Tuesday, 10 November 2009

"Selling Democracy" in Europe

Posters produced by the Office of Military Government / U.S., the occupational authority in Germany after World War II. The office's documentary-film unit was the predecessor of the Marshall Plan motion-picture unit.

The European Recovery Program (or the Marshall Plan, named after Gen. George C. Marshall, secretary of state under President Harry S Truman) funded the war-torn Europe from 1948 until 1950, "when aid to Europe morphed into military support. Credited with speeding up the continent's economic recovery as well as restoring democracy to post-Nazi Germany, it extended the offer of aid even to the Soviet Union and East-bloc nations, which declined the help".

"The German economic miracle was due largely to American aid, and the decrepit nature of the East German economy was due to Russia's stripping of it... but we attributed that to the failure of communism, and the success of capitalism." (Berdahl in Bergman, 2005)

Bergman, B. (2005) A Man, A Plan, A Film Series. [online] http://berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2005/10/26_Marshall.shtml