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The Reparations Settlement and Germany's Peacetime Economy: Statement by the U.S. State Department (Press Release of December 12, 1945)

Issued on December 11, 1945, these U.S. State Department guidelines on the question of German reparations and the future place of the country in the global economy make clear that the United States was interested in Germany’s economic revival and did not wish to see a permanent weakening of its economic power, especially not one that would translate into economic advantages to other countries. The deindustrialization of the country was to be limited to areas essential to the military. Up until 1948, the standard of living in Germany was to be kept in line with the average standard of living in Europe at the time and the average standard of living in Germany in the 1930s. Allied economic aid for imports, still essential at that point, would become unnecessary once the German economy boosted its performance and became capable of exporting goods again.

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3. The security interest of the United States and its Allies requires the destruction in Germany of such industrial capital equipment as cannot be removed as reparation and as can only be used for the production of armaments or of metallurgical, machinery, or chemical products in excess of the peacetime needs of the German economy. It is not, however, the intention of the United States wantonly to destroy German structures and installations which can readily be used for permitted peacetime industrial activities or for temporary shelter. It will evidently be necessary to destroy specialized installations and structures used in shipbuilding, aircraft, armaments, explosives, and certain chemicals which cannot be removed as reparation. Non-specialized installations and structures in the same fields may have to be destroyed in substantial part, if not desired as reparation, in cases of integrated industrial complexes the layout of which is such as substantially to facilitate reconversion from peacetime to war purposes at some later date. Finally, in removing equipment from plants declared available for reparation, no consideration should be given to withholding portions of the equipment desired by a reparation recipient in order to retain remaining installations and structures in more effective condition for peacetime uses. Within these limits, however, the reparation and security policies of the United States are not designed to result in punitive destruction of capital equipment of value to the German peacetime economy.

4. For the purpose of determining the industrial capacity of the peacetime German economy, thus eliminating its war potential—the real basis on which the amount and character of reparation removals are to be calculated—it should be assumed that the geographical limits of Germany are those in conformity with provisions of the Berlin Declaration, i.e. those of the Altreich, less the territory east of the Oder–Neisse line.

5. The Berlin Declaration furnishes as a guide to removals of industrial equipment as reparation the concept of a balanced peacetime German economy capable of providing the German people with a standard of living not in excess of the European average (excluding the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). In the view of the

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