1914—Just History? Or Does It Affect You?
“IN THE Bosnian town of Sarajevo on the morning of June 28, 1914, a chauffeur misunderstood his instructions, made the wrong turn, . . . and so doing delivered his passengers to a point where a waiting assassin did not have to take aim to gun them down.
“Two rounds from one pistol and the world rocked. The crime was the small stone that, loosened, brings the avalanche. There followed four years of universal violence. Millions met untimely death.”—The American Heritage History of World War I.
That assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, precipitated events that have marked 1914 as a turning point in mankind’s history. And those events have affected you. Why? Because the “avalanche” was the Great War of 1914-18. Since then the “rocks” of war and violence have not ceased to fall.
A Marked Generation
Regarding the significance of World War I, English author J. B. Priestley wrote: “If you were born in 1894, as I was, you suddenly saw a great jagged crack in the looking-glass. After that your mind could not escape from the idea of a world that ended in 1914 and another one that began about 1919, with a wilderness of smoke and fury . . . lying between them.”
The survivors of the “sacrificed generation” of 1914, as it has been called,* have lived through momentous times that started with trenches and cannons and that are ending with intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of causing world destruction. This “progress” fits in with Jesus Christ’s prophetic words: “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; . . . and on the earth there will be dismay among the nations and bewilderment at the roar of the surging sea. Men’s courage will fail completely as they realise what is threatening the world, for the very powers of heaven will be shaken.”—Luke 21:10, 25, 26, Phillips.
These words of Jesus are part of the composite sign that marks “the end of this world.” As has often been shown in this journal, since 1914 this prophecy has been undergoing fulfillment on a grand scale. But Jesus added something very significant about the generation of 1914. What was it? He said: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur.”—Matthew 24:3, Ph; Luke 21:29-32.
How do these words apply to the fast-disappearing generation of 1914? What events are awaited? And how will they affect you?
Robert Wohl, in The Generation of 1914.