Dr. Ernst Rodenwaldt, a military surgeon, four years ago published an estimate of the mental concepts of persons in health as a standard in comparison with their condition in disease. In 1902, he had occasion to examine 144 recruits, Silesian cuirassiers; i io of these were of German origin and 34 were Poles. The report of the examination is given at great length, the whole paper filling forty-six pages, thirty-five of which are occupied with the questions put to the men, their answers, and the comments thereon. Some of these answers make us misdoubt the intelligence and information of the young men of Silesia, though perhaps an equal number of the same class in Britain would not come off any better. One man thought the Rhine ran into the Dead Sea, another into the Red Sea. To the question: “Who was Luther?” one man replied that he was the head of the Mahomedan Church, another that he was the King of the Jews, another the first preacher of Jesus Christ. Twenty-one had never heard of Schiller, forty had never heard of Goethe. The question “What are mammalia?” (Säugetiere, lit. sucking animals) gave rise to some etymological guessing; one man suggested leaches, another animals who live upon the sap of plants. Bees, fishes, worms, hawks, animals of the female gender, were all given as examples of this order. As might have been expected, the young men were found to have gained little in knowledge beyond the scope of their military duty; but they were readier to lay hands upon their knowledge, to apprehend questions, to answer them quickly, and to choose the shortest way to do so, qualities which, once secured, are better than acquired information, as they are the tools of the intellect, while knowledge is only the material. In my own experience the service in India seemed, with the private soldiers, to induce an utter helplessness to anything save their military duties. Taken to a foreign country amongst a people speaking a different language which they rarely took the trouble to learn, lodge, fed, cared for marching about, sent to parade and to church, brought to the hospital when ill, they degenerated into mere military machines. With the German army the period under the colours is no longer than three years, after which they return to civil employments. The general effect of this universal mili tary training upon the physical, moral, and mental condition of the people must be very considerable.
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