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48,325 inhabitants before the war—that sand persons-one-eighth of the popuis, in 1869-had only 35,696 in 1874, lation-emigrated. Those who had been and among these one-third were immi the speediest to leave were young men grants. In the cities many houses were liable to military service: of 33,475 vacated and remained closed. Some vil- listed in 1872, 7,454 presented themlages lost all their valid men above the selves, of whom only 3,119 were recogage of fifteen years. The last days of nized as fit for service. The proportion September witnessed scenes that re was not the same during the following called the most tragic days of history. years because of the terrible conseThe roads were thronged with peasant quences the status of deserter from that families moving toward the west, push time on brought in its wake. In spite of ing carts and wheelbarrows loaded with reprisals visited upon families, 10,101 their poor possessions.
conscripts were missing in 1879. The “Where are you going?" they were tribunals condemned 4,125 deserters in asked.
1884, and 2,889 in 1899. Perilous as it “To France,” they replied, without was, desertions from the German Army knowing more; and if one expressed for the French Army never ceased. The alarm at their lack of forethought, they Alsatian and Lorrainer members of the answered, obstinately, “We will not die Socialist Party in France were able to Prussians.”
write, in August, 1917, to Branting and The movement of emigration con through him to the Dutch-Scandinavian tinued during the following years. It is delegation: estimated that about 35,000 persons left
The Socialists of Alsace-Lorraine, together between 1875 and 1880, 60,000 between
with an immense majority of their com1880 and 1885, 37,000 from 1885 till
patriots, never abandoned the affirmation of 1890, 34,000 between 1890 and 1895. right, however the form of protest may have In twenty-four years two hundred thou- changed in order to adapt it to tyrannical
circumstances. Our protest is attested by On June 12, 1873, Bismarck, who the presence under the French Aag of contingents from Alsace-Lorraine greater than
thought the time had come to give the
inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine an opporthose of any other French province. They reach the effective of several army corps. The tunity to show Berlin how they were glorious refugees of 1914 alone mount up to feeling, presented to the Reichstag a 16,000.
project of a law which was voted on German intelligence, powerful asitis in June 18th, according to which the conregard to material organization, has never been brilliant for comprehension of the sentiments that animate other peoples. Three years after the Treaty of Frankfort the moving spirits at Berlin believed that they could count upon the adhesion, or at least upon the resignation, of the annexed provinces. Had not the movement of emigration taken away the most ardent of the patriots? And as for the rest, could they remain insensible to the money which the German Government had scattered broadcast (with the billions extorted from France), multiplying contributions to the wounded, to the cripples and the orphans, raising the salaries of pastors and school-teachers, paying out in a single year ninety millions of francs as indemnities for the losses incurred in the operations of war? At the same time it is
MONSEIGNEUR PAUL DUPONT DES LOGES, BISHOP OF quite true that, by
METZ, THE CHIEF OF THE measures which unfortunately were to find imitators on stitution of Germany was to extend to the other side of the Vosges, Berlin had the annexed country from January 1, gone counter to the religious sentiments 1874. This, however, did not prevent of the Alsatians by closing parochial the dictatorship from being maintained schools and colleges, by forcing semina- with arbitrary rigor, but it involved this rists to perform military service, by ex- important consequence: Alsace-Lorraine pelling religious orders; but this counted could from that time on send fifteen little in comparison with the pecuniary Deputies to the Reichstag. As February advantages we have just mentioned and Ist drew near (the date set for the electhe evident disadvantages there would tions) the people slowly came out of be for whoever opposed the conquerors. the torpor that had held them for three
years. The immigrants and the autono Alsace and four for Lorraine. I have mist party, supported by the function before my eyes the figures of the votes aries and the newspapers (there existed obtained in Lorraine 67,648 protesting no such thing as a free press), believed voices out of 72,594 voters. Among the themselves masters of the situation, and Deputies elected were five Catholic they made haste to present candidates priests and the Bishops of Strasbourg everywhere. But soon there appeared and of Metz. The latter, Monseigneur among
them independent men who were Dupont des Loges, was until his death not afraid to expose themselves to re in 1886 the principal figure among the prisals, men who voiced the protest of protesting Deputies, and his prestige was right against might. Political divisions felt by the conquerors themselves. He and confessions disappeared; there were was a Lorrainer. In Alsace, Abbés Winno more conservatives or democrats, terer and Wetterlé were the most active Catholics, Protestants, or unbelievers of the Deputies. Abbé Wetterlé was only patriots. The question was posed able to escape at the beginning of this without ambiguity, and to prove it I war. Together with his colleague Blushall cite as example the profession of menthal
menthal he is exerting a moral force of faith of one of the most notable of the the highest order, which is expressed candidates, M. Teutsch, who had signed through both the written and the spoken the Protest of Bordeaux and whom his word. colleagues were soon to choose as their The election of February ist was mouthpiece at the Assembly of Berlin. watched with keenest interest not only The energetic declarations which your
in Germany and in France, but by all deputies made at Bordeaux were powerless
Europe and America. Everywhere its to prevent your annexation to the German result made a profound impression. It Empire. By right of force, the freemen who is to-day historically important-for it people Alsace-Lorraine have become the constitutes a solemn verdict, a condemprice of the ransom of France, and are like nation of German usurpation that is a flock of sheep in the hands of merchants.
without appeal. The fifteen Deputies, But I am convinced that the declarations
conscious of their great mission, hastwith which I was associated at Bordeaux will not be forgotten. The day will come
ened to decide upon the best way to soon, I hope-when, thanks to the develop- fulfil it. After a preliminary meeting at ment of liberal ideas and to the progress of Frankfort at the initiative of the Bishop civilization, questions of nationality will no of Metz, they assembled again in Berlin longer be decided by the sword. On that day in the apartments of the Bishop of Strasyour will, expressed by your deputies of 1871, bourg, drew up a motion to be submitted will have all its weight in the balance of
to the Reichstag, and placed their sigdiplomatic negotiations, But, mark my natures to it. In order to be prepared in words, in order to attain your object it is
case the president of the Assembly would essential that the will does not flinch and that it manifest itself upon all occasions.
not allow the discussion of this text, they One of the most important of these occasions
drafted and signed a second document since the annexation will offer itself to us on in a different form, but presenting the the first day of February. Do not let it pass. same terms.
The deputies that Alsace-Lorraine is going The author of this article, as the histo elect ought to address themselves without torian of Monseigneur des Loges, has hatred but with firmness to the conscience of had the privilege of handling this histhe German people. They should recall the
toric document in its final draft—the two safeguarding principles of civilization which the German people violated when they took
propositions, with the authentic signaus away from our family. I know well
tures of the fifteen Deputies. Before reenough that this appeal will not be heard storing it to the executor of the Bishop yet; but it is none the less important for us of Metz I had it photographed, and I to place this mile-stone on the path of our am happy to-day to be able to bring to redemption. It is only through energy and light one of the “ scraps of paper" patience that we shall attain our ends.
against which, God be praised, the The fifteen protesting candidates stood strength of the great Empire is breaking. on the same platform. All fifteen were Here is the translationt of the first elected by a large majority, eleven for proposition, the one that was presented:
Dir Raess Er. dr.
Plaise au Reichstay decider
the populitiu de l'Aloace-Lorrains incorporés, sans leu consentiment, a P Papuie 9 Alinazue, per le traité de Francfort, seront appelées a se prononcer I une mamere speciale
de focusbourg Ch this
Barra de Schaunting
admise par le président
t que par le Reisbatan haite de Transport, l'Alace Lomaine a été incorporcé
e sapore & Allemagne,
Go Racan, Er.
FINAL PAGE OF THE MOTION ADDRESSED TO THE REICHSTAG,
We beg the Reichstag to decide:
That the populations of Alsace-Lorraine, incorporated in the German Empire without their consent, through the Treaty of Frankfort, be given an opportunity to say what they think about said incorporation.
Raess, Bishop of Strasbourg; Dupont des
Here is the translation of the second
fort Alsace-Lorraine has been incorporated in the German Empire without her own consent, we beg that the status of AlsaceLorraine be fixed either by a general vote or by an assembly appointed for this purpose by this vote.
On February 18th there occurred the dramatic session that was to be expected. As several of the Alsatian Deputies wished to speak upon the common protest, each from his own point of view, the whole fifteen presented a demand that those among them who did not
know German should be permitted to against the abuse of force of which our counuse French. This demand was refused try is victim. ... without discussion and the debate began
To give to the cession of Alsace-Lorraine immediately. M. Teutsch, an Alsatian an appearance of legality, the least that you lawyer, got up to speak on the first
ought to do would be to submit this cession
to the ratification of the people whose nationproposition. His speech, delivered in
ality you have presumed to change. .. correct and eloquent German, was re
We find in the teachings of morality and ceived with noisy laughter and interrup- justice nothing, absolutely nothing, which tions. He kept on, however, to the end can excuse our annexation to your empire. and the representatives of Germany Our reason is in accord with our heart. "Our were obliged to listen to a frank state
heart, in fact, feels itself irresistibly drawn ment of the real feeling of their new
towards our French Motherland. Two censubjects:
turies of living and thinking in common have
created, between the members of the same The people of Alsace-Lorraine, of whom we family, a sacred bond that no argument, are the representatives in the Reichstag, much less violence, is able to destroy. have instructed us to express to you how they Because Germany did not follow, in 1871, feel about the change of nationality that has the counsel of moderation, what is she reapbeen imposed upon them by force as a result ing to-day? All the nations of Europe are of your war against France. It is to Ger- apprehensive of her encroaching power and many's interest to listen to what we have to multiply their armaments. She herself, to say. ... Your last war, terminated to the maintain that vain thing which is called waradvantage of your nation, gave to the Ger like prestige, is exhausting her resources in mans certain rights. But, in constraining men and in money. And what, gentlemen, conquered France to the sacrifice of a million is your outlook for the future? Instead of and a half of her children, Germany has ex that era of peace and of fraternity of nations ceeded her rights as a civilized nation. In that you had the power to inaugurate in the name of the Alsatians and Lorrainers, 1871, you see the vision, we are sure, with sold by the Treaty of Frankfort, we protest the same dismay as ourselves, of new wars,