Do you think that it was fair for Germany to get punished territorially-wise much more than Italy and Japan were punished after WWII?

Futurist

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May 2014
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Do you think that it was fair for Germany to get punished territorially-wise much more than Italy and Japan were punished after WWII? After WWII, Italy and Japan barely lost any of their core territories (Italy lost Istria, Fiume, and a couple of villages near the French border--and that's it! Meanwhile, Japan only lost southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands) while Germany lost a lot of its core territories--specifically East Prussia, Pomerania, German Upper Silesia, German Silesia, and the eastern part of Brandenburg province. Germany also got partitioned for almost half a century in comparison to Italy and Japan--both of whom remained in one piece and who were able to join the US-led post-WWII capitalist bloc intact.

Anyway, does Germany's treatment seem exceptionally harsh to you in comparison to Italy's and Japan's post-WWII treatment? Or do you think that, in a way, Germany deserved a lot of what it experienced after WWII (not the massacres, obviously, but the territorial losses (and the resulting expulsions of Germans from the lost territories) and the half-a-century-long partition) as a result of it starting WWII, its extreme brutality during WWII, and the fact that it fought on to the very end as opposed to surrendering ahead of time like both Italy and Japan did? (True, Japan did get nuked twice before it surrendered, but the fact of the matter is that Japan did surrender while the main Japanese home islands were still unoccupied.)

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 

pikeshot1600

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Jul 2009
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For the victims and the victors, no, "Germany's treatment" was not harsh. The ultimate geopolitical reality was that Germany fared much better than some of the Allied plans for her as the war wound down. In economic-territorial terms, there were dislocations, but the country retained its identity - minus the puppet GDR. Actually, western Germany was more compatible to the rest of Europe than the old Prussian territories in any case.

The 1944 Morgenthau Plan would have broken up the country so that economically it would have looked more like Germany before 1870, and would have deconstructed Germany's industrial potential going forward. That would have been an invitation to the USSR to subvert the country to its political interests. An industrially oriented population, without industrial employment, would have been vulnerable to anti-capitalist influence, and the Morgenthau Plan was never adopted.

The loss of eastern territories was assumed after Yalta IMO. No one with a brain could think Stalin would abide by any empty promises. What happened to the German refugees was considered - at that time - part of what Germany deserved.

Cynical as it it was, the German state, de-Nazified or not, was turned against the Soviet union in every way. Numerous Nazis with information and skills were almost immediately co-opted into the Western intelligence apparatus. Geo-strategically, Germany was seen by the Allies as a buffer against the USSR. Germany was treated very liberally after the war.
 
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Naomasa298

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Apr 2010
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Aww, those poor Germans. Start a war resulting in millions dead, commit genocide, and they get treated like this? How horrible for them.

Japan lost Korea and Taiwan, which were annexed territories, and had two atom bombs dropped on them. You think they were treated gently?
 
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stevev

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Apr 2017
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Germany lost territory to Poland to compensate for the territory the USSR took from Poland in 1939 and kept. This was unilateral action of the USSR. Germany might have been united sooner had it not been for the opposition of the USSR to release the DDR. With the collapse of the DDR Germany was reunited but had to recognize the Oder-Niese boundary.

Overall, I think Germany was treated fairly. The USSR had a reason for its attitude toward Germany.
 
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Futurist

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Germany lost territory to Poland to compensate for the territory the USSR took from Poland in 1939 and kept. This was unilateral action of the USSR. Germany might have been united sooner had it not been for the opposition of the USSR to release the DDR. With the collapse of the DDR Germany was reunited but had to recognize the Oder-Niese boundary.

Overall, I think Germany was treated fairly. The USSR had a reason for its attitude toward Germany.
TBF, a lot of the Kresy wasn't actually Polish on ethnic grounds. For instance, eastern Galicia (other than Lwow) was actually Ukrainian-majority and the territories north of it were Belarusian-majority.

As for the DDR, the USSR might have been willing to release it in exchange for permanent German neutrality. In other words, the same deal that Austria actually got in 1955 in real life.
 

Futurist

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May 2014
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Aww, those poor Germans. Start a war resulting in millions dead, commit genocide, and they get treated like this? How horrible for them.
TBF, though, it's not exactly like the Japanese were saints either. Still, they didn't try to exterminate an entire ethnic group like the Nazis did--though some of what the Japanese did was still pretty horrible.

Japan lost Korea and Taiwan, which were annexed territories, and had two atom bombs dropped on them. You think they were treated gently?
Were Koreans and Taiwanese actually Japanese citizens (as opposed to merely being Japanese subjects), though?

As for the two atom bombs, had they unconditionally surrendered sooner, this could have been avoided.
 

Futurist

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May 2014
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For the victims and the victors, no, "Germany's treatment" was not harsh. The ultimate geopolitical reality was that Germany fared much better than some of the Allied plans for her as the war wound down. In economic-territorial terms, there were dislocations, but the country retained its identity - minus the puppet GDR. Actually, western Germany was more compatible to the rest of Europe than the old Prussian territories in any case.
A lot of things look better when the Morgenthau Plan is the basis for comparison, though. As for eliminating Germany's Prussian component, Yes, that might have helped in regards to Germany's European integration. Western Germany was not Junker-dominated like eastern Germany was.

The 1944 Morgenthau Plan would have broken up the country so that economically it would have looked more like Germany before 1870, and would have deconstructed Germany's industrial potential going forward. That would have been an invitation to the USSR to subvert the country to its political interests. An industrially oriented population, without industrial employment, would have been vulnerable to anti-capitalist influence, and the Morgenthau Plan was never adopted.
Communism in a de-industrialized Germany might have looked more like the Chinese version than like the Soviet version, though.

The loss of eastern territories was assumed after Yalta IMO. No one with a brain could think Stalin would abide by any empty promises. What happened to the German refugees was considered - at that time - part of what Germany deserved.
Germans themselves had no actual say at Yalta, though--which is understandable considering who was still leading them during this time.

Cynical as it it was, the German state, de-Nazified or not, was turned against the Soviet union in every way. Numerous Nazis with information and skills were almost immediately co-opted into the Western intelligence apparatus. Geo-strategically, Germany was seen by the Allies as a buffer against the USSR. Germany was treated very liberally after the war.
Other than its huge territorial losses and its partition for almost half a century, Yes, probably. After all, West Germans were able to quickly acquire a high quality of life after WWII--with West Germany becoming extremely prosperous by the end of the Cold War.
 

stevev

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Apr 2017
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Other than its huge territorial losses and its partition for almost half a century, Yes, probably. After all, West Germans were able to quickly acquire a high quality of life after WWII--with West Germany becoming extremely prosperous by the end of the Cold War.
In 2005 I told some German businessmen that Germany had achieved its WWI objective even before reunification which was a European Common Market led by Germany.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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In 2005 I told some German businessmen that Germany had achieved its WWI objective even before reunification which was a European Common Market led by Germany; maybe not territorially, but economically. After all, who needs territory when you have "gelt". (literally 'gold' meaning wealth.)
Interestingly enough, though, don't France + Italy combined have more economic might than even a reunified Germany has?