This site contains a database of the “White, Grey, Black List for Information Control Purposes” (WGBL) in Germany for the years 1944 to 1947 as well as other related digitized archival documents related to the activities of the Information Control Division (ICD), which was later redubbed the Information Services Division, in post-war Germany. The ICD had absolute control over which Germans were allowed to participate in the reconstituted media services in their Zone of Occupation in Germany and their sector of Berlin. Moreover, they exercised considerable influence over the activities of similar divisions in the British and French Zones of Occupation. Conversely, the ICD often found itself in conflict with the Soviet occupation forces and it can be argued that the ICD fired the first "shots" of the Cold War in its battle of ideologies.

The availability of this database represents a significant step forward in our ability to understand how the media in the American Zone, and then in the rest of Germany, developed into what it is today. This completely searchable database finally allows researchers and the general public access to information that was considered classified by the US government. Lying buried in 33,000 cubic feet of paper the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland, the WGBL was the American equivalent of the Soviet Liste der auszusondernden Literatur (List of Proscribed Literature). In addition, Dr. Warkentin has also made the preliminary “November 1944 American Black List of Germans” involved in the media available online.

The two databases contain the names of almost 10,000 individuals and will continue to grow as more archival material is evaluated. Over time, it will be expanded to include approximately 17,800 entries. In total, this represents approximately 590,000 discrete data points.

By: Dr. Erwin Warkentin
Memorial University of Newfoundland

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