Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

Madras, educated at Geneva, and resident for many years in Germany-founded the German-Irish Society, which has its headquarters in the same premises in Berlin as those used by the Official German Press Bureau. The presidents of the organisation were Herr Mathias Erzberger, Baron von Reichthofen (a prominent Junker and Pan-German), and Count Westarp, the Junker leader in the Reichstag. On the directorate were Kuno Meyer, Prof. Edouard Meyer of Berlin University, his brother, Karl Goldschmidt of Essen (connected with Krupps), Prof. Schiemann, and many other eminent men in public and professional positions in Germany. The organ of the Association is Irische Blätter,' a high-class monthly review, well printed, and edited by Chatterton-Hill. It is devoted to pressing the Sinn Fein programme in Germany and neutral European States. The society started with messages of goodwill from General Ludendorff and Herr Zimmermann, then Foreign Secretary. It has since received similar messages from the Kaiser.

[ocr errors]

The following is from the inaugural address of the German-Irish Society:

'The war has proved that Germany has very few friends. But the Irish have acted as friends at home as well as in the United States, and Germany must not underestimate the value of Irish friendship. From the beginning of the war the American-Irish adopted the German cause with enthusiasm, and, in alliance with the German-Americans, conducted a courageous fight for true neutrality. There is no doubt that, but for the support of the Irish organisations, the politically unorganised German-Americans would have been condemned to impotence.

"The formation of this society is to supply visible proof to the Irish in Ireland as well as in America of German gratitude and German sympathy. The heroic rebellion of 1916 still lives in the memory of all of us. The uprising in Dublin, during which 2000 armed Irish defied a British force many times their superior, evoked lively interest in Germany for the Emerald Isle and all its inhabitants.

The German-Irish Society will devote its energies to reopening Ireland to the world, and especially to Germany. It will see that the voice of the Irish nation, which has been oppressed and sucked dry by England, again finds expression, and generally and in every way further the progressive

development of the Emerald Isle in the interest of the German as well as the Irish people.'

The first number contained a full account of the Irish Easter week Rebellion-with illustrations of the leaders. The following is a quotation from one of the articles:

'When the west Irish harbours serve as bases for U-boats, and a large part of the country is in the hands of one of the organised revolutionary armies, then will England's rule over the sea quickly come to an end. Not only can many English ships carrying munitions and the necessaries of life be sunk, but others can be captured and towed into Irish ports in order to supply the Irish army with munitions and the Irish people with food. Thus would England be handed over to her enemies and the war quickly brought to an end. The setting free of Ireland from England would be the end of England's world-dominion and of English rule over the seas. Both of these depend entirely upon whether England remains in possession of Ireland. . . .

'But this result cannot be brought about without a struggle. Ireland must secure her independence by the bravery of her men and the support of her women. "He who will be free must himself draw the sword." Ireland cannot accept her freedom as a present from the hand of another nation. The Irish, not the Germans, must drive the English army from Ireland and leave behind, as an example to coming generations, memorials of their fame and glorious traditions of the heroic struggle.

'Germany will help gladly, just as the help of French, Germans and Poles was thankfully accepted by the founders of the American Republic, as France and Spain in past days lent their support to Ireland, and as Ireland, again, obtained support from France and Russia. Every Power which wars with England is by that act the ally of Ireland; every sword-thrust made against England, no matter by whom, is a sword-thrust for the freedom of humanity.

'Ireland cannot fight without weapons and war material; and these absolutely indispensable things must be procured wherever they are to be had. But without money that is impossible-impossible without a great deal of money. From whence is this money to come? The Irish in America could raise it in the course of a month, if they had the confidence given by the prospect of the result and faith in the integrity

* See Daily Mail,' Oct. 27, 1917.

and activity of the men, sufficient to interest themselves in the matter. Every man and woman who desires the freedom of Ireland must strive to arouse this mutual confidence. That is at the present time the essential, the indispensable thing. When that is attained, the way is made clear.'*

The continuity of the Sinn Fein revolutionary movement and its connexion with German intrigue is further exemplified by the proceedings at the great Sinn Fein Convention held in the Mansion House, Dublin, Oct. 25, 1917, when De Valera was elected President and Arthur Griffith Vice-President of the Association, and all the surviving rebels were elected to high office in its councils. The Sinn Fein Constitution then adopted declared:

'Whereas the people of Ireland never relinquished their claim to Separate Nationhood, and whereas the Provisional! Government of the Irish Republic, Easter 1916, in the name of the Irish people and continuing the fight made by previous generations, reasserted the inalienable right of the Irish Nation to Sovereign Independence and reaffirmed the determination of the Irish people to achieve it; and whereas the Proclamation of an Irish Republic, Easter 1916, and the supreme courage and glorious sacrifice of the men who gave their lives to maintain it have united the people of Ireland under the flag of the Irish Republic;

'Be it resolved that we, the delegated representatives of the Irish People in Convention assembled, hereby declare the following to be the Constitution of Sinn Fein.'

Then follow the different articles of the Constitution. The Constitution is based upon the grounds of the rebellion of Easter week 1916, in which Germany was proclaimed the 'faithful ally' of Sinn Fein. Speech after speech of the members of the Executive since October 1917 could be quoted, urging preparation for a new rebellion and hinting that the assistance of Germany would be again forthcoming. Never were traitors treated with such leniency as have these men been by England. Their hatred of England is, however, immeasurable. Irish Home Rulers and the Irish labourers owe much to the British Labour Party, and yet at the Convention a resolution was carried unanimously:

* From Irische Blätter,' May 1917, p. 102.

'That, as the first principle of Sinn Fein is to end the connexion with England, Sinn Feiners belonging to Trades Unions affiliated or amalgamated with English Trades Unions should be recommended when possible to try and sever the English connexion.'

Two days afterwards De Valera, addressing the Convention of Irish Volunteers, told them:

'They could see no hope of another rebellion being successful except through a German invasion of England, and the landing of troops and munitions in Ireland. They should be prepared to leave nothing undone towards that end.'

[ocr errors]

Corresponding to the German-Irish Society in Germany there had been founded in 1916 in America the Society of The Friends of Irish Freedom,' to carry on through the Germans and Irish in America the Sinn Fein struggle and propaganda against England. Since 1916 it has had its branches in all the important cities of the States. J. O'Leary was its president, and Kuno Meyer and St John Gaffney are among its prominent members. The Sinn Fein Executive in Ireland framed in 1917-1918 a long 'Statement of Ireland's Case at a Peace Conference,' partly argumentative, partly historical (in the Sinn Fein sense of history), and carrying to a conclusion the policy of Casement. Copies of this document were furnished through the agents of Sinn Fein in Germany to various Continental Powers. The following extracts show some of the existing links between Sinn Fein and Germany and illustrate its operations :

'Amsterdam, Dec. 3.-A telegram from Berlin reports that the German-Irish Society, which now numbers 300 members, held its first public gathering yesterday at the Hotel Adlon. Those present included representatives of the Imperial authorities, members of the Reichstag, and the Irish Nationalist, Dr Chatterton-Hill, whom the message in question describes as the "soul of society."

'Speaking on the community of German-Irish interests, Professor Edouard Meyer, of Berlin University, said that "during the war Ireland had shown herself Germany's true ally, not only with arms in her hands, but through her passive resistance, which had caused the British enormous difficulties." In conclusion he expressed the hope that the day of freedom

might soon come also for Ireland, after over 700 years of bondage.-Reuter.

[blocks in formation]

ST PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION IN BERLIN.

• The celebration of the Irish National Festival instituted by the German-Irish Society on the occasion of St Patrick's Day was held last evening in the Hotel Adlon, Berlin, and was attended by a numerous company. Graf Westarp, Conservative Deputy of the Reichstag, welcomed the guests in the name of the Committee, and stated that a people which was incapable of a righteous hatred towards their mortal enemies was also incapable of any profound devotion to its own cause. England, Ireland's mortal enemy, had now become the mortal enemy of Germany. Before the war, the German people had never thought that it would be their mission to destroy England's maritime tyranny, but Germany had been compelled to undertake this task, and was in a position to accomplish it, thanks to the numerical superiority which she had now achieved, and to the U-boats.

'A lengthy speech was delivered by Councillor of Legation von Stumm, as representative of the Foreign Office. In the course of his speech he said:

"It was recently stated in English reports on the state of the Irish question that in Ireland all was quiet and in the best of order, and that an Irish Convention had assembled which was to settle the destiny of the Irish people to the general satisfaction. After some time, talk about the Convention came to an end, and now we suddenly saw that Lord French, Commander-in-Chief of the Home Forces, had landed in Ireland to re-establish tranquillity.

"What the English mean by 'tranquillity' we can best ascertain from the people of Ceylon, or from the Boers in the Transvaal. The news is no surprise to us, for we knew that the Irish people, who for centuries had conducted an unflinch ing struggle against British oppression, and to whose list of martyrs Sir Roger Casement has been added as the latest but not the last, could never have bowed its neck to the might of the 'guardian of the smaller nations.' Mr Asquith recently stated that the territorial conquests which England has made during this war would come before the Peace Conference. If he really meant it, it is his duty to see to it that the Peace Conference should also concern itself with the destinies of Ireland; even if Lord French, as may be feared in view of his resources, succeeds in conquering and occupying the green

« AnkstesnisTęsti »