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Above the Battle

ment from on high shall scourge your sacrilegious pride! … Do you not suspect the evil which you have done to your own people! The megalomania, a menace to the world, of an Ostwald or an H. S. Chamberlain,[1] the criminal determination of ninety-three intellectuals not to wish to see the truth, will have cost Germany more than ten defeats.

  1. When I wrote this, I had not seen the monstrous article by Thomas Mann (in the Neue Rundschau of November 1914), where, in a fit of fury and injured pride, he savagely claimed for Germany, as a title to glory, all the crimes of which her adversaries accuse her. He dared to write that the present war was a war of German Kultur "against Civilisation," proclaiming that German thought had no other ideal than militarism, and inscribes on his banner the following lines, the apology of force oppressing weakness:

    Denn der Mensh verkümmert im Frieden,
    Müssige Ruh ist das Grab des Muts.
    Das Gesetz ist der Freund des Schwachen,
    Alles will es nur eben machen.
    Möchte gern die Welt verflachen,
    Aber der Krieg lässt die Kraft erscheinen.…"

    (Man deteriorates in peace. Idle rest is the tomb of courage. Law is the friend of the weak, it aims at levelling all; it would reduce the world to a level. War brings out strength.)

    Even so a bull in the arena, mad with rage, rushes with lowered head on the matador’s sword, and impales himself.