THE BLOT ON THE KAISER'S 'SCUTCHEON
NEWELL DWIGHT HILLIS
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THE BLOT ON THE KAISER'S 'SCUTCHEON
NEWELL DWIGHT HILLIS, D. D. Author of "German Atrocities," etc.
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German Atrocities By NEWELL DWIGHT HILLIS Illus., Cloth, $1.00 net
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I. THE ARCH-CRIMINAL 11 1. The Kaiser's Hatred of the United States. 2. The Kaiser's Character Revealed in His Choosing the Sultan for His friend. 3. Pershing's Charges versus the Kaiser. 4. Who Taught the Kaiser That a Treaty Is a Scrap of Paper? 5. The Plot of the Kaiser.
II. THE JUDAS AMONG NATIONS 31 1. The Original Plot of the Members of the Potsdam Gang. 2. The Berlin Schemers and Their Plot. 3. German Superiority a Myth That Has Exploded. 4. German Intrigues. 5. German Burglars Loaded with Loot Are the More Easily Captured. 6. Germans Who Hide Behind the Screen. 7. Must German Men Be Exterminated?
III. THE BLACK SOUL OF THE HUN 60 1. German Barbarism Not Barbarism to the German. 2. The German "Science of Lying." 3. The Malignity of the German Spies. 4. The Cancer in the Body-Politic of Germany. 5. Polygamy and the Collapse of the Family in Germany. 6. The Red-Hot Swords in Sister Julie's Eyes. 7. The Hidden Dynamite: The Hun's Destruction of Cathedrals. 8. The German Sniper Who Hid Behind the Crucifix. 9. The Ruined Studio. 10. Was This Murder Justified?
IV. IN FRANCE THE IMMORTAL! 98 1. The Glory of the French Soldier's Heroism. 2. Why the Hun Cannot Defeat the Frenchman. 3. "I Am Only His Wife." 4. A Soldier's Funeral in Paris. 5. The Old Book-Lover of Louvain. 6. A Vision of Judgment in Martyred Gerbeviller. 7. The Return of the Refugees. 8. An American Knight in France. 9. An American Soldier's Grave in France. 10. "These Flowers, Sir, I Will Lay Them Upon My Son's Grave." 11. The Courage of Clemenceau.
V. OUR BRITISH ALLIES 132 1. "Gott Strafe England"—"And Scotland." 2. "England Must Not Starve." 3. German-Americans Who Vilify England. 4. British vs. American Girls in Munition Factories. 5. The Wolves' Den on Vimy Ridge. 6. "Why Did You Leave Us in Hell for Two Years?" 7. "This War Will End Within Forty Years." 8. "Why Are We Outmanned By the Germans?"
VI. "OVER HERE" 164 1. The Redemption of a Slacker. 2. Slackers versus Heroes. 3. German Stupidity in Avoiding the Draft. 4. "I'm Working Now for Uncle Sam." 5. The German Farmer's Debt to the United States. 6. "Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth" Is an Ungrateful Immigrant. 7. In Praise of Our Secret Service.
Publisher's Explanatory Note
These brief articles are sparks struck as it were from the anvil of events. They were written on trains, in hotels, in the intervals between public addresses. During the past year beginning October 1, 1917, Dr. Hillis, in addition to his work in Plymouth Church, and as President of The Plymouth Institute, has visited no less than one hundred and sixty-two cities, and made some four hundred addresses on "The National Crisis," "How Germany Lost Her Soul," "The Philosophy of the German Atrocities," and "The Pan-German Empire Plot," the substance of these lectures and addresses being given in the book, "German Atrocities," heretofore published. These articles are illustrative of and supplementary to the principles stated in that volume.
While consenting to publication, the author was not afforded opportunity for full revision of this second volume, being again called over-seas just as this book was being put into type. This will account for the form in which the material appears.
1. The Kaiser's Hatred of the United States
It is a proverb that things done in secret soon or late are published from the housetops.
Certainly everything that was hidden as to the plots of the Potsdam gang is, little by little, now being revealed.
Nothing illustrates this fact better than that volume published in Leipsic in 1907, called "Reminiscences of Ten Years in the German Embassy in Washington, D. C."
When that aged diplomat published the story of his diplomatic career he doubtless thought that the volume prepared for his children and grandchildren and friends was forever buried in the German language. It never even occurred to the Councillor of the Ambassador, von Holleben, that the book would ever fall into the hands of any American. The very fact that an American author found the volume in a second-hand bookstore of Vienna in 1914 and translated the three chapters on the Kaiser's representatives in the United States and the organization of the German-American League, must have roused the Foreign Department in Berlin to the highest point of anger.
Children and diplomats oftentimes unconsciously betray the most important secrets. No volume ever published could possibly have revealed matters of greater moment to Germany than this volume of reminiscences that sets forth the propaganda carried on in the United States by Ambassador von Holleben and his legal councillor for the furthering of the Pan-German Empire scheme.
No scholar can doubt the right of this old diplomat to speak. The Kaiser personally vouched for him by giving him this important duty. The honours bestowed at the end of his long diplomatic career tell their own story. Every page breathes sincerity and truthfulness. No one who reads this volume can doubt that this author gave the exact facts—facts well known to his German friends—in the recollections of his diplomatic career.
This diplomat tells us plainly that von Holleben and himself were sent to the United States specially charged with the task of reuniting Germans who were naturalized in America with the German Empire.
It was their duty to organize secret German-American societies in every great city like New York and Brooklyn, Chicago and Milwaukee, Cincinnati and St. Louis, and to present to these societies a German flag sent from the hands of the Kaiser himself.
Their work, says the author, was based upon the fact that the Kaiser had passed a law restoring full citizenship in Germany to those Germans who had become naturalized citizens of the United States. When, therefore, these members of the German-American League formally accepted their restored citizenship their first duty was to the Fatherland and the Kaiser and their second duty to the United States and its Government. Indeed, this lawyer and author actually goes so far as to give extracts from von Holleben's speech before the German-American League in Chicago when he presented the society with a German flag and swore the members to the old-time allegiance.
He says that in some way the editor of the Chicago Tribune found out about this meeting and wrote a very severe editorial, after which, he adds, that von Holleben and himself had to be more careful.
Concerning the Milwaukee meeting, he refers to a conversation which revealed his judgment that if ever there was trouble between Germany and the United States the war would partake of the nature of a civil war. The author not only gives an account of the conference held at the Waldorf-Astoria between Ambassador von Holleben, Professors Munsterberg of Harvard and Schoenfield of Columbia and himself, on the one side, and Herman Ridder on the other, but he gives the instructions from Berlin that Herr Ridder could only keep his subsidy from the German Government for the New Yorker Staats Zeitung by placing his fealty to Germany first and subordinating his Americanism, and that otherwise Ambassador von Holleben would found a rival German paper that would have back of it "unlimited resources, to wit: the total resources of the German Empire."
Here, then, is proof positive that the Kaiser began his efforts to establish a pro-German movement against the United States for several years before 1906 and that he methodically kept it up until the war began.
Through it all he claimed to be our sincere friend; but he was then, as he is to-day, an implacable and relentless enemy, with a heart laden with hatred and bitterness.
2. The Kaiser's Character Revealed in His Choosing the Sultan for His Friend
Nothing tests manhood like the choice of a bosom-friend. Criminals choose bad associates.
Every Black Hand leader goes naturally towards the saloon, the gambling house and the dens where thieves congregate. Dickens made Fagin surround himself with pickpockets, burglars and murderers.
History tells us that Christianity has always kept good company. Its friends have been architects, artists, poets and statesmen. Christianity repeats itself through its friends in the Gothic Cathedral shaped in the form of the cross, in the Transfiguration of Raphael, the Duomo of Giotto, the Paradise Lost of Milton, the In Memoriam of Tennyson, the Emancipation Proclamation of Lincoln. Christianity has never formed any close friendships with jails, gallows or slave ships. Men like Gladstone and Lincoln always kept good company; their friends have been scholars and heroes; but, in striking contrast, consider the friends selected by the Kaiser.
To the Kaiser came a critical hour; at that moment he was at the parting of the ways. It became necessary for him to make a choice of friends. Like every man, his isolation was impossible and friendship became a necessity.
The Kaiser had the whole world from which to choose. Yonder in London were King Edward and his son, the Prince of Wales. In France were certain statesmen and scientists like Curie. There was the old hero living in the capital of Japan and two ex-Presidents known the world around for their splendid manhood; and he could have made overtures of friendship to any one of these brave men; but in the silence of the night the Kaiser passed in review earth's great men, and finally selected for his close friend the lowest of the low—the butcher, unspeakable butcher—the Sultan of Turkey.
At that time the Sultan had just completed the butchery of many Armenians. His garments were red with blood, his hands dripped with gore. His house was a harem; his hand held a dagger. The sea-wall behind his palace rose out of the blue waters of the Bosporus.
When an American battle-ship was anchored there and a diver went down he pulled a rope and was brought up, shivering with terror, and saying that he found himself surrounded with corpses tied in sacks and held down by stones at the bottom of the sea.
In that hour the Kaiser exclaimed: "Let the Sultan be my associate! I will go to Constantinople and sign a treaty with the unspeakable butcher."
And so the Kaiser took his train, lived in the Sultan's palace, signed this treaty, and hired the Sultan's knife and club, just as the Chief Priest Annas chose Judas to be his representative upon whom he could load the responsibility for the murder of Jesus.
Never was a friendship more damnable. Reared in a country that believed in the sanctity of the marriage relation and in monogamy, the Kaiser lined up with polygamy. The treaty that he made was thoroughgoing. He sent out word to all Mohammedans, whether they lived in India or Persia, in Arabia or Turkey, that they must remember that the Kaiser had entered into a treaty to become their protector and friend. Having become a Lutheran in Berlin, he became a Mohammedan in Constantinople on the principle that "When you are in Rome do as the Romans do, and when you are in hell act like the devil"—a simple principle which the Kaiser proceeded to obey as soon as he reached Constantinople.
Every one knew that the Kaiser wanted to build a German railroad through to Bagdad and the Persian Gulf; this would give him an outlet for surplus goods to be sold in India. Serbia lay straight across the path, and he had to work out some scheme to attack Serbia. Then he needed the Sultan's friendship, and the end justified the means—and the end was the Bagdad Railroad.
But the Turk tired of being the Kaiser's tool; he wanted more land; the Armenian was in his way; the Turk was lazy, shiftless and a spendthrift. The Armenian was industrious and hard-working. The Turk's method of living made him poor. The gifts of the Armenian tended towards wealth. Once in twenty years the Turk found himself a pauper and found the Armenian rich; the result was envy and covetousness on the part of the Sultan and his people. It became necessary to bribe the Turk to stand by the Kaiser and his Baghdad Railroad. The Kaiser's German officers, therefore, furnished the bribe.
"Let us go to this Armenian village, or that, and kill the people. We German officers will take the large houses of the rich merchants and move into them, and your Turkish soldiers can kill the old men, use the Armenian girls for the harem, and fling the little children's bodies into pits dug in the garden behind the house. We will enter the village in the morning as soldiers; when the night comes, as Germans and Turks, we will be the only people living in the Armenian village, and we will move into their stores and take possession of their houses and their looms."
"You cannot hang an entire nation," said Edmund Burke. "You must arrest the leaders and hang them." Burke was right as to the punishment of criminals, but he was wrong when it comes to murdering industrious and honest Armenians. You can murder an entire nation, for the Germans and the Turks have practically done it. Ambassador Morgenthau has just said that the Kaiser and the Sultan through their forces have murdered nearly a million Armenians. But, soon or late, remorse and conscience will take hold upon these two unspeakable butchers with hands that drip with blood—the butcher Kaiser, the butcher Sultan, that represent earth's two murderous twins.
3. Pershing's Charges versus the Kaiser
Nothing measures a man so accurately as the names he gives to his favourite son. Most significant, therefore, is the fact that the Kaiser named his second son Eitel, or Attila. Who was this Attila who has captured the imagination of the Kaiser? He was a Hun who devastated Italy fifteen hundred years ago. The motto of this black-hearted murderer Attila the Hun was: "Where my feet fall, let grass not grow for a hundred years." When the Kaiser read Attila's story he exclaimed: "That is the man for me!" First, he named his favourite son for Attila the Hun. Second, in sending his German soldiers out to China, and later in 1914 to Belgium, he gave them this charge: "You will take no prisoners; you will show no mercy; you will give no quarter; you will make yourselves as terrible as the Huns under Attila." Plainly the Kaiser knew his men. He knew that they were capable of outdoing even that monster Attila the Hun. So he sent them forth to bayonet babes, violate old women, murder old men, crucify officers, violate nuns, sink Lusitanias, and turn solemn treaties into scraps of paper.
Now over against the Kaiser's charge, black as hell, and big with death, witness Pershing's charge, reported loosely by a French boy, with his imperfect knowledge of English, translated out of the French newspapers on July 18, 1917. Pershing's brief address comes to this:
"Young soldiers of America, you are here in France to help expel an invading enemy; but you are also here to lift a shield above the poor and weak; you will safeguard all property; you will lift a shield above the aged and oppressed; you will be most courteous to women, gentle and kind to little children; guard against temptation of every kind; fear God, fight bravely, defend Liberty, honour your native land. God have you in His keeping." "Pershing."
The difference between yonder lowest hell in its uttermost abyss and yonder highest heaven, where standeth the throne of a just God, is not greater than the chasm that separates that unspeakable butcher, the Kaiser, from General Pershing and the American soldier boys, who have never betrayed in France, the noblest ideals of service cherished by the people of the American Republic.
4. Who Taught the Kaiser That a Treaty Is a Scrap of Paper?
Each month of this war clears away some clouds and reveals Germany as wholly given over to crime and treachery. At the beginning of the invasion of Belgium, the Kaiser spoke of his treaty safeguarding the neutrality of that little land as a "scrap of paper." At the moment no one seems to have realized whence the Kaiser had that cynical expression. Now the whole damnable story has been made clear. Twenty-five years ago the Kaiser, in one of his addresses, used these words:
"From my childhood I have been under the influence of five men—Alexander, Julius Caesar, Theodoric II, Napoleon and Frederick the Great. These five men dreamed their dream of a world empire; they failed. I am dreaming my dream of a world empire, but I shall succeed."
Now why did the Kaiser over and over again proclaim his allegiance to Frederick the Great? How is it that he celebrates his ancestor, Frederick? This "scrap of paper" incident makes it all quite clear. The bitter waters gushing out of the Potsdam Palace go back to a bitter spring named Frederick the Great. The poisoned fruit that ripened in 1914 hangs on a bough whose trunk was planted by Frederick in far-off days.
Among many musty old German books recently published is a little book by that same Frederick. The Prussian king was writing certain notes for the guidance of his sons and successors, among whom is the present Kaiser. In his page of counsels Frederick talks very plainly about the breaking of treaties:
"Consider a treaty as a scrap of paper under any one of the following emergencies: First, when necessity compels it. Second, when you lack means to continue the war. Third, when you cannot by any other means combat your ally or enemy."
Then Frederick raises one question: "If the interests of your army or your people or yourself are at stake or you have to keep your word on one hand and your pledge word and treaty is on the other hand, which path will you take? Who can be stupid enough to hesitate in answering this question? In other words, treaties are to be kept when they promote your interest, and shamelessly broken when you gain thereby."
The Kaiser, therefore, had from Frederick, his ancestor, this handbook on lying. In turn, the Kaiser gave this notion of the treaty as a scrap of paper to his Chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg, who engraved, as has been said, "on eternal brass the infamy of Germany": "We are now in a state of necessity, and necessity knows no law. We were compelled to override the the just protest of Luxembourg and Belgian Governments. The wrong—I speak openly—that we are committing we will endeavour to make good as soon as our military goal has been reached. Anybody who is threatened, as we are threatened, and who is fighting for his highest possessions, can have only one thought, how he is to hack his way through."
Guizot mentions "honour and fidelity to the pledged word" as one of the distinguishing elements of what is called "a civilized State." But this puts Germany among the barbarous savages. Three indictments and convictions have blackened the name of Germany throughout all the world. First, her atrocious and dishonourable methods of warfare; second, the carrying off into slavery of non-combatants, the Belgians and French, and third, the breach of the pledged word and the solemn treaties with other nations.
But at last we know that Frederick the Great, the ancestor of the Kaiser, was the author of the phrase, "the treaty is a scrap of paper." What was once in the gristle in the ancestor is now bred in the bone of the Kaiser and Crown Prince. That phrase, "a scrap of paper," holds the germ of a thousand wars. It spells the ruin of civilization. Not to resent it by war, is for the Allies to commit spiritual suicide.
5. The Plot of the Kaiser
All the pamphlets issued secretly to the members of the Pan-German League invariably used Rome as their illustration. We are not surprised, therefore, to find that the German leaders called attention to the fact that it took two wars at intervals of some years to make Rome a world empire.
In like manner, therefore, the Kaiser and his Cabinet told the German people at home and abroad that the first war, beginning in 1914, would establish a Middle-Europe Empire extending from Hamburg on the North Sea to Bagdad on the Persian Gulf.
One of the pamphlets issued many years ago fixed the countries to be conquered about 1915, and distinctly mentioned Denmark, Holland, Belgium and North France, Poland and Rumania, Hungary and Austria, Serbia and Bulgaria, and the wheat granaries of Russia, with Turkey and Armenia.
The number of people to be conquered and included after the first war was fixed at 250,000,000.
The argument states that it will take but a few years to compact this Middle-Europe Empire and that naturally Great Britain, Spain and Italy, to the west, with Norway and Sweden to the north, with Italy and Switzerland to the south, and of course Greece and Egypt would, from time to time, as crises came, fall inevitably into Germany's hand. Berlin, as the world capital, should by 1920 be the magnet, and the little particles of iron, named the Balkan States, would be drawn and held by this great German magnet in Berlin.
The first step to be taken and the first goal to be reached concerned, of course, the English Channel, the Dutch cities on the mouth of the Rhine, and the iron mines of Northern France. We know to an absolute certainty all the details of this plan.
For more than thirty years Germany had been organizing her army; she knew every road, inn, bridge, factory, shop, and wholesale store in Denmark and Holland, Belgium and France. In all of the larger ones she had German agents belonging to the Pan-German League toiling as workmen and every detail was planned out in advance.
In 1910 General von Bissing, one of the Kaiser's closest friends, was sent to Brussels. For years he spent the summer months apparently at the watering places near The Hague in Holland and Ostend in Belgium, preparatory to the hour when Germany would seize Belgium and he assume his position as Governor-General, living in Brussels.
Men nearing death tell the truth. In January of 1917 von Bissing prepared a memorandum for the direction of Belgian affairs in His Majesty's name and according to his wish. This document contains the meditations of a dying man. The statements he makes, he says, contain the views that inspired his every act in Belgium during his administration.
In his last will and testament von Bissing, in the spring of 1917, advises the German Government in Berlin that the time has come to throw off all disguises. He says that at the beginning of the war it was probably good policy to deny that the Government ever intended to annex Belgium, but, he says, "now that we are victorious there is no reason why we should not publish to the world the fact that we never intend to give up one foot of the Belgian sea-coast, nor one ton of the Belgian coal, nor one acre of the French iron mines."
He says plainly: "The annual Belgian production of 23,000,000 tons of coal has given us a monopoly on the continent which has helped to maintain our vitality. If we do not hold Belgium, administer Belgium in future for our interest and protect Belgium by force of arms, our trade and industry will lose the positions they have won in Belgium and perhaps will never recover them."
And what about Dutch cities and seaports? On page eighteen of General von Bissing's last will and testament he adds:
"Our frontier, in the interest of our sea power, must be pushed forward to the sea." This sentence makes it perfectly plain that a little later Germany intends to incorporate Rotterdam in her own customs union. "Belgium must be seized and held, as it now is, and as it is to-day it must be in the future. The conquest of Belgium has simply been forced upon us by the necessities of German expansion."
Von Bissing, however, recognizes the difficulty of annexing Belgium and securing the consent of the members who shall arrange the treaty of peace at the conclusion of the war, and this is his decision:
"Our best method, therefore, is to avoid, during the peace negotiations, all discussion about the form of the annexation and to apply nothing but the right of conquest. Plainly Belgium's King can never consent to abandon his sovereignty, but we can read in Machiavelli that he who desires to take possession of a country will be compelled to remove the King or regent, even by killing him."
Von Bissing has torn off all masks. He himself states that he is speaking for the Kaiser, as his most trusted friend and counsellor. Germany intends, therefore, ultimately to kill King Albert of Belgium, and this carries with it that the Kaiser and his War Staff believe they have the right to kill any King or President who happens to stand in the pathway of their ambition. Every lover of mankind whose heart is knitted in with the poor and the weak will understand what that editor meant the other day when he said:
"The one duty of the hour, therefore, for America, is to kill Germans, that we may keep the rest of the world from being killed."
THE JUDAS AMONG NATIONS
1. The Original Plot of the Members of the Potsdam Gang
Many historic meetings, big with social disaster, are recorded in history. Witness the meeting of the Athenian judges for the killing of Socrates. Witness the coming together of the priests and Judas for the piteous tragedy of the death of Jesus. Witness that midnight meeting of the conspirators in Florence for the burning of Savonarola. Terrible also the results of that meeting in the Potsdam Palace in 1896 that culminated in the Pan-German Empire scheme.
What began as a spark that day has ended in a world conflagration.
In retrospect the Kaiser and his associates had many events behind them to encourage the ambition to make Berlin a world capital, Kaiser Wilhelm the world emperor and all the other nations and races subject peoples.
Beginning in 1860 with thirty-five millions of people and only fifteen billions of dollars, Germany had climbed to greatness upon iron steps, heated hot by war. Never did wars yield so large a return.
The war with Denmark had given Germany the Kiel Harbour, the Kiel Canal and a sea-coast for her ships.
The war with Austria had given Germany the rich coal provinces of Central Europe. The war with France had given Germany the iron mines of Alsace and Lorraine.
And here for the next war were Denmark and Holland, Belgium and northern France—so many jewel boxes that could be looted. To the eastward were Poland with her coal mines, Rumania with her oil fields and Russia with her wheat granaries. And once Central Europe became a Middle-Europe German Empire there was no reason why later on Germany should not extend her conquests to Russia on the east and England on the west, and then to North and South America.
It was a great scheme. Never was prize so rich. Never could obstacles be so easily swept away. To make Berlin a world-capital and Kaiser Wilhelm a world-emperor only two things were needed.
Plainly the first thing to be done was to organize the Pan-German Empire League and educate the leading men of Germany—the ship owners, bankers, merchants and manufacturers, editors, ministers, priests and university professors.
Local branch societies were organized in all the large German towns and cities. Weekly meetings were held, papers read and reports made. Slowly people of the middle class were included in the league. Documents marked "Secret and Confidential" were distributed, setting forth the details of the scheme.
Full reports were made as to what Germany could make by seizing the fields of Denmark, the cities on the mouth of the Rhine in Belgium, the coal and iron mines of France, Poland and Russia, and also the undeveloped resources of the Valley of the Euphrates.
Careful statements were prepared as to the difficulties that must be surmounted, but always this lure was held out—that the poorest German who then had nothing, would when Germany was victorious become a landowner, live in a mansion and drive his own automobile. Then he would have Russians and Frenchmen to wait upon him, since the German was a superman, intended for a patrician, while all other races were pigs, intended by nature to be bondsmen and plebeians.
"The rest of the world is amassing wealth, and when the fruit is ripe then we Germans will pluck it"—this was their motto.
Little by little the germ of world-ambition became a fever, burning in the soul of every German at home or abroad. It took twenty years to thoroughly inculcate every individual of the German race with this feverish ambition, but when 1914 came every German had gone over to the Pan-German scheme and was ready to die for it.
2. The Berlin Schemers and Their Plot
After all the Germans at home and abroad understood the Pan-German scheme of seditious intrigue in foreign countries and the vast web was spun and thrown out over all the cities and continents where the Kaiser's representatives were living, the second thing to be done was to make the plan clear by spreading it out like a great map. The method used, therefore, was pictorial.
The Department of Publicity in Berlin became experts on geography. They began to issue illustrated maps so that the rudest German peasants and the German colonists living in Milwaukee or El Paso, in Rio Janeiro or Buenos Aires, in Brussels or St. Petersburg, in Melbourne or Calcutta, could easily understand the method and the goal.
Out of twenty maps issued in Berlin and reproduced by Andre Cheredame, no one is more important than the one marked "The Old Roman Empire." The simplest German miner understood the map at a glance and realized its meaning for the members of the Pan-German League. Here is old Rome marked world capital. Here is Caesar Augustus called the first world emperor. Here is Carthage with its capital looted and Roman peasants remaining after the victory to move into rich men's houses and estates of North Africa. And here also were the maps of conquered Palestine, Ephesus, Athens and Corinth. To be sure the old Romans had to become soldiers, but, later, did not each Roman soldier live in the rich gardens around Thebes, Ephesus and Corinth?
Instantly the imaginations of the German peasants and workmen kindled. The Kaiser was right. What had been in Rome must be in Berlin. The Elbe must succeed the Tiber. Berlin shall be the second world-capital. Our Wilhelm shall be the second world-emperor. Germania shall be written straight across Europe from Hamburg on the North Sea to Bagdad on the Persian Gulf. Germans alone shall be allowed to carry weapons, as once only the Roman was allowed to own a spear; only Germans shall be allowed to hold title deeds to lands, even as once only Romans could hold a field or a house in fee simple. Old Rome won by becoming a military State.
Did not the people of Rome go forth as soldiers and return with triumphal processions, with treasures of loot that took days to pass along the Appian Way, while the Romans stood cheering and the women and children sang and threw flowers in the path? Why should not the German army, between the reaping of the wheat in July and the threshing of the wheat in October, return from Brussels and Paris laden with treasure, while a second triumphal procession marched down Wilhelmstrasse?
The German peasants kindled at this dream. Why should the German have to live always on bologna sausage, drink beer, eat sauerkraut and live in ugly houses when the people of Paris and London drank champagne, ate roast fowl, wore French laces and the finest English wools? It was a wicked shame. Surely the German was intended for something better than sauerkraut and beer!
"Two weeks and we will be in Brussels. Three weeks and we will have Paris. Two months and we will loot London."
This was the plan. How significant that letter, taken from the dead body of a German boy found in No Man's Land, near Compiegne.
"Within three days, Liebschen, we will be in Paris. I intend to bring you a pocketful of Paris rings and jewels, with Paris gowns and laces."
From the body of a German boy found near Luneville was taken this letter saying that, with his three companions, he had picked out four French farms and left the houses standing, and that his friends and himself had picked out these farms as permanent homes. Later he added that Heinrich thought it would be much better for them to wait until they smashed England and made Canada a German colony. Then they could own, not small French farms, but vast Canadian farms with a hundred tenants working for him in the valleys around Toronto and the vineyards of Winnipeg and orchards of Hudson Bay.
Most shrewd and cunning, the plotters of the Potsdam gang. They knew how to feed the fires of envy and avarice in the German people. Every few weeks they placed new material in the hands of every German at home and abroad. They reminded each poor peasant and foreign colonist that he was a superman, and that by day and by night he was to prepare for the time when he would become the head of all the people of the town or industry with which he was related. Poor Germans in foreign countries dreamed their dreams of the time when they would be appointed by the Kaiser and Foreign Minister to take charge of the village in Mexico, the mine in Chile, or when they would be the tax collector in some distant province.
We know now, from letters that have been found, that the German soldiers in France carried in their pockets a description by the German historian Curtius of the triumphal procession along the Appian Way, when the Roman conquerors came home loaded with loot. These skillful German plotters printed at the bottom of Curtius's description the statement that each German soldier must look forward to a similar return from London, Paris and Brussels to march through the streets of Munich and Berlin.
What a dream was this German dream! What treasures were to be brought into Berlin! What marbles and bronzes of Rodin stolen from Paris! At last Berlin was to own beautiful paintings, for the treasures of the Louvre were to be the Kaiser's.
Never was there such a dream dreamed by peasants who soon were to become princes and kings and patricians. The German had exchanged the rye bread of 1913 for the "fog bank" of 1918; had given up German beer to grasp only empty, breaking bubbles. But it was a great dream while it lasted. In pursuance of his hope he sacrificed three million German boys, left dead in the fields of Flanders and France. He sent home four million German cripples. He filled the land with vast armies of widows and orphans.
It could not have been otherwise. There has never been, and never will be, but one world city—Rome; and there has never been but one world-emperor—Caesar Augustus. There is to be one universal kingdom—and that is the kingdom of God, the kingdom of love, justice, peace and good-will. The German has been pursuing a will-o'-the-wisp.
A world-kingdom will come, but no Kaiser will rule over that empire of love. In that world-parliament all the races shall be represented as equals; then the earth that has long been a battle-field shall become an Eden garden, where all are patriots towards the world-kingdom, and scholars towards the intellect, and self-sufficing towards the family, and obedient towards their God.
3. German Superiority a Myth That Has Exploded
Several years before the great war began a Dutch humorist wrote a play on German megalomania. He portrayed a German schoolroom in Prussia. Thirty or forty embryonic Prussians are at the desks and a Prussian schoolmaster is in the chair.
"Children, what is the greatest country in the world?"
All shouted vociferously, "Germany!"
"What is the greatest city in the world?"
"Who is the greatest man in the world?"
"Should there ever be, children, a vacancy in the Trinity, who is best fitted to fill the position?"
"The Crown Prince!"
"Who are the chosen people of the good old German God?"
"The German people!"
Never was there a finer bit of sarcasm and yet the Germans were never able to understand the play. The Kaiser, the War Staff, the Cabinet, down to the last wretched creature working in the stables and the sewers, reading the play, exclaimed:
"What is the man driving at? Why, of course the Germans are the greatest people in the world—we admit it!"
Now, during the last few years the Germans have spent untold millions in propagating this myth of superiority, and yet the German intellect has never even had a second-rate position. Call the roll of all the tools that have redeemed men from drudgery and you will find that Germany's contributions are hopelessly inferior to the other nations.
The new industrial era began with the locomotive and steamship; James Watt invented the one and Stevenson the other.
The new era of physical comfort began with the loom; a Frenchman named Jacquard and an Englishman named Arkwright made men warm for their work in winter. Garments within the reach of the poor man in forest and factory, field and mine, means the cotton gin, and that gin is the gift of an American. The sewing machine changed woman's position, but the world owes that to our own Elias Howe.
We owe the telegraph to an English inventor and, in part, to Morse. We owe the cable in part to Lord Kelvin and, in part, to Cyrus Field. We owe the telephone to Bell and the wireless to Marconi.
Holland invented the submarine, Wright the airplane, McCormick the reaper and Edison the phonograph.
An American invented the German submarine; an American invented the German torpedo; an American invented the German machine-gun; an American invented the Murphy button, the yellow fever antitoxin, the Dakin solution.
An English physician discovered the circulation of the blood, Jenner gave us vaccination, Lister antiseptics, France the Pasteur serums and the Curie radio discoveries, while a Bulgarian, Dr. Metchnikoff, discovered the enemies of the blood.
It was from France, England and the United States that Germany stole the typewriter, the steel building, the use of rubber, the aniline dyes, reenforced concrete bridges, air-brakes, the use of electricity.
One of the most amazing volumes in the world is the "History of Tools and Machinery." We have all known for a long time that there is not one single German name among the eight great masters of painting that begins with Rembrandt and includes men like Velasquez and Giotto. We have long known that there is no German sculptor of the first class nor a German sculptor that is within ten thousand leagues of Rodin, Michael Angelo or Phidias. We have long known that Schubert and Schumann and Rubinstein and Haydn and Chopin were all Jews, and that three-fourths of the other so-called German musicians were Jews whose ancestors suffered such frightful political disabilities in Germany and were so regularly looted of all their property that they gave up their Hebrew names and took German, just as now thousands upon thousands of Germans in this country, ashamed of their names, are Americanizing their family title.
The simple fact is that if a Jew will only write the creative music, like that of Beethoven, a German whose gift is detail will conduct the orchestra.
The German can standardize a machine, providing an Englishman, a Frenchman or an American will first invent it. The German will gather up the remnants and scraps and odds and ends in a clothing factory—but, oh, think of an American gentleman having to wear the coat that was cut by a tailor in Berlin or Munich! Having during ten different summers looked at their garments, all one can say is that the German men and women are covered up but not clothed.
For thirty years the Germans have paid their representatives to stand on the corner of the street and bawl out to every passer-by: "Great is the Kaiser! Great are we Germans! Let all people with cymbals, sackbut, shawms and psaltery cry aloud, saying 'Great is the Kaiser and all his people!'"
And now suddenly the myth has burst like a bubble. The delusion is exploded. The Kaiser has found out that it is dangerous to blow too much hot air into a German bladder.
Measured around the stomach in the Hofbraus in the presence of a barrel of beer, the Prussian and the Bavarian are great; but the hat band requires the least material of any made in four countries.
For the time has come to confess this simple fact that for any one great tool, or art, or contribution to science created by a German there are four invented by either an American, an Englishman or a Frenchman.
4. German Intrigues
The spider's web stretched out over a flower bed with a great fat spider at the centre and the threads along which the spider runs to thrust its poisoned sting into the enmeshed butterfly is nature's most accurate symbol of the vast web of espionage lying over North and South America with secret threads that vibrated to the touch of the spider at the centre named Berlin.
In that web thousands of German-Americans were enmeshed. The records of our Secret Service concerning these German enemies of the American Government read like a book of assassinations or like a history of the black arts. When the whole story comes to be told it will horrify the world.
The quality of the German-Americans that Berlin bribed is set forth in the reminiscences of Witte when he says that the Kaiser and the Foreign Department paid Munsterberg of Harvard University $5,000 a year salary and that Munsterberg was the most successful and efficient spy that the German system had ever developed.
In the long list of German agents are to be found the names of German-American bankers who received secret decorations and medals from the German Government; of German merchants who were partners in this country of firms in the Fatherland and were bribed by a ribbon and an invitation to the Potsdam Palace; of German newspaper men who were under German pay, and, most amazing of all, among the papers seized in the office of a German Consul was found a commission appointing this Consul in an American city to the office of Governor-General of one of the greatest States of Canada as soon as Canada became a German colony.
Many of the threads from Berlin ran into the various cities of Mexico. A German head office was set up under the general direction of Zimmermann in Berlin and of von Bernstorff in Washington. Certain large institutions that did business in Mexico, working in the same field, were quietly elbowed out of Mexico, and an American company, ostensibly American, but controlled by Germans, took over the business of the other firms under special arrangement with Mexico. Pledges were given Mexico that as soon as Germany had reduced Canada and the United States to the position of German colonies, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California should be handed back to the Mexicans.
Millions were spent by the German Foreign Office as ordinary men spend dollars. The German spies, like Boy-Ed and von Papen, arranged to blow up American munition factories and held dinners waiting for a telephone message saying that the magazine had just exploded or the depot had taken fire or a scow had been sunk, after which they drank the health of the man who lighted the match.
German agents burned up wheat elevators with hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of wheat; they fired warehouses, blew up bridges, wrecked munition plants, destroyed shiploads of food, dynamited the House of Parliament in Ottawa, sank the Lusitania near Ireland, spread glanders among the horses in Sweden, poisoned the food in Rumania, sank the ships of Norway, plotted against the Argentine Republic. Their spies, dynamiters, secret agents, were in every capital and country because it was their purpose to make Berlin a world capital, Kaiser Wilhelm the world emperor and to Germanize the people of the whole earth.
The web had as its centre the Potsdam Palace, but its black lines ran out into all the earth.
5. German Burglars Loaded With Loot Are the More Easily Captured
It seems that Germany has published, for the Spaniards, a list of treasures she has won. In the long calendar the reader finds that eight States—Belgium, France, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, Armenia, Italy—have all been looted.
The Germans claim they have spoiled over three hundred first class cities, several thousand secondary cities and towns; they add that they have destroyed seventy-three cathedrals and looted them of their priceless treasures of statues, paintings, stained glass, vessels of silver and gold.
With brazen audacity the German pamphlet tells the Spaniards that they have seized so many hundred thousand watches, so many hundred thousand rings, so much treasure of diamonds and jewels, so many paintings from rich men's houses, and the long boast ends with the statement that they "obtained nearly five billions of loot out of western Russia and have assessed two billions more upon the farmers, villages and cities of Ukraine."
But the boast is an idle and empty boast. It is true that no army of the Allies has crossed the German frontier to permanently hold a city. But let no man think that Germany has succeeded because of the richness of her loot. There is a success that is failure. There is a victory that is defeat.
Macbeth killed Duncan and went to live in the palace of the dead king, but did Macbeth succeed? Was not his palace a brief halting place in his journey towards remorse, insanity and the day when Duncan's friends in turn slew Macbeth?
The rich judges of Athens succeeded and Socrates failed. They went home to drink wine and feast, while Socrates went to the jail to drink a cup of poison. But who succeeded? The judges whose names are written low down and bespattered with dirt—or Socrates, whose name fills the sky and who has become the thinker for the world?
What if the Kaiser does boast of his successes to-day? So boasted Nero—sending Paul to his rags, crusts and the dungeon preparatory to the headman's axe. But it is Nero that lost out, and it is Paul who reigns a crowned king.
The chief priests celebrated their victory; at the close of the day, after they had succeeded in crucifying Jesus; but after nineteen centuries the murderers are unknown and almost forgotten, while that young carpenter rules over His Empire of Love.
To-day the Kaiser claims to have won the victory of "a superman." In that he has carried murder, arson, lying, rapine, lust up to the nth power, let us concede his claim. Not otherwise two hundred years ago the Indian, with his scalping knife, his war-whoop and his tomahawk, was "a superman" in terms of savagery. Not otherwise the Spaniards under Bloody Alva were "supermen" in terms of rack, thumbscrew and instruments of torture.
But what savages once did in the little, the Kaiser and his men now do in the large. But because the Kaiser can publish a long list of wealth gained—by breaking his treaties, by murder, arson and lust—let no man think that he is successful.
The two Biddle brothers looted the Bank of England, but they became outcasts upon the face of the earth, and always the dungeon yawned for them, just as the Kaiser and von Hindenburg never sleep at night without a vision of an oak tree, a long bough and a hemp rope dangling at the end, for the hemp is now twisted that will one day choke to death the murderous Kaiser and his War Staff.
Let no patriot, whether he lives in Spain, Russia or the United States, forget that ours is a world ruled by men who were defeated.
To-day on the thrones of the world are the heroes, like Paul and Demosthenes; the martyrs who were burned with Savonarola in Florence or poisoned with Socrates in Athens.
To-day, the soldiers of Marathon and Marston Moor, Gettysburg and the Marne now rule the world.
The treasure of the burglar and the brigand dissolves like snowflakes in a river.
Long ago the Hebrew poet said: "I have seen the wicked flourish like a green bay tree, and then I lifted up my eyes, and, behold! he was not." And when a little time has passed all lovers of liberty and humanity will exclaim: "During four years I have seen the Kaiser and von Hindenburg flourish as the green bay tree, and I lifted up mine eyes, and, behold! they were not. For the breath of His nostrils had slain them."
6. Germans Who Hide Behind the Screen
Two thousand years are a long time in terms of history.
Many damnable tools have been invented during these twenty centuries. The rack, the thumbscrew, the tomahawk, the fagot belong among these devilish instruments.
Cruelties so terrible have been devised that old scholars often felt unwilling to believe that men were so low in the scale as to have been the authors of these methods of fiendishness.
In the hope, therefore, of keeping respect for man many scholars transferred all responsibility unto devils. They called in Satan and made him to be the father of hate and cruelty. They could not believe that Nero, Judas or Torquemada could conceive such wickedness. They therefore made the devil with his cloven feet and his long tail to whisper these cunning suggestions in the ear of the traitor. Thus the responsibility for unwonted cruelty was divided between the murderer and the devil who counselled the black crime.
Perhaps the most damnable thing that was ever suggested by the devil in two thousand years is this little object called the German soldier's token. Never did an object so small send forth cruelties so large and manifold.
The little disc is stamped out on thick paper for German privates and upon aluminum for the officers. At the top of this cardboard is the portrait of that awful being called by the Kaiser "our good old German God."
Look at his white hair, the long beard and the great sword in the right hand, with the suggestion that since God uses the sword the German soldier must cut men to pieces also.
Beneath you see flames gushing up, suggesting to the German soldier that he is quite right in burning the houses of France and Belgium after he has looted them, and for flinging the dead bodies into the blazing rafters. Now read the words written beneath the face of the being the Germans call God.
"Strike them all dead. The Day of Judgment shall ask you no questions."
Strike dead old men and women! Dash the children's brains out against the stone wall! Violate young girls! Mutilate their fair bodies so that they will be unseemly when they are found by the husband or father. Burn, steal, kill—but remember that your Kaiser and the War Staff have promised to stand between you and God Almighty and the Day of Judgment! Even if Jesus did say, "Woe unto them that offend against my little ones," you must remember that your Kaiser and officers have promised you immunity on the Day of Judgment.
That is what is meant by the sentence on page thirty-one in the German handbook of "War on Land": "That which is permissible to the German soldier is anything whatsoever that will help him gain his goal quickly."
Nothing better illustrates the total collapse of manhood in the Germans than this soldier's token.
A coward by nature, the German is afraid to kill and steal, and so he invented a screen behind which he could hide and named it "the soldier's token."
Going into a French village the Germans collect the women and children, order them to march in advance, shoot a few to terrorize the rest, and then, hiding behind this living screen, the Germans march forward. In this way they protect themselves.
The whole history of the human race contains no chapter of atrocity like the atrocity of the Germans. The history of the world contains no story of cowardice so black and damnable as the cowardice of the Germans. Out of cowardice the soldier's token was born.
And so the Kaiser and the War Staff invented this round piece of cardboard, with the representation of God as going forth with His sword to kill men and with His flames to burn them and with the motto: "Strike them all dead, for the Day of Judgment will ask you no questions."
Therefore among the instruments of cruelty, called the rack, the fagot, the thumbscrew and the tomahawk, let us give the first place to the German soldier's token, the most damnable weapon that has come out of hell during the last two thousand years.
7. Must German Men Be Exterminated?
A singular revulsion of sentiment as to what must be done with the German army after the war, is now sweeping over the civilized world. Men who once were pacifists, men of chivalry and kindness, men whose life has been devoted to philanthropy and reform, scholars and statesmen, whose very atmosphere is compassion and magnanimity towards the poor and weak, are now uttering sentiments that four years ago would have been astounding beyond compare. These men feel that there is no longer any room in the world for the German. Society has organized itself against the rattlesnake and the yellow fever. Shepherds have entered into a conspiracy to exterminate the wolves. The Boards of Health are planning to wipe out typhoid, cholera and the Black Plague. Not otherwise, lovers of their fellow man have finally become perfectly hopeless with reference to the German people. They have no more relations to the civilization of 1918 than an orang-outang, a gorilla, a Judas, a hyena, a thumbscrew, a scalping knife in the hands of a savage. These brutes must be cast out of society.
Some of us, hoping against hope, after the reluctant confession of the truth of the German atrocities, have appealed to education. We knew that Tacitus said, nearly two thousand years ago, that "the German treats women with cruelty, tortures his enemies, and associates kindness with weakness." But nineteen centuries of education have not changed the German one whit. The mere catalogue of the crimes committed by German officers and soldiers and set forth in more than twenty volumes of proofs destroys the last vestige of hope for their future. Think of the catalogue! Babies nailed like rats to the doors of houses! Children skewered on a bayonet midst the cheers of marching Germans—as if the child were a quail, skewered on a fork! Matrons, old men and priests slaughtered; young Italian officers with throats cut and hanging on hooks in butchers' shops; the bombing of Red Cross hospitals and nurses and the white flag; everything achieved by civilized man defiled and destroyed—reverence for childhood and age, the sanctity of womanhood, the standards of honour, fidelity to treaties and all destroyed, not in a mood of drunkenness or a fit of rage, but on a deliberate, cold, calculated policy of German frightfulness.
The sense of hopelessness as to civilizing the German and keeping him as an element in the new society grew out of the breakdown of education and science in changing the German of the time of Tacitus. Plainly the time has come to make full confession of the fact that education can change the size but not the sort. The German in the time of Tacitus was ignorant when he took the children of his enemy and dashed their brains out against the wall; the German of 1914 and 1918 still butchers children, the only difference being that the butchery is now more efficient and better calculated, through scientific cruelty, to stir horror and spread frightfulness. The leopard has not changed its spots. The rattlesnake is larger and has more poison in the sac; the German wolf has increased in size, and where once he tore the throat of two sheep, now he can rend ten lambs in half the time. In utter despair, therefore, statesmen, generals, diplomats, editors are now talking about the duty of simply exterminating the German people. There will shortly be held a meeting of surgeons in this country. A copy of the preliminary call lies before me. The plan to be discussed is based upon the Indiana State law. That law authorizes a State Board of Surgeons to use upon the person of confirmed criminals and hopeless idiots the new painless method of sterilizing the men. These surgeons are preparing to advocate the calling of a world conference to consider the sterilization of the ten million German soldiers, and the segregation of their women, that when this generation of German goes, civilized cities, states and races may be rid of this awful cancer that must be cut clean out of the body of society.
THE BLACK SOUL OF THE HUN
1. German Barbarism Not Barbarism to the German
Strictly speaking, the only man who thoroughly understands the cruelty of the Germans is the German himself. No American or Englishman, no Belgian or Frenchman has the gift of telepathy that enables him to know what is going on in the German mind that guides the German's hand in committing his horrible atrocities. Now and then, in a moment when he is off guard, an occasional German reveals the explanation, and we look in, just as John Bunyan's pilgrim saw the door into Hades opened by a little crack, through which he looked upon the flames. Not otherwise was it with that German in Baltimore, who recently exposed the German mind, and from the German view-point explained the Germans in their hour of brutality.
During a most intimate and personal conversation with a banker, this German, the other day, explained his people's atrocities by saying that what is barbarism and atrocities to England, France or the United States is not barbarism at all to the Germans. In proof of this astounding statement the German gave this personal incident of his boyhood. He said that in his gymnasium there was another boy who had something that he wanted. When the opportunity came, being the stronger, he jumped upon the other boy, beat him up terribly and made him a cripple for life. On reaching his home he showed his parents what he had stolen, and he was patted on the back, praised for his might with his fists, and told that that was the method he was to follow in after life.
He insisted that this sort of thing was drilled into every German boy, and for that reason it never once even occurred to him that he had done wrong. "After I became a man I settled in America, and as I came to understand the spirit of American civilization it grew upon me that I had committed a crime, and now for twenty-two years, as some atonement for my sin, I have been supporting that crippled man and his widowed mother."
The modern banker has become a sort of confessor, and to the banker many sins are revealed as once to the priest. Nothing is more significant than this German confession and his philosophy of the German atrocity. In his own written letter concerning that crime of his boyhood this German adds: "Had I remained in Germany no one would ever have thought of suggesting to me that I had done wrong, and it would never have entered into my head that I was under any obligation to the man I had maimed. In the light of American civilization I understand the difference, and I am seeking to atone for my sin, but all Germans have been taught, as I was taught. The Germans, therefore, in their campaign of frightfulness, are committing deeds which from the view-point of American civilization are barbarous, but from the view-point of Germans are not crimes at all."
The significance of this frank confession of a German, his story of how America had redeemed his soul out of the spirit of force and cruelty into the spirit of kindness, humanity and justice, reveals more of the real nature of the German beast and the Potsdam gang than a thousand volumes on the philosophy of German atrocities. The simple fact is that the crimes of the Germans are abominable atrocities to us, but that intellectually and morally the German officer and soldier simply do not know what we mean by our horror and the wave of moral indignation that has swept over the earth. Jesse Pomeroy used to pull canary birds apart, and tortured children to death. But the boy was deficient in the nerve of humanity. He simply stared with blank eyes when the judge and the jury condemned him. He was incapable of knowing what the excitement over the dead body was about. On the side of compassion and humanity the German is, as it were, colour blind, is without musical sense, and the nerves of kindness and humanity are atrophied. The ordinary German prisoner when shown the bodies left behind after the flight of the German army simply looks blankly at the mutilated corpse and exclaims: "Well, what of it? Why not? Why shouldn't we?" and shrugs his shoulders, taking it as a matter of course. That is another reason why a great number of American business men, bankers, merchants, manufacturers, scholars, statesmen, have reluctantly been forced to the conviction that the ten millions of German soldiers should be painlessly sterilized, that the German people (saving only the remnant who accept Jesus' idea of compassion and kindness towards God's poor and weak) should be allowed to die out of the world. Re-read, therefore, what this German has said about the teaching of his German parents and the German people in praise of cruelty, and how for twenty years now, redeemed by life in the United States, he has tried to make atonement by supporting the man whom he had crippled, and also his mother. Who shall explain to us the reason why German barbarism is not barbarism to the Germans? Why, this German shall explain it, through his personal experience as a criminal. But the day will come when the Potsdam gang and ten million German soldiers will stand before the judgment seat of God. And what shall be the verdict then pronounced? You will find it in the New Testament: "'Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee,' thou wicked and cruel German!"
2. The German "Science of Lying"
For the first time in history a nation has organized lying into a science and taught deceit as an art.
At the very time when the diplomats of the world have refused any form of secrecy and insist upon publishing all international treaties and doing everything in the open, Germany has organized lying into a national science. Even Maximilian Harden, editor of Zukunft, openly acknowledges this in one of his editorials reproduced in the papers of Denmark and Holland.
Harden comes right out in the open. He tells the German people that at the beginning of the war it was necessary to say to the world that Germany was fighting a defensive war, that her back was against the wall, that those wicked enemies named England and France, Russia and Belgium were leaping upon her like wolves.
Of course, says Harden, at first that was good diplomacy, but now that we are successful, "Why say this any longer? Let the Kaiser and his Chancellor tell the world plainly that we decided upon this war twenty-five years ago; that during all of these years we were preparing cannons and shells; that we drilled ten million men against 'Der Tag'; that we wanted this war, that we planned this war, that we forced this war and that we are proud of it."
With one stroke Harden has torn off the mask. He exhibits the Kaiser as the prince of liars. If his words mean anything, they mean that what has long been surmised is absolutely true, namely, that Germany wished some one would kill the Austrian Prince and Princess so as to start the war, for which Berlin had prepared everything, down to the last buckle on the harness of the horses.
General von Bissing is not less open. Dying men are not apt to tell lies. When he saw that the end was coming the Governor-General of Belgium prepared what he called his "last will and testament."
As a close and intimate friend of the Kaiser, he left a letter with his will asking the German Government carefully to consider his wishes. He says plainly that all of the statements that Berlin never intended to annex Belgium were pure camouflage. He urges the Berlin office to flatly declare its purpose never to give up a foot of the Belgian coast nor an acre of the conquered territory of north France and Belgium.
"It is of no consequence," he says, "that we have given a solemn pledge not to annex Belgium. Why not tell the world that we will have failed in the one thing for which we set out if we evacuate Belgium? We need Belgium's coast line for our shipping."
He adds that Germany has used twenty-three million tons of Belgian coal and has taken as much more iron ore out of France's basin in Briey. "We cannot live and compete with France and England if we give up the coal and iron mines that we have conquered and the harbours that we have won."
Having affirmed, therefore, that the German Government lied at the beginning in claiming that they entered Belgium fighting a defensive warfare, General von Bissing cast about for some one behind whom he can hide as a screen and who can be used as an authority for lying. He finds his guide and leader in "The Prince," written by Machiavelli. That book has often been called the treatise on the art of lying. Never was such cunning exhibited. Never was the father of lies invoked with such skill as by the German leaders. In their sight truth is contemptible, kindness is weakness, honour is a figment.
But the individual, the city, or the empire that builds its life on lies builds its house on sand. Soon the rains will descend and the floods come, the winds will blow, and the house will fall, and great will be the fall of it.
The German is like a thirsty man who tries to quench his thirst by drinking scalding water. He is like a hungry man who tries to satisfy his appetite by eating red-hot coals.
3. The Malignity of the German Spies
Disturbed by many events in their city, the Secret Service men guard very carefully the speakers for the Liberty Loan, the Red Cross or the Y. M. C. A. hut work. Fearing lest some German agent might injure the good name of their town, the Secret Service men of a certain community recently told the following incident, merely as a warning to all public speakers who might, by their words, arouse the enmity of half-balanced German fanatics. Because it was intended to put us all upon our guard, and because no interest could possibly be injured, but many persons be benefited, the incident is here set forth in detail. The speaker was a young lawyer, of position, influence and fine education, who was serving his country during the period of the war.
"One morning I received my assignment through a sealed envelope. Experience told me that I was to take up the work of some other Secret Service man and complete the task. Of course, one Secret Service man does not know who else is in the service. Since the war began we go by numbers, rather than by our names. When I opened my envelope I found these directions: 'Go to No. —— ——. Wait until there is no customer in the tobacco store. Then put down on the counter two ten-cent pieces, and say to the woman, "I want that package of green leaf tobacco." When you have left the store, open the package, and you will find full directions therein.' I followed the instructions strictly, and out on the street I opened the package, and found a large key and a small one, with these words written: 'Go to No. so-and-so (mentioning a third-class little apartment house in one of the worst districts in the city). The large key will open room No. 14. The small key will open a little writing table in the room. In the drawer of that table you will find full directions.'
"I soon found the apartment house, climbed to the second floor, found my large key turning in the lock, and the small key opened the drawer in the desk. In that drawer I found these words: 'The man we want is in the adjoining room. He will come in about seven o'clock, but he may not come until eleven or twelve. It is important that we have his testimony. Don't wound him seriously or kill him. You will find a hole bored through the door between your room and his. That hole is filled with putty, but underneath the putty is wax. Warm the wire in the drawer in the gas jet and melt the wax.'
"I waited until eleven o'clock for the man to come in. For a while he sat on the bed, with his back towards me. He was reading. Finally he lifted his pillow to shake it up, and I caught sight of a big revolver under the pillow. For several reasons I decided to do nothing until he had fallen asleep. I kept my ear glued to that little hole for one hour after he turned out his light. When he was sleeping soundly I went into the hall, with my skeleton key turned the lock in the door, and then with my lantern in the left hand and my revolver in the right made one bound into the room, struck my light and my revolver into his face under the light and shouted: 'Hands up!' Within three minutes I had him handcuffed and within ten had him bound. In that room, when the police came at my call, we found enough chemicals and powerful explosives to have blown up the entire block. In his satchel were found incriminating letters, secret documents, and, with their help, we soon landed the entire crowd. All have now been taken care of. Their flames were stamped out before they were kindled." That one incident was only one of a series of closely-related dramatic events. Outwardly, life in that city is very safe, simple and straightforward, but as to the forces of evil, the anarchists, the I. W. W.'s and German plotters the patriot can only say that but for the Secret Service and the police and the Department of Justice, society could not go on for one single month.
4. The Cancer in the Body-Politic of Germany
To-day, physicians and surgeons count the cancer man's deadliest enemy. Every year this baffling disease takes large and larger toll of human life. From time to time experts come together to plan its limitation, but meanwhile the terrible disease increases. Addressing a company of experts recently, a great physician exclaimed: "Even if we can stop its growth by radium, it still remains for us to get rid of the growth itself. There seems to be no way to lift the evil cells out save through the knife, after which nature must heal the wound. Science knows no other way." Plainly, no magic can be invoked. No miracle assists the surgeon. His one recourse is to the knife, and after that the healing forces of nature.
Let us confess that the knife has a large place in the extermination of social diseases. Militarism is a cancer on the German body-politic, just as slavery was once a cancer fastened on the fair body of the great South. That disease had fastened itself upon the South many years before the Civil War. Like a cancer, it spread its roots throughout the whole social and economic structure of the Southern States. It poisoned trade. Its virus was in the body of law. It destroyed kindness and sympathy for the weak. Slavery debased the poor white working-man. It made the white fathers of mulatto children so cruel that they sold their own flesh and blood. Overseers became brutes. Slave drivers stood up and bid upon their own children in the auction markets. Slowly the disease spread. Men became alarmed. They tried everything excepting the knife held in the hand of war surgeons. Clay recognized the cancer in the body politic. He proposed compromise as a poultice. Garrison and Phillips proposed the amputation of the diseased limb. John Brown tried to put sulphuric acid upon the sore spots and eat it out through the flames of insurrection. Lincoln knew that it was a case of life or death. The Republic could not endure half slave and half free. All measures failed. Finally the god of war went forth and lifted a knife heated red hot and cut the foul cancer out of the body and saved the fair South. When many years had passed nature healed the wound and saved the life of the Republic.
Germany, Austria and Turkey to-day are patients in a world hospital. It is plain that they are stricken with death. The foul cancer of militarism has fastened itself upon Germany. The cancer of autocracy is eating into the vitals of Austria. The cancer of polygamy is enmeshed in the life of Turkey. Of late the disease has been spreading. Now these surgeons, named Foch, Haig and Pershing, have been anointed by the ointment of war black and sulphurous, and, lifting their scalpel, these men have been ordained to cut out the foul growth from the body-politic of Germany. Perchance there is still enough vital force left therein to heal the wound after the disease has been removed. Meanwhile, the sick man of Turkey struggles. The patient hates the knife. The diseased body will not have the only instrument that holds possible cure, and yet, despite all his struggle, the disease must come out. Slowly the surgical process goes on. One root at Verdun was cut, and now another is being sundered in the West. Much blood flows, but the blood is black and foul. Every cell in the German body-politic seems to be diseased. Medicines must be found. The stimulants of sound ethics and morals must be invoked—after that it is a question of the recuperative forces of intellect and conscience in the German people. These forces alone can heal the wound left after the foul cancer has been cut away. To-day, men with a large mind, blessed with magnanimity, kindness and good-will must stay their hearts upon history, that shows us that in the past in our own country slavery was a cancer cut out by the surgeons of war, and that after a long time the great South recovered its health, its beauty and its usefulness.
5. Polygamy and the Collapse of the Family in Germany
The unexpected influences of this war upon Germany herself is a striking consideration. Few men anticipated the far-off results of the Kaiser's alliance with the Sultan and his polygamous philosophy. During the past two years the German newspapers, magazines and debates in the Reichstag have been filled with startling suggestions concerning the family. The Berliner Lokalanzeiger, on March 7, 1916, published a statement urging that "every girl should be given the right on reaching twenty-five years to have one child born out of wedlock, for which she should receive from the state an annual allowance."
Dr. Krohne, in his address before the House, says: "The decline of the birth rate in Germany has proceeded three times as fast as in the preceding twenty-five years. No civilized nation has hitherto experienced so large a decline in so short a time. Our annual number of births falls already to-day by 560,000 below what we had a right to expect. We should have to-day 2,500,000 more inhabitants than we have." Commenting thereupon, the Berliner Lokalanzeiger demands that "illegitimate children should be put socially and morally on a level with the legitimate."
When, therefore, the Kaiser cast about for an alliance with some man who could be his bosom friend and could love what he loves, the Kaiser chose the Sultan with his polygamy and the Moslem teaching with its harem. No British or French officer, therefore, was surprised when documents like the following began to be found on the dead bodies of young German officers. This document is a verbatim and absolutely accurate copy of one of the many now deposited in the various departments of Justice and the War Departments in Havre and Paris:
"Soldiers, a danger assails the Fatherland by reason of its dwindling birth rate. The cradles of Germany are empty to-day; it is your duty to see that they are filled. You bachelors, when your leave comes, marry at once the girl of your choice. Make her your wife without delay. The Fatherland needs healthy children. You married men and your wives should put jealousy from your minds and consider whether you have not also a duty to the Fatherland. You should consider whether you may not honourably contract an alliance with one of the million of bachelor women. See if your wife will not sanction the relation. Remember, all of you, the empty cradles of Germany must be filled.
"Your name has been given us as a capable man, and you are herewith requested to take on this office of honour, and to do your duty in a proper German way. It must here be pointed out that your wife or fiancee will not be able to claim a divorce. It is, in fact, hoped that the women will bear this discomfort heroically for the sake of the war. You will be given the district of ——. Should you not feel capable of carrying on the task allotted to you, you will be given three days on which to name some one in your place. On the other hand, if you are prepared to take on a second district as well you will become 'drekoffizier' and receive a pension. An exhibition of photographs of women and maidens in the district allotted to you is to be seen at the office of ——. You are requested to bring this letter with you."
This is an amazing document. Plainly the German family has broken down. But no household can be built on free love in 1918, just as no stone building can be erected on hay, stubble or sand. The German family has gone, and German society is tottering towards its final ruin.
6. The Red-Hot Swords in Sister Julie's Eyes
The history of heroism holds nothing finer than the story of Sister Julie, decorated by the French Government with the Cross of the Legion of Honour. She lived in the little village of Gerbeviller, now called "Gerbeviller the Martyred." On August 27th the French army broke the line of the German Crown Prince and compelled the Huns' retreat. General Clauss was ordered to go northeast and dig in on the top of the ridge some twelve miles north of Gerbeviller. The Germans reached the village at nine o'clock in the morning, and by half-past twelve they had looted all the houses and were ready to burn the doomed city. The incendiary wagons were filled with the firebrands stamped 1912. Beginning at the southern end of the village, the German officers and soldiers looted every house, shop, store and public building, and then set fire to the town. At last they came to the extreme northern end, where a few houses and the little hospital over which Sister Julie had charge, were still standing.
About noon a German colonel with the blazing firebrand in his right hand stood in front of Sister Julie's house. It has been said that there are flaming swords in the eyes of every good woman. In that terrible hour the face of Sister Julie proved the proverb. She told the German officer that these few houses that were left were filled with wounded French soldiers, with here and there a wounded German. The Hun answered that his men would remove the Germans who were wounded, but that the buildings must be fired. Behind him were several hundred buildings blazing like one fiery furnace. Sister Julie stood squarely across the path of the Hun. "While I live you shall not enter. You shall not kill these dying men. I swear it by this crucifix! Your hands are already red with blood. God dwells within this house. Look at this figure of Jesus, who said, 'Woe unto him that offends against one of my little ones. These shall go away into everlasting hell.' I myself will bear witness against you. You have murdered our fifteen old men. All their lives long these old men did us good and not evil. Look at the little girls you have slain. God Himself will strike you dead." General Clauss stood dumb. He was embarrassed beyond all words. Fear also got hold upon him. He turned and disappeared into a group of his soldiers. Two or three minutes passed by. A German colonel came to Sister Julie. He told her that the houses used for wounded soldiers would be spared by General Clauss provided Sister Julie would agree to continue her ministrations to the wounded Germans lying in her hospital. As General Clauss already knew that this had already been done, and would be, the Germans marched away, leaving the hospital buildings uninjured. It was a victory of the soul of a noble woman.
One morning last summer Sister Julie showed her decorations. Her face was kind, gentle and motherly. Her atmosphere was peace and serenity. She seemed a tower of strength. It must have been easy for dying French boys in those rooms to have identified Sister Julie with Mary the Mother, who saw her son dying on the cross. Later on we met an aged woman of martyred Gerbeviller. She had been nursing in the hospital and had stood behind Sister Julie when she forbade General Clauss to light the firebrands. "What did Sister Julie say?" we asked the old woman. "Oh, sir, I do not know, and yet I do know. She told them that she would ask God to strike them dead. In that moment I was afraid of her. She seemed to me more to be feared than General Clauss and all his wicked army. I can tell you what our good priest says about Sister Julie." "And what is that?" The old woman could not quote the verse accurately, but from what she said we were soon guided to a chapter in the old Bible, and there was the verse that described Sister Julie, with arms uplifted at the door of her hospital and denying access to General Clauss. The verse was this: "And lo! an angel with a flaming sword stood at the gate and kept the garden."
7. The Hidden Dynamite; the Hun's Destruction of Cathedrals
In one group of ruined cellars that was once a splendid French city, there is a beautiful building standing. It is rich with the art and architecture of the sixteenth century. The lines are most graceful and the structure is the fulfillment of Keats' line: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." Such a building belongs not to the French nation, but to the whole human race. An architect like the man who planned this noble building is born only once in a thousand years. Every visitor to that ruined town asks himself this question: "Why did the Germans allow this building to remain?" An incident of the story of Bapaume throws a flood of light upon the problem.
One year ago, when the Germans were retreating from Bapaume, they looted every house, burned or dynamited every building save the Hotel de Ville. That city hall the Germans left standing in all its majesty and beauty. In front of the building they placed a placard containing in substance the statement that they left this building as a monument to Germany's love of art and architecture.
Secretly, however, in the cellar of this noble building the Germans buried several tons of dynamite. To this dynamite they attached a seven-day clock. They set the seven-day clock to explode at eleven o'clock one week after the Germans had retreated. These beasts worked out the theory that the largest possible number of British and French officers and public men would be inspecting the building at that hour of the day.
The plot was successful. Their devilish cunning was rewarded and their hate glutted. The clock struck the detonator, the dynamite exploded, blew the building and the visitors into atoms. Standing in the ruined public square, one sees nothing but that great shell pit where the earth opened up its mouth and swallowed a monument builded to beauty and grandeur. This other building, therefore, that stands in the city fifty miles to the south of Bapaume is there for the sole reason that the seven-day clock failed to explode the dynamite—not because of any love of architecture that possessed the Germans. It is there to tell us that some part of the mechanism of death failed to connect.
In analyzing the German mind nothing is more certain than the fact that they lack a fine sense of humour and are often quite devoid of imagination.
As for sculpture, nothing can be more hideous than the statues of the fifteen Prussian kings that do not decorate, but simply vulgarize, the avenue leading towards Magdeburg. The vast broad statue of Hindenburg, to which the Germans come to drive nails and scratch their names in lead pencils, reminds one of the occasional public buildings in this country defaced by thoughtless and vulgar boys. Nor is there anything in the world as ugly as the German sculptor's statue of the present Kaiser out at Potsdam Palace, unless it be the statue of an Indian in front of a tobacco store down in Smithville, Indian Territory, though even this is doubtful. It hardly seems possible that one earth only 7,000 miles in diameter could hold two statues as ugly as that of the Kaiser!
It is this singular lack of imagination and failure to understand the beautiful that explains the systematic destruction by the German army of the glorious cathedrals, the fourteenth century churches, libraries, chateaux and hotels des villes that were the glory and beauty of France.
"If we cannot have these vineyards and orchards," said the Germans, "Frenchmen shall not have them."
So they turned the land into a desert. Not otherwise the German seems to feel that if he cannot build structures as beautiful as these glorious buildings in France that he will not leave one of them standing.
Next to the Parthenon in Athens and St. Peter's in Rome, perhaps the world's best loved and most admired building was the Cathedral of Rheims. There Joan of Arc crowned Charles IX; there for centuries the noblest men of France had gone to receive their offices and their honours. A building that belonged to the world. What treasures of beauty for the whole human race in the thousand and more statues in the cathedral! How priceless the twelfth-century stained glass! What paintings which have come down from the masters of Italy! Whoever visited the library and the Cardinal's palace without exclaiming: "What beautiful missals! What illuminated manuscripts?"
Fully conscious of the fact that they were impotent to produce such treasures the Germans, unable to get closer to the cathedral than four miles, determined to destroy them. Day after day they bombed the noble cathedral. Gone now, too, the great stone roof! Fallen the flying buttresses, ruined the chapels. Perished all the tapestries, the rugs and the laces. Water stands in puddles on the floor. The cathedral is a blackened shell.
The victim of grievous ingratitude, King Lear, was turned out into the snow and hail by his wicked daughters; and the white-haired old king wandered through the blackness of the night beneath the falling hail. And, lo! the Cathedral of Rheims is a King Lear in architecture—broken, wounded, exposed to the hails of the autumn and the snow of the winter, through the coarseness and vandalism of the Germans.
The German Foreign Minister put it all in one word: "Let the neutrals cease their everlasting chatter about the destruction of Rheims Cathedral. All the paintings, statues and cathedrals in the world are not so much as one straw to the Germans over against the gaining of our goal and the conquest of their land."
Never was a truer word spoken. The German lacks the imagination and the gift of the love of the beautiful. He would prefer one bologna sausage factory and one brewery to the Parthenon, with St. Peter's and Rheims Cathedral thrown in.
8. The German Sniper Who Hid Behind the Crucifix
For hundreds of years the French peasants have loved the crucifix. Many a beautiful woman carries a little gold cross with the figure of Jesus fastened thereto, and from time to time draws it out to press the crucifix to her lips. Even in the harvest fields and beside the road, travellers find the carved figure of the Saviour lifted up to draw poor, ignorant and sinful men to His own level.
One of the most glorious pieces of carving in France was wrought in walnut by a great sculptor and lifted up on a tree in the midst of an estate, where the peasants, resting from their work, could refresh their souls by love and faith and prayer.
One day last summer, during the Teuton advance, a German officer stood beneath that divine figure. Mentally he marked the place. That night when the darkness fell a company of German officers returned to that spot. One of them climbed up on the tree. He found that the carved figure of Jesus was life size.
With the end of a rope a little platform was drawn up level with the foot of the crucifix. Two ropes were fastened to the outstretched arms of the Saviour. Another rope was fastened around the neck of Jesus, until the platform was made safe. Then a German sniper with his gun climbed up on the platform. He laid his rifle upon the shoulders of the Divine Figure, hiding his body behind that of Jesus. The German officer must have chuckled with satisfaction, for he knew that he had found a screen behind which a murderer might hide, and the German villain was quite right in his psychology.
It was true that the French soldiers loved that beautiful figure. To them the crucifix was sacred. So beautiful were their ideals, so lofty their spirit, so pure and high their imagination, that they were incapable of conceiving that a German could use the sacred crucifix as a screen from which to send forth his murderous hail.
The green boughs of that tree hid the little puff of smoke. From time to time a French soldier would fall dead with a hole through his forehead. Once a French officer threw up his hands while the blood streamed from his mouth and he pitched forward dead.
At last the French soldiers understood. There was a sniper behind Christ's cross. The French could have turned their cannon against that tree, but instead they simply kept below the trench until the night fell. Then in the darkness some French boys took their lives in their hands and crawled on hands and knees across No Man's Land. Lying on their backs they cut the wires above their heads.
By some strange providence they dropped safely into the German trench and crawled ten yards beyond. Then they climbed into the tree, removed that glorious crucifix with the carved figure, brought it back in safety and at daybreak turned their cannon on the tree and blew the platform to pieces.
Foul Huns had made a screen of that sacred figure, but the French were not willing to injure their ideals by shooting the crucifix to pieces.
To-day all the world despises the Germans. Nothing is sacred to them. Their souls are dead within them and when the soul dies, everything dies.
The German's body may live on for twenty years, but you might as well pronounce the funeral address to-day, for the soul of Germany is dead. Nothing but a physical fighting machine now remains.
Meanwhile, France lives. Never were her ideals so lofty and pure. That is why the world loves France. She has kept faith with her ideals.
9. The Ruined Studio
I have in my possession several photographs of a ruined studio. Some twenty or thirty Germans dashed into a little French village one day, and demanded at the point of their automatic pistols the surrender by the women of their rings, jewelry, money and their varied treasure. At the edge of the village was a simple little summer-house, in which one of the French artists had his studio. He had been in that valley for three months, sketching, and working very hard. Knowing that they had but a little time in which to do their work as vandals, the Huns started to ruin the studio. With big knives they cut the fine canvases into ruins. They knocked down the marbles, and the bronzes; the little bust from the hand of Rodin was smashed with a hammer. The bronze brought from Rome was pounded until the face was ruined. One blow of the hammer smashed the Chinese pottery, another broke the plates and the porcelain into fragments. Then every corner of the room was defiled, and the pigs fled from their filthy stye. Across one of the canvases the German officer wrote the words, "This is my trademark." And every other part of the canvas was cut to ribbons with his knife. No more convincing evidence of the real German character can possibly be found than these photographs of the interior of that ruined studio.
Here we have the reason why the Kaiser himself, who knew the German through and through, called his people Huns. Long ago the first Huns entered Italy. They found a city of marble, ivory, and silver. They left it a heap and a ruin. They had no understanding of a palace; they did not know what a picture meant, or a marble; they were irritated by the superiority of the Roman. What they could not understand they determined to destroy. That is one of the reasons why all the marbles and bronzes that we have in Italy are marred and injured. The head of Jupiter is cracked; the Venus di Milo has no arms; Aphrodite has been repaired with plaster; Apollo has lost a part of his neck and one leg. From time to time an old marble is dug up in a field, where some ploughman has chanced upon the treasure. Owners hid their beautiful statues, ivories and bronzes, to save them from the vandals. Unfortunately, the modern Huns rushed into the French towns, riding in automobiles, and sculptors and painters had no time to hide their treasures. The great cathedrals could not be hidden. The Kaiser in one of his recent statements boasted that he had destroyed seventy-three cathedrals in Belgium and France. It is all too true. From the beginning, the Cathedral of Rheims, dear to the whole world, and glorious through the associations of Jeanne d'Arc, was doomed, because the Germans, having no treasure of their own, and incapable of producing such a cathedral, determined that France should not have that treasure. The other day, in Kentucky, a negro jockey came in at the tail end of a race, ten rods behind his rival. That night, the negro bought a pint of whiskey, and determined to have vengeance, so he went out at midnight, and cut the hamstrings of the beautiful horse that had defeated his own beast. Now that is precisely the spirit that animated the German War Staff and the men that have devastated France and Belgium, and every man who has witnessed these German crimes with his own eyes will never be the same person again. His whole attitude towards the Hun is an attitude of horror and revulsion. A certain noble anger burns within him, as burned that noble passion in Dante against those criminals who spoiled Florence of her treasures.
10. Was This Murder Justified?
One raw, December day, in 1914, an American gentleman, widely known as traveller and correspondent, was in a hospital in London, recovering from his wound, received in Belgium. He was startled by the appearance of an old Belgian priest, and a young Belgian woman. The American author was travelling in Belgium at the time of the German invasion. Quite unexpectedly he was caught behind the lines, near Louvain. Having heard his statement, the German officer recognized its truthfulness and sincerity, and insisted that this American scholar should be his guest at the Belgian chateau of which he had just taken possession. The German had already shot the Belgian owner, and one or two of the servants, who defended their master. To the horror and righteous anger of the American, the German officer took his place at the head of the table, waved the American to his seat, and ordered the young Belgian woman to perform her duties as hostess. In that tense moment, it was a matter of life and death to disobey. That German officer had his way, not only with the young Belgian wife, half dazed, half crazed, wholly broken in spirit, but with the American whom he sent forward to Brussels.
Plunged into the midst of many duties in connection with Americans and refugees who had to be gotten out of Belgium into England, this American author had to put aside temporarily any plan for the release of that young Belgian woman held in bondage. Later, when he was wounded, the American crossed to London for medical help. When the old Belgian priest and that young woman stood at the foot of his bed in the hospital in London, all the events of that terrible hour in the dining-room of the Belgian chateau returned, and once more he lived through that frightful scene. The purpose of the visit soon became evident. The old Belgian priest stated the problem. He began by saying that God alone could take human life since God alone could give it. He urged that the sorrow of the young woman's present was as nothing in comparison to the loss of her soul should she be guilty of infanticide. It was the plea of a man who lived for the old ideals. His white hair, his gentle face, his pure disinterested spirit lent weight to his words. Then came the statement of the young Belgian woman. She told the American author of the dreadful days and weeks that followed after his departure, that every conceivable agony was wrought upon her, and that now within a few months, she must have a child by that wicked German officer. She cried out that the very babe would be unclean, that it would be born a monster, that it was as if she was bringing into the world an evil thing, doomed in advance to direst hell. That every day and every hour she felt that poison was running through her veins. She turned upon the old priest, saying, "You insist that God alone gives life! Nay, no, no, no! It was a German devil that gave me this life that now throbs within my body! And every moment I feel that that life is pollution. German blood is poisoned blood. German blood is like putrefaction and decay, soiling my innermost life." The young woman wept, prayed, plead, and finally in her desperation cried out, "Then I decide for myself! The responsibility is mine. I alone will bear it." And out of the hospital she swept with the dignity and beauty of the Lady of Sorrows.