Webpage3 - May through August 1919
May 1, 1919, p.4
— Signs in Buffalo restaurants state the following: Our ancestors acquired this land from the Indians. On July 1st we, their descendants, will give it back to them.
Last Saturday was the first time since the United States' entry into the World War that German candidates for U.S. citizenship were tested and admitted into citizenship.
Many months of night school instruction preceded admission. Usually a note of approval from the instructor guaranteed acceptance however a surprise question or a confused answer could still negate careful preparation.
This was the case for a few candidates. Despite their satisfactory past performance their answers were so diverse from those of true citizens of this country that they could not be allowed.
They received time to consider their blunder and they were given later appointments to retake the naturalization test.
The Germans who passed and stood before Judge Ross Gnade were: Hermann Bohland, Wm. Bausch, Hermann von Nordheim, Joseph H. Büttner, Willie Bahr, Jacob Mengel, Hermann Schütz, Jacob Habermann, Friedrich Klein, Carl Fakkel, Gustav J. Stenzel, Andreas J. Butz, John Butz, Philip Hobb, Otto M. Reinhart, Frank B. Kirchner, August Goike and Carl Pützer.
One German woman, Sophia Schwarzer, was sworn in as a citizen.
Among the Austrians who were accepted there were 3 bearers of German names: Rudolph Strobel, Samuel Taus and Arthur Ruback. The others were from the various conglomerations of people who make up that country.
Among the Russian candidates with genuine German names were Alexander E. Stückmeister, Moses Meltzer, Salomon Deutsch, etc.
Last Saturday's citizenship class candidates were thoroughly examined. The Americanization system was tried out on them to measure their patriotic motives.
With regard to intellectual acumen the Germans left their fellow candidates far behind, however due to the lasting odium pursuant to the unfortunate war they were scrutinized much more closely. That's not to say that under normal circumstances acceptance into citizenship would have been made any easier.
Americans, who condemn the President for his firm handling of the Adriatic question, are blind or insincere. In any case, they're not good citizens!
May 8, 1919, p.7
In the past few years conversation has centered on the numerical strength of the Germans in America. Writers, orators and politician have in many cases inserted a concept which does not belong. If one understands by the term "German America" what the U.S. Census Office designates as "German Stock" then the term should serve as sufficient. However overexaggerated emphasis on the numerical strength of the racial origin of any portion of the American people can lead to faulty conclusions which are of no use. The German-American population should know, not guess, what its strength is. It is strong enough to be an essential factor in the intellectual, industrial and political life of America. And that should suffice.
The German Bureau of the "Committee on Public Information," in order to avoid confusion concerning the strength of the German Stock here in America, has adopted the official numbers in the Census. These statistics are arranged according to state and large cities and further differentiate between first generation and those born here where both parents are of German blood.
According to the 1910 Census of the United States the total population of foreign born numbered 32,243,382. Of these 8,817,271 were of German abstraction as based upon their mother tongue. 8,495,142 people of German abstraction were in Germany.
Born in Germany: 2,501,181
(These are the official totals and it should be mentioned that naturally the population of German blood is significantly greater since Germans had immigrated here before the founding of the Republic. ~ The Editor.)
May 29, 1919 p.12 col.1-2
of the Foreign Language Press
Did and does its full duty for true Americanism, notwithstanding unwarranted
The following cordial farewell letter of George Creel, chairman of the official "Committee on Public Information," to the editors of the foreign language press of the United States sincerely and enthusiastically appreciating their unflinching patriotic work in the interest of educating their readers to a clear understanding of American purpose in peace as well as in war is self-explanatory:
To the Editors of the Foreign Language Press of the United States
In announcing the discontinuance of its work the Committee on Public Information begs to express its thanks and sincerest appreciation for a co-operation that has been at all times loyal, sympathetic and effective. Harassed always, and often persecuted by laws and societies conceived in ignorance, intolerance and chauvinism the Foreign Language Press, with few exceptions, refused throughout to be driven away from devotion to the ideals and purposes of America, and deserves no small part in the credit for the wonderful and inspiring unity that marked the war effort of the United States.
The Division of Work with the Foreign Born will, in many respects, stand as one of the most important activities of the Committee, for the contacts established were of inestimable value in the development of larger understanding between the native stock and our immigrant population. It is, therefore, a matter of keen gratification that the work of this division will not cease, but will continue under the name of Foreign Language Governmental Information Service and not under government auspices. There will be no change in personnel or policies, and the offices will remain at 6 West 48th St., New York City. This arrangement has been made possible by private generosity, and is temporary in the sense that the next session of Congress will be asked to provide government funds and recognition for work the value of which has been proved so conclusively.
Americanization activities have largely been stupid when they were not malignant, and there is plain evidence that the future is not to be free from these elements of confusion. Well meaning wealth, instinct with the spirit of patronage; the kind of social service that is dependent upon payrolls and card indexes, and the sinister attempt of employers to identify Americanization with industrial submissiveness, are with us today as in the past.
The foreign born have come to know, however, that America is above and beyond these futilities and deceptions. Through the work of the Committee they have been taught their rights as well as their duties, and as a result of the two years of splendid partnership have an understanding of American purpose that rings in the heart and echoes in the soul. It is this understanding that must be protected and perfected by the Foreign Language Press. The way will not be easy. Chauvanism is still an evil living growth. It will not be found among the fighting men, but among those who are willing to play upon the passions of a great war for the sake of political effect.
I never have changed my views with respect to the Foreign Language Press. I hold that English must become the one and only language in the United States; but this hope cannot change obvious conditions. by reason of indifferences and neglects in the past there are thousands of true Americans who cannot speak the language of the country. To destroy the Foreign Language Press is to cut off these people from all contact with American life. The Foreign Language Press must, therefore, be continued until English has been learned.
During this transition period the duty of the Foreign Language Press is simple. It must teach the gospel of true Americanism. It is NOT asked that mother countries sust [sic] be divorced from affection and interest; it IS that America shall come first in heart and mind; that America alone shall receive loyalty and allegiance.
No state in the world is more expressive of ordered aspiration. The whole democratic process is an instrument for recording the popular will. Evils have gathered and injustices persist, but in the ballot we have a sword to strike down all forces and traditions that stand in the way of progress, brotherhood and justice.
Those who are to carry on the Foreign Language Governmental Information Service have my indorsement in every sense of the word. I know them, I believe in them, and I ask for them the same loyal support that was given to the Committee on Public Information.
Believe me with deep gratitiude and true affection.
Your sincere friend,
These days it's absolutely necessary to know who's with us and who's against us. Those of us who go out soliciting advertising from various businesses could sing a little song about how often we are assailed because of our German heritage. For this reason it is absolutely necessary to patronize only those businesses which advertise their wares in German newspapers. Just about every category of goods is represented in our newspaper and we kindly ask our readers to let the businesses know when they purchase something that they are spending their money there because they advertise in the German newspaper.
In this regard we could learn much from the Italian community, which ony purchases goods from those who advertise in their newspaper. Additionally, if they happen to have any doubt about where they should make their purchases, they only need to go to the business location of their newspaper in order to determine where they can get the best deal on various goods.
May 29, 1919, p.12, col. 5-6
The New York Sun was one of a group of newspapers who invented the spectre of divided allegiance with respect to German-Americans. Having created the issue, the newspapers assumed Americans of German ancestry to be hyphenates and denounced them accordingly. Many of the standardized editorials on the subject furnish interesting material on the study of hypocrisy. We were under the impression, at the time, that the Sun was sincere in its protestations and that it would have written in the same vein regardless of the nationality involved. Our faith in our esteemed contemporary has received the following editorial in the Sun of yesterday morning:
"Certain residents of Philadelphia of Italian ancestry have decided not to parade, as they had planned, in behalf of the Victory Loan, and as individuals many of them will refrain from subscribing for the notes, manifest their disapproval of President Wilson's stand with regard to the disposition of Fiume.
"This is most regrettable, but it illustrates strikingly the determnation of Italians generally to maintain the demand of Premier Orlando's government for the Adriatic port. The Italians intend to deny themselves an investment most attractive to them, highly profitable and thoroughly secure 'to demonstrate to American and the world the depth of their feeling on this subject.'
"Their abstention from investment in Victory notes will not, of course, make the loan a failure. They are perfectly aware of this, but their deliberate decision not to benefit by becoming owners of these unprecedentedly attractive securities, their self-sacrifice in behalf of a political aspiration, is convincing evidence of what Fiume means to Italians generally, and may be accepted as foreshadowing the message the Italian people will send to the peace conference when Premier Orlando appears before the parliament in Rome to-morrow."
Are we to have one standard of allegiance for Americans of German ancestry and another for Americans of Italian origin? Does the Sun abandon its position maintained during the last four years in favor of that of yesterday morning?
Does the Sun endorse the attitude of Americans of foreign birth placing the old country before the new, refusing to buy American bonds and aiding the old country in a diplomatic situation, as against the new? Is it not a mild form of treason to obstruct the Liberty loan?
Let us be charitable and assume that the Sun has been guilty of an editorial indscretion which will be withdrawn when its real importance is understood.
Bernard H. Ridder.
June 19, 1919, p.1 col.6
Of all the states in the Union Pennsylvania has the oldest German community and this community has played a respectable role in the history of this country. The first open declaration against human slavery appeared in 1683 by the Germantown colonists under the leadership of the unforgettable Pastorius. To a man the Pennsylvanians of German heritage stood for the cause of freedom and willingly gave their blood and their property. Many of their leaders were the staunchest supporters of Washington. The Pennsylvania Germans faced many dangers and exerted great pioneer effort in the deep woods of the western portion of the state and the surrounding areas. For a long time there were more German newspapers than English ones. And the descendants of these first immigrants inevitably took on the issue of de-germanisizing, maintaining a strongly anglicized version of German even in the country settlements, believing that this would produce a stronger and more intelligent reinforcement of the language.
Despite all this the State University saw the number of students studying the language significantly decrease and looking back at the past few years it's no wonder. However it has recently been announced that in the spring 900 students will again study German and take 60 German language courses — yet despite this currently in the states schools, except the university, German is no longer taught. What does this mean? That intelligent young people, many of whom bravely served during the war, are of the opinion that in the not distant future there will be a greater need for German instructors and German professors in Pennsylvania and other places than ever before. A knowledge of the German language will again be valued in business and in industry. Knowledge of the German language will be expected from truly educated people since an important portion of world literature is written in it along with many of the first philosophical tomes and many other works which will be needed for continuing progress in science and industry.
June 19, 1919, p.2
Even now people do not rightly know what is meant by the unique term "pumpernickel," which is used to designate the well-known baked good. A. Mauricio writes about it in his handbook, "Die Nahrungsmittel als Getreide" [Grains as Food.] "According to Straub the bread 'Bombernickel' was called 'Pumperniggel' in southern German dialects. The basis for this may have been its bulky texture and it may have been used for the first time to mean a small boy. In the Canton of Aargau in Switzerland a small boy would be bathed while someone soothed him with this little song: "I am a little pumpernickel, I am a little bear. And just as God created me so I wiggle wag." In Aargau the word pumpernickel is never used for black bread.
July 31, 1919, p.5 col.6
Chicago — Twelve persons were killed and 28 injured when a dirigible, which flew over the Loop, Chicago's business district, caught fire, plunged 500 feet and crashed through the glass roof of the Illinois Trust & Savings Bank at the corner of La Salle St. and Jackson Boulevard.
Most of the unfortunate victims were employees of the bank who could not get out and were overpowered by the firestorm. The fire was caused by an explosion in the balloon tanks which dropped to the floor of the building's rotundo. Over 200 bookkeepers and clerk, mostly girls, were working there at the time.
The balloon, property of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. of Akron, Ohio, had already floen over the Loop for many hours when the accident occurred. Thousands of viewers witnessed the catastrophe.
The police, Coroner Hoffman and the Bureau of State Attorneys' Hoyne immediately began an in-depth investigation in order to establish who was responsible for the decision to fly the dirigible over the Loop.
As the blimp was 500 feet above the bank people suddenly saw flames shooting out from the gas balloon near the middle of the aircraft. The crowd, which had assembled on the streets in order to observe the flight, witnessed how the powerful machine collapsed and swayed as it began its fateful dive.
Four of the five passengers jumped from the balloon and landed unharmed on the street as the balloon, a veritable ball of flames, crashed through the roof of the bank building with a kaboom that was heard throughout the Loop district.
July 31, 1919 p.6
— Soldiers, who are not yet citizens and have been honorably discharged from military service, may apply for citizenship without having to wait the length of time the law proscribes for American residency. August 19th is the day designated for the Onondaga Court House to examine documents for acceptance into American citizenship. Foreign applicants who served our country during the war only need to provide proof of residence and good character.
July 31, 1919 p.8
From the "Syracuse Union"
The Grand Lodge Session of the German Order of the Harugari begins today in Buffalo and will last for three days.
It's no wonder to us that the Order has been sliding backwards. Let's take a look at the number of brothers over the last three years according to the report of the Lodge-General Secretary and the Grand Bard's report: Number of brothers July 1, 1892 - 5,809; July 1, 1893 - 5,788; July 1, 1894 - 5,328. Membership loss from July 1, 1893 to July 1, 1894 - 460.
(The last report of the German Order of the Harugari for the year 1918 showed a membership of 2,742 men and 2,754 women for a total of 5,496. The Order's treasury shows a total of $247,781.52. —The Editor.)
|July 31, 1919 p.11
by Hermann Hesse
When the angry days dawn,
Look deep within yourself
What seems so foreign and distant
What threatens to oppress you
August 14, 1919, p.5
On August 11th the German Office of the Foreign Language Governmental Information Service moved from 6 West 48th Street to 124 East 28th Street, New York City. The German Bureau, exclusively a privately run community service organization, gives cost-free advice in the German language concerning legal, governmental and institutional issues in the United States. It answers questions concerning the practices of various governmental departments and agencies.
Personal inquiries are accepted during regular office hours (9 AM to 1 PM weekdays; Saturdays until 1 PM.) Written requests may be addressed to: German Bureau Foreign Language Governmental Information Service, 124 East 28th St. New York City. It's requested that you not* include postage or stamped envelopes for a reply.
[*Translator's Note: The article states "keine," meaning not or none.]
August 14, 1919 p.7
The 73rd Meeting of the New York Grand Lodges of the German Order of the Harugari took place the latter portion of last week in the city of Albany, New York. Things went quite smoothly. Mayor Watts of Albany opened the meeting with welcoming words and gave the keys of the city to the Order's representative. Grand Bard Ullmicher gratefully accepted the gift. The roll call of the delegates indicated there were 45 men and 44 women present.
In the absence of the Deputy Grand Bard Grand Bard Ullmicher appointed Brother Ludwig Trage to take his place. Brother Carl Holz of Allentown Pa., General Grand Secretary, was present and was introduced to the representatives. He received a warm welcome. Brother Holz was there for a special purpose to the great joy of the assembly.
First of all the Grand Bard reported the retirement of Deputy Grand Bard Eduard Johnson from Utica, New York. (The reason was not given.) Secondly reported was the merging of the men's lodges in Buffalo. Thirdly came the increase in funds paid out to the sick at the Holsatia Lodge in Yonkers. The fourth item was the refusal of the Garfield Lodge of Corning to pay out money from the Reserve Fund. Fifth came a request to increase support to the Order's journal Hertha and its report about the activities of the subordinate lodges. Sixth was a merger of the men's lodges in New York City and questions concerning how this could best be achieved.
Since Deputy Grand Bard Eduard Johnson of Utica had resigned there was no report from this office.
The report of Grand Marshal Joseph Roesch of Buffalo indicated brisk activity for the benefit and betterment of the Order primarily in his district. Much success had been achieved. The Garfield Lodge held a reception in Corning but the fruits of this hard labor were a failure. This led to legal issues with the Garfield Lodge which had to be dealt with later.
The financial report went as follows:
Since the report on the membership roster has not yet been completed there was no report. We'll have to wait for the printed rosters in order to determine the full number of lodges, members, etc.
The report of the Treasurer as well as other reports were read and these were turned over to various committees for examination and later approved.
The Reserve Cash Fund showed a total of $1,967.98, of which $300 was set aside for the needy in Germany. It was decided to deposit the rest here in Syracuse because it would earn 4% interest whereas in Utica it would only earn 3 ½%.
Buffalo and Albany competed for the honor. A proposal raised by Brother Fritz Rietmann of Auburn at the right moment won the honor for the Salt City. Since Brother August Maurer is chairman of the Reserve Cash Fund Committee, the money will be deposited in his son Frederick's bank, the First Trust & Deposit Co.
The collection of a handsome sum of $220.00 for a very old brother of the Uhland Lodge was made known by the Treasurer's Report.
With regard to the merger of the New York Men's Lodges, this too was tabled pending the meeting next year when a general plan could be worked out.
Prize money was awarded:
General Grand Secretary Calr Holz of Allentown, Pa., who was present at the meeting, took the opportunity to award 2 prize cups given for very usuful purposes. First Prize was for the largest increase in membership of men's and women's lodges. Second prize was for the largest increase in the Hertha Lodge, which had to win three times in order to retain its own lodge.
The first cup was awarded by General Grand Bard Dolhoff and the second by General Grand Secretary Holz.
Since the Martha Washington Hertha Lodge won the first prize Brother Holz awarded the representatives of this lodge a beautiful silver cup for the coming year.
The Augusta Lodge of Syracuse won the second prize cup. A bottle of champagne also accompanied each cup. Sisters Maria Schwenk and Maria Kälber gratefully accepted the cups for their respective lodges and remarked that they would strive to continue winning in order to retain their own lodges.
The results of the election were as follows:
These men were ceremoniously installed in office by General Grand Secretary Carl Holz along with the oldest former Grand Bard, Wilhelm Ritter of Buffalo acting as Grand Marshal.
For the benefit of the Order the following changes were made and approved:
1. On Saturday (the last day) a picnic would be held in the city whereby the assembly would watch the prize competitions of the various knightly orders. This would bring new life to the membership and benefit the finances of the committee for all the expenditures of the general assembly.
2. It would defray the costs of the banquet and the travel expenses.
3. All money collected for those in need due to the World War would be sent off as soon as possible.
4. The name "Deutscher Orden" (German Order) would be brought back into usage rather than the replacement name "American Order."
Brooklyn as chosen as the next venue for the general assembly.
A heartfelt thank-you was extended to the lodges of Albany and the committees who performed the work for the general assembly.
It was hard to fully describe all the enetertainments, preparations and hospitality extended by the brothers and sisters of Albany. The road trip to the farm of Brother Richard in West Salem gave delegates the opportunity to view Albany's surrounding area and the drinks and snacks prepared from the farm's magnificent fruit garden will never be forgotten. The mixed men's choirs sang some wonderful songs in a way that only the Germans can sing. This was all arranged by the committee and made the time spent in the capitol city a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Even the festive session of the officials of the Columbia Hertha Lodge in the great hall with the introduction of the staff in their magnificent uniforms will long remain in the hearts of those present. The military drills among the women were grand and demonstrated the great progress made by the Hertha group in support of the German Order of the Harugari.
The banquet was a resounding success in all respects and the session closed with great contentment and jolity for all those present.
Short orations, great songs, powerful music and singing with all standing for the song "O Hertha Group, O Hertha Group, how lovely are your lodges" brought to a close the very fine general assembly of the German Order of the Harugari of the State of New York.
August 21, 1919, p.6 col.5-6
War Lies Once and For All
The following article from the Glasgow Forward attracted little attention in the press of the United States. No wonder, because this British newspaper demolishes once and for all their most cherished war lies!
We are continually receiving requests for information about the Lusitania, poison gas, aerial bombs, corpse fat, and other popular stock-in-trade of the war-monger. We cannot keep repeating our exposures of wartime falsehoods and delusions, and we ask our readers to keep the following facts beside them, and refrain from subjecting us to a continual stream of postal queries.
Was the Lusitania armed?
No. But she was carrying munitions of war. Lord Mersey, chairman of the Court of Enquiry into the sinking of the Lusitania said: "The 5,000 cases of ammunition on board were 56 yards away from where the torpedo struck the ship." (Glasgow Evening Citizen report, 17th July, 1915.)
Did the German people rejoice?
No. There was neither hilarity nor medals nor school beflagging. The London Times reported that Vorwärts "deeply deplored" the sinking. So did the German naval critic, Captain Persius.
Mr. John Murray, the publisher, issued last October an authoritative book from the pen of the correspondent of the Associated Press of America in German, Mr. George A. Schreiner, who was in Germany during the Lusitania period. Mr. Schreiner's dispatches were extensively quoted in the patriotic British press and his testimony is above suspicion. His book, The Iron Ration (pp.291-2), says:
"The greatest shock the German public received was the news that the Lusitania had been sunk.
"For a day or two a minority held that the action was eminently correct. But even that minority dwindled rapidly.
"For many weeks the German public was in doubt as to what it all meant. The thinking element was groping about in the dark. What was the purpose of picking out a ship with so many passengers on board? Then the news came that the passengers had been warned not to travel on the steamer. That removed all doubt that the vessel had been singled out for attack.
"The government remained silent. It had nothing to say. The press, standing in fear of the censor and his power to suspend publication, was mute. Little by little it became known that there had been an accident. The commander of the submarine sent out to torpedo the ship had been instructed to fire on the forword [sic] hold, so that the passengers could get off before the vessel sank. Either a boiler of the ship or (they continued) an ammunition cargo had given unlooked-for assistance to the torpedo. The ship had gone down. Nothing weaned the German public so much away from the old order of government as the 'Lusitania' affair. The act seemed useless, wanton, ill-considered. The doctrine of governmental infallility came near to being wrecked. The Germans began to lose confidence in the wisdom of men who had been credited in the past with being the very quintessence of all knowledge, mundane and celestial. Admiral Tirpitz had to go. Germany's allies, too, were not pleased. In Austria and Hungary the act was severely criticized, and in Turkey I found much disapproval of the thing."
The "Old Contemptible" Lie.
The New Illustrated (Lord Northcliffe's latest journalistic venture) declared, in March of this year:
"The story that the Kaiser called General French's force a 'contemptible little army' served a useful purpose in working up fierce anger against the enemy in Britain, but it was an invention. The Kaiser was not so foolish as to say what the German General Staff would have known to be nonsense."
The Corpse Fat Lie
The Times started the lie that the Germans had built factories for extracting grease from the bodies of dead soldiers. This grease was used as margarine.
Lord Robert Cecil latterly admitted in the House of Commons that there was no evidence of the story; but, of course, he believed the Germans capable of it. The London comic (?) papers issued cartoons of a German man looking at a pot of grease and soliloquizing: "Alas! my poor brother!" But the lie was finally exposed and disappeared even from the stock-in-trade of the British Workers' League—and, God knows, they were loth [sic] to let anything go.
Who first bombed from the sky?
The National War Savings committee issued synopsis of their lantern lectures last year for propaganda purposes. Here is the synopsis of the two slides dealing with the first bomb dropping on towns:
A lantern lecture, entitled "War in the Air" by C.G. Grey (Editor of the Aeroplane,) issued by the Nation War Savings committee, Salisbury Square, London, E. (page 7):
"Slide 32—The navy's land machines went over to Belgium and it is to the credit of the R.N.A.S. that the first hostile missiles which fell on German soil were bombs dropped by N.A.S. pilots on Cologne, Düsseldorf...
"Slide 35—It is interesting to note that these early raids by the R.N.A.S. were the first example of bomb dropping attacks from the air in any war and the only pity is that we had not at the beginning of the war enough aeroplanes."
Priority in poison gas
The Glasgow Evening News (Jan. 26, 1918) frankly admitted that
"It appears that mustard gas, generally believed to have been invented by the Germans, was discovered by the late Professor Guthrie at the Royal College, Mauritius."
The London Times, on August 2, 1914, reproduced from the French government organ, Le Temps, a paragraph reporting that M. Turpin has offered to the French Ministry of War a shell filled with a chemical compound discovered by him, and called Turpinite. Numbers of these shells seem to have been used by the French artillery, and they were essentially such gas shells as the Germans are now using. Numerous corresponents, claiming to be eye-witrnesses, reported their terrible effects in the Brisish press during October and November, 1914. We learned that the gas liberated from the explosion of one of these shells was enough to asphyxiate an entire platoon of Germans. After death they were observed to be standing erect and shoulder to shoulder in their trenches, and after killing them with this marvelous celerity the gas would roll on and stifle entire flocks of sheep feeding in fields in their rear. The British press writers saw nothing to blame in the use against Germans of Turpinite; on the contrary, they openly exulted in its terrible effects. Subsequently, much to their regret, Turpinite was given up, because it was so dangerous to the munitions workers who had to pour it into the shell cases. Some weeks later the Germans began to use with more success the same expedient.
The London Illustrated News (May 13, 1915) published a "thrilling" picture of 5 German officers asphyxiated by British luddite. The descriptive lines below the picture say:
"One of our correspondents at the front tells a thrilling story of the havoc wrought by lyddite shells used by our artillery in Flanders. The fumes of the lyddite are very poisonous, so much so that some of our troops wore masks for the nose and mouth. After one battle the German trenches had been shelled with lyddite, an officer found a card party of five officers stone dead. Looking at them in the bright moonlight, he was struck by their resemblance to waxwork figures. They were in perfectly natural poses, but the bright yellow of their skins showed the manner of their death—asphyxiation by lyddite."
The first inventor of poison gas was Lord Dundonald during the Crimean War (see "The Panmure Papers," published in 1908 by Hodder & Stoughton, and the Candid Review, August 1915.) It was at the time of the Crimean War rejected by the English as "too horrible."
There were, of course, atrocities during the war —German, Austrian, Italian, British, Serbian, French. All war is atrocity, but the hate was fanned and the murder kept going by the steady press campaigns of mendacity in every country, and here in Britain we were subjected to more than our fair share of it.
August 28, 1919, p. 12, col. 5-6 bottom
SHALL GERMAN BE BANNED?
It is difficult, remarks Mr. Frank Harris in Pearson's Magazine, for a thoughtful or educated man to believe that such a question needs tp be asked. It is tantamount to asking, Shall I cut off my nose to spite my face? Mr. Harris goes on to say:
In England when things were at their worst, about Christmas, 1917, and the whole country was on short rations and in imminent danger of starvation, the question was raised, it is true; but was settled immediately in the only common sense way.
To have it seriously debated here in America would be comic were it not a sign of tragic and un-American stupidity. To the thinking man every language is another window with a new view of this miraculous world, and to shut one is simply to prefer darkness to light and vision.
Yet in Mount Vernon, we hear, the question is hotly debated: a Mr. Raynaud wants German banned from our schools, and he is supported by a Mr. Mitchell, who would like to tar and feather any teachers of German; in fact, "the lowest depths of hell are too good for them," he says.
I would not have noticed this nonsense were it not that the Roycroft Magazine for December published a Hymn of Hate by one Kenneth Duffield, which, it declares, has had "wide circulation." Here is one verse of it:
"I will not take a German's word,
Such verses would make Elbert Hubbard turn in his grave—he would have known that our hatreds hurt ourselves. The sooner we get rid of them, the better for us; the longer we cherish and nurse them, the more we must suffer. And this is true even when the object of our dislike is in itself bad.
It would be quite easy to prove that every language lives by the virtue in it, and German is among the three or four best languages in the world. As an instrument of abstract and accurate thought it has, indeed has been called "the best" by Carlyle, and its lyric poetry in the hands of Goethe and Heine, are second only to the best English poetry.
To ban German from our schools would be to make ourselves ridiculous throughout the world: it would be cited against us all over Europe, like our lynchings and shootings and third-degree torturings. We cannot afford, as a nation, to make such a blunder. Like other blunders, it would be worse than a crime.
The old Latin proverb that [it] is well to learn from our enemies, teaches a higher wisdom [for?] in banning the German language we should be going below paganism at its commonest; the [mere?] proposal fills me with shame.
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Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks