Why Germany Supports Austria.
Not Russia, but Austria, is the natural protector of the equilibrium between the existing States on the Balkan Peninsula and their natural guardian against Russian domination. Austria is their nearest neighbor; indeed, the possession of Bosnia and Herzegovina makes her a Balkan State herself.
Being herself more than half of Slavic stock, she has every reason for living on good terms with the various Slav kingdoms south of her. Being herself forced, through the conglomerateness of her population, to constant compromises in her internal affairs between conflicting nationalities within her borders, she could not possibly absorb a large additional amount of foreign territory. She is bound to respect the existing lines of political demarkation in the Balkans, and her sole object can be through commercial treaties and tariff legislation to open up what used to be European Turkey to her trade and her civilizing influence.
In this she must clearly be supported by Germany. For only if Austria is left free to exercise her natural protectorate over the Balkan States can the passage between Germany and the Near Orient, one of the most important routes of German commerce, be kept open.
Russia’s unwillingness, then, to allow Austria a free hand in her dealings with Servia was an open menace to Germany, a challenge which had to be accepted unless Germany was prepared to abdicate all her influence in the Near Orient and to allow Russia to override the legitimate claims and aspirations of her only firm and faithful ally.
This formidable coalition of the three greatest European powers, threatening the very existence of Germany, has now been joined by Japan, openly and boldly for the purpose of snatching from Germany her one Asiatic possession.
If any additional proof had been needed to make it clear that, if Germany wanted to retain the slightest chance of extricating herself from this worldwide conspiracy against her, she had to strike the first blow, even at the risk of offending against international good manners, this stab in the back by Japan would furnish such proof.
Dr. Sanderson Replies
To the Editor of The New York Times:
Although I hate to enter into a controversy with Prof. Kuno Francke, who was once my excellent friend, I cannot refrain from answering his article which appeared in last Sunday’s NEW YORK TIMES.
How can any one say, in all fairness, that Germany’s policy toward France during the last forty-three years has been one of the utmost restraint and forbearance, and has been dictated by the one desire to make her forget the loss of the two provinces? What are the facts? We know that not once, but again and again, since 1878, Germany has tried to provoke France into war. We know that on one occasion Queen Victoria herself threatened the Kaiser with Great Britain’s intervention if he did not desist from his intended attack on France. And to cite only the two most recent instances, the Agadir affair and the enforced resignation of the French Premier, Delcasse! Would Germany have swallowed such insults?