“The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War” by Benn Steil is a detailed, historical and economic analysis of the famous Plan that helped restore western Europe after the destruction of World War 2, and keep the Soviet Union from spreading its destructive and authoritarian designs beyond east Berlin. The idea of actually helping rebuild Germany as a way to further European recovery after the destructive and deadly war they started, sounds almost like a plot for a science fiction movie. But in essence that was the sales pitch the Truman administration sold to reluctant countries and allies like Britian, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, etc. In return for the aid the Marshall Plan provided to our desperately starving and bankrupt allies, they agreed to this strategy that would reshape the world, stop the spread of Communism, and ultimately defeat the Soviet Union.

In retrospect the plan was ingenious, a very difficult piece of legislation to get passed through the Congress of the United States, but in the hands of the very capable Senate Majority Leader, Arther Vanenberg (R, MI) it passed.

Germany was the economic key to western European recovery. Its resources and industry, even after the war, was essential if the allied countries had any hope of recovering in a matter of years and not decades. The sister to the Marshall Plan, which was strictly economic aid and a refute of communism, was the creation of NATO… A military organization with the stated purpose that if one of its member nations was attacked, it was an attack on all o516STFY5mGL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_f them. The Marshall Plan and the creation of NATO were direct renunciations of FDR’s vision of a “One World Concept” after the end of the war. It, along with the United Nations, were utopian ideals impossible to implement because of the behavior of the Soviet Union and the murderous Stalin.

President Truman, who I have long considered one of the greatest Presidents, General Clay, Sec. Of State George Marshall, Senator Vanenberg, and under Sec. Of State Dean Acheson were the men who had the foresight to implement a policy that to many Europeans is still viewed upon as their salvation. A tribute at the grave of General Clay, placed there by the citizens of Germany, reads

Wir danken dem Bewahrer unserer Freiheit.
“We thank the Defender of our Freedom.”

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