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Lost Peace: Ideals for a United World Fail

From WGBH’s People’s Century series. "The morning of November 11, 1918, Harry met me about 100 yards from the battery position…He had a piece of white paper, just about as big as your hand. It says "Cease firing on all fronts - 11.11.18 General John Pershing.’ I thought that was the prettiest piece of paper I ever saw." - Macinlay Wooden, American soldier The First World War bathed the new century in blood: Nine million lost their lives in a merciless war of attrition. A whole generation was traumatized by the horror of the trenches - and vowed that war would be a thing of the past. LOST PEACE revisits the popular hopes and experiences in the years following World War I - and the looming threat of a new nationalism: despite Woodrow Wilson’s promise of a "people’s peace," old prejudices refused to die and nationalist passions again began to rise. Defeated nations were left out in the cold, resentful and unreconciled. Fascism and militarism spread while pacifist movements fought an increasingly unsuccessful rearguard action to preserve the dream of peace. By the late 1930s, people had to choose between avoiding war at all costs, or taking up arms to resist aggression. Fifty-five million lives were about to be lost in second world war. 60 minutes.

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Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
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