/ the raw story from an idealized past /
This Independent Institute review by James L. Payne, casts doubt on claims, current around the time of the invasion of Iraq all over the mainstream media and published by both scholars and think tanks (see this [pdf] on the subject; the whole report was critiqued by Le Monde Diplomatique at the time) in the aftermath of Iraq, that the US had successfully exported democracy to Germany in WWII:
Both advocates and opponents of nation building say that the United States played a key role in helping post-war Germany become a democracy. In fact, a close look reveals that, from the standpoint of democratic nation building, the U.S. occupation of Germany is actually a lesson in what not to do.
The full report can be found here, in PDF format: Did the United States Create Democracy in Germany?. Note that the report is written from a libertarian perspective and it shows in certain criticisms regarding the handling of the German economy and its view of the Marshall plan. However a lot of the facts mentioned are surprising and quite interesting and it seems like a valid case is being made. Quite interesting reading.