Burke Finds Too Much Talk, Not Enough Action In U. S. German Policy
By Jeanne Rockwell “What Europe needs today is less conversation and more calories.".
Judge George J. Burke made this statement this morning in commenting on the causes of the rising tide of communism on the continent.
Mr. Burke, who has just returned from the Nurenberg war crimes trials, assailed the American tendency to talk, rather than to act, on the issues currently affecting the people in war-torn areas.
"With us it has been too much talk, talk, talk and too little in the way of concrete results," said the jurist, adding, "Somehow the Russian government seems to have the ability to do things instead of talking about doing them." Returns By Plane | The Ann Arbor attorney left Frankfurt by plane Saturday night and arrived late yesterday at Willow Run Airport after being met in Washington by Rudolph E. Reichert, president of the Ann Arbor Bank, and John W. Edwards, president of Edwards Bros. here.
His comments on the German situation are part of an interview granted this morning, the first since Judge Burke completed his duties in Germany for the War Department.
In discussing his experiences as a member of the German war crimes courts since July, 1947, the noted lawyer commented on the importance of the press and radio in telling the Germans about America, but added that the situation was a case of "too little, too late."
"For the past year Russia has been dinning into the ears of all Europe the query 'what has the United States actually done for you'. After three years of Amer
A picture showing George J. Burke arriving at Willow Run is on page 22. ican promises, the Germans are wondering when something tangible will appear in the realm of democratic blessings." | Mr. Burke went on to assert that Europeans still lack the basic essentials of food, clothing and shelter, and "this is particularly tragic when it applies to children and young people.” Cites U. S. Charity
"Frankly, I don't know what they would have done without the charity of the American people," he reported. "In many instances the CARE packages and other private gifts meant the difference between existence and actual starvation."
The attorney warned that "if we continue to kick the Marshall plan around indefinitely, the opportunity of doing anything constructive in Europe will be lost forever."
Questioned as to whether or not the Germans were ready for democracy. Mr. Burke stated that the only way to find out was to give them a chance. He indicated that even today the German reople are under as many restrictions as they were when they were ruled by the Nazis.
"Russia seems to be accomplishing something--and I don't know how to explain it exactly-which we seem to be unable to do," he said. - "We have had religious, education, professional, political and Congressional groups in Germany studying what should be done. They all come back fully equipped to write at least part of a book. Yet they actually propose very little in the way of definite solutions." Praises Pollock's Work
In discussing the various reconstruction methods advocated Mr. Burke had high praise for Dr. James K. Pollock, who, he said, had proposed "a highly workable plan for European reconstruction" in an address made five months ago in California.
(Professor Pollock, head of the University political science department, served in Germany as special adviser to the American military governor.)
"I haven't the time and The News probably hasn't the space to go into the details of this plan," he said, "but the main thing about it was that Pollock included a modus operandi, instead of talking around the problem."
The judge was repeatedly critical of the American tendency to talk instead of act.
"The Germans are wondering when all our promises will materialize in actual proof of our desire to help them rebuild a semblance of a democratic nation," he declared.
"Incidentally good many of them recall the attitude of the U. S. at the time when the League of Nations was held out as the hope of Europe. They wonder whether the same glowing promises will result in the same abject repudiation. That is why the Marshall plan is viewed cynically." Says Germans Alert
Recalling his conversations with individual Germans over a period of eight months, Mr. Burke had this to say about their point of view:
"They are alert to world conditions, and though they hear the constant bickering on the part of the former Allies, they know perfectly well that Russia is continuing in every way to obstruct any real plan of co-operation suggested by Britain and the United States."
The lawyer, reviewing the job faced by America in Germany, stated that Gen. Lucius Clay, the military governor there,"sought to do a good job, although it has been particularly difficult in that he has unlimited responsibility and limited authority."
Asked about Marshall, Judge Burke said that he appears to be a man thoroughly respected in the occupied zone and by the better classes of people in Italy, Britain and France." Efforts 'Objective
"His efforts have been recognized," continued the lawyer, "as purely objective and motivated solely by the desire to preserve western democracy in that portion of Europe in which we still are able to command any degree of confidence."
"Furthermore," he added, "it might appear to afford them some hope of escape from another form of totalitarian existence, which it the Marshall plan fails-is inevitable."