clear to everybody that even the best negotiators could have little success as long as the ground on which they themselves stood and the chair on which they sat were not under the armed protection of their own people. A weak pigmy cannot contend against athletes, and a negotiator without any armed defence at his back must always bow in obeisance when a Brennus throws the sword into the scales on the enemy's side, unless an equally strong sword can be thrown into the scales at the other end and thus maintain the balance. It was really distressing to have to observe the comedy of negotiations which, ever since 1918, regularly preceded each arbitrary dictate that the enemy imposed upon us. We offered a sorry spectacle to the eyes of the whole world when we were invited, for the sake of derision, to attend conference tables simply to be presented with decisions and programmes which had already been drawn up and passed a long time before, and which we were permitted to discuss, but from the beginning had to be considered as unalterable. It is true that in scarcely a single instance were our negotiators men of more than mediocre abilities. For the most part they justified only too well the insolent observation made by Lloyd George when he sarcastically remarked, in the presence of a former Chancellor of the Reich, Herr Simon, that the Germans were not able to choose men of intelligence as their leaders and representatives. But in face of the resolute determination and the power which the enemy held in his hands, on the one side, and the lamentable impotence of Germany on the other, even a body of geniuses could have obtained only very little for Germany.
In the spring of 1923, however, anyone who might have thought of seizing the opportunity of the French invasion of the Ruhr to reconstruct the military power of Germany would first have had to restore to the nation its moral weapons, to reinforce its will-power, and to extirpate those who had destroyed this most valuable element of national strength.
Just as in 1918 we had to pay with our blood for the failure to crush the Marxist serpent underfoot once and for all in 1914 and 1915, now we have to suffer retribution for the fact that in the spring of 1923 we did not seize the opportunity then offered us for finally wiping out the handiwork done by the Marxists who betrayed their country and were responsible for the murder of our people.
Any idea of opposing French aggression with an efficacious resistance was only pure folly as long as the fight had not been taken up against those forces which, five years previously, had broken the German resistance on the battlefields by the influences which they exercised at home. Only bourgeois minds could have arrived at the incredible belief that Marxism had probably become quite a different thing now and that the canaille of ringleaders in 1918, who callously used the bodies of our two million dead as stepping-stones on which they climbed into the various Government positions, would now, in the year 1923, suddenly show themselves ready to pay their tribute to the national conscience. It was veritably a piece of incredible folly to expect that those traitors would suddenly appear as the champions of German freedom. They had no intention of doing it. Just as a hyena will not leave its carrion, a Marxist will not give up indulging in the betrayal of his country. It is out of the question to put forward the stupid retort here, that so many of the workers gave their blood for Germany. German workers, yes, but no longer international Marxists. If the German working class, in 1914, consisted of real Marxists the War would have ended within three weeks. Germany would have collapsed before the first soldier had put a foot beyond the frontiers. No. The fact that the German people carried on the War proved that the Marxist folly had not yet been able to penetrate deeply. But as the War was prolonged German soldiers and workers gradually fell back into the hands of the Marxist leaders, and the number of those who thus relapsed became lost to their country. At the beginning of the War, or even during the War, if twelve or fifteen thousand of these Jews who were corrupting the nation had been forced to submit to poison-gas, just as hundreds of thousands of our best German workers from every social stratum and from every trade and calling had to face it in the field, then the millions of sacrifices made at the front would not have been in vain. On the contrary: If