Truman Papers

No. 354
Memorandum by the Assistant to the President’s Naval Aide ( Elsey )1
top secret

Occupation of Part of Germany by the Netherlands and Belgium as Separation for Damages Inflicted by the Germans

In a plenary session at Yalta on 5 February, President Roosevelt said during a discussion on the occupation of Germany “that as a result of the deliberate German destruction of the dikes large sections of Dutch farm land had been inundated by salt water and that it would be necessary to give the Dutch farmers compensation for a temporary period from German territory. He said that he understood that it would be at least five years before the flooded lands would be suitable for cultivation. If this were done, and he personally felt that it should be done, the Dutch might well claim a voice in the control machinery for Germany.”2

The President did not elaborate on his views, nor refer to this subject again at Yalta. When Molotov asked if Great Britain and the United States wanted the Belgians or the Dutch to have a zone of occupation in Germany, President Roosevelt did not comment. Both Churchill and Eden assured Molotov that they had no intention of giving the Belgians or the Dutch a zone.

Occupation of part of Germany by the Belgians and Dutch was not [Page 510] referred to in the Reparations Protocol signed at Yalta3 nor in the discussions concerning reparation.

The subject has not been referred to since Yalta in President Roosevelt’s or President Truman’s correspondence with Churchill and Stalin, nor was it mentioned during Mr. Hopkins’ meetings with Stalin in Moscow.4

G. M. Elsey
  1. Submitted to Leahy July 1 and subsequently forwarded to Truman.
  2. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, pp. 618619.
  3. See vol. ii, document No. 1416, section v .
  4. See ante, pp. 2460.