against the last act of oppression in a long series. And that is specially so if the nation has already patiently and silently accepted impositions which were much more exacting.
The fall of Carthage is a terrible example of the slow agony of a people which ended in destruction and which was the fault of the people themselves.
In his Three Articles of Faith Clausewitz expressed this idea admirably and gave it a definite form when he said: "The stigma of shame incurred by a cowardly submission can never be effaced. The drop of poison which thus enters the blood of a nation will be transmitted to posterity. It will undermine and paralyse the strength of later generations." But, on the contrary, he added: "Even the loss of its liberty after a sanguinary and honourable struggle assures the resurgence of the nation and is the vital nucleus from which one day a new tree can draw firm roots."
Naturally a nation which has lost all sense of honour and all strength of character will not feel the force of such a doctrine. But any nation that takes it to heart will never fall very low. Only those who forget it or do not wish to acknowledge it will collapse. Hence those responsible for a cowardly submission cannot be expected suddenly to take thought with themselves, for the purpose of changing their former conduct and directing it in the way pointed out by human reason and experience. On the contrary, they will repudiate such a doctrine, until the people either become permanently habituated to the yoke of slavery or the better elements of the nation push their way into the foreground and forcibly take power away from the hands of an infamous and corrupt regime. In the first case those who hold power will be pleased with the state of affairs, because the conquerors often entrust them with the task of supervising the slaves. And these utterly characterless beings then exercise that power to the detriment of their own people, more cruelly than the most cruel-hearted stranger that might be nominated by the enemy himself.
The events which happened subsequent to 1918 in Germany prove how the hope of securing the clemency of the victor by making a voluntary submission had the most disastrous influence on the political views and conduct of the broad masses. I say the broad masses explicitly, because I cannot persuade myself that the things which were done or left undone by the leaders of the people are to be attributed to a similar disastrous illusion. Seeing that the direction of our historical destiny after the war was now openly controlled by the Jews, it is impossible to admit that a defective knowledge of the state of affairs was the sole cause of our misfortunes. On the contrary, the conclusion that must be drawn from the facts is that our people were intentionally driven to ruin. If we examine it from this point of view we shall find that the direction of the nation's foreign policy was not so foolish as it appeared; for on scrutinizing the matter closely we see clearly that this conduct was a procedure which had been calmly calculated, shrewdly defined and logically carried out in the service of the Jewish idea and the Jewish endeavour to secure the mastery of the world.
From 1806 to 1813 Prussia was in a state of collapse. But that period sufficed to renew the vital energies of the nation and inspire it once more with a resolute determination to fight. An equal period of time has passed over our heads from 1918 until to-day, and no advantage has been derived from it. On the contrary, the vital strength of our State has been steadily sapped.
Seven years after November 1918 the Locarno Treaty was signed.
Thus the development which took place was what I have indicated above. Once the shameful Armistice had been signed our people were unable to pluck up sufficient courage and energy to call a halt suddenly to the conduct of our adversary as the oppressive measures were being constantly renewed. The enemy was too shrewd to put forward all his demands at once. He confined his duress always to those exactions which, in his opinion and that of our German Government, could be submitted to for the moment: so that in this way they did not risk causing an explosion of public feeling. But according as the single impositions were increasingly subscribed to and tolerated it appeared less justifiable to do now in the case of one sole imposition or act of duress what had not been previously done in