One does not simply help europe

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948 – more commonly known as the Marshall Plan. Masterminded by Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the United States provisioned $11,8 billion in grants and $1,5 billion in loans to 16 countries in Europe (including West-Germany). This amount would be equivalent to roughly $135 billion today. Marshall served as the US Army’s Chief of Staff during the war and saw the need for a more systematic approach to helping Europe get back on its feet. Without economic health „there can be no political stability and no assured peace“, he said. By the end of 1951, industrial production for all participating countries was 64 percent higher than in 1947. Total gross national product rose by about 25 percent. Henry Kissinger assesses Marshall’s legacy in grander terms: The Marshall Plan „inspired a new international order by enabling the nations of Europe first to rediscover their own identities in its pursuit, then to go on to build systems transcending national sovereignty, such as the Coal and Steel Community and, eventually, the European Union.“

Sean Bean in Lord of the Rings 1 by Peter Jackson, 2001, Joe Sommerlad, 03.04.2018, Ali Wyne, 03.04.2018