TRUMAN ADVOCATES PUNITIVE PEACE PLAN

Washington, D.C. · May 10, 1945

On this date in 1945 President Harry S. Truman signed the Joint Chiefs of Staff Directive 1067. The person behind the direc­tive was Henry Morgen­thau, Jr., Presi­dent Franklin D. Roose­velt’s former Trea­sury Secre­tary who had long advo­cated that post­war Ger­man occu­pa­tion include mea­sures to eli­mi­nate Ger­many’s abil­ity to wage war for a third time—the first two times being the First and Second World Wars. JCS 1067 applied only to the U.S. zone of occu­pa­tion, not the Brit­ish, Soviet, and later French zones. Truman did, however, suc­ceed in incor­po­rating much of JCS 1067 (and its inspi­ra­tion, the 1944 Morgen­thau Plan) into the Pots­dam Agree­ment, a “com­muni­qué” that the victo­ri­ous powers hashed out during their meeting in a Berlin suburb between July 17 and August 2, 1945. Under the Pots­dam pro­vi­sions, U.S. occu­pa­tion efforts focused mainly on denazi­fi­ca­tion, Ger­man dis­arma­ment and demili­ta­ri­zation, the prose­cution of Ger­man war crimi­nals, and the reduc­tion or destruc­tion of all civil­ian heavy indus­try that might have a mili­tary poten­tial. Loco­motive, mer­chant ship, and air­craft pro­duc­tion, for example, was prohib­ited and banks were restricted in their lending. The Ger­man eco­nomy was to be restruc­tured toward light indus­try and agri­cul­ture. Following the Agree­ment’s imple­men­tation, Ger­man living stan­dards declined and mal­nu­tri­tion and death rates rose above pre­war levels. Beginning in mid-1946 many ob­ser­vers came to see the Morgen­thau Plan and JCS 1067 as in­flicting un­due hard­ship on Ger­mans and limiting the abil­ity of their coun­try to recover from the devas­ta­ting effects of the past dozen years. Truman’s Secre­tary of State, retired Gen. George C. Marshall, citing national (i.e., U.S.) secu­rity con­cerns, was able to con­vince the presi­dent to rescinded the puni­tive occu­pa­tion directive JCS 1067 in 1947, months after the Morgen­thau Plan had been aban­doned as offi­cial U.S. policy. In April 1948 a new Eco­no­mic Recovery Pro­gram was in place, infor­mally named after Marshall. The $13 billion, four-year Marshall Plan helped Euro­pean eco­no­mies (apart from Soviet satel­lites’) quickly recover and mod­ern­ize along Amer­i­can lines. The aid plan also sti­mu­lated the poli­ti­cal recon­struc­tion of West­ern Europe. In 1953 Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his postwar work.





Marshall Plan: Restoring the Infrastructure and Economies of Post‑WWII Europe

Hungerwinter Demonstration, Germany 1947 1997 West German Marshall stamp

Left: Between 1946 and 1948 food produc­tion in Ger­many was still two-thirds the pre­war level. Not until the end of 1949, after the Marshall Plan had kicked in, did in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion reach pre­war levels. During the win­ter of 1947, thou­sands of West Ger­mans took to the streets to pro­test the disas­trous housing, food, and dis­placed per­sons situ­a­tion in their country. In this street demon­stra­tion, the handheld pla­card reads: “We want COAL. We want BREAD.

Right: 1997 West German stamp com­mem­o­rating the 50th anni­ver­sary of the Marshall Plan. Marshall dele­gated the design of the Marshal Plan to his subor­di­nates, using his pres­tige as the organ­izer of vic­tory in World War II to gar­ner the requi­site sup­port in the U.S. Congress for its passage.

1960 West German Marshall stamp Time Magazine’s 1947 Man of the Year

Left: 1960 West German stamp honoring George Marshall (1880–1959). As U.S. Secre­tary of State (1947–1949), Marshall laid the ground­work for the Euro­pean Recov­ery Pro­gram (1947–1951), the Marshall Plan’s for­mal name; the Ber­lin Air­lift (June 1948–May 1949); the crea­tion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organi­za­tion (NATO) (1949); and the estab­lish­ment of the Ger­man Federal Republic (West Ger­many) (1949).

Right: Marshall was the first profes­sional sol­dier to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1953) and was twice named Man of the Year by Time magazine (1943 and 1947).

George C. Marshall, American Soldier and Statesman (Part 1 of 2)