The Morgenthau Plan is implemented: Effects on East Germany?

Remake of an older thread of mine that went nowhere.

Suppose that Henry Morgenthau Jr. himself ends up as president after Truman dies in a random accident sometime between June 27, 1945 and July 3, 1945, leading to Morgenthau unexpectedly ending up as President of the US. Following this he goes full steam ahead with his plan to render Germany agrarian backwater incapable of threatening Europe ever again.

Assuming that Germany still ends up being divided in a similar way too OTL and the treatment of East Germany remains more or less the same as OTL, what long-term implications on the country, especially if we ironically end up getting the exact reversal of the situation in OTL if famine conditions in the west get bad enough and there's nass refugee flight into the east?
 
1. I don't see the Western Allies being willing to let the German people starve unnecessarily. If German ability to sustain itself is crippled by execution of the plan, the Allies will hand out food and backpedal.
2. I don't see the Western Allies letting the communist treatment of Eastern Europe look better. If there's an eastwards migration, you bet there'll be a dramatic change in policy.
 
The thing is that East Germany would see virtually the same level of mandated de-industrialization too.

OTL, the Soviets were one of the more enthusiastic supporters of Allied plans for de-industrialization. The USSR's vigour in doing that was equal parts the desire to punish Germany and taking resources for themselves as the victors. Probably the only reason why they didn't go all the way is that the Cold War kicked in and the West started easing up industrial restrictions in their zones.

But if the Morgenthau deindustrialization plans are implemented, the Soviets will continue their deindustrialization plans too.

The impact of this would have foreign and domestic aspects for East Germany. It would result in Inter-German relations being relatively less tense and at times average closer compared to OTL; with a possibility of the Berlin Wall being delayed in construction by a few years well.

East Germany as a dictatorship created by the Soviets, wouldn't have any change to its official relations to the USSR. West Germany, however, was a democracy. The German people would be angry at the implementation of deindustrialization. This discontent would nip the sort of pro-Western politics espoused by Konrad Adenauer at the bud. Two very different political reactions would occur. The first one would be an attempted resurgence of German nationalism; that the West Germans would try to stamp out. But it would cause West German conservatism to take an outlook that was anti-Western as it was anti-communist. On the flipside, anti-Western sentiment would shift the major centre left parties further to the left.

Both would seek to take West Germany out of the Western camp of the Cold War, but West Germany(on paper) couldn't even legally ask Allied troops to leave. As such, West Germany would settle on an overrarching policy of being the biggest albatross possible around the necks of the US, UK and France. They would shun pan European economic cooperation. They would refuse to join NATO. The latter of these would make Warsaw pact rest easier, reducing tensions.

The SPD would definitely be more friendlier to the East. If there is an SPD government in the 50s or 60s, Ostpolitik could occur earlier. If it's a strong leftist in charge, I can see that administration pursuing a temporary deal with East Germany; East Germany issues tourist and family visit exit visa on demand(even to dissidents), in return the West Germans would ensure they return home and don't flee. This would close the Berlin loophole and delay the wall's construction.

The sort of communism espoused by East German party was closely aligned to the Soviet one. Soviet communism was one which was crafted around the industrial worker, not the peasant. This would cause issues in East Germany which would be agrarian now. But there would be a communist who tailored the ideology towards peasants: Mao Zedong. East Germany's party would therefor drift closer to Maoism. They won't break with USSR minded you though.
 
Morganthau being a Jew would have some not-so-great connotations for a united Germany. Expect there to be an even worse Neo-Nazi problem, especially in the East, considering they can pull the whole "heartless Jew tried to exterminate the German people" in regards to the famine and deindustrialization.
 

Garrison

Donor
The Morgenthau plan is only going to happen if Nazi Germany broke out the Tabun or the USSR isn't viewed as a threat because there is no way the US government is going to dismantle Germany unless the Red Army is a lot further east and probably not even then since such a dismantled Germany would be a huge impediment to rebuilding the rest of Europe. The Morgenthau Plan is a revenge fantasy that will crumble in the face of realpolitik.
 
The Morgenthau plan is only going to happen if Nazi Germany broke out the Tabun or the USSR isn't viewed as a threat because there is no way the US government is going to dismantle Germany unless the Red Army is a lot further east and probably not even then since such a dismantled Germany would be a huge impediment to rebuilding the rest of Europe. The Morgenthau Plan is a revenge fantasy that will crumble in the face of realpolitik.
The Morgenthau Plan would not be static, and would change over time, likely moderating. Which does not mean that it would not lead to a sub-optimal outcome as compared to OTL.
 

Garrison

Donor
The Morgenthau Plan would not be static, and would change over time, likely moderating. Which does not mean that it would not lead to a sub-optimal outcome as compared to OTL.
Perhaps but that doesn't mean that any version would be embraced by any administration unless the outcome of WW2 was radically different.
 
Perhaps but that doesn't mean that any version would be embraced by any administration unless the outcome of WW2 was radically different.
Maybe, but I think that to some extent sentiment would follow policy. Germany and the German people were unpopular, disliked and perhaps hated by large swaths of the population in the United Kingdom, the United States and France. If a harsher post-war settlement had been forced onto West Germany, then it would likely be supported by the public as much as in OTL. They would not have access to knowledge of the convergence of Germany with the rest of the West culturally, ideologically and diplomatically in OTL. Therefore, they might just assume that the likely more isolated, insular and revanchist Germany was an inevitability. Something that would not change no matter what policy the occupying powers pursued. Whatever negative effects it had on the German people in the near, and long term would be justified by public, and the state of the occupying powers.
1. I don't see the Western Allies being willing to let the German people starve unnecessarily. If German ability to sustain itself is crippled by execution of the plan, the Allies will hand out food and backpedal.
2. I don't see the Western Allies letting the communist treatment of Eastern Europe look better. If there's an eastwards migration, you bet there'll be a dramatic change in policy.
The Western Allies might not see starving the German people as a goal. However, in the event it happened as a secondary effect of their policy, no matter how expected the outcome, it would be justified by the occupying powers. They would tell themselves that if was unfortunate, but necessary, and probably their own fault. It is not likely that the Western Allies would start to blame themselves outside a minority of contrarians, and ideologically consistent people.
 

Garrison

Donor
Maybe, but I think that to some extent sentiment would follow policy.
Not in anything like the real world. In the real world with the Red Army looming over everything Germany is going to be rebuilt along the lines of OTL. Were the Morgenthau were to be implemented, well then its just a slow form of mass murder as there is no way Europe could feed all those Germans who can't grow crops or find shelter and Stalin will have a field day with the propaganda as the Soviets will doubtless choose to rebuild their sector just to show up the Western Allies.
 
Basically fantasy, Morgenthau demands to accompany Truman to Potsdam, Truman refuses, he offers his resignation, Truman accepts, the end. Though as Truman also describes him as a Blockhead, a nut who didn't know shit from apple butter I suspect thats a just a matter of time OTL its 10 weeks or so into Truman's presidency. And Ofc none of this affects what happens in the British, French or Russian zones. Stimson opposes it and while aspects were briefly used in the US Zone, its not official policy because of the strong reaction to it in the US press

Stimsons arguments, which are also those of the British and strong elements of French are basically that the German economy is essential to the prosperity of everyone else. The entire history of Western Europe post 1945 gives the lie to the idea of an inveterate hatred of Germans, though obviously they should return the Bicycles to the Dutch.
 
The thing is that East Germany would see virtually the same level of mandated de-industrialization too.

OTL, the Soviets were one of the more enthusiastic supporters of Allied plans for de-industrialization. The USSR's vigour in doing that was equal parts the desire to punish Germany and taking resources for themselves as the victors. Probably the only reason why they didn't go all the way is that the Cold War kicked in and the West started easing up industrial restrictions in their zones.

No, the reason is that Stalin died and the East Germans revolted. Up until 1953 they were following Stalins plan to turn East Germany into one big labor camp for the Soviet Union. After the East German revolt of 1953 was crushed the Soviet leadership eased up reperation quotas and signed an agreement that gave the GDR government a lot more autonomy.
 
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