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draconus

US Zone - Germany

Read this on the 'Times Publishing Antique Web'...

.." Toys marked "Made in US Zone Germany" range in date from 1945 until 1952"

..is this correct ?  I am not a historian, but I thought the US occupation finished around 1949 ish ??

still rummaging around, but can't seem to find a definitive set of dates for the period.

Stitch1615

I don't know but I saw the other day that it took until the 80's
to complete reconstruction after the war.
I thought that was pretty incredible.
It didn't say what that was based on as far as what was finished and when.
draconus

...asked and answered...

http://www.history.com/this-day-i...es-end-occupation-of-west-germany

46u

That is what I would have thought. After the WWII till the Berlin wall came down in 1990.
draconus

..yeah, the allied forces occupation ended on may 5th 1955, whilst the reunification  of east and west was in 1990.

..so if the occupation ended in 1955, then it follows that the US Zone ceased to exist at the same time.  so if a toy is marked "made in the US Zone", this should imply that the toy was made between 1945 and 1955.

anyone else figure it that way ?? or have i over simplified it ?
yussufhippo

A really difficult question...
As a result of the estrangement of the three/four allies (US/GB/F//USSR), the western zones of occupation became the FRG/BRD (West-Germany) in 1949, in the same year the eastern zone became the GDR/DDR (East-Germany).

However, the western aliies did not acknowledge the eastern state, the USSR did not acknowledge the western state, both sides accusing each other of "dividing up Germany". East Germany loathing the West-German state and vice versa ("agent of imperialism" vs "communist dictatorship")

Though the BRD/FRG was an "independend" state within Nato and European Community etc, its sovereignty was limited by "allied reservations" (officially intended to safeguard the allied troops in West-Germany, who had been transformed from "occupation" forces to "allies" when West-Germany became an active member of Nato in 1954/55).
There was never a shade of doubt that East-Germany was only a mere junior partner (a very junior one, to be honest) in the eastern military, political, economic and idiological system (the 1953 uprising/revolt in East Germany was finished off by Russian intervention, e.g....).
Which brings me to Berlin and its four sectors ...To cut a long and very complex story short: Berlin stayed under allied control, virtually till 1989/1990, although the Russian claimed (with their East-German friends) that Berlin (NOT just East Berlin, mark the difference...) was the capital of GDR/DDR ("Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR"), merely accepting that West-Berlin(US/GB/F-zones) had a special status guaranteed by all four (!) powers.
The Western allies claiming, that all of Berlin was guaranteed and controlled by all four powers, but that West-Berlin had "a special relationship" with the BRD/FRG (West Germany), whereas the West-German government claimed that at least West-Berlin was, well, something like a part of West Germany (which they could not say loudly, as this would offend theri western allies).
Result? Funny things: You could not take a Lufthansa-plane to a West-Berlin airfield (only allied carriers allowed!), West-German soldiers were not allowed to visit Berlin in uniform, Berliners were not draughted to the army under compulsory military service regulations, you could use the autobahns from West-Germany to West-Berlin but you were not allowed to leave them at GDR Exits, you passed East-Berlin underground stations when using West-Berlin tube lines, but, of course the trains didn't stop etc... I once had a Berlin identity-card, which looked exactly like the West-German ones, but which was green (the colour of German passports!), not grey, like the West-German ones. Ah, yes, there were no Berlin passports, as West-Berlin was neither a state nor part of the BRD/FRG...
Can you follow me? Weird? Yes, to say the least...
With the unification of 1989/90 all allied reservations finally ended...
In terms of the steam afficionado's world view:
- all important classical steam manufacturers located in Nuremberg became part of the US-Zone (and were glad about it...)
- the new producer WILESCO was formed in the British zone, but at a time when this was not important any longer
- the East German producers (ask yussufhippo, he knows about them ) were either post-war but pre-GDR/DDR private enterprises which came under the influence of the masterplan-economy later or were no producers of toys as such, but forced to do so to cover up consumer-goods-shortages in the GDR/DDR.

Be honest: You do not understand a word. If you feel like that, you have a realistic view of the "German problem(s)" in the cold war era....
And, yes, nobody can say definitely when they ceased stamping "US-Zone" on toys and other goods, should have ceased as early as 1949 (the official creation of the western state) but seems to have gone on till the early 1950ies (1955, Nato-membership, brought a first lift of some of the more severe limitations of West-German sovereignty...)
Achtunggg: Sie verlassen den Britischen Sektor (still today in the former British zone, the ambulance service is run by the fire-brigade, in the former french/US-zones it is not)
The Denying Dutchman

draconus wrote:
..yeah, the allied forces occupation ended on may 5th 1955, whilst the reunification  of east and west was in 1990.

..so if the occupation ended in 1955, then it follows that the US Zone ceased to exist at the same time.  so if a toy is marked "made in the US Zone", this should imply that the toy was made between 1945 and 1955.

anyone else figure it that way ?? or have i over simplified it ?


I thought the label "made in the US zone" was changed to "made in western Germany" when the tin toys for tinned food program ended, but I have no clue when that program ended, probably about the same time when the Marshall plan ended in 1951.

I'm confident a German member will know for sure.
draconus

yussufhippo,
wow!  thanks for the history lesson, sincerely.

obviously a very complicated period in world history. it appears then, even to a native of germany that there is still some uncertainty about what defined or constituted the cessation of the existence of the "US Zone" in the context of using those marks to date toys stamped as such.

it should be a reasonable safe bet then, that any item stamped made in the us zone should, at least, predate 1960.

my intent was to some how use the US Zone label to date toys, but it seems this is not as easy as i assumed it would be.

...a fascinating subject nevertheless...
Stitch1615

yussufhippo wrote:
A really difficult question...


Well. That clears that up.
Actually that was very interesting.
My family immigrated to the US about 1850 and went thru 2 wars against Germany.
Family members fought in both wars on both sides.
I still have distant family ties to Germany, Rieker Shoes, who I am sure,
made hob nailed boots for the SS although they will not admit it.
I suppose that ultimately few were proud of their involvement but did what they needed to survive.
That is only natural.
Had the Americans gotten into Berlin way ahead of Russia things may have been different.
Then of course had Eisenhower let Patton kick Stalin's ass we might still be there. (Or be drinking Vodka for breakfast.)
It must have been a terrible time for the German people and horribly confusing with the 4 sectors.
Especially if you had family living in all 4 zones.
It's impossible to even imagine what growing up at that time was like and yet they came back as good, or better, then ever.

I'm no historian but I always believed that Hitlers ambitions got in the way of
his being a famous, as opposed to infamous, figure in German history.
Afterall he did have some fantastic ideas for Germany.
Had he stopped when the country was getting back on its feet he'd have gone down in history as a much different person.
Ambition in politics is very dangerous.
We here in the US are getting a taste of it now but no one seems to want to take a look back.

Anyway, thanks for that little history lesson.
(I printed it and will read line by line to better understand it.)

By the way, what does your avatar represent?
Sack Master. Is he a castrologist? (made that up)
yussufhippo

Quote:
I'm no historian but I always believed that Hitlers ambitions got in the way of
his being a famous, as opposed to infamous, figure in German history.
Afterall he did have some fantastic ideas for Germany.
Had he stopped when the country was getting back on its feet he'd have gone down in history as a much different person.
Ambition in politics is very dangerous.
We here in the US are getting a taste of it now but no one seems to want to take a look back.

Please allow me to differ here entirely! Writing as a historian who has been teaching on this subject for the last 30  odd years...
- Hitler did not have a single unique or impressive original idea. Everything (anti-semitism, racism, anti-communism, economic deficit spending theory - go on for five minutes like this and end up with the swastika...) was borrowed or stolen or twisted. Or simply misunderstood.
- if he had not gone to war he would still be remembered as a dictator and violator of all human rights, remember that thousands of Germans (and I do include the German Jews here) were mistreated, beaten-up and killed or forced to leave the country long before the extermination camps were erected
- and if he had not gone to war it would have become clear to everybody that the so-called economic recovery of Germany was nothing but a huge bubble economy, financed by criminal tricks. Without a war, that was meant to bleed the occupied countries white, the huge deficit would have destroyed all economic prospects (he would have had to raise taxes beyond all possibilities or run a strict austerity program. Both would have brought him down)
No, it was not that he was overly ambitious. He was a stupid, racist, vile Nazi. Nothing but. And it was plain to see for everybody who wanted to. What did the famous painter Max Liebermann, a real gentleman!, say when he watched the Nazis celebrating their victory (actually only their being brought into´the government by Hindenburg, the had lost votes in the electionbefore) by marching through Brandenburg gate?
"Ick kann jarnich so viel essen, wie ick kotzn möchte" (Berlin accent: I cannot eat as much as I would like to puke/trough up now...) Nothing to add.

Oh yes, Doll was a Jewish company before 1935. Honnit soit qui mal y pense...
MrDuck

I wouldn't say he was stupid but very 19th century in the worst possible way and not quite right. I mean mentally.
The Denying Dutchman

MrDuck wrote:
I wouldn't say he was stupid but very 19th century in the worst possible way and not quite right. I mean mentally.


That's a huge understatement. Hitler had some serious mental issues.
I actually tried to read Mein kampf, I quit after a few chapters.  It's awfully repetitive, full of frustration and anger in an almost childish way: no matter what it's always someone else's fault. I could almost envision him as a screaming child in the supermarket, because mummy didn't buy him cookies!
Stitch1615

Ah. Again the Internet strikes.
Believe me I had no intention of raising the hair on the back of your neck.
I thank you for not adding, "You stupid assed American", which I have little doubt passed through your mind at least once.

I typed the short version of my understanding and apparently misled you.
I won't bother to go into it now but I was not by any means praising Hitler or his actions.
However, from what I've been taught:
It seems many people sat on their collective asses following the war and did very little to drag Germany from the ashes.
Equally they just sat back and allowed the Nazi's free reign over the country.
Most likely because they were tired of war. Tired of shortages and doing without so they struck a deal with the devil.
His methodology is to be condemned for sure but as a "mad man" the son of a bitch was pretty successful in getting what he wanted.
Perhaps in time a better man may have come along but apparently enough people were not willing to wait for that to happen.
The rest, as they say, is history.

That is how it has been presented to those of us who were lucky enough to not have to experience it first hand.

Not that I consider this one as I believe we are of the same mind, but I love opposing views because
usually somewhere between them lie the facts.

I didn't live it, I didn't cause it and I wasn't around to prevent or fix it but I am damn sure not prepared to see it happen here.

Thank you again for the history lesson and setting the record straight.
I am never above learning, just sometimes adequately comprehending.
xlchainsaw

our windup elephant was made in the us zone.



far superior to the modern chinese ones
yussufhippo

Quote:
Believe me I had no intention of raising the hair on the back of your neck.
I thank you for not adding, "You stupid assed American", which I have little doubt passed through your mind at least once.


Heavens, no!
Having been a history teacher for 30 years, I could see how the problems of the "III. Reich" (another piece of pompous Nazi-Speak) are less and less easily understood by my students - they are probably as far distant and incomprehensible to them as the middle-ages. And I speak of Germans, whose (great-) grandfathers were directly involved and who experience the same cultural background...
Now, how difficult must this be for someone abroad. Especially if he does not want to judge hypocritically but understand and explain to himself how this could happen (as Stitch does, e.g.!).

Thus, if a German, especially of the older generation, tried to argue that little Adolf was, well, not that bad, it would actually raise all my hair and bristle..., but not in this case. Please do believe me, that I didn't want to "strike" at all, but add some information - please take my apologies if I have sounded too didactic and harsh!!

May I add another point?
I doubt if it wise to declare that A.H. was simply mad. I feel that it is too simple an excuse. Well, he was just mad... But even so, even if he was mad - how can we explain that the nation "der Dichter und Denker" (of Poets and Philosophers/Scientists) as it proudly called itself (have a look at the number of German Nobel prize laureats of all kinds before 1933...), how could such a civilized nation allow itself to be ruled and governed by a "madman"and his gang of cronies and have itself led to destruction??? This is the phenomenon that I have been turning around in my mind again and again. And I am talking of the generation of my own father and mother...
The answer is most probably not that they were ardent Nazis. Or besotted by the prospect of becoming part of a "superhuman class of rulers of the world". Or were hoping to "avenge" the humiliation of the Great War. I fear (!) that most people in Germany simply did not care at all. They wanted to be left alone and in peace. Politics was far too difficult to understand. Someone offers simple solutions? Fine, let's give him a try...
Pastor Martin Niemöller once put it like this:
"When they came to arrest the Communist, I did not protest. I was no Communist. When they took the Social-Democrats  I did not protest. I was no Social-Democrat. When they took the Catholics,  I did not protest. I was no Catholic. When they came to arrest me - there was nobody left to protest." (Niemöller was captain of a submarine in the Great War before he became a priest...)
An artist has started to sink what he calls "stumbling-stones" into the pavements of some German cities: small square brass plaques, giving the names of Nazi-victims (for all political, religious or racist reasons), put down in front of those houses they used to live in, before they were taken. He (and some of my students) have done so here in Constance as well. Many people are seem to have become very thoughtful: "So many??? In my very neighbourhood??? Everywhere in such a peaceful place???". Others complain that the value of their property has declined...
Lot's left to say, but I will stop here.
angus

yussufhippo wrote:
Lot's left to say, but I will stop here.

I don't wish to extend this too far either, but just one observation

Bismarck of course said:
Politics is the art of the possible

Hitler pretty well said:
Politics is the art of the impossible

(I haven't seen this statement expressed quite that way but I think I got the underlying remark from Joachim Fest's AH biography)
The Denying Dutchman

[quote="yussufhippo:767373"]
Quote:
how could such a civilized nation allow itself to be ruled and governed by a "madman"and his gang of cronies and have itself led to destruction??? This is the phenomenon that I have been turning around in my mind again and again. And I am talking of the generation of my own father and mother...
The answer is most probably not that they were ardent Nazis. Or besotted by the prospect of becoming part of a "superhuman class of rulers of the world". Or were hoping to "avenge" the humiliation of the Great War. I fear (!) that most people in Germany simply did not care at all. They wanted to be left alone and in peace. Politics was far too difficult to understand. Someone offers simple solutions? Fine, let's give him a try...
Pastor Martin Niemöller once put it like this:
"When they came to arrest the Communist, I did not protest. I was no Communist. When they took the Social-Democrats  I did not protest. I was no Social-Democrat. When they took the Catholics,  I did not protest. I was no Catholic. When they came to arrest me - there was nobody left to protest." (Niemöller was captain of a submarine in the Great War before he became a priest...)


Lots of people, including me, has asked and will ask the question why.
I guess you already wrote down the answer. The people back then wanted something to believe in and they got a vision of a bright future in return, disagreements where taken for granted until they realised it wasn't right at all. By then it was too late.

(The pastors words where translated in Dutch also, it's a quite "famous" saying.)
Stitch1615

yussufhippo wrote:
Quote:
Believe me I had no intention of raising the hair on the back of your neck.
I thank you for not adding, "You stupid assed American", which I have little doubt passed through your mind at least once.


Heavens, no!,,,,,,
,,,,, Lot's left to say, but I will stop here.


Lots to learn.
It actually grieves me that I have waited so long to seriously investigate it all.
I'd love to be in your history class.
but I will say,, Thank You.
shaygetz

Great thread...great information.  Our family history in Germany is a bit cloudy as no less than two of my grandfather's cousins were on Hitler's housekeeping staff.  Needless to say, I'm told that made for some interesting family get togethers during the war years.
Martian Ind

Quote:

Be honest: You do not understand a word. If you feel like that, you have a realistic view of the "German problem(s)" in the cold war era....


I commend you, on your explanation. I have worked with German industrialists in excess of 25 years, travelling around East & West Germany, Czechoslovakia (Czech Rep/Slovakia), still travelling today as a consultant when I choose to do so, mostly however I choose to dabble in antiquities and collectables which I also have been doing for many years.

By the very nature of the business I rubbed shoulders with academics and engineers, i.e. well read, and educated to a high level. I felt that because they were " Engineers " in the true sense of the word, i.e. they can design or build something from first principles, i.e. a blank piece of paper, and thus brighter than average. It was easy for them to explain in a nutshell, why the German people behaved the way they did, one or two would quote verbatim what you have written earlier, and this gives credence to their actions at the time. Others struggle with an explanation, not wanting to be reminded, one in particular whose father was an SS Officer shifted uneasily about his seat. He was sitting opposite me, (my father was an Officer responsible for fixing armoured vehicles that Rommel was stomping on) he knew this, neither of us were bothered, it is all in the past. But we both knew it was all wrong every aspect of it.

The devil is in the detail, because the economic situation in Europe as a whole was a complex one in the 1930's, it is difficult for most people today to understand or come to terms with why people behaved the way they did back then. You explained it very well, but you are well practised. However unfortunately there are also a lot of people within Germany & Europe that do not share your view point, and that is a major problem.

As followers of my postings will know I have a real problem with education in the UK, the inability to string a sentence together, inaccuracies in spelling, the list is endless.  

If levels of teaching do not improve, we will have a population of people that simply think that AH was just " misunderstood "

Interesting what you state as " stumbling stones " how is this being received by the majority of the German people?

I could go on, (I have a colleague who is Czech and still does not forgive me just because we only joined the war because Poland was invaded, we did not care about Czechoslovakia being invaded.... I think his house was bombed.... even when I told him, " At least we gave you a squadron of spitfires to help shoot down those pesky Jerry's " but that did not seem to cut any ice with him. He is very difficult to please...) but it is late. I like this Forum it is full of pretty much like minded people, with Steam on the brain mostly..


Martin
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