14 THE FATHERLAND
THE GREAT WORK OF THE GERMANISTIC
SOCIETY OF CHICAGO
FEW weeks after the declaration of war the Germanistic
Societygof Chicago announced that it planned “to issue
a series of pamphlets to appear from time to time dealing with
the war in Europe and its underlying causes.” These pamphlets
were “to serve the cause of truth, to correct misrepresentations,
and to exemplify the spirit of objectivity and fair play." This
program in every way admirable has been carried out, possibly
excepting the reviewer's own pamphlet, with marked consistency.
‘A brief summary of each of the six articles thus far issued will
illustrate the scope and character of the work intended.
The first pamphlet, entitled “Germany and the Peace of
Europe,” by Ferdinand Schevill, Professor of History at the
University of Chicago, is a model of moderation and fairness.
Professor Schevill shows how the history of Europe since 1870
proves decisively that the real causes of the present war are not
German ambitions but rather that they lie down "at the very
roots of our culture, that they lie in our wild pursuit of
wealth, in our rampant commercialism, in our race hatrcds, in
our insufficient love of our fellow men, in our competitive and
military psychology, and in a hundred other things constituting
in their totality what we boastingly refer to as our civilization."
John VV. Burgess, Emeritus Professor of Constitutional law
in Columbia University, writes the second article, “The Causes
of the European Conflict." Professor Burgess traces here briefly
and dispassionately the diplomatic manoeuvering, which begun
by Edward VII culminated in the “hour of Armageddon,” when
the German Emperor vainly strove for peace. In the third
article, Raymond E. Swing, of the Daily News of Chicago, who
was in Germany at the outbreak of the war, makes clear the
significance of the diplomatic interchanges during the last week
of July and describes graphically the splendid spirit in which
the whole of Germany is backing the Kaiser. The fourth pamph-
let contains the speeches and proceedings of that famous session
of the German Reichstag which was held on August 4th. These
documents give undeniable evidence of the striking spirit of
unanimity with which all parties in Germany, including the
socialists, are convinced that this is a war of defence against the
dangers of Russian aggression.
In the fifth pamphlet, “Germany’s Fateful Hour,” Knno
Francke, Professor of History of German Literature at Harvard
University, analyzes with clear insight the factors which led each
of the belligerent powers to enter the war. Professor Francke
concludes that of all the states now at war Germany “tried
hardest to maintain peace “ “ ”‘ For Germany knows that
the conflict into which she now has been forced can add nothing
to her present greatness and may wreck her whole national
existence.” The sixth pamphlet, written by the present reviewer,
is entitled “German ‘Atrocities’ and International Law.” In this
I have sought to weigh carefully and fairly the measure of
Germany's guilt or innocence on the various charges which have
been urged against her. Analyzed in this way, German "Atroci-
ties,” with one or two exceptions, appear either as the creations
of a partisan press or as actions justified both by international
law and by international practice.
The Germanistic Society of Chicago, in its spirit of liberality
typical of a large percentage of German-Americans, is striving
to accomplish an important task. It is to be hoped that this
Society may in this way do something to create here in America
that spirit of genuine neutralityewithout which we shall surely
fail to play our role as the one great neutral nation-a role which
maygbring peace to a distracted continent.
v JAMES G. McDONALD,
Prof. of History, University of Indiana,
A London dispatch of December 9 informs the United states
that it cost the British government $22,000 to bring the remains
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