"Queen Marie [of Roumania] on War," undated
"During the war I once had a mighty discussion with a military man. I declared man was inventing instruments beyond his own control -- that he was letting science run away with him, and that machinary would finally revenge itself upon humanity by destroying it. That the military leader would some day be swept off the face of the earth by his own inventions. He looked pityingly at me, strong in the feeling of force he represents. He withered me with a scornful answer, that even the most powerful gun needed a man to fire it.
No doubt! Also it needed a brain in the laboratory to concoct the poisonous gases that are going to destroy towns at God knows what distances, and to piece together those loathsome 'death birds' that we are told in the next war are going to pour down incredible horrors on our heads. In England a gentleman told me he had seen -- seen if you please -- an invention with which 300,000 people at once could be killed in a single air raid over London, by a small number of airplanes. And that is called progress -- Science! I call it infernal abomination. Is the human race really destined so to disappear? Is some yet unknown force pushing it toward self destruction?
I often ponder miserably over this question. Is it in spite of ourselves we are being drawn on step by step to the making of these horrors that are at last to wipe us off the face of the earth? I do not know. But I am appalled when I consider how hard it is for science to save a few lives through the incredible and beautiful devotion of doctors, nurses, great inventors. And then to see that hand in hand with benficient science go these ghastly contrivances to pour agony and death a thousand fold over the earth!
And we women? All of us, all over the world, we mothers, wives, sisters, brides -- could we not be strong enough, if we joined together, to save our sons from war, our children and ourselves from the outpouring upon us of this monstrous destroying face? Cannot we women who in our hearts hate war and undeserved death, do something to save the future from folly more hideous even than the folly of the past?"
Source: Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Subject File: Women and Peace, n.d.
Return to History page