WESTERN EUROPE: Helping Hearts

As if Western Europe had not already had more than enough of weather, howling blizzards swirled down on Britain last week, while high spring tides threatened The Netherlands and rivers overflowed in Belgium. But man's battle with nature was slowly being won. Everywhere, catastrophe and the willingness to share it were welding old allies, grown apart, into a special kind of comradeship.

"I never understood why you liked Americans so much," wrote one Dutch woman to a friend in the U.S. "To me, their insistence on the story of the boy with his...

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