Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the Good , as well as the Bad , gets intensified under the pressures of wartime

In her time - during and after WWI  - nurse Edith Cavell was as famous as Oscar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and all the other WWII "Righteous Among the Nations" combined.

She devoted her life to nursing, mostly in Belgium though she was British herself, and didn't see why WWI should interrupt her practise of trying to save all patients, regardless of whether they were German, Belgian or Allied.

She was shoot however , by a German firing squad, for the war crime of helping Allied soldiers to escape the brutal German occupation forces enslaving Belgium.

Britain has claimed it had gone to war precisely to defend the right of neutral little Belgium not to be over run and then brutally enslaved by her bigger neighbours.

But many in her political and military elite thought it was right and just for the Germans to shoot her - they would have done the same - in fact did the same to Mata Hari.

World public opinion decidedly thought otherwise and her death became a big factor in turning neutral America to the Allied cause and for inspiring tens of thousands of youth in all the Allied countries to immediately join up as medical workers or soldiers.

News of her execution hit North American newspaper readers October 16th 1915.

It immediately inspired Martin Henry Dawson to become a medical orderly oversea.

He subsequently changed his life career plans and became a doctor.

On October 16th 1940, exactly 25 years later to the day he entered the medical world, Dawson ushered in one of those sort of earth-shaking events that only happens once every few centuries.

He gave two dying young men some of that elixir of life, natural penicillin, and so began our present Age of Antibiotics.

Neither man was Belgian, but for Dawson the principal was still the same : the small were being crushed beneath the interests of the big and he was as determined to fight that outrage as hard in WWII as he had in WWI.

These two men were being neglected by a medical community and drug company industry that had become focused on profitably war medicine for the 1As of the world , not on 'socialistic' social medicine to aid the 4Fs of the 4Fs.

Dawson saw that solely a military effort to defeat the Nazis or the Huns was never going to be enough, not if there was no moral battle behind it.

Sinking to the level of the Prussian military mindset, in WWI London or in WWII New York  he saw was no way to win the hearts and minds of neutral nations - or even for retaining the loyalty of one's own citizens.

So, no Dawson did not go forth into battle on behalf of Mars in this second world war as he had eventually in the first.

He stayed home and treated only people too '4F' to ever be useful for military duty or even for the fast pace and long hours of munitions factory work.

He worked on the Venus side of Manhattan exclusively and his direct war impact was limited to filling the hearts of people all over the world with renewed hope.

But i believe that his efforts saved far more lives ,and probably won the war quicker, than The Bomb ever did.....

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