The Czechoslovak Review/Volume 2/Teuton Disregard for Rights and Honor

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The Bohemian Review, volume 2, no. 10  (1918) 
Teuton Disregard for Rights and Honor by Emil F. Prantner

Teuton Disregard for Rights and Honor.
By E. F. Prantner

“From Nature we derive the common rights of man.”—Josiah Quincy.

The notorious disregard of the common rights of man by the Central Powers since the beginning of hostilities demonstrates to the world in most emphatic terms their in sane purpose of world domination. The Teutons have not only overridden man’s rights, but they have trampled on the rights of nations and prostituted the law of God. Is it any wonder that the harvest is utter hatred of all things German?

Shivering “neutrals” hate and fear them, while open enemies cover the earth. The condemnation, the contempt, the distrust, the disdain of the entire world has been heaped upon their heads. Thus the case now on trial before the court of last resort, that grim and ghostly court, may fairly be listed, in the annals of history, as “Teuton Madness vs Humanity and Civilization.”

In no past war has universal public opinion been so unanimous in condemning acts of sheer mad barbarity. Why is the alignment of humanity and civilization so bitter toward the Central Powers? Germany and Austria lifted the lid off hell in August, 1914, and have kept it off ever since. They rode rough shod over the little brave nation that stood in their path. This breach of international law, respect for neutral peoples and territory, is unpardonable, unforgiveable. It was an act of a barbaric militarist gone mad. The “Most High and Omnipotent personage” would brook no interference in his plans and purposes, nor allow such trifles as international treaties, the national words of honor, to defeat his ambitions. Innocent nations must be made to suffer to permit the realization of a mad man’s fantastic dream.

From the smoke of battle emerged the menacing and monstrous purpose: Teutonic world domination. None could mistake it. The German “superman” was to master mankind, rule throughout the world by force or fear of force. His battle shield bore, indelibly imprinted, his motto: “Deutschland ueber Alles”. The world was to be German. In his grand triumph, at the termination of the war when the grand dream would be realized, the “superman” would only tolerate vassals or slaves on this planet, but no friends. To attain his purpose, the consort of the Teutonic “Gott” resorted to atrocities unnumbered, unceasing and often unmentionable.

The governmental combination of Germans and Magyars imposed its will, though clouded in smoke screens styled treaties, on unfortunate Roumania and misguided Russia. In both cases the predominating feature of the peace terms is domination; domination of peoples, lands, commerce and militarism. Ostensibly portions of the conquered lands were parcelled among the Central Powers’ allies, but in reality the recipients weer already a part of the wonderful dream. World domination, world slavery with the Teuton “superman” acting as Simon Legree, was the ambitious, fantastic, unbelievable, and unattainable dream of the Germans.

What is the German view of the present military situation? Disregarding the many misleading and purposely false reports so energetically distributed by the official press bureau, we are brought face to face with the expressions of opinion by the newspapers of that country. They no longer regard the Central Powers unconquerable, and in the words of the military critic of the “Berliner Tageblatt” acknowledge that “the solution of the riddle (Allied strength) lies in the fact that the Entente States’ will to annihilation enabled them, after unparalleled exertions, to gather to gether a powerful numerical superiority in all arms.” A German critic admits the numerical superiority of the Allied armies, the German people will soon be convinced of it. Both will soon enough admit that the force and morale of the Entente armies are superior to those of the Central Powers.

Germany is without friends. The realization of this fact is being driven home more forcibly every day. Is it any wonder? The civilized world is purging itself of a loathsome infection, “Kultur”. The German press is beginning to realize the isolation of the Central Powers. In the words of the “Vorwarts”:

“Why has Germany no friends? The natural inclination to support the weak side, for she is the weakest side in this great war, has not made itself felt. Why? The answer fills a column, but it may be boiled down to a few words. She has always been bragging and still brags about her strength. She judged and judges everythnig and everybody in terms of force. So it is conceded in this jeremiad that Germany is in danger, and that she has, by reason of her false policy, no friends.”

“Just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty in matters spiritual and temporal, is a thing that all men are clearly entitled to, by the eternal and immutable laws of God and nature.” This declaration of fundamental truths is just as true today as the day it was uttered by Samuel Adams. For the preservation of these principles the world offers its most precious and sacred possession, manhood, as a sacrifice that the insane cravings of foul minds shall not rule the earth.

The heroism of the original Entente Powers averted the greatest disaster of civilized times. They stopped the mad onrush of the Hun hordes; they snatched from the grip of the beast its prey. Since that day many other peoples, within and without the sphere of Teutonic influence, have joined hands with the modern crusaders until now but few nations remain outside of the sphere of operations. The most notable, dependable and financially strong ally of the Entente is the United States. Through our efforts, aided by the English, French, Italian, Czechoslovak, and possibly the Russian armies, this war will be determined in favor of humanity annd civilization.

Heretofore the Allies have made noble and heroic sacrifices which they will continue to make until the object of this deadly grapple, democracy of the world, is assured.

A people, hereto practically unknown, make the world gasp with astonishment by their valiant conduct on the field of battle and by their actions at home. The Czechoslovaks by their course have received approbation and recognition from Italy, France and Great Britain, and now are regarded as an independent nation. The Albany (N. Y.) Journal is led to observe that the “‘Czecho-Slovaks’ look like something that may have a punch.” These troops have saved Russia from German domination and absorption and Bolshevists’ fanaticism. The Bolshevists feel their force and again quote the Albany (N. Y.) Journal, “The Czecho-Slovaks, backed by the Allies, are ‘Czecking the Bolshevikis.”

The Austro-Hungarian autocracy froths and gives vent to its feelings, because, "it is the acme of hypocrisy when England gives these notorious traitors a testimonial that they are waging legitimate warfare.” The Teuton may commit the grossest breaches of international law, commit murder, plunder the country and still, in his own estimation, be regarded as a “superman.” It is hypocrisy and treason for a Slav to seek liberty and freedom; he must submit to Teutonic and Hungarian mastery, though intellectually and morally he is their superior.

In the recent Austrian drive, on the Piave, the Hungarian troops captured, and executed as traitors, Czechoslovak soldiers. In the eyes of civilization and humanity these men were troops of a belligerent nation, and if taken prisoners in a battle they were to receive treatment accorded to prisoners of war, because before going into battle they complied wtih all the prerequisites of international law. Treaties, international conventions and international laws govern and bind civilized peoples only; the Teutons are exempt from their operation, when they stand in the way of attaining the Hun objective. The “superman” may violate these laws with impunity at will and still regard himself with that “I am holier than thou” spirit. To the German mind nothing matters unless it works out to the advantage of the Huns.

Again the displeasure of German-Austro-Hungarian combine is voiced. “These disloyal (Czech and Slovak) elements, guilty of perjury, will, notwithstanding the Entente’s recognition, be regarded and treated as traitors.” What could be expected? The Czechoslovaks aid in the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary, hence no matter how humanity may regard them, if they oppose the will and purpose of Teutons and the Hungarians they are traitors in the eyes of the Central Powers.

It is stated that the present Austrian premier, Baron Hussarek, evolved a plan for a federalization of Austria and a confederate state for Austria-Hungary after a conference with the leading statesmen of the monarchy, including the Slavs. Which Slav statesmen did he consult? Nobody knows.

Why is not the basis for the federalization made public? Nobody knows. The Czechoslovaks will not be bribed by Teutonic-Tartar empty phrases. Nothing but liberty and freedom for the Czechoslovaks and their lands at the hands of the Entente Powers will satisfy them. Promise; will not swerve them from their avowed purpose—the democracy of the world. The triumph of the Allies must be assuerd, it must be complete.

Hus and Žižka fought for freedom of “things spiritual and temporal”. Their prayers are to the God of battles and the God of civilization that the arms of their descendants might triumph and their kinsmen realize the ambitions of five centuries.

The Czechs and Slovaks of the present day are imbued with the Hussite principle? and they go forth to battle with the same spirit as that which prompted the medieval warriors of Bohemia. They will not disappoint the world. In common with the Bohemian “Falcons” (Sokols) their motto is: “Break through, leap over, but never crawl under.” Přelom, přeskoč, ale nepodlez.) To the bitter end they will battle, until the dawn of a better day, democracy of the world, shines brightly in the clearing.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.