D O C U M E N T S 1 3 9 , 1 4 0 N O V E M B E R 1 9 2 3 1 3 5
139. Reply to The New York World
[Berlin, after 6 November
1.) Development of the postwar period, which has brought a continual worsen-
ing of international relations, is determined partly by the heavy indebtedness of one
portion of the states to the others, and partly by mutual hatred, which is being fo-
mented into warfare and has been mightily strengthened by war itself. In view of
the present misery, one cannot speak of guilt but only of causes, and one must seek
to eliminate these. The following points seem to me the most important:
1) America should forgive England and France, and England should forgive
France, the war debts entirely or for the most part.
2) Germany’s reparations should not be fixed absolutely (as a specific amount),
but rather should come from percentages of exports and in indirect taxes.
3) Strengthening and reform of the League of Nations through membership by
all states and extension of its powers and duties.
4) Connected with this, disarming of all states roughly to the same extent as to-
5) No state may take forceful measures against others (occupation of regions,
etc.). Supervision or forced fulfillment of agreements is the purview only of the
League of Nations.
All this seems utopian, but by the will particularly of America and England, it
could become a reality. In any event, I am convinced that a lasting improvement in
conditions is not attainable through a less radical route.
140. To Betty Neumann
[Berlin, 7 November 1923]
[I will try] to quickly [---] also this evening have [----][---].
Now listen, dear Betty, and don’t laugh at me. If you’re not getting married now,
then I will accept that position in New York, if you want to come along as my
secretary and live with us. I will push this through with my wife without causing