INTRODUCTION Leonid Andreyev, the great Russian writer, whose "Anathema," "The Seven Who Were Hanged," "The Life of Man" and "Red Laughter" have attracted universal attention, has now written the story of the sorrows of the Belgian people. He delineates the tragedy of Belgium as reflected in the home of the foremost Belgian poet and thinker-regarded as the conscience of the Belgian nation. Leonid Andreyev feels deeply and keenly for the oppressed and weaker nationalities. He has depicted the victims of this war with profound sympathy,-the Belgians, and in another literary masterpiece he analyzed the sufferings of the Jews in Russia as a result of this war. He described vividly the sense of shame of the Russian people on account of the Russian official anti-Jewish policies. In both these works Leonid Andreyev holds German militarism and German influences responsible for the wrongs committed against smaller nationalities. In his treatise on the tragedy of the Jews in Russia, he writes of "Russian barbarians" and "German barbarians" as follows: "If for the Jews themselves the Pale of Settlement, the per cent norm and other restrictions were a fatal fact, which distorted all their life, it has been for me, a Russian, something like a hunch on my back, a monstrous growth, which I received I know not when and under what conditions. But wherever I may go and whatever I may do the hunch is always with me; it has disturbed my sleep at night, and in my waking hours, in the presence of people, it has filled me with a sensation of confusion and shame.... "It is necessary for all to understand that the end of Jewish sufferings is the beginning of our self-respect, without which Russia cannot live. The dark days of the war will pass and the German barbarians' of today will once more become cultured Germans whose voice will again be heard throughout the world. And it is essential that neither their voice nor any other voice should call us loudly 'Russian barbarians.'" Aside from its literary and dramatic value, if this volume on the sorrows of Belgium will tend to arouse a little more sympathy for the sufferings of the victims of the war, or if it will help to call forth in the minds of the people a stronger abhorrence of the horrors of war, it will have served an important and worthy purpose. HERMAN BERNSTEIN. May 25, 1915.
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