After the end of World War II, Germany was in a far, far worse shape than it was after the end of the previous war. To put it bluntly, it lay in ruins. Over six million Germans died; millions more were injured.
Its leaders were arrested; many of them went to trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Dozens were sentenced to death, thousands more to (often long) prison terms.
All of its military personnel became prisoners-of-war. Those who had the misfortune of surrendering to (or being captured by) the Red Army, were deported to the Soviet Union and for ten long years were used as slave labor by the victorious Russians.
During World War II, carpet-bombing by Allied forces leveled up to 80 percent of the historic buildings in Germany’s main cities in an unprecedented wave of destruction (which had nothing to do with unprecedented barbarity of the Nazis). It was a war crimes of enormous proportions – but no one was ever prosecuted for it.
American and British air raids destroyed or heavily damaged 3,600,000 dwelling units – approximately 20% of the total housing stock nationwide and 45% of the housing stock in large cities.
In a seemingly endless catalogue of annihilation, Berlin, Cologne, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Hamburg, Kiel, Lübeck, Münster, Munich, Frankfurt, Würzburg, Mainz, Nuremberg, Xanten, Worms, Brunswick, Hanover, Freiburg and Dresden were all devastated. In Wurzburg 89% of built-up area was destroyed, in Hamburg and Wuppertal 75%, in Paderborn – 85%.
In West Germany alone, some 400 million cubic meters (14 billion cubic feet) of rubble was piled up after the war – enough to build a wall two meters thick and seven meters high all the way around the western half of the divided country.
Thousands of best German scientists and engineers emigrated (mostly to the USA and Great Britain) or were taken by force (to the Soviet Union) to work for their victorious enemies.
Over two million of German women were raped (mostly by the Red Army military personnel and the foreign laborers). Often gang-raped. Many of these women were subsequently murdered (or at least beaten) by their rapists. Over seven million German civilians were left homeless.
Enormous amounts of valuables were plundered, looted and taken away by the Allies, never to be seen again. Advanced machinery (often the whole factories) were dismantled and shipped to the East (or to the West).
In short, both civilian and military infrastructure were almost completely destroyed, Germany was almost literally “bombed into the Stone Age”. Germany lost even more lands (almost a quarter of the territory of Weimar republic) than it did after World War I.
In 1945-50 fourteen million ethnic Germans were deported to Germany from Eastern Europe by the puppets of the Soviet Union. 2.5 million were brutally murdered (500,000 more than the number of victims of the infamous Operation Reinhard).
This enormous crime against humanity happened right when German leaders, officers, generals and SS personnel were being tried for exactly the same crimes. But in this case, no one was ever prosecuted for these horrific mass murders and ethnic cleansings.
This data leads to one and only one conclusion – 12-year Nazi rule in Germany, obviously, led to one of the worst disasters in human history. However, in the corresponding chapter of this book, I will prove beyond the reasonable doubt that even this horrific outcome was still better than being conquered and destroyed (as we know it) by the Bolshevist Soviet Union.
Germany was predictably divided between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies. The Eastern part was promptly “Sovietized” and became a Soviet-style totalitarian state (“German Democratic Republic”).
Berlin was also divided (into East and West Berlin). The latter became essentially a separate semi-independent nation. On August 13th, 1961 (essentially in one day), the East German authorities erected an impenetrable barrier which a few days later was transformed into an infamous Berlin Wall.
The Western part of the divided Germany soon became Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) – a much improved reincarnation of Weimar Republic. It went through a thorough (and largely successful) process of denazification aimed at cleansing German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of the National Socialist ideology.
It was carried out mostly by removing those individuals who had been Nazi Party and/or SS members from positions of power and influence and by disbanding or rendering impotent the organizations associated with Nazism.
Both West and East Germany were quickly rebuilt (by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union respectively). Not out of deep love for the Germans (nonexistent in any Allied nation) but of practical necessity – Germany was far too important tool in the Cold War to be left in ruins.
Even without its Eastern part, Germany quickly became one of the most powerful (politically, economically and financially) nations in Europe – a de-facto leader of the European Union (established to make sure that there will be no more wars in Europe).
In 1989, Communists regimes fell all over Europe. The infamous Berlin Wall was demolished, Germany was finally reunited – and predictably became the most powerful nation in Europe (which strengthened its position of the leader of the EU).
And very possibly the future leader of the whole world.