Respect for the foreigner—Russians willing
to remain in
Germany—Ill-treatment of Germans in Belgium and France.
Enemies on all sides! With dishonorable weapons against us, and with documentary lies for the rest of the world! Let us calmly allow them to continue lying and slandering as they have begun—it will result finally in injuring themselves. The world will very soon see through this impudent, unabashed game; and it will finally side with the people which keeps to the truth, Only the weakling lies and swindles; the strong man loves and honors truth. Let us act like the strong man in this struggle!
Respect for the foreigner, protection for his person and property have at all times been considered sacred among civilized people. Germany can without exaggeration claim to have upheld this respect and this protection in these fateful days. Except for a few insignificant incidents which took place in several large cities, where the natural excitement of the people and the legitimate defense against an insolent system of spying led to the molesting and arrest of foreigners—mostly Russians—the measures taken against the citizens of hostile nations did not exceed what was absolutely necessary to the safety of the country. The Imperial Government and likewise the Federated States have refrained from expelling “en masse” Frenchmen, Russians, Belgians and Englishmen. It was, of course, unavoidable to take measures for the detention of such persons as seemed suspicious and for the internation of strangers liable to be called to take arms against Germany. This took place in cities, e.g., Berlin, where these men were taken away as “prisoners of war,” as soon as the “state of war” had been proclaimed, and placed in special rooms or camps. Lodgings and food are such as seem requisite and the treatment of these prisoners is according to their own opinion very kind. The Russian agricultural laborers constitute a special group of foreigners in Germany: There are about 40,000 to 50,000 of them, men and women.
From various parts of the country it is unanimously announced that these people are very glad not to be obliged to return to Russia. They are glad to remain in Germany, and willingly continue their work of gathering the rich German grain, potato and hay crops. Should there be any difficulties, these workmen would also have to be internated. No measures at all have been taken against women and children belonging to hostile States. They are left free to move about as they wish. Should they remain in Germany they can be sure that they will be subject to no other inconvenience except such as the general state of war inflicts upon Germans. The authorities will protect their persons, and their private property is respected. Nobody will touch it—as nobody has touched it so far.