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This is the answer of the German Press to the latest report on al- " Mors Lias." legations against Germany of wholesale murder, outrage, and destruction. It is perhaps the only answer that could be made. To admit even a, tithe oi the charges levelled against her humanity and honor would be to put herself under the ban of civilisation for the present and succeeding generations. Therefore a denial (as sweeping as it ir, emphatic) and a whole-hearted denunciation or" every report, whether from Belgium, or France, or Bussia. as

■'lies" is. under the awful circumstances, the best answer that Germany can supply. She will, through her Press, bo better able to convince her own people and her sympathisers without the pale of the prima, facie falsity of the charge by indignant and blank denials than by partial admissions and specious extenuations. To admit, as General Von Kluck is reported to have done, that outrages were not only permitted, but ordered, in pursuance of a definite, prearranged policy would be to give the German defence away completely. IJ lit as a foolish world is protesting against certain well-ascertained and indisputable horrors, let Germany as a nation rest content to call them " lies " and part of her enemies' "filthy" game. There have been no outrages, it is asserted, save such as are unhappily inevitable when war breaks out, and what is being said of Germany now is what has been said of every war. No intelligent person will feel disposed to question the accuracy of portion, at least, of so general a statement as this. As war in itself is a contradiction of the principles upon which modern Christendom is based, it may be readily granted that the state of affairs to which it gives rise is almost certain to be characterised by individual instances of isolated rapine and slaughter. But this is not the charge that has been brought against Germany -as a nation, nor the crime or crimes of which Germany is accused. The crime for which the Kaiser, as representing the German Empire, is now being arraigned, and for which ultimately he will be brought, to judgment, is that he has made the slaughter and outrage of non-combatants, the destruction of towns, and the desolation of once peaceful

countries, deliberately and in cold blond, the means to an end It is not possible at this hour for either Emperor, or Government, or Press to divert attention # from the truth of German policy, nor to conceal, or even dispute, its fruits. There havo been outrages, and on so vast and cruel a. scale that they shame mankind and cry aloud for righteous vengeance. Tha declaration of war was in itself the supremest of outrages, and the temporary blotting out of Belgium, with its aceom- | panying tales of butchery and destruction, have stamped it indelibly upon the hearts and minds of all Dominions and peoples. | Of what avail is it lo deny these things when the ruins of many a- historic town arc yet smoking from the onslaught of the aggressor ? Why should Germany wax wroth now that the prico of the war she launched against Europe has to be paid? She chose her own path, her Emperor himself drew the sword and proclaimed a policy of terror, and no step was taken save as the result of calculated prearrangement. There is nothing new in the fact, of German outrages. They were practised when Denmark wa- robbed, when Francs was torn asunder, and when China was punished. "No quarter, no prisoners, no mercy," was the Imperial command to German troop's prior to their departure for the Far East in 1900. And General James 11. Wilson, who commanded the American contingent on that occasion, has borne testimony to the thoroughness with which tho mandate was obeyed The atrocities that were perpetrated by the Germans, especially as respects women, were (according to this impartial authority) something too atrocious for record, and were, moreover, unI bhishinglv acknowledged as regular feature of warfare. What German policy and German troops did 14 years ago in China they have repeated on a vaster scale in Belgium and France to-day. Only with this difference: The world of 1900 was filled with the desire for vengeance against tho Boxers and their fiendish doings, and Germany's barbarous methods, though known and commented on, were lost In the universal anxiety and subsequent rejoicings. No similar confusion masks her crimes to-day. The attempt to tack her way tlvrcmgk to world power regardless of the cost in human life, or its degradation and violation, has brought upon Germany the execration of mankind. Henco her present passionate- denials and frantic counter-charges ; but these will not avail her. Nor would they have- been heard had Germany attained her goal. Success, no matter how purchased, would have justified everything. This is the doetrine of the new Germany and of her rulers and teachers; this is the dogma against which the race has risen in hot and unflinching protest. And there are Germans who glory in it. Major-general Von Disfurth, writing recently in the 'Hamburger Nachrichten.' said:-

Xo object whatever is served l>v taking any notice of the accusations of barbarity "levelled against Germany by their foreign critics. Frankly, we are, and must be, barbarians, if by this word we understand those who wage war relentlessly to the uttermost _ degree. There is nothing for us to and nothing for us to explain away. _ Kvery act, of whatever nature, committed by our troops for the purposo of discouraging, defeating, and destroying our enemies is a brave act, a good deed, and is fully justified. His conclusion is as*"logical as it is infamous : '" These things (destruction of cathe""drals, pictures, and monuments) do not •'' interest us. Our troops must achieve "'victory. What else matters?" Well, something evidently " matters," else why this savage, invective of " lies " and " filth " ? Probably it is the moral detestation of men and women evcrwyhcre that matters ; possibly, even, it is God —He who speaks in history, and is not mocked.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150121.2.24

Bibliographic details

Evening Star, Issue 15706, 21 January 1915

Word Count
1,004

Evening Star Issue 15706, 21 January 1915

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