Page:Addresses to the German nation.djvu/182

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NINTH ADDRESS
THE STARTING-POINT THAT ACTUALLY EXISTS FOR THE NEW NATIONAL EDUCATION OF THE GERMANS


126. In our last address several proofs that had been promised in the first address were given and completed. The present problem, the first task, we said, is simply to preserve the existence and continuance of what is German. All other differences vanished, we said, before the higher point of view, and thereby no harm would happen to the special obligations under which anyone might consider himself to be. If only we keep in mind the distinction that has been drawn between State and nation, it is clear that even in the past it was not possible for their interests ever to come into conflict. Besides, the higher love of fatherland, love for the whole people of the German nation, had to reign supreme, and rightly so, in each particular German State. Not one of them could, indeed, lose sight of this higher interest without alienating everything noble and good, and so hastening its own downfall. The more, therefore, anyone was affected and animated by that higher interest, the better citizen also he was for the particular German State, in which his immediate sphere of action lay. German States might quarrel among themselves about particular established privileges. Anyone who wished for the continuance of the established state of affairs, and this must undoubtedly