FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Jun 2021 22:54

Haven't read the whole thread but want to rep the viewpoint that the German Resistance was generally reactionary, racist, expansionist, etc. Even/especially Stauffenberg.

IMO it was valid for FDR to believe that the whole edifice of German militarism/imperialism needed to be crushed, Germany "re-educated" root and branch, and that this was worth the risk of extending the war.

That FDR was hypocritical in this rationale - he too was racist and quasi-imperialist - doesn't negate the morality of his choice.
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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by OpanaPointer » 23 Jun 2021 23:06

rcocean wrote:
02 Apr 2021 00:43
"You haven't addressed, let alone answered my earlier request for a verifiable source:"

Official history of the state department. Go look it up. I have to provide the basis for my historical assertions. I don't have to give you the page number. Learn something on your own.
Without citing the appropriate FRUS pages there's justifiable doubt as to the accuracy of your interpretation of the material.
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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Jun 2021 06:24

Hi rcocean,

So long as we have possession of such information, our refusal to divulge it puts both what we claim and our wider integrity in question. Best to just bite the bullet.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by rcocean » 18 Jul 2021 01:57

I see that several people that I have on ignore have posted in response. Sorry. I consider my participation in the thread closed. Take care.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by stg 44 » 15 Aug 2021 02:06

Panzerspitze wrote:
20 Jun 2021 04:08
I think it's important to outline the terms of any "conditional surrender" by Germany, before going on about whatever tragic cost of insisting on "unconditional surrender". Because I bet a substantial percentage of the "conditional surrender" enthusiasts, on both the German and the Western Allies sides, deem(ed) a "conditional surrender" the equivalent of the latter acquiescing to Germany continuing the war on the Eastern Front, if not outright joining forces together against the Soviet Union. Heck, Stalin would think so too. FDR obviously would realize that too, with or without all the so-called Soviet "agents" in his staff/government.

So it's not so much about the loss of lives of American soldiers (as well as German military personnel and civilians), but about "saving" the West against the "Red Menace" communist "Mongol hordes". In essense, the talk of "conditional surrender" is really not much different from the gist of the long lines of apologist "what if" memoirs by German generals dreaming of getting a "separate peace" in the West, with or without Hitler. Guess what? The Allies not only wanted de-nazification of the German population, but also de-Prussianization of the German military. Was the latter something the "German Resistance" (how many July plotters had "von" in their last names) could stomach?
If you go by George Earle III the German resistance (von Papen and Admiral Canaris in person) was offering total occupation of Germany and to turn over command of the German army to the Americans as well as turn over Hitler, dead or alive depending on if he could be captured, as well as the rest of the Nazis.
https://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/194 ... eelers_pdf
FDR ignored him and exiled him to Samoa for his troubles:
https://www.amazon.com/Exiled-Emissary- ... 168053887X

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Aug 2021 06:11

Hi Stg44,

The problem is that there was no "German Resistance" with a settled position but a continuum of German resisters with differing positions, some of whom saw the removal of Hitler while the German Army still everywhere stood deep on foreign soil just as a bargaining tool to retain some of Germany's early gains.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Takao » 15 Aug 2021 14:06

stg 44 wrote:
15 Aug 2021 02:06
Panzerspitze wrote:
20 Jun 2021 04:08
I think it's important to outline the terms of any "conditional surrender" by Germany, before going on about whatever tragic cost of insisting on "unconditional surrender". Because I bet a substantial percentage of the "conditional surrender" enthusiasts, on both the German and the Western Allies sides, deem(ed) a "conditional surrender" the equivalent of the latter acquiescing to Germany continuing the war on the Eastern Front, if not outright joining forces together against the Soviet Union. Heck, Stalin would think so too. FDR obviously would realize that too, with or without all the so-called Soviet "agents" in his staff/government.

So it's not so much about the loss of lives of American soldiers (as well as German military personnel and civilians), but about "saving" the West against the "Red Menace" communist "Mongol hordes". In essense, the talk of "conditional surrender" is really not much different from the gist of the long lines of apologist "what if" memoirs by German generals dreaming of getting a "separate peace" in the West, with or without Hitler. Guess what? The Allies not only wanted de-nazification of the German population, but also de-Prussianization of the German military. Was the latter something the "German Resistance" (how many July plotters had "von" in their last names) could stomach?
If you go by George Earle III the German resistance (von Papen and Admiral Canaris in person) was offering total occupation of Germany and to turn over command of the German army to the Americans as well as turn over Hitler, dead or alive depending on if he could be captured, as well as the rest of the Nazis.
https://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/194 ... eelers_pdf
FDR ignored him and exiled him to Samoa for his troubles:
https://www.amazon.com/Exiled-Emissary- ... 168053887X
Earle was exiled because he authored a 1944 report on the Katyn Massacre, that found the Soviets to be the guilty party. FDR refused to release Earle's report, and when Earle persisted in getting it published, he was "exiled" to American Samoa.

Earle's banishment had nothing to do with any German peace feelers.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by stg 44 » 15 Aug 2021 15:45

Sid Guttridge wrote:
15 Aug 2021 06:11
Hi Stg44,

The problem is that there was no "German Resistance" with a settled position but a continuum of German resisters with differing positions, some of whom saw the removal of Hitler while the German Army still everywhere stood deep on foreign soil just as a bargaining tool to retain some of Germany's early gains.

Cheers,

Sid.
There was no demand for retaining territory and that would be impossible with Wallies armies occupying Germany entirely. The big personalities of the resistance were united behind the Earle attempt and their only ask was that the Soviets be kept out of Central Europe otherwise the surrender would be unconditional, again per what Earle reported repeatedly.

I don't know why it is so hard to admit FDR was more interested in destroying Germany than ending the war early and saving lives on all sides since he considered every German culpable for the war, not just the Nazis. His position is pretty well documented, including his more extreme positions about what was to be done to Germany after the war for punishment.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by OpanaPointer » 15 Aug 2021 16:45

You might be confusing FDR with Morgenthau. Morgenthau proposed that Germany be reduced to a purely agrarian society so they could not rearm. FDR nixed the idea. He wanted Germany to be a buffer state against the Soviets.
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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by stg 44 » 16 Aug 2021 16:00

OpanaPointer wrote:
15 Aug 2021 16:45
You might be confusing FDR with Morgenthau. Morgenthau proposed that Germany be reduced to a purely agrarian society so they could not rearm.
FDR endorsed that plan until it was leaked and public backlash forced him to back away from it...publicly. He still endorsed it and it was written into the occupation policy as JCS 1067; it was only the death of FDR before war's end and the firing of Morgenthau in June 1945 after a fight with Truman that prevented it from lasting beyond 1947 as policy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_Plan#JCS_1067
A Handbook for Military Government in Germany was ready in August 1944: it advocated a quick restoration of normal life for the German people and reconstruction of Germany. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. brought it to the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who, after reading it, rejected it with the words:

"Too many people here and in England hold the view that the German people as a whole are not responsible for what has taken place – that only a few Nazis are responsible. That unfortunately is not based on fact. The German people must have it driven home to them that the whole nation has been engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern civilization."

A new document was drafted, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directive 1067 (JCS 1067). Here the US military government of occupation in Germany was ordered to "take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany [or] designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy" and it was also ordered that starvation, disease and civil unrest were to be kept below such levels where they would pose a danger to the troops of occupation.

The directive was formally issued to Eisenhower in the spring of 1945, and it applied only to the US zone (although attempts had been made to get the other Allies to accept it). The occupation directive remained secret until October 17, 1945. It was made known to the public two months after the US had succeeded in incorporating much of it into the Potsdam Agreement.[44]

On May 10, 1945, Truman signed JCS 1067.[45] Ignoring the amendments to JCS 1067 that had been inserted by McCloy of the War Department, Morgenthau told his staff that it was a big day for the Treasury, and that he hoped that "someone doesn't recognize it as the Morgenthau Plan".[46]

[45] Department of State Bulletin, October 21, 1945, pp. 596–607.

[46] Beschloss 2002, p. 233.
Beschloss, Michael R (2002), The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941–1945, New York: Simon & Shuster
In occupied Germany Morgenthau left a direct legacy through what in OMGUS commonly were called "Morgenthau boys". These were US Treasury officials whom Dwight D. Eisenhower had "loaned" to the Army of occupation. These people ensured that the JCS 1067 was interpreted as strictly as possible. They were most active in the first crucial months of the occupation, but continued their activities for almost two years following the resignation of Morgenthau in mid-1945 and some time later also of their leader Colonel Bernard Bernstein, who was "the repository of the Morgenthau spirit in the army of occupation".[47]

Morgenthau had been able to wield considerable influence over Joint Chiefs of Staff Directive 1067. JCS 1067 was a basis for US occupation policy until July 1947, and like the Morgenthau Plan, was intended to reduce German living standards. The production of oil, rubber, merchant ships, and aircraft were prohibited. Occupation forces were not to assist with economic development apart from the agricultural sector.
OpanaPointer wrote:
15 Aug 2021 16:45
FDR nixed the idea. He wanted Germany to be a buffer state against the Soviets.
He did not. Up until his death he largely thought he could work with Stalin, which is why he gave half of it to the Soviets. Germany until FDR's last directives was to remain destroyed and Morgenthau's plan was to remain in effect, just not publicly for fear of further public backlash and political consequences at home.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgentha ... ementation
JCS-1067, the April 1945 "Directive to Commander-in-Chief of United States Forces of Occupation Regarding the Military Government of Germany" specified the Allied objective as being "to prevent Germany from ever again becoming a threat to the peace of the world", including, as an essential step, "the industrial disarmament and demilitarization of Germany".[56]
On February 2, 1946, a dispatch from Berlin reported:

Some progress has been made in converting Germany to an agricultural and light industry economy, said Brigadier General William H. Draper, Jr., chief of the American Economics Division, who emphasized that there was general agreement on that plan. He explained that Germany's future industrial and economic pattern was being drawn for a population of 66,500,000. On that basis, he said, the nation will need large imports of food and raw materials to maintain a minimum standard of living. General agreement, he continued, had been reached on the types of German exports – coal, coke, electrical equipment, leather goods, beer, wines, spirits, toys, musical instruments, textiles and apparel – to take the place of the heavy industrial products which formed most of Germany's pre-war exports.[57]
Last edited by stg 44 on 16 Aug 2021 16:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Takao » 16 Aug 2021 16:10

stg 44 wrote:
16 Aug 2021 16:00
OpanaPointer wrote:
15 Aug 2021 16:45
You might be confusing FDR with Morgenthau. Morgenthau proposed that Germany be reduced to a purely agrarian society so they could not rearm.
FDR endorsed that plan until it was leaked and public backlash forced him to back away from it...publicly. He still endorsed it and it was written into the occupation policy as JCS 1067; it was only the death of FDR before war's end and the firing of Morgenthau in June 1945 after a fight with Truman that prevented it from lasting beyond 1947 as policy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_Plan#JCS_1067
A Handbook for Military Government in Germany was ready in August 1944: it advocated a quick restoration of normal life for the German people and reconstruction of Germany. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. brought it to the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who, after reading it, rejected it with the words:

"Too many people here and in England hold the view that the German people as a whole are not responsible for what has taken place – that only a few Nazis are responsible. That unfortunately is not based on fact. The German people must have it driven home to them that the whole nation has been engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern civilization."

A new document was drafted, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directive 1067 (JCS 1067). Here the US military government of occupation in Germany was ordered to "take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany [or] designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy" and it was also ordered that starvation, disease and civil unrest were to be kept below such levels where they would pose a danger to the troops of occupation.

The directive was formally issued to Eisenhower in the spring of 1945, and it applied only to the US zone (although attempts had been made to get the other Allies to accept it). The occupation directive remained secret until October 17, 1945. It was made known to the public two months after the US had succeeded in incorporating much of it into the Potsdam Agreement.[44]

On May 10, 1945, Truman signed JCS 1067.[45] Ignoring the amendments to JCS 1067 that had been inserted by McCloy of the War Department, Morgenthau told his staff that it was a big day for the Treasury, and that he hoped that "someone doesn't recognize it as the Morgenthau Plan".[46]

[45] Department of State Bulletin, October 21, 1945, pp. 596–607.

[46] Beschloss 2002, p. 233.
Beschloss, Michael R (2002), The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941–1945, New York: Simon & Shuster
OpanaPointer wrote:
15 Aug 2021 16:45
FDR nixed the idea. He wanted Germany to be a buffer state against the Soviets.
He did not. Up until his death he largely thought he could work with Stalin, which is why he gave half of it to the Soviets. Germany until FDR's last directives was to remain destroyed and Morgenthau's plan was to remain in effect, just not publicly for fear of further public backlash and political consequences at home.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgentha ... ementation
JCS-1067, the April 1945 "Directive to Commander-in-Chief of United States Forces of Occupation Regarding the Military Government of Germany" specified the Allied objective as being "to prevent Germany from ever again becoming a threat to the peace of the world", including, as an essential step, "the industrial disarmament and demilitarization of Germany".[56]
On February 2, 1946, a dispatch from Berlin reported:

Some progress has been made in converting Germany to an agricultural and light industry economy, said Brigadier General William H. Draper, Jr., chief of the American Economics Division, who emphasized that there was general agreement on that plan. He explained that Germany's future industrial and economic pattern was being drawn for a population of 66,500,000. On that basis, he said, the nation will need large imports of food and raw materials to maintain a minimum standard of living. General agreement, he continued, had been reached on the types of German exports – coal, coke, electrical equipment, leather goods, beer, wines, spirits, toys, musical instruments, textiles and apparel – to take the place of the heavy industrial products which formed most of Germany's pre-war exports.[57]
Morgenthau was not fired...He quit because Truman did not want to take him to Potsdam.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by stg 44 » 16 Aug 2021 16:13

Takao wrote:
16 Aug 2021 16:10
Morgenthau was not fired...He quit because Truman did not want to take him to Potsdam.
Semantics:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Mor ... Later_life
In 1945, when Harry S. Truman became President, Morgenthau insisted on accompanying Truman to Potsdam by threatening to quit if he was not allowed to; Truman accepted his resignation immediately.[39]
Beschloss' account (cited in my previous post in the book "The Conquerors") has some choice words that Truman used that basically amounted to a firing given that Morgenthau tried to strong arm him into allowing him to come to Potsdam.

Given that you're only nitpicking what I've been posting I assume you're agreeing with the bulk of my posts.

Edit:
Actually rereading the section in Beschloss Morgenthau was going to be replaced after Potsdam anyway and was staying on until Truman could ease in his new pick after the conference, but Morgenthau was quite miffed he was being left out of Potsdam conference so forced the issue and Truman immediately accepted his resignation.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2021 18:32

stg 44 wrote:
16 Aug 2021 16:00
OpanaPointer wrote:
15 Aug 2021 16:45
You might be confusing FDR with Morgenthau. Morgenthau proposed that Germany be reduced to a purely agrarian society so they could not rearm.
FDR endorsed that plan until it was leaked and public backlash forced him to back away from it...publicly. He still endorsed it and it was written into the occupation policy as JCS 1067; it was only the death of FDR before war's end and the firing of Morgenthau in June 1945 after a fight with Truman that prevented it from lasting beyond 1947 as policy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_Plan#JCS_1067
A Handbook for Military Government in Germany was ready in August 1944: it advocated a quick restoration of normal life for the German people and reconstruction of Germany. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. brought it to the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who, after reading it, rejected it with the words:

"Too many people here and in England hold the view that the German people as a whole are not responsible for what has taken place – that only a few Nazis are responsible. That unfortunately is not based on fact. The German people must have it driven home to them that the whole nation has been engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern civilization."

A new document was drafted, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directive 1067 (JCS 1067). Here the US military government of occupation in Germany was ordered to "take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany [or] designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy" and it was also ordered that starvation, disease and civil unrest were to be kept below such levels where they would pose a danger to the troops of occupation.

The directive was formally issued to Eisenhower in the spring of 1945, and it applied only to the US zone (although attempts had been made to get the other Allies to accept it). The occupation directive remained secret until October 17, 1945. It was made known to the public two months after the US had succeeded in incorporating much of it into the Potsdam Agreement.[44]

On May 10, 1945, Truman signed JCS 1067.[45] Ignoring the amendments to JCS 1067 that had been inserted by McCloy of the War Department, Morgenthau told his staff that it was a big day for the Treasury, and that he hoped that "someone doesn't recognize it as the Morgenthau Plan".[46]

[45] Department of State Bulletin, October 21, 1945, pp. 596–607.

[46] Beschloss 2002, p. 233.
Beschloss, Michael R (2002), The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941–1945, New York: Simon & Shuster
In occupied Germany Morgenthau left a direct legacy through what in OMGUS commonly were called "Morgenthau boys". These were US Treasury officials whom Dwight D. Eisenhower had "loaned" to the Army of occupation. These people ensured that the JCS 1067 was interpreted as strictly as possible. They were most active in the first crucial months of the occupation, but continued their activities for almost two years following the resignation of Morgenthau in mid-1945 and some time later also of their leader Colonel Bernard Bernstein, who was "the repository of the Morgenthau spirit in the army of occupation".[47]

Morgenthau had been able to wield considerable influence over Joint Chiefs of Staff Directive 1067. JCS 1067 was a basis for US occupation policy until July 1947, and like the Morgenthau Plan, was intended to reduce German living standards. The production of oil, rubber, merchant ships, and aircraft were prohibited. Occupation forces were not to assist with economic development apart from the agricultural sector.
OpanaPointer wrote:
15 Aug 2021 16:45
FDR nixed the idea. He wanted Germany to be a buffer state against the Soviets.
He did not. Up until his death he largely thought he could work with Stalin, which is why he gave half of it to the Soviets.
Not that I want to defend him, but FDR gave nothing away to Stalin .
Stalin was already master of eastern Europe before the death of FDR .
And, this was a good thing for the US : the US were able to decrease their forces in Europe to 2 divisions,if they had to occupy Eastern Europe, much more divisions would be needed .
The only way FDR could prevent the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe was to start a war with the USSR .
FDR was not interested in the future of Eastern Europe as the people who lived there were not Americans and could not vote for/against him .

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Takao » 16 Aug 2021 22:08

stg 44 wrote:
16 Aug 2021 16:13
Semantics:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Mor ... Later_life
In 1945, when Harry S. Truman became President, Morgenthau insisted on accompanying Truman to Potsdam by threatening to quit if he was not allowed to; Truman accepted his resignation immediately.[39]
Beschloss' account (cited in my previous post in the book "The Conquerors") has some choice words that Truman used that basically amounted to a firing given that Morgenthau tried to strong arm him into allowing him to come to Potsdam.
Beschloss' account has Truman "on the fence" about Morgenthau's future. Only, when Morgenthau pressed the issue, did Truman push back.

stg 44 wrote:
16 Aug 2021 16:13
Given that you're only nitpicking what I've been posting I assume you're agreeing with the bulk of my posts.
I'm nitpicking simple mistakes that should not have been made.

If the simple stuff trips you up, your meatier conclusions are probably wrong also.

My brief replies on simple mistakes are not indicative of my agreement on your larger conclusions...my brief replies are indicative that I am on vacation, and am far more engrossed in sun, sand, and surf, than researching & posting long drawn out replies to AHF.
stg 44 wrote:
16 Aug 2021 16:13
Edit:
Actually rereading the section in Beschloss Morgenthau was going to be replaced after Potsdam anyway and was staying on until Truman could ease in his new pick after the conference, but Morgenthau was quite miffed he was being left out of Potsdam conference so forced the issue and Truman immediately accepted his resignation.
Reread Beschloss again.

Truman saying "Let me think this thing over", is hardly indicative that Morgenthau would be replaced. Morgenthau does come across as heavy-handed and conceited.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Takao » 16 Aug 2021 22:10

of course, someone should mention that deciding the fate of Germany does not fall under the purview of the Treasury.

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