The best way, it must have seemed at the time, to affirm that human civilization, circa 1940, was indeed 'civilized' as it claimed was to contrast it in every possible way with its polar opposite.
By setting up Progress itself as a sort of Janus-faced ladder.
For to the Modern mind, the very concept of a continuum was a dusty foreign country and the Moderns did so love their clearcut and opposing binaries & dualities.
So, at the top of the Ladder of Progress, human civilization was the newest, the biggest, the most complex, the swiftest, form of life.
And the kindest and the most civilized in behavior of all lifeforms.
Conversely, at the bottom, the germs were the oldest forms of life, the most simple, the smallest, the least mobile.
And they were all intent on killing all humans, all the time.
The reason why the supposed archenemy of the Aryans, the Jews, were always described as 'bacillus'.
But not everyone back then agreed with this supposed dichotomy.
In particular, Dr Martin Henry Dawson set out to break this imaginary symmetry by attempting, late in that same year, to show that the germs and microbes were nowhere as simple or as evil as claimed.
And this being WWII, he hardly had to bolster his case by pointing to the current visible shortfalls of kindly complex Civilization....