Lecture to Clan na Gael, Long Island New York, extracts from which were printed in the London Times:
"For 30 years I have resided among the English, with many of
whose prominent and leading men, not only in literature, science and
art but also in politics, I am united by ties of long standing
friendship, which nothing, not even the present enmity between our two
nations, shall sever, so far as I am concerned. Three years ago I
returned to my native land. where I have lived in constant touch with
wel1-informed and influential political circles. From all these
circumstances, I may say that I have perhaps had better opportunities
to become acquainted with the events that have brought about this war
and with the issues now at stake than most people outside the sphere of
professional diplomats and politicians.
In a reply to the Times from New York on 27 December, Meyer says:
"Your censure of my present attitude towards England in your issue of December 24 has been cabled across here to your namesake in this city. Allow me to reply briefly to it. I regard all you say as another indication that England has not even realised what this war means to her and to Germany. You talk cheap sentiment and false morality while two mighty Empires are engaged in a life and death struggle. In this struggle it behoves every member of the two nations to take an honourable part to the best of his ability. But you say that my indebtedness to England should prevent me from doing so. My answer is that we, Germans, are not fighting that England which many thousands of us from the Emperor downward have loved truly and well but a misguided, iniquitous England, bent upon the destruction of an inconvenient rival. As for myself, I am but continuing what I did when I lived among you, when I taught by the side of some of England's noblest and, to me, ever dear sons and daughters for freedom, truth and justice against oppression, falsehood and wrong wherever we encountered it. That is how I have served England while eating her bread. As sure as I write these lines the time will come when all honest Englishmen will feel ashamed of this war, and abominate it as much as ever they did the Crimean, the Opium, and the Boer wars. As for Ireland, Germany is but holding out a friendly hand to a nation betrayed by her leaders, and naturally unwilling to shed its blood for those who have oppressed its liberty, as they are now trying to deprive us of ours. That constitutes our common cause, and you cannot, after all I have said, blame me for endeavouring to help this cause to victory. "
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