The division of Germany
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The division of Germany book
When the battles were over in May 1945, and there was no area of German soil not occupied by foreign troops, Germany was still in a state of war with 58 countries. Three of these, however, dominated the scene: the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain. All three agreed on one rather primitive idea, namely that wars can occur only if there is a nation which strives for world domination. They believed that it would be enough to deprive Germany of its military, economic and political power, i.e. to demilitarize the country, dismantle its industry and act as guardians over it. What did the Allied countries agree upon in particular? Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met for the first time at the Couference in Teheran (28 November 1 December 1943). They agreed on the division of Germany into five parts; they also agreed on the internationalization of the Ruhr district and the Saar district, and of Hamburg and the Kiel Canal under a United Nations protectorate. Stalin demanded that the German officers' caste be destroyed. There followed the Yalta Couference of February 1945: by this time the Allied troops had entered Germany and the war had been decided. Germany from the river Oder west wards was to be split into three separate zones. Each of the three major Allied powers was to run the administration of one zone. Berlin was to be administered by their combined efforts. Subsequently, France was added as a fourth occupation power after Germany had capitulated in May 1945. It got its zone from the western part of the original American zone. France was included because the Americans consid ered withdrawing their troops in 1947, and Britain did not want to be the only military power left next to the Russians. The supreme political power was to be in the hands of the High Command.