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If one were asked to choose a building in Berlin to be a monument of the spirit of overweening pride, ostentatious wealth, and unlimited ambition in which Germany made her fatal bid for worlddominion, I would not take the Imperial Schloss, with its memories of Frederick the Great; nor yet those hideous red-brick factories of bloodshed, the War School and the General Staff Offices, where the German sword was sharpened; nor even the Deutsche Bank, where German wealth was mobilised, straddling ostentatiously over a whole parish of the city, with bridges connecting its departments over intervening streets. To my mind the memories of old Imperial arrogance linger still more about the Adlon Hotel,
VOL. CCVII.-NO. MCCLVI.
the resort of capitalists and Junkers, the offspring in bronze and marble of the glut of German prosperity that led up to the national fall.
There it stands, jutting out on to the aristocratio Pariser Platz, in front of the historic Brandenburger Thor. It is No. 1 on Unter den Linden, the Kaiser's processional way. The Adlon was to have served as grand stand for the triumphal return of the Imperial armies after the rapid victory expected in 1914, when the conquering troops brought back the overlordship of Europe to lay at the feet of the German Emperor. On the outbreak of war, the all-foreseeing General Staff requisitioned in advance every window of the hotel for the Kaiser's guests at the anticipated festival of victory.
Here, on the 1st of January, dom have walls heard more
the Kaiser used to give an annual dinner to his Generals, at which he delivered a confidential speech on Army policy for the coming year. The Emperor's bust, in the helmet and breastplate of the Cuirassiers of the Guard, still swaggers in stone above the fireplace in the vestibule, though it owes its preservation there only to the ready wit of the hotel manager, who told the mob destroying Kaiseremblems at the revolution of November 1918 that the statue represented Lohengrin. And in this entrance-hall used to be seen, at one time or another, all the Big Men of Germany,-the Generals, the Statesmen, the Financiers, the whole galaxy of Realpolitiker, whose deliberate aim it was to make Deutschland über Alles in der Welt a concrete reality.
And now, after Germany's defeat, this Berlin hostelry still plays a role symbolio of the country's reversed conditions, for here live the Allied officers, whose functions are to dismantle the militarist system which the Adlon used to typify.
Seldom within five years has any building witnessed a greater somersault of history; seldom has the overthrow of misguided ambition been more dramatically illustrated; sel
bitter sighs than those of the
Yet Junkerdom has still
Politically, the Prussian Junker is as out-of-date as the King's Champion at 8 British Coronation. And consequently, when a Junker gets control of the machine-guns, he is a far more dangerous institution than ever was his medieval prototype.
The Allies are chiefly responsible for the recent flareup of expiring Junkerdom in Germany.
In the bad peace which they drew up in Paris, they made the mistake of treating Germans as a homogeneous people.
No country in the world-ex- the Junkers, militarists, procept a few small states of fessors, and pan - Germans, cognate social institutions like Roumania-contains so divergent interests and such a spirit of class - hostility as does this fifty-year-old artificial nation of modern Ger
You can make sound generalisations about France, because all Frenchmen, from the peasant in the fields to the President in the Elysée, think on the same lines, oherish the same highly national ideals, labour towards the same ends. can generalise about the white nations of the British Empire, where racial common-sense and inherited traditional prejudice take the place of the Frenchman's conscious ideals and keen intellectual precesses. America, too, has a national character of her own which she quickly stamps upon all her immigrants. But what, except language, has the Lutheran German baron of bleak East Prussia in common with the Catholic peasant of the Bavarian mountains; or the pallid, oynical, Berlin workman of Moabit with the even-tempered tiller of the vineyards of the Mosel? Yet there was no one at the Peace Conference who had the skill to turn these internal differences of Germany to good account. It would have been a great thing if, by skilful statesmanship, the Allies had contrived to differentiate between the mutually opposed component classes that make up the German nation, hamstringing as much as possible
who, until they die out, will always be so much political yeast, keeping the German national mixture in uneasy fermentation; while, on the other hand, they made postwar conditions as easy as the satisfaction of the just claims of Allied war-victims would allow for the great mass of the German people, which is capable of being won over to loyal co-operation with the rest of the civilised world.
By its failure thus to exploit the faots of German internal politics, and, above all, by the delay with which it brought into force, the Peace Treaty has worked as a most useful instrument of propaganda in the hands of the German Junker olass, while the German Republican Government, which adopted an outwardly submissive mood towards its stern provisions, has been constantly weakened thereby in its authority over the nation.
This was especially the case in the matter of the surrender of the war criminals. Here the Allies first demanded that Ludendorff and other leaders of the German Army should be given up along with the common murderers and plunderers. Then they withdrew this demand. The German militarists, who had been fulminating about resistance, at once claimed a victory. miserable weak-kneed Government wanted to yield these national heroes," they boasted to their fellow countrymen.
"We said No, and it was No. it looks to observers in Britain or the United States.
Now you see what stout
fellows we are.
That was the atmosphere which the Junkers had contrived to produce in Germany when they started their revolution. If they had not mismanaged it so hopelessly in the most elementary details, if they had had sufficient sense to mask their real aims behind a programme of popular reforms, they would have stood some chance of making good.
There is much that is rotten in the state of Germany. The present Socialist Government has not been able to prevent a shameless system of profiteering in the necessaries of life, which is one of the root sources of the present desperately high cost of living. Moreover, all classes of the German nation that still have anything to lose, and value a quiet life, are genuinely soared of Bolshevism, which in this country seems a far more real and aggressive danger than
A strong, sane, militarist government which showed that it had national and not class interests at heart, and made at any rate a show of liberal principles, might have found 8 tolerant following among large classes of the German people. But a conspiracy of incompetent, selfseeking officers and aristocrats had no chance at all. And it took Germany but twentyfour hours to find out that Dr Kapp, General Lüttwitz, and their unavowed but everpresent sponsor, General Ludendorff, amounted to no more than this.
The Junkers failed because their attempt was organised by officers, and it has been shown again and again, both during the war and since, that German officers have no political sense whatever. All that they have in its place is an out-of-date class prejudice.
Junker revolution of but as the Bolshevist Army March 13 had its first beginnings last autumn in the Baltic Provinces. There, when the war ended, a force was in existence called "The Iron Division," commanded by General von der Goltz, of the same family as the Marshal who reorganised the Turkish Army.
The first order which the Allies gave after the Armistice to the Iron Division was that it should return to Germany,
was then on the frontiers of the Baltic States, and the retirement of the German troops would have left the door open for Esthonia, Lithuania, and Latvia to be overrun, the Supreme Council decided to send the division back again and use it as a frontier guard against a Bolshevist offensive westwards. The troops of the Iron Division were good fighting material. Their officers had much the same kind of
influence over them that the the unpleasant one of looking leaders of mercenary com- for uncongenial civilian work
panies exercised in the Thirty Years' War. Discipline that affected their fighting efficiency was striot, but plundering of the civilian population of the Baltic States, whose property they were supposed to be defending, was winked at. The more feared and hated the troops of the Iron Division came to be, the readier they grew to carry out blindly any orders their officers might give; and the latter were not slow in conceiving the plan of using this reckless band of mercenaries as an instrument for the overthrow of the new Republican Government in Ger
Last December the Allies sent the French General Niessel into the Baltic Provinces to see that this "Iron Division" was at last brought back to Germany for demobilisation. They came, looting as they marched. And on arrival in Germany they were duly disbanded. But the disbandment was only a sham. The officers of the Baltic troops had come to a secret understanding with their men that the latter, instead of going to their homes, should be spread about on various country estates in the Junker province of East Prussia, where, living in idleness on good country food, and with money in their pockets, they should await orders to march on Berlin to overthrow the Socialist Cabinet and establish a Junker Government in its place. Such a prospect was an attractive alternative to
disorganised Germany. Large numbers of the men accepted it. The Monarchist party found the necessary money. Thanks to the connivance of Junker staff officers, the disbanded men kept their arms.
In this way was formed the nucleus of a force of reliable troops, ripe for any purpose to which their officers might call them. The hand of the revolutionists was armed.
It now remained to win over to the Monarchist cause a large backing of army officers. This was an easy task. Few were taken so fully into the confidence of the leaders of the Junker movement as to be told actual details of the plot, but their support was assured when the time came.
Melodrama too played its part in this work of organisation. In the Hohenzollernstrasse, one of the streets in the fashionable Tiergarten quarter, there is a large medern house which, during the closing months of last year, was used as an international Allied club by the various members of Allied nationalities who are now living in Berlin. The club was closed at the end of December, owing to the fact that the members of the naval and military Allied Missions had formed a club of their own on Unter den Linden, while the civilian members were not sufficient in number to keep the place going. It was not long, however, before the premises were once more opened as a club-house. A German