Courtesy Reuters

The Occupation of Germany

New Light on How the Zones Were Drawn

THE first steps towards three-Power planning for the occupation and control of Germany after her eventual defeat were taken at the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers in October 1943. In those days the Red Army was continuing its powerful advance against the German armies (Kiev was liberated during the Conference), and the forces of the Western Allies were preparing their tremendous attack upon Hitler's "Fortress Europe." The need for coördinating the political planning of the major Allies thus became more and more obvious and acute. During Mr. Eden's visit to Washington the previous March, Harry Hopkins had noted the necessity of reaching an understanding "as to which armies would be where and what kind of administration should be developed."[i] A few days later President Roosevelt instructed Secretary Hull to explore, first with the British and then with the Russians, "the question of what our plan is to be in Germany and Italy during the first months after Germany's collapse."[ii] Even so, the Italian surrender caught the Allies politically unprepared. The cross-purposes and frictions revealed during the negotiations over Italy showed how urgent it was to begin coördinating Allied purposes and arrangements for the surrender of Germany, and to do so well before the event. In September 1943 it was decided to arrange a first meeting of the three Foreign Ministers in preparation for a first conference of the three heads of governments.

At the Moscow Conference, Mr. Hull presented to Mr. Eden and Mr. Molotov the American view of postwar policy toward Germany.[iii] Although this memorandum was received favorably, no attempt was made to reach concrete decisions concerning Germany, and the problem was referred to a new body, the European Advisory Commission (henceforth referred to as the EAC), which was to have its seat in London and carry on its work continuously. The memorandum recommended that an inter-Allied control commission be set up to enforce upon Germany the terms of surrender and the policies of the Allies, and that Germany should

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