April 10, 2015

Marshall Plan in Pictures

President Truman signed the Economic Assistance Act on April 3, 1948 to help the nations of Europe recover after the devastation of World War II. A quick Google search for “Marshall Plan” will result in the facts and figures relating to the legislation surrounding the European Recovery Program. Mentioned frequently are the Marshall Plan speech given by George C. Marshall at Harvard University in 1947, how the legislation was passed in Congress, critics of the plan, and even the variety of material produced during a massive public relations campaign to educate the American public.

But a unique collection of photographs, new to the Foundation, presents a more personal perspective. The collection by Mr. Eteve, of Paris, contained over 23,000 photographs of the transition of Paris and France during the years of the Marshall Plan. Many sets in the collection show dramatic before and after pictures. One example is the industrial area in Normandy that received tremendous damage during the war.

This collection will join others in our Archives that show the aftermath of war and how crucial the Marshall Plan was to recovery.