U.S. Foreign Policy and Occupied Germany 1941-1949
MetadataShow full item record
The nine-year period that I will examine can be separated into two distinct periods of influence, with two men dominating the first and a larger group controlling the second. The first phase lasted from 1941 through 1945 and reflected the ideas and attitudes of Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A feeling of hate towards Germany and a desire to cripple Germany after the war were the hallmarks of this time. This anti-German bias, along with an idealistic view of the Soviet Union and the prospects for postwar cooperation with that country, drove Morgenthau to devise his plan for treatment of conquered Germany. This harsh plan involved a crippling of Germany's industrial capacity as well as a further weakening of the German nation to be brought about by costly reparations that Germany should pay to all victorious nations and especially to the Soviet Union. This desire to destroy Germany was embodied in the Morgenthau Plan and JCS 1067, and will be discussed more in depth in Chapter 1. The second phase took place from 1946-1949. One individual and one group of men were most influential during this time. The group of men came to be known as the "Wise Men", and were most responsible for recognizing the errors of Morgenthau and Roosevelt. These "Wise Men" felt that American policy must reflect the newly acquired position as world leader that the United States had gained as a result of its pivotal part in the winning of World War II. The impact that these men had will be seen throughout Chapters 2-5, with their individual roles getting more detailed attention in Chapter 3. The individual who turned out to be the most influential American in postwar Germany was General Lucius D. Clay the man who was in charge of administering the American occupation. Clay was the first American to recognize the reality of the situation in postwar Germany, and he was the man who took action to keep the American presence strong, especially in Berlin.