"The time has come for the liberal forces of the United States to organize a propaganda
for a democratic peace and reconstruction. [...] This is not an invitation from the People's Council
but from a group of liberals who feel that the time has come to crystallize sentiment into action."
I found this letter to be an interesting contrast to the numerous invitations HWLD received to seemingly more formal and "respectable" conferences. Indeed, the writers very plainly differentiate themselves from the People’s Council of America for Democracy and Peace. Ironically (or perhaps unironically), it was his association with this organization that led to his dismissal from Columbia in 1917. The authors of this letter draw a distinction between liberal sentiment and action, alluding to an urgent sense of activist militancy.
This letter was written on November 1st, 1918 – two days after Turkey signed an armistice with the Allies, becoming the second of the Central Powers to quit World War I. It was also the day that Allied armies resumed their eastward march as the U.S. 1st and 2nd Armies attacked remaining German positions. However, I wasn't sure as to the relevance of these facts to this "call to action."
I was also unclear as to what "junker forces of the country" were, but a quick etymological search yielded the pejorative sense of junker – a "reactionary younger member of the Prussian aristocracy." How was this relevant? After more investigation, I came across the German Revolution that happened at the end of the war, the first stage of which encompasses the date of HWLD's letter. During this time, the monarchies of Prussia were abolished and the nobility lost its political power, leading to the establishment of a republic – the Free State of Prussia. The German Revolution also gave rise to the Weimar Republic – which, in my mind, has always been associated with a culture of sexual liberation and Berlin, the short-lived "Gay Capital" of the world. But I digress.