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Who divided Germany during the Cold War – Washington or Moscow?

The Soviet proposal for a neutral, united Germany was refused by the West, in order to create their own puppet state

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(Oriental Review) – I think some of you may have heard on more than one occasion about how that bloodthirsty tyrant Stalin set up a blockade of West Berlin in 1948 and how the freedom-loving nations organized the Berlin airlift to circumvent it. But today we’ll let you in on what really happened.

After Stalin refused to get sucked into the draconian Bretton Woods Agreement and then Churchill gave his famous speech in Fulton, MO, the West began squeezing the USSR on all available fronts. The most convenient site for this was the vanquished country of Germany.

Germany Zones of Occupation 1946
Germany Zones of Occupation 1946

Immediately after defeating the Nazis, the Allies agreed to split Germany into three occupation zones: Russian, British, and American. But the country itself was in no way divided by borders – this was united Germany but without any semblance of state power within its own borders other than the military authorities of the occupation. Berlin was sliced up in a similar way. The city had been stormed by Soviet troops, but as agreed, the USSR allowed the Allied forces to enter the German capital. On June 5, 1945, the Berlin Declaration was adopted, which announced the assumption of supreme authority in Germany by all the powers that had conquered the Nazis. Later, at the insistence of Charles de Gaulle, the French also lopped off their own chunk of German territory – they were given the Saar region to occupy and were also allocated a sector of Berlin. There were now four occupation zones. Then, on Aug. 30, 1945, a governing body was established – the Control Council – through which the Allies could work together and that held supreme power in that occupied country. On Jan. 1, 1946, trade began between the Soviet and British zones. For a while everything went smoothly – due to the fact that the USSR had not yet refused to recognize the supremacy of the Federal Reserve’s dollar …However, once that Rubicon had been crossed, things started to heat up.

March 5, 1946 – the date of Churchill’s speech and the beginning of hostile overtures from the West.

Aug. 6, 1946 – American General Lucius Clay makes an announcement in Stuttgart about the impending unification of two zones of occupation.

Dec. 2, 1946, the US and Great Britain sign an agreement in New York to merge their zones of occupation. An entity with the odd name of Bizone emerges on the map of Europe.

Jan. 1, 1947 – all trade between the Bizone and the other zones is now to be conducted in the dollars of the Federal Reserve. And what currency had been used to trade with the Soviet zone throughout all of 1946? Reichmarks. The USSR has no dollars and the Germans have even less access to them. What is the reason for demanding that trade be conducted only in dollars? It means that the choice is either to submit or to cease all trade between the two halves of Germany.

March 12, 1947 – President Truman delivers his Truman Doctrine speech before Congress and the Cold War officially begins.

June 5, 1947 – the famous Marshall Plan is adopted.

Feb. 23 – March 6, 1948 – the London Six-Power Conference is held, attended by the US, UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, at which a separate decision is made to create a German state within the confines of the three occupation zones.

Thus, the US and UK undertook to split Germany into two states. In response, the USSR withdrew from the Control Council on March 20, 1948 and it immediately ceased its work. The West no longer needed a governing body to oversee all of Germany. They were forging a new German state.

But then something quite interesting happened. Between June 20 and 21, 1948, a monetary reform was carried out in the three Western occupation zones that looked quite a lot like highway robbery. The Reichsmark that Hitler had used was replaced by the Deutschmark. Each German was permitted to exchange 60 Reichsmarks at a rate of 1:1. Forty marks could be exchanged immediately, and another 20 two months later. Half of their savings could be exchanged at a rate of 1:10, while the second half was frozen until a later date when it could be exchanged at 1:20. But pensions, salaries, payments, and taxes were recalculated in the new currency at a 1:1 rate.

Allied West Germany Deutsche Mark (1948)
Allied West Germany Deutsche Mark (1948)

Legal entities faced an even sadder fate. All businesses were allocated 60 marks for each employee. All government debt that was owed in the old Reichsmarks was zeroed out without any compensation! As result, approximately 2/3 of bank assets, which had been invested in government bonds, were now worthless. And all this happened in one fell swoop – like a well-planned military operation. German marks were secretly printed in the US and put into circulation without warning.

Now let’s consider this situation for a moment. What do you think happened in a country where a new currency was introduced in one half, while the old currency continued to be used in the other half? The Germans had been offered the opportunity to exchange their savings at a rate of 1:10 or 1:20, so what would be the logical next step for them to take? They tried to spend their old marks anywhere that that money was still being accepted. In other words – in the Soviet zone of occupation. And that’s exactly what happened. The Germans rushed to transform their old Reichmarks into goods in the “eastern” zone. They vacuumed up everything on the store shelves, focusing only on getting rid of their money. In light of this outrageous situation, what was the Soviet administration supposed to do? They had to seal up the borders of their zone and try to stem this flood of money, otherwise the economy would collapse – no goods would be left in the stores at all. And this was precisely what the West was counting on: inciting a riot and then provoking the USSR into a “bloody crackdown on popular protests.”

Berlin 1948

The borders of the occupation zone could be sealed of course, but what to do about Berlin? There was as yet no wall there – the city was still undivided. And “as luck would have it,” the monetary reform was scheduled to take effect in the western sector of Berlin three days later than in the Bizone and the French occupation zone – on June 25, 1948. It was as if someone wanted the Germans to take the hint – take your Reichsmarks to Berlin! They still accept them there. And cars from all over Germany would now be filled with cash and driven straight to the German capital. But luckily the Allies and the Germans working for them had to have a special pass to travel to Berlin via the Soviet zone. What to do? The Soviet government decided to ban entry to Berlin as well as passage to Berlin through the Soviet zone. And residents of the western sector of the city were barred from going into eastern Berlin just to vacuum up everything on the store shelves. This was the “blockade” of West Berlin that Stalin proclaimed.

The East German mark would be introduced much later.

On July 1, 1948, the military governors of the three occupation zones presented what are known as the Frankfurt documents to the minister-presidents of the eleven German states that lay within their jurisdiction. The decision was made in London to effectively order the Germans to create a new national government! The overseas capitals were not concerned that this would divide both the country as well as its people.

The future West Germany would occupy 52.7% of pre-war German territory and accommodate 62% of its population.

And after that, events rolled merrily along, keeping to the familiar script.

On May 23, 1949, the birth of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was announced. The degree of independence granted to this puppet state’s foreign policy is clear from the fact that West Germany’s Federal Foreign Office did not even exist until March 15, 1951, and the governments of the US and UK did not proclaim the restoration of West Germany’s full sovereignty in foreign affairs for yet another three years (June 24, 1954).

Meanwhile the USSR was doing all it could to oppose the West’s plans to create a German state in only one part of Germany, leaving the question of the future state structure and neutrality of the Germans undecided.

Moscow responded to the establishment of West Germany by proclaiming the formation of the German Democratic Republic (DDR) on Oct. 7, 1949. However, Stalin thought it wrong to have two Germanys right in the heart of Europe. Therefore, on March 10, 1952, the USSR sent a proposal to the West, which history would later dub the “Stalin Note.” This document provides clear evidence that the Soviet leader’s goal was not to create his “own” German state, but to unify Germany in order to prevent Washington and London from using the Germans as pawns in their own policy.

German Democratic Republic map
German Democratic Republic map

The Soviet Union wanted to hold immediate negotiations about the reunification of Germany and free elections throughout its territory, with the subsequent formation of a single government that should retain a neutral status. Need I remind anyone that the “Stalin Note” was ignored by the West? When someone who is naive or uneducated begins to hold forth about who is to blame for the decades-long division of the German people, just remind him of this fact. The West blocked the negotiations between the two “Germanys.” And West Germany did not recognize East Germany until 1972. Prior to that the two German states did not recognize each other and did not have diplomatic ties.

If you ask a modern person who gets his information from the “independent” media about the difference between West and East Germany, you will most likely hear something about “totalitarianism.” Supposedly one Germany was free in a way that the other Germany was not. If you press him for a more specific answer, then you will most likely hear that there was no multiparty system in East Germany, which was ruled solely by the Communist Party, while West Germany was home to many political parties. Well, this is a complete … lie. By June 10, 1945 the Soviet military administration in Germany had already authorized the activities of the democratic parties and trade unions in its zone. And it did so before our “Allies” took similar actions in their occupation zones. Four parties were created in June and July 1945, and in 1946 two of them merged to create the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which later became the ruling party. I think many readers will find it interesting to learn that a multiparty system existed there until the very last days of the German Democratic Republic. The very first East German parliament – the provisional People’s Chamber – had 330 deputies in 1949: the SED held 96 seats, the Liberal Democrats and CDU won 46 seats each, the National Democrats – 17, and the Democratic Farmers’ Party – 15. The remaining seats were divided between trade unions and the Free German Youth. And if anyone thought that this was nothing but window dressing and that the “bloodthirsty regime” later strangled the multiparty system, then that person would be flat-out wrong. If you try to claim that the East German parliament was a mere façade, then you must admit that every other parliament in the world is equally deserving of this label. The truth is this: socialist Germany and its multiparty system continued to develop in unison. By 1986, the 500 deputies in the People’s Chamber included ten factions from five parties, trade unions, the Komsomol, the Democratic Women’s Federation of Germany, the Cultural Association of the DDR, and even the Peasants Mutual Aid Association.

Volkskammer 1990
The People’s Chamber of the German Democratic Republic

The biggest media outlets in the world today often air clichés about the “aggressive Warsaw Pact.” This is another patently obvious lie. The West created NATO in 1949 and the USSR founded the Warsaw Treaty Organization in 1955. And that military bloc emerged in response to the militarization of Europe by the West. The USSR did not react to the creation of NATO until West Germany became a member of that bloc. In a special statement on Jan. 15, 1955, the Soviet Union declared that negotiations between the two German states on the subject of neutrality would become meaningless if one of them joined a Western military bloc. But the United States and Britain deliberately created a military threat in Europe. They needed an unnatural situation in which a divided people had two governments and must be equipped with two armies facing off against one another. London and Washington have been only too happy to replicate this situation again and again: in India and Pakistan, Cyprus and Northern Cyprus, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Croatia and Serbia, and in Russia and Ukraine …

And so West Germany became a member of NATO on May 9, 1955. In response, the Warsaw Pact military bloc was created on May 14, 1955. Even the famous East German army – one of the finest in the world throughout the 34 years of its existence – was established only after the “Allies” shamelessly violated the decision made at the Potsdam Conference in 1945 that prohibited Germany from maintaining its own armed forces. Bonn officially announced the formation of the Bundeswehr on Nov. 12, 1955, but it was not until 1956 that the National People’s Army of the DDR was established …

So who initiated irreconcilable confrontation right in the heart of Europe after the WWII and 40-year division of the German people?

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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Constantinople: Ukrainian Church leader is now uncanonical

October 12 letter proclaims Metropolitan Onuphry as uncanonical and tries to strong-arm him into acquiescing through bribery and force.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The pressure in Ukraine kept ratcheting up over the last few days, with a big revelation today that Patriarch Bartholomew now considers Metropolitan Onuphy “uncanonical.” This news was published on 6 December by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (running under the Moscow Patriarchate).

This assessment marks a complete 180-degree turn by the leader of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and it further embitters the split that has developed to quite a major row between this church’s leadership and the Moscow Patriarchate.

OrthoChristian reported this today (we have added emphasis):

A letter of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was published yesterday by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which the Patriarch informed the Metropolitan that his title and position is, in fact, uncanonical.

This assertion represents a negation of the position held by Pat. Bartholomew himself until April of this year, when the latest stage in the Ukrainian crisis began…

The same letter was independently published by the Greek news agency Romfea today as well.

It is dated October 12, meaning it was written just one day after Constantinople made its historic decision to rehabilitate the Ukrainian schismatics and rescind the 1686 document whereby the Kiev Metropolitanate was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, thereby, in Constantinople’s view, taking full control of Ukraine.

In the letter, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that after the council, currently scheduled for December 15, he will no longer be able to carry his current title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”

The Patriarch immediately opens his letter with Constantinople’s newly-developed historical claim about the jurisdictional alignment of Kiev: “You know from history and from indisputable archival documents that the holy Metropolitanate of Kiev has always belonged to the jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople…”

Constantinople has done an about-face on its position regarding Ukraine in recent months, given that it had previously always recognized the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate as the sole canonical primate in Ukraine.

…The bulk of the Patriarch’s letter is a rehash of Constantinople’s historical and canonical arguments, which have already been laid out and discussed elsewhere. (See also here and here). Pat. Bartholomew also writes that Constantinople stepped into the Ukrainian ecclesiastical sphere as the Russian Church had not managed to overcome the schisms that have persisted for 30 years.

It should be noted that the schisms began and have persisted precisely as anti-Russian movements and thus the relevant groups refused to accept union with the Russian Church.

Continuing, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that his position and title are uncanonical:

Addressing you as ‘Your Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev’ as a form of economia [indulgence/condescension—OC] and mercy, we inform you that after the elections for the primate of the Ukrainian Church by a body that will consist of clergy and laity, you will not be able ecclesiologically and canonically to bear the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, which, in any case, you now bear in violation of the described conditions of the official documents of 1686.

He also entreats Met. Onuphry to “promptly and in a spirit of harmony and unity” participate, with the other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the founding council of the new Ukrainian church that Constantinople is planning to create, and in the election of its primate.

The Constantinople head also writes that he “allows” Met. Onuphry to be a candidate for the position of primate.

He further implores Met. Onuphry and the UOC hierarchy to communicate with Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, and Makary Maletich, the heads of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” respectively—both of which have been subsumed into Constantinople—but whose canonical condemnations remain in force for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The hierarchs of the Serbian and Polish Churches have also officially rejected the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

Pat. Bartholomew concludes expressing his confidence that Met. Onuphry will decide to heal the schism through the creation of a new church in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry’s leadership is recognized as the sole canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine by just about every other canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction besides Constantinople. Even NATO member Albania, whose expressed reaction was “both sides are wrong for recent actions” still does not accept the canonicity of the “restored hierarchs.”

In fact, about the only people in this dispute that seem to be in support of the “restored” hierarchs, Filaret and Makary, are President Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew, Filaret and Makary… and NATO.

While this letter was released to the public eye yesterday, the nearly two months that Metropolitan Onuphry has had to comply with it have not been helped in any way by the actions of both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian government.

Priests of the Canonical Church in Ukraine awaiting interrogation by the State authorities

For example, in parallel reports released on December 6th, the government is reportedly accusing canonical priests in Ukraine of treason because they are carrying and distributing a brochure entitled (in English): The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State. The Attitude Towards the Conflict in Donbass and to the Church Schism. Questions and Answers.

In a manner that would do any American liberal proud, these priests are being accused of inciting religious hatred, though really all they are doing is offering an explanation for the situation in Ukraine as it exists.

A further piece also released yesterday notes that the Ukrainian government rehabilitated an old Soviet-style technique of performing “inspections of church artifacts” at the Pochaev Lavra. This move appears to be both intended to intimidate the monastics who are living there now, who are members of the canonical Church, as well as preparation for an expected forcible takeover by the new “united Church” that is under creation. The brotherhood characterized the inspections in this way:

The brotherhood of the Pochaev Lavra previously characterized the state’s actions as communist methods of putting pressure on the monastery and aimed at destroying monasticism.

Commenting on the situation with the Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Prilusk, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s Information-Education Department, noted:

This is a formal raiding, because no reserve ever built the Pochaev Lavra, and no Ministry of Culture ever invested a single penny to restoring the Lavra, and the state has done nothing to preserve the Lavra in its modern form. The state destroyed the Lavra, turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases, and so on—the state has done nothing more. And now it just declares that it all belongs to the state. No one asked the Church, the people that built it. When did the Lavra and the land become state property? They belonged to the Church from time immemorial.

With the massive pressure both geopolitically and ecclesiastically building in Ukraine almost by the day, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin

“We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

RT

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Via RT…


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.

“When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

“As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia’s President. “We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia’s border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country’s border.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

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