Allied-occupied Germany

Occupied zone is referred to as an occupied territory by foreign troops or of a State, it area where a foreign government exercises power as the occupying power, authority. The term refers to German language primarily on the period after the Second World War.

After the First World War, the left bank of the Rhineland was the beginning of a war, peaceful occupation in 1920, which was based on the Treaty of Versailles and the Rhine land deal from 1919 (Reich Law Gazette 1919 p 1336), and subjected to been divided into four zones. Belgian, British, American and French troops had held partly occupied until 1930, to transition the territorial jurisdiction of the Allied and Associated Powers but did not get it and also their exercise (state power) in the occupied Rhine lands was basically in German hands.

Than 8 Mai was completed in 1945, the Second World War in Europe (VE-Day), Germany and Austria were divided into four occupation zones and occupied by the victorious powers n Soviet Union, the USA, Britain and France. The time in which the four occupying powers, the two countries are therefore also called occupation. It lasted in Austria from 1945 until 1955. In Germany, the term usually referred to only the period from 1945 to 1949, almost to the founding of the Federal Republic and the GDR, although the occupation was ended in West Germany in 1955 with the treaty Germany.

Early history

On 15 January 1944, the European Advisory Commission (EAC) had suggested after the war Germany in its borders of 31 December 1937 split into different zones of occupation. In the so-called zone 1 of the EAC Protocol on 12 September 1944 were planned for the post-war Germany, the boundaries between the north-western, south-western and eastern occupation zone with belonging to their particular area of Greater Berlin in the borders of 1920. The eastern zone of Germany and the north-eastern part of Berlin were already provided for occupation by the Soviet Union.

In additional, the so-called second Zone protocol for Germany of 14 November 1944, the Commission ordered now, the two are still open zones: the northwest of the UK and the southwest of the United States. In addition, the Commission planned to British and American parts of Greater Berlin s inside the special area provided for the eastern zone. There followed the first plans for a possible regulation of the common use of the ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven s s The establishment of a French zone was not provided at this time.

Still, at the conference of Yalta, Joseph Stalin initially refused to concede an own French occupation zone and let them participate in the management through Germany because France “have contributed little to the war and opened the gates to the enemy.” But Churchill did after the American withdrawal – this was intended for two years – against the communist Soviet Union are not alone. Stalin finally gave in and said, “that he had no objection more however, that it  France  A zone may be given within the British and American zones. ” Meanwhile, the French forces had created a fait accompli. Despite the refusal of the Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, to make crossing equipment available, the French had at first April 1945 crossed the Rhine at Philipsburg, Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance were occupied and then penetrated to Vorarlberg in Austria. On 26 July 1945, the Germany of zone protocol for the EAC was last supplemented in which the details were worked out and for France’s own zone of occupation. The outstanding formal resolution for the admission of a separate zone for France and the implementation of the recommendations of the EAC to the French zone then found himself in the wording of the Potsdam Agreement’s Section III A.1.

Zones of occupation in Germany


The occupation zones included the territory of the German Reich in 1937 borders without the initially occupied territories east of the Oder-Neisse line – these were under Soviet, later mainly Polish administration – and were separated by zone boundaries. These were usually identical to the administrative boundaries of former countries, occasionally also with district boundaries. This was achieved by a proper management could continue to be ensured.

By the division of Germany into occupation zones of the Prussian state was torn and had virtually ceased to exist. On 25 July 1947 he was also constitutionally dissolved by the Allied Control by Control Council Law No. 46th

British occupation zone

The British zone of occupation included the former Prussian provinces of Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover (later Lower Saxony) without the district of Lüneburg is part of Amt Neuhaus, Westphalia and the northern districts of Aachen, Dusseldorf and Cologne, the Rhine Province (later North Rhine-Westphalia), the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg the free states Lip (1947 North Rhine-Westphalia), Braunschweig without the eastern part of the district of Blankenburg and the exclave Calvörde, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe (all 1946 Lower Saxony). The area of present state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen was a special case, since it belonged to both British and the American zone. The headquarters of the British was in Bad Oeynhausen. Other bases were in Munster, Dusseldorf, Hanover and Kiel.

The British availed themselves in their zone not under our occupation forces, but including Belgian and Canadian troops, Polish exile forces and a Danish – Norwegian quota. In spatially delimited areas that were occupied by troops of other nations (ie not in areas of mixed troops) came terms like “Belgian occupation zone” and “Polish occupation zone,” but these are not on the same level as the names of British Occupation Zone, French Zone of Occupation, American zone of occupation and Soviet occupation zone. The administrative authority remained with the British. The so-called Polish zone of occupation was from May 1945 to May 1947 in Emsland. By 1946 the British occupation troops withdrew from the Rhineland and south of their zone, they were there replaced by units of the Belgian Army (so-called Belgian occupation zone).

On the territory of the British occupation zone were first formed following countries:





•North Rhine-Westphalia




From the countries of Brunswick, Hanover, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe was formed on 8 Retroactive to 1 November 1946 November, the state of Lower Saxony. The country lip was disbanded in January 1947 and North Rhine-Westphalia slammed.

American zone

The American zone consisted of the former Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau without the county of Schmalkalden (with the People’s State of Hesse to “Greater Hesse” merged), the northern parts of the former Free State of Baden and Württemberg s (to Württemberg-Baden merged) and the Free State Bavaria without the Rhenish Palatinate and the district of Lindau (Bodensee). Headquarters was the IG Farben Building in Frankfurt.

Following countries were formed on the territory of the U.S. zone:

•Bavaria (excluding the district of Lindau (Bodensee))




French occupation zone

The French occupation zone included the southern districts of Koblenz and Trier the former Prussian Rhine province, the Prussian province of Hohenzollern, the southern Württemberg (the French part was south of the motorway Karlsruhe-Stuttgart-Ulm) merged to form Württemberg-Hohenzollern, the southern part of the State of Baden ( also the only south of the motorway Karlsruhe-Stuttgart-lying districts), the Bavarian Palatinate, the left-bank part of Rheinhessen, the counties Oberwesterwald Circle, St. Goarshausen, sub-Lahn district and sub-Westerwald district of the former Prussian province of Nassau County and the State of Bavaria Lindau. Seat of the French Military Government was Baden-Baden. Analogous to the “Polish occupation zone” within the British were within the French zone temporarily “Luxembourg occupation zone”.

Until November 1947 also included (at least legally) the Saar to the French zone until it comes to parts of the Rhine Palatinate, Rhineland-Palatinate now enlarged, an autonomous Saarland was a French protectorate. With the adoption of the Constitution of the Saarland (SVerf) of 15 December 1947 was effectively the unilateral separation from Germany. As early as the 16th February 1946 it was no longer under the jurisdiction of the Allied Control Council.

Following countries were formed on the territory of the French zone of occupation:




To Saarland see “Saarland”

Soviet occupation zone

The Soviet zone of occupation, the Prussian province of Brandenburg were the state of Mecklenburg without border areas in Ratzeburg, including Western Pomerania, the country formed from the Saxon Province and the Free State of Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt, Free State of Saxony (including the west of the Neisse lying part of Lower Silesia) and Thuringia and the Hanoverian Amt Neuhaus, the Hessian of Schmalkalden County and the eastern part of the district of Blankenburg summarized. The Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) was located in the former Army Engineer School of the Armed Forces (now the German-Russian Museum) in Berlin-Karl Horst.

Following countries were formed on the territory of the Soviet zone of occupation:


•Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg from 1947)

•Saxony (including a portion of Lower Silesia)




The middle of the Soviet zone located, but not belonging to their former capital, Berlin was divided the coordinated management and control of Germany into four sectors in which the commander of the four occupying powers had their headquarters. De facto was administered approximately two months after the war Greater Berlin by the Soviet Union to the three western sectors were cleared from it.


Bremen, captured by British troops then occupied by American troops, formed a special case: After World War II, the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven were used as ports of the U.S. armed forces. The state of Bremen made ​​so temporarily – and until December 1945 and again from 1 April 1947 (Proclamation No. 3 of the U.S. Military Governor’s truculence and Regulation No. 76 of the British military government) an enclave of the U.S. occupation zone within the British occupation zone, who belonged to it yourself in the meantime, only the city of Bremen itself remained continuously part the American zone. Apart from the spatial allocation of Bremen was de facto a part of both the American and the British zone and belonged to both the regional council of the American occupation zone as the “Conference of the States and Provinces” of the British zone.

On 23 Agreed in January 1947, the British and American military government, backdated to 1 January 1947 to start from the city of Bremen and Bremerhaven city Wesermünde including the state of Bremen, in 1949 part of the Federal Republic of Germany.


The Saarland belonged initially to the French zone before it as an autonomous region Saar protectorate from 1947 with its own citizenship was in January 1946 and separated from her. After a referendum in 1955, the Saarland became the first January 1957 of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Other areas

Several smaller areas of the German Empire in the west were – slammed Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France were the Federal Republic of Germany not on incorporation (yet) – in part to temporary membership of the British and French zones: After 1949, Belgium held (→ Belgian annexation plans after the Second World War) still some villages in the border area occupied (among other Mützenich) and regarded them as belonging to their own territory, the Netherlands did the same as Belgium, after contracts 1956 (with Belgium) and 1960 (with the Netherlands) received the Federal Republic the largest part of the occupied territories back – but individual rest areas remained in Belgium or in the Netherlands (for example, parts of Wyler). Also included Luxembourg (an area between Vianden and Obersgegen, namely the chamber forest with the village of Roth and the Good Neuscheuerhof), France (Kehl am Rhein, Mundatwald) and the UK (Helgoland) first territories of the German Reich as to their territory belonging. The re-integration into the Federal Republic of Germany was in 1949 (first part surfaces Kehl), the last date was in 2002 (N 274 road in Selfkant of the Netherlands).

Area and Population in 1946

The area and population of the occupied zones after the census of 29 October 1946:


Surface area in km ²


(October 29, 1946)


each km ²

Berlin  890,  3199938  3,595

American zone  107 459  17,254,945  161

British occupation zone  97 722  22,305,027  228

French occupation zone  40,216  5.06363 million  126

Soviet occupation zone  107,173  17,313,734  162

Germany  353 460  65,137,274  184

¹ excluding Saarland and the German eastern territories under foreign administration


When the German Wehrmacht on 8 Surrendered unconditionally in May 1945, the Allied forces had already occupied the largest part of the German territory. The Soviets had captured Berlin, the Americans were deep into the appropriate zone for the Soviet Union – to the Elbe – pushed forward. Due to the Allied agreements now had to retreat to their intended occupation zones all troops. But the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill did not agree. With a telegram of 11 May 1945 to the U.S. President Truman he doubted the advisability of withdrawal of the U.S. armed forces, because “that would mean that the tide of Russian domination surges on a frontage of 300 or 400 miles 120 miles ahead.” But Truman refused, trusting in the future Soviet policy from such a proposal, although Churchill in a further telegram the next day indicated that “along the Russian front come down an iron curtain” was. You did not know what would happen behind it.

In July 1945, the Allied troops moved into their zones of occupation, in the sectors of Berlin as agreed troops of the occupying forces were stationed.

Until the end of 1945 at various places the boundaries of the newly-organized countries and thus the occupation zones were slightly corrected, partly due to traffic reasons, partly to simplifying administration. In several villages Wanfrieder agreement between Thuringia and Hesse were changed to make the important run for the U.S. supply rail north-south route completely in the field of British and American zones. Until then, the line ran a few kilometers through the Soviet occupation zone. The Barber-Ljaschtschenko agreement regulated an exchange of territory between Mecklenburg and Schleswig-Holstein.

Tensions between the victorious powers

Due to the growing differences between the Soviet Union and the Western victorious powers Bizonia was formed in September 1946 from the American and British zones and with effect from 1 Completed in January 1947. With the accession of the French occupation zone, with the exception of the Saar’s in March 1948 was the Trizone. Thus, to the Saar all West German states were summarized in the Trizone.

With the entry into force of the Basic Law on 24 May 1949 was (excluding Saarland) based out of the 11 countries, the West German Federal Republic of Germany with Bonn as a provisional capital. 1952 merged the states of Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern to the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Thus the number of states was reduced to 9 (excluding Berlin). With the accession of the Saarland is at 1 January 1957, it rose again to 10

From the Soviet-occupied zone (SBZ) was born on 7 October 1949 the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

A special case was Berlin, which belong to any of the four zones and should be administered by all four occupying powers together, almost like a neutral fifth occupation zone. For the purpose of joint administration was internally divided into four sectors. This special status was 1945-1955 for the Austrian capital Vienna.

The Soviet Union and the GDR interpreted later in the Cold War, the status of the city different from the Western powers to the effect that the whole of Berlin have heard from the beginning to the Soviet occupation zone, presumably to legitimize the presence of the Western powers in West Berlin and the increased integration East Berlin’s justifying the GDR.

The four-sector city of Berlin should initially be assigned according to the will of the victorious powers, neither the East nor West Germany, surrounding it. With the continuing political cleavage, the GDR collected the eastern part of Berlin (East Berlin) as their fully integrated capital, while West Berlin was treated by the Federal Republic as a state. The specifics of the status of Berlin and the formal separation of the Federal Republic, however, were still observed in West Berlin, while they were reduced progressively in East Berlin over the decades.

Historical situation during the period of occupation in Germany

After the end of World War II was a large part of Europe, especially Germany, in ruins. The n ally adopted a policy of democratization, demilitarization and denazification of the German Empire. The Western Allies established the dismantling repair order soon (and also took distance from the Morgenthau Plan, the Soviet Union, however dismantled in their zone of occupation in large scale and long. However, most plants rotted later unused in the USSR.

At the Nuremberg trials n is the major war criminals were tried by an international tribunal. Among them surviving influential Nazi leaders such as Hermann Goering, who was sentenced to death as some others were, with Goering committed suicide before the execution of judgments. Many others who were sentenced to lengthy prison sentence while s were released again in the course of the 1950s, some played a role in building the management and the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic.

In the zones of Western allies, the denazification was soon restricted after the conflict of interests between the political systems of the USSR on the one hand and the United States, France and Britain on the other hand more clearly became evident in the emerging East-West conflict. Central Europe was in the late 1940s and later a major source of conflict of the Cold War. Both systems tracked each different social, political and economic concepts. Whereas in the western zones of the Marshall Plan drove forward the economic development of the pattern of a capitalist free market economy, the Eastern Zone was marked by the implementation of a socialism based on the Soviet planned economy.

1948 was conducted in the trizone the currency reform in Western Germany, which quickly led to an economic boom in the west, which launched the so-called economic miracle in the following decade and a half. The black market, the foundation was thereby revoked. The shops were filled again with a wider range of goods and affluent, which in the Soviet occupation zone initially was not the case.

In particular, in the four sectors Berlin escalated the political situation due to the close co-existing economic systems. It came to the Berlin blockade by the Soviet Union. Berlin was sealed off from the West. The diplomatic showdown was on the verge of turning the Cold War into a hot war. In a famous speech in West Berlin Mayor Ernst Reuter called for a mass demonstration on the world community not to leave West Berlin in the lurch (“People of this world, look upon this city”). The western part of the city was then supplied by the Western Allies for months through the air bridge with the most necessary goods until the blockade was finally abandoned.

In the fall of 1949, shortly after the other two different German states were established in the zones of occupation in Germany, where East and West Germany were reorganized:

In the west, the Federal Republic of Germany was created as a parliamentary democracy at its peak at the first federal election, a CDU-led government was elected under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Adenauer was oriented from the beginning of the military also emerging alliance system of the West.

From the Soviet occupation zone, the so-called democratic centralism of the USSR-oriented German Democratic Republic was under the rule of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) under Walter Ulbricht. The SED had emerged in 1946 from the union of the SPD with the KPD in the Soviet-occupied part of Germany, this merger is on the one hand as the most important legacy of the prisoners from the concentration camps (see, Popular Front Committee of Buchenwald, Buchenwald Manifesto) saw the other as compulsory association.

With due with the West Adenauer of the first Government of the Federal Republic was accused from the ranks of the opposition (especially the SPD) to have cemented the division of Germany for decades to come.

On 2 April 1950 published the Bundestag Committee on crew matters a report stating that the newly established Federal Republic of Germany has paid in 1949 about DM 4.5 billion to the allied forces, which represented almost 50 percent of total federal revenues. For every German citizen, this meant a share of 95.46 DM, which almost equaled the average monthly wage. 1951, the dismantling of the Federal Republic was set.

Zones of occupation in Austria

How was Germany after the Second World War, occupied by the Allies and Austria divided into four occupation zones. As in Berlin, all four occupying powers were also represented in Vienna. The only difference was in an existing fifth inter-Allied zone with a changing occupation.

The occupation lasted until the Austrian State Treaty in 1955, which were completed in Austria the end of the Occupation and the attainment of full sovereignty at the same time.

German history (post-war)

Austrian History (occupation)

Occupation law

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