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AMERICAN VERDICT ON THE WAR

REPLY TO THE GERMAN PROFESSORS. A SPIRITED INDICTMENT. Ninety-three, of the most prominent men of Germany, distinguished in various branches of science, art, education, and literature, have recently circulated broadcast throughout America a letter, entitled ' An Appeal to the Civilised World,' in which they attempt to change public opinion in tlie United States on the subject of the war. Mr Church, president of the Carnegie Institute at Pittsburgh, author of ' The Life of Oliver Cromwell,'' has made reply thereto, which is addressed to Dr Fritz Schapcr, of Berlin. He says : —■ It gives me a feeling of pity to note the importunity with which the people of Germany are seeking the good opinion of America, in this strife. It is greatly to their credit that they wish to stand right 'in the judgment of this nation. But. Germany need have no fear that American public opinion will bo perverted by the lies and calumnies of her enemies. We are all going deeper i than the surface in our search for the ' truth. Your letter speaks of Germany j as being in a struggle, "which has been j forced upon her."' That is the whole ! question; all other are subsidiary. If i this struggle was forced upon Germany, then, indeed, she stands in a position r[ j mighty dignity and honor, and the whole j world should acclaim her and succor j her, to the utter confusion and punish- j ment of the foes who have attacked her. | But if this outrageous was was not forced upon her, would it not follow in the course of reason that her position is without dignity and honor, and that itis her foes who should he acclaimed and supported to the extreme limit of human sympathy ? I believe, dear Dr Schaper, that the judgment on this paramount question has been formed. That judgment is not based upon the lies and calumnies of the enemies of Germany, nor upon the careless publications contained m the newspapers, but upon a profound study of the official correspondence in the case. What do the official documents prove ? After reviewing the evidence Mr Church concludes : Who began it? Was it England? Scarcely so, for England, in so far ;.s her army is concerned, had yielded to the popular pica, for arbitration ; she was not ready for war, and will not be ready for another six months? Was it France? Was it Russia? Not one of the 93 distinguished men who. have sent me this letter, if they will read the evidence, will say so. " It was Austria, who, by her unreasonable and inexorable attack on Serbia, began the war, supported at every step by Germany, who, in her turn, gave notice to the Powers of Europe that any interference with Austria would be resented by Germany ! to the full limit of war. Th <_iimr \gnn t Pi] i m Mr Chiroh pircecd The n \t joint \o i letter lead thu It i lot tie that vi tiespi ] 1 i leitnl Trig n 11-up tne e T | m« stu bed ell tl e lett the\ ip c Id lie * , e W\ e trite in tif\ i hj an urn ii ed declir ltion' Ha an\ e i Q ll n lei conespr id it ic 1 tl I pe-sl to tl e Amei can pe nl 1 Ii | ml Clnncello Ui B tin i in Hnll eg purhshod it' \n c i e pape on \ igust l~> I i l t f in that statement the Chancellor said . \ " We were compelled to override the i just protests of the Luxemburg and Bel- ; gian Governments. The wrong—l speak j frankly—that we are committing we will j endeavor to make good as soon as our ! military goal has been reached." I What will the good consciences of the j German people say when, in spite of its \ passion in the rage of war, if grasps j the awful significance of the confession j of its Imperial Chancellor? "The wrong j that, we are committing." The. wreck i and rnin of a country that has done von j no injury, the slaughter of her sons, the j expulsion of her King and Government. ; the hlackmail of her substance, the. de- : struction of her cities, with their happy j homes, their beautiful monuments of his- j toric times, and the priceless works of | human genius! " Tlie wrong that we ! are committing." Worst of all, when , the desperate and maddened populace. '■ seeing their sons slain and their home~ in flames, fired from their windows in the ]-i-t- instinct of nature, your troop.-, i ! with barbaric ferocity, put them to the I j sword without distinction of age or 'cj 1 i The wrong' Oh. Dr Schaper. if these ' conditions should ever be reversed, and : these foreign soldiers should march : through the streets of Berlin, would not. j you, would not. all of my 9o rorrospon- ! dents, it' they saw their homes battered ! | in ruins and their sons dead in the j i streets, would they, too, not. rire from : thru- windows upon tlie merciless invad- i eis? I am sure I would do so! j —Grrmno. Militarism.--j Your U. G;rma,i '. Whig.-; up in my mind Uk- conviction \h?.t ' thus war began polonl ially 25 years ag .>, ; r when J'.'mporor WiiJiam JI. ascended l he j j throne, declared himself Supreme- War '■ j Lord, and proceedvd ;:> prepaiv his i:u- ---! lion for w:,r. liis oivn children wero ' ! raised from their babyhood to consider! themselves s-oldie-s. and to look forward ! to n destiny of slaughter : and hero in I America, we know .'ven his daiinhu-r j only by her photograph in a colonel's i uniform. And as with his own children, j so all thfi youi.ii of his empire were I brought up. I Going faraway from your great philo- ! Kant, who, in his Categorical j Imperative, has taught us ail a now I golden rule, the national spirit of Gc-r- i many has been fed on the .sensual ma- ! terinlism of Nietzsche, on the undis-,- ! guiscd bloodthirct of General Von' Bern- I hardi, on the wicked war dreams of j Treitschke, and on the weak morality ! of Von Bulow ; and we, behold in every ! scrap of evidence that we can gather j fi'ori; your Emperor, his children, his soldiers, his statesmen, and his professors, that Germany held herself a nation apart from the rest of the world and superior to it, 4inH predestined to maintain that superiority by war. In contrast to this narrow and destructive .spirit of nationalism, we in America have learned the value of humanity alxive the race, s-o that we cherish ail mankind in the bosom •:>!' our cour/trv. Therefore we can dp nothing but exc- I crat-r- the conduct of ycur Emperor, who i ! has driven his troops to slaughter their ! brethren, and lie slaughtered by them in! this bloody and unspeakable conflict. j And so, at last, my dear Dr Schaper, ! we find ourselves shocked, ashamed, and ' 'iiitraged that a. Christian nation .should i lie guilty of this criminal war. There ; was no justification for it. Anwd and j defended as you were, the whole world could never have broken into your border. l ". And while German culture still has fomething to gain from her neighbors, yet the intellectual progress which Germany was making seemed to be lifting up b:r own people to better things for themselves and to an altruistic service to mankind. Your great nation floated its ships in every ocean, eold its wares in the uttermost parts of the earth, and enjoyed the good favor of [ humanity, because it was trusted as a 1 ■

humane Stats.- But now all th i s achieve- ! ment has vanished, ail this pood opi»k>n lias beer, destroyed. Yon cannot- in half a century tpmiii the- spiritual and m.v terin-1 bencfhs which you have. IoM. Oh. that we might haW again a Gerrr-anv fhat- wo could r-'sped.' a- Germany of m-e- pe-aco. of true progress-, of tn;e culture, roodost and not boastful, for ever rid oy"her war l.srds ; uid her armed hosts, arid turning r.ncp mo;* to tie uphi'tinc influence •>! such leaders as Luther. Goethe.' Beet hovcii. and Kant! But Germany. whe<Vr you win nr loso in this war, ha-; ftlleu. and the once glorious nation must continue to pursue its course in dirkness and murder until conscience at ':i.-= t bids it withdraw it,-, armies, hack to its own boundaries, thero to hope for the world's pardon nr>nn this inexpiable- damnation.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150114.2.3

Bibliographic details

AMERICAN VERDICT ON THE WAR, Issue 15700, 14 January 1915

Word Count
1,423

AMERICAN VERDICT ON THE WAR Issue 15700, 14 January 1915

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