A Shakespeare could have arisen only on English soil. In the same way, your great dramatists and poets express the nature and essence of the Norwegian people, but they also express that which is universally valid for all mankind.
As a consequence of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the officer corps of the old army became part of this class, as did that part of the younger generation who, in the old Germany, would have become officers or civil servants.
As a result of the World War, this old Germany collapsed. It collapsed in its constitution, in its social order, in its economic structure. Its thinking and feeling changed.
Historians still often see the end of the war as meaning nothing more for Germany than lost territories, lost participation in colonization, and lost assets for the state and individuals. They frequently overlook the most serious loss that Germany suffered.
Here we encounter two conflicting concepts with which we must come to grips in our time: the idea of national solidarity and the idea of international cooperation.
Dante can be understood only within the context of Italian thought, and Faust would be unthinkable if divorced from its German background; but both are part of our common cultural heritage.
The concept of active cooperation has taken the place of opposition to the new form of government and of dreamy resignation entranced with the beauty of times past.
As a confirmed individualist I certainly do not wish to underrate the influence of the individual, for the masses do not lead the individual; rather, in the individual is vested the capacity to lead the masses.
To contrast national solidarity and international cooperation as two opposites seems foolish to me.
Nothing in the reporting of a nation's history could so mislead the younger generation as to represent great events in such a way that they appear to have happened as a matter of course.
During the past few years I have led a sometimes hard battle for German foreign policy.
If one seeks to analyze experiences and reactions to the first postwar years, I hope one may say without being accused of bias that it is easier for the victor than for the vanquished to advocate peace.
To walk behind others on a road you are traveling together, to give precedence to others without envy - this is painful for an individual and painful for a nation.
But just as haste and restlessness are typical of our present-day life, so change also takes place more rapidly than before. This applies to change in the relationships between nations as it does to change within an individual nation.
Just as the British subject loves England despite her faults, so we must insist that all Germans who were part of the old Germany and helped shape her, recognize the greatness and worthiness of present-day Germany.
For the victor peace means the preservation of the position of power which he has secured. For the vanquished it means resigning himself to the position left to him.
The great men of a nation reach out to all mankind. They are unifying, not divisive; internationally conciliating and still great nationally.
The courtesy which most becomes a victor was denied to Germany for a long time.
History uses a unit of measure for time that is different from that of the lifespan of the individual, whereas man is only too ready to measure the evolution of history by his own yardstick.