Home > Uncategorized > Lion Feuchtwanger: There is no greater crime than an unnecessary war

Lion Feuchtwanger: There is no greater crime than an unnecessary war

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

Lion Feuchtwanger: Selections on war

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Lion Feuchtwanger
From This Is the Hour (1951)
Translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter and Frances Fawcett

dawsons

“It could only do harm to go on with the war, and there is no greater crime than an unnecessary war. It is not easy for me to ask a lady to envisage the horrors of war. But let me quote a few sentences from a writer, the greatest of the century.” And he quoted: “‘Candide clambered over a pile of dying and dead and reached a village, which was being turned to rubble and ashes. The enemy had set fire to it according to all the regulations of the laws of nations. Men, bent under the blows they received, looked on as their wives were strangled to death clutching their children to their bleeding breasts. Girls, with their bellies slit open, perished after having satisfied the natural desires of numerous heroes; others, half burned to death, begged for the coup de grâce. The ground was covered with spattered brains and hacked-off arms and legs.’ Forgive me, ladies and gentlemen, the unpleasant description. But I can tell you from my own experience: the man is right. And, furthermore, I can assure you that such things as he describes are happening now, this very night, in our northern provinces.”

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