AHF Program Director's Article on Denazification Published

AHF Program Director's Article on Denazification Published

Diplomacy and Statecraft

AHF Program Director Alexandra Levy's article on denazification in Germany after World War II, "Promoting Democracy and Denazification: American Policymaking and German Public Opinion," has been published in the peer-reviewed academic journal "Diplomacy and Statecraft." Levy received her MA in History in 2012 from the University of Virginia, soon after joining the Atomic Heritage Foundation. She wrote the article as her MA thesis at UVA.

The article traces the evolution of the denazification program in American-occupied Germany from 1945–1948. At the close of the Second World War, high-level American policy-makers proclaimed their determination to drive all Nazis out of power. However, the realities of denazification differed from American officials’ goals; additionally, their objectives in Germany dramatically changed over time. Monitoring German public opinion about the occupation, and keeping public opinion positive, proved of central importance to Military Government officials. They actively promoted denazification in an attempt to bolster German attitudes toward the program. Using Office of Military Government of the United States documents, this analysis examines the decision to wind down the American denazification program and shows that the decision came in April 1947 because of negative German public opinion. In place of denazification, American Military Government officials recommended increasing emphasis on reorientation.

To read the article, click here or email Levy at alevy@atomicheritage.org to obtain a copy.