The New Europe/Volume 1/The Literature of Pangermanism (IV)

2620833The New Europe, volume I, number 5 — The Literature of Pangermanism (IV)Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

The Literature of Pangermanism (IV)

This short survey of Pangerman publications would not be complete without some reference to the special literature which has been created by the study of Turkish and Oriental affairs. The economic importance of Austria and Turkey, from the Pangerman point of view, has been explained by Dr. Albert Wirth in the book already mentioned, "Türkei, Oesterreich. Deutschland" (1912), which lays down what may be taken as the Pangerman programme in the Near East.

Turkish propaganda is vigorously carried on by the German-Turkish Union ("Deutsch-Türkische Vereinigung"), whose headquarters are in Berlin; and the leader of that society, Professor Jaeckh, gives some idea of the scope of its activities in his various writings, notably "Deutschland im Orient nach dem Balkankrieg" and "Der aufsteigende Halbmond" ("The Rising Crescent").[1]

The literature which deals with the intricate problems connected with the Orient includes books on India, Arabia, Armenia, Egypt and German East Africa, and in all of these there is a strong anti-English undercurrent. There are also, as far as I have been able to ascertain, no less than sixteen reviews and magazines devoted to the Oriental Question (Archiv für Wirtschaftsforschung im Näheren Orient; Deutsche Levante-Zeitung-Geist des Ostens; Orientalische Literaturzeitung, etc.) Some of these confine their investigations to particular problems (e.g. Palestina, Monatsschrift für die Erschliessung Palestinas, Zeitschrift des deutschen Palestinavereins).

The range of Pangerman literature also embraces the Far East—Japan, China, the Pacific—and Africa. Particular attention is devoted to the study of England's position in the East. It is a significant fact that the literature on England has grown very rapidly since the war, whereas France and, still more, Italy have been comparatively neglected. Russia, of course, is very diligently studied in Germany, and, since the war, increased interest has been displayed in Little Russia, or the Ukraine and the Baltic Provinces.

Extensive and all-embracing as the scope of Pangerman literature has been shown to be, it will have been noticed that it centres mainly round the Austro-Hungarian question. Pangermanism may, indeed, not inaptly be described as the German programme for the solution of that question. It is a simple programme—the absorption of the Dual Monarchy and her conversion into a German bridge to the Near and Middle East. The plan is concisely explained in a pamphlet of Dr. E. Schubert called "Deutschlands Brücke zum Orient" (1915) ("Germany's Bridge to the Orient")—a title which, in itself, summarizes the whole Pangerman movement.

What, then, has been the attitude of Austria herself to this movement? For the two decades preceding the war it is expounded by M. André Chéradame in "L'Europe et la Question d'Autriche au seuil du vingtième siècle" (1901), and by G. Weil in Le Pangermanisme en Autriche" (1904). The latter treats of German political literature, the former of the actual political movement, showing that the Germans of Austria and of Hungary had accepted the Pangerman plan, and, indeed, that the Austrian-Germans had become its most uncompromising supporters. This fact is well illustrated by the "Los-von-Rom" movement, in which thousands of Germans left the Catholic Church and joined either the Old Catholics or the Lutheran Church, not because they believed in the doctrines of the latter, but because they considered it to be the truly national German church. Their motive was political, not religious, and the Austrian Government had the sense not to turn them into religious martyrs.

The Pangerman movement in Austria centred round the questions of Bohemia and Styria, which gave rise to a vehement struggle against the Czechs in the north and the Slovenes and Italians in the south. Prague and Trieste are two of the fundamental objectives of Pangermanism.

The political and strategical significance of Bohemia and of the two sister provinces of Moravia and Silesia, made of the Austrian-Germans the bitterest opponents of the Czechs and of their political aspirations. This opposition has, since the Reformation, been the chief motive power in Austrian politics. From the eighteenth century onwards, the Magyars also were the enemies of Vienna, but since the Compromise of 1867, which established the Dual Monarchy, they have joined hands with the Germans in a common campaign against the Czechs. Failing in their original attempts to crush the Czechs by main force, the Germans changed their tactics and tried to accomplish their object by administrative reforms. As early as 1899 all the German parties in Austria had shaped a national programme (the so-called Whitsun programme or programme of Linz), the final aim of which was the exclusion of Galicia from Austria, with the grant of a kind of autonomy. Such a step would mean that the Poles and Ruthenes would not send deputies to the Central Parliament, and that the Germans would consequently find it easier to hold down the Czechs. This device was openly formulated by the Pangerman leader, Georg von Schoenerer, who, in his famous motion of April, 1901, demanded for Galicia and the Bukovina a position in Austria equal to that of Hungary, and, at the same time, demanded the cession of Dalmatia to Hungary. The recently-proclaimed autonomy of Galicia thus has a wider significance than that of a German settlement of Poland; it is a definite step in the Pangerman scheme.[2]

While the majority of the Pangermans in Austria accepted Bismarck's policy concerning their country, there was a radical minority who thought that Austria-Hungary should be broken up and annexed by Germany. Bismarck's view has been exposed by Dr. Friedjung, the well-known Austrian historian, in his valuable work, "Der Kampf um die Vorherrschaft in Deutschland, 1859–1866" ("The Struggle for Predominance in Germany, 1859–1866"). In this book he explained the significance, from the German point of view, of Austria's defeat at the hands of Prussia in 1866, and advocated a close union between the two countries. The same Dr. Friedjung, by the Nemesis of history, was implicated in the sordid forgeries with which the Austro-Hungarian Legation in Belgrade provided Count Aehrenthal—those forged documents which were intended to prove the existence of Serbian propaganda in Austria-Hungary, and thus to establish a case for the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

During the war, one of the leaders of Austrian Pangermanism, the Deputy Iro, has published his programme in the pamphlet ("Oesterreich nach dem Kriege") mentioned in a previous article (No. 1). I may add here that this official conversion to Bismarckian tactics was not allowed to be discussed in the Bohemian papers. Like all Pangerman schemes, Herr Iro's plan aims, in the first instance, at crushing Bohemia as the foremost obstacle to Pangermanism.

The newest scheme, which may be described without exaggeration as the philosophy of Austrian Pangermanism, has been formulated by Robert Mueller in his books. "Was erwartet Oesterreich von seinem jungen Thronfolger?" (1915) ("What does Austria expect from her young Heir Apparent?"), and "Oesterreich und der Mensch" (1916). The author belongs to the "Jung-Oesterreich" party, and advocates the plans of Francis Ferdinand. The establishment of a "Gross Oesterreich" would create a trustworthy ally for Germany-Prussia, which would act as a vanguard in the Balkans, and which would extend its operations even as far as Asia Minor. "To the Mediterranean!" and "Gross-Oesterreich oder das Nichts!" are the foremost watchwords of the Pangerman movement in Austria. That movement aims at the absorption of all the Serbian territories, and it is doubtful if the needs of "Gross-Oesterreich" will even be satisfied with that comprehensive "Raubkampf." Müller, it may be noted, rather emphasises the differences between Austrian and Prussian mentality, but these differences can never endanger the close unity of the two Pangermanic States which are animated by the same motives. In view of this unity, it is remarkable that Müller should consider it necessary to apologise for the apparent faults of Austrianism, and that his sense of those faults should lead him to a violent diatribe against the typical Viennese, as a hybrid person without nationality and without character. With regard to the "Great Austrian" movement, the reader may consult the writings of Richard von Kralik, the literary spokesman of Austrian Catholicism, whose "History of Austria" gives a fair outline of Austrian Imperialism.

  1. Other leading authorities on Turkish affairs are: E. Bause. "Die Türkei; Eine moderne Geographie" (1915) (a detailed description of the whole country); K. Wiedenfeld. "Die deutsch-türkischen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen und ihre Entwickelungsmöglichkeiten" (1915) ("The Economic Relations of Germany and Turkey and their Possibilities of Development"; a short, useful sketch); R. Tschudi. "Der Islam und der Krieg" (1914); Jastrow, "{{lang|de|Die Weltstellung Konstantinopels in ihrer historischen Entwickelung" (1915); Fr. Delitzsch, "Die Welt des Islam" (1915): H. Grothe, "Die asiatische Türkei und die deutschen Interessen" ("Asia Minor and German Interests," 2nd ed., 1913); K. Mehrmann, "Der diplomatische Krieg in Vorderasien unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Geschichte der Bagdadbahn" (1916) ("The Diplomatic War in Asia Minor with Special Reference to the History of the Bagdad Railway").
  2. The Austrian Parliament has 516 members; the exclusion of Galicia diminishes the number of Sla v deputies by 106; the Bukovina has 14, and Dalmatia 11, deputies.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1929.

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