« AnteriorContinuar »
WHEN this war is over the world will ask, What was it about? What caused it? What did it signify? By way of raising, if not of answering these questions I have drawn together a few specimens of the German patriotic war-literature, and I have commented briefly upon them.
It would be impracticable at the present time to authenticate the quotations, and yet I suppose that none will doubt their genuineness. A phrase here and there in the papers may be mistranslated, but their substance and tone unquestionably represent the spirit of the educated classes in Germany in this autumn of 1914.
A certain uniformity pervades these utterances. This detracts from their interest, in one way, yet enhances it in another. If regarded as statements of personal opinion, the papers and speeches here reprinted have slight claim to notice. But if regarded as things which throw light on race feeling and on the psychology of crowds, they possess a profound importance,-giving as they do the
very voice of a social movement which has focused the attention of the entire civilized world as it had never been focused before.
My hope is that by printing a few well-known specimens from the large literature of German justification, I may set an example for the preserving of that wide ephemeral literature without which the present epoch cannot be understood by posterity.
Nov. 16, 1914.
J. J. C.