7 6 V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 3 7 2 a
Vol. 8, 372a. To Heinrich Zangger
[Lucerne,] Tuesday, [21 August
Dear friend Zangger,
Seippel’s letter unfortunately arrived in my hands late, because his letter was in-
correctly addressed (“Zurich” instead of “Lucerne” on the
learned about my view on the issue of peace from Weiss, whom I had been
speaking to in great
it satisfies me very much and confirms to me that my
impression agrees with
I have been thinking much about the political
situation recently and hit upon a more hopeful conception. I now see a way and of-
fer it for your comments:
Now, right away during the war, a pacifist union ought to be founded of as many
of the Entente and perhaps neutral states as possible, according to the following
1) A court of arbitration to settle cases of conflict between these treaty states.
2) A common institution which should decide to what extent these states apply
and may apply the principle of universal conscription. Common foreign deploy-
ment of troops. Reduction of the standing army according to the possibilities af-
forded by the foreign relations of the treaty states. Mutual military assistance
3) Principle of most-favored customs policy among the treaty states, connected
with the inclination to gradually eliminate the customs barriers among them.
4) Any state can become a member of the union that fulfils the following conditions:
a) A parliament elected according to democratic principles.
b) Ministers dependent upon a parliamentary majority (which ministers must
naturally have the executive fully under control).
5) Military pacts with states not belonging to the union are not allowed, on pain
of loss of membership in the union.
6) The union guarantees each treaty state its land holdings against outside ag-
The advantage I see in this proposal is essentially that even a federation compris-
ing by no means all states can be very valuable in that, at the price of forfeiting ex-
pansion, it secures the existing property of its members and draws with it a greater
reduction in the military burden as more states join the union. If the Entente could
bring about a union of this type, which had the United States, England, France, and
Russia as members, it could make pacts with Germany without concern, which
would eventually be forced economically to seek to join the union without anyone
being able to say that the nation’s “dignity” had been injured.—If you yourself find
this matter reasonable, I ask you please to give it your support. I only know Weiss
personally on the Entente side; I intend to speak to him as soon as I get to Zurich,
which should be