Teutonic northland, clothed with primeval forests peopled by huge
blond giants pressing ever southward. out of the unknown, was an abode
of mystery. Almost in awe, the Romans termed it "the womb of
passed. Rome declined; and the Nordic barbarians beat more and more
fiercely upon the frontiers. Indeed Rome would have fallen much earlier,
if she had not taken many Germans into her service. In Rome's last
days her best legions and her ablest generals were chiefly of German
blood. Yet even this clever policy could not avert ultimate ruin.
Decayed to her very marrow, Rome finally col1apsed, and the German
tribes swept all over western Europe. France, Italy, and Spain were
alike engulfed by the Teutonic tide, while other Teutonic Nordics,
going by sea, conquered Britain and made it "England."
a time all western Europe was Nordicized. The leaders of the invading
Nordics became the ruling-class, while their followers settled down
on the land as yeoman farmers. The native Alpine and Mediterranean
inhabitants of the former Roman provinces, greatly lessened in numbers
were either reduced to serfdom or were driven into the remoter or
less fertile regions. Even in Italy and Spain the Nordic conquerors
must at first have formed a large percentage of the population, while
France became mainly Nordic in blood.
began the long process of de-Nordicization which has gone on steadily
till to-day. This ebbing of the Nordic tide first showed itself in
Italy and Spain. Handicapped by too warm a climate for their northern
constitutions and absorbed by intermarriage with the more
numerous native populations, the Nordic element in Italy and Spain
rapidly diminished, except among the upper classes, which, protected
from field labor by their rank, and guarded against frequent intermarriage
with the native masses by race-pride or caste laws, retained a larger
proportion of Nordic blood.
over Western Europe, however, the chief reason for Nordic decline
seems to have been war -- the great scourge of the Nordic race. Energetic
and warlike by nature, Nordics never fight so fiercely as when fighting
each other. The faIl of Rome heralded a perfect welter of inter-Nordic
wars. Overrunning Western Europe not as a united people but as independent
tribes, the Teutonic invaders fought endlessly over the spoils, slaughtering
each other whole-sale, and thus reducing their numbers as against
the subject Alpine and Mediterranean populations, who took almost
no part in the fighting and, therefore, increased in numerical strength.
one of these Germanic tribes, the Franks, gained the ascendancy and,
under a great leader, Charlemagne, temporarily united most of Western
and Central Europe beneath his sway. Reviving the Imperial tradition,
he assumed the title of Roman Emperor, and called his state the Roman
Empire. Charlemagne's experiment is one of the most fascinating of
historical "might-have-beens." If it had succeeded, a great
new civilization might have arisen, Nordic in character and anticipating
modern civilization by nearly a thousand years. The materials for
a new civilization were there. The Nordic masters of Europe were no
longer the rude barbarians who had overrun the decayed Roman Empire.
They had shown their
intelligence and capacity by the rapidity with which
they had assimilated the remnants of classic civilization and were
creatively adapting. it to their own temperaments and times. If peace
and political stability could have been maintained, the germs of culture
which were beginning to sprout would probably have soon come to brilliant
as already remarked, the new civilization would have been essentially
Nordic in character. Despite its "Latin" trappings, Nordic
blood and the Nordic spirit were the driving forces in Charlemagne's
Empire. This fact is too often misunderstood. The term "Roman"
has a southern ring, while the name "Charlemagne" suggests
a Latin-French personality. As a matter of fact, nothing could be
further from the truth. "Charlemagne" is merely Old French
for "Charles the Great." And Charles the Great was a Teutonic
Nordic to the very marrow of his bones. This mighty monarch, with
his blue eyes and long golden beard, spoke Old German and held his
court at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), a city of western Germany. His
empire was a thoroughly Nordic creation.
experiment, however, was not destined to endure. His successors did
not inherit his greatness, and his empire rapidly fell to pieces,
plunging Europe into the gloomy welter of the Dark Ages. The Teutonic
Nordics not only continued to weaken each other by fratricidal wars,
but became divided by such differences in language and culture that
they lost practically all sense of racial solidarity. Hitherto, the
Nordic conquerors of Western Europe had retained a certain kindred
feeling. Fiercely though they quarreled, they had yet felt them-
selves nearer to one another than to their Latin subjects, and they
had been proud of their Teutonic customs, speech, and free ideals.
Now, however, the Nordics of Western Europe, diminished in numbers
and alienated from their eastern kinsmen by constant wars, adopted
the language and culture of their subjects and thus became Latinized.
Such was the germ of the modern French, Spanish, and Italian nationalities.
This, however not only made henceforth impossible the creation of
a great "Pan-Nordic" state and civilization like that foreshadowed
in Charlemagne's Empire, but also hastened the declme of the Nordic
element in Western Europe by breaking down. Nordic race-consciousness,
and thus increasing intermarriage wIth the subject Alpine and Mediterranean
the Nordics of Central Europe retained their language and racial consciousness,
and began to build up a separate political organization which was
the foreshadowing of German nationality. This nucleus of later Germany
was almost purely Nordic in race, but its political frontiers differed
widely from the borders of either the ancient Germania or modern Germany.
The Germania of Roman times had included all of Central Europe north
of the Rhine and the Danube; and had stretched. eastward through what
is now Poland to Western Russia. The fall of Rome, however, had caused
a great change in the situation. The Germanic tribes which had been
piling up for centuries against the Roman frontiers along the Rhine
and Danube burst over Europe like a damned-up flood set free. But
this had left the Germanic homeland half depopulated, and into the
empty territories came new peoples -- the Slavs.
The Slavs were racially of Alpine stock. Their homeland was in Southeastern
Europe, centering about the Carpathian Mountains. The westward migrations
of the Teutonic Nordics gave the Slavs their opportunity, and they
rapidly overran the whole eastern portion of ancient Germany.
Slavs were very different folk from the Nordic Teutons. Almost pure
Alpines in blood, they displayed typical Alpine race-qualities. For
example, their occupation of Eastern Germany was not so much a conquest
as an infiltration. Much less warlike than the Teutons, they entered
Germany, not as large organized tribes but as loose hordes, settling
here and there upon the lands which had been abandoned by the Teutonic
tribes who had migrated into the Roman Empire. What gave the Slavs
success was their vast numbers. There seems to have been comparatively
little fighting between the two races. Like a slowly rising tide,
the Slavs simply engulfed the remnants of the Teutonic inhabitants.
The racial result was, however, none the less decisive, because Eastern
Germany was transformed from a solidly Nordic into an almost solidly
Alpine land. And for a long period this process went steadily on.
In time the Slav tide flowed so far westward that it reached the line
of the river Elbe. In other words, of the ancient Germania, only the
extreme western portion lying between the rivers Elbe and Rhine remained
Nordic in blood. This was the situation when Charlemagne united the
Teutonic Nordics and founded his short-lived empire about the year
800 A. D.
Charlemagne's Empire broke up and the Nordic
elements of Western Europe became Latinized, the remaining Nordics
who had retained their old language and racial consciousness began
(as already remarked) to form a separate state of their own. Although
they retained only that part of their German homeland which lay between
the Rhine and the Elbe, they had become possessed of much former Roman
soil. A broad band of territory west of the Rhine (including not only
Germany's present Rhine provinces but also most of Belgium and much
of Northern France) had been so thoroughly overrun at the fall of
the Roman Empire that the old Latinized population had disappeared,
replaced by the Teutonic invaders. Therefore, the inhabitants of these
regions did not become Latinized like their kinsmen further west,
but kept their Germanic speech and united politically with their eastern
brethren. Such was the political grouping which was the nucleus of
German nationality. Its frontiers were obviously very different from
those of modern Germany; since it included much of what is now France,
Belgium, and Holland, while on the other hand, it did not inc!ude
Germany's present eastern provinces. It is precisely these wide shifts
of frontiers at different periods which have caused so many of Germany's
this nucleus of modern Germany made a good start. Rapidly growing
in power, it turned its attention chiefly eastward toward the lost
homelands. A mighty movement of conquest and colonization began, known
in German history as the Drang nach Osten -- "The March
to the East." Falling upon the barbarous and ill-organized Slav
tribes, the Germans rapidly conquered them and soon brought most of
what is now known as Eastern Ger-
many and Austria under their sway. Politically and culturally, these
conquests were permanent. Racially, however, they were far from complete.
The Slavs submitted to their German conquerors, who settled down as
masters. The racial situation was thus like that in Western Europe
after the fall of Rome. The Teutonic Nordics everywhere formed the
ruling aristocracy. Also, the free peasants and the townsfolk were
mostly Nordic in blood. As for the Slavs, reduced to serfdom, they
adopted the German language and in time came to think of themselves
as "Germans." But change of speech did not change their
blood. Racially they remained what they .had always been -- Alpines.
Thus Eastern Germany became what it still is -- a land of mixed racial
stocks. At first, however, these stocks remained distinct. There was
little intermarriage, the Teutonic Nordics looking down on the Alpine
Slavs as an inferior race. Therefore, although Germany came to include
many Alpine elements within its borders, the German spirit and culture
long remained purely that of the ruIng Nordic stock.
rapidly did this early Germany progress that it presently became the
most powerful state in Europe. Indeed, it soon revived the memory
of Charlemagne's Empire. Invading Italy, then in a condition of turbulent
weakness, the German monarch had himself crowned at Rome, proclaiming
his combined realms "The Holy Roman Empire."
however, was a fatal mistake. The annexation of Italy proved to be
medieval Germany's undoing. Rapidly though Germany had grown, it still
lacked political cohesion. If the early German monarchs had devoted
their energies to that task, Germany might have become a unified nation
which would have been the most powerful state in Europe and the centre
of European civilization. Instead of this, the German rulers wasted
their strength on imperial dreams and costly foreign adventures. Italy,
in particular, was a never-ending drain. Continually rebelling against
German rule, it had to be continually reconquered. In these expeditions
the power of Germany was consumed. Time after time a German monarch
would lead a glittering host across the Alps, fight his way to Rome,
and there be crowned emperor. But to do this he usually had to bankrupt
his treasury, while of the splendid knights and stalwart men-at-arms
who followed his standard the majority would find Italian graves through
battle or disease, comparatively few ever returning to their German
homes. Meanwhile, back in Germany, ambitious nobles would be undermining
the royal authority and building up their local power. As time passed,
Germany fell into disunion and disorder. Instead of growing together,
it fell apart. Outlying regions like Holland and Switzerland gradually
ceased to feel themselves "German," and finally split off
as independent states. The main body of Germany sank into a loose
confederation troubled by endless domestic quarrels. Once more, as
in Charlemagne's day, the Teutonic Nordics had lost their chance of
political power and security.
despite its political shortcomings, mediaeval Germany produced a brilliant
civilization. In numberless noble castles and fine cities, chivalrous
knights and fair ladies, poets, thinkers, artists, and craftsmen combined
to make a society of peculiar variety and charm. Mediaeval
Germany was indeed rich in the fruits of the Nordic spirit. For it
was the Nordic spirit which pulsed through this virile civilization.
Germany was still mainly Nordic in blood, and this blood was mainly
of high quality.
came the darkest time in Germany's history: the Thirty Years' War
(1618 to 1648). This frightful catastrophe dealt Germany a blow from
which she has never recovered. The Thirty Years' War was the climax
of centuries of political disunion envenomed by religious fanaticism.
It quickly developed into a horrible butchery in which the Germans
slaughtered each other wholesale. For thirty long years the flower
of the German race was sacrificed. As the war went on neighboring
nations took a hand in the grim game and fought out their quarrels
on German soil. 'When the war at last ended, Germany was completely
ruined. Her civilization had been trampled into the mud and blood
of her battle-fields while her racial stock was hideously mutilated.
Germany had lost nearly two-thirds of her entire population. In some
regions the loss of life was almost unbelievable: in Wuertemberg,
for example, over nine-tenths of the population had perished, while
the city of Berlin contained but 300 residents. And far more serious
than the loss in numbers was the loss in quality. Perhaps never in
the world's history has so much superior human stock been destroyed
in so short a time. In those thirty years the German stock had been
changed almost beyond recognition. Gone were nearly all those fine
strains which had been Old Germany's strength and glory. This was
particularly true of Germany's "gentle blood." The type
that we call the "gentleman" had been numerous in mediaeval
After the Thirty Years' War it was almost extinct
in Germany, and is still comparatively rare. The tactlessness and
lack of innate courtesy characteristic of modern Germans seems mainly
due to this scarcity of "gentle" blood. When the Thirty
Years' War was over, about all that was left alive in Germany was
a brutalized soldiery and the toughest of the peasantry. It was this
hard, coarse-grained remnant that sired modern Germany. The fact that
so much intelligence and ability should nevertheless have been passed
on to succeeding generations proves the soundness of Old Germany's
a general lowering of quality, the Thirty Years' War produced marked
changes in Germany's racial make¬up. The outstanding fact was
a sweeping replacement of the Nordic by the Alpine element. In this,
as in other wars, the fighting Nordics were the worst sufferers. Also,
the post-war period continued the process of racial displacement.
The Thirty Years' War was followed by a generation of squalid poverty.
In these wretched conditions the Alpines, more stolid and coarser
fibred than the Nordics and with lower living-standards, had a better
chance of survival. The upshot was that when Germany emerged into
better times she was racially much changed. Instead of being predominantly
Nordic, as she had been hitherto, Germany had become mainly Alpine
in blood. And the race-lines which were then laid down were substantially
those which exist to-day. The Nordic elements of Southern and Eastern
Germany had been largely destroyed, the peasantry being practically
pure Alpines, while such Nordic blood as did remain was confined chiefly
to the upper classes. Only in Northern Germany, particularly in the
northwest (where the Slav tide had never penetrated), did the population
remain essentially Nordic in type.
important point which should be noted is that it was during this period
that there took place the extensive racial intermixture which characterizes
modern Germany. Before the Thirty Years' War there seems to have been
comparatively little intermarriage between Germany's racial stocks.
The Alpines were mostly serfs bound to the soil, while the Nordics
of all classes-nobles, burghers, and free peasants alike appear to
have possessed a strong racial consciousness and pride of ancestry.
Society in Old Germany was decidedly aristocratic, and intermarriage
between classes was therefore relatively infrequent. The Thirty Years'
War, however, shattered the old social fabric and greatly mixed the
population. In time, to be sure, society re-formed; largely along
racial lines, the superior intelligence and energy of Nordic blood
rising naturally into the upper and middle social classes. But the
old clearness of race-lines was blurred. Even the upper classes now
contained much Alpine blood, while the general population, especially
in Central Germany, became the mixed stock which it so evidently is
general "Alpinization" of German blood produced corresponding
changes in German ideals and institutions. The spirit of Old Germany
had been a Nordic spirit. Its strong individualism and energetic originality
in thought and action' was like that of other Nordic lands such as
England and the Scandinavian nations.' After the Thirty Years' War,
however, the German spirit became largely
Alpine in character. The mass-nature of German public opinion, its
reliance upon authority, and its submissiveness to strong, masterful
minorities are all typically Alpine traits.
Thirty Years' War is thus the key to a correct understanding of modern
Germany. It is also the key which locks an iron door between modern
Germany and its medieval past. Those two Germanys are profoundly different
in character -- and unfortunately Old Germany was by far the superior.
Modern Germany was born in the Thirty Years' War; its destiny was
irrevocably determined in the fatal year 1618, more than three centuries
ago, when Old Germany committed suicide. Thenceforth Germany's position
in Europe was immensely weakened, while her future in the world at
large was gravely compromised. For two centuries Germany remained
a mere geographical expression, racked by internal disunion and preyed
upon by ambitious neighbors. Not until the year 1871 did Germany attain
political unity and gain a position of power and security comparable
to that which she had enjoyed hundreds of years before.
German Empire founded in 1871 was largely the work of a commanding
personality -- Bismarck. Bismarck is a much misunderstood figure.
Though often denounced as a brutal militarist, Bismarck was in reality
a great statesman with keen vision and a firm grasp on realities.
He knew that Germany needed above all things to consolidate her new-won
unity. Realizing as he did the latent dangers of Germany's position,
with no natural frontiers to east or west to guard against possible
attack from France and Russia, he felt that Germany should be well-
armed but he did not believe that Germany should engage in ambitious
foreign policies. So long as he remained at the helm of the ship of
state, German foreign policy was conservative, aiming chiefly at the
maintenance of the then-existing European political situation.
was forced from power by the young Emperor William II in the year
1890, and it is then that Imperial Germany began its policy of expansion
which culminated in the Great War. However, we must be careful to
understand the facts of the case if we are to get a clear idea of
what actually occurred. The notion that in 1890 Germany deliberately
began plotting the conquest of the world with Kaiser Wilhelm the arch-villain
of the plot (as is still widely believed), is an absurdity of war-hysteria
and propaganda. The truth of the matter is that Kaiser Wilhelm was
a rather flighty personality, well-meaning but torn between romantic
dreams of German greatness and common-sense warnings against the dangers
which an expansive foreign policy might involve. Unfortunately, he
kept the warnings well hidden but voiced his romantic dreams in flamboyant
speeches which inflamed German ambitions and alarmed Germany's neighbors.
public opinion was by this time getting into a mood which needed curbing
rather than spurring. The chief reasons for this state of mind were
intense patriotic exuberance and increasing economic prosperity. The
attainment of political unity after centuries of disunion and weakness,
and the sudden rise to a leading position in Europe, made Germans
glow with pride and exultation. Patriotic optimism stressed the bright
spots in Germany's past. The glories of Old Germany were acclaimed,
darker days were forgotten. All this was natural
and might not have been harmful if Germany's leaders had kept their
feet on the ground. Unhappily, Germany's rapid rise to power and prosperity
swept most of Germany's spokesmen into the prevailing tide of boundless
optimism. Germany's economic development, in particular, was truly
extraordinary. In the forty-three years which elapsed between the
founding of the German Empire and the outbreak of the Great War, Germany
underwent a prodigious economic transformation, changing from a mainly
agricultural country to one of the leading industrial nations of the
world. This implied a vast increase in wealth and in population. In
1870 there were about 40,000,000 Germans; in 1914 there were nearly
this, in turn, produced a natural trend toward an expansive foreign
policy. Germany, having become a "Great Power," aspired
to a "place in the sun" proportionate to her new greatness.
Unluckily for herself, Germany found her path blocked by grave difficulties.
The hard fact was that Germany had come late into the game of empire.
While she had lain disunited and impotent, other peoples had molded
the course of world-history. Europe had crystallized into nations
just as patriotically self-conscious as Germany herself, and some
of these nations had staked out most of the desirable spots in other
parts of the world as colonial domains which they were determined
to retain. Germany was thus faced by a firmly established world-situation,
and it should have been clear to her that any attempt to alter this
general situation would inevitably alarm all the "satisfied"
draw them together in mutual sympathy against the
then, Germany was resolved to undertake an expensive foreign policy,
her best course would have been to limit her ambitions to certain
definite aims, concentrate on these, and try to avoid rousing the
fears of all not directly concerned. Germany's obvious line of expansion
was through Central Europe and the Balkans to the Near East. Here
she could count on a powerful ally -- Austria, a country controlled
by kindred German elements. Such a policy would, of course, imply
the possibility of war with Russia, backed by France, who had never
forgotten her defeat by Germany in 1870 and who had allied herself
with Russia to obtain protection and possible revenge. However, in
such a war Germany might hope to be victorious, provided France and
Russia were not joined by England. And, though England would of course
not relish a German domination of Central Europe, she might stay neutral
if Germany did not threaten her more vital interests -- particularly
her command of the sea. To placate England should, therefore, have
been Germany's constant endeavor. Instead, Germany launched into an
aggressive naval and colonial policy which alarmed England and drove
her into the arms of France and Russia. Europe became an arena of
rival ambitions and clashing foreign policies which culminated in
the Great War -- and Germany's undoing. Handicapped from the start
by too many foes, Germany made fresh enemies by her desperate war-measures',
and finally went down in defeat and ruin. Weltmacht oder Niedergang
-- "World-Power or Downfall!" had been Germany's furious
she dashed herself upon her enemies' iron ring. And the answer was:
grim tragedy is too vast for petty causes. To lay Germany's blunders
solely at the door of a handful of reckless militarists headed by
the Kaiser (as is so often done) is nothing short of an absurdity.
Germany's foreign policy could never have been carried on unless it
had been approved or acquiesced in by the bulk of German public opinion.
And pre-war Germany's state of mind dIsplayed a fanatical pride and
self-confidence which had lost all sense of reality and proportion.
Believing themselves to be far and away the greatest people on earth,
the Germans had come to think that almost anything lay within their
power of accomplishment. They were thus in a mood to take big risks.
mood was induced, not merely by their present power and prosperity,
but perhaps even more by a misreading of history and a perversion
of racial truth. Gazing backward into the past, the Germans saw visions
of that Old Germany which had been the leader of Europe and soon came
to identify the "Holy Roman" with the modern German Empire.
They did not stop to consider how times had changed; how other nations
had developed, and how they themselves might differ from the Germans
of former days. Here is where a genuine understanding of racial realities
might have helped to clear their eyes, for it was during the closing
years of the nineteenth century that knowledge of racial matters became
definite and the importance of biology -- the science of race -- began
to be appreciated.
this new science was, in Germany, quickly
perverted into a weapon of jingo propaganda. A powerful
group of national-imperialists, headed by popular writers like Houston
Stewart Chamberlain, seized upon biology and prostituted it to their
own ends. The Pan-Germans asserted that modern Germany is the seat
of the tall, blond race which has been the moving spirit of Western
civilization; that this modern Germany is racially almost purely Nordic;
and that Nordics outside the German nationalistic group are either
unconscious or renegade Teutons who should be brought into the German
fold. To anyone who has good eyesight and a fair sense of humor, let
alone any knowledge of history and racial realities, a single glance
at the average modern German is enough to show the absurdity of these
assertions. Humor has, however, never been an Alpine characteristic,
so the Germans swallowed this propaganda wholesale, and came to think
of themselves more and more as a Herrenvolk -- a "Master-Race."
truth is, of course, that the Pan-Germans were thinking in terms of
national-imperialism instead of race, and that they were using pseudo-racial
arguments as camouflage for essentially political ends. Instead of
being almost purely Nordic, modern Germany is predominantly Alpine
in race. Probably not more than two-fifths of all the blood in Germany
is Nordic, while unmixed Nordic blood is limited to the extreme north
and northwestern parts of the country. It has been estimated that
of the 70,000,000 inhabitants of the German Empire in the year 1914,
only 9,000,000 were purely Nordic in type.
one of the chief results of the late war has been a still further
diminution of Germany's Nordic blood.
The past decade has witnessed a drain on German vitality second only
to that suffered in the Thirty Years' War. During the four war-years
over 2,000,000 German soldiers were killed, ,arid at least 1,000,000
civilians died from war-time causes-especially starvation. Also, the
great drop in the birth-rate during the war-period prevented fully
3,500,000 Germans from being born. Statistics for the post-war period
indicate further heavy vital losses. The birth-rate though recovering
is lower than before the war, the death-rate (particularly the infant
death-rate) is higher, while disease is much more common. And all
signs point to the fact that it is the Nordic portion of Germany's
population that is suffering the heaviest losses. The late war like
other wars took a disproportionate toll of Nordic life, while post-war
economic and social conditions are less favorable to the Nordic than
to the Alpine elements. The social classes hardest hit by the present
deplorable financial situation are precisely those that contain the
most Nordic blood. Everywhere it is upper and middle classes (particularly
the professional and intellectual classes) who are ruined, half-starved,
and unable to raise families. On the other hand, the racially mixed
working classes of the cities and towns are generally speaking in
less dire straits, while the mainly Alpine peasantry is relatively
prosperous, well-fed, and raising plenty of children.
fact, the same process is going on in Germany to-day that went on
during and after the Thirty Years' War: a decline of the Nordic as
compared to the Alpine stock, and an elimination of the more intellectual
and cultured elements of both races in favor of those with tougher
fibre and lower living standards, able to survive
under hard and squalid conditions of life. These changes in the character
of Germany's population are of far greater and more lasting significance
than financial matters like the mark and reparations which engross
most of the world's attention. I well remember a rather grim chat
with a German industrialist when I was in Germany last year. We were
discussing Germany's economic and social troubles. "You know,"
said he, "I'm fundamentally an optimist. - Things look pretty
black, but in the long run they'll come better, because our people
can stand anything. We Germans can take a lot of punishment; we're
just too tough. to kill. A process of ruthless selection is now going
on -- a brutal struggle in which the fittest to the new conditions
will survive. There may be less `culture,' but there'll be more `guts.'
The French are making a big miscalculation. They hope to break us;
instead, they're getting us in trim. If they want to make us Germans
a supremely tough people, they're going about it in just the right
way." He was a large, thick-set man, with big teeth and a "hard-boiled"
laugh. As I watched him, I thought that he was a very good type of
the New Germany that he had in mind.
may be the final outcome, Germany's immediate prospects are troubled
and uncertain. The Versailles Treaty imposed upon Germany conditions
more drastic than any before laid upon a beaten nation in modern times.
By the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Germany lost outright fully
one-tenth of her pre-war area and population -- a loss of over 27,000
square miles of territory and more than 7,000,000 people. This involved
the loss of much of her mineral wealth, especially
iron and coal -- the sinews of industrial life. Besides, Germany lost
all her colonies and many other things like shipping and wealth invested
abroad. She was also assessed a tremendous war-indemnity. Lastly,
she had to submit to a prolonged military occupation of much of her
remaining territory by her late enemies and to general measures of
supervision and control which restrict her sovereignty. In fact, Germany
cannot to-day be considered an independent nation. This situation
all Germans bitterly resent. Disarmed as they now are and surrounded
by well-armed and watchful neighbors, few Germans believe that defiance
of the Versailles settlement is now possible. Nevertheless, they consider
the present situation intolerable, and they are determined sooner
or later to recover full independence and a revision of the Versailles
settlement in one way or another.
determination will probably survive even fresh misfortunes. Whatever
their shortcomings, the Germans are not decadent. On the contrary,
they are an unusually tough combination of Alpine and Nordic stocks
both racial elements having been rigorously selected by long periods
of ill-fortune. Present-day Germany may lack much of the high-spirited
individuality and initiative that old-time Nordic Germany displayed,
but in return she has the Alpine's dogged tenacity and willingness
to obey the commands of masterful ruling minorities. That was the
secret of. Imperial Germany's disciplined power before and during
the late war. The chances are that a similar regime in Germany will