The American Occupations of Japan and Germany

The American Occupation of Germany and the Rebuilding of Europe

Brandenburg Gate April 1945
Dead German Soldier besides the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in April 1945



Women shoveling debri in Berlin
Women shoveling debri in Berlin, 1945. The fact that women are doing much of the work is significant as the war killed or mailed a significant portion of German men.


Stadtaufnahmen Berlin
Cafe in Berlin, July 1955. Note the rebuilt city, well dressed germans and a bustling cafe.

Audio: The Occupation of Germany (10:32)



Feb.4-11 Yalta Conference: Among other topics: Occupation of Germany
May 7-9 Signing of German Surrender
July 1-4 Withdrawel of British & American troops from East Germany; Western troops entered Berlin
June 5 Berlin Declaration by the Allies assuming supreme powers in Germany
July 17-Aug.2 Potsdam Conference: Among others topics: Occupation Zones
April Amalgamation of the K.P.D. and S.P.D. to form the S.E.D. in the East
Dec.2 Washington Treaty on the economic unification of the British and American zones.
June 5 Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposes a program of economic assistance for Europe in a commencement address at Harvard University
June 27 British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin arranges conference to discuss the proposal by Marshall. Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov fears interference with national sovereignty and withdraws from conference
July 12 Paris Conference attended by delegates from 16 European countries opens to devise a recovery plan; Soviets decline to attend and prevent other Eastern European from participation
Dec.19 President Truman sends draft of European Recovery Plan bill (later known as “Marshall Plan”) to Congress
March U.S.House approves Marshall Plan, 318-75; Senate 69:17
March 20 Last session of Allied Control Commission (Disunity among occupation powers)
April 3 Truman signs Marshall Plan bill into law.
June 20/21 Currency Reform in Western zones (introducing Deutsche Mark)
June 26 Start of Berlin Airlift (Luftbrücke) after Soviets blockaded all land access to Berlin;marked the beginning of the 40-year U.S. commitment to the freedom of (West) Berlin.
May 12 ‘Berlin Blockade’ is lifted by Soviets
May 23 “Basic Law” (Grundgesetz) as West Germany’s Constitution
August 14 Election of first Bundestag
Sept.12 Election of Theodor Heuss (FDP) as first (West) German Federal President
Sept.15 Election of Konrad Adenauer (CDU) as first Federal Chancellor
Oct.7 GDR (DDR) was formally established
Jan.6 End of Food Rationing in West Germany
June 25 Start of Korean War (until cease fire on July 27, 1953)
April 18 Signing (in Paris) of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty (Forerunner of economic union of EU)
May 26 Signing (in Bonn) of FRG’s “Germany Treaty” (which includes reunification as a political goal)
May 27 Signing (in Paris) of the European Defense Community (EDC)
Sept.10 Signing of the Reconciliation Treaty between Israel and West Germany
March 3 Death of Stalin
June 17 Uprising in East Berlin & East Germany
July 27 Cease Fire in Korea
Dec.1 George Marshall is awarded Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the economic recovery of Europe.
Jan.25-Feb.18 Abortive Four-Power Conference in Berlin on German re-unification.
Oct.23 Signing of the Paris Agreements. FRG/BRD is invited to join NATO permitting West German rearmament, and Italy and the FRG/BRD accede to the Western European Union (WEU).
May 5 Paris Treaty in force (establishing sovereignty for West Germany [FRG/BRD])
May 14 Founding of Warsaw Pact (including the GDR/DDR)
Sept.9-13 Chancellor Adenauer visits Moscow
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Lucius Clay


Isolationism and Empire Copyright © by James McKay. All Rights Reserved.

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