Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, July 29, 2018

11 November 1918 at Compiègne: The German Representatives Declaration

I've overlooked this section in my past readings of the Armistice document.  It's very revealing of the German representatives' fears about what was unfolding back home.

German Delegates Sign the Armistice


The German Government will naturally endeavor with all its power to take care that the duties imposed upon it shall be carried out. The undersigned plenipotentiaries recognize that in certain points regard has been paid to their suggestions. They can therefore regard the comments made on November 9, on the conditions of the armistice with Germany and the answer handed to them on November 10, as an essential condition of the whole agreement.

They must, however, allow no doubt to exist on the point that in particular the short time allowed for evacuation, as well as the surrender of indispensable means of transport, threatens to bring about a state of things which, without its being the fault of the German Government and the German people, may render impossible the further fulfillment of the conditions.

The undersigned plenipotentiaries further regard it as their duty with reference to their repeated oral and written declaration once more to point out with all possible emphasis that the carrying out of this agreement must throw the German people into anarchy and famine. According to the declarations which preceded the armistice, conditions were to be expected which, while completely insuring the military situation of our opponents, would have ended the sufferings of women and children who took no part in the war. 

The German people, which has held its own for 50 months against a world of enemies, will, in spite of any force that may be brought to bear upon it, preserve its freedom and unity.

A people of 70,000,000 suffers but does not die. 


1 comment:

  1. Those last two paragraphs - sentences - are so fierce. Even epic.