Records of the German External Assets Branch USACA Section, 1945-1950
NARA M1928. Records of the German External Assets Branch of the U.S. Allied Commission for Austria (USACA) Section, 1945-1950. This title includes a wide range of reports, records, and correspondence relating to banks, businesses, shareholders, and individuals with German affiliations during World War II. The information also relates to the organization and operations of the German External Assets Branch of the United States Element, Allied Commission for Austria (USACA) Section, 1945–1950.
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The following background information is taken directly from the descriptive pamphlet published by NARA for this title, M1928.*
The U.S. Allied Commission for Austria (USACA) Section was responsible for civil affairs and military government administration in the American section (U.S. Zone) of occupied Austria, including the U.S. sector of Vienna. USACA Section constituted the U.S. Element of the Allied Commission for Austria. The four-power occupation administration was established by a U.S., British, French, and Soviet agreement signed July 4, 1945. It was organized concurrently with the establishment of Headquarters, United States Forces Austria (HQ USFA) on July 5, 1945, as a component of the U.S. Forces, European Theater (USFET). The single position of USFA Commanding General and U.S. High Commissioner for Austria was held by Gen. Mark Clark from July 5, 1945, to May 16, 1947, and by Lt. Gen. Geoffrey Keyes from May 17, 1947, to September 19, 1950. USACA Section was abolished following transfer of the U.S. occupation government from military to civilian authority. This was marked by President Harry Truman’s appointment of Walter J. Donnelly as Envoy (later Ambassador) to Austria and U.S. High Commissioner for Austria on September 20, 1950. Ambassador Llewelyn E. Thompson, Jr., succeeded Donnelly on July 17, 1952. The U.S. occupation government in Austria officially terminated on July 27, 1955, as a result of the State Treaty for the Reestablishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria, signed May 15, 1955.
The Reparations, Deliveries, and Restitutions (RD&R) Division of USACA Section was organized into branches. Initially, the Property Control Branch and the Monuments and Fine Arts Branch shared the division’s work. However, by February 1946, the work of the Monuments and Fine Arts Branch was substantially completed, and it was disbanded. A new branch called the Reparations and Restitutions Branch was activated at that time to handle general restitution matters as well as any subsequent work related to monuments and fine arts. One additional branch called the German External Assets Branch was organized on October 12, 1946.
The organizational structure and policies used by the division were based largely on similar work performed by the Office of the Military Government, United States Zone (Germany)(OMGUS). The general posture of USACA policy in Austria, however, was intended to achieve a balance between the complete control exhibited by OMGUS and the cooperative atmosphere in the formerly occupied countries of northwest Europe.
The German External Assets Branch investigated and analyzed German business enterprises in the U.S. Zone of Austria in order to determine their appropriateness for reparations, internal restitution, or other disposition. The branch also coordinated efforts with the rest of USACA, making recommendations for the sale or reorganization of German assets.
Using the collection
The records of the German External Assets (GEA) Branch of the Reparations, Restitutions, and Deliveries Division are divided into four series.
The first series, Reports on Businesses, 1945–1950, contains records on German-controlled firms and banks located outside of the German state, and are arranged according to their original file number (e.g. #2A or #342D).
The second series, General Records, 1945–1950, contains correspondence and reports on the daily functions of the branch and the businesses or individuals being investigated, as well as alphabetical and numerical lists for all GEA Branch cases. The records are arranged numerically by file number.
Miscellaneous Records, 1945–1950, is the third series from the GEA Branch, and consists of computer-generated printouts containing information on businesses, the value of those businesses, and shareholder information. The printouts are arranged chronologically and thereafter numerically.
The fourth and final series, GEA Reports on Austria Firms Wholly Owned by German Companies, n.d., is a small set of files that contain information from the Reports on Businesses series, but only from those firms that were 100-percent owned by Germans.
The appendix in the descriptive pamphlet* contains an alphabetical listing of businesses and sole proprietors investigated by the GEA Branch and the microfilm roll(s) on which information concerning them are located.
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These images are digitized from 132 rolls of microfilm that make up NARA microfilm publication M1928, reproduced reports on businesses with German affiliations and information on the organization and operations of the German External Assets Branch of the United States Element, Allied Commission for Austria (USACA) Section, 1945–1950. These records are part of the Records of United States Occupation Headquarters, World War II, Record Group (RG) 260. The table of contents for each roll of microfilm is provided on pages 14-26 of the descriptive pamphlet.
*Some of the information on this description page is taken directly from the NARA descriptive pamphlet for M1928, published in 2003, and prepared by Matthew Olsen. The appendix begins on page 4. A PDF version may be viewed or downloaded here.