In Fay Weldon's short story "Ind Aff or Out of Love in Sarajevo" I found the following passage:
“The Hungro-Austrarian Empire,” said Peter to me, “didn't so much collapse as fail to exist any more. War destroys social organizations. The same thing happened after World War II. There being no organized bodies left between Moscow and London and for London read Washington, then as now—it was left to these two to put in their own puppet governments. Yalta, 1944. It's taken the best part of forty-five years for nations of West and East Europe to remember who they are.”
I have trouble understanding this passage. My questions are:
- What are "social organizations"? What are some examples?
- Is "organized bodies" referring to the same thing as "social organizations"?
- What does "read" mean in the phrase "London read Washington"?
- Why does it say "these two", and who are they? (I thought it was referring to the nations at the Yalta conference, but there were three of them)
- What does it mean for Europe to "remember who they are after 45 years"? (Does it have something to do with the Iron Curtain?)