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10

The French Ride High

“I F IT WERE NOT FOR THE AID AND COMFORT FRANCE HAS GIVEN to the Soviet Union, we should have settled the Berlin crisis long ago.”

The American officer who said this to me was referring to the French refusal to agree to a stronger stand being taken against Soviet Russia at the beginning of the blockade, and to France’s desire to abandon Berlin whatever the cost to Western Europe and America. But his remark, which expressed the xasperation of the American Army at being hobbled by French timidity and Commu- nist influence in France, could be applied to the whole interna- tional situation.

France today is like a dead weight hanging around the neck of the free world. Partly because of their concern with the extinct menace of German aggression, partly because of their hope of avoiding war with Soviet Russia by appeasement, and partly be- cause of Communist influence, France prevents the implementa- tion of an American policy designed both to rehabilitate Western Europe and to ensure its defense. At every turn and on every issue, French stalling succeeds in nullifying the American effort to make Europe self-supporting and secure. On the question of reparations, on the Occupation Statute, and on the Ruhr, as in the case of the defense of Berlin, France’s short -sighted policy weakens the Western world. If ruled by the Communists, France could not have done a better job in keeping Europe divided, weak, and powerless, and bringing near the ay when America will eitherd go bankrupt or revert to an isolationist policy.

The politicians who rule France today, like the Bourbons, seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Just as in the

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twenties they insisted on implementation of a policy of revenge and retribution which destroyed Germany and gave power to Hitler, so now, once again, they are dragging Europe toward the abyss.

It is one of the curious phenomena of the modern world that the French nation, which prides itself on being the most rational of peoples, acts like an hysterical woman in international affairs. Perhaps the explanation is that given me by an American officer who had participated in the negotiations with the French in Berlin. “The French,” he said, “have lost their pride. If they had put up a brave fight against the Germans and kept their self-respect, they would not now be so revengeful and stupid. The British who suf- fered much more than the French came out of the war with their heads up because of their courage, but the French came out of it with nothing but shame and fear.”

The very fact that so many French collaborated with the Ger- mans during the occupation now makes them the foremost expo- nents of a ruthless policy toward Germany. They seek to expunge the record f their past acceptanceo of German domination by wanting to kick the conquered Germans harder than those who brought about their defeat.

Talking to this American officer in Berlin, I was reminded of what General Robert E. Wood had said to me years ago. He old me how his grandfather, who was a general in the Civil War, had said to him: “Brave men don’t hate their enemies; they respect them. They leave the hating to the women and the preachers.”

Unfortunately for the future of the free world, the United States treats France like a beloved mistress, or a weak and foolish wife who must be indulged. Whether it is because of the reverence for French culture, inspired in Americans at school, where French is often the only language taught, or the belief that France still stands for liberty, equality, and fraternity, or simply the attraction of the Paris flesh pots, the State Department, the ECA, and most Ameri- can newspapermen and authors just love France. Paris is chosen as the headquarters for ECA; Paris is where American trade-union leaders meet their European comrades; Paris is where the United Nations meets when it leaves Lake Success; Paris is the place where all good journalists hope to go.

France, which lacks the will to work or to fight, and has neither the intelligence nor the vision nor the strength to be the leader of Europe, is still regarded in America as the capital of Europe. So the poisonous French atmosphere of corruption, prejudice, weak-

THE FRENCH RIDE HIGH 273

ness, and hate is chosen for the settlement of European problems.

As the New York Times correspondent in Berlin, Sydney Gruson, reported on April 18, 1949:

Military Government officials who share in General Clay’s annoy - ance with ECA’s stand on Germany claim that the Marshall Plan administration operates under a efinitely French orientation. Among d Americans in Germany that is a serious charge, since the French are always considered at fault for delays and troubles in evolving a three- power policy for Germany due to their intense fears of German re- surgence.

The occasion for this despatch was ECA’s stalling on General Clay’s request for the release of 200,000,000 D marks from the counterpart funds for the purchase of rolling stock and equipment for the German railways. General Clay had also apparently been incensed by the refusal of the ECA authorities to permit part of the 5 per cent counterpart fund earmarked for the use of the American and British military governments, to be used to finance RIAS— the excellent radio station in Berlin which beams anti-Com- munist propaganda to the Russian zone— and for the Voice of America in its Berlin operations.

The impression that ECA is unduly influenced by the French Government is heightened by the fact that Paul Hoffman and his deputies spend much of their time in Paris and nly pay flying visits to other European countries. But it is the special favor shown to France in the allocation of ECA funds and the failure of Paul Hoffman to stop dismantlement by exerting pressure on France and Britain which prove his insufficient regard for the United States taxpayer and the long-term objectives of the Marshall Plan.

As I have already noted in Chapter 3, the ECA did not even try to save most of the factories scheduled for dismantlement, and the State Department went even further than aul Hoffman’s organization in appeasing France and Britain.

The outstanding example of the cost to the American taxpayer of Dean Acheson’s readiness to allow France to continue destroy - ing Germany’s assets, is the April 1949 agreement to let France tear own partd of the great works at Oppau producing nitrogen fertilizers.

The Oppau plant, which is the largest synthetic nitrogen plant in Europe, has the capacity to produce 730 tons of pure nitrogen a day. Its capacity is to be reduced to 410 tons, which means an

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annual loss of 100,000 tons of nitrogen fertilizer without any cor- responding gain in French production. Most of the dismantled equipment will be nothing but scrap, the residual value being cal- culated as worth only a million dollars, as against he four and half million dollars originally invested in the plant.

According to the calculations made by Dr. Fritz Baade of the Kiel Institute of World Economy, the nitrogen fertilizer which will have to be imported into Germany to compensate for this loss will cost $300 a ton, or a total of $36,000,000 to pay for the 100,000 tons of production lost through dismantlement.

Thus every dollar which France may eventually gain will cost the American taxpayer thirty-six dollars. Should the loss to the world of the Oppau plant’s production result in such a shortage that nitrogen fertilizers cannot be supplied to German agriculture by America, the cost will be even higher. If extra grain has to be im- ported into Germany as a result of the French dismantlement of Oppau, then each dollar gained by France will cost America two hundred dollars.

If Western Germany is ever to become self-supporting, it re- quires not less, but more nitrogen fertilizers than before the war. It should be permitted to produce enough to bring its nitrogen fertilizer consumption up to the Dutch-Belgian level of fifty pounds an acre. This would require more than the total original capacity of the Oppau plant. Instead, we are allowing the French to destroy any possibility of German agriculture being supplied with its mini- mum prewar needs.

Up to now, the French have allowed Oppau to produce only 80,000 tons as against its 200,000 ton capacity, and after delivering two-thirds of this production to the farmers in the French zone, they have exported the rest for France’s profit.

Everyone by now knows that the Russians, by refusing to treat Germany as an economic unit, have imposed a crushing burden on the American taxpayer. But few Americans are aware that France is also responsible for the high taxes they have to pay. According to Dr. Baade the refusal of the French to allow Oppau to provide fertilizers for Bizonia has entailed a loss of two million tons grain value a year, which is comparable to the amount lost by Russian intransigeance and the Polish sequestration of former German ter- ritory east of the Oder-Neisse line.

Oppau is only one example of the manner in which French policy is weakening Europe and burdening the American economy.

THE FRENCH RIDE HIGH 275

The French in their zone of Germany have acted in a manner com- parable only with that of the Russians. They have stripped it of machinery and food to such an extent that only American sub- sidies are now keeping the German population there alive.

The French have refused to take any of the German expellees from he East, t so that their zone, which includes fertile lands, should be self-sustaining. But French looting produced actual starvation until ECA began to give aid in 1948. Today the United States, besides directly subsidizing the French economy to the tune of $875,000,000 a year, is also providing the French zone with $155,000,000 to compensate for what France takes out of it in the way of food, timber, manufactures, and machinery.

The French did not wait upon any Allied agreement to exact reparations. At the beginning of their occupation they started to seize factory equipment and other German assets, so that by the time the Allied dismantlement list was announced, France had already reduced her zone to a productive capacity well below the 1936 level.

The French, who claim that the Germans removed some 60,000 machines from France during the occupation (and take no account of the 40,000 machines which the Germans claim to have delivered to France in the same period) had already taken 45,000 machines from their one alone whenz the dismantlement list for all three Western zones was published in 1947. These machines, taken to France as prélèvements, a polite name for looting, do not even figure on the reparations account. And although the Germans in the French zone were told that the official dismantlement program to come afterwards would be modified accordingly, this promise was not kept. Two hundred and thirty-four enterprises were sched- uled for dismantlement in October 1947, only thirty-four of which could be regarded as war industries, and most of which belonged to the light-industry categories supposed to be expanded according to the Revised Level of Industry Plan. In Württemberg, for in- stance, the textile industry has been deprived of all its modern interlock, round knitting, and weaving machinery, and thus pre- cluded from any possibility of exporting. South Baden similarly lost some two thousand textile machines. The factories producing agricultural machinery were similarly dismantled. The machine-tool industry in the Württemberg area was left with only 55 per cent of its capacity after the first French removals, although according to the Level of Industry Plan, it was supposed to be left with 83

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per cent. Yet further removals of machinery are now taking place according to the official Allied dismantlement program.

The leather, wood processing, and building industries have been similarly shorn of equipment. The fine mechanics and optics in- dustry, is supposed under the Level of Industry Plan to be allowed a capacity 38 per cent higher than in 1936, but in South Baden the French, by February 1947, had already reduced production to half of the 1936 figure by the removal of 2,155 expensive machines, and have since still further reduced its productive capacity.

Worst of all is the case of the watch and clock industry already referred to in Chapter 3. By their preliminary and subsequent re- movals of machinery the French have crippled this old industry, which once supplied the livelihood of thousands of people in the Black Forest area.

In the statement it released on April 13, 1949, the ECA office of information in Washington gives a list of “French Voluntary Retentions” in their zone of the whole or part of forty plants, in - cluded on the list of 381 examined by he Humphrey Committee. But neither in this report, nor in the Humphrey Committee Re- port* is any account taken of the huge quantity of factory equip- ment France has taken out of her zone without reference to the Inter-Allied Reparations Authority, and without making any report to ECA. One of the many injustices to which the German people are now becoming accustomed is that the ECA has recommended the release as reparations of the equipment of many factories pro- ducing peacetime goods, because they had already been allocated to recipient nations, but took no account of France’s and Britain’s removals of machinery not on the dismantlement list, and not figuring as reparations.

The reasons given by the ECA for its decision not to retain in Germany the plants already allocated, rouses a suspicion that even today Washington has not completely abandoned its former policy of appeasing Russia, or was impelled by France and Britain not to annoy Stalin; for in the preamble to the Humphrey Committee report it is stated:

The problem of the political implications involved in a further change of the reparations program, which had already been scaled down

* Report on plants scheduled for removal as reparations from the three Western zones of Germany, January 1949. Industrial Advisory Committee, Economic Cooperation Administration.

THE FRENCH RIDE HIGH 277

previously, was strongly urged upon us by both the British and the French, as well as by the President of IARA. The fact that, of the nineteen nations entitled to reparations, only nine of them are bene- ficiaries of the European Recovery Program further complicated that issue. This was particularly important in affecting our decisions with respect to plants that had already been allocated to IARA for repara- tions and also those which had been additionally sub-allocated by IARA to recipient countries. The complications ensuing with respect to both the allocated and the sub-allocated plants were found to be so involved that, after careful consideration, we recommended to you the immediate release of all such plants.

In other words, Paul Hoffman’s organization decided not to stop the dismantlement and shipment of the factory equipment allo- cated to Soviet Russia and her satellites. This is being done in spite of the “regret” with which the ECA dec ided “to acquiesce in the removal of some equipment from a number of small factories . . making articles useful for a peacetime economy.”

The machinery released by ECA for shipment to the Commu- nists is by no means only that taken from peacetime industries. It also includes precisely the types of heavy machinery regarded as “strategic goods,” which the countries in receipt of Marshall Plan aid are forbidden to export to Russia. So we have the strange spec- tacle of ECA agreeing to deliver to the Communists from Germany precisely those items which are recognized as helping to increase the Soviet war potential.

All in all, dismantlement, even as modified by the recent agree- ment with the ECA authorities, will leave the French zone with no more than half the industrial capacity of 1936.

The ECA authorities did not, apparently, even try to save such specialized peacetime factories as the Wafios works near Tubingen which I visited. Wafios was one of the most modern factories in Germany and produced wire-working machinery for the production of paper clips, safety pins, bobby pins, wire netting, and upholstery springs. At the beginning of the occupation the French came and took away 200 machine tools from Wafios without so much as giving an official receipt. A few months later three French officers came and took another 34 machines for use in France. Next came “Section T” of the French Military Government which took another 70, saying, “This is final; we will not take anything more

278 THE HIGH COST OF VENGEANCE

from you.” When the owner of Wafios said he was left without enough machinery to carry on, he was told: “You can now learn to work in the primitive way without modern machinery.” Finally in the summer of 1948 yet another French commission arrived and ordered 72 more machines to be dismantled, this time as regular reparations to be allocated by IAIA. This last lot of machinery was standing out in the open when I visited the Wafios plant and would presumably soon become scrap.



Wafios at the time of my visit had about a quarter of its original equipment, consisting of its oldest machinery. A family-owned en- terprise, where the relations between workers and employer were similar to those which prevailed in Siegen, with the owner manag- ing somehow or other to obtain cider and fat for his men to keep them from starving, Wafios was still working, although many oper- ations had to be carried on by hand. The owner said to me: “I have traveled all over the world; now I sit here in this crazy madhouse, while the French, British, and American military missions come one after another. The world is now full of loafers in uniform and dollars will not save it until there are no more ignoramuses with military authority.”

The French spoliation of German forests, which arouses more resentment and hatred than their looting of replaceable property, is also likely to have harmful and enduring consequences for Europe as a whole. Everywhere you go in the French zone you see huge stacks of logs by the roadside, or being carted along the roads. The Black Forest is still beautiful, but in many places the trees have been cut down and ugly stumps witness to the despoliation of one of the loveliest places in Europe.

The French, according to German reports, have already cut down three times as much timber as Germany took from the whole of France during the occupation.

The British have also severely depleted German timber resources. Timber fellings in the British zone were four times larger than the increment by growth in 1946, three and a half times larger in 1947, and more than twice as large in 1948. The British have decreased their demands year by year, but the French have increased them, so that in 1948 the percentage of trees they cut down as compared with increments was 379.

C. A. Schenck, the founder of the Biltmore Forest School, in pamphlet published in New York in 1948, shows that the woodland area per capita of the population is only 0.33 acres in Germany in

THE FRENCH RIDE HIGH 279

comparison with almost 4 acres in the United States, where there is, nevertheless, no longer any superabundance of timber.

Only 0.5 per cent of the timber area of the world is in Germany, and there is an annual shortage of timber of 290 million cubic feet which used to be imported. Yet 7 per cent of Germany’s forest reserves have been listed for cutting since the occupation, and are being sent abroad.

As Mr. Schenck’s pamphlet points out, the worst feature of the British and French cuttings is in their failure to observe the rules of silviculture in their cutting, and to replant the denuded areas. He writes :

In the French zone of the Black Forest 3,000 Italians are now em- ployed by the French Military Government at clear cutting on gigantic scale. The British are employing (notably in the Harz Moun- tains) 700 English colonial soldiers as lumberjacks. Naturally in these operations all time-honored rules of silviculture are omitted, since they are an impediment to logging.

The author also states that there were already 33,600 acres in the French zone crying for reforestation; 75,000 in North Rhine- land in the British zone, and 41,000 in the United States zone.

The Germans have not only suffered a severe diminution of their forests through British and French cuttings and exports. The forced export of coal has also led to increased use by the Germans of wood as fuel for house heating.

The soil erosion which is resulting from the uneconomic ex- ploitation of Germany’s forests by her conquerors will seriously reduce the quantity of arable land. It is also likely to have a perma- nently harmful effect on the climate of Europe.

The Swiss are already concerned at the climatic effects of the French and British deforestation of Germany.

The German climate [a Swiss forestry expert wrote] is assuming steppe features. This danger ought to be taken seriously, not only in Germany itself but in all Europe. It is certain that as a consequence climatic changes will take place in Switzerland. . . Reforestation is not taken care of after the cuttings have been made, because of the lack of personnel, seeds and plants.*

* Cited by Hans Huth in Report on the Present Situation of Nature Pro- tection in the American, British and French Occupied Zones of Germany (Chicago, June 1948).

280 THE HIGH COST OF VENGEANCE

An article in the forestry journal of the Food and Agriculture

Organization of the United Nations Unasylva, July-August 1947) ( stated: “Many countries view an excessive depletion of Germany’s wood resources with grave anxiety as upsetting the whole economic structure and balance of Europe and as mortgaging the future with a problem it will take at least a hundred years to adjust.”

As Edmund Burke said at the time of the French Revolution, you cannot indict a whole nation. It would be as unfair to account the whole French people responsible for the vindictive stupidity of present-day French policy as it is to regard all Germans as having been supporters of the Nazi regime. It is the French politicians of all parties who play upon national passions and hatreds for their own advantage who are responsible for the vendetta against the Germans which is weakening all Europe, and may succeed in de- livering it to Stalin. For the strange thing today is that the French people, as distinct from their government, seem more friendly to the Germans than in the past. This is the impression gained by such Germans as Dr. Ernst Reuter and Annadore Leber who have visited France recently; it was also my own.

During the two weeks I spent in Paris in the summer of 1948 I made a point of asking every Frenchman I met how it had been under the German occupation. And the answer I received was al- most always the same, whether I spoke to the waiters in restaurants, to workers or small shop keepers, to servants or porters: A shrug of the shoulders and the remark, “Well, we ate a little better then than now.” And the last man I spoke to, who was the porter who carried my bag to the train on which I was returning to Germany, said, “If only we French could get together with the German peo - ple, everything would be better; that would be something. We might then enjoy peace and a decent living.”

It seemed in France that it was the rich, not the poor, who hated the Germans, for the latter during the occupation had at least en- sured an equitable distribution of the food and goods available, whereas in Liberated France the rich got richer and the poor poorer every day.

On my way from England to Germany via Ostende at the be- ginning of August 1948 I had a conversation which throws some light on the discrepancy between the attitude of the French and Belgian governments and press and the sentiments of many French

THE FRENCH RIDE HIGH 281

and Belgian citizens of the middle and lower classes. I was traveling second-class as I usually do, not only for reasons of economy, but because people are more inclined to speak freely to strangers on long train journeys than in any other circumstances. If you travel in comfort in an international sleeping car the chances are that you will speak little or not at all to your fellow passengers, and that most of them will be foreigners like yourself. But in the second- and third-class carriages where you sit up all night the hours pass more quickly if you talk. So I have often had intimate conversations with strangers whom I would never meet again and who for that reason feel secure in revealing their true sentiments.

On this occasion four people including myself occupied the car- riage. Opposite me there was an Englishman with whom I soon got involved in a friendly argument about Germany. At one point in our discussion he turned to the lady sitting at his side and, after giving her a summary f our discussion in French, said: “Madame o will certainly agree with me since her people suffered under the German occupation.” The lady, who was remarkably pretty, re - plied: “No, Monsieur, I agree entirely with Madame. I am very sorry for the German people today, and besides I see no sense in the present policy of keeping them in such miserable conditions that they may be driven to side with Russia against us.”

The man next to me, who turned out to be a Belgian business- man on his way to Prague, broke in and said: “We simply cannot understand the American policy of destroying Germany so that there is no barrier between us and Soviet Russia. It is we who will suffer the results of Anglo-American stupidity when the Russians sweep across Europe.”

The Englishman said he was very astonished that my views in- stead of his should be finding support, since this could hardly be the general sentiment of the Belgian population. Thereupon the young Belgian lady said to him: “Monsieur, you should not believe everything which is said to you in public. Many people will not tell you their real opinion. Today there is a black market in ideas.”

This seemed to me a penetrating observation. In such countries as France and Belgium where lynch law was applied to collaborators after the liberation, fear of showing friendliness to the German people has not yet died down. And even in the freest countries people often say what is expected of them, expressing the senti- ments considered as orthodox and respectable, although they may have quite different views “under the counter.” Just as free trade

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in many European countries is now called black-marketeering, so in the realm of politics and international affairs, common sense, logic, humanity, and reasonableness are too often considered as evidence of depravity or reaction.

The influence of what is regarded as public opinion, because it is the view expressed in the newspapers and in the statements of politicians, is almost as potent as a Gestapo or a GPU in silencing “dangerous thoughts. ”

The Belgian lady made it clear to me, however, that it was not only the fear of not being considered respectable which led many people to demand revenge, although they actually had no hatred for the German people and knew that Allied policy toward Ger- many hurt them as much as the Germans. After I had given her copy of an article of mine pleading for a rational and humane atti- tude toward the Germans, she expressed great astonishment. “Is it really possible to say such things in the United States?” sh e said. “Why, here in Belgium, you would be sent to prison if you pub - lished such an article as the one you have shown me.”

The article in question was one I had written for the Washing- ton newsletter, Human Events, in which I had contrasted the bar- barism of our present-day policy toward the defeated with the greater humanity and intelligence of conquerors in past ages, when chivalry or rational self-interest had restrained the victors from wreaking all-out vengeance on the vanquished. The Belgian lady told me how a friend of hers had been arrested in the winter of 1947-48 and kept in prison without food for three days, for having dared to protest against the Allied policy of starving the Germans.

Three months later, when I traveled through the French zone, I was struck by the contrast between the attitude of the French soldiers I talked to and that of their government and the occupa- tion authorities.

I visited the French zone three times, but the longest time spent there was when I drove from Siegen o the Black Forest in October with Helmuth Weber, his sister Margarita, and her French husband René. The two men had business to do in the French zone and I took the opportunity to go with them in the old Mer- cedes. I had already learned how difficult it is to find out anything if one comes to the French zone as an American journalist, because the German factory owners are forbidden on pain of imprisonment to tell Americans about the French seizures of machinery or to ad- mit them to their factories.

THE FRENCH RIDE HIGH 283

Traveling with both Helmuth and René I had the advantage of getting both the Germans and the French to talk to me with little constraint. When we visited German factories René remained in the background, and when I went into cafés and barracks to talk to the rench, Helmuth usuallyF stayed behind in the automo- bile. However, there were also many occasions when we all got together with both Germans and French and I found that neither had any personal hostility toward the other. Indeed I was struck by the friendliness displayed by the French poilus (GI’s) toward the German people. Moreover, unlike the Paris politicians, they were hoping that the Germans would fight with them if Russia at- tacked, instead of fearing, or pretending to fear, German aggression.

Poor ené, whoR was anxious to convince me that the French were not so bad as I imagined, was delighted when the French sol- diers, junior officers, and workers we talked to echoed his own chivalrous and intelligent views. But the trouble with the French, as Carlo Schmidt had said to me, is that individually they are rea- sonable, but once they become part of the bureaucratic apparatus, they are impossible.

There were a considerable number of French workers in the zone, mechanics and lumberjacks, some of whom I spoke to at Alpirs- bach, a tiny village in the Black Forest where we spent two nights. Although they were working for the French capitalists, denuding Germany of her timber, they were themselves paid so little that they were little better off than the Germans their employers were robbing.

Most of the French soldiers and workers look as poor as, and are usually dirtier and more unkempt than, the Germans, so that it is difficult to regard them as a master race, or as exploiters and op- pressors of the subject German people. There is, moreover, no such social and economic barrier between the French “common man” and his German counterpart, such as that which divides the Ameri- cans from the conquered.

The French, let it be said to their credit, have not inculcated their soldiers and civilians with any doctrine of national superiority, and they have observed the old and honorable rules of warfare at least with regard to the billeting of their occupation forces. French officers and soldiers live in German homes without throwing the owners into the street as the British and Americans have done. The owners in some cases are relegated to the cellar or the attic, and many Germans complain of the destruction and neglect of

284 THE HIGH COST OF VENGEANCE

their houses by the French, but at least they are still permitted to find shelter in their own homes.

Thus, in the French zone there is a curious contrast between the great hatred of the French occupation authorities who have fleeced the people, confiscated their cattle and grain and machines, starved them, and sent them to prison for protesting against French oppres- sion and looting, and the day-to-day, if not friendly, at least equalitarian, relations between many individual French and Ger- man people.

The impression I received in Germany was that whereas on the governmental level the Americans are regarded as the most humane and rational of the occupying powers, in personal contact the French are somewhat less disliked than the Americans and the British.

The same contrast is to some extent true of the Russians. In Berlin I was often told that General Sokolovsky and his staff treated the Germans with whom they came in contact with far greater friendliness, politeness, and consideration than the Americans or the British. If French policy and actions matched the personal be- havior of the French occupation forces, there is no doubt that they would be better liked than the Americans.

The French, again like the Russians, have made a point of con- ciliating the former ruling classes in Germany while oppressing the German workers, capitalists, and peasants. In the French zone, as in the Soviet zone, former Nazis are regarded as valuable allies if they will carry out French wishes; and neither the Russians nor the French have condemned the German officer class o the pauper status to which they are relegated in the United States zone. Whereas we accept or reject the co-operation of Germans according to their social or economic origins or class status, the French like the Russians are uninterested in a man’s antec edents providing he is ready to collaborate.

The French, like the Russians, seek to win over the intelligentsia, whereas in the American zone professors, students, and writers are placed in the lowest category when it comes to food rations, and find it almost impossible to exist. For instance, the French have restored the University of Freiburg and refounded the ancient University of Mayence closed for over a century, whereas the Amer- icans occupy most of the university buildings at Heidelberg for their own use and have kept students in the lowest category for food rations. While the American Military Government has cold-

THE FRENCH RIDE HIGH 285

shouldered any German intellectuals of independent views, the French have welcomed them and tried to conciliate them.

In Germany I was ften reminded of the

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