14 May, 2012

14 May 1945


438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
14 May, 1945      0930

Dearest sweetheart –

After writing you the city we’re in – I find we’re not allowed to do that – tsk! tsk! – so I’ll have to omit it from my heading. But we’re still here, dear. I’m late today and I’ve got lots to do – thus the V-mail.

The weather stays fine and we’re looking for a place to go swimming – if we have the time. Went for a walk with the dentist yesterday evening – where were you, darling! Gee – it’s nice boy and girl strolling time. Well – soon maybe we’ll be able to do that and I’ll be able to say nice things, sweetheart – among which will be the following: I love you, I want you, I missed you so, Did you miss me? When will you marry me? etc. All for now – dear – Regards – and
All my love


about Occupation Zones in Germany

An article in TIME magazine (Vol. XLV, No. 20) published on 14 May 1945 begins to address the setting up of occupation zones for the British, French, United States and Soviet governments. The article was titled, "Victory in Europe: Housekeeping in Hell". Here is that article...
A flaming stake had been driven through Germany's heart, and by the laws of sorcery this should quiet the beast. In outward appearance Germany, once the most highly integrated nation of the Old World, was a quartered corpse. Perhaps 50% of Germany's proud cities were wrecked. Moreover, the machine shop of Europe was shut down. The Ruhr had received 150 tons of bombs per square mile. (Battered London averaged only twelve.)

But it was not easy to estimate the degree of Germany's physical destruction. The long arm of Allied bombing and the progress of the Armies had destroyed much of Germany's productive apparatus, notably the railroad system, had left much else spectacularly untouched. Quite possibly both the appearance of Germany's destruction and the appearance of her survival were deceptive. But soon for the health of her democratic neighbors, Germany must be restored to some sort of controlled existence in which her collieries and mills could produce, her crops grow and be distributed. The problem before the Allies seemed, in its complexity, greater even than the problem of striking Germany down.

First Steps. Any day now the victorious powers would set up the Allied Control Commission in Berlin, and Germany would formally come under the rule of foreigners for the first time since 1806. But, planned as it was, this first stage revealed the confusion that lay ahead. Instead of being a cohesive unit, the Control Commission would be a loosely organized coalition, and the administration of Germany's four different zones might each be conducted according to four different ideas. The zones were agreed upon in principle at Yalta, but the precise boundaries had not been revealed, and in one instance (the French zone) there was some doubt as to whether they had been determined.

The Russians supposedly were to have eastern Germany, the British the northwest, the Americans the southwest, and the French an area somewhere between the British and the Americans.

The Housekeepers. The U.S. occupation team for Germany will at the outset be headed by General Eisenhower as chief of the American section (with Field Marshal Harold R. L. G. Alexander as his probable opposite number for Britain); Major General Lucius Clay as his deputy and administrative chief of staff; the State Department's Robert Murphy as political adviser (with sharp-eyed Ivone Kirkpatrick his counterpart for Britain, and purge-trial prosecutor Andrei Vishinsky for the Russians); and Lieutenant General Leonard T. Gerow as commander of the U.S. Fifteenth (occupation) Army. While these top four will probably stay in Berlin, American administrative headquarters will be located within the U.S. zone, probably at Frankfurt.

The American zone may possibly be less of a problem than others. It was formerly almost self-sufficient in food, and the Nazi disease was never as deeply rooted there as in north Germany. Nevertheless, stern measures have been laid out. The latest plan for its control, "revised directive 1067," laid on President Truman's desk only ten days before war's end, followed closely the Morgenthau or "goat pasture" plan. Southern Germany would largely revert to agrarian economy. All industry capable of producing armaments (a broad definition) would be destroyed or transferred, the remainder controlled by the occupation forces. The educational system would be overhauled.

Said FEA's Leo Crowley, who had a part in drafting "revised directive 1067": "We are going to have a tremendous policing job and we will be busy at it for years. I predict that some people will get mighty tired of it, and there will be a campaign to get us out of Germany."

Some indications of preparations for this cleansing of the Augean stables:

Although a formula for trying war criminals had yet to be announced, the U.S. named its chief counsel for the international tribunal that would handle the cases: Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, who opposes judicial proceedings to execute military or political policy, favors trial and punishment by military agencies set up for the express purpose.

Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF announced that it was ready to move into Germany, take over radio stations, presses, publications, cinema studios, recording facilities, and operate them under military control, thus beginning the re-education of Germany. The Germans would be given news from outside, but would have no medium of expression.

Biggest problem of the Reparations Commission, now being organized in Moscow: balancing the demands of each Ally for the products produced in zones controlled by others; e.g., the Russian zone formerly supplied food surpluses which Britain, France and the U.S. may need in their zones to feed the starving people of other countries. In almost every undertaking there would be conflict of purpose. The Americans from the start had opposed censorship of foreign correspondents operating in postwar Germany. The British had reservations but finally agreed to the American policy. What the Russians will do remained a secret; at week's end they still had not allowed Allied newsmen in Berlin. This was a minor conflict, but more important issues would follow. How well the Allies would work together in postwar Germany was one of the big questions of the peace.

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