before them." 1
M. Andler predicts that the democratic and nation-
alist tendency which is so marked in Germany will com-
pel neo-Socialism to join forces with the Liberal and
Progressive parties : a " The imperialist and Teuto-
maniac Liberals who follow Bassermann will be the
prospective leaders of this coalition, and they
will demand concessions in military and colonial
Indeed, they have already obtained them. M. Andler
quotes some colonial incidents, and we have since seen
how, in the military sphere, the Socialists came to the
rescue of the new armament schemes. As to the navy,
the Kolnische Zeitung pointed out a curious article on
the partition of Africa, by Ludwig Quessel, a deputy,
1 Le Socialisms imperialiste dans I'Allemagne contsmporaine (1912).
See also La Revue Socialiste of May I5th, and La Revue du Mois of
July loth and August loth, 1913.
2 The official report presented at the Socialist Congress at Jena
in September, 1913, revealed a disquieting state of stagnation and
depression. The number of members is almost at a standstill, the
circulation of newspapers is diminishing, etc. . . .
60 DEMOCRATIC PROPAGANDA
which appeared in the Sozialistische Monatshejte for
June 26th, 1913, and shows that this Socialist, at any
rate, is convinced that a powerful fleet is essential for
The Marxist review, New Times, remarks sorrow-
fully : " German Socialists are on the way to become
bourgeois, if not philistines."
The Sozialistische Monatshejte confesses that " Revo-
lutionary words of command have become incompre-
hensible to the young generation. . . ."
" This young generation is slipping away from us/'
said a deputy, Herr Schutz-Erfurt, at the Socialist
Congress at Jena (September, 1913), " because it will
not hear of anti-militarism."
I repeat once more, Frenchmen are grievously mis-
taken if they rely upon the rising tide of German
democracy to dampen the vast accumulation of " dry
powder " which may any day blow up Europe. Only
one revolution is possible in Germany, and for that the
Pan-Germans themselves will give the signal if they
think it advisable to let loose the democratic torrent,
and do away at one fell swoop with all the " Serenis-
simi," who are dead- weights and "impedimenta," and
hinder a people determined to march boldly forward.
Madame de Thebes asserts that if William II comes
to Paris after 1913, as he has so longed to do, it will be
This prophecy is by no means improbable.
Perhaps from that moment Germany will start upon
an era of great enterprises.
SHARPENING THE SWORD
Pan-German campaign for increased armaments Ineffectual
resistance on the part of the Government The " Keim Law"
Insolence and provocations from the victors Permanent
mobilization Fresh naval and military schemes One million
two hundred thousand men!
THE sphere in which the power of Pan-German organi-
zation is most freely and efficiently exercised is un-
doubtedly in the matter of armaments. Its field of
operations in this region would seem to be boundless.
At all events, a short examination of the results already
attained will serve to show not only what Pan-Germans
have obtained from the Government and public opinion,
but still more what they are capable of securing in
days to come.
Germany has certainly never neglected the strength-
ening of her military forces. As soon as the war of 1870
was over, she set to work to increase her effectives, to
renovate and complete her material, and we need only
quote the stages, 1874, 1880, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1893,
1899, 1905, to show how military matters engrossed
public attention in Germany long before the Pan-
German movement took shape.
Each of these dates represents the passing of a fresh
military law dealing with increased armaments.
The law of 1874 fixed the number of effectives at
401,000 ; in 1890 this was raised to 487,000 ; in 1899, to
62 SHARPENING THE SWORD
570,000 ; in 1905, to 608,000. The progression is
It is worth noticing that under the septennial or
quinquennial regime the military laws take seven or
five years to expand automatically to the maximum,
and are not supplemented to any great extent during
With the advent of organized Pan-Germanism, all this
is being changed ; a new military law annually is not
only asked for, it is actually passed. When the regime
which had started in 1905 had nearly expired, Pan-Ger-
manism set to work early in 1910 to organize a campaign
about the new military statute which would have to be
considered in 1911. In April, 1910, General Keim stated
at Hamburg : " Next year the Reichstag must have the
courage to propose an increase of armaments. The
German nation can stand the expense. France must
never be able to think that she is stronger than we are."
Upon this signal the whole imperialist Press fired a
salvo. In August, the Pan-German party, sitting in
solemn conclave at Karlsruhe, expressed the wish that
" the strict obligation of personal service in time of
peace " might at last be realized. The Government Bill
introduced at the close of the year did not go so far as
this, and confined itself to increasing the army by
13,000 men. There was instantly a hue and cry.
Notwithstanding, the law was passed, and was to
hold good for the period extending from April ist, 1911,
to March 3ist, 1916.
But the League had denounced its inadequacy
too vigorously to put up with it even for five years.
General Keim, who had headed the movement at
the Hanover meeting, founded the Wehrverein, or
Association for National Defence, early in 1912.
RAPID INCREASE OF THE ARMY 63
From the outset his aim had been to preach the in-
adequacy of the military law of 1911. Numerous
manifestos were issued asserting that Germany could
not count upon decisive victory as in 1870, because her
army had no longer the numerical superiority which it
had then. To make certain of conquering in the next war
she ought to imitate France and call every able-bodied
man to arms. This measure alone could give the Empire
a numerical superiority which France could not rival.
These ideas were disseminated everywhere ; at the
meetings of the new Wehrverein, and in the local
sections of the Pan-German League. At Berlin, Essen,
Dortmund, and Diisseldorf, Generals Keim and von
Wrochen preached this gospel. At Hamburg, the local
section of the League telegraphed to the Chancellor and
to the War Minister to demand the definite organization
of machine-gun detachments and the employment of
the resources provided by the surplus population.
Yielding at last to this tremendous pressure, the
Government announced and shortly afterwards intro-
duced new Bills increasing the fleet and the army.
Germany would have 700,000 men divided into twenty-
five army corps, while France had only 600,000 under
arms and twenty army corps.
Still the Pan-Germans were not satisfied. The Com-
mittee of the League met at Hanover on April I4th to
discuss the Bills. Reports were read by General Keim
and Admiral von Breusing, discussion followed, and all
the military members of the committee, General von
Liebert, formerly Governor of South-East Africa,
General von Schmidt, Commandant Baron von Stoessel,
etc., all complained bitterly of the inadequacy of the
Government proposals. The following resolution was
passed unanimously :
64 SHARPENING THE SWORD
" The Committee of the Pan-German League, as a
result of expert advice and detailed discussions, con-
siders the Bills dealing with new armaments which
have recently been announced, quite inadequate. The
Army Bill leaves great gaps in our military organization
and does not utilize sufficiently the available forces of
the German people in order to ensure on land that
absolute and undisputed preponderance of the German
Empire, which formerly existed. This inadequacy also
jeopardizes our political situation in Europe."
After dealing with the navy law, the resolution con-
tinues in these words :
"The Committee of the Pan-German League there-
fore considers it its patriotic duty so to work upon
public opinion that the nation itself will insist upon
the Government enlarging its schemes. Financial or
parliamentary considerations should not prevent the
Government from putting these demands into execu-
tion ; for the German nation, realizing the gravity of
the international situation, will be ready to bear the
expenditure necessary for the glory and security of the
In spite of this the new military law was passed as it
stood on May igth, 1912.
No sooner was it passed than the Pan-Germans pre-
pared their revenge. Their orators had never dared to
attack the Imperial Government more violently than
was done at the Erfurt Congress in September, 1912.
Herr Class, President of the League, accused the
Government point-blank of betraying German interests
at all times and in all places, and more particularly of
exhibiting the most shameful weakness with regard to
" France's attitude towards Germany has changed
DOMINANT PAN-GERMANISM 65
completely since 1911. The modesty and timidity
of former days has been replaced by insolence and
arrogance, and there is no doubt that this change is
due to the weakness displayed by the German Govern-
ment in Morocco and Alsace-Lorraine."
As for the military law which had just been passed,
it was denounced as " eye-wash," a snare and delusion,
its inadequacy was criminal. . . .
In order to put a stop to this campaign, as the
Government knew only too well whither it was leading,
it was thought advisable to insert this semi-official note
in the Kolnische Zeitung of November 7th, 1912 :
" Every day we observe that attempts are made to
prove the inadequacy of our armaments, and to show
our friends and our enemies the supposed weakness
and deficiencies of our national defence. This shows
an absolute want of judgment as regards moral and
intangible values. . . . There must always be weak
places in the armour of a people ; it cannot be otherwise,
but in our case no vital parts of the body are exposed."
So far from being intimidated by this warning, or
even paying it the smallest attention, the Committee of
the League met at Brunswick on December ist and,
on the motion of General von Liebert, delivered its
ultimatum to the Government. In face of recent events
in the East, it believed it to be its duty " to insist once
again, and most emphatically, upon a complete and
adequate reorganization of our forces on land and sea ;
and it was of opinion that under the influence of the
political situation which could not fail to impress the
conscience of German citizens, every German, conscious
of his duty towards the State and the nation, should be
ready to sacrifice his all to prepare the defence of Ger-
many in face of all eventualities."
66 SHARPENING THE SWORD
This was the signal for a fresh campaign of conferences,
and Admiral von Breusing distinguished himself as an
indefatigable and ubiquitous speaker. In a few weeks
he spoke in the most distant parts of Germany ; at
Dortmund I quote haphazard at Muellheim, Moers,
Zwickau, Gottingen, Spandau, etc. From each place
resolutions were telegraphed to the Chancellor and War
Minister from " thousands of men and women " who
had just listened to the eloquent words of Admiral von
The political situation in the Balkans had furnished
an excellent pretext for speeding up the campaign,
though at Moers it is true on December 25th, 1912,
they also spoke of England's attempts to hem in
Once again the Imperial Government was constrained
to yield to a movement of public opinion raised and
fostered by the Pan-German League.
Fresh military Bills were announced early in January,
Yet barely a few weeks had passed since the haughty
communique in the Kolnische Zeitung \
We know what a prodigious effort was sanctioned by
these Bills, which were passed in their entirety by the
Reichstag on June 3oth, 1913 : a war contribution of
1,250 millions was ear-marked from the public funds ;
the effectives of the German army in peace time were
raised to 876,000 men, with twenty-five army corps, of
which eleven were at war strength. Under the pretext
of providing " a containing force " in the event of a
French offensive, 250,000 men remain on a war footing
on our frontier. Finally, the war treasure rose from
125 millions to 375 millions; it was trebled. Germany
does not need to mobilize against us ; she is in a
DOMINANT PAN-GERMANISM 67
state of permanent mobilization, and keeps us at the
mercy of a sudden attack.
Such is, as I write, the military achievement realized
by Pan-Germans. Yes ; by them and them alone.
How insolently they brag about their work !
Hard upon this, while the Reichstag was still occupied
with the new Bill, the Pan-German League held its
spring congress at Munich and the Military League its
general meeting at Leipzig.
Pan-Germanism sounded a flourish of trumpets on
the double notes of pride and triumph. Herr Class
profited by this fresh satisfaction which the Govern-
ment had given to Pan-German demands, and laid
down the line of conduct it was to follow in the
" We trust that the military power of Germany will
be employed on the day that our rivals, our ill-disposed
neighbours, oppose the needs of our growing population.
Our nation in its rapid development must enforce its
right to live and secure fresh territories."
General Keim, President of the Military League,
claimed that Pan-Germans had fathered the new
military law :
" What the Government has just asked of the Reich-
stag is merely a repetition of the programme laid down
a year and a half ago by the Military League and the
Pan-German Association. The Chancellor himself has
taken his stand with us."
At Leipzig General Keim's tone towards the Govern-
ment and the waverers in the Reichstag amounted to
" We have seen further ahead than official circles,
for so long as a year ago we demanded as an absolute
necessity what the Government is now asking in its new
68 SHARPENING THE SWORD
army law. Only in November, after some hesitation, did
Berlin finally understand what was wanted. It is all
the more necessary that the military law should be
passed promptly. No amount of talk, no expenditure
of ink, no loud and indignant protests can alter the
fact that the Military League awoke to the interest of
our country before those whose duty and profession it
was so to rouse themselves. (Frenzied applause.)
"It is very likely that when the resolutions we are
passing to-day are known throughout the country we
shall again be abused ; what does that matter to us ?
Storm and swear as they will, our opponents will none the
less be compelled to pass everything we demand. (Laughter
and prolonged cheers.)
" If our demands had been granted in their entirety
a year ago, the Balkan war might have been avoided,
for Germany and her allies could have thrown greater
weight into the balance and would have cut quite
another figure in diplomacy.
" We have been reproached for thinking we know
better than the Government and the Reichstag ; as a
matter of fact all the speeches made in the Reichstag,
even by well-known men, some with the title of pro-
fessor, betray a complete ignorance of military matters
combined with extraordinary animosity."
In conclusion, General Keim announced new military
laws for 1914 and 1915. *
1 When the military law of 1890 was discussed, the veteran
Windhorst, the distinguished leader of the party of the Centre,
declared that henceforth his party would oppose firmly the de-
mands of German imperialism : " Once for all, those schemes
must be given up."
The military law of 1913 was energetically supported by the
leaders of the Centre and every member voted for it.
From this we can estimate the influence which Pan-German ideas
have obtained over the ruling German middle class during the last
PAN-GERMAN DOMINATION 69
" They will be passed, never doubt it," moaned the
Radical Berliner Tageblatt ; General Keim has only to
treat the Government and deputies in his next speech
as mentally deficient/'
The bitterness of this remark tells its own tale of
the power that Pan-Germanism wields in Germany.
The following note, which was inserted in the official
Norddeutsche Zeitung the day after the passing of the
military law, known very properly as the " Keim
law/' also helps us to estimate the strength of this
" As soon as the Government introduced the military
law, the German people accepted it with grim deter-
mination ; the Government rej oiced to see its adoption
in its entirety, for never has any Bill of such importance
for the army received such strong and unanimous
Congratulations, thanks, encouragement : this is all
the Imperial Government could find to reply to the
insulting challenges, provocations, accusations, and
biting sarcasms of triumphant Pan- Germanism.
Under these conditions the Pan-Germans would have
been very foolish to draw in their horns ; to tell you the
truth, they do not contemplate any such course. Their
accredited organs condescend to inform us of their
coming demands. To begin with, Politisch-Militarische
Korrespondenz demands " reform," which means in-
crease, in the artillery ; while the Kreuz Zeitung
proves the necessity of laying down new cruisers, so as
to be able to send flying squadrons far and wide to
carry aloft the German flag without reducing the Baltic
According to its invariable custom, the Government
replied that it had no intention of adopting these pro-
70 SHARPENING THE SWORD
posals. The Radical Berliner Tageblatt tells us what to
think of such a denial, sincere though it may be when
it is made ; but its very sincerity only brings out more
forcibly the powerlessness of the Government when, as
usual, it is finally obliged to submit to Pan-German
pressure : " They deny all knowledge of the matter two
or three times, and then, one fine day a Bill appears
upon the scene.''
However this may be, Dr. Class and General Keim
formally declared, at the nineteenth Congress of the
Pan-German League held at Breslau early in Sep-
tember, 1913, that new proposals would be brought
before the Reichstag dealing with an increase of
effectives and war material. Even supposing it had the
will or the power, how could the Imperial Government
resist these fresh Pan- German requisitions, accom-
panied as they are by such peculiarly imperative
favourable conditions ?
At the close of 1914 the German Government will
have at its disposal one billion 500 million francs (war
contribution), plus 750 millions (issue of Treasury
bonds), making a total of two billion 250 million francs.
The unique expenses of the last military law will be one
billion 250 million francs, which leaves a clear billion
available for further purposes.
Thus a fresh military effort can be carried out with-
out a fresh tax. The pretext is ready to hand : the
restoration of three years' service in France necessitates
a vigorous reply from Germany so says the Pan- Ger-
man Press daily in every key.
We must realize, in France, that this reply will not be
long in coming ; we must realize it ; the patient and
indefatigable will of Pan-Germanism will win the day,
and they will get what has so far been refused them :
A THREAT TO FRANCE 71
that is, the enrolment of all available recruits without
exception, which means that the contingents of the
German army on a peace footing ( !) will reach the for-
midable figure of 1,200,000 men.
One million two hundred thousand men under arms
at the service of the Pan- Germ an ideal ! Who will still
be ready to deny that France is in danger ?
THE GERMANIC BLOC
Pan-Germanism in Austria Its avowed objects, and methods of
action A typical example Feeling the way The heir-
apparent hesitates International consequences A precarious
truce The great race-conflict.
As soon as the military law of 1913 was passed, the
Pan-German leaders, whose work it was, congratulated
themselves particularly on the fact that the Imperial
Chancellor had justified its adoption in the Reichstag
by enlarging upon one of the favourite topics of militant
Pan-Germanism namely, upon the threatening anta-
gonism of Germans and Slavs.
This was, indeed, the first time that the accredited
mouthpiece of the Germanic world had given his
sanction, with all the prestige attaching to his office, to
this essential article of the Pan-German programme.
The gravity of Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg's state-
ments was widely emphasized. Doubtless he himself,
on thinking it over, was somewhat alarmed at his dar-
ing, as the next day he felt constrained to tone down his
remarks of the preceding evening.
Perhaps in the interval the Chancellor of the German
Empire had been reminded that in case of war all Slavs
would not wear Russian uniform, and that Germany's
ally, Austria, had also serving under her flag and
especially against Russia those Slavs who were under
AUSTRIA'S DIFFICULTIES 73
This situation, paradoxical to the verge of being
ridiculous and even tragic, does not only embarrass the
Governments of the Dual Monarchy, but has also
brought the Berlin Government more than once face to
face with a cruel dilemma ; on the one hand it is bound
to serve the cause of the Germanic race in Austria, and,
on the other hand, it is constrained to observe a certain
amount of caution towards an allied Empire whose
support has been for so long a necessity, and still is so
in spite of everything.
Yet we must remember that the Pan- German League,
by merely showing a firm hand, has always overruled
the objections and hesitations of the Imperial Govern-
ment. The events of 1897 may be recalled as a typical
example of what happens.
When the Austrian Minister, Count Badeni, signed
the ordinances granting bilingualism to the Czecks, he
had certainly not been sufficiently aware of the
influence which the Pan- Germ an League had acquired
in Germany. He was not long in learning it, to
his cost. The League started a furious campaign
against the Austrian Minister and the Emperor Francis
Joseph, whom it denounced as a traitor to the German
On May gth, 1897, a protest meeting, held at Dresden,
passed unanimously a resolution " denouncing the
ordinances dealing with languages in Bohemia as an
insult to the whole German nation, and inviting all
Germans to oppose Slavonic encroachments by every
possible means." A month later, another meeting
was held at Leipzig, and at its close three telegrams
were despatched, one of loyalty to the Kaiser,
a second thanking the King of Saxony for the hos-
pitality shown in his capital, a third of admiration to
74 THE GERMANIC "BLOC"
Bismarck. This last performance was somewhat daring
for to revive the slightest antagonism between Germany
and Austria, whom the former Chancellor had had such
difficulty in reconciling after Sadowa, showed a lack of
respect for his work and was a reflection on his doctrine ;
and this was more than he could stand.
In reply to these expressions of admiration from the
Leipzig Congress, Bismarck inserted in the Hamburger
Nachrichten this scathing note :
" At Leipzig, the Alldeutscher Verband has shown itself
wanting in the respect due to States. The Austrian
speakers who came on to imperial soil have forgotten
their duty as Austro- Hungarian subjects."
Pan-Germans disowned by Bismarck! Even that
did not check them in their headlong career ; a third
meeting was held at Leipzig, on September 2nd, 1897,
expressly chosen as the anniversary of Sedan! After
that, another meeting was announced in Berlin. This
time the Emperor himself was annoyed ; he had just
returned from Russia, after exchanging official cordi-
alities with the Tsar. It was an inauspicious moment
to embark upon an anti-Slavonic campaign ; the
Berlin meeting was forbidden. Thereupon the Pan-
Germans retorted by violent polemics in the Press
against the Emperor, and by actually provoking
Austria from within the Austrian frontier. At Egger, in
Bohemia, was held the anti- Slavonic meeting which had
been forbidden in Berlin. All the big-wigs of the party
were present : Dr. Hasse, Herr Proll, Herr Wolf, Herr
Schnoenerer. Insults were heaped upon Francis
Joseph and the Austrian Slavs. Yet the Government
at Vienna, which was at last obliged to take the Pan-
German movement seriously, did not even dare to
protest. Soon the League was able to hold its meetings