Letter to the editor: The rest of the post-war story

After World War II America did not just go home with their “spoils of war.” After the war ended in 1945, America devised a humanitarian plan called the Marshall Plan, named after George C. Marshall, who was the brainchild of the plan along with President Harry Truman to provide aid to Europe to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure that were destroyed during the war. It was also implemented to halt the spread of Communism on the European continent. It was enacted in 1948 with more than $5 billion to finance the rebuilding of Europe and its economy.

President Truman and Marshall signed it on April 3, 1948, to continue until 1952. 

Also in 1948, as a result of the division of Europe between Russia and the West, Berlin, which was located inside the Russian zone, was also divided. Russia, on June 24, 1948, blockaded rail, road and water access to Allied-controlled areas of Berlin. The united States and England responded by airlifting food and fuel to Berlin. One plane landed every 45 seconds. On May 11, 1949, Moscow lifted the blockade of West Berlin. The Berlin airlift crisis solidified division in Europe. As a result the Western Allies created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In the meantime, America occupied Japan. Gen. Douglas MacArthur was named the Supreme Commander of the occupation forces who felt that only a democratic Japan could be a peace-loving country. With the occupation of the Japanese, Japan underwent tremendous changes in just seven years. The occupation lasted from 1945 until 1952.

The success of the occupation can be judged by the fact that in 75 years, Japan has not fought a war and is a close ally of the United States of America. Germany is also our close ally.

This is only a thumbnail sketch of the humanitarian reconstruction effort of war-torn Europe and the complicated history of the division of Germany between America, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union and its final outcome.

And now Ukraine!

America is committed to its relief of world suffering.

Jean Panicucci


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