Britain’s Children’s Newspaper – subtitled, ‘The Story of the World Today for the Men and Women of Tomorrow’ – was a remarkable and mature publication for youngsters.
On 8 October 1938, with dark clouds of war looming, the newspaper ran a visionary editorial describing Europe as ‘one Brotherhood’ with a ‘common interest which binds its people together’. One year later, a vicious world war ripped Europe apart, from which it took over 60 years to recover. The lesson then, just as relevant today, is that ‘The Brotherhood of Europe’ should never be broken. Our strength is being united and together.
Britain broke that unity by going ahead with Brexit. It estranged us from the mainland of our continent and gave Russia’s Putin a helping hand with his nefarious, imperial, and dictatorial intentions.
Now, with war raging in Ukraine, dark clouds are once again looming over Europe. What have we learnt?
This is an extract from the Children’s Newspaper of 8 October 1938. It’s a message for today.
▪ 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗕𝗥𝗢𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗛𝗢𝗢𝗗 𝗢𝗙 𝗘𝗨𝗥𝗢𝗣𝗘
IN THESE BITTER DAYS it is worthwhile for us to realise that war in Europe is a civil war.
All Europe is one Brotherhood. Apart from the hate fostered by Dictators for their own purposes, Europe is the home of a great family of people who wish to be left alone to enjoy the treasures with which the Continent is crowded from end to end.
We only have to look round for a moment to realise what the Brotherhood of Europe really is.
One of the most effective instruments of social government in these perilous years is the Labour Exchange, which keeps an army of idle people off our streets, an asset of a good and safe society which we owe to Germany. So to the old Germany we owe the example of some of the wisest elements in our social life – the movements for the better housing of the people, for the better planning of our towns, and for the insurance of the industrial population.
The truth is that Europe is international, its countries sharing a life that is common to all.
- How many of us owe our lives to Pasteur of France or to Koch of Germany?
- Who can live in any part of Europe without the railways we gave the world?
- What would become of the industries of nations without the discoveries made in the laboratories of German universities?
- How could the business of Europe be carried out for a single week without the wires which all protect in common, without the postbag we all share in common, without the laws we all observe in common?
- How many precious pages of the book of knowledge would be unwritten now but for this brotherhood of the wise that knows no boundaries?
The great monuments of people –
- their parliaments and schools;
- their municipal governments and national organisations;
- their inventions and discoveries, their marvels of electrical mechanism;
- their telephone and telegraph systems, their workshops with almost illimitable power;
- their banks and systems of invisible finance;
– all these foundations of prosperity in Europe are from no one country in particular, but are the common products of many or all.
The greatest treasure of Europe is, indeed, the common interest which binds its people together in bonds stronger than steel, which must endure after these dark days have passed.
- Video: How Putin helped to fuel and fund Brexit:
- Video: Why Britain joined the EU:
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