BEFORE GERMANY DECIDED: MASS MEETINGS IN BERLIN AND ELSEWHERE TO PROTEST AGAINST A "PEACE BY FORCE"
There was great division of opinion in Germany over the question of signing the Peace Treaty, and before the fateful decision was reached, mass meetings of protest were held in Berlin and various other places. On June 19 it was reported in a message from Berlin that the Democrats and Pan-Germans were then still continuing their propaganda for the rejection of the Allies' terms, and that the Pan-Germans were distributing arms with a view to engineering a counter-revolution. In a speech at Kolberg, Field-Marshal von Hindenburg said:
"God does not desert us. We must take care that the great work of Wilhelm I. and Bismarck is not crumbled to pieces. Germany and Prussia will then arise again. That is my firm belief, and I can only beg you to think in this sense and, when the hour strikes, also to act." The above photographs afford a vivid picture of the popular excitement which was aroused in the large towns of Germany during the crisis.
[The photo shows an outdoors space filled with so many people it doesn't seem possible to see the edge of the crowd. A man in the foreground delivers a speech to the crowd. The caption reads:]
POPULAR EXCITEMENT IN BERLIN OVER THE QUESTION OF SIGNING THE PEACE TREATY: A SPEAKER ADDRESSING AN IMMENSE OPEN-AIR AUDIENCE.
[The photo shows soldiers marching through a tree-lined street, watched by a woman and child. One of the soldiers carries a banner that says "Sofort heraus mit unseren Kriegsgefangener", which means "Release our prisoners of war immediately". The caption reads:]
WHERE HINDENBURG RECENTLY SPOKE: A DEMONSTRATION IN KOLBERG - GRENADIERS AND GENERAL STAFF OFFICERS IN A PROCESSION.