U.N.R.R.A. Reports on Europe
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 6 Dec 1945, p. 135-151


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U.N.R.R.A. Reports on Europe


A look at the situation across Europe from the Baltic on the north to the Black Sea on the south, and Poland in the east and northwest Europe. Included in the descriptions are some of the programs being carried out by the UNRRA. First, the situation in France in terms of available food, bringing the land back to agricultural use. The extent to which mines have been sown in the land. The number of bridges down and the reconstruction problems which face the French people. Resuming pre-war normalcy in Paris. Inflated prices in the Paris market (both legal and black). All of Europe to be cold this winter because of the lack of coal. The situation in Belgium not dissimilar to that of France. The resumption, in a small way, of the steel industry in Belgium. Belgium presenting the healthiest economic outlook of all European countries. The unrehabilitated steel industry in Luxemborg. The grim outlook in Holland. Bridging the holes in the dykes. The task of pumping out millions of gallons of briny salt water from off the soil of Northeast Holland: now narrowed from seven to five years. The problem of petty thievery. The issue of rehabilitating the youth of Europe. Poland: scarred and scorched and burned and blacked-out and devastated from one end to the other. Disease and death in Poland. Yugoslavia badly devastated. The scorched earth policy the Yugoslavs practiced on themselves in order that material would not fall into the hands of the enemy. Greece also scorched, burned out. Mass starvation in Greece. Signs of a wobbly financial structure in Greece. The UNRRA stabilizing the drachma. Italy, an ex-enemy country that is scorched. The UNRRA feeding about 2,000,000 school children a day; offering a program for pregnant and expectant mothers and nursing mothers; food and special nursing care for old and sick. A great scarcity of food and clothing, medical supplies and other needs for the Italian population. Austria not as bad as Germany, but bad. The situation in Vienna: starving people, no electricity, no gas, no heat, no utilities, no running water, no sewers. The people of Austria today paying the price for a small group of high scheming Nazis in Austria. Germany paying the price physically as a country. German cities and physical plants in ruin. German prisoners in other countries. The worst-off Germans the women and children. Refugees who were bombed out and are coming back. Britain. The sixth long winter of lean rations. The British people helping the people of France. The need for Canada to stand by Britain, and to be patient. Europe again at the crossroads of hope and despair.