The Soviet occupation authorities' attitude to the German Communists in their zone is customarily depicted as extremely supportive, with the Soviets prodding their protégés to engage in the kind of intense activism that would culminate in their seizure of power. However, Soviet reports on the situation in Germany immediately following the end of hostilities present a dramatically different picture; rather than inciting their indigenous "party comrades" to radical actions, Soviet representatives deplored their zeal as inimical to the purposes of the occupation.
A report on events in Meissen during the second half of May 1945 portrays the situation as reminiscent of that prevailing in Soviet Russia during the Civil War: red stars were affixed to public buildings; "commissars" were installed to run enterprises abandoned by their owners; and intellectuals were arrested on serious, though trumped-up, charges. The Soviet reporter, however, cited these "Red" activities as lamentable examples of sectarianism on the part of German local "activists," which were facilitated by the negligence of the Soviet Military commandant.
In order to combat the problems in Meissen, the following measures were taken: the removal of stars and "other Communist symbols"; the abolition of the "commissars"; the prohibition of all civil organizations except for a City Magistrate entirely composed of "non-Nazis" (but not