“The Fatherland” Weekly

Very first issue of The Fatherland weekly dated August 10, 1914 appeared immediately after war “broke out” on July 28th following the assasination of the Austrian Crown Prince exactly one month earlier.

These ‘Fatherland’ magazines are an excellent way to learn the history and politics of WWI from a more German-friendly point of view, which we otherwise never see in mass media.  Credit for this goes to Pensylvania’s Villanova University and the ‘digital library’ project of its Falvey Memorial Library. All issues available in the Villanova link. A special thanks to Carolyn Yeager  for bringing this treasure to my attention.

In the very first issue, Viereck explained the purpose of “The Fatherland” magazine. On the first page of Vol. 1, No. 1, August 10, 1914, it reads:

PREAMBLE.

It is the purpose of this publication:

First: To place the German side of this unhappy quarrel fairly and squarely before the American people. Hitherto the American Press has offered its readers a quite amazing volume of anti-Teutonic prejudice in place of historical information. The fact that the German people are engaged in a desperate struggle for existence against Cossack aggression is absolutely ignored.

In the case of some papers this is due to a palpable, sinister and thoroughly disingenuous malice. But in the case of others it obviously springs from an honest misunderstanding. For years all European news dealing with German policies has come to America filtered through British, i.e. Prussophobe sources, and this out of sheer economy. The consequence is that Americans have not had a fair chance to form a fair judgment of the real issues. It is the aim of this publication to afford that fair chance by giving Americans the facts as Germans see them from the best available sources.

Second: To review, week by week, the actual events of the war so far as they can be authoritatively ascertained. Only the real unquestionable facts, as admitted by the governments will be given and the reader will not be confused by unsubstantiated rumors or fakes.

Third: To review, week by week, the attitude of the American press, to combat, as far as lies in our power, the misstatements and prejudices of the Slavophile [referring to Russia -cy] and the German-hater, to point out discrepancies and to protest against injustice towards a race that has rightfully earned the sympathy and admiration instead of the jealousy of the so-called civilized world for its industry, its art, its philosophy and its humanity.

The editors and contributors of “The Fatherland” are giving their services and their time in the interests of what they believe most sincerely and feel most keenly. It is impossible to read the mass of biased, misinformed and frequently venomous words that have hitherto been written on this topic without the utmost indignation. Hence this protest and endeavor for truth and justice so far as they are humanly within our grasp.

Published in: on December 9, 2018 at 5:15 am  Leave a Comment  

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