Rehabilitation of the Ruhr

February 18, 1948

Report Outline
The Ruhr and the Marshall Plan
Goals for Ruhr Rehabilitation
Security Problems of a Rebuilt Ruhr

The Ruhr and the Marshall Plan

American Interest in Ruhr Rehabilitation

The ruhr concentration of industrial power, one of the greatest in the world before the war, is as indispensable to world peace as it was to German aggression. Therefore in this area, no larger than the state of Rhode Island, the problem of the treatment of Germany and the problem of the prosperity of Europe are inextricably joined. When Secretary of State Marshall made restoration of “the fabric of European economy” a major United States aim by his address at Harvard June 5, 1947, he initiated a policy that would provide a new framework for the peace settlement with Germany. Within a few weeks the Under Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, was to say (June 25): “Putting in working order the German production is considered by the American government as the cornerstone of the plan which the European countries will be able to elaborate within the framework of the Marshall plan.”

The cost to the United States of a non-productive Western Germany has been an even more compelling reason for a policy of rebuilding Ruhr industry than the American interest in general European recovery. Three years after VE-Day the burden on American taxpayers still is on the increase. Prices have risen in the United States, and the British shortage of dollar exchange has made it necessary for the Washington government to shoulder a greater part of the costs of occupation.

An expenditure by the United States of $700 million will be needed in the next fiscal year for food alone for Western Germany—an increase of about a third over this year's outlay. The United States has already provided aid to Germany totaling approximately $821 million, not counting the military costs of occupation or of a large quantity of excess Army property released for use by the Germans. That Western Germany shall become self-supporting at the earliest possible date is a matter of immediate concern to the American taxpayer.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 22, 1989  A Primer on German Reunification
Apr. 19, 1985  German Reconciliation
Feb. 25, 1983  West Germany's ‘Missile’ Election
Jan. 14, 1970  German Reconciliation
Jan. 29, 1969  West German Prosperity
Mar. 30, 1966  German Border Question and Reunification
Aug. 18, 1965  West German Election, 1965
Feb. 24, 1965  War Guilt Expiation
Jul. 01, 1964  German Question
Sep. 01, 1961  Captive East Germany
Aug. 23, 1961  West German Election, 1961
May 04, 1960  Berlin Question
Dec. 24, 1958  Berlin Crisis and German Reunification
Aug. 21, 1957  German Election, 1957
Oct. 19, 1955  European Security
Jun. 15, 1955  Germany and the Balance of Power
Oct. 19, 1954  German Rearmament
Jan. 19, 1954  West German Recovery
Mar. 12, 1953  Harassed Berlin
Apr. 26, 1950  German Problem
Feb. 18, 1948  Rehabilitation of the Ruhr
Oct. 23, 1946  Future of Germany
Nov. 25, 1944  Transfers of Populations
Nov. 01, 1940  Economic Controls in Nazi Germany
Mar. 09, 1939  Foreign Trade in German Economy
Apr. 02, 1936  Germany's Post-War European Relations
Nov. 02, 1934  The Coming Saab Plebiscite
Apr. 23, 1931  The Austro-German Customs Union Project
Feb. 05, 1929  The Rhineland Problem
Nov. 07, 1924  German National Elections December, 1924
Apr. 30, 1924  The German National Elections
International Economic Development
Regional Political Affairs: Europe