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Above the Battle

believe that in some way or other they will take care in future that their Russian ally shall show herself worthy of them and of the ideas for which they are fighting, lest the blood of those who have died in the cause of freedom go to feed the strength of the oppressors.

Thus, sir, I have ventured uninvited to set forth rather fully to you the hopes and fears of a nation which has developed itself on a narrow strip of land between the two abysses of Pangermanism and Panslavism. Whilst ardently desiring the destruction of the former, we have everything to fear from the latter. Yet we do not aspire to political independence. We seek only the possibility of developing freely our intellectual, artistic, and economic powers, without the perpetual menace of being absorbed by Russia or Germany. We believe that, in virtue of the civilisation we have acquired in the face of obstacles, we are worthy of the liberties and rights of man; we are convinced that as a nation we have qualities which will fit us to play a valuable part in the great symphony of civilised peoples.

Journal de Genève, October 10, 1914.