AN OPEN LETTER TO GERHART HAUPTMANN
Saturday, August 29, 1914.
I am not, Gerhart Hauptmann, one of those Frenchmen who regard Germany as a nation of barbarians. I know the intellectual and moral greatness of your mighty race. I know all that I owe to the thinkers of old Germany; and even now, at this hour, I recall the example and the words of our Goethe—for he belongs to the whole of humanity—repudiating all national hatreds and preserving the calmness of his soul on those heights "where we feel the happiness and the misfortunes of other peoples as our own." I myself have laboured all my life to bring together the minds of our two nations; and the atrocities of this impious war in which, to the ruin of
- A telegram from Berlin (Wolff's Agency), reproduced by the Gazette de Lausanne, August 29, 1914, has just announced that "the old town of Louvain, rich in works of art, exists no more to-day."