Thus Speaks Germany

Ed. by W. W. Coole and M. F. Potter $3.50 HARPERS
A WAR with Germany would scarcely be complete without an anthology convicting the Germans, out of their own mouths, of being a very wicked people. This type of war literature was familiar in 1917 and 1918, and Mr. Coole and Mr. Potter have done a good job of assembling an impressive mass of quotations from the writings and utterances of more or less prominent Germans, extolling force and contempt for absolute moral values and setting forth ideas of racial superiority. The Germans are an uncommonly easy people to convict because even before the Third Reich they had a habit, disastrous for their international reputation, of blurting out defiant glorifications of force in situations where other peoples would probably have employed more finesse. Yet the anthology compiled to prove a case throws less light on that complex phenomenon, a national character, than the careful study which puts in light as well as shade and does not consider statements apart from their context. It is questionable whether Germany was as hopeless under the Weimar Republic as the editors believe; it is unhistorical not to mention the terrific impact of the world crisis as a primary cause of the rise of Hitler. If Germany elected its Hindenburg, France after 1871 had its reactionary General-President, MacMahon. The problem of fitting Germany into the pattern of a future Europe is hard enough; still it is not as hopeless as this competent but one-sided compilation would indicate. W. H. C.