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Clay's Report on Germany

GERMANY AND THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, by General Lucius D. Clay, Harvard University Press, 83 pp., $2.

By Rudolph Kass

Three lectures which General Lucius D. Clay delivered here last year have been published in a compact 5 by 61/2 inch book. Clay's report, and it is a report rather than an analysis, is the story of Germany from 1945 to 1950 and is an outline as sparse as the format. The reader will look in vain for historical data in "Germany and the Fight for Freedom." Clay is content in this book to present a rationale of the general policy which he administered and played a large role in formulating.

The first part of this policy which Clay has to explain is the experiment of international administration with Russia, which this country, together with Great Britain and France, tried to perform in Germany. Clay suggests the obvious, and therefore often overlooked, explanations for a project which failed badly. "We should continue to be proud... that we made this effort," he writes. "The present unhappy world situation has come about through the intransigence of others than ourselves."

The effort to maintain the cumbersome four zone administration continued until the June 1946 meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers at which time it became clear to the Allies that Soviet cooperation was a faded dream. During this period, Clay points out, the United States realized that it would have to be militarily strong in Europe if it hoped to maintain peace and win the confidence of Germany. "Reluctantly," ho says, "we had to change our idealistic approach for a more realistic approach."

Clay apparently is well satisfied with the Allies' ensuing efforts to establish a free Western German state. He writes of the progress made, in the U. S. zone in particular, in inculcating a sense of freedom among the Germans, reinstating a just legal system, and reforming education. These are the areas of administration in which the Military Government was most criticized during 1945-50. Clay flicks of these criticisms glibly. This confirms an impression the book gives that it is an endorsement rather than a study of U. S. policy in action in Germany.

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