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What Germany Thinks The War as Germans see it   By:

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WHAT GERMANY THINKS

OR THE WAR AS GERMANS SEE IT

By Thomas F.A. Smith, Ph.D.

Late English Lecturer in the University of Erlangen

Author of "The Soul of Germany: A Twelve Years' Study of the People from Within, 1902 1914"

1915

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I THE CAUSES OF THE WAR

II ON THE LEASH

III THE DOGS LET LOOSE

IV MOBILIZATION

V WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS

VI THE DÉBÂCLE OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

VII "NECESSITY KNOWS NO LAW"

VIII ATROCITIES

IX THE NEUTRALITY OF BELGIUM AND GERMANY'S ANNEXATION PROPAGANDA

X SAIGNER À BLANC

XI THE INTELLECTUALS AND THE WAR

XII THE LITERATURE OF HATE

XIII "MAN TO MAN AND STEEL TO STEEL"

INDEX

WHAT GERMANY THINKS

CHAPTER I

THE CAUSES OF THE WAR

In many quarters of the world, especially in certain sections of the British public, people believed that the German nation was led blindly into the World War by an unscrupulous military clique. Now, however, there is ample evidence to prove that the entire nation was thoroughly well informed of the course which events were taking, and also warned as to the catastrophe to which the national course was certainly leading.

Even to day, after more than twelve months of devastating warfare, there is no unity of opinion in Germany as to who caused the war. Some writers accuse France, others England, while many lay the guilt at Russia's door. They are only unanimous in charging one or other, or all the powers, of the Triple Entente. We shall see that every power now at war, with the exception of Germany and Italy, has been held responsible for Armageddon, but apparently it has not yet occurred to Germans that the bearer of guilt for this year's bloodshed is Germany alone!

It is true that the conflict between Austria and Serbia forms the starting point. Whether or not Serbia was seriously in the wrong is a matter of opinion, but it is generally held that Austria dealt with her neighbour with too much heat and too little discretion. Austria kindled the flames of war, but it was Germany's mission to seize a blazing torch and set Europe alight.

When the text of Austria's ultimatum became known, a very serious mood came over Germany. There was not a man who did not realize that a great European War loomed on the horizon. A well organized, healthy public opinion could at that period have brought the governments of the Germanic Powers to recognize their responsibility. Had the German Press been unanimous, it might have stopped the avalanche. But there were two currents of opinion, the one approving, the other condemning Austria for having thrown down the gauntlet to Serbia and above all to Russia.

One paper exulted over the statement that every sentence in Austria's ultimatum "was a whip lash across Serbia's face;" a phrase expressing so aptly the great mass of popular opinion. This expression met with unstinted approval, for it corresponded with German ideals and standards in dealing with an opponent. Yet there was no lack of warnings, and very grave ones too. A glance at German newspapers will suffice to prove this statement.

On July 24th, 1914, Krupp's organ, the Rheinisch Westfälische Zeitung , contained the following: "The Austro Hungarian ultimatum is nothing but a pretext for war, but this time a dangerous one. It seems that we are standing on the verge of an Austro Serbian war. It is possible, very possible, that we shall have to extinguish East European conflagrations with our arms, either because of our treaties or from the compulsion of events. But it is a scandal if the Imperial Government (Berlin) has not required that such a final offer should be submitted to it for approval before its presentation to Serbia. To day nothing remains for us but to declare: 'We are not bound by any alliance to support wars let loose by the Hapsburg policy of conquest.'"

The Post wrote on the same date: "Is that a note? No! it is an ultimatum of the sharpest kind. Within twenty four hours Austria demands an answer... Continue reading book >>




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