Postwar Germany: The Profits of Peace
Keith Lowe on the dilemmas faced by a victorious but financially ruined Britain in its dealings with postwar Germany.
Ian Locke’s essay on the exploitation of Germany in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, published in History Today in 1997, describes a unique moment in British history. It depicts a time when the country was still (just) a superpower, albeit one hovering on the edge of bankruptcy, having emerged victorious from the most destructive conflict the world has seen. Plundering its defeated enemy offered Britain an opportunity to dig its way out of a financial hole and secure its future as a global economic power.