Germany, a Short History

Germany, a Short History

Germany, a Short History

Germany, a Short History

Excerpt

Twice in thirty years Germany has been the stubborn and implacable foe of the United States. Its invading armies, under Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler, have fought in Mediterranean desert sand as well as in the snows of the Ukraine. These cruel epics of war and rapine give a somber significance to the history of the German people. On the other hand, this people has added very much to the store of human values. America in particular owes the immigrant from Germany a debt which a book the size of this one would not suffice to describe. Jefferson alluded to the matter in his time, often and gratefully. In our day, leaders of the armed forces include such illustrious soldiers as Eisenhower and Nimitz, Spaatz and Krueger. But the arts of peace are no less well served by men and women of German ancestry.

Is it possible to understand a nation that seems to produce good and evil with comparable prodigality--that has, indeed, latterly suggested the myth of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde? The authors of the present book have endeavored to reply to this question by setting forth the essential facts. One of them is an exile from Germany. The other is an American who wrote one of the first eye-witness accounts of nazism, and who subsequently devoted the greater part of his time and energy to warning Americans of the threat that menaced them, together with all other free peoples, from Berchtesgaden. Nevertheless they both hold that the art of writing history is a stern challenge to the conscience. Only the truth scrupulously sought after and scrupulously reported will serve any purpose. And . . .

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