Fine collection of over 1,000 original autograph manuscripts signed by leading literary, political, cultural and scientific figures of the early twentieth century, each discussing his view of peace, compiled in Switzerland by the World League of Peace, 1925-1932, each manuscript on one side only of uniform sheets of paper (16 1/2 x 11 1/4 in.; 420 x 285 mm), in a few instances where the contributor has written on his own letterhead the manuscript is mounted on a uniform sheet, in 18 decorated cloth drop-boxes. The collection is accompanied by eighty original drawings by various contributing artists in a decorated cloth slip-case, and a typed table of contents with transcriptions and English translations prepared by Berlitz in 3 loose-leaf binders.
On the subject of peace. Following World War I, this collection of manuscripts was assembled by the World League for Peace under the direction of its president, Georges Dejean, and a fifty-member committee, for the purpose of compiling a definitive anthology on peace. The committee, which included Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, King Alexander I of Serbia, King Carol II of Romania, John D. Rockefeller, Marie Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, and Albert Einstein, to name only a few, gathered manuscripts over a seven-year period (1925–1932). Contributors include the politicians Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Lord Arthur Balfour, Georges Clemenceau, King Faisal, André Maginot; the literary figures André Allard, René Bazin, Karel Capek, G.K. Chesterton, Colette, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Galsworthy, Thomas Mann, André Maurois, Luigi Pirandello, Rabindranath Tagore, Miguel de Unamuno; the artists and performers Pablo Casals, Le Corbusier, Van Dongen, Dunoyer de Segonzac, Douglas Fairbanks, Foujita, Abel Gance, Jeanette MacDonald, Darius Milhaud, Alfons Mucha, Mary Pickford, and Paul Signac.
The following excerpts (in translation) record the wide spectrum of views contained in this extensive collection:
Albert Einstein: "No human being has the moral right to call himself Christian or a Jew if he is prepared to systematically murder on the orders of any superior authority, or to allow himself to be in any way misused in the preparations for or service of such an undertaking."
Franklin D. Roosevelt: "The furtherance of the great cause of peace among nations rests upon the education of mankind, and with it a greater responsibility of national leaders to the will of the people whose servants they are."
Maurice Maeterlinck: "The pacifists are the most dangerous enemies of peace, because they lull the just distrust of the peoples who will soon be the too-believing and innocent victims of the cruel flood of wars which is being prepared on the horizon."
Emir Chekib Arslan (Druze leader): "They asked a Sufi, 'Aren't you going to war?' 'War against whom?' he replied. "Against the enemy," they said. "But," he said, "I don't know the enemy, and he doesn't know me; how can he be my enemy?"
Jean Cocteau: "I detest war; people adore it in all of its forms. That is what induces me to live very much alone ... Forgive me for not writing an ingenious aphorism about peace. I left the front in 1918 when I realized that I liked it there, that it was ideal for daredevils. I was ashamed."
Paul Valery: "True peace will exist when even the very idea of war will not be even able to suggest itself to the minds of mankind. One no longer dreams of sacrificing Iphigenia to stop the ravages of an epidemic. Without neglecting the present, that is what men must think of."
H.G. Wells: "There can be nothing more foolish & absurd than sentimentalizing about peace & refraining from the active, dangerous, unpopular political work needed to secure it. World peace can be secured only by world federation. For that we must wage a steady warfare against the sovereignty of one's own Government & against the cause of patriotism that infests all the public schools in the world."
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