Human Dynamite: The Story of Europe's Minorities

Human Dynamite: The Story of Europe's Minorities

Human Dynamite: The Story of Europe's Minorities

Human Dynamite: The Story of Europe's Minorities

Excerpt

The word "minority" has come to have a sinister sound. It has become associated with discord and disruption. During the past twenty years we have heard a great deal about Europe's minority problems. But few of us understand just what these problems are, or what they mean to us.

Stories of the refugees from Central Europe bring home to us the human side of the minority problem. But its underlying causes are political, economic, social--and enormously complicated. So, when we happened to notice a newspaper headline about a quarrel between the minority and majority peoples in some little-known part of Europe, most of us glanced at it indifferently and then turned to the sports page. It all seemed so unreal, so far away, so unimportant.

Yet these far-off minority troubles are important, and they have a way of coming home to us right here in these United States--sometimes with a bang.

MINORITY DISPUTES AND WAR

How? Well, take the World War, for example. That war grew in part out of a long minority quarrel between the Serbs on the one hand and the Austrians and Magyars (pronounced mod -yors) on the other. The quarrel reached a climax in the murder of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo, down in the Balkans. That fatal shooting in a little Bosnian town set in motion a train of events which eventually brought even the United States into the fighting in Europe. Similarly it was in part, at least, a dispute about the German minority in Poland which started the new European war.

Of course, not all minority disputes end in war. But even when they do not, they have a profound effect on international relations. They have brought incalculable economic losses and . . .

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