In December of 1949, the millionth ton of Marshall Plan aid reached Greece and prompted a high-profile parade to celebrate the milestone.
In downtown Athens, the Greek government hosted an exhibition in which a decorated truck holding the millionth ton of aid paused to be photographed (pictured above).
Greek Orthodox priests stood at an improvised altar as they blessed the flour which later was baked into wheat for presentation to children’s homes sponsored by Queen Frederika.
After World War II, the Marshall Plan pumped millions of dollars to Greece, whose politics at the time made the aid controversial.
Many on the left saw the aid as “blood money” and believed it 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 WWII and the country’s devastating Civil War.
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