Chapter Eighteen

Berlin and Bonn

When Soviet troops entered Berlin in 1945, they posted up placards all over the city bearing an extract from one of Stalin's speeches. "It would be ridiculous to identify the Hitler clique with the German people, with the German State. The experience of history teaches us that Hitlers come and go, but the German people, the German State, remains."

That speech was made on February 23, 1942, when the German armies stood at the gates of Moscow; the people of Leningrad were suffering unimaginable hardships from the German siege and daily bombardment; Hitler's troops were slaughtering, raping and plundering in the richest and most densely populated parts of the Soviet Union.

In the West at that time, the Vansittarts and Morganthaus, whose countries had not suffered occupation, were talking of wiping out the German race and turning German cities under the plough. Despite the fact that the Soviet Union suffered most from the war, Stalin, from the first to the last day of the war, refused to identify the Nazis with the German people; refused to agree to any plans to destroy or divide the German State. Soviet policy was simple, straightforward and unwavering. It was to destroy Nazism; to help the Germans to create a new democratic state; to exact reparations for part of the damage done; to prevent the recurrence of German aggression. But Germany was to remain united and independent.

Despite the lip service the Western powers have given since to the idea of a united Germany, they fought against the establishment of such a state at every conference at which Germany was discussed both during and after the war.

At the conference of Teheran in 1943, the Americans proposed that Germany be split up into five independent states. The British reserved their opinion on the matter and were scolded by the Americans for their hesitation. The Russians opposed the proposal. A year later, Churchill and Foreign Minister Eden went to Moscow and presented a British plan to divide Germany into three parts. Again the Russians opposed the idea and in the early days of victory over Germany, on May 9, 1945, Stalin made statement which put on the record the unyielding opposition of the Soviet Union to any plans to split up Germany.

"Three years ago," said Stalin, "Hitler publicly stated that his task included the dismemberment of the Soviet Union and the severance from it of the Caucasus, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic and other regions. He definitely said, 'We shall destroy Russia so that she shall never rise again.' This was three years ago. But Hitler's insane ideas were fated to remain unrealised – the course of the war scattered them to the winds like dust. Actually, the very opposite of what the Hitlerites dreamed of in their delirium occurred. Germany is utterly defeated. The German troops are surrendering. The Soviet Union is triumphant, although it has no intention of either dismembering or destroying Germany."

In the moment of triumph, after having defeated the greatest military machine in world history at a cost of 7,000,000 Soviet dead, Stalin renounced revenge and stood out for a united Germany.

At the Potsdam meeting, Stalin pressed for the setting up of a central German administration which could prepare the way for political and economic unity. This was opposed by both American and British delegations, although the Americans supported the idea of economic unity. Mr. Bevin at first vigorously rejected even the conception of treating Germany as a single economic unit, but later withdrew his objections at least in theory. At the Moscow conference in 1947, Bevin said he agreed to economic unity only in order to meet the wishes of his colleagues. It was soon apparent, however, that he had no intention of honouring the agreement he had signed.

The nearest that could be obtained at Potsdam was an agreement in principle as to the desirability of setting up a centralised government for a united Germany in the future, with the establishment of five central administrations to control economic affairs for the whole country, as a first step towards economic unity. As we have seen earlier these administrations were not set up, due originally to French objections which were later supported by the British and Americans.

In brief, that is the history of the fight to establish a united Germany up to the time of the creation of the Allied Control Council. The Soviet Union stood alone in demanding a united, independent Germany. The Soviet Union blocked the American plan to split Germany into five parts; opposed the Churchill-Eden plan to split Germany into three parts, but was unsuccessful in persuading the Anglo-American delegates to agree to an all-German government being set up after the Potsdam Agreement was signed.

With the idea of a united Germany accepted and written into the Potsdam Agreement, it was difficult for the Western powers openly to renounce German unity without turning German public opinion against them. They preferred to preach unity, at the same time manoeuvering behind the scenes to carry out their original plans to carve up Germany into separate states.

The steps which led to the final division are well known. The Bevin-Byrnes agreement in 1946 for economic fusion of the British and American zones; the eventual fusion of the two zones into Bizonia in 1947; the transformation of the economic into a political fusion; the agreement on the West German State and the setting up of the Bonn regime in Western Germany on September 20, 1949, as a separate state comprising the British, American and French zones.

The Saar was annexed by France, the Ruhr was placed under a separate administration without reference to the Allied Control Council or discussion by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

By the time the Bonn regime was set up Germany as a whole was split in two and Western Germany was subdivided into three parts, Trizonia, the Saar and the Ruhr Authority. All these measures were opposed by the Russians and were against the expressed will of the German people.

At the July, 1946, meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Paris, M. Molotov repeated the views Stalin had expressed earlier on the dismemberment of Germany. "It has become fashionable," said Molotov, "to talk about dismembering Germany into several 'autonomous' states, federalising her and separating the Ruhr from her.... But I have already said that the destruction of Germany should not be our objective, if we cherish the interests of peace and tranquility. Of course, if the German people, in a plebiscite taken throughout Germany, or if as result of a plebiscite in one or another former German state the desire is expressed to secede from Germany, it goes without saying that we cannot object.

"I think our purpose is not to destroy Germany but to transform her into a democratic and peace-loving state which, alongside of agriculture, would have its own industry and foreign trade, but which would be deprived of the economic and military potentiality to rise again as an aggressive force."

In Paris, Moscow and London, Molotov kept putting forward concrete proposals for the establishment of a provisional government drawn from all political parties and trade unions in all four zones, with the task of preparing an all-German constitution and free and secret elections throughout Germany. A government so elected would have met all the requirements of a bourgeois democracy. It would certainly not have been Communist-dominated, with the Soviet Zone accounting for only 18 millions out of Germany's 67 millions of population. Voting, Molotov suggested should be on the principle of proportional representation and would be supervised by four-power teams. But these proposals were continually rejected without any real alternatives being put forward by the Western powers. (See annex for Molotov's proposal at the Moscow Conference, repeated six months later in London.)

The Soviet objections to dismemberment were first and foremost on grounds of security. A divided Germany would provide fuel for the militarists to agitate for new aggressions. A new Bismarck or a new Hitler would arise to reunite the divided lands by force of arms. A divided Germany would also mean a weakened Germany – a tempting target for foreign investors. A Germany dismembered by the victor powers would be a negation of the principle of the self-determination of nations.

"The history of Germany," stated Molotov at the Moscow conference, "teaches us how dangerous it is to leave the cause of a united Germany in the hands of the German militarists."

Nevertheless the Western powers went steadily ahead with their plans and Germany was divided up, with a separate West German government established in Bonn, in September, 1949.

That Soviet fears were justified was evident on the first day the Bonn parliament met. Seeles, representative of the neo-Nazi Bavarian Party, demanded that "German order" should be re-established in the Danubian countries. The Bavarian party supported by Catholic reactionaries in Austria and Hungary, dream of a clerical-fascist state of Danubia which would include as a start, Bavaria, Austria and Hungary. The Vatican has smiled favorably on the plan, which was also a pet project of Hungary's Cardinal Mindszenty.

Lorritz, from the Economic Reconstruction Party, demanded that Czechoslovakia should be attached to Germany and the leader of the German Rightist Party denounced the Bonn regime as "too republican" and proposed it should include in its programme as one of the first tasks, the reattachment of Austria and Czech Sudetenland to Germany. For all of them, the first step was to "reconquer" Eastern Germany.

The complexion of the Bonn regime and parliament must give rise to the most profound disquiet as to the future of Western Germany. The government itself is a coalition of the reactionary Christian Democrats and a group of rabidly nationalist right-wing parties.

The Christian Democrats who are in an overwhelming majority in the government, are the party of the Ruhr industrialists. Prominent names in the party and amongst its financial backers are Hermann Reusch, head of the enormously powerful Gutehoffnungehuette steel combine who is said to have collected two million marks for the Christian Democrat election fund, and Robert Pferdmenges, the greatest financier in the Ruhr to-day.

Pferdmenges' rise to power coincided with that of Hitler, whom he helped to finance. His name appears on the board of directors ofmore than 20 key Ruhr enterprises. He was on the list of German war criminals, drawn up by Senator Kilgore, was arrested for a short time in 1945 and banned by British Military Government from all public activity. The ban was lifted, however, in 1947, and a few months later Pferdmenges was appointed, with British approval, to the Bizonal Economic Council as a Christian Democrat nominee. He is one of the most powerful and dangerous men in the Ruhr to-day. He is the Pierpont Morgan of German heavy industry.

Pferdmenges' greatest friend is Dr. Konrad Adenauer, Prime Minister of the Bonn regime. Adenauer, a protege of the Vatican, leader of the Rhine Catholics, maintains equally close ties with the Ruhr industrial barons and the Vatican, through Cardinal Frings of Cologne. Under Kaiser Wilhelm, Adenauer was Mayor of Cologne. When Hitler was preparing to seize power, Adenauer sat with Krupp, Kloeckner, and other Ruhr industrialists in the Upper House of the Prussian Parliament and, together with Bruening and Goering, prepared the way for Hitler. He is connected with the Anglo-German Schroeder Bank, the bank of the steel trusts; was a director of the Deutsche Bank and fourteen other important Ruhr concerns. Together with his friend Pferdmenges, he was closely associated with the great Kloeckner industrial combine.

Adenauer was a great admirer of Mussolini and after Mussolini's pact with the Vatican, Adenauer sent him a cable assuring the Italian dictator that "The name of Mussolini will be inscribed in letters of gold in the history of the Catholic Church." After the defeat of Hitler's armies, Adenauer posed as an anti-Nazi, a "victim of Fascism," because he had been arrested after the July 20 plot against Hitler. The July 20 plot was actually directed by the bankers and industrialists to make Germany safe for capitalism and the militarists when they saw, by 1944, that the Nazis were going to lose the war. The guiding hand was Allen Dulles in Switzerland, himself a director in the Schroeder Bank. The July 20 plot failed but Dulles and his co-directors in and outside Germany, were able to ensure the safety of German capitalism in other ways. Some of the leaders of the plot were executed, including one member of the Schroeder family, but there were plenty of Adenauers left.

Adenauer's Deputy Chancellor and Minister for the Marshall Plan is Franz Bluecher, deputy chairman of the Free Democratic Party. (The "Free" stands for free enterprise.) After Hitler came to power Bluecher was an executive in the Hochtief Co., one of the largest construction firms in the Ruhr. During the war he was a director of the Ruhr banking house of Vogelaar and Co., and in 1943 Bluecher was appointed director of the Deutsche Reichsbank, a position impossible to hold unless he had the confidence of both the Nazis and the Ruhr barons.

The President of the West German State is Theodor Heuss, another Free Democrat, who once wrote an anti-Hitler book, but quickly came to terms with the Nazis when they came out on top in 1932. Heuss had no hesitation in voting for the Emergency Powers Act which Hitler demanded in 1933 to abolish the Weimar Republic and make Hitler Nazi dictator. Heuss is an old advocate of German expansion. In 1905 he was associated with Naumann in the "Drang Nach Osten" policy, aimed at swallowing up the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Danubian countries, extending Germany's hegemony along the Berlin-Baghdad route. Heuss has been described as a "rationaliser" of German expansionism and some of his "rationalising" articles appeared in Goebbels’ paper, "Das Reich." Heuss also rationalised about German aggression in Poland and appealed to the British and French to stand aside and clear the path for further expansion to the East.

Part of the Heuss-Adenauer strategy is to establish the heavy industrial base for aggression at first in an economically autonomous industrial area, rich in industry and raw materials, including the Rhine-Ruhr, the Saar and Alsace-Lorraine. Tempting offers are being made to French heavy industry magnates to collaborate with the Ruhr barons, both backed by plenty of American dollars and stoked with cheap German labour. This suits the American book and it is cunningly hoped will meet French security objections to the revival of German heavy industry. With French and German heavy industry closely integrated, the more obvious weapons of German rearmament could be produced over the border in France. Adenauer was an ardent advocate of something similar after the last war, when he hoped to save Germany from the consequences of defeat by attaching the Catholic Rhine area as a separate state to Catholic France, with German armament industry reprieved to work ostensibly for France. Such an integration was achieved under the Petain Government with the roles reversed and French industry working for the Ruhr – as, of course, Adenauer and the Ruhr barons had always intended. With such a rich base organised after World War II, with French fears quietened and American dollars pouring in, the way would be soon open for the "Drang Nach Osten" (Drive to the East), dreamed of by every right-wing German leader since Bismarck.

Minister of Finance in the Bonn regime, is Fritz Schaeffer, Premier of Bavaria in 1946, who had to be removed by the American authorities in connection with denazification scandals. As fast as Nazis were sentenced by U.S. Military Courts, they were being cleared by the German appeal courts in the U.S. Zone. Scandals were uncovered one after another, particularly in Bavaria, the birthplace of Nazism, and to quieten public opinion both in the United States and Germany, the Americans decided to dismiss Schaeffer who had close connections with important Nazis and Wehrmacht officers.

Minister for Communications Seebolm is a former director of I. G. Farben, and a wealthy Silesian industrialist. Two ministries will specialise in revisionist questions, those headed by Jakob Kaiser, former Christian Democrat leader in Berlin, and now Minister for German Questions; and that headed by Hans Lukaschek, Minister for Refugees. Kaiser's ministry is a cover for espionage and propaganda in the Soviet Zone. It is well known that the solution for "refugees" in the minds of the revisionist gentlemen of Bonn is to reconquer the lands from which they have fled.

It would be hard to name a cabinet of the immediate pre-Hitler days in which capitalism and revisionism were more strongly entrenched. The Social Democrats are officially an opposition party. The leader, Herr Schumacher, who is not usually worried about the reactionary convictions of his colleagues, felt constrained to interrupt the first session of Adenauer's Government by shouting "You were nearly all Nazis." Schumacher and Adenauer collaborated loyally, however, when it was a question of fighting the Communists.

Schumacher's nominee as a Social Democrat Deputy-President of the West German State, Carlo Schmid, served with the Wehrmacht in France during World War II. After his appointment as Deputy-President, the French newspaper, Ce Soir, published a facsimile of an official decree, posted in the streets of Lille during the German occupation, announcing the summary shooting of French hostages from the Lille mines. The decree was signed by Carlo Schmid, now Deputy to President Heuss. Schmid is not the only Nazi collaborator in the highest ranks of the Social Democrats. There is Herbert Kriedemann, member of the Presidium of the Social Democrat Party. A Communist newspaper in Lower Saxony in the British Zone, alleged that Kriedemann, as a member of the Gestapo in 1936, denounced 60 members of the illegal Socialist Front, most of whom were subsequently executed.

After the statement had been published several times, Kriedemann sued the paper concerned, certain that his British friends in Court would protect him as a noted anti-Communist. Kurt Mueller, President of the Communist Party in Lower Saxony, brought such convincing proofs to the Control Commission court, however, that Kriedemann lost the case. Some of the documentary evidence against Kriedemann has since been published in the press, including a facsimile of his file in the Gestapo records, which showed that he was a trusted Gestapo agent from September, 1936. The Court President said Mueller was justified in the charges he had made, but Schumacher stuck to his man. Kriedemann is still a member of the Presidium of the Social Democrat Party. If Schumacher had to get rid of all functionaries because of their Nazi or Gestapo record, he would lose some of his most trusted executives. That there are police spies in all left-wing parties is understandable and well-known. The trials of Rajk in Hungary and Kostov in Bulgaria provided plenty of evidence of spies inside Communist parties. The trial of the eleven Communist leaders in the United States proved that the F.B.I. had planted its agents at all levels in the American Communist Party. Spies have to be removed when they are discovered. Schumacher had dossiers in his desk of dozens of his closest colleagues, including the forger of Protokol M, who should be denounced as Gestapo agents and Nazi criminals.

Christian, Free and Social Democrats, however, are the more or less respectable parties at Bonn, the ones that pay lip service to democracy, who respect the Allies and keep quiet for the moment about their revisionist, annexationist and aggressive plans. There are other parties, however, who do not hide their aims.

On January 23, 1950, in a beer-cellar at Kassel in the American Zone, the first open post-war congress of a Nazi party took place. To be sure it is not called a Nazi party, but the German Rightist Party. The beer cellar was decorated with the black, white and red colours of Hitler's Reich. Only the swastika was missing. Three hundred delegates with black, red and white rosettes in their button-holes trooped in, most of them looking like Hitler storm-troopers. Stationed at the entrances and patrolling the aisles were S.S.-type, sword-scarred toughs with black, white and red armbands. Spectators amongst whom were former inmates of Hitler's concentration camps, shouted anti-Nazi slogans when the first speaker demanded a new German army and started to attack the Jews. The toughs swung into action, beat up the interjectors, and threw them out into the street, in exactly the same way as the Nazi bullies used to handle their political opponents. Once the beer-cellar was cleared of opposition, Dr. Franz Richter, a former Sudetenlander, addressed the meeting. The main theme of his speech was the need for a strong German army. “We demand a German Wehrmacht for Germany’s defence,” echoed the delegates. An American intelligence officer at the meeting took no action.

Richter was unanimously elected President of the Rightist Party by the 300 delegates.

Some months previously, 11-year-old children in a school in Lower Saxony in the British Zone, were asked to write essays on the subject, "What were the Causes of the Second World War and why did Germany lose?"

Margaret H... wrote: "Before the war, Germany was inhabited by too many people and it was necessary in order to feed them to have more land. This is how the war came about. Unhappily we lost... Our teacher had recently returned from England. From books and newspapers which he brought back, he has given us lectures such as that the Americans themselves admit that if, before the war, they had not learned the secret of the atom bomb through treachery, they would never have invented it..."

Hans B...: "Our teacher has taught us that we lost the war because of treachery. Germany had already invented an artificial tempest, but because of treachery it couldn't be used in time. For if the tempest had been launched it would have torn off all the roofs and many houses would have been destroyed. Without treachery this would have happened and the enemies would not have been able to defend themselves."

Inge H...: "Nobody knows exactly why we lost the war. Some say this, some say that. This is how our teacher explains it. Among the Germans, some said it was useless to make so many guns as we already had enough. Then the others said, well if you like we won't make any more. The factories were closed. Soon there weren't enough munitions left..."

The strange views of this teacher soon reached the ears of some progressive parents. They protested and eventually enough pressure was exerted for the case to be brought to the attention of the Lower Saxony Government. It was decided to dismiss the teacher because "he expressed views which do not correspond to the functions of an educator," as an official spokesman put it.

The teacher was Dr. Franz Richter, of the Kassel beer-cellar incident. He left pedagogy for politics and was received with open arms by the German Rightist Party, which received 17 seats in the West German elections. Richter was himself elected to parliament and quickly rocketed to the post of president of the party.

On New Year's Day, 1950, a spokesman of Richter's party announced that the party was ready to take over "much of the positive work achieved by the Nazis." The statement was made in defence of one of Richter's colleagues, a deputy in the Bonn Parliament, Wolfgang Hedler, who told his constituents in Schleswig-Holstein that the war was not caused by the Germans but by international armament manufacturers; that the war was not lost by Hitler or the German Army, but because of a treacherous anti-Nazi underground movement; that the sending of Jews to the gas chambers was "probably" the right thing after all.

Party headquarters claimed that Hedler had been wrongly reported, but declared its support for his general line. "Germany had a government from 1918 to 1932 with a lot of executives," the party statement said, "and the conditions of the people were bad. There were different executives in the government from 1933 to 1944 and the people lived well. Since 1945 there have been executives again who know nothing about the distress of the population. National Socialism achieved much that was positive during its time which we are willing to take over.'"

The German people lived better under the Nazis than after a lost war; they lived better during the five and a half years of war, during which they plundered the whole of Europe, claims Dr. Richter, so let us work to restore Nazism and recreate conditions for another war of plunder. While the German armies were overrunning Europe the people lived well, had plenty of meats and fats from Czechoslovakia and Poland, bacon from Denmark, perfumes from Paris, fur coats from the Soviet Union, and grain from the Ukraine.

In Western Germany there is democracy Western style, which means freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to choose political representation. Freedom for neo-Nazis to propagate racial theories, freedom to promote militarism, freedom to defend Nazism and freedom to elect deputies who are Nazi in everything but the name. Freedom for an organisation to distribute metal swastikas in the streets in every major city in the British Zone on January 30, 1950, the 17th anniversary of Hitler's seizure of power.

There are plenty more of the Richter political gangster type in the Bonn Assembly. Alfred Loritz, the leader of the W.A.V. (Economic Reconstruction Group), was dismissed in 1948 from his job as chief of denazification in Bavaria. A warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with a financial scandal, but Loritz disappeared. Before long he reappeared on the political scene and now occupies a seat as party leader in the Bonn Parliament.

For the moment the neo-Nazis are not so dangerous. It is too early yet for a Hitler to appear on the scene. The dangerous men to-day are the Pferdmenges, Adenauers and Reuschs, the architects of a state which will pave the way for the new Hitler, the new leader who will promise to re-unite all Germans in one Reich and recover the lost lands by force of German arms, to restore German "Ordnung" to Europe.

Adenauer is already thinking along these lines; already has plans for a general staff and the establishment of a new army. In his first press conference in 1950, Adenauer discussed his favorite theme of Western Germany's security. "Forty-eight million Germans of the federal republic," he said, "live in an intolerable situation, in a field of tension with Soviet Russia and her satellites on one side, and the Allies on the other." He discussed at some length his forebodings about Western Germany's defenceless position and it became known a few days later that it was not only with press correspondents that he was discussing the military "needs" of Western Germany.

On January 14, 1950, the New York Herald Tribune published a report from its correspondent in Bonn confirming what had been suspected for some months past, that Adenauer was already intriguing with former Wehrmacht generals.

The Herald Tribune correspondent, Don Cook, reported on "unimpeachable authority" that Adenauer was consulting with a shadow organisation of former Wehrmacht officers. "Dr. Adenauer's chief confidante on military questions," according to Cook, "is Kurt von Manteuffel, a former Lieutenant-General who commanded a Panzer corps on the Russian front, and who was given command of a Panzer army for the Ardennes offensive. In consultation with a number of other officers who held similar key subordinate commands during the war, Manteuffel is further understood to have prepared a series of written recommendations for the Chancellor on the policies he should pursue in his dealings with the Western Allies on the remilitarisation and security questions."

Cook, whose report was also confirmed by Drew Middleton in the New York Times, goes on to describe an organisation of former Wehrmacht officers, known as the Bruderschaft (Brotherhood) of which Manteuffel is a leading member and which has centres in Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Munich and Hanover. There seems no doubt that this organisation forms the nucleus of a new German general staff, which according to Cook, plans to raise one German infantry division by mid-1950 and a Panzer corps ready for action by the end of 1951.

Adenauer issued a half-hearted denial the day following the publication of the stories and said that the German staff officers were advising the Western Allies and not Adenauer. The denial was not taken very seriously, at least in the Herald Tribune office, and columnist Walter Lippmann returned to the subject ten days later. His explanation was that Adenauer's panzer corps is intended to take over Eastern Germany when Soviet troops withdraw after the conclusion of a peace treaty between the Soviet Union and the East German republic. Lippmann scouted the idea that Adenauer had been trying to sell the West, that a German army should be allowed in order to make a contribution to Western European "defence." Any German army raised will be strictly for German use, to act as the spearhead for new German aggression.

Lippmann accepts the fable that a German army has been raised in Eastern Germany, to lend force to his theory. "He" (Adenauer) writes Lippmann, "wants enough soldiers to offset the East German soldiers if and when the Red Army withdraws. But he also wants to have a free hand in his negotiations with the East." A free hand in the Lippmann sense of the term is a sabre-rattling hand with a Panzer corps at its disposal, which could crush the People's Police in the Soviet Zone. And despite Western reports to the contrary, the People's Police force is armed with imported rifles and side-arms, and not artillery, tanks and planes as claimed by Schumacher's espionage bureau in Berlin.

The reasons given by Adenauer for the re-establishment of a German army are precisely those foreseen by Stalin and Molotov when they fought against the dismemberment of Germany. Adenauer can now claim that Western Germany, with its 48 millions, is threatened by Eastern Germany, with its 18 millions. Public opinion can soon be convinced with prefabricated incidents along the frontiers, of the compelling need for a West German army, just as needs for "internal security" were made the excuse after the first World War for a German army of 100,000.

Plans are already far advanced for a new Wehrmacht. Apart from Manteuffel's Bruderschaft which is a purely German affair, several of the best brains of the Wehrmacht have been working for the Americans in Germany for several years. General Halder, Hitler's chief of staff until 1942, has been employed by the Americans explaining to staff officers the mistakes made by Hitler in the invasion of the Soviet Union. Halder's book, with a portrait of Hitler on the front cover, is a best-seller in Western Germany. It is a complete white-washing of the German army for its failure to defeat the Soviet army. The theme of the book is that if Hitler had not interfered but had left the war to the generals, Germany would have been victorious. "Hitler as Commander in Chief" is soothing balm for those Germans who pride themselves on their military traditions. It "proves" that the German army, if left in the right hands, is still invincible. It is comforting for the Americans, because it "proves" that next time, with German manpower and generals and American equipment, the Soviet armies will be crushed.

Halder has since been joined by General Guderian, the famous Panzer general and blitzkrieg expert in the U.S.-sponsored "Committee of Military Historians," with its headquarters at Neustadt, near Kassel, in the American Zone. Colonel-General Stumpf, of the Luftwaffe, and General Student, who directed the airborne invasion of Crete, Field-Marshal Sperrle, former head of Luftwaffe III, are advising on how best to re-constitute a German Air Force and the role of German aviation in the next war. The German general staff is hard at work, one section under direct American control, the other as a more or less illegal "shadow organisation," approved by Adenauer and the men of Bonn and at least tolerated by the Western Allies.

As for raw material, the New York Times reported from Western Germany on November 16, 1949, that staff officers of five nations were discussing the formation of five German divisions for the "defence" of Western Europe. The British according to this report, had 40,000 former Wehrmacht personnel organised in their Civil Labour Organisation, with a reserve of 160,000 Germans and 200,000 displaced persons under the command of a Lieutenant-General von Natzmer. Three different groups of former Nazi soldiers are operating in the U.S. Zone as Industrial Police, complete with weapons, insignia and uniforms – plus American infantry training.

According to German general staff officers in the U.S. Zone, who are always eager to prove how quickly they can revive the Wehrmacht, 100,000 former Nazi soldiers are at present serving abroad in the French Foreign Legion, and in various armies in South America. It is known that, in 1948, the British Labour Officer in the Ruhr, whose job it was to maintain a supply of labour to the Ruhr mines, had to protest to the French for the rate at which they were recruiting Germans in the British Zone for the Foreign Legion. As fast as German prisoners of war were returned from England, they were drafted to the Ruhr mines, and as fast as they arrived in the Ruhr the French tried to enlist them for the war in Indo-China or the Legion in North Africa. There was a booth on the Dusseldorf railway station where each recruit could collect a pass, ticket and money to the French Zone and on into France. Preference was given to S.S. men, who were immediately shipped off to crush the Vietnamese fighting for their independence in Indo-China.

In October, 1949, the first open reunion of former Nazi soldiers took place at Wesel in the British Zone. More than 300 "Green Devils" from the elite 2nd Paratrooper Division took part – with the approval of the British authorities. The "Green Devils" took part in the invasion of Crete and the battle for Monte Cassino in Italy. At first the British had banned the meeting, but later the ban was lifted on condition that no speeches were made. The ban on speeches was overcome, however, so the paratroopers said, by passing letters from hand to hand, said to be letters from former comrades. No British officer was present, however, to check on what actually took place.

To make sure that the Wehrmacht officers should be well-looked-after until they are needed again, one of the first acts of the Bonn regime, on orders from the Allied High Commissioners, was to pass a law awarding pensions of up to 400 dollars monthly to all former Wehrmacht officers. At the same session a recommendation to pay pensions to victims of fascism was turned down by men of Bonn.

With the war industries saved, the nucleus of a new general staff already at work, the raw material for a new army already in action abroad and in formation at home, it only needs the psychological preparation to set the German people back on its old paths again. And the psychological preparation is well under way. A series of books, apologising for the German army's defeat, started to appear after the American-sponsored book by Halder. Since full powers in newspaper and publishing affairs were turned over to Germans, a flood of thinly-disguised Nazi sheets has been let loose in Western Germany, published by well-known Nazi editors, accompanied by a spate of books justifying Hitler and the Nazi system.

The complete mockery of the Potsdam provisions to re-educate Germany in the ways of democracy as understood in the West is shown by a public opinion survey carried out in July, 1949, in the American Zone. The survey was carried out by an independent group, but its findings were confirmed by U.S. military government, as tallying almost exactly with official surveys.

The question was put as to whether National Socialism was a good idea badly carried out, or a bad idea in itself. The questions were "loaded" in the sense that no opportunity was given for those who judged Nazism as a good idea well carried out.

The results were as follows:

            Good idea, badly executed     Bad idea          Undecided

Former party members            65%     21%     14%

Non-party members    49%     36%     15%

Even worse than these figures are those which showed there had been a steady increase in those who favour Nazism from the first days of occupation. American education methods – and the Americans did control the press, radio, films and publishing houses, and were supposed to control the schools and universities – have been winning converts to Nazism at the rate .of hundreds of thousands every year, especially among those who were not party members during Hitler's time.

In 1946, 60% of non-Nazis thought National Socialism a bad idea; in 1947 the number had dropped to 48%, in 1948 44.5%, and by 1949 only 36% of non-party members could bring themselves to condemn Nazism.

The example of Allied occupation morale, the farce of denazification were as much responsible for turning the Germans back to Nazism as the official policy of praising the Germans as the pioneers in the fight against Bolshevism. Every week brought its scandal in which Allied officers were involved in everything from the theft of crown jewels to minor affairs of pilfering a few hundred cartons of army cigarettes and converting them into carpets and cameras. There was nothing in the example of the occupation troops and their culture – especially in the American Zone – to make Germans pine for the Allied "way of life"; for the Western democracy about which so much was preached.

A survey carried out in 1950 in the British Zone, showed that most Germans believed the revival of a totalitarian regime would do most to restore German morale. The four steps voted by a majority of those asked, as essential to Germany's "remoralisation" were as follows:

(1) Improve economic conditions.

(2) Establish a strong German state with reaffirmed authority and prestige.

(3) Ban foreign films, novels and dances and re-establish censorship in the entertainment industry.

(4) Introduce labour camps.

The deep cynicism of Germans living in the Western Zones is the logical result of a policy which by words condemned Nazism as the greatest evil which had befallen the German people, and by deeds which glorified all the components of Nazism, chauvinism, intolerance, aggressiveness, racialism and above all, anti-Bolshevism. Can one expect anything else but cynicism from the German workers who see the Nazi industrial barons back at their directors' desks, Nazi judges back in the courts, Nazi teachers back in the schools, the generals subsidised by the Western Allies planning new aggressions?

In Bavaria 85 per cent. of Nazi civil servants are back in their old jobs. In the British Zone 75 per cent. of Nazis, including almost all those who were judges, are back again in the judiciary. In January, 1950, a typical denazification scandal came to light in Wurtemberg-Baden in the American Zone. Facts revealed in the progressive press caused such a stir in high places, that action had to be taken, after two years of bribery and corruption at the highest levels in the German government. Although no American names were mentioned in the case, it is impossible that the scandal could not have been known to high officials in American military government.

Long-standing criticism of the facility with which top-flight Nazis were cleared were given official confirmation when a former Nazi complained to a junior official that he had paid a deposit of 50 dollars of a total fee of 350 dollars, to have his status changed from "active supporter" of the Nazis to "party follower," and as no changed status had yet been awarded, he felt he was being robbed. The official was an honest man who pressed for an enquiry.

Investigations which followed led to the jailing of the chief judge and prosecutor of Wurtemberg-Baden and the chief bribetaker, August Meyer. The minister for denazification, Karl Stroele, was involved as a close friend of Meyer, and in at least one case the trail led to the Christian Democrat Prime Minister of Wurtemberg-Baden, Reinhold Maier, who pardoned 10,000 formerly convicted Nazis.

Leading industrialists in Stuttgart were involved as having paid large bribes to have themselves denazified. Hermann Heller, one of the largest machine-tool manufacturers in the American Zone, with a branch in New York, admitted he had paid August Meyer the equivalent of 1,800 dollars to have his brother denazified. Heller himself was downgraded with Meyer's help to a "party follower." 4,000 dollars were paid by a tractor manufacturer, Karl Kaelbe, to have his son-in-law released from prison, where he was serving a sentence for maltreatment of slave labourers. It was in this case that the Prime Minister interfered.

Dozens of others of the richest families in Stuttgart were implicated, and at the time of writing great pressure is being exerted to put the lid back on this particular scandal. The Germans have a saying which covers this type of case which has cropped up constantly from the first days of the occupation: "Die Grossen laesst man laufen, die Kleinen haengt men auf." (The big shots go scot free, the little ones are hung.)

Dozens of books have been published in Western Germany to justify and glorify Hitler. "My Brother Adolf," written by Hitler's sister Paula, was followed by "Hitler as he Really Was," "Hitler's Youth," "Talks with Hitler," "Adolf Hitler’s Great Love," and others, all of which openly or at least in language understood by the Germans, seek to awaken or preserve Hitler-worship. The Nazi apologists are back in full swing again. The publisher of Streicher's Jew-baiting, gutter-newspaper, "Der Stuermer," is publishing again. Paul Fechter, who in his "History of German Literature,” praised Hitler and Rosenberg as the outstanding German writers of all time – superior to Goethe and Heine – is writing books again in Western Germany. Nazi authors of books publicising Germans as the master race, Germany land without space, Germany's divine mission in Europe, are pounding their typewriters again and drawing fat royalties for their works. As soon as the Americans lifted their controls on German publishing, over 100 neo-Nazi newspaper publishers started producing again.

A Munich newspaper which, in the summer of 1949, published a letter complaining that some Jews escaped the gas-ovens and that it was a pity that all Jews had not been destroyed, was not even mildly reproved by American military government. Jews who protested outside the newspaper office in Munich, were beaten up by German and American police. General Clay refused to suspend the paper because it had "a good record in the past."

The picture of Bonn Germany, after six months of activity, is that of a state where 48 million Germans have no real powers to direct affairs of national importance; can take no decisions on matters of foreign policy or foreign trade; a state which is running into American-imposed debt at the rate of at least one billion dollars a year, not including occupation costs; where heavy industry had been handed back to its old owners, slightly reshuffled and reinforced with American and British capital; where Nazis and Hitlerism are worshipped again; where the generals are back in their saddles and the Junkers on their estates; where the whole psychological preparation is for a revisionist war against the East; where government is in the hands of a group more reactionary than any of the governments which preceded Hitler; where the political opposition except in the case of the Communist party is entrusted to corrupt, and in many cases, treacherous enemies of the true interests of the German people. The Bonn regime is a combination of clerical-Fascism and crypto-Nazism. It represents a serious danger to the peace of Europe and is a negation of the hopes of the whole progressive, peace-loving world which demanded a genuine peaceful and democratic Germany after the defeat of Nazism.

Less than a month after the promulgation of the Bonn regime, on October 7, the German Republic was set up with Berlin as its capital. Marshal Stalin, in his congratulatory message to the leaders of the new republic termed its foundation "a turning point in the history of Europe." The new state was based on the principles agreed to by England, America and the Soviet Union at Yalta and Potsdam. "There is no doubt," said Stalin in his message, "that the existence of a peace-loving, democratic Germany in the centre of Europe, together with the existence of the peace-loving Soviet Union, will exclude the possibility of new wars in Europe, make an end to European bloodshed and make impossible the servitude of European countries under world imperialism.

"The experience of the last war showed that the greatest sacrifices in this war were made by the German and Soviet people," concluded the Soviet Premier. "... If these two people expend, in the fight for peace, the same energies with which they fought the war, then the peace of Europe can be regarded as assured."

These were no idle words of Stalin. The peoples of Poland and Czechoslovakia, neighbours who have suffered often enough from German aggression, can be assured that the new republic will never breach their frontiers. The neighbours of the new republic can sleep more soundly than can the peoples of France and the Low Countries with an aggressive Western Germany as their neighbour. The base for militarism has been destroyed in Eastern Germany; chauvinism has disappeared; propaganda inciting Germans against their neighbours is a crime punishable by law in the Republic.

President of the Republic is Wilhelm Pieck, former Communist and now joint leader with Otto Grotewohl of the S.E.D. (Socialist Unity Party). Pieck's life has been devoted to the cause of peace and the interests of the working class. At 73 years, he remains one of the fast-dwindling band of Socialist veterans who from the beginnings of this century fought steadfastly for the realisation of international socialist ideals. He was the right-hand man of Karl Liebknecht, and with the latter and Rosa Luxemburg, he fought against German entry into World War I. He rejected the German Social Democrats who betrayed their pledges to the Socialist International by voting in 1913 for the military credits for the first World War. Pieck has never wavered from the line of opposing German and world imperialism; never ceased to denounce German aggression; was in the vanguard of the fight against Nazism. During the war Pieck directed the activities of the Free German movement in Moscow and returned with the Soviet armies to throw his full energies into the fight for unity of the German working class in a united Germany, pledged to peace, reconstruction and reparations.

Pieck's line was clear from the first day he returned. He never hid from the German people that even the most guiltless must bear some part of the responsibility for Nazism and the war; that reparations must be accepted and paid; that the decisions of Potsdam must be carried out to the letter; that the new frontiers along the Oder-Neisse line in the East must be regarded as final. Pieck's task was not an easy one. He could have indulged in cheap demagogy and empty promises, but his way and the way of all leaders of the Communist party, and later the S.E.D., was that of responsible leaders who made people face up to the consequences of Nazism and aggression. At no time did Pieck, Grotewohl and others reply in kind to the cheap, vote-catching tricks of the Social Democrat and middle-class parties. They chose a hard but honest road of facing realities.

White-haired, portly, with a human, jolly face, Pieck enjoys tremendous popularity among the workers which increases as the results of the S.E.D. programme bears fruit in constantly improving economic conditions.

Otto Grotewohl, the 55-year-old Prime Minister, is a former Social Democrat with a long record of service in German political life. He joined the Social Democrats as a printer at the age of 18 and took an immediate active part in politics. At the age of 27 he held the Ministries of Interior and Education in the Brandenburg Parliament and was later made Minister of Justice. When Hitler came to power, Grotewohl was president of the Social Democrat Party in Brandenburg. He was banned from political work and his property was confiscated. He continued to work underground in Hamburg. He was arrested several times, held for seven months at one period in "investigatory arrest," and lived the usual dangerous life of an illegal political worker until the end of the war.

The role of Social Democracy, the treachery of the Scheidemanns and Noskes after the first world war, the passivity of most of the leaders during the Nazi years, and Grotewohl's own close contact with Communists during his illegal activities, made it natural that he should demand co-operation with the Communists after Hitler's defeat. At the first meeting of old Social Democrat functionaries in Berlin, on June 17, 1945, Grotewohl made a long analysis of the history of the working class in Germany and the tasks it had to solve, and concluded his report by urging that only the closest possible unity between the two workers' parties could assure a peaceful and prosperous future for the German people. Grotewohl carried on a fight within the Social Democrat Party for union with the Communists, and he gradually won the majority over to his views. When the fusion was brought about in 1946 Grotewohl became joint leader of the new party with Pieck.

Prime Minister Grotewohl is a clear-thinking, highly intelligent man who has won the confidence of the workers, farmers and lower middle-class in the Soviet Zone, and his influence extends far into the Western Zone as well. His speeches are models of clarity, and like those of Pieck, devoid of any trace of demagogy. His quiet demeanour on a public platform is in sharp contrast to the antics of the West German politicians, especially the Social Democrat leaders, who have copied the emotional ranting and shouting of the Nazis.

There are three deputy prime ministers in the Grotewohl cabinet, of whom the most important is Walther Ulbricht. Ulbricht was together with Pieck in the Spartakusbund (League of left-wing Socialists founded by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg). He fought against the preparations for war in 1914, and took a leading part in the struggle to end the war and to carry out a workers' revolution. Ulbricht was made a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1923, and was elected Communist deputy to the Reichstag in 1928. After Hitler came to power, Ulbricht worked for a time illegally in Berlin, but as he was too well known to escape arrest, he was ordered by the Politburo to leave the country. During the war he was in the Soviet Union in charge of propaganda directed to the German troops. A tough fighter and excellent organiser, he is lacking the warm personality of Pieck or Grotewohl, but is probably the strongest figure in the government.

As distinct from the Bonn regime, the Republic has a Foreign Minister and Minister for Foreign Trade with full powers to conduct foreign affairs and negotiate trade pacts. Diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, China and the People's Democracies have already been established. Foreign Minister Georg Dertinger is a Christian Democrat, a former journalist with a clean record during the Nazi years. Minister for Foreign Trade Georg Handke is a veteran Communist who served ten years of a 15 years' sentence in concentration camps before he was liberated by Soviet troops. Handke was a specialist in the Communist Party for co-operatives, and also edited various working-class papers.

The Minister for Economic Planning, Heinrich Rau, is an old-time Communist, Commander of the 2nd International Brigade in Spain. He spent eight years in French and German concentrations camps as a result. Fritz Selbrann, 50-year-old Minister for Industry, was a Communist deputy in the Reichstag, who was arrested in 1933 and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment on charges of "high treason." He spent 12 years in concentration camps until released by Soviet troops. The former Social Democrat, Max Fechmer, now S.E.D. Minister of .Justice, was also in a concentration camp when Soviet troops entered Germany.

These are the key men in the provisional government of the German Republic, leaders with long records of struggle and self-sacrifice for the true interests of the German people. There are no representatives of the militarists, the Junkers, or the industrialists in the Grotewohl cabinet; there is no place for revisionists or for those who want to turn back the clock of history. They are not all Communists or S.E.D. party members. The middleclass, private enterprise, the church and peasantry are represented too. The German Republic is not yet a People's Democracy in the Eastern European sense, in which the land, industry and trade are largely nationalised. The basis of the industrial and agricultural economy is still private enterprise, with only key undertakings and public utilities nationalised. The progress towards socialism will be much slower than in Eastern Europe. The composition of the provisional republic reflects the economic structure of the Soviet Zone.

Of 18 ministers, only eight are S.E.D. members, and of these five are former Communists and three Social Democrats. Of the remaining ten, there are three Christian Democrats, three Liberal Democrats, one National Democrat, one from the Peasants' Association, and two non-party. The National Democratic Party was formed to give the small rank and file former Nazi party members a chance to rehabilitate themselves politically. It was considered that they have problems peculiarly their own and should have their own means of political expression. The smaller Nazis have been re-accepted into almost all spheres of public life in the Republic and full political rights have been restored to them. They are, however, completely barred from any positions in the police-force or the judiciary, where Nazis are strongest in the West.

The Liberal and Christian Democrats are not just figureheads as is sometimes alleged in the West. They are prominent politicians from middle-class parties of the Weimar Republic, with clean records during the Nazi period. Hermann Kaestner, Liberal Deputy Prime Minister, for instance, was a Liberal deputy in the Parliament of Saxony from 1923 onwards; Otto Muschke, the Christian Democrat Vice-Premier, was a deputy in the Prussian Parliament from 1921, and until the Nazis came to power, was editor of the "Berliner Volkszeitung."

The coalition government, in which all parties are represented approximately in the proportion of the votes they received in the last elections, is a continuation of the coalition of the "Bloc of Anti-Fascist Parties" which has operated at all levels of administration in the Soviet Zone since the end of the war. The parties are expected to work together, to take decisions jointly which will embrace the best possible compromise of all viewpoints. With gigantic problems of reconstruction ahead of them, the parties in the East never wasted time playing party politics. Opposition could be fought out in the party congresses, and differences of opinion dealt with in the administration as they arose. But the basis of political life in Eastern Germany from the first days of occupation, was a coalition of all parties working for reconstruction. The Grotewohl cabinet is an embodiment of that policy. It will seek confirmation of its mandates in elections throughout Eastern Germany in October, 1950.

The republic was given real powers immediately it was founded, in contrast to the illusory powers vested in the Bonn regime.

Within three days of the formation of the republic, the Soviet Commander in Chief, Marshal Vassili Chuikov, announced the end of Soviet military government in Germany. "My government," said the Soviet Marshal, "is convinced that you will exercise your new power on the basis of the Potsdam Agreement. My government also, convinced of your spirit, feels assured enough to let military rule now go into the past and endow you with the administrative powers for Germany."

Powers formerly vested in the Kommandatura in the Soviet sector of Berlin, and the Soviet Military Administration for the whole of the Zone, were immediately transferred to the new government. Thousands of Soviet officials were withdrawn from Germany.

The republic started life politically and economically independent, with no foreign debts and a solidly based economy. Production was already 80 per cent. of the 1936 level and Grotewohl was able to announce in his opening speech that the first two-year plan, scheduled for completion by the end of 1950, would be fulfilled six months ahead of time. Production by mid-1950 would be already that of 1936. A new five-year plan would then be started aimed at far outstripping the best figures for pre-war production. Reparations and occupation costs were fixed items which could be precisely budgeted for without undue burden on the economy. The new republic could count on new friends, who welcomed Germany as an equal partner, a peaceful Germany stripped of any aggressive aims – a tower of strength in the fight for world peace.

"A turning point in the history of Europe," said Marshall Stalin, and there can be no doubt that a peaceful Germany in which Junkers, industrialists, militarists and bankers have no place, represents such a turning point in history. The Soviet administrators have seen that the new republic is built on a firm foundation. In five years of occupation they have changed the outlook of a nation, have turned its people towards peaceful pursuits, and showed them the road to a better life gained by their own peaceful efforts and not by wars of plunder. There were many suspicions to be overcome on the part of Czechs, Poles and others who had suffered from German aggression, before the idea was accepted that a new peaceful and democratic Germany could be built on the ruins of Nazis. These suspicions have now been overcome as far as the republic is concerned, but not so with Western Germany. The peoples of Western Europe are as suspicious of Western Germany as are the countries of Eastern Europe. But no state in the West or the East feels itself menaced by the Eastern Republic.

History will one day pass its verdict on who best served the interests of world peace and human happiness, the Allies who built in the West or the Soviet Union who built in the East. America, Britain and France must bear the responsibility for dividing Germany. Germany will be united again. Of that there can be no doubt, and the issue of war or peace in Europe may well be decided by the means used to bring the two Germanys together again, whether the peaceful way offered by the East or the military solution favoured by the men of Bonn.

It is up to the common people of England, America and France to demand of their governments that the German people are given the chance to decide for themselves. They will take the peaceful road unless forced into new criminal adventures by those in London and Washington, Paris and Bonn who have vested interests in war and the destruction of world socialism.

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