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11-08-2015, 19:06

The Fate of Germany

The Allies did not disagree about Germany. Since 1944 it had been decided that Germanywould be completely occupied. Each ol the Allied armies was to occupy its own zone within definite borders. At Yalta Churchill had argued that France could have a balancing effect on Europe if she were rearmed. Roosevelt readily, and Stalin more reluctantly, accepted France as a fourth occupying power. A French zone was chiselled out of the existing British and American Zones. Each of the four occupying forces would also control a sector of Berlin, which lay within the Russian zone. The four military commanders would administer common affairs jointly. Roosevelt imagined this complicated scheme would serve as a forced contract to preserve good relations among the Allies. A permanent dismemberment of Germany had been mooted several times and Stalin had always assented. At Potsdam he mysteriously reversed his opinion. The question was dropped. Only France held out for the creation of an autonomous Rhineland state. The Allies were adamant that Nazi crimes should be punished. The responsible people would be tried at an International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the former Mecca of Nazism. À huge sum was allotted for German war reparations ; negotiations had started on the basis of Stalin's figure of $20,000 million, of which Soviet Russia would receive half. She would recover it from the other zones as well as from her own zone. Germany would be disarmed so as to prevent renewed agression. Her 'excessive' economic power would be attenuated, and her institutions and her national character would be denazified. Military police would supervise a gradual reinstatement of rights and privileges, but no central administration would be reestablished. General de Gaulle was particularly firm on this point. The German people were ruined. They were condemned as a single mass, their lives reduced to chaos. Only Churchill was concerned with how they would feed themselves or produce enough to live on and pay reparations.

 

 

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