An article in praise of Heinrich Heine, written by Edouard Herriot, former French Premier and leader of the Radical-Socialist Party, has recently appeared in “Le Petit Provencal,” under the title “Un European” (A European). In his article, M. Herriot points out that Heine was great enough to love both Germany and France.
“I hear that the city of Duesseldorf (Heine’s birthplace) intends to erect a monument for Heinrich Heine and to ask the liberals of all countries to raise funds for that purpose,” writes Herriot. “I should like to be among the first to comment upon this. I regard it as useful that the present generation, which has probably forgotten it, should be reminded of the role this inspired ‘pamphleteer’ played in the first half of the nineteenth century.
“In Germany, and even among us, no writer was more vilified for his independent spirit than Heinrich Heine. Heinrich Mann (noted contemporary German novelist) has truthfully said that Heine represented the anticipated model of the future man. As the anticipated model and expression of the German European, according to Mann, Heine honored Germany as well as himself.
“A German European; that’s it! He loved his country with the same fervor that Musset, who was similar to him, loved his. But he also loved our France, our nation. I sincerely hope that our country will contribute to the erection of this monument. Better still, if we wish to work for a German-French spiritual rapprochementâ€”an undertaking which is not without its difficultiesâ€”then there is no writer whom we should take more to heart than Heine. I hope that a Heinrich Heine Society will be founded and am the first to place my name on the list of members.”