Object Record

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Catalog Number 1983.120.48
Object Name Print
Accession number 1983.120
Description Print by Louis Raemaekers

Woman crying at table.

Information Written on Back: No. 35 / 255 / One that does not understand the "beauty of war".

Additional Information from "Raemaekers' Cartoons: With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers" by Louis Raemaekers Copyright 1916 (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19126/19126-h/19126-h.htm)

NOTE: How often have I been asked by sorrow-stricken mothers and wives: "Why does not Providence intervene either to stop this war, or at least to check its cruelties and horrors?" If for many amongst us not yet bereaved this European massacre is a puzzle, it should not cause us dismay or surprise, if the widow or son-bereaved mother lifts up her hands exclaiming: "Why did not God save him? Why did He let him be shot down by those Huns?"

Truth to tell, God has, so to speak, tied up His own hands in setting ours free. When He placed the human race upon the surface of this planet He dowered them with freedom, giving to each man self-determining force, by the exercise of which he was to become better than a man or worse than a beast. Good and evil, like wheat and cockle, grow together, in the same field. The winnowing is at harvest-time, not before. Meanwhile, we ourselves have lived to see the fairest portions of this fair creation of God changed from a garden into a desert—pillaged, ravaged, and brought to utter ruin by shot and shell, sword and fire. When I have said this, I have but uttered a foreword to the hideous story, spoken the prologue only of the "frightful" tragedy. We are all familiar with at least some of the revolting facts and details with which the German soldiery has been found charged and convicted by Commissions appointed to investigate the crimes and atrocities adduced against them. The verdicts of French, Belgian, and English tribunals are unanimous. They all agree that Germany has been caught redhanded in her work of dyeing the map of Europe red with innocent blood.

When you bend your eyes to the pathetic cartoon standing opposite this letterpress, is there not brought home to you in a way, touching even to tears, the "frightful" consequences of the misuse of human powers, more especially of the attribute of freedom? If Germany had chosen to use, instead of brute force, moral force, what a great, grand, and glorious mission might have been hers to-day. If, instead of trying the impossible task of dominating the whole world with her iron hand upon its throat and her iron heel upon its foot, she had been satisfied with the portion of the map already belonging to her, and had not by processes of bureaucratic tyranny driven away millions of her subjects who preferred liberty to slavery, America to Germany, by this date she might have consolidated an Empire second in the world to none but one. Alas! in her over-reaching arrogance she has, on the contrary, set out to de-Christianize, de-civilize, and even de-humanize the race for which Christ lived and died.

Our high mission it is to try to save her from herself. Already I can read written in letters of blood carved into the gravestone of her corrupted greatness,

"Ill-weaved ambition,
How much art thou shrunk!"

NOTE AUTHOR: Bernard Vaughan

CARTOON CAPTION: Les Beautes de la Guerrea / Folk who do not understand them.
People Raemaekers, Louis
Subjects World War 1
Political cartoons
Artist Raemaekers, Louis
Title Folk Who Do Not Understand Them
Image size 38 x 25.3 cm