The Nazis were helped immensley in strenghening German resistance by the Morgenthau plan, which aimed to eliminate German industry post war and reduce it to an agricultural country. Goebels got hold of a copy and made great propaganda out of it. With the Russians on one front, the Germans felt that they had nothing to lose and so kept on fighting bitterly to the end.Would the Germans fight harder for Hitler than for the Kaiser when the outcome was obvious? With hindsight the Germans would fight to the bitter end for the Nazi regime. But that wasn't known in August 1944.
Journalist Drew Pearson publicized the plan on 21 September 1944, although Pearson himself was sympathetic to it. More critical stories in the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal quickly followed. Joseph Goebbels used the Morgenthau Plan in his propaganda. Goebbels said that "The Jew Morgenthau" wanted to make Germany into a giant potato patch. The headline of the Völkischer Beobachter stated, "Roosevelt and Churchill Agree to Jewish Murder Plan!"
The Washington Post urged a stop to helping Dr. Goebbels: if the Germans suspect that nothing but complete destruction lies ahead, then they will fight on. The Republican presidential candidate Thomas Dewey complained in his campaign that the Germans had been terrified by the plan into fanatical resistance, "Now they are fighting with the frenzy of despair."
General George Marshall complained to Morgenthau that German resistance had strengthened. Hoping to get Morgenthau to relent on his plan for Germany, President Roosevelt's son-in-law Lt. Colonel John Boettiger who worked in the War Department explained to Morgenthau how the American troops who had had to fight for five weeks against fierce German resistance to capture the city of Aachen had complained to him that the Morgenthau Plan was "worth thirty divisions to the Germans." Morgenthau refused to relent.
On 11 December 1944, OSS operative William Donovan sent Roosevelt a telegraph message from Bern, warning him of the consequences that the knowledge of the Morgenthau plan had had on German resistance. The message was a translation of a recent article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
So far, the Allies have not offered the opposition any serious encouragement. On the contrary, they have again and again welded together the people and the Nazis by statements published, either out of indifference or with a purpose. To take a recent example, the Morgenthau plan gave Dr. Goebbels the best possible chance. He was able to prove to his countrymen, in black and white, that the enemy planned the enslavement of Germany. The conviction that Germany had nothing to expect from defeat but oppression and exploitation still prevails, and that accounts for the fact that the Germans continue to fight. It is not a question of a regime, but of the homeland itself, and to save that, every German is bound to obey the call, whether he be Nazi or member of the opposition