4 AUGUST 1939, Page 6


THERE would be little profit in trying to nail down consistently the numberless mis-statements of German propagandists—such an assertion, for example, as this, from a booklet on Danzig that is being circulated broadcast in this country and France: " The proposition concerning the ' incessant German aggres- sion' is an imputation which cannot be based on the argument that Germany betrayed fundamental principles by occupying the foreign territories of Bohemia and Moravia. The rest of the world is well aware that the establishment of the Protec- torate was intended primarily to put an end to Germany's own relations with Czecho-Slovakia being at the mercy of a policy of internationalistic self-interest as pursued by the imperialist democracies, and to pacify once and for all the Central European region."

That nonsense carries its refutation on its face. But one legend, that Germany was not beaten in the field but " tricked into surrender " by reliance on President Wilson's promises has been repeated so often—it is being aired again today in articles on the 25th anniversary of the outbreak of war—that some people even in this country are disposed to believe there is something in it. There is nothing in it— not one word. The demand for peace came not from the civilians but from the beaten army, which had been retreat- ing for three months when the Armistice was signed. Hindenburg and Ludendorff left the Government no option. According to them even twenty-four hours' delay might mean new and grave disasters. It was on their insistence and theirs alone that the Government approached the Allies and ultimately signed the Armistice on November i 1 th.