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BRITAIN AND THE GERMAN PEOPLE .. 376 PARTNERS IN P L U N D E R ............................. 377

From Our Central European Correspondent IN FRANCE AND GERMANY


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KEEPING RIGHT O U T ............................. 379 THE CHURCH ABROAD ............................. 381



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BOOKS OF THE WEEK ............................. 384 BISHOP DEY’S PASTORAL .386 TALKING AT RANDOM ............................. 389



C H E S S ............................................................... 392 CONTINENTAL STATIONS .392 REQUIESCANT....................................................393 LITURGICA AND CALENDAR . 394

BRITAIN AND THE I T is the tragedy of Europe that the mass of men everywhere have never more keenly desired the blessings of peace, been more conscious of what war means, more aware how difficult it is to turn the sacrifices of war to good account in the making of peace. By comparison with today, the peoples in 1914 had the rosiest illusions that war could be brief and glorious, and peace final and deep. Yet in Britain and France today the unanimous acceptance of the war is more complete than twenty-five years ago. Indeed, Romain Rolland, the French writer, who was a pacifist then, but not now, is typical of the general position, that in so far as men have cherished pacific ideals are they clear that those ideals can only hope to revive in a world in which Herr Hitler wields no power.

We bear no ill-will to Germany, we have no concern with the form of the German State, no desire to interfere with the Germans calling themselves NationalSocialists or anything else. But as long as they are the servants of a man who has made himself into a menace to all Europe, we are compelled to mass our strength against theirs, and to be at war with them until other leaders take the helm from the violent and treacherous hands which hold it today. Whether we shall see a “ palace revolution,” of the kind which has so often, in antiquity and later history, been the end of tyrants when their ambitions have threatened to destroy their own country as well as others, or whether we shall see a more generalized movement of political revolt, we are convinced that things will change in Germany before they change in the countries ranged on the other side. Our policy has come to this path after trying every other. There is no substance whatever in the charge that Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Halifax, when they denounced the regime in Germany, are in truth merely alarmed at the rapid accretion of German strength. In a world in which we accept the presence of many other first-class Powers we have not felt these seventy years any reluctance to admit Germany among them. Indeed, one can go further and say that a strong Germany was always considered in Britain as an element of order and balance in the equilibrium of Europe. The readers of Lord D ’Abernon’s diary, as ambassador in the first post-war years in Berlin, can follow there how rapidly Great Britain returned, after winning the victory, to the idea that Germany must be built up again. The French had their criticisms then of the wisdom of this policy, which greatly strained, though it happily never ruptured, the intimate relations of Britain and France. But the

GERMAN PEOPLE record is there, and no German who thinks about it will believe Herr Hitler when he casts Great Britain for the role of the jealous enemy of Germany, and tells the French that they are being engaged in a quarrel not their own. What Herr Hitler has done in the last two years is to convince England of the French thesis, not France of the English. What we are concerned with is not the strength of countries, but the use which they make of that strength. It is here that Herr Hitler has himself closed the door to an understanding with him. It is his conduct since Munich, and nothing but his conduct, which causes so fervent a lover of peace as Mr. Chamberlain only to ask to see the day when Herr Hitler reigns no more before saying his “ Nunc Dimittis.” The position has been reached when no one believes that there could be any alternative to war that would not be an uneasy and precarious armistice, a pause while Herr Hitler repaired the weak spots in Germany’s war position, and Herr von Ribbentrop sought to make changes in the diplomatic alignments, and other Germans sought to exploit the internal position in France and Britain, in the hope of preventing a recurrence of their extraordinary solidarity today.

Europe, in short, is brought face to face with the truth, that a certain minimum of international morality is essential for the maintenance of any kind of peace. The Nazis, who boast of being a young movement, completely occupied in improving upon the past, have ignored the lessons of history, or they might have learned that there had been many kings who were stronger than their neighbours, but who refrained from conquering them from no higher motive than prudence, and a recognition that there is a retribution which overtakes faithless violence.

Herr Hitler personifies a German view by which morality does not command the Germans, but is the servant of the interests of the “ Volk.” According to that reckoning, Czechs and Poles, to take the two first victims of the doctrine, have no rights ; the only question is, how they can be made useful to the Germans. It is a return to the doctrines of slavery, and the Germans must disavow it if they are not to forfeit their heritage as part of Europe. We know that those doctrines are repugnant to that very large minority of the German people, which accepts, as Catholic or Protestants, the Christian doctrine, but all Germans must recognize that the sort of arguments which they hear from their leaders, the demand that their numbers and strength and preeminent gifts shall entitle them to expect sacrifices 376