Rebuilding post-war Germany

In July 1945 Chatham House produced the first issue of The World Today. In this anniversary year we will be looking into the archive to see what was said about the issues of the time, many of which are still live today. See the original piece here

The World Today Updated 5 January 2021 Published 6 February 2015 2 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

From the economic point of view, it is essential for the future prosperity of the Continent that the resources of its greatest manufacturing area should be utilized … If the policy of long-term interest is followed, it will imply, inter alia, rebuilding of the heavy industries of the Ruhr, the area in which was produced over a third of Europe’s steel and a great part of its chemicals.’

With these forthright words The World Today, in its first edition dated July 1945, entered the debate on whether German industry should be rebuilt after the Second World War. Whatever the clamour for the vengeful dismantling of Germany’s ‘war machine’, the author (anonymous, as was usual in those days) argued that there could be no prosperity for Europe with the Ruhr in ruins.

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