Page:Above the battle.djvu/197

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To Page 19 ("Letter to Gerhart Hauptmann")

The letter to Gerhart Hauptmann, written after the destruction of Louvain, and in the stress of the emotion aroused by the first news, was provoked by a high-sounding article of Hauptmann which appeared a few days previously. In that letter he rebutted the accusation of barbarism hurled against Germany, and returned it … against Belgium. The article ended as follows:

"… I assure M. Maeterlinck that no one in Germany thinks of imitating the act of his 'civilised nation.' We prefer to be and to remain the German barbarians for whom the women and the children of our enemies are sacred. I can assure him that we never thoughtlessly massacre and make martyrs of Belgian women and children. Our witnesses are on our frontiers; the socialist beside the bourgeois, the peasant beside the savant, and the prince beside the workman: and all fight with a full realisation of the object, for a noble and rich national treasure, for internal and external goods which aid the progress and the ascent of humanity."

To Page 41 ("Above the Battle")

My enemies have not failed to make use of this passage to attribute to me sentiments of contempt with regard to the peoples of Asia and Africa. This charge is all the less