WAR against WAR
This book is dedicated to all war profiteers and parasites, to all
war provokers, and is consecrated also to the "kings", generals, presidents and ministers of all lands.
To the priests who blessed the weapons in the name of
God, this book is dedicated as a War Bible!
He who then still believes in this mass butchery, let him be
locked up in a madhouse, let us avoid him as we do the plague!
Then all the war enthusiasts would at last of their own free will
exterminate one another, and then we should have peace, eternal peace on this earth!
That is why they invented such beautiful phrases as "Fatherland"
and "Field of Honour" and spoke of "defence" and uttered other lies.
And he who did not permit himself to be enthused to death by
military music and by lying legends of the "enemy" of "the invaded".
Him they forced against his will into the murderer's uniform, him
they ordered to murder and to rob for the interests of the money-bags.
And so let there be also a law for kings, presidents, generals
and, last but not least, newspaper writers: "Whoever forces men into war or provokes them to mass murders, shall be responsible with all
his property and possessions and with his own life for the safety and the sufferings of the soldiers.
If huts are burnt down in wars, so also shall palaces and castles be set in flames.
And always, for each human life that is sacrificed at the front,
shall one king or one minister rest in peace on the "field of honour" for the Fatherland.
And the newspaper writers that agitate for war, shall be detained
as hostages for the life of each single warrior!"
The Cause of War
Long ago, Plato who was born 427 years before the Nazarene,
Plato, that wise man, said: - "All wars arise for the possession of
That is as true a word as ever was spoken. For to the present day
in all wars the object is to protect or to seize money and property and power; and there will always be wars so long as Capital rules and
oppresses the people.
When international capital finds itself threatened by mutual
competition, and when the furnace-barons and factory owners begin to have differences among themselves, then they rattle their sabres and
spurs and they call out:
"The Country is in danger!" (They mean by "country" always the
And wonderfully enough the working slaves of all lands abandon
their plough and their anvil, they hasten to arms, and protect the life and property of their masters with their own blood and life.
What did I say? "That this is strange?" No, it is quite natural - a natural monstrosity! For it is not the state power and force alone
that compels all "subjects" to protect the throne and the money-bags, and to die for them.
Capital has not only economic power in its hands; it has, equal
measure and with equal power, subjected the proletariat also
This fact is easily overlooked and there still remains, therefore,
so much bourgeois ideology in the proletariat!
I, therefore, always say to my brothers, the proletarians, I say
to the class-war fighters: - "Free yourselves from bourgeois
Fight against capitalism within yourselves! In your thoughts and
in your actions there still lurks unspeakably much of the Philistine and the soldier, and almost in every one there is hidden a drilled
subaltern, who wishes only to dominate and command, even if it be over his own comrades and over his wife and children in his family!"
But I also say to those bourgeois pacifists, who seek to fight
against war by mere hand caresses and tea-cakes and piously up-turned eyes:
"Fight against Capitalism - and you fight against every war!
The battle-field in the factories and the mines, the hero's death
in the infirmaries, the mass graves in the barracks, in short, the war, the apparently eternal war, of the exploited against the
Do - you not - realise - all - this?
The war against war signifies:
- The war of the victimised against the profiteers!
- The war of the deceived against the deceivers!
- The war of the oppressed against the oppressors!
- The war of the tortured against the torturers!
- The war of the hungry against the wellsfed!
The Prevention of War
It is true that capital is the cause of every war.
But the guilt of war rests on our shoulders.
It is we proletarians that make the conduct of war possible; it is
for us likewise to prevent wars!
Refuse to serve!
Bring up your children so that they may later refuse to render
military and war service!
How very many lightly overlook the "fact that in one's own home in
the family, war is being spontaneously prepared!
And here lies the beginning of all evils, here lies the beginning
also of war!
The mother that sings soldier s' songs to the baby on her lap,
prepares for war, yes, she prepares for war!
The father that makes gifts of toy soldiers to his child mobilises
the child for the war idea!
The toy soldier is the Judas that you yourself bring into the
home, is the betrayal of human life! Remember always this one thing:
The little helmet made of paper will one day be a steel helmet on
the head of a murderer! And if the child has once practised with his air-gun, how natural it is that he should in later years shoot with a
The little sabre carved of wood will some day become the
battle-sword that pierces the body of a human being!
Ye parents that do not wish that your sons should murder the dear
sons of other parents, you should remember that the child whom you present with a helmet and sabre and gun, plays his tender soul to
death out of his young body.
Those children, however, who are educated in love and solidarity,
and are brought up to respect unconditionally the inviolable sanctity of human life, these children will most certainly be unfit for arms
We, opponents of military service must finally destroy the halo
and the humbug, and tear down the gaudy tinsel of the soldiery, and we must speak out what then still remains to be said:
a professional murderer paid by the state, who is
trained in murder schools (called barracks) privileged by the state, in the carrying out of the most gruesome of crimes, the murder of
human beings! That is what the children should be told!
Then indeed will the young girl, destined by nature to reproduce
and protect life, be disgusted to flirt with the soldiers - her natural enemies - "the pimps of death".
And the boy will later refuse to wear the uniform because he
knows: It is a murderer's cloak!
It is with such clearness and precision that you must think and
also act, if you wish to nip the evil in the bud! And, should war nevertheless break out, then proceed consistently and unhesitatingly
THE WAR AGAINST WAR!
Let the general strike be the first weapon! The men will refuse
service! True heroism lies not in murder, but in the refusal to
commit murder. Rather fill all prisons and workhouses and all the
mad-houses of all lands, than murder and die in the service of
The last and most dreadful war has not yet broken out which cast
gas and poison and flames on human beings and animals and houses.
It lies in our hands, in our power, to prevent, to hinder, this
most dreadful tragedy.
Let the great, inspiring example of consistent conscientious
objectors be our model.
They suffered death for their consistent "No!" rather than
themselves become murderers! I WILL NOT!
Stronger than all violence, than the sabre and the rifle, is our
spirit, is our will! Repeat these three words: "I will not!" Give content to these words and all wars in future will be impossible.
What then will all Capital of the whole world, what will all the
kings and presidents do, when the entire people in all lands arise with the cry: WE WILL NOT!
And you women! If your husbands should be too weak, then carry out
the work yourselves!! Prove that the bond of love with the husband is stronger than an army order! Do not let your men go to the front! Do
not decorate their rifles with flowers! Cling to the necks of your husbands! Do not let them go even when the order to depart calls!
Tear up all the rails, throw yourselves before the locomotives!
Women! Realise this if your husbands should be too weak! Mothers of all lands unite!
On February 27 1933, the night the Reichstag burned, Nazi thugs ransacked Friedrich's anti-war museum.
They beat and imprisoned him, then turned the museum into a storm-trooper hangout.
Friedrich was released in September, 1933 due to illness and pressures from American Quakers.
He fled the country, and remained in exile in Belgium and France until the end of World War II.