Truman Papers

No. 332
Memorandum by the Joint Strategic Survey Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff1
top secret

Dismemberment of Germany

Partitioning of Germany into several German states would not be fully effective in breaking down the aggressive nationalism which has characterized the German people during the past century. Furthermore, the establishment of several additional small states in Central Europe would tend to enlarge the field for rivalries and political schemes of the European powers without compensating advantages in solving the basic problem of how to bring Germany back into the family of nations. For these reasons, the Joint Strategic Survey Committee considers that from the long range military-political point of view, a substantial dismemberment of Germany is undesirable.

The Committee, however, perceives no objection to such reasonable boundary adjustments as Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium may demand.

. . . . . . .

  1. This memorandum was prepared in response to a request from Leahy (document No. 155) for recommendations which would be “useful to the President in preparing himself for the [Berlin] conference”. It was forwarded to Leahy by the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 26, together with other reports, under cover of a memorandum which stated explicitly: “These reports represent the views of the committees only and have not been approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” Leahy subsequently passed it to Truman.
  2. For another extract from this memorandum, see document No. 514.