The conflicting motivations of the British and their effects on the German people
Meinssen, Nicole Halley
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British objectives for their occupation were many, and the means of achieving them often conflicted with one another; this conflict caused chaos in the British Zone and detracted from British efforts to rebuild a stable and self-supporting Germany in all areas. This thesis examines the early years of the British occupation from a German perspective, and analyzes British efforts in denazification, democratization, and repairing the economy while also discussing the geopolitical motivations and pressures that affected British decisions regarding many of their objectives. It concludes that in attempting to achieve all of their objectives, the British made contradictory policies, and although they endeavored to rectify these contradictions by later compromising between their different objectives, these compromises only served to further hinder their occupational efforts. The contribution of British prejudices, poor planning, and bureaucratic stagnancy to the hindrance of their occupational goals is also examined. Finally, the impact the British occupation had on the German people within the British Zone is investigated, with emphasis on the ways in which the conflicting motivations and objectives of the British contributed to the continuation of German suffering during the early years of the occupation.