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Soul Meetings




Will there be a World War III?

The Korean conflict

June 25th 1950, on the heels of World War II, the Korean War was part of the Cold War to stop the advancement of Communism in Southeast Asia. When the Communist troops of North Korea invaded the democratic Republic of South Korea, the United States became involved through a promise of support given to the president of South Korea. It was feared that this tiny peninsula would be the setting the tone for the eruption of World War III. When the United Nations joined forces with the United States and the Republic of South Korea to stop the invasion, this fear was justified. North Korea not only had the support of the Soviet Union but also the military support of China.

The European communities were first to sound the alarm. A zero hour mentality of run, flee for your life, spread confusion and fear; to stand still was mortal danger. Survivors of the Holocaust, many of them barely out of DP camps, were not willing to gamble. Who could know the price of indecision? Europe was being abandoned overnight; a tremendous, chaotic upheaval of emigration to the US began.

The lives of many Chabad followers, refugees from both sides of the Iron Curtain, were in shambles. The process of rebuilding their lives had not proceeded easily. The greatest concentrations were in France and Germany.

The head of one of the many families living in a refugee camp near Paris, a day after consolidation of the UN forces against the communists, composed a letter describing the turmoil resulting from Europe's war fears, and his desire to evacuate as soon as possible. Speaking for all the Chabad followers there, he asked me Rebbe's opinion: What should they do?

The Rebbe's reply (on the 3rd of Av): “I received your letter dated the 21st of Tammuz, regarding your question of emigrating, I see no basis for fear.”

Similarly, in a response dated 6th of Av, a teacher in the Talmudic seminary in France, the Rebbe writes: "Regarding the anxiety to emigrate now, I see no cause to immigrate, remain where you are and continue your holy work with the students.”

The war continued in the Korean area for over three years, not causing any world war.

  A scene from the Korean war
photo: US Army

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