[Had Been Deeply Struck.... By The Damage Wreaked Upon Mathematics In France By The First World War, When "a Misguided Notion Of Equality In The Face Of Sacrifice" Led To The Slaughter Of The Country's Young Scientific Elite. In The Light Of This, He Believed He Had A Duty, Not Just To Himself But Also To Civilization, To Devote His Life To Mathematics. Indeed, He Argued, To Let Himself Be Diverted From The Subject Would Be A Sin. When Others Raised The Objection "but If Everybody Were To Behave Like You...", He Replied That This Possibility Seemed To Him So Implausible That He Did Not Feel Obliged To Take It Into Account.]

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