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Keeling, Ralph Franklin, 1901- / Gruesome harvest

Preface,   pp. VII-VIII PDF (565.5 KB)

Page VII

A year and a month after the Potsdam Declaration was
published, Secretary of State Byrnes suddenly left the Paris
peace conference and went to Stuttgart where among the Ger-
man people he attempted to justify and defend America's
policy toward the defeated Reich.
This willingness to place a value on German public opinion
marked a fundamental and welcome turning point in our offi-
cial attitude, for previously we were carrying out our mission
in Germany with utter disregard for what the Germans might
think of it or us.
The change did not arise from any newly discovered fond-
ness for our defeated subjects. Mr. Byrnes had put his finger
on the real reason when he said: "It is not in the interest of
the German people or in the interest of world peace that Ger-
many should become a pawn or a partner in a military struggle
for power between East and West."
That is precisely what had already happened. Belatedly, we
had come to realize that while we were busily and blindly
alienating the German people by carrying out one of the most
brutal and terrifying peace programs ever inflicted on a de-
feated nation, Russia, who had been egging us on, was quietly
preparing to come forward as their champion and to offer them
an avenue of escape from us through the establishment of a
unified, revived, and Communist Reich to be joined to the
Soviet Union. This had been made clear by Molotov in July
at Paris.
Germany is more than a mere pawn in the struggle for
power between world ambitious Communist Russia and the
West, she is the major prize. World Communism has long
coveted Germany as the brightest jewel in its crown. The
Kremlin knows and we know that all Europe would have to
fall before the combined might of a union between Soviet
Russia and a resuscitated Reich.
Such an eventuality cannot be tolerated by Britain who,
with a hostile Europe at her back, would find her very exist-
ence threatened. Nor could we countenance such a threat to

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