World War I, Declaration of Professors in the German Reich

Declaration of Professors in the German Reich
23 October 1914

The following declaration was signed by over 3100 professors throughout Germany. The full text follows in English. A German translation is also available.

We instructors at Germany's universities and institutes of higher learning serve scholarship and carry forth a work of peace. But it fills us with dismay that the enemies of Germany, England at the head, wishes--ostensibly for our benefit--to polarize the spirit of German scholarship from what they call Prussian militarism. In the German army, there is no other spirit than in the German people, for both are one, and we are also a part of it. Our army also nurtures scholarship and can attribute its accomplishments in no small part to it. Service in the army also makes our youth effective for all the works of peace including scholarship. For the army educates them to sacrificial faithfulness to duty and lends them the self confidence and sense of honor of the truly free man who submits himself willingly to the whole. This spirit doesn't only exist in Prussia, but it is the same in all the lands of the German Reich. It is the same in war or peace. Now our army stands in battle for Germany's freedom and thereby for all the assets of peace and morality--not just in Germany alone. Our belief is that salvation for the very culture of Europe depends on the victory that German "militarism" will gain: manly virtue, faithfulness, the will to sacrifice found in the united, free German people.

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