The Fayette County Union
West Union, Fayette Co., Iowa
Page 7 column three
WHY WE FIGHT
Because Germany for Years Has Been Making Secret, Treacherous
War on Us
By CLARENCE L. SPEED
Secretary of the War
Committee of the Union League Club of Chicago.
~ transcribed by
One of the deep, underlying reasons -- not just a diplomatic pretext --
why we are at war with Germany is that for a generation Germany has
been making war on us. Germany has made this war not openly, bravely,
or humanely, but secretly, treacherously and persistently. She has
sought to create race discord, to corrupt and defile politicians and
officeholders, and to create separate German communities within our
borders. She has poisoned the minds of children in our schools in an
endeavor to make Germans of them instead of have them grow up into
loyal American cities. She has invaded the sacredness of the pulpit
itself in an endeavor to corrupt our people through the very
of morality to whom they are accustomed to look for guidance.
These may be startling assertions, but they are all true, as you shall
see from the documents of the
Germans themselves. We all knew that
it was a German fleet which stripped for action when Dewey sailed into
We all knew it was the Germans who sought to bring
about a European alliance against us when we were engaged in the war
with Spain. Few of us realized, however, that all these years Germany
has been busy within our own borders, through editors, teachers, and
preachers, seeking to break down our national unity, so that when the
time came it would be easy to defeat the United States in open warfare,
to set at naught our cherised Monroe doctrine, and to seize, in the
Western hemisphere, anything that the land grabbing rulers of the
German empire might desire.
The climax of Germany's underhanded
war on the United States came in 1913, more than a year before the
outbreak of hostilities in Europe. This was the enactment of what is
known as the Delbruck law, which provides that if an emigrant from
Germany who is about to be naturalized makes application to a German
consul, he may retain his German citizenship even after he has become a
citizen of his adopted country.
In plain words, this law, and
the application of it, mean just this: A German goes into court
in this country and solemnly foreswears allegiance to the Kaiser and
pledges his word -- the temptation was to say, "of honor" -- that he
will become a loyal citizen of the United States. Then he slips around
to the German consul and says: "You know I didn't meant that, at all.
Those Americans are easy marks, and they fell for that stuff right off.
But you just put me down on your list as a good, loyal German, and if
the time ever comes when I can prove it, you can count on me."
So the German consul puts his name down in the little card index of
which the Germans are so fond,
and this man, -- this creature who
swears allegiance to the country which gives him an opportunity to make
a real living, and to become somebody in this world, and at the same
time swears secretly to be true to Germany -- is turned loose to work
his will, while Americans go carelessly about their business and refuse
to see the danger in the arrangement.
Long before passage of the
Delbruck law, there was formed the Verein fur das Deutschtum in Ausland
-- the Union for Germanism in Foreign Lands. This organization,
officially fostered in Germany, issued a quarterly magazine, which, in
its very first issue, outlined its aims as follows: "The purpose of
this union is the preservation and promotion of the Germanism of over
30,000,000 people of German
blood dwelling outside the German
empire." All it aims to do, you see, is to keep Germans who come to
this country from becoming Americans.
Away back in 1890 the
Alldeutscher Verband, or the Pan-German league, was formed. It now
consists of 268 chapters of which two now are -- or at least were
immediately before the war -- in the United States, one in New Yorkand
one in San Francisco. To quote from the Alldeutsche Blatter, its
official publication, "the Pan-German league is founded for promoting
German National interests, both in Germany and in foreign lands."
A few thinking Americans knew all the time what was coming -- what
must come. But America, as a
whole, went along in that carelessness
and indifference with which it treats all things unpleasant, and
allowed this German war on our most sacred institutions to continue
So Germany stands today, with one foot on prostrate
Belgium and the other on the neck of poor deluded Russia; with a
bayonet planted in the heart of Serbia, and the point of its sword at
the throat of Roumania, while it looks out over the vassal States of
Bulgaria and Turkey to India and the Orient. And as it stands thus, it
cries to its foes on the western front: "Kahmerad! Why go on with all
this killing? Lets have a peace by negotiation?" and, under its breath,
adds, "I've got all I want for the present."
Can we talk of any
peace until such a Germany is absolutely defeated? Shall we negotiate a
allow all these German preparations for world domination
to go on until the time is ripe for Germany to complete its conquests?
transcribed and submitted by
Judith Schmitz for
Iowa in the Great War