February 27, 2017

World War III: "Russia's Rebirth" by Senator Margaret Chase Smith

Russia's Rebirth
"Senator Margaret Chase Smith arrives at the Republican National Convention, in Daly City, California, in 1964" (source)
In 1951, Collier's magazine published a special issue entitled "Preview of the War We Do Not Want" speculating about a hypothetical World War III and what it might look like. The war begins in 1952 and ends in 1955 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by a UN occupation of Russia. Writer Robert E. Sherwood provided an extensive history of the war.

A number of other notable figures contributed fictional reports about the war and its history, including Edward R. Murrow, Hal Boyle, Walter Reuther, Marguerite Higgins, Walter Winchell, Kathryn Morgan-Ryan, Allan Nevins, Hanson W. Baldwin, Oksana Kasenkina, Lowell Thomas, Harry Schwartz, and Arthur Koestler.

Here, Senator Margaret Chase Smith gives a statement about the women of Russia following her visit to the country at the end of World War III.

From Collier's magazine, October 27, 1951, p. 83:
Russia's Rebirth


(Statement by Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine After her tour of Russia in 1956)

For the past three months I have seen, touched and smelled indescribable destruction—the chaos and desolation that is Russia today. Yet in that destruction—the greatest in the world's history—I saw real assurance of a permanent peace.

Perhaps I can describe my feelings as a woman in this way: like a mother dying in childbirth, the last war has produced a sprawling, vigorous infant of peace; a child which has a better chance to grow into full maturity than his predecessors not only because the last of the evil dictatorships has disappeared, but also because Russia's women for the first time are free.

As the bearers of children, women are the producers of life, the inherent protectors of life and the greatest opponents of war and bloodshed. Today, with the man power of Russia drained by the demands of World War III, Russia's women, by sheer weight of numbers alone, can influence and help to shape the future of their great nation.

Everywhere I saw and felt a great sense of relief on the part of Russian women that this war was over. True, the bombs of the free forces destroyed many of their homes, killed many of their loved ones—but they also smashed the chains of slavery which bound Russia's womenfolk.

In every war, it has been said, women suffer most. In World War III, which has just ended, there is an exception to the rule. Certainly the women of Russia suffered during the years of the war. But they had suffered far worse during the 38 years under the Reds' regime. Indeed, it is safe to say that for many of them, the first great relief they experienced was when the conflict actually began; for it is abundantly clear now that they considered war inevitable, whereas the West did not.

The women of Russia no longer fear that revolver butts will hammer on their doors in the dead of night; they no longer live in terror that their menfolk will be arbitrarily snatched from them and sent to the frozen wastes of Siberia. Never again will their homes and lives be smashed by the cruel demands of a police state.

In Russia today, so far as the women are concerned, history is repeating itself. Ten years ago the women of another dictatorship—a police state which felt the searing impact of the world's first atomic bomb—gave the world a remarkable demonstration of their newly found freedom. In a defeated, prostrate Japan they thronged to the polls in the first general election to raise their voices for peace. Japanese women—some of them carrying their children on their backs—cast ballots for the first time in their nation's history and secured a voice in the future of their country.

No such general elections have yet been held in Russia; the country is still governed by a provisional government. But the day is not far distant when the women of Russia will have the right to cast their ballots in free elections to help give their nation a strong government, one which will guarantee them the same sort of freedom that we know in the Western World. In that way they can ensure that war will never again ravage their country.

Today the women of Russia are no longer slaves forced to work in the fields like animals; nor are they merely tolerated that they may bring children into the world, fulfilling the insatiable demands of the totalitarian state. Already they are free; they have a voice in the rebuilding of the New Russia. And I believe they can be counted on, for wherever you find the woman's voice granted even an approach to parity with that of the man, you will find a more peaceful nation. This is one of Russia's brightest hopes.