What Really Happened at Paris: The Story of the Peace Conference, 1918-1919

By Edward Mandell House; Charles Seymour | Go to book overview

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THE TRIAL OF THE KAISER

BY JAMES BROWN SCOTT

"A treaty of peace is, therefore, an agreement to waive all discussion concerning the respective rights of the parties, and to bury in oblivion all the original causes of the war."--( Lord Stowell in The Eliza Ann, 1 "Dodson's Reports," 244, 249, decided in 1813.)

I do not hold a brief for the kaiser. I have never met him. Indeed, I have never seen him, except from a distance--a very respectful distance, be it said. I have been familiar with his name for many years, but I am reasonably sure that he has never heard mine. I do not hold a brief for any persons in the civil or military employ of the former German Empire who have been accused of committing, or of failing to prevent, crimes against our common humanity, or against the laws and customs of war, whom some of the Allied and Associated Powers made up their minds to hale before a court of justice. I believe that I have not met any of these civilians, although I may inadvertently have seen some of them from time to time, driving hither and thither in their own country, or at some receptions which I was privileged to attend. I do not know, personally, any of the military commanders, although it is possible that as a young man in Germany, and on later visits, my mother, my sisters, and I, may have been brushed aside by them--pushed off the sidewalk into the street, with the horses and dogs and other beasts of burden.

-231-

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