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Newspaper Page Text
When the French Red Cross nurse asked the German officer to permit
milk-carts to enter Brussels, because Brussels babies were starving by the
score, the officer replied:
"You ask the absurd the impossible. We Prussians recognize no dis
tinction of persons. Men, women, children, ALL are enemies of the Father
land when Germany makes war!"
Had it been a German appeal in behalf of German babies, the French
officer's reply would doubtless have been similar. War knows not mercy.
Militarism is not confined to Germany, by a good deal.
Starvation of those babies is legitimate military policy, legitimate
spoils of the war. Destruction of fortified cities Is legitimate warfare. Why
is it hot just as legitimate to destroy children who would certainly be train
ed to war ahd become warriors in early youth?
Where war rages death makes no distinction of persons. To militar
ism, men, women, children, all are either enemies or embryo instruments
of aid in future slaughters. When that madness, militarism, seizes upon
nations, human beings rank oply as warriors, breeders of warriors and
future warriors. The starvation of the enemy's babies is only the extinc
tion of those who will be armed enemies 18 years later. Very few of the
horrors of militarism are shown in the list of killed and wounded of the
day's battle. The baby of today is the skilled throat-cutter of tomorrow.
Its starvation is on a par with the burning of fields of wheat, the demolition
of houses and other things that make for the future weakness of the
That German officer was, in all probability, afraid that the milk-cart
men would act as spies or bring in provisions for the hidden enemy in Brus
sels. But .underneath what he called an absurdity was militarism's legiti
mate policy of letting the babies of the enemy starve because of their future
possibilities as enemies. Militarism looks on 'the baby as a germ, as it were,
a germ that will soon cost blood and money to destroy. It is horrible, ter
rible, but truth often is that.
GIVE THEM A PLACE TO PLAY
Plenty of room for dives and dens (glitter and glare and sin) ,
Plenty of room for prison pens (gather the criminals in),
Plenty of room for jails and courts (willing enough to pay),
But never a place for the lads to race; no never a place to play!
Plenty of room for shops and stores (mammon must have the best),
Plenty of room for the running sores that rot in the city's breast!
Plenty of room for the lures that lead the hearts of our youth astray,
But never a cent on a playground spent; no never a place to play!
Plenty of room for schools and halls, plenty of room for art:
Plenty of room for teas and balls, platform, stage and mart.
Proud is the city she finds a place for many a fad today,
But she's more than blind if she fails to find a place for the boys to-play!
Give them a chance for innocent sport, give them a chance for fun
Better a playground-plot than a court and a jail when the harm is done!
Give them a chance if you stint them how, tomorrow you'll have to pay
A larger bill for-a darker ill, so give them a chance to play!
-Penn's A. McCarthy, in The Journalof Education. ,,