The Dawn Of Cold War Europe – Eve Of The Marshall Plan – 1947 – Past Daily Reference Room
Europe in the midst of reconstruction and rejuvenation. Two years after the end of World War 2, a devastated Europe struggled to get back on its feet. Food was scarce, the infrastructure was shattered and being slowly pieced back together. Political upheavals were taking place. The presence of Communism was everywhere and parties were springing up from Prague to London, with disenfranchised and displaced filling the ranks and flooding the streets.
The West was countering this perceived threat from Moscow in the form of Secretary of State General George C. Marshall‘s plan for economic recovery in Europe – and there was talk of a union of European nations, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United Nations, taking the place of the dismantled and failed League Of Nations.
But it was a time for ideologies to compete – who had the better plan and who was listening. It was, for all intents and purposes, a popularity contest and the prize was Europe, those parts not already under the influence of The Iron Curtain. But aside from the surface notion, there were deeper issues. And for all the talk that those Eastern European countries who had already fallen under the influence of Moscow, not all of them were Communist and not all of them believe in Communist economics, but who were convinced, nevertheless that their countries were making material progress. And that it was Russian influence and Russian help and Communist guidance that was bringing this progress to them.
This program, part of the Sunday radio series A Time For Reason, presented by CBS News, was narrated by Lyman Bryson, director of Public Affairs for CBS Radio, who was reporting from Paris, having just finished a fact-finding tour of Europe. He gives a talk on his observations – looking at the political and economic atmosphere of Europe, post-War.
Fascinating listening and gives a better understanding of the Cold War, as well as how and why it came about.
Here is that talk by Lyman Bryson, as given on August 31, 1947 for A Time Of Reason from CBS Radio.