202 THE FORERUNNERS
belonging to all parties in Germany, and enabled him to realise how deep and passionate was the feeling of hatred diffused throughout all strata of the population. He adds : " I am convinced that Germany and the world would be liberated to-morrow, if only all the Germans were to say to-day without reserve that which, at the bottom of their hearts, they wish and ardently desire."
Herein lies the force of his protest. It is not the protest of one individual, but that of an entire nation. Nicolai is merely the spokesman.
Thus, having told his tale, he turns to the people, he turns to those who inspired him to speak. By a sudden transformation, the " Unknown " to whom he addresses his " Open Letter " derjenige Unbekannte, der die Macht hat is no longer the military authority. Sovereign power seems already to have passed into the hands of the real master, the German people. He invites the German people to enter into a union with the other peoples. In the tone of an inspired evangelist, he reminds the German people of its true destiny, its spiritual mission, a thousandfold more important than any empty victory. To all the peoples of Europe, he points out the duty of the hour, the pressing task : to achieve the unity of Europe and the organisation of the world.
" Come, then, kindred spirits ! . . . I am a free man, freed from everything in the world, free from the state [staatenlos], ein deutscher Weltbiirger [a German citizen of the world]. ... I have peace ! [Ich habe Frieden]. . . . Come ! Cry aloud what you already know and feel ! . . . We do not wish to make peace ; we simply wish to realise that we have peace. ..."
Reiterating his cry of October, 1914, the Call to Euro- peans x which he, in conjunction with his friends Albert Einstein, Wilhelm Foerster, and Otto Buek, issued as a counterblast to the insane utterances of the 93, he
1 This Aufruf an die Europaer is reprinted, in the first issue of " Das werdende Europa " immediately after the article I have just been analysing, and Nicolai appeals to all readers who sympathise with it to send him their signatures.