April 3, 1947 – And while we were hearing about Mine safety and disasters from John L. Lewis, if we had Shortwave radios, we were hearing the daily news and commentary from Radio Moscow. Maybe not as overtly propagandistic as it later became, nonetheless, Radio Moscow was the main information source for news about Russia and the growing tensions between East and West and the influence of Communism throughout Europe with the establishment and popularity of the Communist party in France, Italy.
In 1947 the world was still in the midst of rebuilding from the devastation of war. The economies in countries particularly hard-hit were, like most of their cities, in ruins. Nations were slow to get back on track. Food was scarce, work was more scarce and housing was temporary at best. So it was only natural that this atmosphere of discontent found its way onto the streets and in rallies where the virtues of a Communist society were extolled at a daily rate.
To many, Communism was the panacea to the worlds ills. But because Moscow was attempting to gain influence in these countries, negotiations over economic recovery and post-war building were difficult at best and belligerent at worst. The main bone of contention in 1947 was the question of German reunification. Many in the West felt Germany was rendered harmless enough to be able to rebuild their economy without occupation from Allied forces. Opinion was varied, but Moscow was adamant that a reunified Germany was not an option, that Germany was to remain divided and occupied. In March 1947 the Big Four foreign ministers met in Moscow. They were British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, United States Secretary of State George Marshall, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, and French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault. The meeting started on 10 March 1947. On 24 April 1947 it was reported that the meeting had ended, and the next meeting would be held in London. The foreign ministers had agreed to formally dissolve the state of Prussia but had failed to agree on peace treaties with Germany and Austria. In his closing speech Molotov replied to Marshall’s accusation that Russia had caused the conference to fail.
Here is the news of April 3rd, 1947 as reported by Radio Moscow – which may be a little hard to hear at times. Shortwave Radio was no streaming audio and it was up to the ability of the receiver to pick up sometimes faint signals. But it’s historic nevertheless.