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tv   Reel America Europe - Two Decades - 1965  CSPAN  December 14, 2019 8:00am-8:46am EST

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let it be said that any president who cheats our institution shall be impeached. past.lore our nation's watch the clinton impeachment on american history tv. at now you are watching american history tv. every weekend beginning saturday at 8:00 a.m. eastern, we bring you 48 hours of unique programming, exploring our nation's past. it is only on c-span3. >> each week, american history tv's reel america provides archival films. a 1955two decades is nato film documenting key events in post-world war ii europe from the marshall plan and the origins of the cold war. the construction of the berlin wall and many confrontations between soviet aligned nations
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and western european countries. >> [speaking in foreign language] >> it is beyond belief now, it was beyond belief then. this monstrous tyranny to enslave mankind. this was hitler's way to unify europe. under one master race for which the weak must be enslaved. the unworthy must be exterminated. liberal, socialist, democrats,
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aryan, or non-aryan, dutch, polish, scandinavian or anglo-saxon, this was your end if you did not fit. this was a sewer, and the cleansing of that sewer from which modern europe had to evolve. 1945, the war to end the tyranny was like all wars appallingly destructive. then, as western and eastern armies neared each other across defeated germany, the field radios crackled in english and russian, louder, louder until, at last, they met at the banks.
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there democracy from the west and communism from the east rejoiced and shook hands. for now, our europe was once again a place fit to live in. now it was up to us, to ourselves and our leaders, to make that europe not just a place fit to live in, but one to be proud of. so began the first of europe's peacetime meetings to put the continent to right. in western europe, where destruction had been comparatively light, life resumed some semblance of normality. there, regimentation had been accepted only for the duration. but now, regimentation was something to be done away with as soon as possible, in the good old-fashioned way. i disagree with every word you say, but i defend to the death your right to say it.
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elsewhere, however, much had gone forever with nothing to replace it. in the aftermath, a mere an undamagedere roof made a palace, a loaf of bread, a banquet. degradation. the end of self-respect. a harkening back to the jungle. here was only a number. almost a political vacuum. yet even amid all the appalling problems in the struggle for a vestige of normality, there were some who could look ahead beyond the immediate, be on the roads, to tangible, practical goals. at a conference at the hague, a united europe movement,
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symbolized by the letter e, gave expression to aspirations, hopes and possible leads. >> this is not a movement of parties, but a movement of people. it must be all for all. europe can only be united by their wish and vehement expression of the great majority of all the people, and all the parties, in all the freedom loving countries no matter where they dwell or how they vote. >> a united europe. the dream of charlemagne, and still a dream. everywhere, crumbling monuments to suspicion, jealousy and fear. even the old rhine herself, her banks filled with dragon teeth.
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sometimes the frontier was like the rhine, a natural barrier, an invisible line across streets, an invisible line, and an attitude of mind. how could these europeans be united when they were also different? here was the blood of many races, nationalities, each with its own traditions and ways of life, not to mention different tongues. as neighbors, they had seemingly little in common, and now they had not only little in common, but little enough anyway. all very well for winston churchill to make speeches on unity in 1947. he had self-respect, enough to eat, and a place in which to live. unity was well down on the list of priorities.
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it was supposed to stem from the united nations, where delegates from east and west sat down together, even they were cynical. though they talked of a settled world, they were talking of neither the same thing nor the same means of achieving it. now, there was a new power in the world, that of the soviet union, based upon moscow. after 20 years of communism and the battle against hitler's germany, russia was emerging onto the world stage as a major force, employing new and disconcerting techniques on the ideas of men, among them marx and lenin. but when ideas must be imposed, for those who cherish freedom, even the ideas themselves become suspect.
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until his death in 1953, soviet policy was made by stalin and dictated by him. the annexation of the baltic states, the huge advances of the red armies, had placed vast areas of eastern europe under soviet control. there, in countries such as poland, stalin, in signing the peace treaties, had promised his allies to hold free elections. it a virtual political vacuum, with no other party or any organization worth considering, they had the full support of the occupying red army, and their pressure was relentless.
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othercow played host to postwar meetings. the aim, to complete the peacemaking and to solve the problem of a divided and occupied germany. smiles, flowers. >> very glad to be back in moscow again. we shall spend the days ahead of us to make a sound peace which will prevent any future aggression and let the whole world live in security. >> in her new role as a sophisticated western power, russia laid out all facilities. the world must know that this
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was to be give-and-take, a hammering out. satisfaction emerging from around the table. though difficulties abounded for the diplomats of the west, there was endless hope. america's mr. marshall talked long enough and surely, the answers must come. for france's, representative on and slowly did he realize that there were not going to be any answers. for britain's representative, only at long last did he come to see that his dream of a sound peace in europe was to be permanently blocked by russia's stonewalling. meanwhile, soviet pressure continues. greece was not occupied by the red army, yet the communists were strong enough to stage open
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civil war, a desperate struggle in which the government only kept control with help from the outside. an already war-impoverished people were pushed to the limits of hunger and despair. looking to the slums of europe, one was forced to realize that the real problems stemmed not only from the ravages of war, or political strife, but also from the neglected countries. to save europe from the nazis, millions had died. to save a europe still plagued by malaria, tuberculosis, and every other disease that comes with bad housing and malnutrition, to save a europe much of it not fit, is this what they had died for in normandy, at allemagne, in stalingrad, in the streets of italy and paris?
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was this the aftermath they had envisaged? what a heritage. what a europe. in washington, george c. marshall made known the principles of the plan that was to bear his name. >> the situation is critical. but there is no doubt whatever in my mind that if we decide to do this thing, we can do it successfully. >> a plan whereby europe could help itself by using american dollars as a catalyst between its own seriously degraded currency. in europe, the response was immediate. statesmen met to examine the plan, among them russia's mr. molotov. but when mr. molotov became aware of the vast scope of the plan, out he stormed.
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in moscow, mr. molotov's attitude was fully supported. russia though powerful was still too war-ravaged to give help herself. in these postwar conditions, only one country, the united states had the available resources. this scheme was a generous, heartfelt response to crying human need, and in europe, it was welcomed as such. but for the soviets, the creed was revolution first, rehabilitation afterwards. if people were starving it was the fault of capitalism. turn to communism, and communism would provide the answer. but in western europe, the
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answer was yes. a few months later, progress. >> last year, mr. marshall gave our government a new stimulus. we in europe prepared a statement of our pledges and our needs. the united states government and congress responded to these needs and passed with generous speed legislation designed to lead them. we have now put up pledges in the solemn obligation, and have devised an organization to help, not only to administer american aid, but also to bring about a permanent, sound european economy. >> the organization for european economic cooperation. by its agreement, for instance,
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holland could import three-quarters of the cotton needed to keep her textile looms in full production. britain could receive the carbon black she needed to make the tires for her vital automobile industry. then there was other equipment for countries such as turkey, to bring their agriculture into line with a lot of their more fortunate neighbors. steel for shipyards. so the cargos began to move across the atlantic. food, raw materials. it wasn't only a matter of feeding the hungry or a temporary handout. from chicago, illinois to france, a giant press of steel production, not only to put french mills back on your feet, but also to make them more modern.
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truly, the power of the new world. then, with marshall aid funds and technical assistance, vast areas of italy, whole islands such as sardinia and cyprus became battlegrounds in the fight against the malarial mosquito. everywhere, health teams went to grapple with the scourge of centuries. a new hope for europe was read in the eyes of children. the opposition, however, did not view it that way. they claimed that the marshall plan was but a scheme to get control of europe and feather the nests of capitalists. stalin realized that communism would lose its first emotional appeal to the hungry and the have nots. now, time was no longer on his side.
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it was in czechoslovakia. the founder of the state, back in 1919, had been a veteran. now his son carried on his father's democratic tradition in collaboration with president benes. the intensely active czech communist party naturally did their best to swing their country foreign policy toward the soviet union. with their numbers went before and minister to moscow to discuss his country's acceptance of marshall aid, only to receive a most emphatic, no. and russia was too powerful a neighbor to cross. then in prague itself, the pressure mounted further. at first the communists had treated the president with the respect he deserved as head of state.
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but he was held to be too pro-western. drastic measures were called for. by a coup d'etat, the communist party took control of the czech state. once democratic parliament, the new leaders made their debut. the president was forced to retire and soon died, brokenhearted, in virtual exile. after the rejoicing of their first day in power, the new leaders took their time off to stand in silence, to pay homage to an absent member of the house. he now lay in state after a fall to his death from his window. by accident, suicide, or murder, nobody then knew.
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this was europe after but a few short years of peace. a democratic western state, czechoslovakia, had gone behind the iron curtain. could any state now consider itself safe? so, alarmed by the general situation, statesmen of western europe had come together to face facts. brussels, with memories only too close to that other field of crisis, waterloo. only five nations signed the brussels treaty. but as a peacetime commitment to resist further encroachment, it was an historic step. the treaty brought tried and tested warriors to france, for
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meeting if need be force with force. but where was the force? at the end of the war, the western allies had rapidly demobilized. soviet russia had maintained its forces, practically on a war footing. the power of the red army was formidable indeed. the next point of tension, berlin. the whole of germany and the city of berlin, had after the war been divided into four zones of occupation, british, french, american, and russian. but the soviets soon established, without the consent of their allies, a separate east german state, claiming berlin as its capital. the government and its russian sponsors didn't want just the part of the city they occupied, they wanted all of it, without
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waiting for the peace treaty. in august, barely five months after the coup d'etat in prague, the russians unilaterally decided to isolate western berlin and cut its supply routes which crossed the soviet zone in germany -- trains, barges, and road traffic were stopped. the alternative was for the west to leave berlin ignominiously, or stay and allow the people in the british, french, and american sectors to starve. the only way in, the sky above. was it conceivable that so large a city be supplied by air? the west were responsible for almost 2.5 million people. and to supply a city of this
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size would mean mounting the biggest airlift of all time, bigger even than anything achieved during the war. the three allied governments of the west decided to try. by so doing, they were taking a calculated risk, for if anyone plane had been fired on, we would almost certainly had been at war again. from bases in england, france, and the american side of germany, the first planes began to arrive. stalin remained confident. he assumed that within a matter of weeks, and certainly, when winter came, the west would abandon the attempt. his optimism was not unfounded. snow and fog made flying increasingly dangerous. 36 allied planes were lost. shortage of fuel brought berlin factories to a standstill.
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but there was no stopping now. week after week, in the winter 1948-49, the amount flown into the city increased. by april of 1949, it had reached a staggering total of 12,000 tons a day. the life in western berlin was literally maintained by air. in the face of soviet pressure, the security of the west was established. the policy of standing firm was vindicated. was this peace? was this what they had died for in normandy, alamein, stalingrad, in the hills of italy and the streets of paris? so, in april 1949, with the russians still blockading
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berlin, 12 nations came together in washington to sign the north atlantic treaty. thus was born the atlantic alliance and n.a.t.o., its organization for the defense of the west. the beginning of a true system of collective security. realizing that the treaty brought the united states firmly onto the european scene for the first time in peacetime, the communists reacted to say the least unfavorably. western europe took this move towards offensive rearmament very soberly. and in spite of communist threats and propaganda, n.a.t.o.'s first supreme commander, dwight d. eisenhower, arrived in paris to take his post, the planned demonstration came to naught. in a temporary headquarters, the military staff of the alliance
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began their task of building the continent's defenses. soldiers of many nations, working together in peace time, because those nations realized that to avert war, the safest thing was to be prepared for it. so, into europe's ports came the first weapons to restore the military balance. along with them, soldiers from across the atlantic, from canada and the united states, here at this time to prevent the governments from falling. and with the airfields mushrooming on the landscape there was much growing on the side, of the nation's receiving marshall aid dollars were putting their own currency to good work. roads, railways, hydroelectric,
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everywhere, the rattle of chains and concrete. in the factories, there was ever growing roar and bustle. the marshall plan was the stimulant, n.a.t.o. was the shield. in the rhineland city of bonn, workers put finishing touches on a new parliament. the government for the new federal republic of germany. to block german reunification, the russians had created an east german state. the west would create a western one. the new administration included many veteran fighters for german freedom. for those of them who had suffered for their beliefs in nazi concentration camps to be members of the first democratic government in their country for over 20 years was reward indeed.
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here was the beginning of a new germany. a realization of facts, the fact that several million industrious people, deprived for so long of democratic processes, could not continue without a government of their own choice. taking the oath, the chancellor of the new federal state. >> [speaking in foreign language] >> then, in 1953, joseph stalin died. the shock throughout the communist world was profound. the workers were numbed and not a little troubled. perhaps he had been there so long that the world could never be the same without him. and this was to prove truer than most of them imagined.
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now in moscow, there was not just one face, but many. for those in the west who were not experienced students of russian politics, it was hard to discern who if any held the real reins of power, enough to say that which way it would go was anyone's guess. general policy was unchanged. 1955, at a summit conference held in geneva to try it again to settle the problems that had divided germany, the results were once again frustration. faces from the east and west might smile for the cameras, but in truth, this was merely putting a good face on failure. but, though unity between the two halves of germany might be a
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long way off, the rhine was once again a true thoroughfare of europe, europe making its first steps toward unity. by now, in strasbourg, a council of europe was meeting regularly, and at its conferences many european nations, n.a.t.o. members and others discussed their continent's future. the council had no executive powers, and its members could only advise the governments of the general trend of its thinking. a good start, but no solution. yet, in fact, the solutions were easier than anyone imagined. time did not wait for a political solution. it was the needs of trade and a higher standard of living that began to destroy the wall. it started with iron and steel.
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they had once been the crucibles. from them, came the 1870, 1914, 1939. then, in one step, by one agreement, all were brought into the european community of coal and steel. the dream of france's foreign minister turned into reality. in 1952, in the city of luxembourg, the community set up its headquarters. there, six western european nations cooperated to prevent overlapping wasteful competition and unrealistic prices, to establish in this field a common market. a phrase the world was to hear more of. their reasons were purely economical.
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act, a handful of practical men had done more for european unity than the blood of centuries. meanwhile, at n.a.t.o. headquarters in paris, equally significant moves had been made. by general agreement of all the n.a.t.o. nations, the federal republic of germany had been invited to sign the north atlantic treaty and thus become their 15th ally. in 1955, this seemed merely a logical step. but in hindsight, it was a milestone of history. henceforth in the streets of western german cities, there were still to be seen men and women in alien uniform. but now, they were there not as occupiers in the defeated state, but as allies to help safeguard the peace. ♪ a western germany, within
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n.a.t.o., made defense along the iron curtain a practical proposition. with growing western strength, the old fears of infiltration and intimidation by the east, were fast waning. now, millions whose continent had given so much to the world, were free to get on with vanishing needs and wants. to get on with the real business of life. now, it would seem the east was faced with a simple choice. risk another world war, or talk terms across the conference table. so went the first 10 years of the post war world. ♪ >> do you remember when harry sidled across vienna to
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turn the scarcities of a war-ravaged city to his own profit? vienna is no longer that kind of city. all that evokes that old vienna is a musical memory. today in western europe, a harry lime would find meager scope. for now in that prosperous and bustling continent, profiteering in vital necessities is not so easy. now in vienna, paris, rome, the marshall plan is so much a thing of the past that few can even recall it. how long ago was yesterday? some of it, like joseph stalin, seems to be so far back as to be as dim as antiquity. the immediate yesterday, however, is still so close, that to be reminded of it comes as a kind of shock. rome, march 1957. a treaty signed by the six steelns of the coal- community, henceforth it was to
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be the european economic community. or otherwise, the common market. a common market like rome is not built in a day. even now for ordinary people to understand tariffs and quotas are less aware than they might be of the improving economic picture. they will admit things are far better than they were. memories of the immediate yesterday on the political scene, let's begin in london. that city as conservative as only the city of london can be. and who were the lord mayor's guests of honor in the spring of 1956? the state visitors from the soviet union were affectionately called mr. b and mr. k. or the bulge and the crash. mr. b, conrad bugatti. and mr. k, conrad khrushchev. faces smiled in keeping with the new policy, term, peaceful
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coexistence. behind the grim reality, too grim for smiles. across germany's former curtain iron in fact as well as name, though leaders might sport in foreign capitals, for their people, peaceful coexistence was no more than a theory. november, 1956. budapest is strewn with wreckage and corpses. a rising by hungarians seeking minimal freedoms had been met by the argument of tanks and guns. may, 1960. mr. khrushchev is to give a press conference. yet another summit meeting is disintegrating because of soviet stonewalling. unwilling to continue
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discussions with the west, mr. k is nonetheless keen to have an audience. the press likes mr. k. and, mr. k likes them. what was the use of cooperating over the conference table when american planes were spying over the soviet union? in moscow, the wreckage of the u-2, the special gear and the pilot. explain that, demanded mr. k. >> [speaking foreign language] >> the u-2 had given mr. khrushchev the excuse to end the summit meeting that is embarrassing him and to take his leave. the next scene, new york,
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september 1962. the united nations general assembly. these were the days when the normally staid gathering was to comradeened by khrushchev. neither russia nor the u.s. would yield to a reorganization favoring the summit union. the u.n. secretary-general, dag hammarskjold was singled out for special treatment. the secretary-general was not the only target as the british prime minister discovered. like the charge of a light brigade, it is magnificent, but is it diplomacy? for millions of out-of-town visitors to new york, the united nations building is but a tiny part of a great spectacle of manhattan. here, amid all the symbols of
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wealth and power, foreign affairs are apt to seem as distant as though viewed through the wrong end of a telescope. a great nation, subject to no real threat of foreign invasions since the war of independence. imagine the shock of 1962. in the white house, a deeply disturbed president kennedy discusses with soviet foreign minister mr. amico. the world is faced with what seems to be inevitable nuclear warfare. why this nightmare? who is responsible? in the united nations, bearded uniform figures tried for days to deliver one of its long harangues against the united states. in this, there is nothing particularly new in the form or the long-windedness. this is fidel castro of cuba.
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what is new is that american photo reconnaissance planes flying over cuba have supplied evidence of a series of rocket sites armed with soviet weapons capable of subjecting the very heartland of the united states to close range attacks. an anxious united nations security council listens to the united states representative, mr. adlai stevenson. >> we now know that the soviet union, not content with dr. castro's oath of field, not content with the cuban independence, has decided to transform cuba into a base for communist aggressions, into a base for putting all the americans under the nuclear gun. >> john kennedy and nikita khrushchev had once met in vienna. their meeting established a
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hotline. now, when every minute counted over that hotline, president kennedy gave the choice. not long afterwards reconnaissance planes were able to report that ships sailing out of cuba were carrying depth cargoes of rockets being returned to the soviet union. the world balance of power that had been deliberately and dangerously tilted, was thus restored, thanks to the firmness of the american president. kennedy said that since the cuban crisis, the good citizens of the united states have read the foreign news in their newspapers with just a shade more attention? what can be said is they are now fully aware that the emphasis has swung away from the old applicable chessboard of europe and onto the twin masses of themselves and the peoples of the soviet union.
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these days, there are skyscrapers in moscow, skyscrapers and drink dispensers and telephones and televisions. candace knew consumer demand consumer demand is infiltrating with decadent influence? in his tomb and red square, london and red square, lennon lies alone. stalin had been removed. as the russians will tell you, it is not personalities that count, but policy. now, in the streets of moscow, people seem to have their eyes fixed on more distant targets. on the heavens. on the way to the stars. but the way to the stars lies also through the brandenburg gate. in berlin, bricks, mortar, wire and every kind of fiendish
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contraption make up the wall of shame. today, because the east maintains the uneasy status quo, americans, british, and french must still patrol the wall they detest. just in case. other, -- on the other side, east german police work to make their defenses even more impregnable. defenses designed not to keep out, but to keep in. witness the memorials to those who have tried to pass and failed. on this side of the wall, children play against its stones. as they will play anywhere. when khrushchev was retired 20 years after the second world war, the young people of europe inherited a divided berlin, a divided germany. and no final postwar settlement of the european problem. in the early 1960's, the means by which it was hoped such a
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settlement might be reached was called peaceful coexistence, a phrase used by the east. in the late 1960's, the west produced a single word to describe the policy. 's policy. of attempting by every possible political and diplomatic means, to bridge the gaps between east and west and by so doing, to solve all of the problems that beset europe. this film stopped where it did because what happened after 1965 is not yet history but still part of the europe we live in today. a europe of new ideas, of young people, many of whom never knew the hopes and disappointment in those 20 years. those two decades, which future historians may regard as a turning point in world history. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] eastern, at 8:00 p.m. american history tv looks back at the impeachment against president bill clinton with a december 19, 1998 house floor debate on articles of impeachment. >> today, republicans with a small handful of democrats will vote to impeach president clinton. why? because we believe he committed crimes resulting in cheating our legal system. we believe he lied under oath numerous times, that he tampered with evidence, that he conspired to resent false testimony to a court of law. we believe he assaulted our legal system in every way. let it be said that any president who cheats our institutions shall be impeached. past,lore our nation's watch the clinton impeachment sunday on american history tv.
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>> the national museum of african-american history and culture recently released a book called, "we return fighting, world war i and the shaping of modern black identity." in conjunction, the museum has a temporary exhibit focusing on african americans during the war. book museum curator and contributor, krewasky salter, joined howard university professor greg carr to talk about the collection of essays that inspired the book and exhibit. the two also discussed how the african american experience during what was then called "the great war" served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. [applause] >> good evening. >> good evening. >> good evening. >> good evening. >> first of all, thank you for coming out on this rainy evening. i know it is a challenge. i think it will be well worth your time to be here this evening for th


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