You may rant and talk about
And opinions that are bought and sold,
But facts, no matter how hard to face,
Are facts, and the horrors taking place
In that little land, pledged to honor’s creed,
Make your cause a luckless one to plead.
There are two sides? True. But when both are heard,
Our sad hearts echo a single word—
We are not misled by the savage tales An invading army never fails To have told of it. There are false and true, And we want to render you your due. But our hearts go out to that ravished land Where a few grim heroes make their stand, And our ears hear faintly, from overseas, The wailing cry of those refugees— "Belgium—Belgium—Belgium!"
By Count Albert Apponyi
[From THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 28, 1915.]
The letter which follows was sent by Count Albert Apponyi to Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, and was written in the latter part of last month in Budapest. Count Apponyi, who is one of the most distinguished of contemporary European statesmen, was President of the Hungarian Parliament from 1872 to 1904. He was formerly Minister of Public Instruction, Privy Councillor, Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, and Member of the Interparliamentary Union.
I have been greatly interested in your account of American neutrality in the present European crisis. I must confess that I had seen it in a somewhat different light before and that some of the facts under our notice still appear to me as hardly concordant with the magnificent attitude of impartiality, nay, not even with the international duties of neutrality, which intellectual and official America professes to keep.
We cannot explain to ourselves that a neutral power should suffer the selling of arms and ammunition by its citizens to one of the belligerent parties, when no such selling to the other party is practically feasible; we cannot understand why America should meekly submit to the dictates of England, declaring all foodstuffs and manufacturing materials contraband of war, with not even a show of right and with the clear and openly proclaimed intention of starving Germany and Austria-Hungary; why, on the other hand, America should use an almost threatening language against Germany, and against Germany alone, when the latter country announces reprisals against the English trade, which, under given circumstances, can be considered only as acts of legitimate self-defense against an enemy who chooses to wage war not on our soldiers only, but on our women and children, too.