marine force to Shanghai for the purpose of protecting the lives and properties of the five thousand and more American citizens now residing in Shanghai, including refugees from the interior. These forces, up to the present, have been quartered on the American ships at anchor in the Shanghai harbor. In case the situation at Shanghai should become worse, it is possible that these sailors and marines may be landed inside the boundaries of the International Settlement for protective purposes. But by no stretch of the imagination could this be interpreted as an aggression upon China, for just as soon as China became settled again these forces would be returned to their ships and taken home. America wants no Chinese territory, and American policy since earliest times has been predicated upon the hypothesis that American interests in the Far East would be best served by a strong and independent China that would be mistress within her own household, capable of protecting herself against foreign aggression, and dealing with all foreigners on an equal basis. Some may term this altruism or humanitarianism, self-determination, or what not. We term it plain common sense, for, as long as China is weak and disorganized and ignorant, the country is always bound to be a prey of more aggressive neighbors, and any resulting conflict in the Pacific growing out of the weakness of China would be certain to drag America in. Therefore American policy toward China is both good sense and good business, for a strong Nationalist China would certainly be a better customer for American products than a weak and disorganized China, and a strong and unified China would be a better neighbor than a weak, disorganized China.


American residents of China may differ on details, but they are united on

the fundamentals of American policy as stated in the foregoing. But the American residents of China are harassed by all kinds of influences, business and social. There are some American business men who have close affiliations with the Japanese, and there are others who have close affiliations with the British. Some Americans, influenced by non-American propaganda, think that America should follow a 'proBritish' policy, and others think we should follow a 'pro-Japanese' policy. Now the truth of the situation is that the Americans resident in China should follow a pro-American policy. All of us are influenced by our daily associations, which is perfectly natural, because we are constantly meeting all kinds and manners of persons who give us their views and urge upon us certain lines of actions. The absence of an American-owned and -edited newspaper in Shanghai makes the American position more difficult both for the Americans and the non-Americans, for obvious reasons. But despite this, the average American citizen, man or woman, and the American organizations, particularly the Chambers of Commerce, should be able to keep their feet on the ground and realize the fundamentals of American policy. It makes no particular difference in the long run whether the British, the Japanese, the Russians, the French, or anybody else, from a local standpoint, approves or disapproves of American policy toward China so long as the Chinese approve of it, for our relations here are essentially with the Chinese, and all of us would have to go home shortly if the Chinese unitedly decided to cease doing business with us. If Washington can't keep our relations with Great Britain, France, Japan, Russia, and the rest of the world on a friendly footing, then there is little which any American residing in China can do to remedy the situation.


II. CROSS-CURRENTS IN GERMANY 2 DURING the turbulent period following the war and the revolution, the younger generation in Germany found itself in a chaotic state of mind, for, while the old order had been discredited by the lost war, the new Republic was still viewed with distrust in many quarters. The absolute faith of the Germans in their rulers, which was, before the war, so characteristic of the nation, had received a rude shock. This general lack of confidence in the existing state of things was responsible for the creation of numerous organizations, often of a semimilitary character, which have been much discussed both in Germany and abroad. These organizations played an important part, and although they have now lost their original military aspect they still exist and exert powerful, though less spectacular, influence than in the years immediately following the revolution.

It is a fact that nearly every German between the ages of fifteen and forty belongs to some society of a more or less political nature. These organizations can be divided roughly into three groups-Nationalist, Socialist-Democratic, and Communist; and, while their aims are opposed, their activities are similar in many respects. An enormous quantity of circulars, periodicals, and various publications is produced, and demonstrations and meetings are arranged. It is natural that in a country as heterogeneous as Germany the character of similar associations varies considerably in different parts of the Reich. Race, religion, and historical associations have a modifying influence on the identical movement. This applies in particular to such questions as the restitution of the Monarchy.

The Nationalist Associations are

2 From the Outlook (London Independent weekly), April 16

linked up in a Central Office, which does not, however, appear to exert a very effective control or to be in a sufficiently strong position to give all its affiliated societies a decisive lead in any one direction. The most important in this group is the Stahlhelm, with eight thousand local branches. This association of former soldiers who took an active part in the war has a membership of several hundred thousand, and publishes its own newspaper with a circulation of one hundred and seventy thousand. Its chief aims are active participation in the regeneration of Germany and the cultivation of the spirit of comradeship among the men who fought in the war. It cannot be said that the Stahlhelm represents a reactionary movement; its slogan is, 'We will win the Revolution' — that is, 'We want to create a new Germany on new foundations.'

One of the main doctrines taught by the leaders of the Stahlhelm is that the differences and antagonisms between the classes should disappear at the present time as they did during the war. Military conscription should be replaced by a form of conscription of labor—namely, every adult German should serve the State for one or two years in a capacity suited to his abilities and qualifications.

Special attention is paid to members belonging to the working class; every endeavor is made to win them for the Nationalist movement and to counteract the international doctrines of the Socialist school. A great deal of value is attached to physical fitness, which is fostered by sport and exercises of a more or less military nature. In view of the Nationalist orientation of this society it is rather surprising that the monarchist idea does not appear to play a rôle of any real importance.

The Jungdeutsche Orden, with about one hundred thousand members, was

[ocr errors][merged small]

modeled on the ancient Orders of the Crusaders. The religious element is strongly in evidence, and at the same time the old German traditions, poetry, dances, and pageants have been revived. This society flourishes chiefly in Central Germany.

A movement of considerable importance in the past was the Nationalsozialismus. This organization attracted a great deal of attention until Hitler, in conjunction with Ludendorff, attempted a revolutionary rising against the Constitution, which, however, ended in disaster and caused the disintegration of the movement. This This fiasco was attended by important consequences, as it discredited the idea, then prevalent in Nationalist circles, that a change in the existing régime could be brought about by violent and illegal methods.

The most important organization of the Democratic and Socialist youth is the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, whose chief political aim is the fostering of the Republican spirit. Considerable animosity appears to exist between this association, which is supported by the democratic press and the Social Democratic Party, and the Nationalist organizations.

A large number of young men of the working class, chiefly Socialists, belong to the Reichsbanner, but the Democratic and Republican middle classes are also well represented, and the movement is backed by influential Jewish circles.

A very practical importance attaches to the Communist organizations, rightly regarded as the vanguard of militant Bolshevism in Germany, which at one time was a grave menace. During the serious risings of the past in Hamburg, the Ruhr, and Saxony, these associations played an important part, and even now the military character of the chief organization, the Roter Front

kämpferbund, is apparent. A year ago it arranged in Berlin an imposing demonstration which served as a reminder that the Communists have not ceased to be a power to be reckoned with and a menace to the existing order. Forty thousand young Communists marched on Berlin from various parts of the country, mainly Saxony, in order to attend the meetings. So excellent was the discipline of the rank and file that not a single disturbing incident was recorded. This discipline is probably due to the strong influence exerted by Moscow on the German Communist organizations. It is said that Russian Red Army instructors were lent to the Roter Frontkämpferbund in order to inculcate the Communist youth with the fighting spirit and the blind obedience demanded of Russia's Red troops.

Apart from purely political movements, a considerable number of societies have come into existence whose aim it is to assist in the spiritual regeneration of Germany. It is interesting to observe the different way in which the younger generation in Germany and Russia reacted to the general demoralization which followed the revolution in both countries. While in Russia the majority of young people, at least in the towns, allowed themselves to be submerged by the tide of immorality following the collapse of the old order, the Germans, instinctively opposed to disorder, immediately began to band themselves together against the Schiebertum and dishonesty which threatened the very existence of the country.

In these nonpolitical societies the revival of the Christian idea has become increasingly pronounced, and even in purely political organizations which are not under the influence of Marxism or Communism the Christian ideal, coupled with the dislike for Bolshevism and all it implies, forms a

common link and is slowly mitigating the class distinctions so pronounced' in pre-war Germany.

The Nationalist Associations preach the need for keeping the German race free from the incursions of Slav and Semitic elements. The Nationalists are becoming imbued with the idea that the Germans as a Nordic people should arrive at a closer understanding with nations belonging to the same racial group, and that friendship with Britain, Scandinavia, and the United States should be the aim of German foreign policy.

Coöperation between these nations should lead to greater and more lasting results than the somewhat precarious rapprochement with France or the demoralizing contact with Bolshevist Russia. It is significant that, at a time when in Democratic and Socialist circles the closest coöperation with France is advocated, and when a Continental economic bloc which is to open up the great potential wealth of Russia is spoken about, the idea of a rapprochement between the English-speaking nations and Germany is being seriously discussed in German Nationalist quarters.

III. TROTSKII SPEAKS AGAIN 3 MONDAY is in Moscow a sort of artists' Sabbath, when the theatres are closed. Therefore every organization or society that wants to get a full house for some public cause chooses this time to hold its meetings. Only educational and public-welfare gatherings are allowed. Next Monday, for example, a poetical contest is announced at the Circus; a classical presentation of Gogol's Revizor is given by the best artists of the old school at the Big Theatre as a protest against the way it has been put on by Meierhold on his revolution

From Kölnische Zeitung (Conservative daily), April 11

ary stage; and at Meierhold's own theatre a public debate is scheduled between Lunacharskii, the People's Commissioner for Enlightenment, and various critics, actors, theatre directors, and poets, in which the theme is to be two of the latest dramas.

Thus it happened that, one pleasant Tuesday a few weeks ago, great posters appeared on the street corners, inviting the public to a Siberian literary evening to be held the following Monday in the Hall of Pillars of the Union House. Eight big red letters on the poster instantly caught the public eye. They were TROTSKII

Trotskii! Only eight days ago Prarda had given him such a scourging in its editorial columns that no loyal Communist dog would have accepted a piece of sausage from his hand. Really Trotskii? Lev Davidovich? There could be no mistake. L. D. Trotskii was to deliver an introductory address at the literary evening of the Siberian poets. By the following morning these posters had for the most part disappeared. Here and there you might discover in a back street one which had been overlooked. Every ticket had been sold. Did the Party regret having given the most important member of the Opposition a chance to speak? Everybody was whispering about it. I bought my ticket, for five times the original price, from an ostentatiously apathetic speculator, who was loitering on a corner not far from the box office, where he had a view down three different streets as well as a chance to study the disappointed faces of belated would-be purchasers. He tendered his ticket sotto voce, and I finally took it for about the equivalent of a railway ticket from Cologne to Berlin.

On Monday evening a queue between four and five hundred yards long stood in the damp, slowly falling March snow in front of the Union House, waiting to

be admitted. Militiamen on horseback and on foot kept order in a goodhumored way. The crowd did not make them much trouble, for the people of Moscow are expert queue-standers, having practised the art for years in front of shops, public offices, streetcar stops, and railway stations. Besides the ticket holders there was a great crowd of idle spectators waiting for something to turn up. But nothing sensational did happen. No one got into the building without a ticket - in fact, without having his ticket inspected by three different attendants.

When I arrived the white Hall of Pillars was already crowded, and yet people kept pushing in. Many of these were bright-eyed young men and women, evidently astir with intense expectation. Students and short-haired women but do not confuse their bob with that of a flapper were much in evidence. On the stage stood a table with a red cover, upon which were a carafe of water, a bell, and a radio microphone.

[ocr errors]

It is half an hour past opening time, but the public is not impatient. A nervous humming fills the room. Finally an unimposing little shrimp of a man steps out upon the stage. Evidently he is the chairman of the Siberian poets. He lifts the bell and opens the meeting. Before he has finished speaking the audience is on the qui vive. Necks are stretched, the people in the back of the house stand up, several crowd farther down the aisles. Then everybody rises to his feet and applauds - no, raves, screams, yells, with eyes fixed upon the little desk beside the chairman's table behind which Trotskii has suddenly appeared. The applause is not isolated. It does not rise and fall. It is a single prolonged explosion that beats like the surf against the shore upon the dark,

medium-sized man with the high forehead who stands there staring at the audience through shining spectacles. People stretch out their arms to him with trembling fingers, as if they would embrace him, as if to assure themselves that he is still alive and well. He certainly looks in robust health, and seems not a whit concerned because, after being the hero of the Revolution and the close colleague of Lenin, he is now reviled by the new leaders of the Revolution as an 'opportunist' and 'Menshevik.'

Several minutes elapse before the storm of cheering begins to subside. Even then it dies down only long enough for a stentorian voice to rise above the clamor shouting, 'Greetings, Comrade Trotskii!' when it bursts out wilder than ever. At length Trotskii lifts his hand. It is the first sign of life that his passive, statuesque figure has made. But instead of obedient silence a new chorus of cheering follows. 'Comrade Trotskii! 'Comrade Trotskii! Comrade Trotskii!! Comrade Trotskii!!!' is thundered in rhythmic unison. I have never seen an audience show such ungovernable enthusiasm, even when the greatest artists have won their supreme stage triumphs.

At length the applause dies away. Trotskii again lifts his hand. Only reluctantly do the people resume their seats. Then he begins to speak, calmly, with a clear, well-modulated voice that seldom rises above an easily audible conversational pitch. Yet he speaks with consummate platform art, avoiding all rhetorical flourishes, emphasizing his points with a mere gentle motion of the hand, his eyes steadily glittering through his bright glasses at his breathless audience. He describes in a matter-of-fact but arresting way distant Siberia, at one time a land of terror for all political suspects, but to-day the great hope of New Russia,

« ElőzőTovább »