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became convinced that the air-service business of killing a fellow aviator who is forming its traditions and developing has just learned it, too? This was a a new type of mind. It even has an question which we sometimes put to odor, as peculiar to itself as the smell of ourselves in purely Arcadian moments. the sea to a ship. There are those who But I would not have it believed that say that it is only a compound of burnt we did not answer it, or that we were castor oil and gasoline. One might, two silly sentimentalists who either with no more truth, call the odor of a lived or cared to live in a fool's paraship a mixture of tar and stale cooking. dise. We would have been shamed into But let it pass. It will be all things to answering it as we ought, from a feeling all men, I am conscious of it as I write, of obligation if for no weightier reason. for it gets into one's clothing, one's hair, Our training represented a costly inone's very blood; but if I should at- vestment on the part of a government tempt to analyze it, to say what it is to which was fighting for its existence. me, some of my fellow aviators would We knew that returns were expected be sure to say, 'Nobody home.' from it, and were never so glad as on
We were as happy during those days the day when we were asked to begin at G.D.E. as any one has the right to payments. be. Our whole duty was to fly, and I was sitting at our two-legged table, never was the voice of Duty heard writing up my carnet de vol. Suzanne, more gladly. It was hard to keep in the maid-of-all-work at the Bonne mind the stern purpose behind this Rencontre, was sweeping a passageway seeming indulgence. At times I re- along the centre of the room, telling membered Drew's warning that we me, as she worked, about her family. were military pilots and had no right She was ticking off on her fingers, the to forget the seriousness of the work names of her brothers and sisters, when before us. But he himself often forgot Drew put his head through the doorit for days together. War on the earth way. may be reasonable and natural, but in 'Il y a Pierre,' said Suzanne. the air, it seems the most senseless 'We're posted!' said J. B. folly. How is an airman, who has just Et Hélène,' she continued. learned a new meaning for the joy of I shall never know the names of the life, to reconcile himself to the insane others.
(To be continued)
A MAYOR IN ALSACE
BY DANIEL BLUMENTHAL
changing aspirations of their native
population, which forms the vast maTHE question of Alsace-Lorraine can- jority of the present inhabitants not be thrust aside at the time of the 1,500,000 out of 1,900,000. general settlement of accounts to which The native Alsace-Lorrainers, with the future peace congress will have to very few exceptions, have always given give its attention.
evidence of their immovable attachThe war did not break out over ment to the French fatherland, and of Alsace-Lorraine, but nothing is more their inextinguishable hatred of Gercertain than that the brutal treatment many. There are two principal reasons of which France was the victim, at Ger- for this: the community of ideas and many's hands, in 1871, had had its feelings with France, and Germany's influence on the policy of the whole inability to stamp out that frame of world in the matter of armaments. All mind and to assimilate the population the nations said to themselves that to Deutschthum, to germanize it by what had happened to France might means of the procedure suggested by well be their own fate to-morrow, if the famous Kultur. they neglected to take the precaution- We must remember that the Alsaary defensive measures, that were de- tians and Lorrainers have always been manded against an empire which, as extremely independent in character, Germany did, aspired to the hegemony permeated with principles of justice of the world, and of which war had and equality; and that they saw in the been, from time immemorial, the na- establishment and consolidation of the tional industry.
Third Republic the means of realizing The only claim of right -- and that their democratic longings. was nullified by being founded on vio- It was at that moment that they lence - on which Germany has relied, were torn from their fatherland, to be down to the present time, to justify her incorporated by force in a detested occupation of Alsace-Lorraine, depends enemy state, where autocratic governupon the treaty of Frankfort (1871). ment was the essential condition of As Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg prosperity in its militaristic policy.
in the first days of August, 1914, tore And even then they were not to enjoy up this document, together with divers the rights-albeit closely restricted — other ‘scraps of paper,' Alsace-Lor- of German subjects. They were placed raine should be restored to France with- under an exceptional régime: instead out the necessity of any previous retro- of being German citizens, or, at least, cession on Germany's part.
German subjects, they became mere The restoration of those provinces to objects of domination. France, unconditionally, is moreover That is why Germany was destined the only solution that will fulfill the un- to fail lamentably in all her efforts to
amalgamate Alsace-Lorraine with Ger- that interest is fully protected, can a many: the gulf between the native law be passed in Alsace-Lorraine. population and the immigrants became Germany has chosen to lay great wider and wider; and we may say that stress on the concession of three votes the new generation was more bitterly to Alsace-Lorraine in the Federal Counopposed to the new masters than the cil; but these three votes must, accordgeneration of 1871 had been.
ing to the constitution, receive their In the different constitutions which instructions from the Statthalter, who the German Empire bestowed, one is an official appointed by the Emperor after another, upon the ‘Reichsland,' and may be removed by him at any there was no change in the essential moment. So that these votes are abfeatures which characterize to this day solutely at the disposal of the King of German domination in Alsace-Lorraine. Prussia, German Emperor.
. The King of Prussia, who, in the ca- Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg, with pacity of German Emperor, possesses his customary cynical frankness, has the executive power, is the most im- not hesitated to emphasize this depenportant factor in the legislative power dence upon the King of Prussia of - which is contrary to every modern Alsace-Lorraine's representatives in conception of a well-governed state ac- the Bundesrat. Being questioned in cording to the principle of separation the Prussian parliament concerning the of powers.
danger of the grant by the Empire of The democratic forms with which this representation, the Chancellor deGermany delighted to mask the au- clared explicitly that that danger did tocratic substance of her. institutions not exist because the Emperor connever deceived anybody in Alsace-Lor- trolled the votes. raine, where political progress had When I, in my turn, took the liberty made much greater strides since the of interpellating the government of Algreat Revolution than in Germanic sace-Lorraine concerning this assertion countries.
of Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg, Von The present constitution of Alsace Bulach, the Secretary of State, replied Lorraine, which goes back to 1911, pro- in the first place that he did not know vides for a parliament consisting of a whether the assertion was accurately first and second chamber. Now, the reported by the press; and when, a few first chamber is so made up that the days later, I laid before the First ChamEmperor is always sure of an over- ber the official report of the Prussian whelming majority. He can name half Assembly, in which the Chancellor had of the members, and among the other made his declaration, poor Herr von half there are persons whose functions Bulach could think of no other reply necessarily make them dependent on than, ‘There must be some mistake.' the government.
But, despite my urgent and repeated To pass a law, the assent of both questions, he was very careful to do chambers and the Emperor is required, nothing to clear up the alleged mistake. so that the latter has two votes to one The tension between the people and in the legislative deliberations.
the government became greater after All the proposed laws concerning it was perceived that the new constituAlsace-Lorraine are first submitted to tion was in reality only a vulgar fraud. the Prussian ministry, which gives its A few incidents soon made it plain opinion thereon from the standpoint that the gulf between the sentiments of of the interest of Prussia. Only when the Germans and those of the AlsaceLorrainers, far from being filled, was ment proceeded to abolish the Delegagrowing wider and wider.
tion of Alsace-Lorraine, the only parThe 'Sporting Club of Lorraine,' an liamentary representative of the two association of young native Lorrainers, provinces. On the very evening of this had drawn down upon itself the thun- act of violence, I summoned a number ders of the police of Metz by the French of my colleagues in the Delegation to cut of its uniforms, and by its songs, meet at the Hôtel de France at Straswhich were altogether devoid of patri- burg, where we laid the foundations otic German spirit.
of a new party, the ‘National Union,' On the pretext that a concert, given which should unite all Alsatians and to invited guests only, was in reality a Lorrainers in a common effort to crush public meeting, the police rushed into the Prussian autocracy. The centre of the hall. As a result of the dispersion activity of this party was at Colmar, of the assemblage there was a proces- where the Abbé Wetterlé and the lasion through the city, a clash with the mented Preiss and myself immediately military guard, prosecutions and con- opened the campaign, being opposed by victions for alleged sedition.
the government with all the means at At the hearing in the police court of its disposal. Metz, where I had the honor of defend- The first meeting that we held at Coling Alexis Samain, it was proved be- mar was marked by disturbances, the yond dispute that the only individual disorder being fomented by governwho really was guilty of an act of rebel- ment agents. The municipal police of lion was not a member of the society Colmar, of which I had always, by in question, but a German immigrant agreement with the municipal council, an ex-convict, who, seeing a commotion declined to yield control to the state, in the street, had instantly joined the was headed by the mayor,' whereas crowd in order to take an active part in the other three large cities — Strasagainst the troops.
burg, Mulhausen, and Metz—the poThe club was dissolved by a decree lice was in the hands of the governof the prefecture of Metz confirmed by ment. Thus at Colmar there was this the Imperial Council of Strasburg, con- abnormal situation, that the commistrary to the law concerning the liberty sioner of police was at the same time of associations.
an official of the Süreté Générale, subWith the same contempt for the laws, ject to the orders of the prefect, and a the government proceeded to dissolve municipal official who received his inthe club called “The Memory of Alsace- structions from the mayor. Lorraine,' whose purpose was to keep The commissioner at this time was a in order the graves of the French sol. Lorrainer, a most worthy man, who diers buried on the territory of the performed his duties with scrupulous Reichsland.'
exactitude, and fell a victim to his honAt Colmar, which has always been a esty. Among his other functions was very active centre of political life, the that of playing the spy -- a painful antagonism between the government task which I did nothing to make easier and the people became more and more for him. After the above-mentioned pronounced.
meeting of the National Union, the When, in 1910, it became evident prefect tried to extort false testimony that the new constitution with which from him by inducing him to say, conthey proposed to favor us would not be trary to the truth, that I had made an approved by the country, the govern- 1 The author was Mayor of Colmar.
improper use of the municipal police by ment's hostility to the people. On the putting it at the service of a political pretext that the manager of the Alsatian party.
Société des Constructions Mécaniques The commissioner was removed, but had manifested anti-German sentiI gave him a place in the municipal ments, the government demanded his service, from which, however, he was dismissal, under the threat of causing expelled by the present mayor, who is the withdrawal of the orders for locoa Boche of the worst sort.
motives which that company received At about the same time, we had at regularly from the Prussian railways. Colmar the notorious suits against The government seized the opporHansi the cartoonist and Abbé Wet- tunity to demand, in general, that those terlé, for alleged insult to the mana- establishments in Alsace-Lorraine hayger of the Lycée at Colmar, who had ing natives of the provinces among been Hansi's model in his famous car- their employés and their directors toon on Professor Knatschke. Preiss should make room for Germans in their and myself, as counsel, took part in the undertakings. defense, which the accused had urged Acting in concert with the aboveus to undertake, and, by agreement named company, I took this matter with our clients, and at their request, before the First Chamber, to protest we attacked the whole régime.
against the illegal interference of the The political atmosphere was heavi- government in private business. The ly charged. Whenever a society, sing result of my intervention was an intering, or instrumental, or gymnastic, re- pellation in the Second Chamber, which turned from a competition in which it ended with a vote of censure against had taken part in France, the other so- the government. cieties of the city acted as escort, and Finally, there came the Saverne (Zathe German agents had occasion every bern) affair, which covered Germany time to report the display of ribbons in with disgrace and ridicule. Every one the French colors, French flags, and knows that extraordinary story, which clothes of French cut.
resulted in the replacement of the enWhatever came from France was tire government of Alsace-Lorraine by subjected to a meticulous surveillance, Prussians utterly devoid of any spirit and I well remember the tragi-comic of fair dealing toward the oppressed story of the arrest of the occupants of people of the ‘Reichsland.' an automobile coming from France and A young lieutenant of the 99th Reg flying French flags. The inquiry show- ment of Infantry, one Baron von Foersted that the owner, who was in the car ner, belonging to the garrison of Saat the time, was no other than a Ger- verne, was in the habit of insulting the man lieutenant colonel on the way from Alsatian recruits by calling them Schlucht to his home at Munich. 'Wackes.' One day he said, in the
A performance of the Daughter of the course of a lesson in drilling, I'll give Regiment in the theatre at Colmar gave ten marks to any one who knocks down rise to an interminable investigation, one of these dirty Wackes'; and a subbecause a spy reported the appearance altern standing by added, “I'll give on the stage of an alleged French flag three marks more out of my pocket.' which was said to have aroused suspi- These opprobrious words were soon cious enthusiasm among the audience. generally known, and there followed a
The so-called Grafenstaden affair period of excitement among the whole marked another stage in the govern- population of the town, which was one