Art is greater than wars

By the late Egyptian writer Anis Mansour

At the height of the WWII, the Germans besieged the Russian city of Leningrad by land, sea and air. Yet, orders were issued to the troops not to bomb the Ballet school. The famous Ballet School used to house some 200  little ballerina trainees . Indeed, the German troops not only spared the school any bombing, they  have gone another step further. They used to bring to the little girls some of the aid supplies, including vitamins and blankets sent by several countries, including Britain. The war was indeed brutal and ruthless, but it would not wipe out civilization. It would not wipe out art.

France, for instance, declared Paris an Open City. Italy declared Rome an Open City: i.e. Enemy troops were allowed to enter the city without firing one single shot. This was done in a bid to spare the historical relics, landmarks and museums in the streets and public squares any potential damage.

During the war, a deal was reportedly (though unconfirmed historically) between Britain and Germany not to bomb the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK and Tübingenand Humboldt in Germany. The combatants have honored the deal and spared these universities any bombing. This means that despite the brutality of the fighting, none of the combatants has gone as low as to bomb a school or a university. The war ended, but the ballet school survived. So did the Hermitage – the world’s greatest museum on Earth. It houses  some four million original paintings and artworks.

No one, as yet neither during the war nor after it, has wonderedas to why have the Germans spared this school and its hundreds of little female artists the scourge of war? No one as yet has uttered this question, because respect for art, human civilization, the wonders of childhood, and the beauty of performance is something that should be taken for granted. No one has thanked the Germans for doing so: It is a sacred human duty to spare culture and beauty the carnage of war. And one would not be thanked for doing a duty.  The little girls have not been a party in the conflict between Nazism and Communism. They have been and still are above any conflict. So, the combatants were defeated and beauty and art have prevailed.

(Note of the Editor: Acknowledging the controversial nature of all stories relating to World War II, Syrianfacts  do not endorse the story above. Historians strongly disagree on so many instances of the Second World War, including the bombing of universities, cultural sites and/or other landmarks. However, Syrianfacts, have translated this relatively old piece attributed to a late author as a reminder to humanity that children, art, culture,  and the entire cultural legacy of  humanity should indeed  be spared the scourge of war. Therefore, readers would hopefully look at this piece as an  appeal to all combatants not to bomb the valuable legacy of human civilization nor endanger innocent children with a fight they have nothing to do with. Historical facts are often so difficult to substantiate, but  humanity has a duty to preserve not only its own valuable legacy of successive civilizations, but also to save its most precious wealth: Children.)



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