Key Question 4 - How far did Western democratic structures succeed in the Federal Republic?

Revision Notes on Key Question 4 of the course Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933-63

Specifically for AS OCR History A Unit F964 Option B

Study Topic 4: Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933–63

[Sepcification for my course on pg 63 of:]

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Preview of Key Question 4 - How far did Western democratic structures succeed in the Federal Republic?

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How far did Western democratic
structures succeed in the Federal
Allied Plans for PostWar Germany
Grand alliance ­ USSR, USA and Britain ­ formed in the latter half of 1941 ­ brought together out of the
necessity of the military survival of their nations.
Atlantic Charter (1941)
Churchill and Roosevelt.
Agreed to annihilate Nazism.
Establish a new, peaceful world order ­ political freedom, selfdetermination for all peoples, liberal world
No compromises with Hitler.
Casablanca (January 1943)
Churchill and Roosevelt.
Demanded the `unconditional surrender' of Germany.
Stalin absent ­ upset to find that the West wouldn't be strong enough to invade France until 1944.
Teheran (NovemberDecember 1943)
First summit of the `Big Three'.
Map the military strategy for the final phase of the war.
Showed that decisions on territorial changes in Europe after Hitler wouldn't be easily found ­ self interest
and mutual mistrust stood in the way of compromise.
Issues over the border between Poland and Germany ­ USSR wanted to keep the areas in Poland
gained by the 1939 NaziSoviet Pact ­ Western allies agreed to this to keep Stalin on side ­ Poland had
to be compensated with land from Eastern Germany ­ border drawn along the two rivers Oder and
Allies wanted to eliminate the German threat permanently ­ plans about separating Germany into
different states were discussed but not finalised ­ special commission negotiated this further.
US Secretary of State (Henry Morgenthau) suggested dividing Germany up and turning it into a purely
agrarian state, destroying all industry.
Yalta Conference (February 1945)
Circumstances of war changed between Teheran and Yalta ­ it was clear that Britain's power was in
The Soviet army had advanced into Germany while the West didn't reach the Rhine until February.
The Soviet `liberation' of states in Eastern Europe was not supported by everybody and would become a
focus of discussion.
Stalin had established a provisional communist government in Poland in January.

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Obsession with security was growing.
Wanted satellites in the West.
Wanted to secure his military and political position in eastern Europe with as little confrontation with his
allies as possible.
Didn't trust Stalin ­ wanted to limit his influence over soviet occupied satellites as he feared the spread
of Communism.
Became wary of taking too much land from Germany to give to Poland ­ thought too much was being
Driven by idealism ­ wanted to introduce democracy into eastern Europe.…read more

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Zones of occupation in Germany controlled by the USA, France and Britain in the West ­ Germany was
to be treated as an economic unity ­ decisions affecting the whole of the country were to be taken
Each zone would be allowed to take reparations from their zones and the USSR would receive a quarter
of the reparations from the Western Zones in return for raw materials and agricultural goods.
Borders weren't defined.…read more

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Trials lasted 218 days ­ necessary to translate all procedures into the different languages made it clear that it
would be impossible to try all party members in this way.
Results of the trials:
12 leaders sentenced to death (10 actually executed).
Three life sentences.
Four sentences of up to 20 years' imprisonment.
Three people acquitted ­ von Papen, Schacht and Fritzsche.
NSDAP and its organisations condemned as criminal and forbidden.…read more

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British Zone
More pragmatic approach ­ casebycase basis and the questionnaire wasn't as strictly pursued.
Soon exNSDAP members were allowed to return to their jobs ­ British military officials often permitted
exNazis to assume leadership roles in the Zone (forbidden in the US Zone).
Students forbidden from attending university in the US zone were allowed in the British Zone.
1.3% were put in categories IIII (all in category III).
10.9% were in category IV.
Most people were in category V ­ 58.4%.
29.…read more

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Americans ­ strongest supporters of decentralisation due to their own federal government system.
General Clay ­ influenced US Zone to establish the administrative structure for three Länder.
May 1946 ­ first free federal elections.
British Zone
Doubted Germans' ability to build up democracy ­ wary of giving them political freedom and power.
Preferred to keep close control over their Zone through centralised administration ­ although they took in
German experts there were clear limitations.
Financial costs of occupation led to encouragement of decentralisation.…read more

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It stressed the right of private property and upheld the advantages of the
free market.
Basic Problems
British Zone ­ most dense population and industry with damaged cities.
French Zone ­ the French wanted to extract as much possible from Germany.
Soviets continued demanding reparations out of the Western Zones as agreed at Potsdam.
British and Americans resorted to `crisis management'.
Many families had to live in old bunkers/ruined houses ­ lack of heating or sanitation.…read more

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The Bizone:
Talks between the Allies showed the growing differences between the USA and Britain as well as the
USSR and France.
May 1946 ­ tension between the US and USSR ­ USSR hadn't fulfilled their part of the Potsdam
agreement (to send agricultural goods) so the US zone didn't give them any industrial goods.
July 1946 ­ Americans suggested a merger ­ accepted by the British and rejected by the French and
Soviets.…read more

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BUT the new currency was liberating because the black market collapsed hard work was encouraged
workers' absenteeism was reduced business was stimulated to increase production and selling and it
went well with the Marshall Plan, resurrecting trade.
Economically ­ successful.
By the end of 1948 ­ industrial production had increased so much that there were inflationary pressures.
Political effects ­ Soviets taken by surprise and it prompted the Berlin Crisis.
The Division of Germany
Berlin Crisis:
Short term ­ currency reform caused the crisis.…read more

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New constitution was to remain under the strict control of the Western Occupying Powers ­ expressed
in the Military Occupation Statute.
New constitution would be drawn up by a council of 65 delegates from the Länder, not by a constituent
assembly as under the Weimar.
Drawing up the constitution aware of the failure of the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazis and the Communist
threat from the East ­ wanted to create a stable democracy that couldn't be overthrown.…read more


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