National Geographic : 1948 May
Bastogne Honors the American Who Said "Nuts!" to the Nazis' Surrender Demand Here Brig. (now Maj.) Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, his men surrounded by Von Rundstedt's break-through, delivered his immortal defiance. In gratitude, Bastogne has set up its Place MacAuliffe, Cafe MacAuliffe, and this cartoon tribute. In doing so, the Belgians have inserted a redundant "a" into "Mc," but the general is not worried. One of Bastogne's famous hams is pictured on the signpost. Prices did come down, production did go up, and exports have nearly reached their prewar proportion of 90 percent of imports. Although Belgium is a participant in the European Recovery Program, she is less in terested in direct aid than in the rehabilitation of countries which normally buy her goods. Meanwhile, Belgium has herself been extend ing aid. Credits aggregating more than $300, 000,000 have been granted to various coun tries. Belgium has also been re-exporting for "soft" currency some of the goods which she has purchased for dollars in the United States. A step in the direction of freer European trade, and one which may have far-reaching consequences, is the customs union recently created by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. This union, popularly known as Benelux, has aroused great interest through out Europe; it is particularly significant in view of the possible formation of a Western bloc as a counterpoise for the organization which has been effected in eastern Europe. Trains and Buses Run Again Belgian transport is well on the way to recovery. Trains and buses are running nor mally. Gas rationing has been abolished. There is an acute demand for automobiles, as elsewhere, but new vehicles are coming in from France, Great Britain, and the United States. The inland waterways, an important link in the country's transportation system, are functioning as usual (Plate XXI).* Belgium is still short of ocean-going ship ping. However, vessels now under construc tion, in addition to those acquired from other countries, are expected to restore the merchant marine to its prewar status. * See "Through the Back Doors of Belgium," by Melville Chater, NATIONAL GEOGRAPIIIC MAGAZINE, May, 1925.