Added: March 4, 2017 – Last updated: March 4, 2017


Author: Thomas Kehoe

Title: Control, Disempowerment, Fear, and Fantasy

Subtitle: Violent Criminality During the Early American Occupation of Germany, March-July 1945

Journal: Australian Journal of Politics and History

Volume: 62

Issue: 4

Year: December 2016 (Published online: December 21, 2016)

Pages: 561-575

ISSN: 0004-9522 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1467-8497 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History; European History / German History | Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / U.S. War Crimes during the Second World War


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Abstract: »To date, scholars have provided seemingly contradictory accounts of violent crime during the US occupation of Germany. Social disorder and violence are commonly described extending for months or years after the war. For scholars of US Military Government, however, the imposition of a strict military regime precluded such crime. Meanwhile, Alan Kramer's quantitative study suggests lower rates of violent criminality and Jose Canoy found fear of crime may have exaggerated perceptions of violence. Both studies reveal how little is known about criminality during the early occupation. This article seeks to clarify divergent accounts by examining new records from German and American archives, and providing a more comprehensive account of criminal violence in the US Zone during the transition from war to peace, March to July 1945. This narrow window of time complements a well-documented increase in American-perpetrated violent crime. The present study uses data of civilian criminality alongside discovery of higher rates of American crime. It reveals a wave of severe disorder that Military Government rapidly brought under control. But in the process, Germans were disempowered and left at the mercy of American soldiers. Consequently, society remained violent even as civilians were forced to live by tight military standards.« (Source: Australian Journal of Politics & History)


  Detachment Responses to Crime during the Establishment of Military Government (p. 565)
  Fragmentary MG Court Data: a Quantitative Account of Occupation Crime (p. 566)
  The View from the Ground: MGO Diaries and Reports (p. 569)
  Fears and Fantasies: German and American Perceptions of Violent Crime (p. 570)
  Fear, Disempowerment, and American Criminality (p. 573)
  Conclusions and Future Directions (p. 575)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany / Allied-occupied Germany | History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1945–64) | Sex and the law: Wartime sexual violence | War: World War II / Rape during the occupation of Germany, United States war crimes