Wednesday, 30 November 2011


It is now 66 years since the end of World War II and there comes a time to move on.

Watching the brilliant Channel 4OD Series "Apocalypse" brings home the stark fact that regardless of who or what caused World War II, every family on every continent, in every country lost loved ones.

We must never forget what has happened, for that enables us all to keep that 'check and balance' on ourselves and prevent such a war ever happening again. But let us also be truly reconciled to each other, and move on.

Let us deal with the wars, insurrections and conflicts of today and the last 15 years. Sometimes I think, 'Should I dare say this?' But in that distant corner it is as if I hear the voices of yesterday speaking quite distinctly:

"Yes. Of course you should. That is precisely what you should be thinking. Remember the past but live in the present and build the future. Then you will prevent those terrible things recurring. Live and let live. Take care of each other across boundaries, religions and political divides. Embrace and work together to the common good of humankind."

I suspect I will come in for some criticism for writing this. But it is not out of disrespect. Not a day goes by without my recalling those in my own family who made that terrible sacrifice and we still keep in mind all those on all sides who died. But neither do I forget how my parents have taught me and my sisters the importance of this principle.

This, I confess, really did come home to me this last week upon learning from a German friend that his own Grandfather had been arrested by the Gestapo and then forced into exile from Germany and into two neighbouring countries, which, given that most of Europe was occupied by the Nazis must have made life dangerous in the extreme. And it is why I am so glad that when I wrote They Came in the Night (1) on January 13 this year, it was also a fitting tribute to the many people who, behind the scenes, made up the German Resistance Movement.

In statistical analysis, it has been reported this year that in any Cause it only takes ten per cent of a vociferous group, community, or nation to somehow induce the silent ninety per cent to presume that the majority view is that of the ten per cent minority.

We see this time and again when history lets the cat out of the bag, showing rather starkly that the vociferous minority arrogantly presuming itself to be the silent majority and acting accordingly, intimidating the silent majority into presuming that it was now just a vociferous minority and had therefore better quieten down and go with the others!

What a different world we would be in if all of us had realised that a few decades ago!

Ian Bradley Marshall

(1) Meanderings published by Spiderwize ISBN 978-1-908328-31-7

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