Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finally some good news in history!

We just finished learning about World War II and the creation of Pakistan and Israel in our history studies. So much fighting, hatred, death, and destruction! We covered the atom bombs in Japan, the Holocaust, and the mass displacements of people when Pakistan was created. After learning about the creation of Israel and the continued security issues in that region, dd9 said it should be called "Problem Land"; it's ironic how close that is to "Promised Land."

To my relief, I get to tell my children about something good today: our country helped rebuild Europe under the Marshall Plan. This was a very positive part of our national history. Yes, the US did it partly to counter Soviet influence, but at its core, it was a large humanitarian effort, and Germany and France would likely be very different today had they not received this assistance right after the devastation of WWII. It takes time to rebuild infrastructure and harvest crops, and immediate aid saves many lives after disasters.

We even found a pro-Marshall plan propaganda film called The Extraordinary Adventures of a Quart of Milk (1951), which showed how good French roads made it possible for milk to get from a dairy to a factory to be made into powdered milk. It can be viewed online for free thanks to the Deutsches Historisches Museum.

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