Defeated Germany to Divided Germany

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The Potsdam Conference

The conference aimed to deal with four key issues:            

  • Disarmament- relatively straightforwad process, all the allies agreed that Nazi expansionist policies had been the cause of ww1. They agred the the detruction of ammunitions factories in Germany and the disbanding of the German armed forces.
  • Denazification- The Nuremberg Trials- leading nazis on trial as war criminals. 22 Nazis were put on trial including Goering.
  • Territorial adjustments- Germany was divided into 4 zones.  Berlin also divided into 4 zones as it was in the soviets quarter.
  • Reperations- 6,600 mllion marks                   

The conference contributed to the incrasing tension between Stain and the Western allies by bringing out into the open differing views and opinions.

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Tensions Between the Allies

  • Friction quickly developed between the occupying powers over Stalins attitiude to reperations - Stain felt justified, following the loss of 25 million soviet lives and the devestation of so much soviet territory during the war with Germany.
  • Stalin failed to keep an agreemet that the eastern zone would give the western zone food and raw materials in return for industrial goods.
  • In 1946 the Western zone stopped sending goods into the Eastern zone.
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Denazification in the Western zones

  • The very early stages of denazification proved to be complex and time consuming
  • The Western Allies required Germans to complete questionnaires, individuals were then assigned to one of five categories depending on the extent of their involvement in Nazism.
  • 'Persil Certificate'- these were given to Germans who were classified as not having been active participants in the Nazi regime.
  • However, the Western Allies soon became more focused on rebuilding West Germany rather than denazification.
  • BUT, in Adenauers government there were severl members who had close associations with the Third Reich government
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Denazification in the Soviet zone

  • The USSR's process of denazification was much more thorough but also more ruthless in aiming to exclude or remove former Nazis from key position of influence i.e. the government.
  • The denazificatio process was also used in the Soviet zone as a way of attacking individuals who did not agree with socialism.
  • Within just 3 months of Sachenhausen ceasing to be a Nazi concentration camp, it had become Soviet Special Camp Number 7.
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