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World War Two - Aftermath

The Abusive Occupying Army (Collier's Magazine, 1946)

This editorial lends credibility to Andrei Cherny's 2007 tome, The Candy Bombers, in which the author states that there was no love lost between the Berliners and the occupying American army in the immediate aftermath of the German surrender:

"Stories keep coming back to this country about American soldiers sticking up Berlin restaurants, or beating up German citizens, or looting German homes. How much of this stuff goes on, we don't know. We do know that some of it goes on, and that any of it is too much. Not that we believe in sobbing unduly over the German people, they let themselves be razzle-dazzled into the war by Hitler and his mobsters."


Life in Post-War Vienna (Yank Magazine, 1945)

Published six months after the German surrender was this account of post-war Vienna, Austria: the people, the shortages and the black-market. Originally liberated by the Soviet Army, the Americans occupied the city three months afterward; this is an eyewitness account as to what Vienna was like in the immediate wake of World War II. Reading between the lines, one gets a sense that the Viennese were simply delighted to see an American occupying force swap places with the Soviet Army, although the Soviets were not nearly as brutal to this capital as they were to Berlin.

In compliance with the Potsdam Conference, Vienna was soon divided into four zones of occupation.


One Year After the War (Collier's Magazine, 1946)

An anonymous opinion piece that was published in the August 24, 1946 issue of COLLIER'S MAGAZINE in which the writer expressed his astonishment in finding that peacetime, after such a hard-fought victory, should seem so anti-climactic:

"Consumers goods are so scarce everywhere that all major countries are suffering more or less inflation. A wave of big strikes in this country earlier this year slowed production badly, so that it seems impossible for us to freeze our own relatively mild inflation at its present point."


The Post-War Miracle that was Volkswagen (Pic Magazine, 1955)

Out of the smoldering ruins of Japan came the Honda factories; while Germany amazed their old enemies by rapidly beating their crematoriums into Volkswagens. Confidently managed by a fellow who only a short while before was serving as a lowly private in Hitler's retreating army, Volkswagen quickly retooled, making the vital improvements that were necessary to compete in the global markets.

Ludwig Erhard (1897 1977), West Germany's Minister of Economics between the years 1949 and 1963, once remarked that Germany was able to launch its "Wirtschaftswunder" (economic miracle) by implementing the principles of a market economy and laissez-fair capitalism within the framework of a semi-socialist state.


Post War Britain and Clement Atlee (Yank Magazine, 1945)

The attached column is a 1945 magazine profile of Clement Attlee (1883 1967: U.K. Prime Minister: 1945 - 1951) it appeared just a few weeks following the long over-do wrap-up of the Second World War and the hasty ouster of Conservative Party Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874 1965).

You might also want to read an article about Soviet Foreign Minister Andre Gromyko.


The Bavarians Wanted a King (Pathfinder Magazine, 1949)

An important news item came across the wire in mid-may, 1949:

"The delegates from Western Germany's 11 states gave final approval to the draft of the constitution for the new Federal Republic of Germany."

- but what matter was this to the thousands of Bavarians who were highly distrustful of the new government; they had their own gloried past that was largely due to the royal family known as the House of Wittelsbach:

"A strong faction is campaigning for the return to the throne of former Crown Prince Rupprecht. The eldest son of King Ludwig III, deposed in 1918, Rupprecht is a tall, thin man of vast education. He led Bavarian troops under Kaiser Wilhelm. In World War II, he was exiled to Italy. Since then he has been living with his family at Leutstetten Castle on Lake Starnberg near Munich."

"If the Bavarian people desire monarchy, I shall respect their desire."

Nice work if you can get it...


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