Zero Hour

  • A. J. Angulo


Even as allied forces began taking control of the first German town of Aachen, Franklin Delano Roosevelt showed little interest in postwar planning meetings in the fall of 1944. With the war still on, his attention was elsewhere. Officials from state, treasury, and the US military kept raising the issue with the president during the early stages of American control over Germany in World War II. They wanted him to review their ideas about the kind of US occupation government they envisioned for the country. He offered them a curt reply: “Speed on these matters is not essential at the present moment … I dislike making detailed plans for a country which we do not yet occupy.” They disagreed. Without an occupation plan, many wondered, how would the United States govern Germany’s core political, economic, and educational institutions when the time came?1


Educational Reform Military Occupation Weimar Republic German People Staffing Policy 
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  1. 1.
    FDR cited in James Tent, Mission on the Rhine: Reeducation and Denazification in American Occupied Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 30;Google Scholar
  2. The literature on Germany includes the following: Harold Zink, The United States in Germany: 1944–1955 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1957);Google Scholar
  3. Henry J. Kellermann, Cultural Relations as an Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy: The Educational Exchange Program between the United States and Germany, 1945–1954 (Washington: GPO, 1978);Google Scholar
  4. Charles D. Biebel, “American Efforts for Educational Reform in Occupied Germany, 1945–1955—a Reassessment,” History of Education Quarterly 22 (Fall 1982), 277–287;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Robert Wolfe, ed., Americans as Proconsuls: United States Military Government in Germany and Japan, 1944–1952 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1984);Google Scholar
  6. Gregory P. Wegner, “Germany’s Past Contested: The Soviet-American Conflict in Berlin over History Curriculum Reform, 1945–1948,” History of Education Quarterly 30 (Spring 1990), 1–16;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernd Martin, Japan and Germany in the Modern World (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1995);Google Scholar
  8. Val Rust, “The German Image of American Education through the Weimar Period,” Paedagogica Historica 33 (1997), 25–44;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Stefan Paulus, “The Americanisation of Europe after 1945?: The Case of the German Universities,” European Review of History 9 (2002), 241–253;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Masako Shibata, Japan and Germany under the U.S. Occupation: A Comparative Analysis of the Post-War Education Reform (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2005);Google Scholar
  11. Charles Dorn and Brian Puaca, “The Appeal to the German Mind: Educational Reconstruction in the American Zone of Occupation, 1944–1949,” in ed. Noah W. Sobe, American Post-Conflict Educational Reform: From the Spanish-American War to Iraq (New York: Palgrave, 2009), 105–128;Google Scholar
  12. Brian Puaca, Learning Democracy: Education Reform in West Germany, 1945–1965 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2009). Tent’s Mission on the Rhine has been particularly helpful and is hereafter cited as JT. Puaca’s Learning Democracy hereafter cited as BP.Google Scholar

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© A. J. Angulo 2012

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  • A. J. Angulo

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