SIR,—As a young Croat living in this country, I was agreeably surprised by your article ” The Political Effects of the Arch-duke’s Murder ” (Spectator, July 4th). I can only underline every word of this competent and impartial article. If it has been written by an Englishman, he can be proud of being the only son of Albion who understands the Southern Slav. The English people should read this article and leave aside such unqualified comments as appeared in English halfpenny papers. As a Croat, I say the Serbs are a good and noble people; they are blood of our blood ; and the Archduke was not assassined by the Serbs, but by the Pan-Germanista. A young Serb has only shot. The causes of the murder are in Vienna and Budapest. There should be held inquisition, and the ” leading ” political circles of unhappy monarchy should examine their own political conscience. The Pan-Germanista and Asiatic Magyars challenge all Slavs, and not only the Southern Slav, and it would be cowardly not to answer. They have last year mobilized the Austro-Hungarian Army to fight against our free Balkan brethren with our Slav soldiers of Austro- Hungarian territory. The Pan-Germanists and Imperialist Magyars have threatened the heroic King and people of our beloved Montenegro when millions of Austrian Southern Slavs have applauded to the victory of heroic mountaineers. The Pan-Germanists have invented the hellish scheme to send in case of a European conflagration the Slav soldiers of Austro- Hungarian territory against the noble French heroes. This is horrible, this is provocation of our peaceful Slav conscience ! The Turks have gone, but the Pan-Germanist and Magyar iron rod has remained, and our destiny is hard. The cultural and economical development of Southern Slavs is checked by Austrian policy of divide and rule. We are in Middle and Southern Europe called upon to break down the Prussian regime of iron rod. We hope to have on our side all civilized Europe excepting the Teutonic Sulturtrager, but including always growing-up Russia. The Pan-Germanists must know that Trieste shall not become German Southern Hamburg, they must know that the Adriatic Sea belong to Italians and Southern Slavs. It is quite ridiculous when the Germans and Magyars call Adriatic ” our blue German or Magyar Adria,” basing their national ownership on their strongly sub- sidized shipping companies which must employ Croatian or Italian personnel, forgetting entirely that the money is international, and as there is to-day German capital the free Southern Slavs can to-morrow attract the English and French capital which works without political aims. The Slavs are the absolute majority of the population of immorally ruled “Dual” Monarchy, and the Pan-Germanists of Berlin and Cologne must know that we are not willing to favour the forcible expropriation of the noble Polish people in Posen or to build Dreadnoughts for the GrOsseres Deutschland—i.e., for the Pan-Germanist Colonial conquests. Where border the Slavs and Teutonics, there it will always lighten and thunder until the Pan-Germanists finally resign to cherish the idea of denationalization of Slav peoples and conquest of Slav countries, or to hold forcibly the actual political and economi- cal hegemony. We are struggling for, and we must establish in every respect, our independence. The Prussian system does not understand the British ideal of self-government; they believe that all the world can be ruled from Vienna or Budapest, and that everybody must have so absurd a political conception as Count Berchtold, who makes policy without people. The Southern Slavs have been, are, and will be persecuted, but never down-hearted ; we believe in our political and economical regeneration based on racial unity. When a nation is fighting for the freedom there will not be a delicate choice of means. The German patriots praise the Saxons who have betrayed Great Napoleon in the battle of nations of Leipzig. The Croatian people enlightened in America, and hating the Magyar iron rod, instinctively await with anxiety when the Russian Cossacks will traverse the Carpathian Mountains, and the tyrants of Southern Slavs must know what will be our attitude. I should like to correct only a mistake in the referred article—i.e., there are not twenty millions of Southern Slavs in the Empire, but more than twenty-five millions of all Slavs, that is the absolute majority. The Southern Slavs amount to about seven millions, who are a compact mass bordering on Servia and Montenegro, the people of the same language, national feeling, and sorrowful Southern Slav national songs. They are settled on Adriatic coasts, good sailors, in touch with Italian culture since Middle Age. We are proud of having given to Italy the famous linguist, Niecolo Tommaseo (before called Tomasevi6, and native of Sebenico, who has written also in Croatian), and Father Boscovic (a famous mathematician and natural philosopher, native of ” Slav Athens,” Ragusa), and many others. As a progressive and liberal Croat, I thank you, Sir, for having printed the mentioned article.
The Spectator, London, July 18, 1914