University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 100 (July 1947)

German reactions,   p. 15 PDF (550.8 KB)

Page 15

ALMOST unanimously, the US Zone
newspapers see in the propdsals
made by Secretary of State Marshall
in his address at Harvard University
a fresh opportunity for Europe to
shake off its post-war stagnation.
The Main-Post (Wuerzburg) com-
pares the plan with the Truman doc-
trine: "People tried to contrast the
Marshall Plan with Truman's doctrine
which means support of liberally gov-
erned countries in their fight against
Communism. Hunger, misery, and
distress are consequences of war
which would have appeared and had
to be fought even if Soviet Russia, in
her desire for expansion, did not use
the Communist minorities of European
countries for her purpose. But as pau-
perization and distress are the best
auxiliaries of Communism, all meas-
ures which decrease the unbearable
economic and social tensions, should
also hit Communism itself."
"The Marshall Plan which also
offers peace and aid to Russia, could
mean the end of a policy of distrust
between East and West, and the be-
ginning of a new cooperation on the
basis of equality for all. Each program
for helping all Europe, however,
should presume a drastic revision of
economic policy of the individual
countries. The countries on their side
should be willing to administrate and
exploit the raw materials of their soil
less according to ideas of sovereignty
than along true European conceptions
Such a development would be of great
value for the creation of a united
Europe . . ."
Along the same lines, the Rhein
Neckar Zeitung (Heidelberg) says:
"The situation in Europe threatens to
develop into catastrophe. Not only
we Germans have learned that meas-
ures should be adopted without de-
pending on an agreement of the Big
Four's foreign ministers on peace
treaties for Germany and Austria.
How important Europe's attitude to-
wards the Marshall Plan may be, its
realization must chiefly depend upoit
the authorization of the US Congress,
and the further development of US
foreign politics. It is not easy to pre-
dict the reaction of a Congress who
a short time ago recommended raising
duties, while at the same time repres-
entatives of the American Government
were at Geneva negotiating on the
reduction of general tariffs ...
"The European countries tied close-
ly together by their distress and
needs, have through the Marshall Plan
the chance to overcome economic
nationalism, to share all goods through
low tariff policies, and by this means
to be as self-supporting as possible."
The Heilbronner Stimme comments
on the far-reaching repercussions of
the Marshall address: "This speech
could at first have been considered a
more academic discussion of this ur-
gent problem. Now, however, it seems
to have been the conscious introduc-
tion of a great political action with
the purpose of preparing the field,
particularly  of  familiarizing  the
American people-the American tax-
payer-with the idea that the USA as
usual will have to furnish the money
for this reconstruction."
TNHERE are three reefs on this road
1which may cause the wonderful
enterprise to fail, and which we wish
to watch soberly: l.The reconstruction
of Europe must not sharpen the con-
trast between East and West. Or to
state it quite distinctly: the money
spent must not be used for the mili-
tary armament of Western Europe.
2. The delivery of such immense cap-
ital must not, even unintentionally,
result in financial and political slav-
ery of the supported states. 3. It
would be fatal if the United States
should begin the job but not follow
it through either because of an econo-
mic crisis that some people expect to
rise, or because of discouragement
over failure in the beginning.
That does not change our
opinion that the action started by
haps be possible to save me west,
the world's deep source of spiritual
activity, from the threatening, already
beginning decay."
The Fraenkische Presse (Bayreuth)
sees in the Marshall proposal "certain
parallels with President Roosevelt's
Lend-Lease Plan which he carried out
against all opposition at the beginning
of the war in order to give the threat-
ened Allies a sound common econo-
mic basis for waging war. The idea
of lend-lease was to start the politi-
cal offensive of the Western countries,
and to unite the different nations and
their economies, as otherwise they
would not have been able either to
carry out their defense nor to begin
the attack.
T ODAY Europe is struggling against
1a paralyzing crisis in the same
way as the world fought against totali-
tarian dictatorships before . . . The
Marshall Plan seems to show a way
out which may guide our tortured
continent to a better future. But it
will only succeed if Germany is also
given the place that should be hers."
The Offenbach Post warns that
"People should clearly understand
that there is no way to prevent the
decay of the West as long as states-
men try to rebuild Europe on anti-
quatedfoundations. Unlimited nation-
al sovereignty, high protective du-
ties, and differences of currency will
only develop chauvinism, national
competative armament, and so bring
up a new war which will be the end
of Europe. The leading politicians,
too, seem to gain increasing under-
standing for this fact. The plan of
creating a 'United States of Europe'
has come to a new stage. Truman's
speech before the Canadian Parlia-
mnent testified to that, as well as Mar-
shall's speech at Harvard University.
England's initiative in discussing with
Russia the American Secretary of Sta-
te's plan for aid to Europe, has the
same goal . . Such courage is neces-
sary to follow this road, but we must
realize that there is no other way."
7 JULY 1947
_ _

Go up to Top of Page