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AMERICANS IN THE WAR ZONE
more frankly as I had little to do with it. Indeed, volunteers were so numerous that, although I offered my services, there was for several days literally no work at which I could be set, and the only work that I found to do during the first week was to copy some names on cards. Every American in London had reason to be proud of the spirit of his country and of the American faculty for selfgovernment which this Committee demonstrated.
Early in the second week the Committee established a daily paper. The fact that there was no newspaper man on the Committee that undertook the publishing of a paper did not deter anybody from the venture. A plan was drafted and the first issue made up by three men, two of whom were lawyers, and the third the secretary of one of New York's best-known public men. I doubt whether any newspaper in London was more thoroughly read than that one. The first column of the first page of the first issue was devoted to an editorial "Foreword," giving general advice. Two columns were devoted to general information-for example, a warning against bogus tickets and a notice that passports would not be necessary for embarkation on steamships. Then there followed a column of personal inquiries, which were continued on the next page. This newspaper contained also a report with regard to lost luggage; a schedule of the sailing of steamships, and other notices with reference to transportation; an official directory giving the names of the Committee-men and the sub-committee-men, and the addresses of the Embassy and the Consulate; and a whole page was given to a list of names registered the day before; and, under the title "Who's Where?" a list of names of people whose present whereabouts was sought. The expense of the publication was assumed, under the guise of a last-page advertisement, by Mr. Gordon Selfridge, the proprietor of a great London department store, who took this means of aiding the citizens of his native country.
Similar committees have been formed in other cities. I have learned from a fellowmember of The Outlook staff, Mr. Elbert F. Baldwin, who has been in Munich and is still in Europe, that in that city two committees were established, one of relief and one of information, and that he, like myself. had been helping to edit a daily paper for the benefit of stranded Americans.
In the crowd that thronged these rooms at the Savoy Hotel, London, from ten o'clock in the morning to five o'clock in the afternoon one jostled against Western school-teachers who had been traveling with a party of tourists, the president of an American college, the treasurer of a great corporation, the wellknown orchestra performer whose face is familiar to every concert-goer in New York, the executive secretary of an American charitable organization, a college classmate, a business acquaintance who has an office in the same office building with one's self, a fellow-townsman-one after the other. There were men there whose names were known all over the United States, and whose presence helped to inspire confidence. One of these I have already mentioned, Mr. Oscar S. Straus. Another was Dr. John H. Finley, head of the Educational Department of New York State. There were well-known bankers and business men, such as Mr. W. North Duane, who was indefatigable as secretary of the Committee and whose very presence there materially helped to give stability to the organization. It seems invidious to name any.1
To many of those who undertook responsibility in this organization the opportunity of doing something was undoubtedly a relief. Nothing could possibly have been harder for them than to remain passive at such a time. One young man had come abroad to get relief from a great sorrow that had fallen upon him, only to face the horror of this war. He found relief in being steadily occupied day by day as the head of one of the most important of the departments established by the Committee. Others found in this a gratification for their spirit of adventure; for there was adventure connected with it evening I went with a friend to a hotel to carry some letters which an American had volunteered to take to Paris. This American I found was a fellow of eighteen years or so who was starting off to search for his mother and sister in France. When we called upon him to give him these letters, we found that he was engaged in learning from some girls French phrases which he might use on his journey. He was starting off in the greatest good spirits into France, the field of war,
'On another page is printed a picture of a group of the American Citizens' Committee. Others who served as members of the Committee but were not present when the picture was taken are James G. Cannon, Francis M. Wells, Lawrence A. Armour, Thomas J. Shanley, S. Stanwood Menken, Robert W. de Forest, Chandler P. Anderson, Harry E. Brittain.-THE EDITORS.
with no trepidation in spite of the fact that he did not know the language of the country, and rather in evident enjoyment of the adventurous prospect.
Here too at the headquarters were gathered people who had had all sorts of experiences on the Continent. One young woman told me of being in Paris without money and without friends; a young man who had been in Germany told me of having had an Englishman who was traveling in the same railway compartment dragged over his knees by soldiers and carried off on the charge of being a spy; another, a friend, who was one of the most gifted of American composers, told me of his experience in going to Leipzig, where there had been an exhibition of the graphic arts which had been arranged by a hundred or more professors in German universities— a notable example of German scholarshipand of his inexpressible horror at the thought that these very men whose extraordinary mental ability had just been shown would in many cases be sent to war, the prey of rifle and cannon.
Mingled with such Americans as these were also Americans of another and less admirable type. One man, for instance, was insistent that the Government was not doing its duty unless it prevailed upon each of the belligerents to allow the enemy's merchant vessels to convey Americans across the water to their homes. He evidently was firmly convinced of the fact that it was only necessary to call the attention of Germany and France, of Austria, Russia, and England, to the supreme importance of his comfort in travel and the comfort of others like him to insure the suspension of the operations of war. woman one day appeared at the Committee's headquarters demanding transportation home. When an opportunity was offered her of securing berths for herself and family on a specially chartered steamship, she indignantly rejected the proposition on the ground that she had planned to have five staterooms, and five staterooms she would have. I personally hope that she eventually returns by steerage. There are a great many people returning by steerage who do not need the experience, and she does need it. Such Americans, however, were very scarce. On the whole, the Americans that I saw in London, and I observed them by the hundreds, maintained by their conduct the proverbial reputation of
Americans for good nature and practical
Among those Americans who had come from Germany there were many who testified to the great service rendered by Ambassador Gerard in Berlin. I have already told, of my first-hand knowledge, of the foresight and efficiency of Ambassador Herrick in Paris.
I should like to add my personal testimony to the efficiency of the American Express Company at this critical time. During the three extra bank holidays, when all banks were closed, this Company's banking department remained open and was cashing its checks, while its credit was so good that hotels were also giving English money for its checks. There may have been other concerns that did equally well-I do not know.
To any in this country who have friends abroad at this time I should say: Allay your anxiety; if there is anything that you can do to help them and you think they need help, do it; it will be a service not only to them, but to the Government and to the many relief committees, who have their hands full. If, however, there is nothing that you can do, there is no reason why you should believe that nothing will be done. If your friends are in any large city, they are in company with others who are in the same predicament, and what I saw of Americans in a common predicament in London leads me to believe that they will show capacity for self-help and for mutual help. If you do not know where they are, you may be fairly sure that they are making their way to the nearest place of security. Fortunately, this country now has the friendship of every nation engaged in this war, and its good will is coveted. There is every reason why the quick passage home of every American in the zone of the war should be facilitated as far as possible. There are certain to be instances of hardship; but most Americans can take hardships with equanimity, in the expectation that some day they will look back upon their experience as worth having. In comparison with what the people of the nations at war are suffering, Americans in Europe are highly fortunate. One of the wonders of this war is the safety and comparative ease with which the great majority of travelers caught in the midst of the convulsion have escaped its dangers. ERNEST HAMLIN ABBOTT.
THE CASE FOR GERMANY
BY G. W. NASMYTH
It was at the special request of a representative of The Outlook that Mr. Nasmyth wrote the following article presenting the German point of view. Mr. Nasmyth was one of the delegates to the Church Peace Congress, which was to have held its sessions at Constance, Germany, during the week beginning August 2. A member of the Outlook staff, Mr. Ernest Hamlin Abbott, was also a delegate to that Congress, but, as explained in his editorial correspondence, was unable to reach Constance before the outbreak of the war. Knowing that Mr. Nasmyth had spent several years in Germany, had learned during that time to know and appreciate the German people, was sympathetic with the German point of view, was an admirer of German achievements, and had grasped the feelings of Germans, particularly of the intellectual class of Germans, concerning this war, he asked Mr. Nasmyth to present this point of view in terms that would be plain to American readers. This request was made in London within a day or two after the declaration of war between Germany and Great Britain; but because of the delay in communication between England and the United States Mr. Nasmyth's article was received too late for publication in any issue before this. It seems to us to be the strongest and most persuasive statement of Germany's case that we have seen. Mr. Nasmyth has been enabled by his experience to understand the point of view of many nations. For some time he organized Cosmopolitan Clubs in foreign universities, and for a while was the head of the Association of Cosmopolitan Clubs in this country, which comprises clubs in many colleges and universities composed of students of different nationalities. He is now director of the International Students' Bureau of the World's Peace Foundation. Inasmuch as the Foundation is avoiding all appearance of partisanship, it should be distinctly understood that Mr. Nasmyth in this article is expressing his personal view and understanding of the German spirit and is not speaking officially for the Foundation. Most of the statements in defense of Germany have been written from the point of view of the militarists. The distinctive characteristic of this article is that it is a defense of Germany written from the point of view of an anti-militarist and an active leader in the peace movement.-THE EDITORS.
T is clear that, if we are to form a just opinion of the issues involved in the European struggle, we must try to realize the point of view of both parties. It is possible that America will be called upon to play the rôle of mediator at the end of the conflict, and, if a permanent peace is to be established, it will be America's duty to see that no humiliating or crushing terms are imposed upon the side which suffers defeat. At present the people of the United States are getting practically all their news of the European war through English sources. It seems worth while for us to make a special effort to realize the German point of view in the struggle, and I shall attempt to put the essential facts of the case as I gathered them from close association with leading Germans during three years of study in the German universities. It is unquestionable that
67,000,000 German people sincerely believe that they are in the right in this matter, and if at the end of the war Germany should be crushed and the German people "stamped into the mud," as one of her historians expressed the conditions of a hundred years ago, no real peace could be established, but only a breathing-spell until Europe could gather its forces for another Armageddon.
The one factor which seems to be forgotten in the conflict, is Russia, and this promises to be the most important of all. Long after England, France, and Germany are weary of the fruitless struggle Russia will still be gathering her forces and throwing millions of peasants into the theater of war. An agricultural country, with almost no foreign commerce or highly organized industries to be destroyed, Russia can keep up the war for months after the highly organized
nations of western Europe have been compeiled to yield to the pressure of economic forces.
"For Germany it is the struggle of Western civilization against Russian barbarism; the conflict between enlightened Europe and the half-Oriental Slavic powers of darkness was inevitable," said Professor Rudolf Eucken at Jena University on the day that the Russian order for a general mobilization put an end to the Kaiser's efforts to maintain peace; and this is the keynote of the public opinion of educated Germany. The recent law for the reorganization of the Russian army and navy, the calling of 600,000 additional soldiers to the Russian colors next fall, was considered throughout Germany as the preparation for the coming attack on Germany by Russia. Since the conflict was inevitable, according to the German point of view, the German nation must prepare herself for the inevitable and, instead of waiting with resignation for her fate, must gather together all her power and go out and meet the foe without giving it time to concentrate its overwhelming forces.
The tragedy of the conflict, from the German point of view, is that Europe, instead of realizing that Germany is fighting the battle of civilization against barbarism, is uniting to crush the last obstacle to the Slavic advance. But yesterday England was preaching that the standing menace of the Western World was Russia, with its 170,000,000 of semibarbaric people, of whom seven-eighths cannot read or write, governed on absolutist methods by a reactionary bureaucracy which is frankly militaristic. Although a Russian soldier has never set foot upon English shores, England has fought one great war to stop the progress of this nation, to check her march towards English possessions. But it is not in a distant possession that she threatens Germany; it is on her own soil.
"Allied with this Slavic power on our eastern frontier," says the educated German, "we have an enemy on our west, from whom we have suffered as no other civilized people have suffered at the hands of enemies. You know the story of the wars of Napoleon, of the invasions of Louis XIV, who cut off with the sword German-speaking Alsace and Lorraine from the German body, of the Thirty Years' War, and all the rest of them; how our cities have been destroyed by the invader, mainly by the French and the Russian, or his hirelings and allies. You know how they
ravaged our country again and again, and actually, literally, cut our population in half, stamped it into the mud. Try to get the perspective. Picture a score of your finest cities wiped out, not merely that the houses were destroyed, but that every man, woman, and child within those places had perished, and this in not some distant past, but so near to you that your great-grandfather could have told you the story, having got it from the mouths of those who witnessed it.
"Of course you cannot conceive, no man can conceive, what the destruction of ten million human beings means. Yet by that number of beings was the population of Germany decreased during these wars. state as populous as England when Queen Victoria came to the throne was in one war reduced to the population of Holland. What has any civilized country to compare with this, to set beside it? When, indeed, has any civilized nation had to watch vast uncounted multitudes of its women and children driven forth homeless, their corpses massed in the country roads, with grass in their mouths, the only food the invader had left? And these same invaders, who have poured in devastating floods over our land to-day, boast that again they will invade us if and when
they can. I say boast. Can you find me one French public man who will say that France should abandon the hope of attacking us? It is their declared, their overt policy.
So that is our situation: on our right and on our left enemies from whom we have suffered as no other civilized country has suffered in modern times. The history of both is a history of conquest-in one case passionate, insatiable conquest-whose ambitions England and Germany have had to resist shoulder to shoulder in the past, and that Power which was the enemy of England for centuries makes no secret of its intention to renew the aggression upon us when it can. It is in the creed and blood of Frenchmen that they will attack us at the first opportunity. Oh, yes, we are a military people. Do you wonder ? But we have fought on our own soil, or returned to it as soon as the invader was repulsed."
The facts in the history of the crisis leading to the present conflict which are given in the official documents should be more widely known if the position of Germany is to be understood. The documents show that the German Emperor, by threatening to tear up
against the other countries of Europe, blindly allied with the greatest peril.
The great issue of the conflict, which will become clearer to the outside world as events proceed, is whether the civilization of western Europe shall continue to exist or whether Germany, the last obstacle to the Slav advance, is to be crushed and the German leadership in education, science, and social organization is to be replaced by the dominance in Europe of Russia, with its mediæval social conditions, with its autocratic Government at the head of 200,000,000 ignorant and superstitious Slavs, with its Tartars and Cossacks. This is the choice which Europe and the world must make, and this issue the great conflict will decide.
the Treaty of Alliance with Austria, compelled Austria to reopen diplomatic relations with Russia after they had been broken off, and to adopt a more conciliatory attitude towards Russia's demands. The negotiations between Russia and Austria had practically reached an agreement, on the basis that Servia should render satisfaction to Austria, without, however, sacrificing her autonomy or endangering her independence. Then, like a bolt out of the blue sky, came the Russian order for a general mobilization, producing such a panic in Germany that the Kaiser was compelled to surrender the control of affairs to the military leaders. And now Germany is fighting the battle for European civilization, not only against the oncoming Slavic tide, but This article will be followed next week by one on "Germany's Struggle for Existence," by H. C. G. von Jagemann, Professor of German Philology in Harvard University.-THE EDITORS.
Thousands of starving actors and actresses in Paris are being given two meals a day by the French theatrical societies. The war has closed every theater in Paris.
War is evidently a good crime cure. Since August 2, when the French began to mobilize, there has not been one case of burglary reported in Paris.
The British War Office and the British Football Association are considering the enlistment of the seven thousand football players who belong to the Association. It is believed that charges by them on the battlefield would help their country more than their rushes up and down the football field.
Boy Scouts and school-children are helping greatly in getting in the harvests of Switzerland. The Germans have ordered the men of Belgium to aid in getting in the crops of Germany, it is reported, and many Belgians have fled to Holland to avoid this service.
American moving picture men who were abroad when the war began have lost many thousand feet of expensive film. Camera men have been looked upon with such suspicion in the war zone that most "movie" photographers have been only too glad to get away alive, leaving films and machines behind.
According to the latest reports of the Census Bureau, there are 9,865,479 persons now living in the United States who were born in the countries at war. About one million and a half of
these are men more than twenty-one years of age, most of them liable for military duty.
The view of England's duty in this war held by the military correspondent of the London "Times" is to "keep our wicket up while Russia makes the runs."
A number of big Massachusetts textile mills have shut down for one month because of inability to get materials from Europe.
It has been a case of "walk right in, turn around, and walk right out again," for American correspondents who chose Belgium for the scene of their efforts. Many of them have been unable to get any "stories" in Belgium, and those that did get them in most cases were obliged to go to London to send them out.
On account of the war the rule of the Red Cross Society of Russia refusing admittance to Jewish doctors and nurses has been indefinitely suspended.
The payment of the forty-million-dollar war tax levied upon Brussels by Germany has been guaranteed by the four richest men in Belgium, according to a despatch to the London "Daily Express." These men are Ernest Solvay, the "Alkali King;" Baron Lambert, who represents the Rothschilds in Belgium; Baron Empain, a railway magnate; and M. Waroque, who owns many mines.
Uhlans, who looted the town cash box at Alost, Flanders, left a tip for the local police and an IO U reading, "Received for Emperor Wilhelm II."