24 votes
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How did the Germans get housing again after WWII?

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 ...
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20 votes
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If the UK received the highest amount of Marshall Aid, why was it broke?

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 ...
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  • 76.2k
19 votes
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What is the origin of the American stereotypes about Swedish women?

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 ...
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19 votes

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely "separate peace" in 1945?

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 ...
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  • 110k
17 votes

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely "separate peace" in 1945?

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 ...
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15 votes
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Why is China a member of the UN Security Council?

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 ...
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14 votes
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What was the rationale behind restrictions on camera ownership in post-war Germany?

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-...
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  • 2,445
14 votes

Was the Soviet Union in 1945 seeking to capture German soldiers and civilians, or drive them west?

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 ...
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  • 25.5k
12 votes

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely "separate peace" in 1945?

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 ...
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  • 409
11 votes

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely "separate peace" in 1945?

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 ...
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  • 5,018
11 votes

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely "separate peace" in 1945?

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 ...
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11 votes

Why did the GHQ not promote English during the occupation?

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 ...
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9 votes

What is the origin of the American stereotypes about Swedish women?

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 ...
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  • 103k
9 votes

Was there a German re-urbanization plan for after WWII?

Short Answer: No, with the exception of East Germany, city planning was done by a city and not by a State (Land) or national authority. Between 1933 and 1945, with exceptions, this was also generally ...
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8 votes
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How did communist authorities decide who is "German" and who is "Polish" when expelling Germans from recovered territories?

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 ...
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  • 7,089
7 votes

How was the safety of allied leaders ensured in transportation for conferences during WW2?

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 ...
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6 votes

Did the USSR have a more positive relationship with France than other west european countries after 1945?

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 ...
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6 votes

How could Poles from Kresy be enough to repopulate entire regions of Poland?

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 ...
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5 votes
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Why did the US release the Phillipines as a colony?

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 ...
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5 votes
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How is historical "average calorie consumption" data from eighty years ago estimated?

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 ...
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  • 75.1k
5 votes

Why is China a member of the UN Security Council?

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 ...
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  • 37.2k
5 votes

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely "separate peace" in 1945?

Stalin was working with premises that seem odd to us As others have said, in the Soviet view, the US/UK and Nazi Germany were not that different. They were enemies of Communism, and it seemed natural ...
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  • 28.1k
5 votes

What was the reason that Poland wanted a part of Germany north of Stettin/Szczecin and west of the Oder?

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 ...
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  • 75.1k
4 votes

How did communist authorities decide who is "German" and who is "Polish" when expelling Germans from recovered territories?

In most cases it was regional. Entire towns and provinces were expelled if they were German. When you are expelling hundreds of thousands of people at once, you don't have the time to be going person ...
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  • 37.2k
4 votes

What were John Profumo's responsibilities as the Secretary of State for War in Macmillan's government?

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 ...
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4 votes

How did the Germans get housing again after WWII?

I'd like to add this as "anecdotal" answer, not as definite but as additional data point: In some cases entire new towns were created, especially for the "ethnically cleansed" as they're now called. ...
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  • 2,445
4 votes

Why did the expelled Sudeten Germans and Danube Germans go to Germany, as opposed to Austria?

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: ...
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