Courtesy Reuters

The Organization of Postwar Europe

THE specialists still had not rendered their final judgment as to what had been the effects of the First World War on mankind's lives, habits and moral and material situation when a second one broke out. In the two intervening decades science had made great progress in all fields. In none, however, had the progress been greater than in the field of destructive invention. Today, as a result, the threats of the last war seem to have been almost negligible in comparison with those that menace us now.

What will be the condition of Europe -- still not recovered from the first ordeal, and now plunged into a second -- when the war is over? How much will remain of its wealth and its treasures of culture? How many millions of graves will have closed over its victims? What will be the health of the survivors? Will the millions of people who have been tortured in concentration camps and prisons be able to return to the normal life of a citizen ? How will the families divided by deportations and compulsory emigration be able to unite again? How shall we deal with the enormous debts which every country will have contracted?

I pose these questions in order to emphasize the assertion with which I propose to begin this survey. I want to say, quite simply, that the damage being done by the Second World War in almost every sphere of human activity will be so enormous that generations will be needed to remedy it even in part. The most terrible result of all cannot be remedied by anybody. In all the countries overrun so far by German barbarism it is the best, the finest, the most courageous people who have been executed. Europe under the German yoke is suffering decapitation. For the cold savagery of the proceeding history offers absolutely no precedent. Unless after this war conditions are established which will render Germany definitely unable to make war on a world scale

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