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He was also from a Jewish family and so he saw the contrast between his contemporaries' lives and expectations before and after the wars. This quote is from Zweig's memoirs describing his parents' generation in Vienna:

"The people of the time scornfully looked down on earlier epochs with their wars, famines and revolutions as periods when mankind had not yet come of age and was insufficiently enlightened. Now, however, it was a mere matter of decades before they finally saw an end to evil and violence, and in those days this faith in uninterrupted, inexorable 'progress' truly had the force of a religion. People believed in 'progress' more than the Bible, and its gospel message seemed incontestably proven by the new miracles of science and technology that were revealed daily." - Stefan Zweig, Society of the Crossed Keys, p31


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