“In this changed spirit he reflected the sentiment of the German people. His sermon of Saturday has evoked the deepest approval everywhere.
“‘We know,’ be said, ’that before us is the decisive battle which can be fought through only with the greatest sacrifices. But in all cases of the past God has helped us, and God will fight for us to-day, through our leaders and our soldiers. We neither willed nor wanted this war—neither the Kaiser nor the people. We hoped for peace as the Kaiser extended his peace proposal, but with unheard of frivolity and insults our enemies slapped the back of the Kaiser’s extended hand of peace.
“’To such enemies there is only one voice—that of the cannon. We continue the war with a clear conscience and with trust in God that he will bring us victory. God cannot—he will not—permit the German people to go down.’”
“GOD WILL NOT PERMIT THE GERMAN PEOPLE TO GO DOWN”
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THE BERNHARDI OF THE SEAS
After the break in diplomatic relations the slogan of German Militarism became:
“Win or lose, we must end the war.”
To many observers it seemed to be insanity coupled with desperation which caused the Kaiser to defy the United States. There was no doubt that Germany was desperate, economically, morally and militarily. While war had led German armies far into enemy territory, it had destroyed German influence throughout the world; it had lost Germany’s colonies and Pacific possessions and it had turned the opinion of the world against Germany. But during the time Germany was trying to impress the United States with its sincerity after the Sussex incident the German Navy was building submarines. It was not building these ships to be used in cruiser warfare. It was building them for the future, when submarine war would be launched on a big scale, perhaps on a bigger scale than it had ever before been conducted.
After the new blockade of the Allied Coast was proclaimed, effective Feb. 1, 1917, some explanation had to be made to convince the public that the submarine war would be successful and would bring the victory which the people had been promised. The public was never informed directly what the arguments were which convinced the Kaiser that he could win the war by using submarines. But on the 9th of February there appeared a small book written by Rear Admiral Hollweg entitled: “Unser Recht auf den Ubootkrieg.” (Our Right in Submarine Warfare.) The manuscript of this book was concluded on the 15th of January, which shows that the data which it contained and the information and arguments presented were those which the Admiralty placed before the Kaiser on his birthday. The points which Rear Admiral Hollweg makes in his book are:
1. America’s unfriendly neutrality justifies a disregard of the United States;