How clumsy you are! I believe that of all your faults maladresse is the worst. You have not said one word since the beginning of this war which has not been more fatal for you than all the speeches of your adversaries. It is you who have light-heartedly furnished the proof or the argument of the worst accusations that have been brought against you; just as your official agencies, under the stupid illusion of terrorising us, have been the first to launch emphatic recitals of your most sinister devastations. It is you, who when the most impartial of your adversaries were obliged, in fairness, to limit the responsibility of these acts to a few of your leaders and armies, have angrily claimed your share. It is you who the day after the destruction of Rheims, which, in your inmost hearts, should have dismayed the best amongst you, have boasted of it in imbecile pride, instead of trying to clear yourselves. It is you, wretched creatures, you, representatives of the
spirit, who have not ceased to extol force and to
- ↑ As one of these ’pendants of barbarism’ (so Miguel de Unamuno rightly describes them) writes, "one has the right to destroy, if one has the force to create" (Wer stark ist zu schaffen, der darf auch zerstören).—Friedr Gundolf: Tat und Wort im Krieg, published in the Frankfurter Zeitung, October 11th. Cf. the article of the aged Hans Thoma, in the Leipsiger Illustrierte Zeitung of October 1st.