On This Day December 21, 1949: Celebrating One Million Tons of Aid to Greece

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The millionth ton of Marshall Plan aid reached Greece in December of 1949 and organized set up a high profile parade to celebrate the milestone.

This picture was taken in downtown Athens at the site of the Greek government’s economic recovery exhibition building when the decorated truck, holding a ton of flour as the Marshall Plan’s millionth ton of aid to Greece, paused.

Priests of the Greek Orthodox Church stood at an improvised altar, blessed the flour which later was baked into wheat for presentation to children’s homes sponsored by Her Majesty, Queen Frederika.

The Marshall Plan pumped millions of dollars in aid to Greece after the Second World War. A lot of study and research has been done in the years that have followed as to the lasting impact on Greece’s economy and the politics at the time in Greece made the aid controversial.

Many on the left saw it as blood money and believed aid was only reaching towns and villages that were traditionally pro-government, while the areas and regions that sided with the Communists in the Civil War were largely left out of the program.

While the impact of the Marshall Plan, its motives, intentions and longterm results on Greece continue to be argued in various arenas of public opinion today, the fact remains that tens of thousands of Greeks were saved by starvation immediately following World War II and the devastating Civil War.

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