The Myth of Potsdam Marc Trachtenberg

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The Myth of Potsdam

Marc Trachtenberg

University of Pennsylvania

July 30, 1996

In July 1945 the Second World War was almost over. Germany's defeat this time had been total. In May the German armies had surrendered unconditionally, and the country itself was occupied in its entirety by allied forces. The allies now had to decide what to do with the nation they had conquered. When the leaders of the three main allied powers met at Potsdam in July, this problem was naturally at the top of the agenda.

The fate of Germany was the great issue at Potsdam, and the agreement reached at the conference called for Germany, or at least for the part of that country west of the Oder-Neisse line, to be treated as an economic unit, and implicitly also for Germany's political unity to be maintained intact. Germany was to be treated as a single country: this, it is commonly assumed, was what really had been decided at the conference. What Potsdam showed, according to the standard interpretation, was that America and Britain were from the very beginning of the postwar period committed to a policy of treating Germany as a unified country. And this, the argument runs, was a policy they continued to pursue in late 1945 and early 1946. During that period, they made an honest attempt to implement the Potsdam policy of running Germany as a unit. It was only after months of frustration, only after it became unmistakably clear that the Soviets were going to hold on to their monopoly of power in the eastern zone, that the policy of east-west cooperation was abandoned as unworkable. Only then did Britain and America turn slowly and reluctantly to the "western strategy"--the strategy of "organizing" the western zones first economically and then politically, orienting those areas to the west, tying them, ultimately even in a military sense, to the

western powers, the strategy that in the final analysis was to lead to the creation of the Federal Republic and the organization of a western security system in 1949.

From the start, this general interpretation of Potsdam and the policy that flowed from it played a key role in arguments about responsibility for the Cold War and for the division of Germany. Britain and America had clean hands. No one, especially no one in Germany, could question the legitimacy of the policy they pursued in the western zones. From Potsdam on, their goal had been to run Germany as a unit, but the USSR had sabotaged these efforts. Britain and America had no choice but to embark upon the policy of "organizing" the western zones, but it was the Soviet Union that bore fundamental responsibility for the failure of the Potsdam policy: it was the Soviet Union that was to blame for the division of Germany.

These claims were of fundamental poliltical importance. Not only was this general interpetation one of the great pillars on which the legitimacy of the West German state was to rest, but it was also tied into the emerging east-west conflict over Germany. By taking this line in 1946, Britain and America were telling the German people to look on Russia as the great enemy of German national rights. They were implying that they, on the other hand, were fundamentally in sympathy with German national aspirations. To the Soviet Union, the West seemed ready to ride the tiger of German irredentism: German hatred for Russia was being stirred up, and the western line vaguely suggested that America and Britain might ultimately support the Germans in an active anti-Soviet policy. The Soviets therefore had an interest in preventing the western powers from pursuing their policy--an interest in blocking the "western strategy" before things really got out of hand. Very fundamental tensions were thus being generated, and in fact this conflict over Germany was to lie at the heart of international politics during the entire high Cold War period, the period, that is, from 1945 to 1963. So a theory of history--an interpretation of what had happened at Potsdam, and of what British and American policy had been in late 1945--was a central element in the Cold War mix.

And yet the interpretation of Potsdam that was put forth especially in 1946, but which is still echoed in at least the standard American accounts of the early Cold War, is essentially a myth. For the real heart of the Potsdam conference was not an agreement to treat Germany as an economic unit. In fact, the real decision was to accept the division of Germany--not a four-way division, but a partition of the country between east and west.

The real makers of American policy--especially Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, who was by far the most important individual on these issues--had built their policy on the assumption that a partition of Germany along east-west lines was unavoidable. Germany would be divided, but this did not imply a hostile relationship with the USSR. Quite the contrary: for Byrnes, a separation of responsibilities, where the Russians would run the show in the part of Germany they occupied and the western powers would control things in western Germany, was the way--and indeed essentially the only way--a decent, workable relationship with the Soviet Union would be possible. An attempt to run Germany as a unit would lead to endless bickering among the four occupying powers; relations would be a good deal smoother if each side had a free hand in the part of Germany it controlled. And it was not just Germany that was being divided along east-west lines at Potsdam, it was Europe as a whole. In other words, it was Potsdam, and not Yalta, that was the real "spheres of influence" conference--the meeting where a basic understanding on the division of Europe was actually reached.
The Byrnes Plan

What is the proof for these claims? The great bulk of the evidence comes from the massive collection of documents on Potsdam published by the U.S. State Department in 1960, especially the great body of material on the Byrnes plan for German reparation.1 This plan was the real heart of American policy at Potsdam, and the key to understanding that conference is the realization that in dealing with reparation, the three governments were actually dealing with the most basic questions about Germany as a whole.

The fundamental idea of the Byrnes plan was that each occupying power would have the right to take whatever it wanted by way of reparation from its own zone. The plan itself emerged at Potsdam in large part in reaction to what the Soviets were doing in eastern Germany. It was clear by the time the conference convened that the Soviets were stripping the eastern zone of everything of value that could be carted off. American and British officials disliked what the Soviets were doing. But was there any point to arguing with them and trying to get them to limit their actions to what could be agreed to on a quadripartite basis--that is, by the three Potsdam powers plus France, the fourth occupying power, acting together in the Allied Control Council? Instead of entering into interminable quarrels with them about how much the removals were worth, about how much Germany should be made to pay and about how exactly payment was to be made, was it not much better to opt for the extremely simple solution of letting each side draw off whatever it wanted from the areas it controlled?

But the reparation issue could not be isolated from the broader question of how Germany was to be dealt with. If each side was allowed to take whatever it wanted from its part of Germany, then it was unlikely that that country could be run as an economic unit, and indeed Byrnes did make it clear that the Soviets could take whatever they wished from the eastern zone without limit. But the other side of this coin was that the western powers would not be called upon to help finance imports into that zone. The Soviets would have to take care of their zone themselves. If they were intent on stripping the eastern zone, there was no way to prevent them from doing so, but they and not the western powers would have to deal with the consequences. To help finance the deficit that zone would run, a deficit that was bound to be much greater than it had to be because of what the Soviets were doing there, would be tantamount to paying Germany's reparations for her. The Soviets, as a British official later put it, would in that case "simply milk the cow which the US and British are feeding."2 Neither Byrnes nor President Truman would have any part of it. "The American position is clear," the Secretary of State declared at Potsdam, invoking what was called the "first charge principle," a long-standing American policy. "It is the position of the United States that there will be no reparations until imports in the American zone are paid for. There can be no discussion of this matter. We do not intend, as we did after the last war, to provide the money for the payment of reparations."3

The western powers would therefore under no circumstances help finance whatever deficit the eastern zone would run. But by the same token the Soviets would not have to worry about financing essential imports into western Germany. If his reparation plan were adopted, Byrnes declared, the USSR "would have no interest in exports and imports from our [i.e., the western] zone. Any difficulty in regard to imports and exports would have to be settled between the British and ourselves."4 It was thus clear, even at the time, that the Byrnes policy was by no means limited to the relatively narrow problem of German reparations. It was tied to the assumption that Germany's foreign trade would also not be run on a four-power basis.5 A decision had in fact been made, in the words of one internal American document from the period, to "give up" on a four-power arrangement not just for reparations but for imports as well.6 But the management of foreign trade was the key to the overall economic treatment of Germany. If the country were to be run as a unit, exports and imports would have to be managed on an all-German basis. If there were no common regime for foreign trade, normal commerce between eastern and western Germany would be impossible: the two parts of the country would have to relate to each other economically as though they were foreign countries.

And all this was not just some sort of arcane economic theory that Byrnes and the others were too obtuse to understand at the time. The Americans at Potsdam were fully aware of the implications of their new policy. The U.S. government had originally hoped that that country could be run as a single economic unit, but now, in the words of one of the Americans involved with this issue at the conference, there had been a "general scrapping" of that policy. The Byrnes plan, that official pointed out, was rooted in the assumption that the allies would probably not be able to "pull together in running Germany."7 The top British official concerned with these matters at Potsdam, Sir David Waley, a man who wanted Germany to be run as a unit and who had therefore argued long and hard with the Americans (including Byrnes himself) about their new policy, was very familiar with the basic thinking that lay behind what the Americans were doing, and he made the same general point. "The American plan," he wrote, was "based on the belief that it will not be possible to administer Germany as a single economic whole with a common programme of exports and imports, a single Central Bank and the normal interchange of goods between one part of the country and another."8 And Byrnes's own views can scarcely be clearer. When Soviet foreign minister Molotov incredulously asked him whether his plan really meant that "each country would have a free hand in their own zones and would act entirely independently of the others," the Secretary of State confirmed that this was so, adding only that some arrangement for the exchange of goods between zones would probably also be necessary.9

Byrnes certainly understood what he was doing. American officials at the time repeatedly claimed, especially when confronted with the charge that their policy had the effect of dividing Germany, that this was not the case, and that they had not really given up on the quadripartite regime. But when one strips away the verbiage and reads the internal documents carefully, when one looks at what was actually done and the sort of thinking that real policy was based on, it is very clear that the Americans at Potsdam had essentially given up on the idea that Germany could be run as a unit on a four-power basis.

The basic idea of the Byrnes plan was thus for Germany to be split into two economic units which would exchange goods with each other as though they were separate countries engaged in international trade--or more precisely, international barter. And one should stress that under this plan, Germany was to be divided into two parts, and not four. In the Potsdam discussions, and even in the Potsdam agreement itself, western Germany was treated as a bloc. There were in fact frequent references to the "western zone" and not "zones," and Byrnes in fact referred to the western part of Germany, in the singular, as "our zone."10 The assumption was that the three western powers--the Americans, the British and even the French, who were not even present at the conference--would be able to work out a common policy among themselves, and that Germany would in all probability be divided along east-west lines.11

An Amicable Divorce

What had led Byrnes to this new policy? In Byrnes's view, real cooperation with the Soviet Union was simply not possible. America and Russia were just too far apart on basics, he said on July 24 at Potsdam--that is, the day after the new reparation plan was proposed to the Soviets--for a "long-term program of cooperation" to be feasible.12 But that did not mean that serious tension was inevitable. The way to get along was to pull apart. The unitary approach, he argued over and over again, would lead in practice to "endless quarrels and disagreements" among the allies. The attempt to extract reparation on an all-German basis "would be a constant source of irritation between us, whereas the United States wanted its relations with the Soviet Union to be cordial and friendly as heretofore." With his plan, on the other hand, the West would not have to "interfere" in the determination of what was available for reparation from the Soviet zone, nor would the Soviets need to get involved in such matters in western Germany. The western powers would settle things among themselves. A clean separation was the best solution, the best way to put an end to the squabbling and lay the basis for decent relations among the allies.13

Here in a nutshell was Byrnes's basic thinking about how the allies should relate to each other in the future. Let each side do what it wanted in its own part of Germany. This was the simplest formula for a settlement. The Soviets would almost certainly go on acting unilaterally in the eastern zone in any case. But if they ran eastern Germany as they pleased, they should not expect to have much influence in the western zones. The allies would thus go their separate ways, and on this basis they could get along with each other.

The Byrnes plan provided the basis for the Potsdam agreement, but it was not as though the plan was simply imposed on an unwilling Soviet Union that was left feeling cheated.14 Byrnes's goal was to reach an amicable understanding with the Soviets, and he was willing to go quite far to achieve this objective. The original Byrnes proposal was that each occupying power could take reparations from its own zone. This of course was something each of those states would have been able to do even if no agreement were reached, a point that Molotov himself made during the Potsdam discussions.15 But to get the Soviets to accept this result--by their own admission, the same situation as that which would prevail in the absence of an agreement--Byrnes was willing to give the Russians certain things which they valued very highly. He offered to accept the Oder-Neisse line as effectively the eastern border of Germany--that is, to accept what the Soviets had unilaterally done in putting the areas east of that line under Polish administration--if the USSR agreed to his reparation plan. This was a major concession, as Truman was quick to point out.16

And the Americans, after a good deal of haggling, were also willing to give the Russians a substantial share of the industrial capital in the western zones that the allies could agree was "unnecessary for the German peace economy." Fifteen percent of this surplus capital would be sent east in exchange for food and certain other raw materials (an arrangement, by the way, which again reflected the fundamental assumption that Germany was being divided into two parts), and a further ten percent would be transferred free and clear to the Soviets, with no return payment of any kind required.17 In the American view, the USSR could justifiably feel she had the right to half of whatever reparations could be gotten out of Germany, and drawing them only from her own zone would give her a bit less than the fifty percent to which she was entitled. The ten percent from western Germany was thus a kind of makeweight. The U.S. goal was to make sure the Soviets did not leave Potsdam feeling cheated. The aim was to reach an agreement that the USSR could be happy with, and to achieve this objective Byrnes and Truman were willing to sweeten the pot a little and give the Russians a bit more than they absolutely had to.

And the Soviets grasped the hand that Byrnes had held out. Stalin himself embraced the new concept wholeheartedly. He took the lead in extending the idea to cover the most liquid, and thus the most readily transferable, German assets--the gold captured by the allied armies in Germany, German holdings abroad, and shares in German firms. According to his plan, German gold, foreign assets, and shares of stock would not be pooled and apportioned on an all-German basis. Instead he proposed a simple rule for dividing those assets between east and west. The east-west line of demarcation, "the line running from the Baltic to the Adriatic," would be taken as a dividing line. Everything east of that line, assets in the eastern zone and German investments in eastern Europe, would go to Russia. Everything west of the line, including the German gold that had fallen into the hands of the western armies, would go to the western powers. The whole plan was quickly accepted by his British and American partners.18

That this arrangement reflected a basic spheres of influence orientation is clear from its content and phrasing, and is also suggested by the fact that the British, at first, wanted to keep it secret. But the most important point to note about the arrangement is Stalin's role in pressing for it. He was so taken with the basic idea of a spheres of influence solution for Germany, and implicitly for Europe as a whole, that he was willing to abandon any claim to the German gold that had fallen into the hands of the western armies. A very reasonable Soviet case could be made for at least a share of this all-German asset. A unilateral concession of this sort, which was not at all in keeping with the usual Soviet practice at Potsdam of presenting their allies with one demand after another, was thus a striking demonstration of Stalin's wholehearted acceptance of the basic Byrnes concept. And indeed at the very end of the conference, the Soviet leader took what was for him the very unusual step of expressing his gratitude to Byrnes, "who has worked harder perhaps than any of us to make this conference a success." It was Byrnes, he said, who "brought us together in reaching so many important decisions. . . . Those sentiments, Secretary Byrnes, come from my heart."19
The Façade of a Unitary Policy

But although Stalin and Byrnes, supported in a very general way by Truman, had reached a real understanding at Potsdam based on the idea that each side was essentially to have a free hand in its part of Germany, the Potsdam Protocol was full of passages that called for treating that country as a unit.20 Even foreign trade, according to the text, was supposed to be managed on an all-German basis. But the all-German language of the final agreement was essentially a figleaf. The way the key foreign trade issue was handled again shows the real thrust of American thinking at this time. The Americans who had negotiated the terms of the Potsdam agreement covering foreign trade explained at the time why such "unitary" language was harmless. The provisions calling for all-German arrangements in this area, they wrote, were subject to the already accepted principle that "if the Control Council failed to agree," policy would be managed on a zonal basis. And they fully expected the Allied Control Council to deadlock on this issue. The control and financing of foreign trade, they pointed out, would then "revert to the zonal commanders," in which case the three western powers would probably be able to come up with a common import program for western Germany as a whole.21 So the all-German language of the Potsdam agreement would change nothing of substance. Germany was still going to be divided between the Soviet Union and the western powers.

Such assumptions formed the real basis of the Potsdam understanding. The formal agreement might have given a very different impression, but it is scarcely to be expected that a written accord would provide directly for an overt partition of Germany. And indeed what was the point of being too explicit about these matters? As long as the real issues had been settled with the agreement on the Byrnes plan, what harm was there in paying a little lip service to Wilsonian platitudes?

The same general point explains American policy in the immediate post-Potsdam period. Byrnes at this time allowed American officials to press vigorously for unitary arrangements--to let those who still believed in cooperation with Russia and in running Germany on a four-power basis to beat their heads on the hard rocks of political reality. Not only did he expect those efforts to fail, but it even seems (and this is one of the big surprises to emerge from recent archival research) that he took certain steps to make sure it would fail.

The key piece of evidence here is a document from the French archives, a "very confidential" report of a long conversation that Saint-Hardouin, the French Political Advisor in Germany had with his American counterpart Robert Murphy in October 1945. The French, as is well known, were blocking the policy of setting up central administrations in Germany, a key element in the policy of treating Germany as a unit. But what is not well known is that the American government was secretly encouraging the French in their obstructionism. Generals Clay and Eisenhower, the two top American military officers in Germany, not really knowing Byrnes's innermost thoughts and taking the Potsdam Protocol at face value as their charter, were pressing hard for unitary arrangements and were angry about French vetoes in the Control Council. The French, Murphy said, should not worry too much about that. These military officers had their orders and were not in the habit of wondering whether there were any valid reasons for the obstacles they found in their way. Murphy went on to talk about America's German policy in broader terms. For the time being, he argued, the United States was stuck with the policy of trying to work with Russia. Until American opinion changed, there was no choice but to pursue that policy. But clearly Murphy was not interested in a unified Germany: he was worried that a united Germany would fall under Soviet control. The current need was to play for time, and time, he said, would perhaps bring "changes that no one can foresee today." It might be too late now for America to repudiate the four power regime, but there was no reason, he told the French diplomat, why France had to go along with it. He therefore urged the French to avoid the drawbacks of the Berlin-based Control Council system, and to "orient your zone towards the west, rather than towards Berlin."22

How is this document to be interpreted? Murphy was too experienced, too intelligent, and above all too professional a diplomat to have been acting entirely on his own. Is it too much to assume, especially given Byrnes's basic Potsdam policy, and also the Secretary's well-known tendency to operate on his own, that Murphy had received certain instructions from Byrnes personally, and that the Americans were playing a double game? My own view is that Byrnes was engaged in a kind of charade, that from Potsdam on he was never really interested in running Germany as a unit (which was probably out of the question in any case, given the Soviet attitude), and that American policy--that is, Byrnes's policy--was throughout this period based on the expectation that Germany would be divided. But he was not content to allow events simply to take their own course: the process needed to be given a little push; Murphy had somehow gotten the message; hence his remarks to Saint-Hardouin.

The End of the Potsdam Policy

But whether Byrnes was being deliberately obstructionist or not, by early 1946 something very important had changed. It was not that the Americans had finally come to the conclusion that a partition of Germany along east-west lines was unavoidable, since that had essentially been the assumption from July 1945 on. What had disappeared was the idea that the division of Germany was a solution that both sides could accept, that it would provide the basis for an amicable divorce between the Soviet Union and her wartime allies. Germany was going to be divided. There was no doubt about that. But the system taking shape in early and mid-1946 was very different from the sort of relatively friendly "spheres of influence" settlement which Byrnes, and Stalin, had contemplated at Potsdam.

And it was the U.S. government that played the key role in bringing about this change. What the Soviets were doing in the eastern zone, running it as they saw fit, which at Potsdam the Americans had been willing to take philosophically, was now totally unacceptable. The Soviets, the American government now complained, were blatantly violating the Potsdam agreement. What nerve they had blocking a common import-export program for all of Germany! This was in fact the key charge being leveled against them in early 1946. And it was made clear to the Soviets that if they did not accept the western view and permit foreign trade to be organized on an all-German basis, the West would reclaim its freedom of action and move ahead without them.

But it was not just that the western zones were going to be "organized," first economically but then politically as well. The more important point was that the new policy for western Germany was coming to have a distinct anti-Soviet coloration. The USSR was being stigmatized in the eyes of the German people. As a British official put it toward the end of the year: "we have to make the Russians appear to the German public as the saboteurs of German unity."23 The western powers, on the other hand, were presenting themselves as the great champions of German national rights.

What was going on here? By early 1946, events, in the near east especially, had convinced western leaders that the Soviet Union was an aggressive, expansionist power, and that she therefore ultimately posed a military threat to western Europe.24 A tougher, more militant western policy was thus in order: this was the only way in the final analysis to mobilize enough power to counter the Soviet threat. But this meant that opinion at home had to be stirred up, and also that the Germans had to be won over to the western side. To the Soviets, however, it was this new western policy that was viewed as threatening. Western Germany was being "organized" not just without them, but against them. The Germans were being told that Russia was their enemy, and the new policy implied that Britain and America supported their basic national aspirations. And all this was tightly linked to what the western governments were saying about Potsdam: the Soviets had promised to run Germany as a unit, but were now reneging on that promise; Britain and America had tried hard, at Potsdam and after, to work out arrangements that would preserve German unity; it was the Soviet attitude that had made this impossible.

But this was simply a myth, propagated mostly by those who had not been privy to what had really gone on at Potsdam, but promoted even by those--most notably, Secretary Byrnes himself--who knew better, but who in 1946 understood the great political value that this myth had come to have. It was a myth that fed into the general tendency to view the Cold War in meta-historical terms, as flowing from the basic nature of the two systems, and not as a secular conflict shaped by specific policies and concrete decisions that could easily have been different. And this is a myth, I should add, that historians--amazingly, given how unambiguous the published Potsdam documents are--have never really taken the trouble to clear up.

1. United States Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States: The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 2 vols. (Washington, 1960). The second volume alone, henceforth cited as "FRUS Potsdam:2," is over 1600 pages long.

2. Murphy to Byrnes, December 11, 1946, FRUS 1946:5, pp. 650-651.

3. Foreign ministers' meeting, July 23, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 279.

4. Foreign ministers' meeting, July 30, 1945, ibid., p. 491.

5. See Collado to Thorp and Reinstein, July 23, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 812.

6. Memorandum for Clayton, July 23, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 813.

7. Rubin to Oliver, July 25, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 871.

8. Waley memorandum, August 2, 1945, Documents on British Policy Overseas, series 1, vol. 1--henceforth cited in the form: DBPO 1:1--p. 1258. See also ibid., p. 948. On Waley's July 30 discussion with Byrnes, see Waley to Eady, July 31, 1945, ibid., pp. 1050-51. Waley argued here that the Byrnes Plan, by drawing a "line across the middle of Europe," had an "importance far transcending reparations." But he could not convince the Secretary to change course.

9. Byrnes-Molotov meeting, July 27, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 450.

10. See, for example, notes of foreign ministers' meeting, July 30, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, pp. 485, 487, 488, 491; or Clayton to Byrnes, July 29, 1945, ibid., p. 901.

11. See, for example, Collado to Thorp and Reinstein, July 23, 1945, and Clayton and Collado to Thorp, August 16, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, pp. 812, 829. Note also Secretary of War Stimson to President Truman, July 22, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 809.

12. Walter Brown diary, July 24, 1945, quoted in Daniel Yergin, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State (Boston, 1978), p. 118.

13. Byrnes-Molotov meeting, July 23, 1945; foreign ministers' meetings, July 27 and 30, 1945; plenary meeting, July 28, 1945; all in FRUS Potsdam:2, pp. 274, 430, 474, 487, 491.

14. For the claim that the pushing through of the Byrnes plan reflected a new American toughness resulting from the first successful test of a nuclear weapon, see Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (New York, 1965), p. 164ff, 173.

15. Foreign ministers' meeting, July 27, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 430.

16. Truman-Molotov meeting, July 29, 1945, ibid., p. 472.

17. For the bargaining, and evidence of the ever-rising Soviet share the Americans were willing to concede, see ibid., pp. 475, 481, 489, 932.

18. Plenary meeting, August 1, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, pp. 566-567.

19. Plenary meeting, August 1, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, p. 601. See also James F. Byrnes, Speaking Frankly (New York, 1947), p. 86.

20. For the text, see FRUS Potsdam:2, pp. 1477-98.

21. Collado to Thorp and Reinstein, July 23, 1945, and Clayton and Collado to Thorp, August 16, 1945, FRUS Potsdam:2, pp. 812, 829-830.

22. Murphy was quoted as saying that he had personally been against setting up the Control Council in Berlin, that it was too late now, however, to reverse that decision, but "tant mieux pour vous si vous arrivez à vous préserver de cet inconvénient dans votre zone et à l'orienter vers l'Ouest, plutôt que vers Berlin." The Americans saw nothing wrong with that, he said; but what they wanted to avoid was to appear to be giving the Russians the impression that a western bloc was being built up in Germany against them. Saint-Hardouin to Bidault, October 9, 1945, Series Y-Internationale (1944-49), vol. 283, French Foreign Ministry Archives, Paris. There is another copy of the same document in vol. 282 of the same series, which was, however, misdated September 9, 1945. The misdating is obvious from references within the document to events that took place in early October.

23. Hankey note, October 25, 1946, quoted in Anne Deighton, The Impossible Peace: Britain, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War (Oxford, 1990), p. 108.

24. See Bruce Kuniholm, The Origins of the Cold War in the Near East: Great Power Conflict and Diplomacy in Iran, Turkey and Greece (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), chapter 5.

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