Tuebingen, Berlin, Bonn, Breslau, Erlangen, Frankfurt,
Giessen, Goettingen, Greifswald, Halle, Heidelberg, Jena, Kiel,
Koenigsberg, Leipzig, Marburg, Muenchen, Muenster, Rostock, Strassburg,
Reply to the German Professors
By British Scholars.
We see with regret the names of many German professors and men of science, whom we regard with respect and, in some cases, with personal friendship, appended to a denunciation of Great Britain so utterly baseless that we can hardly believe that it expresses their spontaneous or considered opinion. We do not question for a moment their personal sincerity when they express their horror of war and their zeal for “the achievements of culture.” Yet we are bound to point out that a very different view of war, and of national aggrandizement based on the threat of war, has been advocated by such influential writers as Nietzsche, von Treitschke, von Buelow, and von Bernhardi, and has received widespread support from the press and from public opinion in Germany. This has not occurred, and in our judgment would scarcely be possible, in any other civilized country. We must also remark that it is German armies alone which have, at the present time, deliberately destroyed or bombarded such monuments of human culture as the Library at Louvain and the Cathedrals at Rheims and Malines.
The Diplomatic Papers.
No doubt it is hard for human beings to weigh justly their country’s quarrels; perhaps particularly hard for Germans, who have been reared in an atmosphere of devotion to their Kaiser and his army; who are feeling acutely at the present hour, and who live under a Government which, we believe, does not allow them to know the truth. Yet it is the duty of learned men to make sure of their facts. The German “White Book” contains only some scanty and carefully explained selections from the diplomatic correspondence which preceded this war. And we venture to hope that our German colleagues will sooner or later do their best to get access to the full correspondence, and will form therefrom an independent judgment.