Gustav Stresemann

Nobel Lecture



Nobel Lecture*, June 29, 1927


The New Germany

It is a great honor for me to address you today. I would like to begin by expressing my heartfelt thanks for the great distinction which the Nobel Committee has conferred upon me. I would also add my warm gratitude for the cordial welcome you have extended to me. I know that this honor has a special character, since it is awarded not for scientific and theoretical research, but for practical politics. It is not awarded to an individual country nor to a representative of an individual country. It reflects, rather, the common policy of all those countries who are traveling along the same road. And thus, in the case of Germany too, it is not awarded for the work of a single individual. As a confirmed individualist I certainly do not wish to underrate the influence of the individual, for the masses do not lead the individual; rather, in the individual is vested the capacity to lead the masses. But when great ideas and the vital affairs of a nation are at stake, then the individual needs the support of the spiritual leaders of the nation.

During the past few years I have led a sometimes hard battle for German foreign policy. I am thus, perhaps, particularly well placed to answer the questions so often raised about Germany’s frame of mind. The attitude abroad concerning our state of mind vacillates among approval, skepticism, criticism, and hostility. Let me identify and discuss with you the leading trends in politics and thought in the new Germany, insofar as they have emerged in the historically short time since the war.

I must begin by saying something about the old Germany. That Germany, too, suffered from superficial judgment, because appearances and reality were not always kept apart in people’s minds. True, it still preserved the spirit of paternalism imparted to it by Frederick William I1 , but it was a paternalism administered with an iron loyalty and sense of duty to the state and the people. It had officialdom disparaged in other countries as a bureaucracy that knew only one ideal: service to the state. This old Germany was partly defeated in its conflict with the progressive ideas of socialism, for it had given the people nothing that could serve as a successful alternative to socialism. It was, however, a land of social and political progress far less given to the philosophy of laissez-faire than some other countries with other forms of government. It was a land of barracks, a land of universal military conscription, and a land of strong sympathy for the military; but it was also a land of technology, of chemistry, and in general of the most up-to-date research. The old and the new struggled for control. Whoever writes its history must not merely look at the surface of things but rather look into its depths.

This was the country in which most of us who today occupy responsible positions in Germany spent the greater part of our lives. Just as the child is father to the man, so the impressions of one’s youth remain the most vivid in manhood. Just as a child respects his father even when he perceives his weaknesses and faults, so a German will not despise the old Germany which was once a symbol of greatness to him. The idea in the British saying, “England, with all thy faults, I love thee still”2, applies also to all that was creditable and worthy in the old Germany. Just as the British subject loves England despite her faults, so we must insist that all Germans who were part of the old Germany and helped shape her, recognize the greatness and worthiness of present-day Germany.

As a result of the World War, this old Germany collapsed. It collapsed in its constitution, in its social order, in its economic structure. Its thinking and feeling changed. No one can say that this transformation is yet complete. It is a process which will continue through generations: But just as haste and restlessness are typical of our present-day life, so change also takes place more rapidly than before. This applies to change in the relationships between nations as it does to change within an individual nation.

The purpose of the Nobel Foundation is the furthering of peace. The intention of the man who created it was to counter the natural forces which his own genius had released with the restraining powers of the human spirit. Is the recent development of the German people such as to justify the award being given here for a policy aimed at peace? One may well say that the question is answered by the very existence of the German policy of reconciliation and peace, for this policy would have been impossible had it not been in accord with the deepest desire of the German people, the desire for peaceful international cooperation in justice and freedom.

Here we encounter two conflicting concepts with which we must come to grips in our time: the idea of national solidarity and the idea of international cooperation. The superficial view is that the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional faculties of a nation are bounded by geographic, linguistic, and ethnic barriers. To contrast national solidarity and international cooperation as two opposites seems foolish to me. As Germany’s representative in Geneva3, I tried to discuss this particular point. I expressed the belief that it cannot have been intended in the divine plan that man’s noblest abilities should be working in opposition to one another. I tried to make the point that the man who cultivates to the highest degree the qualities inherent in his national culture will gain insight into universal knowledge and feeling which transcend the limitations of his own heritage; and he will create works which, like cathedrals, although built upon the soil of his native land, will soar into the heaven of all mankind. A Shakespeare could have arisen only on English soil. In the same way, your great dramatists and poets express the nature and essence of the Norwegian people, but they also express that which is universally valid for all mankind. Dante can be understood only within the context of Italian thought, and Faust would be unthinkable if divorced from its German background; but both are part of our common cultural heritage. They break the bonds which bind them to their own nations, yet they are great only because their inspiration is so firmly rooted in their own countries. National culture can act as a bridge, instead of an obstacle, to mutual spiritual and intellectual understanding. The great men of a nation reach out to all mankind. They are unifying, not divisive; internationally conciliating and still great nationally. The French Minister Herriot4 expressed this well at the international music festival at Frankfurt am Main when he said, “A worker for internationalism must first have a sense of nationalism.” He also said, “To work effectively for peace, a man must first know peace within himself.” Here we face the great question that each nation asks the others, “Do you really mean it when you talk of cooperation? What are you really thinking? Can I look into the depths of your soul and find out if you really want to work and build with me?” This is the question which Germany has been asked so often that I would like to discuss it here in some detail.

If one seeks to analyze experiences and reactions to the first postwar years, I hope one may say without being accused of bias that it is easier for the victor than for the vanquished to advocate peace. For the victor peace means the preservation of the position of power which he has secured. For the vanquished it means resigning himself to the position left to him. To walk behind others on a road you are traveling together, to give precedence to others without envy – this is painful for an individual and painful for a nation. But to believe that the work of half a century has brought one to the summit, and then to plunge down from that summit – that is even more painful to the human soul. The psychology of a people who have experienced this is not so easy to understand and not so easy to alter as many believe.

This was the problem facing the new Germany. The way which led to those events, referred to by your chairman when he mentioned Locarno and Geneva and spoke of Germany’s admission to the League of Nations, was not made easy for Germany. The courtesy which most becomes a victor was denied to Germany for a long time. Germany had to assume super-human reparations which the people would never have borne had there not existed an ageless legacy of service to the state. Historians still often see the end of the war as meaning nothing more for Germany than lost territories, lost participation in colonization, and lost assets for the state and individuals. They frequently overlook the most serious loss that Germany suffered. This was, in my view, that the intellectual and professional middle class, which traditionally upheld the idea of service to the state, paid for its total devotion to the state during the war with the total loss of its own wealth, and with its consequent reduction to the level of the proletariat. Its money became worthless when the state, which had issued it, refused to redeem it at face value5. To what extent demanding this sacrifice from an entire generation as a service to the state was legitimate is a matter of controversy which concerns laymen and legislators alike and one which has not yet been resolved. But all that has taken place in Germany since the war must be looked at in the light of the mood of this completely uprooted class. As a consequence of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the officer corps of the old army became part of this class, as did that part of the younger generation who, in the old Germany, would have become officers or civil servants. Theirs was an economic uprooting. But there was a mental and political uprooting, as well, of all those who had a deep loyalty to the 500-year-old tradition of the monarchy and who were now without a solid foundation for their thinking and emotions. They all had shared in the rise and fall of Germany’s fortunes during the war, but not one had expected this disaster. They did not want to break with the old because they did not know how to find their way in this changed Germany. As so often happens in history, their difficulties were increased by the overzealousness of those who promoted their innovations too rashly, instead of combining to a certain extent the old with the new.

Downtrodden and humiliated, beggars who had once been leaders, these people in their pessimism became the sharpest critics of unjustified attacks from without and of lack of respect for tradition at home. Furthermore, developments after the downfall of the leading class – and here I am speaking not of the nobility or the great landowners, but of the middle classes who saw the fruits of a lifetime of work vanish and who had to start from scratch to earn a bare livelihood – the developments after their downfall led to the convulsion of the whole social structure of the old Germany. Then came a further political shock: the invasion of the Ruhr6. Once again the feeling of being pillaged and plundered flared up in intense resistance. But this feeling now began to differentiate between those nations which apparently wanted to continue the conflict with Germany and those which held that a legal justification for the invasion did not exist. Voices were heard from the United States of America which made it clear that America wanted a peaceful and united Europe as a basis for mutual cooperation. Then came the conference in London about the Dawes Plan7. Statesmen took the place of the economists and the bankers, and as MacDonald8 was leaving Downing Street one day during this time, he said that the words of the old Scottish song, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?” were going through his mind.

For the first time, the wounded German people saw their representatives not merely as objects of legislation by others, but as participants in common negotiations; and they heard from Herriot’s own lips the promise to evacuate the Ruhr. In the passionate struggle between the pessimists who could not believe in the possibility of a change in world outlook and those who were deliberately starting on a new road, the latter triumphed. From the beginning they had had a few supporters, but these were now augmented by the members of the working class. This group, no less patriotic than any other in Germany, had revived old connections in the hope of finding among their political and trade union comrades, men to work for their ideal of cooperation between nations.

Briand9 succeeded Herriot as French minister of foreign affairs and implemented the pledge to evacuate the Ruhr. Then, with the note of February 9, 1925, German initiative inaugurated the policy of Locarno10. It would be quite untrue to suggest that from the first moment the Locarno policy met with joyful and enthusiastic approval. Distrust abroad delayed a prompt response to the German move. It was met at home with misrepresentation; in what was really the beginning of an active policy, some saw weak resignation and the politics of renunciation. Our opponents introduced new questions into the debate to test the sincerity of Germany’s desire for peace. Entry into the League of Nations was made a condition for putting the Locarno Treaties into effect. What a change that was! In 1919 Germany had tried to join the League of Nations and was rejected by shortsighted and undiscerning people. Now its entry was desired. The League, founded as an association of victors, was seeking cooperation and reconciliation with the most powerful of its World War opponents. Here too, strong feelings had to be overcome, for in Germany’s view the right to self-determination had not always been recognized in the League’s decisions concerning the fate of former German territories. At last, after many ups and downs of trust and distrust, agreement on the treaties was reached. Then, in March, 1926, petty maneuvering and petty jealousy once again made it impossible for Germany to join the League. But at the same time, however, came the well-known decision of the former Allies to negotiate as if Germany belonged to the League, even though she had not been officially admitted.

In September, Germany was admitted to the League of Nations. On that occasion Mr. Briand said in a speech, which was heard in all parts of the world, that the era of cannons and machine guns must end. He uttered words which should endure for the rest of this century, declaring that the two great nations, the German and the French, had won so many laurels from each other on the battlefields of war that the future should see them contending only for the great idealistic goals of mankind11.

No one who witnessed these events in Geneva is ever likely to forget them.

The history of nations shows that words are not always immediately followed by action. History uses a unit of measure for time that is different from that of the lifespan of the individual, whereas man is only too ready to measure the evolution of history by his own yardstick. In the period that followed we climbed to the heights and fell to the depths; we saw our budding confidence nipped by the frosts of suspicion and war psychosis; and even now, instead of unanimous support for peace from all the people of the world, we can observe a crisis of faith in its whole development.

These were the first developments leading toward mutual understanding and coexistence on the part of former antagonists. But they were not always progressive. I have deliberately tried to give an honest account without glossing over the first breakdown and the ups and downs of the struggle. Nothing in the reporting of a nation’s history could so mislead the younger generation as to represent great events in such a way that they appear to have happened as a matter of course. Nothing is more misleading to the youth of a nation than to state the outcome immediately after the beginning as if nothing could have taken place in between. Mankind advances only through struggle. The life of the individual is a continuous combat with errors and obstacles, and no victory is more satisfying than the one achieved against opposition. The life of man is not a level plane on which he moves ahead at will unopposed. A man should not end his days as a pessimist just because his short span of years has not brought fulfillment of his ideals. The complete realization of the ideal would remove the life-force which drives each of us forward, for human life would lose its meaning if there were nothing left for man to envision and strive for. Therefore, in this account of the difficulties, I do not address myself to the pessimists; I want to turn to those who ask why we have not made greater progress. I want to show them that in such times it is unreasonable to suppose that universal distrust and outdated attitudes will give way at one stroke to a new enlightenment.

Since these developments were not without periods of regression, because the intense hopes were followed by disappointment, Germany’s development was also not without fluctuation. The feelings and emotions of an individualistic people like the Germans cannot easily be reduced to a common denominator. Nevertheless, it can be said today, and it has been demonstrated by recent debates in the Reichstag, that the overwhelming majority of the German people are united in a desire for peace and reconciliation.

I do not refer here to the extreme feelings of the Left and Right. A people that has experienced all that the Germans have been through, naturally offers fertile soil for the extremists. The ballast in the center of the German ship which saved it from heavy rolling in the past, that valuable and steady middle class group, no longer exists. The uprooted saw their hope in a complete reversal of affairs. It was at this time that the great tide of Bolshevism broke over Germany, appearing on the left as Communism and on the right as National Socialism. That a nation, whose currency had collapsed, whose social and economic reorganization had been as ruthless as ours – that this nation, which had to learn to live in an entirely new situation, has been able to master Bolshevism of the Right and of the Left, shows the healthiness of its spirit, the zeal of its industriousness, and the victory of realpolitik over the imaginary and illusory.

A German statesman of the postwar period has said that Napoleon’s. maxim that “politics is our destiny” is no longer valid. He thought he could equate our destiny with economics. I cannot agree, but I will admit that the policies of nations and groups have perhaps never been as greatly influenced by economic tendencies and developments as they are at present. And so I begin with economics, not because economics is of first importance, but because the inborn drive of the Germans to work, to create, and to rebuild, has been so apparent in this past decade. We did not, in accordance with the doctrine of laissez-faire, bring all welfare programs to a halt. Indeed, we tried in every way to reduce unemployment and its consequences. It may be that some individual initiative has been stifled by this far-reaching social concern on the part of the state; but taken overall, this policy points in the right direction. In the new Germany, the working class, regardless of the type of political representation they were subject to, has been won over to empire and state. In spite of the criticism which has so often been directed at the allegedly predominating influence of this class, I want to stress that the resulting fusion of the whole nation with the state is to be valued more highly than the one-sidedness or insufficiency of the legislation that brought this about is to be disparaged. Today a whole nation shares responsibility for the state and its future. In cities and communities throughout the country absolute opposition and negativism have been stopped. In previous centuries the king could truthfully say that he was the first servant of the state. But today all members of society are servants of the state.

No change in the balance of political parties can alter the general determination that no class should be excluded from contributing to and sharing responsibility for the state. This determination has provided a strong defense against extremists, a common interest in the rebuilding of the state, and a basis for the consolidation and preservation of national unity. The German people were united in their will to protect this unity against all attacks from within and without. They were stronger in adversity than in prosperity.

The fusion of these groups which were once fundamentally antagonistic to the state was in contrast during the first few years to the aversion held by many intellectuals and powerful industrialists for the new state, an aversion sustained by their disregard of important intangible drives in the national spirit. These negative attitudes, aversions, and enmities are today confined to a few groups of extreme rightist radicals. The winning over of those who in former times had been against the state was followed by the winning over of those who at first felt compelled to reject the new state and the new form of government. Here too, the events and politics of the day cannot obscure the historical fact that a working cooperation has been achieved. I cite for example Germany’s most industrialized province, the province in which socialism can look back on its longest tradition, the former kingdom and present free state of Saxony where a ministry is functioning in which Socialists and Nationalists are working together. The urge to get things done will in the long run prove stronger than party loyalty. Today the differences of opinion are no longer confined by the boundaries of parties and factions; they run right across the individual parties themselves. In the end, all differences of opinion were conquered by the conviction that all hands were needed for rebuilding and that the children and grandchildren who will one day look back on our time will award the palm of approval only to those who did not stand aside in these difficult days, but who offered their help to rebuild the house which had collapsed. True, the conflict between old and new has not yet been resolved. How could it be, even in a whole decade?

But the idea of an irreconcilable struggle between the old Germany and the new was confronted by the concept of a synthesis of old and new. Nobody in Germany is fighting for the reestablishment of the past. Its weaknesses and faults are obvious. What many do wish to have recognized in the new Germany is respect for what was great and worthy in the old. All events are linked with personalities that become their symbols. For the German people, this synthesis of old and new is embodied in the person of their president. He came as the successor to the first president of the Reich, who rose from the opposition and with great tact, political wisdom, and patriotism, smoothed the road from chaos to order and from order to reconstruction. In President von Hindenburg12, elected by the people, the nation sees a unity which transcends parties and a personality which commands respect, reverence, and affection. Raised in the traditions of the old monarchy he now fulfills his duties to the young republic during the most difficult and trying times. The President of the Reich personifies the idea of national unity. On the occasion of his eightieth birthday which will soon be here, all will join to show that for the overwhelming majority the concept of Germany itself comes before loyalty to political parties and ideologies.

Certainly, this loyalty to the new Germany has been attained slowly and with difficulty, but every day more people rally to it. They are not attracted by mere novelty, but by the conclusions of their own soul-searching, which give a far better guarantee of its permanence. One cannot say as did the bishop to the Merovingian king, “Bow your head in humility, proud Sicambrian, worship that which you have burnt, and burn that which you have worshipped.”13 Such conversion is not brought about in a day; it must arise from conflict in the soul. He who, after a hard fight, is willing for the sake of the fatherland to serve the German people with love and loyalty and to defend present-day Germany, is more valuable for the durability of the state than a superficial convert.

The concept of active cooperation has taken the place of opposition to the new form of government and of dreamy resignation entranced with the beauty of times past. Therefore, not only the present but also the future will have this republican Germany to reckon with.

The form of government is not, however, the decisive factor in the life of nations; it does not generate the philosophies of socialism or nationalism. Indeed, it may be asked in the sphere of economics, for instance, whether the party system does not give greater influence to capitalism than other forms of government accord it. The German economy, even because of its ties and because of the structure of postwar Europe, was among the first to break through national frontiers and find the path toward international involvement. The trend toward formation of large business combines which is taking place all over the world does not in itself, as I see it, make for progress for mankind as a whole. I regret that this is leading to the decline in the number of independent businessmen. It was the risk-taking initiative of these independent small businessmen that first caused our economy to thrive.

But there is no point in indulging in wishful thinking about the past. The changes were brought about by the World War and its repercussions. The war tore Europe from its previous position and transformed it into a continent bleeding from many wounds and left impoverished – not only in Germany – valuable segments of the population. “Where iron grows in the mountain shafts, the masters of the Earth arise.”14 Europe is no longer the main source of the world’s raw materials, and we can no longer delude ourselves that Europe is the leader of the world. For this reason the peoples of Europe are drawing closer together to protect themselves against conquest and inundation. And inasmuch as economics has an effect on politics, this drawing together, even though it might be questionable from the standpoint of economics, does constitute progress toward international understanding and peace. Even though the psychology of this process, which involves billions, causes sociologists to have reason for misgiving, the process is still an asset to mutual understanding among the nations.

With this I come to the socio-political currents in the Germany of today.

Germany is often reproached with the fact that hundreds of thousands assemble in organizations which keep alive the memory of the war, the spirit of military life at the front, and the like. But I would like to put a question to everyone: Psychologically, could it be otherwise? I was not at the front during the war; but if I had been, it would have been for me the greatest and most moving experience of my life. The devotion of the individual ego to the idea of the state, the risking of one’s life, the straining of all one’s powers – is there any country in the world where those who have shared such experiences do not talk about them with one another? We have no waters of Lethe which can wash away man’s memories or erase the pictures engraved in the mind’s eye.

We read that in France, just as in Germany, the war veterans meet together. When these old comrades call upon Mr. Briand for his opinions, is it not a pleasure for him to speak to them and feel himself one of them? I have read the speech given by Mr. Briand before the soldiers who fought in the East, in which he said that one of the three happiest moments of his life came when he received the news that the Germans had failed to take Verdun15. Why then should a German be blamed if he counts as one of his happiest moments the time when he heard that the Battle of Tarmenberg16 had saved German soil from enemy hands? I address Mr. Briand himself and remind him of his words in Geneva when he spoke of the great deeds of both nations in their struggles with each other in the mighty days of the past – deeds so great that they make new deeds unnecessary. I, like Mr. Briand, am sure that those who experienced the glory and horror of the front in the World War will be those who will support a new era of peace. A few individuals who make speeches to the contrary cannot delude us about that.

So when we discuss Germany’s state of mind, let us not be unjust. All the speeches by French statesmen declare that France stands for peace and that she sees peace as the great ideal of all mankind. And yet this France has her Arc de Triomphe and so honors the memory of Napoleon I in a magnificent monument. Why then do people object when we lay wreaths at the monument of Frederick the Great17 and when we honor the patriotism which has defended house and home, wife and child, on the blood-soaked German soil which, more than any other, has been trampled by war? In every country the memory of the defeats of her would-be conquerors lives on Here in Norway people sing of the death of the powerful man who sought to destroy the independence of their land. In every man the memory of the struggles and the heroes of the past is alive. But these memories are not incompatible with the desire for peace in the future. Just as a person appreciates peace and relaxation the more after a life of action and strife, so the calm of the sea is truly appreciated only after a storm. We do not want to deceive ourselves by thinking that the world is a paradise. What we do want is the firm hope that the future bring a new era, built on those ideals which have sprung from the blood of battle. Where should this aspiration be stronger than in Europe, and where else in Europe than in those countries which suffered most from the war?

It was a turning point in European history when the Germans initiated the policy which led by way of Locarno to Geneva. Just read what Mr. Briand said about the significance of this German decision. Along this road, Germany has experienced numerous and profound disappointments. This is not the place to discuss them in detail. I do not think of Locarno only in terms of its consequences for Germany. Locarno means much more to me. It is the achievement of lasting peace on the Rhine, guaranteed by the formal renunciation of force by the two great neighboring nations and also by the commitment of other states to come to the aid of the victim of an act of aggression in violation of this treaty. Treuga Dei, the peace of God, shall reign where for centuries bloody wars have raged. It can and it ought to be the basis for a general cooperative effort among these nations to spread peace wherever their material power and moral influence reach. The overwhelming majority of the German people support these aims. The youth of Germany can be won over to the same cause. Youth sees its ideal of individual physical and spiritual achievement in the peaceful competition of the Olympic Games and, I hope, in technical and intellectual development as well.

Those who strive for these ideals, however, cannot succeed in the long run when, years after the war, foreign bayonets remain unsheathed in a nation which, although defeated, rejects revenge and asks only for peace. The policy of Locarno is incompatible with policies of distrust, violence, and oppression. Locarno is the policy of understanding and free will. It is the policy of faith in a new future and, in contrast to the policies of the past, it must become the policy of the future. Germany faces this future with a stable nation which has been based upon hard work, upon an economy which will give increasing millions income and security in our cramped territory, and upon a vital spirit which strives for peace in accordance with the philosophies of Kant and Fichte18.

If I understand you correctly, it was your people – a people that, having lived in peace for a hundred years, wished to endorse these ideas by means of the awards of the Nobel Committee – who decided that the men of Locarno should receive recognition for their efforts. In this you have remained true to the great ideals of your country. You have used your long period of peace for creative work in widely differing fields of science and research. You have sent men to the far corners of the earth who, with Faustian striving, have wanted to enlarge human understanding to the ultimate. You have opened your sympathetic hearts to the nations that suffered during the postwar period and to the people expelled from their native soil, all victims of the war and its aftermath. Thus you have combined love of your own country with love of your fellowmen, national pride with international action.

Today, in the capital of your country, I am happy to be allowed to express my thanks for the honor which you have shown us. With my thanks I link the hope that the ideals on which this honor is based may become the common property of dissenting nations. That great German who perhaps more than any other extended his influence beyond his own national boundaries said of his own times: “We belong to a generation struggling out of the darkness into the light.”19 May his words be true of our own times.

* This lecture was delivered to a distinguished audience that overflowed the Auditorium of Oslo University and to an even larger one throughout Norway, Sweden, and Denmark to whom it was broadcast. This translation is based on the German text in Les Prix Nobel en 1926.

1. Frederick William I (1688-1740), king of Prussia (1713-1740).

2. From The Task (1785), Book II, l. 206, by William Cowper (1731-1800).

3. Stresemann was a delegate to the League of Nations from the time of Germany’s entry in September of 1926 to 1929. Some of the ideas referred to here were among those advanced in Stresemann’s first speech to the League.

4. Édouard Herriot (1872-1957), leader of the French Radical Socialists, several times premier of France.

5. Because of a number of factors – among them, reparation payments, the tight of German capital abroad, the obstacles to the revival of German foreign trade – Germany was faced with a budgetary deficit which it met by issuing currency; in the resulting inflation the mark dropped in value from 4.2 to the dollar to 4,200,000,000,000 to the dollar.

6. On January 11, 1923, by French and Belgian troops; they withdrew on July 31, 1925.

7. Named for Charles G. Dawes, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1925, the plan was put into effect on September 1, 1924; by its terms Germany received an international loan, payment of reparations was adjusted according to Germany’s capacity to pay, German finances were stabilized with the reorganization of the Reichsbank under Allied supervision.

8. (James) Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937), a founder of the British Labor Party, prime minister of Great Britain (1924; 1929-1935).

9. Aristide Briand (1862-1932), Nobel Peace co-laureate for 1926.

10. This note, jointly issued by Chancellor Luther and Foreign Minister Stresemann, stated that Germany would accept a pact which guaranteed the Rhine frontier. Later in 1925, Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, and Czechoslovakia met in Locarno, Switzerland, and entered into: (I) a pact of mutual guarantee and nonaggression (known as the Locarno Pact, involving Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy) ; (2) four separate arbitration treaties (between Germany on the one hand and France, Belgium, Poland, and Czechoslovakia on the other) ; and ( 3 ) two separate treaties of guarantee (between France on the one hand and Poland and Czechoslovakia on the other).

11. In the course of his remarks to the Assembly on September 10, 1926, Briand said: “… our nations need give no further proof of their strength or of their heroism. Both nations have shown their prowess on the battlefield, and both have reaped an ample harvest of military glory. Henceforth they may seek laurels in other fields.” (League of Nations, Official Journal, Special Supplement No. 44, p.53.).

12. Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934), German field marshal and commander of the armies of the Central Powers (1916-1918); president of Germany (1925-1934).

13. Ascribed to Bishop Remigius of Rheims, who baptized King Clovis and 3,000 of his troops in Paris on Christmas Day, A. D. 496, by Gregory of Tours in The History of the Franks, II.22.31. Transl. by O.M. Dalton (Oxford University Press, 1927), Vol.11, p.69.

14. Friedrich von Schiller, The Bride of Messina, Act I, 11.226-227.

15. In 1916, over a million French and German soldiers died at Verdun, but the French retained the position, heeding Marshal Pètain’s injunction, “They shall not pass.”

16. A battle in 1914 in which the Germans under Hindenburg and Ludendorff practically destroyed a Russian army advancing on East Prussia.

17. Frederick II (Frederick the Great) (1712-1786), king of Prussia (1740-1786).

18. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) ; his “categorical imperative” of moral conduct may be briefly stated in this way: Act in such a way in any given instance as if the principle governing the act were to become a universal principle. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814), German philosopher and political leader; he based his ethical idealism on Kantian doctrine.

19. From Goethe; see Vol. 14, p.697, of the Artemis-Gedenk edition of Schriften zur Literatur, Kurze Anzeigen III.

From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1926-1950, Editor Frederick W. Haberman, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972

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