Home > Uncategorized > Anatole France: The tutelary gods of world war

Anatole France: The tutelary gods of world war

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Anatole France: Selections on war

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Anatole France
From a letter to Michel Corday (1917)
Translator unknown

france_anatole2

You have realised, dear friend, that President Wilson has his own plans, which are not the plans of England, France, or Italy. He is making war on Germany for their moral improvement. He will never lay down his arms until the Boches – a nation restored to righteousness – are marching in the ways of the Lord, beneath leaders inspired by heaven, like the Judges of Israel or the Presidents of the United States of America, following the sacred precepts of a second Gideon or another Wilson. He is praying his God to achieve this marvellous transformation without delay. Meanwhile, William [Kaiser Wilhelm] is imploring his own God not to allow the German people to bow their necks to alien races. The God of William and the God of Wilson are two potent deities, whose lightnings may long clash above our heads.

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