Germany in the State of War – Part 4 of 7

The moment Germany is out of breath, it is left at the mercy of the enemy, writhing under the Diktat of the conquerors, near annihilation, it is also rocked from the good dream of “peace, liberty, and bread.” While we have imprinted on us stigmata of subjugation, it boasted of its unlimited liberty and of the “most liberal constitution in the world.” It exercised itself in the art of illusions, a contemptible attitude, which cost the German the last remains of their dignity. It thus became the laughingstock of the entire world. Later, it inflicted on itself the same shame, when, represented by Stresemann, it sat, as a “great power”, at the table of the League of Nations. It did not realize that it entertained, o how much, its guests, when it took its place there with the gestures of a “great lord.”

Exhausted, Germany collapsed in 1918. Despite its enormous efforts, it had lost the war; then it wanted to rest and have an easier life. Despite the circumstance incomparably more favorable, its entry into the war was lost; what’s the point, when the arms were broken and cut for scrap? For the profound meaning and the essential particularity of its being, that is to say its militarist mentality, it no longer had a place there in the world of Versailles. We then renounced the idea of reversing this world and making an attempt to overthrow in order to act from this inner traits of its character. It was necessary to eliminate these fundamental facts, linked even to its existence. Otherwise, we wanted to live like before, without, for all that, remaining what we had been. But because we were always rooted in the German soil, at the center of Europe, the state of war, with its hard and ruthless requirements, remained strongly present. By desperately trying to ignore these requirements, we could not make them disappear. The facts were there, continuing to produce their effect, even if we excluded them from view. It’s useless to veil one’s face, because we cannot escape their constraints. It was impossible to get around this reality where we had run aground. When, busy and brimming with energy, we tried to construct a new, softer, reality, it was immediately revealed itself as a trick and collapsed under the violence of the omnipresent facts that were always there.

Since 1918, the German people flee these facts by which their existence is linked by the force of destiny. It wants to escape them, because it trembles before their implacable logic. They no longer feel up to the situation and can not simply face it. It runs from one hiding spot to another. In each sheet of fog, it searches to protect itself against the ineluctable necessity of things. In each will of the wisp, it sees the promise of an exit from the inexorability of its destiny.


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