The Future of Ethiopia

Courtesy Reuters

ETHIOPIA, the first country to lose her independence in the present sweep of aggression, has been the first to be liberated. True, the invasion of Manchuria preceded the conquest of Ethiopia by four years; yet even today, a decade after Japan began her attack on China, there is still a Chinese Government in effective possession of a large part of China, engaged in a fight to the finish with the invader. Ethiopia, unlike China, was completely overrun and her independence extinguished. She thus heads the roll of national tragedies, now beyond the dozen mark -- Austria, Albania, Czecho-Slovakia, Poland, the Baltic States, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Jugoslavia and Greece. And this is to say nothing of Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and Thailand, as well as Italy herself, author of Ethiopia's downfall, all of which surrendered their freedom without a fight.

As the first country freed from Axis occupation, Ethiopia faces the liberating Powers with important and complicated problems. Here, for the first time, they must make decisions which inevitably will influence the policies they later pursue in other occupied lands as they too are freed. The same reconstruction formulas cannot, of course, be applied indiscriminately to such dissimilar countries as, for example, Ethiopia, Albania, Poland and Norway. Yet, given the force which precedent exerts on the acts of governments, the policies followed in the reconstitution of an independent Ethiopia seem sure to serve as guideposts for those who are to supervise the creation of a New Europe out of the wreck of the New Order. Nor should we forget that the policies applied to Ethiopia will be watched with the closest attention, not only by the various governments-in-exile and their countrymen at home, but by the Axis régimes themselves, for these can be counted on to extract the full propaganda value from any failure by the Anglo-Russo-American bloc to honor promises made to its smaller allies.

On November 28 of last year Italian resistance in East Africa ended with the surrender

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