The Morgenthau Plan: A Controversial Proposal to Destroy Germany After World War II

TLDR The Morgenthau Plan, proposed by Henry Morgenthau, aimed to demilitarize and partition Germany, destroy its industrial power, and redistribute its resources and territories. However, the plan faced opposition and was ultimately replaced by a directive that emphasized the need for a stable and productive Germany.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Allies began preparing for the post-war world and one American official developed a plan to destroy Germany to prevent them from making war again.
02:35 In 1944, Henry Morgenthau drafted the extreme Morgenthau Plan which proposed the demilitarization and partitioning of Germany, as well as the destruction of its industrial power.
04:45 The Morgenthau Plan proposed the destruction and deindustrialization of Germany, the redistribution of German resources and territories, and the forced labor of Germans outside of Germany.
06:55 Harry Dexter White wrote a memorandum proposing the destruction and deindustrialization of Germany in response to a State Department memo suggesting the opposite, which alarmed Henry Morgenthau Jr. and led him to lobby for a tougher approach towards Germany.
09:02 The Morgenthau Plan was heavily promoted by German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, leading to increased German resistance and the plan was disavowed by President Roosevelt before his death, but initially seemed like it might be implemented after Truman signed a directive on the occupation of Germany.
11:20 The Morgenthau Plan was replaced by JCS directive 1779, which emphasized the need for a stable and productive Germany, and support for the plan dwindled as it became clear that Germany's dismantlement would result in the deaths of millions of people and that a prosperous Germany was necessary to counter Soviet expansion.
13:33 The Morgenthau Plan was never implemented and Germany reindustrialized, becoming a prosperous force behind the establishment of the European Union.
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