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The fight for freedom and justice

Photo: Gullers, KW / Nordiska museet (CC BY-NC-ND)
Torgny Segerstedt,1940. Photo: Gullers, KW / Nordiska museet (CC BY-NC-ND)

"It is so short-sighted to imagine that great peoples, or small peoples who have fought for their freedom, can be held down in lasting servitude."

Now the autumn dayjam is over. We walk towards the densifying winter darkness. The leaves begin to fall. Rain and sleet will set in. Hard to argue that it's getting its cozier indoors. It does not seem so. The scarcity of fuel and the growing scarcity of food and drink do not point to increased comfort.

The war that was unleashed two years ago is raging with unabated ferocity. Hecatombs of young lives are sacrificed on the battlefields. Those at home live out their lives in hardship and anguish. Nothing shall be diminished in the winter cold and darkness. It is not a happy prospect.

And yet. This is less distressing than what happened in the years preceding the war. Then everything seemed hopeless. Violence went on at will. Nowhere was resistance offered.

The Western peoples seemed to have lost their nerve. They had also lost their sense of judgment, it seemed. They not only allowed all sorts of things fatal to their existence to happen; they themselves had a hand in the work of their weakening. All seemed paralysed with unwillingness to take a risk. Everywhere the thought seemed to prevail that there was nothing to be done but to go along with the gallop. That it led to the precipice of doom did not matter. The sacrifice of all the fundamentals of human interrelationship was ignored. Right and truth were car togas. Violence, the threat of violence on the one hand, and fear on the other, worked together to shape the destinies of peoples.

The spell was broken when Poland decided it would rather fight than give in to the claims of power. With that feat, the country paid the ransom for its continued existence as a free state. Poland was defeated. Its people live through a time of terrible suffering. It will rise again, like other peoples who have had to go under the yoke for the time being. It is so short-sighted to imagine that great peoples or small peoples who have fought for their freedom can be held down in lasting servitude. We are talking about more than 100 million people. There is not the slightest possibility of making them into some kind of servants.

The bright side of the bleak picture that now meets the eye wherever you look is that there is a struggle for freedom and justice. What makes life worth living has no spokesmen in the exchange of opinions where the guns carry the word. The Anglo-Saxon world powers have stepped within the barrier of what has always been the lifeblood of Western culture: freedom, justice and truth. By force of circumstance, the Slavic world power has been assigned a place on the same side of the battle.

The bloodbath is terrible. Its violence already shows that the forces of democracy are not inferior to those of their opponents. As the days go by, it will be seen that the democracies have the greatest strength. And it is this fact, that popular freedom need not hide in obscure corners, that it has the power to fight and to win, that gives the gloomy scene its element of hope. Now, however, we can breathe.

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