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AN OPEN LETTER, Issue 15698, 12 January 1915
AN OPEN LETTER
Roht. Blatchford. in tho ' M.Vekly Dispatch' r-epiied thus to Privy Councillor Wittin.g. president of tho National Hank of Germany, whose violent declaration of hate against- Britain wo published recently :—" To Herr Witting. Sir.---(Laving- road your angry statement, t-o the correspondent of th« New York ' Sun,' I am tempted to point out to you. for your own benefit, that your violent out'twik of hatred .and rago. besides being extremely bad for your health, is hashed upon a. misconception of the facts as between Germany and Britain. That., yoti hate us wo nrv wo 11 aware : your countrymen havo made it plain to us in many ways. lu this morning's 'Titttos' I read the statement of a Polgam lnrlv, just- escancd from Bruges. This lady had a little- ' dog which had beau named Kitchener. Your gallant, soldiers seized tlm little animal and cut it up into pieces. Such a. malignancy of hatred and .'.neb an inhuman expression of that, unchristian fury ought to satisfy the quid - est business man in Germany. Yes. you iiii l us, there is no room for doubt- a/bout that. Huh when you ej vr your reasons to--tho murd-eiTius malevolence with which the bulk of your people seem at. present to be seething almost to the point of insanity. 1 find myself unable to agree with you. You say. ft err Witting, that "Finland, and England alone, brought on this criminal war. out of greed and out of envy, to crush Gvnuanv." If you -ire not to.- -excited to listen, 1 will beg ieice to point out to you that- it- was not an Englishman who murdered the A'.slv.'an Archduke. It was not the Hritish who dicta) ed the Austrian Nolo to Serbia. When 'Russia, Austria, and Serbia seemed to be at a doadlock, and Sir Edward Grey proposed a conference of tlm Bowers, it. was not Britain which lv>jd hack ; it was Germany which refused. Then, again, the Priti-h did not ask Germany to declare war with IRussia nor with France. .\!, th-o time when Austria had declared war upon Serbia, and when Germany had declared war upon Russia and w;\s> mobili-siiK; to attack France, the British Government- were- .-till urging; p-race iq on all the Powers. Those are' facts. ICo it Witting, aii<J although, to be frank, wo would rather have your hatred than your friend.-ship. preferring tiie genuine r.> the .--pin-ion.a article, still these facts do i.ot justify tho hatred which you have expressed with so much rhetoric and :'> little dignity. Agtin. it was Germany and not, Britain which violated the neutrality of Belgium. You do not explain. Herr Witling, why the Germans invad-ed Belgium, nor v by, having forced a passage atid secured Coir advanc*. th-ey turned to destrov the I'-.'i-gian villages and cities and to exterminate tiir. Belgian pe"ple. Britain did not wish for this war. end tried to prevent o. f know my countrymen very v.vll il have reasoni. and I' know that they d-'d not, want, war with German v. and were mi;' bard to convince that the German intentions were not equally pacific. Neither had i\ur ri: , v me-: ivcti of freed or envv in the matter. The P'-tttm, people envied no nation .and wished for imha-g G"nnany possessed--not even her culture. The British people wcty> content to jog ah,tig in thei'- own easy way. i'lmv v- rre what yen call "decadent." They pad no love for the howitzer or for the ; oo,esfep, and no desire ;o domineer o\er any--■uid'hjoed died, and ioving best, their football and their music-hails and their v»'■>-?, and their creature comforts. Envy': Tim country v.'as lull of CWmnns. There ".ere German merehniusi and Gorman mannf-m turors and German clerks and mane rerc and artisans and waiters all over tiie place. ,-iiKJ though in op t <>f these Germane were the men nest kind of spies our people never suspected, and. in fact, would ■:■ t believe it. Talk of r greod I We allowed all your goe-b. to come into Britain duty ifev. a'thou,,it you put vp tariffs again*! We did ice; envy you or covet your possessions. We have great colonies, '■rent, dependencies, a. great Empire. W" oniv ask-rl to be let alone. Von had no co'oni"s and no Empire worth mentioning. Why should we envy yon? B it not. mo>c i e.asomiblo to supne-v ih.at you envied mm' You assured xlm world that von needed room for expansion. You said you must have- colonies, pud that the only means for obtaining colonic.- was the sword. Ami tinm you' thought it was moatt of us to form alliances. Voit said we wanted to strangle von. And vet van bad a Triple Alliance 'before we 'formed our Triple Entente. Do you hate us for defending ourselves, you who speak so p ts.-iouatelv of your determination to defend your own country? You told the American gentlernaii that von only feel pity for France. You must liave a low estimate of American intelligence Do you think the world ha.- forgotten your ru-h for Paris, your dealre to avowed intention to so "crush France that she could never again cross yimi path"': Do yon -oppose tlm Frem :i have forgotieii how \uu bullied and in suited them ,-in, e 1870. bow you shelled their cities and burned their villages, and looted their houses, and outraged their women, ami murdered, their priests; You call the British hypocrites. You ill,ply that we did not go to war iu de fence of Belgium, bat in defence of our own interests. Suppose that is true, what right have you to i oiiiphtiii': You say that colonies must be ivuii by tile sword ana heid b\ the .-word. You are ottt to capture what you may. but when we defend v, bat we have won you t nil us criminals end hypocrites, and say you hate m-. You make a point c,j our going to the help of the French. But did not Gonmiuv go to the be!], of the What is an alliance worth if one may not help one's allies'' On the whole, I .-übinit to e,u. Ken Wittiiifg. that the reasons you' give for hating us are inadequate, and i .-tiggest that there is another reason. We n'a.vt spoiled your game. We have .spoiled your deep-laid plan lor -defeating Europe in detail. You mount to conquer and dismember Franco, and then _\ on meant to pin dull us «md phonier our Empiio. Like tho gentleman in * 'J"11--.■ .\i.-.:;ado,' we ••objected," and I suggest than, "we were right to so object," ami I understand, and so' does all Emope, that tlm vaiidity of our objection has to be proved bv the sword. \our boa-tings, which, like'your fulminations of hate. are t-onreuiiat theatrical, leave us cold. We know that in order to gb.;',. your lage you will .shrink from no bar-oil"??* m savagery in your rabid haste to do iti- harm. But »e do not hate- you as you hale us. i; i-s not in our i lulu to to nmse .-o black and. venomous a malice. We do pot hate you. but we do not tiu.-t vim, and we cannot l-c----(qx'et you. You 'have earned the scmn and condemnation of ail dcvii; pao|>!e. Centuries or atonemerii, will not wash clean the name of Germany. Still, 1 off'r you fomio! advice. Do not talk so much. ; you wiil n,-d your wind when it cornea to tiie in-lighting. ( urb your vile temper, consider vow; liver, H-f-rr Witting; these emotional' blizzards. Imjddes being rather eontemptib'e, are bound, to shorten your valuable life. What a loss- would that be- to civilisation, to C'hri.'-tianitv, to culture.
AN OPEN LETTER, Issue 15698, 12 January 1915
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