Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968). rn The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.

The Soldier’s Oath

William II

Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany

(Speech delivered in 1891)

RECRUITS! Before the altar and the servant of God you have given me the oath of allegiance. You are too young to know the full meaning of what you have said, but your first care must be to obey implicitly all orders and directions. You have sworn fidelity to me, you are the children of my guard, you are my soldiers, you have surrendered yourselves to me, body and soul. Only one enemy can exist for you—my enemy. With the present Socialist machinations, it may happen that I shall order you to shoot your own relatives, your brothers, or even your parents—which God forbid—and then you are bound in duty implicitly to obey my orders.