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Between idealism and pragmatism : the administration and denazification of Bremen, United States enclave in the context of Anglo-American military governments in the Second World War / by Bianka J. Adams.

Publication | Library Call Number: D802.G32 B732 1998

Eradication of Nazism and Fascism was the declared war goal of the Allies in World War II. This study traces the evolution of Civil Affairs Section under those circumstances from its humble beginnings as a “Cinderella” Service in French North Africa to its maximum reach as office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.). This study focused on four distinct Anglo-American military governments: each characterized by increased involvement of military government personnel in day-to-day government affairs on ever higher levels, accompanied by ever greater efforts to purge at first only government and later a whole society of Fascists and Nazis. In Germany, finally, allied military governments ultimately replaced the destroyed National Socialist government. In their attempt to fulfill the Allied mandate to denazify Germany, however, American and British military governments had to experience the limits of what a military government can accomplish. Denazification became a victim of its own ambition. It literally collapsed underneath its own weight, leaving both purgers and objects of the purge demoralized and disillusioned. While military government and denazification in the Bremen, United States Enclave, was an afterthought for military government planners in both, the United States and the United Kingdom, denazification in the Bremen appendage, had roughly the same outcome as in the main zones of occupation. In the end, the bloated bureaucratic process of denazification classified most individuals as “followers” (Mitläufer), even when they were hardly fellow travellers. For political events, strategic decision-making, and advances in the war this study was based on published personal papers, memoirs, and published official documents. For the parts dealing with Germany, Record Group 260: Records of the Office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.) located at the World War II Records Division, National Archives and Records Service, Suitland, Maryland, offered abundant material. Records of the Office of Military Government for Bavaria shed light on both denazification practices and specific complications associated with it for the main part of the United States Zone. Decisions and directives affecting Bremen, originating from office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.) in Berlin, were mostly included in the Records of the Adjutant General 1945–1949. General information pertaining to denazification was available in the State Archives of the City of Bremen. While documents of individual tribunal trials, also located in the State Archives, are not yet accessible to researchers as mandated by German archival laws, those dealing with German reactions to denazification, and contacts between Military Government and city officials were readily available.

Adams, Bianka J. (Bianka Janssen)
Bremen (Germany)
Africa, North
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
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