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a new law in Europe. It is Germany that strikes. When it shall have conquered new fields for its genius, then the priests of all the gods will exalt the war as blessed.'"*
"There speaks the truth!" I exclaimed.
"The truth!" he retorted. "Yes, spoken by a German militarist only in wine, arrogance, or inadvertence. To the gospel of force, mendacity, hate, and brutality are indispensable. Hence, the German rulers have always cultivated hatred of their enemies. 'War is not a society game,' they say, 'war is hell-fire."" †
"If war is hell-fire, as this kind of war certainly is,” I returned with conviction, "what are the men who practise it?"
"I can't tell you," he answered. "I do not think that during war they are men at all. They tell me that a full-blooded German almost never is tried in our criminal courts, but if one does appear there it is apt to be for some atrocious form of murder or manslaughter. War seems to transform them into homicidal maniacs-the mere thought or discussion of it to produce an obsession in their minds. Can there be any doubt but that hatred and bitterness and terrorizing make for immediate military effectiveness? Of course they do. Yet to what horrors do they lead!
Zukunft, August, October, 1914, cited in the New York Times, December 6th, 1914.
Walter Bloem in the Kolnische Zeitung for February 10th,
Let me read you from the diaries of German soldiers written during the invasion of Belgium."
I listened with growing indignation for several minutes until I could stand it no longer.
"Stop! for God's sake, stop!" I begged, half nauseated at what he had read me. Was this the kind of war to which I had sent our gentle, gallant boy across the ocean!
My friend raised his eyebrows.
"It is all done under the personal supervision of the Almighty by his personal representative-William Hohenzollern-if we are to accept the latter's statement," said he. "But this William-God or GodWilliam partnership is a very special and private affair. Indeed, Professor Wilhelm Ostwald has pointed this out with unconscious humor in an interview in the Stockholm Dagen, in which he said: 'I will say, however, that in our country God the Father is reserved for the personal use of the Emperor. In one instance he was mentioned in a report of the General Staff, but it is to be noted that he has not appeared there a second time.""
I tried to laugh. The whole thing was too fantastic, too barbaric, too horrible. I recalled Heine's statement in "De l'Allemagne," that while Christianity had to a certain extent softened the brutal belligerent ardor of the Teuton, it had not been able to destroy it; and that when the Cross should be broken, the fe
rocity of the old-time fighters, the frenzied exaltation of the Berserkers will again burst forth. "Then,' he declares with uncanny prophecy, "the old war-gods will arise from their legendary tombs and wipe the dust of ages from their eyes; Thor will arise with his gigantic hammer and demolish the Gothic cathedrals."
Is there any doubt but that this war is between paganism and Christianity?
In place of the precepts of the gentle Christ in the Sermon on the Mount we have Nietzsche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra:
"Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars-and the short peace more than the long.
"Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth every war? I say unto you: It is the good war which halloweth every cause. War and courage have done more great things than charity. . . . Be not considerate of thy neighbor-what thou doest can no one do to thee again. Lo, there is no requital.
"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!—such precepts were ever called holy. . . . Is there not even in all life robbing and slaying? And for such precepts to be called holy, was not truth itself thereby slain?
"This new table, oh, my brethren, put it up over you. Become hard."
The German golden rule is well put by Karl Peters:
"It is foolish to speak of a justice that should hinder us from doing to others what we ourselves do not wish to suffer from them." *
The truth of the matter is that Germany is not, and has not been for a long time, a Christian nation. The Rev. Isaac J. Lansing of Ridgewood, New Jersey, in a recent address† has pointed out that in order to fulfil the purpose of Germany to dominate the world by an army engaged in ruthless war, unrestrained by morality and humanity, it became necessary to dispossess the Christian ideals of morals and humanity previously held by the German people. The most violent and deliberate attacks upon Christianity were resorted to in order that this political philosophy might penetrate and control the nation. The gospel and the life of Christ were assailed as mythical; it was declared that the greatest mistake in Germany's history was made in accepting Christianity from the Roman Empire in the fifth century; that it was an alien religion derived from an effete and decadent nation; that it was foreign to German spirit and genius. Treitschke and his millions of followers repudiated the Beatitudes and prepared to found a world empire based on a new pagan religion, which made it necessary for them incidentally to destroy the Scriptures.
*Not und Weg, pp. 13-14.
"What We Are Fighting-and What For," given before The Rotary Club of New York City.
Now when the German war-lords, statesmen, and philosophers embarked upon their attempted conquest of the world they had at their disposal the most perfect war-machine ever devised. It was and is a marvel of foresight and invention. Their plans had been laid for years in the minutest detail. To them victory seemed a matter of course a question of mere addition—so many days to Rheims, so many hours to Paris. And they would have marched into Paris on schedule time, and they would have won the war and dominated the world but for a single element which they had discounted as of no moment—the loyalty of the rest of mankind to the moral ideas which these Germans had cast aside as an impediment to their development-the ideals commonly referred to as Christian of honor, humanity, and self-sacrifice. They would have won the war but for the "scrap of paper" and the submarine.
Though the Kaiser thinks himself a wiser man than old Bismarck, had Bismarck been alive Germany would have won the war, since Bismarck would never have deliberately elected to place his country in what the rest of the world regarded as the moral wrong. Speaking before the Reichstag February 6, 1888, upon the question of whether Germany should be the aggressor in a war upon Russia, the shrewd old warrior said: "If in the end we proceed to attack, the whole weight of the imponderables, which weigh much heavier than