1920s >> 1925 >> no-256-december-1925

War-Time Fairy Tales

Little by little facts are leaking out which expose the hypocrisy and unscrupulousness of the Allied Government in their efforts to blacken the character of the trade rival they wished to suppress in the late war.

Through the instrumentality of Brigadier-General Charteris we learn that the tale about the German “Corpse Factory” was only a fake after all. This tale was much exploited during the war to induce or coerce men to join up and help to smash the power of the “ Hun.”

Poison gas was supposed to be another illustration of German frightfulness. Last year Professor Pollard, of London, disposed of this fairy tale when addressing the education Society of the South and West, at Plymouth. The Daily News correspondent reported Professor Pollards remarks in the following way :

 Incidentally, he said, it was a British chemist— whom he know well—and not the Germans who first proposed the use of poison gas in war. He proposed its use to the Japanese Government during the Russo-Japanese War.—(Daily News, May 12th, 1924.)

Under the influence of war fever, atrocities are always committed, hut it is the game of each side to magnify the crimes committed by the other side. Wars are among the evils born out of private property and are on the same moral level as may be inferred from the fact that religious organisations on each side urge the respective combatants to fly at each other’s throats.

When sufficient working men grasp the hollowness of war ideals and war stories it will be difficult in war time to persuade them to enlist for the purpose of murdering one another.

During the last great war I was reproached for not taking my part in the great struggle for “liberty and the protection of small nationalities.” The friend who reproached me pointed out that if everyone acted as I did England would be overrun by the Germans and our sacred fatherland would be filched from us. When, in reply, I pointed out that if everyone acted as I did there would be no war, as there would be no one to fight, my friend was taken aback, stumped; he hadn’t thought of that! And it is curious how many working men take up this attitude. They look upon working men of other nations as beings composed of different material from themselves; as aliens in thought, feelings and desires. This view is entirely wrong. Working men of other countries are of the same human material as English working men ; they are in a similar subjected position and have similar loves, hopes, fears, and desires; and finally they are duped by their masters in similar ways.

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