tv American Aid in Post- World War I Europe 1919-1924 CSPAN December 7, 2019 12:55pm-1:51pm EST
war i museum at memorial's annual symposium, historian and author timmy proctor gives an illustrated talk titled the myth of isolation, american intervention in postwar europe, 1919 to 1924. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the national world war i museum and memorial at our peace,um, paris, 1919, question mark. we are so pleased you are here and we are pleased to welcome our next speaker. dr. tammy proctor is department head and distinguished professor of history at the utah state university, where she teaches modern european and world history. a native of kansas city, missouri, proctor holds degrees in journalism and history from the university of missouri and a phd from rutgers university. her recent publications include
"the secret diary of mary thorpe," 2017's "gender and the great war," and 2017's "world war i: a short history." that really is a spectacular book. i consistently get asked questions if there's a short book, great for teaching at an introductory point. if you'd have not seen proctor's short history on world war i, that is a nice entry point. also clearly, she was very busy in 2017. [laughter] she is presently working on a study of american humanitarian aid in the u.s. from 1914 to 1924, which you will be hearing about more in a few seconds. ladies and gentlemen, please help me in welcoming dr. tammy proctor. [applause] dr. proctor: to test this out, is it working? yes? ok. good.
>> there you go. dr. proctor: all right, we are good. thank you to laura for that nice introduction and to camille for all the work she did. it's great to come to kansas city. as laura said, it is my hometown. it's always wonderful to be here. i would also like to thank dr. kuhn for setting up my talk by mentioning famine relief. i will be talking about that a little bit today. so i picked kind of a provocative title, "the myth of isolation." i did so partly because, when i teach undergraduates about the world war, i usually start class first by asking what do you know? what do you know about the war? i suspect if i through this out to you, you can guess some of the things they know. trenches. poison gas. aerial warfare.
they like that. dogfights. and, when i ask about the united states, they know woodrow wilson and isolation. that is pretty much encapsulates the story a lot of undergraduates know when they arrive at college about the first world war. what i would like to argue today is that, rather than the idea that the united states completely turned its back on europe in 1919, that it is a more complicated story. i argued that americans engaged with europe not just financially and materially, but also in terms of cultural imagination. i think i'm popping a little bit here. using both public funds and private charitable money, the united states intervened in europe to provide food,
clothing, fuel, disease prevention, and other important resources. in more than a dozen states in europe from 1919 to 1924. actually, i will go a little later than 1924 as well. americans undertook major programs in rebuilding the devastated areas and in saving cultural heritage properties also. i'm going to talk about three different examples today. the first is war relief and food aid. the second is physical reconstruction of europe and the third is cultural reconstruction of europe. this outpouring of u.s. relief and development helped provide a measure of stability. it created a precedent for what happens after world war ii. in the q and a, if you are interested, i can talk about the personnel involved in world war
i that go on to be heavily involved in world war ii and u.s. and united nations development aid. it also forged a cultural connection between europe and the u.s. that continues today. spring of 1919 was a busy time in europe's capital cities. while woodrow wilson and his advisers met in paris with other world leaders in spring of 1919 to determine the postwar political future of europe, the populations of several european countries faced crippling food shortages. out of deep concern over the possibility of revolutionary activity in postwar societies devastated by war, wilson appointed herbert hoover in 1918 to be kind of a food czar for europe. part of the reason he was chosen is that hoover had been running
an american food program in belgium from 1914 to 1918, feeding roughly 9 million belgians and also inhabitants of northern france in the occupied zone. hoover had also led the united states food administration from the wartime period from 1917 to 1918. order, by executive chose hoover to create the american relief administration. this is hoover. these are some of the men who were involved in the belgian relief, prior to the establishment of the postwar program. american personnel traveled to europe. they served as supervisors and managers. they helped with the work of distribution. -- work and distribution. you can kind of imagine this.
while wilson and his team are in paris negotiating the peace treaty there, hoover and his team are in brussels, negotiating other types of bilateral and multilateral agreements to get food into europe. the agreement in brussels is signed in march of 1919, and, of course, as you know, the paris peace treaty takes longer. they are kind of -- parallel developments is a way to kind of think of it. one of the big issues was the fact that the blockade was still in place, which was mentioned as well. germany had to agree to hand over their merchant fleet as well as funds, in order to get food, allied food. as american louis strauss noted at the meeting, there was not a single word uttered in sentiment, no recrimination, no
appeals, no references to humanity, civilization, women or children. it was a business transaction. this is the description of the meeting with germany. for the public, however, this isn't going to really cut it. because, the idea that this food might be going to feed former enemies in europe had to be sold to the american public. hoover started laying out the publicity for this pretty early. this map was published in newspapers across the country in december of 1918. i took this one from the columbia, missouri paper. notice here that americans are being reminded that they need to pledge to help with the effort. but, it shows some of the countries that had famine conditions, shortages, and places that were already
receiving aid. it was used to educate public about problems. and it was called, in every newspaper, the hunger map, to emphasize the starvation. this particular image ran in the columbia paper on christmas day, trying to emphasize the need for sympathy. supplement these earlier efforts, hoover released a memo in march of 1919 explaining why aid. i want to read a little excerpt from it, because i think it gets at how he was trying to sell this to the u.s. population. "why we are feeding germany. from the point of view of my western upbringing, i would say it once because we do not kick a man in the stomach after we have licked him. from the point of view of a governor, i would say it's because famine breeds anarchy. anarchy is infectious.
from the point of view of the humanitarian, i would say we have not been fighting with women and children and we are not beginning now. taking it by and large, our face is forward, not backward on history." you can see how he strength to sell the case for american intervention in europe. the idea that u.s. security and world peace depended on caring for victims of the war and on helping all nations of europe to recover is one that hoover returned to again and again. food relief relied on the goodwill and donations of ordinary americans. so, while american personnel lived in europe to provide , officials urged the american public to embrace this role as protector. what began as a short-term, limited release project became a larger experiment in the exportation of american values through food to most of europe by the 1920's.
i want to give just one example of this. that is austria. on the 12th of november 1918, after the collapse of the habsburg empire, the provisional assembly created the republic of austria with a capital in vienna. what was problematic about this is many of the agricultural lands were in hungary, not in the newly formed austria. they were kind of facing difficulties in that way. they had already had severe starvation conditions in 1918. this new nation of nearly 16.5 million people faced other challenges, including political instability, serious unemployment, a large refugee population, and lack of housing. but the real problem was shortage of food and shortage of fuel. this had taken a big toll.
after that, the allied blockade, which is continuing, exacerbated and extended the misery of wartime. citizens waited hours in food cues and sometimes spent the night sleeping outside in order to hold their place in line. one historian out of austria has documented what was called the hunger catastrophe in austrian history. by 1918, 27 goods were rationed and many of them were not available, even after people had waited in cues. "for many residents in vienna, eating have become a mathematical exercise in consuming any available calories, no matter how disagreeable their source."
of particular concern, both in austria and increasingly among the international community, was the plight of children and young people. they were particularly hard-hit by lack of calories. these are some of the photos used to document some of the conditions. these are children with rickets that's were caused from nutritional deficiency. many of the kids were the ones waiting in line overnight. their parents would send them out to hold their place. they would take turns. they are very much involved in this fight to get food. children's mortality rates nearly doubled for teenagers. between 1914 and 1918. this was a serious condition, especially for children. thousands of children were begging in the streets. vagrancy's were high. the story about vienna's children began appearing in the international press partly because of the efforts of two
women who eventually founded the save the children fund, which i think probably most people have heard of. it is still operating today. -- it still operates today. these are british women. save the children, which was created in 1919 to deal with this particular catastrophe, along with american quakers, endeavor to feed nursing mothers and children under five years old in vienna. quakers were already in place and some of the british organizations. from child feeding, which proved to be the center of american efforts, relief agencies began adopting children. americans could send money to feed a child for a year. this was an innovative thing at the time. they had clothing stores, workshops for unemployed people. even a milk cow program. they imported cows from holland to try to create milk for the
children. but the american relief administration focused on school aged children. they set up massive kitchens and -- in schools to feed children a a day, usually something that involved milk and cocoa. there was a lot of chocolate involved in this. what they did is they would survey the children first. there are a lot of photographs and measuring of children. then, they would determine an exact calorie and create the food to meet those caloric needs. the quakers are feeding the young children. the american relief administration are feeding school-aged children. adults were not so lucky. many of the efforts did not focus on adults. part of what needed to happen to
be these children is that they needed to come up with fundraising from other nations of the world. so, there was a big press campaign in the united states to get people to support this. send clothing, send money. some towns in the midwest actually put together food from their community and shipped it. there's a lot of generosity emerging from american communities in this time. this is an example of some of the ways they kept track of this. kind of -- so, one of the ways americans continue to create additional interest in fundraising, i guess is the best way to put it, is they published the expressions of gratitude children were sending for the food they got.
this outpouring of thanks reinforced americans in their understanding that the humanitarian work was making a difference. it took on kind of an appearance of a moral imperative. for the american delegates themselves, the people on the ground in europe, the language of the appeals gave them a sense of power. like, the power to feed. you can see these are beautiful. in the library of congress, there are 5000 children's letters to woodrow wilson. there are also letters to hoover and all of the -- in all of the hoover institution libraries. there are letters like this to all the individual delegates. you can imagine how this was used for publicity purposes. i particularly like this one. this one is from germany. for the delegates on the ground,
as i said, it gave them a sense of power and importance. gilchrist stockton, one of the bureau chiefs located in vienna, he describes his role in a letter home to his mother. "when i am downhearted, i go out to a kitchen and i see my children eat. i think of them all as mine, every one of the 200,000 underfed little waifs." .his is gilchrest stockton the presence of the u.s. as a surrogate father really shaped the language of the food aid program. it is americans' spots ability to feed, we are taking a paternal, fatherly role. the other message for americans was clear. u.s. food would make the world safer and would demonstrate american goodheartedness and wealth to the world. the food aid project helped to bolster u.s. governmental
claims during and after world war ii. i'm sorry, after world war i. altogether, from 1914 to 1920 1924, hoover's organization handled the shipping and distribution of more than 33 million metric tons of aid, which was valued at more than $5 billion. so, this is a big operation, as i said, multi countries -- multi-countries, and the ports that were on the map gives you a sense of the size and logistics of this organization. these organizations did save lives, but they also created a market for surplus food, because the american economy kind of ramped up to create food for the war effort and they needed a market for it after the war. a lot of american grain went to europe. it helped bolster prices for farmers. and, it reduced stocks.
hoover himself fervently believed food aid saved to stave off big revolution and created a positive image of the united states abroad, both of which were major foreign policy goals. in short through relief efforts, u.s. citizens built an investment in postwar europe and a sense of mission that i think belies the idea of an isolated american public. i think the public saw themselves as continuing to have a responsibility in europe, especially for the victims of the war. the second area i want to talk about, briefly, is physical reconstruction. america played a crucial role both during and after the war in rebuilding devastated parts of europe. this project has multiple facets and a multitude of individuals and organizations participated. some of these are major american charities, like the rockefeller
foundation, which supported public health and educational infrastructure. there were projects for housing, for agriculture, transport. some of them are sort of short-lived. others are longer projects. one of the best-known was in northern france where more than four years of combat had destroyed villages and left millions displaced. some of these villages, if you have been to france, you have probably seen markers for these villages. they were destroyed once and rebuilt during the war with americans -- help, and then destroyed a gun and had to be rebuilt again and destroyed again and had to be rebuilt again. in some cases, it's a long relationship with the same village going through waves of rebuilding.
where the ara -- so hoover's organization largely led by american men, some of the physical reconstruction projects have a strong female presence, especially in leadership roles. one is the smith college relief unit which rebuilds villages in northern france. also rockefeller, quakers are involved. one of the most celebrated in the media was an organization which had two names. during the war, it was called the american fund for french wounded. after the war, it was called the american committee for devastated france. but it was run by j.p. morgan's daughter, anne morgan. these are elite women paying their way for the most part. they began making their way wayhey begin paying their through, helping refugees, and assisting with rebuilding villages and homeless. these are the two leaders.
anne morgan and annie dike, they were the master hides -- masterminds behind the project. the 600 plus personnel helped more than 60,000 people in 127 villages in france using funds that were raised from more than 13,000 american donors by 1924. which is when they close down their operation. not only are there hundreds of personnel in france, but think about the publicity efforts in the united states that led to so many donations. another important organization was the society of friends, or the quakers. this was an anglo american operation. the relief committee began working in 1940. this is acdf, still. one of the chauffeurs.
the quakers started in 1914 and continued their work until 1924. they helped with reconstruction of destroyed homes and villages. they led projects, including medical aid, refugee assistance, sewing workshops, child resettlement schemes, soup kitchens, and a maternity hospital. they expanded quite a lot in 1970. there are also methodists and mennonites and other american conscientious objectors and pacifists who were part of the unit. in 1917, a lot of americans who were conscientious objectors decided to work for the quakers. one of the things that was difficult is that these areas had a number of refugees. so, there was kind of a moving population. lots of displaced people in the region. the quakers were trying to build housing for all of these people. as one of the quaker workers explained to his family, ours is
a small, compact, inexpensive unit and composed not of officers, but mostly of workers who will buckle down admirably to the shirtsleeves tax that need doing. you can see an example of this. in order to do this, and i find it fascinating, they needed labor. they have the quaker personnel, about 1000, but they also needed labor on the ground. they turned to german prisoners of war. the french government had kept its prisoners of war until 1920, so the quakers borrowed p.o.w. workers to work with them. i find it interesting that question of is peace possible, german pows are rebuilding the villages that their armies destroyed. it is interesting symmetry. civilians and interned pows
built flat pack furniture that they ship to france for the houses. you have a lot of levels in the postwar of what the quakers thought was reconciliation work. this reconciliation and reconstruction work continued. the quakers went to russia and poland afterwards and operated into the 1920's. the committees they founded, like the american friends service committee, still operates today. these became permanent organizations. here's a picture of some of the work they did with children in france. because of time, i won't go into a lot of detail, but i want to mention they are not the only american organizations that worked. organization that worked. they were not the only
american organization that worked. there were a lot of other religious groups that did were relief and food aid in europe. this is an ad for one of the jewish relief committees, but the big national relief committee in new york was particularly active. lots of other organizations got involved. this, i think, is interesting. it can tell you a little bit about the ways they tried to get americans involved, responsible, and to feel responsible, and to -- responsible, and to feel like they had a vested interest in europe. i want to go to the third area. i want to mention the cultural reconstruction that took lace. americans really venerated the relics of europe, whether they were churches or paintings, or the scarred battlefields of the conflict.
wealthy americans bought european art and historical objects. and yes, americans faced criticism because they were not involved in the league of nations, and because of some of the political stances they took in the postwar period. argued, rosenberg wilson emphasized the special benevolence of america's war aims, but u.s. action seemed contradictory. the war debt renegotiations progressed, some former allied nations felt that americans were profiteering in the postwar period. as one belgian put it bluntly, i think, "they promised everything possible but disappear as soon as it gets serious. see woodrow wilson." [laughter] that's his statement on this.
so there is this kind of sense that americans want to take what they can get from europe but they are not willing to give back. this is a real tension in the postwar period. the other issue of concern to europeans is american expansion, particularly economic expansion in europe, setting up markets and trying to push american products. but also, this idea that americans seem to be promoting with ara and other organizations, that americans were more efficient and organized and scientific. and they could whip europe into shape. europeans did not always respond all that well to this. wilson and his contemporaries viewed the u.s. as having a special ability to create a just and peaceful postwar world. i thought that war relief and reconstruction could show this. there were some in the u.s. who doubted this or were maybe a little cynical.
this is from a chicago tribune editorial called "who will rebuild europe?" i'm going to quote a short segment from it. "various american millionaires, philanthropic or otherwise, have proposed that the united states shall undertake the rebuilding of europe after the war is over. however, americans have regarded europe as an aesthetic experience, not as a living nation, a wrecked fort and dismantled gun will be almost as interesting as a suit of ancient armor. there will be trenches and historic battlefields. the american, if he has any money at all, will be willing to rush to europe." this was written in 1916 before the u.s. even entered the war. indeed, a lot of americans with money rushed to europe. this was part of the tension. many collectors were trying to acquire european treasures but also trying to protect them because of the threat that the war had posed.
put a couple up here given that i might find -- that you might find them interesting. if you've been to the museum in kansas city, on the left, the cloister, there was acquired in the 1930's and put into the museum in the 1950's. the unicorn tapestries are in the met in new york city. rockefeller purchased those in 1923 and moved them to the u.s. you can go into the museum and see this upstairs. this was on tour at the chicago world's fair in 1933 before it was acquired and installed at the museum, about 20 years later. these are just a few examples. i'm sure all of you have been to museums and libraries and universities where you see these -- you see these
cultural artifacts that were moved here in the postwar period. two particular european icons, both of which had been important in wartime propaganda, became the focus. one is a library in belgium. the other is a cathedral in france. i'm going to talk about the library for a few minutes. for the united states, the library was supposed to showcase american appreciation for european culture and also to allow the u.s. a place to celebrate the legacy of its soldiers. it was a symbol of the europe of american imagination in many ways. just as a little background, in case you don't know your belgian history or the history of 1914, when the war broke out in 1914 and belgium was invaded, the neutral nation, the german army
got to the french city on the 25th of august, had a population of about 40,000 people, and the army kind of went nuts as part of this invasion. they were afraid there might be civilian snipers aiming at them. there were rumors that set off a lot of spontaneous violence. as a result, soldiers panicked and ravaged the town. in three days' time, more than 200 civilians were dead, nearly 1100 buildings torched, and the university library was a hollow, burned-out shell. in the case of the latter, there were many propaganda accounts that said germans deliberately set the library on fire to destroy this cultural icon. the library had a medieval collection that was destroyed.
there were just a few charred remnants off the end. for americans, this became part of the propaganda of the war as an example of european cultural sites that had been targeted and destroyed, and it violated their by the end of 1914, the name of that town had become synonymous with violation of belgian the threat to the culture. remember at the same time, the u.s. is also feeding belgian civilians. there's a lot of investment emotionally and belgium. lots of belgian baby days to raise money for feeding elgin kids. hoover ramped up the media machine. it made sense for the u.s. to make its mark culturally in europe by rebuilding something in belgium.
the person who was chosen to lead this is nicholas murray butler, the president of columbia university at the time. he was later head of the carnegie institution responsible for peace. the thing with butler is even though a lot of other nations said we will contribute money, we would like to help build the library, he wanted it to be an american monument. he turned down money from other countries including britain. his vision was realistic. he wanted the library to be built stone by stone with lots of little donations from all over the country. as he said in this brochure, build this memorial as a perpetual reminder of america's friendship for oppressed people and a fight for democracy. it is to represent all america, all americans, men, women, and
children everywhere. you can see the overlap with wilson's language. in europe, they welcomed the idea because the americans were going to pump money into the economy to rebuild the library, but they looked at it warily as well. they wanted some say over what this looked like. i think americans saw themselves as caretakers of european culture and it's not a coincidence the first western civilization course was taught in 1919 at columbia university. many of you have probably taken this. it is not taught in europe, it is an american course. you note that it ends with u.s. power. it is the u.s. picking up the mantle from europe, especially by the 1950's. it is kind of a peculiarly
american view of european history. at first everything went well, and if you like architecture, you may have seen grand central station in new york city which he designed. he had ideas about what he wanted it to look like. the bucket that they used to lay the conus torn -- the cornerstone had the stars and stripes wrapped around it. everything seemed to go swimmingly. the problem was they raised $500,000 and they needed one million. they did actually raise a lot of the money through more of the fundraising. you did your bit then, you can give your bit now. they did raise a lot of it from small donations. this is one of the stones on the library today. about every college and school and club that donated money got a stone on the side of the library. the delay, the rising cost of construction meant it was half finished by 1924.
a half finished library would not serve american interest house ther would it donated volumes. germany was required to provide new stuff to put in the library. all these donations were coming in from germany, and they had to put them somewhere and they did not have a library to put them in. by november 1924, "the new york times" was calling the library a promise unfulfilled. by january of 1925, newspapers in both countries were reporting that there was an appeal to herbert hoover to fix the problem. we -- they went to him and said we cannot let this happen. intervention kind of lays
bare the controversies. while the president and the u.s. congress in the 1920's issued formal political involvement publicly, privately they were intervening all the time. in fact, as u.s. ambassador william phillips wrote to the secretary of state, "the unhappy situation regarding the library is tending to affect our prestige in belgium. all americans are deeply concerned. each day aggravates the situation." in short, many agree that the completion is a job that has to be finished. eventually, they did manage to secure the funds, but they had to do it by basically taking money for the relief and belgium for leftover money. rockefeller also gives money
because he says we can't let the embarrassment stand, even though he had refused earlier to give money. hoover's personal intervention, rockefeller's donation, and a large gift from the crb led to the completion. the ceremony was held on july 4, 1928. none of the americans responsible for the building went to the ceremony. not the architect, not hoover, not butler. because it had just been such a terrible situation. a acts ofegun as national generosity became an exercise in saving the national phase. as many of you know, the library was destroyed again in the second world war as you may have guessed. and particularly bad was the
fact that the highly touted american vaults to hold these precious books turned out not to be so good in a fire. they melted. at destroyed everything. i should mention when it was rebuilt again, it was rebuilt with international funds, not from american funds. it was rebuilt in the national style. i would like to conclude here. i don't have time to delve into all the ways americans identified with european culture, but all of you know about novels and films and art. paris alone has 32,000 permanent american residents in 1923 and the number grew by the end of the decade. what i had been suggesting is although the u.s. senate may have rejected a formal diplomatic role for the u.s. in the league of nations, they did not isolate themselves from europe in the postwar period.
through its role as lender to the world, banking would be another way we could talk about this, it played a significant part in shaping european economies. it was at the center of ongoing debates about currency stabilization and financial matters. americans traveled to europe to see for themselves the scarred battlefields and u.s. cemeteries, for each family made pilgrimages through sponsored programs like the gold star mothers. hundreds of thousands donated to war relief and reconstruction projects. they visited european cultural exhibits in the u.s. or toured europe itself. americans helped relieve the suffering of wartime populations, in return creating a proprietary feeling toward european culture. americans developed a vision of them self as protectors, not just as starving children or democratic values abroad but of western situation itself.
the sense was only heightened after the second world war when the u.s. intervened again and in a much greater way than european reconstruction. thanks. [applause] i am happy to take questions, if you have them. i know i have covered a lot here. >> a microphone is ready to go for you. go ahead and grab this one right here. and the gentleman, if you can see me back here. >> hello. as you know, to this day, the tower flies the american flag every july 4. when that library burned, it was just gutted. the shell of the library survived, all the inscriptions. it is one of the most fantastic first world war monuments in europe in my opinion. dr. proctor: absolutely.
the library today is fantastic if you get a chance to visit. it is funny as an american to go there, because when you think about herbert hoover, how people in the u.s. see him and think about his presidency, you go there and the first thing you see is a huge bust of herbert hoover and the plane right next to the library, the square, is named after him. it is just a very different history of the u.s. than what you might see here in our public public buildings, as you walk into that library. >> our next question from dr. john q. >> i don't know the answer to this, this is a legit question. herbert hoover is going to be nominated for the nobel peace prize a number of times, and the initial nomination had to do with this. can you talk about that process and perhaps why he didn't win? dr. proctor: actually, several
of the people involved in the food aid are nominated. to my knowledge, the only one who wins is morris pate, who was a young princeton graduate who work in belgian relief and he worked in poland in the ara. he is the first head of unicef after world war ii. here's an example of a lot of the personnel, and i have a chart in my book, which is kind of interesting. you look at the men involved from 1914 to 1924, what they end up doing later, he wins the nobel peace prize and he dies a couple months before that is awarded. i think it's partly just the politics of the prize. hoover was a prickly fellow. [laughter] he wasn't all that diplomatic, let's put it that way. >> first of all, thank you. secondly, how is this effort affected by, and how did it
affect the great influenza pandemic that was contemporaneous? dr. proctor: that's a great question. he asked about the influenza epidemic. i'm going to give you the short version of this, which is that there are still thousands of people dying from influenza. many of the workers themselves get sick. if you add the parts of europe they are in where they have had really bad problems with food and fuel and soap shortage, they also have a problem with typhus. some of the workers actually are killed from typhus. it does exacerbate the problems. the other thing the rockefeller foundation is working on is tuberculosis, because the rates just escalate at the end of the war because of overcrowding, bad housing, and soap. in some areas, they haven't seen soap since 1917. it's really bad. >> thank you for the very enlightening talk.
i learned a lot. i wonder if you could, in view of the destruction of the notre dame cathedral. i wonder if you could talk about the cathedral. dr. proctor: actually, i was in europe in april, watching it on tv when notre dame burnt. one of the first references they made in the european news was to another reconstruction. one was to york minster, which was much later. but rockefeller largely funded the reconstruction of this cathedral in france. it also has some controversy, it wasn't quite in the same way because it was controlled so much by the foundation. i think the issue with the library as they were trying to make it on american project with all the little people contributing, whereas rockefeller had a much stronger hand in shaping what that would look like.
it is fantastic if you get a chance to see it. >> thank you. it was a great talk. i have a question about the german pows that worked with the quakers and others to rebuild europe. did they get paid to do that? where they forced to do that, or did they volunteer to get out of the pow camps? dr. proctor: they did not volunteer. [laughter] put it that way. i just wrote an article on this, so i know the answer. the pows who were working for the quakers were paid, but they were not allowed to get their money while they were pows. what the quakers did, and i think this is fascinating and wonderful material for anyone who wants to do a dissertation on this, they sent a team of three people to germany with pay packets and photographs of the pows and visited the families.
they took them and collected information about conditions in germany at the same time. these are in the quaker archives in philadelphia. that was sort of a quaker mercy mission. most of the other pows were not being paid for the reconstruction work. and they were doing really nasty stuff for the french government at the same time. >> first question, was there any food aid to germany and austria? i think you did mention austria, but what about germany? they were starving, too. dr. proctor: that's a great question, and yes, the u.s. fed germany as well. here, hoover was concerned about what it would look like for the united states to be feeding enemies. the money was funneled through the american friends service organization, the quakers. there is correspondence between hoover and the quakers saying this is what you need to do, but we want you to call this quaker
feeding. the picture i showed you, the children's drawing that said quaker on it, it's partly because it was being funneled through them. hoover was still trying to control it. there was an american relief administration on the ground in germany, but they were kind of --ing to catch this as a a pacifist effort in germany. they also raised money from german-americans to pay for it as a separate advertising campaign. >> i didn't know that. my family is german-american. dr. proctor: i wonder if they contributed. >> i don't know. they are all dead now. note pleaseigh , help me in thanking dr. proctor. [applause]
announcer: this is american history tv on c-span3. each weekend, we feature 48 hours of programs exploring our nation's past. tonight on lectures in history, mark burns teaches a class about u.s. public opinion, the rise of radio as a national media and the debate about whether to enter world war ii. here is a preview. this nation will remain a neutral one, but i cannot ask that every american remain neutral in thought as well. neutral has a right to
take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience. there is a right and wrong side to this world and we all know it. we should not be neutral about this. i am not asking you to be. was andwhere the public he expressed for the public was. what do you do about that in terms of policy, it's one thing to talk about not being neutral in thought, but what do you do in terms of policy. the policy that he crafted closely resembled what we have seen in american public opinion. something called a cash and carry, americans should be allowed to sell goods to great come and get it. they have to pay cash, and they
have to take it away on their own ships. that one ixactly in just showed you. , we will notgoods under any circumstances give them loans and we will not put our ships or people at risk. if they want to come and pay cash, they can do that, and carry it away themselves. the safest possible policy, satisfies the desire to aid them but it does not put americans at risk. once they take the goods, it is not our problem anymore. if those ships get attacked, they are not our ships. if lives are lost, they are not americans. crafted toifully capture what the american people were willing to do. i do not think that is coincidence. i think he understood exactly what the public was willing to
tolerate. i think that is what we will see throughout the entire debate. fdr is able to do that over and over. in the fall of 1930 nine, it seems like americans were done. i have cash and carry. we have our policy, good to go. you know what happens next. the nazi offenses, the fall of france, and that changed everything. >> learn more about u.s. public opinion, the debate over entering world war ii tonight at 8:00 p.m. on lectures in history. join the classroom here on american history tv. fought in the philippines, the october 1944 battle of leyte gulf is considered the largest
naval battle in history and was a decisive victory for the united states and their allies. up next, six panelists participate in the 75th befallingy discussion the panel, a retired admiral discusses the legacy of the battle. all, i would like to put in a little plug for a marvelous new book written by our first speaker or edited, tom cutler has edited this retrospective published by the naval institute. recently it was put out and in fact filled with interesting new and old assessments of the battle, including some japanese testimony. also a number of the panelists