will exists, provided it possesses the necessary independence to become not only the vehicle of the common spirit of the whole people but also to prepare the way for the military fight to reconquer the nation's liberty.
When a people who amount to a hundred million souls tolerate the yoke of common slavery in order to prevent the territory belonging to their State from being broken up and divided, that is worse than if such a State and such a people were dismembered while one fragment still retained its complete independence. Of course, the natural proviso here is that this fragment must be inspired with a consciousness of the solemn duty that devolves upon it, not only to proclaim persistently the inviolable unity of its spiritual and cultural life with that of its detached members but also to prepare the means that are necessary for the military conflict which will finally liberate and re-unite the fragments that are suffering under oppression.
One must also bear in mind the fact that the restoration of lost districts which were formerly parts of the State, both ethnically and politically, must in the first instance be a question of winning back political power and independence for the motherland itself, and that in such cases the special interests of the lost districts must be uncompromisingly regarded as a matter of secondary importance in the face of the one main task, which is to win back the freedom of the central territory. For the detached and oppressed fragments of a nation or an imperial province cannot achieve their liberation through the expression of yearnings and protests on the part of the oppressed and abandoned, but only when the portion which has more or less retained its sovereign independence can resort to the use of force for the purpose of reconquering those territories that once belonged to the common fatherland.
Therefore, in order to reconquer lost territories the first condition to be fulfilled is to work energetically for the increased welfare and reinforcement of the strength of that portion of the State which has remained over after the partition. Thus the unquenchable yearning which slumbers in the hearts of the people must be awakened and restrengthened by bringing new forces to its aid, so that when the hour comes all will be devoted to the one purpose of liberating and uniting the whole people. Therefore, the interests of the separated territories must be subordinated to the one purpose. That one purpose must aim at obtaining for the central remaining portion such a measure of power and might that will enable it to enforce its will on the hostile will of the victor and thus redress the wrong. For flaming protests will not restore the oppressed territories to the bosom of a common Reich. That can be done only through the might of the sword.
The forging of this sword is a work that has to be done through the domestic policy which must be adopted by a national government. To see that the work of forging these arms is assured, and to recruit the men who will bear them, that is the task of the foreign policy.
In the first volume of this book I discussed the inadequacy of our policy of alliances before the War. There were four possible ways to secure the necessary foodstuffs for the maintenance of our people. Of these ways the fourth, which was the most unfavourable, was chosen. Instead of a sound policy of territorial expansion in Europe, our rulers embarked on a policy of colonial and trade expansion. That policy was all the more mistaken inasmuch as they presumed that in this way the danger of an armed conflict would be averted. The result of the attempt to sit on many stools at the same time might have been foreseen. It let us fall to the ground in the midst of them all. And the World War was only the last reckoning presented to the Reich to pay for the failure of its foreign policy.
The right way that should have been taken in those days was the third way I indicated: namely, to increase the strength of the Reich as a Continental Power by the acquisition of new territory in Europe. And at the same time a further expansion, through the subsequent acquisition of colonial territory, might thus be brought within the range of practical politics. Of course, this policy could not have been