October 24, 1939 – Ironically, the very same day in the same year as the previous post featuring Reich Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop delivering an address to Nazi Veterans in Danzig, the other side of the Atlantic, in the ballroom at the Waldorf Hotel in New York city, a gathering of intellectuals and notable figures, under the auspices of the New York Herald Tribute, as part of their series The New York Herald Tribute Forum, broadcast this discussion. Called “The Challenge To Civilization”, it focused on the then-current world situation; a war that was a little over month old, one which could inalterably change the course of our civilization. But that perhaps this was the result of our inability or unwillingness to learn from our past mistakes; our loss of values toward things that really count, a laziness and our thinking that everlasting peace could be attained through shortcut. That preparedness was confused for militarization as an end in itself, instead of an affirmative form of protection for something worthwhile. We had an overbearing confidence that we could meet any emergency when it arose, but affect cures when the plague was in sight, so to speak. And in all this we were told that our Civilization would not survive another war – yet, on this day in 1939, we were right in the middle of one.
On hand to discuss these, and several other issues sobering challenging civilization were Benjamin Stullberg, Professor Sydney Hook, John O’Brian J. Edgar Hoover, first Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Professor Karl J. Friedrich and Mrs, William Brown Miloni. The discussion is keynoted by Harvard President Dr. James Bryant Conant.
Here is that one-hour discussion, as it was broadcast on October 24, 1939.