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“NOT FIENDS”

A GERMAN PROTEST. “ Good God, can it be that wo Gormans have suddenly becouie fiends —that all our culture has suddenly been blown to the winds?” cries “an old and distinguished officer of the German General Staff” in an interview published in tho Christiania ‘ Morgenblad ’ of September 26, by Bjorn Bjornson, a son of tho great poet, who has opened a news bureau in Berlin for the dissemination in Scandinavia of German news. This old and distinguished officer goes on to say : “It astounds us to road such things. We are declared to be more bloodthirsty th-m the others, more blackguardly in our behaviour, in our politics—and that hurts us. “ Do our Germanic brothers believe these things of us? In the Latin countries I daresay they want to believe them. Of course, no one goes to war with angel’s wings on; and, of course, thero are brutal individuals, who are not refined by warfare. But 1 can assure you that the good elements—the best people of our country—who are in all regiments nnd companies, hold the worsen sort in control. —Uncontrolled Frenzy.— “ Tho frenzy that seizes even tho most cultured when they aro shot at by franctireurs no ono can resist. Every mother, every woman in foreign countries, ought to understand what our women feel when they loam that thoir dearest have been treacherously murdered with dagger or bullet. “ I road to-day a telegram from England to the effect that here in Germany we take letters addressed to Americans out of their envelopes, garble their contents, and then send them on to America 1 Where will this end, I ask you? There is nothing of which we are. not accused—no cruelty, no fjcoumlrcltsm. In an English paper —a reputable paper—it is stated in all seriousness that tho Kaiser has invested all his money in Canada! Why? Of course, to have it safe when ho takes flight after the war! ‘The thing is now,’ writes the journalist, ‘ to find out who invested it for Kiu\ and confiscate it I .’ It is monstrous that such insanities should be possible. It would take hours to tell you of ail the revolting things that aro said about our country and our people. “1 am a soldier, but this 1 venture to say, that this is not a war of the military, but of the people—the German people, who know that all this has been forced upon them. Wo all know what is at stake fox us. I will accuse no one, but history will set its finger on the fact that the war is not ‘our war’ and was not wiled by us. Do you think that any other of tho great military Powers, so well prepared as wo, would have kept peace for so Jong? I, at any rate, cannot believe it. —Russia, tho Objective.— “We officers, and tho whole German people, feel it painful that we have to go against Franee. But wo must go against Franco in order to get at the country wo really want to get at —Russia. "It is doubly tragic to think of the groat French people which at its last elections abjured all chauvinism —all appetite far war. But there aro invisible hands (not among us) which spin the threads that bind a people's will—and drag it into war. I do uot mean that the French people are not now opposing us with bravery. Of course they are. When it comes to the pinch, they are among the best. But the war was not made by their will. It must be terrible, in these days, to be a German living abroad, and to read of all the German ‘defeats’ and ‘retreats’ that are placarded by our enemies. It pains me unspeakably to think of them. But they may rely upon ut> here- W© are not fiends and wo are not cowards.” NO ALLOWANCE FOR BELGIUM. It is impossible to read, comments the ‘Daily News,’ without a certain sympathy the views—tho illusions—of this warrior. That there havo boon inventions with regard to the conduct of the German troops is doubtless true. But what has been admitted ard gloried in ought to be enough to cause painful qualms to any mind not rendered callous by long habituation to theories of blood and iron. He admits, be it noted, the “ frenzy ” which seizes the most “cultured” when shot> at by noncombatante; but he makes no allowance for the “frenzy" which seizes a brave people on seeing their fields devastated and their homes bombarded by the soldiers of a nation which docs not even pretend to have any legitimate quarrel witli them, but is, on the contrary, bound by treaty to protect their neutrality. Perhaps this aspect of the matter is just as likely t* occur to the “ mothers and women ” in foreign countries to whom our Prussian apologist appeals.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141205.2.55

Bibliographic details

“NOT FIENDS”, Evening Star, Issue 15668, 5 December 1914

Word Count
812

“NOT FIENDS” Evening Star, Issue 15668, 5 December 1914

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