- Yg. 1926, No. 16 -
To my shame I must confess that during the war I had long believed in the official legend of its outbreak: Germany had been attacked by its enemies. Because I just could not imagine that such a "circled" country provoked Handel with his Umliegern. Something so unreasonable did not seem likely. Only when later the Files about the outbreak of war published, my eyes opened. About the fact that there is nothing so wrong, stupid, and seemingly impossible in high politics that could not happen. And since then, I've learned something else: that there are politicians who will be put to shame by the adage that damage is wise. That no mistake is great enough for it not to be repeated by those who committed it. It's more like a word Wolfgang Pfleiderers just the crucial stupidities are made again and again.
If one reads, what after the Geneva failure on the so-called "national" side in Germany over the League of Nations and Germany's relationship with him has been tampered with, then one has a new confirmation of this wisdom of life. There are still people in Germany, serious people who do not seem to know where they are. That our country still forms the same spot on the earth, without "natural" borders, right in the middle of the small state complex of Europe, which today is not much more than a buffer between Asia and America. We are and remain "encircled", surrounded by powers that are no longer hostile but different, a real "middle-land". It is no coincidence that Germany has been the European theater of war for centuries. Should it also be the world-wide battleground where West and East, England and Russia, America and Asia, capitalism and socialism are waging their decisive battles?
Who loves his German country, who knows his German nationality, can not wish that. On the contrary, it will have to see the task of Germany, determined by nature and national character, to mediate between the contraries in which it is wedged and which mix in itself. To find and form the synthesis between East and West, old and new world. It would be equally wrong and one-sided if we wanted to orient ourselves eastwards as if we wanted to "orient ourselves" to the west, because the dividing line passes right through us. Whoever lies in the middle can only have one profession: that of the mediator.
Thus, for all our politics, the outward and, strange as it may sound, the clear line is also foreshadowed in a certain sense for the inner one. We have to learn inside America and Russia, and we do not need to duplicate the American or Russian mistakes. And in all foreign policy conflicts in the world, the only reasonable and appropriate attitude of Germany is the pacifist: an absolute neutrality.
That this will not always be easy, of course. But the more charming and grateful, I thought, should be the task for statesmen; and their execution by no means signifies passivity and renunciation. Unless you renounce cocky behavior, slaughter, saber rattling and such sounds of certain greats of yesterday, which will hopefully soon be the day before yesterday and not, as they dream, those of tomorrow again.
1926, 16 Sch.