After the destruction of World War II, the Austrian economy was in shambles and people were without food. International aid programs, mostly financed by the U.S.,, helped Austria get through the challenging postwar years (1945-52). The U.S. Army and UNRRA provided the necessary calories (1945-47); the European Recovery Program (ERP), launched in 1948 and designed to stop the spreading of communism into Western Europe, provided aid for infrastructural (electricity) and industrial reconstruction. Austria's claim of being a "special case" managed to get the country a high per capita share of ERP aid. "Counterpart funds," generated through Marshall Plan aid, provided much needed investment capital for industry and tourism. When the U.S. government turned the "ERP counterpart funds" in the Federal Chancellery over to the Austrian government. in 1961, the government established the "_ERP-Fonds_" in 1962, which has been investing into the Austrian economy on a annual basis until today. Through ERP-funding, the Marshall Plan is still alive and well in Austria.
Günter Bischof is a historian of international history, focusing on American and European diplomatic history of the 20th century, especially Cold War international relations. He is Director of the Center Austria, University of New Orleans.
After the event, wine and snacks will be offered.