Life After Hitler

Immediately after the war the Allies divided up the country and started to help rebuild... War criminals were rounded up and put on trial, and in the former occupied countries collaborators were attacked by angry mobs. Sadly many girls who had been raped or given themselves to the occupying forces were treated terribly, people took their revenge on them rather than the soldiers who were responsible. There were mass movements of people across Europe many trying to get back home but others fleeing from the threat of Russian occupation. With food shortages and millions homeless people had to work hard just to survive, no time to grieve or feel sorry for themselves.

The Americans went home... and started to collect the war debt from the allies they had sold their material aid to during the war It took the British 50 years to pay back for all the ships, planes, guns, food America had 'given' them. America was at full capacity manufacturing the good the rest of the world couldn't because they had been devastated by the fighting... America (that had been on its knees during the depression era) became the richest nation on earth.

I found this 2 part video very informative, even after living in Europe for 6 years. I was completely ignorant to much of the suffering the people went through. Watching these should be mandatory to the younger generation, to be able to understand the hardships there parents and grandparents went through.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 up through the 1950s

Germany Today, The Backbone of Europe

When I first went to Europe while in the Army, I was 1st stationed in La Rochelle France. One of the things that I noticed very soon, was the security of our camps, was provided by Polish Guards. After talking with some of them casually, I found out that they were in the War fighting with the Allies, and at the end of the War, the eastern part of Poland that they were from, had been taken over by Russia during the War. They opted to remain in France and work, rather than return home under Soviet Control.

Later on, I was stationed in Kassel Germany. We were on a old German Luftwaffe Camp that still had damaged buildings from the heavy air raids.I worked as a Mechanic in a old Aircraft Factory building, and there were still buildings near by that the forced labor workers lived in during the War. These were still occupied, but by displaced people that had returned home to Kassel, and were working on getting permanent housing.

My family and I lived on the economy, and had daily interactions with the Germany people, and were always treated well.