U.S. military occupation of Nuremberg, Germany : 1945-1949 / by Boyd L. Dastrup.
With the exception of John Gimbel's "American Denazification and German Local Politics: 1945-1952," American Political Science Review, March 1960, and A German Community under American Occupation: Marburg, 1945-1952 (1961), no one has studied the implementation of American policy to denazify, democratize, demilitarize, decartelize, and decentralize Germany after World War II. As a result, historians know little about the actual operations below the national level of occupation. Nuremberg gives the historian the opportunity to study how American military government personnel dealt with a city famous for its Nazi Party rallies and anti-Semitic laws of the 1930s by examining how American authorities implemented their policy to transform the German people so that they would never disrupt the world's peace through aggression and war again. This dissertation will emphasize the daily operations of military government as it struggled to rebuild a city destroyed by Allied bombing raids in 1944 and 1945, restructure local government and the economy, and reorient and reeducate the people. Military government officers came as conquerors into Nuremberg in April 1945. Trying to reform the Germans in the city, military government officials resorted to authoritarian measures. They controlled the media so that it would disseminate only information that favorably portrayed American occupation and discredited Nazi and communist ideologies. In the school system the Americans forced the youth to read books that depicted democratic institutions such as representative government positively and banned all Nazi, racist, or militaristic books. Moreover, they purged city government and private enterprise so that only politically reliable people staffed civil service and business managerial positions. Following Office of Military Government, US Zone orders, military government officers in Nuremberg forcefully decartelized, demilitarized, and denazified industry to eliminate war potential. Fearing that Germany might cause another war, military government personnel imposed their will upon the Germans, preventing them from exercising their own free will to decide for themselves the nature of their government, business, educational system, and society. In other words, the American violated democratic principles trying to reform Germany. After the war, American military government officials had no other choice but to use controls to regulate political and economic life in Nuremberg. Allied bombing raids of 1944 and 1945 had devasted the city. Industry had shutdown, and local government ceased to exist. American controls served utilitarian purposes by restoring order to government and economy. Moreover, authoritarian measures to denazify, democratize, demilitarize, decartelize, and decentralize helped wipe the slate clean by destroying the old institutions in the city, allowing military government representatives to create a new political leadership and an economic and social order that supported peace. As undemocratic as occupation seemed, military government controls were necessary since the economic and political institutions had collapsed because of the war.
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 16:28:00
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