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In every man the memory of the struggles and the heroes of the past is alive. But these memories are not incompatible with the desire for peace in the future.
If one seeks to analyze experiences and reactions to the first postwar years, I hope one may say without being accused of bias that it is easier for the victor than for the vanquished to advocate peace.
I must begin by saying something about the old Germany. That Germany, too, suffered from superficial judgment, because appearances and reality were not always kept apart in people's minds.
History uses a unit of measure for time that is different from that of the lifespan of the individual, whereas man is only too ready to measure the evolution of history by his own yardstick.
Historians still often see the end of the war as meaning nothing more for Germany than lost territories, lost participation in colonization, and lost assets for the state and individuals. They frequently overlook the most serious loss that Germany suffered.
Here we encounter two conflicting concepts with which we must come to grips in our time: the idea of national solidarity and the idea of international cooperation.
For the victor peace means the preservation of the position of power which he has secured. For the vanquished it means resigning himself to the position left to him.
During the past few years I have led a sometimes hard battle for German foreign policy.
Dante can be understood only within the context of Italian thought, and Faust would be unthinkable if divorced from its German background; but both are part of our common cultural heritage.
But just as haste and restlessness are typical of our present-day life, so change also takes place more rapidly than before. This applies to change in the relationships between nations as it does to change within an individual nation.
As a result of the World War, this old Germany collapsed. It collapsed in its constitution, in its social order, in its economic structure. Its thinking and feeling changed.
As a consequence of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the officer corps of the old army became part of this class, as did that part of the younger generation who, in the old Germany, would have become officers or civil servants.
As a confirmed individualist I certainly do not wish to underrate the influence of the individual, for the masses do not lead the individual; rather, in the individual is vested the capacity to lead the masses.
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