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Editorial – The Brotherhood of Freedom

20 June 1942

South Yorkshire Times, June 20th, 1942.

The Brotherhood of Freedom

Though the pendulum of war still remains poised, obstinately declining to swing in our favour until the efficacy of our deeds compels it, big strides have been made in the elucidation of the post-war outlook.

The Anglo-Russian treaty and President Roosevelt’s United Nations Day broadcast have done a good deal to clear the air. Throughout the world nations are beginning to perceive some of the positive principles which will govern the era of reconstruction after an Allied victory. It was never difficult to promise something better than the New Order.

As already practised by the Axis this is blatantly revealed as a bloody tyranny based on slave labour and so-called racial superiority achieving enforced recognition by the firing squad and the concentration camp. That the points of the Atlantic Charter coincided infinitely more closely with the aspirations of a tortured world was never in question. How this creed of freedom was to be implemented did not so clearly emerge.

The Anglo-Russian treaty, agreed with the full knowledge and backing of the United States, provides a lead and a light on the conduct of affairs in Europe after the war. It shows plainly that the peace-breaker will be kept under strict surveillance. More positively it opens up the prospect of a new vista of co-operation and understanding between Great Britain and Russia. Such a link between two great powers situated as Britain and Russia are will constitute the strongest possible guarantee of peace in Europe. This agreement may live in history as the foundation stone of an authentic new order which will be guaranteed by a still wider entente which we hope will prove an overwhelming deterrent to armed aggression.

United Nations Day, a portent of wider world unity, was made memorable by President Roosevelt’s broadcast message, with its exaltation of the four great freedoms of humanity—freedom of speech and religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. This reaffirmation of the basic principle of the cause which the United Nations uphold, the brotherhood of freedom, rang throughout the world. In all the countries fighting for this ideal the day was honoured, though in the occupied countries the whispered word of cheer had to serve for ceremony. For in those lands the meaning of Hitler’s mechanised hell is all too well known. But there, as among the peoples not in bondage, the spark of our common cause was fanned into flame. Across the wastes of war the vision of the nations allied in pursuit of victory already discerns those fairer and freer times which an ever more closely cemented unity must win..

This new found solidarity must in no way be allowed to falter or flag. In it is contained all hope for the future. The prayer with which President Roosevelt concluded his broadcast epitomised the matter in the cry: “Grant us brotherhood in hope and union, not only for the space of this bitter war but for the days to come, which shall and must unite all the children of the earth.”

Dire as the struggle must still be for us we shall go forward with incentive freshened by the incidents of the past week. The brotherhood of freedom is a goal worthy of our utmost endeavour.