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World War ll London Blitz:  Buy On Smashwords
I am the great-granddaughter of Ruby Side Thompson. 
Recently I started re-reading the World War ll journals and felt that they were such an important part of a history that will soon be forgotten if not published and shared with the world. These diary excerpts are not the entirety of what is published in print and kindle.
Ruby grew up during a time when education was just beginning to be encouraged for both upper and middle class women. During the late 1890's Ruby explored many radical political ideas of London, England. She met many famous people including the writers George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats. 
5.0 out of 5 stars A choice pick, not to be overlooked, November 6, 2011 By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

World War ll London Blitz: 6-1-42 I was awakened at one twenty-five a.m. by the siren. All Clear was given about a half hour afterwards. There was no gunfire in this district. At midday we were told that the Germans made a reprisal attack last night, on Canterbury. They sent fifty bombers over, twenty-five of which got through to Canterbury, and three were brought down. No news of the extent of the damage or casualties given.

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June 1, 1942 

I was awakened at one twenty-five a.m. by the siren. All Clear was given about a half hour afterwards. There was no gunfire in this district. At midday we were told that the Germans made a reprisal attack last night, on Canterbury. They sent fifty bombers over, twenty-five of which got through to Canterbury, and three were brought down. There is no news of the extent of the damage or casualties given.

June 24, 1942


Last night the R.A.F. again went out over Germany, thirteen hundred strong. The main attack was on Essex. It was only Saturday and they were over Cologne; we are surprised they can go again in such a force so soon. Maybe the tide has turned. Maybe we are now going to lick the Germans! I heard gunfire nearby about four this morning, but have no information so far as to where it was.

June 25, 1942


The war news is shocking. We go from bad to worse. Now we have suffered defeat again in Libya, and Rommel has taken Tobruk; and this in spite of the fact that we were continually told we were holding in Libya; only last week Auchinleck said to the troops: “Hold him boys! We have Rommel in the bag!” Yet on Sunday night we were told Tobruk had fallen, and we had lost 25,000 men there. Now issue will be joined for Egypt. Awful war still rages in Russia. The Germans are not driven back. The fall of Sebastopol looks to be inevitable. The losses at sea increase daily. Churchill is in Washington conferring with Roosevelt. Laval is back in power in France, and working openly for Germany.

Defeat in Libya has come as a profound shock to public confident. Parliament is shaken. So it ought to be. What kinds of incompetents are running the country? We all ask. Isn’t it true we had a new government? As for me, the more I listen to the windbags the more disgusted I become with them and also with all men generally. I think what fools men are and I despise the lot of them as for their endless talk that is downright silly. Fools of men!

Five German bombs were destroyed over the midlands last night. We are not told where and what they list. The way the news is given to us is absurd. This is from the stupidity of the ministry of information of course. We have too many ministries, all of them incompetent, some like the ministry of information, downright asinine.

June 26, 1942


The B.B.C. announces that it is twenty-five years ago today that General Pershing and his first hundred American troops landed in France. Today we are told that Major General Dwight Eisenhower has been appointed Commander-In-Chief of the American forces in the European area. Daily now there is talk of a second front, attack on Germany’s Western front. Nobody says how. It is midsummer now and still Hitler stands. Moscow has published “official” figures of casualties, according to which ten million Germans were killed, wounded, or missing in the first year of Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union. Of this number, the announcement says, not less then three million five hundred thousand Germans were killed. In the same period the Russian losses in killed, wounded or missing, were four million five hundred thousand. Reuter adds that seventy percent of the wounded Russian soldiers have returned to the ranks, but only forty percent of the German wounded have so far recovered, it is stated. What frightful slaughter! What world lunacy!

It is now eight-fifteen and there is shocking news this evening, we sent over a thousand bombers over Bremen last night, fifty-two of which have not returned. Hell, hell hell.

June 27, 1942

All women born in nineteen twenty-three had to register today. There were over three hundred thousand of them. Hateful. The government assures parents that no girl will have to leave home before she reaches her nineteenth birthday. It is a good thing I have no young daughter to be conscripted. I should ignore the rule, and then fight it. I expect I should land in jail. These young girls have had no say in the government; why should they be taken to factories or the services? We have the servile totalitarian state now, and no mistake about it; so what are we fighting the Nazi’s for? Churchill returned from Washington today. I hate the newspaper pictures of Churchill, Atlee, Eden, Bevin, Morrison and Co. All these fellows look so damned pleased with themselves: almost as though the war was a riot of fun for them. God! I hate politicians.

World War ll London Blitz: 5-5-42 If I had a daughter of twenty who was compelled to leave home and work in a factory, I should be frantic. This conscription of women is one of the worst features of this war.

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May 5, 1942
If I had a daughter of twenty who was compelled to leave home and work in a factory, I should be frantic. This conscription of women is one of the worst features of this war. Is it an act of Parliament? Yes and no. These rulings are made, proposed and passed practically immediately. There is no debate. Everything is blanketed as “for the war effort.” The British people are just as much asleep as the German people; they do as they are told. Liberty? Think again.
May 8, 1942
The war news this week is shocking. On Monday we landed troops in Madagascar, “to forestall the Japanese.” The French resisted, so we fought them, strictly for their own good, of course, but giving promises to return Madagascar to the French at the end of the war. It was an act of unprovoked aggression, entailing bloodshed, just the same. It is true the English are hypocrites.
In the Philippines Corregidor has surrendered to the Japanese, eleven thousand four hundred and seventy-four prisoners taken. On the other hand the Japanese have suffered a naval defeat off the Solomon Islands, losing in all sixteen ships. How many the American Navy has lost has not yet been told.
In Burma everything is going badly for the allies, and today there is a report the Japanese have crossed the Burma border into China. Hell, hell, hell! The stupidity of men! The damnable stupidity of war!
I am sick with the lunacy of men. I am angry. This week Parliament has been debating a proposed rationing of coal, to come into effect by June First. Actually Parliament got excited about this. Why? Because it is something that will touch the members themselves! When food is rationed the rich don’t care; they can buy the luxury foods. When clothes are rationed they don’t care, they have full wardrobes. When girls of twenty are conscripted they don’t care; they have few girls of twenty, the ruling is meant for the poor, the “working classes.” If coal and light is to be rationed, they will feel the cold, they won’t like darkness; therefore they protest this rationing. Men! Damnable men!
Some ask; Why not send the conscripted miners back to the mines? Yes, why not? Others ask; why not increase working hours in the mines? To which Greenwood replies the miners will never stand for increased hours. The ever recurring mining troubles. The opportunist Socialists and Laborites say, nationalize the mines, etc. it seems to me they are making an opportunity to wangle through this deal, which they have agitated for years. Then there is a nasty scandal over a by-election in Putney. Polling there today, with much mud slinging. When I listen to the reports of the speeches in Parliament I get disgusted. The idiotic trivialities the men talk about! Yesterday a ruling about boy’s trousers! As for the government, well, the least said the better. I consider the whole lot of them a company of duds. As for Sir Stafford Cripps he is a very promising coming dictator. Certainly ever since he came back from Russia the screws have been put on women. Blast him. As for the Labor men, Bevin, Morrison, Greenwood, oh, it is to groan. They are self-seekers, everyone. Party politics, men squabbling amongst themselves, consideration is not for the best man for the job, but the itching prestige of the peacocks. Meanwhile our young men die. Germany and Japan continue to win the war, and we to lose it. It seems to me this present government should be thrown out. More able men might be found, stupider couldn’t be. Oh, blast the politicians, blast politics, and blast war! God what fools men are!




World War ll London Blitz: 4-9-42 Mrs. Jude was here today. To lunch, remaining until four o’clock, and then back again this evening, to telephone Mary. She has received a letter from Mr. Jude, written in pencil, from Malta. Malta! Of all places in the world, she thinks he has been torpedoed again, and picked up and put ashore at Malta.

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April 9, 1942
Mrs. Jude was here today. To lunch, remaining until four o’clock, and then back again this evening, to telephone Mary. She has received a letter from Mr. Jude, written in pencil, from Malta. Malta! Of all places in the world, she thinks he has been torpedoed again, and picked up and put ashore at Malta.
April 18, 1942
It is my birthday. I am fifty-eight today. I can’t believe it! Ted gave me three boxes of Turkish cigarettes. These are now extremely hard to come by. Amongst my letters was one from my cousin Will Searle. This pleased me more than any. They were blitzed out of Whitehall Place, and now are living in South Harrow. Young Will, now married, is in the police and stationed at Dorking. “We’ve lost our home,” writes Willie, “but are thankful to have our lives. You can always get another home.”


An unexploded flying bomb on display in Romford Market, October 18th, 1944


World War ll London Blitz: 3-2-42 This afternoon I heard two complaint stories from Elizabeth Coppen. She says that on Saturday the plain-clothes police went to the dog-racing track at Walthamstow and asked all the men for their identity cards, and they rounded up two hundred men who should have been at work in their factories. Now, what is this but Gestapo work? Men can’t and won’t work seven days a week; especially now when they say they get no benefit from extra pay, since the government takes it back as income tax.

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March 2, 1942

This afternoon I heard two complaint stories from Elizabeth Coppen. She says that on Saturday the plain-clothes police went to the dog-racing track at Walthamstow and asked all the men for their identity cards, and they rounded up two hundred men who should have been at work in their factories. Now, what is this but Gestapo work? Men can’t and won’t work seven days a week; especially now when they say they get no benefit from extra pay, since the government takes it back as income tax. The working-class has never been taxed before, and they simply do not want extra money if they’ve got to surrender it as tax. Moreover, Englishmen are not slaves; they will not be driven to work. Moreover, they say, what about the rich man? Does he give up his pleasures? What about his ascot?


The other story was about food. It concerns a young clerk in Jean Kendal’s agricultural office at Colchester. Miss Coppen knows the boy. He earns less than five pounds a week, and has been married only a year. Well, last week, two food inspectors went to his house, and searched it! Elizabeth says they even searched in the beds! The only food hoard they found was twenty tins of salmon. The case is to go to court. For what crime? The young wife had accumulated twenty tins of salmon, and she had a year to do it in. The government advised us, to lie in food stores but now if we do, it seems we have become criminals and are hoarders. How disgusting. How petty! Who told tales? By what right can police come into our houses and search them! What can a poor five-pound per week collect anyhow? Here is a young couple trying to act with foresight, according to early orders, and see what happens to them. Why don’t the food inspectors go and search in Mr. Hudson’s house? He is one of the food administrators. It is said he has one big room filled with supplies, sugar and tea by the hundredweights, etc. Does anybody suppose that Lord Woolton lives on the rations?


Land of Liberty, where? Elizabeth says the Englishmen began losing their rights in the last war, some of which have never been returned to him; and now its worse than ever, all our rights are being taken away from us, but you mustn’t say anything.


After the fall of France Hitler offered peace to England. Poland was conquered. France surrendered. What had England got to fight for? After Dunkirk we had only one division for our army. Had Hitler invaded us then we could not have held him. What did Winston do? He orated. We still had no men, no guns; but he talked us into going on with the war. Our absurd British sentimental self-righteousness asserted itself and we committed ourselves to this hellish war. It need not have been. Not any of it need have been. Men will talk, will scheme, and will fight, so here we are, in hell on earth. For what? For blah.


Now they are talking about India, and Burma, and about losing the British Empire. Why not? Why should we own and boss India, and the rest? Why for exactly the same reason that Hitler aims to own and boss Europe, for self. I can’t grieve that we lose Singapore, that he Dutch are losing Java and Sumatra, that the States are losing Hawaii and the Philippines. Those are not white mans lands. Nor are their people the white man’s burden. They are the white mans riches and the white mans servants. Why have the Australians and the New Zealanders rushed into the fight, to die in Libya and Crete and Greece? Oh oh oh! I groan at all the monstrous folly of this war, the hopeless stupidity of men. I weep for the young. Oh God, save us soon!

March 3, 1942


It is now ten p.m. and I’m constrained to add; well, I’ll be damned! On the air we have just been informed about a debate in Parliament today about clothes and fashion. It seems there is a man, Sir Thomas Barlow, who is Director-General of Civilian Clothing. One of the items that the war office announced, is that in order to save material, it has been decided to modify the regulation pattern of an officer’s service dress and khaki drill jackets, by the removal of the pleats from breast pockets. Silly damned old fools of men! I suppose they imagine every shred of material is utilized in making a shirt. They don’t understand that it can’t be. A garment is made out of different shaped pieces, not out of cubes. Nothing can be saved by eliminating a pleat on a pocket it will only mean a wider cut of waste and meanwhile the wearer has lost the utility use of the pleat on the pocket. God, what fools men are! They debate about this in parliament; and then the B.B. C. announcer takes time to tell it. Fool, fool men! They think they are going to win the war!


I remembered something Artie said last year about the soldiers in training in Kent. They didn’t want to fight, he said. They said: “Why should we? Let Hitler win. We’ve got nothing now, nothing to lose. We couldn’t be any worse off under Hitler and we might even be better off.” Artie said, the men said, that after the war England would go communist anyhow. Yes, the present day ordinary common Englishman does not feel that he has a stake in the country. Maybe England will go Bolshevik and perhaps a good thing too.


March 9, 1942


This gloom inside and out is getting me down. The war news is worse and worse. Java has fallen. Burma is invaded, Rangoon threatened. What next? A beautiful man’s world I must say. Now the women are conscripted! When Maureen Garvan was here yesterday she said she was waiting to be called up. Well, if I had a young daughter conscripted I think I should go stark raving mad. I haven’t a daughter, and I am an old woman, no good to anybody, so the government can’t “use” me. Well Au-revoir.


March 10, 1942


Mrs. Harvey James came to tea. The chief item that distresses her about the A.T.S. is that girls are going to be detailed to act as batmen to officers. Looking for trouble, she says, for there are times when the girl is bound to be alone with the officer. I agree.


Rangoon has been evacuated and now has fallen to the Jap's. Australia is attacked, planes flying over from New Guinea. Vichy is reported to hand over forty new ships to the Nazi’s. What next? Elizabeth Coppen says her Colchester brother-in-law asserts that we shall be involved this spring, late April or early May. Essex men have their orders. Civilians on the roads will be shot.


On the other hand Banyard of the bank says, no, there will be no invasion; Hitler intends to starve us out. Who knows what will happen? Whether Hitler attempts invasion or not, the threat of it is sufficient to keep our soldiers tied to home.


March 11, 1942


It is four years today since the Nazi’s marched into Vienna. Douglas Reid says it is four years today since the war really began. Churchill announced in Parliament today that Sir Stafford Cripps will go to India, to consult with all parties about Indian Home-Rule, and to confer with the vice regent and General Wavell about the anticipated attack on India by the Japanese, which is imminent, for the Jap's are at the gates. This is the “next”, fighting in India. Ted is at the Home Guards, and will be late. I want to record something about us. This morning I thought I wouldn’t but something I read this afternoon has made me change my mind.


March 12, 1942

In the beginning of the war general opinion tended to a hope that the common people of Germany would make another revolution; but as the war goes on, from one disaster to another, and all our fool politicians making the absurdist excuses but never proceeding to do anything sensible, and only annoying the people with endless petty restrictions. I find myself thinking that it is perhaps the people of Britain who will make a revolution. Our politicians are and have been a mass of duds. Ineffectual men get into high places, and do not work for the country, but for themselves, for their own glory, or their own pocket. Parliament is nothing but clack, clack, clack, and the gabble of ducks. Think of the ridiculous debate last week about clothes.


Well, I am old enough and old fashioned enough to think that what Parliament lacks is gentlemen. When salaries for M.P.s was instituted that was the beginning of the rot. How can men who “have risen from the ranks, from labor” know what is good for the country or how to rule it? They think only of themselves and their own class, and of today, for they know nothing of history or culture. Lo here we are on the rocks. Eventually if we continue to exist as an independent state, we shall either have to return to a proper functioning Aristocracy, as our fathers knew and understood Aristocracy, or else we shall have to go communist like Russia and all its vermin together. Certainly democracy as we have it now is an awful flop.


March 14, 1942


An announcement made by the admiralty has just been read on the nine o’clock news. It is that the allies lost twelve war ships, five cruisers, six destroyers, and a sloop, in the three-day battle of Java. They are listed as British, the Cruiser Exeter, and the destroyers Electra, Jupiter, Encounter, and Stronghold. Australian: The Cruiser Perth, and the sloop Yarra. United States: The cruiser Houston, and the Destroyer Pope. Dutch: The Cruisers Java and DeRuyter and the Destroyer Hortense. In addition the Dutch destroyer Everston was damaged and beached.


The Japanese losses are not known, but it is believed that an eight inch gun cruiser was sunk, a second damaged, and two more set on fire, while one destroyer was sunk and three seriously damaged and left on fire or sinking.


The only allied survivors mentioned in the communiqué were some members of the crew of the British destroyer Jupiter, which sunk near the mainland of Java. These men have already reached Australia.


This was the battle in the Java Sea on February Twenty-Seventh and this is terrible news. Not a single ship of the original allies force, which entered the battle, escaped. It is not stated how many ships the Japanese had, but only that it was a bigger enemy fleet. Awful. Awful. What price the British Navy pay now? Again an Axis partner is the winner. Now the Jap’s, the despicable little Jap’s, licks us. What was our white world doing to allow this to become possible? The lunacy grows and hell increases.

World War ll London Blitz: 2-1-42 The main items of news tonight are: the appointment by the Germans of Quisling to be the Prime Minister of Norway: and the destruction by the American, under command of General MacArthur, of a large Japanese force in Manila Bay.

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February 1, 1942
The main items of news tonight are: the appointment by the Germans of Quisling to be the Prime Minister of Norway: and the destruction by the American, under command of General MacArthur, of a large Japanese force in Manila Bay.
February 8, 1942
It is now three p.m. and some items in the news make me feel ill. At one o’clock we were given a detailed account of how one Gordon Highlander killed seventeen Japs single-handed in Malaysia, in one days fighting. I couldn’t eat my dinner. I thought I should faint. To know you have killed one man must make you feel different all the rest of your life; but to have killed seventeen-how must you feel about that? I suppose he will go home to his wife’s bed! Yesterday a record was put over of the actual battlefront in Russia; you heard the guns and bombs of both sides, and the Russian broadcaster commentating. I think this sort of thing is horrible. Men are killing and being killed, and the sound of the death struggle is sent over the air to satisfy morbid curiosity. Simply devilish, I think. I get weary of the news. Most of it now washes over me and I do not take it in at all. Such items as these I loathe. Men at war. I hate it.
February 9, 1942
The war news is bad. Last night the Jap’s landed on Singapore, the impregnable Singapore! Privately I think; why shouldn’t the Jap’s hold Singapore? What do the English want it for? It is not a white man’s land. We want it for money, for rich men’s investments. We took it once. The Jap’s want it for the same reason, because of its riches, so they’re trying to take it. Why don’t governments get together and arrange matters peaceably? Why must they make war? Why must the common man die to protect his so-called superiors? Why should we, or anybody else, hold an empire? This, of course, is rank political heresy. Well, I’m a heretic. I hate men, and the way they run the world. Men’s ideas and men’s works infuriate me. War! Hell let loose.
Propaganda nauseates me. Last night Sir Stafford Cripps broadcast the Sunday postscript. All praise for the Russians, of course, and a plea for “greater war production” here at home. He said he noticed on his return to this country our general feeling of a lack of urgency. Of course all decent people are sick of the war.
No normal person would ever go to war. Every sane person knows war to be lunacy. What are we fighting for now? Prestige. Neither side will pause and say; let’s talk over our difficulties, let’s come to terms. I am sure there isn’t anything that couldn’t be arranged. Will men arrange anything? No, but they’ll keep on killing, and keep on talking about how wicked the enemy is and how righteous our own side is. The other side is just the same. We are told that the Germans are not told the truth of the matter. But are we? War is a game played by the big shots, whilst the public on both sides is kept bamboozled. What about the Russians anyhow? Today it is the fashion to praise them. They are winning the war for us says Cripps. To which I say shucks! The Russians are not winning the war for us. They are fighting the Germans because the Germans attacked them and they are fighting for themselves. How much did they help us when the Germans attacked us? Not a man, not a gun, not a penny. Their perfidy is entirely overlooked. Just the same it is history that they attacked the Poles in the back and they were the aggressor in Finland. When the Russians attacked Finland they were the villains and Finland the hero. Now that the Finn’s have joined their lot to the Germans they have become the villains, and Russia is the hero. Funny, isn’t it?
It is true that since Hitler attacked Russia we have had no more big air raids over England. Evidently Hitler can’t do everything. But, Russia isn’t “saving” us, not a bit of it. She is saving herself, as she naturally would do, but she signed a friendship pact with Germany didn’t she? Not with us. Yes, propaganda talks make me sick.

World War ll London Blitz: 1-4-42 Rita Pullan came in for tea. I am reading Shirer’s, Berlin Diary. This covers the period from 1934 to the end of 1940, and is deeply interesting. Shirer is an American newspaper correspondent and radio broadcaster. This book naturally follows on form and links with Ambassador Dodd’s Diary. To me it is a striking result of reading these books a diminishment of Hitler and his gangsters.

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January 4, 1942
Rita Pullan came in for tea. I am reading Shirer’s, Berlin Diary. This covers the period from 1934 to the end of 1940, and is deeply interesting. Shirer is an American newspaper correspondent and radio broadcaster. This book naturally follows on form and links with Ambassador Dodd’s Diary. To me it is a striking result of reading these books a diminishment of Hitler and his gangsters. We read them after the events recorded have happened and it is literally seeing the past in light of the present, and the effect is belittling. One knows today that the evil protagonists were not, and are not, so great as they considered themselves, nor as they tried to impose themselves. We can realize them now as bogeys, not the giant geniuses they tried to make us believe in. So, a book like this is a comfort for it does diminish the villain.
January 14, 1942
It is six forty-five p.m. and there is an alert! This is the first one we have heard in this area this year. Last night a town on the north-east coast was bombed, and yesterday afternoon one of the coast towns of East Anglia was bombed, right in the shopping center, killing several people. It is now seven-ten p.m. and we got the all clear. Ted left for the Home Guards, complete in tin hat and gas mask. I hope we don’t get another warning whilst he is out.
January 24, 1942
This afternoon the sky is very overcast, but this has given cover to Gerry. Planes have been flying over and several times there have been sounds of guns and bombs falling, though no alert has been sounded. There were terrific explosions many times. It is very frightening. This is Saturday too, a day Gerry likes to come over. I heard today of a very bad daylight raid on Lowestoft on January 13. The bombers came over soon after four o’clock and dropped bombs in the main street. They completely destroyed Boot’s drugstore there, and a café next door to Boot’s. The shops were crowded at the time and one hundred and three civilians were killed instantly, and ninety odd others were injured and taken to the hospital. This news has not been given out publicly. The B.B.C simply reported, “A raid on a town in East Anglia, some casualties reported.” The real news comes privately, through correspondents, people on the spot who know what happens. Yet we are supposed to have a free press, free news! As a matter of fact, the censors treat the public like big babies, and it is likely we are nearly as much diddled by the news reporters as the Germans themselves are. It is my opinion that the English public would not be panicked by the giving out of such pieces of news, as presumably that’s why the information is withheld, but would begin in earnest to work to finish the war. 
January 27, 1942
One item of war news: We were told this morning that yesterday contingents of several thousand American soldiers were safely landed in a Northern Irish port. “The Yanks are coming!” Today Churchill has opened a three-day debate in Parliament on the war and has asked for a vote of confidence. I expect he will get it, but there is a great deal of criticism about what is happening in Malaysia and the Pacific generally. There the Jap's are supreme, and Singapore is threatened. Hong-Kong, of course, is lost. Like Malta, Singapore is being bombed daily. I am not writing a war record. Actually I am getting downright sick with the war news. What a world!

January 28, 1942
I think this is a profitable business for many, profitable both in honors and in money. Production! Faugh! Money! War is destruction, inhuman, mechanical, sheer destruction, and nothing else. For what end? Hitler started it, yes, but where were our politicians, the statesmen who were supposed to properly manage diplomatic affairs? Why did they allow Hitler to re-arm? Then seeing that they did, why did they not re-arm us? Why, above all else, why in the name of God, did they not correct abuses, pacify Hitler’s just demands, undo the Versailles treaty since now they concede it was a bad treaty? Fools of men! God! Fools of men! I hate war. I hate politics. I hate specifying. I hate men.
Churchill talks. Roosevelt talks. I hate their talks. Hypocrites both of them, I think. Oh, wonderful speeches. Oh yes. The carnage proceeds more, intensifying. All around the world now men of all races die horrible deaths daily. Why? Because of war. Well, men decree war: men could stop war, if they wanted to. When there is no more money in it, they will stop it. Not before.