Home > Uncategorized > Olive Schreiner: I have never met a human creature who hates war as I hate it

Olive Schreiner: I have never met a human creature who hates war as I hate it

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

Women writers on peace and war

Olive Schreiner: Give me back my dead!

Olive Schreiner: The bestiality and insanity of war

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Olive Schreiner
From a letter to Emily Hobhouse
October, 1914

Oh Emily the worst of war is not the death on the battlefields; it is the meanness, the cowardice, the hatred it awakens. Where is the free England of our dreams, in which every British subject, whether Dutch, English, French or German in extraction, had an equal right and freedom.

Letter to Adela Smith
June 18, 1915

It is the thought of all these beautiful young lives cut down before they have even tasted of the cup of life that wrings my heart so. I have never met a human creature who hates war as I hate it. I can only fix my eyes on that far off time over thousands of years, when humanity will realise that all men are brothers; that it is finer to bring one noble human being into the world and rear it well for the broadest human ends, than to kill ten thousand. It’s because of [what] men like Paul Methuen and my nephew Oliver do and might mean so much to the world that I feel the risk of losing them so much, and I can’t bear to think they’re killing anyone.

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