July 2, 2018




The Ponary Massacre was committed by German SD, SS, and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, such as the Ypatingasis bury units. From July 1941 to August 1944 over 100,000 people were slaughtered near the railway station in Ponary (now Paneriai, Vilnius, Lithuania). Among the dead were 70,000 Jews, between 2,000 and 20,000 Poles, 8,000 Russian POWs, and many others from nearby Vilnius. Lithuania and the Baltic States became the first places outside occupied Poland where the Nazis mass murdered Jews as part of the Final Solution. Of a total of 70,000 Jewish inhabitants of Vilnius, only 7,000 (10%) survived the war.  On October 22, 2000  in Lithuania, several Polish organizations worked together to raise a monument to the fallen Polish citizens. An official memorial ceremony has held at which representatives from both Polish and Lithuanian governments, were present (Bronisław Komorowski, Polish Minister of Defence, and his Lithuanian counterpart).


Soviet Minister Molotov Rejected the Marshall Plan:   When the Marshall Plan had been drafted on June 5, 1947 offering aid to the Soviet Union and its allies, the Russians flatly rejected it, as it appeared to them a Western incursion to take control of Soviet satellite states. Moreover, Stalin did not want to support any plan that would restore the economic health of Europe.  Molotov expressed worry that,  "... If American capital was given a free hand in the small states ruined and enfeebled by the war [it] would buy up the local industries, appropriate the more attractive Rumanian, Yugoslav […] enterprises and would become the master in these small states....".  On April 3, 1958, President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan and granted $5 billion in financial aid to 16 European nations. In the ensuing four years, the US had donated a total of $ 17 billion in economic and technical assistance (in 2016 it would have been the equivalent of $ 189 billion) to assist European countries who joined the  Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OECD). The largest recipients of Marshall Plan was the UK (circa 26% of the total), France (18%) and West Germany (11%).  Funding was offered to Eastern bloc countries, but they refused, having been under pressure from Stalin.. A second, and larger meeting was convened in Paris on July 12, 1947, at which every European country (except Spain, and small states) were invited. The Soviet Union accepted the invitation, though they clarified that they might still refuse the Plan. Czechoslovakia and Poland agreed to attend as well.  However, the foreign minister of Czechoslovakia, Jan Masaryk, was summoned to Moscow and threatened by Stalin if he considered joining the Marshall Plan.  Conversely,  Józef Cyrankiewicz, the Prime Minister of Poland was rewarded by Stalin for having refused the Plan, and in return for his cooperation, the Soviet Union granted Poland a long-term credit and loan deal valued at $450 million, as well as 200,000 tonnes of grain, heavy and manufacturing machinery and factories and heavy industries.

No comments:

Post a Comment