Слике страница
PDF

ing in Spandau, 5,000 Russian prisoners escaped, to wander in terrifying bands over the countryside. The amount of looting from which Berlin suffered during the revolt was estimated at $10,000,000. The city resembled a huge battlefield.

On March 7 Hugo Haase was elected Chairman of the Independent Socialist Party. On the 10th President Ebert and Secretary Landsberg arrived in Berlin from Weimar. On the same day the strike was called off and work resumed throughout the greater part of the city.

The Industrial League of Germany was organized in Berlin on March 10, with a fund of 50,000,000 marks, to fight Bolshevism. Of this amount the great Berlin plants contributed 5,000,000 marks.

WRECKAGE OF BATTLE

The Spartacans opened negotiations March 11 for peace with the Government Minister of War Noske demanded unconditional surrender. The Spartacans were still strongly intrenched in the suburbs of Weissensee, Kopenick, Neukblin, and Rummelsburg. At Lichtenberg the Government troops made slower progress owing to the need of thoroughly restoring order in the conquered parts of the city. A correspondent wrote:

In Kaiser Street the buildings bear the scars of tens of thousands of projectiles, and In Frankfurter Street I was reminded of the dead towns of Northern France, with the shattered houses standing like rows of ghastly skeletons. Across all the streets and at every corner are barricades composed of gigantic rolls of paper, with barbed wire in front and behind machine guns Just left by the retreating Spartacans.

At the end of one street Is a park of heavy mine throwers with a great pile of gigantic projectiles. Every street through which we passed bore evidence of the battle, and the pavements were covered with glass and scraps of masonry. As we neared the centre of the city, close to the palace, a strong machine-gun fire broke out along the Spree, and there was an atmosphere of oppressive tension.

The Spartacans' artillery is still in action, but the range is short and shells fall Into the deserted houses. In some other houses In the district the inhabitants remain, and they have bitter experiences to relate of how they have had to stay In cellars day and night. If they

ventured out, they found everything stolen. Some of them have had hardly anything to cat for a week.

Berlin dispatches of March 12-13 bore evidence of the complete success of the Government in overcoming the revolt. Government troops bombarded the Spartacan defenses at Lichtenberg and put the rebels to flight. They advanced vigorously into the place and took many prisoners. One group of thirty included ten women. They were marched handcuffed through Unter den Linden to the Moabit prison. The Lichtenberg Soldiers' and Workmen's Council, composed wholly of Independents and Spartacans, was dissolved. Nests of Spartacans in the east end of Berlin were systematically cleaned up. Captured looters were executed. One Spartacan adherent was caught with 800,000 marks' worth of jewels.

ALLIED LINES ADVANCED

Meantime, disorders continued to be reported from the provinces. On March 12, following a general strike at Hamburg, a Spartacan revolt broke out, accompanied by rioting. A general strike was in progress in the mining district of Beuthen, Silesia, where 20,000 workmen were said to be idle. A message from Graudenz stated that martial law had been proclaimed in the Briesen, Kulm. Thorn, and Strassburg districts of West Prussia, owing to an advance of Spartacan forces in that region. "Acute unrest " was the term applied to prevailing industrial conditions in Westphalia on the 15th. A further message of the same date stated that British and French forces had advanced their outposts from the limits of their bridgeheads at Cologne and Mainz, respectively. The French were reported to have penetrated into the corporate limits of Frankfort. According to a Paris dispatch of March 16, General Count Sixt von Arnim, former commander of the German Army in Flanders, had been beaten to death by peasants at Asch, Bohemia.

The National Assembly adopted a bill on March 13 concerning the socialization of factories. It also passed a measure regulating the coal industry. Minister of War Noske, to whose vigorous policy suppression of the Berlin revolt was mainly due, addressed the National Assembly. Herr Noske said that only one suburb remained to be cleared of the Spartacans. He declared that disarmament of the population must be hastened. The Minister continued:

It is especially the fault of certain newspapers, notably the Freiheit and the Red Flag, that acts of pillage, brigandage, and murder have been committed in Berlin, as they have been inciting the people for months past. The Independent Socialists did all they could to support these disgraceful, shameless actions.

The great mass of the workmen of Berlin are honest men, but, as In all great movements, impure elements seem to have crept in among the loyal, thoughtful workers. The hyenas of the revolution began to Intrigue before martial law was proclaimed and before the troops had been ordered to advance upon Berlin.

PRUSSIAN ASSEMBLY Premier Hirsch opened the Prussian Assembly in Berlin on March 13. The Diet building was guarded by steelhelmeted troops, and only holders of credentials were permitted to enter. In his speech the Premier asserted that the watchword of Germany must be "work." He referred to the pernicious effect of strikes on industry. While assenting that Prussia was ready to be incorporated into a united German State, he contended that it would be a mistake to split Prussia into republics not capable of existing by themselves.

During a discussion on disturbances the Minister of Justice announced that the damage done to Police Headquarters amounted to 20,000,000 marks. One of the delegates made a speech in favor of the Hohenzollems, and proposed that Prussia should restore the monarchy. The Socialists protested, but the greater part of the civil parties applauded. Later Herr Leinert, Majority Socialist and former member of the Prussian Diet, was elected President of the Prussian Assembly. Herr Porsch, Majority Socialist, and Herr Frenzel, Democrat, were elected Vice Presidents. Dr. Grandnauer, former Socialist member of the Reichstag and an ex-Minister, was elected Premier of Saxony.

A Berlin dispatch of the 14th to The New York Times summarized the situation as follows:

No well-informed person here believes for one moment that the anarchist spirit has been finally exterminated. On the contrary, it is growing rapidly with starvation and the lack of proper enjoyment.

In suppressing the last rising the Government troops used harsh measures by which occasionally the lives and property of the totally innocent were destroyed. Outsiders profess to see plainly the absolute necessity of these measures, but not those whose families and friends suffered, and they belong nearly all to the laboring or what the English call the lower middle classes, who had already drained the bitter cup of misery during the war.

The Spartacan press is doing everything possible to incense the proletariat against the Government by representing its troops as aggres-ir and the Spartacans as poor, helpless victims, who were first provoked and then slaughtered. Add to this the general moral and economic disintegration pervading all walks of life and the help'.essness of the Government, overburdened wit1' gigantic tasks, and there you have the situation.

The chief of the military forces, Herr Noske, has proved himself to be competent, and a man of iron will, who even in opposition to some of his colleagues In the Government never hesitated to do what he thought was demanded, thereby doubtless jeopardizing his own life.

Noske has been playing one extreme against the other. All his army officers, beginning with General von Luttwitz, who was In charge of the Berlin operations, down to Lieutenant Pilerwltz of Bremen fame, belong to the Junker class without almost any exception. Both officers and men have thus far proved themselves absolutely loyal, but today they openly boast that they for the third time have saved the Government's life. There are in Germany about 300,000 army officers of the line and reserve. They now talk of forming a great league among themselves.

THE FORMER EMPEROR From Amerongen came numerous and circumstantial reports that the ex-Emperor was maintaining communication with his supporters in Germany. "Germany will soon repent of having overthrown the monarchy," he was reported to have said to Count von BrockdorffRantzau. "All that is happening in Germany goes to my heart. I did not will it. There are still good patriots in Germany who will not allow her to become bankrupt."

The Dutch Governor of Utrec'.t, responsible for the conduct of the ex-Emperor, arrived at Count von Bentinck's castle on Feb. 27. It was intimated that his visit was connected with the activities of Berlin officials. Their visits ceased shortly after being made known to the public through dispatches of The Associated Press.

From the ex-Emperor's attendants it was gathered that he had not gone beyond the castle grounds in nine weeks, and tuat he had resisted efforts to induce him to return to Germany. The German Government continued the salaries of his servants and made arrangements for their relief at regular intervals, although his staff was much reduced. Court Chamberlain von Gontard exercised his functions as usual, remaining a State official under the orders of the "Hofmarschallamt," or Lord Chamberlain's office, in Berlin. Meanwhile, extra precautions had been taken to insure the ex-Emperor's privacy by boarding up openings in the garden wall and topping it with barbed wire.

From Weimar a dispatch of Feb. 27 refuted previous rumors that the exEmperor had carried a large sum of money with him into Holland. It stated that he had been forced to borrow 40,000 guilders from his host, and that he petitioned the German Government to allow him a portion of his private fortune. After an investigation the German Government found the ex-Emperor

might legally claim 75,000,000 marks as his own property, but decided to allow him temporarily only 600,000 marks to meet present indebtedness and expenses.

A London message of March 10 quoted the Prince of Monaco as being interviewed relative to the German exEmperor's responsibility for the war. The Prince of Monaco was at one time an intimate friend of the ex-Emperor, but severed those relations in a telegram sent in September, 1914. In the interview the Prince said:

There Is no doubt that the former German Emperor was the first and responsible author of the war. He absolutely wished for it. and conducted it himself In all Its ruthlessncss and barbarity. Until a few years before the war he seemed sincerely to wish peace and a renewal of Intercourse with France. I know this because I was Intrusted with a mission to try to bring It about. But at the same time a terrible megalomania was growing in him. He was anxious to see Germany over all, and from the day when he felt It impossible to attain this end by peaceful means, war became an obsession with him.

I shall never forget the fury In his face and the hatred in his voice when, in July, 1914, he told me "If they oblige me to make war, the world will see what it never dreamed of." These words were hypocritical because the Emperor could not pretend the war Into which he declared himself driven was not at that very time being prepared for In every detail.

Germany's Attitude on Peace Terms

By COUNT RROCKDORFF-RANTZAU

German Minister of Foreign Affairs [address Delivered Before The National Assembly At Weimar, Feb. 7, 1919]

I CAN group the tasks with which German foreign policy is confronted under two headings—the abolition of a state of war and the restoration of normal relations with the community of nations. The abolition of a state of war is an urgent necessity for the whole world. It is not Germany's fault that it still exists. When the former German Government agreed with the Entente and the United States on the Wilsonian principles of peace, and accepted

armistice terms on that basis, no one could have believed that peace would be delayed for so long, or that the Entente would threaten a resumption of hostilities in order to obtain fresh concessions from us. They have recently made an attempt to settle in this way questions which undoubtedly belong to the General Peace Treaty, and which they intended to settle by military pressure in a one-sided manner to our detriment, whereas, according to the principles of peace agreed upon, they were to be sectied on the basis of justice and reciprocity. I have repudiated this attempt, and shall continue to repudiate such attempts in the future. Violence can be done to us, but we cannot be forced to acknowledge violence as right. We expected a speedy peace, because the only raison d'etre for the armistice terms was their imposition for a short period.

ALL WAR FORCES DISSOLVED

For a long time past Germany has ceased to be an enemy whom the Entente need fear from a military point of view. Demobilization is completed. We have done more than demobilize. The demobilization to which we are bound by the armistice implies the reduction of the army in the field to the peace footing. We are in the act of dissolving the whole of our fighting forces as they existed hitherto, and of replacing our old peace army, which would be very useful to us now in the East, by new republican troops. In spite of this fact, the severity of the armistice terms is increased from month to month. If the enemy think that they must punish us, they are inspired by vengeance and not by justice, and are killing the spirit in which, according to their own declarations, peace was to be concluded. Germany has shouldered the consequences of her defeat, and is determined to observe the conditions on which she has come to an agreement with the enemy. These conditions signify a complete conversion from the political aims of the Germany of the past and a recognition of the truth which one of the great men of Weimar has expressed in the saying, "Weltgeshichte ist Weltgericht," (world history is the world's court of justice.) But we refuse to accept our enemies as our judges on account of their partiality. Their number does not increase their competence. We cannot bow to the verdict of the victors; only to the judgment of an impartial tribunal. I will not, therefore, allow myself to be diverted by pressure from the points of the Wilsonian peace program as recognized by both sides.

The most important of these points imposes the obligation to submit our dif

ference with other States to an International Court of Arbitration, and to renounce armaments which would make it impossible for us to undertake a surprize attack upon a neighbor. We are prepared for both these humiliations of our sovereignty if our former enemies and our future neighbors are subjected to the same conditions. We recognize that the attitude which ermany assumed toward both these fundamental questions was wrapped up in a historical school for which the whole of our people have now to suffer.

This acknowledgment, however, by no means constitutes an admission that the German people alone are responsible for the world war in the sense implied in enemy assertions, and that it has been carried on with a barbarity that is exclusively their own. For years we have had to complain of the war plans of our enemies, and of the dreadful cruelties in their carrying on of the war, and we are prepared to put the question of blame for the war, and blame during the war, to men who are impartial and who enjoy the confidence of all the belligerents for their verdict. This is why we hold firmly to the Wilsonian principles that no war costs are to be paid to the victor and that no territory is to be evacuated by the conquered. We have pledged ourselves, and we are prepared to make good the damages which have been caused to the civil population through our attack in the territories which have been occupied by us. If, however, we are to rebuild in these territories what has been destroyed, we will do it with our own free labor. On the other hand, we protest against the enemy retaining our prisoners of war to do such work as slaves, thus prolonging the state of war, and against their claim for any international legal pretext for such drudgery.

From the fact that our enemies owe their victory, for the greater part, not to their military but to their economic conduct of the war, it follows that peace must not only be a political one, but essentially also an economic one. Quite rightly, President Wilson has characterized the principle of economic freedom and equal rights as the main condition

[ocr errors]

for the just and lasting peace for which he stands with such high authority, and we may therefore assume that the resolutions of the Paris Economic Conference of 1916 are to be dropped.

FEAR OF TRADE LIMITATIONS

It must be apparent that a temporary differentiation of Germany in the domain of trade and traffic would be unacceptable to us. A nation such as the German Nation ought not to be treated by our enemies as a second-class nation, nor should a term of quarantine be imposed upon us like a vessel outside a port in which plague has broken out. If we undertake to comply with just peace conditions, and give guarantees for their fulfillment such as the enemy negotiators may reasonably demand, then there is no reason why they should refuse us the greatest encouragement. It is plain that we have lots to learn in the domain of trade policy. We have not always allowed ourselves to be led by the truth which in the relations of peoples is exemplified in the good motto, "Freely hast thou received; freely give." That, certainly, is partly due to the one-sided bureaucratic staff of our foreign service.

By bureaucratic means the economic relations of peoples, which are fundamentally disorganized by war, cannot be re-established. It is not a question of one State gaining economic advantages from another by old diplomatic means. Economic negotiators must allow themselves to be guided by the spirit of the honorable tradesman, who holds that business is best in which both parties are well served. I, therefore, intend to place practical business men of experience in the foreign service to a greater extent than heretofore, and I have already made a beginning. I have confidence that our economic foreign service will in future take advantage of the freedom of trade which a just peace must bring us in a manner very far removed both from unsubstantial bungling economy as well as from a narrowminded mercenary policy. In this way we shall clear out of the road the first disinclination of other nations against Germany's economic methods, which

have appreciably brought about and prepared an atmosphere of war.

A NAVAL ADMISSION

Freedom of trade, however, presupposes freedom of the seas, and that is why the point in the Wilsonian program which speaks of the freedom of the seas is one of the most important for Germany. In this respect it is of much less importance for us what the rules of naval warfare happen to be. We will not speak now Of new wars, but rather of the peaceful use of the sea routes, their coasts, and their ports. Regarding this main point of the future peace conditions there is as yet no clarity. The Entente last Autumn reserved its approval of this, and the conditions which it has drawn up to place before Germany, in connection with the promise of the delivery of foodstuffs and with the prolongation of the armistice, lead it to be feared that it is desirous of robbing Germany of the whole of her mercantile fleet. What, however, does freedom of the seas represent for us if we have no ships to sail upon them? How can we bring our importation and exportation into line with our economic requirements if for this purpose we have only foreign tonnage to use, which may possibly be only unwillingly lent to us by other nations at profiteering prices? If it be desired to compel Germany, without a mercantile fleet, to enter the League of Nations, this would represent a violent subversion of her economic development, and such a thing could not be done without cramping convulsions which would continually constitute a threat to general peace.

And just as little could Germany enter the League of Nations without colonies as without a mercantile fleet. According to Mr. Wilson's program, colonial questions are to find a broad-minded and absolutely impartial settlement. In the sense of that program we await the handing back of our colonial possessions which we have had taken from us, partly in contravention of international treaties and partly under threadbare pretexts. We are prepared to negotiate regarding the cession of this or that

« ПретходнаНастави »