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cally, in full possession of his senses, without necessity or
the crimes which we had believed to be forever buried in the
Dror now seem to be numbered, let barbarous past. He has trampled under from the highest, which almost touch the divine, to the simplest and most elementary, which still appertain to the doubt on this point; the proof of it has been established and re-established, the certitude definitively acquired.
But, on the other hand, it is no less certain that the enemy has displayed virtues which it would not be right for us to deny; for one honors one's self by recognizing the valor of those whom one combats. He has gone to death in deep, compact, disciplined masses, with a blind, obstinate, hopeless heroism, for which history furnishes no example equally sombre, and which often has compelled our
By Maurice Maeterlinck
Belgian Essayist and Dramatist
For us war, whose days of grief and ter heroism should be, above all, voluntary,
free from all restraint, active, ardent, us weigh for the last time in our joyous, spontaneous; whereas with them minds the words of hatred and maledic it is mixed with much of servility, of pastion which it has so often wrung from us. sivity, of sadness, of gloomy, ignorant We have to deal
mass submission, and with the strangest of
of fears enemies. He has de
less base. Yet in a liberately, scientifi
moment of peril these distinctions vanish for the most part; no
force on earth could excuse, revived all
drive toward death a nation that did not have within itself the will to confront death.
Our soldiers have not deceived themselves on this point.
Ask those who return painfully
from the trenches. They execrate the enemy; they have a horror of the aggressor, unjust, arro
gant, gross, too often MAURICE MAETERLINCK
cruel and perfidious; they do not hate the man, they pity him; and, after the battle, in the defenseless
wounded or the disarmed prisoner they There is no longer any recognize with astonishment a brother in
misery who, like themselves, has been trying to do his duty, and who has laws which he considers high and necessary. Underneath the intolerable enemy they see the unfortunate mortal who likewise is bearing the burden of life.
Leaving out of account the unpardonable aggression and the inexpiable violation of treaties, very little is lacking to make this war, despite its madness, a bloody but magnificent testimonial of grandeur, of heroism, of the spirit of sacrifice. Humanity was ready to raise itself, above itself, to surpass all that it had achieved up to this hour. And it
foot all the precepts which the human race
SO gleaned out of the cruel darknesses of its origins; he has violated all the laws of justice, of humanity, of loyalty, of honor,
admiration and our pity.
I am well aware that this heroism is
has done it. We had not known of nations that were capable, through months and years, of renouncing their rest, their security, their wealth, their well-being, all that they possessed and loved, even life itself, to accomplish what they believed to be their duty. We had never seen whole nations that were able to understand and admit that the happiness of each of those living at the moment of trial does not count when it is a question of the honor of those no longer living or of the happiness of those not yet living.
Here we stand on summits that had never before been attained. And if, on the part of our enemies, this unexampled renunciation had not been poisoned at its source, if the war which they wage against us had been as beautiful, as loyal, as generous, as chivalrous as that which we wage against them, one might believe that it was to be the last war, and that it was to end, not in mortal combat, but in the awakening from a bad dream with a noble and fraternal astonishment. They have not permitted this to be so; and it is their deception, we may rest assured, that. the future will have the greatest difficulty in pardoning
Now, what are we going to do? Must we go on hafing to the end of our days? Hatred is the heaviest load that man can bear on this earth, and we should be bowed down by the burden. But, on the other hand, we do not wish to be again the victims of trust and love. Here once more our soldiers, in their clear-eyed simplicity and nearness to truth, anticipate the future and teach us what is best to do and not to do. As we have seen, they do not hate the individual, but they do not trust him. They do not see the human being in him until he is without arms. They
know from sad experience that as long as he has weapons he does not resist the mad impulse to injure, to betray, to kill, and that he becomes good only when he is powerless.
Is he thus by nature, or has he been made thus by those who lead him? Have the chiefs carried away the whole nation, or has the whole nation driven its chiefs? Have the leaders made the people like themselves, or have the people chosen the leaders and supported them only because they resembled themselves? Did the disease come from below or from above, or was it everywhere? This is the great obscure point of the awful adventure. It is not easy to explain, and it is still less easy to find an excuse.
If they prove that they have been deceived and corrupted by their masters, they are proving at the same time that they are less intelligent, less firmly grounded in justice, honor, and humanity-in a word, less civilized—than those whom they pretend to have a right to subjugate in the name of a superiority which their own demonstration annihilates; on the other hand, if they do not prove that their errors, their perfidies, and their cruelties, which it is no longer possible to deny, are to be imputed solely to their masters, these sins fall back upon their own heads with all their pitiless weight. I do not know how they will escape the jaws of this dilemma, nor what decision will be rendered by the future, which is wiser than the past, even as the morning, to quote the old Slavic proverb, is wiser than the night. Meanwhile let us imitate the prudence of our admirable soldiers, who know better than we do what path to follow.
FRENCH MONOPLANES AWAITING COMMAND TO ATTACK
Glimpse of an Aviation Camp on the Somme, and of the Swift and Deadly Craft That Have Given the French
the Mastery of the Air. (Photo © International News Service.)
framework of the prohibitory laws. They either the oppression of many millions of Government did not need to issue new reanti-Semitism; the same results-restric
By Henry Sliozberg Jurist, Chairman of Jewish Relief Committee in Petrograd, Former Counsel to
Russian Minister of Interior This luminous and deeply discerning summary of the present situation of the Jews in Russia, and their future prospects, was written in the form of a letter to Professor Samuel Harper of the University of Chicago. Mr. Sliozberg is an authority on Russian law, being counselor in Petrograd of one of the largest American insurance companies, and has been an active communal worker among the Jews of Russia for nearly three decudes. URING the years just preceding a simple circular or by an edict of the
the war the Jews in Russia were Senate.
period; the Government's anti for every local administrator—not to Semitism had increased, being expressed
speak of persons in the Higher Central in a more intensified system of limita Government, from Governors of provtions of rights and in a tendency to ex
inces down to the lowest police agentstend this system not only by the applica
to follow their individual policy with retion of already existing limitations but gard to the Jews. At any given moment also by the elaboration of new legislation. one could divide Russia into regions, and, The laws concerning Jews have always on a general background of absence of been characterized by a
remarkable rights, note that the situation of the vagueness; they had to do with such ele Jews
comparatively better mentary human rights as the right to worse, according to the administrator of live in this or that locality, the right the district, although the laws were to carry on trade and industry, the right equally binding for all localities. There to receive an education, and so forth;
was still greater variety according to yet these laws constantly and invariably epochs, in spite of absence of new legislaraised doubts when they had to be ap
tive measures. plied to the complicated and varied con For more than twenty-five years I ditions of life which did not fit into the have been in very close touch with the
question of the application of the rewere so all-embracing that the mere ap
strictive laws on Jews, and I must state plication of the laws in a more restrictive that there never was a more oppressive or in a more liberal sense, without any period than that of the several years change in the law itself, would mean just preceding the war. Without the
enactment of any new laws, the noose Jews in Russia or a slight alleviation of of legal limitations on Jews was pulled
tighter every month by interpretative Official Anti-Semitism
circulars of the Minister of the Interior, The vital interests of this population
Maklakov, and by edicts of the Senate,
under the direction of the Minister of and the corresponding interests of the
Justice, Shcheglovitov. were therefore more de.
[These two Ministers resigned in June, 1915, pendent on the practice in the applica
under the pressure of public opinion.-Transtion of the laws than on the laws them lator.] selves. It was the Government's policy
Again the political law was confirmed to adapt the administrative apparatus of circulars and edicts to the requirements
of the direct correspondence between the
increase of reaction in general and the of its anti-Semitic state of mind. The
increase of Governmental anti-Semitism. strictive laws in order to manifest its
The Jewish question has for a long time
been a political question; and recently, tion and limitation-could be secured by
from 1905 on, it has been the main axle around which turned the wheel of re