By Phyllis Lassner
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Additional resources for British Women Writers of World War II: Battlegrounds of their Own
Despite her protestations that she is 'filled with compassion for these tragic people', Mannin does not hesitate to condemn the Jews in advance for being 'willing to see the whole world plunged into the unspeakable horror of war in order that there might be an end of the persecution of my people' (Spectator, p. 293). If, as Mannin admitted, 'the Fascist persecution of the Jews moves me less than it does many people, perhaps most people', it was not only because of the neglect of other victims, but because 'I do not, moreover, believe every atrocity story I read, and because I do not regard 'Differences that Divide and Bind' 45 Fascism as the greatest evil in the world ..
The force that governs and dictators command is none other than the power of the people themselves ... (CorC, p. 127). Mannin argued that if the people's power followed the example of Jesus's principles to love, the result would be not only political 44 British Women Writers of World War II self-determination, but social change. Wedding her Christian vision to her socialism, she believed not in 'a personal Deity, or in a life hereafter ... but in Life, the living spirit' as a collective struggle to build a classless society based on social, economic, and gender equality (Spectator, p.
With as much romanticism as swagger, her writing enthusiastically endorses the war in terms that accord all too comfortably with propaganda. Very critical of King Leopold, who ordered the Belgian army to capitulate to Hitler, she also saw the forced evacuation of the British at Dunkirk as 'a colossal military disaster'. 32 Her plan for British victory was to transform the Dunkirk evacuation into a 'heroic failure [that] stirs the pulses of free men in free countries' ('Notes', p. 633). Sayers's belief in a righteous military offensive against the blitzkrieg moved her to write poetic sermons in the hope that the power of words would 'issue in deeds' ('Notes', p.
British Women Writers of World War II: Battlegrounds of their Own by Phyllis Lassner
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