Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/190

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Vain Dreams of Federalized Austria.

The military aim of the Allies is the destruction of the armies of Germany. When once the western front is broken through and the German hordes are driven across the Rhine, not only Germany, but Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey will have to accept whatever terms the democracies of the west may lay down. To gain such a complete military triumph Britain, France and Italy are straining all their strength, and the United States is organizing its tremendous resources of men and material to give Germany the finishing blow.

But the defeat of German armies is not in itself the end for which the world is making all these sacrifices. It is but the means to an end, an end which might be expressed in various formulas, but of which the best definition is that given by President Wilson—to make the world safe for democracy. A new Europe, a new world, must arise out of the blood-soaked ruins of the old order of things; no emperor shall ever again throw millions of obedient subects at unoffending neighbors to commit murder and destruction; no nation shall in the future set itself up as a lordly race to impose its kultur and its dominion over other nations. Democracy within the state and democracy between states is to be the ruling principle of the new order which will be set up after Germany is defeated.

The exact manner in which the democratic reconstruction shall be maintained and guaranteed is not within the scope of this article. But everyone realizes that the death of millions of brave men would be in vain, if Germany, having suffered a total defeat in the present war should still have the strength or the inclination to challenge civilization once more, after a shorter or longer breathing spell. It is, indeed, very likely that a decisive defeat will bring the German people to their senses, that they will give up the idolatrous worship of the state and of the emperor, that they will be cured by the blood letting of their colossal conceit and their dreams of conquest. But the issues are too tremendous to be trusted entirely to the probability of a change of heart of the German people. Peace based upon Germany’s complete defeat must leave the aggressor in such a condition that he will not be powerful enough to make an other throw at world domination.

This is not a plea for the destruction or dismemberment of the German nation. No sane man suggests anything of the sort. However great may be the hatred which Germany’s cruelties, barbarities and treacheries have aroused against her, all thinking men in the great coalition of nations know that the very principles for which they might demand the survival of Germany substantially within her present boundaries and with her present population. Small slices will be cut off from her territory in the east and in the west: Poland will be reunited and France will regain her lost provinces, but the Germany of the Germans will remain.

How then shall Germany be weakened so as to be impotent for aggression? Not by garrisoning her cities permanently by foreign soldiers, not by extorting from her a crushing indemnity, but by taking away from her the allies whose resources have enabled her to keep up the fight against the greater part of the world. Do the people in this country realize clearly that the kaiser controls in addition to sixty-eight millions of his own subjects also the subjects of his so-called allies numbering eighty millions? Germany has grown tremendously in area since the declaration of war. Disregarding for the present her great conquests she has increased in size from a country occupying 208,000 square miles into an empire of 1,200,000 square miles. André Cheradame, a great authority on the subject of Central Europe, describes the relations of Germany and her allies in this manner:

“In the Allied nations people continue to speak of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, as though these states remained just as they were before the war. Now these terms have no longer any relation to reality. The Quadruple Alliance of Central Europe is simply a great illusion, studiously fostered by William II, for by its means his plans are vastly facilitated. As a matter of fact, Turkey, Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary are not the allies, but the vassals of Berlin, and their influence with her is less than that of Saxony or Bavaria. The rulers at Constantinople, Sofia, Vienna, and Budapest are simply marionettes moved by threads which are pulled by Berlin according to her strategic needs.”