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Fighting France
written by "Lauzanne, Stéphane, 1874-"
... just, and beautiful things their genius has lavished forth: they are defending, too, the respect of treaties, the independence of Europe, and human freedom. We want to know if all the effort of conscience during centuries will lead to its slavery, if millions of men are to be taken, given up, herded at the other side of a [Pg 151]frontier and condemned to fight for their conquerors and masters against their country, their families, and their brothers.... The world wishes to live at last, Europe to breathe, and the nations mean to dispose freely of themselves." These engagements will be kept. But they will have been kept only when Alsace-Lorraine—the Belgium of 1871, as Rabbi Stephen Wise has called it—has been returned to France. Then, and only then, will there be real peace. Then, and only then, will the "Testament" of Paul Derouléde have been executed: When our war victorious is o'er, And our country has won back its rank, Then with the evils war brings in its train Will disappear the hatred the conqueror trails. Then our great France, full of love without spite Sowing fresh springing-corn 'neath her new-born laurels, Will welcome Work, father of Fortune, And sing Peace, mother of lengthy deeds. Then will come Peace, calm, serene, and awful, Crushing down arms, but upholding intellect; For we shall stand out as just-hearted conquerors, [Pg 152]Only taking back what was robbed from us. And our nation, weary of mourning, Will soothe the living while praising the dead, And nevermore will we hear the name of battle And our children shall learn to unlearn hate. Just as France will not accept peace without restitution, she will not accept peace without reparation. Germany can never make reparation for all the ruin, all the destruction, all the sacrilege she has wrought. There can be no reparation for the Cathedral of Rheims, for the Hotel de Ville at Arras, for the deaths of thousands of inno...

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