The Allied occupation of Germany from the end of the war until the restoration of German sovereignty represents a unique episode in international relations. Not only has the future of Germany remained the most thorny issue between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union, but the relations of the different occupying Powers with the Germans and with each other have raised unusual and difficult problems to which very different answers have been given. This volume is designed to illustrate the policy of the Allies in Germany during this period. It is the first time that a collection of documents dealing with all four zones of Germany during the post-war period has been made available in English.
The task of selection, where the material available would fill many volumes, has been difficult. It is important, therefore, to state clearly the principles on which the selection has been made. In the first place, apart from basic documents on the Allied occupation of Germany drawn up towards the end of the war and immediately after the surrender, the emphasis has been placed on the implementation of policies rather than upon their formulation at international conferences and in diplomatic exchanges. A fuller record of the latter, in which divergences of policy emerged, may be found in the Chatham House series of Documents on International Affairs. In the second place, even within these restricted terms of reference, certain phases and aspects have been omitted, in order to keep the volume within manageable limits and because they have already been fully documented elsewhere. For these reasons, documents illustratping the evolution of self-government from the level of local government through the institutions of the Länder to the level of the zone, as well as texts of Constitutions and economic plans, have been left out. Other examples of omission are the dispute between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union culminating in the Berlin blockade and the exchanges between the Powers on the question of the reunification of Germany. Both these issues arose directly out of differences over the Allies' occupation policies, but both rapidly became international as well as German problems, and have already received extensive documentation. In the third place, it has seemed preferable to print the most important documents at length rather than to give short extracts from a larger number.
Many of the documents dealing with developments in the Russian Zone are of a different nature from those selected for the Western Zones. The Soviet authorities not only pursued different policies, but adopted different methods of putting them into operation. (One example of this is the . . .