Alfred Jodl

The Treatment of Germany

THE governments of all the leading Powers are now faced with the problem of the postwar treatment of Germany, in all of its phases. The responsibility, moreover, is primarily a governmental one. Intelligent and comprehensive consideration of how this responsibility should be carried out requires detailed and timely factual information. This is in large part available only to governments and their personnel. While hostilities continued, secrecy was necessary with respect to some of this information; and the very mass of the relevant data makes it practically impossible for outsiders to accumulate and master it. The solutions to the problems which will arise must, moreover, be hammered out in negotiations among the United Nations. Differences will inevitably arise among them, and until these are reconciled the governments concerned will not think it wise either to permit their own positions to become frozen or to share fully with their publics the views they have reached. The answers must in the last analysis be worked out in discussions among governments.

The lay citizen, nevertheless, has an important rôle to play in the process of formulating policy in this field. He has a vital stake in the decisions. The nature of these decisions will reveal, soon if not at once, "the baby figure of the giant mass of things to come at large." The decisions, moreover, must be such as not to clash violently, now or later, with prevailing public opinion. It is urgent, therefore, that the public be made aware of some of the complexities of the issues involved, be prevented from acquiring fantastic notions as to what is possible or desirable, and especially be brought to realize that much more is involved than the decision as between a "hard" and a "soft" peace. Governments, as far as I know, have as yet done practically nothing in this direction, no doubt because until victory against the Axis Powers was definitive, and until they had reached substantial agreement among themselves, they were too hard

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