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James F. Byrnes Quotes





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Freedom from militarism will give the German people the opportunity, if they will but seize it, to apply their great energies and abilities to the works of peace.
 

Friendship without self-interest is one of the rare and beautiful things of life.
[Friendship]
 

German militarism and Nazism have devastated twice in our generation the lands of German neighbors.
 

I have come to Germany to learn at first hand the problems involved in the reconstruction of Germany and to discuss with our representatives the views of the United States Government as to some of the problems confronting us.
 

I hope that the German people will never again make the mistake of believing that because the American people are peace-loving, they will sit back hoping for peace if any nation uses force or the threat of force to acquire dominion over other peoples and other governments.
 

Important as economic unification is for the recovery of Germany and of Europe, the German people must recognize that the basic cause of their suffering and distress is the war which the Nazi dictatorship brought upon the world.
 

It is not in the interest of the German people or in the interest of world peace that Germany should become a pawn or a partner in a military struggle for power between the East and the West.
 

It will give them the opportunity to show themselves worthy of the respect and friendship of peace-loving nations, and in time, to take an honorable place among members of the United Nations.
 

Most of the victims of Nazi aggression were before the war less well off than Germany. They should not be expected by Germany to bear, unaided, the major costs of Nazi aggression.
 

Power intoxicates men. It is never voluntarily surrendered. It must be taken from them.
 

Provision was also made for the distribution of Germany's foreign assets among the Allies.
 

That was the principle of reparations to which President Truman agreed at Potsdam. And the United States will not agree to the taking from Germany of greater reparations than was provided by the Potsdam Agreement.
 

The American people want peace. They have long since ceased to talk of a hard or a soft peace for Germany.
 

The carrying out of the Potsdam Agreement has, however, been obstructed by the failure of the Allied Control Council to take the necessary steps to enable the German economy to function as an economic unit.
 

The conditions which now exist in Germany make it impossible for industrial production to reach the levels which the occupying powers agreed were essential for a minimum German peacetime economy.
 

The German people were not denied, however, the possibility of improving their lot by hard work over the years. Industrial growth and progress were not denied them.
 

The nearest approach to immortality on earth is a government bureau.
 

The working out of a balanced economy throughout Germany to provide the necessary means to pay for approved imports has not been accomplished, although that too is expressly required by the Potsdam Agreement.
[Accomplished]
 

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.
[Opportunities]
 

We favor the economic unification of Germany. If complete unification cannot be secured, we shall do everything in our power to secure the maximum possible unification.
 


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