Page 146

have the stains of pollution removed and be placed in the service of a national and cultural idea. The life of the people must be freed from the asphyxiating perfume of our modern eroticism and also from every unmanly and prudish form of insincerity. In all these things the aim and the method must be determined by thoughtful consideration for the preservation of our national well-being in body and soul. The right to personal freedom comes second in importance to the duty of maintaining the race.

Only after such measures have been put into practice can a medical campaign against this scourge begin with some hope of success. But, here again, half-measures will be valueless. Far-reaching and important decisions will have to be made. It would be doing things by halves if incurables were given the opportunity of infecting one healthy person after another. This would be that kind of humanitarianism which would allow hundreds to perish in order to save the suffering of one individual. The demand that it should be made impossible for defective people to continue to propagate defective offspring is a demand that is based on most reasonable grounds, and its proper fulfilment is the most humane task that mankind has to face. Unhappy and undeserved suffering in millions of cases will be spared, with the result that there will be a gradual improvement in national health. A determined decision to act in this manner will at the same time provide an obstacle against the further spread of venereal disease. It would then be a case, where necessary, of mercilessly isolating all incurables--perhaps a barbaric measure for those unfortunates--but a blessing for the present generation and for posterity. The temporary pain thus experienced in this century can and will spare future thousands of generations from suffering.

The fight against syphilis and its pace-maker, prostitution, is one of the gigantic tasks of mankind; gigantic, because it is not merely a case of solving a single problem but the removal of a whole series of evils which are the contributory causes of this scourge. Disease of the body in this case is merely the result of a diseased condition of the moral, social, and racial instincts.

But if for reasons of indolence or cowardice this fight is not fought to a finish we may imagine what conditions will be like 500 years hence. Little of God's image will be left in human nature, except to mock the Creator.

But what has been done in Germany to counteract this scourge? If we think calmly over the answer we shall find it distressing. It is true that in governmental circles the terrible and injurious effects of this disease were well known, but the counter-measures which were officially adopted were ineffective and a hopeless failure. They tinkered with cures for the symptoms, wholly regardless of the cause of the disease. Prostitutes were medically examined and controlled as far as possible, and when signs of infection were apparent they were sent to hospital. When outwardly cured, they were once more let loose on humanity.

It is true that 'protective legislation' was introduced which made sexual intercourse a punishable offence for all those not completely cured, or those suffering from venereal disease. This legislation was correct in theory, but in practice it failed completely. In the first place, in the majority of cases women will decline to appear in court as witnesses against men who have robbed them of their health. Women would be exposed far more than men to uncharitable remarks in such cases, and one can imagine what their position would be if they had been infected by their own husbands. Should women in that case lay a charge? Or what should they do?

In the case of the man there is the additional fact that he frequently is unfortunate enough to run up against this danger when he is under the influence of alcohol. His condition makes it impossible for him to assess the qualities of his 'amorous beauty,' a fact which is well known to every diseased prostitute and makes them single out men in this ideal condition for preference. The result is that the unfortunate man is not able to recollect later on who his compassionate benefactress was, which is not surprising in cities like Berlin and Munich. Many of such cases are visitors from the provinces who, held speechless and enthralled by the magic charm of city life, become an easy prey for prostitutes.