THE GERMANS IN OUR MIDST.
To the Editor.
Sir-It is a pity that men who write on a question of national importance do not attach their names to their letters. It they have anything worth saying, any- thing that will be of service to us in the national crisis through which we are pass- ing, why not attach their names to their contributions? In speaking a much-needed word in defence of loyal German colonists one of your correspondents thinks that I am "Permeated with that over-fetched Bri- tish tolerance which has become almost a vice." He is quite mistaken. I recognise as much as he does the need for care and caution. The Prussian military system, with its apotheosis of war, and its ambi- tions, is a menace to the world; its mili- tary staff and many of its subordinate officers have been guilty of dastardly crimes against "humanity; apparently it has given birth to a system of almost universal espionage. It is right that, as a commu- nity, we should take every wise and ne- cessary precaution. I am sure that our German brethren, resident amongst us, will readily admit the justice of such ac- tion. Our Government and military au- thorities are doing this; why not let the
matter rest in their hands? What I do
object to is the unjust aspersions, in various ways, cast upon our loyal German colonists. Your correspondent signs him- self "British on Both Sides;" I am so on every side, and it is this fact that leads me to denounce the un-British conduct of a section of the community. Why should we refuse to work with a .man because he bears a German name? Why should he be regarded with dislike and suspicion, and made, in various ways, to feel uncom- fortable? Why should atrocious and some- times shocking falsenoods be set in circu- lation respecting some of our German colo- nists? Why should a movement be set on foot to deprive them of their positions, and perhaps to break up their homes and bring their wives and children to want? I am grateful to be a Briton, and glory in British tolerance; "hence one reason why
I speak for men whom I regard as my brethren, and who. through unfortunate and painful circumstances, cannot speak for themselves: hence another reason why I earnestly hope and fervently pray that
our nation will come victoriously through
the present conflict. Britain stands tor tolerance for freedom, for mercy, for jus- tice, and may Britain win! In relation to the present war some members of the com- munity are in danger of losing both their heads and their hearts. Why attempt by ¡nnuendo, falsehoods, and the manifesta- tion of a bitter persecuting spirit to create a breach between the English and German residents of this State? Our German colo- nists are not responsible for the war, nor for the spirit in which the German mili- tary, staff is conducting it. They are as innocent of the whole transaction as I am. We shall have to live together after the war is ended, and, I trust, live in peace nnd harmony. Why unnecessarily add fuel to the present flame? One of the pro- roundest of all utterances is that of the Master's-"With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again."' This law is as absolute in the world of spirit as is the law of gravitation in the world of matter. If we are harsh, unsympathetic, and vindictive in relation to our German brethren in this State, can we wonder if they will feel so in relation to ourselves? It is a matter for regret that they are still to such a large extent "a people" within a people'*-an "imperium in imperio'*-*-but the creation of bitterness and antagonism will only intensify and tend lo perpetuate a condition of affairs that, from a national point of view, is unfortunate. What we need is fusion and integration, not division and segregation. But the party in our midst .who think that we are at war with ell Germans are creating bitterness, an- tagonism, and preventing the blending of
two robust nationalities in this State into one harmonious whole. ''British on Both Sides" says that he "has heard of many disloyal Germans."' Will he please attach his name to his letter, give the names of those disloyal Germans whom he knows
state the nature of their disloyalty, and have the charges investigated. I would suggest that every German colonist found guilty of treason should be interned and have his propeity confiscated, and that every person unable to substantiate a charge or spreading a false report should be heavily fined or imprisoned. Legisla- tion of this kind would perhaps clear the atmosphere and put an end to slander. In conclusion, let me say that the spirit that our German colonists have displayed in the face of muck that is painful and provoca- tive is admirable. They have recognised the fact that in relation to this war both English and German colonists have been placed in a very painful and unfortunate position.-I am, &c.,
Methodist Parsonage, Norwood, Septem- ber 11, 1915.
Sir-The Rev; J. Blacket's letter is cal- culated to misrepresent both facts and the. general situation. Are many Germans Methodists? Is Mr. Blacket so intimate with many Germans and classes of Germans as to qualify him to speak? The German colonists referred to are British subjects - some of them loyal; very many more are disloyal, hoping and doing what they dare for the victory of Germany in this world war. What they dare is much more than is generally known-at present; such is the conviction of many of "us who know the Germans. Tlie disloyal section gavethem sehes away at the jump, even from before August 4. They proclaimed Germany's suc- cess and thus showed that pure sentiment onlv influenced them, since tile history and diplomatic" exchanges were unknown then. This disloyal section is not the victim of circumstances; it deliberately accepted the teachings of Consul Kiliani, received and entertained him, permitted him to teach treason to their children, British subjects, in the Lutheran .schools which he sys- tematically visited. Neither 'Lutheran pas- tor nor Lutheran teacher protested. Our spineless Government, if it knew anything about it, did nothing, so far as I ever heard. Why? Members of the Legislature were hosts of and entertained the fellow! Mr Blacket speaks of "our duties to!'-what about "their duties" to the Empire which received them, sheltered them, and placed them on a par with its own citizens, be- lieving that Germans were capable of grati- tude and would show it when occasion arose? What sort of return have we got? Are Germans or men of German blood a strength to the Empire anywhere? At the first touch they have failed us. Their race, now regarded with disgust and contempt the world over, proves to be hopelessly false and treacherous to any and every oath or pledge where .Germanism is adversely af- fected by such pledge. What use is any oath of allegiauce norn such a people? What right, therefore, has such a people to citizenship? Why should British sub- jects, young children, be taught in a Luthe- ran school to sing .'Germania rules the waves*'? Why. in their childish games m their playground, should they use a jingle rhyme to the effect, *T don't love the red, white, and "blue; red. white, and black is the flag for me"? Why should their childish minds "be warped by having "Deutschland lieber alles" taught them in their class- room? All this and much more has hap
pened in a village not 100 miles from Ade- laide, and we British residents, having re- ported the matter, have to possess our souls in patience, waiting for action which never follows. I agree with the view ex- pressed to me by Luthcra ns that Lutheran schools should be entirely suppressed. Lutheranism is a decadent faith, even in Germany, where the northern (Protestant", races are pure materialists. But this is another story. Have not Prussia, the Hbhcnzolierns, and the military caste, who instigated the war, received the whole- hearted support of all Germany? The three firstnamed shalL leeeivo special treatment, I have no doubt, but all Germany is blood guilty, and full punishment will fall on it also. Here and there unite of German blood have spoken out as units dissociat- ing themselves with eventhing German, but the majority which professes to be loyal to Britain has itself only to blame if it has suffered, because of ita studied silence and want of frankness in openly taking aides and openly condemning the Kaiser and all his works. Parliamentarians of Ger- man descent. Lutheran pastors, with one or two honorable exceptions, such as Pas- tor Braun, of Hahndorf-men of somewhat better r-rtucation or in a better position than the bulk-what has any of them doue to teach, to give a lead to, the ordinary garden German, in the facts, the truth, or ûhe justice of the Allies' cause? Xothinit. A studied silence everywhere. Does- such a eommnnit-v deserve any consideration at all? 1 think not. This whole question is in the hands of the people of Australia. Our politic;ans will do nothing unless driven to action, bet-ause they study only and fear tlte adverse German vote next election. The naturalisation laws require to be entirely rccast I think naturalisation and full citizenship should be absolutely denied in future to Gennans and Austrians. Indeed, we do trot want them here at all, and it is nothixKT less than scandaJons foll-y which permits aliens and men of alien descent to occupy public positions. Wc arc paying now, and shall continue to pay and to suffer for a generation, for our blind, fatuous folly ia the -past. ¡Wv <*> «ot intend Ürafc oar
children shall have to undergo a repetition of our sufferings from our and their con- tinued neglect to learn our- lesson*-I
Sir-The absolute impartiality and honest fairness of the Rev. J. Blac-kct's letter on the position of Germans here should com- mend it to all fair-minded and ritrht-think ing Britons. There are thousands of Gor- mans who have come to this country
eseapc the yoke of Prnssian militarism, who have, taken up their abodes in Blumberg, Hahndorf. Tanunda, along the Murray Flats, and other pi ices, who are all natu- ralised British subjects, marrying Austra- lian^ women, or -vice versa, and rearing Aus- tralian families. . They have become citi- zens of the very highest order, and are
above leproach in every possible way. I They are hard workers, and, through thrift and industry, have turned wilderness into fertile plains. They - are not Socialistic
agitators or strikemongers, nor aro they I Liberal grumblers or growlers. They keep out of law courts and pubs, and" even
other conceivable place likely to lead them ! to trouble. They are citizens this country ' isglad to have, and'would not like to be without. Because they escaped from the
tyrannical thraldom and oppression of their | own country and took np their abode in j this their newly, adopted country, in their ambition to lead in tne very essential ideals of true citizenship, are they now, because a war has broken out with their discarded country, to suffer the iniquity and lurmilia tion of being boycotted, abused, tyran- nised, and starved by a section of Jingo fanatics, whose distorted vision sees in any-
one bearing a German name, a spy, a ¡ traitor, or a would-be murderer? Honestly, are these unfortunate people responsible for this damnable, wicked war? Are the poor bleeding peasantry of Germany to-day re-, sponsiblc for the cruel, merciless outrage-: perpetrated upon innocent victims on land and sea by the Kaiser's -cursed military friends, who are daily breaking every tenet ' of civilised or international law; who are adopting the foulest means that devilish fiends could employ, and still fouler means they might yet employ? I ask fair and liberal minded Australians and Englishmen,
who love right and justice, are these law-, abiding and Trustworthy citizens, who arc, held in the very highest esteem by every ; storekeeper and shopkeeper who has trans-! acted business with them for years post,
are they responsible for the dcy-lish, ' fiendish outrages of their cruel military ¡ caste? I say, emphatically, Noland every right-thinking man in .-the community will
agree with mc, '"The English flag:" < think of it! How grand it sounds! What a micrhty emblem of truth, honor, justice, and freedom. The very thought of it, the ¡very look of it, should instil in every brcast the realisation of one's better and nobler self. Let every man. woman, and child be taught ever to keep it before their mind's eyes and "before their hearts. It will inculcate a purer, better, nobler love, for their country. They will at any and at all times put down malignors and traitors, and consign them to the just punishment their offence deserves. If tbey follow the flag faithfully they cannot, will not. do wrong, for in it lies the emboldened
emblem of "Faith, Hope, and Charity.'*- !
I am, &c.
AN AUSTRALIAN THAT SEES [This correspondence is closed.-Ed.]