Military Occupation and the Rule of Law: Occupation Government in the Rhineland, 1918-1923

Military Occupation and the Rule of Law: Occupation Government in the Rhineland, 1918-1923

Military Occupation and the Rule of Law: Occupation Government in the Rhineland, 1918-1923

Military Occupation and the Rule of Law: Occupation Government in the Rhineland, 1918-1923

Excerpt

Leopold Von Ranke once remarked that it cannot be the task of a historian to provide statesmen with practical solutions for urgent political problems. He added, however, that history may teach future generations to grasp the deeper significance of their own period.

A study of the Rhineland occupation cannot provide answers directly applicable to the future occupation of Germany, for the problems that will arise at the end of the present war are unique in character. The absence of a responsible German government, the necessity to purge both the German bureaucracy and the leading economic and social groups, the fact that Germany as a whole is likely to be occupied, and not merely a small part of the country--these circumstances, and many others as well, are basically at variance with those that prevailed at the end of the last war.

Nevertheless, an analysis of the Rhineland occupation may prove of some value for understanding the problems that will confront a future occupation regime. Once the isolated facts of that occupation have been reduced to the discussion of a few basic problems, it becomes apparent that the overthrowing of an arbitrary regime by the military force of democratic powers raises issues that cannot be solved by reference to considerations of military expediency alone. The liquidation of a war that is waged as a struggle of law against lawlessness automatically raises the problem of the restoration of law under the peculiar conditions of military occupation.

It is scarcely necessary to emphasize that 'rule of law,' as the term is used in the present study, means that the bearers of public . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.