Reparations and the dismemberment of Germany

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Reparations and the dismemberment of Germany

In March 1945 the Cabinet discussed reparations and the dismemberment of Germany.  In particular they discussed how the German economy would be affected and thus how the German people would survive, how the Russians intended to take all the machinery that they could from Germany and how a Germany in economic dissolution and semi-starvation would eventually command world compassion:

P.M.

Some parts of larger G. wd. bloom if relieved of heavy burdens laid
on them by Russia.
Also freed of mill-stone of armaments.
R. has not bn. thro' our experience of Reparations - no bitter memories.
Also they can absorb a good deal more than we can.  Delusion to think our
economy will benefit much.  U.S. expect nothing except securities in their control.
R. on other hand are resolved to take all the machinery they can use.
At least tht. wd. remove G. competn  & leave the way open to us. 
Wd. help our export trade.  Ditto, later on, with Japan.

L.P.

Look how it will develop.  R. will crush the East to peasant level.  In the
West, we can't level out the industrial area:  it will remain depressed on a 
high level of civilisation while their Zone is contented at a low level

W.M.(45)35th Meeting held on 22 March 1945