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The Present Status of Denazification (December 31, 1950)

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Allied policy at this stage is to repose trust in the German Federal Republic. The Federal Government has already assumed increased powers and will shortly be assigned further prerogatives. Germany is to be admitted eventually into full and equal partnership with the nations of the democratic community. It must be expected that those leaders who will be charged with these new responsibilities and powers will employ them for constructive and peaceful ends. They will also be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the evil elements of the Nazi era do not re-emerge and exercise these powers to the detriment of Germany and of Europe.

The whole issue of denazification as it stands now on the eve of Germany’s resumption of the status of a free nation may be simply stated. The occupying powers performed the major surgical operation to remove the evil of the Nazi régime from the German body. The patient must now bring into play his own recuperative powers.

The Office of the U.S. High Commissioner is, however, carrying out a broad program which in reality is an extension of the denazification policy in a positive field. This is the program of helping the Germans build a lasting democracy. In this connection, the difficulties encountered by former German denazification officials in their quest for employment should be noted. It is a situation which undoubtedly requires correction by a responsible and enlightened public opinion.

The success or failure of this effort rests, in the final analysis, on the Germans themselves. The regeneration of a people must come from within. There are in Germany today men and women of real stature, ability and courage who are devoting their energies to this task. There are such people in and outside the Government, in all walks of life. There is a free and democratic press. There are broadening contacts with the free world outside. There exists a deepening conviction among Germans everywhere that the interests of Germany will be best served not by the resurgence of a narrow and chauvinistic nationalism but by the close association of Germany with a free and integrated European community.

Source: John J. McCloy, “Present Status of Denazification,” in Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, 5th Quarterly Report on Germany. October 1 – December 31, 1950, pp. 46-55.

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