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Here my dear why are you a pacifist. Well I think it is so simple for this reason that I discovered as a soldier during six years to go over that road and Christianity I've finally inconsistent to meet each other and that a far distance out of correlate to seek some order to settle their international disputes and then by killing each other. Voices of Europe Milton Mayer American author and lecturer broadcaster and professor in the Institute of Social Research from Frankfurt University has been traveling through many of the countries of Western Europe recording the voices of a great number of people on a wide variety of subjects. These are Europeans who are alive and sensitive to the tragedy and dilemma of the conditions that surround them. People who speak directly and
candidly of their own feelings and their own aspirations. These are citizens of other countries who speak to the American people unimpeded by the artificial screen of high cable costs and scarce newsprint to help us understand the conditions of life in which they live. Today in interviews recorded in Austria and in Holland Milton Mayer speaks with two pacifists. Here is Milton Mayer. Pacifism is well known in the Protestant tradition in the so-called peace churches like the Quakers the bretheren the Mennonites and the Jehovah's Witnesses and also in the larger Protestant denominations. It is well known also in other religious traditions the pacifism of India and Gandhi of course
played a certainly a major role in the collapse of the British Empire in our own time. But pacifism is not so well known in Central and Eastern Europe or in the Jewish or Roman Catholic traditions here cost per my heir is a Catholic pacifist. In a country which is 90 percent Catholic. Austria. Hair my hair was born in both area in southern Germany. The son of a farmer he was studying theology in Munich when he was called up as a
soldier in the German army in 1915 in which he served until the end of the bar after which he was a prisoner of war in France until 1920. He then became secretary to the Roman Catholic priest Father Knox Smith's care of Caracas Austria in the organization of the International Camp Blake peace movement. It is perhaps worth noting that father Metzger was killed by the Nazis in 1943 in Berlin. Hair my hair then became a
field secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation a religious pacifist organization which is primarily Protestant and in some countries such as the United States almost entirely Protestant. He worked first in London and then in Vienna in 1938 when the Nazis occupied Austria. He was dismissed from his post in the Catholic publishing house of Vienna as a pacifist and as a member of the Catholic Action Group he was forbidden by the Nazis to have employment. And during the period succeeding.
He managed to find work of the odd job so art translating and writing into bringing up a family of three daughters and two sons the older of whom was killed in the German army in Russia where my hair is now the administrators of an accounting firm in Vienna and he is also Australian secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Herr Meyer. Why are you a pacifist. Well I think it is simpler for this reason that I discovered as a soldier during six years to go
over that road and Christianity I've finally inconsistent with each other and that's that a far distance out of correlate to seek some way to settle their international disputes then by killing each other. It worse under you could argue only that I came into the position of a pacifist in particular as I came into contact. We see leading Christan people who upset international feather ship since 1921. What do you mean here my error by radical pacifistic. When that article the passage Cheeseman means that those who accept it is a position to
refuse to. Undertake military service or to take part in the preparations of a bar or you know what it said. Continental pacifism usually means and the two are actually enjoying that on a far piece. But. In England than in states in particular passages might has a meaning of what I think that pacifism that means. Taking no part whatsoever in the inverter and its preparations as a pacifist. Err my error. How do you insert this question what would happen if say Australia or America became pacifist and other countries say Russia did not.
Well I have no perfect and that but they can tend to be in happen if any country would become a pacifist country. But I am convinced that if any country or any nation would accept a radical position on. Religion because it has become converts it from belief in violence then it would become a model power in this variant and that his attitude would probably Jayne's its own political situation and my need to write a two song of our big international programs all together on a peaceful way and how where do you. Answer the question.
Isn't self defense natural to man and it isn't an honorable man obligated to defend his home and his country his family his wife and children and his body and his soul when they are attacked. Well I think that self-defense is one of the conception in human history which I regret it deeply and rooted in human natur. And unless one can find a different type of defense I think man was use armed force in order to defend themselves. In my opinion it is however one of the greatest mistakes that one pacifists people usually think of. That's a pacifist do not want to defend
your country already. They only try to find a different method by refusing armed resistance. They do ned to refuse. And assistance on merit grounds is a nonviolent resistance that means defending their own country by satirizing instead of inflicting suffering to other people about not killing or the people of that if necessary sacrifice their own lives and trying to redeem Eban an enemy nation from its most violent instincts. And it's more like spirit. I take it. Err mire from your answer to my first question when I asked you why are you a pacifist that you parrot the position that pacifism is consistent.
Consistent with perhaps even indispensable to the Christian tradition to Christianity in general and as a Catholic to Catholicism in particular or to the Catholic tradition in particular. I think that is run off big problems Custance steel piston pyramid scheme has to do clearly in order to get a man to criticize ideas about Christianity and pacifism. This fact is that for three or four or five sentences now the whole Christianity Protestant and Catholic tradition that. Hold sea view of that a lot of the fans is not only a large to a Christian but even a duty when this
attitude has not always been the hour to do it of Christianity in particular. We have made the discovery and since we have succeeded to see to explain ever see church after three years three center is that this judge originally in track primarily pacifist. That means that the only clue stanza interferes and second center he did not take part in war and did not accept any arms and we discovered that all the time no longer in church history. Minor groups in order to Catholic Church and that who still. Continued this pacifist attitude. Or is it time. Which mention in particular as the Franciscan movement the members of this third order of San Francisco that another could pacifists and say
many thousands of them not only in Italy that all over Europe refused to tag up arms and take part in any border and we have to scrabble in church history that is the pope's of this time have protected those pacifists against the tenets of their voter Laertes of that time and have noticed several letters which we have seen as the original Latin text which are sure to be tears of our Lords to oppress their members their pacifist members of his order is. Already I think it's a very important fact that see a pacifist that Titian has never been there completely. Put aside in the
church and INS at a Catholic church. I was outside it's a Catholic church. We have many groups and movements who are continued these traditions. And to what extent finally Herr Moyer does your Christian pacifism rest upon Scripture. Well I think on that I think there are pacifists who are Christian and would. Be anonymous that in particular as is one of the Mount is the basis of our other capacities and that the New Testament as that see through our understanding of the New Testament. Ethics would mean that Christians should not attack or take part in voter bias in order to leave this town that which.
Jesus himself has put up into a segment of the Mount. Thank you Herr Moyer. And now in Holland Mary interviews a Dutchman major EON Lynn song whom I am interviewing at his home in Holland was killed in the Chinese offensive at one Zhou in Korea on the 12th of February 1951 when the Chinese found that he was dead. They did not bother either to shoot him or take him prisoner. His body was recovered and taken to an allied field hospital where after it was certified that he was dead. The report of his death was confirmed to the Dutch government and to his
family in Holland. But Major Lynn Saul who is a professional fighting man turned out to be hard to kill. He wasn't dad and three days later he came to life. Major Lynn So what has war and in particular the experience of being killed taught you. Well I have learned one thing and that is that wars as we know them and indeed have experienced they are definitely not the right way to settle our problems in this world. And I know of course to that I'm not the only man in the world who knows that because anybody who reads their history books with some intelligence can come to that conclusion too. But I suppose you have to learn you have to be
taught the hard way. Maybe the end maybe the second world war was not enough for me to understand this but the threat of the Third World War and my experience in Korea where my hard lesson and therefore I feel that doctoral bunch the Nobel Prize winner in 1950 that he really expressed our feelings when he said none can speak more eloquently for peace than those who have fought in war. And Major Lance all you are now serving as Dutch liaison officer of the world veterans Federation. What do you tell me what the world veterans Federation is and what you are fighting for these days. Yes these can again be explained by the words all the same doctor. But he said to let there be a dedicated effort
and a greater crusade than history is ever no room for a world of freedom and equality. So we are actually we are fighting for peace and freedom and this is very important this freedom because without B there won't be any freedom without will we won't have any freedom without peace. And we we say and we know that war is not inevitable. War was made by men. And I'm quite certain that man can end this war and that will threaten this federation where they believe in. Now I think Major Lynn soul that we ought to hear a little about the world veterans Federation from you it's general international headquarters is in Paris as in yes yes and what is it and what does it mean and who belongs to it. We will get them Federation belong at the moment. 94 different veterans organizations from 16 different countries
and they have at the moment a total membership of 15 and a half million people. They will head this federation. They believe in the United Nations they have declared themselves they stand behind the Atlantic Charter behind the Declaration of Human Rights and they believe that force in the hand of the United Nations that they can keep. Well the bliss which we have under control and it's not we are not idealists but practical because we believe really that we must do them must be forced to come through force we always will have in this world bullies. We find him with kids. We will have kids who are bullies who Bester other kids and if we have a strong boy who gives a boy who is a bully a punch in the nose he will probably end all this
trouble. We find these men. We might have a killer in a village and we have a police day. And if this police puts the man in the clink the trouble will probably be over to be found in states we find gangs of people who are trying to terrorize the peaceful people in the state. We will have state police again who put an end to all this trouble and I think we have the same the nations we definitely have nations who were at least two and therefore we believe we should have there should be a strong force in the hands of United Nations who can keep the bullies down by the way Major lend soul. I know that the world veterans Federation has member organizations from most of the Western European countries and also from Asia and Africa. But what about the United States and the so-called Iron Curtain countries. Well let's take at first. Russia and I might as well mention Poland
Czechoslovakia Hungary Romania Albania and Bulgaria. They are not in time and time again to world veterans Federation invited them through their ambassadors to come to their meetings. In some cases as with Poland and Czechoslovakia the world had been Federation had even contact with veterans organizations in those countries. But there was never any answer except from one veterans organization in Czechoslovakia which you wrote at first a letter that they would like to come and that they had to ask for permission and then they wrote a second letter in which they told us that they did not get these permission. About United States. Yes they are in but not in that strength which we in Europe would like them to be. With the Disabled American Veterans the American veterans commit to
the end of World War 2 and the Blinded Veterans of America. The United States of America have always taken a leading role in the defense of the peace and therefore we would like to see their veterans doing exactly the same. At the moment the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and not yet in. But we hope that some day they will come in major in the United States. There are only something like five million war veterans. Out of a total of about 20 million veterans of the two world wars there are only about 5 million who belong to veterans organizations of any kind. And after the First World War something like 80 percent of all American veterans were enrolled in one veterans
organization or another. But after the Second World War there were and there are something less than 25 percent of all veterans in an organization. How do you account for the decline of of veterans organizations for example in the United States while and internationally world veterans Federation has been growing so rapidly. Well I think. That after the First World War the veterans organizations in the United States they did a lot of good they tried to do today to try to get a lot of good things for their veterans. They were granted by the government before the Second World War started. So after the Second World War there were really no need for the veterans organizations to put claims forward to the
government. And that's now where the difference with this world veterans Federation we have a claim to. We don't have a claim on better treatment for veterans but we have a claim not only nation but we have a claim on the whole world that too must be a world with peace and with freedom. And that's where we're at at the moment fighting for and we have we have some practical programs for that to do we are supporting as I've said we a we give popular support to the United Nations made these 15 and a half million men. We create better understanding between people. That's because we are an international organization. That's a different thing from an actually organization which has only perhaps national interest. But we try to create better understanding between people all over the world. We try to bring the people to the people. And we do this for instance through rabbit rehabilitation program trying to bring the best Gad the best medical care at the best rehabilitation to
all war victims wherever they are in these world we try to do with food Gadd program bringing bottles too. People who don't have the good things which you find in other countries to meetings where you find people from different nationalities sitting around the table and trying to find solutions to their problems. Travelling and we demonstrate in this because we have already had some very good to sell to demonstrate that different people can very well work together. We have also we have a peace committee. We will try with that to bring to the people in this world and distort it effect of things which happen in this world and they may very well be distorted. And you might have a sort of hate campaign which is a very dangerous thing. And also we have a voice in United Nations major Lindsell This is the first international veterans Federation.
And so there is no way in which your organization can through national governments can bring pressure on national governments to give veterans bonuses are other benefits. How then do you attract veterans to your organization I can see how for example in the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the United States they can bring something front to their members they can get something for their members. How does the world veterans Federation actually attract men veterans to join it. Well that's again they have to come back to what doctoral have been said very Vell none can speak more eloquently for peace than those who have fought in wars. We have had. Tonight Madoff award last ward. And after that immediately we got the threat of another war. We have had war in Korea and these men these veterans they say I'm getting worried and they know that they have to do
something about it to stop this because we must find a better solution on these problems. But Major a last question. Does war really teach people anything. Certainly there is been enough war in the world and wars have been growing worse and worse to teach the people of the world the evils of war. And yet I don't see a great deal of evidence that people are more peaceful than they were before. Do we really learn anything from war. What do you think you have actually learned from your experience of war that war is a horrible thing in that he's not the right way of solving one's problems. If we can find another way to solve these problems what is completely unnecessary. Thank you very much Major Lindsell in this recorded program. Milton Mayer has been interviewing two pacifists here Casper Meyer in Vienna and major Yan Lindsell in Holland. These programs are made possible under a grant from
the fund for adult education and independent organizations stablished by the Ford Foundation and are prepared and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This program was introduced by Norman McKee and this is the end of a network.
Voices of Europe
Kaspar Mayr and Major Jan Linzel
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Interviews with Kaspar Mayr and Jan Linzel about pacifism.
Series Description
Interviews with noted Europeans on a variety of subjects, conducted by Milton Mayer, American author and broadcaster, lecturer and professor in the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
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Interviewee: Mayr, Kaspar, 1891-1963
Interviewee: Linzell, Jan
Interviewer: Mayer, Milton, 1908-1986
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-37-55 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:04
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Chicago: “Voices of Europe; Kaspar Mayr and Major Jan Linzel,” 1953-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
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APA: Voices of Europe; Kaspar Mayr and Major Jan Linzel. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from