Joseph Hansen

Allies Impose Barbarous Rule
on German People

(26 May 1945)

Source: The Militant, Vol. IX No. 21, 26 May 1945, p. 5.
Transcription/Editing/HTML Markup: 2018 by Einde O’Callaghan.
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Twentieth century barbarism tightened its rule over Europe this week as the Allied conquerors began imposing their “peace” on Germany in accordance with the secret agreements of the Yalta conference. It is an ugly, sinister “peace,” sentencing tens of millions of workers and poor people to slavery, starvation and death in order to satisfy the sordid aims of the Anglo-American profiteers and their accomplices in the Kremlin.

Saturday Evening Post of April 14. “The Russians and the British are to have similar independence in their respective areas.” Outright “annexation” of portions of Germany was agreed upon at Yalta, Mr. Bess reveals. The beneficiaries are to include Belgium, Holland, Poland, France and “other smaller countries.”

England has taken over northwestern Germany. This was decided in secret at the second Quebec conference, says Mr. Bess.

“The British wanted northern Germany rather than the south because this area is nearest to the British Isles, and also because it includes most of Germany’s raw materials and those heavy industries which have competed directly with British industry.”

Washington grabbed the southwestern portion after the British agreed to American “control of railways running from the southern zone through the British northern zone ... So our zone now included ... a sort of ‘Danzig Corridor’ through the British area, together with the port of Bremen.”

No time limit has been set on the occupation. “Fifteen years,” declares Mr. Bess, “is the length of time estimated as the minimum required to achieve the program roughly sketched in the Yalta communique.”

Conditions in Germany

“There is going to be a grave shortage of food in Germany this winter,” declares the May 20 N.Y. Times. The caloric ration has been set at 1,150 per day (about eleven and one-half slices of bread). Not even this famine level can be met, however, without importing supplies. Occupation authorities have already cut “individual daily food consumption to 1,007 calories,” reports the Times of May 15. “4,000,000 Germans face starvation this winter in the Ruhr alone,” the Military Government director in the British area revealed.

The millions of German workers how in prison camps are not being returned to produce food and the other necessities of life. They are forced to repair roads, clear debris, etc. with simple hand tools outside of Germany. These slaves are doled 10 cents a day in cash and 80 cents a day in “credits,” while their families face starvation at home.

The “iron control” of the Allies, from all reports, sounds more brutal than that imposed by the Nazis on occupied countries. All entertainment is outlawed. Postal circulation is forbidden. Use of telephones is banned. The curfew is enforced. Travel is prohibited by any means except foot and bicycle. Shops outside of those handling food remain closed. Millions are homeless and nothing is being done about housing. Civilian unemployment is rapidly spreading. Epidemic diseases are smoldering in a number of areas.

Industry has been devastated. The Ruhr, the “great forge of Europe,” was 90 per cent knocked out. Other cities and manufacturing centers were about 50 per cent destroyed. Berlin, capital of Germany, once a modern city of 4,000,000, is “a lifeless mound of debris.”

N.Y. Times reporter R. Daniell, “The Ford factory at Cologne has received permission to resume operations because, undamaged as it was by air attack, it was in a position to build trucks for Allied use. In fact, the first vehicle was scheduled to roll off the assembly line today.” The miraculous preservation of Henry Ford’s property from Allied bombs is a concrete illustration of Anglo-American concern over maintaining capitalism in Germany.

The Allies display no fundamental hostility toward the Nazi agents of German imperialism in spite of the propaganda that hopes to make scapegoats of the notorious officials.

“The emphasis on expediency had tended to override long-term considerations involved in retaining Nazis in key positions,” says Daniell. “That condition is likely to continue for some time, for there just are not enough anti-Nazis readily accessible with technical skill to take over. The Saar coal and iron mines have reopened with 5,000 of the former workmen back on the job. The management consists pretty much of the same people who ran them as feeders for the Nazi war industry and who, to the knowledge of Military Government officials, were supporters of the Hitler regime.”

This is no isolated instance. Allied policy is to retain “municipal, county and state governmental structures.” That structure however is the structure of the same German capitalism which produced Nazism.

Meanwhile the Allies are strictly enforcing their non-fraternization rule toward the tens of thousands of heroic anti-Nazi Germans released from concentration camps. “We haven’t modified the non-fraternization order because we haven’t found any decent people in Germany,” cynically declared General Clay.

Times correspondent James MacDonald (May 17)

“... German soldiers, many of whom were straggling along the highways wondering what to do and where to go, are still being held behind barbed-wire enclosures. However ... when these soldiers go to work on the land, in coal mines or on railroads, it is conceivable that they may try to form subversive groups, and precautions are being taken to guard against serious outbreaks within the next two or three months.”


Last updated on: 7 November 2018