technology and commerce clearly compel us to recognize the bond between all
nations, and thus a common world culture, no war has ever so intensively
disrupted cultural cooperation as the present one. Perhaps our acute awareness
of the disruption that we now sense so painfully is due to the numerous common
bonds we once shared.
should this state of affairs not surprise us, those for whom a common world
culture is the least bit precious should redouble their efforts to uphold these
principles. Those, however, of whom one should expect such conviction—in
particular scientists and artists—have thus far only uttered things which suggest
that their desire for maintaining relations has vanished simultaneously with
their disruption. They have spoken with an understandable hostility—but least
of all of peace.
a mood cannot be excused by any national passion; it is unworthy of what the
entire world has until now come to understand by the name of culture. It would
be a disaster should this mood pervade the educated classes.
only would it be a disaster for civilization, but—and we are firmly convinced
of this—a disaster for the national survival of individual states—in the final
analysis, the very cause in the name of which all this barbarity has been
technology the world has become smaller;
the states of the large peninsula of
Europe today move in the orbit of one another much as did the cities of each small Mediterranean peninsula in ancient
times. Through a complex of interrelationships, Europe—one could almost say the
world—now displays a unity based on the needs and experience of every
it would appear to be the duty of educated and well-meaning Europeans at the
very least to attempt to prevent Europe—as a result of an imperfect
organization of the whole— from suffering the same tragic fate which befell
ancient Greece. Should Europe too gradually exhaust itself and collapse in
struggle raging today will likely produce no victor; it will probably leave
only the vanquished behind. Therefore, it seems not only good, but rather bitterly necessary, that intellectuals of
all nations marshal their influence such that—whatever the
still uncertain end of the war may be—the terms of peace shall
not become the cause of future wars. The fact that through this
war European relationships have to some extent become volatile and malleable should rather be used to
make of Europe an organic entity. The technological and intellectual
prerequisites are given.
this European order is to be brought about should not be discussed here. We
wish merely to emphasize as a matter of principle that we are firmly convinced
that the time has come when Europe must act as
one in order to protect her soil, her inhabitants, and her culture.
believe that the will to do this is latently present in many. In expressing
this will collectively we hope that it gathers force.
this end, it seems for the time being necessary that all those who hold
European civilization dear, in other words, those who in Goethe’s prescient
words can be called “good Europeans” join
together. After all, we must not give up the hope that their collective
voice—even in the din of arms—will not trail off entirely unheard, especially,
if among these “good Europeans of tomorrow,” we find all those who enjoy esteem
and authority among their educated peers.
it is necessary, however, that Europeans get together, and if—as we hope—enough
Europeans in Europe can be found, that is to
say, people for whom Europe is not merely a geographical concept, but rather a
worthy object of affection, then we shall try to call together a union of
Europeans. Such a union shall then speak and decide.
wish only to urge and appeal; and if you feel as we do, if you are similarly
determined to lend the most far-reaching resonance to the
European will, then we ask that you sign.”