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Truth to German power

12 May 2017

May 11th, 1917.

LITTLE by little enlightenment is spreading in Germany. America’s entry into the war is also having a moral effect. A recent article by Max Harden, in the Zukunft, is remarkably outspoken on this point. The same blindness, he says, which led the Germans to compare the British Army with Falstaff’s recruits is leading them to make a jest of America’s appearance in the arena. Even if Russia’s army is dissolved, he goes on to say, Germany’s Western enemies have Baghdad, Mecca, Valona, Gorizia, part of the Trentino, Salonica, and the German colonies; in twelve April days they took 34,000 prisoners; and their wrath at the waste of Picardy blazes to heaven. Nor, he thinks, is it in the least degree probable that the millions hostile to Germany — Chinese, South Americans, and all who condemn the Germans as the violators of human rights — will withdraw from the fray before the United States forces are ready. In the meantime, whimpering about peace will not help the German people. It must insist on knowing the truth and on its right freely to criticize its rulers, and must decide “so to arrange the German house that to-morrow it will be fit to live in, and not an abomination before the world”. This confession that the home of kultur is not a place fit to live in, and is even regarded with loathing by the world of civilization, is indeed a sign of grace in the writer. And we may be sure that, if he is allowed to write in this strain, there must be multitudes who are thinking alike with him. Not without reason is the world ranging itself on the side of the Allies, and, when the German people discover what that reason is, it will be a black day for the Hohenzollerns and their base supporters.


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