THE PROBLEM OF SMALL NATIONS
against those whom they consider as Allies, and whom they love as brethren!
In my article on "Pangermanism" (New Europe, No. 1) I have shown that the Pangerman politicians are the bitterest enemies of the Czechs. From Lagarde to Wintestetten and Tannenberg they all demand the subjugation of Bohemia, and in this aim they simply follow the lead of Bismarck, who showed that he realized the signiﬁcance of Bohemia when he said that her master was the master of Europe. Bismarck having, by his policy after 1866 and 1870, secured close alliance with Austria-Hungary, became the master of Vienna, and in that way could really have become the master of Bohemia and Europe if Bohemia had accepted this mastery. But she did not, and she never will!
Bohemia, as a Slav country, has a peculiar geographical and ethnographical position in the midst of Europe. Lying farther west than the rest of the Slavs, it forms a barrier against Germany and a wedge between German lands. Since the seventh century the Bohemian nation has been able to resist Germany’s push towards the east and south; and, thanks to its inherent qualities, it has not merely proved equal to this great historical task, but has even grown in political wisdom and ability to resist.
1. The first Bohemian State, founded by Samo (627–652), stretched as far as Carinthia, and comprised part of the South Slavs. Samo defeated the Avars and held his own against Frankish aggression. It must be remembered that at that time the Slavs inhabited almost half the Germany of today; on the Elbe the Slavs were neighbors of the Angles and Saxons, near Lübeck and Kiel; even parts of Hanover were Slav. South of Magdeburg the whole of the territory bounded by the Saale and the north of Bavaria, as far as Regensburg, was Slav. All these vast regions, during a struggle that lasted for centuries, have been Germanized. The last remains of the Elbe Slavs disappeared