Alternatives for Germany

Courtesy Reuters

There will not be economic or political health in Europe until we have faced and dealt with the German problem. Neither Britain nor France, war-weary, in financial straits and preoccupied with domestic and empire problems, can shoulder the major part of the burden of making a settlement in Germany. The United States is the only western Power which has the capacity, if it has the will, to take the lead and to see the task through. The performance of this task demands American initiative, ingenuity and money in large amounts. The money is not charity; it is part of the cost of World War II. It is also an investment in our own future welfare and security.

Germany must be dealt with in the framework of Europe. If the settlement is to bring economic health to Europe, it must advance the economic stabilization of all of Germany's neighbors and help them to face their common economic problems together. If it is to bring political health to Europe, it must contribute to a reduction of the political tension on the Continent and between the Powers outside the Continent which are hardly less concerned with the future of Germany than are that country's immediate neighbors.

In laying plans to deal with Germany we face these problems and contradictions:

1. If Germany is to be solvent and self-sustaining, and hence is to cease being an object of outside charity, she will, by implication, be industrially prosperous. But the prospect of a prosperous Germany arouses fear of a Germany that may again be militarily powerful and dangerous.

2. Germany's industry is necessary for Europe, and must be fitted into the European economy. But the natural pattern to follow, i.e., integrating the industry of western Germany chiefly into western Europe, will arouse Russia's suspicions that preparations are being made to use Germany against her. Similarly, the absorption of the industrial capacity of prewar eastern Germany (Silesia, etc.) into the Soviet sphere of influence will raise apprehensions in

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.