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THE GOSPEL OF HATE

There can be no doubt that Germany hates Britain and all things British with an unqualified and whole-hearted hatred.' This feeling of vindictive ill-will is finding expression in a variety of ways—some of them merely vulgar and commonplace, while others have an interesting touch of originality. A cablegram which appears in another column states that all letters and letterpress sent from Germany are now stamped with the words "God punish England." Such hysterical outbursts of • savagery may be in harmony with the German military doctrine of "frightfulness," but they are none the less ridiculous on that account. . They indicate a lack of mental balance,- a'n.d an utter absence of the saving grace of humour. Britishers' the world over feel the strongest indignation at the barbaric manner m which Germany is waging war, but they have no inclination tt) emulate that .ungovernable fury of hatred by-means of : Which our enemies seem to get some relief for their passions. •' The Allies intend to hit as hard and as often as they can, without wasting their energies in the futile occupation of finding hew methods of cursing' Germans, Turks, and Austrians. We certainly are not going .to teach our children any "hymns of hate.*" The folly of this cult of hatred is realised by the more levelheaded section of the German people, and hints. have been dropped that it is time the tune was changed. The craze approached very near to the limit of absurdity when grave and learned professors saluted eacji other with the words "God' punish England." Commenting on this weird fashion, the Frankfort Gazette suggested that the thing was being overdone and other papers are beginning to see that the Germans are making themselves ridiculous in the eyes of the world. We are not at all- alarmed when Germans tell us that they hate us with a lasting hate—not even if it is to be Hate by water and hate by land, Hate of. the head and hato of the hand. And yet one Berlin newspaper declares that the German "has_ no talent for hate." Opinions_ differ on this point, and the paper is on firmer ground when it goes on to suggest that it would be better to fix on "anger" as expressive of the country's attitude towards England: Hatred, 'it says, involves something "which adheres to the hater for ever," whereas anger "springs only from a hot, honestly indignant heart." This distinction between hate and anger is finely expressed. Britishers feel hot anger at German atrocities, but they prefer to show their indignation by fighting harder than by composing hymns of hate. We are quite willing to let our enemiv have a monopoly of blind and unintelligent rage of impotence. Goethe, who was a really great German, would have had supreme contempt for such petty devices as the "GoD-punish-England" stamp, while the sentiments of the "Hymn of Hate" would have met with his strongest disapproval whatever its artistic merits might be. He has left on record the opinion that "national hatred is altogether a curiosity. You will always find it strongest and most violent on the lowest rungs of the ladder of culture." But German ideas of "Kultur" have undergone a vast change since the days of Goethe.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DOM19150315.2.19

Bibliographic details

THE GOSPEL OF HATE, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2409, 15 March 1915

Word Count
544

THE GOSPEL OF HATE Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2409, 15 March 1915

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