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THE NETHERLANDS: God Help Our Country

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Last week was a week of jitters for Europe’s neutral States as the German press again went to work on them. This time they were warned that they “must now say whether they are willing to oppose English power politics.” Most of the talk of neutral battlefields—both German and British—was aimed at Scandinavia, but The Netherlands was also under pressure. In a shaky New Year’s broadcast shaky old Premier Dirk Jan de Geer exclaimed:

“This totally wrong war was a self-born evil, and therefore no good can come from it. Every country involved must come to a conference table before irreparable damage has been done. … If the world does not pause on the brink of catastrophe, all nations will suffer the same fate. . . . Holland has received assurances from the belligerents that her neutrality will be respected, if Holland herself remains neutral.

Naturally this is an absolute certainty. Our attitude is best described in two words—preparedness and faith. . . . May God help our country to save herself.” As an added point the Government press service warned that “each violator of Dutch territory will be met with the most severe power of our weapons.”

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