and threatened to embarrass the Army as well as individuals,73 this attempt to shame soldiers into good behavior was quickly halted.74

40This incident exemplifies military officials' desire, on the one hand, to leverage the moral power of civilian censure and, on the other, to prevent embarrassing disclosures that might harm the Army's reputation. For example, lists of "DOs and DON'Ts" printed and distributed by the First Army in response to "pillaging and general lawless conduct" in France and later Germany, concluded by reminding soldiers "the folks back home are watching us" and urging the men to make their folks proud.75 In the summer and fall of 1944, proposals to combat fraternization included a civilian letter-writing campaign to be directed by the Army's Bureau of Public Affairs. The proposed campaign was never implemented,76 perhaps from the fear that such a campaign would produce public distress without improving GI behavior.

41Like individual soldiers, most military officials would have preferred to keep such matters quiet, but the sensational intertwined topics of fraternization and sexually transmitted diseases attracted a great deal of press coverage. Despite continuing restrictions on stories about overseas misconduct, the New York Times published weekly news articles on the failing fraternization ban between the beginning of May and the end of July; at points, the topic received daily coverage.77 Local newspapers and national magazines reported that large numbers of American soldiers flagrantly violated military law, enjoying friendly relations with attractive German women who "dressed . . . to charm," wearing low-cut blouses and remarkably short skirts.78

42Having long received a sanitized version of war, many civilians were scandalized by glimpses of the misconduct and promiscuity rampant in Europe. A trickle of negative news stories about the nation's soldiers appeared in the American press before V-E Day,79 but stories of misconduct were overshadowed by those emphasizing the servicemen's ingenuity, integrity, and kindness to war victims (especially orphaned children). Few civilians were prepared for the postwar flood of bad press. Having learned to view the nation's soldiers as virtuous liberators, civilians were pained to read about immoral behavior.

43Wives, mothers, and sisters were particularly appalled by stories of promiscuity in postwar Europe. George Gallup's surveys revealed a significant divergence in male and female civilians' attitudes toward fraternization. American women overwhelmingly believed that servicemen should be prohibited from dating German women; those under the age of 30—which included the majority of soldiers' American wives, sweethearts, and future girlfriends–were particularly emphatic. By contrast, American men were only slightly more likely to disapprove than to approve of such fraternizing. The poll also found that "[f]amilies with a member in the armed forces in Germany are more opposed to fraternization than those with no member of the family in the occupation forces."80

44Some women sought to improve soldiers' behavior by appealing to conscience. Indirectly addressing the topic of fraternization and fornication, Cpl. Cliff Hope's mother wrote to her son, "Now that the fighting part of the war is over, I do not know what you're doing or what your set up is. However it may be that you'll have temptations to do things that under normal conditions would not interest you at all." She advised Hope to follow his conscience and to avoid "anything that is not manly, clean or morally straight." Insisting she did not doubt his virtue, she wrote that she hoped his good example would "help another buddy go straight." The underlying message was, in Hope's words, "Don't do anything you'd be ashamed to come home and tell us about." Hope did not reproduce his response to this letter but did include an excerpt from his diary: "Read beautiful letter from Mother warning me against some of the things I have been doing. I make no excuses. Someday all this shall pass." Maternal admonitions contributed to the son's feelings of guilt but did not affect his behavior. Soon after Hope received this letter, he became involved in an intensely romantic but platonic relationship with a young German woman he met while on guard duty.81

45In response to bad publicity and anxious letters, many soldiers wrote home to their wives and mothers, insisting that the problem of fraternization was overstated. "To say 100% of the G.I.'s are fraternizing is a down right dirty lie," one infantry sergeant wrote in June 1945. "Take my word for it honey there is in reality very few doing that. Actually I only know of two or three cases in my company of 202 men."82 Another young serviceman took a different tack. Conceding that many of the men in his unit fraternized with German women, he reassured his parents that he was "different from all the rest of the GI's in Germany" and would strictly adhere to military regulations.83

46Certainly not all soldiers violated the non-fraternization policy or indulged in extramarital affairs, but many servicemen, while away from the watchful eyes of family and hometown community, committed acts that they might have considered but never carried out under ordinary circumstances. There are no good statistics on the number of servicemen who fraternized with German women, but estimates from the summer of 1945 suggest that while in some units only a few men were intimately acquainted with German civilians, in others, fraternization "was the rule rather than the exception."84 By August 1945, 62 percent of white enlisted men surveyed by Army social science researchers believed that "most" or "almost all" American soldiers in Germany "had some friendly contact with German girls."85 Another measure of fraternization was the rising rate of sexually transmitted diseases among GIs in Germany. Between 27 April and 25 May 1945, the number of new cases more than quadrupled, increasing from 197 per week to 957 per week. The situation became worse as the summer progressed into fall and winter.86

47By June 1945, "shacking up" was common among men of the 29th Infantry Division stationed in and near Bremen. Investigators from the Army's inspector general section found that once promised anonymity, approximately 80 percent of enlisted men admitted to violating the non-fraternization policy. Most of the men were former combat soldiers and assured their interviewers that they could be "trusted to treat the Germans as they should be treated, that is, not to become friendly with them." For these men, fraternization was simply a sexual and recreational activity, and they resented the Army for restricting their freedom. Some believed that fraternizing with German women was wrong, but most did not consider it criminal. Many GIs compared the fraternization ban to the nation's earlier attempt to prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Moreover, they argued that rescinding the ban would actually further American policy objectives. It would, many believed, increase the number of soldiers using condoms and prophylactics and thus decrease the high rate of sexual transmitted diseases among American troops.87 Others asserted that relaxing the fraternization ban would assist soldiers in identifying Nazis; two men reported having discovered hidden guns and radios while shacking up with German women. Finally, some GI critics of the ban argued that social (and even intimate) contact with Germans was the best way to reeducate them.88

48Fraternization did not imply forgiveness. The majority of American soldiers surveyed in late April/early May 1945 agreed that Germans were collectively guilty and should suffer as a nation.89 The fact that most of the rapes committed by American troops in Europe occurred in Germany suggests a strong correlation between sex and vengeance.90 Furthermore, sociologist and criminologist J. Robert Lilly found that sexual assaults on German women tended to be "more brutal and humiliating" than attacks on French or British women. German nationals were more likely than citizens of allied or liberated nations to be raped before witnesses or to be beaten and sodomized by their American assailants.91

49Even consensual sex might be tinged with a desire to punish. One Jewish serviceman, for example, fraternized with the goal of discrediting Nazi racial theories. His story was related in May 1945 by an admiring coreligionist: "My ambition was to sleep with some female Nazi and then tell her I'm Jewish," he wrote. "I can't do it but I met one boy who did it. He said the reaction was something worth seeing. She turned pale and couldn't speak."92 In this case, the greatest pleasure derived from the sex act was the ability to humiliate.

50Conquest was a more common motivation than vengeance. As one soldier told Army social science researchers, "The best way to show these Germans who won the war is to sleep with their women."93 In April 1945, one infantryman who acted on this impulse bragged about his new circumstances in a letter that was probably addressed to a fellow soldier:

I'm living the life of reilly right now. I have a three room apt with a german woman 26 yrs old whose husband is in Russia. Its too good to last. . . . I've been getting all the beer I want. Last night I had a bottle of good scotch. This all reminds me of the last few days of the African campaign. The war can't last much longer. I'm writing this laying in bed. My "housekeeper" is washing all my clothes. I'm wearing her husband's pajamas and dressing gown. This is the life.94

This serviceman derived pleasure not only from his luxurious accommodations but also from the fact that his housekeeper and paramour was the wife of an enemy combatant. Lying in the other man's bed and wearing his pajamas and dressing gown seemed to enhance this soldier's enjoyment of the sexual fruits of victory.

51Despite this sexualized desire to dominate and punish German women and men, American soldiers tended, as a group, to absolve their particular girlfriends of responsibility for Nazi atrocities. Individual Germans encouraged this tendency by denying culpability and claiming ignorance of concentration camps. They represented themselves as victims and bystanders rather than as aggressors and appealed to their conquerors for kind treatment. Although such pleas were initially greeted with skepticism and anger, over time, they proved effective in softening soldiers' attitudes toward the generally submissive German population.95

52Whatever the motive, less than a month after the end of fighting in Europe, fraternization had become commonplace. In May 1945, military police attached to the Twelfth Army Group reported the arrest of one thousand men for that crime. This number was less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the men who served in that group, but these arrests represented only a small proportion of actual violations. Military police often turned a blind eye to fraternizing couples, and officers were sometimes reluctant to punish infractions. On learning that two of his officers had attended parties with local women, the commander of the American military government detachment for Berlin declined to pursue legal charges against two such "valuable officers." Instead, he "let them off with a good dressing down." Of this incident, Lt. Col. John J. Maginnis commented in his memoir, "Already it was apparent that non-fraternization was going to be impossible to control."96

53The threat of arrest did not deter most soldiers from violating the fraternization ban. In fact, prohibition seems to have added spice to some relationships; sneaking around was part of the fun. Even straight-laced combat engineer Henry Giles, who was faithfully devoted to his fiancée, Janice Holt Moore, seemed to derive vicarious enjoyment from the antics of a fellow soldier: "One of the boys is shacked up with a girl right here in the hotel," Giles wrote in his diary on 24 June 1945. "He calls her his little Nazi. With Lieut. Hayes on the prowl, they have to be careful. When they hear him coming she rolls out the back side of the bed & hides under it. Hayes hasn't found her yet."97 Many American servicemen were caught with German women in their beds; the files of the European theater's judge advocate general contain several such cases. But for all the men caught, many more evaded detection or avoided punishment.

54Overzealous military police sometimes arrested soldiers whose behavior simply looked suspicious,98 but the fraternization cases that went to trial generally concerned flagrant violations of the ban. Military police apprehended American servicemen and German women together in dark parks, brothels, German houses, and Army billets. In Offenbach, for example, two officers patrolling a park for fraternizers from their quartermaster battalion discovered Pvt. B of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the company of Frau K. They found a blanket spread on the ground beside the weapons carrier Pvt. B drove and observed the enlisted man button his trousers as they questioned Frau K. Found guilty of fraternizing, Pvt. B was sentenced to six months' confinement at hard labor and fined $90. After sentencing, his defense counsel along with four court officers entered a plea for clemency. Pvt. B, they wrote, "has served the regiment well . . . , volunteering for and going on many extremely dangerous patrols." Moreover, Frau K, who served as a witness for the prosecution, "was possibly prejudiced to the United States since she had lost both her husband and father during the war and may have been using the non-fraternization policy as a means of revenge." Pvt. B's prison sentence was suspended.99 Other cases included in the files of the European theater judge advocate general suggest that soldiers found guilty of fraternizing seldom served their full prison sentences.

55 In mid-July 1945, American and British occupation officials moved to relax the ban's strictures. After 14 July, American soldiers would be permitted to "to talk with adult Germans on the streets and in public places." Other restrictions remained in place. American soldiers were prohibited from visiting German homes or marrying German nationals. Although justified as a response to the "rapid progress . . . made in carrying out Allied de-Nazification policies," this modification of occupation policy was an implicit admission of defeat. The fraternization ban, as contemporary critics pointed out, proved unenforceable.100 Men like Pvt. B brazenly disobeyed military law and received token punishments.

56 Two GIs take advantage of their new freedom to associate with adult Germans in public spaces.In the spirit of denazification, Stars and Stripes announced the policy shift as an opportunity for soldiers to communicate the disgust they felt on learning of German concentration camps.101 However, it quickly became apparent that public conversation was in fact public courtship. American soldiers took immediate advantage of their newfound freedom to mingle and flirt with young German women. On the sunny afternoon of 15 July, journalist Gladwin Hill reported, GIs "sat on grassy river banks, chugged up and down stream in American boats and zipped around streets with the zest of a child diving into a box of candy previously accessible only by stealth." Although the title of this piece was "Few Fraternize as Ban Is Lifted," Hill attributed the lack of intimacy more to German "resistance" than to American reluctance. A little more than a week later, Stars and Stripes reported, "Every American newspaper from Maine to California carried pictures of you and you and you—if, first, you are in Germany and, second, if you spent a few hours with a fraulein. The dailies carry such captions as this: "Relaxation of Non-Fraternization Wins Approval of GIs in Germany."102 Stars and Stripes published its own pictures of German-American flirtations and embraces in the weeks following the 14 July announcement. The Paris edition even printed a short item on the seductive power of German kisses.103

57George Baker's Sad Sack found willing women only in Germany.The new visibility of fraternizing couples added fuel to public debates about the meaning of such behavior and who was to blame. No longer fearing that German women consorted with American soldiers for purposes of sabotage, American observers worried that they embraced their conquerors far too willingly. Contemporary commentators attributed this behavior to National Socialism and national character as well as to material need. Journalist Judy Barden portrayed German women as sexual predators. With low-cut necklines and even lower morals, they were willing to trade "candy bars and cigarettes for their souls." Acknowledging the effects of fear and hunger, Barden nevertheless insisted that under similar circumstances American and British women would have behaved differently. "Under Hitler," syndicated columnist Ray Tucker wrote, "German women were taught to be promiscuous to such an extent that they became unmoral rather than just immoral. Thus, they constitute a constant temptation to our troops, as violations of the non-fraternization order have demonstrated."104 The sensational discovery of SS chief Heinrich Himmler's Lebensborn program, a system of maternity homes for wed and unwed mothers of racially desired offspring, seemed to support these allegations. Although such stories misrepresented the homes as part of a breeding program for the Nazi racial and military elite, it is true that wartime conditions and measures, such as the creation of state-run brothels, fostered nonmarital sex and reproduction.105 But German willingness was only part of the problem. By the fall of 1945, it was apparent from press reports that American soldiers abroad were demonstrating considerable sexual initiative and had earned an unsavory reputation among former allies.106

58Once again, Wacs and cheating wives received more than their fair share of the blame. Operatic soprano, movie star, and USO entertainer Grace Moore, for example, charged that unfaithful wives and sweethearts had driven "disillusioned" servicemen into the waiting arms of German women.107 In the pages of Stars and Stripes, soldiers attacked civilians and servicewomen who criticized the fraternizers. Like Moore, they asserted that American women were the source of the problem. Responding to a letter from a Wac who criticized fraternizing soldiers and signed herself "Disgusted, and How!!!," one man rehashed the persistent rumor that Wacs scorned enlisted men's invitations. He concluded that the women were, thus, responsible for servicemen's misconduct. "You talk about soldiers running around with German girls? And why not?" he wrote. "We EM would rather go out with any American girl in preference with any two girls in Europe. But this is the way it stands. We see a Wac and say 'hello,' and what happens? She walks right by us as if we were dirt."108 By this time, however, female misconduct was old news. As I have shown in earlier chapters, promiscuous women were the focus of public and private concern while the fighting continued. But soon after the Allied victory, fraternizing servicemen began to overshadow faithless wives. If Germany had become, in the words of one worried mother, a "nation of prostitutes,"109 Americans proved to be willing johns. Although some would defend the servicemen's right to behave as they liked,110 many soldiers were deeply ashamed of their own excesses.

59 Sexual guilt became a major mental health problem among American troops preparing to leave postwar Europe. In the October 1947 issue of Mental Hygiene, two Army medical officers reported that 30 percent of neuropsychiatry and 50 percent of urology patients seen by doctors at the 121st General Hospital, serving the redeployment and replacement centers at Bremen, suffered from what they termed "venereal-disease anxiety." The authors noted that colleagues at other Army medical facilities reported similar findings. Servicemen diagnosed with this malady believed they had contracted sexually transmitted diseases and complained of physical symptoms, but the true source of their discomfort was psychological. Such men were commonly identified by repeated visits to the hospital's urology clinic even after receiving negative test results; they were then referred for psychiatric counseling. Most venereal-disease anxiety sufferers had "frequently deviated from the accepted moral standards" of their premilitary life by engaging in pre- and extramarital sex, and many had previously been treated for a sexually transmitted disease. Others agonized over a single indiscretion. Preparations for redeployment—including a final physical exam—often precipitated anxiety, for sufferers feared that examination would reveal "stigmatizing scars," representing "permanent physical disability."111

60Many of the Army's VD prevention materials were designed to cultivate sexual guilt.Most men suffering from venereal-disease anxiety gained "insight" into the psychological sources of their symptoms through outpatient treatment. Recounting the "long, lurid tales" of their sexual excesses and receiving their doctor's reassurances provided these men with some peace of mind. Others required hospitalization. In such cases, exposure to and acceptance by nurses and female Red Cross workers played a major role in their treatment. Women's condemnation was what these men feared. In the words of one sufferer, they felt "unfit to be in the room with an American girl." A "good Christian" and a devoted father and husband, this 30-year-old sergeant "intended to go back to my wife the way I left her," but he engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman he met on leave. Twenty days later he showed up at the urological clinic complaining of "pains in the groin, burning pain in the genital area, weakness, tremulousness, and inability to sleep." Although his tests were negative, the sergeant was unable to believe that "there was nothing wrong with me." In time and with the help of individual therapy and group sessions, this patient was able to return to his family, but even upon discharge from the hospital, he exhibited symptoms of sexual guilt. Economist Eli Ginzberg and his colleagues recorded a similar case in their study of military manpower. Cpl. N, a married combat infantryman, caught a sexually transmitted disease while performing occupation duties in Germany. Convinced he was diseased even after his gonorrhea was cured, the corporal was hospitalized for months and continued to receive psychiatric counseling through the Veterans Administration into the 1950s. Although happily married and a successful salesman, he was "still plagued with occasional feelings of guilt" over a single sexual indiscretion.112

61"Boys act differently over here. They are away from home; they forget everything," one young serviceman confided to his doctors when he was admitted to an Army hospital for treatment of a sexually transmitted disease.113 Despite the dictates and punishments of conscience, American soldiers in Germany—many of whom had been virgins or faithful husbands prior to military induction—learned to regard sex as a commodity and a fruit of military conquest, rather than as an expression of married love. German-American relations were not wholly devoid of romance; some men did find enduring love and wed women they met there.114 More commonly, servicemen formed temporary liaisons. In many cases, they planned to return to wives and sweethearts in the United States without revealing their wartime affairs.115

62Fraternization confirmed many Americans' fears that by disrupting normal relations between men and women, the war had corrupted the nation's sexual morals. Before V-E Day, women were more likely to be faulted, but the flood of stories about fraternizing and diseased soldiers that followed the end of fighting in Europe shifted concern away from female to male promiscuity. Published images of servicemen embracing the nation's former enemies suggested betrayal and threatened the "disintegration of the American home," in the words of Rep. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine. She proposed reconstituting fractured military families as the best solution to misconduct abroad. In a public letter to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Smith urged him to combat fraternization by permitting soldiers' wives and fiancées to join their husbands and sweethearts in Europe. She asserted that shipping American women to Europe "would both improve the morale and efficiency of the soldiers and be of tremendous value in rehabilitation." Smith's proposal struck a chord with many worried Americans; within a week of her announcement, she claimed to have received more than 200 supportive letters.116

63In the summer of 1945, with combat still raging in the Pacific, such proposals were impracticable. War Department officials worried about logistics and morale problems should the plan be undertaken too soon. On the other hand, a preliminary study asserted that sending soldiers' dependents to Germany was a "necessity if non-fraternization is to be made workable."117 In January 1946 as GIs throughout the overseas theaters of operations protested the slow pace of demobilization, the Army publicly committed itself to shipping tens of thousands of American women and children to Europe.118 By reuniting husbands and wives and encouraging soldiers to marry their American sweethearts, this policy sought to reduce fraternization, boost morale, and improve moral conduct. Creating American communities in Germany would, military planners hoped, also exert a domesticating influence on unmarried men; with the women's arrival, even bachelors would have to guard their behavior or else "word concerning their improper associations could get back home." The commander of the military government regiment for Bremen Enclave noted with seeming satisfaction that men whose wives were expected to arrive in the near future had "particularly withdrawn from social association with Germans." Although contemporary politicians and commentators likely overestimated this policy's ameliorating effects, it (along with restrictions on public displays of affection) helped quell civilian concern about unrestrained male sexuality and the erosion of American family life at home and abroad.119


Note 1: William Smith White, "German Response to U.S. Army Ranges from Relief to Full Flight" and Henry T. Gorrell, "Hostility of Some Waning," New York Times (16 September 1944). Photograph: "As American First Army Entered Soil of the Reich," New York Times (17 September 1944). back

Note 2: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) "Policy on Relations Between Allied Occupying Forces and Inhabitants of Germany" (12 September 1944), enclosed in J. L. Tarr to Commanding General, Seventh Army and Commanding General, First French Army (27 September 1944), File: 250.1–2; Dwight Eisenhower to Omar Bradley (17 September 1944), File: 250.1–1; both in Box 12, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), National Archives, College Park, Md. (NACP). back

Note 3: Alfred D. Chandler Jr. ed., The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, the War Years, vol. 4 (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970), 2176–77; Dwight D. Eisenhower to Walter B. Smith, forwarded to Frank A. Allen (22 September 144), File: 250.1–1, Box 12, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. See also Petra Goedde, GIs and Germans: Culture, Gender, and Foreign Relations, 1945–1949 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003), 56–7; Earl F. Ziemke, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974), 98–9. back

Note 4: Leo Taub, "History of Military Censorship in the European Theater of Operations, World War II, 1941–1945," Records of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 5: Joseph R. Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II (Frankfurt-Am-Main, Germany: Office of the Chief Historian, European Command, 1947), 1–10; Ziemke, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 97–9; Goedde, GIs and Germans, 45; "Policy on Relations between Allied Occupying Forces and Inhabitants of Germany" (12 September 1944), enclosure in J. L. Tarr to Commanding Generals Re: Policy on Relations between Allied Occupying Forces and Inhabitants of Germany (27 September 1944), File: 250.1–2, Box 12, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. back

Note 6:  "Policy on Relations between Allied Occupying Forces and Inhabitants of Germany" (12 September 1944), enclosure in J. L. Tarr to Commanding Generals Re: Policy on Relations between Allied Occupying Forces and Inhabitants of Germany (27 September 1944), File: 250.1–2, Box 12, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. See also Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 10–14; Goedde, GIs and Germans, 45–6. back

Note 7:  "Policy on Relations between Allied Occupying Forces and Inhabitants of Germany" (12 September 1944), enclosure in J. L. Tarr to Commanding Generals Re: Policy on Relations between Allied Occupying Forces and Inhabitants of Germany (27 September 1944), File: 250.1–2, Box 12, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. back

Note 8: The guide was later reissued; a white sticker pasted to the front cover of each black booklet informed recipients that "[n]othing contained herein should be considered a relaxation of the Non-Fraternization Policy." Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 8, 14–15, and appendix 5; Oliver J. Frederiksen, The American Military Occupation of Germany (Historical Division, Headquarters, United States Army, Europe, 1953), 129–30; Goedde, GIs and Germans, 46–50; Ziemke, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 97; Reuters, "Troops Told to Give Up English-German Books," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (9 October 1944); "Occupation Force Warned on Actions: 'Pocket Guide' Tells Men Not to Kick Germans, but Bars 'Good-Will Errand," New York Times (11 May 1945); SHAEF to War Department (3 October 1944), File: 250.1, Box 67, Civil Affairs Division General Records, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 9:  "Will We Gum Up the Victory?" Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (22 September 1944). See also Andy Rooney, "German Kids Are Asking for Gum, Chums," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (15 September 1944) and letters to Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (21 October 1944). back

Note 10:  "Troops Vanish; Fraternizing in Reich Tabooed" and "Don't Get Chummy with Jerry," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (25 September and 20 October 1944). back

Note 11: Stars and Stripes, London ed. (4, 6, 7, and 9 October 1944). back

Note 12: Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 15 and Appendix 2; "Bradley Lists 'Battle Orders' for GIs Dealing with Nazis," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (12 December 1944); Headquarters, Twelfth Army Group, "Special Orders for German-American Relations" and accompanying letter to "John Jones" (n.d.), File: 250.1–1, Box 12, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. back

Note 13: Arthur Goodfriend to Chief of Special and Information Services, "Report on Fraternization between Germans and American Officers and Men," File: 250.1–1, Box 12, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF) and Frederick H. Osborn to John H. Hilldring (23 November 1944), File: 250.1, Box 67, Civil Affairs Division General Records, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165; both in NACP. See also Ziemke, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 142; Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 20; Goedde, GIs and Germans, 58–9. back

Note 14: Ibid. back

Note 15:  "Don't Get Chummy with Jerry." back

Note 16:  "Jerry's Deadliest V Weapon—VD," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (18 October 1944). back

Note 17: John E. Gordon to Chief Surgeon, ETO, Re: Educational Posters—Venereal Disease Control (31 August 1943), File: 726.1, Box 61, G1 Decimal File 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 18: Ellipsis in original. John S. Hayes to Robert M. Furber (16 March 1945) and enclosures, File: 250.1–5, Box 12, G1 Decimal File, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. See also Goedde, GIs and Germans, 72; Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 20–21. back

Note 19: Ed Wilcox, "You Can't Be Friendly" and John Christie, "Lady in White," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (4 November 1944). See also "Lovely Killer," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (24 October 1944). back

Note 20:  "Sorry, No Rides," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (27 November 1944). back

Note 21: For contemporary accounts of civilian submissiveness and eagerness to cooperate with their conquerors, see Osmar White, Conqueror's Road, ed. Sally A. White and Neil McDonald (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 47–9, 71, 97, 201–4; Saul Padover, Experiment in Germany: The Story of an American Intelligence Officer (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946), 164–6, 168–75. back

Note 22: Ellipsis in original. "Censorship Report on General Morale for Period 1–15 April 1945," File: 58 Censorship, Box 9, Historical Division Administrative Files, 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 23: Perry Biddiscombe, Werwolf!: The History of the National Socialist Guerilla Movement, 1944–1946 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988), chapter 37–45, 57, 72–3, 77–8, 93, 101, 132, 147, 275–6; "Maria of Monschau," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (11 March 1945). back

Note 24: Lt. Gen. Frederick E. Morgan summed up the dilemma in his 14 March 1945 letter to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5: " . . . [I]t is paradoxical that the general tenor of our current legislation is that we who are advancing into Germany with the intent of punishing the Germans should, in cases of non-fraternisation, punish only our own people." This letter can be found in File: 250.1–2, Box 12, G-1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. back

Note 25: J. A. Witt to Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (2 May 1945). back

Note 26: Lt. Colonel E. C. Woodall to Colonel Brooks (26 March 1945), File: 250.1–2, Box 12, G-1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. Goedde, GIs and Germans, 73; Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 67–9; Frederiksen, American Military Occupation of Germany, 129. back

Note 27: Letters excerpted in "Censorship Summary and Morale Report, B.C.O. #7 (1–15 March)" and "Censorship Summary and Morale Report, B.C.O. #7" (1–15 April 1945), File: Base Censor Office #7, Base Censor Office Correspondence, Military Intelligence Service, G-2, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 28: Letter excerpted in Maj. R. E. Lewis to Commanding General, Third US Army, Re: Violations of Non-fraternization Policy (27 March 1945), File: 311.7, Box 18, G1 Decimal File, 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 29: A $65 fine was rumored to be the standard punishment for fraternizing. In fact, punishments were often more severe. Associated Press, "Americans Ignore Army Ban on Fraternizing as 'They Feel Sorry' for Cologne Civilians," New York Times (9 March 1945); "GI Fined, Jailed for Fraternization," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (27 February 1945). back

Note 30: Ernest Leiser, "Ban on Mixing with Germans is Put to Test," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (6 March 1945). back

Note 31: Research Branch, Information and Education Division, Headquarters, ETO, "Reactions to the Non-Fraternization Policy among Troops Doing Occupation Duties in Germany" (April 1945), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Surveys & Studies, Attitude Studies of EM, ETO, Box 1340, Office of the Surgeon General, World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, NACP. See also Samuel A. Stouffer et al., The American Soldier, vol. 2, Combat and Its Aftermath (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1949), 567–8. back

Note 32: On the dramatic increase in rates of sexually transmitted diseases among American troops immediately after V-E Day, see Paul Padgett's article in Medical Department, United States Army, Preventive Medicine in World War II, vol. 5, Communicable Diseases Transmitted Through Contact or by Unknown Means (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, 1960), 252, 255, 257, 259–2. back

Note 33: Research Branch, Information and Education Division, Headquarters, ETO, "Reactions to the Non-Fraternization Policy among Troops Doing Occupation Duties in Germany" (April 1945), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Surveys & Studies, Attitude Studies of EM, ETO, Box 1340, Office of the Surgeon General, World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, NACP. back

Note 34: Ernest Leiser to Stars and Stripes (14 March 1945), File: 250.1–1, Box 12, G1 Decimal file 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. See also Goedde, GIs and Germans, 85; Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 176 n. 164. back

Note 35: Earl Mazo, "Frauleins Bent on Sabotage are Crying Rape, Army Fears" and Associated Press, "'Hello Sucker' Poster Warns Yanks of Getting Hooked on Rape Charge," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (19 May and 10 June 1945); Edward J. Hart, "The Order is Broken Every Hour," Sunday Express (3 June 1945), File: 250.1–10, G1 Decimal File 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP. back

Note 36: The number of rape complaints was still high in May but began to decline once the war ended. Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 81–4. back

Note 37: J. Robert Lilly recently estimated the number of rapes committed by American troops in Germany to be roughly eleven thousand over the course of about a year. Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe during World War II (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 11–12. back

Note 38: Inspector General "Investigation of Rape of German Women by American Soldiers," File: 70, Box 12; C. H. Bonesteel, "Report of Investigation Concerning Brigadier General S . . ." (6 June 1945), unnumbered file, Box 18; both in Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. See also White, Conqueror's Road, 97–8; Lilly, Taken by Force, 11–12, 117–19; Ziemke, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 220. back

Note 39: Paragraph 14b of the 1928 Manual for Courts-Martial defined rape as "unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman by force and without her consent. Any penetration, however slight, of a woman's genitals, is sufficient carnal knowledge, whether emission occurs or not. Mere verbal protestations and a pretense of resistance are not sufficient to show want of consent, and where a woman fails to take such measures to frustrate the execution of a man's designs as she is able to, and are called for by circumstances, the inference may be drawn that she did, in fact, consent." Quoted in United States v. Pfc. Frank B and Pfc. Samuel B in Inspector General investigation of Rape of German Women by American soldiers, File: 70, Box 12, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 40: I use only the first initial of surnames to protect the privacy of persons involved in such cases. back

Note 41: Inspector General "Investigation of Rape of German Women by American Soldiers," File: 70, Box 12; C. H. Bonesteel, "Report of Investigation Concerning Brigadier General S . . ." (6 June 1945), unnumbered file, Box 18; both in Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 42: Lilly, Taken by Force, 119–23; Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 83; Ziemke, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 220–1; Padover, Experiment in Germany, 297–8. back

Note 43: C. H. Bonesteel, "Report of Investigation Concerning Brigadier General S . . ." (6 June 1945), unnumbered file, Box 18, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. On rumors of false rape charges lodged by German women, see excerpts from censored letters in censorship morale reports for 1–15 May and 1–15 June 1945; both in File: 58 Censorship, Box 9, Historical Division Administrative Files, 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP; Dave Burns to Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (29 March 1945). back

Note 44: Inspector General investigation of rape of German women by American soldiers, File: 70, Box 12; C. H. Bonesteel, "Report of Investigation Concerning Brigadier General S . . ." (6 June 1945), unnumbered file, Box 18; both in Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. See also Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 81–4. back

Note 45: Joseph Starr reported that in the Europe theater of operations, the U.S. Army received 1,301 rape complaints, tried 623 cases, and convicted 297 American soldiers of rape between January and July 1945. Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 81–2. back

Note 46: Frank P. Corbin Jr. memo Re: Questions for the Judge Advocate (5 June 1945), exhibit C2, enclosed in C. H. Bonesteel, "Report of Investigation Concerning Brigadier General S . . . " (6 June 1945), unnumbered file, Box 18, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 47: Seventh Army, "Judge Advocate Section Reports, 1 December 1944–31 May 1945," quoted in Ziemke, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 220. back

Note 48: Elizabeth D. Heineman, What Difference Does a Husband Make?: Women and Marital Status in Nazi and Postwar Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 78–9; Robert Moeller, Protecting Motherhood: Women and the Family in the Politics of Postwar West Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 12–5; Atina Grossman, "A Question of Silence: The Rape of German Women by Occupation Soldiers," October 72 (Spring 1995): 43–63. back

Note 49: Annemarie Tröger, "Between Rape and Prostitution: Survival Strategies and Chances of Emancipation for Berlin Women after World War II," trans. Joan Reutershan, in Judith Friedlander et al., eds., Women in Culture and Politics: A Century of Change (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986): 97–117. back

Note 50: Goedde, GIs and Germans, 89–91. back

Note 51: Robert Easton and Jane Easton, Love and War: Pearl Harbor through V-J Day (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), 342–3, 345. back

Note 52: Special Court-Martial Orders No. 16, 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (25 June 1945), File: M, Box 8, Judge Advocate General Case Files 1942–1945, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 53: James H. Day, Report of Investigation of Allegation of Pfc. C . . . (15 September 1945), no file name, Box 22, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 54: Ibid. back

Note 55:  "Unit Censorship of EM's Mail Discontinued in this Theater," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (22 May 1945); Associated Press, "SHAEF Censorship Code" and "SHAEF Acts to Ease Censorship Rules," New York Times (12 May and 2 July 1945). back

Note 56: On how press censorship shaped civilian perception of World War II, see George H. Roeder Jr., The Censored War: American Visual Experience during World War II (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993). back

Note 57: White, Conqueror's Road, xv, 33–5, 37–8, 96–8, 144–8, 199–210. back

Note 58: See, for example, Dana Adams Schmidt, "12,000 Troops AWOL in Paris; Thousands Join in Black Market," New York Times (26 January 1945). back

Note 59: This censored news article written by a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on 5 April 1945 was enclosed with Omar N. Bradley's 7 Mary 1945 memo Re: Misbehavior of Allied Troops. See also Bradley's 2 April 1945 memo on the same subject. Exhibits C-5 and C-6, enclosed in C. H. Bonesteel, Report of Investigation Concerning Brigadier General S. . . . (6 June 1945), unnumbered file, Box 18, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 60: On GI criminality and the American press, see John Willoughby, Remaking the Conquering Heroes: The Postwar American Occupation of Germany (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 16–19, 137–43. back

Note 61: See, for example, Associated Press, "Negro Troops Fail, Eastland Asserts" and United Press, "Eastland's Charges Hit," New York Times (30 June and 3 July 1945). back

Note 62: Robert E. Joseph to Inspector General, Re: Allegations of False Charges of Rape by German Women against American Soldiers (4 June 1945), File: 70, Box 12, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 63: See Oliver Haines, "Report of an Investigation Concerning the Alleged Lawlessness of American Troops in Normandy" (18 November 1944), File 40, Box 10, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 64: Chief Military Policy Division to Theater Provost Marshal (3 October 1944) and "Let's Look at Rape!"; both in File: 250.1 Morals & Conduct vol. 2, Box 27, Adjutant General General Correspondence 1944–1945, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498; John Scotzin Re: Lecture of a Negro Chaplain through France (28 April 1946), File: Technical Intelligence Reports, Box 265, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War on the Racial Situation in the Army, Office of the Secretary of War, RG 107; Beverly Ward file, Box 1883, Chaplains Reports and 201 Files, 1920–1950, Office of the Chief of Chaplains, RG 247; all in NACP. back

Note 65: See interviews of white officers and enlisted men collected by the office of Truman Gibson Jr., Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War on the Racial Situation in the Army, File: Technical Intelligence Reports, Box 265, Office of the Secretary of War, RG 107, NACP. back

Note 66: Research Branch, Information and Education Division, Headquarters, ETO, "Reactions to the Non-Fraternization Policy among Troops Doing Occupation Duties in Germany" (April 1945), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Surveys & Studies, Attitude Studies of EM, ETO, Box 1340, Office of the Surgeon General, World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, NACP. back

Note 67: James H. Day, Report of Investigation of Allegation of Pfc. C . . . (15 September 1945), no file name, Box 22, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 68: See also Willoughby, Remaking the Conquering Heroes, 64–9. back

Note 69: Bud Hutton and Andy Rooney, Conquerors' Peace: A Report to the American Stockholders (New York: Doubleday, 1947), 33–40. back

Note 70:  "Censorship Report on Observance of the Rules of Land Warfare" (1–15 and 16–30 April, 1–15 May 1945), File: 58 Censorship, Box 9, Historical Division Administrative Files 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. See also Meyer Levin, In Search: An Autobiography (New York: Horizon Press, 1950), 276–9. back

Note 71: Cliff Hope, Growing Up in the Wartime Army: A GI in the 1940s (Manhattan, Kans.: Sunflower University Press, ca. 1989), 160, 176–9, 196. back

Note 72: Excerpt from 6 June 1945 letter, in "Censorship Report on General Morale of Troops for Period 16–30 June 1945," File: 212 Morale, Box 41, Historical Division Administrative Files, 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 73: War Department policy prohibited disciplinary action against an individual for contracting a sexually transmitted disease. However, failure to report an infection could be a court-martial offense. back

Note 74: Raymond Stone Jr. to Commanding General, Third U.S. Army (19 June 1945), File: 726.1, Box 263, 12th Army Group Adjutant General Decimal File, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF) and C. C. Park, Investigation of Circumstances in Connection with Letter, 11th Armored Division, Subject: "Social Disease (30 June 1945), File: Investigation 65–68 Jun 45, Box 6, Inspector General, Reports of Investigation, U.S. Army Commands, RG 338 (Third Army); both at NACP. back

Note 75: GA to DC of S, Re: Conduct of Troops (15 June 1944) and enclosures, File: 290, Box 52 and S. E. Senior to Corps, Division and Separate Union Commanders, Re: Conduct of Troops in Occupied Germany (15 September 1944), File: 091, Box 12; both in Adjutant General Section General Correspondence, 1940–1947, U.S. Army Commands, RG 338 (First Army), NACP. back

Note 76: Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 20–21; John H. Hilldring to Julius C. Holmes (12 July 1944), Decimal 250.1, Box 67, Civil Affairs Division General Records, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 77: The New York Times published fraternization articles on 1, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15, 21, 27, and 28 May; 1, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, and 25 June; and 6, 10, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, and 28 July 1945. back

Note 78: Report by Judy Barden quoted in "The Good (Looking) Germans," Newsweek 25 (28 May 1945): 64. back

Note 79: Some examples are: "$60 Fine for Fraternizing"; "Americans Ignore Army Ban on Fraternizing as 'They Feel Sorry' for Cologne Civilians"; both in New York Times (27 February, 9 March 1945); Joseph S. Evans Jr., "Of Course They Fraternize—It's an Old Yankee Custom," Newsweek 25 (9 April 1945): 56–8; "Charge Americans with Looting in Germany," Christian Century 62 (9 May 1945): 573. back

Note 80: George H. Gallup, The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion, 1935–1971, vol. 1 (New York: Random House 1972), 513–14; "The Quarter's Polls," Public Opinion Quarterly 9 (Autumn 1945): 385; "Women in the U.S. Favor Ban on Fraternization" Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (15 July 1945); "Stay Away from Gretchen," Newsweek 26 (16 July 1945): 32. back

Note 81: Hope, Growing up in the Wartime Army, 199–200, 202–8. back

Note 82: Excerpt from letter dated 28 June 45, "Censorship Report on General Morale of Troops for Period 1–15 July 1945," File: 212 Morale, Box 41, Historical Division Administrative Files, 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 83: Excerpt from letter dated 18 May 45, "Censorship Report on General Morale of Troops for Period 1–15 June 1945," File: 58 Censorship, Box 9, Historical Division Administrative Files, 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 84: Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 46. back

Note 85: The answer for the category "older German civilians" was considerably lower. Research Branch, Information and Education Services, Headquarters, Theater Service Forces, European Theater, "Changes in Attitude of Soldiers in the European Theater Toward the Germans from April 1945 to August 1945 "(September 1945), File: ETO-97, Box 1017, Research Division, Attitude Reports of Overseas Personnel 1942–1953, Entry 94, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330. back

Note 86: Robert J. Donovan, "V-D Rate in ETO Soars 50% Since V-E Day," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (22 June 1945). On sexually transmitted diseases among American soldiers in Europe following V-E Day, see also Medical Department, U.S. Army, Preventive Medicine in World War II, 5: 253–66; Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 76–8; Graham A. Cosmas and Albert E. Cowdrey, Medical Service in the European Theater of Operations (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992), 584–6; Willoughby, Remaking the Conquering Heroes, 34–9. back

Note 87: In one week, the group of 27,000 servicemen assigned to Bremen Port Command reported eighty-two new cases of sexually transmitted diseases, a rate of 160 cases per 1,000 men per year. back

Note 88: Fred W. Adams to C. H. Bonesteel, Report on Visit to Bremen Port Command, Bremen, Germany and enclosures (5 July 1945), File: 84, Box 8, Inspector General Inspection Reports 1943–1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 89: Research Branch, Information and Education Division, U.S. Forces European Theater, "Attitudes of Soldiers in the European Theater Toward Germany and the Germans" (July 1945), File: ETO-85, Box 1017, Research Division, Attitude Reports of Overseas Personnel 1942–1953, Entry 94, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330, NACP. back

Note 90: See statistics in Lilly, Taken by Force, 11–12, 117–18; Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 82–3. On the correlation between sex and vengeance, see Levin, In Search, 275–6, 279–83; Goedde, GIs and Germans, 84–5. back

Note 91: Lilly, Taken by Force, 120–1. back

Note 92: Excerpt of 18 May 1945 letter in "Censorship Report on General Morale of Troops for Period 16–31 May 1945," File: 212 Morale, Box 41, Historical Division Administrative Files, 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 93: Research Branch, Information and Education Division, European Theater of Operations, "Reactions to the Non-Fraternization Policy Among Troops Doing Occupation Duties in Germany" (April 1945), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Surveys & Studies, Attitude Studies of Enlisted Men, ETO, Box 1340, Office of the Surgeon General, World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, NACP. back

Note 94: Excerpt from 19 April 1945 letter in "Censorship Report on General Morale of Troops for Period 16–31 May 1945," File: 212 Morale, Box 41, Historical Division Administrative Files, 1942-June 1946, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 95: Goedde, GIs and Germans, 60–61, 104–5; White, Conqueror's Road, 90–3, 144–5; Saul K. Padover, "Why Americans Like German Women," The American Mercury 63 (September 1946): 357; Stouffer et al., American Soldier, 564–5, 568–73. Research Staff Section, Information and Education, European Theater Service Forces, "Changes in Attitude of Soldiers in the European Theater toward the Germans from April 1945 to August 1945" (September 1945), File: ETO-97; Research Staff, Information and Education, European Theater Service Forces, "What the American Soldier in Germany Says about Germany and the Germans" (November 1945), File: ETO-110; both in Box 1017, Research Division, Attitude Reports of Overseas Personnel 1942–1953, Entry 94, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330, NACP. back

Note 96: Ernest Leiser, "Fraternization Cases Multiply in 12th Army Group's Zone," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (3 July 1945); Starr, Fraternization with the Germans in World War II, 58–66; Daniel De Luce, "Fraternizing Code Honored in Breach," New York Times (13 June 1945); John J. Maginnis, Military Government Journal, ed. Robert A. Hart (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 250; Drew Middleton, "Officers Oppose Fraternizing Ban," New York Times (25 June 1945); Frederiksen, American Military Government in Germany, 129. back

Note 97: In the same entry, Giles described a lover's quarrel between an Army captain and his German mistress. Henry Giles, The G.I. Journal of Sergeant Giles, ed. Janice Holt Giles (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965), 370–71. See also Julian Bach, America's Germany: An Account of the Occupation (New York: Random House, 1946), 73; Arthur Kahn, Betrayal: Our Occupation of Germany (Warsaw, Poland: Book & Knowledge Publishers, 1950), 98. back

Note 98: See, for example, the case of Pfc. H who was picked up by military police for "suspected fraternization." The MPs saw Pfc. H walking down the same street as two German women, but they did not see or hear him converse with the women. Pfc. H was found not guilty of the charge. Trial of Pvt. Harry H, 346th Engineer General Service Regiment (20 June 1945), File: H, Box 6, Judge Advocate General Special Court Martial Case Files 1942–1945, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 99: Case 453, 508th Parachute Infantry (28 June 1945), File B, Box 4, Judge Advocate General Special Court Martial Case Files 1942–1945, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498, NACP. back

Note 100: Goedde, GIs and Germans, 74–6. See also "The Good (Looking) Germans," Newsweek 25 (28 May 1945): 64; Daniel De Luce, "Fraternizing Code Honored in Breach," New York Times (13 June 1945); John U. Terrell, "You Just Can't Gag a Man, Even in Occupied Germany," Newsweek 25 (18 June 1945): 42; Drew Middleton, "Officers Oppose Fraternizing Ban," New York Times (25 June 1945); "Leave Your Helmet On," Time 46 (2 July 1945): 25. back

Note 101: "Frat Policy Softened by U.S., British," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (15 July 1945). back

Note 102: Gladwin Hill, "Few Fraternize as Ban is Lifted," New York Times (16 July 1945); "Fraternizing GIs Hit Nation's Front Pages," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (25 July 1945). back

Note 103: United Press, "Headaches and Hand-Holding Appear with Easing of Frat Ban"; "Those Frauleins—O-Ja-Ja, Knee Action Kisses in Reich"; "Yank Puts a Fraulein Hep to a New Line"; "Fraternization: There Are Two Sides to the Ocean"; "Night Life is Tame in Berlin with No Liquor and 10:30 Curfew"; "Rhine Maidens Talk over Current Trends with a Couple of Yanks"; all in Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (17, 19, 23, 29 July and 1 August 1945); United Press, "No Longer Verboten" and "On the Banks of the Wannsee," Stars and Stripes, London ed. (19 and 25 July 1945). back

Note 104: Judy Barden, "Candy-Bar Romance—Women of Germany," in Arthur Settel, ed. This is Germany (New York: William Sloane, 1950), 161–76; Ray Tucker quoted by Philip H. Bucknell, "Plan Reported Studied to Send Wives Abroad," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (16 July 1945). back

Note 105: Edward Ball, "Baby Factories Built by Hitler Closing Down," and United Press, "Hitler Heirs'—Illegitimates—Pose International Problem," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (3 and 16 July 1945); Barden, "Candy-Bar Romance," 162–4. On nonmarital sexuality in wartime Germany, see Heineman, What Difference Does a Husband Make?, 31–3, 53–9, 72–3, 265 n. 62; Moeller, Protecting Motherhood, 23; Claudia Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family, and Nazi Politics (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987), 197, 398–400, 402; Annette Timm, "Sex with a Purpose: Prostitution, Venereal Disease, and Militarized Masculinity in the Third Reich," Journal of the History of Sexuality 11 (January/April 2002): 246–54. back

Note 106: On the GIs' reputation in Europe, see David Anderson, "Belgians Reprove GI's Lax Conduct," New York Times (11 September 1945); "You Don't Know What You Want," Time 46 (8 October 1945): 30–31; (Serviceman's Name Withheld) to Time (12 November 1945): 6; Toni Howard, "The Idle GI and Liberated France are Mighty Tired of Each Other," Newsweek 26 (19 November 1945): 56–7. back

Note 107: Army News Service, "Shave Heads of Wives Untrue to GIs, Grace Moore Urges," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (29 July 1945); "Faithless Wives Decried," New York Times (28 July 1945). The Stars and Stripes story was printed beneath juxtaposed photographs of (1) a German woman embracing an American soldier on a beach in Germany; and (2) American men and women drinking and dancing at the Stork Club in New York City, where, Moore asserted, too many military wives could be found "gallivanting around." back

Note 108: "Disgusted and How!!! to Stars and Stripes; D. J. D. to Stars and Stripes; both in Paris ed. (30 July and 7 August 1945). back

Note 109:  "Mother of a Soldier in Germany" to Time 46 (1 October 1945): 12. back

Note 110: See, for example, Serviceman (name withheld) to Time 46 (12 November 1945): 6. back

Note 111: Morris A. Wessel and Bernard D. Pinck, "Venereal-Disease Anxiety," Mental Hygiene 31 (October 1947): 636–46. See also Edward McDonagh, "The Discharged Serviceman and His Family," American Journal of Sociology 51 (March 1946): 453; Kahn, Betrayal, 100; Hutton and Rooney, Conquerors' Peace, 39–40; "Low & Lower," Time 48 (2 September 1946): 28; Edward C. McDonagh, "The Discharged Serviceman and His Family," American Journal of Sociology 51 (March 1946): 453. back

Note 112: Wessel and Pinck, "Venereal-Disease Anxiety," 641–46; Eli Ginzberg et al., The Ineffective Soldier: Lessons for Management and the Nation, vol. 2, Breakdown and Recovery (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959), 154–6. back

Note 113: Wessel and Pinck, "Venereal-Disease Anxiety," 637. back

Note 114: See Petra Goedde, GIs and Germans, 95–101; Elfrieda Berthiaume Shukert and Barbara Smith Scibetta, War Brides of World War II (Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1988), 123–81. back

Note 115: Although there are no statistics on the number of men in Germany who violated their marriage vows, surveys of enlisted men conducted in postwar Italy show that married soldiers were less likely to engage in sexual intercourse than their unmarried peers. Nevertheless about 60 percent did, as did 75 percent of unmarried soldiers, no matter whether or not they believed their American sweethearts remained "loyal." Research Branch, Information and Education Section, MTOUSA, "VD Problems of White Enlisted Men in MTOUSA" (10 September 1945) and "VD Problems of Negro Enlisted Men in MTOUSA" (25 September 1945), Files: MTO-69 and MTO-70, Box 1030, Entry 94, Research Division, Attitude Reports of Overseas Personnel 1942–1953, Entry 94, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330, NACP. back

Note 116: Margaret Chase Smith to Henry L. Stimson (29 May 1945), Statements and Speeches vol. 3, p. 414, and news articles in Scrapbook vol. 32, pp. 107, 119, 121, 125, 129, 140, 142, 145, all in Margaret Chase Smith Collection, Northwood University. back

Note 117: J. H. Hull to Chief of Staff, OPD Re: Movement to Europe of Dependents of Officers and Enlisted Men (18 June 1945), File: 510 1 June-30 June 1945, Box 611, G1 Decimal File, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 118:  "35,000 Wives Going to Yanks in Europe," New York Times (13 January 1946). back

Note 119: Bion C. Welker to Deputy Director, Office of Military Government, Re: Relations with German Nationals (27 June 1946), Decimal: 014.13, Box 16, Adjutant General Decimal File, U.S. Occupation Headquarters, RG 260 (OMGUS), NACP. Dana Adams Schmidt, "15-Year U.S. Rule in Germany Seen," New York Times (6 June 1946); Martha Gravois, "Military Families in Germany, 1946–1986: Why They Came and Why They Stay," Parameters, Journal of the Army War College 16 (Winter 1986): 57–58; Donna Alvah, "Unofficial Ambassadors: American Military Families Overseas and Cold War Foreign Relations" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Davis, 2000), chapter 1; Frederiksen, American Military Occupation of Germany, 120–2; Willoughby, Remaking the Conquering Heroes, 117–18, 127–8. back