Europe's Jews: Summer, 1947
A Firsthand Report by an American Observer
When you come back from Europe in the summer of 1947, it is not the plentiful food nor the well-stocked stores nor the undamaged cities that startle you most. After a day or two, you begin to see a more subtle, more profound difference between America and Europe:
America has already come out of the war, has almost forgotten it. .Even the post-World War II mood is in back of us. .But in Western Europe the last war is still going on. .The troops and the bombs and the physical terror are gone. . . .There remain the shattered cities, the pervading daily dread of food and fuel shortages, the black marketeering that makes new-rich and new-poor, the instability and the uncertainty. People are still reeling, their heads a jumble of propaganda slogans from the days when it was a war of ideas, their hands nerveless for the dreary tasks of rebuilding a continent.
There is still plenty of fascism in Europe. Underneath the current conflict between Russia and the Western democracies, there is the festering threat of the Hitler ideas. An old world is gone, but nothing has yet taken its place. And the shredding of Europe’s psychological fabric has left Western Europeans, at least, with little faith and less hope.
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