August 2022


(1944) Pocket Guide to Germany

This booklet is issued in the interest of informing you about the country you occupy. Nothing contained herein should be considered a relaxation of the Non-Fraternization Policy.

Keep faith with the American soldiers who have died to eliminate the German war makers.


I picked up this pocket guide while visiting a museum in Leipzig. It’s 48 pages long, provides some German history, some German language, and some basic rules of conduct. It was prepared by the Army Information Branch, Army Service Forces, United States Army for use by military personnel. The most interesting part, vis-a-vie our current Iraqi quagmire, is the first chapter, “Your Job in Germany.”

All bolding and italics are in the original.

Whether you fight your way in, or march in to occupy Germany under armistice terms, you will be doing a soldier’s job on the soil of the enemy.

The occupation of Germany will give you’re your chance to build up a personal guarantee that as soon as you turn your back to go home, the German will not pick up his shooting irons and start throwing lead and lies at an unsuspecting world once more. One of the greatest challenges of the Peace to come is to make certain that the German people will tae their place as law-abiding, useful citizens in the family of nations.

On German soil you are expected to observe local laws and regulations, except as modified or amended by your own military authority.

Local customs, especially those touching upon religion, are to be given consideration and respect.

Respect property rights. Vandalism is inexcusable.

Rifling of orchards and fields and unauthorized appropriation of food stores are contemptible and punishable by court martial.

Remember that conquered and occupied nations will be critically short of food. Depriving the people further will create great hardship and in the end will cause consideration that will make your own job a harder one.

…. The point is, we don’t like to kick people when they are down.

There must be no fraternization. This is absolute!….


This warning against fraternization doesn’t mean that you are to act like a sourpuss or military automaton. Your aspect should not be harsh or forbidding. At home you had minor transactions with many people. You were courteous to them, but never discussed intimate affairs, told them secrets, or gave them the benefit of your confidence. Let that behavior be your model now.


Within the limits of your instructions against fraternization and intimacy, you can, by conduct give them a glimpse of life in a Democracy where no man is master of another, where the only limit of success is a man’s own ability.

But don’t argue. Don’t try to convince them. If you can plant the seed of your pride of our country and its way of life, time and others will do the rest.


I just wonder if these kind of instructions were given to our boys in Iraq. Somehow, based on the prison scandal and the massacres that our boys are responsible for, I doubt it.

George W. Bush had but one objective when he invaded Iraq: capture his daddy’s arch-nemeses.

There was no plan for winning the peace, and that will be George W. Bush’s legacy, too bad it is costing America’s global prestige and respect.

5 comments to (1944) Pocket Guide to Germany

  • Ed

    So, how was your trip to Hoosierland?

  • Ed

    My Aunt Luise died recently. She was born in Dallau, Germany. I received a box of her things which included a photo book in German. It has pics of buildings and statues. The name of the book is: Tore/Turme und Brunnen. There is a very interesting statue of a guy with a bow and arrow. The caption reads: Der Apollobrunnen in Nurnberg. The pictures are all in Black and white it was printed the year I was born. I was wondering if you have ever seen this statue/fountain?

  • MT

    So, did you get bumped or are you back in Germany? Inquiring minds want to know. In the meantime, you should know that the U.S. Soccer Team basically sucks.

  • Ed… Hoosier land was fine.

    I don’t know if I’ve see Der Apollobrunnen in Nurnberg or not, I would have to see a photo of it to know.

  • Ed

    Basically Apollobrunnen is David only with a bow and arrow (and a little more excited);-)