Documents and timeline of an exchange of territory between the former British and Soviet occupation zones in early summer 1945
Instead of a foreword
The one in early summer of the year 1945 The exchange of territory in the Harz between the then British and Soviet occupation zones in Germany has already been the subject of various treatises.
One of the most notable is Gerhard Möller's essay “When the Russians came – and went” in the Harz magazine published by the Harz Association for History and Archaeology, 60. vintage 2008. In his essay, Gerhard Möller reconstructs the context of the territorial exchange in July 1945 from the perspective of contemporary witnesses and based on archival materials from national and international archives.
Based in 75. Anniversary of the territorial exchange in the year 2020 decided the support association of the Grenzlandmuseum Bad Sachsa, to view the original documents relevant to the important process and to make them available to the general public through publication.
This publication presents the results of the research carried out in the National Archives of the United Kingdom in a prepared form. The publication also represents an attempt, to clarify the British intentions for the desired changes to the demarcation line between the British and Soviet occupation zones. The interpretation of the documents viewed and the assessment of the causes for the exchange of areas between the British and Soviet occupation zones differ from previous interpretations and publications.
The sources for this work were primarily files from the British Foreign Office and the War Office, in which documents, Messages and reports from the civil and military departments involved at the time are filed. Of particular importance here are the records of the former British military government and its units divided into detachments. The Military Government Detachments suffered particularly badly between the actual end of combat operations and the Allied Conference in Potsdam (Period April to August 1945), i.e. the transition phase between the end of the war and the actual beginning of the occupation in the defined zones, significant influence and participation in the territorial changes made to the occupation zones.
In order not to impair the fact-oriented presentation of events, has been, unless these could be verified by other documents, refrained from using written stories from contemporary witnesses.