A people that has experienced all that the Germans have been through, naturally offers fertile soil for the extremists.
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.
I must begin by saying something about the old Germany. That Germany, too, suffered from superficial judgment, because appearances and reality were not always kept apart in people's minds.
This old Germany was partly defeated in its conflict with the progressive ideas of socialism, for it had given the people nothing that could serve as a successful alternative to socialism.
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.
The life of the individual is a continuous combat with errors and obstacles, and no victory is more satisfying than the one achieved against opposition.
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.
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 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.
No change in the balance of political parties can alter the general determination that no class should be excluded from contributing to and sharing responsibility for the state.
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.
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.
The courtesy which most becomes a victor was denied to Germany for a long time.
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.