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Germany’s ridiculous fable

by
18 December 2015

December 17th, 1915

THE German Chancellor, in his address to the Reichstag, managed to say one thing that was both sensible and true. To talk about peace, he observed, is premature, so long as the Allies clearly have no intention to sue for it. He might have gone a little further, and said so long as the Allies are minded to wait until Germany, defeated, humbly asks for it. Still, what he did say was to the point. The rest of his speech was obviously dictated by a desire to conceal from the people the real state of affairs. Consequently he repeated the ridiculous fable that Germany is the attacked not the attacking party in the war: that patriotism compels every German to strike a blow in defence of his injured Fatherland. The Socialists in the Reichstag knew better than this, and an attempt was made to pledge the Government not to act against the principle of Nationality, and not to retain after the war the lands it has at present occupied. How much more they said on this and kindred points we are not permitted to know, because the comments that the Vorwaerts proposed to make in the issue following the debate were strictly censored. . . The Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne, when he returns home, will be able to confirm the Chancellor’s view of our intentions. Calling upon Cardinal Gasquet the other day in Rome, he began by saying, “Your Eminence, we will not talk about the war.” “Your Eminence,” the English Cardinal replied, “we will not talk about the peace.”

 

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