Prussian House of Deputies

[Translation.]

Remarks of Deputy Dr. William Loewe in the Prussian House of Deputies.

Gentlemen: I have ventured to request the president to permit me to make a communication, for which I claim your sympathy. That which I wish to request of you does not, indeed, belong to the immediate field of our labors, but it goes so far beyond the narrow circle of private life that, in union with a number of our colleagues, I have ventured to call your attention to it. A considerable number of our colleagues feel the need, under the dismay produced by the shocking news of the unhappy death of President Lincoln, to give expression to their feelings in regard to his fate, and their sympathy with the nation from whom he has been snatched away. Abraham Lincoln has fallen by the hand of an assassin, in the moment of triumph of the cause which he had conducted, and while he was in hopes of being able to give to his people the peace so long desired.

Our colleagues wish in an address to express the sympathy not of this House—this I say in order to remove all apprehension of a violation of the rules of the House—but the sympathy of the individual members of the house in this great and unhappy event. This address we desire to present to the minister of the United States.

Gentlemen, I will lay the address on the table, and I beg those of my colleagues who share with me the feeling of warm and heart-felt sympathy in the lot of a nation which is united by so many bonds with our own people, to give expression to those feelings by appending their signatures to the address. These sympathies I regard as all the more justified, as the United States have won a new and splendid triumph for mankind through the great struggle which they have been carrying on for the cause of true humanity, and which, as I confidently hope, in spite of this murder of their chief, they will conduct to a successful termination. In expressing our feelings of pain, we desire, at the same time, to prove our hearty sympathy with the American nation, and those of our brothers who have taken part in the struggle for their cause. The man, gentlemen, who has fallen by the murderer’s hand, and whom I seem to see with his simple honest countenance—the man who accomplished such great deeds from the simple desire conscientiously to perform his duty—the man who never wished to be more or less than the most conscientious and most faithful servant of his people, this man will find his own glorious place in the pages of history. In the deepest reverence I bow my head before this modest greatness, and I think it is especially agreeable to the spirit of our own nation, with its deep inner life and admiration of self-sacrificing devotion and effort after the ideal, to [Page 491]pay the tribute of veneration to such greatness, exalted as it is by its simplicity and modesty. I beg of you, gentlemen, accordingly to join in this expression of veneration for the great dead, which, without distinction of party, we offer to him as a true servant of his state, and of the cause of pure humanity.