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经济学人:二战代价几何(2)

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Mr Hastings's technique is to mine the written record of those who took part both actively and passively. His witnesses range from the men whose decisions sent millions to their deaths to the ordinary soldiers who carried out their orders and the civilian victims who found themselves on the receiving end. Cynicism and idealism, suffering and euphoria, courage and terror, brutalisation and sentimentality—all find expression through their own testimony. From the Burma Road to the Arctic convoys, the killing fields of Kursk and the London Blitz, their voices are heard. Mr Hastings’s achievement in organising this unwieldy mass of material into a narrative that sweeps confidently over every contested corner of the globe is impressive.

不论是那些积极参与还是被迫卷入二战的人,马克斯·哈斯丁都会搜集他们留下的文字资料,这是他的技巧。他的二战见证者包括决策造成几百万人死亡的人、执行其命令的普通士兵和默默承受苦难的平民,范围极广。犬儒主义与理想主义、苦难与愉快、勇气与恐惧、残暴不仁与多愁善感,以上种种都能在他们留下的文字里读到。从滇缅公路到北极行动、库尔斯克的杀戮战场再到伦敦的闪电战,现在世人已听到了他们的心声。马克斯?哈斯丁将这些浩如烟海的资料整理成了一部叙事体历史,几乎囊括二战时期地球上发生过战事的每一个角落,实在令人惊叹。

Less so are some of his judgments. Although delivered with verve and economy (Mr Hastings is, above all, an accomplished journalist), they are often unfair. For example, he argues that the decision by Britain and France to declare war because of the German attack on Poland was an act of cynicism because they knew they could do nothing to help the Poles. That was never in doubt, but the Allies hoped the stand against Germany’s naked aggression would persuade Hitler to step back from the brink of all-out war, a motive that was neither base nor ridiculous.

但相比之下他的一些观点则稍显逊色——措辞简洁,充满激情(毕竟他是个出色的记者),却大多有失偏颇。例如,他认为英法两国因德国闪击波兰而向其宣战是犬儒的表现,因为两国都深知自身无法援助波兰。这点历来毋庸置疑,但当时盟军希望通过采取立场反对德国赤裸裸的侵略行为,以迫使希特勒放弃全面发动战争,这个宣战动机绝不卑劣,也不荒唐。

Mr Hastings's repeated admiration for the fighting qualities of German, Japanese and Soviet soldiers compared with British and American forces is especially trying. Germany and Japan were militarised societies that glorified war and conquest, held human life to be cheap and regarded obedience to the state as the highest virtue. Russian soldiers were inured to the harsh brutalities of Soviet rule and driven on by the knowledge that they were fighting “a war of annihilation” against an implacable enemy. If they wavered, they knew they would be shot by NKVD enforcers. More than 300,000 were killed pour encourager les autres.

马克斯·哈斯丁多次表示,相较于英军和美军,自己很欣赏德、日、苏军的作战水平。这个观点特别令人讨厌。德日两国都是军事化社会,崇尚征战,视人命如草芥,认为服从国家就是最高的美德。俄罗斯士兵已习惯了严格、无情的苏联纪律,是心怀正在和无法和解的敌人“打一场‘歼灭战’”的想法上战场的。他们知道,一旦退缩,自己就会被内务人民委员部的执行委员枪杀。超过30万人死于督战官以及其他(军纪人员)之手。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
implacable [im'plækəbl]

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adj. 难宽恕的,难和解的,执拗的

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civilian [si'viljən]

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adj. 平民的
n. 罗马法专家,平民

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admiration [.ædmə'reiʃən]

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n. 钦佩,赞赏

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base [beis]

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n. 基底,基础,底部,基线,基数,(棒球)垒,[化]碱

 
idealism [ai'diəlizəm]

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n. 唯心论,唯心主义,观念论,理想主义

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terror ['terə]

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n. 恐怖,惊骇,令人惧怕或讨厌的人或事物

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unwieldy [ʌn'wi:ldi]

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adj. 笨重的,笨拙的

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ridiculous [ri'dikjuləs]

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adj. 荒谬的,可笑的

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cynicism ['sinisizəm]

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n. 愤世嫉俗,讥笑,冷言冷语 Cynicism:犬儒主

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inured

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adj. 习惯的 动词inure的过去式及过去分词形式

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