Franz Werfel: War is the cause and not the result of all conflicts
From Star of the Unborn (1946)
Translated by Gustave O. Arlt
War was not the result but the cause of all conflicts. War was the subconscious craving for bloodshed, no matter on what pretexts it was waged. War was Adam’s son, the Cain in man. In frightful passion the roosters tore to shreds the hens whose blood they had seen.
We did not shrink from audacious calculations regarding the strange universes of star nebulae but we managed only to penetrate a scant three miles into the interior of the earth. This proves beyond a doubt that man stands much less in awe of the world around him than of the world within him and that he is much less afraid of the distant infinite than of the immediate infinite enclosed within himself.
An old proverb say: “Veritas vincit,” truth is victorious. Unfortunately this adage is an idealistic overestimate and misjudges life’s realities. By the end of the days of mankind, of course, truth will have conquered. Until then, however, the opposite is usually the case: “Victoria verifacit,” victory makes truth.
Every historical era reflects the face of the most recent victor…