U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall calls for aid to Europe

U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall calls for aid to Europe

In one of the most significant speeches of the Cold War, Secretary of State George C. Marshall calls on the United States to assist in the economic recovery of postwar Europe. His speech provided the impetus for the so-called Marshall Plan, under which the United States sent billions of dollars to Western Europe to rebuild the war-torn countries.

In 1946 and into 1947, economic disaster loomed for Western Europe. World War II had done immense damage, and the crippled economies of Great Britain and France could not reinvigorate the region’s economic activity. Germany, once the industrial dynamo of Western Europe, lay in ruins. Unemployment, homelessness, and even starvation were commonplace. For the United States, the situation was of special concern on two counts. First, the economic chaos of Western Europe was providing a prime breeding ground for the growth of communism. Second, the U.S. economy, which was quickly returning to a civilian state after several years of war, needed the markets of Western Europe in order to sustain itself.

On June 5, 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, speaking at Harvard University, outlined the dire situation in Western Europe and pleaded for U.S. assistance to the nations of that region. “The truth of the matter,” the secretary claimed, “is that Europe’s requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products—principally from America—are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character.” Marshall declared, “Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.” In a thinly veiled reference to the communist threat, he promised “governments, political parties, or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the United States.”

In March 1948, the United States Congress passed the Economic Cooperation Act (more popularly known as the Marshall Plan), which set aside $4 billion in aid for Western Europe. By the time the program ended nearly four years later, the United States had provided over $12 billion for European economic recovery. British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin likened the Marshall Plan to a “lifeline to sinking men.”

READ MORE: Cold War: A Timeline

George Catlett Marshall

GEORGE C. MARSHALL’s contributions to our nation and the world cannot be overstated. He was the organizer of victory and the architect of peace during and following World War II. He won the war, and he won the peace. His characteristics of honesty, integrity, and selfless service stand as shining examples for those who study the past and for those generations who will learn about him in the future. The Marshall Foundation is dedicated to celebrating his legacy.

Marshall’s career touched on many of the key events of the 20th century—as a new Army officer following the Philippine insurrection, as a member of the staff of General of the Armies John J. Pershing during World War I, as U.S. Army Chief of Staff during War World II, as Secretary of State and the architect of European economic recovery following WWII, and as Secretary of Defense during the Korean War. He is the only person to have served in these three highest positions.

During World War II, Marshall as Army Chief of Staff (1939–1945) was the most important military figure in the U.S. military establishment and of great significance in maintaining the Anglo-American coalition. After the war, he was named special ambassador to China (1945–1947), Secretary of State (1947–1949), President of the American Red Cross (1949–1950), and Secretary of Defense (1950–1951). In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in proposing, encouraging legislative action, and supporting the European Recovery Program (known as the Marshall Plan). For nearly 20 years he was a major U.S. leader, militarily, politically and morally, and he is still widely admired today.

The Marshall Plan

The need, aid to europe, the european recovery program, and the results.

Timeline & Chronology

The detailed chronology lists all the major events of George C. Marshall's life.

World War I Memoirs

Marshall drafted this manuscript while he was in Washington, D.C., between 1919 and 1924 as aide-de-camp to General of the Armies John J. Pershing.

Pogue Interviews

A selection of essays and interviews including the Forrest C. Pogue interviews that represent the nearest George Marshall ever came to producing a memoir.

Essays and Remarks

Articles and speeches dedicated to George C. Marshall.

Films & Videos

Film and Video About George Marshall.


An annotated bibliography of the most useful sources of information about George C. Marshall's life.

Did the Marshall Plan Really Save Europe After World War II?

It took Secretary of State George Marshall only 12 minutes to outline a plan to save Europe after World War II, though he planned to keep his remarks even briefer. Rather than addressing Congress or the newly formed United Nations, Marshall chose a Harvard commencement speech on June 5, 1947, as his platform to unveil the U.S. State Department's strategy for reviving the flagging European economy. Emphasizing poverty relief above political conflict, Marshall spoke in simple, concrete language. Days later, officials in the United States and Europe initiated discussions about what would be recognized as the most significant foreign policy exchange in U.S. history.

World War II, which came to a close in 1945, had devastated Western Europe. A quarter of Germany's urban housing had been destroyed, combined with a 70 percent drop in gross domestic product [source: Hoover]. Industrial production across the continent was at 60 percent of prewar levels [source: Machado]. Though some nations verged on recovery, a drought followed by a brutal winter in 1946 ruined wheat harvests and intensified the scarcity of commodities. The gap between imports and exports widened, worsened by the repayments of war debt. Will Clayton, Under Secretary of Economic Affairs during the Truman administration, observed the postwar wreckage in Europe and described, "millions of people . slowly starving" [source: Hindley].

In the face of rising malnutrition, homelessness and unemployment, Communist regimes gained popularity. By 1947, the French Communist Party held a sizeable presence in the national parliament, and Italian Communists had won comparable political influence. As relations between the United States and the Soviet Union chilled, the U.S. government feared the escalation of Communist support in response to the crumbling European economy.

Amid this tenuous international environment, George C. Marshall was slated to receive an honorary doctorate from Harvard. In a letter from Marshall to the university president, the secretary of state explained that he would say a few words of thanks at the commencement ceremony and "perhaps a little more" [source: Hindley].

Addressing a lay crowd gave Marshall more leverage. Strict isolationists in Congress might have dismissed the recovery strategy immediately, forcing him into an uphill battle. Instead, the largely conservative Harvard audience and the media in attendance applauded the plan, paving the way for its reception on Capitol Hill.

Royal remarks

Prince Charles is not the only member of royalty to touch on subjects related to the coronavirus and sustainability this week.

In a speech delivered on Monday ahead of a CNBC-moderated panel at the World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Summit, King Abdullah II of Jordan noted how the pandemic and its long-term consequences had "exasperated" issues in a range of areas.

"The climate crisis, poverty, hunger, unemployment and socioeconomic inequalities have worsened after years of ineffective collective action," he said.

"The way forward must be rooted in a re-globalization that fortifies the building blocks of our international community by enabling our countries to strike a balance between self-reliance and positive interdependence, enabling us all to jointly mount a holistic response to all crises facing our world."

Soros and CFR Exploit Refugee Crisis for New World Order

After having literally created the refugee crisis from start to finish — destroying multiple Middle Eastern nations and then demanding that Europe accept the millions of displaced victims — the internationalist establishment is now exploiting the chaos it unleashed to push more globalism and statism. Europe, Africa, and the Middle East are all in the cross-hairs of billionaire George Soros (shown), the global government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, and other key globalist forces. Among other efforts, the refugee-crisis instigators are using the horror they unleashed as a pretext to erode what remains of national sovereignty in those regions — all while further empowering supranational institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and even a globalist-backed “Middle East Union” yet to be formally unveiled. A new “Marshall Plan” and even an EU paramilitary force with unprecedented powers are also on the agenda, all on the road toward what establishment voices regularly refer to as a “New World Order.”

With the refugee situation quickly spiraling out of control across parts of the continent — the mass sexual assaults on New Year across Germany and beyond, the implosion of law and order around Calais in France, the widely reported overrunning of Stockholm’s central station by refugee youths, and more — the public is now growing increasingly outraged. Indeed, as The New American reported last week, even the establishment forces responsible for unleashing the chaos are now loudly denouncing it. The New York Times, an establishment mouthpiece that dutifully promoted the globalist wars that sparked the refugee crisis, and then the subsequent flooding of the West with the victims of those wars, ran an op-ed pointing out that Germany was “on the brink” due to the crisis. Top European political bosses have also been sounding the alarm.

Another senior globalist, Rothschild banking dynasty protege and billionaire hedge-fund boss Soros, played an instrumental role in encouraging the myriad wars and the subsequent tsunami of refugees into Europe that was sparked by those wars. And now, like other establishment voices, Soros is also pointing out the obvious. The European Union, he said in a recent interview, is “on the verge of collapse” due to the sudden influx of well over a million Islamic refugees last year. Not coincidentally, Soros also has ideas about “solutions.” And not surprisingly, those alleged “solutions” involve more globalism for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East — along with less sovereignty, self-government, and liberty.

In an interview with Bloomberg from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the radical anti-national sovereignty statist claimed that Europe needed to finance a new “Marshall Plan” for the regions of the world from which the refugees are fleeing — regions and nations destroyed in large part by the globalist Western establishment figures pushing the new plan. Soros was expressing support for a proposal made earlier by a fellow globalist, German Finance Minster Wolfgang Schaeuble. The new “Marshall Plan” they envision seeks to transfer wealth from struggling European taxpayers to a multitude of nations ruined by globalist machinations such as Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond — but the real agenda goes much deeper, as did the last Marshall Plan after World War II.

“What is most important is for us to invest billions in those regions from which the refugees come to reduce the pressure on the external frontiers of Europe,” Schaeuble argued in a panel discussion at the globalist World Economic Forum, speaking alongside several European prime ministers who also played a key role in flooding Europe with refugees displaced from the nations they helped destroy. “That will cost Europe much more than we thought.” Of course it will, and you will pay for it. Writing in the Soros-backed “Project Syndicate” propaganda organ in 2014, Schaeuble previously called for a global taxation regime, one of his many calls for more globalism and statism.

So what would a new “Marshall Plan” for the Middle East and Africa look like? A brief history of the original Marshall Plan might offer some clues. Officially known as the “European Recovery Program,” or ERP, the scheme involved transferring the equivalent of almost $150 billion in today’s dollars from U.S. taxpayers to Western European governments. The ostensible purpose was to help rebuild Europe after World War II. In practice, though, it served as a key tool in the transformation of Western Europe into a statist region dominated by Big Government and supranational institutions, eventually culminating in the subjugation of Europeans under the unaccountable EU super-state. That was the goal all along.

As far back as 1947, then-U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall (CFR) — a key player in handing China to Chairman Mao’s murderous communists, and perhaps mass-murdering dictator Joseph Stalin’s most important ally in the world — strongly suggested in a speech that European “economic cooperation” was a precondition for the desperately needed American aid after the war. “It is already evident that, before the United States Government can proceed much further in its efforts to alleviate the situation and help start the European world on its way to recovery, there must be some agreement among the countries of Europe as to the requirements of the situation and the part those countries themselves will take in order to give proper effect to whatever action might be undertaken by this Government,” said Marshall, the man after whom the scheme was named. “The initiative, I think, must come from Europe. The role of this country should consist of friendly aid in the drafting of a European program and of later support of such a program so far as it may be practical for us to do so. The program should be a joint one, agreed to by a number, if not all European nations.” (Emphasis added.)

The Committee of European Economic Cooperation, chaired by then-British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, officially responded with a major report that was ultimately transmitted approvingly by the State Department to President Harry Truman. Signed by government representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and more, the committee outlined efforts to create a customs union that could eventually lead to even further cooperation. U.S. officials were pleased.

Members of Congress, especially Representative Walter Judd (R-Minn.), even tried to get language in the statement of purpose for the original Marshall Plan bill of 1948 explicitly declaring that it was the policy of the United States to encourage the economic unification and the political federation of Europe. In the end, language calling for the development of economic cooperation was included instead. The next year, the “political federation” amendment was pursued again, with the result being the addition of the sentence: “It is further declared to be the policy of the people of the United States to encourage the unification of Europe.” By 1951, Congress finally came out and said it openly, with a clause included in the 1951 Mutual Security Act stating: “to further encourage the economic unification and the political federation of Europe.”

The goals of U.S. government support for European integration were explained in part decades ago, though largely ignored, by top U.S. officials. On September 20, 1966, for example, then-Under Secretary of State George Ball (CFR) testified before Congress on the State Department’s view on forming an “Atlantic Community,” essentially merging the United States with Europe. “I find little evidence of any strong interest among Europeans for any immediate move toward greater political unity with the United States,” he explained. “They fear the overwhelming weight of U.S. power and influence in our common councils…. We believe that so long as Europe remains merely a continent of medium- and small-sized states there are definite limits to the degree of political unity we can achieve across the ocean.”

Not coincidentally, the new “Marshall Plan” is being pushed by the same globalist establishment that has been openly advancing the imposition of a “Middle East Union” on the region in recent years. “Just as a warring [European] continent found peace through unity by creating what became the EU, Arabs, Turks, Kurds and other groups in the region could find relative peace in ever closer union,” claimed Mohamed “Ed” Husain, an “adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies” at the CFR, in a piece published in the Financial Times and on the CFR website in mid-2014. “After all, most of its problems — terrorism, poverty, unemployment, sectarianism, refugee crises, water shortages — require regional answers. No country can solve its problems on its own.” That is, of course, nonsense, but it is standard globalist rhetoric.

Plenty of other globalists have offered similar admissions. It has even become fashionable for establishment figures and their hangers-on to compare today’s Middle East with Europe before the EU. Indeed, Richard Haass, the CFR boss and a former leader at the U.S. State Department, writing in Soros’ Project Syndicate, does precisely that. In an incredible admission, though, Haass explains, without admitting the CFR’s giant role in instigating all of the tragedies he mentions, that the CFR-backed globalist wars of the last decade and a half were crucial in setting the region on fire — the same blaze that now supposedly requires a CFR-inspired “Middle East Union” to be extinguished. The globalist strategy used over and over again goes like this: create a problem, then exploit and manage the inevitable reaction to push a “solution.”

“The 2003 Iraq war was highly consequential, for it exacerbated Sunni-Shia tensions in one of the region’s most important countries and, as a result, in many of the region’s other divided societies,” Haass wrote, omitting the instrumental role of CFR members and operatives in the Bush administration, the media, Congress, and beyond who demanded and launched the destruction of Iraq. “Regime change in Libya [by Obama, the United Nations, NATO, and CFR apparatchiks] has created a failing state lukewarm support for [CFR and Soros-backed] regime change in Syria has set the stage for prolonged civil war.” And the chaos, bloodshed, and terror will continue, he says, until “a new local order emerges or exhaustion sets in.” In the meantime, globalists should treat the region as a “condition to be managed,” Haass said. How convenient — the CFR sets a fire, and now purports to have the fire extinguisher, promising a raging inferno unless and until everyone submits to the globalist demands, including a new regional “order.”

Multiple news reports have suggested that the Kremlin in Moscow, which is currently building its own “Eurasian Union,” might be called upon to help out with the new “Marshall Plan.” Several media outlets have even reported that Soros wanted Russia to cooperate in the scheme, though for now, at least, those reports appear to be inaccurate. But the notion of Putin’s Kremlin helping to push regionalization and ultimately globalism in tandem with the EU is hardly new. In fact, before the recent tensions, top EU bosses were quite open about it. During a meeting in late 2012 between Russian and EU leaders, the Bilderberg-selected European “President” at the time, Herman Van Rompuy, said: “By working together, the EU and Russia can make a decisive contribution to global governance and regional conflict resolution, to global economic governance in the G 8 and G 20, and to a broad range of international and regional issues.” Russian heavyweights have also started publicly calling for “integration” — including political — between the EU and Russia.

In Africa, the same regionalization strategy is being pursued, as The New American documented in a recent article about the globalist agenda becoming clear amid the imposition of an “African Union” on the peoples of the continent. Unsurprisingly, the EU, along with the Obama administration and the communist dictatorship enslaving mainland China, is already the chief financier of the African Union. The UN, meanwhile, is helping orchestrate the process.

The end game is clear, too: Using the regional blocs as building blocks in erecting what globalists such as Soros, Bush, Clinton, Biden, and others, often refer to in public as their “New World Order.” In his recent book World Order, globalist operative and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger laid out the plan. “The contemporary quest for world order [world government] will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order [regional government] within the various regions and to relate these regional orders [governments] to one another,” he wrote. State Department documents going back decades outline the same strategy.

Other internationalist schemes being pushed by exploiting the refugee crisis include the creation of new EU institutions, including agencies to usurp control over immigration from formerly sovereign nations, as well as to create military outfits ostensibly aimed at “protecting Europe’s borders” from the refugee tsunami sparked by globalist machinations. If approved, the proposed EU military force would even be able to “intervene” in European nations without permission from national authorities if the situation was “urgent.” Globalist former Goldman Sachs boss Peter Sutherland, currently “serving” as the UN “special representative of the secretary-general for international migration,” openly declared that national sovereignty is an “absolute illusion” that must be “put behind us” in the interest of the refugee crisis and, more broadly, creating a “better world.”

If humanitarianism was truly the motivation, though, countless experts have pointed out that it would be radically more cost effective to help refugees and victims of globalist wars closer to their homes. Literally 25 to 50 times more people could be supported in Lebanon or Jordan than in Europe, for the same amount of tax funds. The wars that destroyed those countries and caused the crisis to begin with would never have been launched if the purported “humanitarian concerns” of the establishment were genuine. Instead, the agenda is to advance globalism, pure and simple, and the establishment barely even seems interested in concealing that fact anymore. Europeans, Africans, Americans, Middle Easterners, and all of humanity should resist.


An article Sunday about the Marshall Plan omitted one of the co- producers of a June 6 PBS documentary on the plan. It is the Educational Film Center. (Published 05/27/97) ARTICLES ON MAY 25 AND MAY 29 QUOTED FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER WINSTON CHURCHILL DESCRIBING THE MARSHALL PLAN AS "THE MOST UNSORDID ACT" IN HISTORY. HIS WORDS ACTUALLY REFERRED TO THE LEND-LEASE ACT OF 1941. (PUBLISHED 06/06/97)

"In all the history of the world, we are the first great nation to feed and support the conquered." President Harry S. Truman, April 1948

With practiced ease, a worker slices open the cardboard box, pulls out the hand-size panels of California cedar and stacks them at the head of the assembly line.

In just a few minutes, the thin blocks make their way down what is known in the factory as Pencil Street, where they are swiftly grooved, inlaid with graphite cores, covered, cut and shaped into some of the 1.2 million pencils that roll out of Faber-Castell's factory here each year. The California cedar is the key no other wood does so well for quality pencils.

Ludwig Lihl, 76, a retiree who first came to work at Faber-Castell GmbH & Co. in 1950, knows why this company was able to begin importing cedar from Stockton, Calif., after World War II.

"It would not have been possible without the Marshall Plan," he said.

When President Clinton and the leaders of three dozen European nations gather Wednesday in the Netherlands to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Marshall Plan, they will hail an extraordinary act of generosity by the United States. Winston Churchill once called it "the most unsordid act in history."

From 1948 to 1951, the United States gave $13 billion worth of money, goods and services to the war-devastated nations of Western Europe. That amount is equivalent to at least $88 billion today. For more than three years, Americans, who wanted nothing more than to throw away their ration cards, buy consumables and enjoy the peace, instead turned over as much as 3 percent of what they produced to Europe.

Ships filled with crates of food and sacks of grain pulled into Rotterdam, Bordeaux and other ports along Europe's Atlantic coast. Tractors, fertilizer, turbines, lathes and other equipment quickly followed. European executives and workers traveled across the Atlantic to learn the ways of American business. Loans were made, dams were built, new equipment was installed, and currencies were supported.

For Americans who were alive then, the Marshall Plan is a warm but fading memory of a time when the United States -- inspired in part by a large injection of anti-communism -- meant more than an unwelcome Yankee. But here in Europe, the legacy of the Marshall Plan is visible for all to see: in high-tech railways and highways, in prosperous, modern cities, in products from perfume to fighter jets. Four of the seven richest nations on Earth are European recipients of Marshall Plan assistance.

In addition to stimulating the creation of wealth, Secretary of State George C. Marshall and the group of American advisers who crafted the Marshall Plan helped implant a vision of a Europe whose nations traded freely with each other in peace, whose currencies were fully exchangeable, that ceded sovereignty to joint institutions for the sake of greater prosperity. All of those elements are embodied in what is now the 15-member European Union.

"The United States ought not to forget that the emerging European Union is one of its own greatest achievements: It would never have happened without the Marshall Plan," former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt wrote in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine.

But the legacy of the Marshall Plan also is visible in what Europe is not. The economic rise of this continent in the 1950s and 1960s, jump-started by Marshall aid, was built on smokestack industries and infrastructure. It was built on products, not processes. It did not prepare Europe to move beyond pencils to personal computers.

So today, 50 years after Marshall said of Europe that "the patient is sinking while the doctors deliberate," Europe is again facing economic crisis. The wealth it has created has left its companies saddled with high costs and bound by inflexibility, many believe. Generous social protections have eased the lives of many but have become too expensive. Business innovation is lacking. And the notion of the free market, with little government involvement, still frightens many here.

"We are in the process of liberalizing, but there is still a tradition of state intervention that goes back to 200 years before the French Revolution," said Rostislaw Donn, who supervised educational visits by French management and labor to American factories under the auspices of the Marshall Plan in the 1950s.

Or, as Imanuel Wexler, economics professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut, put it: "The economic success Western European countries achieved as a result of the Marshall Plan created a situation where governments overextended themselves in terms of social benefits, welfare, unemployment programs that may have overtaxed their resources. . . . The populations of European countries have become accustomed to a great deal of social benefits." The nightmare seems far away now, but when Americans began examining European living conditions in postwar 1945, they found devastation. The coal mines that heated the homes and powered the factories of Europe were in disrepair, producing little. Some 5,000 bridges were destroyed. Lacking the reserves to exchange currencies, the nations of Europe could not even trade with one another. Cities in Ruins

Whole cities, particularly in Germany, were reduced to rubble. Farmers grew food only for their families. American soldiers occupying Germany often found, when they went to discard their uneaten rations, a German begging for the scraps.

Schmidt wrote: "There were days during the winter of 1946-1947 when we stayed in bed because there was nothing to eat and nothing to burn for warmth." Before that terrible winter, the Germans dug thousands of graves for the number of people they knew would starve to death before the earth had thawed.

All basic products were rationed. The daily ration of bread -- a dietary staple -- in France was 200 grams a day, less than a long baguette loaf. To buy a coat in Germany, you had to request a permit it was often denied. A pack of Chesterfield cigarettes cost 100 marks on the black market, a third of one month's average wage.

Vernon Walters, later ambassador to Germany and now honorary chairman of the George C. Marshall International Center in Leesburg, came to Paris in 1948 as an assistant to Averell Harriman, who was administrator of the Marshall Plan. Even by then, only every other street light was lit, and there were virtually no automobiles in the streets.

"The business sector didn't exist pretty much everywhere. Very little was left of the prewar structure," Walters said.

Marshall, a former general, and the great minds that worked for and with him -- Dean Acheson, George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, William Clayton -- were deeply disturbed by the reports of devastation and began talking soon after the war of a massive aid program. During the spring of 1947, with Truman's acquiescence, they began drafting a plan.

There was more than altruism in their work. In February 1946, Kennan, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, sent his famous "Long Telegram" assessing the Soviets under Joseph Stalin as obsessed with expansion wherever there was a power void. A year later, the United States stepped in to send massive aid to Greece and Turkey, both perceived for different reasons as under Communist threat.

As Truman explained it to Congress in what became known as the Truman Doctrine, "It must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."

The legislatures of both France and Italy included substantial numbers of Communists, and unions in both countries were under the sway of Stalin. In the minds of Marshall's advisers, there was little doubt that Western Europe was under Communist threat.

On June 5, 1947, Marshall spoke at Harvard University's commencement. There was little memorable about his words, and it took U.S. newspapers several days to grasp their import. But it was this speech that laid out the goals of what became the Marshall Plan. Europe needed "substantial additional help," Marshall said, or it faced "economic, social and political deterioration of a very grave character."

Marshall said something else important: "The initiative, I think, must come from Europe." He was inviting the nations of Western Europe to draw up a shopping list -- but, crucially, a joint shopping list. Europe, in other words, would get nothing unless its nations sat down together and proposed a cooperative plan.

Even occupied Germany was to be included. The French had been in favor of a more repressive approach. Americans, mindful of how Nazi leader Adolf Hitler used resentment of Germany's treatment after World War I to win power, believed otherwise. Jacques Delors, former president of the European Union's chief administrative body, describes the inclusion of Germany as one of the "masterpieces" of the Marshall Plan.

British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin reacted quickly to Marshall's speech, saying later that it "seemed to bring hope where there was none. . . . We grabbed the lifeline with both hands." Within days Marshall was on a plane to Paris. On July 12, 1947, 16 nations began meeting in the Grand Dining Room of the French Foreign Ministry, as the Committee for European Economic Cooperation.

The Soviet Union already had walked out of preliminary talks and declined to allow Poland or Czechoslovakia to participate, thereby unintentionally assuaging the most potent U.S. congressional objections to the plan. By November, a package of interim emergency aid was approved. The Soviet clampdown on Czechoslovakia in February 1948 gave Congress the final impetus. On April 3, Truman signed the Economic Cooperation Act implementing the Marshall Plan. Industries Reborn

The relief efforts probably were the most visible for the average European. For Charles Pasqua, now a former interior minister of France, the Marshall Plan meant one thing: "white bread." Others describe the end of ration cards, or the return of eggs and butter to the stores, or their first new winter coat. Those who were children in Germany remember eating canned American soup British infants drank American orange juice. Homemakers in Greece were given baby chicks.

But the longer-lasting effect of the Marshall Plan was on industry. Nearly all the great names of European business -- Renault, Pechiney and Dassault in France Volkswagen and Daimler-Benz in Germany Fiat in Italy plus Norse Crown Canning in Norway -- were started or restarted with American assistance after the war.

Countless small businesses, merchants and farmers were put back on their feet. Ski lifts were restored in Austria. In a documentary on the Marshall Plan produced by Linda and Eric Christenson that will air on PBS June 6, Rotterdam resident Ivo Blom explains simply how the famous port was rebuilt: "When the Marshall aid came in, that's how we could buy new cranes."

Faber-Castell, unlike many German factories, was not in ruins at the end of the war. The plant in Stein had been converted to producing munitions, but the basic machinery to make pencils was still there. The company, in business in this small suburb of Nuremberg since 1761, also was still family-owned.

But there was no currency to support production of pencils, or anything else. The Nazi currency, the reichsmark, was losing more value by the day. It was replaced at a 10-to-1 ratio by the deutsche mark, backed by the American dollar. The exchange rate with the American dollar allowed Faber-Castell to buy the American cedar and bring it in for pencil casings.

In addition, the Marshall Plan created a mechanism that allowed each European nation to exchange its currency freely with all the others -- a commonplace occurrence now -- to replace the damaged system of bilateral exchange controls that had prevailed before the war. The European Payments Union, as it was called, was bolstered by $600 million in American support, and it was another way Americans helped Europeans to cooperate with each other.

So Faber-Castell pencils, encased in California cedar, were soon on their way to Spain, Sweden and Greece, to Iran and Saudi Arabia, to Latin America. They were trucked to the newly rebuilt ports on rebuilt roads, often courtesy of the Marshall Plan. Even the factory that makes the machines that make the pencils was rehabilitated in part through Marshall Plan money, factory retiree Ludwig Lihl said.

In the four years of the Marshall Plan, from 1948 to 1951, industrial production in Europe rose 36 percent. Much of this doubtless would have happened without American aid, which accounted for a fraction of total European investment. But scholars say it would not have happened so fast, or been shaped the way it was.

The shape was determined in part by a massive injection of American management and technological know-how. Although the labor force in most European countries was well trained and educated, two world wars had left production capabilities where they had been in 1910. In addition to furnishing factories with machines, the Marshall Plan sent delegations of thousands of European business people and labor union representatives to myriad companies in the United States to learn the American ways of modernization, management and productivity.

"The goal was to modify the psyche of people," said Donn, who supervised some of the French teams. "So many of them thought American productivity was due to things like natural resources, or your large population."

But was the psyche of Europe modified? The roots of the welfare state run deep on this continent, predating the Marshall Plan by centuries. For decades -- they are called the "30 glorious years" in France -- Europe created enough wealth to afford an ever-expanding pool of benefits, protections and regulations. Somewhere along the line, say those with long memories, the mentality changed.

"After the war, people went to church and thanked God for the opportunity to work," said a German official who asked not to be named. "Today, the attitude is to work as little as possible."

Those benefits make employees costly, reducing hiring. Unemployment rates for the 16 Marshall Plan countries range from less than 8 percent in Britain to more than 20 percent in Spain. Half of those countries have unemployment in the double digits, while U.S. unemployment is less than 5 percent. Of the 10 most competitive countries in the world, according to the World Economic Forum, only two, Britain and Norway, are graduates of the Marshall Plan.

The evolution of Faber-Castell symbolizes the direction Europe has taken since the uplift following the Marshall Plan. The aging factory in Stein employs about 600 people, down from 1,500 10 years ago. The assembly line is mostly machines, run by relatively few workers. Its production is dwarfed by the number of pencils and other implements produced in Faber-Castell factories in Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Brazil factory alone has 2,800 employees and produces more than 1 billion pencils a year. CAPTION: KEY EVENTS OF THE MARSHALL PLAN

Early life and military career

Marshall was descended on both sides of his family from settlers who had been in Virginia since the 17th century. His father, a prosperous coke and coal merchant during his younger son’s boyhood, was in financial difficulties when George entered the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, in 1897. After a poor beginning at the institute, Marshall steadily improved his record, and he soon showed proficiency in military subjects. Once he had decided on a military career, he concentrated on leadership and ended his last year at the institute as first captain of the corps of cadets.

Marshall finished college in 1901. Immediately after receiving his commission as second lieutenant of infantry in February 1902, he married Elizabeth Carter Coles of Lexington and embarked for 18 months’ service in the Philippines. Marshall early developed the rigid self-discipline, the habits of study, and the attributes of command that eventually brought him to the top of his profession. Men who served under him spoke of his quiet self-confidence, his lack of flamboyance, his talent for presenting his case to both soldiers and civilians, and his ability to make his subordinates want to do their best.

Somewhat aloof in manner, he seemed to some acquaintances cold by nature, but he had a fierce temper held under careful control and a great affection and warmth for those close to him. Happily married for 25 years to his first wife until her death in 1927, he remarried three years later, taking as his second wife a widow, Katherine Tupper Brown, whose three children gave him the family he had hitherto lacked.


Shultz was born December 13, 1920, in New York City, the only child of Margaret Lennox (née Pratt) and Birl Earl Shultz. He grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. [8] His great-grandfather was an immigrant from Germany who arrived in the United States in the middle of the 19th century. Contrary to common assumption, Shultz was not a member of the Pratt family associated with John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Trust. [9]

After attending the local public school, he transferred to the Englewood School for Boys (now Dwight-Englewood School), through his second year of high school. [10] In 1938, Shultz graduated from the private preparatory boarding high school Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. He earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude, at Princeton University, New Jersey, in economics with a minor in public and international affairs. His senior thesis, "The Agricultural Program of the Tennessee Valley Authority", examined the Tennessee Valley Authority's effect on local agriculture, for which he conducted on-site research. [11] He graduated with honors in 1942. [8] [9]

From 1942 to 1945, Shultz was on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was an artillery officer, attaining the rank of captain. He was detached to the U.S. Army 81st Infantry Division during the Battle of Angaur (Battle of Peleliu). [12]

In 1949, Shultz earned a Ph.D. in industrial economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [13] From 1948 to 1957, he taught in the MIT Department of Economics and the MIT Sloan School of Management, with a leave of absence in 1955 to serve on President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers as a Senior Staff Economist. In 1957, Shultz left MIT and joined the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business as a professor of industrial relations, and he served as the Graduate School of Business Dean from 1962 to 1968. [14] During his time in Chicago, he was influenced by Nobel Laureates Milton Friedman and George Stigler, who reinforced Shultz's view of the importance of a free-market economy. [15] He left the University of Chicago to serve under President Richard Nixon in 1969. [16]

Secretary of Labor Edit

Shultz was President Richard Nixon's Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970. He soon faced the crisis of the Longshoremen's Union strike. The Lyndon B. Johnson Administration had delayed the walkout with a Taft Hartley injunction that expired, and the press pressed him to describe his approach. He applied the theory he had developed in academia: he let the parties work it out, which they did quickly. He also imposed the Philadelphia Plan, which required Pennsylvania construction unions to admit a certain number of black members by an enforced deadline - a break with their past policy of largely discriminating against such members. This marked the first use of racial quotas in the federal government. [17]

It is noted that, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Nixon's first choice for Secretary of Labor was not acceptable to then AFL–CIO President George Meany, which pushed to fill the position with Shultz, who was dean of University of Chicago's School of Business, (and had served earlier on President Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers). [18]

Office of Management and Budget Edit

Shultz became the first director of the Office of Management and Budget, the renamed and reorganized Bureau of the Budget, on July 1, 1970. [19] He was the agency's 19th director. [20]

Secretary of the Treasury Edit

Shultz was United States Secretary of the Treasury from June 1972 to May 1974. During his tenure, he was concerned with two major issues, namely the continuing domestic administration of Nixon's "New Economic Policy," begun under Secretary John Connally (Shultz privately opposed its three elements), and a renewed dollar crisis that broke out in February 1973. [9] [21]

Domestically Shultz enacted the next phase of the NEP, lifting price controls begun in 1971. This phase was a failure, resulting in high inflation, and price freezes were reestablished five months later. [21]

Meanwhile, Shultz's attention was increasingly diverted from the domestic economy to the international arena. In 1973, he participated in an international monetary conference in Paris that grew out of the 1971 decision to abolish the gold standard, a decision Shultz and Paul Volcker had supported (see Nixon Shock). The conference formally abolished the Bretton Woods system, causing all currencies to float. During this period Shultz co-founded the "Library Group," which became the G7. Shultz resigned shortly before Nixon to return to private life. [21]

Shultz was instrumental in freedom for Soviet Jewry. [22] [23] [ clarification needed ]

In 1974, he left government service to become executive vice president of Bechtel Group, a large engineering and services company. He was later its president and a director. [24]

Under Shultz's leadership, Bechtel received contracts for many large construction projects, including from Saudi Arabia. In the year before he left Bechtel, the company reported a 50% increase in revenue. [25]

Shultz is one of only two individuals to have served in four United States Cabinet positions within the United States government, the other having been Elliot Richardson. [26] [27]

Diplomatic historian Walter LaFeber states that his 1993 memoir, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State, "is the most detailed, vivid, outspoken, and reliable record we probably shall have of the 1980s until the documents are opened". [28]

Secretary of State Edit

On July 16, 1982, Shultz was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the 60th U.S. Secretary of State, replacing Alexander Haig, who had resigned. Shultz served for six and a half years, the longest tenure since Dean Rusk's. [29] The possibility of a conflict of interest in his position as secretary of state after being in the upper management of the Bechtel Group was raised by several senators during his confirmation hearings. Shultz briefly lost his temper in response to some questions on the subject but was nevertheless unanimously confirmed by the Senate. [30]

Shultz relied primarily on the Foreign Service to formulate and implement Reagan's foreign policy. As reported in the State Department's official history, "by the summer of 1985, Shultz had personally selected most of the senior officials in the Department, emphasizing professional over political credentials in the process [. ] The Foreign Service responded in kind by giving Shultz its 'complete support,' making him one of the most popular Secretaries since Dean Acheson." [29] Shultz's success came from not only the respect he earned from the bureaucracy but the strong relationship he forged with Reagan, who trusted him completely. [31]

Relations with China Edit

Shultz inherited negotiations with the People's Republic of China over Taiwan from his predecessor. Under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States was obligated to assist in Taiwan's defense, which included the sale of arms. The Administration debate on Taiwan, especially over the sale of military aircraft, resulted in a crisis in relations with China, which was alleviated only in August 1982, when, after months of arduous negotiations, the United States and the PRC issued a joint communiqué on Taiwan in which the United States agreed to limit arms sales to the island nation and China agreed to seek a "peaceful solution." [32]

Relations with Europe and the Soviet Union Edit

By the summer of 1982, relations were strained not only between Washington and Moscow but also between Washington and key capitals in Western Europe. In response to the imposition of martial law in Poland the previous December, the Reagan administration had imposed sanctions on a pipeline between West Germany and the Soviet Union. European leaders vigorously protested sanctions that damaged their interests but not U.S. interests in grain sales to the Soviet Union. Shultz resolved this "poisonous problem" in December 1982, when the United States agreed to abandon sanctions against the pipeline and the Europeans agreed to adopt stricter controls on strategic trade with the Soviets. [33]

A more controversial issue was the NATO Ministers' 1979 "dual track" decision: if the Soviets refused to remove their SS-20 medium range ballistic missiles within four years, then the Allies would deploy a countervailing force of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Western Europe. When negotiations on these intermediate nuclear forces (INF) stalled, 1983 became a year of protest. Shultz and other Western leaders worked hard to maintain allied unity amidst anti-nuclear demonstrations in Europe and the United States. In spite of Western protests and Soviet propaganda, the allies began deployment of the missiles as scheduled in November 1983. [33]

U.S.–Soviet tensions were raised by the announcement in March 1983 of the Strategic Defense Initiative, and exacerbated by the Soviet shoot-down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 near Moneron Island on September 1. Tensions reached a height with the Able Archer 83 exercises in November 1983, during which the Soviets feared a pre-emptive American attack. [34]

Following the missile deployment and the exercises, both Shultz and Reagan resolved to seek further dialogue with the Soviets. [33] [35]

When President Mikhail Gorbachev of Russia came to power in 1985, Shultz advocated that Reagan pursue a personal dialogue with him. Reagan gradually changed his perception of Gorbachev's strategic intentions in 1987, when the two leaders signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. [36] The treaty, which eliminated an entire class of missiles in Europe, was a milestone in the history of the Cold War. Although Gorbachev took the initiative, Reagan was well prepared by the State Department to negotiate. [37]

Two more events in 1988 persuaded Shultz that Soviet intentions were changing. First, the Soviet Union's initial withdrawal from Afghanistan indicated that the Brezhnev Doctrine was dead. "If the Soviets left Afghanistan, the Brezhnev Doctrine would be breached, and the principle of 'never letting go' would be violated", Shultz reasoned. [36] The second event, according to Keren Yarhi-Milo of Princeton University, happened during the 19th Communist Party Conference, "at which Gorbachev proposed major domestic reforms such as the establishment of competitive elections with secret ballots term limits for elected officials separation of powers with an independent judiciary and provisions for freedom of speech, assembly, conscience, and the press." [36] The proposals indicated that Gorbachev was making revolutionary and irreversible changes. [36]

Middle East diplomacy Edit

In response to the escalating violence of the Lebanese civil war, Reagan sent a Marine contingent to protect the Palestinian refugee camps and support the Lebanese Government. The October 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut killed 241 U.S. servicemen, after which the deployment came to an ignominious end. [29] Shultz subsequently negotiated an agreement between Israel and Lebanon and convinced Israel to begin partial withdrawal of its troops in January 1985 despite Lebanon's contravention of the settlement. [38]

During the First Intifada (see Arab–Israeli conflict), Shultz "proposed . an international convention in April 1988 . on an interim autonomy agreement for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to be implemented as of October for a three-year period". [39] By December 1988, after six months of shuttle diplomacy, Shultz had established a diplomatic dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was picked up by the next Administration. [29]

Latin America Edit

Shultz was known for outspoken opposition to the "arms for hostages" scandal that would eventually become known as the Iran-Contra Affair. [40] In 1983 testimony before Congress, he said that the Sandinista government in Nicaragua was "a very undesirable cancer in the area." [41] He was also opposed to any negotiation with the government of Daniel Ortega: "Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table." [42]

After leaving public office, Shultz "retained an iconoclastic streak" and publicly opposed some positions taken by fellow Republicans. [43] He called the War on Drugs a failure, [43] and added his signature to an advertisement printed in The New York Times in 1998, headlined "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." In 2011, he was part of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which called for a public health and harm reduction approach towards drug use, alongside Kofi Annan, Paul Volcker, and George Papandreou. [44]

Shultz was an early advocate of the presidential candidacy of George W. Bush, whose father, George H. W. Bush, was Reagan's vice president. In April 1998, Shultz hosted a meeting at which George W. Bush discussed his views with policy experts including Michael Boskin, John Taylor, and Condoleezza Rice, who were evaluating possible Republican candidates to run for president in 2000. At the end of the meeting, the group felt they could support Bush's candidacy, and Shultz encouraged him to enter the race. [45] [46]

He then served as an informal advisor for Bush's presidential campaign during the 2000 election [43] and a senior member of the "Vulcans", a group of policy mentors for Bush that also included Rice, Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz. One of his most senior advisors and confidants was former ambassador Charles Hill. Shultz has been called the father of the "Bush Doctrine" and generally defended the Bush administration's foreign policy. [47] Shultz supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, writing in support of U.S. military action months before the war began. [48]

In a 2008 interview with Charlie Rose, Shultz spoke out against the U.S. embargo against Cuba, saying that U.S. sanctions against the island country were "ridiculous" in the post-Soviet world and that U.S. engagement with Cuba was a better strategy. [49]

In 2003, Shultz served as co-chair (along with Warren Buffett) of California's Economic Recovery Council, an advisory group to the campaign of California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger. [50]

In later life, Shultz continued to be a strong advocate for nuclear arms control. [43] In a 2008 interview, Shultz said: "Now that we know so much about these weapons and their power, they're almost weapons that we wouldn't use, so I think we would be better off without them." [43] In January 2008, Shultz co-authored (with William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn) an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that called on governments to embrace the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. [51] The four created the Nuclear Threat Initiative to advance this agenda, focused on both preventing nuclear terrorist attacks and a nuclear war between world powers. [52] In 2010, the four were featured in the documentary film Nuclear Tipping Point, which discussed their agenda. [53]

In January 2011, Shultz wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to pardon Jonathan Pollard. He stated, "I am impressed that the people who are best informed about the classified material Pollard passed to Israel, former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini, favor his release". [54]

Shultz was a prominent advocate of efforts to fight anthropogenic climate change. [43] Shultz favored a revenue-neutral carbon tax (i.e., a carbon fee and dividend program, in which carbon dioxide emissions are taxed and the net funds received are rebated to taxpayers) as the most economically efficient means of mitigating climate change. [4] [6] In April 2013, he co-wrote, with economist Gary Becker, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that concluded that this plan would "benefit all Americans by eliminating the need for costly energy subsidies while promoting a level playing field for energy producers." [2] He repeated this call in a September 2014 talk at MIT [3] and a March 2015 op-ed in The Washington Post. [4] In 2014, Shultz joined the advisory board of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, and in 2017, Shultz cofounded the Climate Leadership Council, along with George H. W. Bush's Secretary of State James Baker and George W. Bush's Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson. [5] In 2017, these Republican elder statesmen, along with Martin S. Feldstein and N. Gregory Mankiw, urged conservatives to embrace a carbon fee and dividend program. [6]

In 2016, Shultz was one of eight former Treasury secretaries who called on the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union ahead of the "Brexit" referendum. [55]

Theranos scandal Edit

From 2011 to 2015 Shultz was a member of the board of directors of Theranos, a health technology company that became known for its false claims to have devised revolutionary blood tests. [7] [56] [57] He was a prominent figure in the ensuing scandal. After joining the company's board in November 2011, he recruited other political figures, including former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former secretary of defense William Perry, and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Shultz also promoted Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at major forums, including Stanford University's Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), and was on record supporting her in major media publications. This helped Holmes in her efforts to raise money from investors. [58] [59]

Shultz's grandson, Tyler Shultz, joined Theranos in September 2013 after graduating from Stanford University with a degree in biology. [60] Tyler was forced to leave the company in 2014 after raising concerns about its testing practices with Holmes and his grandfather. George Shultz initially did not believe Tyler's warnings and pressured him to keep quiet. [61] [62] The former secretary of state continued to advocate for Holmes and Theranos. [63] Tyler eventually contacted reporter John Carreyrou (who went on to expose the scandal in The Wall Street Journal), but as summarized by ABC Nightline, "it wasn’t long before Theranos got wind of it and attempted to use George Shultz to silence his grandson." [64] Tyler went to his grandfather's house to discuss the allegations, but was surprised to encounter Theranos attorneys there, who pressured him to sign a document. [64] Tyler did not sign any agreements, even though George pressured him to: "My grandfather would say, like, things like 'your career would be ruined if [Carreyrou's] article comes out.'" [64] Tyler and his parents spent nearly $500,000 on legal fees, selling their house to raise the funds, in fighting Theranos's accusations of violating the NDA and divulging trade secrets. [64]

When media reports exposed controversial practices there in 2015, George Shultz moved to Theranos's board of counselors. Theranos was shut down on September 4, 2018. [65] In a 2019 media statement, Shultz praised his grandson for not having shrunk "from what he saw as his responsibility to the truth and patient safety, even when he felt personally threatened and believed that I had placed allegiance to the company over allegiance to higher values and our family. . Tyler navigated a very complex situation in ways that made me proud." [64]

Other memberships held Edit

Shultz had a long affiliation at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he was a distinguished fellow and, beginning in 2011, the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow from 2018 until his death, Shultz hosted events on governance at the institution. [66] Shultz was chairman of JPMorgan Chase's international advisory council. [48] He was co-chairman of the conservative Committee on the Present Danger. [48]

He was an honorary director of the Institute for International Economics. He was a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) board of advisors, the New Atlantic Initiative, the Mandalay Camp at the Bohemian Grove, and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. He served as an advisory board member for the Partnership for a Secure America and Citizens' Climate Lobby. [67] He was honorary chairman of the Israel Democracy Institute. [68] Shultz was a member of the advisory board of Spirit of America, a 501(c)(3) organization. [69]

Shultz served on the board of directors of the Bechtel Corporation until 1996. [43] He served on the board of Gilead Sciences from 1996 to 2005. [70] Shultz sat on the board of directors of Xyleco [71] and Accretive Health. [72]

Together again with former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Shultz was serving on the board of Acuitus at the time of his death. [73]

While on a rest and recreation break in Hawaii from serving in the Marines in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater during World War II, Shultz met military nurse lieutenant Helena Maria O'Brien (1915–1995). They married on February 16, 1946, and had five children: Margaret Ann Tilsworth, Kathleen Pratt Shultz Jorgensen, Peter Milton Shultz, Barbara Lennox Shultz White, and Alexander George Shultz. [8] [74] Helena died in 1995 of pancreatic cancer. [75]

In 1997, Shultz married Charlotte Mailliard Swig, a prominent San Francisco philanthropist and socialite. [76]

Shultz died at age 100 on February 6, 2021 at his home in Stanford, California. [77] [78] He was buried next to his first wife at Dawes Cemetery in Cummington, Massachusetts. [79]

President Joe Biden reacted to Shultz's death by saying, "He was a gentleman of honor and ideas, dedicated to public service and respectful debate, even into his 100th year on Earth. That’s why multiple presidents, of both political parties, sought his counsel. I regret that, as president, I will not be able to benefit from his wisdom, as have so many of my predecessors." [80]

  • 2016 – Presidential Medal of Honor, San Francisco State University [81]
  • 2014 – Honorary Reagan Fellow Award of Eureka College[82]
  • 2013 – Honorary Silver Medal of Jan Masaryk [83]
  • 2012 – Henry A. Kissinger Prize of the American Academy in Berlin[84]
  • 2011 – Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia[85]
  • 2010 – California Hall of Fame[86]
  • 2007 – Truman Medal for Economic Policy[87]
  • 2008 – Rumford Prize[88]
  • 2007 – Emma LazarusStatue of Liberty Award [89]
  • 2006 – National World War II Museum, American Spirit Award [87]
  • 2005 – Lead21, Lifetime Achievement Award [90]
  • 2004 – American Whig-Cliosophic Society, James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service[91]
  • 2004 – American Economic Association, Distinguished Fellow [92]
  • 2003 – Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award, American Foreign Service Association[93]
  • 2002 – Reagan Distinguished American Award[87]
  • 2002 – Ralph Bunche Award[94]
  • 2001 – Eisenhower Medal for Leadership[87]
  • 2000 – Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service
  • 1996 – Koret Prize[87]
  • 1992 – Seoul Peace Prize (Korea) [87]
  • 1992 – United States Military Academy, Sylvanus Thayer Award
  • 1989 – Presidential Medal of Freedom[87]
  • 1989 – Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers, Grand Cordon (Japan) [94]
  • 1986 – Freedoms Foundation, George Washington Medal [87]
  • 1986 – U.S. Senator John Heinz Award (Jefferson Awards) For Public Service [95]
  • 1970 – Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences[96]

Honorary degrees Edit

Honorary degrees were conferred on Shultz from the universities of Columbia, Notre Dame, Loyola, Pennsylvania, Rochester, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, City University of New York, Yeshiva, Northwestern, Technion, Tel Aviv, Weizmann Institute of Science, Baruch College of New York, Williams College, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia, and Keio University in Tokyo. [87]

The crisis in Ukraine exploded last year when former President Viktor Yanukovych abandoned plans to sign an association agreement with the European Union, and instead took Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer of help.

"Europe, true to form, demanded a lot and offered little," Soros said in London. "It was not difficult for Putin to come up with a better offer."

Mass protests forced Yanukovych from office last month, and a new pro-EU interim government took over. But the country now faces an economic crisis and huge military pressure from Russia, which has mobilized troops and threatens to annex the southern province of Crimea.

"It's very important to respond, and to respond in the right way, not necessarily to impose sanctions on Russia but to help Ukraine financially," Soros said. "Something like a European Marshall Plan for Ukraine."

In just a few months in 1947, U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall crafted a plan to channel billions of dollars of aid to western Europe -- initially in the form of food, fuel and machinery, and later through investment in industrial capacity. The program, which ran until 1951, laid the foundations of Europe's post-war prosperity, the creation of NATO and ultimately the EU.

The EU has offered Ukraine financial assistance worth $15 billion over the next two years, in the form of loans, grants, investments and trade concessions. The U.S. has promised $1 billion in loan guarantees, and the World Bank is talking about backing infrastructure and social security projects worth $3 billion.

That's still far short of the $35 billion the Ukrainian government says it needs. The International Monetary Fund is expected to announce further assistance, once a team of experts concludes its assessment this week, but that will come with tough strings attached.

If the EU gets its response right, it could rediscover its original mission -- a voluntary association of equal and sovereign states to promote peace and prosperity -- and help to close the deep cracks between richer and poorer member states that opened up during the debt crisis.

"Ukrainians have proven that they are willing to sacrifice their lives to be closer to a Europe that at the same time is in the process of disintegrating," said Soros, who lived through the Nazi occupation of his native Hungary. "Events in Ukraine are a wake-up call to face that issue."

More information

NARRATOR: In 1918, the Diplomatic Courier Service was established to support the work of American diplomats by ensuring that classified messages and materials were delivered safely and securely to U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Over the 100 year history of the Courier Service, this mission, critical to the national security of the United States, has not changed.

In the 1950s, before the onset of the Jet Age, this small group of couriers traveled tens of thousands of miles per year, often spending months on the road. Following World War II, as tensions between former allies grew into the Cold War and the Soviets consolidated power on their Western border, it became increasingly difficult to reach our posts behind what became known as the Iron Curtain. Because of a continued mutual respect for international conventions on diplomatic relations, even during these complicated times, diplomatic couriers were among the few still able to travel across these borders. Each week, they took the Orient Express from Vienna to reach Budapest and Bucharest.

MR. JAMES VERREOS: Oh, the Orient Express. That was, of course, a fabled train ride. We never got to ride it all the way to Constantinople or Istanbul, but we would pick it up in Vienna and ride it in from Vienna to Budapest to Bucharest. Then we would turn around and come back out.

Sometimes inside Europe, we’d take train travel because it was more effective and quicker than trying to take an airplane, especially when we were providing service to the Iron Curtain countries, which required two couriers to be on a trip for security reasons. We were carrying classified material.

Top secret wasn’t always something that was written. In those days before the technology we have today, we had to have code machines, equipment that was highly classified.

Outside of the Iron Curtain you traveled solo. For example, when delivering the pouches to Southeast Asia or Africa or South America, the courier went out on trips solo. However, trips to the Iron Curtain, we were always in pairs so that there was no possibility that the couriers would be unable to have control of their pouches.

MR. KENNETH COOPER: I think I’ve got the history right. The reason we’d make paired trips behind the Curtain goes back to immediate post-war. An American courier fell off the train, and he was killed, and his pouch disappeared for a while. And there was some, I think, a little suspicion that this was not an accident. Henceforth, the Americans decided it would be a paired trip, and I think the British did the same.

MR. DONOVAN KLINE: You have to have somebody with the pouches at all times. We’d get out and walk up and down the aisle in the Wagon-Lits, but that was as far as we ventured. On the same sleeping cars, there were other couriers from other nations—Italian, French, Russians. When they were outside of Russia, they traveled paired, just like we did behind the Iron Curtain.

That’s one of the things about the Russians. They wanted the same treatment in the West that we were given behind the Iron Curtain, which was decent for the most part.

MR. PHILIP OLIVARES: Well, your job was to take care of those pouches. I don’t think we ever felt that somebody was threatening or was going to try to steal them, but we always have to assume that.

In fact, I remember Jim Vandivier and I got off the train with our pouches. There was quite a load. We pulled over one of these baggage cars that was already half loaded, the porters said, and there were Russian pouches on that. There were two Russian couriers. So here were the four of us. He’s got the pouches, watching our own bags. There was only one baggage car. We tried to get a separate one, but they said no, and that was it. I thought how ironic—the four of us in this situation.

We were stationed in Vienna. There were two of us then. Monday we would go into Budapest and spend the night, and then the next day on to Bucharest.

MR. COOPER: Vienna itself was a lot of fun, and so was Budapest. Except for the brief hiatus in Bucharest, which was dull as dishwater, the rest of it was fun.

MR. ERNEST HOHMAN: We used the Arlberg Orient Express, which came out of Paris but we picked it up in Vienna. It’s just a delightful city. It showed the grandeur that it had as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, even though it was somewhat damaged from the rubble after the war.


The Austrians—one of the first things they thought was important to rebuild was the Opera House. And now to see the change, the transformation, the rebuilding that was going on there. Loved going to the opera.

Of course, the Danube is not blue. It’s only in the eyes of a poet and a composer.

MR. KLINE: I attended my first and only opera, sung in German, which I did not understand, and as a result never went to another opera in my life. [LAUGHS]

We did a lot of eating and a lot of sightseeing. All of us did, because it was a fantastic city.

I repeated that Vienna detail several times thereafter in later years. It was always enjoyable for me because we got out of the air for a while. It was restful. On those trains, all we did was sleep, eat, and play chess or pinochle or something like that.

MR. VINCENT CELLA: The courier would come down from Frankfurt every week or twice a week to give us the stuff to take in. Then we’d go shopping to get our food to take on the train, made sure we had enough wine or scotch and reading material, cards, et cetera. And we’d leave at night from the West Bahnhof in Vienna and made one stop, I guess it’s called the North Bahnhof. And then into the border, which on the Austrian side is Nickelsdorf. And it would stay there for some long time. So, even though Vienna is not that far from Budapest, it was an overnight trip.

MR. VERREOS: The train, the Orient Express, would set up a single sleeper car for the diplomatic couriers. That would be the British, Queen’s Messenger, King’s Messenger, the Italians, whoever—any courier from any nation that was making a trip would be on that train.

MR. HOHMAN: The other people in the sleeping compartments, they were all diplomatic couriers from various countries. There were Italians and the British and the French also, because the air travel was not possible, particularly during the winter months there.

We usually dressed rather casually at that point. And the Italians would dress in their silk pajamas or a silk robe and so on.

The English, which were the Queen’s Messengers, they were great storytellers, raconteurs, and had fantastic tales to tell.

MR. COOPER: The Queen’s Messenger was usually a very senior officer, an army officer or a military officer or sometimes civil servant. They traveled in pairs also, but their junior courier was usually a retired policeman, so there was a very distinct difference in rank. So when the Queen’s Messenger had his dinner, the number two courier would lay out a white tablecloth in this compartment and proceed to serve him his meal. We got a kick out of that.

MR. OLIVARES: The primary car for us was the old Wagon-Lits Cook. They handled all the sleeping cars. The first class car was practically all couriers. There was a dining car next to it, but the food was awful. We had to cook our own food, so we all carried a little alcohol stove we’d set up in a sleeping compartment and we’d cook on that.

MR. VERREOS: The ride in would leave early in the evening, and we would have dinner while we were on the train. We had developed an international society of couriers, and we’d set it up in advance so that the couriers from this country would bring in an entree, the couriers of the other country would bring in the salad, who would bring in the dessert, who would bring in the wine, and what have you. And we would just merely leave notes so that next week’s couriers—we didn’t know who they’d be, but you’d get into Vienna and say, hey, it’s this week, I would say, well, if Ken and I were on a trip, we got the note at the embassy we were supposed to provide the wine. We knew there’d be x number of couriers on board, and we’d bring that much on.

Coming out was totally different. The train left Bucharest near midnight, so everybody was sacked in, and it was dawn by the time you arrived in Vienna.

MR. CELLA: We slept in one compartment on that portion of that trip. Then it would cross into Hungary, and that town was called Hegyeshalom. After they stopped there for a long time, we’d go into Budapest, and we’d arrive there in the morning.

MR. KLINE: We’d get off the train and have a full 24 hour period in Budapest where we could shop, look around. And the parliament building there was magnificent, especially from across the river where you could see it so plainly.

MR. HOHMAN: It was an interesting city. It was still showing war damage. The bridge across the Danube River was destroyed. It was laying there in the river itself. But, you see, it had a glamor to it yet, and it was trying to restore that. And it was and exciting and interesting city with a bit of the schmaltz that you had in Vienna, Austria too, with evening dinners that were excellent and violin music to go with it.

MR. COOPER: We’d have a layover sometimes, a day or so in Budapest, which was fun. It was still a lively city, and it was before the revolution.

MR. OLIVARES: Budapest itself—I loved the city. A lot of people consider it the Paris of Eastern Europe. It still had some damage, though, from World War II, actually. And then after the revolution, of course, it really got torn apart.

In spite of communism and all the restrictions they imposed on their society, they were a really fun loving people. I remember going to a nightclub and seeing the people dancing and having a ball, and I thought, this can’t be. Everywhere else is usually so drab, like Moscow itself. To see those people enjoying themselves and having fun, they were a fun people.

MR. VERREOS: Hungary was the nicest place in the Iron Curtain for couriers. Even though you were always under surveillance by the local KGB—they were called AVOs in Hungary—they were less intrusive than they were in Moscow.

MR. CELLA: We spent the whole day and the night at the Hotel Duna, which was really a nice hotel right on the Danube. They had a nice restaurant, a little nice bar, and there was a guy there that we used to refer to as AVO Joe, and he would always befriend the couriers. And we were sure that he were being paid by the AVO just to keep an eye on the couriers, but we all sort of liked the guy. He was helpful, a funny old guy.

And you enjoyed walking around Budapest, even though it was still pretty well shot because of the revolution. In fact, they did more damage, I think, during that time than they did during the war. What I always understood was that the Russian troops didn’t want to fight against the Hungarians, and the AVO were tougher on the Hungarian citizens than the Russian soldiers.

The revolution started right in front of the Hotel Duna, and the two couriers were stuck in there for about a week. They were Woody Vest and Phil Olivares.

MR. OLIVARES: We got off the station. We went to the Duna Hotel. The Duna is the word for the Danube, of course. It was right on the river. It was quite a hotel. It’s an old fashioned hotel with the high ceilings and all that. We liked the place. And I remember Woody Vest and I, we went to see the opera. They were doing “Eugene Onegin.”

We came back from the theater, and then we got into the elevator, and we heard some noise and such about. We thought something’s going on around town. I think we heard a shot or two, if I’m not mistaken. But I remember—and in the elevator was the New York Times correspondent and his wife.

And we said, well, we asked him, I said, “You know what’s going on?” He said, “Oh, it seems to be a minor thing,” and all that. Well, [CHUCKLES] we went up to our rooms. The next morning, we got a call from the Legation saying “Stay put. You’re not going anyplace. Everything is closing down. We’re in the beginning of an insurrection.” And that’s when it started. And the shooting starts. And we just stayed put a couple of days. There was British couriers in there as well.

There was some shooting. I think I walked out to see what was going on at one point. I walked a few feet, and I heard bullets whizzing by my ear, and I said, I better get back into the hotel. And then I realized it was really bad. And they even brought in a Russian soldier who had been hit by a sniper. One of the Hungarian insurgents was up on the roof.

The Legation wanted to evacuate most of the personnel. In fact, most of legations—the British, as well. They put us in Embassy cars with dependents, and we drove out of Budapest with the flag flying on the fenders like Ambassadors’ cars. But I remember the people applauding and clapping when they saw Americans and British flags. All around them were Russians.

I remember, even in the hotel, the men behind the desk, the reception desk, kept saying, “Where are you Americans? Why don’t you help us?” They said, “Your Voice of America tells us to rise up, do something about it, and now we need your help.”



MR. OLIVARES: I felt so embarrassed by all of this, in a sense. Why aren’t we helping these people? And I felt a little guilty that we were like rats leaving this ship. There were applauding but we’re not really doing anything for them. We should be doing something for them, and we should have our tanks in here. But I know that’s not something for me to decide on.

And I always felt a little guilty about that going out. We’re going out to safety, and these people got to be here and live with the Russians on top of them.

MR. CELLA: The longest part was when you got on the train the next morning to Bucharest because that was overnight from the morning to the next morning. After going all through the Ploiesti oil fields. Oh, you see them burning the gas off the top. It was really something. Yeah, that was pretty close to the end of the trip because they were up still in the mountains. Not long after that, you came down into Bucharest. You’d get in in the morning, and leave late at night. So you’d spend the whole day in Bucharest.

For most of the time I was there, we stayed with the Military Attache, no matter who he was.

MR. KLINE: We would arrive in Bucharest early in the morning, six o’clock or so, something like that, and we would go to the Military Attache’s residence. He provided us with breakfast. They couldn’t get fruits and vegetables and stuff like that. We would carry oranges into them and give them oranges or bananas.

The diplomatic colony there, the Western diplomatic colony, had a six hole golf course at a club that they had where they had a bar. And you could play six holes. And I did. I played six holes of golf there more than once. A place for the Western community to relax without anybody around spying on them. And I’m sure there was plenty of that behind the Iron Curtain at all times.

I don’t know whether I was followed. I wasn’t looking for it. But we were briefed beforehand: “Don’t fraternize. Don’t get caught with any women behind the Iron Curtain, period.”

MR. CELLA: Well, we went out a lot of times to that diplomatic golf course, especially in the good weather. We would bring cigarettes and razorblades and instant coffee to pay for our golf lessons. And there was a little lake there where you could go out in a little boat to help spend the day because it wasn’t that long and we left again that night. We had to check in and get the pouches and leave to go back.

MR. COOPER: I found Bucharest a very uninteresting city. Now they were really behind the Curtain there. I can’t recall having any interaction at all. For their sake and our sake, it was better not to. That was my impression. Perhaps if I were to go back today, I’d be dead wrong.

MR. HOHMAN: Bucharest—yeah. We had time there too, and it’s a poorer country. It was a dictatorship for quite a while under Ceausescu. As we well know, the people were really dominated with the secret police, although the communist elite led a very gracious and a very luxurious lifestyle. I found it rather a poor city, by contrast even with Budapest which still had a glory aspect to it.

MR. CELLA: Going back it was a little different. We would get some food in Bucharest, buy bread and buy this and buy that at these little outlet stores. You know, you had to stand in line to buy some stuff. It was depressing, in a way—for the people, I mean.

As we came back on that trip, we would leave in the night from Bucharest, get in the next night into Budapest. The train would stop in Budapest for quite a long time. You could see that red star in the foggy night mist. Not until the next morning we’d end up back in Vienna.

MR. OLIVARES: We’d enjoy those trips. I think we all did. I still think it’s a more civilized way to travel, by train. Train stations were fascinating in those days. They had all the excitement that airports took on. I remember in Europe, the railway stations themselves—they were big, cavernous affairs, mostly wrought iron and such. There was an aura about them all that fascinated me. I felt so proud to be part of all of that.

Marshall Plan

"The modern system of the division of labor upon which the exchange of products is based is in danger of breaking down. The truth of the matter is that Europe's requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products -- principally from America -- are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character."
- Secretary of State George C. Marshall describing the goals of the Economic Recovery Plan,
June 5, 1947 at Harvard University.

The United States and its allies, the victors of World War II, took steps to reverse mass disintegration among the people of Europe, including Turkey. To clear away the damage in those areas as quickly as possible and to begin economic reconstruction, the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 (Marshall Plan) was implemented. The United States included the former enemies, Germany and Italy, in its plan — thereby preventing a reprise of the worldwide economic depression of 1929. The Marshall Plan also laid the foundation for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the eventual unification of European countries (European Economic Union). Europe in 1945 lay in ruins, many of its cities demolished, its economies devastated. Its war survivors, millions of them displaced, faced famine. The period also marked the inception of The Domino Theory (the fall of one country after another to communism) and the resultant attempts to “contain” communism in the Cold War. The Soviet Union's hegemony over Eastern Europe, and the vulnerability of Western European countries to continued Soviet expansionism, sharpened the sense of crisis. Rooted in FDR's Four Freedoms Speech, the Marshall Plan was not originally intended to be a weapon to fight communism, but it became a bulwark of American foreign policy to manage communist containment on the Continent, as outlined in the Truman Doctrine, during the Cold War.Instrumental in crafting the Marshall Plan was George Kennan, leader of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff under Marshall and Acheson. Kennan was charged with the responsibility for long-term planning.

The demise of Axis political and military power left a vacuum in the areas of international life where that power had asserted itself. The Allies got nowhere with Russia on peace treaties, because they had been unable to agree on how that vacuum should be filled. The American view was that new and liberalized political governments should rise from the totalitarian rubble. The former Axis countries would remain demilitarized and under close allied supervision, but would otherwise enjoy national independence. The Soviets under Stalin were determined to see new regimes emerge that would be dominated by communists subservient to Moscow. That would give the Kremlin effective control over the military and industrial power of those countries, and it would help them to dominate surrounding regions as well.

The Economic Cooperation Act

In a speech on June 5, 1947, U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall proposed that European nations should create a plan for their economic reconstruction and that the United States would provide economic assistance. In practical application, the proposal involved the constructive solution of thousands of detailed problems of international life. While attempting to go ahead with the program, the American government found itself temporarily blocked by the inability of the other Allies to reach agreement on the terms of treaties of peace with the major axis countries: Germany and Japan. On December 19, 1947, President Harry S. Truman sent a message to Congress that followed Marshall’s ideas to provide economic aid to Europe. After lengthy hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Committee — and an alarming Soviet-backed coup in Czechoslovakia on February 25, 1948 — the Economic Cooperation Act was resoundingly passed by a vote of 329 to 74. On April 3, 1948, President Truman signed the act that became known as the Marshall Plan.

Participating countries included Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. Congress appropriated $13.3 billion during the life of the plan for European recovery. That aid provided much-needed capital and materials that enabled Europeans to rebuild the European continent’s economy. The Marshall Plan provided markets for American goods, created reliable trading partners, and supported the development of stable democratic governments in Western Europe. Congress’s approval of the Marshall Plan signaled an extension of the multilateralism of World War II into the postwar years. The plan was to terminate on June 30, 1952, with a possible 12-month extension. The plan was not a simple cash handover, but the temporary creation of an entire bureaucratic structure and extension of American government management in Europe. The generosity and commitment of the United States to its European allies during World War II, plus the Marshall Plan, made the European Union of today possible.

To become eligible for assistance under the act, each participating country was required to conclude an agreement with the United States Government that committed it to the act's purposes. Participants stabilized their currency, promoted production, cooperated with other participating countries in the interchange of goods, furnished the United States with needed materials, submitted progress reports and took other measures to expedite a return to economic self-sufficiency.

Non-European countries affected

Under provisions of title IV of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948, China and Korea, although not participants in the Marshall Plan, were furnished assistance in a similar manner. After January 1, 1949, the ECA took over from the U.S. Army the administration of the program for relief and economic rehabilitation of Korea. The view by the Truman Administration in the spring of 1948, of the on-going Chinese revolution was that the Communists under Mao Zedong would fail to control China with one government, if they won over the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek at all. In either case, non-industrialized China still struggled to shed centuries of feudalism and was judged incapable of mounting any threat to the western hemisphere.

The communists did win the civil war in China. Mao declared formation of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949. The Soviet Union was the first country to recognize the PRC. While other countries recognized the new government, the United States, vigilant against the spread of communism, refused to formally recognize the People's Republic until three decades later with the visit of President Richard M. Nixon. Until that visit, the American government recognized only the Nationalist government on Taiwan as the legitimate government of China.

The Marshall Plan benefited the American economy as well. Marshall Plan money was used to buy goods from America, and the goods had to be shipped across the Atlantic on American merchant vessels. By 1953 America had pumped in $13 billion, and Europe was on the way to standing on its feet again. The aid was economic in nature it did not include military aid until after the Korean War.

Japan, the World War II adversary of the U.S. in the Far East, had to be rescued from the threat of communist revolution. Under the administrative leadership of Douglas MacArthur and American economic aid, it was put back on its feet. The same consideration applied to South Korea and Taiwan. The former had communist North Korea as its neighbor. The latter was considered by China to be a province. In addition, both North Korea and China were allies of the Soviet Union. Accordingly, the Truman Doctrine had to apply both to Western Europe and the Asian Far East. Logically, the Far East had to have its own version of a Marshall Plan.

Secretary of State George Marshall said the following about Soviet aggression in February 1948:

In many ways, the Marshall Plan satisfied both those who wanted American foreign policy to be generous and idealistic and those who demanded practical solutions. It helped to feed the starving and shelter the homeless, and at the same time helped stem the spread of communism and put the European economy back on its feet.