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M^^immMm^mmd^^-:^.. ■ 'A.
to the People of the
Pastor i. R.
Putbus / Riigen (Germany)
Printed by Bernard & Graefe
to the People of the
Pastor i. R,
Putbus / RlSgerTi (Germany)
Printed by Bernard & Graefe
(Germany), February 1929.
The Experts of the Powers have met in conference to
establish uninterrupted peace between the former Entente and
Germany and to decide upon the future of the German people.
Anxiously and hopefully, the Qennan people will wait
during the next few weeks as upon the resolutions of the
conference does the future evolution of Germany depend. It
is generally taken that the decisions will be greatly influenced
by America and the conviction reigns that a possible and
permanent order of relations can be introduced only by
The problem is at present a purely financial one. The
other powers cannot solve it because they are dependent on
America and would be even more dependent if Germany did
not pay them.
America is rich as it never before was. It is in a position
therefore to put the complicated situation in Europe, nay of
the whole world, again on a supportable basis. It is only
necessary to put Germany again in- a free and independent
position as before, in order to enable her to establish a
moderating, balancing infhience on her neighbours in Europe
and the whole world. Americans were never threatened, never
suffered from the German side. Its present condition is also
such that no fears need be entertained from Germany,
Germany can only be helped if she is put on a financial
condition which enables her to free herself from financial
burdens, reacquiring her political and financial independence.
There are no two opinions on this point. And also on
the fact that help can come only from America,
llie question however is: What can America do to sacri-
lice something for the stabilisation of relations in Europe —
even if it is only a small sacrifice, that of a financial nature?
iii America bound to take active part in the coming of changes
and new order? Is America justified to speak and do some-
thing special for Germany?
I'he answers to these questions may be given in the form
of the following questions : —
Is it true that in the Treaty of Versailles the Armistice
agreement of November 5 th, 1918, is not mentioned and is
left specially unconsidered? The Armistice and the 14 points
of President Wilson have moved the German people and that
alone has made possible what the Versailles Treaty of Peace
has brought — for without that nothing could have taken place.
It changed the state-form, it gave up resistance and as a
consequence the army nuirched home from its defensive posi-
tions, laid down its arms and divested itself of warlike inten-
tions — all due to faith in the promises of President Wilson
for a peace acceptable and agreeable, for which all nations
longed. It was a promise of peace whose fulfilment was bound
up indissolubly with honor of the American President and the
There was no limit to the trust placed in the hopes of
Wilson's peace intentions and in the wise decisions which he,
as arbitrator of the world, should make. What has come out
of it? All binding agreements were broken; the horrified and
defenceless German people were dictated the peace treaty.
Never was a people's trustfulness so disdainfully betrayed.
The history of past millenniums does not show such an
instance where a treaty was signed without amendment; there
was no fear of the former enemy taking up arms and there-
fore it was denied and turned into the opposite to the damage
and slavery of a 60 miUion nation.
The instrument of peace dictated in Versailles is juridi-
cally null and void. About what it is morally and humanly,
everyone has his own opinion. It is the biggest hoax known
in history. That it was at all possible to enforce is due to the
fact that the fundamentaliy moral English and American
peoples were dinned into ears again and again with the
monstrous propaganda that Germany was specially respon-
sible for war, a statement that is long since recognised in these
two countries as a lie.
Is it true that when President Wilson entered upon his
voyage on December 4 th on board '*George Washington" he
telegraphed to his country as follows: —
"The President goes to Europe to represent the ideals of
Americans and to struggle for his 14 points/'
What has come out of the weakness shown by the
President Wilson as the offical representative of the American
Is it true that other members of the American Peace
Delegation in Paris held obstinately to the validity of the
Armistice Treaty till the end? For example, the American
Judge John Foster Dolles declared even on February 19 th,
1919: "We have before us no unwritten paper upon which we
can scrawl what we want. The paper before us has the signa-
tures of Wilson, Orlando, Clemenceau and Lloyd George in
black and white" (retranslated).
Is it true that the names of these best known representa-
tives of the Entente have subscribed their agreement in the
Allies' note with the conditions of peace — conclusions
demanded by Wilson? That in the answer to Germany's 4th
note of 23 October, Secretary of State Lansing informed the
German Government under 5 th November that America and
her allies have agreed to accept the well-known conditions of
Peace demanded by Wilson, of which the only burdens to be
placed upon German people were to be the repair of damages
caused on land, water, and air?
That is all true, and therefore it is understandable that
when they simply set aside all these in Versailles a man so
well known and belonging to the Anglo-Saxon race as Prof.
Keynes described the action of the Allies as "dishonourable, a
very deep-going dishonesty, a manner of action upon which
none can think without a sense of shame" (retranslated).
Even Wilson upon his return to U.S.A. considered it
necessary to keep up appearances and sent to the rest of the
American delegation in Paris which was indignant at this turn
the following dispatch: Withdraw, if necessary completely
break with the procedure which is incompatible with what we,
in full conscience, offered to the enemy which we, in all honor,
cannot any more change.
It h Willi kiiou'ii, that this withdrawal took the fonri that
Aiiii^rUii rdiinril lo ratify the Peace Treaty of Versailtes.
I'liiihi-iilh lliis non-ratification of the great instrument
or dtM'i'Mllon iorircd in Versailles had so Ottle effect, that
thrri^hv ni»i A Ihllc of the horrible burdens imposed upon any
(if th«- dt^hMtcd c<mtitries has been remitted.
\U. k'ilitT of (iratz is right when he writes: None can
ill II V tlu; cU'ar fact in history that the American Union is
iiKihillv rcs|>onsihlc and remains, for the execution of the
ArnilHticc of 5 Ih November 1918 which it transmitted to both
rut t tics as tlieir 'IVustee and by their signatures recognised as
Wi; may be excused if we bring all these facts clearly to
the notice of American people without fhnching. Clearness is
11 n iniiuirative necessity. America must know what the world
thinks alioni her action. Great things are in the balance, not
onfv tnj Its hnl also for America,
VVIiiii lias been done in Versailles remains indelibly in
his((nv, Un centuries, for milienniums. There is yet time to
v\mi Infliiencc on it, as to whether it should be left to posterity
tts a nia(k of shame for the present and for the future or
wlu'lhcr to be rcjiretted as an aberration caused by excitement
and passidn of tlie poison let loose by war but which should
Uv coriTctcd and repaired in the wake of peace and reflec-
tlon tollowinjt it.
I'Hi us in Germany, it is a question whether through
hriutili ol trust and through treachery, wx should be given
ov»ir f(»r icetierations to dependence and to slavery or whether
In faithbilncss and behef, truth and iustice before all the world
tin- hihiliiicHi of promises given in full public will be made
tttioil. VVdrtln^r the Anjerican people wilt get back its honor
and \\r nur freedom, is in the balance.
Ihr riiHiionsibilJty for both these lies with the American
|i»ii|i|(' ulnttr :ind singly.
Atni^rii .1(1 people are at bottom honorable, moral, reli-
lllmih, aitd Heiisitive in point of honesty. We appeal to all
Hif'tii* ht^thicls, We do not doubt that, if the Americans are
fiittde Hitfrhlentlv clear about the real condition of things, so
ilhii Ih. \ will Ite iMiule Uv think independently, they will come
to the view that it is their duty to rectify the error into
justice by enforcing the promises made at that time.
Well and good, we appeal to all that is good and noble
in the core of Americans. May they respond to our desperate
appeal. The matter is in American hands.
All that has been said here is nothing but truth. Hence
we say: You Americans, being again on friendly footing with
xxii __. give us our rights! Give us what has been promised!
Let us have peace without vindictiveness, without punishment,
as we hoped for and deserved from you. We only want what
you through President Wilson have solemnly promised, sub-
scribed to and recognised in the Armistice agreement. By
doing so, you will dispel the darkness spread over the eyes of
men before right and virtue, and the light of truth, good and
noble in mankind will triumph in men's eyes. You can achieve
all this by exalted action in the consciousness of self-
knowledge, of regret and a new" resolution and you will
thereby introduce the necessary ideal, you who strive for the
rehabilitation of Man and the world -- ideals which have been
trampled upon before the altar of Civilisation and Humanity
as in confused giddiness in the savage days.
Such is the appeal of the Germans to Americans.
To the last point a word more. It has been discussed
even In the German Press that Americans,, with whose politics
Germans were in agreement, had declared that we Germans
were mistaken if we thought that none in America is any
longer convinced of German guilt for the war.
In Germany, the conviction is certainly supreme, the
world has disillusioned itself of the belief in the German origin
of the war which has been propagated with the help of iies.
That is true of Europe -~ not only among the intellectuals. If
the contrary is found, it is hypocritical untruth, spread by
professional or business interests. If it were otherwise in
America, it should surprise us.
It must be admitted that the discussion of the origin of
the war, the negation of the war guilt by the official, gover-
mental side in Germany with diplomatic caution, an academic
fhght and a generalisation and indifference can set people
wondering, it has created in Germany also much surprise,
vexation and contradiction.
It t';nm(>i bv unknown in U.S.A. that private, patriotic
circles ill (icnnany liave done more to elucidate the war guilt
giH'stioii and still do, so that not more can be done nor is
jiccussjiry. These circles are ready tosuppb^ the American
petjple with ail material at their disposal.
It can be proved that 99% of the German population in
I'>14 had no idea of the nearness and magnitude of the war
danjjer, and therefore could not have prepared for the war
ft can also be proved that the official quarters in the
<jovernment w^ho, of course, knew something but not much
(jf the threatening danger of w^ar realised in darkest mood
and expectation, in part, the end of the war hopelessly, and
the supremacy of the overpowering, gigantic opponents.
Naturally they did every preparation for the defence of the
country, but they were never intended for active, aggressive
and conquering purposes. Always campaign against compaign;
to repel, to defend and to save the threatening and intended
downfall. Unfortunately, German diplomats made the mistake
of having put to their account the responsibility for the
(mtbreak of war.
It can further be proved that on the opposite side, there
was absolute certainty of winning the war — for the Entente,
depending only on the Russian hords to overrun Germany,
never for a moment doubted victory. It can also be proved
that years before the war, there were closed complete agree-
ments among the Entente and they provided definite details for
the division of Germany after it should be conquered, and the
members of the Entente fixed details how the German colo-
nies should be divided.
'['here are so much materials to prove all that, should the
American people go through them as impartial judges, they
utnikl surely acquit Germans of all responsibility for the War
ail hough Germany is pretendend to be first in responsibility.
'Hie re is no want of proofs but of the knowledge of them,
Wc shall place them at the disposal of the American public.
If it will go through them, the monstrosity, that is alleged
about I he Germans' sole responsibility lor the war and there-
loic must bear the penalty for the crime which it never did,
M ill disappear finally.
Then, the peoples of the world will no longer look down
upon the Germans as morally low, they will see the iniustice
of their views as evidenced by their judgment and then alone
they will lay the foundations for a real international peace and
goodwill Then alone there will be real peace and harmony.
It will then be possible to create a real world and^ manhood
which is moral, true and honest, against this hotlowness and
appearance in which we are vegetating in the world.
America and American people alone can materialise it.
Americans' must introduce it. They are morally bound to do
so owing to their responsibility in the Armistice.
To bring this matter to the heart of the whole American
people is the aim of this letter. Every proof necessary as
basis for the required change of heart and mind is at its
And now, what can America do to bring pleace, rest and
order in Europe and the world? What must it do to return to
Germany and the world the trust in American honor and
On this question also, much, very nmch has been written
in Germany ^vhich is useful.
It may be permitted to recapitulate the most salient,
leading to quick decision and practical results.
We purposely avoid here what may chiefly lead to extended
discussion, such as the annexation of territories forcibly
effected. On this question, Point 13 of Wilson's 14 demands
the linguistically mixed territories of Posen and West Prussia
if accorded the referendum and choice would certainly come
back to us. In that case, Poland will probably be forced to
seek its entrance to the sea on Lithuanian territory. It is
how^ever advisable to wait for the discussion of this question
till the Americans are prepared to return to general views upon
which alone the damages unjustly done in point of annexation
of territory can be repaired with other injustices.
In Alsace-Lorraine alone the possibility of Referendum is
still there. The right to it pronounced in the Peace Treaty has
been suppressed with violence. It can be still restored.
Locarno Treaty does not change the conditions, Germany has
given up rights over Alsace-Lorraine. But the Alsace-Lorraine
peciple have not «iven up Iheir rights to Referendum as to
uliether they should join GeTmany or become autonomous.
Similarly the case of South Tirol, Sudetic Germany and
the annexed territory of Hungary is clear. By virtue of the
Peace Treaty, these people have a right to referendum to
decide whether they will recognise the newly imposed
authority. The referendum wiJl decide the legality of their
subjection and allegiance. Perhaps these territories will appeal
one day to the League of Nations with their demands.
However important it is to American people to know that
the present territorial arrangements have nothing in common
with justice but are enforced by violence only, we shall leave
these questions aside today. Time Is pressing. The conference
is sitting. Its specified object is to settle the Reparation
question, and it is there that America can help us quickly,
fundamentally and for all time. How? Through financial
accomodation, be it through decree, be it as a present, a
material gift by which America will clear off its moral obli-
The matter is thus: The Entente countries arc of opinion
that should America show friendship to Germany, it is also
bound to cancel their debts to America. In America the people
are opposed to this because the former Associates of America,.
will use that sum for armaments against America herself. It is
a fact that Germany pays yearly more to the Entente than
these pay America.
The way to show friendship to Germany without helping
the Entente to increase their armaments against America
would be, America takes upon herself the pajmients made now
by Germany to the Entente countries. Further, the limit of
(lerman payment be set upon a reasonable basis of German
capacities. What excess has to be paid by Germany to
America over the debts of these countries to America, probably
some to France and Belgium, will be lent by America to
Germany, so that Germany will free itself of its responsibilities
at once. When Germany thus becomes the sole debtor to
America. America can strike off these loans. Germany remains
debtor to America, only for the cash lent her to pay off her
obligations to France and Belgium only.
Thus atone the problem can be solved, not in any otiier
way. Every other resolution is dangerous to Germany and
is against American interests, e. g, H Germany undertook to
pay the war debt via Entente countries. Only when (jermany
establishes direct footing with America, can Germans be
really freed, not if Entente remains debtor to U,S.A. and
Germany pays them.
The Entente is not interested in loosening their grip over
Germany. On the cotUrary. They will find ways and means
to avoid the American proposal: Free German3'' ffom pay-
ments and then we shall present you your payments.
In such a case, either Americans who do not want to nor
dare help theEntente to increase armaments against themselves,
or Germany will have gained any advantage.
America must take the whole matter in her hands, arrange
payments directly between her and Oennany and then leave
Thus must America decide, decree; she has the power
to do so. She must also be willing. The money which she
will sacrifice is saved by the reduced armaments that will
A sum within German possibilities for payment must be
calculated moderately, and nothing should be laid in the way
of developing Germany to freedom and independence. It is
understood that after this determination of financial demands,
occupation, checks etc. should be abolished giving us back
our sovereignty and independence. America must solemnly
bind itself, when we undertake the debts upon ourselves, to
leave us free to ourselves. Our promise to pay is legally
binding only upon this condition.
Surely, it is somewhat very much which we appeal to
America for. Perhaps no such demands were ever made by
one people to another. Yet it is not so great in our estimation
as that demanded before and made in the name of the Ver-
sailles treaty. What is the question now? It is about a sum
of money which cannot be great lor a rich country that
.America is, but whose sacrifice will make a great impression
upon the world, giving extraordinary impetus to the future
of the world. America stands at the parting of ways, It
carries the responsibility alone ior the future of her own and
If America fulfilled our wishes, then Versailles wiii go
down to the bottom and will be forgotten in oblivion. Good-
will and peace will cover up the past as was expected, at that
time, of America, the protector of justice, the arbiter of the
world for the healing of Mankind and for the blessing of
Humanit3^ If America does not satisfy our desires, we must
then point as warning to the eternal truth of the words: —
History of the world is the court of the world.
P. Schultze, Pastor, Putbus on Riigen.
iri<? fv^fltuv Mi^