Jena, Aug. 31, 1914.
By John Warbeke.
Professor of Philosophy
and Psychology at Mount Holyoke
A Letter to the Springfield Republican.
To the Editor of The Springfield Republican:
The approval of President Wilson for neutrality of language can hardly be construed into complacency in the face of monstrous evil. If a judicial attitude of mind be not jeopardized a discussion of the issues raised by Profs. Eucken and Haeckel ought to help us in the attainment of impartial judgment. A long acquaintance with both these men makes it hard for the present writer to give expression to such negative criticism as he is constrained to do. But his plea can be only this: Not truth but only passion can separate, and truth is greater even than friendship.
The charge of “brutal national egoism” is laid at England’s door. She is declared to be the instigator of the present world war. “Upon her alone falls the monstrous guilt and the judgment of history.” Such language from two benevolent philosophers, one of them a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for Idealistic Literature, seems to suggest a lack of information among the German people, including its most enlightened exponents, of not only their own published “White Paper” dispatches, but also of the events of the last two months. It seems hardly possible that in the case of these two gentlemen a deliberate campaign of vituperation could have been inaugurated with determination to blind themselves to facts clearly stated in the reports of both contending parties—
First—That Servia, in reply to ten urgent demands on the part of Austria, acquiesced in nine and proposed to submit the tenth, as concerning her national integrity, to The Hague Tribunal. Austria, nevertheless, declared war, with Germany’s self-confessed assurances of support.
Secondly—Germany was the second to declare war, the mobilization of Russia being assigned as the reason for this step. The objection of Germany’s initial campaign, as shown by events, was not defense against the confessedly slowly mobilizing Russians, however, but the humiliation and subjugation of France. And the means employed to that end included the treaty-breaking invasion, and more than invasion, of Belgium, who is suffering because of this step “so necessary for Germany.”
Thirdly—England, as is repeatedly demonstrated by the official documents, of both sides, strained every means to bring about a common understanding. The appeals of Sir Edward Grey for more time in the Servian ultimatum and for a council of Ambassadors were met by the Austrian and German Governments respectively with evasion. And England was the last of the great powers to enter the conflict, her plea being the moral obligation of supporting treaties in which she guaranteed the integrity of a weak neighbor and undertook to defend her ally, France, when attacked.