8th October 2006
The 'British Zone Review' was a fortnightly review of the activities of the British Control Commission for Germany and Military Government.
The first issue appeared on 29th September 1945 and the final issue was published almost exactly four years later on September 20th 1949.
It was published by the Control Commission's Public Relations and Information Services Control Group, (known as P.R.I.S.C.), and so is as close to an 'official view' of the activities of the British occupation forces and civilian administration as we are likely to find.
In the second issue, General Sir Brian Robertson, the deputy military governor, described the Review as "Our Shop Window" with a wide circulation. "It goes not only to every part of the British Control Commission and Military Government at Headquarters and in the field, but also copies are sent to our opposite numbers in the US, Russian and French Zones. Editors of the principal newspapers in England will read it, as well as British Military Missions on the Continent."
A diversity of views were represented. Articles were published on all aspects of the occupation, written by staff representing all divisions of Military Government, including the army and air force, research department, education, local government, food, health, culture, legal, finance and economics, as well as public relations and information services control.
A long running series on "The Price of War" catalogued the devastation in most of the major cities in the British Zone, while other articles described efforts to reconstruct railways and canals, rebuild bridges, and restore the economy. In a regular 'Guest Feature,' journalists from the major British newspapers and press agencies were invited to express their opinions, and an "Open Letter Bag" section published widely divergent views from serving members of the armed forces and Control Commission.