The American Occupation of Germany: Retreat to Victory
By Edward N. Peterson
Wayne State University Press, 1978, 376 pp.
U.S. Occupation in Europe After World War II
Edited by Hans A. Schmitt
Regents Press of Kansas, 1978, 172 pp.
Author of a well-known book on the limits of Hitler's power, Peterson here contends, on the basis of impressive evidence, that U.S. occupation policies were largely ineffectual and that we succeeded only when we turned power over to the Germans. "M.G. [Military Government] had little influence in assisting German democracy . . ." is one of his principal conclusions, arrived at in part by local studies of the American impact. Schmitt edited a symposium, held in 1976, which discussed, with the help of leading actors of the time, the policies of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. vis-à-vis defeated Germany. Both works call to mind General Clay's outstanding role and personality and constitute an important and critical contribution to the study of the postwar era.