Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0527-0001-753, Krefeld, Hungerwinter, Demonstration

The hunger-winter of 1947, thousands protest in Krefeld and other places West Germany against the disastrous food situation (March 31, 1947). The sign says: "We want coal, we want bread."


  1. Other short titles- The Marshall Plan, Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, International Children's Emergency Fund Assistance Act of 1948, Greek-Turkish Assistance Act of 1948 and China Aid Act of 1948.
  2. Long title- An Act to promote world peace and the general welfare, national interest, and foreign policy of the United States through economic, financial, and other measures necessary to the maintenance of conditions abroad in which free institutions may survive and consistent with the maintenance of the strength and stability of the United States.
  3. Nicknames- Foreign Assistance Act of 1948.
  4. Enacted by- the 80th United States Congress.
  5. Effective- April 3, 1948.
  • The largest recipient of Marshall's Plan money was the United Kingdom (~26%), followed by France (~18%) and West Germany (~11%); along with 15 other nations including Italy, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey and Denmark which also go a lesser degree of help. Unfortunately, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as East Germany and Poland. This angered some officials in Poland and the GDR. It was informal named after the then Secretary of State, George Marshall.

The background to the eventEdit

The Sandman a B-24 Liberator, piloted by Robert Sternfels

A B-24 on a bomb run over the Astra Romana refinery in Ploiești, Romania, during Operation Tidal Wave.

Birmingham Blitz D 4126

Bomb Damage in Birmingham, England, Circa 1940. Although some debris has been cleared on this site on James Street, Aston Newtown, Birmingham, a large pile of timbers and some brick rubble can be clearly seen. Also visible to the right of the photograph are the twisted remains of several Anderson shelters. In the background, two of the terraced houses that are still standing have had the front wall stripped away by the blast, revealing the interior walls and floors.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2005-0923-525, Berlin, Protestkundgebung

Protest in communist East Berlin against the Ruhr statute, and against the Occupation statute.

The fire-bombings were carried out against Hamburg in 1943, Dresden in 1945, and other German cities as part of the Allied Strategic bombing plan. It had made post war life in Germany near to impossible as the grim reaper harvested lives on a daily basis with starvation, cold, accidents and typhoid. Romania, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, the USSR and Czechoslovakia were also badly hit by either Allied or Nazi instigated destruction.

Berlin had suffered enormous damage in WW2 and its population had fallen from 4,300,000 to 2,800,000. Over 100,000 German workers had held a demonstration during a general strike in Western held Hamburg against food shortages and heating oil was dangerously running low in Soviet East Berlin during 1947. As this was happening Italy was struggling with a growing communist insurgency and Paris was hit by food riots.

Emden town centre was almost completely wiped out as a result of Allied bombing raids during the Second World War, destroying nearly all historic buildings after the 31st of March 1940. The shipyard area was largely untouched - the British targeted the civilian areas, apparently in revenge for the bombing of Coventry by the Luftwaffe. When the town was rebuilt it was finally re-opened on the 6th of September 1962, exactly 18 years after the bombing.

Wilhelmshaven was one Germany’s then few deep-water port, and on of it's largest naval bases at the time. 2/3 of the town's buildings were destroyed during bombing by the Allies of World War 2. On 5 May 1945, 1st Armoured Division (Poland) under General Stanisław Maczek captured Wilhelmshaven and took the surrender of the entire garrison, including some 200 ships of the Kriegsmarine. They remained as part of the allied occupation forces until 1947.

Early on in the Ailed occupation of Germany The Ruhr Agreement was imposed on the Germans as a condition for permitting them to establish the Federal Republic of Germany (W. Germany). France expanded the borders of the Saarland, which was Germany's largest remaining source of coal after the Ruhr Area and the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, by adding parts of the Rhineland and there after detached it as a protectorate in 1947 until 1956, which it then treated like a colony with American conncent. At one point France planned to join the coal-rich Saarland with their iron-rich province of Lorraine to set up their own industrial powerhouse. Other Allied plans for Germany plans were afoot to, but theses also ended here.

German agricultural production was 83% of 1938 levels, industrial production was 88% and exports were only 59%. The British, Italians and French also suffered, but not so badly, while the USSR, the Netherlands and Poland were at death's door.

For years Britain had supported Greece, but was now near bankruptcy due to the Second World War and was thus forced to end all meaningful involvement in Greece. This is why Britain formally requested the United States take over its role in supporting Greece during the February of 1947. Yugoslavia and Bulgaria had also got plans to spread communism to Greece, conquer Albania (which Yugoslavia racialy hated) and set up a Yugoslav puppet state in Greek Macedonia.

The Allied Control Council set the price for German coal at half what it cost to produce it in order to allow the German public to buy it more easily and for the Allies to cream off the profits from exports as a type of war reparation. As a result some the remaining mines and coal firms started to go bust. From May 1945 until September 1947 the US, UK, and France exported German coal for $10.50/tonne, while the world price hovered closer to $25–$30 per tonne. France, the UK and US thus swindling roughly $200,000,000 out of the German economy. In September 1947 the export price was raised but remained set at $5–$7 below world-market prices.

Added to this was the Czechoslovak expelling of the Sudeten Germans. The Sudeten Germans were highly nationalistic and looked down on Czechs. They lived in counties and boughs which had become racial pure ghettos. Most did not learn Czech and many would not work willingly with the Czechs. The had sided with Germany and Austria against the Czechs during both WW1 and WW2.

Heavy war damage, labour shortages, public misery, ill health, poverty and high national debts were holding back European growth and stabilisation which only helped foster anger, communism and neo-fascism.

Selected WW2 European death tollsEdit

Selected World War 2 (WW2/WWII) European death tolls (including those killed in death camps and slavery).
Combatant nation. % dead (over 5% tinted in blue, 10% tinted in red and over 25% inted in brown).
UK  0.93
Greece 7.02 to 11.17
USA  0.32
France 1.35
USSR 14.2, with the worst losses in Ukraine SSR at 16.3% and Belarus SSR at 25.3%
Austria (De III Reich)  5.7
Germany (De III Reich) 9.7 to 10.0
Luxembourg 0.68
Belgium  1.05
Netherlands  3.45
Poland  16.1 to 16.7
Czechoslovakia 3.15
Denmark  0.08
Hungary  5.08 to 6.35
Finland 2.28
The Sudetenland (De III Reich) 20.00 to 30.00
Free City of Danzig (De III Reich) 10.0 to 20.0
Yugoslavia 6.7 to 11.00
Italy 1.03
Ireland 0.00

Top ten GDP (real) ranks as of 1946Edit

  1. Flag of the United States USA ~ $2,375.75 billion
  2. Flag of the Soviet Union USSR ~ $605.56 billion
  3. Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom ~ $604.21 billion
  4. 30px India ~ $469.86 billion
  5. 30px China ~ $438.62 billion
  6. Flag of France France ~ $282.69 billion
  7. Flag of Germany Germany ~ $260.95 billion
  8. 30px Italy ~ $208.25 billion
  9. 30px Japan ~ $202.92 billion
  10. 30px Canada ~ $159.38 billion

The PlanEdit

Marshall Plan

European Recovery Program expenditures by country.

Portugal in 1950-0

Portugal in 1950-0

A travelogue of right after the war shows how the country has survived the war. Lisbon and Porto are shown as well as fishery, cork and other sources of income. Finally a typical traditional dance is performed.

Portugal 1980 and 1981-0

Portugal 1980 and 1981-0

These are old kodachrome images taken in Portugal in the eraly 80's.

The politico-economicsEdit

The former US President Herbert Hoover had raised the points that killing 25,000,000 Germans in revenge, abolishing all industry, always looting it of anything of value or totally annexing it to one or more of it's neighbours was political and economically insane to say the least! He also pointed out that Europe needed German industry, especial that relating to the coal and steel industries during the March of 1947.

The currency reform in 1948 was headed by the the Allied military government and helped Germany to restore economic stability by encouraging production.

The Deutsche Mark, along with the Marshall Plan that propped up many western European nations, appeared to be a way of reviving the ruined German nation regardless of Soviet objections. Stalin considered setting up W. Berlin as a capitalist bastion in the Soviet zone a economic threat and a political provocation.

President Truman stated to his political opponents in the U.S. during crisis of the Greek Civil War of 1946–1949 that if Greece and Turkey did not receive the aid that they both urgently needed, they would inevitably fall to communism or be over run by their communist neighbors, with very grave consequences throughout the region. Both were also be treated equally despite Greece being in more need of help since he id not want to inflame Greco-Turkish rivalries either. The Republicans who controlled Congress and agreed to send $400 million in American money, but no military forces or material aid, to the region.

The British and French agreed to the Marshall Plan instantly, whilst the USSR rejected it instantly. Greece and Turkey got the first major donation in January 1947 to help undermine local communists. Western Europe would recover and reach a level somewhat above pre-war level by 1952.

President Truman signed the Economic Cooperation Act into law on April 3, 1948; establishing the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) to administer the more specialised aspects of the Marshal Plan as a program. It consisted of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, the United Kingdom, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States and acted as a a master financial-aid-coordinating agency. It later became the Organization for European Economic Cooperation later called the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Every country of Europe was invited, with the exceptions of Spain, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, and Liechtenstein to the summit of July 12. The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Poland were invited, but the Soiets refused and began to intimidate Czechoslovakia and bribe Poland. Poland receded a lucrative 5 year trade agreement, the equivalent of 450 million 1948 dollars in credit, 200,000 tons of grain, heavy machinery, rolling stock and new factories.

Stalin suspected a possibility that these Eastern Bloc countries might defy Soviet directives not to accept the aid, potentially causing a loss of control of the Eastern Bloc and the spead of Western style democracy.

The rival bloc the became known as the Molotov Plan, and later, the COMECON. It's members too Soviet Union oil and in return provided machinery, equipment, agricultural goods, industrial goods and consumer goods to the Soviet Union. By mid-1948 industrial production in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia had recovered to a level somewhat above pre-war level. Austria, Finland, Hungary, Romania, and especially East Germany were forced to pay massive amounts of money and send large amounts of food, industrial equipment, consumer goods and skilled labour to the USSR.

The dismantling of West German industry finally ended in in 1949 when Konrad Adenauer wrote to the Allies requesting that it end saying that economic growth was being held back by looting, Ailed plundering, poverty and public misery.

The European theatre's expenditure totalsEdit

The expenditure totals.
Country 1948/49 ($ millions) 1949/50 ($ millions) 1950/51 ($ millions) Cumulative total in ($ millions)
Totals 4,924 3,652 4,155 12,731
Austria 232 166 70 468
Belgium and Luxembourg 195 222 360 777
Denmark 103 87 195 385
France 1085 691 520 2296
West Germany 510 438 500 1448
Greece 175 156 45 376
Iceland 6 22 15 43
Ireland 88 45 0 133
Italy and Trieste 594 405 205 1204
Netherlands 471 302 355 1128
Norway 82 90 200 372
Portugal 0 0 70 70
Sweden 39 48 260 347
Switzerland 0 0 250 250
Turkey 28 59 50 137
United Kingdom 1316 921 1060 3297

The total of American grants and loans to the world from 1945 to 1953 came to $44.3 billion. Other related aid deals also hit Asia with $5.9 billion in aid, especially China/Taiwan ($1.051 billion), India ($255 million), Indonesia ($215 million), Japan ($2.44 billion), South Korea ($894 million), Pakistan ($98 million) and the Philippines ($803 million). In addition, another $282 million went to Israel and $196 million to the rest of the Middle East.

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) contributed heavily to the success of the Technical Assistance Program.

The army was involved in a number of border skirmishes from 1948 to 1952, repulsing several Greek attacks.

The resultsEdit

Border Protection - The Border Between East and West Europe - 1970's US Forces

Border Protection - The Border Between East and West Europe - 1970's US Forces

Border Protection - The Border Between East and West Europe - 1970's US Forces.

The USA had thus helped save Western Europe. Much of the Marshall Plan aid would be used by the Western Europeans to buy manufactured goods and raw materials from the United States and Canada, who had only take minimal material losses in WW2.

The Berlin airlift the increased the perception among many Europeans that the Soviets posed a new danger, helping to prompt the entry into NATO of Portugal (fascist), Iceland (weak), Italy (communist insurgency), Denmark (weak) and Norway (bordered the USSR). the issues surrounding the Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948 also disturbed the W. Germany, the UK and the USA. The Icelandic NATO riot of March 30, 1949 was the only major public protest over NATO at the time. Greece and Turkey the military alliance joined NATO in 1952 since it guaranteed their protection from communist invasion and terrorism.

The post-war animosities between Germans and the occupying nations of Britain, France and the United States, were greatly reduced by the airlift out of a mixture of common interests, shared values and mutual respect in the face of Soviet aggression.

The Royal Danish Air Force was established in 1950 the area was named Air Base Karup.

During the post-war years Karup Air Base became a central part of Denmark's NATO defence plan and played a major role in the establishment of the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF). In 1955 the Tactical Air Command were placed at Karup. Civil airport facilaties opened in 1965 and millatery operations were partly transfered to other air bases in the 1970s and 1980s.

Image galleryEdit

Videos of Cold War GermanyEdit

  • Germany rises from the ashes...
Berlin 1936 (in color) - Germany before the Second World War

Berlin 1936 (in color) - Germany before the Second World War

Berlin 1936 (in color) - Germany before the Second World War.

Berlin in July 1945 (HD 1080p color footage)

Berlin in July 1945 (HD 1080p color footage)

Berlin in July 1945 (HD 1080p color footage)

Berlin-Krise 1961, seltene Filmaufnahmen

Berlin-Krise 1961, seltene Filmaufnahmen

Berlin-Krise 1961, seltene Filmaufnahmen.

Here is Germany May 8 1945 After World War 2 - American occupation of Germany

Here is Germany May 8 1945 After World War 2 - American occupation of Germany.-1437061677

Here is Germany May 8 1945 After World War 2 - American occupation of Germany (U.S. sector).




Germany after the War, 1945-49-0

Germany after the War, 1945-49-0

Germany after the War, 1945-49.

Berlin Wall build (1961)

Berlin Wall build (1961)

Berlin Wall build (1961).

Frankfurt M. 1954 u

Frankfurt M. 1954 u. 1959 in color & HD

Frankfurt / M. 1954 u. 1959 in color & HD.

Berlin 1957 - 1960 color - Berlin Ost & West vor dem Mauerbau - Berlin East & West without wall-0

Berlin 1957 - 1960 color - Berlin Ost & West vor dem Mauerbau - Berlin East & West without wall-0

Berlin 1957 - 1960 color - Berlin Ost & West vor dem Mauerbau - Berlin East & West without wall.

Frankfurt Hauptwache 1965

Frankfurt Hauptwache 1965.

Frankfurt Hauptwache 1965.

Mauerbau Berlin 13

Mauerbau Berlin 13. August 1961 (unkommentiert) Zeitgeschichte live

Mauerbau Berlin 13. August 1961 (unkommentiert) Zeitgeschichte live.

Der Hauptbahnhof Frankfurt - Deutschlands bedeutendster Schienenknotenpunkt (1962)

Der Hauptbahnhof Frankfurt - Deutschlands bedeutendster Schienenknotenpunkt (1962)

Der Hauptbahnhof Frankfurt - Deutschlands bedeutendster Schienenknotenpunkt (1962).

Die Meisterleistung von Nürnberg (1988)

Die Meisterleistung von Nürnberg (1988)

Die Meisterleistung von Nürnberg (1988).

Frankfurt Am Main, 1967

Frankfurt Am Main, 1967

Frankfurt Am Main, 1967.




Also seeEdit

  1. Berlin airlift
  2. Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948
  3. Allied plans for Germany
  4. FRG
  5. GDR
  6. EU
  7. Arab League
  8. NATO
  9. Warsaw Pact
  10. ECOWAS
  11. Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)
  12. Truman doctrine


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