Henry David Thoreau

1591 Words Jul 12th, 2018 7 Pages
Germany

On May 8,1945, the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces was signed by Field Marshal Kietel in Berlin, ending World War II for Germany. The German people were confronted with a situation that they had never before experienced: foreign armies occupied the entire German territory. The total breakdown of civil administration throughout the country required immediate measures to ensure the rebuilding of civil authority. After disposing of Hitler's successor as head of state and his government, the Allies issued a unilateral declaration on June 5, 1945, which proclaimed their supreme authority over German territory. The allies would govern Germany through four occupation zones, one for each of the four powers- the
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Indeed, the ACC had no executive authority of its own, but rather had to rely on the cooperation of each military governor to implement its decisions in his occupation zone. Given the immense problems involved in establishing a provisional administration, unanimity was often lacking, and occupation policies soon varied. The French, for instance, vetoed the establishment of a central German administration, a decision that furthered the country's eventual division. Because they had not participated in the Potsdam conference, the French did not feel bound to the conference decision that the country would remain an economic unit. Instead, the French sough to extract as much as they could from Germany and from the Saar area for a time. The Soviet occupiers likewise sought to recover as much as possible from Germany, as compensation for the losses their country had sustained during the war. Unlike the French, however, they sought to influence Germany as a whole and hoped to hold an expanded area of influence. In their own zone, the Soviet authorities quickly move toward establishing a socialist society like their own. The United States had the greatest interest in denazificitaion and in the establishment of a liberal democratic system. Early plans, such as the Morgenthau Plan, to keep Germans poor by basing their economy on

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