Saar Protectorate ( de facto
not a part of Germany)
French occupation zone
British occupation zone
American occupation zone
Soviet occupation zone
• British zone
• American zone
|Dwight D. Eisenhower|
• French zone
|Jean de Lattre de Tassigny|
• Soviet zone
|Historical era||Cold War|
|8 May 1945|
|5 June 1945|
|17 December 1947|
|23 May 1949|
• East Germany b
|7 October 1949|
• Final Settlement c
|15 March 1991|
|History of Germany|
The entirety of Germany was occupied and administered by the Allies of World War II from the Berlin Declaration on 5 June 1945 to the establishment of West Germany on 23 May 1949. Unlike occupied Japan, Germany was stripped of its sovereignty and former state: after Nazi Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, four countries representing the Allies (the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France) asserted joint authority and sovereignty through the Allied Control Council (ACC) under the Berlin Declaration of 5 June 1945 that led to the fall of the German Reich. At first, Allied-occupied Germany was defined as all territories of Germany before the 1938 Nazi annexation of Austria; the Potsdam Agreement on 2 August 1945 defined the new eastern German border by giving Poland and the Soviet Union all regions of Germany east of the Oder–Neisse line (eastern parts of Pomerania, Neumark, Posen-West Prussia, East-Prussia and almost Silesia) and divided the remaining "Germany as a whole" into four occupation zones, each administered by one of the Allies.
All territories annexed by Germany before the war from Austria and Czechoslovakia were returned to these countries. The Memel Territory, annexed by Germany from Lithuania before the war, was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1945 and transferred to the Lithuanian SSR. All territories annexed by Germany during the war from Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Yugoslavia were returned to their respective countries.
Deviating from the occupation zones planned according to the London Protocol in 1944, at Potsdam, the United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union approved the detachment from Germany of the territories east of the Oder–Neisse line, with the exact line of the boundary to be determined in a final German peace treaty. This treaty was expected to confirm the shifting westward of Poland's borders, as the United Kingdom and United States committed themselves to support the permanent incorporation of eastern Germany into Poland and the Soviet Union. From March 1945 to July 1945, these former eastern territories of Germany had been administered under Soviet military occupation authorities, but following the Potsdam Agreement they were handed over to Soviet and Polish civilian administrations and ceased to constitute part of Allied-occupied Germany.
In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, United States forces had pushed beyond the agreed boundaries for the future zones of occupation, in some places by as much as 320 km (200 miles). The so-called line of contact between Soviet and U.S. forces at the end of hostilities, mostly lying eastward of the July 1945-established inner German border, was temporary. After two months in which they had held areas that had been assigned to the Soviet zone, U.S. forces withdrew in the first days of July 1945. Some have concluded that this was a crucial move that persuaded the Soviet Union to allow American, British and French forces into their designated sectors in Berlin, which occurred at roughly the same time, although the need for intelligence gathering (Operation Paperclip) may also have been a factor. On 20 March 1948, the Soviets withdrew from the Allied Control Council. The split led to the establishment in 1949 of two new German states, West Germany and East Germany.
The American zone in Southern Germany consisted of Bavaria (without the Rhine Palatinate Region and the Lindau District, both part of the French zone) and Hesse (without Rhenish Hesse and Montabaur Region, both part of the French zone) with a new capital in Wiesbaden, and of northern parts of Württemberg and Baden . Those formed Württemberg-Baden and became northern portions of the present-day German state of Baden-Württemberg founded in 1952.
The ports of Bremen (on the lower Weser River) and Bremerhaven (at the Weser estuary of the North Sea) were also placed under U.S. control because of the U.S. request to have certain toeholds in Northern Germany. At the end of October 1946, the American zone had a population of:
The headquarters of the American military government was the former IG Farben Building in Frankfurt am Main.
Following the complete closure of all Nazi German media, the launch and operation of completely new newspaper titles began by licensing carefully selected Germans as publishers. Licenses were granted to Germans not involved in Nazi propaganda to establish those newspapers, including Frankfurter Rundschau (August 1945), Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin; September 1945), and Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich; October 1945). Radio stations were run by the military government. Later, Radio Frankfurt, Radio München (Munich) and Radio Stuttgart gave way for the Hessischer Rundfunk , Bayerischer Rundfunk , and Süddeutscher Rundfunk , respectively. The RIAS in West-Berlin remained a radio station under U.S. control.
By May 1945 the British and Canadian Armies had liberated the Netherlands and had conquered Northern Germany. The Canadian forces went home following the German surrender, leaving Northern Germany to be occupied by the British.
The British Army of the Rhine was formed on 25 August 1945 from the British Liberation Army.
In July the British withdrew from Mecklenburg's capital Schwerin which they had taken over from the Americans a few weeks before, as it had previously been agreed to be occupied by the Soviet Army. The Control Commission for Germany (British Element) (CCG/BE) ceded more slices of its area of occupation to the Soviet Union – specifically the Amt Neuhaus of Hanover and some exclaves and fringes of Brunswick, for example the County of Blankenburg, and exchanged some villages between British Holstein and Soviet Mecklenburg under the Barber-Lyashchenko Agreement.
Within the British zone of occupation, the CCG/BE re-established the city of Hamburg as a German state, but with borders that had been drawn by the Nazi government in 1937. The British also created the new German states of:
Also in 1947, the American zone of occupation being inland had no port facilities – thus the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and Bremerhaven became exclaves within the British zone.
At the end of October 1946, the British zone had a population of:
The British headquarters were originally based in Bad Oeynhausen from 1946, but in 1954 it was moved to Mönchengladbach where it was known as JHQ Rheindahlen.
Another special feature of the British zone was the enclave of Bonn. It was created in July 1949 and was not under British or any other allied control. Instead it was under the control of the Allied High Commission. In June 1950, Ivone Kirkpatrick became the British High Commissioner for Germany. Kirkpatrick carried immense responsibility particularly with respect to the negotiation of the Bonn–Paris conventions during 1951–1952, which terminated the occupation and prepared the way for the rearmament of West Germany.
Army units from other countries were stationed within the British occupation zone.
The French Republic was at first not granted an occupation zone in Germany, but the British and American governments later agreed to cede some western parts of their zones of occupation to the French Army.In April and May 1945, the French 1st Army had captured Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, and conquered a territory extending to Hitler's Eagle's Nest and the westernmost part of Austria. In July, the French relinquished Stuttgart to the Americans, and in exchange were given control over cities west of the Rhine such as Mainz and Koblenz. All this resulted in two barely contiguous areas of Germany along the French border which met at just a single point along the River Rhine. Three German states ( Land ) were established: Rheinland Pfalz in the north and west and on the other hand Württemberg-Hohenzollern and South Baden, who later formed Baden-Württemberg together with Württemberg-Baden of the American zone.
The French zone of occupation included the Saargebiet, which was disentangled from it on 16 February 1946. By 18 December 1946 customs controls were established between the Saar area and Allied-occupied Germany. The French zone ceded further areas adjacent to the Saar (in mid-1946, early 1947, and early 1949). Included in the French zone was the town of Büsingen am Hochrhein, a German exclave separated from the rest of the country by a narrow strip of neutral Swiss territory. The Swiss government agreed to allow limited numbers of French troops to pass through its territory in order to maintain law and order in Büsingen.
At the end of October 1946, the French zone had a population of:
(The Saar Protectorate had a further 0.8 million.)
From November 1945, Luxembourg was allocated a zone within the French sector.The Luxembourg 2nd Infantry Battalion was garrisoned in Bitburg and the 1st Battalion was sent to Saarburg. The final Luxembourg forces in Germany, in Bitburg, left in 1955.
The Soviet occupation zone incorporated Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg.[ citation needed ] The Soviet Military Administration was headquartered in Berlin-Karlshorst, which also came to house the chief rezidentura of Soviet intelligence in Germany.
At the end of October 1946, the Soviet zone had a population of:
While located wholly within the Soviet zone, because of its symbolic importance as the nation's capital and seat of the former Nazi government, the city of Berlin was jointly occupied by the Allied powers and subdivided into four sectors. All four occupying powers were entitled to privileges throughout Berlin that were not extended to the rest of Germany – this included the Soviet sector of Berlin, which was legally separate from the rest of the Soviet zone.
At the end of October 1946, Berlin had a population of:
In 1945 Germany east of the Oder–Neisse line was assigned to Poland by the Potsdam Conference to be "temporarily administered" pending the Final Peace Treaty on Germany between the four Allies and a future German state; eventually (under the September 1990 Peace Treaty) the northern portion of East Prussia became the Kaliningrad Oblast within the Soviet Union (today Russian Federation). A small area west of the Oder, near Szczecin, also fell to Poland. Most German citizens residing in these areas were subsequently expropriated and expelled. Returning refugees, who had fled from war hostilities, were denied return.
Saarland, an area in the French occupation zone, was separated from Allied-occupied Germany to become a French protectorate with its constitution took effect on 17 December 1947, however the separation was opposed by the Soviet Union and Germans here were not expelled.
In October 1946, the population of the various zones and sectors was as follows:
|State, sector, or other territory||Zone||Population|
|North Rhine-Westphalia||British||11.7 million|
|Lower Saxony||British||6.2 million|
|South Baden||French||1.2 million|
|Berlin (western sectors)||American, British, French||2.0 million|
|Berlin (Soviet sector)||Soviet||1.1 million|
The original Allied plan to govern Germany as a single unit through the Allied Control Council de facto broke down on 20 March 1948 (restored on 3 September 1971) in the context of growing tensions between the Allies, with Britain and the US wishing cooperation, France obstructing any collaboration in order to partition Germany into many independent states, and especially: the Soviet Union unilaterally implementing from early on elements of a Marxist political-economic system (enforced redistribution of land, nationalisation of businesses). Another dispute was the absorption of post-war expellees. While the UK, the US and the Soviet Union had agreed to accept, house and feed about six million expelled German citizens from former eastern Germany and four million expelled and denaturalised Czechoslovaks, Poles, Hungarians and Yugoslavs of German ethnicity in their zones, France generally had not agreed to the expulsions approved by the Potsdam agreement (a decision made without input from France). Therefore, France strictly refused to absorb war refugees who were denied return to their homes in seized eastern German territories or destitute post-war expellees who had been expropriated there, into the French zone, let alone into the separated Saar protectorate.However, the native population, returning after Nazi-imposed removals (e.g., political and Jewish refugees) and war-related relocations (e.g., evacuation from air raids), were allowed to return home in the areas under French control. The other Allies complained that they had to shoulder the burden to feed, house and clothe the expellees who had to leave their belongings behind.
In practice, each of the four occupying powers wielded government authority in their respective zones and carried out different policies toward the population and local and state governments there. A uniform administration of the western zones evolved, known first as the Bizone (the American and British zones merged as of 1 January 1947) and later the Trizone (after inclusion of the French zone). The complete breakdown of east–west allied cooperation and joint administration in Germany became clear with the Soviet imposition of the Berlin Blockade that was enforced from June 1948 to May 1949. The three western zones were merged to form the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) i.e. West Germany in May 1949, and after that the Soviets followed suit in October 1949 with the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) i.e. East Germany.
In the west, the occupation continued until 5 May 1955, when the General Treaty (German: Deutschlandvertrag) entered into force. However, upon the creation of the Federal Republic in May 1949, the military governors were replaced by civilian high commissioners, whose powers lay somewhere between those of a governor and those of an ambassador. When the Deutschlandvertrag became law, the occupation ended, the western occupation zones ceased to exist, and the high commissioners were replaced by normal ambassadors. West Germany was also allowed to build a military, and the Bundeswehr, or Federal Defense Force, was established on 12 November 1955.
A similar situation occurred in East Germany. The GDR was founded on 7 October 1949. On 10 October the Soviet Military Administration in Germany was replaced by the Soviet Control Commission, although limited sovereignty was not granted to the GDR government until 11 November 1949. After the death of Joseph Stalin in March 1953, the Soviet Control Commission was replaced with the office of the Soviet High Commissioner on 28 May 1953. This office was abolished (and replaced by an ambassador) and (general) sovereignty was granted to the GDR, when the Soviet Union concluded a state treaty (Staatsvertrag) with the GDR on 20 September 1955. On 1 March 1956, the GDR established a military, the National People's Army (NVA).
Despite the grants of general sovereignty to both German states in 1955, full and unrestricted sovereignty under international law was not enjoyed by any German government until after the reunification of Germany in October 1990. Though West Germany was effectively independent, the western Allies maintained limited legal jurisdiction over 'Germany as a whole' in respect of West Germany and Berlin. At the same time, East Germany progressed from being a satellite state of the Soviet Union to increasing independence of action; while still deferring in matters of security to Soviet authority. The provisions of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, also known as the "Two-plus-Four Treaty", granting full sovereign powers to Germany did not become law until 15 March 1991, after all of the participating governments had ratified the treaty. As envisaged by the Treaty, the last occupation troops departed from Germany when the Russian presence was terminated in 1994, although the Belgian Forces in Germany stayed in German territory until the end of 2005.
A 1956 plebiscite ended the French administration of the Saar protectorate, and it joined the Federal Republic as Saarland on 1 January 1957, becoming its tenth state.
The city of Berlin was not part of either state and de jure continued to be under Allied occupation of the four countries until the reunification of Germany in October 1990. For administrative purposes, the three western sectors of Berlin were merged into the entity of West Berlin being de facto part of the FRG. The Soviet sector became known as East Berlin and while not recognised by the Western powers as a part of East Germany, the GDR declared it its capital (Hauptstadt der DDR).
Allied aims with respect to postwar Germany were first laid out at the Yalta Conference, where Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin signed an agreement stating that they intended to: disarm and disband the German armed forces; break up the German General Staff; remove or destroy all German military equipment; eliminate or control German industry that could be used for military production; punish war criminals; exact reparations for damage done by Germany; wipe out the Nazi party and its institutions; remove all Nazi and militarist influences from public life; and take any other measures in Germany as might be necessary to ensure future peace and safety.The consensus among the Allies was that it was necessary to ensure Germany could not cause further world wars, but beyond that their opinion on what Germany's future should look like differed.
The US originally considered a punitive approach championed by Roosevelt's Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau Jr. (the "Morgenthau Plan"). Under this plan, Germany would have been broken into four autonomous states and not only demilitarized but also deindustrialized to the point of becoming chiefly agrarian.The Morgenthau plan was opposed by Secretary of State Cordell Hull and War Secretary Henry L. Stimson, and Roosevelt distanced himself from the idea after it was reported on by major American newspapers. Ultimately, US occupation policy came to be determined chiefly by the War Department, with long-term objectives summed up by the four Ds: denazification, democratization, demilitarization, and decentralization (or decartelization).
Initially, the US was extremely rigorous in its efforts to prevent fraternization with German civilians. US soldiers were forbidden to shake hands with Germans, visit their homes, play games or sports with them, exchange gifts, take part in social events, or walk in the streets with them. How strictly this policy was applied varied from place to place, but in many places the restrictions were frequently ignored, as a result of which the policy was quickly abandoned.Germans were also prohibited from inhabiting any part of a building in which US soldiers were housed, leading to large numbers of Germans being ejected from their homes.
British occupation policy was similar to that of the United States, but with a greater focus on economic problems. The British Occupation Zone included the Ruhr industrial region, which had experienced the heaviest bombing and therefore faced the greatest shortages of housing and food. Initial British occupation directives were concerned primarily with economic considerations and food supply.
To further the long-term aim of democratization, the British implemented government modeled on the UK system, placing heavy emphasis on local level democracy. The goal was to create a British-style administration with employees who viewed themselves as public servants, on the basis that this would help to reeducate Germans to democratic modes of thought. To that end the British introduced new local government structures, including a nonpolitical position similar to the English town clerk ("city director") that replaced the office of mayor.
In general, the British believed strongly in reeducation as a means to achieve democracy, which led them to prioritize the reestablishment of schooling and university education in their zone.
The French were less concerned with improving Germany's moral and civic character, focusing instead on ensuring France's future security and utilizing the resources of their occupation zone to facilitate economic recovery within France itself.Since one of their key goals was to ensure that Germany would never again be in a position to threaten France, the French were strongly opposed to a unified approach to occupation, and favored political structures that were as decentralized as possible.
On the economic front, the French seized the opportunity to extract coal and steel resources from the Saar region, fusing it with France in a customs and currency union and encouraging the development of export industries. As a result, the French managed to extract a surprlus from their occupation zone, and prevented it from becoming a financial liability the way the British and American zones were to their respective occupying powers.
Soviet aims in Germany were similar to those of the French, with the primary goals being to prevent future aggression by Germany and to extract reparations.
Political activity in the Soviet occupation zone was overseen by the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD), which maintained close control over the Germans and allowed little room for independent action on the part of local German officials.Key posts in local administration, particularly those dealing with security members, were given to members of the Communist party.
Soviet occupation authorities also executed a rigorous program of land reform, expropriating large landed estates and imposing direct control over much of the economic activity in the zone.They closed major banks and insurance companies in July 1945, and seized property formerly belonging to the German state, Wehrmacht, Nazi party, and Nazi organizations.
The Soviets used suspicion of supposed Werwolf activity to tighten police control and secure forced labor.
The food situation in occupied Germany was initially very dire. By the spring of 1946 the official ration in the American zone was no more than 1,275 calories (5,330 kJ) per day, with some areas probably receiving as little as 700 calories (2,900 kJ) per day. In the British zone the food situation was dire, as found during a visit by the British (and Jewish) publisher Victor Gollancz in October and November 1946. In Düsseldorf the normal 28-day allocation should have been 1,548 calories (6,480 kJ) including 10 kilograms (22 lb) of bread, but as there was limited grain the bread ration was only 8.5 kilograms (19 lb). However, as there was only sufficient bread for about 50% of this "called up" ration, the total deficiency was about 50%, not 15% as stated in a ministerial reply in the British Parliament on 11 December. So only about 770 calories (3,200 kJ) would have been supplied, and he said the German winter ration would be 1,000 calories (4,200 kJ) as the recent increase was "largely mythical". His book includes photos taken on the visit and critical letters and newspaper articles by him published in several British newspapers; The Times, the Daily Herald, the Manchester Guardian, etc.
Some occupation soldiers took advantage of the desperate food situation by exploiting their ample supply of food and cigarettes (the currency of the black market) to get to the local German girls as what became known as frau bait ( The New York Times , 25 June 1945). Some soldiers still felt the girls were the enemy, but used them for sex nevertheless.
The often destitute mothers of the resulting children usually received no child support. In the earliest stages of the occupation, U.S. soldiers were not allowed to pay maintenance for a child they admitted having fathered, since to do so was considered "aiding the enemy". Marriages between white U.S. soldiers and Austrian women were not permitted until January 1946, and with German women until December 1946.
The children of African-American soldiers, commonly called Negermischlinge("Negro half-breeds"), comprising about three percent of the total number of children fathered by GIs, were particularly disadvantaged because of their inability to conceal the foreign identity of their fathers. For many white U.S. soldiers of this era, miscegenation even with an "enemy" white population was regarded as an intolerable outrage. African-American soldiers were therefore reluctant to admit to fathering such children since this would invite reprisals and even accusations of rape, a crime which was much more aggressively prosecuted by military authorities against African-Americans compared with Caucasian soldiers, much more likely to result in a conviction by court-martial (in part because a German woman was both less likely to acknowledge consensual sexual relations with an African-American and more likely to be believed if she alleged rape against an African-American) and which carried a potential death sentence. Even in the rare cases where an African-American soldier was willing to take responsibility for fathering a child, until 1948 the U.S. Army prohibited interracial marriages. The mothers of the children would often face particularly harsh ostracism.
Between 1950 and 1955, the Allied High Commission for Germany prohibited "proceedings to establish paternity or liability for maintenance of children."Even after the lifting of the ban West German courts had little power over American soldiers.
While Allied servicemen were ordered to obey local laws while in Germany, soldiers could not be prosecuted by German courts for crimes committed against German citizens except as authorised by the occupation authorities. Invariably, when a soldier was accused of criminal behaviour the occupation authorities preferred to handle the matter within the military justice system. This sometimes led to harsher punishments than would have been available under German law – in particular, U.S. servicemen could be executed if court-martialed and convicted of rape.See United States v. Private First Class John A. Bennett, 7 C.M.A. 97, 21 C.M.R. 223 (1956).
The last Allied war advances into Germany and Allied occupation plans were affected by rumors of the Nazi Werwolf plan for insurgency, and successful Nazi deception about plans to withdraw forces to the Alpenfestung redoubt. This base was to be used to conduct guerrilla warfare, but the rumours turned out to be false. No Allied deaths can be reliably attributed to any Nazi insurgency.
The Potsdam conference, where the victorious Allies drew up plans for the future of Germany, noted in article XIII of the Potsdam Agreement on 1 August 1945 that "the transfer to Germany of German populations...in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary will have to be undertaken"; "wild expulsion" was already going on.
Hungary, which had been allied with Germany and whose population was opposed to an expulsion of the German minority, tried to resist the transfer. Hungary had to yield to the pressure exerted mainly by the Soviet Union and by the Allied Control Council.Millions of people were expelled from former eastern territories of Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and elsewhere to the occupation zones of the UK, US, and USSR, which agreed in the Potsdam Agreement to absorb the post-war expellees into their zones. Many remained in refugee camps for a long time. Some Germans remained in the Soviet Union and were used for forced labour for a period of years.
France was not invited to the Potsdam Conference. As a result, it chose to adopt some decisions of the Potsdam Agreements and to dismiss others. France maintained the position that it did not approve post-war expulsions and that therefore it was not responsible to accommodate and nourish the destitute expellees in its zone. While the few war-related refugees who had reached the area to become the French zone before July 1945 were taken care of, the French military government for Germany refused to absorb post-war expellees deported from the East into its zone. In December 1946, the French military government for Germany absorbed into its zone German refugees from Denmark, where 250,000 Germans had found a refuge from the Soviets by sea vessels between February and May 1945.These clearly were war-related refugees from the eastern parts of Germany however, and not post-war expellees.
The Potsdam Conference was held at Potsdam in the Soviet occupation zone from July 17 to August 2, 1945, to allow the three leading Allies to plan the postwar peace, while avoiding the mistakes of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They were represented respectively by General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman. They gathered to decide how to administer Germany, which had agreed to an unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier. The goals of the conference also included establishing the postwar order, solving issues on the peace treaty, and countering the effects of the war.
The Potsdam Agreement was the agreement between three of the Allies of World War II: the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union after the war ended in Europe on 1 August 1945 and it was published the next day. A product of the Potsdam Conference, it concerned the military occupation and reconstruction of Germany, its border, and the entire European Theatre of War territory. It also addressed Germany's demilitarisation, reparations, the prosecution of war criminals and the mass expulsion of ethnic Germans from various parts of Europe. France was not invited to the conference but formally remained one of the powers occupying Germany.
During the later stages of World War II and the post-war period, Germans and Volksdeutsche fled and were expelled from various Eastern and Central European countries, including Czechoslovakia, and from the former German provinces of Lower and Upper Silesia, East Prussia, and the eastern parts of Brandenburg (Neumark) and Pomerania (Hinterpommern), which were annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union.
The history of Germany from 1945 to 1990 spans the period following World War II, from the Berlin Declaration marking the abolition of the German Reich and Allied-occupied period in Germany on 5 June 1945 to German reunification on 3 October 1990.
The final battles of the European theatre of World War II continued after the definitive surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies, signed by Field marshal Wilhelm Keitel on 8 May 1945 in Karlshorst, Berlin. After German leader Adolf Hitler's suicide and handing over of power to grand admiral Karl Dönitz in May 1945, Soviet troops conquered Berlin and accepted surrender of the Dönitz-led government. The last battles were fought on the Eastern Front which ended in the total surrender of all of Nazi Germany’s remaining armed forces such as in the Courland Pocket in western Latvia from Army Group Courland in the Baltics surrendering on 10 May 1945 and in Czechoslovakia during the Prague offensive on 11 May 1945.
The Bizone or Bizonia was the combination of the American and the British occupation zones on 1 January 1947 during the occupation of Germany after World War II. With the addition of the French occupation zone on 1 August 1948 the entity became the Trizone. Later, on 23 May 1949, the Trizone became the Federal Republic of Germany, commonly known as West Germany.
The Soviet occupation zone in Germany was an area of Germany that was occupied by the Soviet Union as a communist area, established as a result of the Potsdam Agreement on 1 August 1945. On 7 October 1949 the German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly referred to in English as East Germany, was established in the Soviet occupation zone.
The Saar Protectorate, officially Saarland, was a French protectorate and a disputed territory separated from Germany. On joining the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957, it became the smallest "federal state", the Saarland, not counting the "city states" of Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen. It is named after the Saar River.
Steinstücken, with approximately 300 residents, is a small outlying neighborhood of the Wannsee district in the Berlin borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf. From the division of Germany in 1949 until a connecting corridor was created in 1971–72, Steinstücken was the only permanently inhabited of twelve original exclaves of West Berlin in East Germany, while West Berlin itself was an enclave controlled by the Western Allies, surrounded by East German (GDR) territory.
The formation of the European Advisory Commission (EAC) was agreed on at the Moscow Conference on 30 October 1943 between the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, Anthony Eden, the United States, Cordell Hull, and the Soviet Union, Vyacheslav Molotov, and confirmed at the Tehran Conference in November. In anticipation of the defeat of Nazi Germany and its allies this commission was to study the postwar political problems in Europe and make recommendation to the three governments, including the surrender of the European enemy states and the machinery of its fulfillment. After the EAC completed its task it was dissolved at the Potsdam Conference in August 1945.
The territorial evolution of Germany in this article include all changes in the modern territory of Germany from its unification making it a country on 1 January 1871 to the present although the history of "Germany" as a territorial polity concept and the history of the ethnic Germans are much longer and much more complex. Modern Germany was formed when the Kingdom of Prussia unified most of the German states, with the exception of multi-ethnic Austria, into the German Empire. After the First World War, on 10 January 1920, Germany lost about 13% of its territory to its neighbours, and the Weimar Republic was formed two days before this war was over. This republic included territories to the east of today's German borders.
Austria was occupied by the Allies and proclaimed independence from Nazi Germany on 27 April 1945, as a result of the Vienna offensive and ended with the Austrian State Treaty on 27 July 1955.
The legal status of Germany concerns the question of the extinction, or otherwise continuation, of the German nation-state following the rise and downfall of Nazi Germany, and constitutional hiatus of the military occupation of Germany by the four Allied powers from 1945 to 1949. It became current once again when the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990.
The Berlin Declaration of 5 June 1945 or the Declaration regarding the defeat of Germany, had the governments of the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France, acting on behalf of the Allies of World War II, jointly assume de jure "supreme authority" over Germany after its military defeat and asserted the legitimacy of their joint determination of issues regarding its administration and boundaries prior to the forthcoming Potsdam Conference.
The Allied Control Council (ACC) or Allied Control Authority, and also referred to as the Four Powers, was the governing body of the Allied occupation zones in Germany (1945–1949/1991) and Austria (1945–1955) after the end of World War II in Europe. After the defeat of the Nazis, Germany and Austria were occupied as two different areas, both by the same four Allies. Both were later divided into four zones by the 1 August 1945 Potsdam Agreement. Its members were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France. The organisation was based in Schöneberg, Berlin.
The State of Brandenburg was a subdivision of the Soviet occupation zone and state of East Germany which corresponds widely to the present-day German state Brandenburg. The state was originally formed as administrative division Province of March Brandenburg by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) in July 1945, a re-establishment of the Prussian Province of Brandenburg, excluding the Eastern parts behind the Oder–Neisse line to Poland. With the abolition of Prussia in February 1947, it was named State of March Brandenburg but in June 1947 the SMAD forced to change the name to State of Brandenburg. In August 1945, a transfer of territory was ruled out between Allied-occupied Berlin. Compared to the administrative divisions of Nazi Germany, it comprised the Western part of the Gau March Brandenburg and small parts of Berlin.
The French occupation zone in Germany was one of the Allied-occupied areas in Germany after World War II.
The term Four Ds refers to the four guiding principles of the allied occupation of Germany after World War II. Resulting from the Potsdam Conference in July to August 1945, they comprise: demilitarisation, denazification, decentralisation, and democratisation. Some historians add decartelisation or deindustrialisation to this list, creating the alternative name Five Ds.
The British occupation zone in Germany was one of the Allied-occupied areas in Germany after World War II. The United Kingdom, along with the Commonwealth, was one of the three major Allied powers that defeated Nazi Germany. By 1945, the Allies had divided the country into four occupation zones: British, Soviet, American and French lasting until 1949, whence the new country of West Germany was established. Out of all the four zones, the British had the largest population and contained within it the heavy industry region, the Ruhr, as well as the naval ports and Germany's coast lines.
The American occupation zone in Germany was one of the four occupation zones established by the Allies of World War II in Germany west of the Oder–Neisse line in July 1945, around two months after the German surrender and the end of World War II in Europe. It was controlled by the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) and ceased to exist after the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany on 21 September 1949, but United States maintains military presence across Germany.