Already in America there are signs of the inevitable “magnanimity”
toward the great world criminal of the present world war, and of
a movement for a whitewashed peace with “no annexations and no
indemnities.” There is danger that within six months Americans who do
not know Germany will seek to snatch the boon of durable peace and
human freedom from the Allied nations who have given their bravest
and best men, literally by millions, and their wealth by billions, to
protect the rights of man. A German peace means a German triumph, and
the certainty of another war in the near future. As an approach toward
a settlement, it is now very necessary that every American should know
Germany exactly as that bloody military dragon really is. As a means to
that end, these three chapters have been written.
The blunders, crimes and punishment of Germany are inseparably linked
The blunders of Germany constitute a spectacle of very much more than
passing interest. The questions they raise are by no means academic.
The logic of them is as inexorable as Death. They are of vital interest
to every freeman, and to every state and nation that sincerely
undertakes to conserve the rights of its people. To unhappy Austria,
shoved into the war by Germany, they are of life or death interest.
=A correct view of Germany is now absolutely essential to the future
freedom of man!=
Germany now resembles a rat in a pit, furious from countless defeats,
insane with baffled hate and rage, and wild with a fearful certainty of
her Finish. All her fine plans, and twenty years of active preparation,
have gone awry. Her vast naval and military preparations have brought
her only death, poverty, ruin and hatred. Even her own allies now
thoroughly hate and detest her, and one and all would break away from
her if they dared.
All her long years of lying and spying and plotting have been revealed
in their naked and hideous ugliness. She stands before the world as a
foiled conquestador, a black-hearted murderer of defenseless women,
children and old men, and the wholesale ravisher of helpless women.
The “skull-cracker” spiked club of Germany, and the deadly “murderer’s
mace” of Austria, now abundantly shown in Italy’s war museum, are used
for the murdering of wounded prisoners in the trenches and on the
And now Germany, like a mortally wounded wolf with the hounds at his
throat, undertakes to propose terms of peace to the Allies! With
a great show of large-heartedness, the Reichstag now talks very
magnanimously of peace with “no annexations and no indemnities.” Yes,
indeed! A peace on that basis would suit Germany well. Tricky and
shifty to the last gasp, she seeks thus to catch the swell-headed
“soldiers and workmen” of Russia, the large-mouthed and blatant
anarchists and radical socialists of America, and the traitor-pacifists
of the world at large. =But all honest men who are wide awake know full
well that a peace of that nature would spell “victory” for Germany, and
as certain as death and taxes another war with her later on!=
The Entente Allies presently will fix the terms of peace, as they
should be fixed, and Germany will accept them; but first there will be
another eighteen months of war.
With new German-made peace talk streaming out of Berlin, it is now time
to post the books for the past three years, and see how the German
account stands. Nothing is more conducive to peace and prosperity than
a true sense of proportion, and a correct point of view. In all times
of danger it is best to know the worst.
The debit side of Germany’s account quickly resolves itself, first of
all, into a catalogue of Germany’s blunders, as the reasons for her
crimes, and her present state of impotent rage. It is highly necessary
that Americans should study this list, in order to judge the case
fairly, and to be able to act intelligently when the times comes for
the Allies to discuss the peace terms that Germany, Austria and Turkey
It is the natural impulse of high-minded and humane people to be
over-magnanimous to beaten enemies, =to condone crime altogether too
often=, and to help the down-and-out criminal to get back upon his
feet. It is also a sadly common thing for a confirmed criminal to turn,
cur-like, and bite the hand that helps him; and many a criminal has
murdered the generous man or woman who gave him a place to lay his head.
There are criminals and criminals. Some deserve succor; others
merit quick extermination. The confirmed criminal is in a class by
himself. He is unfit to live; but as the very smallest measure of
self-protection, society should punish him for his crimes, and render
him innocuous for the future. In other words, every confirmed criminal
should either be killed or segregated, and made to exist in a little
hell of his own, while decent people go their respective ways in peace
Eight million men, to whom America shortly will add at least two
million more, bravely are risking their lives on the battlefields of
Europe and Asia in an effort to put two criminal nations,–Germany and
Turkey,–into an exclusive hell of their own, and keep them there for
the protection of civilization.
In courts of law, it is customary to consider the motives of the
prisoner at the bar, to search out his lines of thought, and study his
methods. An annotated catalogue of the blunders of Germany will afford
a clear insight into the present world situation, and the Teutonic
frame of temper. It will also serve a good purpose when the time comes
to arraign Germany and her allies for sentence.
* * * * *
Before we open the door of the German den of mixed wolves and mad-dogs,
let us read this marvelously true and prophetic pen picture of Kaiser
William as it was published by Harold Frederic, in the New York
_Times_, on April 2, =1888, twenty-nine years ago=:
“In the same way you look into the face of this young heir of the
Hohenzollerns and remember the malignant tales which have been told
of his inner nature by those who know him best. Apparently all the
women–at least all the English women–who have had to do with the
bringing up of Prince William hold him in horror and detestation. I
have had numerous proofs of this, although I have never been able to
fasten upon any specific reason for it. Their dislike for him is based
on a general conception of his character. This view is that he is
utterly cold, entirely selfish, wantonly cruel; a young man without
conscience or compassion, or any softening virtues whatever. That he
has great abilities they all admit, but they stop there. Heart he has
none, upon their reckoning….
“It seems very probable that some future Taine a century hence,
perhaps, will write to show that William II of Prussia was =a
mysterious belated survival of the ante-mediaeval Goths and
Vandals,–an Attila born a thousand and more years after his time=.”
How many Americans are willing to trust themselves in the power of such
1. THE GREAT BLUNDER OF GERMANY AND HER KAISER IN STARTING THE WAR.
By the light of the official documents of Austria, Servia, Germany,
Russia, France and England, now open before us, it is an easy task to
write the history of the beginning of the war in one paragraph. The
most conclusive evidence of Germany’s guilt is the official “German
white book,” dated “Foreign Office, August, 1914.” It has convinced
many a reader.
On July 25, 1914, Servia humbled herself to the dust at the feet of
Austria, to appease her for the murder of her crown prince by a crazy
and criminal fool; and little Servia conceded everything that giant
Austria demanded, save a practical surrender of her national honor.
Austria had fully made up her mind to destroy Servia, anyhow; and in
that connection Germany and her Kaiser decided the event would serve
well for starting the great war of conquest for which the Germans had
long and lovingly been preparing. The Czar begged the Kaiser not to
consent to the slaughter of little Servia by the Austrian big bully.
The Kaiser replied that Austria should have a free hand. The Czar
appealed to England and to France, to help him avert a war; and both
those nations did their level best to avert hostilities. No plea that
could postpone the clash of armies, or promote a peaceful settlement
was omitted. The last telegram of Czar Nicholas to Kaiser Wilhelm
(August 1) was a pathetic appeal for delay, and a chance “to negotiate
for the welfare of our two countries and the universal peace which
is so dear to our hearts. With the aid of God,” said the Czar, “it
must be possible to our long-tried friendship to prevent the shedding
of blood.” To this the Kaiser icily replied: “Although I asked for
a reply by to-day noon [to his telegraphed ultimatum], no telegram
from my Ambassador has reached me,” and “I therefore have been forced
to mobilize my army.” Germany’s many statements that France began
hostilities with her are one and all totally false.
Now, here is a significant fact:
On July 14, 1917, in a speech before the Austrian Reichsrath former
Minister Praschek (a Czech) cried out:
“=Must we continue to sacrifice our interests for the expansion of
Germany? Must we continue to submit to the German militarism that has
drawn us into this war?=”
Alas! At last the truth is out, officially and openly! We thought as
much! Many men have believed that Germany shoved Austria into the
war, because Germany was all ready for her great offense, and the
murder at Sarajevo served as a convenient excuse. If Germany had not
backed up Austria, and Russia had forbidden Austria to attack Servia,
=there would have been no war=! But Germany hailed that murder as her
heaven-sent opportunity to begin. It was to her “Der Tag”!
All the world knows that if the Kaiser had sent a nine-word telegram
to Austria, at a cost of one mark, saying: “Do not begin war on Servia
until further notice,” Austria would not have dared go on! But no!
William and his Germans refused to admonish Austria, or to delay
hostilities by Germany. “We can not interfere with the plans of our
Ally;” said William, “and we have mobilized.”
=And thus did the German people and their Kaiser begin the war to which
they had so long and so eagerly looked forward.=
2. GERMANY’S RUTHLESS DEVOTION TO SELF INTEREST.
When Rapacity moves into the next house, it is time to lock your cellar
door. Yoke up insatiable Appetite with colossal Egotism, and the
inevitable runaway is only a question of time.
While enjoying the benefits of an industrial prosperity and a
world-wide commerce that had won the admiration of the world, the
Germans complained about being denied their “place in the sun”; and
they reached out after world supremacy. England and the United States
were like twin thorns in the side of the Kaiser and the German people
at large. The pan-Germanists busily plotted against both those nations.
Concerning England, a distinguished German-born citizen of New York,
Mr. Otto H. Kahn, wrote to a relative in Germany (June 28, 1915) as
“England has not abused her power at sea, … any more than previous
to the present war you have abused your power on land. Not only has
she not stood in the way of your development, but =on the contrary she
has given you fair and free access to her markets, with unparalleled
In fact, it was so “unparalleled” that by August, 1914, German
commercial houses had crowded out of Singapore every British house save
two! Wherever the British flag went, prior to the war, along with it
went the German trader.
But, like the horseleech, Germany’s cry was for “More”; and to get it
“=British sea power must be crushed!=”
Unmitigated rapacity, in men or in nations, ever has been and always
will be a colossal blunder.
3. THE BLUNDER OF WORLD-WIDE TREACHERY.
While America was sound asleep in the lap of Peace, and England
slumbered with only her sea eye open, Germany armed herself to the
teeth, and planted throughout England, France, America, Belgium,
Holland, Russia and India the most colossal spy-and-traitor system ever
developed. She secretly armed her African colonies so that on receipt
of the famous “Willie-is-ill” telegram, each one of her colonies
instantly was ready to fight.
In 1911, while crossing Lake Tanganyika, Central Africa, on a steamer,
an American lady said to a German officer who sat beside her at the
dinner table, “Have you and your comrade been shooting?” “Not =yet=!”
said the officer, significantly; whereat his brother officer laughed
heartily, as if at a good joke. Later it became known that the business
of those two officers was the supplying of machine guns to German East
Africa. And still later it was learned that those guns were shipped to
Dar-es-Salaam in piano-boxes, marked “Pianos.” No wonder Dar-es-Salaam
was so ready to begin fighting on August 2, 1914!
There are times when the blunderings of German “statesmen” are so
crude and raw that, when they harm no one, they are comical. Even
amid the horrors of war all America is laughing over the wholesale
discomfiture and final undoing of Dr. Dumba, Papen, Boy-Ed (an
anything-but-precocious Boy), and Bernstorff, by a restless American
newspaper man with a taste for amateur detective work after amateur
One would naturally suppose that men officially designated by their
wise and honorable government to play dirty tricks on the people of a
friendly nation would at least have as much intelligence as ordinary
horses and dogs. But, no; not so with that Austro-German galaxy of
One lonesome and harmless American newspaper man, John R. Rathom,
of the Providence _Journal_, had the gall to plant an employee in a
secretarial position at Excellency von Bernstorff’s elbow. Also, he put
a bright American girl stenographer (=with= a red pencil) in the office
of the Austrian Consul-General in New York. And not content with those
outrages, he generously planted an office on each side of the German
fake-passport factory in New York, instead of on one side only.
And it was a Providence _Journal_ man who with most criminal
carelessness changed portfolios with the astute Dr. Albert of Austria,
and staged a fight in a street car,–without extra charge,–while that
horrible mistake was being made. And the saddest part of it all is that
nearly forty-eight long hours elapsed ere the lynx-eyed Doctor noticed
the substitution, and made a fuss about it.
Mr. Rathom’s most delightful story is of his girl stenographer sitting
demurely on a big box of incriminating papers, just prior to its
shipment to Germany, sharing her frugal lunch with the shrewd Papen,
and dreamily drawing two large red hearts on the box-cover, to which
the sentimental Von thoughtfully and tenderly added a red transfixing
arrow. This spooning led to the cheap and easy identification of the
box in Merrie England. It reads like a foolishly impossible romance;
but the joke of it is, it is quite true.
“Oh, mon! but it was peetiful!”
With all their training in treachery, and education in plotting and
lying and concealment, Dumba, Bernstorff, Papen, Boy-Ed and Albert
were one and all the most stupid donkeys that ever came down the pike.
Not one of them knew the first principles of the self-protection
system that (temporarily) keeps expert liars and thieves and forgers
from being caught. Just fancy keeping check-stubs, and receipts,
and copies of letters, =in lawless proceedings=! Great is “German
thoroughness”–in being caught with the goods by an amateur sleuth,
acting on his own brass hook.
Mr. Rathom, who has enough to laugh over at the expense of
Deutschland-über-alles for the rest of his life, has not shown to the
world more than one-twentieth of his mirth-provoking materials. But how
we do wish that by hook or by crook William the Witless might be told
just how stupid his diplomatic representatives really were, and how
much their stupidity helped the Allies.
It has been said that liars need long memories; and it can safely be
added that they also need as much intelligence as pet monkeys. A rogue
who pays his fellow rogues =by checks on his bank account= is utterly
hopeless. The only proper place for him is the cooling room of an
asylum for idiots.
The playgrounds of the great American schoolboy have produced many a
nugget of worldly wisdom. One of them is the unanswerable admonition
that “Cheating never thrives.”
All mankind hates treachery under the cloak of friendship. After
Boy-Ed, Papen, Bernstorff, Dumba and Albert, what will we think of the
Germans and Austrians who are sent to us after the war, to represent
their governments? How can Americans regard them as anything else
than spies and traitors of the same brands as their predecessors,
who will lie to us, and knife us in the back as often and as deeply
as the interests of their governments may seem to require? All such
“diplomats” deserve to be hanged by the governments to which they are
sent. Fancy the next “His Excellency, the German Ambassador” being
presented to the President of the United States a few months from now,
shaking hands, and proffering “friendship”!
4. THE BLUNDER IN GERMANY’S CONTEMPT OF ENGLAND.
Among fighters, only the fool will underrate his adversary. Per contra,
it is only the fool who overestimates his own strength. The Germans of
Germany made both those blunders.
The German navy is a strange mixture, of brave men and cowards, of
gallant gentlemen and murderous curs; and all of them are directed by
asses. No sooner is a gallant feat of seamanship recorded and acclaimed
than it is completely beclouded and besmirched by some act of dirty
cruelty which turns admiration into loathing. The history of German
naval doings in this war is like a checkerboard of black and white
squares; but the few remaining white squares are rapidly turning black.
In commerce-raiding the Germans are great; and the U-boat is a wonder.
The more humble the prey, the better for the boat. But the U-boat is
mighty careful not to tackle a destroyer, and take a sporting chance;
and when he finds that his tramp-freighter prey is armed, he feels
that he is indeed in hard luck. His favorite warfare is fighting, with
torpedoes and guns galore, unarmed fishing smacks and rusty tramp
steamers. His favorite order is: “Fire when you see them spit on the
And now he has taken on the habit of shelling life-boats loaded to
the gunwales with helpless crews, and sending them all to the bottom.
Sometimes the gallant U-boat captain comes close up, and he and his
crew come out and jeer at drowning men and women as they struggle in
The German High Seas Fleet is grand–at running for cover whenever the
British get a chance at it. The manner in which the _Bluecher_ was left
to its fate while all the other gallant battleships of the German fleet
madly scuttled for the Kiel Canal, had its comical side; but it was
truly typical of the Kaiser’s navy. It is said that after that event
Tirpitz provided his naval code with a new signal, reading, “Every man
for himself, and England take the hindmost.”
Germany’s bid for the supremacy of the seas was far too low; and it has
cost her heavily.
5. BLUNDERING ESTIMATES OF NATIONAL IDEALS.
It is natural for a wolf to take a wolf’s point of view; but often it
is expensive to the wolf.
Germany’s big men who have been masquerading as “statesmen” have been
proven by the logic of events to be the most colossal blunderers the
world has ever seen; and of them Kaiser Wilhelm is the chief.
They had it figured out (1) that Italy would necessarily cast in her
lot with the nation who had robbed her of her Adriatic provinces, and
with the other nation who by crafty methods had grasped her commerce,
railroads and banks by the throat with a German grip not pleasant to
(2).–They believed that Belgium would, for the sake of “peace,” submit
to being overrun and converted into a German camp, with the ultimately
certain seizure and retention of the port of Antwerp.
(3).–They believed that because of having no army worth mentioning,
and for Irish and Indian reasons, England could be bribed into a state
of degrading passivity while Germany completely destroyed her ally,
France. And Chancellor Hollweg nearly wept when he could not convince
Sir Edward Goschen that a pledge of neutrality was a thing to be
ignored at will, and that a solemn international treaty was only “a
scrap of paper.” In failing to understand that England possesses a
sense of national honor to which Germany was a total stranger, which
bore no taint of either commercialism or cowardice, and which Britons
throughout the world will maintain with all their lives, regardless of
cost, the Chancellor and Jagow made a strictly German blunder, which no
child with a taste for history ever should have made. On this point the
stupidity of the Kaiser and his cabinet looms up like the Pyramid of
Cheops. They judged the English by themselves.
6. BLUNDERING WITH AMERICA.
Germany’s chief blunder regarding America was due to her contempt for
this sleepy, easy-going, unarmed, peace-loving nation of Quixotic
chivalry toward small nations, or big ones that are weak, and her
utterly grotesque worship of riches and luxury. On no other hypothesis
is it possible to account for the endless series of insults, injuries
and treacheries that were handed out to the United States from the
early sinking of the _Robert Dollar_ down to the final declaration of
ruthless submarine war on American commerce and American lives.
Never in all the history of nations did any strong nation ever endure
without war one one-hundredth part of the causes for war that were
heaped upon us by Germany between August 1, 1914, and the final
severance of relations. For the sake of “peace” with a mad-dog military
despotism, we endured insults, injuries and murders until the whole
world looked at us in stupefied amazement. Why, in the first year of
our Civil War, we came to the very verge of war with England because
we halted at sea the British steamer _Trent_, and took from it, as
ordinary prisoners of war, the two Confederate commissioners, Mason
and Slidell. But Germany sank scores of American ships, and drowned
hundreds of Americans,–and still we went on seeking to avoid the clash
But, always “Beware the fury of a patient man!”
Now that we have put our hand to the plough, the furrow will be turned
to the uttermost finish, whether it takes one year or ten years. We
will not leave a living Pfafner,–a great, stinking German military
dragon,–as a heritage for our children.
7. THE BLUNDER OF “FRIGHTFULNESS.”
There are some blunders that dogs and horses, and even sensible wild
animals, do not commit. Of all the stupidities of the German people,
the crowning glory of their blundering is their idea that German
savagery and “frightfulness” could so appal their enemies that they
would be paralyzed by the shock of atrocities, and purchase peace at
any price. It is difficult to believe that such fantastic theories
as these originated anywhere outside of a madhouse. No words at our
command can so well describe this situation as do the words of a
once-German, of New York and of Kuhn, Loeb & Company, Mr. Otto H. Kahn.
They were written on June 28, 1915, to a relative in Germany, and
published in the N.Y. _Times_ of July 4, 1917.
“The theory of ‘frightfulness’ in the conduct of warfare which Germany
now preaches and practices is no new discovery. On the contrary, it
is a very ancient one,–so old, in fact, that long ago it came to be
discarded and superseded in European warfare, and passed into the limbo
of forgotten things. There, until resurrected by your countrymen, it
lay for generations, along with much else that the human race had
overcome and left behind in the progress of culture and humanity,–a
progress achieved by strenuous toil, sacrifices and suffering in the
course of many centuries.
“=And what have you gained from your ‘frightfulness’?= Your victories
have been due to quite other qualities. =By your ‘frightfulness’ you
have steeled your enemies to the utmost limit of sacrifice; you have
embittered neutral opinion; you have disappointed and grieved your
friends, and sown dragon’s teeth, the offspring of which will arise
against you many years, even after the conclusion of peace.=”
These are indeed words of wisdom and truth. Even after the conclusion
of peace, the exponents of “frightfulness” and the knights of the
“skull-cracker” will be accorded a hell of their own.
8. THE BLUNDER AS TO AMERICANS OF GERMAN DESCENT.
One of Germany’s colossal blunders was her estimate of the sentiments
and principles of German-born people who have made their homes in
America, and the American sons and daughters of German-born parents.
German statesmen whose criminal wishes shaped their thoughts sincerely
believed that the admiration and love of the Kaiser’s despotism,
including even the military iron heel, was so great that the influence
of American liberty, open-hearted hospitality and vast opportunity
would count for naught when the Kaiser cracked his whip.
The Simple Simons of Wilhelmstrasse actually believed that in any
struggle with America, all Americans of German ancestry necessarily
would be traitors to their own hearthstones, and would rise en masse,
fully-armed, cobra-like, to strike the government of the United States.
Being themselves ruthlessly devoted to the idea of might and conquest,
and the merciless subjugation of small and weak nations, they judged
their kindred in America by their own rotten standards. They foolishly
assumed that a German forty years in America would willingly become a
black-hearted traitor to the land that for years had sheltered him,
and made much of him,–simply because the ruthless builders of modern
Germany had endeavored to keep a grip on him, and had willed that he
should obey their orders.
But the people of America made no mistakes of that kind. They
recognized that so long as the United States was not at war with
Germany, the sympathy of all Americans of German descent would be
against the Allies. That was as natural as it is for water to run
down hill. But when war with Germany was declared, after a multitude
of insults and injuries and too many efforts at avoidance, the
native American felt no serious misgiving regarding the great body
of Americans of German ancestry. All that they did fear was the
crazy possibilities of individual hot-heads; and it was pointed out
to German-Americans that the insane and treasonable acts of such
irresponsibles might easily involve great masses of perfectly innocent
people. The Americans of German descent sternly forbade all such folly
by their people, and it will be a pleasure for the historians of these
times to record the fact that the German-born Americans have, as a
mass, elected to be Americans first, and the others have wisely feared
to be openly hostile to the United States.
Except the Anarchists, Socialists and I.W.W’s., American ideals have
made lasting impressions upon many of our people whose veins contain
foreign blood, though not upon all. Young Ernest and Heinrich are in
the National Guard, and lads August and Herman are in the Boy Scouts,
busy saluting the flag; and all are quite ready to fight for the only
home country that they know. They are not in the ranks of the alien
malcontents who are organized to fight all American efforts at national
defense. But we will deal with that element.
The brutal German government, and the odious Junkers, now frantically
lying to the people of Germany and ruthlessly concealing the truth from
them, have few allies in the United States save the spies and traitors
planted here for spy purposes. There will be no “uprising of Germans”
here. The extinguishment by the Providence _Journal_ of the reptilian
Bernstorff, the chuckleheaded Boy-Ed, the blundering Papen, and Dumba
the easy mark, effectually ended the treasonable plots that aided very
materially in opening the chasm between the United States and Germany,
and driving the United States whole-heartedly into the war. Dumba
has been decorated for his part in all this, and we hope his fellow
plotters will be equally appreciated.
But there are some capital blunders that Germany never makes. Her
people are an absolute unit, in body, spirit and resources, in backing
up the leaders of the nation in the hour of strife and danger. She does
not make the mistake of tolerating traitors and assassins at home. If
her soldiers mutinied on the firing line, and refused to fight the
enemy, as some rotten-hearted Russian soldiers recently have done most
disastrously, Germany would not make the mistake of letting one of them
live to tell it. In solidarity, unity of purpose and devotion to the
nation’s policy, the German people are a shining example to America.
They are more devoted to a bad cause than our slackers and traitors are
to a good one. It is high time for us to teach our traitors some severe
lessons; and I warn them, one and all: =Beware!=
And now what about Germany’s crimes? In the next chapter, let us see.
II. The Crimes of Germany.
In the affairs of the individual and the state, we hear a lot about
“crime” and “criminals”; but it is an idiotic fact that the greatest
of all crimes, those committed by nations on a vast scale, rarely are
spoken of as crimes, and easily are condoned after the fighting stops.
The world calls them either “wars” or “atrocities”; and the men who
instigate them never are spoken of as criminals, and never are punished
as such. Is it not curious?
Still less is the author of an inexcusable war, or a series of brutal
atrocities, hanged, or shot, or even permanently imprisoned for his
crimes. What fools these mortals be!
In our civilization, a wife who ends long years of torture by killing
a brutal husband, always is tried, sentenced, and either imprisoned
for life, or executed. This asinine world is most virtuous in the
punishment of weak individuals; but we notice that it rarely tackles
the job of meting out real justice to the greatest of all criminals.
After this war is over, will any criminal, either at Berlin or
Constantinople, be hanged or shot for the deliberate slaughter of
1,500,000 helpless Armenians, or for any of the hideous crimes
committed in this war? Not on your life. Mushy-hearted individuals will
advise that they be treated “magnanimously,” and will urge that we
The world has grown hardened to the habit of lumping the crimes and
atrocities of organized conflicts together under a short and easy
word. “War” is made to cover and gloss over millions of the bloody and
malicious crimes of millions of men who ought to be punished according
to their deserts. I am thinking of the Kaiser, Stenger, Tirpitz and
Hindenberg, and the Young Turks en masse.
The Hague conventions did their utmost to reform the world’s war
practices, establish an international code of war ethics, and thereby
reduce the horrors of armed conflict. But with what results?
Closely following those well-meant and humane efforts, two nations,
Germany and Turkey, have given the world a continuous performance of
wholesale murder, rape, burnings, drownings and starvation such as the
world never before saw, even in the bloodiest days of barbarism. The
Turkish crimes in Armenia must be computed in millions, and the wanton
murder of a million Armenians is directly chargeable to the rulers of
Germany, who deliberately permitted it to be done.
And even now, many good people who refuse to concern themselves with
the woes of men and women who are far away, will decry all attempts
to punish the Germans and Turks for their crimes. They will talk
about “magnanimity in peace terms,” and a quick return to ante-bellum
friendships. Think of a treaty of friendship with ravishers, and with
the murderers of women and children and prisoners!
All sensible men know that the proper punishment of criminals is
necessary for the protection of society from wolves and dragons, and
for the general welfare of mankind. Unpunished crime always encourages
and produces more crime. The world must not mistake softness of head
for soundness of heart.
It is indeed high time that criminal nations should be punished for
their crimes. Are any nations before the bar of the Court of Nations
charged with deliberate and premeditated crimes against helpless
Yes; two. Germany and Turkey are so accused; and =no power on earth can
stop the trial=! Austria comes next.
Let us call first the case of Germany.
In opening the worst of these two cases, we distinctly leave out of our
specifications all those acts which may be put down as chargeable to
the ordinary and inevitable horrors of war. At the same time we must
remember that even the most brutal prize ring has its rules and its
ethics, which are rigidly enforced. Even a fighter whose face is being
beaten to a pulp may not bite, kick, gouge, or strike below the belt;
no, not even when defeat and ruin stare him in the face. The fighting
must be “fair,” or the decision is at once given to the recipient of
the “foul” act.
Until Germany invaded Belgium, and Turkey went to work to exterminate
the Armenians, the world supposed that the Christian nations
had reformed, that all civilized nations recognized the latest
international code of ethics in war, and would live up to it. It was
then against the rules of civilized warfare to shoot, stab, burn or
beat to death the civilian populations of captured territory, to starve
prisoners, to kill prisoners and wounded men, to use expanding bullets,
to rape women, to force women to become soldier’s prostitutes, to
poison wells, to use poison in any form, to destroy maliciously works
of art, science and literature; to sink merchant ships at sea without
assuring the safety of passengers and crew, and to bombard cities from
the air for the slaughter of their helpless civilian inhabitants.
According to a great mass of official records, all of those barbarous,
cruel, inhumane and wild-animal acts have been done by Germany, on
well-nigh countless occasions. The evidence is thoroughly conclusive.
The German soldiers and sailors, both officers and men, are the most
cruel and brutal criminals of all the world. In Servia the Austrian
record is almost as rotten.
In 1898, Count Goetzen said, regarding the treacherous designs of
Germany on France, England and America: “If you do speak of this, =no
one will believe you=, and everyone will laugh at you!”
To-day, the American people as a mass do not know more than one
one-hundredth part of the crimes of Germany during the past three
years. The reason is that it is impossible to place before them the
great mass of publications and documents, such as that which now lies
before me, that is necessary to convey full knowledge of this ghastly
subject. Without this evidence, or at least a lengthy digest of it,
the utter depravity of the German Germans is, to a clean and humane
American, absolutely incomprehensible. It takes strong nerves to go
through these thousands of pages of printed documents, and scores of
ghastly pictures, without becoming thoroughly shaken.
It is not a pleasing task to set forth the details of revolting crimes,
but it now has become very necessary that all Americans, of South
America as well as North, should be shown the true character of the
soldiers and civilians of Germany, and the men in high places who have
=ordered= and =fostered= the high crimes of the past three years. This
is no time to side-step the truth regarding the deadliest foes of human
liberty and the rights of man.
By way of illustration. Consider the character of the German crown
prince,–the hero(?) of Verdun. When in Zabern the highborn German
Captain Forstner beat a lame Alsatian shoemaker with his sword, for
being “short” in love for his German masters. When a great outcry was
raised outside of Germany, the precious crown-princeling telegraphed
the brave and gallant Forstner, “=Fester d’rauf!=” which means “=Hit
him again!=” Forstner was promoted, for gallantry on the field, of
course. (New York _Times_, July 15.)
In making up this all too brief exposition, I shall set down neither
facts nor conclusions save those that are supported by an abundance of
evidence such as might well be offered in any court of law. The most
damaging evidences of German crimes and atrocities are =those that have
been collected from German sources=!
* * * * *
The “peace resolutions” introduced in the German Reichstag say:
“Germany took up arms in defense of its liberty and independence, and
for the integrity of its territories.”
All the world now knows that both those statements are brazen lies, and
that the people of Germany started the war as a war of conquest, and
nothing else. But the lying leaders of Germany, including the 70 men
of science who signed and sent out their now famous manifesto late in
1914, have for three long years been injecting that falsehood into the
ignorant masses of Germany, to make them feel like fighting and going
No. Germany’s whining plea that she is “fighting for her very
existence” is no excuse whatever for her diabolical crimes. No one is,
or has been, seeking to “destroy” Germany, or anything German, save
only her domineering, dangerous and thoroughly accursed military power.
Even in the prize ring all such excuses as that are ruled out; and the
fear of being beaten in a fight is no excuse for crime, nor even for
brutality in method.
One curious psychological fact is to be noted at the very outset. It is
The moment the average German dons a military uniform, and becomes a
soldier, with deadly weapons in his hands, he is at once transformed
as if by magic into a cruel monster. Frequently he becomes a savage
and bloodthirsty dragon; and it would be a gross libel on the lower
animals to call him a beast. He becomes a stranger to the feelings
of the home-loving husband, father, son or churchman. In the name of
“Germany,” and “war,” he is ready to commit any atrocity and write
it down, exultingly, in his diary. Ah! those soldier diaries! There
is where German efficiency unwittingly provided instruments for the
punishment of German crimes.
* * * * *
But the German in uniform is not the only agent of hate and brutality.
“The people of Germany” are only one short step behind him. Let every
person who doubts this send five cents to the _Saturday Evening Post_,
Philadelphia, for its issue of July 14, 1917, and on page 16 read
“Englander Schwein” (“English Swine”) the diary of Corporal Edwards, of
Canada’s top regiment, the Princess Patricia’s C.L.I., who was captured
by the Germans. Read it, if you have in your heart even one soft spot
for “the people of Germany.”
It is a story of revolting filth inflicted upon refined gentlemen, of
three days utterly needless hunger torture inflicted on half-starved
men taken out of their cars three times a day, lined up and compelled
to watch German soldiers stuffed with food by German women, with
“Nein!” “Nein!” to them when they begged for food. It is a story of
horribly neglected wounds, arms rotting off, slow starvation in the
prison camp on food consisting of 200 gallons of water to one small bag
of potatoes, and so forth.
Of the murders and mutilations in the trenches there is not time to
speak. But read this account of the treatment the Canadians received
along the railway from the women of Germany,–even “gentlewomen”:
“The mob surged around us, heaping on us insults and blows;
=particularly the women=. They spat on us, with hate in their eyes. We
had to take that, or the bayonet. These were the acts not only of the
rabble, =but also of the people of good appearance and address=. One
very well-dressed woman came rushing up. Under other circumstances I
would have judged her to be a gentlewoman. She was screaming invectives
at us as she forced her way through the crowd. ‘Schwein!’ she screamed,
and struck at the man next me. =Then, drawing deep from the very bottom
of her lungs, she spat the mass full in his face.=”
* * * * *
In essaying to give in one article even an outline sketch of the crimes
of Germany, one is perplexed by the many different kinds of atrocities,
and the great mass of instances and proofs bearing upon them. Out of
it all there thrusts up the ugly fact, like a spear from a pile of
corpses, that many of these crimes were committed intentionally, with
malice aforethought, and often were deliberately =ordered by German
officers, both high and low=. For example:
General Stenger issued a printed order to kill all the wounded;
Bissing was the refined torturer of all Belgium, in many orders;
Manteuffel was the chief murderer at Louvain;
Bulow and Schonmann were the wild beasts of Ardenne;
And it was Bayer at Dinant, Bohn at Sommerfeld and Termonde; Nieher
at Wavre; Wittenstein at Clermont-en-Argonne, and so on until you are
1. THE MURDER OF CIVILIANS.
This flourishing German industry began at Louvain, at the very outbreak
of the war, and has continued right down to the present. It is
astounding to see how quickly murders began, with the most revolting
brutality, immediately after the Germans entered Belgium! Sometimes
the excuse was made that “Mann hat geschossen”,–that “civilians have
fired”;–and then the indiscriminate slaughter began.
The thick volume of “Evidence” taken by the Bryce Commission on the
German Atrocities is crowded full of testimony; and so are many
subsequent publications of the British and French governments. The
stories written down in their diaries by German soldiers are both
terrible and amazing. In an uncountable number of villages old men,
old women, boys, girls, women and children were shot by dozens and by
hundreds; and hundreds were stabbed to death by bayonets.
There are sickening accounts, from eye-witness testimony, of German
soldiers =bayoneting children= and girls, but the most spectacular
crime of that kind was committed at Malaines (d4, Bryce Evidence), when
a German soldier walking down the main street, singing, “drove his
bayonet with both hands through a living child’s stomach, lifting the
child into the air on his bayonet, and carrying it away on his bayonet,
he and his comrades still singing.” (Page 82.)
In the village of Sempst, an Uhlan cut off the breast of a woman with
his sword; and a little boy was burned to death in an attic. (K. 33.)
At Aerschot a girl of 18 or 20 was found “absolutely naked, with her
abdomen cut open”, and “her body covered with bruises, showing that she
had made a struggle.” Jack the Ripper in a spiked helmet!
And again at Aerschot (C. 38) did the German Jack get in his work on
another girl of 18. She was found (dead) with “her arms nailed to the
door in extended fashion, … her left breast cut away, and numerous
bayonet wounds in the chest, some piercing through to the back.” (Told
by a Belgian soldier, who helped to recapture the place.)
A British subject saw on September 15, 1914, in the Wetteren Hospital,
a girl of 11 from Alost with 17 bayonet thrusts in her back,
“practically flayed, and at the point of death.” (F. 13.) “Out of the
1300 inhabitants of Noumeny, at least 150 were killed (murdered) by the
Germans.” (French Police Report, Aug. 24, 1914.)
This list could be extended by hundreds of other cases; and a
long chapter could be filled with such instances as the above.
Geographically they reach all the way from Louvain to the beginning of
the great German defeat before Paris.
In order to form estimates of what the quiet little country villages of
New England might expect if the armed wolves and mad dogs of Germany
ever gained a foothold here, let us consider a few figures compiled
from official reports and published by the _Illustrated London News_.
They relate solely to the murder of unarmed, inoffensive civilians–old
men, women, girls, boys and children.
In Brabant 897 persons shot or bayoneted.
In Luxembourg Province, over 1,000 ” ” ” ”
At Arlon 119 ” ” ” ”
Dinant Arrondissement (Fr.) 606 killed, from 3 weeks to 77 years old.
Neufchatel 18 shot.
Etalle 30 ”
Hondemont 11 ”
Tintiguy 157 ”
Izele 10 ”
Rossignol 106 ”
Bertrix 21 ”
Ethe about 300 shot; “530 in all missing.”
Latour only 17 men left.
Maissin 12 shot, 1 a young girl.
Aloy 52 men and women shot.
Claireuse 2 men hanged.
–and so on, indefinitely. On the most trivial pretexts, or none at
all, the Germans slaughtered unresisting non-combatants who were in
their power. Out of a lot of 40 German soldier diaries, only 6 express
disapproval or disgust, and at least 30 diaries treat murders either
exultingly or as being merely a part of the day’s work.
The slaughtered innocents of Belgium, France, Servia and Poland would,
in each of those countries, undoubtedly run far up into thousands if it
were possible to count them.
Thanks to the diligence of the British and French governments in
collecting evidence now while evidence is procurable, there is already
enough printed testimony to damn Germany in the eyes of the world for
at least two centuries.
2. KILLING OF PRISONERS AND WOUNDED MEN BY GERMANS.
The crimes of Germany under this head have been literally innumerable.
Judging by German, French, Belgian and English evidence, it seems as if
German soldiers have slaughtered probably 100,000 defenseless prisoners
and wounded men. Prof. J.H. Morgan states that von der Goltz, the evil
genius of Turkey, “predicted some years ago that the next war would be
one of inconceivable violence”; and he declares that “the Germans have
no sense of honor in the field.” He was hideously correct.
German prisoner murder began before Antwerp on October 6, 1914, when
the Captain of the 85th Regt. IXth Corps, 4th Company, said to his men:
“=I do not want to see any Englishmen prisoners in the hands of this
company!=” To which the company cried, “=Bravo!=” And Richard Gerhold,
71st Regiment Reserve, 4th Army Corps (killed in September, 1914),
wrote in his precious diary thus: “Great atrocities are =of course=
committed upon Englishmen and Belgians. =Every one of them is now
knocked on the head without mercy.=”
The famous Stenger order of August 26, 1914, brings us to a capital
case. A German Brigadier-General, Stenger by name, issued this written
order to his brigade:
“=To date from this day, no prisoners will be made any longer. All the
prisoners will be executed. The wounded, whether armed or defenseless,
will be executed. Prisoners, even in large and compact formations, will
be executed. Not a man will be left alive behind us.=”
The instances of the murder of helpless prisoners by Germans are far
too numerous to be cited in detail. Beyond reasonable doubt, a hundred
thousand soldiers were murdered on the Stenger basis.
And after the war is over, if we resume friendly “relations” with
Germany, we may see Stenger in Washington as Military Attaché to his
Excellency the German Ambassador, shaking hands with the President of
the United States.
3. THE BOMBING OF CIVILIANS IN LONDON AND ELSEWHERE.
The Kaiser and Zeppelin, and the German people, have spent many
millions of dollars in deliberate attempts to slaughter the unarmed
inhabitants of London, and strafe England. All the German talk about
attacking “the fortress of London” is beneath contempt. Rarely indeed
has a soldier been injured in London, or any other English city,
by a Zeppelin or an airplane bomb. It has been the helpless women,
school-children and other non-combatants who have been blown to pieces.
These murders of civilian men, women and children have served only
to send furious Englishmen rushing to the trenches in droves, for
vengeance! Had the square-heads deliberately attempted to stimulate
British enlistments, the dropping of bombs on London would have been
the ideal plan. At last the British public demand reprisals, on the
basis of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; which would be
But thus far the statesmen of England firmly say:
“No! We will not descend to the low level of the Huns of Germany.”
Nevertheless, Zeppelin died of a broken heart. From a military point of
view his campaign has proven a complete fiasco,–just as Americans long
ago predicted that it would, and his “frightfulness” gas bags are now
on the scrap-heap.
4. TIRPITZ AND THE SUBMARINE MURDERS.
For a submarine to sink a war vessel with all on board is merely war,
no more and no less. No one whines about atrocities of that sort. All
the world does object, however, and very strongly, too, to the sinking
of unarmed passenger steamers, hospital ships, and Belgian relief
ships. All such acts of murder as these are the acts of monsters, not
of men. Of course we know that Germany sees her doom, and her people
are wild over the certainty of defeat. But even a 90 per cent. defeated
prize-fighter must not deliver a foul blow.
The submarine murders are so well known to Americans as to require
no comment; but a few murder statistics will be worth while, lest we
March 28, 1915. Steamer _Falaba_ 111 lost
May 7, ” ” _Lusitania_ 1,198 ”
June 28, ” ” _Armenian_ 30 ”
Aug. 19, ” ” _Arabic_ 30 ”
Nov. 7, ” ” _Ancona_ 208 ”
Dec. 30, ” ” _Persia_ 385 ”
March 24, 1916. ” _Sussex_ (Channel boat) 52 ”
HOSPITAL SHIPS MALICIOUSLY DESTROYED BY THE GERMAN “NAVY.”
_Portugal._ March 17, 1916 45 Red Cross nurses lost.
40 of the crew.
_Britannic._ Nov., 1915 about 50 lost.
_Asturias._ March 20, 1915 43 lost.
_Gloucester Castle._ March 30, 1915 all wounded saved.
_Donegal._ 41 lost.
_Lanfranc._ (152 wounded Germans
saved by the British Navy!) 19 British wounded lost.
15 German wounded lost.
On a very few occasions, a few German submarine captains have acted
humanely, and some even gallantly; but all these acts have been
besmirched by the acts of cowardly and brutal men who have deliberately
fired upon hospital ships and open life-boats loaded with men
attempting to save themselves from drowning. In one celebrated instance
a U-boat captain and his crew came out upon their deck, and at close
range jeered at drowning men and women who were struggling in icy water.
And here is the latest feat of the brave and gallant German “navy”:
On July 31, 1917, 200 miles from land a German submarine engaged in
combat and sank the unarmed British freighter, _Belgian Prince_. They
assembled the entire crew of 40 men on the submarine’s deck, stripped
from them their life-belts, and smashed all their life-boats, with
axes. Then the brave Germans went below, closed their hatches, ran on
the surface for two miles, then suddenly submerged. Thirty-eight were
drowned, but two lived to be picked up and tell the story.
A new trick. Look for frequent repetitions.
5. POISON GAS, LIQUID FIRE AND POISONED WELLS.
Early in the war the much-vaunted German “men of science” invented
poisonous gases (chiefly of chlorine), liquid fire apparatus, and other
forms of deviltry forbidden in civilized warfare. The “flammenwerfer”
is now a favorite German institution; but occasionally it gets into
trouble by being exploded by shell fire, in the hands of the men using
it. One result of poison gas and liquid fire is the everlasting odium
that it has fastened upon the German army. The British soldiers say
that “the Germans are dirty fighters”; and the name will stick forever.
In German South-West Africa, when the Boer General, Louis Botha,
captured Swakopmund he found that all six of the wells had been
poisoned with arsenical cattle-dip. Bags of the poison hung in the
wells; and the crime was acknowledged and defended in writing by
Lieut.-Col. Franke, commander of the German forces. Previous to that
time, the new German governor had murdered in cold blood 208 of the
leading natives of the capital town, to teach the surviving Hereros the
advantages of life under the black vulture of Germany.
6. BACTERIA OF GLANDERS AND ANTHRAX SENT INTO RUMANIA.
“The world owes much to German science.” This remark is not original.
We have heard it about 147,500 times; but the world has not heard quite
so often how the worthy “scientists” of Germany sent large collections
of living and active bacilli of glanders for horses, and anthrax for
cattle, into Rumania, =under the German diplomatic seal=, just before
war was declared by Rumania! The precious cultures were found buried in
the garden of the German consulate; and in their usual blundering way,
the dunderheads did not know enough to destroy the evidence of their
newest species of crime. All this has been set forth by the Rumanian
government in a neat little pamphlet, very useful to students of
criminology and degeneracy.
7. THE MURDER OF EDITH CAVELL.
Not in two hundred years will the world forget or forgive this
dastardly crime. If Bissing is not now in hell for it, then there
is no such place. The cities of civilized countries should erect
Cavell monuments, and name streets Cavell, lest we forget. Only
Germans or Turks could have done a deed so unnecessary, so brutal and
unchivalrous. But it seems that the German Germans stick at no atrocity.
8. THE MURDER OF CAPTAIN FRYATT.
This crime was committed in cold blood, unchecked by the criminal
Kaiser, because on March 28, 1915, Captain Fryatt escaped from a German
submarine by attempting to ram it. On June 23, 1916, he was captured,
taken to Zeebrugge, and by a naval court martial sentenced to death.
Great “sports” were those German naval officers! They have in their
veins about as much sporting blood as so many hyenas, but no more.
On several occasions the British have actually honored the fine
seamanship and daring and skill of German sea raiders, even after
great destruction while at sea. But the British navy men are good
sports, while the men of the German navy do not seem to recognize a
bold and capable seaman when they see one; and they have no sense of
sportsmanship. When did the German navy ever rescue a British or French
sailor from drowning? But British sailors have saved many Germans.
The murder of Captain Fryatt brands the whole German navy with a mark
that it will wear forever.
9. THE GERMAN OUTRAGES UPON WOMEN.
It is here that the pen falters, and the heart turns sick with horror
and loathing. Thus far the newspapers of the United States have shrunk
from printing the awful details that have been available on this
For fifty years we have been reading of the wars of nations,–white,
black, red, brown and yellow,–but never in modern times have we seen
such ghastly, such loathsome, such shocking and sickening brutalities
of lust as German officers and soldiers inflicted, wholesale, upon the
women of Belgium and northern France. At present we will say little of
Poland, for the subject is too vast.
I shall not give instances, even though there are hundreds at hand,
well authenticated, and undoubtedly true. But let all Americans
remember this: Never within the last four hundreds years or more
have any women ever been so brutally abused, so extensively raped by
violence, often accompanied by murder in Jack the Ripper fashion, or so
disgustingly maltreated before the eyes of fathers, mothers, sisters,
brothers and groups of men as were the wretched women of Belgium and
The rage of the German brutes whose great conquest of France was balked
seemed to be visited with particular fury and cruelty upon the women of
the captured territory between fourteen and forty years of age. I have
before me one instance so awful and so revolting that the woman upon
whom it was inflicted immediately went mad. The details are published
only in French, in order that only a few English-speaking persons may
No wonder that when the armies of General Joffre and General Foch were
chasing the German ravishers back to the banks of the Marne, that the
French women of the recaptured towns and villages dragged themselves to
their windows, leaned out, and begged the French soldiers to “=Take no
prisoners! Kill them,–all!=”
The total number of women who have been cruelly abused by German
officers and private soldiers never will be known; but it must run
up into hundreds of thousands. Only the devil himself knows how many
miserables have been “given to the soldiers,” just as was the Polish
maid of an American lady, Madame Turczynowics, now in New York, who
tells about it in her book, “When the Prussians Came to Poland” (page
138). This is the passage:
… we pushed our way into the room where Manya was, … =what had
been= Manya…. An officer came in to ask our business with the girl.
“She is my maid–stolen! This is her father. I have come to take her
“I am very sorry, but you are not allowed to take her. =She belongs to
“Don’t you see, Herr Offizier, the girl is =dying=?”
“Ill she is, and shall have the best of care. We have a doctor to
attend to just such cases.”–And =I had to leave her=!
10. GERMANY’S COLOSSAL CRIME IN ARMENIA.
A little pamphlet of 24 pages, obtainable from the G.H. Doran Company,
New York, for five cents, is quite enough to damn Germany, past all
forgiveness, from now to the end of Time. It is entitled “The Horrors
of Aleppo. Seen by a German Eyewitness,” and it is “A Word to Germany’s
Accredited Representatives, by Dr. Martin Niepage, Higher Grade Teacher
in the German Technical School at Aleppo.”
The enormous extent, and the extreme savagery, of the slaughter of
Armenian Christians by the Turkish allies of Germany literally stagger
the imagination and sicken the heart. The mind can scarcely grasp the
idea of men, women and children being massacred =en masse, in 1916,
literally by the thousand=! But let me quote a few lines of strictly
Page 14. “It is utterly erroneous to think that the Turkish government
will refrain of its own accord even from the destruction of the women
and children unless the strongest pressure is exerted by the German
government. Only just before I left Aleppo last May (1916) =the crowds
of exiles encamped at Ras-el-Ain on the Bagdad Railway, estimated at
20,000 women and children, were slaughtered to the last one=.”
Page 11. “Many more appalling things were reported by the engineer
of the Bagdad Railway … or by German travelers who met the convoys
of exiles on their journeys. Many of these gentlemen had seen such
appalling sights they could eat nothing for days. One of them, Herr
Grief, of Aleppo, reported corpses of violated women lying about
naked in heaps on the railway embankment at Tel-Abiad and Ras-el-Ain.
Another, Herr Spiecker, of Aleppo, had seen Turks tie Armenian men
together, fire several volleys of small shot with fowling pieces into
the human mass, and go off laughing while their victims slowly perished
in frightful convulsions.
“The German Consul from Mosul related, in my presence, at the German
Club at Aleppo, that in many places on the road from Mosul to Aleppo
he had seen children’s hands hacked off in such numbers that one could
have paved the road with them…. The Arabs of the village declared
that they had killed the Armenians by the Government’s (Young Turks)
–And so forth, and so on, until you are sick!
Thus do the “Young Turks” of Turkey (on whom may all the curses of
Allah alight) who are determined to Turkify all Asia Minor. Thus have
1,500,000 =Christians= perished, at the hands of Germany’s ally,–=an
ally absolutely under German control=, and without one protest or
prohibition from the arch-criminals of Potsdam and Berlin. And this
under “our dear, good, kind Emperor” William!
The crimes of Germany were not committed by the officers of the Army
or the Navy, or of the State, alone. They were perpetrated partly by
the common people of Germany, as represented by the fathers, sons and
husbands making up the army and the navy. The officers are not alone
to blame. Therefore, the curses of mankind, and the punishment of the
ages, should fall and will fall upon all the Germans of Germany, and
their children unto the tenth generation. To them the Germans of to-day
will bequeath a vast legacy of world scorn and world aversion.
Americans should be the last people on earth to talk to outraged
England, France, Russia and Servia of “magnanimous” terms to Germany,
and peace “without annexations or indemnities.” =Germany must Pay for
her war and her crimes.=
III. The Punishment of Germany.
Without stopping to give any serious thought to the matter, some people
assert, “You cannot punish a nation.” If not, why not? Ask a student
of history, and he will tell you, without hesitation, “Decidedly, yes.
Ever since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, countless tribes, cities,
states and nations have been soundly punished for their crimes.”
To-morrow, or soon after, Germany, the arch-criminal of nations, will
be up before the bar of Christian Civilization for sentence. In courts
of justice it is customary to review the criminal record of the accused
before judgment is pronounced. It is now a case of Germany to the bar,
to face her police record.
Guilty nations are no more immune from punishment for their crimes than
are individuals guilty of high crimes. By their acts the German people
now are heaping up dire punishment for themselves. The world is losing,
with tremendous rapidity, its original and totally erroneous impression
that “the German people” are innocent of the crimes that have been
committed under the German uniform and the black-vulture flag.
The mental attitude of President Wilson as it was expressed in his
message to Congress as late as April 2, 1917, is not the mental
attitude to-day of the American people at large. He said: “We have no
quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling towards them but
of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse that their
government acted in entering upon this war.”
All the world outside of Germany now knows full well that Kaiser
Wilhelm, representing the whole German people, is the man who started
the war, who keeps it going, and who brought the war’s consequences
upon Germany. He pressed the button, with the united and enthusiastic
approval of “the German people.” It is an undeniable fact that from the
very beginning until now the people of Germany have gloried and exulted
in the war, and steadily have acclaimed the ruthless leaders who have
directed it,–Wilhelm, Bissing, Hindenberg, Tirpitz and Zeppelin. In
spite of all their losses and miseries, even to-day the “German people”
are absolutely devoted to the Kaiser, and cheerfully swallow all the
lies that his cabinet and the Reichstag hand out to them. Why should
even one American deceive himself about the millions of Germans who
are at heart as mean and as cruel as Tirpitz and Zeppelin? Remember
that German women hawk and spit in the faces of heroes who happen to be
* * * * *
There is much idle talk in newspaper correspondence about “unrest in
Germany,” and a “demand for a change.” All that empty talk is only
an effort to throw dust into the eyes of the world, and deceive the
enemies of Germany. There has been no change of heart at Berlin, and
there never will be.
Beyond a doubt, Arthur S. Draper is absolutely right when he assures
us that the German people are devoted to the Kaiser and kaiserism,
and that under no circumstances will Wilhelm and the Hohenzollerns be
kicked off the throne. Mr. Draper says that even if a change is made,
it will be to a “constitutional monarchy” =under the Kaiser=; which we
know would be no change whatsoever! We know what Germany will be like
under the Chinless Hero (?) of Verdun.
Americans must now be very careful not to fool themselves in measuring
out sympathy for “the German people”; for every particle of it will be
wickedly misplaced. At least let us not make ourselves a laughing-stock
for Hans and Gretchen.
With all due regard for our war President, we respectfully claim that
in the minds of many millions of Americans both his premises and his
conclusions are wrong. Once,–three full years ago,–many Americans
(like ourselves) felt sympathy for “the German people”; but by outrage
upon outrage the fact has been driven home to Americans that all such
sympathy is utterly misplaced. The official publications of the war
have opened our eyes. The great mass of the German people are guilty
of an unprovoked war, and of wholesale and retail murder, rape,
destruction and tortures unparalleled even among the lowest savages of
For forty years the swell-headed pan-germanists and the odious Junkers
deliberately have educated the German people into this fearful war of
attempted conquest. The millions of Germany smilingly kow-towed to
the war lords and approved colossal annual expenditures in preparing
for =this very war=! The man who says that the conquest of France and
England was not ardently desired and deliberately planned by “the
German people” is very ignorant of current history. Excepting a few
Socialists, all Germany was ready “to the last gaiter button” on August
1, 1914, and feverishly eager for the war to begin! Was the great Kiel
Canal built for commercial purposes? Not on your life! Every German
knows that it was built as a means for the vanquishment of England on
the sea; and one German friend who claims much inside knowledge has
solemnly assured me that Germany had long intended to strike France and
England just as soon as the Canal was finished.
Never in the history of the world was any war ever planned and
developed through so long a period, or with such loving pains and
thoroughness, as Germany’s present war. Its construction covered thirty
years, and throughout that period German newspapers, lectures, books
and speeches were full of it. It was taught to the children of Germany,
for at least twenty years. For at least ten years the officers of the
German navy had been drinking to “Der Tag,”–“The Day” when they would
attack the British navy and crush it.
* * * * *
Bismarck was a very shrewd statesman, as well as a ruthless
conquestador and a changer of telegrams. But he left Germany in peace
and friendship with England and Russia, while William the Egotist,
hungry to be the boss of all Europe, promptly estranged both. William
alone created the Triple Entente!
Outside the British Army and Navy, there were practically no British
statesmen who realized the real trend of Germany’s ambitions. That is
why the outbreak found England without a powerful army.
Let no American think for a moment that the press and the people
of Germany were ignorant of what was coming, or opposed to it. The
whole nation, Socialists and all, had become afflicted with acute
megalomania, and a real elephantiasis of egotism. They thought that by
being sufficiently prepared, and sufficiently treacherous and cruel,
they could bring all Europe under the German heel, to toil forever in
the German yoke. To-day even the German Socialists support Kaiserism;
and while they vociferously are shouting for “peace,” remember that
=they wish only a German-made peace that will leave Germany in the
saddle=! Let all other Socialists make due note of this.
The first incident that shocked the American people into a realization
of the true character of “the German people” was the sinking of the
_Lusitania_, and the drowning of its great company of women, children
and other non-combatants. And then, while England and America were
laying their streaming dead in long rows on the dock at Queenstown,
“the people” of Germany were literally dancing with joy! The German
people called it a glorious “victory”! “Were some women and children
lost? Well, they should not have sailed on the _Lusitania_. They were
warned,–=by the German Ambassador himself=!”
And the beautiful city of Frankfort-on-the-Main gave all its school
children A HOLIDAY, in which to indulge in unrestrained rejoicing over
the sinking of the _Lusitania_! In Frankfort, if you were to throw a
banana peel on the street, or in the Palm Garden, you would fiercely be
arrested, and savagely fined 5 marks for the atrocity.
And some of “the people” of Germany struck a joy medal in celebration
of the _Lusitania_ victory. A reproduction shows that it was a charming
and soulful work of German art.
And the submarine reptile who sank the _Lusitania_ =was decorated (with
the “Order Pour la Merite”), and promoted=, by the man whom young
Hagenbeck of Hamburg characterized as “our dear, good, kind Emperor.”
“Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary,
To sweeten mine imagination!”
Last week it was reported by wounded British prisoners, exchanged
and sent from Germany via Switzerland, that “as we lay in the train,
crowded and helpless, many German women came up to the cars and spit
upon us.” I have already cited the story of a Canadian prisoner.
During the past three years I have read every scrap of eye-witness
information that has come before me in print recording observations
in Germany, by war correspondents and others. My reading covers many
newspapers, magazines, books and official publications of various
kinds. Through all this mass I have looked in vain for expressions from
the common people of Germany of some disapproval of German cruelties
and atrocities on land or sea, or of sympathy for the victims of German
cruelty. Find just one, if you can. I can not. Not once have I seen
an expression or sentiment of that kind reported from Germany. The
callousness of the women of Germany toward the ravishment, wounding,
torture and ghastly mutilation of their sisters in Belgium, France,
England, Servia, Poland and Armenia is astounding, beyond belief. But
we are learning a lot these days.
Germany deliberately permitted the atrocious Turks to murder about
1,500,000 helpless Armenians; and so far as we know, not one person
in Germany, high or low, has uttered one little protest against that
colossal crime. Can you beat it! As the world knows very well, Germany
absolutely controls Turkey, and drove her into the war; and Germany is
guilty of complicity in the death of every non-combatant Armenian of
that whole two millions of helpless persons who were slaughtered, or
drowned, or starved on the deserts.
The ghastly murder of Edith Cavell, the nurse, and the Apache-like
slaughter of Captain Fryatt “go” in Germany. The forcible abduction and
enslavement of 5,000 young women, boys and men of Lille, Roubaix and
Tourcoing, and all the younger women of Noyon, France, just before the
latter was recaptured by the British, is all right in Germany. In the
New York _Evening World_ of July 27 you will find in an interview with
Louis Raemakers, the Dutch cartoonist nemesis of Germany, a fearful
account of what the German officers do with the girls of France,
Belgium and Servia. There are photographs by the score of dead children
in Servia “upon whom the most frightful crimes had been committed
before they were slashed to death across the body,” and “woman after
woman whose breasts had been cut off.”
I believe that if the German soldiers were to kill and eat their
prisoners, in the name of “Germany,” the German people would accept it
as justified by the “attack” on Germany, and the utterly false formula
that “Germany is fighting for her life.”
The military ring has by hard and continuous lying made the German
masses believe that “The Allies wish to destroy Germany”; whereas the
Allies wish to do nothing of the kind. All they wish to do is to secure
the safety of the world against the barbarians of Berlin.
* * * * *
After the war is over, will the men and women of America and England
and France enjoy traveling in Germany, eating in German hotels,
promenading in the Thiergarten of Berlin, and fraternizing with German
army officers fresh from the war? Can they tell the ravishers of
helpless women, and the murderers of children and old men, from the
other men of Germany? No; they can not. The trail of the serpent will
be over them all.
After this war how will Americans relish the sound of the German
language, and the teaching of it in their schools? Will they patronize
German operas as of yore? Of what will the strains of the “Blue Danube”
waltz remind them?
How will American men of science now regard the nation whose scientists
invented poison gas, and sent bacteria of glanders and anthrax for
horses and cattle, into friendly Rumania, =under the privileged seal
of “diplomacy”=? We can give all the details of that episode, from
Except by rare flashes of side light, the people of America have
had few opportunities to learn what the Allies really think now
of the German Germans. The catalogue of a dealer in second hand
books ordinarily is the very last place in which one would look for
expressions of opinion of nations and people. But in war, always look
for the unexpected. Book Catalogue No. 767, of Henry Sotheran & Co.,
London, contains this, soberly set forth on page 21:
BENEDEN (Pierre Joseph van: Univ. LOUVAIN, BELGIUM) ANIMAL
PARASITES AND MESSMATES. 18 woodcuts, post 8vo, 2s. (pub. 5s.).
Belgium came to know viler human parasites from German universities
than the filthiest bloodsuckers of the insect world.
And on page 28 this item appears:
HARTMAN (Robert: Univ. BERLIN) ANTHROPOID APES, with 63 woodcuts,
post 8vo, cl. 2s. (pub. 5s.).
These would suggest the University-bred German officers who defiled
with their own filth the French houses in which they were billeted.
We will add that they also suggest the ethics of the wolverine, whose
favorite habit it is systematically to defile all the food in a miner’s
cabin which he can neither eat nor carry away.
All the world now knows that the Allies, of whom, thank God, America
at last is one, never will cease fighting the mad-dogs, the wolves
and wolverines of Germany until they are thoroughly whipped. Be the
time long or short, the Allies will outlast the Teuton and the Turk,
and will dictate the terms that both shall accept. America is ready to
throw into the scale one-half of all that she possesses, if need be, to
secure that end.
And then what?
When Germany is thoroughly beaten, as assuredly she will be, what shall
be her punishment for her crimes?
The only sensible and correct policy to pursue toward a dirty-fighting
enemy is to =get him down and keep him down=! No greater mistake
could be made than for the Allies to become “magnanimous” to brutal
Germany when the time comes to hand her what is coming to her in final
settlement. We want no sissies nor weak sisters representing us at the
peace conference, pleading for easy terms for Germany. Any man who
cannot guess how much Germany would be “magnanimous” to the Entente
allies =if she should win=, is a colossal idiot. Think of the size of
the cash indemnities that Germany would exact of America, England and
France if she could win!
It would seem that no matter how rapacious or egotistic are Germany’s
intentions, always and everywhere there is a garrulous German ready to
blab them out in public. If Germany had the chance, she would utterly
ruin all of the Allies. There is no conceivable insult or injury that
she would not visit upon them, just as she has upon the conquered
districts of Belgium and France. =The United States would be called
upon to pay an indemnity of just about $20,000,000,000; and quickly,
too!= Make no mistake about that!
We have been reading German anticipations of the taking of British East
Africa and the Congo Free State, to join them to the (late lamented)
“German colonies” for the making of a vast African empire under the
“dear, good, kind Kaiser” of Belgian fame. This is well known to the
English; and the answer is that =Germany’s lost African colonies are
already lost to Germany forever and a day!= To give back to Germany
any one of those African colonies would be criminal folly, and of a
certainty it would breed no end of future trouble in Africa. Knowing
this, the Boers of South Africa will see Germany in hades before any
influence on earth can persuade, or force them, to hand back one foot
of “German” East Africa,–a colony that was armed to the teeth long
prior to 1914, and that started fighting immediately that war was
declared in August, 1914!
Even if overweening magnanimity should beg that “German” Southwest
Africa be given back, the dictates of humanity would sternly forbid it.
After the brutal murder by Germany of 208 of the leading natives of the
German capital at Walfish Bay for no reason whatever save the innate
German brutality of the new governor, and the poisoning of the wells of
Swakopmund, it would be a high crime against the native population ever
again to place them within the power of any German governor.
No; decidedly not. Germany will not be given back a single foot of any
one of her former African colonies. The close of this war will be no
time for mushy sentiment toward the dirtiest fighters on earth.
The war should not and will not end until Germany has surrendered
every foot of invaded territory now occupied by the Teutonic allies,
and agreed to pay to Belgium an indemnity of about $5,000,000,000 with
another $5,000,000,000 to France, or the equivalent thereof, and the
return of Alsace and Lorraine. The delivery to England of her cowardly
navy as a pledge of future good behavior is really immaterial. The
German navy is chiefly a scuttling navy, great only against unarmed
ships and fishing boats, but never willing to meet any foe on equal
When the peace terms are written, England should take back Heligoland,
as a German bond to keep the peace. The giving away to her only enemy
of that immensely valuable island was one of the greatest blunders in
statecraft that England ever committed. Now, there is only one way to
redeem it,–make Germany surrender Heligoland before any German ship is
permitted to sail the seas.
All the world now knows that the preservation of a Slavic Balkan
barrier now is absolutely necessary to the peace of Asia.
* * * * *
And what will be the attitude of Americans, Englishmen, Frenchmen,
Italians and Russians after the war, toward the mad-dogs and wolves of
Germany? For the sake of “business” and “trade” and “cheap goods” will
we fraternize once more with the red-handed murderers of ten thousand
Belgian and French civilians, the ravishers and enslavers of 100,000
Belgian and French women, the sinkers of the _Lusitania_, and the
murderers of Captain Fryatt and Nurse Cavell? Will we buy goods made
by blood-stained German hands, that have dragged Belgian and French
girls from their screaming mothers? Will we buy and use goods made
on stolen Belgian machines, of materials stolen from France? Will we
patronize the German “science” that produced chlorine gas for British
soldiers, or the German artillery artists who have gleefully pounded
the Cathedral of Rheims into ruins?
Will we not hear with the swan song of _Lohengrin_ the dying shrieks of
the _Lusitania_ women and children as they struggle in the icy waters?
In view of the records of the past three years, what two words are more
loathsome and detestable than “German kultur”?
The only logical conclusion of Germany’s career of crime and dirty
fighting is, at the close of the war, the contempt, the aversion
and the loathing of the civilized world, and =a universal policy
of non-intercourse=. Let Germany go and live with Austria, and the
loathsome Turk, in a hell of their own. Can any American not of German
birth ever again desire to visit and travel in the land of the criminal
Kaiser who started the war, the land of the murderers, ravishers and
traitors whom the war brought to the surface? We cannot conceive it
And after the war is over, the less we hear in America of the German
language and of German literature, music, art and science, the better
for all concerned. The German idols one and all lie in the mud, in
fragments,–cast down and smashed by the mad-dogs of Germany, =and no
one else=! Americans of German descent may build monuments to their
memory, but never again can they be set up for Americans to worship.
Through her crimes and her dirty fighting, Germany has earned the
contempt and aversion of the world, and it will be paid to her as long
as civilization endures. Whole libraries will be written about the
brutalities of the German Germans, the cowardice of their navy, the
blunders of their alleged statesmen, and the carnival of lies of the
Kaiser and his advisors.
Men who fight honorably take their punishment like men, get over it,
and often become friends again. But not so when one party is “a dirty
fighter,” a gouger, and a hitter below the belt. Even the youngest
American schoolboy despises the unfair fighter, and loathes the sight
After this war is over, no man outside the Teutonic-Turco mad-dog
influence will be so poor or so mean as to look upon a German German
with real respect, much less with admiration. The world will cheerfully
go naked and hungry ere it accepts food and clothes made in Germany.
Americans with self respect will refuse to buy German goods, or to
trade in stores that offer them for sale,–not indeed to “punish”
Germany, but because the source is so loathsome and offensive. Germany,
Austria and Turkey already have the contempt, the scorn and the hatred
of the whole world, and after the war they should be ostracised and
shunned for a thousand years.
It will be only the most sordid and mean-spirited people of America,
England and France who will again buy of Germany because her goods
are cheap. It is now time publicly to declare in America the existing
aversion to Germany, in order that all importers may be made to know
and understand the intentions of the public, and thereby avoid loading
their shelves with goods that they can not sell to Americans. Let signs
go up now reading: “No German goods sold here.”
It is now time to drop the German language from every school in
America, finally and forever. It is ludicrous folly to permit the
language of America’s only real enemy to be taught in our schools.
Never again will Americans need it. We can well do without the language
of brutality and tyranny.
* * * * *
One of the few good services rendered by this German-made war concerns
South America. It has shown Brazil, Argentina and even Mexico exactly
where they stand with respect to the Monroe doctrine. If Germany should
win this war, then should all the nations of South and Central America
pray to God for deliverance; for with Germany in the saddle, their
peace and prosperity would be gone forever. With perfect clearness of
vision, Brazil now sees this, and has the indomitable courage to act
the part of a great and self-respecting nation, bent upon preserving
the rights of her people.
Argentina sees the light, but hesitates to take up her share of the
white man’s burden; and Chili says: “Let George do it!”
If there is now even one Central or South American state which can not
see that the United States,–with the moral support of the British
navy,–has for years stood like a rock between them and the most
rapacious and cruel people on earth, then that state is hopelessly
blind. And for this service the United States has not asked anything
but common friendship,–and sometimes has failed to receive even that!
The Central and South American republics should now set their houses in
order in regard to their future dealings with the German “influence,”
and German commercial aggression. They should take warning from the
condition of Italy before the war, when German capital and German
greed held the banks, railroads, and sea commerce of Italy literally
by the throat. Do Argentina, Chili, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia wish
that condition to obtain with them? After the war, Germany will make a
tremendous push to secure commercial supremacy in South America; and
let South America beware! The time to build dykes is before the floods
come, not after.
* * * * *
Saith the Psalmist with inspiration from the same God whom the German
Kaiser piously and persistently claims as his silent partner,
“=The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget
And to pan-Germany, Turkey and Austria we transmit that solemn promise
of Holy Writ of what is in store for them, in punishment for their high
crimes against humanity.
After the war, nothing can save them from existence in a hell of
national poverty, and world-wide scorn and aversion, all of their own
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Blunders, Crimes and Punishment, by Dr. William T. Hornaday
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