History Revision

The war legacy
Germany was left in a state of paralysis
Physical destruction- infrastrucure was ruine. “The greatest heap of rubble the world has ever seen.”
Human cost over 6 million casuaties
Women- raped, war babies, dangerous abortions
Poor housing, lack of food, black market and health issues- water supplies, high infant mortality
Ethnic Germans
William Jones a British officer says “there were displaced persons everywhere”


Creation of the four zones
Two views: break up germany so it wouldnt pose a threat again vs build it up again along democratic lines.
Post Hostilities Planning Sub Committee presented a map with the zones in 1943, 1944 Russians accept it and included shared control of Berlin 
Control Council was set up to coordinate the allies’ occupation policies.
Yalta Conference February 1945 
Established the plan on how to deal with post-war Germany
France would have it’s own zone, wanted to carve out of Russian zone but the Russians refused. France zone created out of British and American zone.
Oder-Neisse border established
Stalin seemed to accept a disarmed and neutral united Germany, sharp contrast to his stance in 1943.
American view now: democratic and economic sound Germany able to participate in the world
France- not present but still pressed for break up of Germany, take away Rhineland and Ruhr.
The Four Ds established, Democratization, Denazification, Decentralization and Demilitarization
Stalin wanted 80% control of all German industry and huge monetary reparations for helping the Germs.
9 June Russians set up SMAD, forced Brit and American troops to withdraw from their zone before the allies were allowed to take control of their own zones. 9 July five Lander set up in Russian zone.


Potsdam Conference August 1945
Reaffirmed disagreements between allies
Situation not helped by France’s no show and replacement of Churchill and Roosevelt
Allies disagreed on reparations, how and when the 20 billion would be paid
Agreed: each zone takes reparations from own, Russia awarded 10% extra from Brits and US, 15% delivery charge for materials from their zones- made zones economically separate and Control Council unworkable.
Four Ds reconfirmed , agreement on Germ becoming united and decentralized eventually but not clear when this would happen = Control Council unable to implement policies= each zone doing their own thing
Nuremeberg Trials 1945-46
Small part of denazification sought to bring justice
First trial lasted 218 days, all pleaded not guilty
most denied knowledge of what had gone on
Fulbrook- the war trials didn’t help with the far bigger question of what to do with and how to transform a society which had been steeped in Nazism
Ineffective as elderly were tried for youth crimes, but



  • Non fratenization law was impractical. June 1945 made less strict towards children and by july it was possible to speak to adults
  • September policy was dropped to include adults
  • In the allies’ eyes Germans were tainted by the past esp this in authority
Russian view:
      • Nazism was a social and economic system that had to be destroyed
Western power’s view:
      • It was an individual and psychological problem linked to the recent past.
Soviet zone:
  1. Major  restructuring of society,  replaced old class distinctions, changed running of industry and business.
  2. Nazism in prominent positions purged
  3. Approximately 500000 Nazism in government removed by 1948
  4. Old textbooks withdrawn
  5. Ex nazis given lowest level rations and pay
  6. Nazism property confiscated and destroyed including 1400 businesses
  7. Swatstikas removed and street names changed
  8. Victims of fascism
  9. 1947 amnesty offered to those willing to denounce nazi past and work to build socialism in EG
  10. 1948-49 restrictions lifted full citisenship rights to non formerwar criminals
  11. Intense re-education programme to promote socialism
  • Medical profession less thoroughly cleansed as there was a need for professionals – compromised Denazification program
  • Denazified where it suited them
In the West
  1. US Directive JCS 1067 of April 1945- more than nomial role in nazi years to be excluded from important positions
  2. ‘No more than nominal’ interpreted differently. US more than UK zone
  3. Not necessary to restructure society- emphasis on indvidual cases and merits
  4. June 1945 Persil Certificates
  5. Fragebogen questionnaires not thorough
  6. Degrees of thoroughness varied
  7. Tribunals set up to investigate ex party members- cumbersome and lenient
  8. 90% exonerated in Brit zone, only just 1/3 in us and 1/2 in french zone
  9. Those deemed followers- Brit 1/10, france under half and us over half
  10. Practical problems led to abandonment by early 1950s- some got jobs back or retired with full pensions
Fulbrook- the effects of the western allies’ policies were to feed the collective amnesia



  • No alternative elite to replace them
  • No immediate re-emergence of nazism- Stuttgart Declaration of Oct 1945 openly renounced nazi past and declared guilt
  • Nazi witchhunt icreased resentment towards occupying powers= Germans saw themselves as victims rather than complicit
  • Education not radically restructured in west, little formal attempt to change attitudes
  • Press tried
  • REVIVAL OF THE ECONOMY= no desire to return to the past.

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