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Information bulletin
(January 1952)

Buttenwieser, Benjamin J.
Progress in Germany,   pp. 19-22 PDF (2.4 MB)


Page 20

had it not been for this help, purveyed in such large
amounts and along such constructive lines.
The results of the United States' having, so to speak,
supplied the tools and the Germans' having made good
use of them have been dramatic. Taking 1936, the year
generally conceded to be the last prewar, normal indus-
trial year for Germany and most European countries, as
a base of 100, Germany's industrial production index in
January of 1948 stood at 45. This is the earliest reliable
postwar figure available on this point. The most recent
figure, that for October 1951, finds this index soared to 139.
In terms of foreign trade, the recovery is even more
pronounced. In 1947, Germany's exports totaled the equiv-
alent of $225,000,000 and her imports $734,000,000. As
of September 1951, her exports had risen to the rate of
$3,900,000,000 per annum, whereas her imports were at
the rate of $4,500,000,000.
A VAST ARRAY of additional data could be cited to
attest Germany's material recovery, if further demon-
stration were requisite. What is of more far reaching
significance is the question of Germany's moral recovery.
Here, too, the hand of friendship was extended in measure
and in spirit unequaled in the annals of altruistic for-
bearanice. Being in the non-material realm, the amount
of help and the indices of recovery are far more difficult
to gauge than in the material sphere. Moreover, it is still
premature to determine the actual degree and extent to
which such Germans as erred have mended their ways
since their diabolic activities under the Nazi regime, or
the definitiveness with which Germans have become
genuinely imbued with the spirit of true democracy.
Obviously, not all Germans were guilty of participating
in or even condoning the evil program of Nazism. Con-
sequently, it would be manifestly unfair to seek to indict
all Germans under a concept of collective guilt. It is
equally patent that it was some Germans who were these
shocking transgressors. Therefore, all Germans - even
today should have a feeling of collective share at the
contemplation that some of their fellow countrymen could
have sunk to such barbaric depths. And last, even as it
is unjust to assess against all Germans the concept of
collective guilt, so too is it untenable for Germany to
seek to create a facade of collective innocence.
The peace and freedom-loving nations of the world are
demonstrating daily not merely their readiness, but their
wholehearted desire, to welcome a democratic Germany
back into their fold. The Council of Europe, the Schuman
Plan, the European Defense Community, within the
broader concept of the North Atlantic Community, and
the new contractual relationship now being negotiated
to supplant the Occupation Statute are all strong sinews
which Germany has grasped and can continue to utilize
to bind her to the West, which seeks but to preserve
peace and freedom and equal opportunities for all.
ALL THESE NEW CONCEPTS and organizations have
this same common goal. Equally applicable to all of
them is Senator Austin's eloquent description of the North
Atlantic Pact:
"The object of the pact is peace. Its intention is to
provide greater security for millions of persons who live
today in anxious fear of another war. It is armor, but not
a lance; it is a shield, but not a sword.-
All carry with them an invitation to Germany to join
in these international cooperative efforts which are so
promisingly developing in Europe and in which our
country, consonant with its new role of world leadership,
is playing so dynamic and constructive a role. The de-
cision which Germany must make on each of them is the
same. Does she want to participate in this noble effort
or not? How she decides will depend on the degree and
extent to which the new spirit, which, with Allied help,
has been developing, prevails among her leaders and
her people.
There are some disquieting evidences that the old
concepts which- led to Germany's downfall have not been
completely repudiated by all Germans. Although Com-
munism has been thoroughly rejected at the polls, nation-
alistic extremism and neo-Nazism all too evidently still
have an appeal in certain quarters. There are distressing
signs of both self pity and arrogant pride. Certain quarters
act as though world politics revolve around Germany.
Playing "hard to get" is being practiced by all too
many Germans who would trifle with their coun-try's
destiny for their own selfish gain or political advantage.
One leading political figure even went so far recently as
to say that it is not a question of whether Germany wants
to join Europe, but whether Europe wants to join Ger-
many. These are signs and developments whose strength
and prevalence Germans and the Western Powers, alike,
would underestimate or ignore at their peril.
They must be rooted out by the effective process of
exposing their vicious doctrines to the uncompromising
judgment of decent public opinion. If such movements
and views should gain general support, the friendly
relations between Germany and the free peoples of the
West will be sacrificed. Even noXw they are jeopardizing
this gradually improving relationship by undermining the
confidence in Germany which is being so laboriously
built up by the better elements and more enlightened
leadership in Germany, with the patient and often for-
bearing help of the outside world. However, I think there
is valid ground for feeling that these forces of right will
prevail, as prevail they should; and prevail they must if
Germany is to occupy an honorable place in the newly
developing world order.
IT IS NOT MERELY adherence to the political tenets of
democracy, however, that constitutes the sole or even
primary gauge or criterion of a people's devotion to that
concept. Of more far-reaching importance is the prag-
matic test of how much implementation the theses of
democracy are accorded in the daily lives of a people.
In the ultimate analysis, democracy to be learned must
be practiced. That applies with particular cogency to
Germany in the light of her history recent or even well
in the past.
A more equitable distribution of profits as between
owner and worker, greater freedom to engage in trade,
INFORMATION BULLETIN
20
JANUARY 1 952


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