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War tests character and reveals how far it has grown or how far it has degenerated. If the crisis smashed illusions and uncovered weaknesses, it also showed up surprising goodwill and revealed unsuspected latent strength. Even the horror and tragedy of this period left a train of effects not altogether bad. The comfortable inertia and prewar halfheartedness of the people Hitler disturbed, joined with the stimulus of opposition to him, roused some of their own latent forces into fresh activity and shocked them into the striving for their ideals. As the war proceeded they came to see that they must change their approach to many other problems too. They became conscious of other sins of omission--such as the economic and social. They began to think and talk of a better world which must be built after the war. Their triumph will consist not only in this but also in preserving the ethical values which the Nazis lost. If war came as the world's karma, its bloodshed suffering and destruction brought some mental illumination to those who responded to it rightly. Through such tribulations properly endured, the character of mankind begins to be purged and merely selfish motives to desert them. The new ideals which have passed through such pains of travail are themselves the heralds of a brighter, happier, and wiser new age of world history that will manifest itself in the not-too-distant future.


-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 276






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