From Crusade to Hazard
The Denazification of Bremen Germany
By (author) Bianka J. Adams
Publication date:01 October 2009
Length of book:198 pages
From Crusade to Hazard: The Denazification of Bremen Germany relates how the American and British combat forces and military government officers occupied, administered, and denazified Bremen and its environs from 1945 to 1947. The three distinct phases in administering Bremen had a profound impact on the denazification of the city. Denazification legislation was first determined by the Americans, then by the British, and then again by the Americans. Throughout, denazification teams tried to find a middle way between the American dictum of a radical purge of the whole population and the less ambitious British goal of only cleansing the administration. This delicate balancing act led to an implementation of a purge that was unique to the Bremen enclave. While it succeeded in discovering and punishing many of the main functionaries of the Nazi regime, it also fell victim to its own ambition and collapsed underneath the weight of its administrative processes. As deadlines and waning governmental support forced a quick end to the program, the bloated denazification bureaucracy resorted to classifying most of the remaining cases as benign 'followers,' even when they hardly deserved that label. At a time when interest in de-politicizing old classes of administrators affiliated with dictatorial regimes is being increasingly fueled by contemporary world events, this book is a particularly valuable contribution.