champions, in the name of that civilisation for which the greatest of men have striven all down the ages, in the name of the very honour of your Germanic race, Gerhart Hauptmann, I adjure you, I challenge you, you and the intellectuals of Germany, amongst whom I reckon so many friends, to protest with all your energy against this crime which is recoiling upon you.
If you fail to do this, you will prove one of two things: either that you approve what has been done—and in that case may the opinion of mankind crush you—or else that you are powerless to raise a protest against the Huns who command you. If this be so, by what title can you still claim, as you have claimed, that you fight for the cause of liberty and human progress? You are giving the world a proof that, incapable of defending the liberty of the world, you are even incapable of defending your own, and that the best of Germany is helpless beneath a vile despotism which mutilates master-pieces and murders the spirit of man.
I am expecting an answer from you, Hauptmann, an answer that may be an act. The opinion of Europe awaits it as I do. Think about it: at such a time silence itself is an act.
Journal de Genève, Wednesday, September 2, 1914.