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Occupation zones of Germany, with the beige areas out of joint allied control (the former eastern territories of Germany acc. to the joint British, Soviet and US Potsdam Agreement of 1945 and the formerly western German Saar, following a French and US decision of 1946) and the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (est. as a US enclave within the British zone (as of early 1947). Map-Germany-1945.svg
Occupation zones of Germany, with the beige areas out of joint allied control (the former eastern territories of Germany acc. to the joint British, Soviet and US Potsdam Agreement of 1945 and the formerly western German Saar, following a French and US decision of 1946) and the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (est. as a US enclave within the British zone (as of early 1947).

The Bizone or Bizonia [1] 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 June 1948 [2] the entity became the Trizone [3] (sometimes jokingly called Trizonesia [4] ). Later, on 23 May 1949, the Trizone became the Federal Republic of Germany, commonly known as West Germany.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Allied-occupied Germany post-World War II military occupation of Germany

Upon defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious Allies asserted joint authority and sovereignty over 'Germany as a whole', defined as all territories of the former German Reich west of the Oder–Neisse line, having declared the destruction of Nazi Germany at the death of Adolf Hitler. The four powers divided 'Germany as a whole' into four occupation zones for administrative purposes, under the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union respectively; creating what became collectively known as Allied-occupied Germany. This division was ratified at the Potsdam Conference. The four zones were as agreed in February 1945 by the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union meeting at the Yalta Conference; setting aside an earlier division into three zones proposed by the London Protocol.



The Soviet Union, which encouraged and partly carried out the post-war expulsions of Germans from the areas under its rule, stopped delivering agricultural products from its zone in Germany to the more industrial western zones, thereby failing to fulfill its obligations under the Potsdam Agreements to provide supplies for the expellees, whose possessions had been confiscated. At Potsdam, it had been agreed [5] that 15% of all equipment dismantled in the Western zones – especially from the metallurgical, chemical, and machine manufacturing industries – would be transferred to the Soviets in return for food, coal, potash (a basic material for fertilisers), timber, clay products, petroleum products, etc. The Western deliveries had started in 1946.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Soviet occupation zone one of the four Allied occupation zones of Germany created at the end of World War II

The Soviet Occupation Zone was the area of central Germany occupied by the Soviet Union from 1945 on, at the end of World War II. On 7 October 1949 the German Democratic Republic (GDR), which became commonly referred to as East Germany, was established in the Soviet Occupation Zone.

Potsdam Agreement

The Potsdam Agreement was the August 1945 agreement between three of the Allies of World War II, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union. It concerned the military occupation and reconstruction of Germany, its borders, and the entire European Theatre of War territory. It also addressed Germany's demilitarisation, reparations and the prosecution of war criminals.

The Soviet deliveries – desperately needed to provide the eastern expellees with food, heat, and basic necessities, and to increase agricultural production in the remaining cultivation area – did not materialise. Consequently, the American military administrator, Lucius D. Clay, stopped the transfer of supplies and dismantled factories from the Ruhr area to the Soviet sector on 3 May 1946 [6] while the expellees from the areas under Soviet rule were deported to the West until the end of 1948. As a result of the halt of deliveries from the western zones, the Soviet Union started a public relations campaign against American policy and began to obstruct the administrative work of all four zones.

Lucius D. Clay United States general

General Lucius Dubignon Clay was a senior officer of the United States Army who was known for his administration of occupied Germany after World War II. He served as the deputy to General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1945; deputy military governor, Germany, 1946; Commander in Chief, U.S. Forces in Europe and military governor of the U.S. Zone, Germany, 1947–1949. Clay retired in 1949.

Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations is the idea of creating coverage for clients for free, rather than marketing or advertising. But now advertising is also a part of greater PR Activities. An example of good public relations would be generating an article featuring a client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article. The aim of public relations is to inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders and ultimately persuade them to maintain a positive or favorable view about the organization, its leadership, products, or political decisions. Public relations professionals typically work for PR and marketing firms, businesses and companies, government, and public officials as PIOs and nongovernmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Jobs central to public relations include account coordinator, account executive, account supervisor, and media relations manager.

The Soviets had established central administration in their zone for nutrition, transport, jurisdiction, finance, and other areas already in July 1945, before the participants of the Potsdam Conference had officially agreed to form central German administrations. [7] The central administrations (Zentralverwaltungen) in the Soviet zone were not a form of German self-government, but were rather subdivisions of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SVAG), which had the legislative power. The states in the Soviet zone had only limited functions. After Potsdam, in the summer of 1945, the Control Commission for Germany – British Element (CCG/BE) in Bad Oeynhausen created central offices (Zentralämter) for its zone. [8] Its chairpersons were appointed by the British military government and were more influential than the minister-presidents of the states in the British zone, which at the time were administrative bodies rather than republics. After March 1946 the British zonal advisory board (Zonenbeirat) was established, with representatives of the states, the central offices, political parties, trade unions, and consumer organisations. As indicated by its name, the zonal advisory board had no legislative power, but was merely advisory. The Control Commission for Germany – British Element made all decisions with its legislative power.

Potsdam Conference

The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented respectively by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.

The Soviet Military Administration in Germany was the Soviet military government, headquartered in Berlin-Karlshorst, that directly ruled the Soviet occupation zone of Germany from the German surrender in May 1945 until after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in October 1949.

Bad Oeynhausen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Bad Oeynhausen is a spa town on the southern edge of the Wiehengebirge in the district of Minden-Lübbecke in the East-Westphalia-Lippe region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The closest larger towns are Bielefeld and Hanover

In reaction to the Soviet and British advances, in October 1945 the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) encouraged the states in the US zone to form a co-ordinating body, the so-called Länderrat (council of states), with the power to legislate for the entire US zone. It created its own central bodies (Ausschüsse or joint interstate committees) headed by a secretariat seated in Stuttgart. While the British and Soviet central administrations were allied institutions, these US zone committees were not OMGUS subdivisions, but instead were autonomous bodies of German self-rule under OMGUS supervision.

Office of Military Government, United States United States military-established government created shortly after the end of hostilities in occupied Germany in World War II

The Office of Military Government, United States was the United States military-established government created shortly after the end of hostilities in occupied Germany in World War II. Under General Lucius D. Clay, it administered the area of Germany and sector of Berlin controlled by the United States Army. The Allied Control Council comprised military authorities from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and France. Though created on January 1, 1946, OMGUS previously reported to the U.S. Group Control Council, Germany (USGCC), which existed from May 8, 1945 until October 1, 1945. OMGUS was eliminated on December 5, 1949, and the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany assumed control of its functions.

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron." It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 609,219, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.7 million people live in the city's administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

France had not participated in the Potsdam Conference, so it felt free to approve some of the Potsdam Agreements and ignore others. Generally the French military government obstructed any interzonal administrations in Allied-occupied Germany; it even blocked interstate co-operation within its own zone, aiming at total decentralisation of Germany into a number of sovereign states. Therefore, the states in the French zone were given a high level of autonomy but under French supervision, inhibiting almost any interstate co-ordination.

At a conference of representatives of the states (Länder) within the American and British zones of occupation during 5-11 September 1946, decisions were taken on administrative bodies for the economy (Minden), transportation (Frankfurt am Main), food and agriculture (Stuttgart), postal and radio communications (Frankfurt am Main), and a German Finance Commission (Stuttgart). On 6 September, at the conference in Stuttgart, US Secretary of State James F. Byrnes delivered a Restatement of Policy on Germany, referring to the need for German economic unity and the development of its economic powers, as well as the strengthening of the Germans' responsibility for their own politics and economy, repudiating the Morgenthau Plan.

At the conference of minister-presidents of the Länder in the British and American zones on 4 October 1946 in Bremen, proposals were discussed for the creation of a German Länderrat (Länder Council), after the US example. In New York on 2 December 1946, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and his American counterpart James F. Byrnes agreed on the economic unification of the American and British zones, effective 1 January 1947.

The Americans and the British united their zones on 1 January 1947, creating the Bizone, in order to advance the development of a growing economy accompanied by a new political order in northwestern, western and southern Germany. In early 1947 the British zonal advisory board was restructured according to the example of the US zone Länderrat, so that the states in the British zone were empowered as autonomous legislating bodies, with the British military government confining itself to supervision. No agreement with the Soviets was possible. Allowing the states in the Soviet zone to govern the central administrations, then still subject to the SVAG, would have meant the end of communist rule in the east. If the state parliaments and governments were not clearly dominated by communists, as had resulted from the last somewhat free elections in the Soviet zone in 1946, the Soviet Union would have had to waive the establishment of a communist dictatorship in the Soviet zone. The Soviets had begun mass expropriations of entrepreneurs, real estate owners, and banks in September 1945, a process that had continued ever since.

The Bizone was the first step in coordinating the policies in at least two zones of occupation in Germany, which up to that time had operated mostly unconnected due to French obstructionism. The establishment of the Bizone became the nucleus of the future West Germany, ignoring for the time being the SVAG dominated policy in the Soviet zone and the anti-collaboration attitude imposed onto the states in the French zone. At the Washington Conference of Foreign Ministers (4-8 April 1949) France agreed to merge its zone with the Bizone into the Trizone. The unification of the three zones materialised only six weeks before the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany on 24 May 1949, with France only reluctantly having permitted the participants from its zone to join the necessary preparations.

The economic management of the two zones was handled by the Administrative Council for the Economy, based in Minden. Later, administrative cooperation expanded, paving the way to a West German rump state, even though many West German politicians were still strongly opposed to this. With the Bizone, the foundation for new constitutional and economic developments was laid, cemented by the currency reform of June 1948. On the other hand, Germany was now on a track to the eventual division into an East and a West. The United States and the United Kingdom had emphasised the administrative and economic nature of the Bizone, but it still counts as the basis for the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, which took over the rights and duties of the administration of the Bizone (Article 133 of the Grundgesetz).

On 29 May 1947, the American and British military governments signed an agreement creating an Economic Council for the Bizone, to be based in Frankfurt am Main.

Lewkowicz argues that the establishment of the Bizone was the most significant factor in the creation of two blocs in Europe and therefore in the configuration of the Cold War international order.

Geography and population

The Bizone included the Länder Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Bavaria, and Württemberg-Baden – the northern part of the later Baden-Württemberg – but not the states of the French zone, to wit Württemberg-Hohenzollern, South Baden, Rheinland-Pfalz, or those in the Soviet zone Mecklenburg, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, and Saxony. Neither part of Berlin was part of the Bizone nor were any former parts of Germany, such as the Saarland, which, since February 1946, had not been under the joint allied occupational control. The Bizone had a population of approximately 39 million people.

British military deployments

United States military deployments

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Yalta Conference

The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named the Argonaut Conference, held from 4 to 11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the purpose of discussing Germany and Europe's postwar reorganization. The three states were represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively. The conference convened near Yalta in Crimea, Soviet Union, within the Livadia, Yusupov, and Vorontsov Palaces.

Dr. Erhard Hübener was a German politician and member of the German Democratic Party (DDP) until 1933. After World War II he engaged in rebuilding structures of self-rule in the Soviet occupation zone and was co-founder and member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDPD).

Following the termination of hostilities in World War II, the Allies were in control of the defeated Axis countries. Anticipating the defeat of Germany and Japan, they had already set up the European Advisory Commission and a proposed Far Eastern Advisory Commission to make recommendations for the post war period. Accordingly, they managed their control of the defeated countries through Allied Commissions, often referred to as Allied Control Commissions (ACC), consisting of representatives of the major Allies.

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.

Province of Schleswig-Holstein historical province of Prussia

The Province of Schleswig-Holstein was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1868 to 1946.

Berlin Declaration (1945) declaration by the governments of the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom and France, acting on behalf of the Allies of World War II, jointly assuming  “supreme authority” over German territory prior to the Potsdam Conference

By the Berlin Declaration of 5 June 1945, the four governments of the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom and France, acting on behalf of the Allies of World War II, jointly assumed "supreme authority" over German territory and asserted the legitimacy of their joint determination of issues regarding its administration and boundaries, prior to the forthcoming Potsdam Conference.

Inter-zonal traffic was the cross-border traffic between the four designated garrison zones in Germany between 1945 and 1973 that were created in 1945 by the victors of the Second World War.

Deutsche Bundespost Berlin governmental agency to provide mail and telecommunication services for West Berlin

The Deutsche Bundespost Berlin was the name used on the stamps of West Berlin. Is sounds similar to the name of the Western German Mail named Deutsche Bundespost and was de facto a dependency of it. De jure, it was independent and was called Landespostdirektion Berlin. The governmental agency to provide mail and telecommunication services for West Berlin. This civil service agency was in operation from 1949 until 1990.

Allied Control Council military occupation governing body of the Allied Occupation Zones in Germany

The Allied Control Council or Allied Control Authority, known in the German language as the Alliierter Kontrollrat and also referred to as the Four Powers, was the governing body of the Allied Occupation Zones in Germany and Austria after the end of World War II in Europe. The members were the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. The organization was based in Berlin-Schöneberg. The council was convened to determine several plans for postwar Europe, including how to change borders and transfer populations in Eastern Europe and Germany. As the four Allied Powers had joined themselves into a condominium asserting 'supreme' power in Germany, the Allied Control Council was constituted the sole legal sovereign authority for Germany as a whole, replacing the extinct civil government of Nazi Germany.

NKVD special camps were NKVD-run late and post–World War II internment camps in the Soviet-occupied parts of Germany from May 1945 to January 6, 1950. They were set up by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) and run by the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs MVD On 8 August 1948, the camps were made subordinate to the Gulag. Because the camp inmates were permitted no contact with the outside world, the special camps were also known as silence camps.

Oder–Neisse line German-Polish border since World War II

The Oder–Neisse line is the basis of the international border between Germany and Poland. It mainly runs along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers and meets the Baltic Sea in the north, just west of the seaports of Szczecin and Świnoujście.

The German People's Congress was an initiative of the SED and the participation of the bloc parties at the London Conference of Allied Foreign Ministers in November and December 1947. Delegates from all over Germany gathered for the first time on 6 December 1947 that entered together body. Their main demand was the key to a German government. The SED presented their all-German claim to the three people's congresses.

Merger of the KPD and SPD into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany event

The merger of the Communist Party of Germanyand the Social Democratic Party of Germanyinto the Socialist Unity Party of Germany occurred on 21 April 1946 in the territory of the Soviet occupation zone: it is also called the forced merger of the KPD and SPD. In the course of the merger, about 5,000 Social Democrats who opposed it were detained and sent to camps and jails.

Trizonesien-Song humorous carnival song mocking the allied occupiers of West Germany 1945–9

"Trizonesien-Song" is a humorous German Carnival song written by Karl Berbuer in 1948. It took on the role of a frivolous national anthem substitute for West Germany at a time when there was no official anthem. The song is a self-deprecating, ironic statement of the three western zones' unsolved constitutional status while the three powers,, occupied the west of Germany.


  1. Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. J. Robert Wegs & Robert Ladrech, Europe since 1945: a concise history (New York 1996)
  3. Hans Georg Lehmann, Chronik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945/49 bis 1981, München: Beck, 1981, (Beck'sche Schwarze Reihe; Bd. 235), ISBN   3-406-06035-8, p. 18.
  4. As, for example, in a well-known Karneval song from that time, the "Trizonesien-Song".
  5. Cf. section III. Reparations from Germany, paragraph 4 Agreements of the Berlin (Potsdam) Conference
  6. Lehmann, Hans Georg, Chronik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945/49 bis 1981, Munich: Beck, 1981, (Beck'sche Schwarze Reihe; Bd. 235), ISBN   3-406-06035-8, pp. 32 seq.
  7. Wolfgang Benz, Potsdam 1945: Besatzungsherrschaft und Neuaufbau im Vier-Zonen-Deutschland, Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986, (dtv Reihe Deutsche Geschichte der neuesten Zeit vom 19. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart; vol. 4522), p. 132. ISBN   3-423-04522-1
  8. Wolfgang Benz, Potsdam 1945: Besatzungsherrschaft und Neuaufbau im Vier-Zonen-Deutschland, Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986, (dtv Reihe Deutsche Geschichte der neuesten Zeit vom 19. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart; vol. 4522), p. 131. ISBN   3-423-04522-1

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