It seems to me a duty to bear witness to our lifetime, which has been fraught with such dramatic events, for we have all, I repeat, witnessed these vast transformations - we have been forced to witness them. For our generation, there was no other option, no chance such as earlier generations had of standing aside. Thanks to our new methods of spreading news as soon as it happens, we have been constantly drawn into the events of our time. When bombers smashed buildings in Shanghai, we knew it in our sitting rooms in Europe even before the injured were carried out. Incidents thousands of miles away overseas came vividly before our eyes. There was no shelter, no safety from constant awareness and involvement. There was no country to which you could escape, no way you could buy peace and quiet; all the time, everywhere, the hand of Fate took us and dragged us back into its insatiable game.
- Stefan Zweig, 1942