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

2620837The New Europe, volume I, number 8 — The Literature of Pangermanism (V)Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

The Literature of Pangermanism (V)

The Social Democrats play a conspicuous rôle in Austrian Pangermanism. Like their brethren in Germany, they have approved and championed the policy of Berlin and Vienna. It was not for nothing that the founders of the Austrian Social Democracy were Pangerman before they started their new party, and the war has revived their German nationalist instinct in all its original force. Both Herr Pernerstorfer and Dr. Victor Adler have advocated a Pangerman policy during the war, and their concessions to the non-German nationalities are of no real value. Another deputy, Dr. Carl Renner, the theorist of the German Social Democrats in Austria, whose books on Austria are well known, has published a series of essays under the name, "Oesterreichs Erneuerung" ("Austria's Renewal") (1916), in which he entirely accepts the policy of a Pangerman "Central Europe," and shows himself to be of one mind with Naumann. He affords an instructive example of the way in which political and moral materialism have brought the majority of the German Social Democrats on to the platform of the Prussian Pangerman imperialists.

The question of a Customs' Union with Germany is diligently and repeatedly discussed in Austria. The well-known Austrian economist, Professor E. von Philippovich, in his pamphlet, "Ein Wirtschafts- und Zollverband zwischen Deutschland und Oesterreich-Ungarn" ("An Economic and Customs League between Germany and Austria-Hungary") (1915), was the first to outline a practical plan for such a union. The pamphlet contains an interesting history of the different attempts made in Austria to reconcile the Austrian and German economic systems. Philippovich accepts in its entirety the rôle of Austria-Hungary as the vanguard of Germany in the Balkans and Asia.[1]

The Magyars are also taking their part in the discussion regarding Pangermanic "Central Europe" and the Customs' Union. On the whole they accept the political scheme of Berlin-Bagdad, and merely claim for themselves a privileged position in the new World-Empire; but their economists either express doubts respecting the feasibility of a Customs' Union or altogether condemn the scheme on its merits.[2]

Pangerman literature before the war definitely laid down the rôle which the present conflict was to play in the German scheme. It is interesting to compare the proposed programme with the results actually achieved up to the present moment. Two books will be enough to indicate what the programme was. The first, "Grossdeutschland und Mitteleuropa um das Jahr 1950," by "A German" (1895), anticipated the war with Russia, and declared that, in case of victory, Germany would annex the Baltic provinces (Esthonia, Livonia, Courland), form a Polish State and a Ruthenian Kingdom, which would comprise the Jews and Slavs of Germany, would organise "Central Europe" on the basis of a political and economic union, and would thus have an empire which, in addition to Austria-Hungary, would include Luxemburg, Holland, Belgium and German Switzerland. That empire would form, together with the Baltic provinces, Poland and Ruthenia, the great Zollverein, in which the Germans would be the ruling lords and masters, and the other nations their servants. The author estimated that the empire would contain 86 million, and the Customs Union 131 million, inhabitants. The second book, "Grossdeutschland, die Arbeit des 20ten Jahrhunderts" ("Greater Germany, the Work of the Twentieth Century"), by Tannenberg (1911), similarly based its speculations upon the assumption of a decisive victory over Russia and France. According to this forecast, Germany, in addition to the colonies which she would gain in every part of the world, chiefly at the expense of France, would build up a great empire in Central Europe extending even as far as the Persian Gulf. Austria would become part of that empire, whereas Hungary would form the nucleus of a new Habsburg Empire consisting, among other states, of Poland, Serbia (the latter being enlarged by the addition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slavonia and the south of Dalmatia) and Bulgaria. This Habsburg Empire would be open to still further extension in the future. Germany would absorb Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and the adjoining territories of France, which would be given the name of "Westfranken." The German Empire would also include Poland (Russian Poland, Galicia, Bukovina and parts of Russia), which would be incorporated in the new Austria; to Germany proper would be added the Baltic provinces and the governments of Kovno, Vilna and Grodno; while Turkey, including the west of Persia, but not the south of Arabia, would become a German Protectorate. Finland (excluding Viborg) would become part of Sweden.[3]

A more comprehensive survey of Pangerman literature would have included a fuller treatment of the various Pangerman reviews and papers, of which a few only have been mentioned. It should also be borne in mind that the various Pangerman societies publish leaflets, calendars, almanacks, and all kinds of propagandist literature, and that there is a considerable body of German literature, which, though not explicitly Pangerman, promotes the Pangerman plan: as, for instance, the endless number of books and pamphlets devoted to the cult of Bismarck. Rohrbach, as may be seen from his pamphlet, "Bismarck und Wir" (1915), wrote from the Pangerman point of view, and he affords a striking confirmation of the proposition laid down in a former article, that Pangermanism does not clash with the Bismarckian tradition. This is true, not only as regards its political aims, but also its political methods, and, indeed, the whole spirit of its policy.

  1. Some other works of Austrian authors are: E. Pistor, "Die Volkswirtschaft Oesterreich-Ungarns und die Verständigung mit Deutschland," 1915; Prof. E. Heiderich. "Die weltpolitische und weltwirtschaftliche Zukunft von Oesterreich-Ungarn," 1916; Prof. A. Guertler. "Oesterreich-Ungarn: Ein Schema für Mitteleuropa," 1916. From other literature I may mention also the following: Dr. Alex. Redlich. "Der Gegensatz zwischen Oesterreich-Ungam und Russland," 1915; Prof. K. C. Schneider, "Mitteleuropa als Kulturbegriff," 1916 (a very interesting attempt at a philosophy of history by a biologist, though it must be admitted that Herr Schneider's Pangerman bias does not lead him into intolerance).
  2. The Pangerman plan is treated from the Magyar point of view by E. Pályi, "Deutschland und Ungarn" (1915), and "Das mitteleuropäische Weltreichbündniss gesehen von einem Nicht-Deutschen" (1916). Pályi accepts the plan of a close Customs' Union. In opposition to him the well-known Hungarian economist and ex-Minister, Szterényi, declines to accept the Customs' Union, but demands a system of preterential duties for Hungary.
  3. Today Germany dominates Austria-Hungary (68 millions), Turkey (51), Bulgaria (20), Serbia (4 1/2), Montenegro (4 1/2), Poland (9), part of the Baltic provinces (3), and a part of Russia (4), amounting in all to 164 million people.

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

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