Thursday, January 04, 2007

GERMANY

Part 6 from the pamphlet, "OUR FOREIGN POLICY 1952":

GERMANY

G
ERMANY is a country of some 70 million peo-ple – intellligent, diligent, dynamic. It has great indus-trial capacity. It lies in the midle of Europe. Germany is bound to be a vitally important factor in any Euro-

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pean equation. It has been, and could be again, a minus factor ; it can be a decisive plus.

In May 1945, the occupying powers began to disarm Germany. The agreed policy was to deprive Germany of the capacity for again waging aggressive war. We undertook to eliminate the gangster elements that had been in control for 12 years and to assist decent Germans to put their country together again.

Along with that short-term job the Western Powers started a more difficult long-term one. That was the job of helping the Western Germans to rebuild their own society on a more democratic pattern. Naziism had penetrated the whole structure of German life – business and industry, the educational system, community organization, and, of course the press and radio.

For much of the last 7 years a great part of our effort in Germany has been devoted to developing democratic skills. As part of our contribution we have invited several thousand Germans, present or potential leaders, to travel and study in the United States and observe American life and American methods.

Western Germany has made good progress in the few years since the war. The German Federal Republic has a stable democratic government, and it has made a remarkable economic recovery.

The U.S. Government terminated the state of war with Germany on October 19, 1951. This step had been agreed to by the three Western Occupation Powers. Our joint example has so far been followed by more than 30 other governments.

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Some people have asked why, only 7 years after the Western Powers set about disarming Germany, they are willing to permit Western Germany to put on uni-forms again. Such was not the original intent of the U.S. Government and its wartime allies. But with the refusal of the Soviets to permit German unification and with the development of strong military units in East Germany under communist control, the defense of Western Germany became a practical necessity. Events have shown that Western Germany cannot remain a military vacuum in the world of the 1950's.

The idea of a permanently neutralized Germany, its security guaranteed by the other major powers, has a tempting appearance. A number of people in the West have been attracted by it. So have a good many high officials in East Germany and Moscow. The trouble from the Western viewpoint is that there can be no en-during neutrality in a location next door to the Red Army. It would work only in a world where all great powers could be counted on to keep their promises – and in such a world it would be unnecessary for anybody to rearm.

The Western community needs Germany as a full partner, sharing in the privileges and responsibilities of the free nations. Germany's neighbors do not want a German national army. Most Germans do not want it. But if German units can be incorporated into a Euro-pean defense force under international command, German strength will contribute greatly to the North Atlantic community's bulwark against aggression.

The objective of the Western Alliance is to establish Ger-many as a productive, cooperating member of the family of nations, not a malcontent or a troublemaker. We want to enlist the great German potential for good on the side of the free nations.

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