Munich (Jun. 19)
Bavarian Minister of Economics Dr. Rudolph Zorn today blamed displaced persons for all of Bavaria’s food problems, and described them as “insects in the populace.” and the chief cause of the black markets.
He also charged that DP’s were murdering Bavarian farmers in order to obtain food and expressed regret that Gorman police are barred from entering DP camps. Under vigorous questions from a group of correspondents, Zorn admitted, however, that the DP’s were only one of the many reasons for Bavaria’s economic ills. He was mildly rebuked by Bavarian Minister President Hans Ehard, who termed Zorn’s remarks “undiplomatic.”
An official of the food branch of the Military Government later told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “Zorn just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” The official said that Germans and Americans form the basis of the black market, since even when DP’s participate, they must obtain the consumer goods used in bartering from Germans or Americans.
(Over the past year there have been many references by Bavarian officials aimed at the displaced persons, Jews particularly. In March, Minister of Agriculture Dr. Josef Baumgartner told a meeting of leaders of the Christian Socialist Party, which is the dominant group in Bavaria, that the only pleasant thing he had heard at a congress of displaced Jews, which he “had to attend,” was “the unanimous resolution to leave Germany.” Last December, Munich’s mayor, Karl Scharnagl said that Bavaria owes the displaced Jews nothing, since they were not victims of the Nazis, but of the Poles.)