The four D's and how successful they were

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Western Denazification - Successes

  • The Western zones believed that denazification was an individual and psychological issue amd so it was not considered necessary to restructure society. The emphasis was looking at individual cases on their merits.
  • 117,512 had been interned in the American zone - double that of the British zone.
  • From June 1945 those dismissed could appeal to a tribunal and present a testimony of good behaviour to plead their case. This was known as 'persilscheine'.
  • The American zone was especially efficent at 'Fragebogen', questionaires about aspects of life under the Nazis.
  • No immediate re-emergance of Nazism in German society.
  • The New Press discredited Nazism and probably did the best to 're-educate'
  • The revival of the economy also helped re-educate the German people as they had no desire to return to the past.
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Western Denazification - Failures

  • 'Fragenbogen' was copied to varying degrees of thoroughness in the French & British zones.
  • 1946 - 'Law for Liberation from National Socialism' established new tribunals staffed by Germans and supervised by the allies, to investigate ex-party members. 3.6 mill came before it, but the easiest cases were addressed first, so by the time the more difficult ones gained a hearing, the treatment had become more leniant. 90% emerged exonerated in the British zone.
  • Practical problems led to the abandonment of denazification in the early 1950s. It was impractical to sack the experienced people despite the fact they were nazis after the Ruhr coal mine accident.
  • 1951 - Civil servants were allowed to have their jobs back, or retire on full pensions.
  • 870,000 lost their jobs in the British zone, but most who were condemmed 1945 - 1947 regained their positions because there was nobody to replace them.
  • The nazi 'witch hunt' increased resentment against the occupying powers with those who had suffered the most. 
  • Re-education was confused. School systems were not radically restructured and within Universities those wit Nazi links usually kept their positions. There was little formal atttempts to change attitudes other than films.
  • Inconsistent, 1/10 were seen as Nazi 'followers' in the British zone, compared with 1/2 in the American zone. 36% of people were found to still be following nazism.
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Eastern Denazification - Successes

  • Seen Nazism as a complete social and economic system that had to be destroyed. A major restructuring of society was needed.
  • 520,000 Nazis were purged from government and industry up until 1948.
  • All Nazi teachers and administrators were dismissed. Old textbooks were withdrawn and new education guidelines established.
  • Ex Nazi's were given the lowest level ration card and only employable as 'reconstruction and conscription workers'
  • 1,400 businesses belonging to 'active Nazis' were closed.
  • All swastikas were removed from Berlin, street names were changed and so were postage stamps.
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Eastern Denazification - Failures

  • The need for trained professionals was a major handicap to the denazification programme and lessened its thoroughness.
  • The medical profession was less thoroughly cleansed.
  • Russians denazified where it suited them, keeping some Nazis in high positions and treating others brutally in prisioner camps, or deporting/executing them without trial.
  • 1947 - Russians offered a general amnesty to all of those who were prepared to help further a socialst society in East Germany.
  • In 1948-49 restrictions on the activites and rights of former Nazis were removed.
  • 1952 - Full citzenship rights were given to all former Nazis who were not war criminals.
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Western Democratisation - Sucesses

  • Chosen path to democracy was re-educating Germans in local administration only. 'Landers' were created in order for the government to be be federal.
  • Licences to form parties and particpate in local elections from Sep 1945, but these were only for parties believed to be democratic.
  • Four main parties emerged - SPD, CDU, KPD and FPD.
  • Echoing the days of the weimar?
  • CDU and SPD overwhelmingly the most successful parties. Most of the smaller parties were unsuccessful and were subsequently disbanded.
  • Adenaur was elected President of the Parlimentary Council, whose role was to draw up political foundations for a new Germany republic as he was the leader of the CDU and condemmed both left-wing socialism and right-wing nazism. He had an anti-nazi reputation from the start.
  • Gradually, local governments were established in the western zones and German people came to play an important part in the reconstruction of Germany.
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Western Democratisation - Failures

  • Started significantly later than the Soviet zone.
  • Suppressed 'anti-fascist' groups that sprung up in the final months of the war to combat the Nazis as they were fearful of any German 'politcal organisations'
  • Overall, the occupying powers were in firm control.
  • The Americans were uncertain of what action to take when an ex-nazi mayor was elected by democratic vote
  • The French were particularly suspicious of revival of German politcial activity due to their long history of conflict with Germany, and controlled it for mch longer than any of the other occupyinng powers.
  • The British encountered problems when they tried to replace proportional representation with first past the post.
  • For older Germans, 'democracy' was associated with the disasters of the Weimar Republic, and so was regarded with suspicion.
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Eastern Democratisation - Successes

  • SMAD (Soviet Military Administration in Germany)  licensed the official formation of political parties June 1945
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Eastern Democratisation - Failures

  • On the day of Hitler's suicide, 10 German communists led by Walter Ulbricht were sent to set up local governments when the fighting stopped, and they installed German mayors and other officials for all the Berlin boroughs. Ulbricht ordered communists to stand in four boroughs and 'anti-fascists' with communist deputys to stand everywhere else.
  • Communists were installed as heads of education and police
  • May 1945 - a German radio station was set up under communist control and a city wide government had been installed.
  • The KPD, SPD and other communist 'puppet' parties were formed June 1945.
  • The KPD were not strong enough to win local elections, and so the soviets put pressure on the SPD on merge with them. In April 1946 the Socialist Unity Party was created, the SED despite 82% of members voting against it.
  • The SED became the dominant party and other left-wing parties were forced to support it in an 'anti-fascist bloc'.
  • In Nov 1946 the SED drew up plans for a German Democratic Republic, although the Russians were reluctant to go down this route.
  • Federalism was distrusted, it was thought it would make it more difficult to reunite Germany so in 1952 they disbanded the Lander to create a centrilised state.
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Western Demilitarisation

  • Manufacture of armaments, aircraft, ships, synthetic fuels, light metals and radioactive substances were banned. Any surplus was to be destroyed or handed over as reparations 1946. However, th is was never successfully put into operation due to disagreements over reparations and the future of Germany.
  • Disbanded the Wehrmacht
  • More concerned with encouraging their zones to support themselves economically in order to reduce tax on their own citizens.
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Eastern Demilitarisation

  • Soviets took all the reparations from their zone that thy could, using SAG's which controlled 30% of production which went straight to the USSR.
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  • Decartilisaton only applied to the British zone initially as they had inhereited the Ruhr, where most of the coal and steel industry was located.
  • 8 steel cartels were broken up into 24 new companies
  • Decartilisation could have made more progress if not for inflation and reduction in coal.
  • Once the British zone combined with the American zone to form Bizonia, American hostility towards nationalisation meant that decartilisation could not be encouraged further than this.
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