Heading for the Abyss: Reminiscences

Heading for the Abyss: Reminiscences

Heading for the Abyss: Reminiscences

Heading for the Abyss: Reminiscences

Excerpt

And Kung said: ' Wang ruled with moderation;
In his day the State was well kept
And even I can remember
A day when the historians left blanks in their writings,
I mean for the things they did not know;
But that time seems to be passing.'
And Kung said, ' Without character you will be unable
to play on that instrument
Or to execute the music fit for the Odes.'
'The blossoms of the apricot blow from the east to the
west;
I have tried to keep them from falling.'
(From EZRA POUND'S Thirteenth Canto.)

THE German edition of Prince Lichnowsky's work was published at Leipzig in November 1927, under the title Auf dem Wege zum Abgrund. Repeating as it did the strictures written by its author years before on the methods and policy of the military bureaucracy, the book aroused a storm of bitterly hostile criticism throughout the length and breadth of Germany. In the Könische Zeitung (11th Dec., 1927) and in the Aychiv für Politik und Geschichte (Heft 1, 1928) Prince Lichnowsky was denounced by Dr. Thimme, and elsewhere by other official protagonists of the old regime, as the ' Ambassador who had during the war turned King's evidence against his own country.' In order to give the book the coup de grâce, Dr. Thimme even had the hardihood to hint that Lichnowsky had himself had a hand in the publication in Switzerland in January 1918 of the notorious document known as My Mission to London (here given on page 48 et seqq.), a document which had been immediately picked up by the Entente and had become in their hands a flaming sword of propaganda. This cruel charge, published without a tittle of evidence in its favour, went uncontradicted in the German Press till Emil Ludwig, just back from America, wrote to the Swiss historian and publicist, Prof. Otto Nippold (who had edited the pamphlet in question) and obtained from him a positive declaration that Dr. Thimme's insinuation was baseless (cf. Vossische Zeitung, 28th March, 1928).

Whatever be the merits and demerits of the present work as a criticism of German policy, one cannot help hoping that the better soul of Germany will someday come to perceive that the author, whether he had been used as a decoy duck or not by those who despatched him to England on such an important mission, had . . .

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