THE EUROPEAN ADVISORY COMMISSION AND ALLIED PLANNING FOR A DEFEATED GERMANY, 1943-1945
The European Advisory Council was established by the governments of the USSR, U.S. and Britain in October 1943 and charged with developing recommendations about the terms of surrender to be imposed upon Germany and its satellites. Meeting in London on a regular basis until August 1945, the Commission considered a range of economic and political problems relating to Germany and its role in the future of Europe. With the addition of a French representative in November 1944, the Commission offered a forum for the fourth subsequent occupying Power to present its views. This study investigates planning for treatment of a defeated Germany at two levels. At the secondary level, it considers the formation of U.S. policy from among the conflicting plans of agencies and advisors. At the primary level, it examines closely the proceedings of the EAC against the background of Allied wartime diplomacy. It describes this unique attempt at political cooperation and identifies the plans of the four governments for postwar Germany and, by inference, for postwar Europe. American leaders, unaccustomed to involvement in European affairs and uneasy in their new-found power were seen, time and again, to defer political questions, prefering instead to seek a military solution that would preclude diplomatic involvement. The Soviets, thrust by the fortunes of war into an unexpected alliance with two Western capitalist giants were slow in discussion and slower in agreement. British diplomacy, like its leader, was confident and assertive. Sure that it could best rule Europe, it sought to impose a complex and long-lived administration upon the continent. The French, mistrustful of their allies, but more fearful of the enemy, sought a program that would insure German weakness for generations to come. The EAC was the only organization in which representatives of the three great Allied powers met regularly to consider a major wartime problem. In its successes the Commission demonstrated that, despite the obstacles of varying ideologies and objectives, agreement could be attained on a range of issues; the failures of the Commission, in like manner, set the limits of effective cooperation and foreshadowed the confrontation that was to come.