Devastation of the Reich –
At Yalta in the Crimea, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met to decide the fate of Europe and in their joint statement solemnly declared:
“It is not our purpose to destroy the people of Germany.”
Again at Potsdam, the representatives of the Big Three met and intheir joint Declaration, signed by Messrs. Stalin, Truman, and Attlee, officially proclaimed:
“It is not the intention of the Allies to destroy or enslave the German people.”
Despite these and other assurances, the Potsdam decisions, as we at first interpreted them, meant throwing the German people on their own, with outside assistance prohibited, after the necessary means for their survival had been destroyed. This could have but one result: to blot out Germany and the German people.
The life of every nation is supported by three main pillars: land (all natural resources), labor (both brawn and brains), and capital (plants and equipment). Break down any one of these and the nation is plunged into catastrophe. We have been guilty of pulling down all three in Germany.
The war started the process by destroying the flower of German manpower, shattering cities, factories, railroads, and impoverishing the soil by a five year cessation of fertilizer production. And an equally oppressive war has been waged against the German people since their unconditional surrender. The supporting power of the land has been undermined by vital territorial losses followed by overcrowding caused by the influx of millions of Germans expelled into the shrunken Reich from the lost areas and from Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Industrial capital resources have been further diminished by loss of all production facilities in the territories taken by the conquerors and by a gigantic program of sacking politely known as “deindustrialization” and “reparations in kind.” The working force had been decimated by the enslavement of millions, the throwing of other millions out of posts of responsibility through “denazification,” and weakened by undernourishment which causes workmen to fall at their posts of duty. Even the German race itself has been attacked by a program of mass violation of Germany’s unconditionally surrendered motherhood. In consequence, Germany lies prostrate and her people famish. After they began to die en masse, it was finally decided that the importation of some food would be necessary – unfortunately barely enough to keep the great masses of people in the twilight zone between life and death. Their agonies and despair have been perpetuated at the maximum of human capacity.