Juliette Adam.

The Schemes of the Kaiser online

. (page 13 of 14)
Online LibraryJuliette AdamThe Schemes of the Kaiser → online text (page 13 of 14)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

belongs to a German company. Will the great commercial traveller,
William II be able to persuade his sweet friend the Slayer, to make him
a grant of the coaling station which he covets at Haïfa? The Sultan
will refuse him nothing. Will France and Russia have time to spare for
lodging protests, their attention having been so skilfully diverted to
Fashoda on the one hand and to China on the other? Is it not written
that the two nations must unite forces if they would check the schemes
of him who aspires to world-wide dominion over religion and commerce?

Though France and Russia have sometimes quarrelled over the question of
the Holy Places, they cannot regard without anxiety the triumphant
entry of the third thief upon the scene.

England, too, is busy with Fashoda and does not seem to be in such a
position, diplomatically speaking, at Constantinople, as to be able to
oppose the cession by Turkey to Germany of a Mediterranean harbour.
Moreover, the manner in which she has grabbed Cyprus leaves her without
much voice to talk of the _status quo_ in the Mediterranean.

William II in Palestine! This man with his mania for glittering pomp
and grandeur going to kneel at the stable in Bethlehem; the proudest
and most conceited of men, the most puffed up with vainglory, treading
the paths trodden by the feet of the Humblest; the most egotistical and
least brotherly, coming to bow before Him who is brotherhood
personified: could any spectacle be sadder for true Christians?

November 10, 1898. [13]

The Imperial pilgrim has left the Holy City, _El Cods_, as the Turks
themselves have it. Amidst the silence of its holy places his
turbulent majesty manifested itself in every direction. He prayed,
discoursed, telegraphed, wrote and conducted inaugural functions. He
made all the Stations of the Cross and preached to the German Colony in
Jerusalem, telling them that amidst such surroundings "they should be
possessed of a perpetual inclination to do good." And forthwith he
proceeded to speak of his great friendship for the Sultan, for the
individual who methodically suppresses Christians in his empire by
killing them.

William has seen the tomb of David, which infidels may not approach,
and whose stones only Mussulmans may lawfully tread. The very dear
friend of Abdul Hamid, he whom the Turkish troops salute with the same
words as they use for the Sultan, has written to the Holy See,
announcing his gift of a plot of land to the German Catholic
Association in the Holy Land and adding "that he was happy to have been
able to prove to Catholics that their religious interests lie very near
to his heart."

Leo XIII might have replied: "Sire - Let your Majesty do even more for
Catholics; persuade your friend the Sultan to cease from killing them."

November 24, 1898. [14]

William II's journey to Palestine has completely proved the thorough
understanding which he has established with Abdul Hamid - that he should
take possession of the Holy Places, as head of the Lutheran religion
and as representative of the Catholics of his Empire. France is,
therefore, no longer _de facto_ protector of Christians in the East,
since she is not required to protect the German Catholics, now directly
protected by their Emperor. In the Far East, William II had already
refused to allow France to protect his Catholic subjects. The
advantages which he derived from this decision were too great for him
to abandon them elsewhere, since the murder of a single missionary had
brought him Kiao-ohao.

Thus, then, ended this journey, accomplished in pomp and splendour,
applauded at the same time by German Christians and by the slayers of
Christians. William II has attained his object in the matter of
religious influence and of the emigration of German colonists, whom the
Sultan will be pleased to receive with open arms. The Kaiser paid his
reckoning liberally by proposing the health of the Sultan at Damascus
and by declaring his intention to help and sustain the Master and the
Khalif of 300 million Mussulmans. The seed of the words thus spoken
will sprout and will inspire encouragement for every kind of revolt in
the Mussulman subjects of France - and, for that matter, of England also.

Whilst William II was paying his devotions at the Holy Places, giving
all the impression of a pious benevolent Head of the Church, a number
of horrible evictions were being carried out in Schleswig in his name
and by his orders. Hundreds of families, dragged from their native
soil, from their homes and kindred, were led away to the frontier on
the pretext that they still clung to their belief in a "Southern
Jutland." Day after day, for the last thirty-four years, on one
pretext or another - and sometimes without any - the Danes have been
discouraged from living in Schleswig. Either life has gradually been
made impossible for them, or else they have been suddenly compelled to
leave the house where they were born, where their elders hoped to die
in peace, and their places have been filled by German colonists. A
terrible exodus, shameful cruelty! But "Germany for the Germans" is an
axiom before which all must bow, big and little, rich and poor.

December 10, 1898. [15]

Mr. Chamberlain's coquetting with Germany has ceased for the time
being. _The Times_, in contrast with its former hymns of praise, now
contents itself with asking William II not to make difficulties for
England in Europe or beyond the seas, and it adds that a friendly
attitude would serve the interests of German subjects in the Colonies
much better than one of hostility.

The passage in the German Emperor's Speech from the Throne which refers
to China is not calculated, it would seem, to appease Great Britain's
irritation. "Germany's Colonies," said the Kaiser, "are in a state of
prosperous development. At Kiao-chao steps have already been taken to
improve the economic conditions of the protectorate. The frontier has
been definitely settled by agreement with the Chinese Government. A
free port has been opened and work upon it has begun. The construction
of the railway which will link up the Protectorate with the Hinterland,
will be commenced in the near future. Relying on the old treaties
still in force, and on the new rights acquired under the treaty
concluded with China on March 6, 1898, my Government will also
endeavour in future, whilst carefully respecting the lawful rights
acquired by other Powers, _to develop economic relations with China,
which, year by year, will become more important, and to secure to
German subjects their full share in the activities directed towards
opening the Far East to Europe, from the economic point of view_."

Nor is the influence acquired by William II and his subjects in the
Ottoman Empire, emphasised by this same Speech from the Throne, of a
nature to reassure England with regard to her projects in the East. In
the Near, as in the Far, East she sees herself being supplanted by
Germany, and this by methods identical with her own, against which,
therefore, she fights more disadvantageously than against France and
Russia, more foolishly chivalrous.

William II, who had replied with insolent sharpness to a legitimate
claim advanced by a certain princeling of the Confederated States - the
Regent of Lippe-Detmold, Count Ernest von Lippe-Biesterfeld, has had
occasion to see that public opinion severely condemns his unjustifiable
action. The Confederated Sovereigns and Princes perceive therein a
menace to themselves, and have rallied energetically in defence of one
of their number. The masses, seeing an insignificant princeling
oppressed and threatened by the biggest of them, have sided with the
weaker. On his return from Jerusalem, William found the situation
extremely strained, and he endeavoured to relieve it by concessions of
various kinds. None of them, however, were regarded as adequate.
Thereupon, with the suppleness which costs him so little when it is a
question of sacrificing his most devoted and valuable servant, the
Emperor, King of Prussia, sacrificed Herr von Lucanus, the head of his
private household, an almost legendary personage who had had a hand in
every important act of William's life. It was he who carried the
Imperial ultimatum to Von Bismarck and escaped unhurt from the hands of
the infuriated giant.

Herr von Lucanus had not been sacrificed to the violent sarcasms of the
Chancellor after his reconciliation with William II; he seemed to be
unassailable until, simply for having addressed a few improper lines,
at the Emperor's dictation, to a minor prince, he is removed from the
anonymous post which was one of the occult powers of Potsdam. The
august Confederates may consider themselves satisfied.

[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La Nouvelle Revue_, February 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[5] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[6] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[9] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[10] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign

[11] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[12] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[13] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign

[14] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[15] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign



Our diplomatic situation in 1899 - William II visits the
_Iphigénie_ - The Hague Conference - Germany the only obstacle to the
fulfilment of the humanitarian plans of the Tzar.

January 11, 1899. [1]

Impelled by a simplicity of mind that suggests vacuity, a great many
French patriots imagine that our country cannot be equally hated by two
nations at once. Seeing England threatening France every day in every
way and by all the means at her disposal, these hypnotised patriots
with fixed and staring eyes, see only England and nothing else! No
matter what misdeeds Germany may commit, they scarcely trouble to turn
towards her their inattentive gaze. Some of them, even, whose lips are
tightened with anger when they think of London, smile with a vague
feeling of good-will at the thought of Berlin. And yet the other
enemy, the German, emboldened by our absorption, is more ready to
oppress the weak, reveals himself as bolder and greedier, more cynical
and exclusive, more violent in denying to others their rights. German
influence may spread all over the world, but refuses to allow any other
influence whatsoever to penetrate Germany. Prussia introduced the law
of force because she was strong; she is now inaugurating a new system
of human rights to the exclusive advantage of Germany. One newspaper,
the _Vossische Zeitung_, has dared to say: "This system is unworthy of
a civilised state and must lead to our being morally humiliated before
the whole world." But that is all.

When Germany perpetrates some particularly monstrous act, she is only
"a civilising power spreading the greatest of all languages."
Moreover, Germany is the only nation that possesses a secular history;
other nations have nothing more than a succession of irregular
proceedings, tolerated by German generosity or indifference.

The German Emperor, King of Prussia, wages a victorious war against
everything that is not German. He has just put to the sword the French
terms in the Prussian military vocabulary. In vain these poor words
pleaded the authority of the great Frederick, who introduced them into
Prussia. In spite of his fondness for imitating Frederick the Great,
William II has slaughtered the French expressions "_officier
aspirant_," "_porte épée_," "_premier lieutenant_," "_général_," etc.,
etc. The massacre is complete, their exclusion wholesale; he leaves no
trace of the enemy's tongue. William II follows with marked
satisfaction the anti-French movement of opinion in England. "England
will chastise France," he said to his Officers' Club, "and then she
will come and beg me to protect her." Germany hates us with all her
own hatred, added to that of England. She hopes for our defeat, but if
we should win, she would come hypocritically to claim from us her
vulture share of the spoil for her so-called neutrality.

February 9, 1899.

Bismarck's interest in things was never keenly aroused unless they were
worth lying about. When he said "the Eastern question is not worth the
bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier," he was formulating in his mind
the programme of the "Drang nach Osten," the great push towards the
East. The Russo-Turkish war; the humbling of the victorious Slav
colossus by the Congress of Berlin; the diabolical treachery contained
in the Resolutions of the said Congress (not one of which but contains
the germ of some revolt or movement on the part of the races of the
Turkish Empire); the separation of Bulgaria and Roumelia, united by the
Treaty of San Stefano; the subsequent reunion, directed against Russia,
of these two countries; the handing over of Bulgaria to a Coburg, bound
by ties to Austria - all these things were brought about by the
treachery and guile of the super-liar who ruled at Berlin. And since
then, William II has done everything possible to advance this "Drang
nach Osten," Prussia's favourite scheme.

And whilst the menace of this "push towards the East" is steadily
growing, whilst he who directs it from Berlin holds in his hand all the
strings of the puppets who can help to advance it or pretend (as part
of the conspiracy) to oppose it, what is great Russia doing, the mighty
Tzar, and France?

They tell us that Russia is abandoning her interests in the East and
that the Tzar is dreaming of giving Europe a lasting peace - a peace
chiefly favourable to the economic and commercial development of
Germany and to the increase of her influence.

Russia and France seem scarcely to realise that the only force which
can drive back the tide of Germanic invasion is the Slav power,
organised and firmly established in Europe. A Balkan league including
Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, a southern Slav kingdom, a
Bohemia-Moravia, these might hold the German power in check and give to
Europe the necessary equilibrium. France has an interest as great as
Russia's in the organisation of this opposing force, but she does not
realise the fact. Just as the Athenians stretched out their hands
towards the power of Rome, deadly in its fascination, even so there are
culpably blind patriots among us who dream the monstrous dream of an
_entente_ with Germanism. As well might one, to escape the flood,
throw oneself into the rising ravening torrent. Before long, Germany
will be the ruler of Austria, of Hungary, Turkey and Holland, and we
shall have prepared no counterpoise to this encroachment, we, the
Allies of the great Russian people, who, even though they may
eventually succumb to the fatal attraction of Asia, might first help us
to secure our racial psychology and to establish bonds between our
Gallo-Latin soul and the soul of the Slavs.

The Germans are establishing themselves comfortably and permanently in
China. There lies before me an extract from the first number of a
newspaper published by the Germans in China under the title of _The
German Asiatic Sentinel_. This official organ of the Kiao-chao
territory appears every week with six pages of articles and
advertisements. It is strange to find in it advertisements of the most
diverse description, from that which commends brown Kulmback beer, to
that in which two young German merchants seek to correspond, with a
view to marriage, with good-looking young German girls of good family.

When one remembers the solemn investiture at Kiel of Prince Henry of
Prussia, as leader of the crusade which was to spread the sacred words
of Christianity amongst the barbarian followers of Confucius, and when
one sees this investiture finding its expression in the initiation of
the Chinese into the mysteries of Kulmback beer and the search for
exportable Gretchens, the association of the two pictures reminds one
somehow of tight-rope dancing. But ridicule is unknown in Germany.

It seems to me that the Kaiser's latest speech, at the banquet of the
provincial Landtag of Brandenburg, is in somewhat doubtful taste. On
this occasion, he spoke first of the divine right and responsabilities
of the Hohenzollerns on a footing of familiarity with God, and next he
compared the functions of a sovereign with those of a gardener, who
stirs up the earth, smokes the roots and hunts out noxious insects.
True, the German Emperor has got to cultivate the tree of 1870-71 and
to destroy "hostile animals," which I take to mean our good
simple-minded Frenchmen!

The campaign in favour of a _rapprochement_ between France and Germany
continues to be cleverly managed and directed in our midst. There is
talk of a visit of the Tzar, who would come to Antibes and who would
there receive William II at the same time as M. Félix Faure. The
formula with which this arrangement is commended to us is "we have
sulked long enough." In other words, they would convert a great,
strengthening and enduring hatred into a trivial grudge. That, since
Fashoda they should regard Sedan as a peccadillo is strange, to say the
least of it.

The _Kolnische Zeitung_, which opened the discussion with regard to a
_rapprochement_ with France, now closes it by observing -

"That if ever the French should feel impelled to seek a reconciliation
with Germany, it could only be sincerely effected on the condition that
they abandon once and for all the idea of a reckoning to be settled
between the two countries for the war of 1870-71."

When we have estimated the nature and extent of Germany's greed,
calculated the number of her demands and ambitions, reflected by the
light of history and German exaggerations, on the character of the
German race and its unbridled lust of domination, then the National,
Colonial and Continental interests of France (considered
dispassionately and without hatred for the conqueror or resentment for
the cruel and humiliating past) do not lie in the direction of a
_rapprochement_ with Germany. They lie in the establishment and
combination of the Slav States in Europe, in a more effective alliance
with Russia, and a _rapprochement_ between the Latin nations.

March 27, 1899. [2]

By our resistance, since the national defeat of 1871, we have pledged
ourselves not to accept it. Our moral position and the dignity of our
claims to restitution have been worthy of our history because we
inveterate Frenchmen have never ceased to maintain that our power over
Alsace-Lorraine has been overthrown by force, but that our rights
remain undiminished. Austria, to Germany, and Italy, to Austria, have
sacrificed this moral position and the dignity of their respective
claims, in return for an alliance which, besides being treacherously
false, has brought them neither wealth nor honour.

But alas! even whilst our rights became strengthened by our very
faithfulness and constancy, our rulers were yielding to the insidious
counsels of the enemy. M. Ferry listened to Bismarck and slowly, drop
by drop, we wasted the blood with which we should have reconquered
Alsace-Lorraine. Bismarck, seeing us regaining our strength too
quickly for his liking, and becoming a danger to Germany, and prevented
by the Tzar from stopping our recovery by striking at us again, played
his hand so as to throw us headlong into a policy of colonial
adventures. But the Great Iron Chancellor, the would-be genial fellow,
had not foreseen that his pupil William II would be inspired by
ambitions entirely different from his own: that of a relentless
colonial policy, that of commercial and industrial development, on
broad lines of encroachment, and that of a navy. All these things
however, followed logically, one from the other; for profitable
colonisation one must have a market for one's produce, and to protect a
mercantile marine one must have a navy. Therefore, under these
conditions, which Bismarck did not foresee, the danger to France became
an immediate and equal danger to Germany, for England would be free to
sweep the seas of Germany's merchantmen as well as those of France.

Certain misguided people, moved by their extravagant feelings either of
hatred towards England or of fear, seized the opportunity of the hour
of danger under cover of the well-worn word (which leads so many worthy
folk to lose their heads, even when it represents just the opposite of
what it means) pleading our _interests_, I say, seized the opportunity
to lower France by making overtures to the Kaiser and to Prussia. Our
interest, our twofold interest, was not to have a war with England, and
to let Germany see that it was to her interest that we should not be
deprived of our maritime power which _protects_ the free development of
German expansion.

We possess at this moment a third of Africa, a portion of Asia and
Madagascar; before trying to add to these possessions, let us endeavour
to make the most of their wealth.

To sum up: our position has never been better, if we _know how to wait_
and not to make ourselves cheap. As the faithful Allies of Russia,
either England or Germany will have need of us.

* * * * * *

And so, the German Emperor, King of Prussia, has added another chapter,
and not the least astounding, to the volume of his swift changes and
contradictions. The author of the telegram to President Krüger has
received at Berlin Mr. Cecil Rhodes, the instigator of Jameson, invader
of the Transvaal! William II has been negotiating with him in the
matter of the telegraph line and the railway. If any one had foretold,
on the day that he sent his famous telegram concerning the rights of
the South African Republic, that the paladin who signed this chivalrous
message would come to discuss "business" with Sir [_sic_] Cecil Rhodes,
or that the latter would have dared to present himself, in a check
suit, before the Kaiser wearing his winged helmet - such a prophet would
have been regarded as a dangerous lunatic. Nevertheless, so it is.
Mr. Rhodes entered the Imperial Palace quite simply and naturally,
conveying to the Emperor the affectionate regards of Queen Victoria. I
do not know whether they shook hands. Between business men,
shopkeepers ready for a deal, etiquette is superfluous and a ready
understanding easy. Shake!

Herr von Bülow, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs communicated the
news to the Reichstag, promising further information on the subject
before long. And now, what becomes of the hope of a rupture with
England, anticipated by our worthy apostles of the Franco-German
Alliance against perfidious Albion? Not only does William II flirt
with old England and give her pledges, but he opens his arms to the
most dangerous, the most enterprising, the most compromised of
Englishmen, the Napoleon of the Cape!

April 27, 1899. [3]

Were it not for Alsace-Lorraine, we should be the ally of colonial
Germany. Were it not for Alsace-Lorraine, we should be the most ardent
disciples of the noble, truly humane, and admirable work of disarmament
undertaken by the Emperor Nicholas II. Alsace-Lorraine has made us the
irreconcilable enemies of Germanism and at the same time the faithful,
devoted and ever loyal friends of every Slav cause.

Familiar with the work of these causes, attached to the greatness of
our allies, those of us who were the first to seek that mighty
alliance, will ever labour to strengthen and extend it by all the
resources which can add to its glory, but at the same time we are
anxious that nothing should be said or done to diminish our own first
claims to restitution. An article in the _Novae Vremya_ contains a
protest against the idea (disseminated by the German Press) that Russia
is working to bring about a reconciliation between Germany and France.
The Russian organ declares that such a _rapprochement_ would deprive
France of all the advantages of her alliance with Russia. The St.
Petersburg newspaper adds a sentence which appeals to us, because we

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13

Online LibraryJuliette AdamThe Schemes of the Kaiser → online text (page 13 of 14)