IS GERMANY INCORRIGIBLE?
MUCH ink has been spilled over the question whether the German people--as distinguished from its Government--is responsible for this war. Some writers attach blame to the Emperor alone, to the Crown Prince, to a few military chiefs and Hotspur professors; others accuse the clamorous sect of Pan-Germans; still others widen the charge to include the whole aristocratic brood of Junker landlords and the big, upstart industrialists of the Rhine, with their pliant accomplices in the banks, government offices and newspapers of Berlin. Finally the German people as a whole--the sixty-seven millions of it--is indicted. By sins of commission and omission, by truculence, moral insensibility or sheer lamblike obedience, the whole German population--officials, wage-earners, artists, musicians; the quaint toy- makers of Nürnberg, the half-fed mill-girls of Chemnitz; hotel-keepers, pawnbrokers, insurance agents, hucksters, peasants, philanthropists, prostitutes and poets, all of the vast German people in its complete integrity has, it is claimed, brought upon itself this sin. It has at least a secondary guilt as an accomplice after the fact.
Our official theory absolves the German people.