This key character in Winter of the World, Lloyd Williams, expressed what most struggled with between 1933 to 1949. How can nationalism so pervert the natural warmth of the human spirit?
Predictably, we are amused as they meet and struggle together in various circumstances, awaken romance in us as they fall in love or break commitments, saddened as some meet their unexpected early death, angered us as the leaders of that time become blinded to their executors who take revenge on their enemies or advantage themselves by liquidating others.
To most, it was just horror and destruction but for others, it was the necessary destruction that comes before the building of a new society, or a new offer for people to take part in power within its society through the empowering of the working class. The image of the great fire bird rising from the ashes of destruction is well understood.
Think of how historical events mould people into the shape of heroes or villains, all to become survivors through risks and romance.