In a recent number of the Saturday Evening Post appears an article by Professor Hugo Muensterberg h.'01, entitled "American Patriotism and Europe," in which he informs us of the real essence of his efforts during his year in Germany, as exchange professor. He tells of his attempt to carry out his real mission--to spread on the European continent reasonable ideas about true Americanism.
He shows how the unsurpassed fervor of our patriotism is an absolute necessity in binding together so many races into to persistent nation, but points out a national indifference to the affairs, feelings and treasures of Europe, which seems to be a protege of this patriotism.
Object of the Amerika-Institut.
The service of the Amerika-Institut, which was established under Professor Muensterberg's directorship, in awakening both countries to the advantages of mutual intercourse, is fully explained, in a way that presents the full significance of the phrase which describes its purpose--"to further and expand the cultural relations between the United States an Germany." Such an organized move has been necessary, because, in spite of the fact that thousands of Americans visit Germany every summer, most of them look upon the excursion as a "gaudy vacation" and do not work hard "as unofficial delegates of their country for the cultivation of international friendship." He describes the mass of American tourists in Europe as passing through the country with "an open purse but a closed mind. This careless, haughty, condescending, unfair behavior toward European nations, ultimately the residue of a patriotic view that already belongs to the past" he ascribes partly to the idea with which the nation has grown up--namely, "that it is an English nation, and the immigrants who come from other countries are useful fellow-workers and desirable guests, but no ties of kinship connect the countries with the American nation." This he describes as an " artificial construction based on an untenable illusion."
American Ties of Kinship with Germany.
There is a new feeling of pride springing up in a mixed ancestry, and with this new attitude of the majority, a fundamental revision of the antiquated national theory is necessarily demanded. "The ties of kinship do not connect this country with England more than with Ireland, or Holland, or Sweden." Professor Muensterberg sees, as the outcome of the situation, a unique nation issuing from the "melting-pot" in which the finest qualities of all Europe will be blended, and in which will live a new patriotism "which will not know host or guests among the citizens of this country."