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The Role of Theodore Blank and the Amt Blank in Post-World War II West German Rearmament

Description: During World War II, the Allies not only defeated Germany; they destroyed the German army and warmaking capability. Five years after the surrender, Theodor Blank received the responsibility for planning the rearmament of West Germany starting from nothing. Although Konrad Adenauer was the driving force behind rearmament, Theodor Blank was the instrument who pushed it through Allied negotiations and parliamentary acceptance. Heretofore, Blank's role has been told only in part; new materials and the ability now to see events in a clearer perspective warrant a new study of Blank's role in the German rearmament process. Sources for this dissertation include: Documents on Foreign Relations of the United States; memoirs, among them those of Konrad Adenauer, Georges Bidault, Lucius Clay, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Anthony Eden, Ivone Kirkpatrick, Harold MacMillan, Kirill Meretskov, Jules Moch, Sergei Shternenko, Hans Speidel, Harry S. Truman, Alexander Vasilevsky, and Georgiy Zhukov; contemporary reports from newspapers, among them the Times (London), New York Times, Le Monde, Pravda, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and Das Parlement; Parliamentary Debates; official records; and interviews. Rearmament involved the interrelationship of vast, diverse interests: the conflict between East and West, national and international fears, domestic problems, and the interplay of leading personalities. When the Amt Blank, the planning organization, became functional on 1 December 1950, it consisted of nineteen people; in 1955, when it became the Defense Ministry with Theodor Blank the Defense Minister, it had a staff of one thousand. Cast in the milieu of the Allied negotiations on West German rearmament, this dissertation chronologically focuses on the role that Blank and the Amt Blank personnel played in the planning, negotiations, and domestic issues related to rearmament. Blank's diplomatic skills and managerial ability were key factors in transforming West Germany from a conquered area to a sovereign state, a member of NATO ...
Date: May 1988
Creator: Lowry, Montecue J., 1930-