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The New Germany   By: (1872-)

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.



Author of "Portugal Old and Young"; "Nationalism and War in the Balkans"; "Le Corps de Droit Ottoman," etc.


Printed in Great Britain


The following account of events in Germany during the period from the Armistice to the Treaty of Versailles was written mostly in the summer of 1919. But the events of the succeeding period from the signature of the Treaty to its ratification during the autumn and winter call for no alteration and but little addition to the text. The six months hereinafter described from February to August were a perhaps the critical period for Germany and for Europe. It was the formative and creative stage for New Germany and for New Europe. If the whole phase through which Central Europe passed after the collapse of the Central Powers is considered as the genesis of a new age, then the week of actual revolution was a phase of intense heat and fierce energy, in which the old political organisms were boiled down to their most simple and essential types and in which the germs of new political institutions appeared in primitive forms such as the Councils. Thereafter came the period under review, in which the old and new types fought for a survival of the fittest; and the old aided by the general cooling off of the revolution to some extent reasserted their supremacy. Indeed during this last winter I have even occasionally thought that the types of old Germany might succeed in suppressing the new, thereby making it necessary to change the title and tone of this book. But I know this impression is largely due to the pessimistic and perverted point of view towards all events in Central Europe affected by the British Press with few exceptions. For our "Dailies" Germany is only a subject for "scare heads" and "stories," in which adventurous special correspondents see the Kaiser emerging from the Netherlands to re ravage Europe like the Brontosaurus out of the Nyassa swamp. Whereas the reality seems to be that reaction has moderated as the revolution became more amenable, and that a "modus vivendi" between the two is now more of a possibility than it was.

It now seems less probable than it did last summer that the solution in Germany will be a "second revolution" as in Russia. Weak as it is politically, the present German governmental system seems too strong police ically to be overthrown by force. The situation to day in Germany rather suggests that in Great Britain two years hence than that in Russia two years ago.

The new Germany of this winter of 1919 20 is essentially, then, the same as that of last summer. It is not the old Germany of the autumn of 1914, nor the young Germany of the autumn of 1917. But it has developed rapidly in some respects in the course of this winter. Thus the rough and ready rule by Frei Corps expeditions and garrisons has been supplemented by a gendarmerie ( Sicherheitswehr ); and the middle class militia ( Bürgerwehr ) has been replaced by an organisation of armed special constables ( Einwohnerwehr ).

The effect and perhaps the object of this change is to obscure the class character of the conflict between reaction and revolution between property and the proletariat... Continue reading book >>

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