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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

 

—George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905

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I have placed a memorandum at the disposal of the British Government, a memorandum representing the last and the final proposal on the part of Germany. This memorandum demands nothing other than the implementation of what Herr Beneš [president of Czechoslovakia] already promised. The contents of this memorandum are quite simple: any territory which is German according to its populace and which wants to come to Germany belongs to Germany. And we shall not wait until after Herr Beneš has had a chance to drive one or two million Germans from it; it shall come to Germany now and immediately! The border I have redrawn does justice to the realities of the decade-old distribution of ethnic and linguistic groups in Czechoslovakia. Yet, I am a man more just than Herr Beneš, and I do not wish to abuse the power at present in our hands. That is why, from the very beginning, I made it clear that a territory will come under the sovereignty of the Reich only if the majority of its inhabitants are German.

—Adolf Hitler, 26 September 1938



While protecting China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, we will ensure social stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the two special administrative regions. Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We will uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and advance peaceful national reunification. All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward “Taiwan independence,” and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

—Xi Jinping, 1 October 2019


Adolf Hitler, “Great Speech in Sportpalast,” Der Fuehrer, 26 September 1938, accessed 10 August 2021, http://der-fuehrer.org/reden/english/38-09-26.htm.

Xi Jinping, “Full Text of Xi Jinping’s Speech on the CCP’s 100th Anniversary,” Nikkei Asia, 1 July 2021, accessed 10 August 2021, https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Full-text-of-Xi-Jinping-s-speech-on-the-CCP-s-100th-anniversary.

Photo credits clockwise starting top left: Shawshots via Alamy Stock Photo; Jason Lee, Reuters via Alamy Stock Photo; Imaginechina Limited via Alamy Stock Photo; National Archives.

 

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September-October 2021