Germany ceases to exist as a nation after WWII?

FDR's original plan for Germany after World War II was for the nation to outright cease to exist, and instead be divided into a multitude of smaller states like Bavaria, Saxony, Berlin, Prussia, North Rhine-Westphalia etc., while being forbidden by the international community from ever unifying again. This set up would look similar to the Holy Roman Empire, but not quite as convoluted and messy. A good comparison is the Balkans that were former areas of Yugoslavia.

This may sound cruel, and indeed, it is pretty harsh all things considered, but it's important to remember the context: This was during World War II, when Germany had been taken over by the Nazis, and slaughtered countless millions from soldiers to civilians, promoted their own hateful ideology of National Socialism, while forcing their enemies to take part in years of horrific bloodshed to defeat them. Plus, the previous World War was also led by Germany, and while Imperial Germany isn't the same as Nazi Germany, that still did a lot to harbor resentment for the them as a nation. In short, people around the world had had enough of Germany, so the idea of dissolving the nation into a multitude of smaller, weaker states was very appealing as an idea.

In our timeline, Germany would be occupied by the three main Allies who defeated them and France (zing!), before being formed into two different nations after a long and often contentious process, into capitalist West Germany and communist East Germany. The divided nation with the divided capital Berlin was one of the major focal points of the Cold War, to the point where the tearing down of the Berlin Wall was considered the end of that era.

Beyond that, the divided Germany was held as the perfect example of the superiority of constitutional democracy: West Germany would rebuild and become a true economic powerhouse of its own and was a new start for the German people, while East Germany was a terrifying police state that embodied what many considered everything bad about communism. It was kind of like the comparison between South Korea and North Korea in more recent times.

But what if FDR's plan actually went into effect, and instead Germany as a nation was dissolved into multiple smaller, weaker states? Germany as a nation dies, and the nation many German peoples dreamed of for centuries ends in disgrace. There is no division of Germany and Berlin into two parts each, just a cessation of the unified country as the ultimate punishment by the Allies.

What happens in such a timeline?
 
Later economic recovery for Wester Europe, Poland might have only half of the Baltic coastline it has today if Stalin feels he wants to be generous with the Germans.
 
I've heard a interesting scenario which postulates that with Germany divided, France and Poland become the dominant powers in Europe after the end of the Cold War, though there is no European Union, due to the fact that Britain would be opposed to France dominating the continent (this is not a new fear), so Western Europe is divided between British and French spheres of influence.

Poland, meanwhile, would dominate Eastern Europe, with close diplomatic and military ties to the former Warsaw Pact.


FDR's original plan for Germany after World War II was for the nation to outright cease to exist, and instead be divided into a multitude of smaller states like Bavaria, Saxony, Berlin, Prussia, North Rhine-Westphalia etc., while being forbidden by the international community from ever unifying again. This set up would look similar to the Holy Roman Empire, but not quite as convoluted and messy. A good comparison is the Balkans that were former areas of Yugoslavia.

This may sound cruel, and indeed, it is pretty harsh all things considered, but it's important to remember the context: This was during World War II, when Germany had been taken over by the Nazis, and slaughtered countless millions from soldiers to civilians, promoted their own hateful ideology of National Socialism, while forcing their enemies to take part in years of horrific bloodshed to defeat them. Plus, the previous World War was also led by Germany, and while Imperial Germany isn't the same as Nazi Germany, that still did a lot to harbor resentment for the them as a nation. In short, people around the world had had enough of Germany, so the idea of dissolving the nation into a multitude of smaller, weaker states was very appealing as an idea.

This does not sound cruel at all. Compared to what Henry Morgenthau wanted to do to Germany, FDR's plan is extremely merciful.

 
Teheran 1943:

***
Stalin: ...What other questions are there for discussion?

Roosevelt: The question of Germany.

Stalin: What are the proposals on this matter?

Roosevelt: The partition of Germany.

Churchill: I am for partitioning Germany. But I should like to consider the question of partitioning Prussia. I am for separating Bavaria and the other provinces from Germany.

Roosevelt: In order to stimulate our discussion on this question, I want to set forth a plan for partitioning Germany into five states, which I personally drew up two months ago....

Churchill: I should not like to be understood as not favouring the partition of Germany. But I wanted to say that if Germany is broken up into several parts without these parts being combined then, as Marshal Stalin said, the time will come when the Germans will unite.

Stalin: There are no steps that could exclude the possibility of Germany's unification.

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnson/teheran.htm
 
Germany balkanizes into different countries. Poland may want to get East Prussia back (or well if the Soviets allow it).

So a non-partitioned but balkanized Germany would mean tensions in Europe in the post-war world would not be extreme initially.
 
It did OTL. But then it came back.

Eventually they need someone to pay the bills and therefore a national government.
I’m presuming that you mean the allied occupied Germany right?

Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was always planned at that point for Germany to be restored once it was over, albeit there were quite a lot of arguments as to how it would be done between the Western Allies and Soviets (the latter actually viewed the creation of West Germany as a betrayal of their alliance, which was the earliest part of the Cold War), and even between the US/UK and France, who wanted the Saarland and wasn’t keen on the idea of the Trizone at first.

Speaking of which, in this scenario would the Saarland likely be annexed into France like what the French originally planned to do?
 
It's not that hard, actually. As history shows us with Austria, it's possible to make an originally German region to forget that identity and form a different one. You could divide it a few ways, but it could be done like this without too many problems.

1631637742844.png
 
It's not that hard, actually. As history shows us with Austria, it's possible to make an originally German region to forget that identity and form a different one. You could divide it a few ways, but it could be done like this without too many problems.

View attachment 680034
Uh, Austria had a long history of being its own thing. The identity was already there, even with Pan-Germanic sentiments.
 
USA, Britain, and France commits economic suicide

Mind you, one of the reasons why France ended the occupation of Germany in the 20s was because French civilians complained German goods costed too much. By dividing Germany, you just caused a major economic great power cease to exist

Certainly American cooperations would be against this idea
 
Werwolf stops being a pipe dream and becomes the rallying cry of terrorist cells supporting German nationalism. Dismantling Nazism is one thing, but dismantling the nation itself would be a step too far, one too costly for the Allies to enforce, and risks turning the people towards anyone who could feasibly support any form of national identity, even one as Red as OTL's East Germany. The Soviets would probably be cynical enough to support them this way.
 
Last edited:
It did OTL. But then it came back.

Eventually they need someone to pay the bills and therefore a national government.

Yes, it was pretty clear that a permanent partition of Germany was planned by the Western Allies, while ironic Stalin planned for unified Germany.
 
To be fair, "Germany" hadn't existed as a unified country for very long, only since 1871.

Prior to the Napoleonic period, you still had the vestiges of the HRE and you had a strong unified Prussian state which had flirted with disaster in 1762 but had rallied and recovered and played a not insignificant role in the final defeat of Bonaparte.

The concept of "Germany" was more cultural than political, more geographical than territorial. The "unification" had been a largely Prussian enterprise under Bismarck and while the overtly Prussian Imperial State had fallen in 1918, the militarist element had survived and had been harnessed by the political genius and ideological fanatic Adolf Hitler into a re-incarnation of the German war machine which had come close to world domination.

As the allied armies swept through Germany in the spring of 1945, post-war political considerations and revenge must have both existed in strong measure. The temptation to dis-unite Germany didn't mean a reversion to the patchwork quilt of the 19th Century but a more nuanced division. The Catholic South had been reluctant adherents after Sadowa and the re-creation of a Greater Bavarian state (perhaps linked to those western parts of Austria also under allied control) was always likely.

That new state would bring in Baden-Wurttemberg leaving the western states (minus Saar which goes directly back to France) along the Rhine to be another re-created state - the Palatinate of old, the buffer state between French expansion and the HRE, as it once was. The remainder of allied-occupied northern and central Germany forms the third state.

The Russians claim the balance for their new "Democratic Republic" while the other three states, though independent of each other, operate in a German Confederation with (in time) a single currency, free trade and travel across the borders.
 
Didn't know about FDR plan, though dismantling Germany probably leads to eternal discord through the former territories, no matter who grabs them, Europe never prospers. Plus,IMO, Germany had plenty of company in the blame game for WW 1, all had blood on their hands.
 
One of the great crimes that the Allies engaged in after WWII was the ethnic cleansing, most notably East of the Oder-Neisse line and in the Sudetenland. They did have a difficult choice, their acquiescence to Stalin over Eastern Poland necessitated either selling out Poland, going to war against the SU, or ethnic cleansing. They chose the last of the three. Perhaps a WWII where the SU collapsed, or never became involved, but where Germany was eventually defeated by the WAllies, perhaps after the development of the atomic bomb, leading to a larger Germany, might make a permanent partition a more attractive proposition.

As I understand it, in 1939 or 1940, British troops were almost sent to Finland which would have created a formal state of war between between the UK & the SU. Or maybe the British & French reacted to the partition of Poland by declaring war on both Germany & the SU.
 
If the WAllies divide Germany in multiple states, Marshall Stalin will be happy to encourage the GDR to promote German reunification, either under the leadership of the SED or as a neutral "bourgeois-democratic" state.
 
Once the Cold War starts heating up, I see increasing pressure to fuse the states to provide a better frontline defense. You could break up Germany temporarily, but sooner or later the Soviets are going to flex, and there's going to be a need to form a bulwark against them. And the French sure as hell aren't going to agree to become the frontline state when there's, cynically speaking, perfectly good germans who can die and serve the role for them.
 
Austria managed as separate state outside Germamy, so its not impossible. South Germany (Bavaria, Baden, and Wurttenburg) had enough diffetent culture that can survive independently of West Germany.
 
Top