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´╗┐Title: The Land of Deepening Shadow - Germany-at-War
Author: Curtin, D. Thomas
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE LAND OF DEEPENING SHADOW

GERMANY-AT-WAR



BY


D. THOMAS CURTIN



1917



TO

LORD NORTHCLIFFE



CONTENTS

CHAPTER

      I  GETTING IN
     II  WHEN SKIES WERE BLUE
    III  THE CRIME AGAINST THE CHILDREN
     IV  PULPITS OF HATE
      V  PUPPET PROFESSORS
     VI  THE LIE ON THE FILM
    VII  THE IDEA FACTORY
   VIII  CORRESPONDENTS IN SHACKLES
     IX  ANTON LANG OF OBERAMMERGAU
      X  SUBMARINE MOTIVES
     XI  THE EAGLE AND THE VULTURE
    XII  IN THE GRIP OF THE FLEET
   XIII  A LAND OF SUBSTITUTES
    XIV  THE GAGGING OF LIEBKNECHT
     XV  PREVENTIVE ARREST
    XVI  POLICE RULE IN BOHEMIA
   XVII  SPIES AND SEMI-SPIES
  XVIII  THE IRON HAND IN ALSACE-LORRAINE
    XIX  THE WOMAN IN THE SHADOW
     XX  THE WAR SLAVES OF ESSEN
    XXI  TOMMY IN GERMANY
   XXII  HOW THE PRUSSIAN GUARD CAME HOME FROM THE SOMME
  XXIII  HOW GERMANY DENIES
   XXIV  GERMANY'S HUMAN RESOURCES
    XXV  BERLIN'S EAST-END
   XXVI  IN THE DEEPENING SHADOW
  XXVII  ACROSS THE NORTH SEA
 XXVIII  THE LITTLE SHIPS



THE LAND OF DEEPENING SHADOW

CHAPTER I

GETTING IN

Early in November, 1915, I sailed from New York to Rotterdam.

I spent nearly a month in Holland completing my preparations, and
at length one grey winter morning I took the step that I dreaded.
I had left Germany six months before with a feeling that to enter
it again and get safely out was hopeless, foolish, dangerous,
impossible.  But at any rate I was going to try.

At Zevenaar, while the Dutch customs officials were examining my
baggage, I patronised the youth selling apple cakes and coffee, for
after several months' absence from Germany my imagination had been
kindled to contemplate living uncomfortably on short rations for
some time as the least of my troubles.  Furthermore, the editorial
opinion vouchsafed in the Dutch newspaper which I had bought at
Arnhem was that Austria's reply to the "Ancona" Note made a break
with America almost a certainty.  Consequently as the train rolled
over the few remaining miles to the frontier I crammed down my
apple cakes, resolved to face the unknown on a full stomach.

The wheels ground under the brakes, I pulled down the window with a
bang and looked out no longer upon the soft rolled military cap of
Holland but upon the business-like spiked helmet of Germany.  I
steeled myself.  There was no backing out now.  I had crossed the
German frontier.

The few passengers filed into the customs room, where a corps of
skilled mechanics prised open the contents of bags and trunks.
Each man was an expert in his profession.  A hand plunged into one
of my bags and emerged with several bars of chocolate, the wrappers
of which were shorn off before the chocolate was well out of the
bag.  A bottle of liniment, the brand that made us forget our
sprains and bruises in college days, was brought to light, and with
commendable dexterity the innocent label was removed in a twinkling
with a specially constructed piece of steel.  The label had a
picture of a man with a very extensive moustache--the man who had
made the liniment famous, or _vice versa_--but the trade name and
proprietor must go unsung in the Fatherland, for the Government has
decreed that travellers entering Germany may bring only three
things containing printed matter, viz.: railroad tickets, money and
passports.

When the baggage squad had finished its task and replaced all
unsuspected articles, the bags were sealed and sent on to await the
owner, whose real troubles now began.

I stepped into a small room where I was asked to hand over all
printed matter on my person.  Two reference books necessary for my
work were tried and found not guilty, after which they were
enclosed in a large envelope and sent through the regular censor.

Switched into a third room before I had a chance even to bid
good-bye to the examiners in the second, I found myself standing
before a small desk answering questions about myself and my
business asked tersely by an inquisitor who read from a lengthy
paper which had to be filled in, and behind whom stood three
officers in uniform.  These occasionally interpolated questions and
always glared into my very heart.  When I momentarily looked away
from their riveted eyes it was only to be held transfixed by the
scrutinising orbs of a sharp, neatly dressed man who had been a
passenger on the train.  He plays the double role of
detective-interpreter, and he plays it in first-class fashion.

While the man behind the desk was writing my biography, the
detective--or rather the interpreter, as I prefer to think of him,
because he spoke such perfect English--cross-examined me in his own
way.  As the grilling went on I did not know whether to be anxious
about the future or to glow with pride over the profound interest
which the land of Goethe and Schiller was displaying in my life and
literary efforts.

Had I not a letter from Count Bernstorff?

I was not thus blessed.

Did I not have a birth certificate?  Whom did I know in Germany?
Where did they live?  On what occasions had I visited Germany
during my past life?  On what fronts had I already seen fighting?
What languages did I speak, and the degree of proficiency in each?

Many of my answers to these and similar questions were carefully
written down by the man at the desk, while his companions in the
inquisition glared, always glared, and the room danced with
soldiers passing through it.

At length my passport was folded and returned to me, but my
credentials and reference books were sealed in an envelope.  They
would be returned to me later, I was told.

I was shunted along into an adjoining small room where nimble
fingers dexterously ran through my clothing to find out if I had
overlooked declaring anything.

Another shunting and I was in a large room.  I rubbed elbows with
more soldiers along the way, but nobody spoke.  Miraculously I came
to a halt before a huge desk, much as a bar of glowing iron, after
gliding like a living thing along the floor of a rolling mill,
halts suddenly at the bidding of a distant hand.

Behind the desk stood men in active service uniforms--men who had
undoubtedly faced death for the land which I was seeking to enter.
They fired further questions at me and took down the data on my
passport, after which I wrote my signature for the official files.
Attacks came hard and fast from the front and both flanks, while a
silent soldier thumbed through a formidable card file, apparently
to see if I were a _persona non grata_, or worse, in the records.

I became conscious of a silent power to my left, and turning my
glance momentarily from the rapid-fire questioners at the desk, I
looked into a pair of lynx eyes flashing up and down my person.
Another detective, with probably the added role of interpreter, but
as I was answering all questions in German he said not a word.  Yet
he looked volumes.

Through more soldiers to the platform, and then a swift and
comparatively comfortable journey to Emmerich, accompanied by a
soldier who carried my sealed envelope, the contents of which were
subsequently returned to me after an examination by the censor.

At last I was alone! or rather I thought I was, for my innocent
stroll about Emmerich was duly observed by a man who bore the
unmistakable air of his profession, and who stepped into my
compartment on the Cologne train as I sat mopping my brow waiting
for it to start.  He flashed his badge of detective authority,
asked to see my papers, returned them to me politely, and bowed
himself out.

My journey was through the heart of industrial Germany, a heart
which throbs feverishly night and day, month in and month out, to
drive the Teuton power east, west, north, and south.

Forests of lofty chimney-stacks in Wesel, Duisburg, Krefeld, Essen,
Elberfeld and Dusseldorf belched smoke which hazed the landscape
far and wide: smoke which made cities, villages, lone brick
farmhouses, trees, and cattle appear blurred and indistinct, and
which filtered into one's very clothing and into locked travelling
bags.

But there was a strength and virility about everything, from the
vulcanic pounding and crashing in mills and arsenals to the sturdy
uniformed women who were pushing heavy trucks along railroad
platforms or polishing railings and door knobs on the long lines of
cars in the train yards.

Freight trains, military trains and passenger trains were speeding
over the network of rails without a hitch, soldiers and officers
were crowding station platforms, and if there was any faltering of
victory hopes among these men--as the atmosphere of the outside
world may have at that time led one to believe--I utterly failed to
detect it in their faces.  They were either doggedly and
determinedly moving in the direction of duty, or going happily home
for a brief holiday respite, as an unmistakable brightness of
expression, even when their faces were drawn from the strain of the
trenches, clearly showed.

But it is the humming, beehive activity of these
Rhenish-Westphalian cities and towns which crowd one another for
space that impresses the traveller in this workshop section of
Germany.  He knows that the sea of smoke, the clirr and crash of
countless foundries are the impelling force behind Germany's
soldier millions, whether they are holding far-thrown lines in
Russia, or smashing through the Near East, or desperately
counter-attacking in the West.

In harmony with the scene the winter sun sank like a molten metal
ball behind the smoke-stack forest, to set blood-red an hour later
beyond the zigzag lines in France.

Maximilian Harden had just been widely reported as having said that
Germany's great military conquests were in no way due to planning
in higher circles, but are the work of the rank and file---of the
Schultzs and the Schmidts.  I liked to think of this as the train
sped on at the close of the short winter afternoon, for my first
business was to call upon a middle-class family on behalf of a
German-American in New York, who wished me to take 100 pounds to
his relatives in a small Rhenish town.

Thus my first evening in Germany found me in a dark little town on
the Rhine groping my way through crooked streets to a home, the
threshold of which I no sooner crossed than I was made to feel that
the arm of the police is long and that it stretches out into the
remotest villages and hamlets.

The following incident, which was exactly typical of what would
happen in nineteen German households out of twenty, may reveal one
small aspect of German character to British and American people,
who are as a rule completely unable to understand German psychology.

Although I had come far out of my way to bring what was for them a
considerable sum of money, as well as some portraits of their
long-absent relatives in the United States and interesting family
news, my reception was as cold as the snow-blown air outside.  I
was not allowed to finish explaining my business when I was at
first petulantly and then violently and angrily interrupted with:--

"Have you been to the police?"

"No," I said.  "I did not think it was necessary to go to the
police, as I am merely passing through here, and am not going to
stay."

The lady of the house replied coldly, "Go to the police," and shut
the door in my face.

I mastered my temper by reminding myself that whereas such
treatment at home would have been sufficiently insulting to break
off further relations, it was not intended as such in Germany.

It was a long walk for a tired man to the _Polizeiamt_.  When I got
there I was fortunate in encountering a lank, easy-going old fellow
who had been commandeered for the job owing to the departure of all
the local police for the war.  He was clearly more interested in
trying to find out something of _his_ relations in some remote
village in America, which he said was named after them, than in my
business.

I returned to pay the 100 pounds and deliver the photographs, and
now that I had been officially "policed" was received with great
cordiality and pressed to spend the evening.

Father, mother, grown-up daughters and brother-in-law all assured
me that it was not owing to my personal appearance that I had been
so coldly received, but that war is war and law is law and that
everything must be done as the authorities decree.

Cigars and cigarettes were showered upon me and my glass was never
allowed to be empty of Rhine wine.  Good food was set before me and
the stock generously replenished whenever necessary.  It will be
remembered that I had come unexpectedly and that I was not being
entertained in a wealthy home, and this at a time when the only
counter-attack on Germany's success in the Balkans was an increased
amount of stories that she was starving.

Evidently the Schultzs and the Schmidts were not taking all the
credit for Germany's position to themselves.  They pointed with
pride to a picture of the Emperor adorning one wall and then smiled
with satisfaction as they indicated the portrait of von Hindenburg
on the wall opposite.  One of the daughters wore a huge silver
medallion of the same renowned general on her neck.  After nearly a
year and a half of war these bard-working Germans were proud of
their leaders and had absolute faith in them.

But this family had felt the war.  One son had just been wounded,
they knew not how severely, in France.  If some unknown English,
soldier on the Yser had raised his rifle just a hairbreadth higher
the other son would be sleeping in the blood-soaked soil of
Flanders instead of doing garrison duty in Hanover while recovering
from a bullet which had passed through his head just under the eyes.



CHAPTER II

WHEN SKIES WERE BLUE

There was one more passenger, making three, in our first-class
compartment in the all-day express train from Cologne to Berlin
after it left Hanover.  He was a naval officer of about forty-five,
clean-cut, alert, clearly an intelligent man.  His manner was
proud, but not objectionably so.

The same might be said of the manner of the major who had sat
opposite me since the train left Dusseldorf.  I had been in Germany
less than thirty hours and was feeling my way carefully, so I made
no attempt to enter into conversation.  Just before lunch the
jolting of the train deposited the major's coat at my feet.  I
picked it up and handed it to him.  He received it with thanks and
a trace of a smile.  He was polite, but icily so.  I was an
American, he was a German officer.  In his way of reasoning my
country was unneutrally making ammunition to kill himself and his
men.  But for my country the war would have been over long ago.
Therefore he hated me, but his training made him polite in his
hate.  That is the difference between the better class of army and
naval officers and diplomats and the rest of the Germans.

When he left the compartment for the dining-car he saluted and
bowed stiffly.  When we met in the narrow corridor after our return
from lunch, each stepped aside to let the other pass in first.  I
exchanged with him heel-click for heel-click, salute for salute,
waist-bow for waist-bow, and after-you-my-dear-Alphonse sweep of
the arm for you-go-first-my-dear-Gaston motion from him.  The
result was that we both started at once, collided, backed away and
indulged in all the protestations and gymnastics necessary to beg
another's pardon, in military Germany.  At length we entered,
erected a screen of ice between us, and alternately looked from one
another to the scenery hour after hour.

The entrance of the naval officer relieved the strain, for the two
branches of the Kaisers armed might were soon--after the usual
gymnastics--engaged in conversation.  They were not men to discuss
their business before a stranger.  Once I caught the word
Amerikaner uttered in a low voice, but though their looks told that
they regarded me as an intruder in their country they said nothing
on that point.

At Stendal we got the Berlin evening papers, which had little of
interest except a few lines about the _Ancona_ affair between
Washington and Vienna.

"Do you think Austria will grant the American demands?" the man in
grey asked the man in blue.

"Austria will do what Germany thinks best.  Personally, I hope that
we take a firm stand.  I do not believe in letting the United
States tell us how to conduct the war.  We are quite capable of
conducting it and completing it in a manner satisfactory to
ourselves."

The man in grey agreed with the man in blue.

Past the blazing munition works at Spandau, across the Havel,
through the Tiergarten, running slowly now, to the
_Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof_.

A bewildering swirl of thoughts rushed through my head as I stepped
out on the platform.  More than three months ago I had left London
for my long, circuitous journey to Berlin.  I had planned and
feared, planned and hoped.  The German spy system is the most
elaborate in the world.  Only through a miracle could the
Wilhelmstrasse be ignorant of the fact that I had travelled all
over Europe during the war for the hated British Press.  I could
only hope that the age of miracles had not passed.

The crowd was great, porters were as scarce as they used to be
plentiful, I was waiting for somebody, so I stood still and took
note of my surroundings.

Across the platform was a long train ready to start west, and from
each window leaned officers and soldiers bidding good-bye to groups
of friends.  The train was marked _Hannover_, _Koln_, _Lille_.  As
though I had never known it before, I found myself saying, "Lille
is in France, and those men ride there straight from here."

The train on which I had arrived had pulled out and another had
taken its place.  This was marked _Posen_, _Thorn_, _Insterburg_,
_Stalluponen_, _Alexandrovo_, _Vilna_.  As I stood on that platform
I felt Germany's power in a peculiar but convincing way.  I had
been in Germany, in East Prussia, when the Russians were not only
in possession of the last four places named, but about to threaten
the first two.

Now the simple printed list of stations on the heavy train about to
start from the capital of Germany to Vilna, deep in Russia, was an
awe-inspiring tribute to the great military machine of the
Fatherland.  For a moment I believed in von Bethmann-Holweg's talk
about the "map of Europe."

I was eager to see how much Berlin had changed, for I knew it at
various stages of the war, but I cannot honestly say that the
changes which I detected later, and which I shall deal with in
subsequent chapters of this book--changes which are absorbingly
interesting to study on the spot and vitally important in the
progress and outcome of the war--were very apparent then.

In the dying days of 1915 I found the people of Berlin almost as
supremely confident of victory, especially now since Bulgaria's
entrance had made such sweeping changes in the Balkans, as they
were on that day of cloudless blue, the first of August, 1914, when
the dense mass swayed before the Royal Palace, to see William II
come out upon the balcony to bid his people rise to arms.  Eyes
sparkled, cheeks flushed, the buzz changed to cheering, the
cheering swelled to a roar.  The army which had been brought to the
highest perfection, the army which would sweep Europe--at last the
German people could see what it would do, would show the world what
it would do.  The anticipation intoxicated them.

An American friend told me of how he struggled toward the
_Schloss_, but in the jam of humanity got only as far as the
monument of Frederick the Great.  There a youth threw his hat in
the air and cried: "_Hock der Krieg, Hock der Krieg_!" (Hurrah for
the war).

That was the spirit that raged like a prairie fire.

An old man next to him looked him full in the eyes.  "_Der Krieg
ist eine ernste Sache, Junge_!" (War is a serious matter, young
man), he said and turned away.  He was in the crowd, but not of it.
His note was discordant.  They snarled at him and pushed him
roughly.  They gloried in the thought of war.  They were certain
that they were invincible.  All that they bad been taught, all the
influences on their lives convinced them that nothing could stand
before the _furor teutonicus_ once it was turned loose.

Delirious days when military bands blared regiment after regiment
through lines of cheering thousands; whole companies deluged with
flowers, long military trains festooned with blossoms and greenery
rolling with clock-like regularity from the stations amid
thunderous cheers.  Sad partings were almost unknown, for, of
course, no earthly power could withstand the onslaughts of the
Kaiser's troops.  God was with them--even their belts and helmets
showed that.  So, "Good-bye for six weeks!"

The 2nd of September is Sedan Day, and in 1914 it was celebrated as
never before.  A great parade was scheduled, a parade which would
show German prowess.  Though I arrived in "Unter den Linden" two
hours before the procession was due, I could not get anywhere near
the broad central avenue down which it would pass.  I chartered a
taxi which had foundered in the throng, and perched on top.  The
Government, always attentive to the patriotic education of the
children, had given special orders for such occasions.  The little
ones were brought to the front by the police, and boys were even
permitted to climb the sacred Linden trees that they might better
see what the Fatherland had done.

The triumphal column entered through the Kaiser Arch of the
Brandenburger Tor, and bedlam broke loose during the passing of the
captured cannon of Russia, France, and Belgium--these last cast by
German workmen at Essen and fired by Belgian artillerists against
German soldiers at Liege.

The gates of Paris!  Then the clear-cut German official reports
became vague for a few days about the West, but had much of
Hindenburg and victory in the East.  Democracies wash their dirty
linen in public, while absolute governments tuck theirs out of
sight, where it usually disappears, but sometimes unexpectedly
develops spontaneous combustion.

Nobody--outside of the little circle--questioned the delay in
entering Paris.  Everything was going according to plan, was the
saying.  I suppose sheep entertain a somewhat similar attitude when
their leader conducts them over a precipice.  Antwerp must be taken
first--that was the key to Paris and London.  Such was the gossip
when the scene was once more set in Belgium, and the great Skoda
mortars pulverised forts which on paper were impregnable.  Many a
time during the first days of October I left my glass of beer or
cup of tea half finished and rushed from cafe and restaurant with
the crowd to see if the newspaper criers of headlines were
announcing the fall of the fortress on the Scheldt, How those
people discussed the terms of the coming early peace, terms which
were not by any means easy!  Berlin certainly had its thumbs turned
down on the rest of Europe.

With two other Americans I sat with a group of prosperous Berliners
in their luxurious club.  Waiters moved noiselessly over costly
rugs and glasses clinked, while these men seriously discussed the
probable terms Germany would soon impose on a conquered continent.
Belgium would, of course, be incorporated into the German Empire,
and Antwerp would be the chief outlet for Germany's commerce--and
how that commerce would soon boom at the expense of Great Britain!
France would now have an opportunity to develop her socialistic
experiments, as she would be permitted to maintain only a very
small army.  The mistake of 1870 must not be repeated.  This time
there would be no paltry levy of five billion francs.  A great
German Empire would rise on the ruins of the British.  Commercial
gain was the theme.  I did not gather from the conversation that
anybody but Germany would be a party to the peace.

A man in close touch with things military entered at midnight.  His
eyes danced as he gave us new information about Antwerp.   Clearly
the city was doomed.

I did not sleep that night.  I packed.  Next evening I was in
Holland.  I saw a big story, hired a car, picked up a _Times_
courier, and, after "fixing" things with the Dutch guards, dashed
for Antwerp.  The long story of a retreat with the rearguard of the
Belgian Army has no place here.  But there were scenes which
contrasted with the boasting, confident, joyous capital I had left.
Belgian horses drawing dejected families, weeping on their
household goods, other families with everything they had saved
bundled in a tablecloth or a handkerchief.  Some had their
belongings tied on a bicycle, others trundled wheel-barrows.
Valuable draught dogs, harnessed, but drawing no cart, were led by
their masters, while other dogs that nobody thought of just
followed along.  And tear-drenched faces everywhere.  Back in
Bergen-op-Zoom and Putten I had seen chalk writing on brick walls
saying that members of certain families had gone that way and would
wait in certain designated places for other members who chanced to
pass.  On the road, now dark, and fringed with pines, I saw a faint
light flicker.  A group passed, four very old women tottering after
a very old man, he holding a candle before him to light the way.

As I jotted down these things and handed them to my courier I
thought of the happy faces back in Berlin, of jubilant crowds
dashing from restaurants and cafes as each newspaper edition was
shouted out, and I knew that the men in the luxurious club were
figuring out to what extent they could mulct Belgium.

I pressed on in the dark and joined the Belgian army and the
British Naval Brigade falling back before the Germans.  I came upon
an American, now captain of a Belgian company.  "It's a damn shame,
and I hate to admit it," he said, "but the Allies are done for."
That is the way it looked to us in the black hours of the retreat.

Soldiers were walking in their sleep.  Some sank, too exhausted to
continue.  An English sailor, a tireless young giant, trudged on
mile after mile with a Belgian soldier on his back.  Both the
Belgian's feet had been shot off and tightly bound handkerchiefs
failed to check the crimson trail.

London and Paris were gloomy, but Berlin was basking in the bright
morning sunshine of the war.


Although the fronts were locked during the winter, the German
authorities had good reason to feel optimistic about the coming
spring campaign.  They knew that they had increased their munition
output enormously, and their spies told them that Russia had
practically run out of ammunition, while England had not yet
awakened to the realisation that this is a war of shells.

The public saw the result in the spring.  The armies of the Tsar
fell back all along the line, while in Germany the flags were
waving and the bells of victory were pealing.

All through this there was unity in Germany, a unity that the
Germans felt and gloried in.  "No other nation acts as one man in
this wonderful time as do we Germans," they told the stranger again
and again.  Unity and Germany became synonymous in my mind.

Love of country and bitterness against the enemy are intensified in
a nation going to war.  It is something more than this, however,
which has imbued and sustained the flaming spirit of Germany during
this war.  In July, 1914, the Government deliberately set out to
overcome two great forces.  The first was the growing section of
her anti-militaristic citizens, and the second was the combination
of Great Powers which she made up her mind she must fight sooner or
later if she would gain that place in the sun which had dazzled her
so long.

Her success against the opposition within her was phenomenal.
Germany was defending herself against treacherous attack--that was
the watchword.  The Social Democrats climbed upon the band-waggon
along with the rest for the joy-ride to victory, and they remained
on the band-waggon for more than a year--then some of them dropped
off.

The story of how all Germans were made to think as one man is a
story of one of the greatest phenomena of history.  It is my
purpose in the next few chapters to show how the German Government
creates unity.  Then, in later chapters, I will describe the forces
tending to disintegrate that wonderful unity.

Germany entered the war with the Government in control of all the
forces affecting public opinion.  The only way in which newspaper
editors, reporters, lecturers, professors, teachers, theatre
managers, and pulpit preachers could hope to accomplish, anything
in the world was to do something to please the Government.  To
displease the Government meant to be silenced or to experience
something worse.



CHAPTER III

THE CRIME AGAINST THE CHILDREN

The boys and girls of Germany play an important part in _die grosse
Zeit_ (this great wartime).  Every atom of energy that can be
dragged out of the children has been put to practical purpose.

Their little souls, cursed by "incubated hate," have been so worked
upon by the State schoolmasters that they have redoubled their
energies in the tasks imposed upon them of collecting gold, copper,
nickel, brass, paper, acorns, blackberries, blueberries, rubber,
woollen and war loan money.

All this summer on release from school, which commences at seven
and closes at three in most parts of Germany, the hours varying in
some districts, the children, in organised squads, have been put to
these important purposes of State.  They had much to do with the
getting in of the harvest.

The schoolmaster has played his part in the training of the child
to militarism, State worship, and enemy hatred as effectively as
the professor and the clergyman.

Here are two German children's school songs, that are being sung
daily.  Both of them are creations of the war: both written by
schoolmasters.  The particularly offensive song about King Edward
and England is principally sung by girls--the future mothers of
Germany:--

  O England, O England,
  Wie gross sind Deine Lugen!
  Ist Dein Verbrechen noch so gross,
  Du schwindelst Dich vom Galgen los.
  O Eduard, O Eduard, du Muster aller Fursten,
  Nichts hattest Du von einem Rex,
  Du eitler Schlips--und Westenfex.

[Oh, England, oh, England, how great are thy lies!  However great
thy crimes, thou cheatest the gallows.  Oh, Edward, oh, Edward,
thou model Prince!  Thou hadst nothing kindly in thee, thou vain
fop!]

  Da druben, da druben liegt der Feind,
  In feigen Schutzengraben,
  Wir greifen ihn an, und ein Hund, wer meint,
  Heut' wurde Pardon gegeben.
  Schlagt alles tot, was um Gnade fleht,
  Schiesst alles nieder wie Hunde,
  Mehr Feinde, mehr Feinde! sei euer Gebet
  In dieser Vergeltungsstunde.

[Over there in the cowardly trenches lies the enemy.  We attack
him, and only a dog will say that pardon should be given to-day.
Strike dead everything which prays for mercy.  Shoot everything
down like dogs.  "More enemies, more enemies," be your prayer in
this hour of retribution.]

The elementary schools, or _Volksschulen_, are free, and attendance
is compulsory from six to fourteen.  There are some 61,000 free
public elementary schools with over 10,000,000 pupils, and over 600
private elementary schools, with 42,000 pupils who pay fees.

Germany is a land of civil service; to enter which a certificate
from a secondary school is necessary.  Some authorities maintain
that the only way to prevent being flooded with candidates is to
make the examinations crushingly severe.  Children are early made
to realise that all hope of succeeding in life rests upon the
passing of these examinations.  Thus the despair which often leads
to suicide on the one hand and knowledge without keenness on the
other.

Hardly any class has suffered more heavily in the war than the
masters of the State schools, which are equivalent to English
Council schools and American public schools.   The thinning of
their ranks is an eloquent proof of the heaviness of the German
death toll.  Their places have been taken by elderly men, but
principally by women.  It is a kind of Nemesis that they should
have fallen in the very cause they have been propagating for at
least a generation.

Those who knew only the old and pleasant Germany do not realise the
speeding up of the hate machine that has taken place in the last
decade.  The protests against this State creation of hate grow less
and less as the war proceeds.  To-day only comparatively few
members of the Social-Democrat Party raise objection to this
horrible contamination of the minds of the coming generation of
German men and women.  Not much reflection is needed to see on what
fruitful soil the great National Liberal Party, with its backing of
capitalists, greedy merchants, chemists, bankers, ship and mine
owners, is planting its seeds for the future.  There is no cure for
this evil state of affairs, but the practical proof, inflicted by
big cannon, that the world will not tolerate a nation of which the
very children are trained to hate the rest of the world, and taught
that German _Kultur_ must be spread by bloodshed and terror.

With the change in Germany has come a change in the family life.
The good influence of some churches has gone completely.  They are
part of the great war machine.  The position of the mother is not
what it was.  The old German Hausfrau of the three K's, which I
will roughly translate by "Kids, Kitchen, and Kirk," has become
even more a servant of the master of the house than she was.  The
State has taken control of the souls of her children, and she has
not even that authority that she had twenty years ago.  The father
has become even more important than of yore.  The natural tendency
of a nation of which almost every man is a soldier, is to elevate
the man at the expense of the woman, and the German woman has taken
to her new position very readily.  She plays her wonderful part in
the production of munitions, not as in Britain in a spirit of
equality, but with a sort of admitted inferiority difficult to
describe exactly.

At four years of age the German male child begins to be a soldier.
At six he is accustomed to walk in military formation.  This system
has a few advantages, but many disadvantages.  A great concourse of
infants can, for example, be marshalled through the streets of a
city without any trouble at all.  But that useful discipline is
more than counterbalanced by the killing of individuality.  German
children, especially during the war, try to grow up to be little
men and women as quickly as possible.  They have shared the long
working hours of the grown-ups, and late in the hot summer nights I
have seen little Bavarian boys and girls who have been at school
from seven and worked in the fields from three o'clock till dark,
drinking their beer in the beer garden with a relish that showed
they needed some stimulant.  The beer is not Bass's ale, but it
contains from two to five per cent. of alcohol.  Unhealthy-looking
little men are these German boys of from twelve to fifteen during
the war.  The overwork, and the lowering of the diet, has given
them pasty faces and dark rings round their eyes.  All games and
amusements have been abandoned, and the only relaxation is corps
marching through the streets at night, singing their hate songs and
"Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles."

The girls, in like fashion, often spend their school interval in
marching in columns of four, singing the same horrible chants.

Up to the time of the scarcity of woollen materials, the millions
of little German schoolgirls produced their full output of comforts
for the troops.

The practical result, from a military point of view, of training
children to venerate the All-Highest War Lord and his family,
together with his ancestors, was shown at the beginning of the war,
when there came a great rush of volunteers (_Freiwillige_), many of
them beneath the military age, many of them beyond it.  In most of
the calculations of German man-power, some ally and neutral
military writers seem to have forgotten these volunteers, estimated
at two millions.

A significant change in Germany is the cessation of the volunteer
movement.  Parents who gladly sent forth their boys as volunteers,
are now endeavouring by every means in their power to postpone the
evil day in the firm belief that peace will come before the age of
military service has been reached.  It is a change at least as
significant as that which, lies between the German's "We have
won--the more enemies the better" of two years back, and the "We
must hold out" of to-day.

Of the school structures in modern Germany it would be idle to
pretend that they are not excellent in every respect--perfect
ventilation, sanitation, plenty of space, large numbers of
class-rooms, and halls for the choral singing, which is part of the
German system of education, and by which the "hate" songs have been
so readily spread.  The same halls are used for evening lectures
for adults and night improvement schools.

It is significant that all the schools built between 1911 and 1914
were so arranged, not only in Germany, but throughout Austria, that
they could be turned into hospitals with hardly any alteration.
For this purpose, temporary partitions divided portions of the
buildings, and an unusually large supply of water was laid on.
Special entrances for ambulances were already in existence, baths
had already been fitted in the wounded reception rooms, and in many
cases sterilising sheds were already installed.  The walls were
made of a material that could he quickly whitewashed for the
extermination of germs.  If this obvious preparation for war is
named to the average German, his reply is, "The growing jealousy of
German culture and commerce throughout the world rendered necessary
protective measures."

A total lack of sense of humour and sense of proportion among the
Germans can be gathered from the fact that Mr. Haselden's famous
cartoons of Big and Little Willie, which have a vogue among
Americana and other neutrals in Germany, and are by no means
unkind, are regarded by Germans as a sort of sacrilege.  These same
people do not hesitate to circulate the most horrible and indecent
pictures of President Wilson, King George, President Poincare, and
especially of Viscount Grey of Falloden.  The Tsar is usually
depicted covered with vermin.  The King of Italy as an evil-looking
dwarf with a dagger in his hand.  Only those who have seen the
virulence of the caricatures, circulated by picture postcard, can
have any idea of the horrible material on which the German child is
fed.  The only protest I ever heard came from the Artists' Society
of Munich, who objected to these loathsome educational efforts as
being injurious to the reputation of artistic Germany and
calculated to produce permanent damage to the juvenile mind.

The atmosphere of the German home is so different from that in
which I have been brought up in the United States, and have seen in
England, that the Germans are not at all shocked by topics of
conversation never referred to in other countries.  Subjects are
discussed before German girls of eleven and twelve, and German boys
of the same age, that make an Anglo-Saxon anxious to get out of the
room.  I do not know whether it is this or the over-education that
leads to the notorious child suicides of Germany, upon which so
many learned treatises have been written.

Just before the war it looked as though the German young man and
woman were going to improve.  Lawn tennis was spreading, despite
old-fashioned prejudice.  Football was coming in.  Rowing was
making some progress, as you may have learned at Henley.  It was
not the spontaneous sport of Anglo-Saxon countries, but a more
concentrated effort to imitate and to excel.

Running races had become lately a German school amusement, but the
results, as a rule, were that if there were five competitors, the
four losers entered a protest against the winner.  In any case,
each of the four produced excellent excuses why he had lost, other
than the fact that he had been properly beaten.

A learned American "exchange professor," who had returned from a
German university, whom I met in Boston last year on my way from
England to Germany, truly summed up the situation of athletics in
German schools by saying, "German boys are bad-tempered losers and
boastful winners."

Upon what kinds of history is the German child being brought up?
The basis of it is the history of the House of Hohenzollern, with
volumes devoted to the Danish and Austrian campaigns and minute
descriptions of every phase of all the battles with France in 1870,
written in a curious hysterical fashion.

The admixture of Biblical references and German boasting are
typical of the lessons taught at German Sunday Schools, which play
a great role in war propaganda.  The schoolmaster having done his
work for six days of the week, the pastor gives an extra virulent
dose on the Sabbath.  Sedan Day, which before the war was the
culmination of hate lessons, often formed the occasion of Sunday
School picnics, at which the children sang new anti-French songs.

There are some traits in German children most likeable.  There are,
for example, the respect for, and courtesy and kindness towards,
anybody older than themselves.   There are admiration for learning
and ambition to excel in any particular task.  There is a genuine
love of music.  On the other hand, there is much dishonesty, as may
be witnessed by the proceedings in the German police courts, and
has been proved in the gold and other collections.

The elimination of real religion in the education of children and
the substitution of worship of the State is, in the minds of many
impartial observers, something approaching a national catastrophe.
In any other community it would probably be accompanied by anarchy.
It certainly has swelled the calendar of German crime.  German
statistics prove that every sort of horror has been greatly on the
increase in the last quarter of a century.

I went to Germany the first time under the impression that the
Anglo-Saxon had much to learn from German education.  I do not
think that any observer in Germany itself to-day would find
anything valuable to learn in the field of education, except when
the German student comes to the time he takes up scientific
research, to which the German mind, with its intense industry and
regard for detail, is so eminently suited.  The German Government
gives these young students every advantage.  They are not, as with
us, obliged to start money-making as soon as they leave school.  As
a rule a German boy's career is marked out for him by his parents
and the schoolmaster at a very early age.  If he is to follow out
any one of the thousand branches of chemical research dealing with
coal-tar products, for example, he knows his fate at fourteen or
fifteen, and his eye is rarely averted from his goal until he has
achieved knowledge and experience likely to help him in the great
German trade success which has followed their utilisation of
applied science.



CHAPTER IV

PULPITS OF HATE

The unpleasant part played by the clergy, and especially the
Lutheran pastors, needs to be explained to those who regard clerics
as necessarily men of peace.

The claim that the Almighty is on the side of Germany is not a new
one.  It was made as far back as the time of Frederick the Great.
It was advanced in the war of 1870.  It found strong voice at the
time of the Boer War, when the pastors issued a united manifesto
virulently attacking Great Britain.

These pastors are in communication with the German-American
Lutherans in the United States, who exerted their influence to the
utmost against the election of President Wilson, taking their
instructions indirectly from the German Foreign Office.

The state of affairs in the German churches is so different from
anything on the other side of the Atlantic, and in Great Britain,
that it is almost as difficult to make people in England understand
war-preaching ministers as it is to make them comprehend
war-teaching schoolmasters.

My description of the poisoning by hate songs of the child mind of
Germany at its most impressionable age came as a shock to many of
my readers.  But the hate songs of the children are not as fierce
as the hate hymns and prayers of the pastors.  Do the public here
realise that of the original Zeppelin fund hundreds of thousands of
marks were subscribed in churches and chapels, and that models of
Zeppelins have formed portions of church decorations at festivals?

The pastors of the Prussian State Church are in one important
respect the exact opposite of Martin Luther.  He was thoroughly
independent in spirit and rebelled against authority; they are
abjectly submissive to it.  As with the professor, so with the
pastor, it is no mere accident that he is a puppet-tool of the
State.  The German Government leaves nothing to chance, and
realising to the fullest the importance of docile and unified
subjects both for interior rule and exterior conquest, it
deliberately and artfully regulates those who create public opinion.

There are some Lutheran pastors in Germany who work for an ideal,
who detest the propagation of hate.  Why, one may naturally ask, do
they not cry out against such a pernicious practice?  They cannot,
for they are muzzled.  When a pastor enters this Church of which
the Supreme War Lord is the head, his first oath is unqualified
allegiance to his King and State.  If he keeps his oath he can
preach no reform, for the State, being a perfect institution, can
have no flaw.  If he breaks his oath, which happens when he raises
his voice in the slightest criticism, he is silenced.  This means
that he must seek other means of earning a livelihood--a thing
almost impossible in a land where training casts a man in a rigid
mould.  Thus these parsons have their choice between going on
quietly with their work and being nonentities in the public eye or
bespattering the non-Germanic section of the world with the mire of
hate.  I regret to say that most of them choose the latter course.

While I was in Germany I read a lengthy and solicitous letter from
Pastor Winter, of Bruch, addressed to Admiral von Tirpitz, who had
just retired for the ostensible reason that he was unwell, but
whose illness was patently only diplomatic.  The good pastor
expressed the hope that his early recovery would permit the admiral
to continue his noble work of obliterating England.  Pastor Falk,
of Berlin, is a typical fire-eater.  His Whitsuntide address was an
attack upon Anglo-Saxon civilisation and the urgent German mission
of smashing Britain and America.  The Easter sermons of hate, one
of which I heard at Stettin, were especially bloodthirsty.
Congregations are larger than usual on that day, which is intended
to commemorate a spirit quite the opposite to hate.  The clergy are
instructed not to attack Prance or Russia, and so it comes about
that, as I have previously pointed out, in Prussia, Hanover,
Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg, and Saxony, the pastors of the
State Church preach hatred of Britain, as violently in their
pulpits as in their pastoral visits.

The pulpit orators, taking their tip from the Government, are also
exhorting their congregations to "hold out and win the war."  I
know of one pastor in a good section of Berlin, however, who has
recently lost considerable influence in his congregation.  Sunday
after Sunday his text has been, "Wir mussen durchhalten!" (We must
hold out!)  "No sacrifice should be too great for the Fatherland,
no privation, too arduous to be endured if one but has the spirit
to conquer."  He paid particular attention to the rapidly
increasing number of people who grumble incessantly over the
shortage of food.  The good man was clearly losing patience with
those who complained.

One day thieves broke into his home and got away with an enormous
amount of hams and other edibles.  I remind the reader that ham had
ere this become unknown in Berlin.  Less than three hundred pigs
were being killed there per week where formerly twenty-five
thousand were slaughtered.  The Government had more-over taken a
house-to-house inventory of food, and hoarding had been made
punishable by law.

The story, of course, never appeared in the papers, since such
divines are useful implements of the State, but the whole
congregation heard of it, with the disastrous consequence that the
good man's future sermons on self-denial fell upon stony ground.

One dear old lady, a widow, whose two sons had fallen in the war,
told me that she had not gone to church for years, but after her
second son fell she sought spiritual comfort in attending services
every Sunday.  "I am so lonesome now," she said, "and somehow I
feel that when I hear the word of God I shall be nearer to my boys."

I met her some weeks later on her way home from church.  "It is no
use," she sighed, shaking her head sadly, "the church does not
satisfy the longing in my heart.  It is not for such as me.
Nothing but war, war, war, and hate, hate, hate!"

The German Navy League, an aggressive body which had gathered
around it more than a million members previous to the war, stirred
up anti-British feeling by means of leaflets, newspaper articles,
kinematograph exhibitions, and sermons.  Among the bitterest of the
preachers are returned missionaries from British possessions.

Although the social position of the pastor in a German village is
less than that of a minor Government official, yet he and his wife
wield considerable influence.  The leading pastors receive each
week many of the Government propaganda documents, including a
digest carefully prepared for them by the foreign Press Department.
I obtained some copies of this weekly digest, but was unable to
bring them out of Germany.  What purport to be extracts from the
London newspapers are ingenious distortions.  Sometimes a portion
of an article is reprinted with the omission of the context, thus
entirely altering its meaning.  The recipients of this carefully
prepared sheet believe implicitly in its authenticity.  Any chance
remark of a political nobody in the House of Commons that seems
favourable to Germany is quoted extensively.  Mr. Ramsay Macdonald,
in the eyes of the German village clergyman, ranks as one of the
most important men in the British Empire.  Mr. Stanton, M.P., in
their view, is a low hireling of the British Government, doing
dirty work in the hope of getting political preferment.  The
_Labour Leader_, which I have not seen in any house or hotel or on
any newspaper stall, is, according to this digest, one of the
leading English newspapers, and almost the only truth-telling organ
of the Allies.

These people really believe this.  When home-staying Englishmen
talk to me about the German War party, I find it difficult to
explain to them that the German War party is practically the whole
country.

One or two better-travelled and better-educated pastors have
expressed mild regret at the bloodthirsty attitude of their
brethren in private conversation.  But I never heard of one who had
the courage to "speak out in open meeting."

The modern, material Germany has not much use for religion except
as a factor in government.  The notorious spread of extreme
agnosticism in the last quarter of a century renders it essential
for the clergy to hold their places by stooping to the violence of
the Professors.  Mixed with their attitude of hostility to Britain
is a considerable amount of professional jealousy and envy.  A
number of German pastors paid a visit to London some two or three
years before the outbreak of war, and I happened to meet one of
them recently in Germany.  So far from being impressed by what he
had seen there, he had come to the conclusion that the English
clergy, and especially the Nonconformists, were an overpaid, and
undisciplined body, with no other aim than their personal comfort.
He had visited Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, Spurgeon's
Tabernacle, the City Temple, and had studied--so he told
me--English Wesleyanism and, Congregationalism in several
provincial centres.  He was particularly bitter about one
Nonconformist who had accepted a large salary to go to the United
States.  He returned to Germany impressed with the idea that the
Nonconformist and State Churches alike were a body of sycophants,
sharing the general decadent state of the English.  What struck him
principally was what he referred to continually as the lack of
discipline and uniformity.  Each man seemed to take his own point
of view, without any regard to the opinions of the particular
religious denomination to which he belonged.  All were grossly
ignorant of science and chemistry, and all were very much overpaid.
Here, I think, lay the sting of his envy, and it is part of the
general jealousy of England, a country where everybody is supposed
to be underworked and overpaid.

The only worse country in this respect from the German point of
view is the United States, "where even the American Lutheran
pastors have fallen victims to the lust for money."  The particular
Lutheran of whom I am speaking had been the guest of an English
Nonconformist minister and his wife, who had evidently tried to be
as hospitable as possible, and had no doubt put themselves out to
take him for excursions and outings in the Shakespeare country.

"It was nothing but eating and drinking and sightseeing," remarked
the Herr Pastor.

I suggested that he was a guest, to be looked after.

"I can assure you," he replied, "that Mr. ------ had nothing to do
all day but read the newspapers, and drink tea with his
congregation.  He did not take the trouble to grow his own
vegetables, and all he had to do was to preach on Sundays and
attend a very unruly Sunday school.  His wife, too, was not dressed
as one of ours."

He explained to me that his own life was very different.  He eked
out his minute salary by a small scientifically managed farm, and I
gathered the impression that he was much more of a farmer than a
pastor, for he deplored his inability to obtain imported nitrates
owing to the blockade.  The only question on which he was at all
unorthodox was that of the Junkers and their regrettable power of
holding potatoes, pigs, and other supplies while small men like him
had been obliged to sell.  He had a good collection of modern
scientific agricultural works, of which the Germans have an
abundance.

But while admiring the energy of the great capitalists and the
rational Liberal Party, the average clergyman tends towards
sympathy with the Agrarians.  The pastor of the small towns and
villages, who is very much under the thumb of the local Junker or
rich manufacturer, has as his highest ambition the hope that he and
his wife may be invited to coffee at least twice a year.  The
pastor's wife is delighted to be condescendingly received by the
great lady.  Herr Pastor talks agriculture with Herr Baron, and
Frau Pastor discusses past and coming incidents in the local birth
rate with Frau Baron.  Snobbery has no greater exemplification than
in the relations of the local Lutheran pastor and the local
landlord or millionaire.

A sidelight on German mentality is contained in a little
conversation which I had with a clergyman in the Province of Posen.
He knew England well, by residence and by matrimonial connections.

This is how he explained the battle of the Somme.  I give his own
words:--

"Many wounded men are coming back to our Church from the dreadful
Western front.  They have been fighting the British, and they find
that so ignorant are the British of warfare that the British
soldiers on the Somme refuse to surrender, not knowing that they
are really beaten, with the result that terrible losses are
inflicted upon our brave troops."

In this exact report of a conversation is summed up a great deal of
German psychology.

For the Salvation Army a number of Germans have genuine respect,
because it seems to be organised on some military basis.  The
Church of England they consider as degenerate as the Nonconformist.
Both, they think, are mere refuges for money-making ecclesiastics.



CHAPTER V

PUPPET PROFESSORS

The professor, like the army officer, has long been a semi-deity in
Germany.  Not only in his university lectures does he influence the
students, and particularly the prospective teachers of secondary
schools who hang on his words, but he writes the bulk of the
historical, economic and political literature of the daily Press,
the magazines and the tons of pamphlets which flood the country.

Years before the war the Government corralled him for its own.  It
gave him social status, in return for which he would do his part to
make the citizen an unquestioning, faithful and obedient servant of
the State.  As soon as he enters on his duties he becomes a civil
servant, since the universities are State institutions.  He takes
an oath in which it is stipulated that he will not write or preach
or do anything questioning the ways of the State.  His only way to
make progress in life, then, is to serve the State, to preach what
it wishes preached, to teach history as it wishes history taught.

The history of Prussia is the history of the House of Hohenzollern,
and the members of the House, generation after generation, must all
be portrayed a& heroes.  There was a striking illustration of this
in 1913 when the Kaiser had Hauptmann's historical play suppressed
because it represented Frederick William III. in true light, as
putty in the hands of Napoleon.

There is a small group of German professors interested solely in
scientific research, such as Professor Roentgen and the late
Professor Ehrlich, which we exclude from the "puppet professors."
Such men succeed through sheer ability and their results are their
diplomas before the world.  Neither shoulder-knots nor medals
pinned in rows across their breasts would contribute one iota to
their success, nor make that success the more glittering once it is
achieved.

One of these, a Bavarian of the old school, a thoughtful, liberal
man who had travelled widely, told me that he deplored the depths
of mental slavery to which the mass of the German professors had
sunk.  "They are living on the reputation made by us scientists,"
he declared.  "They write volumes and they go about preaching
through the land, but they contribute nothing, absolutely nothing,
to the uplifting of humanity and of the country."  He told me of
how Government spies before the war and during it watch professors
who are suspected of having independent ways of thought, and for
the slightest "offence" such as being in the audience of a Social
Democratic lecture (this before the war, of course; such meetings
are forbidden now) they are put on the official black-list and
promotion is closed to them for ever.

In warring Germany I found professors vying with one another to sow
hatred among the people, to show that Germany is always right, and
that she is fighting a war of defence, which she tried to avoid by
every means in her power, and that any methods employed to crush
Great Britain, the real instigator of the attack on Germany, are
good methods.

With the pastors, they spread the idea that "Germany is the rock
selected by Almighty God upon which to build His Empire."  J. P.
Bang, the able Danish Professor of Theology at the University of
Copenhagen, writes clearly on this point.  He says, when describing
Emanuel Geibel:--

"He has succeeded in finding the classical formula for the German
arrogance, which of necessity demands that Germanism shall be
placed above everything else in the world, and at the same time in
giving this arrogance such an expression that it shall not conflict
with the German demand for moral justification.  This has been
achieved in the lines which have been quoted times without number
in the newest German war literature:

  Und es mag am deutschen Wesen
  Einmal noch die Welt genesen!
  (The world may yet again be healed by Germanism.)

"The hope here expressed has become a certainty for modern Germany,
and the Germans see in this the moral basis for all their demands.
Why must Germany be victorious, why must she have her place in the
sun, why must her frontiers be extended, why is all opposition to
Germany shameful, not to say devilish, why must Germany become a
world-empire, why ought Germany and not Great Britain to become the
great Colonial Power?  Why, because it is through the medium of
Germanism that the world is to be healed; it is upon Germanism that
the salvation of the world depends.  That is why all attacks
against Germanism are against God's plans, in opposition to His
designs for the world; in short, a sin against God.  The Germans do
not seem to be able to understand that other nations cannot be
particularly delighted at being described as sickly shoots which
can only be healed by coming under the influence of German
fountains of health.  Yet one would think that, if they would only
reflect a little upon what the two lines quoted above imply, they
would be able in some measure to understand the dislike for them,
which they declare to be so incomprehensible.

"He also prophesied about the great master who would arise and
create the unity of Germany.  This prophecy was brilliantly
fulfilled in Bismarck.  After 1866 he loudly clamours for
Alsace-Lorraine.  This he cannot reasonably have expected to obtain
without war; but when the war comes we hear exactly the same tale
as now of the Germans' love of peace and the despicable
deceitfulness of their enemies.  'And the peace shall be a _German
peace_; now tremble before the sword of God and of Germany ye who
are strong in impiety and fruitful in bloodguiltiness.'"

Hate lectures have been both fashionable and popular in Germany
during the war.  I was attracted to one in Munich by flaming red
and yellow posters which announced that Professor Werner Sombart of
the University of Berlin would speak at the Vierjahreszeiten Hall
on "Unser Hass gegen England" (Our Hatred of England).

I sat among the elite of the Bavarian capital in a large hall with
even the standing room filled, when a black-bearded professor
stepped upon the stage amid a flutter of handclapping and proceeded
to his task without any introduction.  He was a Professor of
Hatred, and it soon became quite clear that he was full of his
subject.  His lank frame leaned over the footlights and he wound
and unwound his long, thin fingers, while his lips sneered and his
sharp black eyes gleamed venom as he instructed business men,
bankers, smart young officers, lorgnetted dowagers and sweet-faced
girls, in the duty of hating with the whole heart and the whole
mind.  I soon felt that if Lissauer is the Horace of Hate, Sombart
is its Demosthenes.

"It is not our duty (_duty_ is always a good catchword in German
appeal) to hate individual Englishmen, such as Sir Edward Grey and
Mr. Asquith and Mr. Lloyd George.  No, we must go far beyond that.
We must hate the very essence of everything English.  We must hate
the very soul of England.  An abysmal gulf yawns between the two
nations which can never, and must never, be bridged over.  We need
borrow _Kultur_ from no nation on earth, for we ourselves have
developed the highest Kultur in the world."

The professor continued in this strain for an hour and a half, and
concluded with the rather striking statements that _hatred is the
greatest force in the world to overcome tremendous obstacles_, and
that _either one must hate or one must fear_.

The moral is, of course, obvious.  Nobody wishes to be a coward,
therefore the only alternative is to hate.  Therefore, hate England!

I watched the audience during the lecture and did not fail to note
the close attention shown the professor and the constant nods and
sighs of assent of those about me.  I was not, however, prepared
for the wild tumult of applause at the finish.  Indeed the admiring
throng rushed to the stage to shower him with admiration.

"Das war aber zu schon!" sighed a dowager near me.

"Ja, ja, wunderbar.  Ein Berliner Professor!"  And the student with
_Schmissen_ (sabre cuts) across his close-cropped head smacked his
lips with, satisfaction over the words much as he might have done
over his Stein at the Furstenhof.

I investigated Professor Sombart and learned from authority which
is beyond question that he was an out and out Government agent
foisted on to the University of Berlin against the wishes of its
faculty.

The name of Professor Joseph Kohler is known, all over the world to
men who have the slightest acquaintance with German jurisprudence.
His literary output has been enormous and he has unquestionably
made many valuable contributions to legal science.  Even he,
however, cannot do the impossible, and his "_Not kennt kein Gebot_"
(Necessity knows no law), an attempt in the summer of 1915 to
justify the German invasion of Belgium, makes Germany's case on
this particular point appear worse than ever.

The Empire of Rome and the Empire of Napoleon worked upon the
principle that necessity knows no law.  Why should not the Empire
of William II.?  That is the introductory theme.  The reader then
wades through page after page of classical philosophy, biblical
philosophy, and modern German philosophy which support the theory
that a sin may not always be a sin.  One may steal, for example, if
by so doing a life he saved.  It naturally follows from this that
when a nation is confronted by a problem which involves its very
existence it may do anything which may work to its advantage.  Thus
Germany did right in attacking the little country she had solemnly
sworn to defend, and history will later prove that the real
barbarians of the war are the Americans, since they are so abjectly
ignorant as to call the Germans barbarians for acting as they did.
So argues Joseph Kohler, who certainly ranks among the first
half-dozen professors of Germany.

There are a few professors of international law in Germany,
however, who have preserved a legally-balanced attitude despite
their sympathies.   One of these wrote an article for a law
periodical, many of the statements of which were in direct
contradiction to statements in the German Press.  The German
people, for example, were being instructed--a not difficult
task--that Britain was violating international law when her vessels
hoisted a neutral flag during pursuit.  This professor simply
quoted paragraph 81 of the German Prize Code which showed that
orders to German ships were precisely the same.  Were this known to
the German population one of the ten thousand hate tricks would be
out of commission.  Therefore, this and similar articles must be
suppressed, not because they are not true, but because they would
interfere with the delusion of hate which saturates the mind of the
new Germany.  I have seen articles returned to this distinguished
writer with the censor stamp: _Not to be published till after the
war_.

When a winning Germany began to grow angry at American munition
deliveries I heard much talk of the indemnity which the United
States would be compelled to pay after Europe had been duly
disposed of.  Professor Hermann Oncken, of the University of
Heidelberg, made this his theme in a widely read booklet, entitled,
"_Deutschlands Weltkrieg und die Deutsch-Amerikaner_."

Professor P.  von Gast, of the Technical College of Aachen, does
not appear to realise that his country has a sufficient job on her
hands in Europe and Africa, but thinks the midst of a great war a
suitable time to arouse his countrymen against the United States in
Latin America.  He explains that the Monroe Doctrine was simply an
attempt on the part of the great Anglo-Saxon Republic to gobble up
the whole continent to the south for herself.  "All the world must
oppose America in this attempt," he feels.

Then there is Professor Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who writes on
reprisals in the _Juristenblatt_ of July, 1916.  It should be borne
in mind that he is a professor of law and that he is writing in a
book which is read by legal minds and not by the general public;
all the more reason that we should expect something that would
contain common sense.  Professor Bartholdy, after expressing his
profound horror over the French raid on Karlsruhe, hastens to
explain that such methods can be of not the slightest military
advantage to the French, but will only arouse Germany to fight all
the harder.  He deplores enemy attacks on unfortified districts,
and claims that the French military powers confess that such acts
are not glorious by their failure to pin decorations on the breasts
of the aviators who perpetrate them, in the same way as the German
Staff honours heroes like Boelke and Immelmann, who fight, as do
all German aviators, like men.

There have been many incidents outside of Germany of which the
professor apparently has never heard, or else his sense of humour
is below the zero mark.

My talks with German professors impressed me with how little most
of them keep in touch with the war situation from day to day and
from month to month.  A Berlin professor of repute with whom I
sipped coffee one day in the Cafe Bauer expressed the greatest
surprise when he heard that a neutral could actually get from
America to Germany.  I heard this opinion very often among the
common people, but had supposed that doctors of philosophy were
somewhat better informed.

During my conversation with another professor, whose war remarks
have been circulated in the neutral countries by the Official News
Service, he remarked that he read the London Times and other
English newspapers regularly.

"Oh, so you get the English papers?" I asked, fully aware that one
may do so in Germany.

"Not exactly," returned the professor.  "The Government has a very
nice arrangement by which condensed articles from the English
newspapers are prepared and sent to us professors."

This was the final straw.  I had always considered professors to be
men who did research work, and I supposed that professors on
political science and history consulted original sources when
possible.  Yet the German professor of the twentieth century, is
content to take what the Government gives him and only what the
Government gives to him.

Thus we find that the professor is a great power in Germany in the
control of the minds of the people, and that the Government
controls the mind of the professor.  He is simply one of the
instruments in the German Government's Intellectual Blockade of the
German people.



CHAPTER VI

THE LIE ON THE FILM

At the end of an absorbingly interesting reel showing the Kaiser
reviewing his troops, a huge green trade-mark globe revolved with a
streamer fluttering _Berlin_.  The lights were turned on and the
operator looked over his assortment of reels.

An American had been granted permission to take war films in
Germany in the autumn of 1914, to be exhibited in the United
States.  After he had arrived, however, the authorities had refused
to let him take pictures with the army, but, like the proverbial
druggist, had offered him something "just as good."  In London, on
his return journey home, he showed to a few newspaper
correspondents the films which Germany had foisted upon him.

"The next film, gentlemen, will depict scenes in East Prussia," the
operator announced.

Although I had probably seen most of these pictures in Germany, my
interest quickened, for I had been through that devastated province
during and after the first invasion.  Familiar scenes of ruined
villages and refugees scudding from the sulphur storm passed before
my eyes.  Then came the ruined heap of a once stately church tagged
_Beautiful Church in Allenburg Destroyed by the Russians_.  The
destruction seemed the more heinous since a trace of former beauty
lived through the ruins, and you could not view this link of
evidence against the Russians without a feeling of resentment.
This out-of-the-way church was not architecturally important to the
world as is Rheims Cathedral, to be sure, but the destruction
seemed just as wanton.

The next picture flashed on the screen showed a Russian church
intact, with the simple title, _Russian Church at Potetschiki_.
The moral of the sequence was clear.  The German Government, up to
the minute in all things, knows the vivid educative force of the
kinema, and realises the effect of such a sequence of pictures upon
her people at home and neutrals throughout the world, It enables
them to see for themselves the difference between the barbarous
Russians and the generous Germans.

The reel buzzed on, but I did not see the succeeding pictures, for
my thoughts were of far-off East Prussia, of Allenburg, and of the
true story of the ruined church by the Alle River.


Tannenberg had been fought, Samsanow had been decisively smashed in
the swamps and plashy streams, and Hindenburg turned north-east to
cut off Rennenkampf's army, which had advanced to the gates of
Konigsberg.  The outside world had been horrified by stories of
German crime in Belgium; whereupon Germany counter attacked with
reports of terrible atrocities perpetrated by the Russians, of boys
whose right hands had been cut off so that they could never serve
in the army, of wanton murder, rapine and burnings.  I read these
stories in the Berlin papers, and they filled me with a deep
feeling against Russia.

One of the most momentous battles of history was being fought in
the West, and the Kaiser's armies were in full retreat from the
Marne to the Aisne, but Berlin knew nothing of this.  Refugees from
East Prussia with white arm-bands filled the streets, Hindenburg
and victory were on every tongue, Paris was forgotten, and all
interest centred in the Eastern theatre of war.

That was in the good old days when the war was young, when armies
were taking up positions, when the management of newspaper
reporters was not developed to a fine art, when Europe was
topsy-turvy, when it was quite the thing for war correspondents to
outwit the authorities and see all they could.

I resolved to make an attempt to get into East Prussia, and as it
was useless to wait for official permission--that is, if I was to
see things while fresh--I determined to play the game and trust to
luck.

Danzig seemed the end of my effort, for the railroad running east
was choked with military trains, the transportation of troops and
supplies in one direction and prisoners and wounded in the other.
By good fortune, however, I booked passage on a boat for Konigsberg.

The little steamer nosed its way through a long lock canal amid
scenery decidedly Dutch, with old grey windmills dotting broad fiat
stretches, black and white cows looming large and distinct on the
landscape, and fish nets along the waters edge.  To the right the
shore grew bolder after we entered the _Frishes Haff_, a broad
lagoon separated from the Baltic by a narrow strip of pasture land.
Red sails glowed in the clear sunshine, adding an Adriatic touch.
Cumbersome junk-like boats flying the Red Cross passed west under
full sail.  Germany was using every man at her disposal to
transport wounded and prisoners from the battle region which we
were drawing near.

A smoky haze ahead indicated Konigsberg.  The mouth of the Pregel
bustled with activity, new fortifications were being everywhere
thrown up, while indistinct field-grey figures swarmed over the
plain like ants.  We glided through forests of masts and rigging
and slid up to a pier opposite great sagging warehouses behind
which the sun was setting.

As I picked up my bag to go ashore, a heavy hand fell on my
shoulder and I was asked to wait until we were boarded from the
police boat which was puffing alongside.  My detainer, a government
inspector, a man of massive frame with deep set eyes and a shaggy
black beard, refused to say more than that the police wished to see
me.  They had been signalled and were coming to the boat expressly
for that purpose.

American ammunition had not begun to play its part in German public
opinion at that time, and, moreover, America was being hailed
everywhere in Germany as a possible ally against Japan.  Therefore,
although only a few days previously Russian guns had been booming
less than a dozen miles away, and Konigsburg was now the base
against Rennenkampf, my presence was tolerated, and I finally
managed to get lodgings for the night after I had found two hotels
turned into hospitals,

I spent the following day trying to obtain permission to pass the
cordon of sentries outside the city, but I received only the advice
to go back to Berlin and apply at the _Auswartiges Amt_ (Foreign
Office).  I did not wish to wait in Berlin until this campaign was
over; I wished to follow on the heels of the army through the
ruined land and catch up to the fighting if possible.  American
correspondents had done this in Belgium.  I myself had done it with
the Austrians against the Serbs, and I succeeded in East Prussia,
but not through Berlin.

I was well aware that Germany was making a tremendous bid for
neutral favour.  I had furthermore heard so much of Russian
atrocities that I was convinced that the stories were true;
consequently I decided to play the role of an investigator of
Muscovite crime.  I won Herr Meyer of the Wolff Telegraph Bureau,
who sent me along with his card to Commandant von Rauch, who at
first refused to let me proceed, but after I had hovered outside
his door for three days, finally gave me a pass to go to Tapiau,
the high-water mark of the Russian invasion.

That night, "by chance," in the _Deutscher Hof_, I met the
black-bearded official who had arrested me on the boat, and I told
him that I had permission to go to Tapiau next morning.  When he
became convinced, that I was a professional atrocity hunter who
believed that the Russians had been brutal, his hospitality became
boundless, and over copious steins of Munich beer he described the
invaders in a manner which made Gladstone's expose of the Turks in
Bulgaria, the stories of Captain Kidd, and the tales of the Spanish
Inquisition seem like essays on brotherly love.  He was
particularly incensed at the Russians because they had destroyed
Allenburg, for Allenburg was his home.  One of the stories on which
he laid great stress was that a band of Cossacks had pillaged the
church just outside of Allenburg on the road to Friedland, after
they had driven sixty innocent maidens into it and outraged them
there.

A train of the _Militar-Personenzug_ variety bore me next morning
through a country of barbed wire, gun emplacements and fields
seamed with trenches to Tapiau, a town withered in the blast of
war.  Two ruined bridges in the Pregel bore silent testimony to the
straits of the retreating Germans, for the remaining ends on the
further shore were barricaded with scraps of iron and wood gathered
from the wreckage.

Landsturm guards examined my pass, which was good only for Tapiau
and return.  I decided to miss the train back, however, and push on
in the wake of the army to Wehlau.  Outside of Tapiau I was
challenged by a sentry, who, to my amazement, did not examine my
now worthless pass when I pulled it from my pocket, but motioned me
on.

The road ran through eye-tiring stretches of meadows pockmarked
with great shell holes full of black water.  I came upon the
remains of an old brick farmhouse battered to dust in woods which
were torn to splinters by shell, bullet and shrapnel.  The Russians
had bombarded Tapiau from here, and had in turn been shelled in the
trenches which they had dug and chopped in the labyrinth of roots.
Among the debris of tins, cases, knapsacks and cartridge clips were
fragments of uniforms which had been blown off Russian bodies by
German shells, while on a branch above my head a shrivelled human
arm dangled in the light breeze of September.

I left the sickening atmosphere of the woods behind and pushed on
to Wehlau, a primitive little town situated on the meadows where
the Alle flows into the Pregel.  Here my troubles began.  Soldiers
stared at me as I walked through crooked, narrow streets unevenly
paved with small stones in a manner that would bring joy to the
heart of a shoe manufacturer.  The sun sank in a cloudless blaze
behind a line of trenches on a gentle slope above the western shore
when I entered the _Gasthof Rabe_, where I hoped to get a room for
the night.

I had no sooner crossed the threshold, however, than I was arrested
and brought to the Etappen-Commandant in the Pregelstrasse.  I
fully expected to be placed under arrest or be deported, but I
determined to put up the best bluff possible.  A knowledge of
Germans and their respect for any authority above that invested in
their own individual selves led me to decide upon a bold course of
action, so I resolved to play the game with a high hand and with an
absolute exterior confidence of manner.

Instead of waiting to be questioned when I was brought into the
presence of the stern old officer, I told him at once that I had
been looking for him.  I informed him that Herr von Meyer and
Commandant Rauch in Konigsberg were in hearty sympathy with my
search for Russian atrocities, but although I succeeded in quieting
any suspicions which the Commandant may have entertained, I found
winning permission to stay in Wehlau an exceedingly difficult
matter.

Orders were orders!  He explained that the battle was rolling
eastward not far away and that I must go back.  To add weight to
what he said he read me a set of typewritten orders which had come
from Berlin the day before.  "Journalists are not allowed with the
army or in the wake of the army in East Prussia. . . ." he read, in
a tone which indicated that he considered the last word said.

But I had become so fascinated with this battle-scarred, uncanny,
out-of-the-way land that I resolved to try every means to stay.  I
declared that on this particular mission I was more of an
investigator than a journalist, that I had the special task
(self-imposed, to be sure) of investigating Russian atrocities;
that if Berlin reports were to be given credence abroad they must
be substantiated by some impartial observer.  If Germany would
supply the atrocities, I would supply the copy.  That she wished to
do so was evidenced by the permissions granted me by Herr von Meyer
of the Wolff Telegraph Bureau and Commandant Rauch of the capital
of the devastated province.  (I had passed beyond the point where I
was told that I could go, but at any rate their names carried
weight.)  Would it not seem strange if the Commandant at Wehlau had
me sent back after these great men had set their seal of approval
upon my investigations?  After Germany had made such grave charges
against the Russians, how would it impress American readers that
the German Commandant at Wehlau could not make good and had sent me
back?

Then, as a finishing stroke, I pulled my passport from my pocket
and showed Berlin's approval of me stamped impressively in the
right-hand corner.  This vise was not at all unique with me.  It
had been affixed to the passports of thousands of Americans of all
grades, and was merely to ensure passage from Germany into Holland.
As I did not wish to impose upon the time of the Commandant I did
not burden him with these extraneous details while he feasted his
eyes on the magic words: _Gesehen, Berlin_.  Mount Olympus, Mecca,
Imperial and Ecclesiastical Rome all rolled into one--that is
authoritative Berlin to the German of the province.

"Gesehen, Berlin" he repeated with reverence, carefully folded the
passport and deferentially handed it back to me.  I saw that I was
winning, so I sought to rise to the occasion.

"And now, Herr Commandant," I began, "can you suggest where I may
best begin my atrocity work tomorrow?  Or first, would it not be
well for me to get a more complete idea of the invasion by seeing
on the map just what routes the Russians took coming in?"

He unfolded a large military map of peerless German accuracy and
regaled me for more than half an hour with the military features of
the campaign.

"Just tell me the worst things that the Russians have done," I
began, "and I will start investigating them tomorrow."

Then he anathematised the Russians and all things Russian, while
his orderly stood stiffly and admiringly at attention and the other
officers stopped in their tracks.

"First you should visit the ruins of the once beautiful old castle
at Labiau destroyed by the beasts," he thundered.   "And they also
wantonly destroyed the magnificent old church near by."

He followed with an account of the history of the castle, and it
was clear that he was deeply affected by the loss of these
landscape embellishments which he had learned to love so much that
they became part of his life, and that their destruction deeply
enraged him against the enemy.  Though I saw his point of view and
sympathised with him, I questioned him in the hope of learning of
some real atrocities.  It was useless.  Although he made general
charges against the Russians, he always reverted, when pinned down
to facts, with a fresh burst of anger, to the castle and church of
Labiau as his pet atrocity.

The orderly had just been commanded to take me on a search for
quarters for the night, when an automobile horn tooted beneath the
window.  Heavy steps on the stairs; a Staff Officer entered the
room, looked surprised to see me, and asked who I was.  The
Commandant justified his permission to let me remain by eulogising
the noble work upon which I was engaged, but though the Staff
Officer's objections were hushed, he did not enthuse over my coming.

With intent to convince him that I was already hard at work I told
him of the terrible destruction of the castle and church at Labiau,
which I would visit on the following day.

"I have a sergeant below who was there, and I will have him come
in," he said.

The sergeant entered, clicked his heels at attention; a doughty old
warrior, small and wiry, not a civilian thrust into field-grey, but
a soldier, every inch of him, a Prussian soldier, turned to stone
in the presence of his superior officers, his sharp clear eyes
strained on some point in space directly ahead.  He might have
stepped out of the pages of the Seven Years' War.

Nobody spoke.  The pale yellow light of the oil lamp on the
Commandants desk fell on the military faces, figures and trappings
of the men in the room.  The shuffling tramp of soldiers in the
dark street below died away in the direction of the river.  I felt
the military tenseness of the scene.  I realised that I was inside
the German lines on a bluff that was succeeding but might collapse
at any moment.

Feeling that a good investigating committee should display
initiative I broke the silence by questioning the little sergeant,
and I began on a line which I felt would please the Commandant,
"You were at Labiau during the fighting?" I asked.

"I was, sir!"

He did not move a muscle except those necessary for speech.  His
eyes were still rigid on that invisible something directly ahead.
He clearly was conscious of the importance of his position, as
informant to a stranger before his superior officers.

"I have heard that the beautiful old castle and the magnificent old
church were destroyed," I continued.

"You know of this, of course?"

"Ja, ja, that is true!  Our wonderful artillery knocked them to
pieces when we drove the Russians out in panic!"

The sergeant was not the only one looking into space now.  The
Staff Officer relieved the situation by dismissing him from the
room, whereupon the Commandant sharply bade the orderly conduct me
to my night lodgings.

"No Iron Cross for the little sergeant," I reflected, as we
stumbled through the cooked old streets in the dark.  Is it any
wonder that the German Government insists that neutral
correspondents be chaperoned by someone who can skilfully show them
what is proper for them to see, and let them hear that which is
proper for them to hear?

Everywhere in rooms lighted by oil lamps soldiers sat talking,
drinking and playing cards.  They were under every roof, and were
also bivouacked on the flats along the river.  In all three inns
there was not even floor space available.   The little brick town
hall, too, was crowded with soldiers.

At the pontoon bridge we were sharply challenged by a sentry.  The
orderly answered and we passed on to a crowded beer hall above
which I was fortunate to secure a room.  By the flickering light of
a candle I was conducted to a dusty attic furnished with
ferruginous junk in one corner and a dilapidated bed in another.
No such luxuries as bed clothing, of course; only a red mattress
which had not been benefited in the least by Russian bayonet
thrusts and sabre slashes in the quest of concealed treasure.  I
could not wash unless I would go down to the river, for with the
blowing up of the bridges the water mains had also been destroyed.
The excellent organisation of the Germans was in evidence, however,
for during my stay I witnessed their prompt and efficient measures
to restore sanitation, in order to avert disease.

I went downstairs and entered the large beer room, hazy with
tobacco smoke, and filled for the most part with non-commissioned
officers.  They, like everybody else in the room, seemed to have
heard of my arrival.  I joined a group at a long table, a jovial
crowd of men who chaffed good naturedly one of their number who
said he wished to be home with his wife and little ones.  They
looked at me and laughed, then pointing at him said, "He is no
warrior!"

But it was their talk about the Russians which, interested me most.
There was no hate in their speech, only indifference and contempt
for their Eastern enemy.  Hindenburg was their hero, and they drank
toast after toast to his health.  The Russian menace was over, they
felt; Britain and France would be easily smashed.  They loved their
Army, their Emperor, and Hindenburg, and believed implicitly in all
three.

They sang a song of East Prussia and raised their foaming glasses
at the last two lines:

  "Es trinkt der Mensch, es sauft das Pferd,
  In Ostpreussen 1st das umgekehrt."

While they were singing a man in civilian clothes entered,
approached me with an air of authority, and announced in a loud
tone of voice that he had heard that I had said that I had come to
East Prussia in search of Russian atrocities.

"My name is Curtin," I began, introducing myself, although I felt
somewhat uneasy.

"Thomas!" was all he said.

"Good Heavens!" I thought.  "Is this man looking for me?  Am I in
for serious trouble now?"

Instead, however, of _Thomas_ being an interrogation as to my first
name, it was his simple introduction of himself--a strange
coincidence.

Although he was addressing his remarks to me, he exclaimed in a
tone which could be heard all over the room that he was Chief of
Police during the Russian occupation of Wehlau for three weeks, and
took great pride in asserting that he was the man who could tell me
all that I wished to know.  He was highly elated because the
Russians had employed him, given him a whistle and invested him
with authority to summon aid if he detected any wrong-doing.  They
had furthermore paid him for his services.   Although he now
roundly tongue-lashed them in general terms, there was no definite
personal accusation that he could make against them.

He told me of a sergeant who went into a house, ordered a meal and
then demanded money, threatening the woman who had served him.  A
lieutenant entered at this moment, learned the particulars of the
altercation, and struck the sergeant, whom he reproved for
disobeying commands for good conduct which had come from
Headquarters.  "Just think of such lack of respect among officers,"
Thomas concluded.  "One officer striking another for something done
against a person in an enemy country.  That is bad for discipline.
Such a thing would never happen in the German Army."

The moral of the story as I saw it was quite different from what he
had intended it to be.

A few days later I was again in the crowded beer hall when Herr
Thomas entered.  He liked to be in the limelight, and had a most
extraordinary manner of apparently addressing his conversation to
some selected individual, but carried it on in a tone which could
be heard throughout the entire room.  The Russian whistle which he
still wore, and of which he was very proud, threatened to become a
millstone about his neck, for returning refugees were accusing him
of inefficiency during his reign, since they asserted that the
Russians had stolen their goods from under his very nose.

After he had hurled the usual invectives against the invaders for
my benefit, two splendid looking officers, captain and lieutenant,
both perfect gentlemen, said that they hoped that I would not
become so saturated with this talk that I would write unfairly
about the Russians.  They added that they had been impressed by the
Russian officers in that region and the control which they had
exercised over their men.

Early next morning I met the big man with the black beard who was
either on my trail or had encountered me again by chance.  When I
said that I was going to Allenburg, of the destruction of which I
had heard so much, he practically insisted that I go with him in
his carriage.  A mysterious stranger in brown was with him, who
also assisted in the sight-seeing.

We road through a gently undulating farming and grazing country to
the Alle River, where we boarded a little Government tug which
threaded its way through dead cows, horses, pigs, dogs, and now and
then a man floating down the stream.  Battered trenches, ruined
farmhouses, splintered woods, the hoof marks of Russian horses that
had forded the stream under German fire, showed that the struggle
had been intense along the river.  The plan of battle formed in my
mind.  It was clear that the Germans had made the western bank a
main line of defence, which, however, had been broken through.

"Just wait until we reach Allenburg," said the man in brown, "and
you will see what beasts the murdering Russians are.  Wait until
you see how they have destroyed that innocent town!"

According to the course of the battle and the story of the Russian
destruction of Allenburg, I expected to find it on the western
bank, but to my great surprise it is on the eastern, with a
considerable stretch of road, separating it from the river.  We
left the boat and walked along this road, on each side of which lay
willows in perfect rows where they had been skilfully felled by the
Russians.  This sight evoked new assaults from my guides upon "the
beasts" whom they accused of wanton and wilful violation of the
arboreal beauty which the Allenburgers had loved.

I put myself in the place of the citizens of Allenburg, returning
to their little town devastated by war; I understood their feelings
and I sympathised with them.  I was seeing the other side of
Germany's page of conquest.  The war map of Europe shows that she
has done most of the invading, and during all the days I spent in
the Fatherland I never heard a single word of pity for the people
of the regions overrun by her armies--except, of course, the
Pecksniffian variety used by her diplomats.  It was now any rare
privilege to return with German refugees to _their_ ruined country,
and they vied with one another when they talked to me in the
presence of my guides in accusing the Russians of every crime under
the sun.  The war had been brought home to them, but in the
meantime other Germans had brought the war home even more forcibly
to the citizens of Belgium and northern France, but the thing could
not balance in the minds of those affected.

I was conducted to a combination home and chemist's shop, the upper
part of which had been wrecked by a shell.  The Russians had looted
the place of chemicals and had searched through all the letters in
the owner's desk.  These they had thrown upon the floor instead of
putting them back neatly in the drawers.

My guides laid great stress on such crimes, but I took mental note
of certain other things which were not pointed out to me.  The
beasts--as they always called them--had been quartered here for
three weeks, but not a mirror had been cracked, not a scratch
marred the highly polished black piano, and the well-stocked,
exquisitely carved bookcase was precisely as it had been before the
first Cossack patrol entered the city.

The owner viewed his loss philosophically.  "When we have placed a
war indemnity upon Russia I shall be paid in full," he declared in
a voice of supreme confidence.

My guides never gave me an opportunity to talk alone with the few
civilians in the place, and at the sausage and beer lunch the
conversation was based on the "wanton destruction by the beasts of
an innocent town."

After they had drunk so much beer that they both fell asleep I
slipped quietly away and went about amid the ruins.  I came upon
human bodies burned to a crisp.  Heaps of empty cartridge shells
littered the ground, which I examined with astonishment for they
were Russian, not German, shells, and must have been used by men
defending the town.

I met a pretty girl of seventeen drawing water at a well, who had
remained during the three weeks that the Russians were there to
care for her invalid father, and had not suffered the slightest
insult.  Yet all my informants had told me that the Russians had
spared none of the weaker sex who had remained in their path.

Further investigations had revealed that the Russians had not fired
a shot upon the town, but that the Germans had destroyed it driving
them out.

I entered a little Roman Catholic church in the undamaged section
of the town and noted with interest that nothing had apparently
been disturbed--this the more significant since the Russians hold a
different faith.

I walked back towards the river and strolled through the neat,
well-shaded, churchyard to the ruins of the large church, the
dominating feature of the town.  It was clear from what was left
that the lines of the body and the spire had been of rare beauty
for such an insignificant place as Allenburg.

"Too bad!" I remarked to a white-haired old man who was sitting on
a bench mournfully contemplating the ruins.

"Sad, so sad!" he said in a voice full of grief.  "And it seems
sadder that it had to be done by our own people," he added.

"Were you here during the fighting?" I asked.

"I was," he answered.  "I would rather die than leave this place,
where I was born and where I have always lived."


I returned to the anxious guides add told them that I had visited
the ruins of the church.

"A destruction which could serve no military purpose," declared the
man in brown.  "You see the methods of the people Germany is
fighting."

I expressed a desire to seek only one more thing, the church on the
road to Friedland which had been destroyed by the Russians after
the sixty maidens had been driven into it.  We went to it, but,
alas! it had not been disturbed in the least.  I somehow felt that
my guides saw the lack of destruction with genuine regret.  The big
man with the black beard was at a loss to reconcile the story he
told me at Konigsberg with the actual facts found on the spot.

"Somebody must have made a mistake," was all he said.

My last view of Allenburg was from across the river with the long
rays of the setting sun burnishing the ruins of the once beautiful
church, the church I saw months later on the screen in the London
display room, the church that has been shown all over the world as
evidence of Russian methods in war.

I went all through East Prussia studying first hand the effects of
the great campaign.  My luck increased from day to day.  I secured
a military pass to visit all hospitals in the XXth Army Corps,
which aided my investigations not a little.  The prejudice which I
had against the Russians died in East Prussia.  It was buried
forever the following winter when I was with the Russian Army in
the memorable retreat through the Bukowina.  In East Prussia I was
in an entirely different position from a man investigating
conditions in Belgium, for I was in the German's own country after
he had driven out the invader.  I tried to see some youth whose
hand had been cut off, but could not find a single case, although,
everybody had heard of such mutilations.  The fact that no doctor
whom I questioned knew of any case was sufficient refutation, since
a person whose hand had been cut off would need something more than
a bandage tied on at home.

When the Russians entered the province they struck yellow and black
posters everywhere announcing that it was annexed to Russia.  In
view of this the Russian officers were instructed to restrain their
men and to treat the natives well.  Isolated cases of violence, for
the most part murder and robbery of the victim, had occurred where
men had broken away from restraint, but they were surprisingly few.

After I returned to Berlin I met an American correspondent who was
in East Prussia when I was.  His sympathies were pro-German, but he
was an, open and fair-minded man, who, like me, had left Berlin
with a deep feeling against the Russians, thanks to the excellent
German propaganda.  "I went especially to get some good stories of
Russian atrocities," he said.  "I thought that every mile would be
blood-marked with evidence, but I came back defeated.  Some petty
larceny and robbery, a Red Cross flag torn to shreds by a Russian
shell, two old men murdered and robbed by Cossacks, and a woman in
the hospital at Soldau, who had been outraged by five Cossacks, was
all that I could find, even though I was aided by the German
Government."

My own first-hand investigations convinced me that it would be
difficult for any army in the world to conduct a cleaner campaign
than Russia conducted in her first invasion of East Prussia.  I
remind the reader that I am speaking of the _first_ invasion, for I
have no personal knowledge of the second.   Subsequently in Germany
when.  I spoke of the matter I was always told that it was the
_second_ invasion which was so bad.  Perhaps!  But I had been
fooled when Berlin cried wolf the first time.

By a stroke of fortune while in East Prussia I became "assistant"
for two days to a Government moving picture photographer who had a
pass for himself and assistant in those happy days of inexactitude.
We formed the kind of close comradeship which men form who are
suffocated but unhurt by a shell which kills and maims others all
about them.  That had been our experience.  He had, moreover, been
over much of the ground covered by me behind the front.

"I am instructed to get four kinds of pictures," he explained.
"(1) Pictures which show German patriotism and unity.  (2) Pictures
which show German organisation and efficiency.  (3) Pictures which
show evidence of humanity in the German Army.  (4) Pictures which
show destruction by the enemy.  Some of my pictures are kept by the
_Kriegsministerium_ for purposes of studying the war.  The greater
part, however, are used for propaganda both at home and abroad.
Furthermore, I must be careful to keep an accurate record of what
each picture is.  The pictures are then arranged and given suitable
titles in Berlin,"


I thought of all this in the London display-room when the familiar
picture of the ruined church flashed before my eyes with the title
_Beautiful Church at Allenburg Destroyed by the Russians_--a
deliberate lie on the film.

I have nothing to say against the Germans for knocking their own
town to pieces or against the British and French for knocking
French towns to pieces.  That is one of the misfortunes of war.

The point is, that the propaganda department of the Wilhelmstrasse
fully understands that people who do not see the war, especially
neutrals, are shocked at the destruction of churches.   The Germans
have been taught an unpleasant lesson in this in the case of
Rheims.  Therefore they answer by falsifying a film when it suits
their purpose with just as little compunction as they repudiate
promises.

"A little thing!" you might say.

That adds to its importance, for it is attention to detail which
characterises modern Germany.  It is the subtle things which are
difficult to detect.  The Government neglects nothing which will
aid in the ownership of public opinion at home and the influencing
of neutrals throughout the world.



CHAPTER VII

THE IDEA FACTORY

A group of diplomats and newspaper correspondents were gathered at
lunch in a German city early in the war, when one of the latter, an
American, asked how a certain proposition which was being discussed
would suit public opinion.  "Will public opinion favour such a
move?" he questioned.

"Public opinion!  Public opinion!" a member of the German Foreign
Office repeated in a tone which showed that he was honestly
perplexed.  "Why, we create it!"

He spoke the truth.  They certainly do.

The State-controlled professor, parson and moving-picture producer
appeal to limited audiences in halls and churches, but the
newspaper is ubiquitous, particularly in a country where illiteracy
is practically unknown, and where regulations bidding and
forbidding are constantly appearing in the newspapers--the reading
of which is thus absolutely necessary if one would avoid friction
with the authorities.

In a free Press, like that of the United States or Great Britain,
the truth on any question of public interest is reasonably certain
to come to light sooner or later.  Competition is keen, and if one
paper does not dig up and publish the facts, a rival is likely to
do so.  The German Press was gaining a limited degree of freedom
before the war, but that has been wiped away.  As in other
belligerent countries news of a military nature must quite properly
pass the censor.  But in Germany, unlike Great Britain, for
example, all other topics must be written in a manner to please the
Government, or trouble ensues for the writer and his paper.  To a
certain extent the Press is a little unmuzzled during the sittings
of the Reichstag--not much, but somewhat, for the reports of the
Reichstag proceedings are strictly censored.  The famous speech of
Deputy Bauer in May, 1916, was a striking example, for not a word
of his speech, the truth of which was not questioned, was allowed
to appear in a single German newspaper.  The suppression of most of
Herr Hoffmann's speech in the Prussian Diet in January, 1917, is
another important case in point.  This is in striking contrast to
the British Parliament, which is supreme, and over whose reports
the Press Bureau has no control.  The German Press Bureau, on the
other hand, revises and even suppresses the publication of
speeches.  When necessary, it specially transmits speeches by
telegram and wireless to foreign countries if it thinks those
speeches will help German propaganda.

The Berlin and provincial editors are summoned from time to time to
meetings, when they are addressed by members of the Government as
to what it is wise for them to say and not to say.  These meetings
constitute a hint that if the editors are indiscreet, if they, for
example, publish matter "calculated to promote disunity," they may
be subject to the increasingly severe penalties now administered.
If a newspaper shows a tendency to kick over the traces, a
Government emissary waits upon the editor, calls his attention to
any offending article or paragraph, and suggests a correction.  If
a newspaper still offends, it is liable to a suspension for a day
or even a week, or it may be suppressed altogether.

But in peace, as well as in war, editors all over Germany were
instructed as to the topic on which to lay accent for a limited
period, and just how to treat that topic.  For example, during the
three months preceding the war, Russia was bitterly attacked in the
German Press.  From August 1 to August 4, 1914, the German people
had it crammed down their throats that she was the sole cause of
the war.  On August 4 the Government marshalled the editors and
professors and ordered them to throw all the responsibility on
Britain, and the hate was switched from one to the other with the
speed and ease of a stage electrician throwing the lever from red
to blue.

How do the editors like being mere clerks for the Government?  The
limited numbers of editors of independent thought, such as the
"relentless" Count Reventlow, Maximilian Harden, and Theodor Wolff,
detest such a role, and struggle against it.  After sincere and
thorough investigation, however, I am convinced the average German
editor or reporter, like the average professor, prefers to have his
news handed to him to digging it up for himself.

In this connection the remark made to me by the editor of a little
paper in East Prussia is interesting.  After the Russians had
fallen back he told me of two boys in a neighbouring village whose
hands had been cut off.  He said that he was going to run the
story, and suggested that I also use it.  I proposed that we make a
little trip of investigation, as we could do so in a couple of
hours.

He looked surprised.  "Why, we have the story already," he declared.

"But I am not going to write it unless I can prove it," I replied.

A moment later I heard him sigh with despair as he half whispered
to a cavalry captain: "Yes, yes, alas, over there the Press is in
the hands of the people!"

Many newspaper readers run more or less carelessly through
articles, and many more simply read the headlines and headings.
The Official Press Bureau, for which no detail is too minute,
realises this perfectly, with the result that German newspaper
headings are constructed, less with a view to sensationalism, as in
some British and American papers, or with a view to condense
accurately the chief news feature of the day, as to impress the
reader--or the hearer, since the headlines are cried shrilly in
Berlin and other cities--with the idea that Germany is always
making progress towards ultimate victory.  The daily reports of the
General Staff have been excellent, with a few notable exceptions
such as the Battle of the Marne and the Battle of the Somme.
During reverses, however, they have shown a tendency to pack
unpalatable truths in plenty of "shock absorber," with the result
that the public mind, as I know from my personal investigations, is
completely befogged as to the significance of military operations
which did not go in a manner satisfactory to the German leaders.
In all this the headline never failed to cheer.  When the Russians
were smashing the Austrians in the East, while the British and
French were making important gains and inflicting much more
important losses on the Somme, the old reliable headline--TERRIBLE
RUSSIAN LOSSES--was used until it was worn threadbare.

What would you think, you who live in London or Hew York, if you
woke up some morning to find every newspaper in the city with the
same headlines?  And would you not be surprised to learn that
nearly every newspaper throughout your country had the same
headlines that day?  You would conclude that there was wonderful
central control somewhere, would you not?

Yet that is what happens in Germany repeatedly.  It is of special
significance on "total days."  Those are the days when the
Government, in the absence of fresh victories, adds the totals of
prisoners taken for a given period, and as only the totals appear
in the headlines the casual reader feels nearer a victorious peace.
On the morning of March 13, 1916, most of the papers had "total"
headlines for Verdun.

Not so the _Tageblatt_.  Theodor Wolff, its editor, has had so much
journalistic experience, outside of Germany, and is, moreover, a
man of such marked ability, that he is striving to be something
more than a sycophantic clerk of the Government.  He is not a
grumbler, not a dissatisfied extremist, not unpatriotic, but
possesses a breadth of outlook patriotic in the highest sense.  On
the morning after the Liebknecht riots in the Potsdamer Platz, his
paper did not appear.  The reason given by the Commandant of the
Mark of Brandenburg was that he had threatened the _Burgfriede_ by
charging certain interests in Germany with attempting to make the
war a profitable institution.  But there are those who say that the
police were very watchful in the newspaper offices that night, and
that the _Tageblatt_ did not appear because of its attempt to print
some of the happenings in the Potsdamer Platz.

It has been the custom of Herr Wolff to write a front-page article
every Monday morning signed T. W.  On the last Monday morning in
July, 1916, in a brilliantly written article, the first part of
which patted the Government on the back for some things, he
delicately expressed a desire for reform in diplomatic methods
which would render war-making less easy.  Then he added that if
some statesman, such as Prince Bulow, had been called as adviser in
July, 1914, a way to avert the war might have been found.

This so angered the Government, which has successfully convinced
its great human sheep-fold that Germany is the innocent victim of
attack, that the _Tageblatt_ was suppressed for nearly a week, and,
like the ex-Socialist paper _Vorwaerts_, was permitted to reappear
only after it promised "to be good."  Theodor Wolff was personally
silenced for several months.  This was his greatest but not his
only offence.  All over Germany the people have been officially
taught to regard this great war time as _die grosse Zeit_.  Wolff,
however, sarcastically set the expression in inverted
commas--thereby committing a sacrilege against the State.

Throughout Germany monuments have been reared and nails driven into
emblems marked DIE GROSSE ZEIT.  I have often wondered just what
thoughts these monuments will arouse in the German's mind if his
country is finally beaten and all his bloodshed and food
deprivation will have been in vain.

The Press has, of course, been the chief instrument, reinforced by
the schoolmaster, professor and parson, in spreading the doctrine
of scientific hatred.  It is not generally known that Deputy Cohn,
speaking in the Reichstag on April 8, 1916, sharply criticised the
method of interning British civilians at Ruhleben.  He went on to
say that, "reports of the persecutions of Germans in England were
magnified and to some extent invented by the German Press in order
to stir up war feeling against England."

I saw a brilliant example of the German Press Bureau's attention to
details in the late autumn of 1914.  I was on a point of vantage
half way up the Schlossberg behind Freiburg during the first aerial
attack by the French in that region.  In broad daylight a solitary
airman flew directly over the town and went on until he was
directly over the extensive barracks just outside.  Freiburg is a
compact city of 85,000 inhabitants, and it would have been easy to
have caused damage, and probably loss of life to the civilian
population.  It was clear to me in my front-row position and to the
natives, with many of whom I afterwards discussed the matter, that
the Frenchman was careful to avoid damaging the town, and circled
directly over the barracks on which he dropped all his bombs.  The
Freiburg papers said little about the raid, but to my surprise when
I reached Frankfurt and Cologne a week later, newspaper notices
were still stuck about the cities calling upon Germans to witness
again the dastardly methods of the enemy who attack the inhabitants
of peaceful towns outside of the zone of operations.

The French very properly and effectively practised reprisals later,
but the Germans believe that the shoe is on the other foot.  And so
it is in, everything connected with the war.  The Germans tell you
that they use poisonous gas because the French used it; in fact,
only their good luck in capturing some of the French gas generators
enabled them to learn the method.  Britain, not Germany, violates
the laws of the sea.  It was the Belgians who were cruel to German
troops, especially the Belgian women and the Belgian children.

When the Verdun offensive came to a standstill a spirit of
restlessness developed which was reflected in the Reichstag, where
a few Social Democrats attacked the Government because they
believed that Germany could now make peace if she wished, and that
further bloodshed would be for a war of conquest, advocated by the
annexationists.

During the succession of German military victories, especially in
the first part of the war, there was plenty of "front copy" both as
news and filler.  Some of the accounts were excellent.  The reader
seldom got the idea, however, that German soldiers were being
killed and wounded, and after a time most of the battle
descriptions contained much of soft nocturnal breezes whispering in
the moonlight, but precious few real live details of fighting.

Regarding this point, a German of exceptional information of the
world outside his own country expressed to me his utter amazement
at the accounts appearing in the British Press of the hard life in
the trenches.  "I don't see how they hope to get men to enlist when
they write such discouraging stuff," he said.  After the Battle of
the Somme opened, the German newspapers used to print extracts from
the London papers in which British correspondents vividly described
how their own men were mown down by German machine-guns after they
had passed them, so well was the enemy entrenched.  On that
occasion one of the manipulators of public opinion said to me, "The
British Government is mad to permit such descriptions to appear in
the Press.  They will have only themselves to blame if their
soldiers soon refuse to fight!"

This is one of the many instances which I shall cite throughout
this book to show that because the German authorities know other
countries they do not necessarily know other subjects.

As weeks of war became months and months became years, the
censorship screws were twisted tighter than ever, with the result
that docile editors were often at their wits' end to provide even
filler.

On July 14, for example, with battles of colossal magnitude raging
east and west, the _Berliner Morgenpost_ found news so scarce that
it had to devote most of the front page to the review of a book
called "Paris and the French Front," by Nils Christiernssen, a
Swedish writer.  I had read the book months before, as the
Propaganda Department of the Foreign Office had sent it to all
foreign correspondents.

It became noticeable, however, that as food portions diminished,
soothing-syrup doses for the public increased.   Whenever a wave of
complaints over food shortage began to rise the Press would build a
dyke of accounts of the trials of meatless days in Russia, of
England's scarcity of things to eat, and of the dread in France of
another winter.  The professors writing in the Press grew
particularly comforting.  Thus on June 30 one of them comforted the
public in a lengthy and serious article in the evening edition, of
the _Vossische Zeitung_ with "the revelation that over-eating is a
cause of baldness."

The cheering news of enemy privations continued to such an extent
that many Americans were asked by the more credulous if there were
bread-tickets in Kew York and other American cities.  In short,
Germany is being run on the principle that when you are down with
small-pox it is comforting to know that your neighbour has cholera.

The key-note of the German Press, however, has been to show that
the war was forced on peace-loving Germany.  Of the Government's
success in its propaganda among its own people I saw evidence every
day.  The people go even one step farther than the Government, for
the Government sought merely to show that it was forced to declare
war upon Russia and France.  Most of the German people are
labouring under the delusion that Russia and France actually
declared war on Germany.  This misconception, no doubt, is partly
due to the accounts in the German papers during the first days of
August, 1914, describing how the Russians and French crossed the
frontier to attack Germany before any declaration of war.

A German girl who was in England at the outbreak of war, and who
subsequently returned to her own country, asked her obstinate,
hard-headed Saxon uncle, a wealthy manufacturer, if Germany did not
declare war on Russia and France.  She insisted that Germany did,
for she had become convinced not only in England but in Holland.
Her uncle, in a rage, dismissed the matter with: _Du bist falsch
unterrichtet_.  (You are falsely informed.)

An American in Berlin had a clause in his apartment lease that his
obligations were abruptly and automatically terminated should
Germany be in a state of war.  Yet when he wished to pack up and go
his German landlord took the case to court on, the ground that
Germany had not declared war.

The hypnotic effect of the German newspapers on the German is not
apprehended either in Great Britain or in the United States.  Those
papers, all directed from the Foreign Office in the Wilhelmstrasse,
can manipulate the thoughts of these docile people, and turn their
attention to any particular part of the war with the same celerity
as the operator of a searchlight can direct his beam at any part of
the sky he chooses.  For the moment the whole German nation looks
at that beam and at nothing else.

      *      *      *      *      *

In the late afternoon of an autumnal day I stopped at a little
wayside inn near Hildesheim.  The place had an empty look, and the
woman who came in at the sound of my footsteps bore unmistakable
lines of trouble and anxiety.

No meat that day, no cheese either, except for the household.  She
could, not even give me bread without a bread-ticket--nothing but
diluted beer.

Before the war business had been good.  Then came one misfortune
after another.  Her husband was a prisoner in Russia, and her
eldest son had died with von Kluck's Army almost in sight of the
Eiffel Tower.

"You must find it hard to get along," I said.

"I do," she sighed.  "But, then, when fodder got scarce we killed
all the pigs, so bother with them is over now."

"You are not downhearted about the war?" I asked.

"I know that Germany cannot be defeated," she replied.  "But we do
so long for peace."

"You do not think your Government responsible at all for the war?"
I ventured.

"I don't, and the rest of us do not," was her unhesitating reply.
"We all know that our Kaiser wanted only peace.  Everybody knows
that England caused all this misery."  Then she looked squarely and
honestly into my eyes and said in a tone I shall never forget: "Do
you think that if our Government were responsible for the war that
we should be willing to bear all these terrible sacrifices?"

I thought of that banquet table more than two years before, and the
remark about creating public opinion.  I realised that the road is
long which winds from it to the little wayside inn near Hildesheim,
but that it is a road on which live both the diplomat and the
lonely, war-weary woman.  They live on different ends, that is all.



CHAPTER VIII

CORRESPONDENTS IN SHACKLES

Towards the end of 1915 the neutral newspaper correspondents in
Berlin were summoned to the _Kriegs-Presse-Bureau_ (War Press
Bureau) of the Great General Staff.  The official in charge, Major
Nicolai, notified them that the German Government desired their
signature to an agreement respecting their future activities in the
war.  It had been decided, Major Nicolai stated, to allow the
American journalists to visit the German fronts at more or less
regular intervals, but before this was done it would be necessary
for them to enter into certain pledges.  These were, mainly:--

1. To remain in Germany for the duration of the war, unless given
special permission to leave by the German authorities.

2. To guarantee that dispatches would be published in the United
States precisely as sent from Germany, that is to say, as edited
and passed by the military censorship.

3. To supply their own headlines for their dispatches, and to
guarantee that these, and none others, would be printed.

After labouring in vain to instruct Major Nicolai that with the
best of intentions on the part of the correspondents it was beyond
their power to say in exactly what form the _Omaha Bee_ or the _New
Orleans Picayune_ would publish their "copy," they affixed their
signatures to the weird document laid before them.  It was signed,
without exception, by all the important correspondents permanently
stationed in Berlin.  Two or three who did not desire to hand over
the control of their personal movements to the German Government
for an unlimited number of years did not "take the pledge," with
the result that they were not invited to join the personally
conducted junkets to the fronts which were subsequently organised.

Nothing that has happened in Germany during the war illustrates so
well the vassalage to which neutral correspondents have been
reduced as the humiliating pledges extorted from them by the German
Government as the price of their remaining in Berlin for the
practice of their profession.

It was undoubtedly this episode which inspired the American
Ambassador, Mr. Gerard, to tell the American correspondents last
summer that they would do well to obtain their freedom from the
German censorship before invoking the Embassy's good offices to
break down the alleged interference with their dispatches by the
British censorship.  When the Germans learned of the rebuff which
Mr. Gerard had administered to his journalistic compatriots, the
Berlin Press launched one of those violent attacks against the
Ambassador to which he has constantly been subject in Germany
during the war.

As I have shown in a previous chapter the German Government
attaches so much importance to the control and manufacture of
public opinion through the Press that it is drastic in the
regulation of German newspapers.  It is therefore comprehensible
that it should strive to enlist to the fullest possible extent the
Press of other countries.  At least one paper in practically every
neutral country is directly subsidised by the German Foreign
Office, which does not, however, stop at this.  The attempt to
seduce the newspapers of other nations into interpreting the
Fatherland as the Wilhelmstrasse wishes it to be interpreted leads
the investigators to a subterranean labyrinth of schemes which
would fill a volume.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914.  Long
before that Dr. Hammann, head of the _Nachrichtendienst_ of the
German Foreign Office, had organised a plan for the successful
influencing of the Press of the world.  In May, 1914, the work of a
special bureau under his direction and presided over by a woman of
international reputation was in full operation.

The following incident, which is one of the many I might cite,
throws interesting light on one method of procedure.  The head of
the special bureau asked one of the best known woman newspaper
reporters of Norway if she would like to do some easy work which
would take up very little of her time and for which she would be
well paid.

The Norwegian reporter was interested and asked for particulars.

"Germany wishes to educate other countries to a true appreciation
of things German.  Within a year, or at most within two years, we
shall be doing this by sending to foreign newspapers articles which
will instruct the world about Germany.  Of course, it is not
advisable to send them directly from our own bureau; it is much
better to have them appear to come from the correspondents of the
various foreign newspapers.  Thus, we shall send you articles which
you need only copy or translate and sign."

This has been the practice in German journalism for years, and its
extension to other countries was merely a chain in the link of
Germany's deliberate and thorough preparations for the war.

With a few exceptions, German reporters and correspondents are
underpaid sycophants, mere putty in the hands of the Government.
Therefore, the chagrin of the officials over the independence and
ability of the majority of the American correspondents is easy to
understand.  The Wilhelmstrasse determined to control them, and
through them to influence the American Press.  Hence the rules
given above.

When a man signs an agreement that he will not leave Germany until
the end of the war, without special dispensation, he has bound
himself to earn his livelihood in that country.  He cannot do this
without the consent of the Government, for if he does not write in
a manner to please them they can slash his copy, delay it, and
prevent him from going on trips to such an extent that he will be a
failure with his newspaper at home.  His whole success depends
therefore upon his being "good" much after the manner in which a
German editor must be "good."  If he expresses a wish to leave
Germany before the end of the war and the wish is granted, he feels
that a great favour has been conferred upon him and he is supposed
to feel himself morally bound to be "good" to Germany in the future.

The American journalistic colony in Germany is an entirely
different thing from what it used to be in pre-war days.  Before
1914 it consisted, merely of the representatives of the Associated
Press and United Press, half a dozen New York papers (including the
notorious _New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung_), and the well-known and
important Western journal, the _Chicago Daily News_.  To-day many
papers published in the United States are represented in Berlin by
special correspondents.  The influx of newcomers has been mostly
from German-language papers, printed in such Teutonic centres as
Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Milwaukee, etc.  Journals like the
_Illinoiser Staats-zeitung_, of Chicago, which for years past has
barely been able to keep its head above water, have suddenly found
themselves affluent enough to maintain correspondents in Europe
who, for their part, scorn lodgings less pretentious than those of
the _de luxe_ Hotel Adlon in Unter den Linden.

The bright star in the American journalistic firmament in Berlin is
Karl Heinrich von Wiegand, the special representative of the _New
York World_.  The _New York World_ is not pro-German, but von
Wiegand is of direct and noble German origin.  Apart from his
admitted talents as a newspaper man, his Prussian "von" is of no
inconsiderable value to any newspaper which employs him.  Von
Wiegand, I believe, is a native of California.  Persons unfriendly
to him assert that he is really a native of Prussia, who went to
the United States when a child.  Wherever he was born, he is now
typically American, and speaks German with an unmistakable
Transatlantic accent.  He is a bookseller by origin, and his little
shop in San Francisco was wiped out by the earthquake.  About
forty-five years of age, he is a man of medium build, conspicuously
near-sighted, wears inordinately thick "Teddy Roosevelt
eye-glasses," and is in his whole bearing a "real" Westerner of
unusually affable personality.  Von Wiegand claims, when taunted
with being a Press agent of the German Government, that he is
nothing but an enterprising correspondent of the _New York World_.
I did not find this opinion of himself fully shared in Germany.
There are many people who will tell you that if von Wiegand is not
an actual attache of the German Press Bureau, his "enterprise"
almost always takes the form of very effective Press agent work for
the Kaiser's cause.  He certainly comes and goes at all official
headquarters in Germany on terms of welcome and intimacy, and is a
close friend of the notorious Count Reventlow.

My personal opinion, however, is that he is above all a journalist,
and an exceedingly able one.

Von Wiegand's liaison with the powers that be in Berlin has long
been a standing joke among his American colleagues.  Shortly after
the fall of Warsaw in August, 1915, when the stage in Poland was
set for exhibition to the neutral world, he was roused from his
slumbers in his suite at the Adlon by a midnight telephone message,
apprising him that if he would be at Friedrichstrasse Station at
4.30 the next morning, with packed bags, he would be the only
correspondent to be taken on a staff trip to Warsaw.  Wiegand was
there at the appointed hour, but was astonished to discover that he
had been hoaxed.  The perpetrators of the "rag" were some of his U.
S. _confreres_.

Von Wiegand for nearly two years has been the recipient of such
marked and exclusive favours in Berlin that Mr. Hearst's _New York
American_ (the chief rival of the _New York World_, and the head of
the "International News Service" which has been suppressed in Great
Britain, where it has been proved to have maliciously lied on
divers occasions) decided to send to Germany a special
correspondent who would also have a place in the sun.  The
gentleman appointed to crowd Mr. von Wiegand out of the limelight
was a former clergyman named Dr. William Bayard Hale, a gifted
writer and speaker, who obtained some international notoriety eight
years ago by interviewing the Kaiser.  That interview was so full
of blazing political indiscretions that the German Government
suppressed it at great cost by buying up the entire issue of the
New York magazine in which the explosion was about to take place.
Enough of the contents of the interview subsequently leaked out to
indicate that its main feature was the German Emperor's insane
animosity to Great Britain and Japan and his determination to go to
war with them.

Dr. Hale also enjoyed the prestige of having once been an intimate
of President Wilson.  He had written the latter's biography, and
later represented him in Mexico as a special emissary.  Shortly
before the war he married a New York German woman, who is, I
believe, a sister or near relative of Herr Muschenheim, the owner
of the Hotel Astor, which in 1914 and 1915 was inhabited by the
German propaganda bureau, or one of the many bureaus maintained in
New York City.  From the date of his German matrimonial alliance
Dr. Hale became an ardent protagonist of _Kultur_.  One of his last
activities before going to Germany was to edit a huge "yellow book"
which summarised "Great Britain's violations of international law"
and the acrimonious correspondence on contraband and shipping
controversies between the British and American Governments.  This
publication was financed by the German publicity organisation and
widely circulated in the United States and all neutral countries.

Dr. Hale, a tall, dark, keen-looking, smooth-shaven, and
smooth-spoken American, received in Berlin on his arrival a welcome
customarily extended only to a new-coming foreign Ambassador.  He
came, of course, provided with the warmest credentials Count
Bernstorff could supply.  Long before Hale had a chance to present
himself at the Foreign Office, the Foreign Office presented itself
to him, an emissary from the Imperial Chancellor having, according
to the story current in Berlin, left his compliments at Dr. Hale's
hotel.  He had not been in Berlin many days before an interview
with Bethmann-Hollweg was handed to him on a silver plate.
Forthwith the _New York American_ began to be deluged with the
journalistic sweetmeats--Ministerial interviews, Departmental
statements, and exclusive news tit-bits--with which Karl Heinrich
von Wiegand had so long and alone been distinguishing himself.

I have told in detail these facts about von Wiegand and Hale
because between them the two men are able to flood the American
public with a torrent of German-made news and views, whose volume
and influence are tremendous.  The _New York World's_ European news
is "syndicated" to scores of newspapers throughout the American,
continent, and the service has "featured" von Wiegand's Berlin
dispatches to the exclusion, or at least almost to the eclipse, of
the _World's_ other war news.  Hale's dispatches to the Hearst
Press have been published all the way across the Republic, not only
in the dailies of vast circulation owned by Mr. Hearst in New York,
Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, but
also in a great many other papers like the prominent _Philadelphia
North American_, which subscribed to the "International News
Service."

The German authorities understand all this perfectly well.  That
explains their unceasing attentions to von Wiegand and Hale, and to
other valuable correspondents.  One of these recently undertook to
compile a book on Belgium in war-time for the purpose of
white-washing Germans in American estimation.  Accompanied by his
wife, he was motored and wined and dined through the conquered
country under the watchful chaperonage of German officers.  He has
returned to Berlin to write his book, although it is common
knowledge there that during his entire stay in Belgium he was not
permitted to talk to a single Belgian.

Although nominally catered to and fawned upon by the German
authorities, the American correspondents cut on the whole a
humiliating figure, although not all of them realise it.  It is
notorious they are spied upon day and night.  They are even at
times ruthlessly scorned by their benefactors in the
Wilhelmstrasse.  One of the Americans who essays to be independent,
was some time ago a member of a journalistic party conducted to
Lille.  He left the party long enough to stroll into a jeweller's
shop to purchase a new glass for his watch.  While making the
purchase he asked the Frenchman who waited on him how he liked the
Germans.  "They are very harsh, but just," was the reply.  A couple
of weeks later, when the correspondents were back in Berlin, Major
Nicolai, of the War Press Bureau, sent for the correspondent, said
to him that he knew of the occasion on which the American
journalist had "left the party" in Lille, and demanded to know what
had occurred in the watchmaker's shop.   The correspondent repeated
precisely what the Frenchman had said.  "Well," snarled Major
Nicolai, "why didn't you send that to your papers?"  I may mention
here that these parties of neutral correspondents are herded rather
than conducted when on tour.

The American correspondents had a sample of the actual contempt in
which the German authorities hold them on the day when the
commercial submarine _Deutschland_ returned to Bremen, August 23.
For purposes of glorifying the _Deutschland's_ achievement in the
United States, the American correspondents in Berlin were
dispatched to Bremen, where they were told that elaborate special
arrangements for their reception and entertainment had been
completed.  Count Zeppelin, two airship commanders, who had just
raided England, and a number of other national heroes would be
present, together with the Grand Duke of Oldenburg at the head of a
galaxy of civil, military, and naval dignitaries.  The grand climax
of the _Deutschland_ joy carnival was to be a magnificent banquet
with plenty of that rare luxury, bread and butter, at the famous
Bremen _Rathaus_ accompanied by both oratorical and pyrotechnical
fireworks.  The correspondents were given an opportunity to watch
the triumphal progess of the _Deutschland_ through the Weser into
Bremen harbour, but at night, when they looked for their places at
the _Rathaus_ feast, they were informed that there was no room for
them.  An overflow banquet had been arranged in their special
honour in a neighbouring tavern.  This was too much even for some
of the War Press Bureau's best American friends, and the overflow
dinner party was served at a table which contained many vacant
chairs.  Their intended occupiers had taken the first train back to
Berlin, thoroughly disgusted.

It is fair to say that several of the principal American
correspondents in Berlin are making a serious effort to practise
independent journalism, _but it is a difficult and hopeless
struggle_.  They are shackled and controlled from one end of the
week to the other.  They could not if they wished send the
unadorned truth to the United States.  _All they are permitted to
report is that portion of the truth which reflects Germany in the
light in which it is useful for Germany to appear from time to
time_.

Germany has organised news for neutrals in the most intricate
fashion.  A certain kind of news is doled out for the United
States, a totally different kind for Spain, and still a different
brand, when emergency demands, for Switzerland, Brazil, or China.
There is a Chinese correspondent among the other "neutrals" in
Germany.  The "news" prepared for him by Major Nicolai's department
would be very amusing reading in the columns of Mr. von Wiegand's
or Dr. Hale's papers.

There is a celebrated and pro-Ally newspaper in New York whose
motto is "All the news that's fit to print." The motto of the
German War Press Bureau is "All the news that's safe to print."



CHAPTER IX

ANTON LANG OF OBERAMMERGAU

While I was at home on a few weeks' visit in October, 1915, I read
in the newspapers a simple announcement cabled from Europe that
Anton Lang of Oberammergau had been killed in the great French
offensive in Champagne.  This came as a shock to many Americans,
for the name of this wonderful character who had inspired people of
all shades of opinion and religious belief in his masterful
impersonation of Christ in the decennial Passion Play was almost as
well known in the United States and in England as in his native
Bavaria, and better, I found than in Prussia.

British and American tourist agencies had put Oberammergau on the
map of the world.  The interest in America after the Passion Play
of 1910 was so great, in fact, that some newspapers ran extensive
series of illustrated articles describing it.  The man who played
the part of Christ was idealised, everybody who had seen him liked
him, respected him and admired him.  Thousands had said that
somehow a person felt better after he had seen Anton Lang.  As a
supreme test of his popularity, American vaudeville managers asked
him to name his own terms for a theatrical tour.

And now the man who had imbued his life with that of the Prince of
Peace had thrown the past aside, and with the spiked helmet in
place of the Crown of Thorns had gone to his death trying not to
save but to slaughter his fellow-men.

Truly, the changes wrought by war are great!

      *      *      *      *      *

In Berlin I inquired into the circumstances of Anton Lang's death.
Nobody knew anything definite.  Berlin knew little of him in life,
much less than London, New York or Montreal.

Munich is different.  There his name is a household word.  Herr von
Meinl, then Director of the Bavarian Ministry, now member of the
Bundesrat, told me that he believed that there was a mistake in the
report that Anton had been killed.

Later, when tramping through the Bavarian Highlands, I walked one
winter day from Partenkirchen to Oberammergau, for I had a whim to
know the truth of the matter.

On the lonely mountain road that winds sharply up from Oberau I
overtook a Benedictine monk who was walking to the monastery at
Ettal.  We talked of the war in general and of the Russian
prisoners we had seen in the saw-mills at Untermberg.  I was
curious to hear his views upon the war, and I soon saw that not
even the thick walls of a monastery are proof against the
idea-machine in the Wilhelmstrasse.  Despite Cardinal Mercier's
denunciation of German methods in Belgium, this monk's views were
the same as the rest of the Kaiser's subjects.  He did, however,
admit that he was sorry for the Belgians, although, in true German
fashion, he did not consider Germany to blame.  He sighed to think
that "the Belgian King had so treacherously betrayed his people by
abandoning his neutrality and entering into a secret agreement with
France and Great Britain."  He recited the regular story of the
secret military letters found by the Germans after they had invaded
Belgium, the all-important marginal notes of which were maliciously
left untranslated in the German Press.

We parted at Ettal, and I pushed on down the narrow valley to
Oberammergau.  The road ahead was now in shadow, but behind me the
mountain mass was dazzling white in the rays of the setting sun.
"What a pity," I thought, "that the peasant must depart from these
beautiful mountains and valleys to die in the slime of the
trenches."

The day was closing in quiet and grandeur, yet all the time the
shadow of death was darkening the peaceful valley of the Ammer.  I
became aware of it first as I passed the silent churchyard with its
grey stones rising from the snow.  For there, on the other side of
the old stone wall that marks the road, was a monument on which the
Reaper hacks the toll of death.  The list for 1870 was small,
indeed, compared with that of _die grosse Zeit_.  I looked for Lang
and found it, for Hans had died, as had also Richard.

I passed groups of men cutting wood and hauling ice and grading
roads, men with rounder faces and flatter noses than the Bavarians,
still wearing the yellowish-brown uniform of Russia.  That is, most
of them wore it.  Some, whose uniforms had long since gone to
tatters, were dressed in ordinary clothing, with flaming red R's
painted on trousers and jackets.

An old woman with a heavy basket on her back was trudging past a
group of these.  "How do you like them?" I asked.  "We shall really
miss them when they go," she said.  "They seem part of the village
now.  The poor fellows, it must be sad for them so far from home."

Evidently the spirit of new Germany had not saturated her.

I went through crooked streets, bordered with houses brightly
frescoed with biblical scenes, to the _Pension Dahein_, the home of
the man I wished to see.  As he rose from his pottery bench to
welcome me, I felt that beneath his great blue apron and rough garb
of the working man was true nobility.  I did not need to ask if he
was Anton Lang.  I had seen his picture and had often been told
that his face was the image of His Who died on the Cross.  I
expected much, but found infinitely more.  I felt that life had
been breathed into a Rubens masterpiece.  No photograph can do him
justice, for no lens can catch the wondrous light in his clear blue
eyes.

I was the only guest at the _Pension Daheim_; indeed, I was the
only stranger in Oberammergau.  I sat beside Anton Lang in his work
room as his steady hands fashioned things of clay, I ate at table
with him, and in the evening we pulled up our chairs to the
comfortable fireside, where we talked of his country and of my
country, of the Passion Play and of the war.

I had been sceptical about him until I met him.  I wondered if he
was self-conscious about his goodness, or if he was a dreamer who
could not get down to the realities of this world, or if he had
been spoiled by flattery, or if piety was part of his profession.

When I finally went from there I felt that I really understood him.
His life has been without an atom of reproach, yet he never poses
as pious.  He does not preach, or stand aloof, or try to make you
feel that he is better than you, but down in your heart you know
that he is.  He has been honoured by royalty and men of state, yet
he remains simple and unaffected, though quietly dignified in
manner.  He is truly Nature's Nobleman, with a mind that is pure
and a face the mirror of his mind.

To play well his role of _Christus_ is the dominating passion of
his life.  Not the make-up box, but his own thoughts must mould his
features for the role, which has been his in 1890, 1900 and 1910.

His travels include journeys to Rome and to the Holy Land.  He is
well read, an interesting talker, and an interested listener.  He
commented upon the great change in the spirit of the people, a
change from the intoxicating enthusiasm of victory to a war-weary
feeling of trying to hold out through a sense of duty.  To my
question as to when he thought the war would end, he answered:
"When Great Britain and Germany both realise that each must make
concessions.  Neither can crush the other."

The doctrine that "only through hate can the greatest obstacles in
life be overcome" has not reached his home, nor was there hanging
on the wall, as in so many German homes, the famous order of the
day of Crown Prince Rupert of Bavaria, which commences with
"Soldiers of the army!  Before you are the English!" in which he
exhorts his troops with all the tricky sophistry of hate.

Anton Lang has worked long hard hours to bring up his family,
rather than accept fabulous offers for a theatrical tour of
America.  He refused these offers through no mere caprice.

"I admit that the temptation is great," he said to me.  "Here I
must always work hard and remain poor; there I quickly could have
grown rich.  But the Passion Play is not a business," he continued
earnestly.  "Nearly three hundred years ago, when a terrible plague
raged over the land, the people of Oberammergau vowed to Almighty
God that if He would save their village, they would perform every
ten years in His glory the Passion of His Divine Son.  The village
was saved and Oberammergau has kept its promise.  You see, if I had
accepted those theatrical offers I could never again live in my
native village, and that would break my heart."

There is carefully preserved in the town hall at Oberammergau an
old chronicle which tells of the plague.  There will undoubtedly be
preserved in the family of Lang a new chronicle, a product of the
war, printed in another country, a chronicle which did not rest
content with a notice of Anton's obituary, but told the details of
his death in battle.

Frau Lang showed me this chronicle.  She seemed to have something
on her mind of which she wished to speak, after I told her that I
was an American journalist.  At length one evening, after the three
younger children bad gone to bed, and the eldest was industriously
studying his lessons for the next day, she ventured.  "American
newspapers tell stories which are not at all true, don't they?" she
half stated, half asked.

My natural inclination was to defend American journalism by
attacking that of Germany, but something restrained me, I did not
know what.  "Of course," I explained, "in a country such as ours
where the Press is free, evils sometimes arise.  We have all kinds
of newspapers.  A few are very yellow, but the vast majority seek
to be accurate, for accuracy pays in the long run in
self-respecting journalism."  I thought that perhaps she was
referring to the announcement of the death of the man who was
sitting with us in the room.  We both agreed, however, that such a
mistake was perfectly natural since two Langs of Oberammergau had
already been killed.  In fact, Anton had read of his own death
notice in a Munich paper.  The American correspondent who had
cabled the news on two occasions had presumably simply "lifted" the
announcement from the German papers.  Frau Lang could understand
that very well when I explained, but how about the stories that
Anton had been serving a machine-gun, and other details which were
pure fiction?

She had trump cards which she played at this point.  Two gaudily
coloured "Sunday Supplements" of a certain newspaper combination in
the United States were spread before me.  The first told of how
Anton Lang had become a machine-gunner of marked ability, and that
he served his deadly weapon with determination.  Could the
Oberammergau Passion Play ever exert the old influence again, after
this? was the query at the end of the article.

A second had all the details of Anton's death and was profusely
illustrated.  The story started with Anton going years ago into the
mountains to try out his voice in order to develop it for his
histrionic task.  There was a brief account of how he had followed
in the path of the Prince of Peace, and of the tremendous effect he
had upon his audiences.

Then came the war, which tore him from his humble home.  The battle
raged, the Bavarians charged the French lines, and the spot-light
of the story was played upon a soldier from Oberammergau who lay
wounded in "No-Man's Land."  Another charging wave swept by this
soldier, and as he looked up he saw the face of the man he had
respected and loved more than all other men, the face of Anton
Lang, the _Christus_ of Oberammergau.  The soldier covered his eyes
with his hands, for never had Anton Lang looked as he did then.
The eyes which had always been so beautiful, so compassionate, had
murder in them now.

The scene shifted.  A French sergeant and private crouched by their
machine-gun ready to repel the charge, the mutual relationship
being apparently somewhat that of a plumber and his assistant.
They sprayed the oncoming Bavarians with a shower of steel and
piled the dead high outside the French trenches.  The charge had
failed, and the sergeant began to act strangely.  At length he
broke the silence.  "Did you see that last _boche_, Jean?" he
asked.  "Did you see that face?" Jean confessed that he did not.
"You are fortunate, Jean," said the sergeant.  "Never have I seen
such a face before.  I felt as if there was something supernatural
about it.  I felt that it was wrong to kill that man.  I hated to
do it, Jean.--But then the butcher was coming at us with a knife
two feet long."

I finished reading and looked up at the questioning eyes of Frau
Lang and at the wonderful, indescribable blue eyes of the "butcher"
across the table, who, I may add, is fifty-two years of age, and
has not had a day's military training in his life.

"And look," said Frau Lang, "these men are not even
Oberammergauers."

She pointed to one of the illustrations which depicted a small
group of rather vicious-looking Prussians, with rifles ready
peering over the rim of a trench.  The picture was labelled "Four
apostles now serving at the Front."

"And see," continued the perplexed woman, "there is Johann Zwinck,
the Judas in the play.  It says that he is at the front.  Why, he
is sixty-nine years old, and is still the village painter.  Only
yesterday I heard him complain that the war was making it difficult
for him to get sufficient oil to mix his paint."

I was at a loss for words.  "When one compares such terrible
untruths with our German White Book," declared Frau Lang, "it is
indeed difficult for the American people to understand the true
situation."

I felt that it would be useless for me at that moment to explain
certain very important omissions in the German White Book.
Anything would look _white_ in comparison with the yellow journal I
had just read.  But I knew, and tried to explain that the
particular newspaper combination which printed such rubbish was
well known in America for its inaccuracies and fabrications, and
although it was pro-German, it would sacrifice anything for
sensation.  But the good woman, being a German, and consequently
accustomed to standardisation, could not dissociate this newspaper
from the real Press.



CHAPTER X

SUBMARINE MOTIVES

The German submarines are standardised.   The draughts and blue
prints of the most important machinery are multiplied and sent, if
necessary, to twenty different factories, while all the minor
stampings are produced at one or other main factory.  The
"assembling" of the submarines, therefore, is not difficult.
During the war submarine parts have been assembled at Trieste,
Zeebrugge, Kiel, Bremerhaven, Stettin, and half a dozen other
places in Germany unnecessary to relate.  With commendable
foresight, Germany sent submarine parts packed as machinery to
South America, where they are being assembled somewhere on the west
coast.

The improvement, enlargement, and simplification of the submarine
has progressed with great rapidity.

When I was in England after a former visit to Germany I met a
number of seafolk who pooh-poohed extensive future submarining, by
saying that, no matter how many submarines the Germans might be
able to produce, the training of submarine officers and crew was
such a difficult task that the "submarine menace," as it was then
called in England, need not be taken too seriously.

The difficulty is not so great.  German submarine officers and men
are trained by the simple process of double or treble banking of
the crews of submarines on more or less active service.  Submarine
crews are therefore multiplied probably a great deal faster than
the war destroys them.  These double or treble crews, who rarely go
far away from German waters, and are mostly trained in the safe
Baltic, are generally composed of young but experienced seamen.
There are, however, an increasing number of cases of soldiers being
transferred abruptly to the U-boat service.

The education of submarine officers and crew begins in thorough
German fashion on land or in docks, in dummy or disused submarines,
accompanied by much lecture work and drill.  Submarine life is not
so uncomfortable as we think.  With the exception of the
deprivation of his beer, which is not allowed in submarines, or,
indeed, any form of alcohol, except a small quantity of brandy,
which is kept under the captain's lock and key, Hans in his
submarine is quite as comfortable as Johann in his destroyer.

Extra comforts are forwarded to submarine men, which consist of
gramophone records (mostly Viennese waltzes), chocolate, sausages,
smoked eels, margarine, cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco, a small
and treasured quantity of real coffee, jam, marmalade, and sugar.
All these, I was proudly told, were extras.  There is no shortage
in the German Navy.

I learned nothing of value about the largest German submarines,
except that everybody in Germany knew they were being built, and by
the time the gossip of them reached Berlin the impression there was
that they were at least as large as Atlantic liners.

Now as to German submarine policies.  The part that has to do with
winning the war will be dealt with in the next chapter.  But there
is also a definite policy in connection with the use of submarines
for winning the "war after the war."

The National Liberal Party, of which Tirpitz is the god, is at the
head of the vast, gradually solidifying mammoth trust, which
embraces Krupps, the mines, shipbuilding yards, and the
manufactures.  Now and then a little of its growth leaks out, such
as the linking up of Krupps with the new shipbuilding.

The scheme is brutally simple and is going on under the eyes of the
British every day.  These people believe that _by building ships
themselves and destroying enemy and neutral shipping_, they will be
the world's shipping masters at the termination of the war.  In
their attitude towards Norwegian shipping, you will notice that
they make the flimsiest excuse for the destruction of as much
tonnage as they can sink.  It was confidently stated to me by a
member of the National Liberal Party, and by no means an
unimportant one, that Germany is building ships as rapidly as she
is sinking them.  That I do not believe; but that a great part of
her effort is devoted to the construction of mercantile vessels I
ascertained beyond the shadow of a doubt.

I have met people in England who refuse to believe that Germany,
battling on long lines east and west, and constructing with
feverish haste war vessels of every description, can find
sufficient surplus energy to build ships which will not be of the
slightest use until after the war is finished.  I can only say that
I personally have seen the recently completed Hamburg-America
liners _Cap Polonio_ and _Cap Finisterre_ anchored in the Elbe off
Altona.  They are beautiful boats of 20,000 and 16,000 tons, a
credit to the German shipbuilding industry, which has made such
phenomenal strides in recent years.  At Stettin I passed almost
under the stem of the brand new 21,000 ton Hamburg-South America
liner, _Tirpitz_--which for obvious business reasons may be
re-named after the war.

Both at Hamburg and Lubeck, where the rattle of the pneumatic
riveter was as incessant as in any American city in course of
construction, I was amazed at the number of vessels of five or six
thousand tons which I saw being built.  Furthermore, the giant
North German, Lloyd liner, _Hindenburg_, is nearing completion,
while the _Bismarck_, of the Hamburg-America Line will be ready for
her maiden trip in the early days of peace.

Another part of the National Liberals' policy is the keeping alive
of all German businesses, banks and others, in enemy countries.
Some people in England seem to think that the Germans are anxious
to keep these businesses alive in order to make money.  Many
Germans regard John Bull as extremely simple, but not so simple as
to allow them to do that.  So long as the businesses are kept going
until after the war, when they can again start out with redoubled
energy, the Germans desire nothing more.  The Deutsche Bank, for
example, which bears no comparison to an English or American bank,
but which is an institution for promoting both political and
industrial enterprise, is entrenched behind so powerful an
Anglo-German backing in London, I was informed on many occasions,
that the British Government dare not close it down.  The mixture of
spying and propaganda with banking, with export, with manufacture,
seems so foreign to Anglo-Saxon ways as to be almost inconceivable.

Coincident with the destruction of foreign shipping, and the
maintenance of their businesses in enemy countries (England and
Italy especially) is the exploitation of the coal and other mines,
oil wells, and forests in occupied enemy territory.  The French and
Belgian coalfields are being worked to the utmost, together with
the iron mines at Longwy and Brieux.  Poland is being deforested to
such an extent that the climate is actually altering.

It is a vast and definite scheme, with such able leaders as Herr
Bassermann, the real leader of the National Liberal Party, Herr
Stresemann, and Herr Hirsch, of Essen.  "We have powerful friends,
not only in London, Milan, Rome, Madrid, New York, and Montreal,
but throughout the whole of South America, and everywhere except in
Australia where that _verdammter Hooges_ (Hughes) played into the
hands of our feeble, so-called leader, von Bethmann-Hollweg, by
warning the people that the British people would follow Hughes'
lead."

So much for the commercial part of submarining.

U-boating close to England has long ceased to be a popular
amusement with the German submarine flotilla, who have a thoroughly
healthy appreciation of the various devices by which so many of
them have been destroyed.  The National Liberals believe that the
British will not be able to tackle long-distance submarines
operating in the Atlantic and elsewhere.  Their radius of action is
undoubtedly increasing almost month by month.  From remarks made to
me I do not believe that these submarines have many land bases at
great distances--certainly none in the United States.  They may
have floating bases; but this I do know--that their petrol-carrying
capacity altogether exceeds that of any earlier type of submarine,
and that their surface speed, at any rate in official tests, runs
up to nearly 20 knots.

The trip of the _Deutschland_ was not only for the purpose of
bringing a few tons of nickel and rubber, but for thoroughly
testing the new engines (designed by Maybach), for bringing back a
hundred reports of the effects of submersion in such cold waters as
are to be found off the banks of Newfoundland, for ascertaining how
many days' submerged or surface travelling is likely to be
experienced, and, indeed, for making such a trial trip across the
Atlantic and back as was usual in the early days of steamships.



CHAPTER XI

THE EAGLE AND THE VULTURE

AS enthusiastic, war-mad crowd had gathered about an impromptu
speaker in the Ringstrasse, not far from the Hotel Bristol, in
Vienna, one pleasant August evening in 1914.  His theme was the
military prowess of Austria-Hungary and Germany.

"And now," he concluded, "Japan has treacherously joined our
enemies.  Yet we should not be disturbed, for her entrance will but
serve to bring us another ally too.  You all know of the
ill-feeling between the United States and Japan.  At any moment we
may hear that the great Republic has declared war."  He called for
cheers, and the Ringstrasse echoed with _Hoch! Hoch!  Hoch_! for
the United States of America.

That was my introduction to European opinion of my country during
the war.  During my four weeks in the Austro-Serbian zone of
hostilities, I had heard no mention of anything but the purely
military business at hand.

The following evening from the window of an
"American-Tourist-Special Train" I looked down on the happy
Austrians who jammed the platform, determined to give the Americans
a grand send-off, which they did with flag-waving and cheers.  A
stranger on the platform thrust a lengthy typewritten document into
my hands, with the urgent request that I should give it to the
Press in New York.  It was a stirring appeal to Americans to
"witness the righteousness of the cause of the Central Powers in
this war which had been forced upon them."  Three prominent
citizens of Vienna had signed it, one of whom was the famous Doctor
Lorenz.

Berlin, in an ecstasy of joyful anticipation of the rapid and
triumphal entrance into Paris, was a repetition of Vienna.  True,
in the beginning, Americans, mistaken for Englishmen by some of the
undiscerning, had been roughly treated, but a hint from those in
high authority changed that.  In like manner, well-meaning patriots
who persisted in indiscriminately mobbing all members of the yellow
race were urged to differentiate between Chinese and Japanese.

So I found festive Berlin patting Americans on the back, cheering
Americans in German-American meetings, and prettily intertwining
the Stars and Stripes and the German flag.

"Now is your opportunity to take Canada," said the man in the
street.  In fact, it was utterly incomprehensible to the average
German that we should not indulge in some neighbouring
land-grabbing while Britain was so busy with affairs in Europe.

The German Foreign Office was, of course, under no such delusion,
although it had cherished the equally absurd belief that England's
colonies would rebel at the first opportunity.  The Wilhelmstrasse
was, however, hard at work taking the propaganda which it had so
successfully crammed down the throats of the German citizen and
translating it into English to be crammed down the throats of the
people in America.  This was simply one of the Wilhelmstrasse's
numerous mistakes in the psychological analysis of other people.
But the Wilhelmstrasse possesses the two estimable qualities of
perseverance and willingness to learn, with the result that its
recent propaganda in the United States has been much more subtle
and very much more effective.

The American newspapers which reached Germany after the outbreak of
war gave that country its first intimation that her rush through
Belgium was decidedly unpopular on the other side of the Atlantic.
Furthermore, many American newspapers depicted the Kaiser and the
Crown Prince in a light quite new to German readers, who with their
heads full of Divine Right ideas considered the slightest
caricature of their imperial family as brutally sacrilegious.

But the vast majority of Germans never saw an American newspaper.
How is it, then, that they began to hate the United States so
intensely?  The answer is simple.  In the early winter of 1914-15,
the German Government with its centralised control of public
opinion turned on the current of hatred against everything American
as it had already done against everything British, for the war had
come to a temporary stalemate on both fronts, and the
Wilhelmstrasse had to excuse their failure to win the short, sharp
pleasant war into which the people had jumped with anticipation of
easy victory.  "If it were not for American ammunition the war
would have been finished long ago!" became the key-note of the new
gospel of hate, a gospel which has been preached down to the
present.

Just before I left Germany the "Reklam Book Company" of Leipzig
issued an anti-American circular which flooded the country.  The
request that people should enclose it in all their private letters
was slavishly followed with the same zest with which the Germans
had previously attached _Gott strafe England_ stickers to their
correspondence.

The circular represented a 7000-ton steamer ready to take on board
the cargo of ammunition which was arranged neatly on the pier in
the foreground.  The background was occupied by German troops,
black lines dividing them into three parts, tagged
respectively--30,000 _killed_, 40,000 _slightly wounded_, 40,000
_seriously wounded_.  This, then, is the graphic illustration of
the casualties inflicted upon the German Army by a single cargo of
one moderate-sized liner.

Since at such a rate, it would take less than two hundred cargoes
of this astoundingly effective ammunition to put the entire German
Army out of action, one wonders why Britain troubles herself to
convert her industries.

Ere the first winter of war drew to a close the official
manipulators of the public opinion battery had successfully
electrified the nation into a hate against the United States second
only to that bestowed on Great Britain.  And so it came about that
the Government had the solid support of the people when the
original submarine manifesto of February 4th, 1915, warning neutral
vessels to keep out of the war zone, threatened a rupture with the
United States.  When two weeks later Washington sent a sharp note
of protest to Berlin, the Germans became choleric every time they
spoke of America or met an American.

"Why should we let America interfere with our plan to starve
England?" was the question I heard repeatedly.  Their belief that
they could starve England was absolute.  What could be simpler than
putting a ring of U-boats round the British Isles and cutting off
all trade until the pangs of hunger should compel Britain to yield?
I heard no talk then about the "base crime of starving women and
children," which became their whine a year later when the knife
began to cut the other way.

In 1915 it was immaterial to the mass of Germans whether America
joined their enemies or not.  Their training had led them to think
in army corps, and they frankly and sneeringly asked us, "What
could you do?" They were still in the stage where they freely
applied to enemies and possible enemies the expression, "They are
afraid of us."  "The more enemies, the more glory," was the inane
motto so popular early in the war that it was even printed on post
cards.

The _Gulflight_, flying the Stars and Stripes, was torpedoed in the
reign of submarine anarchy immediately inaugurated.  But two can
play most games, and when the British Navy made it increasingly
difficult for U-boats to operate in the waters near the British
Isles, the German Foreign Office and the German Admiralty began to
entertain divergent opinions concerning the advisability of pushing
the submarine campaign to a point which would drag the United
States into the war.

Only a few people in Germany know that von Bethmann-Hollweg
strenuously opposed the plan to sink the Lusitania.  That is, he
opposed it up to a point.  The advertisement from the German
Embassy at Washington which appeared in American newspapers warning
Americans could not have appeared without his sanction.  In the
last days of July, 1914, backed by the Kaiser, he had opposed the
mobilisation order sufficient to cause a three days' delay--which
his military opponents in German politics claim was the chief cause
of the failure to take Paris--but in the case of the Lusitania he
was even more powerless against rampant militarism.

For nearly a year after the colossal blunder of the Lusitania,
there existed in the deep undercurrents of German politics a most
remarkable whirlpool of discord, in which the policy of von Tirpitz
was a severe tax on the patience of von Bethmann-Hollweg and the
Foreign Office, for it was they who had to invent all sorts of
plausible excuses to placate various neutral Powers.

The Kaiser after disastrously meddling with the General Staff
during the first month of the war, subsequently took no active hand
in military, naval and political policies unless conflicts between
his chosen chieftains forced him to do so.

One striking instance of this occurred when the Wilhelmstrasse
discovered that Washington was in possession of information in the
"_Arabic_ incident" which made the official excuses palpably too
thin.  After the German authorities became convinced that their
failure to guarantee that unresisting merchantmen would not be sunk
until passengers and crew were removed to a place of safety would
cause a break with the United States, Tirpitz asserted that the
disadvantages to Germany from America as an enemy would be slight
in comparison with the advantages from the relentless submarining
which in his opinion would defeat Britain.  He therefore advocated
that no concessions be made to Washington.  Von Bethmann-Hollweg
was of the opposite opinion.  A deadlock resulted, which was broken
when the Kaiser summoned both men to separate and secret
conferences.  He decided in favour of the Chancellor, whereupon
Washington received the famous "_Arabic_ Guarantees."  It is highly
significant that these were never made known to the German people.

Then followed six months of "frightfulness," broken pledges, notes,
crises, semi-crises, and finally the great crisis _de luxe_ in the
case of the _Sussex_.  When, a few days after my return to England
from Germany, I used the expression "_Sussex_ Crisis" to a leading
Englishman, he expressed surprise at the term "crisis."  "We did
not get the impression in England that the affair was a real
crisis," he said.

My experiences in Germany during the last week in April and the
first four days in May, 1916, left no doubt in my mind that I was
living through a crisis, the outcome of which would have a
tremendous effect upon the subsequent course of the war.  Previous
dealings with Washington had convinced the German Government as
well as the German people that the American Government would stand
for anything.  Thus the extraordinary explanation of the German
Foreign Office that the Sussex was not torpedoed by a German
submarine, since the only U-boat commander who had fired a torpedo
in the channel waters on the fateful day had made a sketch of the
vessel which he had attacked, which, according to the sketch, was
not the Sussex.

The German people were so supremely satisfied with this explanation
that they displayed chagrin which quickly changed to ugliness when
the German Press was allowed to print enough of the news from
Washington to prepare the public mind for something sharp from
across the Atlantic.  I have seen Berlin joyful, serious, and sad
during the war; I have seen it on many memorable days; but never
have I seen it exactly as on Saturday, April 22nd, the day when the
_Sussex_ Ultimatum was made known through the Press.  The news was
headlined in the afternoon editions.  The eager crowds snapped them
up, stood still in their tracks, and then one and all expressed
their amazement to anybody near them, "President Wilson began by
shaking his fist at Germany, and ended by shaking his finger," was
the way one of the President's political opponents summarised his
Notes.  That was the opinion in Germany.  And now he had "pulled a
gun."  The Germans could not understand it.  When they encountered
any of the few Americans left in their country they either foamed
in rage at them, or, in blank amazement, asked them what it was all
about.

It was extremely interesting to the student of the war to see that
the people really did not understand what it was all about.
Theodor Wolff, the brilliant editor of the _Berliner Tageblatt_,
with great daring for a German editor, raised this point in the
edition in which the Ultimatum was printed.  He asserted that the
German people did not understand the case because they purposely
had been left in the dark by the Government.  He said, among other
things, that his countrymen were in no position to understand the
feeling of resentment in the United States, because the meagre
reports permitted in the German Press never described such details
as the death agonies of women and children struggling helplessly in
the water.

This article in the _Tageblatt_ was the striking exception to the
rest of the Press comment throughout Germany, for the German
Government made one of its typical moves at this point.  "To climb
down or not to climb down," was a question which would take several
days to decide.  Public opinion was already sufficiently enraged
against America to give the Government united support in case of a
break, but it must be made more enraged and consequently more
united.  Thus on Easter Sunday the full current of hate was turned
on in the German Press.  President Wilson was violently attacked
for working in the interest of the Allies, whom he wished to save.
Germany would not bow to this injustice, she would fight, and
America, too, would be made to feel what it means to go to war with
Germany.  The German Press did its part to inflame a united German
sentiment, and the Foreign Office, which believes in playing the
game both ways when it is of advantage to do so, with
characteristic thoroughness did not permit the American
correspondents to cable to their papers the virulent lies, such as
those in the _Tagliche Rundschau_, about the affair in general and
President Wilson in particular.  These papers were furthermore not
allowed to leave Germany.

On the evening preceding the publication of the Ultimatum,
Maximilian Harden's most famous number of the _Zukunft_ appeared
with the title "If I Were Wilson."  On Saturday morning it was
advertised on yellow and black posters throughout Berlin, and was
quickly bought by a feverish public to whom anything pertaining to
German-American relations was of the sharpest interest.  The
remarkable article was directly at variance with all the
manufactured ideas which had been storming in German brains for
more than a year.  The British sea policy was represented in a
light quite different from the officially incubated German
conception of it.  President Wilson was correctly portrayed as
strictly neutral in all his official acts.  This staggered Harden's
readers quite as much as his attacks on the brutal submarine policy
of his country.

A careless censor had allowed "If I Were Wilson," to appear.  But a
vigilant Government, ever watchful of the food for the minds of its
children, hastened with the usual police methods to correct the
mistake.  The _Zukunft_ was _beschlagnahmt_, which means that the
police hastily gathered up all unsold copies at the publishers,
kiosks, and wherever else they were to be found.  If a policeman
saw one in a man's pocket he took it away.

Why did the Government do everything in its power to suppress this
article?  The Government fully understood that there was nothing in
it that was not true, nothing in it of a revolutionary character.
It divulged no military or naval secrets.  It was a simple
statement of political truths.  But the German great Idea Factory
in the Wilhelmstrasse does not judge printed matter from its truth
or falsity.  The forming of the public mind in the mould in which
it will best serve the interests of the State is the sole
consideration.  While the Directors of Thought were deliberating on
the relative disadvantages of a curtailment of submarine activity
and America as an enemy, and the order of the day was to instill
hatred, no matter how, they decided that it would be inadvisable
for the people to read the true statements of Harden.

One American correspondent began to cable five thousand words of
"If I Were Wilson" to his paper.  The Censor stopped him after he
had sent thirteen hundred.  A rival correspondent, when he glanced
at the article immediately after it had appeared, decided that it
was more suitable for mail matter than cable matter, put it in an
envelope, and actually scored a scoop over all opponents.

During the following days, when the leaders of Germany were in
conference at the Headquarters of the General Staff, I travelled as
much as possible to find out German sentiment.  The people were
intoxicated with the successes against Verdun, and were angrily in
favour of a break.  One German editor said to me "The Government
has educated them to believe that the U-boat can win the war.
Their belief is so firm that it will be difficult for the
authorities to explain a backdown to Wilson."

It was not.  The Government can explain anything to the German
people.  The back-down came, causing sentiments which can be
divided into three groups.  One, "We were very good to give in to
America.  England would not be so good."  Two, "Americans put us in
a bad position.  To curtail our submarine weapon means a
lengthening of the war.  On the other hand, to add America to the
list of our enemies would lengthen the war still more."  Three, "We
shall wait our opportunity and pay back America for what she has
done to us."  I heard the latter expression everywhere,
particularly among the upper classes.  It was the expression of
Doctor Drechsler, head of the Amerika-Institut in Berlin, and one
of the powerful propaganda triumvirate composed of himself, Doctor
Bertling, and the late Professor Munsterberg.

With the increasing deterioration inside the German Empire the
resolve of the Chancellor to avoid a clash with the United States
strengthened daily.  His opponents, however, most of the great
Agrarians and National Liberals, the men behind Tirpitz, continue
to work for a new submarine campaign in which all neutrals will be
warned that their vessels will be sunk without notice if bound to
or from the ports of Germany's enemies.  They are practical men,
who believe that only through the unrestricted use of the submarine
can Britain, whom they call the keystone of the opposition, be
beaten.  The Chancellor is also a practical man, who believes that
the entrance of America on the side of the Entente would seal the
fate of Germany.  He is supported by Herr Helfferich, the
Vice-Chancellor, and Herr Zimmermann, the foreign Secretary, men
with a deep insight into the questions of trade and treaties.  They
believe that peace will be made across the table and not at the
point of the sword, and they realise that it is much better for
Germany not to have the United States at the table as an enemy.

In September, 1916, the Chancellor began to lay the wires for a new
campaign, a campaign to enlist the services of Uncle Sam in a move
for peace.  It is significant, however, that he and his Government
continue to play the game both ways.  While Germany presses her
official friendship on the United States, and conducts propaganda
there to bring the two nations closer together, she at the same
time keeps up the propaganda of hate at home against America, in
order to have the support of the people in case of emergency.

The attacks against Washington in the _Continental Times_ show
which way the wind blows, for this paper is subsidised by the
German Foreign Office through the simple device of buying 30,000
copies of each issue--it appears three times weekly--at 2 1/2d.
per copy.  The editors are Aubrey Stanhope, an Englishman who even
before the war could not return to his native country for reasons
of his own, and R. L. Orchelle, whose real name is Hermann
Scheffauer, who claims to be an American, but is not known as such
at the American Embassy in Berlin.  He has specialised in attacks
against Great Britain in the United States.  Some of the vicious
onslaughts against Washington in Germany were made by him.

American flags are scarce in Berlin to-day, but one always waves
from the window of 48, Potsdamerstrasse.  It is a snare for the
unwary, but the League uses it here as in countless other instances
as a cloak for its warfare against the U.S.A.

The League started early in the war by issuing booklets by the ton
for distribution in Germany and America.  Subscription blanks were
scattered broadcast for contributions for the cause of light and
truth.  Donations soon poured in, some of them very large, from
Germans and German-Americans who wished, many of them sincerely, to
have what they considered the truth told about Germany.

The ways of the League, however, being crooked, some of the charter
members began to fall away from one another and many of the doings
of the ringleaders are now coming to light.

The League must be doing well financially, as William Martin, the
chief of the Potsdamerstrasse office, jubilantly declared that no
matter how the war ended he would come out of it with a million.

Any real American, whether at home or abroad, deeply resents the
degradation of his flag.  Yet the League of Truth in Berlin has
consistently dragged the Stars and Stripes in the mire, and that in
a country which boasts that the police are not only omniscient but
omnipotent.

A constant attempt, in accordance with the policy of most German
newspapers, I may add, is made to depict us as a spineless
jelly-fish nation.  They have regarded principles of international
custom as little as the manipulators of submarines under the reign
of Tirpitz.

Last fourth of July, Charles Mueller, a pseudo-American, hung from
his home in the busy Kurfurstendamm a huge American flag with a
deep border of black that Berlin might see a "real American's"
symbol of humiliation.  On the same day, dear to the hearts of
Americans, a four-page flyer was spread broadcast through the
German capital with a black border on the front page enclosing a
black cross.  The Declaration of Independence was bordered with
black inside and an ode to American degradation by John L. Stoddard
completed the slap in the face.

The League selected January 27th, 1916, the Kaiser's birthday, as a
suitable occasion for Mueller and Marten, not even hyphenates,
solemnly and in the presence of a great crowd to place an immense
wreath at the base of the statue of Frederick the Great on the
Linden, with the inscription "Wilson and his Press are not America."

The stern Police Department of Berlin does not permit the
promiscuous scattering of floral decorations and advertising matter
on the statues of German gods, and the fact that the wreath
remained there month after month proved that somebody high up was
sanctioning the methods of the League.

The protests of the American Ambassador were of no avail, until he
determined to make an end of the humiliation, after three months,
by threatening to go down to this busy section of Berlin, near the
Royal Palace, and remove the wreath himself.  Force is the only
argument which impresses the Prussians, and we are extremely
fortunate that our Ambassador to Germany is a man of force.

The League, however, had printed a picture of the wreath in its
issue of _Light and Truth_, which it endeavours to circulate
everywhere.

Stoddard, mentioned above, is the famous lecturer.  He has written
booklets for the League, one of which I read in America.  His last
pamphlet, however, is a most scurrilous attack against his country.
He raves against America, and, after throwing the facts of
international law to the winds, he shrieks for the impeachment of
Wilson to stop this slaughter for which he has sold himself.

It is no secret in Berlin that the League have systematically
hounded Mr. Gerard.  I do not know why they hate him, unless it is
because he is a member of the American Government.  I have heard it
said that one way to get at Wilson was through his Ambassador.
Their threats and abuse became so great that he and one of the
American newspaper correspondents went to 48, Potsdamerstrasse
during the _Sussex_ crisis to warn the leaders.  They answered by
swearing out a warrant against Mr. Gerard with the Berlin
police--paying no heed to international customs in such
matters--and circulating copies of the charge broadcast.

Readers who are familiar with Germany know that if a man does not
instantly defend himself against _Beleidigung_ society judges him
guilty.  Thus this and countless other printed circulations of
falsehood against Mr. Gerard have cruelly hurt him throughout
Germany, as I know from personal investigation.  Next to Mr. Wilson
and a few men in England he is the most hated man among the German
people.  He finally felt obliged to deny in the German Press some
of the absurd stories circulated about him, such as that of Mrs.
Gerard putting a German decoration he received on her dog.

Mueller, however, was not content with mere printed attacks, but
has made threats against the life of the American Ambassador.  A
prominent American has sworn an affidavit to this effect, but
Mueller still pursues his easy way.  On the night that the farewell
dinner was being given to a departing secretary at our Embassy,
Mueller and a German officer went about Berlin seeking Mr. Gerard
for the professed purpose of picking a fight with him.   They went
to Richards' Restaurant, where the dinner was being given, but
fortunately missed the Ambassador.

The trickery of the League would fill a volume, for Marten
especially is particularly clever.  He leapt into fame in Berlin by
going to Belgium "at his own risk," as he says, to refute the
charges of German cruelty there.  His book on Belgium, and a later
one claiming to refute the Bryce report, are unimpressive since
they fail to introduce facts, and the writer contents himself for
the main part with soliloquies on Belgian battlefields, in which he
attacks Russian aggression and Britain's perfidy in entering the
war.  The Belgians, we gather, are more or less delighted with the
change from Albert to Wilhelm.

Marten prints testimonials of the book from leading Germans, most
of whom, such as General Falkenhayn, content themselves with
acknowledgment of receipt with thanks and statement of having read
the work.  Count Zeppelin goes further, and hopes that the volume
will find a wide circulation, particularly in neutral countries.

And now for the vice-president of this anti-American organisation.
He is St. John Gaffney, former American Consul-General to Munich.
He belongs to the modern martyr series of the German of to-day.
All over Germany I was told that he was dismissed by Mr. Wilson
because he sympathised with Germany.  The Germans as a mass know
nothing further, but I can state from unimpeachable authority that
he used rooms of the American Hospital in Munich, while a member of
the board of that hospital and an officer in the consular service
of the United States, for propaganda purposes.  His presence became
so objectionable to the heads of the hospital, excellent people
whose sole aim is to aid suffering humanity, that he was ousted.

He returned from his American trip after his dismissal last year
and gave a widely quoted interview upon arrival in Germany which
sought to discredit America--through hitting Mr. Wilson and the
Press--in the most tense point of our last altercation in February
with Germany over the Lusitania.  Such men as Gaffney are greatly
to blame for many German delusions.

Mr. Gerard is not the only official whose path has not been strewn
with roses in Germany.  Our military attache has not been permitted
to go to the German front for nearly a year, and the snub is
apparent in the newspaper and Government circles of Berlin.  He is
probably the only one left behind.

The big Press does not use League of Truth material and certain
other anti-American copy which would be bad for Germany, to reach
foreign critics' attacks.  Many provincial papers, however,
furiously protested against the recent trip of the American
military attache through industrial Germany.  It was only the
American, not other foreign attaches, to whom they objected.

All this is useful to the German Government, for it keeps the
populace in the right frame of mind for two purposes.  In the first
place, a hatred of America inspired by the belief that she is
really an enemy, gives the German Government greater power over the
people.  Secondly, should the Wilhelmstrasse decide to play the
relentless submarine warfare as its last hand it will have
practically united support.



CHAPTER XII

IN THE GRIP OF THE FLEET

There is only one way to realise the distress in Germany, and that
is to go there and travel as widely as possible--preferably on
foot.  The truth about the food situation and the growing
discontent cannot be told by the neutral correspondent in Germany.
It must be memorised and carried across the frontier in the brain,
for the searching process extends to the very skin of the
traveller.  If he has an umbrella or a stick it is likely to be
broken for examination.  The heels are taken from his boots lest
they may conceal writings.  This does not happen in every case, but
it takes place frequently.  Many travellers are in addition given
an acid bath to develop any possible writing in invisible ink.

In Germany, as it is no longer possible to conceal the actual state
of affairs from any but highly placed and carefully attended
neutrals travelling therein, the utmost pains are being taken to
mislead the outside world.  The foreign correspondents are not
allowed to send anything the Government does not wish to get out.
They are, moreover, regularly dosed with propaganda distributed by
the _Nachrichtendienst_ (Publicity Service of the Foreign Office).

One of the books handed round to the neutrals when I was in Berlin
was a treatise on the German industrial and economic situation by
Professor Cassell, of the University of Upsala, Sweden.

He came upon the invitation of the German authorities for a three
weeks' study of conditions.  In his preface he artlessly mentions
that he was enabled to accomplish so much in three weeks owing to
the praiseworthy way in which everything was arranged for him.  He
compiled his work from information discreetly imparted at
interviews with officials, from printed statistics, and from
observations made on carefully shepherded expeditions.   Neutral
correspondents are expected to use this sort of thing, which is
turned out by the hundredweight, as the basis of their
communications to their newspapers.  We were supplied with a
similar volume on the "Great German naval victory of Jutland."

One feels in Germany that the great drama of the war is the drama
of the food supply--the struggle of a whole nation to prevent
itself being exhausted through hunger and shortage of raw materials.

After six months of war the bread ticket was introduced, which
guaranteed thirty-eight ordinary sized rolls or equivalent each
week to everybody throughout the Empire.  In the autumn of 1915
Tuesday and Friday became meatless days.  The butter lines had
become an institution towards the close of the year.  There was
little discomfort, however.

For seventeen months Germany laughed at the attempt to starve her
out.  Then, early in 1916 came a change.  An economic decline was
noticeable, a decline which was rapid and continuous during each
succeeding month.  Pork disappeared from the menu, beef became
scarcer and scarcer, but veal was plentiful until April.  In March,
sugar could be obtained in only small quantities, six months later
the unnutritious saccharine had almost completely replaced it.
Fish continued in abundance, but became increasingly expensive.  A
shortage in meat caused a run on eggs.  In September egg cards
limited each person to two eggs per week, in December the maximum
became one egg in two weeks.  Vegetables, particularly cabbage and
turnips, were plentiful enough to be of great help.

In Berlin the meat shortage became so acute in April, 1916, that
for five days in the week preceding Easter most butchers' shops did
not open their doors.  This made it imperative that the city should
extend the ticket rationing system to meat.  The police issued
cards to the residents of their districts, permitting them to
purchase one-half pound of meat per week from a butcher to whom
they were arbitrarily assigned in order to facilitate distribution.
The butchers buy through the municipal authorities, who contract
for the entire supply of the city.  The tickets are in strips, each
of which represents a week, and each strip is subdivided into five
sections for the convenience of diners in restaurants.

Since the supply in each butcher's shop was seldom sufficient to
let everybody be served in one day, the custom of posting in the
windows or advertising in the local papers "Thursday, Nos. 1-500,"
and later, "Saturday, Nos. 501-1000," was introduced.  A few
butchers went still further and announced at what hours certain
numbers could be served, thus doing away with the long queues.

Most of the competent authorities with whom I discussed the matter
agreed that the great flaw in the meat regulations was that, unlike
those of bread, they were only local and thus there were great
differences and correspondinng discontent all over Germany.

One factor which contributed to Germany's shortage of meat was the
indiscriminate killing of the livestock, especially pigs, when the
price of fodder first rose in the last months of 1914.  Most of
this excess killing was done by the small owners.  Our plates were
heaped unnecessarily.  Some of the dressing was done so hurriedly
and carelessly that there were numerous cases of pork becoming so
full of worms that it had to be destroyed.

The great agrarian Junkers were not forced by lack of fodder to
kill; consequently they own a still larger proportion of the
live-stock than they did at the beginning of the war.

On October 1st, 1916, the regulation of meat was taken out of the
hands of the local authorities so far as their power to regulate
the amount for each person was concerned, and this amount was made
practically the same throughout Germany.

First and foremost in the welfare of the people, whatever may be
said by the vegetarians, is the vital question of the meat supply.
Involved in the question of cattle is milk, leather, other
products, and of course, meat itself.

One German statistician told me he believed that the conquest of
Roumania would add between nine and ten months to Germany's
capacity to hold out, during which time, no doubt, one or other of
the Allies would succumb.

At the beginning of 1917 the actual number of cattle in Germany
does not seem to be so greatly depreciated as one would expect.
After a very thorough investigation I am convinced that there are
in Germany to-day from three-fourths to four-fifths as many head of
cattle as there were before the war.

In the spring and summer these cattle did very well, but with the
passing of the grazing season new difficulties are arising.  Cattle
must be fed, and unless sufficient grain comes from Roumania to
supply the bread for the people and the fodder for the cattle it is
obvious that there must be a wholesale slaughtering, and consequent
reduction of milk, butter, and cheese.

All these details may seem tiresome, but they directly concern the
length of the war.

To add to the shortage, the present stock of cattle in Germany was,
when I left, being largely drawn upon for the supply of the German
armies in the occupied parts of Prance, Belgium, and Russia, and
the winter prospect for Germany, therefore, is one of obviously
increased privation, provided always that the blockade is drastic.

Cattle are, of course, not the only food supply.  There is game.
Venison is a much commoner food in Germany than in England,
especially now there is much of it left.  Hares, rabbits,
partridges are in some parts of Germany much more numerous even
than in England.  A friend of mine recently arrived from Hungary
told me that he had been present at a shoot over driven partridges
at which, on three successive days, over 400 brace fell to the
guns.  Wherever I went in Germany, however, game was being netted.

Before the war, pork, ham, and bacon were the most popular German
food, but owing to the mistake of killing pigs in what I heard
called the "pork panic" the Germans are to-day facing a remarkable
shortage of their favourite meat.  I am convinced that they began
1917 with less than one-fourth as many pigs as they had before the
war.

The Berlin stockyards slaughtered over 25,000 pigs weekly before
August, 1914.  During the first 10 months of the war the figure
actually rose to 50,000 pigs per week in that one city alone.  In
one week in September last the figure had fallen to 350 pigs!

The great slaughter early in the war gave a false optimism not only
to Germans, but also to visitors.  If you have the curiosity to
look back at newspapers of that time you will find that the great
plenty of pork was dilated upon by travelling neutrals.

To-day the most tremendous efforts are being made to increase the
number of pigs.  You will not find much about this in the German
newspapers--in fact what the German newspapers do not print is
often more important than what they do print.  In the rural
districts you can learn much more of Germany's food secrets than in
the newspapers.

In one small village which I went to I counted no fewer than thirty
public notices on various topics.  Hers is one:--

  FATTEN PIGS.

  Fat is an essential for soldiers and hard workers.
  Not to keep and fatten pigs
  if you are able to do so is treason to the Fatherland.
  No pen empty--every pen full.

These food notices may be necessary, but they are bringing about
intense class hatred in Germany.  They are directed at the small
farmer, who in many cases has killed all his pigs and most of his
cows, because of his difficulty in getting fodder.  As I have said,
the great agrarian junkers, the wealthy landowners of Prussia, have
in many cases more cows, more pigs, more poultry than before the
war.

The facts of these great disparities of life are well known, and if
there were more individuality in the German character they would
lead to something more serious than the very tame riots, at several
of which I have been present.

That the food question is the dominating topic in Germany among all
except the very rich, and that this winter will add to the
intensity of the conversations on the subject, is not difficult to
understand.  Most of the shopping of the world is done by women,
and the German woman of the middle class, whose maidservant has
gone off to a munition factory, has to spend at least half her day
waiting in a long line for potatoes, butter, or meat.

There is a curious belief in England and in the United States in
the perfection of German organisation.  My experience of their
organisation is that it is absolutely marvellous--when there are no
unexpected difficulties in the way.  When the Germans first put the
nation on rations as to certain commodities, the outside world
said, "Ah, they are beginning to starve!" or "What wonderful
organisers!"

As a matter of fact, they were not beginning to starve, and they
were not wonderful organisers.  The rationing was done about as
badly as it could be done.  It was arranged in such a fashion as to
produce plenty in some places and dearth in others.  It was done so
that wealthy men made fortunes and poor men were made still poorer.
The inordinate greed and lack of real patriotism on the part of
influential parties in both Germany and Austria-Hungary have added
to the bad state of affairs.  As if to make matters worse, the
whole vast machine of rationing by ticket was based on the
expectation of a comparatively quick and decisive victory for
Germany.  This led to reckless consumption and a great rise in
prices.  The fight that is now going on between the masses in the
towns and the wealthy land-owning farmers has been denounced in
public by food dictator Batocki (pronounced Batoski), who, in words
almost of despair, complained of the selfish landed proprietor, who
would only disgorge to the suffering millions in the great
manufacturing centres at a price greatly exceeding that fixed by
the food authorities.

All manner of earnest public men are endeavouring to cope with the
coming distress, and at this point I can do no better than quote
from an interview given me by Dr. Sudekum, Social Democratic member
of the Reichstag for Nuremberg, Bavaria.  He is a sincere patriot,
and a prominent worker in food organisation.

"More than a year ago," he explained, "I worked out a plan for the
distribution of food, which provided for uniform food-cards
throughout the entire empire.  For example, everyone, whether he
lived in a Bavarian village or in a Prussian city, would receive,
say, half a pound of meat a week.  I presented my plan to the
Government, with whose approval it met.  Nevertheless, they did not
see fit to adopt it for three reasons.  In the first place because
they believed that the people might become unnecessarily alarmed.
Secondly, because our enemies might make capital out of such
measures.  _Thirdly, because our leaders at that time believed that
the war might be over before the end of 1915_.

"But the war dragged on, and we were somewhat extravagant with our
supplies--I except bread, for which we introduced cards in
February, 1915--and instead of the whole Empire husbanding the
distribution of meat, for example, various sections here and there
introduced purely local measures, with the inevitable resulting
confusion.

"Hunger has been a cause of revolution in the past," Dr. Sudekum
continued thoughtfully.  "We should take lessons from history, and
do everything in our power to provide for the poor.  I have worked
hard in the development of the 'People's Kitchens' in Berlin.  We
started in the suburbs early in 1916, in some great central
kitchens in which we cook a nourishing meat and vegetable stew.
From these kitchens distributing vehicles--_Gulasch-kanonen_ (stew
cannons) as they are jocularly called--are sent through, the city,
and from them one may purchase enough for a meal at less than the
cost of production.  We have added a new central kitchen each week
until we now have 30, each of which supplies 10,000 people a day
with a meal, or, more correctly, a meal and a half.  In July,
however, the work assumed greater proportions, for the municipal
authorities also created great central kitchens.  Most of the
dinners are taken to the homes and eaten there.

"The People's Kitchen idea is now spreading throughout Germany.
But I believe in going further, I believe in putting every
German--I make no exception--upon rations.  That is what is done in
a besieged city, and our position is sufficiently analogous to a
besieged city to warrant the same measures.  All our food would
then be available for equal distribution, and each person would get
his allowance."

This earnest Social Democrat's idea is, of course, perfect in
theory.  Even the able, hard-working Batocki, however, cannot make
it practicable.  Why not?  _The Agrarian, the great Junker of
Prussia_, not only will not make sacrifices, but stubbornly insists
upon wringing every pfennig of misery money from the nation which
has boasted to the world that its patriotism was unselfish and
unrivalled.

The most important German crop of all at this juncture is potatoes,
for potatoes are an integral part of German and Austrian bread.
The handling of the crop, to which all Germany was looking forward
so eagerly, exhibits in its most naked form the horrid profiteering
to which the German poor are being subjected by the German rich.

It was a wet summer in Germany.  Wherever I went in my rural
excursions I heard that the potatoes were poor.  The people in the
towns knew little of this, and were told that the harvests were
good.

An abominable deception was practised upon the public with the
first potato supply.  For many months tickets had been in use for
this food, which is called the "German staff of life."  Suddenly
official notices appeared that potatoes could be had for a few days
without tickets, and the unsuspecting public at once ordered great
quantities.

The Agrarians thus got rid of all their bad potatoes to the mass of
the people.  In many cases they were rotting so fast that the
purchaser had to bury them.  It was found that they produced
illness when given to swine.

What other people in the world than the Germans would stand that?
But they did stand it.  "These are only the early potatoes--the
main crop will be all right," said the profiteers right and left,
and gradually the masses began to echo them, as is usual in Germany.

Well, the main crop has been gathered, and Food Dictator von
Batocki is, according to the latest reports I hear from Germany,
unable to make the Agrarians put their potatoes upon the market
even at the maximum price set by the Food Commission.

They are holding back their supplies until they have forced up the
maximum price, just as a year ago many of them allowed their
potatoes to rot rather than sell them to the millions in the cities
at the price set by law.

Some Germans, mostly Social Democratic leaders, declare that since
their country is in a state of siege, the Government should, beyond
question, commandeer the supplies and distribute them, but just as
the industrial classes have, until quite recently, resisted war
taxes, so do the Prussian Junkers, by reason of their power in the
Reichstag, snap their fingers at any suggested fair laws for food
distribution.

The Burgomaster--usually a powerful person in Germany--is helpless.
When on September 1 the great house-to-house inventory of food
supplies was taken, burgomasters of the various sections of Greater
Berlin took orders from the people for the whole winter supply of
potatoes on special forms delivered at every house.  Up to the time
I left, the burgomasters were unable to deliver the potatoes,

Any dupes of German propaganda who imagine that there is much
self-sacrifice among the wealthy class in Germany in this war
should disabuse their minds of that theory at once.  While the poor
are being deprived of what they have, the purchases of pearls,
diamonds, and other gems by the profiteers are on a scale never
before known in Germany.

One of the paradoxes of the situation, both in Austria and in
Germany, is the coincidence of the great gold hunt, which is
clearing out the trinkets of the humblest, with the roaring trade
in jewelry in Berlin and Vienna.  As an instance I can vouch for
the veracity of the following story:--

A Berlin woman went to Werner's, the well-known jewellers in the
Unter den Linden, and asked to be shown some pearl necklaces.
After very little examination she selected one that cost 40,000
marks (2,000 pounds).  The manager, who knew the purchaser as a
regular customer for small articles of jewelry, ventured to express
his surprise, remarking, "I well remember, madam, that you have
been coming here for many years, and that you have never bought
anything exceeding in value 100 marks.  Naturally I am somewhat
surprised at the purchase of this necklace."  "Oh, it is very
simple," she replied.  "My husband is in the leather business, and
our war profits have made us rich beyond our fondest hopes."

Throughout Austria and Germany in every village and townlet are
appearing notices to bring in gold.

The following notice is to be met with in all parts of Germany:--


LET EVERY ONE WORTHY OF THE NAME OF GERMAN DO HIS DUTY NOW.

Our enemies, after realising that they cannot defeat us on the
field of battle, are striving to defeat us economically.  But here
they will also fail.

OUT WITH YOUR GOLD.

Out with your gold!  What is the value of a trinket to the life of
the dear one that gave it?  By giving now you may save the life of
a husband, brother, or son.

Bring your gold to the places designated below.  If the value of
the gold you bring exceeds five marks, you will receive an iron
memento of "Die grosse Zeit."

Iron chains will be given for gold chains.  _Wedding rings of those
still living will not be accepted_.


From rural pulpits is preached the wickedness of retaining gold
which might purchase food for the man in the trenches.

The precedent of the historic great ladies of Prussia who exchanged
their golden wedding rings for rings of iron is drummed into the
smaller folk continuously.  The example is being followed by the
exchange of gold trinkets for trinkets made of iron, with the
addition of the price paid at the central collecting station--paid,
of course, in paper, which is at a 30 per cent. discount in Germany
and 47 per cent. discount in Austria.  Every bringer of a trinket
worth more than 5s. receives a small iron token of "_die grosse
Zeit_" (the great epoch).

The gold hunt has revealed unexpected possessions in the hands of
the German and Austrian lower classes.  To me it was pathetic to
see an old woman tremblingly handing over treasures that had come
down probably for two or three generations--treasures that had
never been worn except on high days and festivals, weddings, and
perhaps on the day of the local fair.  Particularly sad is this
self-sacrifice in view of the gigantic profits of the food usurers
and war profiteers.  The matter is no secret in Germany or Austria.
It is denounced by the small Socialist minority in the Reichstag,
to whose impotence I have often referred.  It is stoutly defended
in good Prussian fashion by those openly making the profits.

There has arisen a one-sided Socialism which no one but Bismarck's
famous "nation of lackeys" would tolerate.  At the top is a narrow
circle of agrarian and industrial profiteers, often belonging to
the aristocratic classes.  At the other end of the scale is, for
example, the small farmer, who has now absolutely nothing to say
concerning either the planting, the marketing, or the selling of
his crops.  Regulations are laid down as to what he should sow,
where he should sell, and the price at which he should sell.
Unlike the Junker, he has not a long purse.  He _must sell_.

What state of mind does this produce among the people?  I know that
outside Germany there is an idea that every German is working at
top speed with the spirit of the Fatherland flaming him on.  That
was the spirit I witnessed in the early days of the war, when
Germany was winning and food was plentiful.

In certain rural districts as well as in centres of population
there is an intense longing for peace--not merely for a German
peace--but any peace, and a peace not merely for military reasons,
but arising out of utter weariness of the rule of the profiteers
and the casualties not revealed by the doctored lists--ingeniously
issued lists, which, for example, have never revealed the loss of a
submarine crew, though intelligent Hamburg shipping people, who are
in close touch with German naval people, estimate the loss of
German submarines as at least one hundred.  I have heard the figure
put higher, and also lower.

This kind of one-sided Socialism makes the people so apathetic that
in some parts of Germany it has been very difficult to induce them
to harvest their own crops, and in German Poland they have been
forced to garner the fields at the point of the bayonet.

When a man has no interest in the planting, marketing, and selling
price of his produce; when he knows that what he grows may be swept
away from his district without being sure that it will be of any
benefit to himself and his family; when, in addition, the father or
sons of the households lie buried by the Yser, the Somme, the Meuse
or the Drina, it is impossible for the authorities to inspire any
enthusiasm for life, let alone war, even among so docile a people
as those they deal with.

      *      *      *      *      *

With regard to the other crops, rye is good; beets look good, but
are believed to be deficient in sugar owing to the absence of South
American fertilisers; wheat is fairly good; oats extremely good,
and barley also excellent.  The Germans have boasted to the neutral
visitor that their artificial nitrates are just as good fertilisers
as those imported from South America.  It is true that they do very
well for most crops when the weather is damp.  But beets, strangely
enough, require the genuine Chilean saltpetre to produce their
maximum of sugar.  The failure to get this, plus the use of sugar
in munition making, accounts for the dearth of that commodity among
the civilian population.

In order that nothing shall be wasted, the Government decreed this
year that the public should be allowed to scavenge the fields after
the harvest had been gathered, and this was a source of some
benefit to those residing near the great centres of population.

Schoolmasters were also ordered to teach the children the need of
gathering every sort of berry and nut.

Passing along an English hedgerow the other day, and seeing it
still covered with withered blackberries, I compared them with the
bare brambles which I saw in Germany from which all berries have
gone to help the great jam-making business which is to eke out the
gradually decreasing butter and margarine supply.  Sickness and
death have resulted from mistakes made, not only in gathering
berries, but in gathering mushrooms and other fungi, which have
been keenly sought.

It is safe to say that the Germans are leaving no stone unturned to
avoid the starvation of the Seven Years' War.  The ingenuity of the
chemists in producing substitutes was never greater.  One of the
most disagreeable foods I have tasted was bread made of straw.
Countless experiments have been made in the last year to adapt
straw to the human stomach, but although something resembling bread
has been produced, it contains almost no nourishment and results in
illness.

People who reside in the cities and carefully shepherded visiting
neutrals, who do not go into the country, have little notion of the
terrific effort being put forward to make the fruits of Mother
Earth defeat the blockade, and _above all_ to extract any kind of
_oil_ from anything that grows.

Here is one notice:--


  HOW THE CIVIL POPULATION CAN HELP IN THE WAR.

  Our enemies are trying to exhaust us, but they
  cannot succeed if every one
  does his duty.

  OIL _is a Necessity_.

  You can help the Fatherland if you plant
  poppies, castor plant, sunflowers.
  In addition to doing important work for
  the Fatherland you benefit yourself
  because the price for oil is high.


I may say that the populace have responded.  Never have I seen such
vast fields of poppies, sunflowers, rape plant, and other
oleaginous crops.  Oil has been extracted from plum-stones,
cherry-stones, and walnuts.

The Government have not pleased the people even in this matter.
One glorious summer day, after tramping alone the sandy roads of
Southern Brandenburg, I came to a little red-brick village in the
midst of its sea of waving rye and blaze of sunflowers and poppies.
Taking my seat at the long table in front of the local _Gasthaus_,
and ordering some imitation coffee--the only refreshment provided
in the absence of a local bread ticket--I pointed out one of these
notices to the only other person at the table, who was drinking
some "extraordinarily weak beer," as he put it.  "Have the people
here planted much of these things I see on that notice?" I asked,
pointing to one of the placards.  "Yes," he said, "certainly.  A
great deal; but the Government is going to be false to us again.
It will be commandeered at a price which they have already set."
Then came the usual string of grumbles which one hears everywhere
in the agricultural districts.   I will not repeat them.  They all
have to do with the food shortage, profiteering, and discontent at
the length of the war.

Though all Germans, with the exception of a few profiteers, are
grumbling at the length of the war, it must not be supposed that
they have lost hope.  In fact their grumblings are punctuated
frequently by very bright hopes.   When Douaumont fell, food
troubles were forgotten.  The bells rang, the flags were unfurled,
faces brightened, crowds gathered before the maps and discussed the
early fall of Verdun and the collapse of France.  Again I heard on
every hand the echo of the boasts of the first year of the war.

The glorious manner in which France hurled back the assault was
making itself felt in Germany with a consequent depression over
food shortage when the greatest naval victory in history--so we
gathered, at least, from the first German reports--raised the
spirits and hopes of the people so high that they fully believed
that the blockade had been smashed.  On the third day of the
celebration, Saturday, June 3rd, I rode in a tram from Wilmersdorf,
a suburb of Berlin, to the heart of the city through miles of
streets flaring with a solid mass of colour.  From nearly every
window and balcony hung pennants and flags; on every trolley pole
fluttered a pennant of red, white and black.  Even the ancient
horse 'buses rattled through the streets with the flags of Germany
and her allies on each corner of the roof.  The newspapers screamed
headlines of triumph, nobody could settle down to business, the
faces one met were wreathed in smiles, complaining was forgotten,
the assurance of final victory was in the very air.

Unter den Linden, the decorations on which were so thick that in
many cases they screened the buildings from which they hung, was
particularly happy.  Knots of excited men stood discussing the
defeat of the British Fleet.   Two American friends and I went from
the street of happy and confident talk into the Zollernhof
Restaurant.  With the din of the celebration over the "lifting of
the blockade" ringing in our ears from the street, we looked on the
bill of fare, and there, for the first time, we saw _Boiled Crow_.

Through the spring and early summer the people were officially
buoyed up with the hope that the new harvest would make an end of
their troubles.  They had many reasons, it is true, to expect an
improvement.  The 1915 harvest in Germany had fallen below the
average.  Therefore, if the 1916 harvest would be better per acre,
the additional supplies from the conquered regions of Russia would
enable Germany to laugh at the efforts of her enemies to starve her
out.  Once more, however, official assurances and predictions were
wrong, and the economic condition grew worse through every month of
1916.



CHAPTER XIII

A LAND OF SUBSTITUTES

The only food substitute which meets the casual eye of the visitor
to England in war time is margarine for butter.  Germany, on the
contrary, is a land of substitutes.

Since the war, food exhibitions in various cities, but more
especially in Berlin, have had as one of their most prominent
features booths where you could sample substitutes for coffee,
yeast, eggs, butter, olive oil, and the like.  Undoubtedly many of
these substitutes are destined to take their place in the future
alongside some of the products for which they are rendering
vicarious service.  In fact, in a "Proclamation touching the
Protection of Inventions, Designs, and Trade Marks in the
Exhibition of Substitute-Materials in Berlin-Charlottenburg, 1916,"
it is provided that the substitutes to be exhibited shall enjoy the
protection of the Law.  Even before the war, substitutes like
Kathreiner's malt coffee were household words, whilst the roasting
of acorns for admixture with coffee was not only a usual practice
on the part of some families in the lower middle class, but was so
generally recognised among the humbler folk that the children of
poor families were given special printed permissions by the police
to gather acorns for the purpose on the sacred grass of the public
parks.  To deal with meat which in other countries would be
regarded as unfit for human consumption there have long been
special appliances in regular use in peace time.  The so-called
_Freibank_ was a State or municipal butcher's shop attached to the
extensive municipal abattoirs in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, and
elsewhere.  Here tainted meat, or meat from animals locally
affected by disease, is specially treated by a steam process and
other methods, so as to free it from all danger to health.  Meat so
treated does not, of course, have the nutritive value of ordinary
fresh meat, but the Germans acted on the principle that anything
was better than nothing.   Such meat was described as _bedingt
tauglich_ (that is, fit for consumption under reserve).  It was
sold before the war at very low rates to the poorer population, who
in times of scarcity came great distances and kept long vigils
outside the _Freibank_, to be near the head of the queue when the
sale began.  Thus we see that many Germans long ago acquired the
habit of standing in line for food, which is such a characteristic
of German city life to-day.

Horseflesh was consumed before the war in Germany, as in Belgium
and France.  Its sale was carefully controlled by the police, and
severe punishment fell upon anyone who tried to disguise its
character.  An ordinary butcher might not sell it at all.  He had
to be specially licensed, and to maintain a special establishment
or a special branch of his business for the purpose.  Thus, when
wider circles of the population were driven to resort to
substitutes, there was already in existence a State-organised
system to control the output.

Since the war began, sausage has served as a German stand-by from
the time that beef and pork became difficult to obtain.  In the
late spring, however, the increased demand for sausage made that
also more difficult to procure, and we often got a substitute full
of breadcrumbs, which made the food-value of this particular
_Wurst_ considerably less than its size would indicate.  It was
frequently so soft that it was practically impossible to cut, and
we had to spread it on our bread like butter.

The substitute of which the world has read the most is war bread.
This differs in various localities, but it consists chiefly of a
mixture of rye and potato with a little wheat flour.  In Hungary,
which is a great maize-growing country, maize is substituted for
rye.

Imitation tea is made of plum and other leaves boiled in real tea
and dried.

To turn to substitutes other than food, it will be recalled that
Germany very early began to popularise the use of benzol as an
alternative to petrol for motor engines.  This was a natural
outgrowth of her marvellously developed coal-tar industry, of which
benzol is a product.  Prizes for the most effective
benzol-consuming engine, for benzol carburettors, etc., have been
offered by various official departments in recent years, and I am
told that during the war ingenious inventions for the more
satisfactory employment of benzol have been adopted.  Owing to the
increased use of potatoes as food, the alcoholic extract from them,
always a great German and Austro-Hungarian industry, has had to be
restricted.

It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, as I learned from the
owner of a little general shop in a Brandenburg village.  He told
me that about twenty-five years ago, when kerosene became widely
used in the village for illuminating purposes, he was left with a
tremendous supply of candles which he could never sell.  The oil
famine has caused the substitution of candle light for lamp light
during the war, and has enabled him to sell out the whole stock at
inflated prices.  All oils are at a premium.  The price of
castor-oil has risen fivefold in Germany, chiefly owing to the fact
that it is being extensively used for aeroplane and other
lubrication purposes.

But it is oil from which explosives are derived that chiefly
interests Germany.  Almost any kind of fruit stone contains
glycerine.   That is why notices have been put on all trains which
run through fruit districts, such as Werder, near Berlin, and
Baden, advising the people to save their fruit stones and bring
them to special depots for collection.

Five pounds of fat treated with caustic soda can be made to yield
one pound of glycerine.  This is one reason, in addition to the
British blockade, which causes the great fat shortage among the
civil population.

Glycerine united with ammonium nitrate is used in the manufacture
of explosives.  Deprived of nitrogenous material from South
America, Germany has greatly developed the process for the
manufacture of artificial nitrates.  She spent 25,000,000 pounds
after the outbreak of war to enable her chemists and engineers to
turn out a sufficient amount of nitric acid.

Toluol, a very important ingredient of explosives, is obtained from
coal-tar, which Germany is naturally able to manufacture at present
better than any other country in the world, since she bad
practically a monopoly in coal-tar products before hostilities
commenced.

Evidently, however, substitutes to reinforce goods smuggled through
the blockade have not sufficed to meet the chemical demands of the
German Government, for great flaming placards were posted up all
over the Empire announcing the commandeering of such commodities as
sulphur, sulphuric acid, toluol, saltpetre, and the like.

Germany long ago claimed to have perfected woodpulp as a substitute
for cotton in propulsive ammunition.  She made this claim very
early, however, for the purpose of hoodwinking British blockade
advocates.  Her great need eventually led her to take steps to
induce the United States to insist on the Entente Powers raising
the blockade on cotton.  She went to great trouble and expense to
send samples by special means to her agents in America.

The cotton shortage began to be seriously felt early in 1916 in the
manufacturing districts of Saxony, where so many operatives were
suddenly thrown out of work that the Government had to set aside a
special fund for their temporary relief, until they could be
transferred to other war industries.

The success which Germany claimed for a cotton-cloth substitute has
been greatly exaggerated.  When the Germans realised that Great
Britain really meant business on the question of cotton they
cultivated nettle and willow fibre, and made a cloth consisting for
the most part of nettle or willow fibre with a small proportion of
cotton or wool.

It was boasted in many quarters that the exclusion of cotton would
make but little difference so far as clothing was concerned.  Not
only does the universal introduction of clothing tickets falsify
this boast, but the cloth is found to be a mere makeshift when
tested.  Blouses and stockings wear out with discouraging rapidity
when made of the substitute.

My personal investigations still lead me to believe in the motto of
the Sunny South that: "Cotton is king."

Paper, although running short in Germany, is the substitute for
cloth in many cases.  Sacking, formerly used for making bags in
which to ship potatoes and other vegetables, has given way to it.
Paper-string is a good substitute widely used, although "no string"
was the verbal substitute I often got when buying various articles,
and it was necessary for me to hold the paper on to the parcel with
my hands.

The craze for substitutes has spread so extensively that there have
been some unpleasant results both for the purchaser and the
producer, as was the case with several bakers, who were finally
detected and convicted of a liberal use of sawdust in their cakes.

Germany has worked especially hard to find a substitute for
indiarubber, though with only moderate success.  I know that the
Kaiser's Government is still sending men into contiguous neutral
countries to buy up every scrap of rubber obtainable.  In no other
commodity has there been more relentless commandeering.  When
bicycle tyres were commandeered--the authorities deciding that
three marks was the proper price to pay for a new pair of tyres
which had cost ten--there was a great deal of complaining.
Nevertheless, without an excellent reason, no German could secure
the police pass necessary to allow him to ride a bicycle.  Those
who did obtain permission to ride to and, from their work had to
select the shortest route, and "joy-riding" was forbidden.

"Substitute rubber" heels for boots could be readily obtained until
the late summer, but after that only with difficulty.  They were
practically worthless, as I know from personal experience, and were
as hard as leather after one or two days' use.

Despite the rubber shortage, the Lower Saxon Rubber Company, of
Hildersheim, does a thriving business in raincoats made from rubber
substitutes.  The factory is running almost full blast, all the
work being done by women, and the finished product is a tribute to
the skill of those in charge.

It is impossible to buy a real tennis hall in the German Empire
to-day.  A most hopeless makeshift ball has been put on the market,
but after a few minutes' play it no longer keeps its shape or
resiliency.

Germany has been very successful in the substitution of a sort of
enamelled-iron for aluminium, brass, and copper.  Some of the
Rhenish-Westphalian iron industries have made enormous war profits,
supplying iron chandeliers, stove doors, pots and pans, and other
articles formerly made of brass to take the place of those
commandeered for the purpose of supplying the Army with much-needed
metals.

For copper used in electrical and other industries she claims to
have devised substitutes before the war, and her experts now assert
that a two-years' supply of copper and brass has been gathered from
the kitchens and roofs of Germany.  The copper quest has assumed
such proportions that the roof of the historic, world-renowned
Rathaus at Bremen has been stripped.  Nearly half the church bells
of Austria have found their way to the great Skoda Works.

Of course Germans never boast of the priceless ornaments they have
stolen from Belgium and Northern France.  They joyfully claim that
every pound of copper made available at home diminishes the amount
which they must import from abroad, and pay for with their
cherished gold.

The authorities delight in telling the neutral visitors that they
have found adequate substitutes for nickel, chromium, and vanadium
for the hardening of steel.  If that is really so, why does the
_Deutschland's_ cargo consist mainly of these three commodities?



CHAPTER XIV

THE GAGGING OF LIEBKNECHT

Although Bismarck gave the Germans a Constitution and a Parliament
after the Franco-Prussian War as a sop for their sacrifices in that
campaign, he never intended the Reichstag to be a Parliament in the
sense in which the institution is understood in Great Britain.

What Bismarck gave the Germans was a debating society and a
safety-valve.  They needed a place to air their theories and
ventilate their grievances.  But the Chancellor of Iron was very
careful, in drawing up the plans for the "debating society," to see
that it conferred little more real power on the nation's
"representatives" than is enjoyed by the stump-speakers near Marble
Arch in London on Sundays.

Many people in England and the United States of America, I find, do
not at all understand the meaninglessness of German Parliamentary
proceedings.  When they read about "stormy sittings" of the
Reichstag and "bitter criticism" of the Chancellor, they judge such
things as they judge similar events in the House of Commons or the
American House of Representatives.  Nothing could be more
inaccurate.  Governments do not fall in Germany in consequence of
adverse Reichstag votes, as they do in England.  They are not the
peopled Governments, but merely the Kaisers creatures.  They rise
and fall by his grace alone.

Even this state of affairs needs to be qualified and explained to
the citizens of free countries.  The Government is not a Cabinet or
a Ministry.

_The German Government is a one-man affair.  It consists of the
Imperial Chancellor_.  He, and nobody else, is the "Government,"
subject only to the All-Highest will of the Emperor, whose bidding
the Chancellor is required to do.

The Chancellor, in the name of the "Government," brings in Bills to
be passed by the Reichstag.  If the Reichstag does not like a Bill,
which sometimes happens, it refuses to give it a majority.  But the
"Government" does not fall.  It can simply, as it has done on
numerous occasions, dissolve the Reichstag, order a General
Election, _and keep on doing so indefinitely_, until it gets
exactly the kind of "Parliament" it wants.  Thus, though the
Reichstag votes on financial matters, it can be made to vote as the
"Government" wishes.

As I have said, the Reichstag was invented to be, and has always
served the purpose hitherto of, a forum in which discontented
Germany could blow off steam, but achieve little in the way of
remedy or reform.  _But during the war the Reichstag has even
ceased to be a place where free speech is tolerated_.  It has been
gagged as effectually as the German Press.  I was an eyewitness of
one of the most drastic muzzling episodes which has occurred in the
Reichstag during the war--or probably in the history of any modern
Parliament--the suppression of Dr. Karl Liebknecht, member for
Potsdam, during the debate on military affairs on January 17, 1916.
That event will be of historic importance in establishing how
public opinion in Germany during the war has been ruthlessly
trampled under foot.

The Reichstag has practically nothing to do with the conduct of the
war.

Up, practically, to the beginning of 1916 the sporadic Social
Democratic opposition to the war, mainly by Dr. Liebknecht, was
ignored by the Government.  The war-machine was running so
smoothly, and, from the German standpoint, so victoriously, that
the Government thought it could safely let Liebknecht rant to his
heart's content.

Dr. Liebknecht had long been a thorn in the War Party's side.  He
inherited an animosity to Prussian militarism from his late father,
Dr. Wilhelm Liebknecht, who with August Bebel founded the modern
German Social Democratic Party.  Four or five years before the war
Liebknecht, a lawyer by profession, campaigned so fiercely against
militarism that he was sentenced to eighteen months' fortress
imprisonment for "sedition."  He served his sentence, and soon
afterwards his political friends nominated him for the Reichstag
for the Royal Division of Potsdam, of all places in the world,
knowing that such a candidature would be as ironical a blow as
could be dealt to the war aristocrats.  He was elected by a big
majority in 1913, the votes of the large working-class population
of the division, including Spandau (the Prussian Woolwich), being
more than enough to offset the military vote which the Kaiser's
henchmen mobilised against him.  Some time afterwards Liebknecht
was also elected to represent a Berlin Labour constituency in the
_Prussian Diet_, the Legislature which deals with the affairs in
the Kingdom of Prussia, as distinct from the Reichstag (the
_Imperial Diet_), which concerns itself with Empire matters only.

Dr. Liebknecht is forty-four years old.  Of medium build, he wears
a shock of long, curly, upstanding hair, which rather accentuates
his "agitator" type of countenance, and is a skilful and eloquent
debater.  A university graduate and well-read thinker and student,
he turned out to be the one consistent Social Democratic politician
in Germany on the question of the war.  When the war began the
Socialist Party was effectually and willingly tied to the
Government's chariot--including, nominally, even Liebknecht.  A few
hours before making his notorious "Necessity-knows-no-law" speech
in the Reichstag on August 4, 1914, Bethmann-Hollweg conferred with
all the Parliamentary parties, and convinced them (including the
Socialists) that Germany had been cruelly dragged into a war of
defence.  Later in the day, following other party leaders, Herr
Haase, spokesman for the Socialists, got up in the House, voiced a
few harmless platitudes about Socialist opposition to war on
principle, and then pledged the party's 111 votes solidly to the
War Credits for which the Government was asking.  When the
Chancellor afterwards made his celebrated speech it was cheered to
the echo by the entire House, _including the Socialists_.  I do not
know whether Liebknecht was present, though he is almost certain to
have been, but if so he made no note-worthy protest.  How
completely the Government befooled the Socialists about the war was
proved a few days later when Dr. Franck, one of the Social
Democracy's most shining lights and the man who was in line to be
Bebel's successor, _volunteered_ for military service.  He was one
of the first to fall fighting in September, somewhere in the West.

The authorities might have known that Liebknecht was a hard man to
keep quiet if he ever decided to speak out.  Fresh in the
Government's mind was his bold exposure of the Krupp bribery
scandals at the War Office (in 1913) and his disclosures about how
the German munition trust for years systematically stirred up war
fever abroad, in order to convince the German people of the
necessity of speeding up their own huge armaments on land and sea.
As soon as Liebknecht's Reichstag and Prussian Diet speeches began
to show that he was tired of the muzzle, the Government called him
up for military service.  They stuck him into the uniform of an
_Armierungssoldat_ (Army Service Corps soldier).  This meant that
his public speeches in connection with the war had to be confined
to the two Parliaments in which he held seats.  Anything of an
opposition character which he said or did _outside_ would be
"treason" or "sedition."

Liebknecht was put to work on A.S.C. jobs behind the fronts
alternately in the East and West, I believe, but was given leaves
of absence to attend to his Parliamentary duties from time to time.
On these occasions he would appear in the Reichstag in the dull
field-grey of an ordinary private--the only member so clad in a
House of 397 Deputies, among whom are dozens of officers in uniform
up to the rank of generals.

I was particularly fortunate to be able to secure a card of
admission to the Strangers' Gallery of the Reichstag on January 17,
the day set for discussion of military matters.  I went to my place
early--a few minutes past the noon hour, as the Reichstag usually
convenes at 1 p.m.  The floor was still quite empty, though the
galleries were filled with people anxious, like myself, to see the
show from start to finish.

The Reichstag's decorative scheme is panelled oak and gilt-paint.
The members' seating space spreads fanlike round the floor, with
individual seats and desks exactly like those used by schoolboys,
which is not an inappropriate simile.  On the extreme right are the
places of the Conservative-Junker--landowners--Party; to their left
sit, in succession, the Roman Catholic Clericals (who occupy the
exact centre of the floor and are thus known as the _Zentrum_, or
Centre Party).  The "Centre" includes many priests, mostly
Rhinelanders and Bavarians.  Then come the National Liberals, the
violently anti-British and anti-American Party, the Progressive
People's Party, and the Social Democrats.  The latter are on the
"extreme left."  That is why they are often so described in reports
of Reichstag proceedings abroad.  The Socialists comprise 111 out
of 397 members of the House, so their segment of the fan is the
largest of all.  Next in size is the Centre Party, with eighty-five
or ninety seats, the Conservatives, National Liberals, and
Progressives accounting for the rest of the floor in more or less
equal proportions.

The outstanding aspect of the Reichstag is the tribune for
speakers, which faces the floor and is elevated above it some five
or six feet.  It is flanked on the right by the Government "table,"
consisting of individual seats and desks for Ministers.  In the
centre of the tribune the presiding officer, who is "President,"
not Speaker, of the House, sits.  On his left is a row of seats and
desks, like the opposite Government "table," for the members of the
_Federal Council_.  The Federal Council, I may remind my readers,
consists of the delegates of the various States of Germany.  They
are not elected by the people, but are appointed by the rulers of
the several States.  They constitute practically an Imperial Upper
Chamber, and are the real legislative body of the Empire.  Bills
require the Federal Council's approval before submission to the
Reichstag.

On so-called "big days" in the Reichstag a host of small fry from
the Departments collects behind the Government and this dominent
Federal Council.  The Chancellor, whose place is at the corner of
the Government "table" nearest the President, is always shepherded
by his political aide-de-camp, Dr. Wahnschaffe.  There is always a
group of uniformed Army and Navy officers on the tribune, too, and
to-day, of course, as the Army discussions were on the agenda,
there was an unusually brave array of gold braid and brass buttons.
Herr von Oldenburg, a prominent Junker M.P., once said if he were
the Kaiser he would send a Prussian lieutenant and ten men to close
up the Reichstag.

Liebknecht arrived early, a slight and unimpressive figure in
somewhat worn field-grey, the German khaki.  The "debate" having
begun, I noticed how he listened eagerly to every word spoken,
jotting down notes incessantly for the evident purpose of replying
to the grandiloquent utterances about our "glorious army of
_Kultur_-bearers" which were falling from the lips of "patriotic"
party orators.  Liebknecht had earned the displeasure of the House
a few days before by asking some embarrassing questions about
Turkish massacres in Armenia.  He was jeered and laughed at
hilariously; when he went on to say that a "Black Chamber" was
spying on his every movement, shadowing other members of the
Reichstag, even eavesdropping on their telephone conversations and
opening their private correspondence.

While a Socialist comrade, Herr Davidssohn, was speaking from the
desk in the centre of the tribune, at which all members must stand
when addressing the House, I now saw Liebknecht walking up the
aisle leading from the Socialist seats to the President's chair as
unobtrusively as possible.  He was walking furtively and he cut the
figure of a hunted animal which is conscious that it is surrounded
by other animals anxious to pounce upon it and devour it if it
dares to show itself in the open.

Liebknecht has now reached the President's side.  The President, a
long-whiskered septuagenarian, is popularly known as "Papa" Kaempf.
I see Liebknecht whispering quietly in Kaempf's ear.  He is asking
for permission to speak, probably as soon as comrade Davidssohn has
finished making his innocuous suggestions of minor reforms to
relieve discomforts in the trenches.  Kaempf is shaking his head
negatively.  As the official executor of the House's wishes, the
old man understands perfectly well that Liebknecht must under no
circumstances have a hearing.  Davidssohn has now stopped talking.
Liebknecht has meantime reached the bottom step of the stairway of
five or six steps leading from the tribune to the level of the
floor.  He can be plainly seen from all sections of the House.  I
hear him start to say that he has a double right to be heard on the
Army Bill, not only as a member of the House, but as a soldier.  He
gets no further.  The Chamber is already filled with shouts and
jeers.  "_Maul halten_!" (shut your mouth!) bursts from a dozen
places in the Conservative and rational Liberal and Centre benches.
"'_Raus mit ihm!" (throw him out!) is another angry taunt which I
can distinguish in the bedlam.  Liebknecht has been howled down
many times before under similar circumstances.  He is not terrified
to-day, though his face is pale with excitement and anger.  He
stands his ground.  His right arm is extended, a finger levelled
accusingly at the Right and Centre from which imprecations,
unceasingly, are being snarled at him.  But he cannot make himself
heard amid the uproar.

A Socialist colleague intervenes, Ledebour, a thin, grey-haired,
actor-like person, of ascetic mien and resonant voice.  "Checking
free speech is an evil custom of this House," declares Ledebour.
"Papa" Kaempf clangs his big hand-bell.  He rules out "such
improper expressions as 'evil custom' in this high House." Ledebour
is the Reichstag's master of repartee.  He rejoins
smilingly:--"Very well, not an 'evil custom,' but not altogether a
pleasant custom."  Now the House is howling Ledebour down.  He,
too, has weathered such storms before.  He waits, impassive and
undismayed, for a lull in the cyclone.  It comes.  "Wait, wait!" he
thunders.  "My friend Liebknecht and I, and others like us, have a
great following.  You grievously underestimate that following.
Some day you will realise that.  Wait----"  Ledebour, like
Liebknecht, can no longer proceed.  The House is now boiling, an
indistinguishable and most undignified pandemonium.  I can detect
that there is considerable ironical laughter mixed with its
indignation.   Members are not taking Ledebour's threat seriously.

Liebknecht has temporarily returned to his seat under cover of the
tornado provoked by Ledebour's intervention, but now I see him
stealthily crawling, dodging, almost panther-like, back to the
steps of the tribune.  He is bent upon renewing the attempt to
raise his voice above the hostile din.  The sight of him unchains
the House's fury afresh.  The racket is increased by the mad
ding-donging of "Papa" Kaempf, trying hopelessly to restore a
semblance of quiet.  It is useless.  The House will not subside
until Liebknecht is driven from the speakers' tribune.  He is not
to have even the chance of the lull which enabled Ledebour to say a
pertinent thing or two.  A score of embittered deputies advance
toward the tribune, red-faced and gesticulating in the German way
when excitement is the dominant passion.  Their fists are clenched.
I say to myself that Liebknecht will this time be beaten down, if
he is not content to be shouted down.  He makes an unforgettable
figure, alone there, assailed, barked and snarled at from every
side, a private in the German Army bidding defiance to a hundred
men, also in uniform, but superior officers.  Mere _Kanonenfutter_
(cannon fodder) defying the majestic authority of its helmeted and
epauletted overlords!  An unprecedented episode, as well as an
unforgettable one. . .

Liebknecht insists upon tempting fate once more.  He is going to
try to outshout the crazy chorus howling at him.  He succeeds, but
only for an instant and to the extent of one biting phrase:--"Such
treatment," I can hear him shrieking, "is _unverschaemt_
(shameless) and _unerhoert_ (unheard of)!  It could take place in
no other legislative body in the world!"

With that the one German Social Democrat of conviction, courage,
and consistency retires, baffled and discomfited.  Potsdam's
representative in the Reichstag is at last effectually muzzled, but
in the muzzling I have seen the German Government at work on a task
almost as prodigious as the one it now faces on the Somme--the task
of keeping the German people deaf, dumb, and blind.

Of what has meantime happened to Liebknecht the main facts are
known.  He was arrested on May 1 for alleged "incitement to public
disorder during a state of war," tried, convicted, and sentenced to
penal servitude.  A couple of months previously (on March 13) he
had delivered another bitter attack on the War Government in the
Prussian Diet.  He accused the German educational authorities of
systematically teaching hate to school children and of distorting
even contemporary history so as to poison their minds to the
glorification of Prussian militarism.  He said it was not the
business of the schools to turn children into machines for the
Moloch of militarism.

"_Let us teach history correctly_," declared Liebknecht, "_and tell
the children that the crime of Sarajevo was looked upon by wide
circles in Austria-Hungary and Germany as a gift from Heaven.  Let
us. . . ._"

He got no farther, for the cyclone broke.  He had dared to do what
no other man in Germany had done.  He had publicly accused his
Government of making the war.  From that moment his doom was
certain.


This narrative should be instructive to those Britishers and
Americans who think it possible that German Socialists may one day
have the power to end the war.  There are two effective replies to
this curious Anglo-Saxon misunderstanding of Germany.  The first is
that Liebknecht had not, and has not, the support of his own party;
the second, that were that party twice as numerous as it is its
votes would be worthless in view of the power wielded by the
Kaiser's representative, von Bethmann-Hollweg, backed up by the
Federal Council.

It is difficult to drive this fact into the heads of British and
American people, who are both prone to judge German institutions by
their own.

For, remember always that behind the dominant Imperial Chancellor,
von Bethmann-Hollweg, stands the All-Highest War Lord, and behind
him, what is still, if damaged, the mightiest military machine in
the world--the German Army.  Opposed to that there is at present a
slowly increasing Socialist vote--the two have grown to about
twenty.



CHAPTER XV

PREVENTIVE ARREST

In the beginning of the war, when all seemed to be going well,
there was no disunity in Germany.  When Germany was winning victory
after victory, practically no censorship was needed in the
newspapers; the police were tolerant; every German smiled upon
every other German; soldiers went forth singing and their trains
were gaily decorated with oak leaves; social democracy praised
militarism.

All that has changed and the hosts who went singing on their way in
the belief that they would be home in six weeks, have left behind
homes many of them bereaved by the immense casualties, and most of
them suffering from the increased food shortage.

Class feeling soon increased.  The poor began to call the rich
agrarians "usurers."  The Government forbade socialistic papers
such as the _Vorwaerts_ to use the word "usurer" any more, because
it was applied to the powerful junkers.  Such papers as the
_Tagliche Rundschau_ and the _Tageszeitung_ could continue to use
it, however, for they applied it to the small shopkeeper who
exceeded the maximum price by a fraction of a penny.

As the rigour of the blockade increased, the discontent of the
small minority who were beginning to hate their own Government
almost as much as, and in many cases more, than they hated enemies
of Germany, assumed more threatening forms than mere discussion.
Their disillusionment regarding Germany's invincibility opened
their eyes to faults at home.  Some of the extreme Social Democrats
were secretly spreading the treasonable doctrine that the German
Government was not entirely blameless in the causes of the war.  It
has been my custom to converse with all classes of society, and I
was amazed at the increasing number of disgruntled citizens.

But the German Government is still determined to have unity.  They
had enlisted the services of editors, reporters, professors,
parsons and cinema operators to create it; they are now giving the
police an increasingly important role to maintain it.

As the German Parliament in no way resembles the British
Parliament, so do the German, police in no way resemble the British
police.  The German police, mounted or unmounted, are armed with a
revolver, a sword, and not infrequently provided with a
machine-gun.  They have powers of search and arrest without
warrant.  They are allowed at their discretion to strike or
otherwise maltreat not only civilians, but soldiers.  Always armed
with extraordinary power, their position during the past few months
has risen to such an extent that the words used in the Reichstag,
"The Reign of Terror," are not an exaggeration.

Aided and even abetted by a myriad of spies and
_agents-provocateurs_, they have placed under what is known as
"preventive arrest" throughout the German Empire and Austria so
great a number of civilians that the German prisons, as has been
admitted, are filled to repletion.

With the Reichstag shut up, and the hold on the newspapers
tightening,-what opportunity remains by which independent thought
can be disseminated?

In Poland meetings to consider what they call "Church affairs," but
which were really revolutionary gatherings, afforded opportunity
for discussion.  These have been ruled out of order.

The lectures taking place in their thousands all over Germany might
afford a chance of expression of opinion, but the professors, like
the pastors, are, as I have said, so absolutely dependent upon the
Government for their position and promotion, that I have only heard
of one of them who had the temerity to make any speech other than
those of the "God-punish-England" and "We-must-hold-out" type.  His
resignation from the University of Munich was immediately demanded,
and any number of sycophants were ready to take his place.

Clubs are illegal in Germany, and the humblest working-men's
_cafes_ are attended by spies.  In my researches in the Berlin
East-end I often visited these places and shared my adulterated
beer and war bread with the working folk--all of them over or under
military age.

One evening a shabby old man said rather more loudly than was
necessary to a number of those round him:--"I am tired of reading
in the newspapers how nice the war is.  Even the _Vorwaerts_ (then
a Socialist paper) lies to us.  I am tired of walking home night
after night and finding restaurants turned into hospitals for the
wounded."

He was referring in particular to the great _Schultheiss_
working-men's restaurants in Hasenheide.  His remarks were received
with obvious sympathy.

A couple of nights later I went into this same place and took my
seat, but it was obvious that my visit was unwelcome.  I was looked
at suspiciously.  I did not think very much of the incident, but
ten days later in passing I called again, when a lusty young fellow
of eighteen, to whom I had spoken on my first visit, came forward
and said to me, almost threateningly, "You are a stranger here.
May I ask what you are doing?"

I said: "I am an American newspaper correspondent, and am trying to
find out what I can about the ways of German working folk."

He could tell by my accent that I was a foreigner, and said: "We
thought that you had told the Government about that little free
speaking we had here a few days ago.  You know that the little old
man who was complaining about the restaurants being turned into
hospitals has been arrested?"

This form of arrest, by which hundreds of people are mysteriously
disappearing, is one of the burning grievances of Germany to-day.
In its application it resembles what we used to read about Russian
police.  It has created a condition beneath the surface in Germany
resembling the terrorism of the French Revolution.  In the absence
of a Habeas Corpus Act, the victim lies in gaol indefinitely, while
the police are, nominally, collecting the evidence against him.
One cannot move about very long without coming across instances of
this growing form of tyranny, but I will merely give one other.

A German family, resident in Sweden, were in correspondence with a
woman resident in Prussia.  In one of her letters she incautiously
remarked, "What a pity that the two Emperors cannot be taught what
war really means to the German peoples."  She had lost two sons,
and her expression of bitterness was just a feminine outburst,
which in any other country, would have been passed by.  She was
placed under preventive arrest and is still in gaol.

The police are armed with the censorship of the internal postal
correspondence, telegrams and telephones.  One of the complaints of
the Social Democrat members of the Reichstag is that every movement
is spied upon, and their communications tampered with by what they
call the "Black Chamber."

There is no reason to suppose that the debates in the closing
session of the Reichstag in 1916 on police tyranny, the Press
censorship, the suppression of public opinion, will lead to any
result other than the familiar expressions of mild
indignation--such as that which came from the National Liberal and
Pan-German leader, Dr. Paasche--and perhaps a little innocent
legislation.  But the reports of the detailed charges against the
Government constitute, even as passed by the German censorship for
publication, a remarkable revelation.  It should be remembered in
reading the following quotations that the whole subject has been
discussed in the secrecy of the Reichstag Committee, and that what
is now disclosed is in the main only what the Government has been
unable to hush up or hide.

In his famous speech on "preventive arrest" the Social Democratic
Deputy, Herr Dittmann said:--

"Last May I remarked that the system of preventive arrest was
producing a real reign of terror, and since then things have got
steadily worse.  The law as it was before 1848 and the Socialist
Law, of scandalous memory, are celebrating their resurrection.  The
system of denunciation and of _agents-provocateurs_ is in full
bloom, and it is all being done under the mask of patriotism and
the saving of the country.  Anybody who for personal or other
reasons is regarded by the professional _agents-provocateurs_ as
unsatisfactory or inconvenient is put under suspicion of espionage,
or treason, or other crime.  And such vague denunciations are then
sufficient to deprive the victim of his freedom, without any
possibility of defence being given him.  In many cases such arrest
has been maintained by the year without any lawful foundation for
it.  Treachery and low cunning are now enjoying real orgies.  A
criminal is duly convicted and knows his fate.  The man under
preventive arrest is overburdened by the uncertainty of despair,
and is simply buried alive.  The members of the Government do not
seem to have a spark of understanding for this situation, the
mental and material effects of which are equally terrible.

"Dr. Helfferich said in the Budget Committee in the case of Dr.
Franz Mehring that it is better that he should be under detention
than that he should be at large and do something for which he would
have to be punished.  According to this reasoning the best thing
would be to lock up everybody and keep them from breaking the law.
The ideal of Dr. Helfferich seems to be the German National Prison
of which Heine spoke.  The case of Mehring is classical proof of
the fact that we are no longer far removed from the Helfferich
ideal."

Herr Dittmann went on to say that Herr Mehring's only offence was
that in a letter seized by the police he wrote to a Reichstag
deputy named Herzfeld in favour of a peace demonstration in Berlin,
and offered to write a fly-sheet inviting attendance at such a
meeting.  Mehring, who is over 70 years of age, was then locked up.
Herr Dittmann continued:--

"How much longer will it be before even thoughts become criminal in
Germany?  Mehring is one of the most brilliant historians and
writers, and one of the first representatives of German
intellectual life--known as such far beyond the German frontiers.
When it is now known abroad that such a man has been put under a
sort of preventive arrest merely in order to cut him off from the
public for political reasons, one really cannot be astonished at
the low reputation enjoyed by the German Government both at home
and abroad.  How evil must be the state of a Government which has
to lock up the first minds of the country in order to choke their
opposition!"

Herr Dittmann's second case was that of Frau Rosa Luxemburg.  He
said that she was put under arrest many months ago, without any
charge being made against her, and merely out of fear of her
intellectual influence upon the working classes.  All the Socialist
women of Germany were deeply indignant, and he invited the
Government to consider that such things must make it the positive
duty of Socialists in France, England, Italy and Russia "to fight
against a Government which imprisons without any reason the
best-known champions of the International proletariat."  The
treatment of both Mehring and Frau Luxemburg had been terrible.
The former, old and ill, had had the greatest difficulty in getting
admission to a prison infirmary.  Frau Luxemburg a month ago was
taken from her prison bed in the middle of the night, removed to
the police headquarters, and put in a cell which was reserved for
prostitutes.  She had not been allowed a doctor, and had been given
food which she could not eat.  Just before the Reichstag debate she
had been, taken away from Berlin to Wronke, in the Province of
Posen.

Herr Dittmann then gave a terrible account, some of it unfit for
reproduction, of the treatment in prison of two girls of eighteen
whose offence was that on June 27th they had distributed
invitations to working women to attend a meeting of protest against
the procedure in the case of Herr Liebknecht.  He observed that
they owed it entirely to themselves and to their training if they
had not been ruined physically and morally in their "royal Prussian
prison."  When they were at last released they were informed that
they would be imprisoned for the rest of the war if they attended
any public meeting.  Herr Dittmann proceeded:--

"Here we have police brutality in all its purity.  This is how a
working-class child who is trying to make her way up to knowledge
and _Kultur_ is treated in the country of the promised 'new
orientation,' in which (according to the Imperial Chancellor) 'the
road is to be opened for all who are efficient.'  These are the
methods by which the spirit of independence is systematically to be
billed.  That is the reason for the arrests of members of the
Socialist party who stand on the side of determined opposition.
You imagine that by isolating the leading elements of the
opposition you can crush the head of the snake."

Herr Dittmann's next case was that of Dr. Meyer, one of the editors
of _Vorwaerts_, who was arrested many months ago.  He is suffering
from tuberculosis, but is not allowed to go to a sanatorium.
Another Socialist journalist named Regge, father of six children,
has been under arrest since August, his only offence being that he
has agitated against the militarist majority.  Herr Dittmann then
dealt at length with the Socialist journalist named Kluhs, who has
been in prison for eight months, also for his activity on behalf of
the Socialist minority against the majority, and was prevented from
communicating with his dying wife or attending her funeral,

Herr Dittmann gave the details of three cases at Dusseldorf and one
at Brunswick, and then explained how the military authorities in
many parts of Germany are deliberately offering Socialists the
choice between silence and military service.  A well-known trade
union official at Elberfeld, named Sauerbrey, who had been declared
totally unfit for military service because he had lost several
fingers on his left hand, was arrested and charged with treason.
He was acquitted, but instead of obtaining his freedom he was
immediately called up and is now in training for the front.  Herr
Dittmann said that this case had caused intense bitterness, and
added:--

"The Military Command at Munster is surprised that the feeling in
the whole Wupper Valley is becoming more and more discontented, and
the military are now hatching new measures of violence in order to
be able to master this discontent.  One would think that such
things came from the madhouse.  In reality they represent
conditions under martial law, and this case is only one of very
many."

Herr Dittmann gave several instances of men declared unfit for
service who had been called up for political reasons, and he ended
his speech as follows:--

"In regard to all this persecution of peaceful citizens there is a
regular apparatus of _agents-provocateurs_, provided by officials
of all kinds, and the apparatus is growing every day.  If these
persecutions were stopped a great number of these agents and
officials could be released for military service.  In most cases
they are mere shirkers, and that is why they cling to their posts
and _seek every day to prove themselves indispensable by
discovering all sorts of crimes_.  Because they do not want to go
to the trenches other people must go to prison.  Put an end to the
state of martial law, and help us to root up a state of things
which disgraces the German name."

The Alsatian deputy, Herr Haus, said that Alsace-Lorraine is
suffering more than any other part of the country, and that more
than 1,000 persons have been arrested without any charge being
brought against them.  Herr Seyda, for the Poles, said that the
Polish population of Germany suffers especially from the system of
preventive arrest.

In his contemptuous reply, which, showed that the Government was
confident that it had nothing to fear from the majority in the
Reichstag, Herr Helfferich said:--

"The institution of the dictator comes from ancient Rome, from the
classical Republic of antiquity.  (Laughter.)  When the State was
fighting for its existence it was found necessary to place supreme
power in the hands of a single man, and to give this Roman dictator
authority which was much greater than the authority belonging to
preventive arrest and martial law.  The whole development proceeds
by way of compromise between the needs of the State and the needs
of protection for the individual.  The results vary according to
the particular level of civilisation reached by the particular
State.  (Socialist cries of 'Very true.')  We are not at the lowest
level.  When one considers the state of things in Germany in peace
time we can be proud.  (Socialist interruptions.)  I am proud of
Germany.  I think that our constitutional system before the
outbreak of war and our level of _Kultur_ were such as every German
could be proud of.  ('No, no.')  I hope that we shall soon be able
to revert to those conditions."

Herr Helfferich went on to argue that repression in Germany is
really much milder than in France, England, or Italy; and for the
debate on the censorship, which followed the debate on preventive
arrest, he came armed with an account of the Defence of the Realm
Acts.  When he enlarged upon the powers of the British Government
he was interrupted by cries of "It is a question not of theory but
of practice," and the Socialist leader Herr Stadthagen made a
scathing reply.  He said:--

"Even if everything in England is as Herr Helfferich described it,
the state of things is much better there than in Germany.  Herr
Helfferich stated the cases in which arrest and search of dwellings
may take place, but those are cases in which similar action can be
taken in Germany in time of peace under the ordinary criminal law.
The Englishman has quite other rights.  He has the right to his
personality, and, above all, the officials in England, unlike
Germany, are personally responsible.  When we make a law, that law
is repealed by the Administration.  That is the whole point, but
Herr Helfferich does not see it, and he does not see that we live
in a Police State and under a police system.  Did it ever occur to
anybody in England to dispute the right of immunity of members of
parliament?  Did it ever occur to anybody in England to go to
members of the Opposition in Parliament and demand that they should
resign their seats on pain of arrest?  Or has anybody in England
been threatened with arrest if he does not withdraw a declaration
against the committee of his party?  Two newspapers have been
suppressed in England because they opposed munitions work.  I
regret this check upon free criticism in England, but what would
have happened in Germany?  In Germany there would undoubtedly have
been a prosecution for high treason.  In England, moreover, the
newspapers are allowed to reappear, and that without giving any
guarantees.  In Germany we are required to give guarantees that the
papers shall be conducted by a person approved of by the political
police.  Herr Helfferich employs inappropriate comparisons.  I will
give him one which applies.  The political police in Germany is
precisely what the State Inquisition was in Venice."

An interesting point in the censorship debate was the disclosure of
the fact that the local censors do what they please.  Herr Seyda
protested against the peculiar persecution of the Poles.  He
remarked that at Gnesen no Polish paper has been allowed to appear
for the past two years.

But as significant as anything was Herr Stadthagen's account of the
recruiting for the political police.  He said that the police
freely offer both money and exemption from military service to boys
who are about to become liable for service.  He gave a typical case
of a boy of seventeen.  The police called at his home and inquired
whether he belonged to any Socialist organisation and whether he
had been medically examined for the Army.  A police official then
waylaid the boy as he was leaving work and promised him that, if he
would give information of what went on in his Socialist
association, he could earn from 4 pounds to 4 pounds 10 shillings a
month and be exempt from military service.

There is a peculiar connection between censorship and police.  The
evil effect of the censorship of their own Press by the German
Government is to hypnotise the thousands of Government bureaucrats
into the belief that that which they read in their own controlled
Press is true.

No people are more ready to believe what they want to believe than
the governing class in Germany.  They wanted to believe that Great
Britain would not come into the war.  They had got into their
heads, too, that Japan was going to be an ally of theirs.  They
wrote themselves into the belief that France was defeated and would
collapse.

Regarding the Press, as they do, as all-important, they picked from
the British Press any articles or fragments of articles suitable
for their purpose and quoted them.  They are adepts in the art of
dissecting a paragraph so that the sense is quite contrary to that
meant by the writer.

But the German Government goes further than that.  It is quite
content to quote to-day expressions of Greek opinion from Athens
organs well known to be subsidised by Germany.  Certain bribed
papers in Zurich and Stockholm, and one notorious American paper,
are used for this process of self-hypnotism.  The object is
two-fold.  First, to influence public opinion in the foreign
country, and, secondly, by requoting the opinion, to influence
their own people into believing that this is the opinion held in
the country from which it emanates.  Thus, when I told Germans that
large numbers of the Dutch people are pro-Ally, they point to an
extract from an article in _De Toekomst_ and controvert me.

These methods go to strengthen the hands of the police when they
declare that in acting severely they are only acting against
anarchistic opinions likely to create the impression abroad that
there is disunity within the Empire.

Never, so far as I can gather, in the world's history was there so
complete a machine for the suppression of individual opinion as the
German police.

The anti-war demonstrations in Germany range all the way from the
smashing of a few food-shop windows to the complete preparations
for a serious crippling of the armies in the field by a general
munition strike.

Half-way between were the so-called "Liebknecht riots" in Berlin.
The notices summoning these semi-revolutionary meetings were
whispered through factories, and from mouth to mouth by women
standing in the food lines waiting for their potatoes, morning
bread, meat, sugar, cheese, and other supplies.  Liebknecht was
brought to secret trial on June 27th, on the evening of which
demonstrations took place throughout the city.  I was present at
the one near the Rathaus, which was dispersed towards midnight when
the police actually drew their revolvers and charged the crowd.

The following evening I was at an early hour in the Potsdamer
Platz, where a great demonstration was to take place.  It was the
second anniversary of the murder at Sarajevo.  The city was clearly
restless, agitated; people were on the watch for something to
happen.  The Potsdamer Platz is the centre through which the great
arteries of traffic flow westward after the work of the day is
done.  The people who stream through it do not belong to the poorer
classes, for these live in the east and the north.  But on this
mild June evening there was a noticeably large number of working
men in the streets leading into the Platz.  I was standing near a
group of these when the evening editions appeared with the news
that Liebknecht had been sentenced.  A low murmur among the
workmen, mutterings of suppressed rage when they realised the
significance of the short trial of two days, and a determined
movement toward the place of demonstration.

I hurried to the Potsdamer Platz.  The number of police stationed
in the streets leading into it increased.  The Platz itself was
blue with them, for they stood together in groups of six, ten and
twelve.  I went along the Budapester Strasse to the Brandenburger
Tor, through which workmen from Moabit had streamed at noon
declaring that they would strike.  They had been charged by the
mounted police, who drove them back across the Spree.  There was a
blue patrol along the Unter den Linden now.  A whole army corps of
police were on the alert in the German capital.

I returned to the Potsdamer Platz.  It was thick with people
now--curious onlookers.  There were crowds of workmen in the
adjacent streets, but they were not allowed to approach too near.
Again and again they tried, but, unarmed, they were powerless when
the horses were driven into them, I saw a few of the most obstinate
struck with the flat of sabres, and on others were rained blows
from the police on foot.  Nobody hit Back, or even defended himself.

There was practically no violence such as one expects from a mob.
It was something else which impressed me.  It impressed my
police-lieutenant friend, also.  That was the dangerous ugliness in
the workmen.  Hate was written in their faces, and the low growl in
the crowd told all too plainly the growing feeling against the war.

The Government realised this.  They had already seen that the unity
they had so artificially created could only be held by force.  They
had used force in the muzzling of Liebknecht, and quietly they were
employing a most potent force every day, the force of preventive
arrest.

In July there was agitation for the great munition strike which was
to have taken place on the day of the second anniversary of the
war.  The dimensions of the proposed rising were effectually
concealed by the censorship.  The ugly feeling in the Potsdamer
Platz had taught the Government a lesson.

No detail was neglected in the preparations against the strike.
There was a significant movement of machine-guns to all points of
danger, such as the Moabit district of Berlin, and Spandau,
together with countless warnings against so-called "anarchists."
Any workman who showed the slightest tendency to be a leader in a
factory group was taken away.  The expressions of intention not to
work the first four days of August became so strong that the Press
issued a warning that any man refusing to work would be put into a
uniform, and he would receive not eight or more marks a day as in
munition work, but three marks in ten days.  Even the Kaiser
supplemented his regular anniversary manifestoes to the armed
forces of the Empire and the civilian population with a special
appeal to the workmen.

I was up and ready at an early hour on the morning of August 1st.
Again the city was blue with police.  But this time they were
reinforced.   As I walked through streets lined with soldiers in
the workingmen's quarters, I realised the futility of any further
anti-war demonstrations in the Fatherland.

I stood in the immense square before the Royal Palace, and
reflected that two years ago it was packed with a crowd wild with
joy at the opportunity of going to war.  There was unity.  I stood
on the very spot where the old man was jeered because he had said,
"War is a serious business, young fellow."

On August 1st, 1916, there were more police in the square than
civilians.  On Unter den Linden paced the blue patrol.  There was
still unity in Germany, but a unity maintained by revolver, sword
and machine-gun.



CHAPTER XVI

POLICE RULE IN BOHEMIA

In his speech to the Senate President Wilson, said: "No peace can
last, or ought to last, which does not recognise and accept the
principle that Governments derive all their just powers from the
consent at the governed. . . .  No nation should seek to extend its
polity over any other nation or people, but every people should be
left free to determine its own policy, its own way of development,
unhindered, unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with the great
and powerful."

The realisation of these admirable sentiments presents infinite
problems in various sections of Europe, but nowhere, perhaps, more
than in Austria-Hungary.  In his heterogeneous collection of
peoples, the old Emperor had to make a choice between two courses
in order to hold his thirteen distinct races together in one
Empire.  He could have tried to make them politically contented
through freedom to manage their own affairs while owing allegiance
to the Empire as a whole, or he could suppress the individual
people to such an extent that he would have unity by force.

He chose the second course.  With the Germans dominant in Austria
and the Magyars in Hungary, other nations have been scientifically
subjugated.  As in the case of the procedure of "Preventive Arrest"
in Germany, the authorities seek to work smoothly and silently,
with the result that only an occasional echo reaches the outside
world.

The description of the relations of the various peoples and the
"Unity-Machine" employed would fill a large book.  Control of
public opinion has been the first action of the rulers of the Dual
Monarchy.  In peace time, not only were the suppressed nations,
such as the Czechs, Slovaks, Rumanians, Luthenians, Poles,
Slovenes, Italians, but all the citizens of Austria-Hungary, denied
the right of free speech and freedom of the Press.  Some of the
regulations by which the Government held absolute sway over its
subjects are:

(1) No newspaper or other printing business could be established
until a heavy deposit was made with the police for the payment of
fines, such fines to be arbitrarily imposed by the police--in whom
is vested extraordinary power--when anything political was written
which did not please them.  They are difficult to please, I may add.

(2) A complete copy of each edition must be sent to the police
before it was put on sale.  "Good" editors whose inspiration was of
a nature to enable them to interpret the wishes of the Government,
sometimes received a dispensation from this formality.

(3) No club might hold a private meeting.  A representative of the
police must be present.  This rule was often extended even to
friendly gatherings in private homes in such places as Bohemia.

(4) No political meeting might be held without a permit, and a
representative of the police must be present.  Often he sat on the
platform.  It is amusing for the visitor from a free country to
attend a political meeting where the chairman, speaker and
policeman file up on the stage to occupy the three chairs reserved
for them.  The policeman may be heard by those in the front rows
continually cautioning the speaker.  If he thinks the speaker is
talking too freely he either intervenes through the chairman and
asks him to be moderate or dismisses the meeting.

These regulations, I again remind the reader, were in force in
peace time.  It is easy to see how an extension of them effectually
checks attempts of the Czechs (Bohemians) and other peoples to
legislate themselves into a little freedom.

When I came to England early in the war from Austria-Hungary and
Germany I heard many expressions of hope that the discontented
races in the Empire of Francis Joseph would rebel, and later
expressions of surprise that they did not.  Englishmen held the
opinion that such races would be decidedly averse from fighting for
the Hapsburgs.  The opinion was correct, and nobody knew this
better than the Hapsburgs themselves.

Like the German Government in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, the
Austrian Government has endeavoured to mislead public opinion in
foreign countries as to the state of mind of the Czechs by false
information and to conceal the true military and political
situation from the population at home.  Austria's first problem at
the outbreak of war--a problem which has been worked out to the
last detail--was rapidly to move the soldiers of the subjugated
races from their native lands.  Since the Bosnians, for example,
are of the Serbian race, they were mobilised secretly in the middle
of July and sent out of Bosnia.  I saw 30,000 moved through Trieste
several days before war was declared on Serbia.  A German
acquaintance, with great shipping interests, enthusiastically
indiscreet at sight of them, exclaimed to the little group of which
I was one: "A wonderful system--a wonderful system!  The Bosnians
could not be trusted to fight the Serbs.  But we Germans can use
them if they prove troublesome to Austria," he continued excitedly.
"We can send them against the French.  We will tell them that if
they do not shoot the French, we will shoot _them_."  I thought
this a rather curious conversation for July 25th, 1914.

Less than fortnight later I saw two Bohemian regiments arrive at
Prasso, Transylvania, the province farthest removed from their
homes, to be garrisoned in a region, the population of which is
Rumanian, Hungarian and Saxon.  I was told later that the Rumanians
who had left the garrisons at Prasso had gone to Bohemia.  As I
observed these initial steps in the great smooth-running
Austro-Hungarian military machine, I was impressed with the
impossibility of revolution.  With the soldier element
scientifically broken up and scattered all over the country, who
could revolt--the women and children?

The Slav soldiers of Austria-Hungary desert to Russia at every
opportunity.  The fact that she now has upwards of 1,200,000
Austro-Hungarian prisoners is sufficient refutation of the
sugar-coated propaganda describing how all the peoples who make up
Austria-Hungary rushed loyally and enthusiastically to arms to the
defence of their Emperor and common country.  This is perfectly
true of the politically dominant races, the Germans and the
Magyars, but the "enthusiasm" I witnessed among the subjugated
races consisted chiefly of sad-faced soldiers and weeping women.

The Bohemians have given most trouble.  One German officer who was
sent to Austria to help bolster up her army told me that he didn't
worry over the desertion of Bohemians singly and in small groups.
He expected that.  But he did take serious exception to the
increasingly popular custom of whole battalions with their officers
and equipment passing over to the Russian lines intact.

The story of the Bohemian regiment trapped in the Army of Leopold
of Bavaria is generally known in Austria.  When the staff learned
that this regiment planned to cross to the Russians on a certain
night, three Bavarian regiments, well equipped with machine-guns,
were set to trap it.  Contrary to usual procedure, the Bohemians
were induced by the men impersonating the Russians to lay down
their arms as an evidence of good faith before crossing.  The whole
regiment was then rounded up and marched to the rear, where a
public example was made of it.  The officers were shot.  Then every
tenth man was shot.  The Government, in order to circumvent any
unfavourable impression which this act might make in Bohemia,
caused to be read each day for three days in the schools a decree
of the Emperor, condemning the treachery of this regiment, the
number of which was ordered for ever to be struck from the military
rolls of the Empire.

During the terrific fighting at Baranowitchi in the great Russian
offensive last summer, at a time when the Russians repeatedly but
unsuccessfully stormed that important railway junction, some
Prussian units found their right flank unsupported one morning at
dawn, because two Bohemian battalions had changed flags during the
night.  The next Russian attack caused the Prussians to lose 48 per
cent. of their men.

This was the final straw for the Staff of Leopold's Army.  An Order
was issued explaining to the troops that henceforth no more Czechs
would have the honour of doing first line duty, since their courage
was not of as high a degree as that of the others.  I found that
the Prussians, despite their depleted state, actually believed this
explanation, which filled them with pride in themselves and
contempt for the Czechs.

But the German officers in charge of reorganising the
Austro-Hungarian Army were not content to let Bohemians perform
safe duties in the rear.  Consequently, they diluted them until no
regiment contained more than 20 per cent.

The authorities have been no less thorough with the civilian
population.  From the day of mobilisation all political life was
suspended.  The three parties of the Opposition, the Radicals, the
National-Socialists, and the Progressives, were annihilated and
their newspapers suppressed.   Their leaders, such men as Kramarzh,
Rasin, Klofatch, Scheiner, Mazaryk, Durich, the men who served as
guides to the nation, were imprisoned or exiled.  This is surely a
violation of the principle that Governments derive their just
powers from the consent of the governed, for all these men were the
true representatives of the people.  The fact that the Government
was obliged to get rid of the leaders of the nation shows what the
real situation in Bohemia is.

The Czech deputies who were considered dangerous, numbering forty,
were mobilised.  They were not all sent to the front; some were
allowed temporary exemption; but the Government gave them to
understand that the slightest act of hostility towards the Monarchy
on their part would result in their being called up immediately and
sent to the front.

The fetters of the Press were drawn more tightly.  Even the German
papers were not allowed into Bohemia.  For some months, two or
three enterprising editors used to send a representative to Dresden
to read the German and English papers there.  At present
three-quarters of the Czech papers and all the Slovak newspapers
have been suppressed.  The columns of those which are still allowed
to appear in Bohemia and Moravia are congested by mandates of the
police and the military authorities, which the editors are
compelled to insert.  Recently the Government censorship has been
particularly active against hooks, collections of national songs,
and post-cards.  It has even gone so far as to confiscate
scientific works dealing with Slav questions, Dostoyevski's novels,
the books of Tolstoi and Millioukoff, and collections of purely
scientific Slav study and histories.

The Government, however, have had to proceed to far greater
lengths.  By May, 1916, the death sentences of civilians pronounced
in Austria since the beginning of the war exceeded 4,000.  Of
these, 965 were Czechs.  A large proportion of the condemned were
women.  The total of soldiers executed amounts to several thousands.

Is it not peculiar that among people which the Viennese propaganda
represents as loyal, hostages are taken in Bohemia, and condemned
to death, under the threat of execution if a popular movement takes
place?  The people are told of this and are given to understand
that the hostages have hopes for mercy if all is quiet.

Not only have the authorities confiscated the property of all
persons convicted of political offences and of all Czechs who have
fled from Austria-Hungary, but a system has been established by
which the property of Czech soldiers who are prisoners in Russia is
confiscated.  The State profits doubly by this measure, for it
further suppresses the allowances made to the families of these
soldiers.  In order to terrorise its adversaries through such
measures, the Government instructs the Austrian newspapers to
publish long lists of confiscations and other penalties.

After a time, however, the Austrian Government practically
abdicated in favour of the Prussians and now undertake to carry out
the measures of Germanisation dictated by Berlin.  The rights in
connection with the use of the Czech language in administration, in
the Law Courts and on the railways, rights which were won by the
desperate efforts of two generations of Czech politicians, have
been abrogated.  The management of the railways has been placed in
the hands of Prussian military officials; the use of the Czech
language has been suppressed in the administration, where it had
formerly been lawful.  The Czechs have been denied access to the
Magistrature and to public offices where they had occasionally
succeeded in directing the affairs in their own country.



CHAPTER XVII

SPIES AND SEMI-SPIES

A comprehensive account of the German system of espionage would
need something resembling the dimensions of a general
encyclopaedia, but for the present I must endeavour to summarise
the subject in the course of a chapter.

Spying is just as essential an ingredient of Prussian character as
conceit, indifference to the feelings of others, jealousy, envy,
self-satisfaction, conceit, industry, inquisitiveness, veneration
for officialdom, imitativeness, materialism, and the other national
attributes that will occur to those who know Prussia, as distinct
from the other German States.

Prussian men and women hardly know the meaning of the word
"private," and, as they have Prussianised to a great or less degree
all the other States of the Empire, they have inured the German to
publicity from childhood upwards.

In the enforcement of food regulations the hands of the Government
in Germany are strengthened by certain elements in the German
character, one of which is the tendency of people to spy upon each
other.  Here is a case.  Last Easter the customary baking of
cakes--a time-honoured ceremony in Germany---was forbidden all over
Prussia from April 1 to 26.  A certain good woman of Stettin, whose
husband was coming home from the trenches, thought that she would
welcome her soldier with one of the cakes of which German men and
women are so fond.  She foolishly displayed her treasure to a
neighbour, who had dropped in for gossip.  The neighbour cut short
the interview, went home to her telephone, called up the police
and, as she put it, did her duty.  I suppose from the German point
of view it is the duty of people to spy in each other's houses.
From an Anglo-Saxon point of view it is something rather like
sneaking at school.

With these elements in their character, it is natural that the
Germans should be past masters in the art of espionage.  It does
not follow that they are equally successful in the deductions
formed from their investigations in foreign matters, but they are
so egoistical and so literal, so fond of making reports, so fond of
seeing things only from their own point of view, that, while they
may be successful in obtaining possession by spying, purchase, or
theft, of the plans, say, of a new battleship, they are not able to
form an accurate estimate of the character and intentions of the
people among whom they may be spying.

Their military spying is believed to be as perfect as such work can
be, marred occasionally by the contempt they feel for other nations
in military matters.  I presume that there is not much difference
in the systems of various nations except that the German military
spying is probably more thorough.

It is also true that Germans of social distinction will often take
positions far beneath their rank in order to gather valuable
information for their Government.  The case of the hall porter in
the _Hotel des Indes_, the most fashionable hotel in The Hague, is
a notorious example.  He is of gentle birth, a brother of Baron von
Wangenheim, late German Ambassador to Constantinople.

In one of the most luxurious dining-saloons on one of the most
luxurious of the great German liners--I promised my trustworthy
informant not to be more definite--the man who was head-waiter
during the year preceding the war impressed those under him with
being much more interested in some mysterious business ashore than
in his duties aboard ship.  He threw most of his work on
subordinates, who complained, though unsuccessfully, to the
management.  Unlike other head-waiters and chief stewards, he was
never aboard the ship when it was in port.  He was the only German
in the dining-saloon, and he seemed to have great influence.  He
conversed freely with influential passengers of various
nationalities.

The liner was in the English Channel eastward bound, when news came
that Germany had declared war upon Russia.  What little interest he
had previously displayed in his duties now vanished completely, and
he paced the deck more and more impatiently as the vessel neared
Cuxhaven.  He was one of the first to go ashore, but before leaving
he turned to two of the stewards and exclaimed, "Good-bye.  I am
going to Wilhelmshaven to take command of my cruiser."

In general, the work of military attaches of all countries is added
to by more or less formal reports by officers who may be travelling
on leave.  But German military spying goes much farther than this,
for inasmuch as most Germans have been soldiers, the majority of
Germans travelling or resident in a foreign country are trained
observers of military matters and, often act as semi-spies.

The system of "sowing" Germans in foreign countries, as I have
heard it called in Germany, and getting them naturalised, was begun
by Prussia before the war of 1866 against Austria.  It was so
successful under the indirect auspices of the Triumvirate--Moltke,
Roon, and Bismarck--that it was developed in other countries.  Thus
it is that, while there are comparatively few Frenchmen, for
example, naturalised in England, many German residents go through
this more or less meaningless form just as suits their particular
business or the German Government, double nationality being
regarded as a patriotic duty to the Fatherland.

There are, as a rule, three schools of German espionage in other
countries--the Embassy, the Consulates, and the individual spies,
who have no connection with either and who forward their reports
direct to Germany.

There is a fourth class of fairly well-paid professional spies, men
and women, of all classes, who visit foreign countries with letters
of introduction, who attend working-men's conventions, scientific,
military, and other industrial congresses, receiving from 40 pounds
to 100 pounds monthly by way of pay.  The case of Lody, whom the
British caught and executed, was a type of the patriotic officer
spy.  But his execution caused no real regret in Germany, for he
was regarded as a clumsy fellow, who roused the vigilance of the
British authorities, with the result, I was informed in Germany, of
the arrest and execution of several others, mostly, it is said,
Dutch, South American, and other neutrals.

The atmosphere of spying in business is a subtle and comparatively
modern form of German espionage, and has developed with the
remarkable rise of German industry in the last quarter of a
century.  It fits in admirably with the Consular spy system, and
links up Germans, naturalised and otherwise, in a chain which binds
them together in a solidarity of workers for the cause.  The
Deutsche Bank and the Hamburg-Amerika Line were very potent engines
of espionage.

Nor does the "Viktoria Insurance Company of Berlin" limit its
activities to the kind of business suggested by the sign over the
door.  A "Special Bureau" in the Avenue de l'Opera, Paris,
consisted of German Reserve officers who spent a half-year or more
in France.  As soon as one of these "finished his education" he was
replaced by another Reserve officer.  Their duties took them on
long motor-trips through eastern France, strangely enough to
localities which might be of strategic importance in the event of
war.  It is not without significance that all the clerks of the
"Special Bureau" left for Germany the day of mobilisation.

Many of the semi-spies of the German commercial, musical, and
theatrical world are, from their point of view, honest workers and
enthusiastic for German _Kultur_.  They recently fastened upon
England, because the Germans for many years have been taught to
regard this country as their next opponent.

They are now as industrious in the United States as they were in
England before the war, because those Germans who think they have
won the war believe that the United States is their next enemy.
How active they have been in my country may be gathered from the
revelations concerning Bernstorff, von Papen, Boyed, Dumba, the
officials of the Hamburg-Amerika Line, and many others, whose
machinations have been revealed by the _New York World_ and other
journals.

It is the duty of the German Minister and his staff in any foreign
country, and particularly in countries likely to become hostile, to
get as close as possible to members of Governments, members of
Legislatures, leaders of thought and society, and members of the
Press, especially the first and the last in this category.  Count
Bernstorff in the United States did exactly what Prince Lichnowsky
did in Britain before the war, and, if I may say so, did it a great
deal more successfully, though it is the plea of the Prince's
defenders that he succeeded in making very powerful and permanent
connections in Great Britain,

Our American Ambassadors, on the other hand, confine their
attention to strictly ambassadorial work, attend to the needs of
travelling Americans, and communicate with their Government on
matters vital to American interests.

The excellent German Consular system, which has done so much to
help German trade invaders in foreign countries, is openly a spy
bureau, and is provided in almost every important centre with its
own secret service fund.  Attached to it are spies and semi-spies,
hotel-keepers, hairdressers, tutors, governesses, and employees in
Government establishments, such as shipbuilding yards and armament
factories.  It is a mistake to suppose that all these are Germans.
Some, I regret to say, are natives of the laud in which the Germans
are spying, mostly people who have got into trouble and with whom
the German agents have got into touch.  Such men, especially those
who have suffered imprisonment, have often a grudge against their
own country and are easily caught in the spy net.

Part of the system in England before the war was a commercial
information bureau resembling the American Bradstreets and the
English Stubbs, by which, on payment of a small sum, the commercial
standing of any firm or individual can be obtained.  This bureau,
which had its branches also in France and Belgium, closed its
activities immediately prior to the war, the whole of the
card-indexes being removed to Berlin.

It is the German boast, and I believe a legitimate one, that they
know England better than do the English.  _Their error is in
believing that in knowing England they know the English themselves_.

At the outset of the war, when the Germans were winning, Herr
Albert Ulrich, of the Deutsche Bank, and chief of their Oil
Development Department, speaking in perfect English, told me in a
rather heated altercation we had in regard to my country that he
knew the United States and Great Britain very thoroughly indeed,
and boasted that the American submarines, building at Fore River,
of which the Germans had secured the designs, would be of little
value in the case of hostilities between Germany and the United
States, which he then thought imminent.

It is typical of German mentality that when I met him in Berlin,
fifteen months later, he had completely altered his time as to the
war, and his tone was, "When is this dreadful war going to end?"
This, however, is by the way.  Herr Ulrich is only an instance of
the solidarity of Pan-Germanism.  An English or American banker
visiting a foreign country attends to his affairs and departs.  A
German in a similar position is a sort of human ferret.  An hotel
with us is a place of residence for transient strangers.   The
Hotel Adlon and others in Berlin are excellent hotels as such, but
mixed up with spying upon strangers; Herr Adlon, senior, a friend
of the Kaiser's, assists the Government spies when any important or
suspicious visitor registers.  The hotel telephones or any other
telephones are systematically tapped.  German soldiers are granted
special leave for hotel service--that is to say, hotel spying.

When Belgium and France were invaded, German officers led their men
through particular districts to particular houses with certainty,
with knowledge gained by previous residence and spying.  I know an
officer with von Kluck's army who received the Iron Cross, First
Class, for special information he had given to von Kluck which
facilitated his progress through Belgium.

Any German spies who may be working in England to-day have no great
difficulty in communicating with Germany, though communication is
slow and expensive.  They can do so by many routes and many means.
As it is impossible to isolate Great Britain from Europe, it is
equally impossible to prevent the conveyance of information to the
enemy with more or less rapidity.  Agents of the various
belligerent Powers are plentiful in Switzerland, Holland, Denmark,
Norway and Sweden, and the United States.  So far as the maritime
countries are concerned, ships leave and enter daily.  It is quite
impossible to control the movements of neutral sailors and others
engaged in these vessels.  To watch all the movements of all those
men would require a detective force of impossible dimensions.  That
information comes and goes freely by these channels is notorious.
That all the sailors are legitimate sailors I do not believe, and
as a matter of fact I know that they are not.

The transmission of documents via Switzerland, Holland, Denmark,
Sweden, and Norway has been rendered difficult, but not always
impossible.  Cabling and telegraphing have been made very risky.

Judging by the impatience manifested in certain quarters in Berlin
at delay in getting news of Zeppelin raids, for example, I believe
that the steps taken to delay communication between England and
Germany have been effective, and delay in spy work is very often
fatal to its efficiency.  The various tentacles of the German spy
system, its checks and counter-checks, whereby one spy watches
another; whereby the naval spy system has no connection with the
military spy system, and the political with neither, greatly mars
its utility.

Take one great question--the question that was all-important to
Germany as to whether Great Britain would or would not enter the
war in the event of an invasion of Belgium or declaration of war
against France.  I was informed on good Berlin authority that from
every part of Great Britain and Ireland came different reports.
So far as London was concerned, Prince Lichnowsky said "No."  Baron
von Kuhlmann was non-committal.  As a result Lichnowsky was
disgraced and von Kuhlmann continued in favour.

It is common knowledge in Berlin, and may be elsewhere, that the
most surprised person in Germany at Great Britain's action was the
Kaiser, whose violent and continual denunciations of Great
Britain's Government, of King Edward, and King George, are repeated
from mouth to mouth in official circles with a sameness that
indicates accuracy.

All the ignorance of Great Britain's intentions in 1914 is to me
the best proof that the German minute system of working does not
always produce the result desired.

As one with Irish blood in my veins, I found that Germany's Irish
spy system (largely conducted by hotel waiters and active for more
than five and twenty years) had resulted in hopeless
misunderstanding of Irish affairs and Irish character, North and
South.

German spies are as a rule badly paid.  The semi-spies, such as
waiters, were usually "helped" by the German Government through
waiters' friendly societies.  It was the duty of these men to
communicate either in writing or verbally with the Consul, or with
certain headquarters either in Brussels or Berlin, and it is only
in accordance with human nature that spies of that class, in order
to gain a reputation for acumen and consequent increase of pay,
provided the kind of information that pleased the paymaster.  That,
indeed, was one of the causes of the breakdown of the German
political spy system.  A spy waiter or governess in the County of
Cork, for instance, who assiduously reported that a revolution
throughout the whole of Ireland would immediately follow Great
Britain's entry into the war, received much more attention than the
spy waiter in Belfast who told the authorities that if Germany went
to war many Irishmen would join England.  Ireland, I admit, is very
difficult and puzzling ground for spy work, but it was ground
thoroughly covered by the Germans according to their methods.

The military party in Germany, who are flaying von Bethmann-Hollweg
for his ignorance of the intentions of Britain's Dominions and of
Ireland, never cease to throw in his teeth the fact that he had
millions of pounds (not marks) at his hack to make the necessary
investigations, and that he failed.  That and his lack of the use
of ruthlessness, his alleged three days' delay to mobilise in 1914,
are the principal charges against him--charges which, in my
opinion, may eventually result in his downfall.

The great mob of semi-spies do not derive their whole income from
Germany, nor are they, I believe, all actually paid at regular
intervals.  The struggling German shopkeeper in England was helped,
and I have no doubt is still helped, by occasional sums received
for business development--sums nominally in the nature of donations
or loans from other Germans.  The army of German clerks, who came
to England and worked without salary between 1875 and 1900,
received, as a rule, their travelling money and an allowance paid
direct from Germany, or, when in urgent need, from the Consul in
London or elsewhere.  Their spying was largely commercial, although
many of them formed connections here which became valuable as
Germany began to prepare directly for war with Britain.  They also
helped to spread the knowledge of the English language which has
enabled Germany to analyse the country by means of its books,
Blue-books, statistical publications, and newspapers.  They also
brought back with them topographical and local knowledge that
supplemented the military spy work later achieved by the German
officers who came to live here for spying purposes, and the great
army of _trained_ spy waiters, who are not to be confused with the
semi-spies in hotels, who drew small sums from Consuls.

One of the finest pieces of spy work achieved by Germany was the
obtaining by a German professor of a unique set of photographs of
the whole of the Scottish coast, from north to south.  Those
photographs showing every inlet and harbour, are now at the
Reichs-Marine-Amt (Admiralty) in the Leipsigerplatz.  They have
been reproduced for the use of the Navy.  I do not know how they
were obtained.  I _know_ they are in existence, and they were taken
for geological purposes.

Thefts of documents from British Government Departments are not
always successfully accomplished by German agents, I was told.
Some of the more astute officials are alleged, especially by the
Naval Department, to have laid traps and supplied the spies with
purposely misleading designs and codes.

Assiduous fishing in the troubled waters around the
Wilhelmstrasse--waters that will become more and more troubled as
the siege of Germany proceeds--renders the gathering of information
not so difficult as it might appear.

By sympathising with the critics of the German Foreign Office in
the violent attacks upon the Government by the non-official Social
Democrats, a sympathetic listener can learn a great deal.

One thing I learned is that, beyond question, the German spy
system, in that misty period called "after the war," will he very
completely revised.  The huge sums of money mentioned in the
Reichstag as having been expended on secret service have, so far as
England is concerned, proved of no political value, and the
topographical and personal knowledge gained would only be of
service in case of actual invasion and the consequent exactions of
ransoms from individuals, cities, and districts.



CHAPTER XVIII

THE IRON HAND IN ALSACE-LORRAINE

The state of affairs in Alsace-Lorraine is one of Germany's moat
carefully hidden secrets.

In the first months of the war I heard so much talk in
Germany--talk based upon articles in the Press--of how the
Alsatians, like the rest of the Kaiser's subjects, "rushed to the
defence of the Fatherland," that I was filled with curiosity to go
and see for myself if they had suddenly changed.  I could hardly
believe that they had, for I had studied conditions in the "lost
provinces" before the war.

Still, the Wilhelmstrasse propaganda was convincing millions that
the Alsatians received the French very coldly when they invaded the
province to Mulhouse, and that they greeted the German troops most
heartily when they drove back the invader.  Indeed, Alsatian
fathers were depicted as rushing into the streets to cheer the
German colours, while their wives and daughters "were so beside
themselves with joy that they hung upon the necks of the brave
German Michaels, hailing them as saviours."

A pretty picture of the appreciation of the blessings of German
rule, but was it true?

Some months later in Paris, when I stood in the Place de la
Concorde before the Monument of Strassburg, covered with new
mourning wreaths and a British flag now added, I felt an
irresistible yearning to visit the closely guarded region of
secrecy and mystery.

On my subsequent trip to Germany I planned and planned day after
day how I could get into Alsace and go about studying actual
conditions there.  When I told one American consul that I wished to
go to Strassburg to see things for myself, he threw up his hands
with a gesture of despair and reminded me that not an American or
other consulate was allowed in Alsace-Lorraine, even in peace time.
When I replied that I was determined to go he looked grave, and
said earnestly: "Remember that you are going into a damn bad
country, and you go at your own, risk."

It is extremely difficult for Germans, to say nothing of
foreigners, to enter the fortress-city of Strassburg.  Business
must be exceedingly urgent, and a military pass is required.  A
special pass is necessary to remain over night.

How did I get into Strassburg in war-time?

That is my own story, quite a simple one, but I do not propose to
tell it now except by analogy, in order not to get anybody into
trouble.

During my last voyage across the ocean, which was on the Dutch
liner _Rotterdam_, I went into the fo'castle one day to talk to a
stowaway, a simple young East Prussian lad, who had gone to sea and
had found himself in the United States at the outbreak of war.

"How on earth did you manage to pass through the iron-clad
regulations at the docks of Hoboken (New York) without a permit,
and why did you do it?" I asked.

"I was home-sick," he answered, "and I wanted to go back to Germany
to see my mother.  I got on board quite easily.  I noticed a
gentleman carrying his own baggage, and I said to him, 'Can I carry
your suitcases on board, sir?'"

Once on board his knowledge of ships told him how to hide.

Having myself stood for more than two hours on the quay in a long
and growling queue of passengers, I could not but be amused by the
simple device by which this country youth had outwitted the
stringent war embarkation regulations of war-time New York.  He was
in due course taken off by the British authorities at Falmouth, and
is now probably enjoying the sumptuous diet provided at the
Alexandra Palace or the Isle of Man.

Well, that is not exactly how I got into Strassburg, but I got in.

Night had fallen when I crossed the Rhine from Baden.  I was
conscious of an indescribable thrill when my feet touched the soil
so sacred to all Frenchmen, and I somehow felt as if I were walking
in fairyland as I pushed on in the dark.  I had good fortune,
arising from the fact that a great troop movement was taking place,
with consequent confusion and crowding.

On all sides from the surrounding girdle of forts the searchlights
swept the sky, and columns of weary soldiers tramped past me on
that four-mile road that led into Strassburg.  I kept as close to
them as possible with some other pedestrians, labourers returning
from the great electric power plant.

Presently I was alone on the road when suddenly a soldier lurched
from the shadows and accosted me.  I let him do the talking.  But
there was no need to be alarmed; he was only a drunken straggler
who had got separated from his company and wanted to know whether
any more troops were coming on.

I had already passed through two cordons of functionaries outside,
and felt little fear in Strassburg itself, so long as I was duly
cautious.  I had thought out my project carefully.  I realised that
I must sleep in the open; for, unprovided with a pass it was
impossible for me to go to an hotel.  Thankful that I was familiar
with my surroundings I wended my way to the beautiful park, the
Orangerie, where I made myself comfortable in a clump of bushes and
watched the unceasing flash of searchlights criss-cross in the sky
until I fell asleep.

Next day I continued my investigations, but in Alsace as elsewhere
my personal adventures are of no importance to the world unless, as
in some instances, they throw light on conditions or are necessary
to support statements made, whereas the facts set down belong to
the history of the war.  Therefore I shall here summarise what I
found in the old French province.

The Germans have treated Alsace-Lorraine ruthlessly since the
outbreak of war is no part of the Empire is the iron hand so
evident.  In Strassburg itself all signs of the French have
disappeared.  Readers who know the place well will remark that they
were vanishing before the war.  Externally they have now gone
altogether, but the hearts and spirit of the people are as before.

What I saw reminded me of the words of a Social Democrat friend in
Berlin, who told me that the Prussian Government determined, at the
beginning of the war that they would have no more Alsace-Lorraine
problem in the future.

They have, therefore, sent the soldiers from these two provinces to
the most dangerous places at the various fronts.  One Alsace
regiment was hurled again and again at the old British Army on the
Yser in November, 1914, until at the end of a week only three
officers and six men were left alive.  Some of the most perilous
work at Verdun, was forced upon the Alsatians.

The Prussian authorities deliberately retain with the colours
Alsatians and Lorrainers unfit for military service, and wounded
men are not allowed to return to their homes.

In the little circle to which I was introduced in Strassburg I
talked with one sorrowing woman, who said that her son, obviously
in an advanced state of tuberculosis, had been called up in spite
of protests.  He died within three weeks.  Another young man,
suffering from haemorrhage of the lungs, was called up.  He was
forced to stand for punishment all one winter's day in the snow.
In less than two months a merciful death in a military hospital
released him from the Prussian clutch.

The town of Strassburg is a vast hospital.  I do not think I have
ever seen so many Red Cross flags before.  They waved from the
Imperial Palace, the public library, the large and excellent
military hospitals, the schoolhouses, hotels, and private
residences.  The Orangerie is thronged with convalescent wounded,
and when hunger directed my steps to the extensive Park Restaurant
I found it, too, converted into a hospital.  Even the large concert
room was crowded with cots.

The glorious old sandstone Cathedral, with its gorgeous facade and
lace-like spire, had a Red Cross flag waving over the nave while a
wireless apparatus was installed on the spire.  Sentries paced
backwards and forwards on the uncompleted tower, which dominates
the region to the Vosges.

The whole object of Prussia is to eliminate every vestige of French
influence in the two provinces.  The use of the French language,
whether in speech or writing, is strictly forbidden.  To print,
sell, offer for sale, or purchase anything in French is to commit a
crime.  Detectives are everywhere on the alert to discover
violations of the law.  All French trade names have been changed to
their German equivalents.  For example, the sign _Guillaume Rondee,
Tailleur_, has come down, and if the tradesman wants to continue in
his business _Wilhelm Rondee, Schneider_, must go up.  He may have
a quantity of valuable business forms or letter-heads in
French--even if they contain only one French word they must be
destroyed.  And those intimate friends who are accustomed to
address him by his first name must bear in mind that it is
_Wilhelm_.

Eloise was a milliner at the outbreak of the war.  Today, if she
desires to continue her business, she is obliged to remove the
final "e" and thus Germanise her name.

After having been fed in Berlin on stories of Alsatian loyalty to
the Kaiser, I was naturally puzzled by these things.   If Guillaume
had rushed into the street to cheer the German colours when the
French were driven back, and Eloise had hung upon the neck of the
German Michael, was it not rather ungrateful of the Prussians
subsequently to persecute them even to the stamping out of their
names?  Not only that, but to be so efficient in hate that even
inscriptions on tombstones may no longer be written in French?

Alsace-Lorraine is to be literally _Elsass-Lothringen_ to the last
detail.

The truth of the matter is that the Alsatians greeted the French as
deliverers and were depressed when they fell back.   This, as might
be expected, exasperated Prussia, for it was a slap in the face for
her system of government by oppression.  Thus, at the very time
that the _Nachrichtendienst_ (News Service) connected with the
Wilhelmstrasse was instructing Germans and neutrals that the
Alsatians' enthusiastic reception of German troops was evidence of
their approval of German rule, the military authorities were
posting quite a different kind of notice in Alsace, a notice which
reveals the true story.


"During the transport of French prisoners of war a portion of the
populace has given expression to a feeling of sympathy for these
prisoners and for France.  This is to inform all whom it may
concern that such expressions of sympathy are criminal and
punishable, and that, should they again, take place, the persons
taking part in them will be proceeded against by court-martial, and
the rest of the inhabitants will be summarily deprived of the
privileges they now enjoy.

"All crowding around prisoners of war, conversations with them,
cries of welcome and demonstrations of sympathy of all kinds, as
well as the supply of gifts, is strictly prohibited.  It is also
forbidden to remain standing while prisoners are being conducted or
to follow the transport."


The result of the persecution of the French-speaking portion of the
population has been a boomerang for Prussia.  The Germans of the
region, most of whom never cared much for Prussia, are now bitterly
hostile to her, and thus it is that all citizens of Alsace, whether
French or German, who go into other parts of Germany are under the
same police regulations as alien enemies.

In order to permit military relentlessness to proceed smoothly
without any opposition, the very members of the local Parliament,
the Strassburg Diet, are absolutely muzzled.  They have been
compelled to promise not to criticise at any time, or in any way,
the military control; otherwise their Parliament will be closed.
As for the local Councils, they are not allowed to discuss any
political questions whatsoever.  A representative of the police is
present at every meeting to enforce this rule to the letter.

The people do not even get the sugared Reichstag reports, as does
the rest of Germany.  These are specially re-censored at Mulhouse.
The official reports of the General Staff are often days late, and
sometimes do not appear at all.  In no part of the war zone is
there so much ignorance about what is happening at the various
fronts as in the two "lost provinces."

Those who do not sympathise with Germany in her career of conquest
upon which she so joyfully and ruthlessly embarked in August, 1914,
may well point to Alsace-Lorraine as an argument against the
probability of other peoples delighting in the rule which she would
force upon them.

She has become more intolerant, not less, in the old French
provinces.  It will be recalled that by the Treaty of Frankfurt,
signed in March, 1871, they became a "Reichsland," that is, an
Imperial Land, not a self-governing State like Bavaria, Saxony, or
Wurttemberg.  As Bismarck bluntly and truly said to the Alsatian
deputies in the Reichstag: "It is not for _your_ sakes nor in
_your_ interests that we conquered you, but in the interests of the
Empire."

For more than forty years Prussia has employed every means but
kindness to Germanise the conquered territory.  But though she has
hushed every syllable of French in the elementary schools and
forced the children to learn the German language and history only;
though freedom of speech, liberty of the Press, rights of public
meeting, have been things unknown; though even the little children
playing at sand castles have been arrested and fined if in their
enthusiasm they raised a tiny French flag, or in the excitement of
their mock contest cried "Vive la France!"; though men and women
have been fined and thrown into prison for the most trifling
manifestations that they had not become enthusiastic for their
rulers across the Rhine; and though most of the men filling
Government positions--and they are legion--are Prussians, the
Alsatians preserve their individuality and remain uncowed.

Having failed in two score of years to absorb them by force,
Prussia during the war has sought by scientific methods carried to
any extreme to blot out for ever themselves and their spirit.

To do the German credit, I believe that he is sincere when he
believes that his rule would be a benefit to others and that he is
genuinely perplexed when he discovers that other people do not like
his regulations.  The attitude which I have found in Germany
towards other nationalities was expressed by Treitschke when he
said, "We Germans know better what is good for Alsace than the
unhappy people themselves."

The German idea of how she should govern other people is an
anachronism.  This idea, which I have heard voiced all over
Germany, was aptly set forth before the war by a speaker on "The
Decadence of the British Empire," when he sought to prove such
decadence by citing the fact that there was only one British
soldier to every 4,000 of the people of India.  "Why," he
concluded, "Germany has more soldiers in Alsace-Lorraine alone than
Great Britain has in all India."

That is a bad spirit for the world, and it is a bad spirit for
Germany.  She herself will receive one great blessing from the war
if it is hammered out of her.



CHAPTER XIX

THE WOMAN IN THE SHADOW

The handling of the always difficult question of the eternal
feminine was firmly tackled by the German Government almost
immediately after the outbreak of war.

To understand the differences between, the situation here and in,
Germany it is necessary first to have a little understanding of the
German woman and her status.  With us, woman is treated as
something apart, something on a pedestal.  In Germany and in
Austria the situation is reversed.  The German man uses his home as
a place to eat and sleep in, and be waited upon.  The attitude of
the German woman towards the man is nearly always that of the
obedient humble servant to command.  If a husband and wife are out
shopping it is often enough the wife who carries the parcels.  In
entering any public place the middle-class man walks first and the
wife dutifully follows.  When leaving, it is the custom for the man
to be helped with his coat before the woman.  Indeed, she is
generally left to shift for herself.

Woman is the under sex, the very much under sex, in Germany,
regarded by the man as his plaything or as his cook-wife and nurse
of his children; and she will continue to be the under sex until
she develops pride enough to assert herself.  She accepts her
inferiority without murmur; indeed, she often impresses one as
delighting in it.

It is no dishonour for a girl of the middle or lower class to have
a liaison with some admirer, particularly if he is a student or a
young officer; in fact, it is quite the proper thing for him to be
welcomed by her parents, although it is perfectly well understood
that he has not the slightest idea of marrying her.  The girls are
doing their part to help along the doctrine of free love, the
preaching and practice of which are so greatly increasing in the
modern German State.

After marriage the woman's influence in the world is nearly zero.
The idolatry of titles is carried to an extreme in Germany which
goes from the pathetic to the ludicrous.  One does not address a
German lady by her surname, as Frau Schmidt, but by her husband's
title or position, as Frau Hauptmann (Mrs. Captain), Frau Doktor,
Frau Professor, Frau Bakermeister (Mrs. Bakershopowner), or even
Frau Schornsteinfegermeister (Mrs. Master Chimneysweep), although
her husband may be master over only some occasional juvenile
assistant.  In military social functions, and they are of daily
occurrence in garrison towns, Mrs. Colonel naturally takes
precedence in all matters over the wives and daughters of other
members of the regiment.  Contemplate the joyful existence of a
vivacious American or British girl, accustomed to the respectful
consideration of the other sex, married to a young lieutenant and
ruled over by all the wives of his superior officers!

To try to marry money is considered praiseworthy and correct in
German military circles.  In Prussia a lieutenant in peace times
receives for the first three years 60 pounds a year, from the
fourth to the sixth year 85 pounds, from the seventh to the ninth
year 99 pounds, from the tenth to the twelfth year 110 pounds, and
after the twelfth year 130 pounds a year.  A captain receives from
the first to the fourth year 170 pounds, from the fifth to the
eighth year 230 pounds, and the ninth year and after 355 pounds.

Thus it is that no young lady, however ugly, need be without an
officer husband if she has money enough to buy one.  If he has not
a private income, the Government forbids him to marry until his pay
is sufficient.  That point is seldom reached before he is
thirty-five years of age.  Marriage helps him out of the
difficulty, and since the army is so deified in the Fatherland that
the highest ambition of nearly every girl is to marry an officer,
his opportunity of trading shoulder-knots for a dowry is excellent.

The efforts of some women to increase their fortune sufficiently to
enable them to invest in a military better-half are pathetic from
an Anglo-Saxon point of view.  One woman who requested an interview
with me said that as I was an American correspondent I might be
able to advise her how she could dispose of a collection of
autographs to some American millionaire.  She explained that her
financial condition was not so good as formerly, but she was
desperate to better it as she was in love with an officer, who,
although he loved her, would have to marry another if she could not
increase her income.  The autographs she showed me were from Prince
Henry of Prussia, Prince Bulow and other notables, and most of them
were signed to private letters.

Take the story of Marie and Fritz, both of whom I knew in a
garrison city in eastern Germany.  Nothing could illustrate better
the difference between the German attitude and our own on certain
matters.  She was a charming, lovable girl of nineteen engaged to
an impecunious young lieutenant a few years older.  They moved in
the best circle in the _Garnisonstadt_.

Two years after their engagement her father lost heavily in
business and could no longer afford to settle 5,000 pounds on her
to enable them to marry.

It mattered not; theirs was true love, and they would wait until
his pay was sufficient,

All went well until another girl, as unattractive as Marie was
charming, decided that she would try to buy Fritz as a husband.
After four months of her acquaintance he found time at the end of a
day's drill to write a few lines informing the young lady, nine
years of whose life he had monopolised, of his intention to marry
the new rival.  Life became black for Marie, the more as she
realised that she and Fritz had only to wait a little longer and
his pay would be sufficient.

How would Fritz be regarded in this country, and how was he
regarded according to German standards?  That is what makes the
story worth telling.  With us such a man as Fritz would have been
cut socially and there would have been great sympathy for the sweet
girl whose years had been wasted.  But on the other side of the
Rhine women exist solely for the comfort of men.  In militaristic
Germany Fritz lost not an iota of the esteem of his friends of
either sex; as for Marie, she had failed in a fair game, that was
all.  The girl's mother even excused his conduct by saying that he
was ambitious to get ahead in the army.  Like most of her sex in
Germany she has been reared to venerate the uniform so much that
anything done by the man who wears it is quite excusable.  Indeed,
Marie's mother still listens with respectful approval at
_Kaffeeklatsch_ to Fritz's mother when she boasts of what her son
is doing as a major over Turkish troops.

German women have many estimable qualities, but a proper amount of
independence and pride is noticeably foreign to their natures.  Is
it surprising that the American girl of German parents requires
only a very brief visit to the Fatherland to convince her that the
career of the _Hausfrau_ is not attractive.


On the whole, the efforts of the German woman have almost doubled
the national output of war energy.  Except in Berlin few are idle,
and these only among the newly-rich class.  The women of the upper
classes, both in Germany and Austria, are either in hospitals or
are making comforts for the troops.  Women have always worked
harder in Germany and at more kinds of work than in Britain or the
States, and what, judging by London illustrated papers, seems to be
a novelty--the engagement of women in agricultural and other
pursuits--is just the natural way of things in Germany.  It should
always be remembered, when estimating German man-power and German
ability to hold out, that the bulk of the work of civil life is
being done by prisoners and women.  A German woman and a prisoner
of war, usually a Russian, working side by side in the fields is a
common sight throughout Germany.

It is the boast of the Germans that their building constructions
are going on as usual.  I have myself seen plenty of evidence of
this, such as the grading of the Isar at Munich, the completion of
the colossal railway station at Leipzig, the largest in Germany,
the construction of the new railway station at Gorlitz, the
complete building since the war of the palatial Hotel Astoria at
Leipzig, also two gigantic new steel and concrete palaces in the
same city for the semi-annual fair, the erection of a new
Hamburg-America Line office building adjacent to the old one and
dwarfing it.  The slaughter-house annexes, contracted for in days
of peace, continue their slow growth, although Berlin has no
present need for such extension in these half-pound-of-meat-a-week
times.

The construction of the Nord-Sud Bahn of the underground railway,
for linking up the north and south sections of Berlin has proceeded
right along, the women down in the pit with picks and shovels doing
the heavy work of navvies.  That department of the German
Government whose duty it is to enlighten Neutrals is not too proud
of the fact, surprisingly enough.  An American kinematograph
operator, Mr. Edwards, of Mr. Hearst's papers, was desirous of
taking a film of these women navvies--heavy, sad creatures they
are.  The Government stepped in and suggested that, although they
had no objection to a personally conducted and posed picture--in
which the women would no doubt smile to order--they could not
permit the realities of this unwomanly task to be shown in the form
of a truth-telling moving picture.

German authorities are utilising every kind of woman.  The social
evil, against which the Bishop of London and others are agitating
in England, was effectively dealt with by the German authorities,
not only for the sake of the health of the troops, but in the
interests of munitions.   Women of doubtful character were first
told that if found in the neighbourhood of barracks or in cafes
they were liable to be arrested, and when so found were immediately
removed to their native places, and put into the nearest cartridge
filling or other shop.  The double effect has been an increased
output of munitions for the army and increased health for the
soldier, and such scenes as one may witness in Piccadilly or other
London streets at night have been effectively squelched by the
strong Prussian hand, with benefit to all concerned.

I am not speaking of German morals in general, which are notorious.
I merely state the practical way the Germans turn the women of the
street into useful munition makers.

The lot of the German woman has been much more difficult than the
lot of her sister in the Allied countries, for upon her has fallen
the great and increasing burden of the struggle to get enough to
eat for her household.  In practically all classes of Germany it
has been the custom of the man to come home from his work, whether
in a Government office, bank, or factory, for his midday meal,
usually followed by an hour's sleep.

The German man is often a greedy fellow as regards meals.  For him
special food is always provided, and the wife and children sit
round patiently watching him eat it.  He expects special food
to-day.  The soldier, of course, is getting it, and properly, but
the stay-at-homes, who are men over forty-five or lads under
nineteen, still get the best of such food as can be got.
Exceptions to the nineteen to forty-five rule are very few indeed.
National work in Germany means war work pure and simple, and now
the women are treated exactly as the men in this respect, except
that they will not be sent to the front.

In January, 1917, Germany at length began formally to organise the
women of the country to help in the war.  Each of the six chief
army "commands" throughout the Empire now has a woman attached to
it as Directress of the "Division for Women's Service." Hitherto,
as in England, war work by women has been entirely voluntary.  The
Patriotic Auxiliary Service (Mass Levy) Law is not compulsory so
far as female labour is concerned.  German women, however, having
proclaimed that they regard themselves liable for national service
under the spirit if not the letter of the law, it has finally been
decided to mobilise their services on a more systematic basis than
in the past.

None of the countless revolutions in German life produced by the
war outstrips in historical importance this official linking up of
women with the military machine.  Equally striking is the fact that
the directresses of Women's Service, who hold office in Berlin,
Breslau, Magdeburg, Coblenz, Konigsberg, and Karlsruhe, are all
feminist leaders and promoters of the women's emancipation
movement.  The directress for the Mark of Brandenburg (the
Berlin-Potsdam district) is an able Jewess named Dr. Alice Salomon,
who is one of the pioneers of the German women's movement.  The
main object of the "Women's Service" Department is to organise
female labour for munitions and other work from which men can be
liberated for the fighting line.

I have nothing but praise and admiration for the way in which the
German women have thrown themselves into this struggle.  Believing
implicitly as they have been told--and with the exception of the
lower classes, after more than two years of war, they believe
everything the Government tells them--that this war was carefully
prepared by "Sir Grey" (Lord Grey of Fallodon), "the man without a
conscience," as he is called in Germany, they feel that they are
helping to fight a war for the defence of their homes and their
children, and the cynics at the German Foreign Office, who
manufacture their opinions for them, rub this in in sermons from
the pastors, novels, newspaper articles, faked cinema films,
garbled extracts from Allied newspapers, books, and bogus
photographs, Reichstag orations by Bethmann-Hollweg, and the rest
of it, not forgetting the all-important lectures by the professors,
who are unceasing in their efforts all over Germany.

To show how little the truth of the war is understood by the German
women, I may mention an incident that occurred at the house of
people of the official class at which I was visiting one day.  The
eldest son, who was just back from the Somme trenches, suffering
from slight shell-shock, brought home a copy of a London
illustrated paper, which had been thrown across the trenches by the
English.  In this photograph there was a picture of a long
procession of German prisoners captured by the English.  The
daughter of the house, a well-read girl of nineteen, blazed up at
the sight of this photograph, and showed it to her mother, who was
equally surprised.  The son of the house remarked, "Surely you know
the English have taken a great many prisoners?"

His mother, realising her mistake, looked confused, and simply
said, "I didn't think."  In other words, the obvious fact that
Germans were sometimes captured had never been pointed out to her
by the Government, and most Germans are accustomed to think only
what they are officially told to think.

While there are an increasing number of doubters among the German
males as to the accuracy of statements issued by the Government, in
the class with which I mostly came into contact in Germany, the
women are blindfold and believe all they are told.  So strong, too,
is the influence of Government propaganda on the people in Germany
that in a town where I met two English ladies married to Germans,
they believed that Germany had Verdun in her grasp, had annihilated
the British troops (mainly black) on the Somme, had defeated the
British Fleet in the battle of Skagerrak (Jutland), and reduced the
greater part of the fortifications, docks, and munition factories
of London to ruins by Zeppelins.

Their anguish for the fate of their English relations was sincere,
and they were intensely hopeful that Britain would accept any sort
of terms of peace in order to prevent the invasion which some
people in Germany still believe possible.

At the beginning of the war the click of the knitting needle was
heard everywhere; shop-girls knitted while waiting for customers,
women knitted in trams and trains, at theatres, in churches, and,
of course, in the home.  The knitting is ceasing now for the very
practical reason that the military authorities have commandeered
all the wool for the clothing of the soldiery.  A further reason
for the stoppage of such needlework is the fact that women are
engaged in countless forms of definite war work.

Upon the whole it is beyond question that the German women are not
standing the losses as well as the British women.  I have been
honoured in England by conversations with more than one lady who
has lost many dear ones.  The attitude is quieter here than in
Germany, and is not followed by the peace talk which such events
produce in German households.

What surprises me in England is the fact that the word "peace" is
hardly ever mentioned anywhere, whereas in any German railway train
or tramcar the two dominant words are Friede (peace) and Essen
(food).  The peace is always a German idea of peace--for the
extreme grumblers do not talk freely in public--and the food talk
is not always the result of the shortage, but of the great
difficulty in getting what is to be obtained, together with the
increasing monotony of the diet.

It must not be supposed, however, that the life of feminine Germany
is entirely a gloomy round of duty and suffering.  Among the women
of the poor, things are as bad as they can be.  They are getting
higher wages than ever, but the food usury and the blockade rob
them of the increase.

The middle and upper classes still devote a good deal of time to
the feminine pursuits of shopping and dressing.  The outbreak of
war hit the fashions at a curious moment.  Paris had just abandoned
the tight skirt, and a comical struggle took place between the
Government and those women who desired to be correctly gowned.

The Government said, "In order to avoid waste of material, you must
stick to the tight skirt," and the amount of cloth allowed was
carefully prescribed.  Women's desire to be in the mode was,
however, too powerful for even Prussianism.  Copies of French
fashion magazines were smuggled in from Paris through Switzerland,
passed from dressmaker to dressmaker, and house to house, and
despite the military instructions and the leather shortage, wide
skirts and high boots began to appear everywhere,

This feminine ebullition was followed by an appeal from the
Government to abandon all enemy example and to institute new German
fashions of their own making.  Models were exhibited in shop
windows of what were called the "old and elegant Viennese
fashions."  These, however, were found to be great consumers of
material, and the women still continued to imitate Paris.

The day before I left Berlin I heard an amusing conversation in the
underground railway between two women, one of whom was talking
about her hat.  She told her friend that she found the picture of
the hat in a smuggled fashion paper, and had it made at her
milliner's and she was obviously very pleased with her taste.

The women in the munition factories, who number millions, wear a
serviceable kind of uniform overall.

The venom of the German women in regard to the war is quite in
contrast to the feeling expressed by English women.  They have read
a great deal about British and American women and they cordially
detest them.  Their point of view is very difficult to explain.
When I have told German women that in many States in my country
women have votes, their reply is, "How vulgar!"  Their attitude
towards the whole question of women's franchise is that it is a
form of Anglo-Saxon lack of culture and lack of authority.

The freedom accorded to English and American girls is entirely
misunderstood.  A Dutch girl who, in the presence of some German
ladies, expressed admiration for certain aspects of English
feminine life, was fiercely and venomously attacked by that
never-failing weapon, the German woman's tongue.  The poor thing,
who mildly expressed the view that hockey was a good game for
girls, and the fine complexions and elegant walk of English women
were due to outdoor sports, was reduced almost to tears.

The intolerance of German women is almost impossible to express.  I
know a case of one young girl, a German-American, whose parents
returned to Hamburg, who declined to repeat the ridiculous German
formula, "Gott strafe England," and stuck to her point, with the
result that she was not invited to that circle again.

To the cry "Gott strafe England" has been added "Gott strafe
Amerika," the latter being as popular with the German women as the
German men.  The pastors, professors, and the Press have told the
German women that their husbands and sons and lovers are being
killed by American shells.  A man who ought to know better, like
Prince Rupert of Bavaria, made a public statement that half of the
Allies' ammunition is American.  After the British and French
autumn offensive of 1915 the feeling against America on the part of
German women became so intense that the American flag had to be
withdrawn from the American hospital at Munich, although that
hospital, supported by German-American funds, has done wonderful
work for the German wounded.

Arguments with German women about the war are absolutely futile.
They follow the war very closely after their own method, and
believe that any defeats, such as on the Somme or Verdun, are
tactical rearrangements of positions, dictated by the wisdom of the
General Staff, and so long as no Allied troops are upon German soil
so long will the German populace believe in the invincibility of
its army.  I am speaking always of the middle and upper classes,
who are on the whole, but with increasing exceptions, as intensely
pro-war as the lower classes are anti-war.

The modern German Bible is the _Zeitung_ (the rough translation of
which is "newspaper") and German women are even more fanatical than
the men, if possible, in their worship of it.

On one occasion, when I candidly remarked that von Papen and Boy-Ed
came back to the Fatherland for certain unbecoming acts, some of
which I enumerated, a Frau Hauptmann jumped to her feet and, after
the customary brilliant manner of German argument, shrieked that I
was a liar.  She declared that their _Zeitung_ had said nothing
about the charges I mentioned, therefore they, were not true.  She
furthermore promised to report me to Colonel ------ at the
_Kriegsministerium_ (War Office), and she kept her word.

The neglect, and, in some cases refusal, to attend the British
wounded by German nurses are a sign both of their own intensity of
feeling in regard to the war and their entirely different
mentality.  Again and again I have heard German women say, "In the
event of a successful German invasion of England the women will
accompany the men, and teach the women of England that war is war."
Their remarks in regard to the women of my own country are equally
offensive.  Indeed, States that Germany regards as neutral, and who
are treated by the officially controlled German Press with a
certain amount of respect, are loathed by German women.  Their
attitude is that all who are not on their side are their enemies.
American women who are making shells for the British, French, and
Russians are just as much the enemies of Germany as the Allied
soldiers and sailors.  One argument often used is that to be
strictly neutral America should make no munitions at all, but it
would not be so bad, say the Germans, if half the American
ammunition went to Germany and half to the Allies.

I lost my temper once by saying to one elderly red-faced Frau,
"Since you have beaten the British at sea, why don't you send your
ships to fetch it?"  "Our fleet," she said, "is too busy choking
the British Fleet in its safe hiding places to afford time to go to
America.  You will see enough of our fleet one day, remember that!"

Summing up this brief and very sketchy analysis of German
femininity in the war, I reiterate views expressed on previous
visits to Germany, that German women are not standing the anxiety
of the war as well as those of France and Britain.

They have done noble work for the Fatherland, but the grumblings of
the lower third of the population are now such as have not been
heard since 1848.  German officials in the Press Department of the
Foreign Office try to explain the unrest away to foreign
correspondents like myself, but many thinking Germans are surprised
and troubled by this unexpected manifestation on the part of those
who for generations have been almost as docile and easily managed
as children.



CHAPTER XX

THE WAR SLAVES OF ESSEN

Essen, the noisiest town in the world, bulks largely in the
imagination of the Entente Allies, but "Essen" is not merely one
city.  It is a centre or capital of a whole group of arsenal towns.
Look at your map of Germany, and you will see how temptingly near
they are to the Dutch frontier.  Look at the proximity of Holland
and Essen, and you will understand the Dutch fear of Germany.  You
will grasp also the German fear, real as well as pretended, that
the battle of the Somme may one day be accompanied by a thrust at
the real heart of Germany, which, is Westphalia--Westphalia with
its coal and iron and millions of trained factory hands.

I saw when in Germany extracts from speeches by British politicians
in which the bombing of Essen by air was advocated.  Perhaps the
task would have been easier if the bombing had come first and the
speeches afterwards.  Forewarned, forearmed; and Essen is now very
much armed.

All German railroads seem to lead to this war monster.  Attached to
almost every goods train in Germany you will see wagons marked
"Essen--special train."  Wagons travel from the far ends of Austria
and into Switzerland, which is showing its strict neutrality by
making munitions for both sides.

On the occasion of my second visit to Essen during the war I
arrived at night.  It was before the time of the bombing speeches,
and, though it was well into the hours when the world is asleep,
the sky glowed red with a glare that could be seen for full thirty
miles.  My German companion glowed also, as he opened the carriage
window and bade me join him in a peep at what we were coming to.
"This is the place where we make the stuff to blow the world to
pieces," he proudly boasted.  "If our enemies could only see that
the war would be over."

I suggested that Essen was not the only arsenal.  There were, for
instance, Woolwich, Glasgow, Newcastle, Creusot, and in my own
strictly neutral country Bethlehem, Bridgeport, and one or two
other humble hamlets.  He brushed aside my remarks, "But we have
also here is this very region Dortmund, Bochum, Witten, Duisburg,
Krefeld, Dusseldorf, Solingen, Elberfeld and Barmen."

As we approached nearer, freight trains, military trains and
passenger trains were everywhere.  Officers and soldiers crowded
the station platforms, and though it was night the activity of
these Rhenish-Westphalian arsenal towns impressed me with the
belief that unless the British blockade can strictly exclude
essentials, such as copper and nickel, especially from their
roaring factories, the war will be needlessly protracted.

It is not necessary to be long in Rhineland and Westphalia to
realise that a shortage in these and other essentials is much more
disturbing to the heads of these wonderful organisations than the
fear of aerial bombs.

On the occasion of my first war-time visit to Essen it would have
been easy to have bombed it.  There is an old saying that a
shoemaker's children are the worst shod, and the display of
anti-aircraft guns which has since manifested itself was then
non-existent.   The town was ablaze.  It is still ablaze, but the
lighting has been cunningly arranged to deceive nocturnal visitors,
and any aeroplanes approaching Essen at a height of twelve or
fifteen thousand feet would find it hard to discover which was
Essen, and which Borbeck, and which was Steele.

Mulheim is easily found, because it is close to the River Ruhr.  We
had to halt a long time outside the station of Essen, so great was
the pressure of traffic.  The cordon surrounding the entrance to
the city is some distance away, and having passed that safely I had
no fear of being again interrogated.

I told the hotel manager that I was a travelling newspaper
correspondent, and should like to see as many as possible, of the
wonders of his town.  After praise of his hostelry, which, as the
sub-manager said, was too good for the Essenites, I set out on my
travels to see the sights of the city, foremost among them being
the regulation statue of William I.

It was easy to find Krupps, for I had only to turn my steps towards
the lurid panorama in the sky.  As I came nearer, not only my sense
of sight but my sense of hearing told me that Germany's great
arsenal was throbbing with unwonted life.  The crash and din of
mighty steam hammers and giant anvils, the flame and flash of
roaring blast furnaces, the rumbling of great railway trucks
trundling raw and finished products in and out, chimneys of dizzy
height belching forth monster coils of Cimmerian smoke, seem to
transport one from the prosaic valley of the Ruhr into the
deafening realm of Vulcan and Thor.  The impression of Krupps by
night is ineffaceable.  The very air exudes iron and energy.  You
can almost imagine yourself in the midst of a thunderous artillery
duel.  You are at any rate in no doubt that the myriad of hands at
work behind those carefully guarded walls are even more vital
factors in the war than the men in the firing line.  The blaze and
roar fill one with the overpowering sense of the Kaiser's limitless
resources for war-making.  For you must roll Sheffield and
Newcastle-on-Tyne and Barrow-in-Furness into one clanging whole to
visualise Essen-on-the-Ruhr.

In some way Essen is unlike any other town I have visited.  It has
its own internal network of railways, running to and from the
various branches of Krupps, and as the trains pass across the
streets they naturally block the traffic for some minutes.  They
are almost continuous and the pedestrians' progress is slow, but it
is exciting, for it is here that one realises what it means to be
at war with Germany.  If the resolution of the German people were
as rigid as the steel in the great cranes and rolling mills, the
Allied task would be impossible.

The brief noon-tide rush of the workpeople resembles our six
o'clock rush in America towards Brooklyn Bridge.  I can say no more
than that.  There is nothing like it in London.  The home-going
crowd round the Bank of England does not compare with the Essen
crowd, because the crowd at Essen is for a few minutes more
concentrated.  Old and young, men and women, refugees and prisoners
of several nationalities (I saw no British), Poles and Russians
predominating, grimy, worn, and weary, they pour out in a solid
mass, and cover the tramcars like bees in swarming time.  The
pedestrians gradually break up into little companies, most of them
going to Kronenberg and other model colonies founded by Frau
Krupp--"Bertha," as she is affectionately called throughout
Germany.  The highest honour the Germans can bestow upon her is to
name their 16-inch howitzer "Fat Bertha."  Frau Bertha Krupp, it
may be well to recall, was the heiress to the great Krupp fortune,
and on her marriage in 1906 to Herr von Bohlen und Halbach, a
diplomatist, he changed his name to Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach.

Though a private corporation with 12,500,000 pounds share capital
owned by the "Cannon Queen" and her family, it is to all intents
and purposes a Government Department just as Woolwich Arsenal is an
adjunct of the British War Office.  In the past, as the elaborate
centenary (1910) memorial proudly recites, fifty-two Governments
throughout the world have bought Krupp guns, armour, shells, and
warships, with Germany by far the biggest customer.

Out of the stupendous profits of war machines the Krupps have built
workpeople's houses that, as regards material comfort, would not be
easy to excel.  These houses are provided with ingenious
coal-saving stoves, that might well be copied elsewhere, for though
Essen is in the coal centre of Germany, they are just as careful
about coal as though it were imported from the other end of the
world.

Frau Bertha and her husband (a simple and modest man, who is, I was
informed, entirely in the hands of his specialists, and who has the
wisdom to let well alone) have put up a big fight with Batocki, the
food dictator.  The semi-famine had not reached its height when I
was in Essen, and the suffering was not great there.  A
munition-maker working in any of the Rhenish-Westphalian towns is
regarded by Germans as a soldier.  As the war has proceeded he has
been subject to continuous combing out.

The amount of food allowed to those engaged in these great
factories and rolling mills is, I estimate, 33 per cent. more than
that allowed to the rest of the civil population.  In all the
notices issued throughout Germany in regard to further food
restrictions, there is appended the line, "This change is necessary
owing to the need for fully supplying your brothers in the army and
the munition works."

Essen is a town that before the war had a population exceeding
300,000.  A conservative estimate makes the figure to-day nearly
half a million.  The Krupp Company employ about 120,000.  A
prevalent illusion is that Krupps confine their war-time effort
exclusively to making war material.  That is a mistake.  A
considerable part of Krupp's work is the manufacture of articles
which can be exchanged for food and other products in neighbouring
countries, thus taking the place of gold.  At Lubeck, I saw the
quays crowded with the products of Essen in the shape of steel
girders and other building machinery going to Sweden in exchange
for oil, lime from Gotland, iron ore, paper, wood, and food
products,

A mining engineer of the great mines at Kiruna, Lapland, told me
that he had just given an order for steam shovels from the
Westphalian manufacturers, who are also sending into Holland knives
and scissors and other cutlery and tools.

Germany's principal bargaining commodities with contiguous neutral
nations are steel building materials, coal, and dye-stuffs.  Coal
dug in Belgium by Belgian miners is a distinct asset for Germany,
when she exchanges it for Swiss cattle, Dutch cheese, and Swedish
wood.   When we consider that the great industrial combinations of
Rhineland and Westphalia are not only reaping enormous munition
profits, but supply the steel and coal which form the bulk of
German war-time exports, we can easily understand why some Social
Democrats grew dissatisfied because the all-powerful National
Liberals resisted a war profits tax for two years.  It is
noteworthy that several of the more outspoken German editors have
been suspended for attacking these profiteers.

I should qualify this statement of exports slightly by saying that
they pertained up to November, 1916.  The effort to put more than
ten million men into military uniform resulted not only in the
slave-raids in Belgium but in a concentration in munition output
that stopped further exports of steel products and coal on a large
scale.

We should always remember in this great war of machinery that
Germany secured a tremendous advantage at the expense of France at
the outset when she occupied the most important French iron region
of Longwy-Briey.  The Germans, as I previously observed, have been
working the French mines to the utmost--indeed, they boast that
they have installed improved machinery in them.  They have,
furthermore, been importing ore steadily from Sweden, some of the
Swedish ore, such as Dannemora, being the best in the world for the
manufacture of tool steel--so important in munition work.

Dusseldorf, probably the most attractive large manufacturing city
in the world, had planned an industrial exhibition for 1915 or
1916, and the steel skeletons of many of the buildings had already
been erected at the outbreak of war.  But the Germans immediately
set to work to tear down the steel frames to use them for more
practical purposes.  "We were going to call it a _German Fair_,"
said a native manufacturer to me early in the war; "but we can have
it later and call it a _World's Fair_, as the terms will be
synonymous."

Isolated near the Rhine is the immense reconstructed Zeppelin shed
which British airmen in November, 1914, partly destroyed, together
with the nearly completed Zeppelin within it.  The daring exploit
evidently work up the newly appointed anti-aircraft gunners, for
they subsequently annihilated two of their own machines approaching
from the West.

The badly paid war slaves of Essen are working the whole
twenty-four hours, seven days a week, in three shifts a day of
eight hours each, under strict martial law.  The town is a hotbed
of extreme Social Democracy, and as a rule the Socialists of
Westphalia are almost as red as those of the manufacturing
districts of Saxony.  But Socialists though they be, they are just
as anti-British as the rest of Germany, and they like to send out
their products with the familiar hall-mark of "Gott strafe
England," or "Best wishes for King George."  It is the kind of
Socialism that wants more money, more votes, less work, but has no
objection to plenty of war.  It is a common-sense Socialism, which
knows that without war Essen might shrink to its pre-war dimensions.

Essen is very jealous of the great Skoda works near Pilsen in
Austria.  My hotel manager spoke with some acerbity of the amount
of advertising the Austrian siege howitzers were receiving.  "You
can accept my assurance," he said, "that the guns for the
bombardment of Dover were made here, and not at the Skoda works, as
the Austrians claim."

Every German in Essen seems to feel a personal pride in the
importance of the works to the Empire at the fateful hour.  The
43-centimetre gun "which conquered Belgium"--as the native puts
it--is almost deified.  Everybody struts about in the consciousness
that he or she has had directly or indirectly something to do with
the murderous weapon which has wrought such death and glory in
Germany's name.  "The Empire has the men, Essen has the
armour-plate, the torpedoes, the shells, the guns.  It is the
combination which must win."  That is the spirit in Kruppville.



CHAPTER XXI

TOMMY IN GERMANY

One day the world will be flooded with some of the most dramatic,
horrible, and romantic of narratives--the life-stories of the
British soldiers captured in the early days of the war, their gross
ill-treatment, their escapes, and attempts at escape.  I claim to
be the only unofficial neutral with any large amount of
eye-witness, hand-to-hand knowledge of those poor men in Germany.

One of the most difficult tasks I assumed during the war was the
personal and unconducted investigation of British prisoners of war.
The visitor is only allowed to talk with prisoners when visiting
camps under the supervision of a guide.  My tramps on foot all over
Germany gave me valuable information on this as on other matters.

My task was facilitated by the Germany policy of showing the hated
British captives to as many people as possible; thus the 30,000 men
have been scattered into at least 600 prison camps.  In the
depleted state of the German Army it is not easy to find efficient
guards for so many establishments.  Prisoners are constantly being
moved about.  They are conveyed ostentatiously and shown at railway
stations en route, where until recently they were allowed to be
spat upon by the public, and were given coffee into which the
public were allowed to spit.  These are but a few of the slights
and abominations heaped upon them.  Much of it is quite unprintable.

Many a night did I lie awake in Berlin cogitating how to get into
touch with some of these men.  I learned something on a previous
visit in 1914, when I saw the British prisoners at one of the
camps.  At that time it was impossible to get into conversation
with them.  They were efficiently and continually guarded by
comparatively active soldiers.

On this occasion I came across my first British prisoner quite by
accident, and, as so often happens in life, difficult problems
settle themselves automatically.  In nothing that I write shall I
give any indication of the whereabouts of the sixty prisoners with
whom I conversed privately, but there can be no harm in my
mentioning the whereabouts of my public visit, which took place in
one of the regular neutral "Cook's tours" of the prisoners in
Germany.

The strain of my work in so suspicious a place as Berlin, the
constant care required to guard one's expressions, and the anxiety
as to whether one was being watched or not got on my nerves
sometimes, and one Sunday I determined to take a day off and go
into the country with another neutral friend.  There, by accident,
I came across my first private specimen of Tommy in Germany.

We were looking about for a decent Gasthaus in which to get
something to eat when we saw a notice high up in large type on a
wall outside an old farmhouse building, which read:--

  Jeder Verkehr der Zivilbevolkerung mit den
  Kriegsgefangenen ist STRENG VERBOTEN,

"Any intercourse of the civil population with the prisoners of war
is strictly forbidden."

These notices, which threaten the civilian population with heavy
penalties if they exchange any words with the prisoners, are
familiar all over Germany, but I did not expect to find them in
that small village.

My neutral friend thought it would make a nice photograph if I
would stand under the notice, which I did after a cautious survey
showed that the coast was clear.

As I did so a Russian came out of the barn and said, in rather bad
German, "Going to have your photograph taken?"  I replied, in
German, "Yes."

He heard me speaking English to my friend, and then, looking up and
down the street each way to see if we were being watched, he
addressed me in English with a strong Cockney accent.

"You speak English, then?" I said.

"I am English," he replied.  "I'm an English prisoner."

"Then what are you doing in a Russian uniform?"

"It is the only thing I could get when my own clothes wore out."
Keeping a careful eye up and down the street, he told us his story.
He was one of the old Expeditionary Force; was taken at Mons with
five bullet wounds in him, and, after a series of unpublishable
humiliations, had been drafted from camp to camp until he had
arrived at this little village, where, in view of the German policy
of letting all the population, see an Englishman, he was the
representative of his race in that community.  "The local M.P." he
called himself, in his humorous way.

Robinson Crusoe on his island was not more ignorant of the truth
about the great world than that man, for, while he had learnt a few
daily expressions in German, he was unable to read it.  The only
information he could gather was from the French, Belgian, and
Russian prisoners with him, and some he got by bribing one of the
Landsturm Guards with a little margarine or sugar out of his parcel
from England.  He was full of the battle of Mons and how badly he
and his comrades in Germany felt at the way they had been left
unsupported there.  None the less, though alone, with no Englishman
for miles, living almost entirely on his parcels, absolutely cut
off from the real facts of the war, hearing little but lies, he was
as calmly confident of the ultimate victory of the Allies as I am.

I asked him if he heard from home.

"Yes," he said, "now and then, but the folks tell me nothing and I
can tell them nothing.  If you get back to England you tell the
people there not to believe a word that comes from English
prisoners.  Those who write favourably do so because they have to.
Every truthful letter is burned by the military censor.  Tell the
people to arrange the parcels better and see that every man gets a
parcel at least once a week--not send five parcels to one man and
no parcels to some poor bloke like me who is alone.  How is the war
going on, guv'nor?" he asked.  I gave him my views.  "I think it's
going badly for the Germans--not by what they tell me here or what
I gets in that awful _Continental Times_ paper, but from what I
notice in the people round about, and the officers who visit us.
The people are not so abusive to the English as they used to be.
The superior officers do not treat us like dogs, as they did, and
as for the Landsturmers--well, look at old Heinrich here."

At that moment a heavy, shabby old Landsturm soldier came round the
corner, and the Cockney prisoner treated him almost as though he
were a performing bear.

"You're all right, ain't you, Heiny, so long as I give you a bit of
sugar now and then?" he said to his decrepit old guardian in his
German gibberish.

This state of affairs was a revelation to me, but I was soon to
find that if the British prisoners are weary of their captivity
their old German guardians are much more weary of their task.
These high-spirited British lads, whom two years of cruelty have
not cowed, are an intense puzzle to the German authorities.

"You see," remarked a very decent German official connected with
the military censorship department, "everyone of these Britishers
is different.  Every one of them sticks up for what he calls his
'rights': many of them decline to work on Sunday, and short of
taking them out on Sunday morning at the point of the bayonet we
cannot get them to do it.  We have to be careful, too, with these
Englishmen now.  As a man of the world, you will realise that
though our general public here do not know that the English have
captured many Germans lately, and the fact is never mentioned in
the _communiques_, we have had a hint from Headquarters that the
British prisoners may one day balance ours, and that hardship for
these _verfluchte Englander_ may result in hardship for our men in
England."

That incident was long ago.  It is important to relate that since
the beginning of the battle of the Somme there is, if I was
correctly informed, a marked improvement in the condition of
English prisoners all over Germany--not as regards food supplied by
the authorities, because the food squeeze naturally affects the
prisoners as it does their guardians, but in other ways.

In addition to the British capturing numbers of German hostages on
the Somme to hold against the treatment of their men in Germany, I
think I may claim without undue pride that much good work has been
done by the American Ambassador and his staff of attaches, who work
as sedulously on behalf of the prisoners as though those prisoners
had been American.

The German authorities hate and respect publicity and force in
matters not to their liking, and Mr. Gerard's fearlessness in
reports of conditions and urgent pleas for improvement have been of
great service.  All the threats and bluster of Germany have failed
to cow him.

To continue my narrative of the Cockney soldier in Russian uniform.
So many Englishmen are in Russian uniform, Belgian uniform, French
uniform, or a mix-up uniform that there is no possibility of my
Cockney Russian being recognised by the authorities, and the
photograph which my neutral friend took of him and me was taken
under the very eyes of his Landsturmer.

"Heiny," said the Russian Cockney, "is fed up with the war.  Aren't
you, old Heiny?  During the last few weeks a fresh call for more
men has cleared the district of everything on two legs.  We have
had to work fourteen hours a day, and I wonder what my mates at
home would think of 3 shillings pay for ten days' work?"

I was able to comfort him by giving him some cigars, and a great
deal of really true and good news about the war, all of which he
repeated to Landsturmer Heinrich.  I suggested that this might be
unwise.  "Not a bit of it," he said.  "Lots of these old Germans
are only too anxious to hear bad news, because they think that bad
news will bring the thing to a stop."

How true that remark was I knew from my minute investigations.  The
incident was closed by the distant appearence of a _Feldwebel_
(sergeant-major).  My Cockney vanished, and Heinrich patrolled
onward.

This particular incident is not typical of the life of a British
prisoner in Germany, but it is indicative of the position many of
the 30,000 prisoners have taken up by reason of their strong
individuality and extraordinary cheerfulness and confidence.  My
impression of them is of alert, resourceful men (their escapes have
been wonderful)--men who never know when they are beaten.  If
Britain has sufficient of these people she cannot possibly lose the
war.

      *      *      *      *      *

The world does not need reminders such as that of Wittenberg or of
such singularly accurate narratives as several in _Blackwood's
Magazine_ to know what _has_ happened to British prisoners in
Germany.

It is common knowledge throughout the German Empire that the most
loathsome tasks of the war in connection, with every camp or cage
are given to the British.  They have had to clean the latrines of
negro prisoners, and were in some cases forced to work with
implements which would make their task the more disgusting.  One
man told me that his lunch was served to him where he was working,
and when he protested he was told to eat it there, or go without.

Conversations that I have had here in London about prisoners give
me the impression that the British public does not exactly
apprehend what a prisoner stands for in German eyes.

First, he is a hostage.  If he be an officer his exact social value
is estimated by the authorities in Berlin, who have a complete card
index of all their officer prisoners, showing to what British
families they belong and whether they have social or political
connections in Britain.  Thus when someone in England mistakenly,
and before sufficient German prisoners were in their hands, treated
certain submarine marauders differently from other prisoners, the
German Government speedily referred to this card-index, picked out
a number of officers with connections in the House of Lords and
House of Commons, and treated them as convicts.

The other German view of the prisoner is his cash value as a
labourer.  I invite my readers to realise the enormous pecuniary
worth of the two million prisoner slaves now reclaiming swamps,
tilling the soil, building roads and railways, and working in
factories for their German taskmasters.

The most numerous body of prisoners in Germany are the Russians.
They are to be seen everywhere.  In some cases they have greater
freedom than any other prisoners, and often, in isolated cases,
travel unguarded by rail or tramway to and from their work.  If
they are not provided with good Russian uniforms, in which, of
course, they would not be able to escape, they are made conspicuous
by a wide stripe down the trouser or on the back.  They are easy,
docile, physically strong, and accustomed to a lower grade of food
than any other prisoners, except the Serbs.

The British, of course, are much the smallest number in Germany,
but much the most highly prized for hate propaganda purposes.

"More difficult to manage," said one _Unteroffizier_ to me, "than
the whole of the rest of our two million."  It is, indeed, a fact
that the 30,000 British prisoners, though the worst treated, are
the gayest, most outspoken, and rebellious against tyranny of the
whole collection.

There is, however, a brighter side to prison life in Germany, I am
happy to record.  A number of really excellent camps have been
arranged to which neutral visitors are taken.  When I told the
German Foreign Office that I would like to see the good side of
prison life, I was given permission by the _Kriegsministerium_ (War
Office) to visit the great camp at Soltau, with its 31,000 inmates
with Halil Halid Bey (formerly Turkish Consul in Berlin) and Herr
Muller (interested in Germany's Far Eastern developments).

Five hours away from Berlin, on the monotonous _Luneberger Heide_
(Luneberg Heath), has sprung up this great town with the speed of a
boom mining town in Colorado.

On arrival at the little old town of Soltau we were met by a
military automobile and driven out on a road made by the prisoners
to the largest collection of huts I have ever seen.

There is nothing wrong that I could detect in the camp, and I
should say that the 300 British prisoners there are as well treated
as any in Germany.  The Commandant seems to be a good fellow.  His
task of ruling so great an assemblage of men is a large and
difficult one, rendered the easier by the good spirit engendered by
his tact and kindness.

I had confirmation of my own views of him later, when I came across
a Belgian who had escaped from Germany, and who had been in this
camp.  He said:--"The little captain at Soltau was a good fellow,
and if I am with the force that releases the prisoners there after
we get into Germany, I will do my best to see that he gets extra
good treatment."

Our inspection occupied six hours.  Halil Halid Bey, who talks
English perfectly, and looks like an Irishman, was taken for an
American by the prisoners.  In fact, one Belgian, believing him to
be an American official, rushed up to him and with arms
outstretched pleaded: "Do you save poor Belgians, too, as well as
British?"

The physical comfort of the prisoners is well looked after in the
neat and perfectly clean dormitories.  The men were packed rather
closely, I thought, but not more than on board ship.

One became almost dazed in passing through these miles of huts,
arranged in blocks like the streets of an American town.

We visited the hospital, which was as good as many civilian
hospitals in other countries.  There I heard the first complaint,
from a little red-headed Irishman, his voice wheezing with asthma,
whose grievance was not against the camp itself, but against a
medical order which had reversed, what he called his promise to be
sent to Switzerland.  He raised his voice without any fear, as our
little group, accompanied by the Commandant and the interpreter,
went round, and I was allowed to speak to him freely.  I am not a
medical man, but I should think his was a case for release.  His
lungs were obviously in a bad state.

We were also accompanied by an English sergeant, one Saxton--a
magnificent type of the old Army, so many of whom are eating out
their days in Germany.  He spoke freely and frankly about the
arrangements, and had no complaint to make except the food shortage
and the quality of the food.

The British section reminded one now and then of England.
Portraits of wives, children, and sweethearts were over the beds;
there was no lack of footballs, and the British and Belgians play
football practically every day after the daily work of reclaiming
the land, erecting new huts, making new roads, and looking after
the farms and market gardens has been accomplished.

An attempt has been made to raise certain kinds of live stock, such
as pigs, poultry, and Belgian hares--a large kind of rabbit.  There
were a few pet dogs about--one had been trained by a Belgian to
perform tricks equal to any of those displayed at variety theatres.

Apparently there is no lack of amusement.  I visited the
cinematograph theatre, and the operator asked, "What would you like
to see--something funny?"  He showed us a rather familiar old film.
The reels are those that have been passed out of service of the
German moving picture shows.  In the large theatre, which would
hold, I should think, seven hundred to a thousand people, there was
a good acrobatic act and the performing dog, to which I have
referred, with an orchestra of twenty-five instruments, almost all
prisoners, but a couple of German Landsturmers helped out.  The
guarding of the prisoners is effected by plenty of barbed wire and
a comparatively small number of oldish Landsturmers.

A special cruelty of the Germans towards prisoners is the provision
of a lying newspaper in French for the Frenchmen, called the
_Gazette des Ardennes_.  The _Gazette des Ardennes_ publishes every
imaginable kind of lie about the French and French Army, with
garbled quotations from English newspapers, and particularly _The
Times_, calculated to disturb the relations of the French and
English prisoners in Germany.  For the British there is a paper in
English which is quite as bad, to which I have already referred,
called the _Continental Times_, doled out three times a week.   The
_Continental Times_ is, I regret to say, largely written by
renegade Englishmen in Berlin employed by the German Government,
notably Aubrey Stanhope, who for well-known reasons was unable to
enter England at the outbreak of war, and so remains and must
remain in Germany, where, for a very humble pittance, he conducts
this campaign against his own country.

For the Russians a special prevaricating sheet, called the _Russki
Visnik_, is issued.  All these newspapers pretend to print the
official French, British, and Russian communiques.

For a long time the effect on the British prisoners was bad, but
little by little events revealed to them that the _Continental
Times_, which makes a specialty of attacks on the English Press,
was anti-British.

The arrival of letters and parcels is, of course, the great event
for the prisoners and, so far as the large camps are concerned, I
do not think that there are now any British prisoners unprovided
with parcels.  It is the isolated and scattered men, moved often
from place to place for exhibition purposes, who miss parcels.

Soltau, although a model camp, is bleak and dreary and isolated.
At the outset cases of typhus occurred there, and in a neat,
secluded corner of the camp long lines of wooden crosses tell the
tale of sadness.  The first cross marked a Russian from far-away
Vilna, the next a Tommy from London.  East had met West in the
bleak and silent graveyard on the heather.  Close to them slept a
soldier from some obscure village in Normandy, and beside him lay a
Belgian, whose life had been the penalty of his country's
determination to defend her neutrality.  Here in the heart of
Germany the Allies were united even in death.

As I made the long journey back to Berlin I reflected with some
content on the good things I had seen at Soltau, and I felt
convinced that the men in charge of the camp do everything within
their power to make the life of the prisoners happy.  But as the
train pounded along in the darkness I seemed to see a face before
me which I could not banish.  It was the face of a Belgian,
kneeling at the altar in the Catholic chapel, his eyes riveted on
his Saviour on the Cross, his whole being tense in fervent
supplication, his lips quivering in prayer.  My companions had
gone, but I was held spellbound, feeling "How long! How long!" was
the anguish of his mind.  He must have been a man who had a home
and loved it, and his whole expression told unmistakably that he
was imploring for strength to hold out till the end in that dreary,
cheerless region of brown and grey.

His captors had given him a chapel, to be sure, but why was he in
Germany at all?

      *      *      *      *      *

Soltau and other camps are satisfactory--but there are others, many
others, such as unvisited punishment camps.  The average Britisher
in confinement in Germany is under the care of an oldish guard,
such as Heiny of the Landsturm, but the immediate authority is
often a man of the notorious _Unteroffizier_ type, whose cruelty to
the _German_ private is well known, and whose treatment of the most
hated enemy can be imagined.

The petty forms of tyranny meted out to German soldiers such as
making a man walk for hours up and down stairs in order to fill a
bath with a wineglass; making him shine and soil then again shine
and soil hour after hour a pair of boots; making him chew and
swallow his own socks have been described in suppressed German
books.

I believe that publicity, rigorous blockade and big shells are the
only arguments that have any effect on the Prussians at present.
It is publicity and the fear of opinion of certain neutrals that
has produced such camps as Soltau.  It is difficult for the
comfortable sit-at-homes to visualise the condition of men who have
been in the enemy atmosphere of hate for a long period.  All the
British soldiers whom I met in Germany were captured in the early
part of the war when their shell-less Army had to face machine-guns
and high explosives often with the shield of their own breasts and
a rifle.

Herded like cattle many of the wounded dying, they travelled
eastwards to be subject to the insults and vilifications of the
German population.  That they should retain their cheery confidence
in surroundings and among a people so ferociously hostile so
entirely un-British, so devoid of chivalry or sporting instinct, is
a monument to the character of their race.



CHAPTER XXII

HOW THE PRUSSIAN GUARD CAME HOME FROM THE SOMME

Early in August, 1916, I was in Berlin.  The British and French
offensive had commenced on July 1st.  Outwardly it appeared to
attract very little notice on the part of Germany and I do not
believe that it attracted sufficient attention even in the highest
military quarters.  It was considered to be Great Britain's final
"bluff."  The great maps in the shop windows in every street and on
the walls in every German house showed no change, and still show no
change worth noticing.  "Maps speak," say the Germans.

One hot evening in Berlin I met a young officer whom I had known on
a previous visit to Germany, and who was home on ten days'
furlough.  I noticed that he was ill or out of sorts, and he told
me that he had been unexpectedly called back to his regiment on the
Western front.  "How is that?" I said.  He made that curious and
indescribable German gesture which shows discontent and
dissatisfaction.  "These ------ English are putting every man they
have got into a final and ridiculous attempt to make us listen to
peace terms.  My leave is cut short, and I am off this evening."
We had a glass of beer at the Bavaria Restaurant in the
Friedrichstrasse.

"You have been in England, haven't you?" he inquired.  I told him
that I had been there last year.  "They seem to have more soldiers
than we thought," he said.  "They seem to be learning the business;
my battalion has suffered terribly."

Within the next day or two there were other rumours in
Berlin--rumours quite unknown to the mass.  How and where I heard
these rumours it would be unfair to certain Germans, who were
extremely kind to me, to say, but it was suggested to me by a
friend--a member of the Extreme Left of the Social Democratic
Party--that if I wanted to learn the truth I should go out to
Potsdam and see the arrival of the wounded men of the famous
Prussian Guard, who had, he said, had a terrible experience at the
hands of the English at Contalmaison on July 10th.

He drew me aside in the Tiergarten and told me, for he is, I am
sure, a real German patriot, that the state of things in the Somme,
if known throughout Germany, would effectively destroy the
pretensions of the annexationist party, who believed that Germany
has won the war and will hold Belgium and the conquered portion of
France and Poland.

He told me to go out to Potsdam with caution, and he warned me that
I should have the utmost difficulty in getting anywhere near the
military sidings of the railway station there.

I asked another usually extremely well-informed friend if there was
anything particular happening in the war, and told him that I
thought of going to Potsdam, and he said, "What for?  There is
nothing to be seen there--the same old drilling, drilling,
drilling." So well are secrets kept in Germany.

The 4th of August is the anniversary of what is known in Germany as
"England's treachery"--the day that Britain entered the war in what
the German Government tells the people is "a base and cowardly
attempt to try and beat her by starving innocent women and
children."

On that sunny and fresh morning I looked out of the railway
carriage window some quarter of a mile before we arrived at Potsdam
and saw numerous brown trains marked with the Ked Cross, trains
that usually travel by night in Germany.

There were a couple of officers of the Guard Cavalry in the same
carriage with me.  They also looked out.  "_Ach, noch 'mal_"
("What, again?") discontentedly remarked the elder.  They were a
gloomy pair and they had reason to be.  The German public has begun
to know a great deal about the wounded.  They do not yet know all
the facts, because wounded men are, as far as possible, hidden in
Germany and never sent to Socialist centres unless it is absolutely
unavoidable.  The official figures which are increasing in an
enormous ratio since the development of Britain's war machine, are
falsified by manipulation.

And if easy proof be needed of the truth of my assertion I point to
the monstrous official misstatement involved in the announcement
that over ninety per cent. of German wounded return to the firing
line!  Of the great crush of wounded at Potsdam I doubt whether any
appreciable portion of the serious cases will return to anything
except permanent invalidism.  They are suffering from shell wounds,
not shrapnel, for the most part, I gathered.

As our train emptied it was obvious that some great spectacle was
in progress.  The exit to the station became blocked with staring
peasant women returning from the early market in Berlin, their high
fruit and vegetable baskets empty on their backs.  When I
eventually got through the crowd into the outer air and paused at
the top of the short flight of steps I beheld a scene that will
never pass from my memory.  Filmed and circulated in Germany it
would evoke inconceivable astonishment to this deluded nation and
would swell the malcontents, already a formidable mass, into a
united and dangerous army of angry, eye-opened dupes.  This is not
the mere expression of a neutral view, but is also the opinion of a
sober and patriotic German statesman.

I saw the British wounded arrive from Neuve Chapelle at Boulogne; I
saw the Russian wounded in the retreat from the Bukovina; I saw the
Belgian wounded in the Antwerp retreat, and the German wounded in
East Prussia, but the wounded of the Prussian Guard at Potsdam
surpassed in sadness anything I have witnessed in the last two
bloody years.

The British Neuve Chapelle wounded were, if not gay, many of them
blithe and smiling--their bodies were hurt but their minds were
cheerful; but the wounded of the Prussian Guard--the proudest
military force in the world--who had come back to their home town
decimated and humbled--these Guards formed the most amazing
agglomeration of broken men I have ever encountered.  As to the
numbers of them, of these five Reserve regiments but few are
believed to be unhurt.  Vast numbers were killed, and most of the
rest are back at Potsdam in the ever growing streets of hospitals
that are being built on the Bornstadterfeld.

One of the trains had just stopped.  The square was blocked with
vehicles of every description.  I was surprised to find the great
German furniture vans, which by comparison with those used in
England and the United States look almost like houses on wheels,
were drawn up in rows with military precision.  As if these were
not enough, the whole of the wheeled traffic of Potsdam seemed to
be commandeered by the military for the lightly wounded--cabs,
tradesmen's wagons, private carriages--everything on wheels except,
of course, motor-cars, which are non-existent owing to the rubber
shortage.  Endless tiers of stretchers lay along the low embankment
sloping up to the line.  Doctors, nurses, and bearers were waiting
in quiet readiness.

The passengers coming out of the station, including the women with
the tall baskets, stopped, but only for a moment.  They did not
tarry, for the police, of which there will never be any dearth if
the war lasts thirty years, motioned them on, a slight movement of
the hand being sufficient.

I was so absorbed that I failed to notice the big constable near me
until he laid his heavy paw upon my shoulder and told me to move
on.  A schoolmaster and his wife, his _Rucksack_ full of lunch, who
had taken advantage of the glorious sunshine to get away from
Berlin to spend a day amidst the woods along the Havel, asked the
policeman what the matter was.

The reply was "_Nichts hier zu sehen_" ("Nothing to be seen here.
Get along!").  The great "Hush! Hush!  Hush!" machinery of Germany
was at work.

Determined not to be baffled, I moved out of the square into the
shelter of a roadside tree, on the principle that a distant view
would be better than none at all, but the police were on the alert,
and a police lieutenant tackled me at once.  I decided to act on
the German military theory that attack is the best defence, and,
stepping up to him, I stated, that I was a newspaper correspondent.
"Might I not see the wounded taken from the train?" I requested.
He very courteously replied that I might not, unless I had a
special pass for that purpose from the _Kriegsministerium_ in
Berlin.

I hit upon a plan.

I regretfully sighed that I would go back to Berlin and get a pass,
and retracing my steps to the station I bought a ticket.

A soldier and an Unteroffizier were stationed near the box in which
stood the uniformed woman who punches tickets.

The Unteroffizier looked at me sharply, "No train for an hour and a
half," he said.

"That doesn't disturb me in the least when I have plenty to read,"
I answered pleasantly, at the same time pointing to the bundle of
morning papers which I carried, the _Norddeutsche Allgemeine
Zeitung_ of the Foreign Office, on the outside.

I knew Potsdam thoroughly, and was perfectly familiar with every
foot of the station.  I knew that there was a large window in the
first and second-class dining-room which was even closer to the
ambulances in the square than were the exit steps.

I did not go directly to the dining-room, but sat on one of the
high-backed benches on the platform and began to read the papers.
The Unteroffizier looked out and found me fairly buried in them.
He returned a little later and saw me asleep--or thought he did.

When he had gone I sauntered along the platform into the
dining-room, to find it vacant save for a youthful waiter and a
barmaid.  I walked straight to the window--where the light would be
better for reading--and ordered bread and Edam cheese, tearing off
a fifty gram amount from my Berlin bread ticket, which was
fortunately good in Potsdam.

My position enabled me to look right out upon the square below, but
rendered me inconspicuous from the street.

By this time the wounded were being moved from the train.  The
slightly wounded were drawn up in double ranks, their clean white
arm- and head-bandages gleaming in the noonday light.  They stood
dazed and dejected, looking on at the real work which was just
beginning--the removal of the severely wounded.

Then it was that I learned the use of those mammoth furniture vans.
Then it was I realised that these vans are part of Germany's plans
by which her wounded are carried--I will not say secretly, but as
unobtrusively as possible.  In some of the mammoths were put
twelve, into others fourteen; others held as many as twenty.

The Prussian Guard had come home.  The steel corps of the army of
Germany had met near Contalmaison the light-hearted boys I had seen
drilling in Hyde Park last year, and in a furious counter-attack,
in which they had attempted to regain the village, had been wiped
out.

These were not merely wounded, but dejected wounded.  The whole
atmosphere of the scene was that of intense surprise and
depression.  Tradition going back to Frederick the Great, nearly
two hundred years ago, had been smashed--by amateur soldiers.  The
callow youth of sixteen who served my lunch was muttering something
to the barmaid, who replied that he was lucky to be in a class that
was not likely to be called up yet.

The extreme cases were carried at a snail's pace by bearers, who
put their feet down as carefully as if they were testing very thin
ice, and who placed the comfortable spring stretchers in the very
few vehicles which had rubber or imitation rubber tyres.  The work
was done with military precision and great celerity.  The
evacuation of this train was no sooner finished than another took
its place, and the same scene was repeated.  Presently the great
furniture vans returned from having deposited their terrible loads,
and were again filled.  One van was reserved for those who had
expired on the journey, and it was full.


This, then, was the battered remnant of the five Reserve regiments
of the Prussian Guard which had charged the British lines at
Contalmaison three weeks before in a desperate German
counter-attack to wrest the village from the enemy, who had just
occupied it.  Each train discharged between six and seven hundred
maimed passengers.  Nor was this the last day of the influx.

The Guard had its garrisons chiefly in Potsdam, but also partly in
Berlin, and represents the physical flower of German manhood.  On
parade it was inspiring to look at, and no military officer in the
world ever doubted its prowess.  Nor has it failed in the war to
show splendid courage and fighting qualities.  English people
simply do not understand its prestige at home and among neutrals.

The Guard is sent only where there is supreme work to be done.  If
you hear that it has been hurled into a charge you may rest assured
that it is striving to gain something on which Germany sets the
highest price--for the life-blood of the Guard is the dearest that
she can pay.

In the battle of the Marne the active regiments of the Guard
forming a link between the armies of von Bulow and von Hausen were
dashed like spray on jagged cliffs when they surged in wave after
wave against the army of Foch at Sezanne and Fere Champenoise.

Germany was willing to sacrifice those superb troops during the
early part of the battle because she knew that von Kluck had only
to hold his army together, even though he did not advance, and the
overthrow of Foch would mean a Teuton wedge driven between Verdun
and Paris.

One year and ten months later she hurled the Guard Reserve at
Contalmaison because she was determined that this important link in
the chain of concrete and steel that coiled back and forth before
Bapaume-Peronne must remain unbroken.  The newly-formed lines of
Britain's sons bent but did not break under the shock.  They were
outnumbered, but, like all the rest of the British that the
back-from-the-front German soldiers have told me about, these
fought on and on, never thinking of surrender.

I know from one of these that in a first onslaught the Guard lost
heavily, but was reinforced and again advanced.  Another desperate
encounter and the men from Potsdam withered in the hand-to-hand
carnage.  The Germans could not hold what they had won back, and
the khaki succeeded the field grey at Contalmaison.

The evacuation of the wounded occupied hours.  I purposely missed
my train, for I knew that I was probably the only foreign civilian
to see the historic picture of the proudest soldiery of Prussia
return to its garrison town from the greatest battle in history.

Empty trains were pulled out of the way, to be succeeded by more
trains full of wounded, and again more.  Doctors and nurses were
attentive and always busy, and the stretcher-bearers moved back and
forth until their faces grew red with exertion.

But it was the visages of the men on the stretchers that riveted my
attention.  I never saw so many men so completely exhausted.  Not
one pair of lips relaxed into a smile, and not an eye lit up with
the glad recognition of former surroundings.

It was not, however, the lines of suffering in those faces that
impressed me, but that uncanny sameness of expression, an
expression of hopeless gloom so deep that it made me forget that
the sun was shining from an unclouded sky.  The dejection of the
police, of the soldier onlookers, of the walking wounded, and those
upturned faces on the white pillows told as plainly as words could
ever tell that the Guard had at last met a force superior to
themselves and their war machine.  They knew well that they were
the idol of their Fatherland, and that they had fought with every
ounce of their great physical strength, backed by their long
traditions.  They had been vanquished by an army of mere sportsmen.

My thoughts went back to Berlin and the uninformed scoffings at the
British Army and its futile efforts to push back the troops of
Rupprecht on the Somme.  Yet here on the actual outskirts of the
German capital was a grim tribute to the machine that Great Britain
had built up under the protection of her Navy.

In Berlin at that moment the afternoon editions were fluttering
their daily headlines of victory to the crowds on the Linden and
the Friedrichstrasse, but here the mammoth vans were moving slowly
through the streets of Potsdam.

To the women who stood in the long lines waiting with the potato
and butter tickets for food on the other side of the old stone
bridge that spans the Havel they were merely ordinary cumbersome
furniture wagons.

How were they to know that these tumbrils contained the bloody
story of Contalmaison?



CHAPTER XXIII

HOW GERMANY DENIES

Germany, according to Reichstag statements, is spending millions of
pounds upon German propaganda throughout the universe.  The trend
of that propaganda is:--

1. To attempt to convince the neutral world that Germany cannot be
beaten; and

2. Above all, to convince Great Britain (the chief enemy) that
Germany cannot be beaten.

The only factors really feared by the Germans of the governing
class are the Western front and the blockade.

I went into Germany determined to try to find out the truth, and to
tell the truth.  I had an added incentive to be thorough and work
on original lines, since I was fortunate enough to secure
possession of an official letter which advised those whom it
concerned to give no information of value to Americans in general.
I also got accurate information that the Wilhelmstrasse had singled
me out as one American in particular to whom nothing of value was
to be imparted.

The German, with his cast-in-a-mould mind, does not understand the
trait developed among other peoples of seeing things for
themselves.  He is unacquainted with originality in human beings.
He thinks a correspondent does not observe anything unless it is
pointed out to him.

Last summer, for example, one could learn in the Wilhelmstrasse
that the potato crop was a glittering success.  By walking through
the country and pulling up an occasional plant, also talking to the
farmers, I concluded that it was a dismal failure, which conclusion
I announced in one of the first newspaper articles I wrote after I
had left Germany.  Recent reports from that country show that I was
right, which increases my conviction that the _confidential tips_
given by Germany's professional experts, who instruct neutral
visitors, do very well to make Germany's position seem better than
it actually is, but they seldom stand the acid test of history.

Seeking to invent excuses is not peculiar to the Germans, but it is
more prevalent among them than among any other people that I know.
In this one respect the German Government is a Government of the
people.  Some of the diplomatic explanations which have emanated
from Berlin during the war have been weird in their absurdity and
an insult to the intelligence of those to whom they were addressed.

President Wilson did not accept the official lie concerning the
sinking of the _Arabic_, in view of the positive proof against
Germany, and Germany backed down.  President Wilson did not accept
the official lie concerning the sinking of the _Sussex_.
Incomprehensible as it is to the Teutonic mind, he attached greater
weight to the first-hand evidence of reliable eye-witnesses, plus
fragments of the torpedo which struck the vessel, than to the
sacred words of the German Foreign Office, which had the
impertinence to base its case on a sketch, or alleged sketch,
hastily made by a U-boat manipulator whose artistic temperament
should have led him to Munich rather than to Kiel.  The crime and
the lie were so glaring that Germany once more backed down.

Germany lied about the Dutch liner _Tubantia_.  As in the case of
the _Sussex_, the evidence of the fragments of torpedo was so
incontrovertible that Berlin had to admit that a German torpedo
sank the _Tubantia_.  Indeed, one fragment contained the number of
the torpedo.  During my travels in the Fatherland at that time I
found no doubt in the minds of those with whom I discussed the
matter that a German submarine sank the vessel, though many were of
the opinion that it was a mistake.

The Wilhelmstrasse is tenacious, however, and we awoke one morning
to read, what was probably its most remarkable excuse.  To be sure,
a German torpedo sank the _Tubantia_, but it was not fired by the
Germans.  The expert accountant who was in charge of the U-boat
learned upon consulting his books that he fired that torpedo on
March 6.  It did not strike the _Tubantia_ until March 16.  So that
it had either been floating about aimlessly and had encountered the
liner, or perhaps the cunning British had corraled it and made use
of it.  At any rate, Berlin disclaimed all responsibility for its
acts subsequent to the day it parted company with the German
submarine.

The path of the torpedo, however, had been observed from the bridge
of the Tubantia.

I remarked to one of my well-informed confidants among the Social
Democratic politicians that although it is perfectly true that a
rolling stone gathers no moss, it is equally true that a moving
torpedo leaves no wake.

"Yes," he said with a twinkle in his eye, "our Foreign Office is
well aware of that.  Have you not noticed the significance of the
two dates, March 6, when the torpedo is said to have been fired,
and March 16, when it struck?  Do you not see that our diplomats
have still one more loop-hole in case they are pressed?  Is it not
clear that they could find a way out of their absurd explanation by
shifting the responsibility to the man or the men who jotted down
the date and transferred it?  The question in my mind is: Who lost
the 1 from the 16?"

Be that as it may, little Holland, enraged at the wanton
destruction of one of her largest vessels, was not in a position to
enforce her demands.  Therefore Germany did not back down--that is,
not publicly.

My description of the return of the Prussian Guard to Potsdam
naturally aroused the wrath of a Government which strives
incessantly, to hide so much from its own people and the outside
world.

Directly the article reached Germany the Government flashed a
wireless to America that no members of the _Potsdam_ Guard returned
to Potsdam from Contalmaison.  This is a typical German denial
trick.  I never mentioned the _Potsdam_ Guard.

I had referred to the _Prussian_ Guard.

If any reader of this chapter cares to look into the files of
English newspapers at the time of the Contalmaison battle, for such
it was, they will find confirmation of my statements as to the
presence of the Prussian Guard in the English despatches published
in the second week in July.

The Contalmaison article has in whole or in part been circulated in
the United States, and also in the South-American Republics, and
probably in other neutral countries.  This has now called forth a
semi-official detailed denial, which I print herewith.

It is signed by the Head Staff Doctor at Potsdam, one Geronne, by
name.  He divides his contradiction into ten clauses.  Each of the
first nine contains an absolute untruth.

The last is a mere comment on a well-known, German statesman, who
told me that as I was seeking the truth in Germany I had better go
and find it at Potsdam.

I wish to deal with the denials one by one, as each is a revelation
of German psychology.

  1. The hospital train,           This says "Hospital
  which reached Potsdam on         train" (singular).  I
  August 4, and was there          described hospital trains
  unloaded, brought wounded        (plural).  It may be true
  men from various troop           that one train did not
  divisions.  There were no        contain any Prussian Guards.
  Prussian Guards among them.      I did not happen to see
                                   that train.  All the trains
                                   that I saw unloaded Prussian
                                   Guard Reserves.

  2. No wounded man is             I have never said that
  kept concealed in Germany.       any wounded man was
  All are consigned to             kept concealed in Germany.
  public hospitals or              I have pointed out
  lazarets, where they may         that the whole system of
  at any time be visited           the German placing of the
  by their relatives and           wounded is to hide from
  friends.                         the German population,
                                   and especially in Social
                                   Democrat districts, the
                                   extent of their wounded.

  3. Hospital trains travel        This is absolutely untrue.
  by day as well as by night,      The number of wounded arriving
  and, in accordance with          at the depots in Germany is
  instructions, are unloaded       now so great that the trains
  only in the daytime.  In         are obliged to be unloaded
  case they reach their            whenever they arrive, by day
  destination during the           or by night.  I have witnessed
  night, the regulations           both.
  provide that they are to
  wait until the following
  morning before unloading.

  4. In order that the loading     The whole of this paragraph
  or unloading of the vehicles     is a transparent distortion
  which transport the wounded      of fact.  What happens at
  to the lazarets may proceed      Potsdam and what happens
  as rapidly as possible, it       everywhere else is that a
  is necessary to keep the         cordon of police surrounds
  surroundings of the train        the scene and, drives the
  clear.  The wounded must         public by force in the usual
  also be spared all annoyance     Prussian way, if necessary,
  and curiosity on the part        from the scene.  I described
  of the public.                   the method by which I
                                   witnessed what was going on
                                   at the railway station from
                                   the railway station
                                   refreshment room itself.

  5. Dead men have never been      I saw the dead men removed.
  unloaded from the lazaret
  trains at Potsdam--therefore
  there could have been none on
  August 4, 1916.  The
  principle of transporting
  the wounded is based upon
  the ability of the wounded
  to bear transportation.
  All those who suffer during
  the journey are removed
  to a hospital at the frontier.

  6. The furniture vans            A transparent untruth
  used for transporting            on the face of it.  If only
  wounded to the hospitals         one train came into Potsdam
  at Potsdam and other             why use furniture vans at
  cities have proved a great       all?  The furniture vans
  success.  These vans,            are used for purposes of
  moreover, all bear the sign      concealment, and because
  of the Red Cross, and may        the very large ambulance
  easily be recognised as          supply always on duty at
  hospital vehicles.               the great military
                                   hospitals at Potsdam was
                                   unequal to the task.  I saw
                                   no Red Cross indications.

  7. That men who are              My statement is that all
  seriously wounded should         the German wounded at
  give one an impression of        the present stage of the
  weariness goes without           war, lightly or otherwise,
  saying.  Lightly wounded         compare badly with the
  men who travel from the          English and French
  Somme to Boulogne may            wounded, whom I have
  make a better appearance         seen.  They are utterly
  than the seriously wounded       war weary and suffering
  who have made the long           not so much from shell
  journey from the West            shock as from surprise
  front to Potsdam.                shock, the revelation of the
                                   creation of a British
                                   Army that had never
                                   occurred to the German
                                   soldiers.

  8. As to the great "Hush!        I have made inquiries
  hush! machinery"--what is        of British officials, and
  one to call the attempt          they tell me that it is
  to keep the truth from           absolutely untrue that the
  neutrals by closing              channel is closed to
  English harbours near the        neutral shipping when the
  Channel to neutral shipping      English hospital transports
  for whole days at a              proceed to England.
  time--during which the           This untruth is on a par
  English ship-transports of       with the others.
  wounded proceed to England?

  9. The figures published         An interesting revelation
  by the Ministry of War           as to German casualty lists.
  concerning the numbers of        It is stated by this head
  men dismissed from lazarets      medical officer of Potsdam
  (hospitals) are based upon       that these lists are drawn up
  unquestionable statistics.       from the men _dismissed_ from
  These statistics remain as       lazarets (hospitals), that is
  given--despite all the           to say, this doctor admits
  aspersions of our enemies.       that the custom is now to
                                   keep back the casualty lists
                                   until the man is _discharged_,
                                   whereas your British lists, I
                                   am informed on authority, are
                                   published as speedily as
                                   possible after the soldier is
                                   _wounded_.  The whole of the
                                   German wounded now in hospitals
                                   have not yet, therefore, been
                                   included in casualty lists--the
                                   casualties which are forcing
                                   the Germans to employ every
                                   kind of labour they can
                                   enslave or enroll from
                                   Belgium, Poland, France,
                                   and now from their own
                                   people from sixteen up to
                                   sixty years of age of both
                                   sexes.

  10. It would prove interesting   For obvious reasons I
  to learn the name of the         decline to subject my
  "patriotic German Statesman,"    friend to the certain
  who is said to cherish the       punishment that would follow
  same opinions as this writer     disclosure of his name.
  in the _Daily Mail_.


I regret to burden readers with a chapter so personal to myself,
but I think that anyone who studies these German denials with the
preceding chapter on the Contalmaison wounded will learn at least
as much about the German mind as he would by studying the famous
British White paper of August, 1914.



CHAPTER XXIV

GERMANY'S HUMAN RESOURCES

Three factors are of chief importance in estimating German
man-power.  First, the number of men of military age; second, the
number of these that are indispensable in civil life; third, the
number of casualties.  Concerning the last two there are great
differences of opinion among military critics in Allied and neutral
countries.  As regards the first there need be little difference,
although I confess surprise at the number of people I have met who
believe the grotesque myth that Germany has systematically
concealed her increase in population, and that instead of being a
nation of less than seventy millions she has really more than one
hundred millions.

It is safe to say that at the outbreak of war Germany was a nation
of 68,000,000, of whom 33,500,000 were males.  Of these nearly
14,000,000 were between 18 and 45; 350,000 men over 45 are also
with the Colours.  The boys who were then 16 and 17 can now be
added, giving us a grand total of some 15,000,000.

Normally Germany employed men of between 18 and 45 as
follows:--Mines, 600,000; metals, 800,000; transport, 650,000;
agriculture, 3,000,000; clothing, food preparation, 1,000,000,
making a total of 6,050,000.

Up to this point there can be little difference of opinion.  From
this point on, however, I must, like others who deal with the
subject, make estimates upon data obtained.  During my last visit
to Germany I systematically employed a rough check on the figures
derived through the usual channels.  Concentrated effort to obtain
first-hand information in city, village, and countryside, north,
east, south, and west, with eyes and ears open, and vocal organs
constantly used for purposes of interrogation, naturally yielded
considerable data when carried over a period of ten months.  The
changes from my last visit and from peace time were also duly
observed as were the differences between Germany and the other
nations I had visited during the war.  Walking, of which I did a
colossal amount, was most instructive, because it afforded me an
opportunity to study conditions in the villages.  Discreet
questioning gave me accurate statistics in hundreds of these that I
visited, and of many more hundreds that I asked about from people
whom I met on my travels.  For example, in Oberammergau, which had
at the beginning of the war 1,900 inhabitants, about 350 had been
called to the Colours when I was there, and of these thirty-nine
had been killed.

My investigations in the Fatherland convinced me that of the
3,000,000 men between 18 and 45 formerly engaged in agriculture,
considerably fewer than 100,000 continue to be thus occupied.  This
work is done by prisoners and women.  Mine and metal work have kept
from 60 to 70 per cent. of their men of military age; but
transport, already cut somewhat, lost 25 per cent. of the remainder
when Hindenburg assumed supreme command, which would reduce 650,000
to about 300,000.  More than 90 per cent. of those engaged in the
preparation of food and the making of clothing have been called up.
Thus of the 6,050,000 engaged in the occupations given above, about
1,750,000 remain, which means that more than 4,000,000 have been
called to the Colours.

From building and allied trades at least 90 per cent. are in
military uniform.  Assuming that some 2,000,000 men of military age
are included in indispensable engineers, fishermen, chemists,
physically unfit, and so forth, we conclude on this basis that
Germany can enrol in her Army and Navy more than 11,000,000 men.

We may approach the subject from a somewhat different angle by
considering what percentage of her total population Germany could
call to the Colours under stress--and she is to-day under stress.
Savage tribes have been known to put one-fifth under arms.  An
industrial State such as Germany cannot go to this extreme.  Yet by
using every means within her power she makes a very close approach
to it.  In practically every village of which I secured figures in
Saxony, Bavaria, Posen, East Prussia, West Prussia, Pomerania,
Mecklenburg, and Oldenburg, a fifth or nearly a fifth have been
called up.  In some Silesian and Rhenish-Westphalian districts,
however, not more than from a seventh to a tenth.  If we allow for
all Germany a little less than one-sixth, we get 11,000,000.

What are the factors which enable Germany to call this number or a
little more than this number to the Colours?  First, the
organisation of the women.  I have seen them even in the forges of
Rhineland doing the work of strong men.  "The finest women in the
world, these Rhinelanders," as one manager put it.  "Just look at
that one lift that weight.  Few men could do better."  And his eyes
sparkled with enthusiasm.

Second, and of tremendous importance, are the huge numbers of
prisoners in Germany, and her sensible determination to make them
work.  She has taken about one and two-third millions on the field
of battle.  _There also happen to be in Germany nearly a million
other prisoners, buried alive, whose existence has apparently
escaped the notice of the outside world_.  These are the Russian
civilians who were caught in the German trap when it snapped
suddenly tight in the summer of 1914.  Before the war 2,000,000
Russians used to go to Germany at harvest time.  The war began at
harvest time.  The number of these men, which from my own
first-hand investigations in the remote country districts I
estimate at nearly a million, would have escaped my notice also,
had I not walked across Germany.

Another important factor in the labour problem in Germany is the
employment of the Poles.  Not only are they employed on the land,
but great colonies of them have grown up in Dusseldorf and other
industrial centres.  I saw an order instructing the military
commandants throughout Germany to warn the Poles, whose discontent
with the food conditions in Germany made them desire to return
home, that conditions in Poland were much worse.  This, then, is an
official German admission that there is starvation in Poland, for
_much worse_ could mean nothing else.  Germany is keeping Poland a
sealed book, although I admit that she occasionally takes tourists
to see the German-fostered university at Warsaw.  Just before I
left Germany still another order was issued for the regulation of
neutral correspondents.  Under no circumstances were they to be
allowed to talk with the natives in Poland.  From unimpeachable
authority I learned that the Poles were intensely discouraged at
the thoroughness with which the Prussians stripped the country
after the last harvest, and that in some sections the people are
actually dying of hunger.  Even in Warsaw, the death-rate in some
neighbourhoods has increased from 700 to 800 per cent.  I was
witness to German rage when Viscount Grey stipulated that food
could be sent there only if the natives were allowed to have the
produce of their own land.  Prussia wanted that produce, and she
got it.

I mention these supplies here because the Poles who worked to
produce them must be included in German labour estimates just as
much as though they had been working in Germany.

Germany also adds to her man-power by utilising her wounded so far
as possible.  Her efforts in this direction are praiseworthy, since
they not only contribute to the welfare of the State, but benefit
the individual.  I have seen soldiers with one leg gone, or parts
of both legs gone, doing a full day's work mending uniforms.  The
blind are taught typewriting, which enables them to earn an
independent living in Government employ.  In short, work is found
for everybody who can do anything at all.

In a previous chapter I have spoken of the organisation of the
children, a factor which should not be left out of consideration.

      *      *      *      *      *
Having considered the assets, let us turn to the debits.

The German casualty lists to the end of 1916 total 4,010,160, of
which 909,665 have been killed or died of wounds.  My
investigations in Germany lead me to put the German killed or died
of wounds at 1,200,000, and the total casualties at close to
5,000,000.  If we assume that 50 per cent. of all wounded return to
the front and another 25 per cent. to service in the interior, we
must also consider in computation of man-power that the casualty
lists do not include the vast numbers of invalided, and the sick,
which almost balance those that return to the front.  This means,
in short, that the net losses are nearly as great at any one time
as the gross losses.  Consequently, according to my estimates there
must be at least 4,500,000 Germans out of action at this moment.

In a war of attrition it is the number of men definitely out of
action which counts, for the German lines can be successfully
broken, and only successfully broken, when there are not enough men
to hold them.  The Germans now have in the West probably about 130
divisions.

Hindenburg's levies in the late summer were so enormous that I am
convinced from what I saw in Germany that she has now called almost
everything possible to the Colours.  One of Hindenburg's
stipulations in taking command was that he should always have a
force of half a million to throw wherever he wished.  We have seen
the result in Rumania, and the men skimmed from the training units
then have been replaced by this last great levy from civilian life.

Therefore, with something over 11,000,000 men called up, Germany
has now 6,000,000, or a little more all told, many of whom are not
at all suited for service at the front.

Germany on the defensive at the Somme certainly lost at least
600,000 men.  Attrition, to be sure, works both ways, but if the
Germans are out-gunned this year in the West to the extent expected
their position must become untenable.  The deadly work of reducing
German man-power continues even though the Allied line does not
advance.  I know of a section of the German front opposite the
French last winter which for five months did not have an action of
sufficient importance to be mentioned by either side in the
official reports, yet the Germans lost 10 per cent. of their
effectives in killed.

The more munitions the Allies make Germany use, the more fat she
must use for this purpose, and the less she will have for the civil
population, with a consequent diminution of their output of work.
Germany simply cannot burn the candle at both ends.



CHAPTER XXV

BERLIN'S EAST-END

The poor of Berlin live in the north and east of the city.  I have
seen Berlin's East-end change from the hilarious joy of the first
year of the war to an ever-deepening gloom.  I have studied
conditions there long and carefully, but I feel that I can do no
better than describe my last Saturday in that interesting quarter
of the German capital.

Late in the morning I left the Stettiner Bahnhof in the north and
walked eastward through the Invalidenstrasse.  There was
practically no meat in the butchers' shops, just the customary
lines of empty hooks.  A long queue farther on attracted my
attention and I crossed the street to see what the people were
waiting for.  A glance at the dark red carcases in the shop told me
that this was horse-meat day for that district.

The number of vacant shops of all descriptions was increasing.  The
small shoemaker and tailor were closing up.  The centralisation of
food distribution is greater here than in the better-class
districts, with the result that many small shopkeepers have been
driven out of business.  In parts of Lothringerstrasse a quarter of
the shops were vacant, in other parts one-half.  The bakers' shops
are nearly empty except at morning and evening.  In fact, after my
long sojourn in blockaded Germany I still find myself after two
months in England staring in amazement at the well-stocked shop
windows of every description.

Shortly before noon I reached the _Zentral Viehund-Schlachthof (the
slaughter-houses).  Through a great gateway poured women and
children, each carrying some sort of a tin or dish full of stew.
Some of the children were scarcely beyond the age of babyhood, and
their faces showed unmistakable traces of toil.  The poor little
things drudged hard enough in peace time, and in war they are
merely part of the big machine.

The diminishing supply of cattle and pigs for killing has afforded
an opportunity to convert a section of the slaughter-houses into
one of the great People's Kitchens.  Few eat there, however.  Just
before noon and at noon the people come in thousands for the stew,
which costs forty pfennigs (about 5 pence) a quart, and a quart is
supposed to be enough for a meal and a half.

I have been in the great Schlachthof kitchen, where I have eaten
the stew, and I have nothing but praise for the work being done.
This kitchen, like the others I have visited, is the last word in
neatness.  The labour-saving devices, such as electric
potato-parers, are of the most modern type.  In fact, the war is
increasing the demand for labour-saving machinery in Germany to at
least as great an extent as high wages have caused such a demand in
America.  Among the women who prepare the food and wait upon the
people there is a noticeable spirit of co-operation and a pride in
the part they are playing to help the Fatherland _durchhalten_
(hold out).  Should any of the stew remain unsold it is taken by a
well-known restaurant in the Potsdamer Platz, which has a contract
with the municipal authorities.  Little was wasted in Germany
before the war; nothing, absolutely nothing, is wasted to-day.

As at the central slaughter-house, so in other districts the poor
are served in thousands with standard stew.  The immense Alexander
Market has been cleared of its booths and tables and serves more
than 30,000 people.  One director of this work told me that the
Berlin authorities would supply nearly 400,000 people before the
end of the winter.

The occasional soldier met in the streets looked shabbier in the
shabby surroundings of the East.  The German uniform, which once
evoked unstinted praise, is suffering sadly to-day owing to lack of
raw materials.  I was in a Social Democratic district, but the men
in uniform who were home on leave were probably "good" Social
Democrats, since it is notorious that the regular variety are
denied this privilege.

The faces of the soldiers were like the rest of the faces I saw
that day.  There was not the least trace of the cheerful, confident
expression of the days when all believed that the Kaiser's armies
would hammer their way to an early peace--"in three months," as
people used to say during the first year and a quarter of the war.
Verdun had been promised them as a certain key to early peace, and
Admiral Scheer was deified as the immortal who tore loose the
British clutch from the German throat.  But Verdun and Jutland
faded in succeeding months before the terrible first-hand evidence
that the constant diminution of food made life a struggle day after
day and week after week.  The news from Rumania, though good, would
bring them no cheer until it was followed by plenty of food.

In the vicinity of the Schlesischer Bahnhof occurred a trifling
incident which gave me an opportunity to see the inside of a poor
German home that day.  A soldier in faded field-grey, home on
leave, asked me for a match.  During the conversation which
followed I said that I was an American, but to my surprise he did
not make the usual German reply that the war would have been ended
long ago if it had not been for American ammunition.  On the
contrary, he showed an interest in my country, as he had a brother
there, and finally asked me if I would step into his home and
explain a few things to him with the aid of a map.

Though I was in a district of poverty the room I entered was
commendably clean.  An old picture of William I. hung on one wall;
opposite was Bismarck.  Over the low door was an unframed portrait
of "unser Kaiser," while Hindenburg completed the collection.
Wooden hearts, on which were printed the names Liege, Maubeuge, and
Antwerp, recalled the days when German hearts were light and German
tongues were full of brag.

A girl of ten entered the room.  She hated the war because she had
to rush every day at noon from school to the People's Kitchen to
fetch the family stew.  In the afternoon she had to look after the
younger children while her mother stood in the long lines before
the shops where food was sold.  The family were growing tired of
stew day after day.  They missed the good German sausage and
unlimited amount of bread and butter.

The mother looked in on her way to the street, basket under arm.
She was tired, and was dulled by the daily routine of trying to get
food.  She talked bitterly about the war, but though she blamed the
Agrarians for not doing their part to relieve the food situation,
she expressed no animosity against her own Government.  The father
had been through Lodz in Hindenburg's two frontal assaults on
Warsaw, where he had seen the slopes covered with forests of
crosses marking the German dead, and his words were bitter, too,
when he talked of his lost comrades.  And then, the depressing
feeling of returning from an army pursuing the mirage of victory to
find his family and every other family struggling in the meshes of
that terrible and relentless blockade!

It never had occurred to him that his Government might be in the
least responsible for the misery of his country.  Like the great
bulk of the German people he is firmly convinced that the
Fatherland has been fighting a war of defence from the very
beginning.  "To think that one nation, England, is responsible for
all this suffering!" was the way that he put it.  He is a "good"
Social Democrat.

When I once more resumed my walk I saw the lines of people waiting
for food in every street.  Each time I turned a corner great black
masses dominated the scene.  I paused at a line of more than three
hundred waiting for potatoes.  Ten yards away not a sound could be
heard.  The very silence added to the depression.  With faces
anxious and drawn they stood four abreast, and moved with the
orderliness of soldiers.  Not a sign of disturbance, and not a
policeman in sight.  Some women were mending socks; a few, standing
on the edge of the closely packed column, pushed baby carriages as
they crawled hour after hour toward the narrow entrance of the shop.

Every line was like the rest.  The absence of policemen is
particularly noteworthy, since they had to be present in the early
days--a year ago--when the butter lines came into being.  Drastic
measures were taken when the impatient women rioted.  Those days
are over.  The Government has taught the people a lesson.  They
will wait hour after hour, docile and obedient henceforth, if
necessary until they drop--make no mistake of that.

But the authorities also learned a lesson.  "People think most of
revolution when they are hungry," was what one leader said to me.
On this Saturday of which I write not a potato was to be bought in
the West-end of Berlin, where the better classes live.  Berlin had
been without potatoes for nearly a week.  To-day they had arrived,
and the first to come were sent to the East-end.  In the West-end
the people are filled with more unquestioning praise of everything
the Government does; they applaud when their Kaiser confers an
Order upon their Crown Prince for something, not quite clear, which
he is supposed to have accomplished at Verdun.  Therefore they can
wait for potatoes until the more critical East-end is supplied.

I went farther eastward through the Kottbuser district to the
Kottbuser Ufer on the canal, along which, a couple of hundred
people waited in an orderly column without any guardian--another
evidence of the success of the drastic measures of July and early
August, when the demonstrations against the war were nipped in the
bud.  These people were waiting for the free advertisement sheets
from the gaudily painted yellow Ullstein newspaper building across
the square.  They had to stand by the side of the canal because a
_queue_ of several hundred people waiting for potatoes wound slowly
before Ullstein's to the underground potato-shop next door.

I had not heard a laugh or seen anybody smile all day, and when
darkness fell on the weary city I went to a cheap little beer-room
where several "bad," but really harmless Social Democrats used to
gather.  Among them was the inevitable one who had been to America,
and I had become acquainted with them through him.  They talked in
the new strain of their type, that they might as well be under the
British or French, as under their own Government.

Their voices were low--a rare event where Germans gather at table.
They did not plot, they merely grumbled incessantly.  The end of
the war had definitely sunk below their horizon, and peace, not
merely steps to peace, was what they longed for.  There was the
customary cursing of the Agrarians and the expressions of resolve
to have a new order of freedom after the war, expressions which I
believe will not be realised unless Germany is compelled to accept
peace by superior forces from without.

I left the dreary room for the dreary streets, and turned towards
the centre and West-end of Berlin, where the _cafe_ lights were
bright and tinkling music made restricted menu-cards easier to bear.

Suddenly the oppressive feeling of the East-end was dispelled by
the strains of military music drawing closer in a street near by.
I hurried towards it, and saw a band marching at the head of two
companies of wounded soldiers, their bandages showing white under
the bright street lights of Berlin.

The men were returning to their hospital off the Prenzlauer Allee
from a day's outing on the River Spree.  Scores of followers
swelled to hundreds.  The troubles of the day were forgotten.  Eyes
brightened as the throng kept step with the martial music.  A roll
of drum, a flare of brass, and the crowd, scattered voices at
first, and then swelling in a grand crescendo, sang _Deutschland
uber Alles_.  To-morrow they would complain again of food shortage
and sigh for peace, but tonight they would dream of victory.



CHAPTER XXVI

IN THE DEEPENING SHADOW

A little, bent old woman, neat, shrivelled, with clear, healthy eye
and keen intelligence, was collecting acorns in the park outside
the great Schloss, the residence of von Oppen, a relative of the
Police President of Berlin.

I had walked long and was about to eat my picnic lunch, and stopped
and spoke with her.  We soon came to the one topic in Germany--the
war.  She was eighty-four years of age, she told me, and she worked
for twelve hours a day.  Her mother had seen Napoleon pass through
the red-roofed village hard by.  She well remembered what she
called "the Bismarck wars."  She was of the old generation, for she
spoke of the Kaiser as "the King."

"No," she said, "this war is not going like the Bismarck wars--not
like the three that happened in 1864, 1866, 1870, within seven
years when I was a young woman."  She was referring, of course, to
Denmark, Austria, and France.  "We have lost many in our
village--food is hard to get."  Here she pointed to the two thin
slices of black bread which were to form her mid-day meal.  She did
not grumble at her twelve hours' day in the fields, which were in
addition to the work of her little house, but she wished that she
could have half an hour in which to read history.

Her belief was that the war would be terminated by the Zeppelins.
"When our humane King really gives the word, the English ships and
towns will all be destroyed by our Zeppelins.  He is holding back
his great secret of destruction out of kindness."

The remark of that simple, but intelligent old woman as to the
restraint imposed by the Kaiser upon the Zeppelins constituted the
universal belief of all Germany until the British doggedly built up
an air service under the stress of necessity, which has brilliantly
checked the aerial carnival of frightfulness.  People in Great
Britain seem to have no conception of the great part the Zeppelins
were to play in the war, according to German imagination.  That
simple old peasant lady expressed the views that had been uttered
to me by intelligent members of the Reichstag--bankers, merchants,
men and women of all degrees.  The first destruction of
Zeppelins--that by Lieutenant Warneford, and the bringing down of
LZ77 at Revigny, did not produce much disappointment.  The war was
going well in other directions.  But the further destruction of
Zeppelins has had almost as much to do with the desire for peace,
in the popular mind, as the discomfort and illness caused by food
shortage and the perpetual hammerings by the French and British
Armies in the West.

It should be realised that the Zeppelin has been a fetish of the
Germans for the last ten years.  The Kaiser started the worship by
publicly kissing Count Zeppelin, and fervently exclaiming that he
was the greatest man of the century.  Thousands of pictures have
been imagined of Zeppelins dropping bombs on Buckingham Palace, the
Bank of England, and the Grand Fleet.  For a long time, owing to
the hiding of the facts in England of the Zeppelin raids, even high
German officials believed that immense damage had been done.  The
French acted more wisely.  They allowed full descriptions of the
aeroplane and Zeppelin raids in France to be published, and the
result was discouraging to the Germans.  I remember studying the
British Zeppelin communiques with Germans.  At that time the London
Authorities were constantly referring to these raids taking place
in the "Eastern counties," when the returned Germans knew exactly
where they had been.  The result was great encouragement.  Nothing
did more to depress the Germans than the humorous and true accounts
of the Zeppelin raids which were eventually allowed to appear in
the English newspapers.

The Germans have now facts as to the actual damage done in England.
They know that the British public receive the Zeppelins with
excellent aircraft and gun-fire.   They know that anti-aircraft
preparations are likely to increase rather than decrease, and
while, for the sake of saving the nation's "face," it will be
necessary that Zeppelins be further used, the people who are
directing the war know that, so far as land warfare is concerned,
they are not a factor.

There have been more mishaps than have been published; more wounded
and damaged Zeppelins than the Germans have ever announced.  I was
informed that the overhauling and repair of many Zeppelins after a
successful or unsuccessful raid was a matter, not of days, but of
weeks.  There was great difficulty in obtaining crews.  Most of
them are sailors, as are the officers.  There have been suppressed
mutinies in connection with the manning of the Zeppelins.

Count Zeppelin, who, up to a year ago, was a national hero, is
already regarded by a large section of the population as a failure.
The very house servants who subscribed their pfennigs and marks in
the early days to help conduct his experiments now no longer speak
of him with respect.  They have transferred their admiration to
Hindenburg and the submarines.

The majority of Germans of all classes believe what they are
officially instructed to believe, no more, no less.  The
overmastering self-hypnotism which leads the present-day German to
believe that black is white, if it adds to his self-satisfaction,
is one of the most startling phenomena of history.  But what of
Ballin, Heineken, von Gwinner, Gutmann, Thyssen, Rathenau, and
other captains of industry and finance?  Some of them have
expressed opinions in interviews, but what do they _really_ think?
I am not going to indulge in any guesswork on this matter.  I am
simply going to disclose some important statements made at a secret
meeting attended by many of the business directors of the German
Empire.  The meeting was for the purpose of discussing actual
conditions in a straightforward manner, therefore no member of the
Press, German or foreign, was present.

In striking contrast with custom when the war is discussed, nothing
was said of _Kultur_, of German innocence or enemy guilt, of an
early and victorious peace, of British warships hiding always in
safety, or of the omniscience and infallibility of the Supreme
Military Command.

The little circle of Germans who have displayed such brilliant
organising ability in commerce and industry are practical men, who
look at the war and the days to follow the war in the cold light of
debit and credit.  This being the case, the honest opinions
expressed by Arthur von Gwinner, President of the Deutsche Bank,
are worthy of serious consideration.  His chief points were:--

1. The belief cherished by the mass of the nation that a Central
Europe Economic Alliance will amply compensate us for any
shortcomings elsewhere, and enable us to sit back and snap our
fingers at the rest of the world is too absurd to be entertained by
serious men.  Our trade, import and export, with Austria-Hungary
was as great as it could be for many years to come, and it was only
a small part of our total trade.  After the war, as before, the
bulk of our trade must be with countries now neutral or enemy, and
we must seriously consider how to hold and add to this trade in the
future.

2.  The solution of the labour problem will be vital in the work of
reconstruction.  We must make every provision in order to forge
rapidly ahead immediately after the close of the war.

_No German, except for necessary reasons of State, should be
allowed to leave the country for a number of years after the war_.

3. Before the war 3,000,000 Russians came to us every year at
harvest time.  These must continue to come.

4. We have done wonderful work in scientific agriculture, but the
limit of productivity of the soil has undoubtedly been reached.

5. Do not place too much hope in an early war between the United
States and Japan.

6. There is great rejoicing over the sinking of enemy ships.  It
should also be remembered, however, that we are not paying any
dividends at present.

In the discussion which followed the statements of Herr von Gwinner
and from various channels of reliable information which I made use
of in Germany, I found a serious view taken of these and other
topics, of which the great body of Germans are quite unaware.

Take the labour problem, for example.  For years Germany has
recognised the necessity of a rapid increase of population, if a
nation is to smash rivals in industry and war.  Not for a moment
during this struggle has Germany lost sight of this fact.  Many
times have I heard in the Fatherland that the assurance of milk to
children is not entirely for sentimental but also for practical
reasons.  Official attempts are being made at present to increase
the population in ways which cannot be discussed in this book.
"You get yourself born and the State does all the rest" was an
accurate analysis of Germany before the war; but the State looks
after everything now.

When men go home on leave from the army, married or single, they
are instructed in their duty of doing their part to increase the
population so that Germany will have plenty of colonists for the
Balkans, Turkey and Asia in the great economic development of those
regions.  To impress this they argue that Germany and France had
nearly the same number of inhabitants in 1870.  "See the difference
to-day," says the German.  "This difference is one of the chief
causes of our greatly superior strength."

Working girls in Dresden have not only been encouraged but quietly
advised to serve the State "by enabling Deutschland to achieve the
high place in the world which God marked out for it, which can only
be done if there are a sufficient number of Germans to make their
influence felt in the world."  They have been told not to worry,
that the State will provide for the offspring.  In fact, societies
of godfathers and godmothers are growing all over Germany.  They do
not necessarily have to bring up the child in their own home; they
can pay for its maintenance.  Thus the rich woman who does not care
to have many children herself is made to feel in ultra-scientific
Germany that she should help her poorer sister.

The Germans treat the matter very lightly.  In Bremen, for example,
where the quartering of Landsturmers (the oldest Germans called to
military service) among the people resulted in a large batch of
illegitimate children, I found it the custom, even in mixed society
of the higher circles, to refer to them jokingly as "young
Landsturmers."


A serious consideration of what Germany, or any other belligerent,
will do _after_ the war is usually of little value, as conditions
after the war depend upon what is done _during_ the war.  The
amount of freedom which the German people attain in the next few
years is in direct proportion to the amount of thrashing
administered to their country by the Allies.  Perhaps they will
have something to say about the frontier regulations of Germany;
but assuming that the training of centuries will prevent their
hastily casting aside their docility, it is extremely probable that
few, if any, Germans will be allowed to leave Germany during the
first years of reconstruction.

This will disappoint several million Germans.  Despite the snarling
rage displayed everywhere in the fatherland, except in diplomatic
circles, against the United States, I heard an ever-increasing
number of malcontents declare that, immediately after the close of
war, they would go to the States to escape the burden of taxation.
One hears two words--_Friede_ (peace) and _Essen_
(food)--constantly.   The third word I should add is _Steuern_
(taxes).  It is all very well to sit by some neutral fireside
reading Goethe or Schopenhauer, while listening to the
_Meistersinger von Nurnberg_, or the "Melody in F," and lull
yourself into the belief that the Germans are a race of idealists.
This touch is used to a considerable extent in German propaganda.
Any one familiar, however, with conditions in modern Germany knows
that Germans are ultra-materialistic.

I have heard them talk of the cost of the war from the very
beginning.  They gloated over the sweeping indemnities they would
exact.  After they realised the possibilities of State-organised
scientific burglary in Belgium they were beside themselves in
joyful anticipation of what Paris, London, and a score of other
cities would yield.  When the war became a temporary stalemate, I
heard it said, particularly by army officers, that Germany was
taking no chances with the future, but was exacting indemnities now
from the occupied districts.  When taxes rose and food shortage
increased, the possibility that the Germans themselves would have
to pay some of their own costs of the war in various forms of
taxation determined a rapidly growing number to seek a way out by
emigrating at the first opportunity.

As Herr Ballin said, "The world will find us as strongly organised
for peace as we were organised for war."  The labour problem,
however, not only now, but for the days of reconstruction, is
viewed very seriously, how seriously may be gathered from the fact
that there is so much apprehension that Russia may refuse to allow
her workers to go to Germany for some years after the war, that
nearly everyone at the secret conference mentioned above was in
favour of making concessions at the peace conference, should Russia
insist.  Indeed one Rhinelander was of the opinion that it would be
worth while giving up Courland to get an unlimited supply of labour.

In the meantime the Germans have not been idle in other directions.
Until Hindenburg called up his immense levies in the late summer,
Germany exported steel building materials and coal to contiguous
neutral countries, but she can no longer do this.  Nevertheless,
she did make elaborate preparations to "dump" into Russia on a
colossal scale immediately after the resumption of intercourse.
Immense supplies of farming implements and other articles of steel
have been stored in the Rhineland, Westphalia, and Silesia, ready
for immediate shipment to Russia, thus enabling Germany to get
ahead of all rivals in this field.

Germans also derive comfort from the fact that their ships will be
ready at once to carry cargoes and passengers, while so many of
those of the Allies will be used for the transport of troops after
the close of the war, and must then rent.

With such plans for "getting the jump" on competitors it is only
natural that I saw more and more irritability on the part of the
financial men with each month of the war after last April.

Von Gwinner's remark about the improbability of war between Japan
and the United States in the near future would, if known to the
German people, cause still another keen disappointment, since one
of their solaces has been the thought that they would soon have an
opportunity of reaping a munition harvest themselves.

When Germany tried to make a separate peace with Russia, Japan was
also approached--how far, I do not know.  The Wilhelmstrasse still
maintains a Japanese department, and any possible thread, however
light, which may be twisted from a Tokyo newspaper to show that
perhaps Japan may be won over, is pounced upon most eagerly.
Germany, Japan, and Russia was the combination whispered in Berlin
at the time of the unsuccessful attempt to separate the Allies.

Absolute governments have certain advantages in war.  They have
also disadvantages.  When things are not running smoothly in
Germany the Germans worry more than do the English when things are
not going well in England.  When the German leaders began to
disagree as to the best methods to conduct the war, the effect upon
the people was demoralising.  Only their gullibility saved them
from complete dismay, Month after month the great struggle raged,
under the surface for the most part, but occasionally boiling over.
Would it be to the best interests of Germany to go the limit with
the submarines or not?  Not once did I hear the subject discussed
on ethical grounds.  Some remarks made to me by Doctor Stresemann,
one of the powerful rational Liberals behind the mammoth industrial
trust in Germany, and the most violent apostle of frightfulness in
the Reichstag, aptly express the sentiment in favour of
unrestricted submarine warfare.  He and the rest of the men behind
Tirpitz had fought and lost in the three Committee assemblies
called to discuss U-boat policy in 1916.

As the day set for the September meeting of the Reichstag
approached I noticed that Herr Stresemann was growing more and more
excited.  "This war is lasting too long," he declared to me in
great agitation.  "The Kaiser's most glaring fault is that of
trying to fight Great Britain with one foot in the grave of
chivalry.  If the Chancellor continues to sway him, we will wreck
the Chancellor at all costs.  The only way to win this war is to
publish again, and this time enforce, the decree of February 4th,
1915, warning all neutrals to keep out of the submarine zone."

"But, according to the '_Sussex_ Ultimatum,' that will cause a
break with the United States," I said.

"We cannot let that deter us," he declared.  "Britain is the
keystone of our enemies.  If she falls they all fall.  We must
attack her where she is vulnerable.  _We must starve her out_.  As
for America, we have little to fear from her.  In the first place,
although she may break off diplomatic relations, she will not enter
the war if we are careful not to sink _her_ ships.  As American
ships play a small part in the carrying trade to England, we can
thus refrain from sinking them--although we naturally should not
proclaim this.

"In the second place, if America does declare war upon Germany, it
would have little effect.  The war will be over before she can
organise after the manner of Great Britain.  Herr Helfferich
(former Minister of Finance and now Vive-Chancellor) feels that we
should do everything possible to keep America out, inasmuch as
thereby we shall be in a better position to conclude commercial
treaties after the war.  Herr Helfferich exerted powerful influence
in the meeting at Great Headquarters at the time of the Sussex
Crisis.  But our duty to ourselves is to win the war.  If we starve
out England we win, no matter how many enemies we have.  If we
fail, another enemy, even the United States, would not make our
defeat more thorough.  We are justified, for our existence is at
stake.  The only way we can escape defeat is by a successful U-boat
war against England.  That would change defeat into overwhelming
victory.  I am absolutely confident; that is why the slow methods
of the Chancellor make me so angry.  It will take at least half a
year to bring England to her knees, and with our increased
privations he may wait too long.  But we shall compel him; we shall
compel him."

Herr Stresemann later requested me not to publish these
statements--at least, not until a decision had been reached.  I
did, however, lay the matter before the American Embassy in London
as soon as I arrived in England, since my investigations in Germany
left no doubt in my mind that she would play two great cards--one,
to work for peace through negotiation; the other, the last
desperate recourse to the submarine.

As I write (January 21st, 1917) I am convinced that it is only a
question of time until Germany is reduced to this last desperate
resort.  The men, who will decide that time will be Hindenburg and
Batocki.  The successful siege of Germany is a stupendous though
not impossible task.

On the other hand, the human system is a very elastic piece of
mechanism, and modern man, far from being the degenerate which some
admirers of cave-man hardihood have pictured him, is able to
undergo a tremendous amount of privation.  Besieged cities have
nearly always held out longer than the besiegers expected.  In the
besieged city the civilian population is for the most part a drag
on the military, but in besieged Germany the civilian population,
reinforced by slave labour from Belgium, France and Poland,
continues working at high pressure in order to enable the military
to keep the field.  Fat is the vital factor.  The more munitions
Germany heaps up the more fat she must use for this purpose, and
the less she will have for the civil population, with a consequent
diminution of their output of work.  Germany simply cannot burn the
candle at both ends.  It is my personal opinion that Verdun marks
the supreme culmination of German military offensive in the West,
and the West is the decisive theatre of war.  If that is
Hindenburg's opinion, then he realises that another colossal German
offensive in the West would not bring a victorious peace.  There
remains only the alternative of building up a defensive against the
coming Allied attacks--an alternative depending for its success
upon sufficient food for the mass of the people.  Thus the U-boat
decision clearly rests upon the Chief of Staff and the Food
Dictator, since their advice to the Imperial Chancellor and the All
Highest War Lord must be determinative.  When the day comes for
Germany to proclaim to the world that she will sink at sight all
ships going to and from the ports of her enemies, that day will be
one of the great moments of history.  Germany's last card will be
on the table.  It will be war to the knife.  Either she will starve
Great Britain or Great Britain, will starve her.

These are problems for the leaders, who have the further task of
keeping the population hopeful on an alarmingly decreasing diet.
Superficially, or until you want something to eat, or a ride in a
taxicab, Berlin at night is gay.  But you somehow feel that the
gaiety is forced.  London at first sight is appallingly gloomy is
the evening, and foreigners hardly care to leave their hotels.  But
I find that behind the gloom and the darkness there is plenty of
spontaneous merriment at the theatres and other places of
entertainment.  There is plenty of food, little peace talk, and
quiet confidence.

Across the North Sea, however, great efforts are made by the German
Government to keep up the spirits of the people.  No public
entertainer need go to the war at all, and the opera is carried on
exactly as in peace time, though I confess that my material soul
found it difficult to enjoy Tristan on a long and monotonous diet
of sardines, potatoes, cheese and fresh-water fish--chiefly pike
and carp.  A humorous American friend used to laugh at the
situation--the brilliantly dressed house, officers in their
extremely handsome grey uniforms, ladies, some of them with too
many diamonds, and--very little to eat.

At the slightest military gain the bells of victory peal wildly,
and gay flags colour mile after mile of city streets, flags under
which weary, silent women crawl in long lines to the shops where
food is sold.  A bewildering spectacle is this crawling through
victory after victory ever nearer to defeat.

Early in the war a Norwegian packer, who had not had much demand
for his sardines in Germany, put the picture of Hindenhurg on the
tins and christened them the "Hindenburg Sardines."  When he
changed the trade-mark the Germans bought them as fast as he could
supply them--not because they were short of food at that time, but
through the magic of a name.  To-day all that is changed.
Norwegians no longer have to flatter the Germans, who are anxious
to buy anything in the way of food.  They flood Germany now with
impunity with sardines whose merits are extolled in the hated
English language, sardines which had originally been intended for
Britain or America, but which are now eagerly snapped up at four
and five times the peace price by people who invariably bid one
another good-bye with "Gott strafe England."  I saw the gem of the
collection in a Friedrichstrasse window.  It was entitled: "Our
Allies Brand," on a bright label which displayed the flags of Great
Britain, Prance, Russia, Italy, Belgium and Japan.

In Germany you feel that the drama of the battlefield has changed
to the drama of the larder.  Hope and despair succeed one another
in the determination to hold out economically while soldier and
sailor convince the world that Germany cannot be beaten.  People
laugh at the blockade, sneer at the blockade and curse the blockade
in the same breath.  A headline of victory, a mention of the army,
the army they love, and they boast again.  Then a place in the food
line, or a seat at table, and they whine at the long war and rage
against "British treachery."  Like a cork tossing on the
waves--such is the spirit of Germany.

The majority struggle on in the distorted belief that Germany was
forced to defend herself from attack planned by Great Britain,
while the minority are kept in check by armed patrols and
"preventive arrest."

The spirit of "all for the Fatherland" is yielding to the spirit of
self-preservation of the individual.  Everywhere one sees evidence
of this.  The cry of a little girl running out of a meat shop in
Friedenau, an excellent quarter of Berlin, brought me in to find a
woman, worn out with grief over the loss of her son and the long
waiting in the _queue_ for food, lying on the floor in a
semi-conscious condition.  It is the custom to admit five or six
people at a time.  I was at first surprised that nobody in the line
outside had stirred at the appeal of the child, but I need not have
expected individual initiative even under the most extenuating
circumstances from people so slavishly disciplined that they would
stolidly wait their turn.  But the four women inside--why did they
not help the woman?  The spirit of self-preservation must be the
answer.  For them the main event of the day was to secure the
half-pound of meat which would last them for a week.  They simply
would not be turned from that one objective until it was reached.

And the soldiers passing through Berlin!  I saw some my last
afternoon in Berlin, loaded with their kit, marching silently down
Unter den Linden to the troop trains, where a few relatives would
tearfully bid them good-bye.  There was not a sound in their
ranks--only the dull thud of their heavy marching boots.  They
didn't sing nor even speak.  The passers-by buttoned their coats
more tightly against the chill wind and hurried on their several
ways, with never a thought or a look for the men in field-grey,
moving, many of them for the last time, through the streets of the
capital.  The old man who angered the war-mad throng before the
_Schloss_ on August 1st, 1914, with his discordant croak of "War is
a serious business, young man," lives in the spirit of to-day.  And
he did not have to go to the mountain!



CHAPTER XXVII

ACROSS THE NORTH SEA

After my last exit from Germany into Holland I was confronted by a
new problem.  I had found going to England very simple on my
previous war-time crossings.  Now, however, there were two
obstacles in my path--first, to secure permission to Board a vessel
bound for England; secondly, to make the actual passage safely.

The passport difficulty was the first to overcome.  The passport
with which I had come to Europe before the war, and which had been
covered with frontier _visees_, secret service permissions and
military permissions, from the Alps to the White Sea and from the
Thames to the Black Sea, had been cancelled in Washington at my
request during my brief visit home in the autumn of 1915.  On my
last passport I had limited the countries which I intended to visit
to Germany and Austria-Hungary.  I purposed adding to this list as
I had done on my old passport, but subsequent American regulations,
aimed at restricting travellers to one set of belligerents,
prevented that.

I was not only anxious to return to London to continue my work with
Lord Northcliffe on _The Times_ and the _Daily Mail_, but I was
encouraged by two American officials in Germany and Austria-Hungary
to write the truth about Germany--a feat quite impossible, as one
of them said to me, for a correspondent remaining in the zone of
the Central Powers.  The official in Austria-Hungary had become
righteously indignant at the sneering German remarks about how they
could "play with Washington in the U-boat question."  He asked me
to learn all possible news of submarines.  The official in Germany
had been impressed by my investigations among the men behind
Tirpitz, men who never for a moment ceased in their efforts to turn
on frightfulness in full force.  When I mentioned the new American
passport regulations which would delay me getting to England, he
said: "In Holland fix it with the British.  I hope you will do some
good with all this information, for you have the big scoop of the
day.  Now is the time."

I tried to "fix it" with the British authorities in Rotterdam, but
as they did not know me my progress was slow for a few days.  Then
I went to Amsterdam to my old newspaper friend, Charles Tower,
correspondent for the _Daily Mail_, a man of broad experience, and
in close touch with affairs in Holland, a country which war
journalists have grown to look upon as an important link in the
news chain between Germany and England.  I realised that this move
might confirm the suspicions of von Kuhlmann's spies who were on my
trail.  However, the free air of Holland was making me a little
incautious, a little over-confident.

"There is the man who is following you," said Tower, as we stepped
in the evening from his home on to the brightly lighted street and
made our way along the edge of the canals.  The tall,
round-shouldered German shadowed us through the crowded streets to
the Amstel Hotel.  Then we shadowed him, while he telephoned for
help which came in the form of a persistent Hollander, who insisted
in sitting at the table next to us, although it had just been
vacated by diners and needed re-arranging, whereas many other
tables were entirely free.

That is a sample of the manner in which we were systematically
spied upon.  In order to make arrangements it was necessary for us
to travel together so that we could talk, as our time was limited.
It was absolutely impossible for us to go into a restaurant or get
into a railway compartment without having a satellite at our elbow.
They were very persistent and very thorough; but the system in
Holland has the same glaring flaw that is common to the German
system everywhere--too much system and not sufficient cleverness in
the individual.

Von Kuhlmann, the German Minister, certainly does not lack men.  We
encountered them everywhere.  Travelling first class gives one more
or less privacy in Holland, so that it was decidedly irritating to
have a listener make for our compartment, while adjoining
first-class compartments were entirely empty.  If the intrusion
resulted in our going to another compartment, an ever-ready
_Kamerad_ would quickly join us.

In all countries Germany considers certain telephone connections to
be of great strategic importance.  It is practically impossible to
be connected with the British Consulate at Rotterdam, until the
"interpreter" is put on.  Mr. Tower experiences the same annoyance.
Indeed, the Germans are extremely attentive to him, Although he
needs only a small flat, since he lives alone, he has to protect
himself by hiring the floor above and the floor below, as the
Germans are continually trying to get rooms as close to him as
possible.  The German Government has for years been pouring out
money like water to conquer the world.  If I were a German taxpayer
I should feel much like the man who discovers that the Florida land
which some smooth-talking combination travelling book-agent and
real estate agent persuaded him to buy is several feet under water.

Tower and the British authorities finally obtained permission for
me to land in England, but they insisted that it would be worse
than useless for me to attempt to go on a Dutch steamer, as I
should be taken off.  Within a week two of these steamers had been
conducted by the Germans to Zeebrugge.

After I had left word that I wished to go at the first possible
opportunity, and had received some further instructions, Tower and
I left for Rotterdam on our last train ride together in Holland.
The little man with the book who sat beside us in the tram to the
Central station turned us over to a big man with whitish eyebrows
and reddish hair and moustache, who followed us into a second-class
compartment, which we had entered purposely, although we had bought
first-class tickets.  We then pretended to discover our mistake and
changed to a vacant first-class compartment.  Through some rare
oversight there was no _Kamerad_ on hand, whereupon the man with
the reddish hair followed us with the pathetically
feeble-explanation that he, too, had made the same mistake.

When Tower and I had talked _ad nauseam_ on such fiercely neutral
subjects as Dutch cheese and Swiss scenery, I felt an impelling
desire to "get even" with the intruder, and began to complain to
Tower of the injustice of the British not allowing me to return to
America via England, which I wished to see for a few days.  He took
the cue readily, and accused me of being "fed-up like all neutral
correspondents in Berlin."  He frankly expressed his disgust at the
enthusiasm which he declared that I had been showing for everything
German since I met him in Holland.  As the train pulled into the
Hague, where I prepared to leave him, he concluded by saying,
"After all, you ought not to blame the British authorities for
refusing you permission to go to England.  I have done my best and
have failed; there is nothing more that I can do.  I did get one
concession for you, however.  You will not be roughly handled or
otherwise maltreated when your vessel touches at Falmouth."

I had to make a serious effort to keep a straight face while
leaving the train with this last realistic touch of "British
brutality" ringing in my ears.  Tower, I might add, had voiced the
extraordinary myth one hears in the Fatherland about the terrible
manner in which the British treat passengers on neutral steamers
touching at their ports.

The man with the reddish hair followed me to the office of the
Holland-America Line, where I made application for a reservation on
the boat which would sail in a week or ten days.  From there I went
to a small restaurant.  He seemed satisfied and left me, whereupon
I followed him.  He hurried to the large Cafe Central, stepped
straight to a table in the front room, which is level with the
street, and seated himself beside a thin, dark German of the
intellectual type who appeared to be awaiting him.  From my seat in
the shadows of the higher room I watched with amusement the
increasingly puzzled expression on the face of the intellectual
German while the man with the reddish hair unfolded his tale.  When
they parted my curiosity caused me to trail after the thin, dark
man.  He went straight to the German Legation.

For two days I nervously paced up and down the sands at
Scheveningen looking out upon the North Sea and waiting for the
call.  It came one short drizzly afternoon.  The Germans, of
course, knew the whereabouts of the vessel on which I should embark
for England, though it is highly improbable that they knew the
sailing time, and they did not know when I should go on it.

I did everything possible to throw any possible spies off the trail
as I made my way in the dark to a lonely wharf on the Maas River
where I gave the password to a watchman who stepped out of a black
corner near the massive gates which opened to the pier.

I went aboard a little five hundred ton vessel with steam up, and
stood near two other men on the narrow deck, where I watched in
considerable awe the silent preparations to cast away.

A man stepped out of the cabin.  "I presume, sir, that you are the
American journalist," he said.  He explained that he was the
steward.  From the bridge came the voice of the captain, "We can
give them only a few minutes more," he said.

Two minutes of silence, broken only by the gentle throbbing of the
engines.   Then from the blackness near the street gate came the
sound of hurrying feet.  I could make out three stumbling figures,
apparently urged along by a fourth.  "Who are they?" I asked the
steward.

"They must be the three Tommies who escaped from Germany.  Brave
lads they are.  A couple more days and we'll have them hack in
England."

"A couple of days?" I exclaimed.  "Why, it's only eight hours to
the Thames estuary, isn't it?"

"Eight hours in peace time; and eight hours for Dutch boats
now--when the Germany don't kidnap them away to Zeebrugge.  But the
course to the Thames is not our course.  The old fourteen-hour trip
to Hull often takes us forty now.  Every passage is different, too.
It isn't only on the sea that the Germans try to bother us; they
also keep after us when we are in port here.  Only yesterday the
Dutch inspectors did us a good turn by arresting five spies
monkeying around the boat--three Germans and two Dutchmen."

The little vessel was headed into the stream now, the three Tommies
had gone inside, followed a little later by the two men who were on
the deck when I arrived, men who talked French.  When the steward
left I was alone on the deck.

I watched the receding lights of Rotterdam till they flickered out
in the distance.  The night was misty and too dark to make out
anything on shore.  My thoughts went back to the last time, nearly
a year before, when I had been on that river.  I saw it then, in
flood of moonlight as I stepped on the boat deck of the giant liner
_Rotterdam_.  The soft strains of a waltz floated up from the music
room, adding enchantment to the windmills and low Dutch farmhouses
strung out below the level of the water.

At that time my thoughts were full of my coming attempt to get into
Germany, a Germany which was smashing through Serbia, and already
planning the colossal onslaught against Verdun, the onslaught which
she hoped would put France out of the war.  I had got into Germany,
but for a long time I had almost despaired of getting out; twice I
had been turned back courteously but firmly from the frontiers,
once when I tried to cross to Switzerland and again when I started
for Denmark.  A reliable friend had told me that the Wilhelmstrasse
had suspected me but could prove nothing against me.  The day
before I felt Germany I was called to the Wilhelmstrasse, where I
received the interesting and somewhat surprising information that
the greatest good that a correspondent could do in the world be to
use his influence to bring the United States and Germany to a
better understanding.  I made neither comment nor promise.  I was
well aware that the same Wilhelmstrasse, while laying the wires for
an attempt to have my country play Germany's game, was sedulously
continuing its propaganda of _Gott strafe Amerika_ among the German
people.  As in the hatred sown against Great Britain hate against
America was sown so that the Government would have a united Germany
behind them in case of war.

I was at last out of Germany, but the lights of the Hook of Holland
reminded me that a field of German activity lay ahead--floating
mines, torpedoes, submarines, and swift destroyers operating from
Ostend and Zeebrugge.  They are challenging British supremacy in
the southern part of the North Sea, through the waters of which we
must now feel our way.

We were off the Hook running straight to the open sea.  The nervous
feeling of planning and delay of the last few days gave way now to
the exhilaration which comes of activity in danger.  If the Germans
should get us, the least that would happen to me would be
internment until the end of the war.  I was risking everything on
the skill and pluck of the man who paced the bridge above my head,
and on the efficiency of the British patrol of the seas.

The little steamer suddenly began to plunge and roll with the waves
washing her decks when I groped my way, hanging to the rail, to the
snug cabin where six men sat about the table.  The pallor of their
faces made them appear wax-like in the yellow light of the smoking
oil lamp which swung suspended overhead.  Three of them were
British, two were Belgian, and one was French, but there was a
common bond which drew them together in a comradeship which
transcends all harriers of nationality, for they had escaped from a
common enemy.

They welcomed me to the table.  It is surprising what a degree of
intimacy can spring up between seven men, all with histories
behind, and all with the same hope of getting to England.  They
were only beginning to find themselves, they were indeed still
groping to pick up the threads of reality of a world from which
they had been snatched two years before.

The Englishman at my right, a corporal, had been taken prisoner
with a bullet in his foot at the retreat from Mons.  In the summer
of 1916 he had been sent to a punishment work camp near Windau in
Courland.  I had already heard unsavoury rumours of this camp while
I was in Germany, of men forced to toil until they dropped in their
tracks, of an Englishman shot simply because his guard was in bad
temper.  But the most damning arraignment of Windau came from a
young Saxon medical student, who told me that after he had
qualified, for a commission as second lieutenant he declined to
accept it.  This was such an unusual occurrence in a country where
the army officer is a semi-deity that I was naturally curious to
know why.

"I am loyal to the Fatherland," the young Saxon said to me, "and I
am not afraid to die.  I was filled with enthusiasm to receive a
commission, but all that enthusiasm died when I saw the way Russian
prisoners were treated in East Prussia and at Windau.  I saw them
stripped to the waist under orders from the camp officers, tied to
trees and lashed until the blood flowed.  When I saw one prisoner,
weak from underfeeding, cut with switches until he died in the
presence of a Berlin captain, my mind was made up.  My country has
gone too far in making the army officer supreme.  I now could see
the full significance of Zabern, a significance which I could not
realise at the time.  During the first part of the war I became
angry when outsiders called us barbarians; now I feel sad.  I do
not blame them.  But it is our system that is at fault, and we must
correct it.  Therefore, although I am an insignificant individual
and do not count, I shall, as I love my country, obey the dictates
of my conscience.  I will not be an officer in the German system."

I thought of that sincere young student while the boat staggered
under the onslaughts of heavy seas, and the corporal told of how
twelve hours' daily toil on the railway in Courland with rations
entirely inadequate for such work, finally put him on the sick
list, and he was sent back to Munster in western Germany.

He was then sent into the fields with two companions--the two who
were in the group about the table--and with them he seized a
favourable opportunity to escape.  His companions had tried on
previous occasions, each separately, but had been caught, sent back
and put into dark cells and given only one meal a day for a long
and weakening period.  That did not daunt them.  The Germans
thought that men who had gone through that kind of punishment would
not try to escape again.  Yet as soon as their strength was
restored through their food parcels from home they were off, but in
an entirely different direction.

I asked one of them, a little Welshman, where be got the waterproof
rubber bag on the floor at his feet, in which were all his earthly
belongings.  "That used to be the old German farmer's tablecloth,"
he said.

To-day in Europe there are millions of civilians dressed in
military uniform, which fails to hide the fact that their main work
of life is not that of the soldier.  But the three British soldiers
sitting under the smoky brass lamp were of a different sort.
Twelve years of service had so indelibly stamped them as soldiers
of the King that the make-shift clothing given them in Holland,
could not conceal their calling.  Their faces were an unnatural
white from the terrible experiences which they had undergone, but,
like the rest of the Old Army, they were always soldiers, every
inch of them.

The two men whom, I had heard talking French on the deck were
Belgians.  The one had been a soldier at Liege, and had managed to
scramble across a ditch after his three days' tramp to Holland,
although the sentry's bullet whistled uncomfortably close.  He said
that his strongest wish was to rejoin the Belgian army so that he
might do his part to avenge the death of seven civilian hostages
who had been shot before his eyes.

The other Belgian was just over military age, but he wanted to
reach England to volunteer.  His nerve and resource are certainly
all right.  He knew of the electrified wire along the Belgian-Dutch
frontier, so he brought two pieces of glass with him, and thus held
the current of death away from his body while he wriggled through
to freedom.

We talked until after midnight.  The French captain, formerly an
instructor of artillery at Saint Cyr--the West Point and the
Sandhurst of France--taken prisoner in the first autumn of the war,
was the last to tell his story.

At Torgau, Saxony, in the heart of Germany, be plunged into the
Elbe in the darkness of night, stemmed the swift waters, and on
landing, half-drowned, rose speedily and walked fast to avoid a
fatal chill.

For twenty-nine days he struggled on towards liberty.  Nothing but
the tremendous impulse of the desire for freedom could have carried
him on his own two feet across Germany, without money, through
countless closely-policed villages and great cities, in a country
where everyone carries an identity book (with which, of course, he
was unprovided), without a friend or accomplice at any point of the
journey, with only a map torn from a railway time-table, and no
other guides than the sun, moon, and stars and direction posts.  I
will give the rest of the man's story in his own words.

"I came to the conclusion that my brain would not stand the
captivity.  I knew some of the difficulties before me, but I doubt
whether I would have started if I had known them all.  I lived on
unthreshed wheat and rye, apples, blackberries, bilberries,
carrots, turnips and even raw potatoes.  I did not taste one morsel
of cooked food or anything stronger than water till I arrived in
Holland.  I did not speak one word to any human being.  On two
occasions I marched more than thirty miles in the twenty-four
hours.  I slept always away from the roadside, and very often by
day, and as far as possible from any inhabited house.  I am, as you
see, weak and thin, practically only muscle and bone, and during
the last three days, while waiting in Holland for the boat, I have
had to eat carefully to avoid the illness that would almost
certainly follow repletion."

After I had lain down for a few hours' sleep, I thought, as I had
often thought during the past thirty months, that although this is
a war of machinery there is plenty of the human element in it, too.
People who tell only of the grim-drab aspect of the great struggle
sometimes forget that romances just as fine as were ever spun by
Victor Hugo happen around, them every day.

At dawn I hung to the rail of the wildly tossing ship, looking at
the horizon from which the mists were clearing.  Two specks began
to grow into the long low black lines of destroyers.  Our most
anxious moment of the voyage had come.  We waited for the shot that
would show them to be German.

"They're all right.  They're the escort!" came a voice on the winds
that swept over the bridge.

They grew rapidly large, lashed the sea white as they tore along
one on each side of us, diving through the waves when they could
not ride them.  When abreast of us they seemed almost to stop in
their own length, wheel and disappear in the distance.  Somehow the
way they wheeled reminded me of the way the Cossacks used to pull
their horses sharply at right angles when I saw them covering the
rearguard in the retreat through the Bukovina.

The rough soldier at my side looked after them, with a mist in his
eyes that did not come from the sea.  "I'll be able to see my wife
again," he said, more to the waves than to me.  "I didn't write,
because I didn't want to raise any false hopes.  But this settles
it, we're certain to get home safe now.  I suppose I'll walk in and
find her packing my food parcel for Germany--the parcel that kept
me alive, while some of them poor Russian chaps with nobody to send
them parcels are going under every day."

We ran close to two masts sticking up out of the water near the
mouth of the Humber, the mast of our sister ship, which had gone
down with all on board when she struck a mine.

That is the sort of sight which makes some critics say, "What is
the matter with the British Navy?" Those critics forget to praise
the mine-sweepers that we saw all about, whose bravery, endurance
and noble spirit of self-sacrifice lead them to persevere in their
perilous work and enable a thousand ships to reach port to one that
goes down.

On that rough voyage across the North Sea, through the destroyer
and armed motor launch patrol, maintained by men who work
unflinchingly in the shadow of death, I felt once again the power
of the British Navy.  I cast my lot with that Navy when I left
Holland.  I know what its protection means, for I could not have
crossed on a neutral Dutch vessel.

It is all very well to complain about a few raiders that manage in
thirty months to pierce the British patrols, or the hurried dash of
swift destroyers into the Channel, but when you look from the white
chalk cliffs of the Kentish coast at hundreds of vessels passing
safely off the Downs, when you sail the Atlantic and the
Mediterranean and see only neutral and Allied ships carrying on
commerce, when you cross the Rhine and stand in food lines hour
after hour and day after day, where men and women who gloried in
war now whine at the hardships it brings, when you see a mighty
nation disintegrating in the shadow of starvation, and then pass to
another nation, which, though far less self-sustaining in food, has
plenty to eat, you simply have to realise that there are silent
victories which are often farther reaching than victories of
_eclat_.



CHAPTER XXVIII

THE LITTLE SHIPS

I have been particularly impressed with two misconceptions which
have existed, and to some extent still exist, not only in Germany
but in neutral countries.  The first is that England lacks
virility, is degenerate, has had her day of greatness; the second,
that in the present war she is continuing what is alleged to have
been her policy in the past, namely, pulling the strings and
reaping the benefit while other nations do the fighting.  Through
personal investigation I find these contentions so thoroughly
refuted that to develop the point would be to commence another book
instead of finishing this one.

As I write I can look from my desk in the Alexandra Hotel,
Bridlington, on to the North Sea where it washes the "Frightfulness
Coast," for Bridlington lies between Hull and Scarborough.

I see trawlers fishing and mine-sweeping whenever I raise my eyes
from my writing.  Their crews know that they work in the shadow of
death in what they describe in the dock-side taverns as the
greatest sport in the world.  Praise of the big ships often causes
us to forget the little ships.  I admire the one and reverence the
other.  For if the men on the humbler craft could be intimidated,
the doctrine of Frightfulness would be justified by victory.

Intimidation is a favourite weapon of the people across the Rhine.
I was among them when their airmen dropped bombs on Paris early in
the war.  "It is really humane," they said, "for it will frighten
the civilian population into imploring the military to yield to us
to save them."  They thought the same of Zeppelin raids over
England.  Intimidation was their guiding star in Belgium.  The
first I heard of the massacre of Louvain was from one of its
perpetrators.

Intimidation was again their weapon in the case of Captain Fryatt.
"We planned it well," snarled a member of the Reichstag, incensed
over my expression of disapproval, "Before we sent our ships to
intercept the _Brussels_ we determined to capture him, try him
quickly and execute him.  Since our submarines will win the war we
must protect them by all passible means.  You see, when the next
British captain thinks of ramming one of our submarines he will
remember the fate of Captain Fryatt and think twice!"

Once more Germany is attempting intimidation, and seeking to make
neutrals her ally in an attempt to starve Britain into defeat.  The
American Ambassador is leaving Berlin, hundreds of neutral vessels
hug havens of safety all over the world, but the women in Grimsby
and Hull still wave farewell to the little trawlers that slip down
the Humber to grapple with death.  Freighters, mine-sweepers,
trawlers, and the rest of the unsung tollers of the sea continue
their silent, all-important task.  They know that for them Germany
has declared the law off, that they will be slaughtered at sight.
They know also that despite the Grand Fleet and the armies in
France, the Allies and their cause will go down in complete defeat
if Germany succeeds in blocking the routes of commerce.  The
insurmountable obstacle in her path is the simple, old-fashioned
dogged courage of the average British seaman.

The Germans have developed to an astounding degree the quality of
incorrectly diagnosing other peoples, due partly to the unbounded
conceit engendered by their three wars of unification and their
rapid increase of prosperity.  Their mental food in recent years
has been war, conquest, disparagement of others and glorification
of self.  They entered the struggle thinking only in army corps and
siege artillery.   Certain undefinable moral qualities, such as the
last-ditch spirit of the old British Army on the Yser, did not come
within their scope of reckoning.

British illusions of the early part of the war are gone.  The
average Briton fully appreciates Germany's gigantic strength, and
he coldly realises that as conditions are at present, his country
must supply most of the driving force--men, guns, and shells--to
break it.  He thinks of the awful cost in life, and the thought
makes him serious, but he is ready for any sacrifice.  He welcomes
help from Allies and neutrals, but whether the help be great or
small, he is willing and resolved to stand on his own feet, and
carry on to the end.  It is this spirit which makes Britain
magnificent to-day.

When losses are brought home to the Germans they generally give
vent to their feelings by hurling maledictions upon their enemies.
The Briton, under similar circumstances, is usually remarkably
quiet, but, unlike the German, he is _individually_ more
determined, in consequence of the loss, to see the thing through.
Somehow the German always made me feel that his war determination
had been organised for him.

Organisation is the glory and the curse of Germany.  The Germans
are by nature and training easily influenced, and as a mass they
can be led as readily in the right path as in the wrong.
Common-sense administration and co-operation have made their cities
places of beauty, health, comfort and pleasure.  But when you stop
for a moment in your admiration of the streets, buildings, statues,
bridges, in such a city as Munich and enter a crowded hall to sit
among people who listen with attention, obedience and delight to a
professor venomously instructing them in their duty of "hating with
the whole heart and the whole mind," and convincing them that "only
through hate can the greatest obstacles be overcome," you begin to
suspect that something is wrong.

It is part of the Prussian nature to push everything to extremes, a
trait which has advantages and disadvantages.  It has resulted in
brilliant achievements in chemical and physical laboratories, and
in gout, dyspepsia and flabbiness in eating establishments.  A
virtue carried too far becomes a vice.  In Germany patriotism
becomes jingoistic hatred and contempt for others, organisation
becomes the utilisation of servility, obedience becomes willingness
to do wrong at command.

Americans and British are inclined to ascribe to the Germans their
own qualities.  In nothing is this more obvious than in the English
idea that the fair treatment of Germans in England, will beget fair
treatment of the English in Germany.  The Prussians, who have many
Oriental characteristics--and some of them, a good deal of Oriental
appearance--think orientally and attribute fair, or what we call
sportsmanlike, treatment to fright and a desire to curry favour.

When Maubeuge fell I heard Germans of all classes boast of how
their soldiers struck the British who offered to shake hands after
they surrendered to the Germans.  Nearly two years later, during
the Battle of the Somme, some Berlin papers copied from London
papers a report of how British soldiers presented arms to the group
of prisoners who had stubbornly defended Ovillers.  I called the
attention of several German acquaintances to this as an evidence of
Anglo-Saxon sporting spirit, but I got practically the same
response in every case.  "Yes, they are beginning at last to see
what we can do!" was the angry remark.

The Germans have become more and more "Prussianised" in recent
years.  State worship had advanced so far that the German people
entered the conflict in the perverted belief that the German
Government had used every means to avert war.  It is a mistake,
however, to suppose that the German people entered the war
reluctantly.  They did not.  There was perfect unity in the joyful
thought of German invincibility, easy and complete victory, plenty
of plunder, and such huge indemnities that the growing burden of
taxation would be thrown off their shoulders.

A country where the innocent children are scientifically inoculated
with the virus of hate, where force, and only force, is held to be
the determinant internationally of mine and thine, where the morals
of the farmyard, are preached from the professorial chair in order
to manufacture human cogs for the machine of militarism, is an
undesirable and a dangerous neighbour and will continue so until it
accepts other standards.  A victorious Germany would not accept
other standards.

That is why I look on the little ships with so much admiration this
morning.  They sail between Germany and victory, for if they could
be intimidated Britain would be starved out.  Then the gospel that
"only through hate can the greatest obstacles be overcome," would
be the corner-stone of the most powerful Empire of history.





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