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        #177: American History: Fear Takes Hold During the Great Depression

        作者:David Jarmul 發布日期:8-7-2013

        The son of a Depression-era refugee from Oklahoma who moved to California
        The son of a Depression-era refugee from Oklahoma who moved to California

        BARBARA KLEIN: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. I'm Barbara Klein.

        STEVE EMBER: And I'm Steve Ember.

        The stock market crash of nineteen twenty-nine marked the beginning of the worst economic crisis in American history. Millions of people lost their jobs. Thousands lost their homes.

        1929年美國股票市場崩盤為美國歷史上最嚴重的經濟危機拉開了帷幕。數百萬人失去工作,成千上萬人失去住所。

        During the next several years, a large part of the richest nation on earth learned what it meant to be poor.

        在此后的幾年里,這個世界上最富裕的國家嘗盡了貧窮的滋味。

        Workers lost their jobs as factories closed. Business owners lost their stores and sometimes their homes. Farmers lost their land as they struggled with falling prices and natural disasters.

        工人們因工廠倒閉而失去工作,企業主買賣關張,有的甚至連自己的房子也保不住。農民與下跌的農產品價格和自然災害抗爭,并失去了土地。

        And Americans were not the only ones who suffered. This week in our series, we talk about the economic crisis that became the Great Depression.

        然而,在這場經濟危機中受到連累的并不僅僅是美國人。本周,我們就向您講述這場后來演變成大蕭條的經濟危機。

        (MUSIC "Creole Love Call"/Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra)

        BARBARA KLEIN: One of America's greatest writers, John Steinbeck, described the depression this way:

        約翰.斯坦貝克是美國最偉大的作家之一,他曾這樣描寫30年代的經濟大蕭條:

        "It was a terrible, troubled time. I can't think of any ten years in history when so much happened in so many directions. Violent change took place. Our country was shaped, our lives changed, our government rebuilt."

        "那是一個糟糕的,問題叢生的時期。歷史上從沒有過這樣的十年,沒有過十年間在如此多的方面發生這么多事的先例。猛烈和動蕩的變化不斷發生,重新塑造了美國的面貌,改變了我們的生活,也重建了美國政府。"

        Steinbeck, winner of the nineteen sixty-two Nobel Prize in literature, said: "When the market fell, the factories, mines, and steelworks closed and then no one could buy anything, not even food."

        這位1962年獲得諾貝爾文學獎的作家說:"股票市場崩潰后,工廠、礦山和鋼鐵廠通通關門,然后,人們什么都買不起,連食物都買不起。"

        STEVE EMBER: An unemployed auto worker in Detroit, Michigan, described the situation this way:

        在密西根州的底特律,一位失業的汽車工人是這樣描述當時情景的:

        "Before daylight, we were on the way to the Chevrolet factory to look for work. The police were already there, waving us away from the office. They were saying, 'Nothing doing! No jobs! No jobs!' So now we were walking slowly through the falling snow to the employment office for the Dodge auto company. A big, well-fed man in a heavy overcoat stood at the door. 'No! No!' he said. There was no work."

        "天還沒亮,我們就出發去雪佛蘭汽車公司找工作,而警察已經在那兒了,他們向我們揮手,讓我們走開,他們說:'沒有什么可做的,沒有工作,沒有工作!'于是我們在大雪中慢慢離開,去道奇汽車公司的就業辦公室找工作。一個高大肥胖、穿著厚重大衣的人站在大門口對我們說:'沒有,沒有,這里沒有工作!'"

        One Texas farmer lost his farm and moved his family to California to look for work. "We can't send the children to school," he said, "because they have no clothes."

        一位德克薩斯州的農民失去了自己的農場,全家搬到加州找工作。他說:"我沒辦法讓孩子去上學,因為他們沒有衣服穿。"

        (MUSIC "Gloomy Sunday"/Billie Holiday)

        BARBARA KLEIN: The economic crisis began with the stock market crash in October nineteen twenty-nine. For the first year, the economy fell very slowly. But it dropped sharply in nineteen thirty-one and nineteen thirty-two. And by the end of nineteen thirty-two, the economy collapsed almost completely.

        這場經濟危機始于1929年10月股票崩盤。危機第一年,美國經濟只是緩慢下滑,但到了1931年和1932年,經濟急速下滑,到1932年底,美國經濟幾乎完全崩潰。

        During the three years following the stock market crash, the value of goods and services produced in America fell by almost half. The wealth of the average American dropped to a level lower than it had been twenty-five years earlier.

        在股市崩盤后的三年里,美國生產總值下降了近一半,普通美國人的財富也大幅縮水,比25年前還低。

        All the gains of the nineteen twenties were washed away.

        20世紀二十年代積累的財富完全消失。

        Unemployment rose sharply. The number of workers looking for a job jumped from three percent to more than twenty-five percent in just four years. One of every three or four workers was looking for a job in nineteen thirty-two.

        失業人數急劇上升,在短短四年里,失業率從百分之3跳升到百分之25。到1932年,每三到四個美國人中就有一個在找工作。

        STEVE EMBER: Those employment numbers did not include farmers. The men and women who grew the nation's food suffered terribly during the Great Depression. This was especially true in two states, Oklahoma and Texas.

        而這些失業數字還沒有算上農民。這些為國家種植糧食的人在大蕭條時期遭受了嚴重的損失,特別是在奧克拉荷馬州和德克薩斯州。

        Farmers there were losing money because of falling prices for their crops. Then natural disaster struck. Year after year, little or no rain fell. The ground dried up. And then the wind blew away the earth in huge clouds of dust.

        由于農產品價格下跌,那里的農民收入下降。后來又趕上自然災害,連續多年幾乎不見下雨,大地干涸,風一刮就黃沙蔽日。

        "All that dust made some of the farmers leave," one Oklahoma farmer remembered later. "But my family stayed. We fought to live. Despite all the dust and the wind, we were planting seeds. But we got no crops. We had five crop failures in five years."

        一位奧克拉荷馬州的農民后來回憶道:"嚴重的風沙迫使一些農民離開,但我們家沒有走,我們為了活下去而堅持。盡管風沙嚴重,我們仍然在地里播種,但我們沒有什么收成,連續五年我們年年歉收。"

        (MUSIC "Mean Low Blues"/Blues Birdhead)

        BARBARA KLEIN: Falling production. Rising unemployment. Men begging in the streets. But there was more to the Great Depression. At that time, the federal government did not guarantee the money that people put in banks. When people could not repay loans, banks began to close.

        生產下降,失業率上升,人們上街乞討。但大蕭條的悲劇還不止這些。當時,美國聯邦政府沒有為銀行儲蓄金提供保險,因此,當借款人無力償還貸款時,銀行開始相繼倒閉。

        In nineteen twenty-nine, six hundred fifty-nine banks with total holdings of two-hundred-million dollars went out of business. The next year, two times that number failed. And the year after that, almost twice that number of banks went out of business. Millions of persons lost all their savings. They had no money left.

        1929年,美國659家銀行關門,存款總額達2億美元。第二年,倒閉銀行數量增加了一倍,第三年,又增加了一倍。數百萬人失去了存款,手里一分錢都沒有了。

        STEVE EMBER: The depression caused serious public health problems. Hospitals across the country were filled with sick people whose main illness was a lack of food. The health department in New York City found that one of every five of the city's children did not get enough food.

        20世紀三十年代的經濟大蕭條不僅讓很多人失去了土地、企業、住房和存款,還引起了嚴重的公共健康問題。全國各地的醫院里都住滿了病人,這些病人主要的病因是吃不飽飯。

        Ninety-nine percent of the children attending a school in a coal-mining area of the country reportedly were underweight. In some places, people died of hunger.

        紐約市衛生局發現,該市每五個孩子中就有一個在餓肚子。據報導,在美國一個煤礦產地的學校里,99%的學生體重偏低。一些地方還出現餓死人的現象。

        (MUSIC "Dark Was the Night (Cold Was the Ground)"/Blind Willie Johnson)

        STEVE EMBER: The quality of housing also fell. Families were forced to crowd into small houses or apartments to share costs. Many people had no homes at all. They slept on public streets, buses or trains.

        人們的居住質量也在下降。親戚們擠在小房子或小公寓里,一起負擔住房開支。許多人無家可歸,只能住在大街上、公交車上或火車上。

        One official in Chicago reported in nineteen thirty-one that several hundred women without homes were sleeping in city parks.

        1931年,芝加哥一個官員報告說,有好幾百名無家可歸的婦女睡在芝加哥市的公園里。

        In a number of cities, people without homes built their houses from whatever materials they could find. They used empty boxes or pieces of metal to build shelters in open areas.

        在許多城市,無家可歸的人們用一切他們所能找到的材料自己蓋房,用空箱子或金屬片在空地上蓋窩棚。

        BARBARA KLEIN: People called these areas of little temporary houses "Hoovervilles." They blamed President Hoover for their situation. So, too, did the men forced to sleep in public parks at night. They covered themselves with pieces of paper. And they called the paper "Hoover blankets." People without money in their pants called their empty pockets "Hoover flags."

        人們把這種臨時性的小窩棚區稱為"胡佛村",因為他們認為,自己今天的慘境都是胡佛總統造成的。被迫睡在大街上的人也這么想,他們睡覺時身上蓋的是紙片,他們把這些紙片稱為"胡佛毯"。那些身無分文的人則把他們空空的褲兜稱為"胡佛旗"。

        People blamed President Hoover because they thought he was not doing enough to help them. Hoover did take several actions to try to improve the economy. But he resisted proposals for the federal government to provide aid in a major way. And he refused to let the government spend more money than it earned.

        人們責怪胡佛總統沒有盡力幫助他們。其實,胡佛為改善經濟狀況的確采取了一些措施,但他反對讓聯邦政府為人們提供大規模的援助,他拒絕讓政府入不敷出。

        Hoover told the nation: "Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive decision."

        胡佛對全國人民說:"經濟衰退不能通過立法或行政手段來治愈。"

        Many conservative Americans agreed with him. But not the millions of Americans who were hungry and tired of looking for a job. They accused Hoover of not caring about common citizens.

        許多保守的美國人同意他的觀點,但數百萬忍饑挨餓、找不到工作的人可不這么想。他們指責胡佛不關心普通民眾。

        One congressman from Alabama said: "In the White House, we have a man more interested in the money of the rich than in the stomachs of the poor."

        阿拉巴馬州的一位國會議員說:"在白宮,有一個人,他關心富人的財富,不在乎窮人的肚子。"

        (MUSIC "I Surrender, Dear"/Red Norvo and His Swing Septet)

        STEVE EMBER: On and on the Great Depression continued. Of course, some Americans were lucky. They kept their jobs. And they had enough money to enjoy the lower prices of most goods. Many people shared their earnings with friends in need.

        大蕭條在持續。當然也有一些幸運的美國人保住了工作,有足夠的錢,享受低價產品。許多人向需要幫助的朋友伸出援手。

        Years later, John Steinbeck wrote: "It seems odd now to say that we rarely had a job. There just weren't any jobs." But, he continued, "Given the sea and the gardens, we did pretty well with a minimum of theft. We didn't have to steal much." Farmers could not sell their crops, he explained, so they gave away all the fruit and vegetables that people could carry home.

        幾年后,約翰.斯坦貝克寫到:"現在說我們幾乎沒有工作似乎不太合適,因為當時完全沒有工作。" 但他接著說道:"我們有大海,有菜園,可以靠天吃天,幾乎沒什么小偷,因為我們不必去偷什么東西。"他解釋說:"農民賣不掉他們的產品,所以就把所有的水果蔬菜都拿出來送人,你能拿多少就可以拿多少。"

        BARBARA KLEIN: Other Americans reacted to the crisis by leading protests against the economic policies of the Hoover administration. In nineteen thirty-two, a large group of former soldiers gathered in Washington to demand help.

        經濟危機中,另外一些人則組織抗議胡佛政府的經濟政策。1932年,許多退伍士兵聚集在華盛頓,要求政府為他們提供幫助。

        More than eight thousand of them built the nation's largest Hooverville near the White House. Federal troops finally removed them by force and burned their shelters.

        他們中的8000多人在白宮附近建起了美國最大的"胡佛村"。最后,聯邦軍隊武力趕走了他們,并燒毀了他們蓋起的窩棚。

        (MUSIC "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"/Rudy Vallee)

        Next week, we will look at how the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties affected other countries.

        (MUSIC)

        STEVE EMBER: This program was written by David Jarmul. I'm Steve Ember.

        BARBARA KLEIN: And I'm Barbara Klein. You can find our series online with pictures, transcripts, MP3s, and podcasts at www.squishedblueberries.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

        ___

        This is program #177

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        Fear Takes Hold During the Great Depression
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