On this day in 1953, Soviet troops crushed an uprising by workers in East Berlin. As of June 16th, construction workers had been demonstrating for fair pay and working hours, and would be joined by thousands more dissidents over the next 24 hours. A crowd of some 50,000 striking workers made their way through the streets of East Berlin toward various parliamentary buildings. Soviet commanders, declaring martial law, oversaw military action against the crowd as the Red Army shot perhaps 100 civilians, killing many. Numerous East German citizens would subsequently migrate West. By the time of the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, approximately 20% of the population of the DDR had emigrated.
This week in history: on the 6th of June 1944, over 150,000 troops from 13 countries would land on the coast of Normandy, enacting ‘Operation Neptune’ on what has come to be known as ‘D-Day’. Airbone and amphibious landings were made, overwhelming Erwin Rommel’s forces, with 4,000 Allied troops, 1,000 German troops and 3,000 civilians killed in the first 24 hours of history’s largest coastal invasion. The foothold gained by the Allies on this day would enable them to advance toward Western Germany in the subsequent weeks.
This week in history: on the 5th of June 1947, in a speech before students of Harvard University, U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlined his plan for the economic recovery of Western Europe post-World War II. In March 1948, the United States Congress passed the Economic Co-Operation Act (or Marshall Plan) which would provide over $12 billion of aid to Europe during the subsequent four years.