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are today pushing the Hellenic people into the arms of their traditional enemies. And the question arises: Is it Venizelos or Greece that the Allies care for? If it is the former, then let them continue the tactics which alienate them from the Greek people. But if it is the latter, then for God's sake don't push that country's sufferings and despair any
further. Because the Greek people have done no harm to any one, and history will place the plight of Greece beside that of martyred Belgium when the hour of reckoning comes; and it would be a pity to besmirch the noble struggle of the Allies with such a record of brutality and inhumanity as the Entente is today guilty of in Greece.
King Constantine's Statement of
Kave The Associated Press corres
ING CONSTANTINE of Greece gave The Associated Press corre
spondent at Athens a detailed statement on Jan. 14, in which he said that it had been impossible to get the truth about Greece into the newspapers of the Entente countries. After citing false reports in the French press regarding the events of the attempted Venizelos revolution on Dec. 1 and 2, 1916, the King continued :
After all, all we ask is fair play. But it seems almost hopeless to try to get the truth out of Greece to the rest of the world under present circumstances, We have been sorely tried these last two years and we don't pretend to have always been angels under the constant irritation of the ever-increasing allied control of every little thing in our own private life-letters, telegrams, police, everything. Why, do you know that my sister-inlaw, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was only permitted to receive a telegram of Christmas greetings from her mother in England by courtesy of the British Legation here?
Moreover, by taking an active hand in our own internal politics, England and France especially have succeeded in alienating an admiration, a sympathy, and a devotion toward them on the part of the Greek people that, at the beginning of the war, was virtually a unanimous tradition. I am a soldier myself and I know nothing about politics, but it seems to me that when you start with almost the whole of a country passionately in your favor and end with it almost unanimously against you, you haven't succeeded very well. And I quite understand how those responsible for such a result seek to excuse themselves by exaggerating the difficulties they have had to contend with in Greeceby talking about Greek treachery and the immense sinister organization of German propaganda that has foiled them at every turn, and so on.
The only trouble with that is that they make us pay for the errors of their policy. The people of Greece are paying for them now in suffering and death from exposure and
hunger, while France and England starve us out because they have made the mistake of assuming that their man Venizelos could deliver the Greek Army and the Greek people to the Entente Powers whenever they wanted to use Greece for their advantage, regardless of the interests of Greece as an independent nation.
There are just two things about our desperate struggle to save ourselves from destruction that I am going to ask The Associate Press to try to make clear to the people of America. The rest will have to come out some day-all the blockades and censorships in the world cannot keep the truth down forever. Understand, I am not presuming to sit in judgment on the Entente Powers. I appreciate that they have got other things to think about besides Greece.
What I say is meant to help them do justice to themselves and to us, a small nation.
The first point is this: We have two problems on our hands here in Greece--an internal one and an external one. The Entente Powers have made the fundamental mistake of considering them both as one. They said to themselves : " Venizelos is the strongest man in Greece and he is heart and soul with us. He can deliver the Greeks whenever he wants to. Let us back Venizelos, therefore, and when we need the Greek Army he will turn it over to us."
Well, they were wrong, as I think you have seen for yourself since you have been here. Venizelos was perhaps the strongest man in Greece, as they thought. But the moment he tried to turn over the Greek Army to the Entente, as if we were a lot of mercenaries, he became the weakest man in Greece and the most despised. For in Greece no man delivers the Greeks. They decide their own destinies as a free people, and not England, France, and Russia together can change
them, neither by force of arms nor by starvation. And they have tried both. As for Venizelos himself-you had a man once in your country, a very great man, who had even been Vice President of the United States, who planned to split the country in two and set himself up as a ruler in the part he separated from the rest. I refer to Aaron Burr. But he only plotted to do a thing which he never accomplished. Venizelos, with the assistance of the allied powers and he never could have done it without them-has succeeded for the time being in the same kind of a seditious enterprise. You called Aaron Burr a traitor. Well, that's what the Greek people call Venizelos.
The impression has been spread broadcast that Venizelos stands in Greece for liberalism and his opponents for absolutism and militarismn. It is just the other way around. Venizelos stands for whatever suits his own personal book. His idea of government is an absolute dictatorship-a sort of Mexican government, I take it. When he was Premier he broke every man who dared to disagree with him in his own party. He never sought to express the will of the people: he imposed his will on the people. The Greek people will not stand that. They demand a constitutional Government in which there is room for two parties-Liberals and Conservatives-each with a definite program, as in the United States or England or any other civilized country, not a personal Government, where the only party division is into Venizelists and anti-Venizelists.
The other thing I wanted to say is about the effect of the so-called German propaganda in Greece. The Entente Powers seem to have adopted the attitude that everybody who is not willing to fight on their side must be a pro-German. Nothing could be falser in respect of Greece. The present resentment against the Allies in Greece-and there is a good deal of it, especially since the blockade -is due to the Allies themselves and not to any German propaganda. The proof of it is that when the so-called German propaganda was at its height there was little or no hostility in Greece toward the Allies. It has only been since the diplomatic representatives of all the Central Empires and everybody else whom the Anglo-French secret police indicated as inimical to the Entente have been expelled from Greece, and any German propaganda rendered virtually impossible, that there has grown up any popular feeling against the Entente.
Part of this is due to the Entente's identification of its greater cause with the personal ambitions of Venizelos, but a great deal has also been due to the very unfortunate handling of the allied control in Greece. When you write a personal letter of no possible international significance to a friend or relative here in Athens, and post it in Athens, and it is held a week, opened, and half its contents blacked out, it makes you pretty
cross--not because it is unspeakable tyranny in a free country at peace with all the world, but because it is so silly. For, after all, if you want to plot with a man living in the same town you don't write him a letter. You put on your hat and go to see him. Hall the people in Greece have been continually exasperated by just this sort of unintelligent control, which has irritated the Greek people beyond any telling. But to say that they are pro-Germans because they dislike having their private letters opened or their homes entered without any legal authority whatsoever is childish. It's a vicious circle. The Entente takes exceptionally severe measures because it alleges the Greeks are pro-German. The Greeks very naturally resent the measures thus taken, as would the Americans or anybody else. The Entente then turns around and says: “ You see, that proves that the Greeks are pro-German, as we suspected.”
The fact of the matter is that there is even now less pro-German feeling in Greece than in the United States, Holland, or any of the Scandinavian countries. And there is far less anti-Entente propaganda in Greece even now than there is anti-Hellenic propaganda in England, France, and Russia. The whole feeling of the Greek people toward the Entente Powers today is one of sorrow and disillusionment. They had heard so much of this war for the defense of little nations" that it had been a very great shock to them to be treated, as they feel, very badly, even cruelly, for no reason and to nobody's profit. And more than anything else, after all the Greek Government and Greek people have done to help the Entente Powers since the very outbreak of the war, they deeply resent being called pro-German because they have not been willing to see their own country destroyed as Serbia and Rumania have been destroyed.
I have done everything I could to dissipate the mistrust of the powers,
have given every possible assurance and guarantee. Many of the military measures that have been demanded I myself suggested with a view to tranquilizing the Allies, and myself voluntarily offered to execute. My army, which any soldier knows could never conceivably have constituted a danger to the allied forces in Macedonia, has been virtually put in jail in the Peloponnesus. My people have been disarmed, and are today powerless, even against revolution, and they know from bitter experience that revolution is a possibility so long as the Entente Powers continue to finance the openly declared revolutionary party of Venizelos. There isn't enough food letf in Greece to last a fortnight. Not the Belgians themselves under German rule have been rendered more helpless than are we in Greece today.
Isn't it, therefore, time calmly to look at conditions in Greece as they are, to give over a policy dictated by panic, and to display a little of that high quality of faith which alone is the foundation of friendship?
The Story of Saloniki
By James B. Macdonald
INETY years ago, when the Hel
lenes were fruitlessly fighting for their independence, George
Canning, the British Foreign Secretary, induced France and Russia to join his country in freeing them. The allied fleet destroyed that of Egypt at Navarino, and Greece again became a political entity in 1832 under the protection of Britain, France, and Russia.
The guaranteeing powers agreed to assist the new kingdom financially, to contribute toward the maintenance of a sovereign in suitable state, and that what. ever ruler was chosen should not be a member of the British, French, or Russian royal familes. They also agreed that none of the contracting powers should send troops into Greece without the consent of the other guarantors.
Otto, the first King—a son of King Louis I. of Bavaria-was deposed by a national assembly, following a military revolt in 1862. A plebiscite of the people elected Prince Alfred of Great Britain, better known as the Duke of Edinburgh, but the British Government refused to sanction it as being contrary to the agreement with their co-guarantors. The throne was next offered to the Earl of Derby, grandfather of the present War Minister, but declined by him. The British Government then suggested the Danish Prince, William George of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, and this nomination was approved by a National Assembly and ratified by the guaranteeing powers.
The new sovereign, George I., was the father of the present King Constantine. As a special mark of good-will, Britain ceded Corfu and the other Ionian Islands to Greece. In 1864 the King accepted a new democratic Constitution drawn up by the National Assembly, and this is the one still in force.
Meanwhile, the relationship between the guaranteeing powers and their ward had not always been harmonious, and
coercive measures have had to be resorted to on several occasions. A French army occupied Greece during the Crimean war to prevent the Greeks from making war on Turkey and threatening the allied communications. Toward the close of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78 the Hellenes invaded Thessaly, but their claim of territory was set aside in the Treaty of San Stefano. At the instance of Lord Salisbury, two Greek delegates were permitted to address the Berlin Conference, and they obtained a rectification of the frontier.
In 1893 Greece defaulted in her national obligations, and four years later entered upon an unprovoked and aggressive war against Turkey. The Greek Army, under Crown Prince Constantine, was decisively beaten, and the capital lay at the mercy of the victorious Turks when the King telegraphed to the Czar to save Greece. The Czar made personal representations to the Sultan, and peace was arranged. Greece agreed to pay about $15,000,000 for her escapade.
Smarting from disappointment, the military forces in 1909 set aside all constitutional government and substituted the Military League. They expelled Crown Prince Constantine and his brother from the army and threatened the Crown itself. Later the army and navy quarreled, and Venizelos, who at this time came into prominence, persuaded the Military League to dissolve and permit the re-establishment of constitutional government.
In 1912-13 came the first and second Balkan wars, the assassination of King George at Saloniki, and the crowning of King Constantine.
A French military mission had reorganized the Greek Army and equipped it with the latest pattern mountain guns and light howitzers.
In the first war the Bulgars broke the main Turkish resistance at Kirk Kilissé and Lulé Burgas, the Serbians
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broke their western armies at Kumanova and Monastir, and King Constantine, after the fight at Yanitza, had a walkover to Saloniki, where the demoralized Turks surrendered without resistance.
In the second war the Bulgarian objective was to seize Saloniki and to destroy the Greek and Serbian Armies in detail. King Constantine, with a superior Greek Army, fought his first real battle between Saloniki and Seres, and, after a struggle of five days, forced the Bulgars to retire. The King pursued the enemy energetically to the Rhodope Mountains, where the Bulgarians counterattacked and enveloped both his wings, but the timely intervention of the Rumanians compelled the Bulgars to seek an armistice. This alone saved Constantine's army from discomfiture. The war closed with the Greek Army unbeaten and its morale good.
The Repudiated Treaty Upon the outbreak of the great war the Serbian Army repulsed the Austrian incursion, and in the following year decisively routed the second army of invasion. During the Summer the attitude of Bulgaria had been uncertain and suspicious, and the Greek Government decided it was time to arm. Greece mobilized on Sept. 24, 1915, and three weeks later Bulgaria declared war on Serbia.
Both Greece and Serbia at the close of the second Balkan war expected that Bulgaria would sooner or later seek revenge, and to insure against this contingency they entered into a secret treaty providing that each would assist the other. Serbia, being attacked in the rear by Bulgaria while confronting AustriaHungary, called on the Hellenes to assist
them in terms of their mutual agreement. The Venizelos Government acknowledged the obligation and proceeded to fulfill it.
As in duty bound, the Greek Government represented the situation to the three great powers who were guaranteeing the independence of Greece. It so happened that these powers were also allied to Serbia and engaged at the moment in war with the Teutonic States.
The Greek Government stated inter alia : that they desired to assist Serbia; that their resources were insufficient to make their intervention effective, as they could muster only 200,000 first-line troops with adequate reserves, and that if Britain and France would assist them with an additional 150,000 men they would take the field against Bulgaria. The western powers agreed, and the matter was arranged. Thirteen thousand Anglo-French troops landed at Saloniki on Oct. 6, 1915, as a first installment, whereupon the political situation changed at Athens.
King Constantine rightly diagnosed the political situation: that the drive eastward through the Balkans to Turkey was the Alpha and Omega of the war so far as his brother-in-law the German Emperor was concerned; that the Austrians were taking the same road, bent upon seizing Albania and Saloniki, and that the invasion of Belgium, France, and Russia was merely side play to engage and hold off the opponents to this eastern adventure. He also inferred that the Asquith Government had mistaken the real political direction of the war. The Teutons were opportunists-gamblers, if you will—in the west, but their heatt was in the east.
Constantine erred, however, in supposing that the western powers did not appreciate the political importance of holding Saloniki and Valona (or Aylona) until the end of the war, and that they had no other means of countering the drive to the east than by a major campaign in the Balkans or at the Dardanelles. He concluded that there might be profit for himself in favoring his brother-in-law's ambition and danger to himself in opposing it. King Constantine thereupon reconsidered his pre
vious concurrence in the pourparlers of his Government with the guaranteeing powers, decided that Greece, in the circumstances of a general European war, was not bound by the treaty with Serbia, and accordingly dismissed Venizelos. The latter obtained the suffrage of the electors with an increased majority, but was again dismissed by his sovereign. Since then the King has reigned as an absolute monarch, and his present Ministry professes to be nothing more than the mouthpiece of the King and the army.
New Greece and the Islands have risen in revolt under Venizelos, who has established a Provisional Government at Saloniki, while Old Greece supports the King at Athens. The situation resembles that in England before the civil war in the reign of Charles I. The guaranteeing powers, however, have asserted their authority, have curbed the power of the King, and will no doubt restore the Constitution at a more convenient period.
All the Greeks believe that Constantine is a great military genius, and, while one party would gladly accept him as a constitutional monarch, the other hails him as the successor of Alexander the Great-above all laws, for “himself he is the State." Venizelos, however, reminds Constantine that his father was elected of the people, and that his own title as King is no better than that of his father. Briefly, one party favors the autocracy of Alexander the Great and believes it has found his successor in Constantine, while the other perfers the democracy of the ancient Greek republics, but associated with the hereditary prestige of a constitutional sovereign.
Bulgaria's Military Strength The population of Bulgaria, according to the census of 1906, comprised: Bulgaria proper, 2,853,704; Eastern Rumelia, 1,174,535; total, 4,028,239. Allowing for territory and extra population gained through the Balkan wars, natural increase of population, and war losses in 1912-13, the pre-war total may be set down as under 5,000,000.
Carried away by the Teutonic successes