« AnteriorContinuar »
material weights, will be on the side of our enemies whom we have attacked."
The imponderables! Justice, truth, pity, charity, loyalty-mere ideas-offspring of the brain-and heart-not even "scraps of paper," things lighter than air-yet more powerful, as the Kaiser has discovered to his cost, than the heaviest of Krupp's cannon or the best disciplined divisions of "shock" troops; ideas that have spread over the whole world-Christian, Hebrew, Buddhist, or Mohammedan.
For when William sought to procure the "Jehad," or Holy War, by virtue of which he expected two hundred and fifty million Mohammedans to fall upon and massacre the Christian inhabitants of their lands, he found that, with the exception of his vassal Turkey, every Moslem country repudiated his demand although the "Jehad" was legally declared by the requisite ecclesiastical authority. Even so, in Armenia two million hapless people have died since the beginning of the war, victims of massacre, of torture, of starvation, and of the horrors of deportation and slavery. The "imponderable" sentiment which this has engendered may well prove the millstone which will drag down the Kaiser into the turbid stream of everlasting infamy and disgrace.
Yet we are not fighting against the war-lord and his military advisers alone the "military party" of which so much has been said in the spoken as well as
in the written word. At best the militarists could do no more than drag an unwilling nation into war. They could not have forced whole armies composed of adult men to cast aside all the restraints of honor and humanity unless those millions had already been inoculated with the virus of deceit and brutality. For the German nation has whole-heartedly and unitedly, in a degree to astound civilization, supported its military rulers, and their policy has been universally commended. No one man, no group of men is responsible for this thing. It is due to the insidious spread of an evil idea which has brought material prosperity to a (at heart) materialistic nation. The cause of this inconceivably awful slaughter is the irreconcilable antagonism of German political philosophy with the faith and ideals of the civilized Christian nations of the world, and of those nations who while loyal to faiths bearing other names, are, nevertheless, followers of its principal ethical teachings.
This atrocious German military philosophy knows no mercy and stops at nothing. It frankly believes that falsehood, torture, rape, crucifixion, slavery, massacre, and murder are justifiable. It laughs at the appeal of benevolence and morality.
A German victory-or an inconclusive peacewould mean the ultimate realization of the German idea that Germany for the good of the world must rule the world. This has been taught in her univer
sities as philosophy and in her pulpits as religion. The German nation unquestioningly accepts it and intends to force the rest of the world to accept it. This is the "Kultur," which they claim is "above morality." Kultur teaches that there is only one sort of rightthat of the stronger. It argues with specious profundity that in the relations of nations with one another there can be no such thing as truth or honor.* Frederick the Great taught that the Germans must make it their "study to deceive others in order to get the better of them."t
The Germans believe themselves to be a nation of supermen and the Kaiser the war-partner-not of the God of Humanity-but the "gute alte Gott" of the pagan North-the War God-who revels in the shrieks of women and the torture of children, in bloodshed and cruelty. "I am His sword, His agent!" declares William Hohenzollern. "Let all the enemies of the German people perish! God demands their destruction -God, who by my mouth, bids you do His will!”‡
To accomplish this "divine" will the German military authorities believe that any means are warranted -the mowing down of crowds of helpless civilians with machine-guns, the cutting off of the breasts of women, the battering in of the skulls of the wounded
* Das Kulturideal unter der Krieg, pp. 11-13, 31, 32, 61, 105, 130.
† Works of Frederick II, Berlin Ed., 1848. Proclamation of the Army of the East, 1914.
with rifle-butts. "Be as terrible as Attila's Huns!" ordered the Kaiser.* "It is better to let a hundred women belonging to the enemy die of hunger than to let a single German soldier suffer." "All prisoners are to be put to death," ordered General Stenger, in Belgium. Writes a Bavarian private: "During the battle of Budonwiller I did away with four women and seven young girls in five minutes. The captain had told me to shoot these French sows, but I preferred to run my bayonet through them."§
This is the concrete result of what the Germans call "The Religion of Valor" and "The Gospel of Hate.” Says one of their spokesmen: "Must Kultur build its cathedrals on hills of corpses, seas of tears, and the death-rattle of the vanquished? Yes, it must."
If Germany wins the war, the United States will either be paying tribute to the Kaiser or German soldiers will be bayoneting American girls and women in Jersey City rather than take the trouble to shoot them.
If Germany wins, all our ideals of truth, justice, and humanity-which we call Christian-will be trodden down into bloody mire under the iron heel of the
*The Kaiser's speech to the Chinese Expeditionary Force, July 27, 1900.
† General von der Goltz, “Ten Iron Commandments of the German Soldiers."
Orders of the Day, August 26, 1914.
§ Johann Wenger, Peronne, March 16, 1915.
Walter Bloem in the Kolnische Zeitung, Feb. 10, 1915.
Kaiser's armies, and the coming generation will be taught that there is no God but the merciless God of Battle who speaks through Germany's treacherous tongue and by her brutal sword.
We are fighting for far more than our lives. We are fighting for the future of the race. We are fighting to turn back the bloody tide of tyranny and barbarism. We are fighting for our faith in the Fatherhood of God and in the Brotherhood of Man.
That is why Jack has gone.