tv Herbert Hoovers World War I- Era Food Relief Work CSPAN June 2, 2021 11:00pm-12:06am EDT
>> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including charter communications. >> before herbert hoover's 1928 election as the nation's 31st president, he earned the moniker of the great humanitarian organizing relief work and helping to save millions from starvation during world war i and its aftermath. up next, military historian david mills gives an overview of herbert hoover's efforts leading multiple agencies and providing food relief for
belgium, germany, russia and other countries. this top took place in kansas city, missouri. at the national world war one museum and memorial. they also provided the video. >> it is my great pleasure to introduce tonight speaker, dr. david mills an assistant professor of military history at the united states army command and general staff college in kansas. he served a decade in the military and has since been teaching. in 2015, he became a full bright scholar teaching at a state university in russia. dr. mills authored three books, the most current of which is the 2019 great wartime rescues. and escapes. we are so pleased to have doctor mills with us this evening. speaking about herbert hoover's humanitarian efforts during and after world war one. welcome, doctor mills. thank you for being here.
carignan >> thank you so much for that kind introduction. greetings, everybody. i'm dave mills and let me start off with a standard disclaimer that none of the use discussed here are the official positions of the united states government that as the presenter of all mistakes issues and errors are entirely my own. i would also like to add i don't make any money from these presentations, nor is there a lot of money to be made an academic publishing. most of the correspondence with my publishers says something to the effect that my royalty checks are too small to bother sending one. having said that, please don't sue me for accidental copyright infringement. the result of my research into
the post world war ii humanitarian effort to feed germany and other nations after the fall of adolf hitler. one of these days, i'm going to publish a book on this effort, entitled bread for my enemies, but at the rate i'm going, i'm fairly confident that this will be published somewhere around the year 2035. it's hard to talk about the situation after world war ii, as i do, without looking at world war i. i will try to talk about the post world war one humanitarian effort to feed europe, but by way of introduction. let's take a flash forward to 1955. the mouse that roared was a 1955 novel and 1959 columbia pictures movie starring peter sellers. it features the tiny at fictitious nation of -- situated between france and switzerland in the french alps. to make a long story short, the
small country's economy was shattered in response the grand duchy of federal declared war on the united states. not out of any international dispute, but to reap the united states was bound to offer the defeated for. and the words of the prime minister, the americans are a very strange people. whereas other countries rarely forgive anything. the americans forgive everything. there isn't a more profitable undertaking for any country than to declare war on the united states. and to be defeated. no sooner is the aggressor defeated then the americans pour in food, machinery, clothing, technical aid, and lots and lots of money for the relief of their former enemies another words in effect, we declare war on monday defeated on tuesday and by friday we will be rehabilitated beyond our wildest dreams come.
occupation took control of the peace process and imposed a lenient piece on germany that included rebuilding and not revenge. let's take a moment to talk about why this topic matters. we learned the punitive peace imposed after a world war i led to a bigger and more destructive war, known as world war ii. second every effort to conserve food in america and send it to europe during and after world war one was replicated after world war ii. teaching us valuable lessons. finally, i'd like to think that this topic fighting for the week and feeding the desperate represents who we are as americans and our valued system. no discussion of the food situation after world war i can take place without a discussion of herbert hoover. the 31st president of the united states. most people associate herbert hoover with the great depression and he is still one
of the most unpopular presidents in history however herbert hoover was one of the greatest humanitarians of all-time and without hyperbole he saved the lives of millions of people by preventing starvation by way of agenda we begin with an introduction of herbert hoover who began his humanitarian career through the american citizens committee when you work to assist americans fleeing europe in 1914 next hoover founded the commission for the relief of belgium and lead the effort to flee belgium and northern france after the german invasion of 1914 gaining notoriety and fame the food distribution business in 1970, 1917 president woodrow wilson named him to lead an effort to prepare america by ensuring that americas farmers produce as much food as they could, and american citizens can serve as
much food as possible we will end the discussion with his effort to feed the soviet union herbert hoover was born in west branch iowa in 1874 and was our friend by the age of ten. he went out was to live with a relative in oregon and he eventually completed college with a degree in geology. a member of the first graduating class of stanford in 1895. between academic years, he accompanied a professor of his out west and worked in many of the mining industries in that region. after college, went to work in the gold mines have australia, he went to work in other mines in china and had vested interest in mines all over the world. and it became a partner in his
company by 1902, since his company was located in london, he moved there and was a very wealthy man by 1914, with the equivalent of about 100 million dollars in assets by then. or in today's figures. with the assassination of archduke france ferdinand in 1914, the long-awaited european war was a reality. sending refugees fleeing in all directions. many americans fled west to england where they landed in the american consulate and the american embassy seeking lodging and transportation back home. however, no shipping company would accept american checks. they insisted on british cash. hoover had money, good friends with money. he had empathy, and he had
experience solving enormous problems. he stepped up at the request of the american consulate and ambassador, and hoover and a number of his runs, mostly engineers, set up tables throughout the bell rooms of the hotel and proceeded to loan their own money to those in need under the auspices of the american citizens committee. they booked lodging in london and passage on ships to america for the desperate yanks, usually with just the promise to repay the loan. the committee alone that 1.5 million dollars and british pounds to 20,000 refugees. this was done on the honor system, and when all is said and done, about 300,000 dollars was repaid. new once the americans were on their way home, hoover thought that he would return to his business interest. a number of belgian mining
engineers he reached out to him and requested his help, a small nation was the most densely populated in europe, and having imported about 70% of all of its food needs before the war. belgium was caught between the british blockade which was aimed at denying the germans any imports of food, and the german occupation of belgium which confiscated belgian agricultural resources, and forcing belgium to face famine in 1914. the belgian mining engineers backed hoover to get involved. they begged him to set up a committee to help belgium avoid starvation. hoover had his doubts. no one had ever done anything like this before. it would be the largest humanitarian effort in history. then again, how does one negotiate with the british to enter their blockade, let alone how does one negotiate with the germans to traverse their
belgian territory in order to deliver food? he took several days, contemplating all of these problems. he knew he couldn't just do nothing. having decided to help out belgium, he came down to breakfast after making up his mind and told his family, well, let the fortune go to hell. then he cable to chicago commodities exchange and purchased stops and options on 10,000 bushes of wheat for belgium. hoover formally created the commission for relief in belgium carignan, but there is no example to follow or guide him. hoover had is imagination, and that was about it. he said to work. he knew he needed food, he knew he needed money, transportation, and a plan to deliver food to the belgians. he asked his friends for financial assistance, then set up a nationwide appeal for
donations. he had a passport issued by no nation signed only by themselves, and giving himself permission to cross the channel and visit both british and german military and political officials. he crossed submarine infested english channel, 40 times to negotiate between the british and the germans. although he refused to divulge military information to either the british or the germans. initially, both germans and the british objected to hoover's plan to bring food to the belgians. however, the germans were aware of the optics of invading belgium and allowing the population to starve. eventually they allowed food into belgian. they informed whoever they could not be responsible or prevent the accidental torpedoing of any of his ships. some were torpedoed. as for the british, winston
churchill, the first board of the admiral, suggested hoover was a spy, and that hoover should be investigated. despite numerous british officials vouching for hoover, churchill refused to grant permission for hoover's ships to traverse the blockade. he was concerned the germans would simply take the food and distributed to their army. which they didn't. frustrated, hoover bypassed churchill, went straight to the prime minister, and after hearing hoover's plan agreed to hoover's request to allow ships to pass through the blockade. hoover was charged with feeding 2.5 million french citizens in northern france in addition to about 10 million belgians. the french citizens were caught behind german lines at the beginning of the war, and this was a different kind of problem from the belgians as the french who are not technically neutral at all. in fact, living in this region,
there were only women and children as most of the men had left the region and joined the french military. although it was a sticky wicket and diplomatic, the germans did allow the crv to bring food into the region for for humanitarian humanitarian reasons. reasons. we food food purchased in the purchased in the united states across the united states ocean at a fleet cross the ocean in of a fleet of 75 ships, the hoover least with crp funds. 75 -- each each flew flew crp flags and had flags and had belgium relief painted crp or belgium on the side of the relief painted on the ships. side of the ships, in order to and order to give some give some german captain to chip captain did not fire upon them. not fly upon them. hubert hoover acquired food that required required the food that maximum nutrition while shipping at the lowest cost. gave the maximum food such as bacon, lard, dried nutrition peas, rice and. dried pete, beans where the most sought after donated rice, beans most food because sought after they said it wouldn't spoil on the trip food because they across the ocean wouldn't
spoil on the trip across the ocean. >>. the food the food came into rotterdam came into from the rotterdam crv ships, from the ships. and a neutral port to the netherlands where it neutral port and the netherlands was unloaded then where it followed a series of was canals unloaded into and belgium. once followed rails into inside the country, the belgium. once inside the food went to country, the food went to 40,000 kitchens, staffed with 40,000 kitchens volunteers, staff who prepared and served and the food on a massive volunteers prepared the food scale. on a massive scale. the food did not go to individual homes in order that the crv could monitor the portion size given to each citizen. those who could afford paid a small price for the meals they consumed. the money going into the sea are being ordered to purchase food for belgians. neil as we're professionally designed and no citizen was turned away. the meals were so good that probably most people in belgium a better than the citizens in most of the world's major countries like new york, london,
paris. a lifelong passion was the karen comfort of children. in belgium can canteens were established for pregnant women, and the elderly. hubert assured children less than three years old enjoyed irrational milk each day. for the youngest children, by dune of 1917, there was at least one medical -- and in each of the 621 belgian districts that the sea are be had established. these centers also provided manners and, children's closing and medicine bottles. they created a national organization for war children. children of prisoners of war. the secret to the crb was the moral persuasion it could
leverage. when it became obvious that crb could no longer funder requirements based on private donations, the governments of the infected nations agreed to help. the british agreed to a 4.8 million dollar monthly allotment. the front donated a certain amount of money as well earmarked for the fringe behind german lines. french contributions and with that they increased their funds. the government allocations and hubert was allowed to allocate the food. but the war 1917, the american government assumed funding for the entire organization which was on some financial footing after that point. the united states entered the war and wilson was concerned with the food situation.
hoover seemed the best person to deal with the distribution and conservation of food for the home fronts, which was needed in the neutral and allied nations as well as the united states. wilson and hoover believe that the abundant production of food was a force multiplier, boosting the morale of soldiers. hoover met wilson in may 1917 and explained to the president how he wanted this operation to go. he said he wanted to be the sole person in charge. he did want to work with bickering in arguing where nothing got done. wilson agreed, and they named hoover the food czar. but hoover agreed to be the food administrator so you wouldn't step on toes. for three months, congress
debated the lever act which put hoover in charge of the domestic food supply. hoover tested before congress many times, explaining his philosophies of food production. first farmers and producers had to be allowed a reasonable profit, otherwise there was no incentive to believe anything. he would control prices for inflation which in -- compensated for wars. inflation lead to higher prices which laid to demand for higher wages, which led to strikes and heard the war effort. on august 10th 1917, -- was passed, creating the u.s. food administration. i believe that's the third organization that's been created so far. hoover did not want to institute rationing to preserve food. he wanted americans to do it out of patriotism.
operationally, hoover made all the decisions and he delegated the task to others to be carried out. structurally, the food administration had two divisions, one for conservation, one for education. each state governor appointed a county administrator, and local administrators who also carried out those orders. some 750,000 volunteers, many of them woman, served at all levels of the organization and carried out those directives. the food administration was worth more women than any then ministration history. it gives them a meaningful war -- role in fighting america's war. >> the war began when america was experiencing severe drought, and reduced harvests in 1916 and 1917, limiting the amount of food available. to free up food they need to conserve it.
100 million americans in each reserved a little bit, and the total amount would lead up to a lot. food ministers came up with slogans like food will win the war, not business as usual, but business as completely unusual. whether at home or in restaurants, americans were encouraged to take one helping, clean their plates, and to ask for no more. about 20 million american signed played cards, planning to preserve food. placing placards in windows talking about their ideas to save food. they also advertised on radio, tv, celebrity endorsements. between may of 1917 in april 1919, the food administration released 1970 press releases encouraging people to conserve food.
films were shown in high school and advertisements were poor and magazines and other sources. the war food will be one in american kitchens, hoover said. saving food to provide for american soldiers and allies will help win the war. hoover's effort to save food was a crusade, and he challenged americans to save food for the war effort, declaring that victory was a contest of endurance. the nation who had the most food would win the battle. congress authorized the government to purchase commodities, except prices in order to ensure that agricultural products were plentiful. the price of port was a product of the cost of cornyn hogs. hoover set up a community to look at the price of each four
-- and a steady amount of pork for american consumers. two dollars per bushel, for wheat, stimulating production. the government punch -- purchased the entire wheat crop of 1917, and sold at fixed prices to consumers. all the food they needed they got. most allied generals expected the war to end in 1919, or 1920. nobody really knew when it was going to and. hoover continued to press american farmers to do all they could for overproduction. the allies warned downed the germans who exhausted themself by 1919. and they sued for peace over than lenient terms of wilson's
14 points. the end of the warm and the end of the crb and the u.s. food administration. in the end, the crb commission for the relief of belgium, bought and shelved 1 million -- 1,000,000.4 pounds of food and send it to and fed 9.4 million victims of war. the food administration was an enormous undertaking as well, but it shut down completely within four months of the arm assists. when it shut its doors, american farmers were holding an amount of surplus food, a tremendous amount, and recession hit american farmers in the otherwise profitable 1920s. hoover refused accolades when belgian attempted to give him an award, responding that he simply wanted to be known as a friend to the belgian people. others suggested that the king should craft an award
specifically for hoover so the king had a metal design that simply made hoover a friend to the belgian nation. they got a passport that never expired, and he got a honey and intern service and the pleading of honor, even though numerous schools, streets, and villages were named in his honor. the war may have ended, but -- ruin was everywhere in europe. from the french and belgium coast and west, to the plains of belgium in -- poland in the east and the continent relaying -- remained hidden collapse and devastation. invading in retreating armies had destroyed farms, bridges, roads, railways, and infrastructure of all description. unemployment, disease, starvation, permeated every city, while demoralize populations scrounged the streets looking for food.
the allied powers continued with the agony by instituting impermissible -- pianists is punitive arm assist coursing them to sign a punitive peace agreement. as simply as revenge for four years overbrutal wars. then student food blockade against the continent, or simply an extension of the blockade already in place that affected not only their former enemies, but neutral powers, and newly liberated ones. punishing women and children as well as former soldiers and politicians. wilson knew that germany was starving, and on november 7th 1918, just days before the cease-fire went into effect on november 11th, president wilson authorized hoover to convert the u.s. food administration into an international
organization designed to assist the people of europe. particularly with food. wilson argued for leniency and reconciliation with the former enemies, and in opening the food blockade that had been in place since the beginning of the war, he understood that the economies in europe and even america were all intertwined. herding and punish all country in europe would actually hurt numerous nations around the world. yet, this rational approach was lost on most of the participants on their side. in december 1918, wasn't requested 100 million dollars from congress for food relief, which was approved on february 24th. this approval meant the creation of yet another organization called the american relief administration, or the ar a, i'm responsible for the distribution of aid to europe. wilson appointed hoover to head up the organization, while he was shutting down the crb and
the u.s. food administration. it is new role designed to bring relief to europe, hoover again wanted complete control over this organization because the united states once again providing nearly all of the food that was being shipped to europe, and the soldiers online from the united states army who would assist in food distribution were also being paid by american taxpayers. however, senator henry kevin lodge, no fan of woodrow wilson, attached an amendment to the 100 million appropriation that prohibited the distribution of food to former enemies, particularly germany in austria. two of the poorest and most food deprive nations in all of europe. hoover got around lodges provision by simply giving the money to british officials, which was perfectly legal. the british officials then
loaned the money to germany, which was not specifically prohibited. thus, the germans and the austrian's use the money to purchase food supplies. the british kept the blockade in place until march of 1919, and it was only fully lifted in july of 1919. would open the blockade had more to do with the rise of communist sympathies by the german people, and then with any humanitarian impulses on the side of the allies. in the united states, for example, fear of communism had given rise to the red scare and ushered in an era of hyper nationalism, which among other things, broaden rebound of the kkk and other extremist organizations in the united states. hoover wrote in his diary that, in the beginning of march 1919,
the bread given to the population was so heavy and indigestible, and there was little meat to no fat for cooking meals. there were too few calories in the diet itself was revolting. internal conditions in germany, together with the hopelessness from an economic point of view, hoover wrote, had reduced the population to a state of despair in which there are only two classes of people. there are either those who are afraid of communism, or those who have already converted to communism. as either earning navigable evil, or as a possible solution. when the work of the ar a came to an end in 1919, and most government support and, in over transformed into a charitable organization that continue to feed children into the early 19 twenties. two of these organizations that continue to live on today are
unicef, and care. they were financed fully through private donations and as a group, -- the nra provided food and clothing to some 16 million children. generally, and central and eastern europe. by the time who were left her home in september 1919, he and the ar a had provided some 28 million tons of food, and supplies valued in the billions, all collected and distributed after the end of the war. it all perhaps of in participated in hoover's relief efforts humber-st. by starvation and disease, some 15 million children were renewed in health, giving them a chance for a productive future. hoover's biography -- biographer, george h. nash writes that hoover was responsible for saving the lives of more people than anyone in history. with the end of the war, his
involvement and humanitarian missions, who were trying to focus on his future. he considered opening another office and returning to mining, which he never did. he considered many business opportunities, but never focused on any of them. he even considered a run for the presidency in 1920, as both major political parties recording him. his enthusiasm for the office was only halfhearted. he wrote ad articles and delivered many speeches, but soon the opportunity that helped starving people, came knocking again. this time, it was the soviet union that needed his help. by now, 1920, the russian civil war was ending, and one had once been widespread hunger, was now famine. hoover had taken a position with president warren g. harding's incoming cabinet, providing him the opportunity to arrange relief for the united states. a series of humanitarian
disasters had hit with russia by 1920, and 1921, including world war, civil war, revolution, and agriculture, and persecution of kulaks, those individuals with agriculture experience, and a drought head intensified disastrous conditions. vladimir lena knew that the communist movement that he needed food for the urban masses and legitimacy to the communist movement. any organization or ideology that cannot even feed its own people, was doomed to failure. thus, the communist constantly ravaged the countryside, stealing grain from the royal peasants and transporting into this is -- civilians. the president said all the green would be stolen, so why bother to plant them? they left their fields and planted. the presidents had even eaten
the seed cord, leaving nothing to plant in any event. few draft animals or plants were consumed by the farm families that owned them. if i'm arson writer penned a note to the west. when hoover saw the letter he knew he would have to repent. he hated communist leaders, when he hated starvation more. -- responded 20 million people are starving. whatever the politics, may shall be fed. in august 1921, the american a are a chief in europe, walter lemon brown entered into negotiations with the soviet leaders for food assistance. first, brown insisted that the all american jails, which they
did. brown demanded that the air a, standard behaviors, brown insisted that the soviets must permit ar a workers free movement within the country, exemption from searches, protections from arrest, and the area would distribute food based solely on need. -- nothing in russia was done based on merit who need. the ar i would also pay for food and transportation to the russian border, and at that point, there soviet government would pay for storage and transportation for where it was needed. in return, the air i promised to abstain from political activities in russia. the american and soviet representatives signed the treaty of regatta on august 20th 1921.
there are a responsibilities was outlined in russia. for the most part, each side complied with promises. to head the effort in russia, who were selected colonel william haspel, a series and competent military man who had directed relief in romania. has skull reported that everything in russia seems to be old, broken, worn out, and guided. nothing works. everyone seems to be milling about in the semi days condition, with only one thought in mind, that being, where am i gonna get something to eat. on a tour of the vulgar valley, he reported up boards of 10 million peasants reported hunger in romania. they ripped up railroad ties that they need to be their home. this impacts the transportation industry, severely. they pressed camels into service, and humans carried food on their backs.
they are a representative spent spread throughout the region spreading out food kitchens. once in place, the area hired local men and women to run the kitchen, as well as 120,000 volunteers. in september of 1921, the air a bed only 200 people in petro grad. but the area had set up nearly 70,000 feeding stations, and by february 1922, more than 1 million people were being fed. originally, the stations were set up for the children only, but a room -- if the parents starve to death, the children will be no better. off by august, 4.2 million people were being fed each day, along with about 6.3 million adults. reaching about 10 million people, overall. this effort was much larger and reached for more people, then the crtc ever did.
in a dilapidated industry made the effort that much more difficult. working with the con communists was the constant paranoia. they can conceive a group that had a political agenda. everything that happened in russia, was based on a political agenda. furthermore, the bolsheviks did not want food going to everyone, regardless of their political affiliation. or, employment based on ability. the secret police also prevented a number of problems. they constantly watched the ar a man, and try to take credit for all the ar a accomplishments. hoover did not oppose trade with russia, and they constantly awarded president coolidge and hoover not to -- diplomatically as this latest were dishonest and hostile to
american values. these reasons made it difficult for her to find support for feeding the russian people. to the american people, to the americans who had just objected to feeding russian citizens, they said we should make some distinction between the russian people, and the group that has seized the government. i think you will need to separate in your mind, the 200 communist in russia from the 150 million russian people. russian relief was the largest humanitarian effort to date. and not only provided food, but fought disease as well. it set abdul ousting campaigns against this issue of tyson and her not collections against diseases for 8 million people. and also donated about 2 million dollars and other medical supplies, it donated about 1.5 million dollars worth of clothing, and provided seed
for the 1923 harvest. by the late summer of 1923, the worst was behind the russians. as the drought had ended, and a record-breaking harvest resulted, the government had agreed to stop season the crops for urban dwellers, and even paid a reasonable price to the russian peasants forward their grain. in fact, the soviet government began selling grain to foreign markets prompting hoover to cut all support to the russians. it should be noted that the area worked in power line with over -- other groups such as the midnight,, quaker and other organizations. in the end, hoover had distributed millions of dollars in aid for europe and russia between 19 -- between 1940 and 1943. as historians say they save 20 million lives, including 20 million children. he was regarded with great admiration throughout russia, at least initially. the soviet government presented
hoover with the scroll, representing the millions of people that he helped to save. the officials promised the russian people would never forget when hoover had done for them. however, as the cold war progressed, and he received less no no riot ian space in the history books, just before his death in 1960, for the soviets claimed he was in americans by. so what. so, what was the legacy of herbert hoover, and the numerous food crisis. organizations he had lived on in the organizations of universe >> -- unicef in care which who could combat humanitarian efforts today. perhaps more directly, the experiences of food distribution, and shortages fundamentally influence world war ii. just as important as a defense
industry was the reckon -- feeding our soldiers, civilians, and allies was a force multiplier. we also learned that justice food could be a weapon, it could also be a bridge between nations. the allies allowed their adversaries to suffer and starve after world war one, but not after world war ii. an immediate, if imperfect, effort to feed the suffering efforts of europe after the fall of adolf hitler, was the result of world war i. lessons learned. that's what's ladies and gentlemen -- thank you for your patience. i thank you for inviting me here this evening, and allowing me to share some of my research. >> doctor males, thank you so much for that wonderful look at a piece of history that just
doesn't receive as much attention as other components of world war i, and destined to be overshadowed by a reputation that hoover gains due to his presidency and decisions there that which leads us to one of our first questions -- how is his reaction to the depression, and the needs of the people, reconciled with an obvious ability to understand the needs of humanity, and great empathy for those who are struggling worldwide with the great war, i will be at a seeming inability, or refusal to do so during his presidency. >> great observation.
here is the man who spent much of his own fortune, in order to provide food for the starving people of europe. and you spent so much time and effort, obviously, arranging for people all over the world to be able to eat. and yet, in the united states during the great depression, it seemed like we were faced with many of the same problems and herbert hoover has the reputation of being a pretty uncaring individual, as far as his own country went. here's the thing, over gays denigrated to a great extent. there are a few of his biographers, these days, who are taking up the issue that -- will maybe hoover wasn't as bad as we seem to remember. hoover did institute a number of programs designed to help
people, it just seems they never went far enough. he tried to help out the banks, he tried to organize farmers, and i just seems like everything he did never went far enough. and a number of his biographers claim the cabinet he presented themself with, he was a very conservative man. he looked for churches to step in and take up some of the slashing in helping people. and again there were several programs that word to help people but never went far enough. it's been said that many of the programs that fdr instituted once he came to office, were simply programs that hoover had
thought of, but just didn't bring it home. i hope that answers your question. >> thank you. we got a great look as the programs that were implemented during world war i. i know you are doing a lot of work with world war ii. we have a question from sam, that asks, were the world war ii programs, that were meant to provide humanitarian aid, after the end of the war, reproduced, reproductions of what hoover had done or, where they simply based on similar ideals? was there enough in place that they were able to just pretty much pick up where hoover had left off? >> after world war ii, interestingly, as you can imagine hoover and roosevelt
aren't great friends. even years after roosevelt was already in office. truman almost immediately reaches out, he's got a huge humanitarian crisis on his hands. the problem of feeding not just germany but austria, france, italy a number of countries throughout europe. almost immediately, truman reaches out to hoover, and he picks up right where he left off. hoover makes an inspection of a few european countries and says here is the food we have on hand. he starts setting up food
countries, star going to argentina the united states, canada, australia and argentina. i believe those are the major food exporting countries. he goes all over trying to free up more food to be able to send it throughout the world. india's starving as well now. it's all about, how much food you need and how much can you free up argentina, australia, canada? so he gets tons of food in that way. he also re-constitutes the idea of conservation. he starts a number of agencies, government agent says fallen volunteers to get folks to start conserving food. there is meatless thursdays, weightless days, and to free up
more grain for europe, they actually shut down all be breweries and distilleries for a period of 30 days, and michelin. then i believe, they actually go up to 90 days. but, hoover just kind of picks up right where he left off. but to make a long story short, he picks up and does exactly what he had been doing after world war i. we have a question from anna, who asks what can we learn from hoover's leg and it's legacy that can emphasize our historic moment. >> wow. such a great question.
hoover was an interesting person i read a lot about him for this project. he didn't care who you are, more where you are from. he believed everybody deserved the decency, and the respect of not starving to death. so, i think the united states does a pretty good job of contributing to humanitarian efforts throughout the world. that's a legacy of hoover's. it's who we are as americans. every time there's a humanitarian disaster within the country, tons of people are donating food, and ordering trucks and coordinating some of
that stuff. what we can learn today i think is just simply to you know it's the golden rule. it's all those things we read about and learned about going to church on sunday, if that's your thing. or what your parents talk to you. treating people with dignity and respect. one in the world in the united states be a whole lot better if we can just do that. so -- >> debra asks, was hoover a proponent of the league of nations? -- i don't know. that is something i don't recall. >> it seems in many of the organizations that he worked with, that he created a
partnership with wilson, as they were creating it he was pretty adamant about the completely in charge of those organizations and what was his reasoning? >> he had a lot of experience, business experience. he was hired out of college. not true -- actually he worked for a small mining company for a few years, two or three, before he went to australia. he goes to the middle of nowhere in australia. he's got to figure all the stuff out for himself. gotta figure out how he will provide decent food for his mining crews. and how he will find wood to build shelters, and how is gonna transport product from here to there and bring in resources. how is going to separate these
elements from others, so he can free up precious metals. everything he had ever done throughout his entire life, up to the point that he gets involved in humanitarian issues, he's been faced with enormous problems. he understands how bureaucracies work, and no inefficient they are. so he tends to push them aside and he's just a man of action saying, get out of the way. let me take a look at what the problem is i will come up with a solution i will implement that solution. he was absolutely demanding that everybody would accept him as being the charge and then carrying out his orders, as well. we have a question from joe, who asks, how did the
population move after the cleansing effect of post world world -- war one effort believes. >> again, i don't think i know as i said, colonel glasgow was involved in armenian rehabilitation. that is a pretty specialized focus. i just don't have that. i'm sorry, joe. i just -- because my project was focused on europe. i kind of went there. even though i know that the ottoman empire was receiving tons of food and supplies as well, through many of these organizations. i don't know enough about it to answer you. being mindful of time it looks like we have time for just one or two more questions. one questions we've received is
did hoover and has glossy mentoring efforts -- do you think that had any impact in holding off what becomes the cold war? >> oh man, this is a great question. remember, at the same time, or a couple years earlier, the united states had invaded the soviet role memory union. with their russian union, russia's got a whole lot of problems at home. they have to pull out world war i through the treaty of -- they negotiate their way out. they are going through this russian revolution and because they had been an ally of france, and england, we had sent a ton of ornaments and ammunition to
russia. now it just sits there in an archangel on docks, as the russians are more worried about their internal stripes than external strives. well two things, we want to energize the professions to get them fired up and get them back into the fight because the germans have been able to transfer a whole lot of people from the eastern front, to the western front. we don't want that. we want them to be busy on the eastern front. so, we send 500 troops in one deployment, and about 8000 troops and another deployment. we simply knew occupy these cities in russia. the russians hate that. the russians have to turn their focus away from each other, and focus on one of the americans doing? the americans don't make
themselves any friends by siding with the whites, as opposed to the reds in this fight. so, we support the other guys in the revolution, not the communists do generally win. that really undermines any credibility that the united states has with trying to say we are peaceful, and peace loving individuals. we are just here to help. in fact, the americans and russians are just getting to assemble piece bottle. snow might i want you say, we don't trust you. saying now we are starving, we need your help. 1918, 1919, the united states invades russia. by 1920, 1941, they need our help. they are suspicious. they try to set up some of the ar amen in compromising situations with alcohol, and women, and photographs, that
kind of thing. it's pretty ugly. so -- >> it is a complicated story. >> it is, the really complicated story. and then this happened, right? you can really kind of dive down that rabbit hole, and get sidetracked. >> we have a question, just to follow that one. it's the flip side of that. did the united states supports of the humanitarian efforts in the soviet union, their ability to do that, did that help at all to quell reds scared situation in the united states in the rampant nationalism that was happening? >> the red scare lasts in here. then it simply dies out. from 1919 and by about 1920