German Politics under Soviet Occupation

German Politics under Soviet Occupation

German Politics under Soviet Occupation

German Politics under Soviet Occupation


Stalin presented his views on the distinctive nature of the war that was being waged: "This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise."

--Milovan Djilas

Occupation in our time represents for the Occupant an arena in which the crusading power of internal political values meets the rational reckoning of foreign policy.

--Leonard Krieger

With the passing of more than a quarter century since the closing years of World War II and its immediate postwar aftermath, the policies of the major powers at that time have become the objects of extensive study. The events of that era are now seen as having shaped our present world, and the search for explanations of general or particular developments is thus also a search for understanding of our times.

In the process of reconsideration of the origins of our immediate past, a major focus of scholarship has been on American policy. The comparative neglect of Soviet policy in those years is due in part to the inaccessibility of sources, and in perhaps larger part to the "revisionist" convictions of scholars in this field. The official American view of the early Cold War involved the assumption of Soviet culpability for the breakdown of the wartime alliance; those taking a fresh look at this period therefore tended to concentrate on Western actions, assuming Soviet policy to be basically responsive in nature.

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