World War II: The Netherlands--The Recovery / Wederopbouw


Figure 1.--Here we see three Dutch children in an Amsterdam park some time after liberation. You would not have seen a barefoot boy in the city before the War. Many economists believe that becase of the devestation, it would take the Europeans a generation to recover from the War.

Many economists believe that becase of the devestation, it would take the Europeans a generation to recover from the War. History books comminly show the destruction of German cities, but other European countries were also badly danaged especially Poland, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. The decestation was unlike any war since the Thirty Yers War. The first task faced by the Dutch Povisional Government (DPG) was to obtain food, shelter, fuel, clothing for a devestated population. The Dutch were heavily dependent on American food aid immediately after liberation. One of the first major projects was the Wieringermeerpolder. It had been drained (1929, but flooded by the Germans to slow the Allied advance (April 1945). The DPG had in drained again by the end of the year. Great progress was made in 1946 in restoring agricultural production. Food production increased significantly and the Government was able to raise daily food rations 2.500 calories per day. Considerable effort was put into repairing bdamaged houses. Temporary shelters were opened for those whose homes had been destroyed. The Dutch like other Europeans countries received Marshall Plan assistance from the United States (1947). They Dutch received about $1 billion in Marshall Plan aid which included an incentive for regional planning. The Dutch share was in percapita terms second only to Iceland. The Dutch joined neighboring countries in both economic and security pacts. The Netherlands formed Benelux with neighboring Belgium and Luxenburg. They joined the Council of Europe, the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Common Market. Recovery and expansion of trade and industry proceeded rapidly by 1950. Many economists credit the closer economic ties with neigboring countries as a major reason for the rapid Duch recovery. It meant that Dutch companies which before the War were limited by the small Dutch market now had a much larger market available. As in Germany, the country had a reservoir of well-educated people and an industrious population. Also surprising many, the loss of their primary colony, the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), did not adversely affect the economy,The Dutch defying predictions, 10 years after the War had fully recovered. Industrial production was 60 percent above pre-War levels. Agricultural production was nearly 20 percent greater. The Dutch were able to sustain a continuous and fast economical growth making the country one of the most prosperous in the world. Like other Europeans the Dutch are now worried about their ability to finance the generous welfare payments.

Devestation

Many economists believe that becase of the devestation, it would take the Europeans a generation to recover from the War. History books comminly show the destruction of German cities, but other European countries were also badly danaged especially Poland, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. The decestation was unlike any war since the Thirty Yers War. The Netherlands was not among the countries most seriouslyvdamged, but thedamage was bad enough.

Basic Needs

The first task faced by the Dutch Povisional Government (DPG) was to obtain food, shelter, fuel, clothing for a devestated population. The Dutch were heavily dependent on American food aid immediately after liberation. One of the first major projects was the Wieringermeerpolder, important for the recovery of Dutch farming was. It had been drained (1929, but flooded by the Germans to slow the Allied advance (April 1945). The DPG had in drained again by the end of the year. Great progress was made in 1946 in restoring agricultural production. Food production increased significantly and the Government was able to raise daily food rations 2.500 calories per day. Considerable effort was put into repairing damaged houses. Temporary shelters were opened for those whose homes had been destroyed.

Slow Recovery

Economic recovery was slow. Factories were destroyd. Jobs were either non-exitent or hard to get. Restarting the economy and rebuilding requitred money which no one had. And as all of Eutopevhad been devestated, there was no one to borrow from. Private babks in America were not willing to take the risk of lending the large anounts needed. And without the economy functioning he needed capital was not being generated. The Dutch had rg=h skills and technology. As in Germany, the country had a reservoir of well-educated people and an industrious population. They did not have the capital.

Marshall Plan

The United States seeing that Europe was making little progress toward recovery, f=decided to offer the needed vapital. The program was the Marshall Plan named fter AmericanSectary of State--George C. Marshall. It was named after Marshall because theReoublican Congress would never approve any propodal naned the Trumn Plan. The Dutch like other Europeans countries received Marshall Plan assistance from the United States (1947). They Dutch received about $1 billion in Marshall Plan aid which included an incentive for regional planning. The Dutch share was in percapita terms second only to Iceland.

European Integration

The Dutch joined neighboring countries in both economic and security pacts. The Netherlands formed Benelux with neighboring Belgium and Luxenburg. They joined the Council of Europe, the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Common Market.

The Wederopbouw

Recovery and expansion of trade and industry was proceeding rapidly by 1950. What the Germans callthe German conomic Miracle th Dutch call the Wederopbouw. Many economists credit the closer economic ties with neigboring countries, especially Germany, as a major reason for the rapid Duch recovery. It meant that Dutch companies which before the War were limited by the small Dutch market now had a much larger market available. The Dutch defying predictions, 10 years after the War had fully recovered. Industrial production was 60 percent above pre-War levels. Agricultural production was nearly 20 percent greater. The Dutch were able to sustain a continuous and fast economical growth making the country one of the most prosperous in the world. Like other Europeans the Dutch are now worried about their ability to finance the generous welfare payments.

Dutch East Indies

Also surprising many, the loss of their primary colony, the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), did not adversely affect the economy.


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Created: 1:37 PM 7/10/2014
Last updated: 1:37 PM 7/10/2014