Reconstruction of Germany
Berlin After World War 2 - Berlin Before the Wall - Documentary - 1961what full what to do on a laptop when your bored age of empires 2 widescreen patch windows 10
In the latest in a series of articles on how World War II changed forever the countries that fought it, Kirsten Ripper looks at Germany, the instigator of the conflict and a nation that would be torn in two in its aftermath. An estimated 60 million people were killed in the conflict, of whom around five million were German. Two thirds of the dead were civilians — among them six million Jews. Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, At the end of the Nazi regime Germany was almost totally destroyed.
Transportation and communication services had ceased to function. Agriculture and industry were largely at a standstill. Food was scarce and there was a serious risk of famine and disease during the coming months. And to crown it all there was no central government in being, and the machinery whereby a central government could function no longer existed. Life in post-war Germany was very, very difficult for a very long time, and the country's rise out of that brutal era has its own word in the German language. After Germany's defeat, Berlin was divided into four zones, one for each Allied power. Much of the city was unsafe and uninhabitable, with certain swaths falling entirely into disuse.
Germany was stripped of its war gains and lost territories in the east to Poland and the Soviet Union. At the end of the war, there were in Germany some eight million foreign displaced persons;  mainly forced laborers and prisoners; including around , from the concentration camp system,  survivors from a much larger number who had died from starvation, harsh conditions, murder, or being worked to death. Over 10 million German-speaking refugees arrived in Germany from other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Germans had little voice in government until when two states emerged:. After experiencing its Wirtschaftswunder or "economic miracle" in , West Germany became the most prosperous economy in Europe. East Germany stagnated as its economy was largely organized to meet the needs of the Soviet Union; the secret police Stasi tightly controlled daily life, and the Berlin Wall ended the steady flow of refugees to the west. At the Potsdam Conference 17 July to 2 August , after Germany's unconditional surrender on 8 May ,  the Allies divided Germany into four military occupation zones — France in the southwest, Britain in the northwest, the United States in the south, and the Soviet Union in the east, bounded eastwards by the Oder-Neisse line.
Allies during World War II , the US and the USSR became competitors on the world stage and engaged in the Cold War , so called because it never resulted in overt, declared hot war between the two powers but was instead characterized by espionage , political subversion and proxy wars. Internationally, alliances with the two blocs gradually shifted, with some nations trying to stay out of the Cold War through the Non-Aligned Movement. The War also saw a nuclear arms race between the two superpowers; part of the reason that the Cold War never became a "hot" war was that the Soviet Union and the United States had nuclear deterrents against each other, leading to a mutually assured destruction standoff. As a consequence of the war, the Allies created the United Nations , an organization for international cooperation and diplomacy, similar to the League of Nations. Members of the United Nations agreed to outlaw wars of aggression in an attempt to avoid a third world war. This effort primarily began as an attempt to avoid another war between Germany and France by economic cooperation and integration, and a common market for important natural resources.
Food production per capita in was only 51 percent of its level in , and the official food ration set by the occupying powers varied between 1, and 1, calories per day. Industrial output in was only one-third its level. At the time, observers thought that West Germany would have to be the biggest client of the U. And less than ten years after the war people already were talking about the German economic miracle. What caused the so-called miracle? The two main factors were currency reform and the elimination of price controls , both of which happened over a period of weeks in
Germany had suffered heavy losses during the war, both in lives and industrial power. The German population in this area was expelled , together with the Germans of the Sudetenland and the German populations scattered throughout the rest of Eastern Europe. Between 1. As a result, the population density grew in the "new" Germany that remained after the dismemberment. As agreed at the Potsdam, an attempt was made to convert Germany into a pastoral and agricultural nation, allowed only light industry.
14 Harsh Realities of Life in Germany After WWII
Germany After WW2 - A Defeated People - Documentary on Germany in the Immediate Aftermath of WW2