- Yg. 1925, No. 9 -
Today, March 1st, by order of the Reich Ministry of the Interior and with the participation of the “church authorities”, "Remembrance Day for the Victims of World War" committed. D. Red.
Remembrance days are milestones on the long road to forgetfulness and thoughtlessness. Today is another one; and there is no doubt that it will be "worthy" and in a certain sense "uplifting". Because the more we move away from the “big event”, the sooner the patriotic rhetoric has the prospect of defeating memory.
Looking backwards, it would be impossible to maintain dignity when certain people step on the podium to speak with a raised voice about the sad result of their state of mind.
At the congress of workers and soldiers' councils in Berlin in December 1918, Richard Müller said in his opening speech: “Before we go to our work, this great, beautiful and hard work, we want to remember those unhappy people who were victims of the curse-laden, overthrown system (the congregation rises) whose bones rest outside in cool earth. But we also want to remember those fallen freedom fighters who fell in the fight for the socialist republic. All the working people thank these heroes unforgotten will they live on as the great dead of the socialist republic ... "
How often have such and similar speeches been given since this first memorial speech? People from all camps, more or less burdened with the complicity in the incomprehensible.
The speaker poses at such a celebration and says about: our heroes have fallen as Victim a cursed system; but the memory replies: did not you vote for the war credits? Or the speaker says they went out to the country verteidigen against Welschen revenge and English greed; then the memory: did not you send the first declaration of war into the world? What did you do to prevent the war? The speaker says: we fought for Law and Justice and our just cause; but memory says: have not we come to Belgium and trampled on international law at the beginning? Did not we deport French women and tear Belgian civilians out of their families? Factories unnecessarily plundered and French mines drowned? The speaker says: in justified self-defense we took the sword, our only aim was defense; on it the memory: did not you want to annex half the world? Why are you screaming about the robbed colonies?
The speaker says: Shoulder to shoulder we fought, a united people of brothers, we died and suffered together, united in need and death as German brothers: we loved united, we hated united, we all had only one enemy ... But memory says: you did not get out of that Death and the agony of your brothers have profited? have you not sat far from the shot and far from the distress of hunger? Have not some experienced illness and infirmity, the loss of their existence and their savings, and have not you got over the "great times" safely?
The speaker says: the Victory was within reach when the patriotic knocked the sword out of our hand and stuck the dagger in the back; then the memory: the stab in the back - that was the "national community" of the fatherland party and the class egoism of the haves, who avoided the last victim and let the people bear all the burdens until they collapsed. The speaker: the most unprecedented self-sacrifice all circles have been betrayed by criminals for their fruits; but the memory replies: what do you have for a free game with the Kriegsanleihe driven? Just so as not to diminish your property, you put everything on one card and told the little man, who anyway stated life and health, that this is the “safest capital investment” and the “best savings bank”. Instead of having swung yourself up like the perfidious Albion to cup the property and the war profits. The speaker: the Germans in good faith are on that fourteen points fallen for a political rogue; the memory of it: that Wilson is inferior with his ideas, is the work of those men so closely related to your minds.
The speaker says: one un-German nature has won the upper hand in Germany; Memory replies that, of course, never, and nowhere, has shameless and cowardly been fought against homophobia by murder and manslaughter, and never has the judiciary shown so little interest in reviving the trampled law.
The speaker concludes: rather, Germany will not gain new prestige, too Power and size get before the old spirit has triumphed over the spirit of the “November criminals”; then the memory: after the last few years it is possible that he will win again, but only to drive Germany towards its ultimate doom.
But just as the memory tries to open its mouth in order to actually reply to all this to the speaker, it is prevented by the powerful applause of the deeply moved audience, which “fully” agrees with the speaker.
1925, 9 · Hermann Mauthe