Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Independent: "The gathering storm: A look back on middle-class Europe's last carefree Christmas before the onset of World War One "

Link to web site

"The Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, said just after Christmas 1913:
"Our relations with Germany are infinitely more friendly now than they have been for years. Sanity has now been more or less restored on both sides of the North Sea."
The Economist, self-assured then as now, told its readers to go home and party:
"There is no reason why the inhabitants of this prosperous little kingdom should not enjoy a merry Christmas."
The Daily Graphic, ancestor of the Daily Mirror, was more prescient.:
"Wherever we look we see the grim apparatus of war … clogging the wheels of industry and squandering the fruits of peace."
This was a lone voice. Some feared a European war. Few imagined that 'progress' – not just modern weapons but railways, aeroplanes, canned food, industrial production, powerful economies – were about to mutate into the cancer of the most destructive war the world had ever known."

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