Dismemberment of Germany the Allied Negotiations from Yalta to Potsdam

From right to left: De Lattre, Zhukov, Eisenhower, and Montgomery at the Soviet headquarters in Berlin-Köpenick on June 5, 1945.

DURING World War II, the idea of punishing Germany for obeying Hitler to the end and supporting the Nazi bid for world domination found strong backing. Many influential Allied leaders felt that the most telling reprisal could be inflicted on her by decreeing her dismemberment. This feeling reached its high point at the Yalta Conference. There a provision for dismemberment was added to the surrender instrument previously prepared for German signature, and a secret committee was established to study and report on the steps necessary for carrying the plan into execution. Three weeks after V-E Day, however, Marshal Stalin complained to the late Harry Hopkins that Foreign Secretary Eden and the American Ambassador to Britain, the late John G. Winant, had rejected dismemberment.[i] In the absence of other evidence it might be assumed that Stalin's complaint gave a full account of the fate of the Yalta decision on German

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