© HHP 11/4/99 GG


N 407-Literature
SBN 374.5.0925.5


If the War Goes On ...
Reflections on War and Politics

Translated by Ralph Manheim

One of the most astonishing aspects of Hesse's career is the clear-sightedness and consistency of his political views, his passionate espousal of pacifism and internationalism from the start of World War I to the end of his life. The earliest essay in this book was written in September 1914 and was followed by a stream of letters, essays, and pamphlets that reached its high point with Zarathustra's Return (published anonymously in 1919, the year that also saw the publication of Demian), in which Hesse exhorted German youth to shake off the false gods of nationalism and militarism that had led their country into the abyss. Such views earned him the labels "traitor" and "viper" in Germany, but after World War II he was moved to reiterate his beliefs in another series of essays and letters.

Hesse arranged his anti-war writings for publication in one volume in 1946; an amplified edition appeared in 1949 and that text has been followed for this first English-language edition. In his foreword Hesse describes the heart of the philosophy expressed here: "In each one of these essays I strive to guide the reader not into the world theater with its political problems but into his innermost being, before the judgment seat of his very personal conscience."  This faith in salvation via the Inward Way, so familiar to readers of Hesse's fiction, is persuasively set forth as the answer to questions of war and peace.

Cover design by Milton Glaser

NEW YORK 10003


0 Freunde, nicht diese Töne! (September 1914) 9
To a Cabinet Minister (August 1917)   15
If the War Goes on Another Two Years
 (End of 1917)     20
Christmas (December 1917)    29
Shall There Be Peace? (December 1917)  33
If the War Goes on Another Five Years
 (Early in 1918)     39
The European (January 1918)    43
Dream after Work (March 1918)    52
War and Peace (Summer 1918)    57
History (November 1918)     61
The Reich (December 1918)    67
The Path of Love (December 1918)   73
Self-will (1919)      79
Zarathustra’s Return (1919)    86
Letter to a Young German (1919)   118
Thou Shalt Not Kill (1919)    123
Thoughts about China (1921)    128
World Crisis and Books (1937)    132
Page from a Notebook (1940)    134
End of the Rigi-Journal (August 1945)  138
Speech after Midnight (1946)    142
Letter to Adele (1946)     148
A Letter to Germany (1946)    159
Message to the Nobel Prize Banquet (1946)  168
Words of Moralizing Thanks (1946)   170
To a Young Colleague in Japan (1947)  174
An Attempt at Justification (1948)   180
On Romain Rolland (1948)    185

Courtesy of HHP