Germany's Balanced Development: The Real Wealth of a Nation

By Kaevan Gazdar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Past Miracles, Present Continuity, Future Consensus

Each of us knows that an act of historic importance, born out of the greatness of soul and of political wisdom, decisively contributed toward making the recovery a reality for us Germans: the decision of the former opponent in the Second World War, the United States of America, to include Germany in the U.S. foreign aid program.

--Bundesminister for the Marshall Plan
Foreword to a Report on the Marshall Plan, 1953

In 1953, the Federal Republic's minister for the Marshall Plan wrote a dedication to a progress report on the reconstruction of West Germany after the war. The report is full of charts and figures--and also includes lavish praise of the kind quoted above.

In 1945, Germany presented an apocalyptic picture of destruction-- geographic, economic, psychological. In the years that followed, a series of dramatic events occurred: America's Marshall Plan promoted economic recovery and a dynamic statesman called Ludwig Erhard pushed through a currency reform in cavalier-like fashion. The Germans worked hard, successfully overcoming the Nazi past, and by the mid-1950s, a wondrous alchemy occurred: the country was prosperous again: This is the conventional view of Germany's postwar recovery.

In the United States, traditionalist and revisionist historians have debated on whether the plan was part of a defensive policy of containment or aligned to an aggressive strategy aimed at shutting the Soviet Union out of Western

-187-

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Germany's Balanced Development: The Real Wealth of a Nation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 1- The Mittelstand: Microcosm Of The Germany Economy 23
  • Notes 44
  • Chapter 2- Order and the Business Mentality 47
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 3- Commitment and the Business Environment 77
  • Notes 104
  • Chapter 4- The Socioeconomic Foundations of Wealth 107
  • Notes 136
  • Chapter 5- The Cultural Roots of Order And Commitment 141
  • Notes 164
  • Chapter 6- The Psychological Roots Of Order and Commitment 167
  • Notes 184
  • Chapter 7- Past Miracles, Present Continuity, Future Consensus 187
  • Notes 218
  • Selected Bibliography 223
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 230
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