Morgenthau, Henry, 1891-1967

Morgenthau was President ROOSEVELT’s Secretary of the Treasury from 1934 until the end of the war. During the war his one overriding task was to finance a mammoth war economy and war production without prompting correspondingly great inflation. This he did by maintaining high taxes and by selling Defense (later called ‘War’) Savings Bonds. Morgenthau was also responsible for the freezing of Japanese assets before the war in the Far East and for organizing economic measures against the Axis Powers. He also put the Lend- Lease Program into operation.

At the Quebec Conference of September 1944 Morgenthau put forward a plan to settle the long-disputed fate of postwar Germany. The Morgenthau Plan advocated enforcing agrarianism on Germany, in which most industry would be dismantled and the sites turned into arable land. This plan actually had the support of CHURCHILL and Roosevelt but not of their Cabinets. Thus when the plan was leaked to the public they abandoned it quickly. The fact that Morgenthau was a Jew allowed GOEBBELS to use both him and his plan for anti-Allied propaganda—a warning to Germans of what would happen should Germany surrender.

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