The history of the world shows that such sentiments lead the nations not upward but downward. For the present, however, we trust firmly in our just cause, in the superior strength and the unyielding victorious spirit of the German people. Yet we must at the same time lament deeply that the boundless egotism we have referred to has disturbed for an immeasurable period of time the spiritual co-operation of the two peoples which promised so much good for the development of mankind. But they wished it so on their side—on England alone falls the monstrous guilt and the historical responsibility.
Jena, Aug. 18, 1914.
A Second Appeal
To the Universities of America:
In a time when half of the world falls upon Germany full of hatred and envy, we Germans derive great benefit from the idea of our being sure of the friendly feeling of the American universities. If from any quarter in the world, it must be from them that we expect the right comprehension of the present situation and present attitude of Germany. Numerous American scholars who received their scientific training at our universities have convinced themselves of the quality and the peaceful tendency of German work, the exchange of scientists has proved of deepening influence on the mutual understanding, the lasting intercourse of scholarly research gives us the feeling of being members of one great community. This is why we entertain the hope that the scientific circles of America will not give credit to the libels our enemies propagate against us.
These libels, above all, accuse Germany of having brought about the present war, she being responsible for the monstrous struggle which is extending more and more over the whole world. The truth points to the contrary. Our foes have disturbed us in our peaceful work, forcing the war upon us very much against our desire. We are at a righteous war for the preservation of our existence and at the same time of sacred goods of humanity. The murder of Serajevo was not our work; it was the outcome of a widely extending conspiracy pointing back to Servia, where for many years already a passionate agitation against Austria had been carried on, supported by Russia. It was Russia, therefore, that took the assassins under her wings, and some weeks already before the war broke out she promised her assistance to that blood-stained State. Nobody but Russia has given the dangerous turn to the conflict; nobody but Russia is to blame for the outbreak of the war. The German Emperor, who has proved his love of peace by a peaceful reign of more than twenty-five years, in face of the imminent danger, tried to intermediate between Austria and Russia with the greatest zeal, but while he was negotiating with the Czar Russia was busy with the mobilization of a large army toward the German frontier. This necessitated an open and decisive inquiry that led to the war. This only happened because Russia wanted it so, because she wanted to raise the Muscovites against the Germans and the Western Slavs and to lead Asia into the field against Europe.