Unquestionably, the violent interference of neighbours in her affairs has also caused Central Europe often enough to feel severely that there are drawbacks in being thus enclosed by other nations. The land being broken up by complex mountain systems and by rivers flowing in different directions, political division, for a time, became excessive, and long prevented sufficient accumulation of strength for effectually repelling such interference, even when it came from lesser powers. Only a conviction that no sacrifice is too great for the maintenance of independence and a willingness to accept heavy military burdens can save the peoples of Central Europe from the recurrence of this danger. Certain it is that these peoples, with their flower of physical strength hardened by climate and steeled by toil, have the power, if they earnestly choose to exercise it, of securing peace to all Europe.
Joseph Partsch, Central Europe (1903)