21

They lived in shanty towns and makeshift shelters until the government built apartment blocks. In many cases families lived in shacks or even tents for years. When I was a young boy I was friends with two girls whose mother had come from Germany and had been a little girl during the war. Once they showed me a handful of photographs her mother had saved. One ...


20

I remember being told as a boy in the 1970's that the reason our economy and industry was in such a poor state, particularly when compared with the West German "economic miracle", was that the RAF and USAF had bombed most of the German factories flat, and they had then re-built with the latest technologies paid for with Marshall Aid dollars. In the meantime, ...


19

One intriguing use of the term "blowback" I've seen was from Bob Woodward's book Veil. In propaganda terms, he used it to indicate a situation where lies told to further US interests "blew back" into US intelligence gathering, causing the US to believe their own lies. When that happens you think you know the truth when you actually do not, which can lead to ...


18

Swedish liberal attitudes developed during the post World War 2 era (remember that Sweden had been neutral, and had not suffered nearly as much during the war as many other European countries). As far as American perception of Swedish attitudes to sex, this was probably formed during Eisenhower's presidency. With the international distribution of Swedish ...


17

The salaries stopped as soon as Flensburg government was dissolved. The officials and technical personnel went on with their lives - found other jobs, went home or emigrated. The buildings lay fallow (the occupying powers being jointly responsible for their maintenance) until the Bundesrepublik & DDR were proclaimed in 1949, at what time they were turned ...


16

I think you answered your own question. The Western Allies indeed never wavered from the doctrine of "unconditional surrender". However, some Germans did try for a separate peace and those attempts were sufficiently worrisome for the SU - even though they were soundly rebuffed both times: Canaris 1943: In 1943, while in occupied France, Canaris is ...


15

China (at the time) was one of the "Big Four" Allies (France was not) during World War II. (The "United Nations" originally meant the united, anti-Axis nations.) It's true that the "Big Three" were the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union, but there were a number of much weaker, plausible "number four" states, including China, France, and Poland (the ...


11

To answer this question, from the outset there has to be a distinction between the German zones occupied by the Western allies and the Soviet occupied zone, i.e the parts that first became the Tri-Zone then the Federal Republic of German and the German Democratic Republic, respectively. The source I'm using is Greif zur Kamera, Kumpel!: Die Geschichte der ...


11

Stalin pursued two separate objectives: Establishing stable post-war borders which would reflect population ethnicity, which required extensive "population exchanges" - and those are cheaper to conduct when the populations to be exchanged flee on their own (cf. my answer to Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany ...


11

I am sorry, but as a German I must dismiss your precondition that "the Germans" hoped for a separate peace. To the best of my knowledge the Germans were in general not aware of that idea because it sounds ridiculous. Hitler had the ideological view of Lebensraum in the East, the submission of the Slavs and the enemy image of Bolshevism. There were several ...


11

In 1941, future President Harry Truman reportedly advocated a "bait and bleed" strategy that, "If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible." General George Patton suggested re-arming 26 German divisions and working with them to kick back the ...


11

You can't "abolish" a language by decree. People can't just be ordered to forget how to speak, nor can they learn an entirely new language within a short period of time. As long as the language remains alive, Japan would simply revoke English the moment it regains sovereignty - as it did with numerous GHQ initiatives on in 1952. Thus, the only way to ...


10

My father served on the Eastern Front from 1943-45, as a non-commissioned officer for one of the Axis minor allies. He had at least heard rumors of a plan to surrender to the Western Allies, who would then unite with Germany to drive the Red Army out of Europe. It is a fact that the Western Allies were not going to go for such a plan, but it is indicative ...


9

There are a couple of reasons. The main ones are lack of a double standard, and the fact that Sweden had its "1960s" about ten years earlier. The lack of a double standard explains the stereotype of "easy" women. Basically, Swedish women (by the middle of the 20th century) had equal rights with men in initiating flirtations (or more). They (and men) also ...


7

The Allies had sufficient control of the Atlantic Ocean for FDR and Churchill to arrive safely at Casablanca by sea in 1943 (the routes were "safe enough" for over 100,000 Allied troops). Getting to Casablanca was more problematic for Stalin, which is why he didn't attend. The theoretical danger was by land or air, but as people pointed out in the answer to ...


6

Before WW2 The treaty you refer to was largely meaningless. Only the German propaganda machine was perverse enough to call the relationship it established an "alliance". After WW2 When Soviet Union started to enslave the Eastern Europe, the West woke up and agreed to a common defense. Soviet Union tried to strike at the weak link of the Western Aliance - ...


6

The United States had promised the Philippines independence in 1934, on a timetable to end in 1946, and kept that promise. Beginning in 1935, the Philippines had Commonwealth status as a stopgap. The Philippines had fallen "accidentally" to the United States in the Spanish American war, because it was a possession of Spain. In this regard, it was unlike ...


5

These numbers were not measured like "actual calories consumed". But the numbers cited are quite easily "calculated" – for the cities. From the start of the war for Germany in 1939 there were Lebensmittelmarken/Lebensmittelkarten (something like "ration stamps") given out to avoid the inequality and other problems associated with getting enough food and ...


5

The Peoples Republic of China was not originally on the security council, as it did not exist in 1945 at the time the security council was created. The Peoples Republic of China inherited the Republic of China's seat on the council when it took over the ROC's place in the United Nations in 1971. Originally the United States supported the ROC's place on the ...


5

The answer is based on my talks with people of Polish origins in East Prussia and Upper Silesia and might not represent all the cases. I also do understand the answer does not cite any sources. Since about late 1944 it was clear that the territories west of Poznań and Łódź are going to be in Poland. The Allied forces which were present in Western (of 1939) ...


5

That is not really easy to answer, as the German economy was not really in orderly fashion functioning. The black market dominated many sectors of civilian life, internationla trade was "low" and most of the consumer goods were hidden away or distributed via food stamps. Compare that to Reichsmark: After the Second World War, the Reichsmark continued ...


5

The city is located on both sides of the river, although the bigger part is on the West bank. The city is a port, an important port like Danzig, only much less capable for actually shipping large volumes. But it of course controlled shipping up the Oder. If following the river strictly, that would mean the city would have to be divided. Not ideal, but then ...


4

I mean, apart from the fact the British and Americans met, planned, collaborated, shared intelligence etc separately from the Russians, which, yes, was a problem for the Soviet Union Stalin in his letter to Roosevelt on 7th April 1945 cited yet another reason to doubt the loyalty of USA: It is hard to agree that the absence of German resistance on the ...


4

He was in charge of the War Office, so ultimately was responsible on the civilian side for the Army in the same way as the current Minister of Defence is ultimately responsible for the Army, RN and RAF. So things that he would have had to answer for in Parliament would include: Development and implementation of defence policy. Annual budget, including new ...


4

I would argue just Western Germany's post war economic achievements verses Eastern Germany's troubles refute this premise fairly comprehensively. The argument comes down to the US, British, and French were terrible; but they were certainly a lot better than the soviets. If this is a perfect world type argument then it becomes uninteresting. Beyond that, I ...


4

It is worth noting that during the Second Polish Republic, Vilno and Lvov were the third and sixth largest cities in the country, with between 200,000-300,000 people. Gdańsk, Szczecin, and Wrocław had much smaller (Polish) populations before the war, so it didn't take much to "repopulate" the Polish populations of those cities (low tens of thousands). They ...


4

This is what we are talking about: A B C D E F E: (Map of the Czech Republic present day borders with relative ethnic German inhabitants around 1930 marked in colour. Source: WP: Deutschböhmen und Deutschmährer) That means the vast majority of ethnic or linguistically German people were near the border of Germany, and not that many really ...


4

This doesn't seem to be one of the larger camps, listed in Prison camps in the Netherlands. Although especially Kamp Erica near Ommen might give you quite a glimpse of the conditions in general after the war in these camps. In Haarlem, there was the much smaller, former garrison-turned-internment-camp: Koudenhorn (~Coldhorn). This is found mentioned quite ...


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