Nationalities and National Minorities (With Special Reference to East-Central Europe): By Oscar I. Janowsky .... with a Foreword by James T. Shotwell

Nationalities and National Minorities (With Special Reference to East-Central Europe): By Oscar I. Janowsky .... with a Foreword by James T. Shotwell

Nationalities and National Minorities (With Special Reference to East-Central Europe): By Oscar I. Janowsky .... with a Foreword by James T. Shotwell

Nationalities and National Minorities (With Special Reference to East-Central Europe): By Oscar I. Janowsky .... with a Foreword by James T. Shotwell

Excerpt

This book faces the future. It seeks not to commemorate the past but to contribute, in however small a measure, to the fashioning of a more humane, more contented and more stable world. Recent efforts to protect minorities and nationalities are examined with the view of noting achievements and shortcomings, which in turn might help us to find a solution of the troublesome problem. In a word, the book advances a thesis which, in all fairness to the reader, should be stated at the outset.

The minorities and nationalities of east-central Europe do not pose so commanding a problem to world peace as the interests of the Great Powers, or security against aggression, of the unilateral efforts of states to achieve economic well-being. Yet, disaffection and oppression have for many decades contributed to make of east-central Europe a war-breeding zone which repeatedly threatened world peace and, indeed, furnished the immediate occasions in 1914 and 1939 for the precipitation of the First and Second World Wars.

Large masses of people in this wide area, which is bounded by the Baltic, Adriatic and Aegean seas, and by the former Soviet and German-Austrian frontiers, have long been at the mercy of their stronger neighbors. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries they were oppressed by Russian Czars, Turkish Sultans, Austro-Hungarian oligarchs and Prussian Junkers. The Peace Settlement of 1919, which reconstructed Europe at the close of the First World War, brought some relief to a large proportion of the nationalities of this region by recognizing them as independent communities. But so complex was the mixture of population that minorities could not be eliminated. In 1939, more than twenty million people were still classed as minorities in a total population of about one hundred million. The League of Nations made the . . .

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