US Proposals for Occupation Zones 1944

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Map Code: Ax01410

The American post-war planning process turned out a number of differing proposals for the division and management of Germany. Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed splitting Germany and Austria into six separate states and two small international zones, but believed that Germany should experience some form of punishment, whilst the Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau wanted a much harsher policy that would cripple Germany’s industry whilst reducing its territories. The 1944 proposal formulated by former Under Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, who was a close advisor to Roosevelt, took a more progressive stance towards partition of Germany. Welles believed that Germany should be split into three separate states, which would be drawn along historical borders taking into account locations of ethnic groupings. In this sense the power of Germany would be decentralized but the separate states could still act as an economic powerhouse in a reinvigorated Europe and a counterbalance to the influence of the Soviet Union.

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