Home > Uncategorized > Jacques Maritain: What good one can expect from such a war and its pitiless prolongation?

Jacques Maritain: What good one can expect from such a war and its pitiless prolongation?

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

Jacques Maritain
From an interview in 1938
Translator unknown

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Count, if you can, the number of dead, the thousands of unfortunate people done away with on both sides, be it by the war itself, by the fury of the populace, or by police purges. Think of the priests slain, the nuns outraged, the churches burned and desecrated, the suspects of all kinds despoiled or murdered by the “reds” after the outbreak of the military insurrection. Think of the suspects of all kinds stripped of their goods, hunted, condemned to death or executed without trial by the “white” terror. Think of the total war waged against fellow citizens, of the horrible treatment of the Basque country, the most Catholic part of Spain. Think of the women and children slaughtered by aerial bombardments, of the famine afflicting a whole civil population, of the thousands of children — Spanish children — who are subject to disease and death in Catalonia by a war between Spaniards (and between Italians and Spaniards). Think of the cities of Spain — among the noblest of cities — which have become proving grounds for international air forces. Picture the exhaustion of the country, the immense damage, physical and moral, done over a period of two years; the accumulation of hatred and bitterness amassed on both sides, the despair of so many souls. And tell me what good one can expect from such a civil war and its pitiless prolongation?

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