Buttenwieser, Benjamin J.
Progress in Germany, pp. 19-22 PDF (2.4 MB)
Progress in Germany Address By BENJAMIN J. BUTTENWIESER Retired Assistant US High Commissioner for Policy xI AY I AT THE VERY OUTSET indicate to you the deep gratification I feel at the privilege of address- ing this distinguished and influential group on a subject of such world significance as "Germany Today." Permit me also to indulge in a personal observation. In being invited to speak before this body with which I have had so many pleasant and valued associations and in which my father played so long and active a role, I can but muse with the poet: "The aisles of memory are crowded, One chokes at the gates of utterance." Similarly must I be cautious to cull from my countless recent and vivid impressions of Germany only the most significant and endeavor to recount them to you today. Obviously, no discussion oI Germany's present situation would be properly oriented without some consideration of her development since the end of the war - a war which, in loss of life, physical destruction, deep rooted political disruption, psychological disturbance and eco- nomic and financial icost, is unmatched in the annals of history. Quite apart from the cause of, or diabolic happenings during this world holocaust - matters which are not directly within the purview of this afternoon's discussion -suffice it to say that in all these aspects Germany suffered as much as any other country. Consequently, on May 8,- 1945, her road back along the high- ways of physical reconstruction, eco- nomric and financial recovery, human rehabilitation, moral and morale re- building and political reaccept nce seemed the longest, the most hazardous and the most difficult to traverse. FJ HOUGH THE CHANCES of much progress along those lines seemed gloomy then - as well they might have - it must be said to the credit of Germany that she has achieved much in meeting the welher of dif- ficulties that beset her at the war's end. However resolute, industrious and devoted were the German people to the accomplishment of the heavy tasks that lay before them, it is utterly unrealistic for anyone - German or non-German - to think that her pres- guilt for, all the ent status in all its facets could have been attained without the vast, sympathetic help of varied type and farthest reaching import, extended to Germany by her former foes, in measure and with understanding never before witnessed or even contemplated since the begin- ning of time. Just a few statistics can very cogently present an over- all picture of this almost unbelievable aid and the con- tribution it made toward Germany's material recovery. Subsequently, we can focus our attention on the even more important question of her moral recovery. From May 8, 1945, to Sept. 30, 1951, the American people, through our government, our charitable organizations or by direct philantrophy, have made available to the Ger- man people upward of $4,200,000,000 in cash or in kind. It will never be possible adequately to appraise the beneficial effect of this magnanimous aid. No one can deny and most Germans readily concede that save for this huge scale largesse, beginning immediately after the cessation of hostilities, Germans would have literally starved. Nor could Germany have recovered industrially, agriculturally, economically, financially or sociologically Bibliography of Addresses This article is the text of an address delivered by Mr. Buttenwieser before the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York Dec. 6, upon his return to the United States after resigning his HICOG post. Mr. But- tenwieser was appointed assistant US high commissioner on Oct. 5, 1949. All major addresses, delivered by Mr. Buttenwieser during his tenure as assistant US high commissioner for policy, have been published in the Information Bulletin. A bibliography of these addresses with the issue of publi- cation follows: American Policy in Germany, address before the annual spring conference of the American Schools teachers in Berchtesgaden, Issue of May 1950. The Reorientation of Germany, text of address prepared for delivery before the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith in Chicago, Issue of June 1950. Germany Today-Economically and Fi- nancially, address befo e the Invest- ment Bankers' Association of America at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Issue of July 1950. A Five Year Inventory, address at US Information Center in Heilbronn, Wuerttemberg-Baden, Issue of August 1950. Finding Dollar Markets, address at opening ceremonies of Export Week in Munich, Issue of November 1950. Singers with a Message, speech at second annual singing contest spon- sored by EUCOM's German Youth Activities, Issue of May 1951. Women's Role Today, address at an- nual convention of German-American Clubs in Heidelberg, Issue of July 1951. Today's Coal Situation, statement re- viewing current conditions, Issue of September 1951. Partnership in Sacrifice, address at opening of Frankfurt fall fair, Issue of October 1951. Guarding Human Rights Today, address at conference of Human Rights in Limburg, Hesse, Issue of November 1951. Mr. Buttenwieser also assisted the Information Bulletin by contributing important information and reviewing manuscripts dealing with HICOG policy and progress in Germany. INFORMATION BULLETIN JANUARY 1952 19
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