the guarantee of that neutrality is at an end. In the
event of a Franco- German war, Belgium would become
nolens volens a belligerent. Daniel Frymann is quite
explicit on this point :
"It is impossible to abandon the mouth of the
Rhine to Anglo-French domination or influence, for
it is contrary to nature that Germany should not
possess the outlet to the sea of her most important way
of communication. It is impossible to leave the coast
of the North Sea in the hands of these States (France
and England). It is impossible to tolerate little States
on our north-west frontiers, which give no guarantee
against violations of neutrality on the part of England
and France, and which, on the contrary, would gladly
afford supporting points to our enemies. Hence we
must insist that as soon as opposition between Germany
and France or England leads to warlike complications,
Belgium and Holland must be called upon to choose
between those States and the German Empire."
This is the attitude always adopted by Pan-Germans,
who are more frank or more cynical than Herr von
Jagow, when they mention Belgium. And we may be
sure that, in spite of official denials, they have had their
way with the German Staff, since everything is ready on
the frontier line from ^Luxemburg and Belgium to Aix-
la-Chapelle for a rapid offensive in tremendous force. A
vast system of strategic railways has been carried out,
which can easily carry four army corps to the Belgian
frontier, one to Aix-la-Chapelle, another to Mount] oye
and the fortified camp of Elsenborn, a third to Malmedy,
and a fourth to Monteneau and Saint- Vith, while four
other corps could concentrate in the Duchy of
INTRIGUES IN BELGIUM 121
All of a sudden, eight German corps, having avoided
the batteries of the forts of Liege and Namur, 1 which
have been carefully brought up to date, could swarm
along the French frontier between Givet and Verdun
by roads south of the Meuse.
There is the danger. Our Staff must have foreseen
it, at least we can only hope so. Yet there are no indica-
tions on the German side that our precautionary
measures appear at all decisive, and their confidence
cannot but give us cause for anxiety. 2
Parallel with these military preparations a slow and
silent work of assimilation is being carried on in Belgium.
Not only are Flemish areas, which are naturally Ger-
manophil, being canvassed in the name of racial brother-
hood, but the Germans themselves are claiming rights
of citizenship, as the Taeglische Rundschau affirms :
" In Belgium, by the side of the French-speaking
Walloon population, and the Low German Flemish,
there are a hundred thousand German Belgians to whom
German is the natural tongue. But the Francophil
Belgian Government absolutely declines to allow
German Belgians to pass the examination for the
military college in their mother tongue, although this is
permitted to Walloons and Flemish.
" German public opinion should and must watch more
1 In July, 1913, the Express, a Lige newspaper, published the
fact that two high German officials, who had come to welcome the
Belgian sovereigns on the occasion of their entry into the town, had
asked for and obtained permission to visit the forts. The two
visitors were no others than Herr Freiherr von Reinnbaben, the
President of the Rhenish province, and the Lieutenant-General
commanding the 3rd Prussian army corps, that is to say, the two
chief men who were interested in finding out how resistance to a
German invasion was organized round Liege.
2 Senator Henry Berenger, in August, 1913, informed the Press
of this danger ^and announced that he would interpellate the Govern-
ment on the point.
122 "HEMMING US IN "
carefully over the maintenance and culture of the Ger-
man language in foreign parts. We are convinced that
a strong protest by German public opinion, on behalf
of our Belgian brothers, would not be without effect."
Perhaps the time is not far off when Germany, accord-
ing to her invariable custom, will adopt as her own these
Pan-German demands which have so far been made
Logically, however, intervention of this kind, the
consequences of which would be incalculable, should be
attempted in Holland before trying the experiment in
Belgium. We have already seen how Daniel Frymann
defines the principle of German policy in the Nether-
lands. Many others have done the same before him,
for the Low German question has interested Pan-
Germans since the first foundation of their League.
To start with they hoped to win Holland by kind-
ness. They declared their kind intentions towards their
Low German cousins. They suggested a Customs union.
They even expressed regret when the German navy was
created that Dutch or Low German had not been
introduced as words of command. 1
These tendencies, which inspired the Pan- German
League in its attitude towards the Boers and President
Kriiger, were followed for more than fifteen years
without a break. A well-known Pan-German, the
proprietor of the Rheinisch-Wesphaelische Zeitung, dealt
with the question in the name of the League.
In the end this appeal to the relationship between Low
1 See Die Deutschen Reichshdfen und das Zollbundnis mil dem
Niederlanden, by Dr. Reismann-Grone ; see also Niederlande und die
alldeutsche Bewegung, by Fritz Bley.
CAJOLING THE DUTCH 123
Germans and High Germans went rather too far. It
got on the nerves of the Dutch. The Queen of the
Netherlands decided to put a stop to it. On her visit
to Paris on June ist, 1912, she said, very simply : " I
am very proud of the French blood which flows in my
veins " and the shaft went home.
We only saw in these words a civil compliment,
meant to flatter our vanity. The fury they aroused in
the Pan-German world ought to have made us realize
their political significance. While Germany was always
insisting upon racial affinity with the Dutch, Wilhelmina
had of her own accord made a great point of her con-
nection with France.
The Pan-Germans then changed their tone. If their
" good offices " were unsuccessful in peace time, in pre-
paring the dilemma which was to be offered to Holland
at the beginning of a war, then they must resort to other
Would it not be possible to attack the commercial
interest ? Dutch trade benefits to a great extent from
the transport of German goods brought down the Rhine.
Supposing Holland were threatened by the removal of
this carrying trade, would she not be obliged to accept
German conditions ?
The Pan- Germans then conceived a kolossal scheme
but nothing is too much for Germany now ; this was
to alter the course of the Rhine, or rather to construct
a canal going from Wesel or Cologne along the Dutch
frontier to Emden. By this means merchandise from
the hinterland of Amsterdam and Rotterdam could be
loaded in a German port. 1
1 See Der Rhein-Nordsee-Kanal, eine Studie von den kb'niglichen
Bauraten, Herzberg and Faaks, and Holland deutscher Bundesstaat ?
Eine mbgliche technische Eroberung von kb'nigl. Regierungsbau-
124 " HEMMING US IN "
Engineers set to work to study and work out this
scheme of economic conquest, as one of them calls it.
Herr Fiirbringer, a deputy, referred to it in 1912 in the
Prussian Chamber, and the Minister of Public Works,
Herr von Breitenbach, without promising anything
definite at the moment, stated that the scheme was
deserving of the greatest attention, and encouraged
" the most daring hopes." He also added that the
scheme had to his knowledge the support of " economic
powers of the first order."
On February nth, 1913, the Minister was called upon
to express more than a platonic interest. Herr von
Breitenbach made no demur. He said that the Rouse-
meyer scheme, starting from Cologne and less costly
than the Herzberg-Faaks plan, had just been submitted
to the Government.
The sword of Damocles is suspended over Holland.
If she does not fall in with Pan-German views she knows
what she may expect, and she knows at what a sacrifice
she can save her trade.
The Berliner Post wrote, on January 3rd : " It is un-
necessary to create a German mouth to the Rhine
artificially, for the existing one is already German ;
only from the point of view of constitutional law, it does
not belong to the German Empire. It is, therefore, not
a problem for engineers, but an object for the efforts of
Meanwhile, just as in Belgium but more vigorously
and speedily, the work of silent absorption proceeds.
The number of German residents in Holland increases
incessantly and in amazing proportions. German news-
papers and German schools are multiplying. Half the
population of Amsterdam and Rotterdam is already
German. Holland finds herself in Germany's strong
COERCING THE DUTCH 125
grip and struggles in vain. Nothing can be more signi-
ficant than the interminable discussions which rage
periodically in the Dutch Chamber round the schemes
for coast defence. These schemes, of German origin,
are naturally directed against England, and include an
extension of the fortifications at Flushing, where the
German fleet will find a shelter in the Lower Scheldt,
whence she can threaten the English fleet, according to
the Pan-German notion. A Government scheme marked
urgent, in July, 1910, raising a loan of 40 million florins
for the organization of Dutch coast defence, was still
under discussion before the Chamber three years later,
and Herr Troelstra, the Socialist leader, exclaimed
(April 24th, 1913) : "If this scheme is adopted,
Holland will be at the mercy of one Power."
That Power is Germany.
The Bill was passed in June, 1913.
We may be sure that the little Duchy of Luxemburg,
so peaceful within its narrow frontiers, has not been
neglected by Pan-German agitators.
It is an accepted axiom in Germany that Luxemburg
has been from all time, and must therefore remain a
German country. Hence when the young Grand
Duchess Mary Adelaide came to the throne and made
her first speech in French, this was denounced as
nothing less than treason in Germany, and Pan-
Germans rudely reminded the " German dynasty " that
rules in Luxemburg by the permission and toleration of
the German Emperor, that it has certain duties and
obligations towards the great Germanic cause.
Statements such as these are persistently repeated,
commented upon, amplified, especially in the Kolnische
126 " HEMMING US IN "
Zeitung, which has been appointed particularly to
watch over and hasten the Germanizing of Luxemburg. 1
As it is characteristic of the Germans to add brutal
injury to threatening insult, the Staff has actually made
a training camp at Wasserliech, eleven kilometres from
Treves, quite close to the Grand Ducal frontier, on the
Luxemburg retorted according to her means, by
introducing a Bill increasing her army to 3,000 men in
normal times and to 20,000 at full strength.
The effort is touching, but unfortunately it is
ludicrous. When the great struggle begins the
German army will enter Luxemburg as it pleases, and
to guide its invading columns towards France its
intelligence department will find Germans established
at all the strategic points of the Grand Duchy, for
the express purpose as it seems of fulfilling this
Switzerland is particularly prone to arouse Pan-
German desires, standing as she does at the crossways
of the great European trade routes and, with her
numerous waterfalls, eminently suited for great
It is not surprising to learn that for years Germany
has been trying to secure economic and political
supremacy throughout Swiss territory.
Bismarck himself started the era of peaceful penetra-
tion in Switzerland by giving his support to the railroad
1 On the other hand there is a current of feeling in Luxemburg
which is favourable to French influence. Its accredited organ,
L'Independance Luxewbourgeoise, a French paper printed in French,
does its best to counteract the German papers.
COERCION OF SWITZERLAND 127
scheme which was to unite North Germany to Italy by
the St. Gothard tunnel.
The story of this affair is worth a brief study.
The St. Gothard line, laid down in 1882, was only
completed, thanks to subsidies amounting to 30 millions
from Germany, and 55 millions from Italy, while
Switzerland only spent 28 millions.
Germany and Italy demanded an important share in
the profits as a reward for their contributions, and thus
obtained a controlling right which was very annoying
to the Federation.
Switzerland, therefore, declared her intention, in
1904, of buying in the shares of the other two nations.
They, however, did not see why they should abandon,
merely for a refund of money, all the material and moral
advantages which they had acquired in the country.
The negotiations for the repurchase, which were very
long and complicated, ended in that notorious Con-
vention of Berne, so injurious to federal interests that
it very nearly provoked riots at Geneva and some other
It will be as well to recall some of the clauses of the
Convention to show how well Pan-Germans of to-day
have learned to follow Bismarck's footsteps.
1. It confers upon Germany and Italy most favoured
nation treatment no longer merely over the St. Gothard
system but over all Swiss railways. This treatment,
which till then had only applied to 276 kilometres of
line laid down in common, now extended to 2,700
kilometres of rail.
2. Germany and Italy obtained the right to control
all the arrangements that the Swiss Government might
make in the future with foreign railways. This, as
Swiss patriots pointed out with vehemence, and even
128 ' HEMMING US IN "
with violence, constituted a limitation of the sovereignty
of the Swiss Federation for the benefit of Germany
To all intents and purposes Switzerland was prohibited
from ever having a free policy in railway matters ; she
could never, for instance, make an agreement with
France to connect the systems, or by a reduction of rates
attempt to attract goods or passenger traffic going to
3. The Swiss Government, to allow Germany and
Italy to recover their capital, consented to reduce by
35 per cent, up to 1912 and by 50 per cent, after that
date the surcharge on tariffs which the great expense of
running a mountain line renders imperative.
This reduction of tariffs means that the St. Gothard
line will undercut all other lines across the Alps.
After 1920 the distance between London and Milan
via the St. Gothard will be (from the point of view of
tariffs) no more than 1,100 kilometres, while it is 1,216
kilometres by the Paris-Mont Cenis route, and 1,113 v ^
The St. Gothard line is therefore bound to get hold of
all the traffic between North-west Europe and the
While Germany was getting possession of Swiss rail-
way traffic for herself and her ally, she was at the same
time skilfully manoeuvring so that her army should also
eventually have access to the same railroads.
Basle station, partly in Baden and partly in Switzer-
land, is really a German possession. The Germans have
a Customs office there, and German troops can make
use of the railway built on Swiss territory when they
wish to proceed from one point to another on the
frontier of the Grand Duchy.
PENETRATING SWITZERLAND 129
The station was rebuilt between 1903 and 1913 at
Germany's expense ; she expended 70 millions to join
it up with her strategic lines, and constructed seven
kilometres of detraining platforms.
At the same time there is a scheme under considera-
tion for making a canal of the Rhine from Basle to
Constance, so as to join an important waterway to
the railways. 1
This is what the Empire has done up to now to
facilitate the penetration of German influence in
But what has been done over and above this by
private industrial and commercial enterprises ? Their
efforts to get possession of markets have also been
nothing short of colossal.
German commercial travellers in Switzerland num-
ber 5,000 as against 1,400 French. German banks,
business houses, industrial enterprises, are becoming
more and more numerous.
Switzerland is becoming an industrial country. She
is the hostelry of Europe, and if her agricultural
labourers come from Austria, her masons from Italy,
the majority of her engineers and industrial working
men come from Germany.
In 1900 these numbered 168,000 against 58,000
French. There are to-day 300,000 Germans out of a
total population of three and a half millions!
Even the most short-sighted Swiss patriots are
alarmed at the rapidity of German penetration. 2
1 See Une autre question de defense nationale, by Georges Trouillot,
Senator. Grande Revue of June 25th, 1913.
2 In August, 1913, they were quite exasperated by the mania of
the federal topographical bureau for translating into German the
Romance names of places, or even of altering the names completely
and Germanizing them. It was then discovered that the said
130 "HEMMING US IN"
M. Schmidt, a professor at Zurich University, wrote
recently : "If steps are not taken in time, the absorp-
tion of Switzerland by Germany will come about
automatically ; when the Germans have got possession
of all paths which lead to power, they will claim the
political rights which are now denied them ; they will
claim them, and they will get them."
At present it is not easy for foreigners living in
Switzerland to become naturalized. The Federation is
unwilling to make citizens of them for fear of increasing
its poor rate, which is already a heavy burden. But in
ten years' time, if the German invasion continues, one
quarter of the population will be German. Then what
will happen ?
Will not the authorities, under irresistible pressure
from these peaceful but all-powerful invaders, find
themselves compelled to accept imperial protection,
just as Wurtemberg and Bavaria have had to accept it ?
The combined efforts of the German State and
German traders are infallibly aiming at making
Switzerland a German province. Pan-German pressure
is flagrant, enthralling. . . .
Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Italy-
even to the 'Mediterranean where a German fleet now
federal bureau employed about half a dozen Germans and even
Prussian officers ; one of them who had to look after plans of the
fortifications was the father of an officer of the General Staff at Berlin 1
We should also remember the Huninguen affair. In 1815 France
was obliged to destroy all fortifications within ten miles of Basle.
In 1871 Germany took over these French obligations when she
annexed Alsace. But, on the contrary, she finished the construction
of a bridge-head at Huninguen which was prepared for infantry and
artillery and threatens Basle. In spite of protests from the inhabi-
tants of Basle and Thurgau the Federal Government submitted in
silence to this violation of a formal treaty against its interests.
OMINOUS PENETRATION 131
cruises the Germanic Empire is all about us, hemming
us in. Spain, even, has been invited to betray Latin
solidarity for the benefit of Germanism. There are
Pan-Germans in Madrid. If they ever succeed in
getting a hearing, France will be completely hemmed
1 See Entre I' influence francaise et allemande en Espagne, by Gomez
Carillo. La Revue, November I5th, 1911.
WAR "INEVITABLE "
Logical deductions Bellicose Germany From Luther to von
Bernhardi What the settlement of accounts will be like No
compromise ! Two serious grounds of quarrel : Alsace-Lorraine
and the Foreign Legion Incidents and pretexts.
Do Pan-Germans want war? Let them answer this
question for themselves.
On June 29th, immediately after the passing of the
military law of 1913, the Berliner neucste Nachrichten
wrote : "By increasing our armaments, we are accumu-
lating excellent means for pursuing an energetic world
policy, but what good are they, if we never use them? "
That is Logic, pure and simple.
Here is the proof, no less firmly demonstrated by the
Lokal Anzeiger at the same time : " All the art of diplo-
macy will fail to prevent the outbreak oi a world war,
which will be war to the knife, for theglory of Germany."
Finally, let us borrow this conclusion from Daniel
Frymann, for it is a fitting comment on the two pre-
ceding statements : ' The popular attitude in the
Empire has changed since the Morocco affair ; it has
passed from a philosophic defensive to an aggressive
policy. War is inevitable. ..."
Quotations of this kind might be multiplied to
infinity, for the Pan-German Press and Pan-German
publications have rung innumerable changes in this
triple theme ever since the passing of the " Keim law."
WAR THE WORK OF MINORITIES 133
This is the process : first of all they demand an enor-
mous increase of armaments, purely as a defensive
measure to secure peace. Once this increase has been
effected, they exclaim : " What good are they, if we
cannot rob our neighbour ? " Then they add : " Since
war is inevitable, why not let us have it at once, while
we can make the most of a momentary advantage ? "
From which we may conclude, no doubt, that if
France had not replied to the German military law of
1913 by restoring three years' service, she would most
certainly have been attacked on the first pretext.
And we know since the Ems telegram how easy it is
to forge pretexts for battle without counting those
which already exist between the two countries, and
of which we will try to give a short summary.
When the three years' law came before the Senate
for its sanction, a conscript father, who thought it
advisable not to give his name to the reporters in the
high assembly, interrupted General Pau, the Govern-
ment Commissioner, and delivered himself of this
absurd remark : " Germany does not want war any
more than we do! "
If by " Germany " our senator means the Kaiser and
the majority of the German people, we can easily grant
him that they may be ranged among the peaceable if
that will simplify the discussion. But still he is guilty
of great folly if he is not aware of this truth more
obvious in Germany than anywhere that wars are
always the work of minorities. That has been pro-
claimed across the Rhine by two men who had the
courage to know it and say it : Herr von Bethmann-
Hollweg and Herr von Kiderlen-Waechter.
My readers have no doubt perceived in the course of
this work that the bellicose minority in Germany is
134 WAR "INEVITABLE"
sufficiently active and powerful to bring about the fatal
explosion whenever it chooses. It must also be evident
to them that this minority is steadily growing in num-
bers and influence, and that there is no reason to doubt
that it will very shortly become the majority.
Anyone who follows the movement of public opinion
in Germany is bound to recognize the amazing rapidity
of a wholesale conversion to ideas which, a short time
ago, were by no means general.
It is nothing new for Germans to hear of the utility
and necessity of war. Luther said to them : " It is easy
to show by preachings and writings what a scourge is
war, but on the other hand it should be remembered
that it saves us from still greater evils. We must not
only look at the massacres, burnings and violence which
are the result of war ; that is behaving like foolish,
short-sighted children who dare not look on when a
surgeon cuts off a hand or a leg, and who do not see nor
understand that his object is to save the whole body.
Similarly we must study manfully the part played by
sword and warfare, and seek the final cause of all these
horrors and violence. When we consider its end we
shall see that war is of God, and its aim is as necessary
to man as eating and drinking and the natural
It seems that Germans had rather lost sight of this
teaching through the ages, but it also seems as though
there had never been a greater sympathy for its
doctrine than there is now.
On this point we can refer to General von Bernhardi,
one of whose most famous works, Germany and the
Next War, was inspired by this state of affairs. 1
1 Deutschland und der ndchste Krieg, by Friederich von Bernhardi,
General der Kavallerie z D. Sechste Auflage. Stuttgart and Berlin :
GENERAL VON BERNHARDI 135
General von Bernhardi, in 1913, speaks almost
exactly as Luther did in the sixteenth century :
" There is no standing still in the world's history. All
is growth and development. It is obviously impossible
to keep things in the status quo, as diplomacy has so often