Chapter Thirty-four

NEVER BEFORE HAD the beauty of the world been so apparent. Never had life appeared so charged with potentialities for happiness. Yet through it all, like a strange dissonance in a lovely symphony, there existed everywhere in Europe harsh undertones of hatred and of fear. In the quiet valleys of Bavaria we heard the tramp of soldiers and the roar of artillery practice. We saw caisson after caisson, thundering from the factories of Silesia, loaded with the weapons of war. Munich was an insane blaze of bunting, a mad parade ground for strutting uniforms. In Vienna, gayest and gentlest of all cities, the opera continued, the bells of St. Stephen's still rang merrily, the festival of the new wine was bravely held, yet beneath, one sensed a feeling of dread, of fatalism amounting to despair. It was coming . . . coming. . . , an avalanche of horror and destruction. . . , a total war which would engulf and destroy millions of innocent people who wished no part of it, yet were powerless to prevent it. Why, oh why, in the name of suffering humanity, must this be?

In the winter of 1938 we rented a chalet for the season in the village of Arosa, seven thousand feet up, on the high slopes of the Tschuggen. Majestic white peaks, made rosy by the sunrise, the cheerful jingle of the horse-drawn sleighs, ski-wasser and hot coffee with double cream in the bright little café's of the village, the sweet smell of cows in the wooden straw-packed sheds, the ring of curling stones on ice, the spotless cleanliness, the wholesome goodness of Swiss food, the creak of new snow beneath one's feet, at night that exquisite tiredness after a long day's ski run to St. Moritz, the polished

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