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Title: My Four Years in Germany
Author: Gerard, James W. (James Watson)
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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I am writing what should have been the last chapter of this book
as a foreword because I want to bring home to our people the
gravity of the situation; because I want to tell them that the
military and naval power of the German Empire is unbroken; that of
the twelve million men whom the Kaiser has called to the colours
but one million, five hundred thousand have been killed, five
hundred thousand permanently disabled, not more than five hundred
thousand are prisoners of war, and about five hundred thousand
constitute the number of wounded or those on the sick list of
each day, leaving at all times about nine million effectives
under arms.

I state these figures because Americans do not grasp either the
magnitude or the importance of this war. Perhaps the statement
that over five million prisoners of war are held in the various
countries will bring home to Americans the enormous mass of men

There have been no great losses in the German navy, and any losses
of ships have been compensated for by the building of new ones.
The nine million men, and more, for at least four hundred thousand
come of military age in Germany every year, because of their
experience in two and a half years of war are better and more
efficient soldiers than at the time when they were called to
the colours. Their officers know far more of the science of this
war and the men themselves now have the skill and bearing of

Nor should anyone believe that Germany will break under starvation
or make peace because of revolution.

The German nation is not one which makes revolutions. There will
be scattered riots in Germany, but no simultaneous rising of the
whole people. The officers of the army are all of one class,
and of a class devoted to the ideals of autocracy. A revolution
of the army is impossible; and at home there are only the boys
and old men easily kept in subjection by the police.

There is far greater danger of the starvation of our Allies than
of the starvation of the Germans. Every available inch of ground
in Germany is cultivated, and cultivated by the aid of the old
men, the boys and the women, and the two million prisoners of

The arable lands of Northern France and of Roumania are being
cultivated by the German army with an efficiency never before
known in these countries, and most of that food will be added
to the food supplies of Germany. Certainly the people suffer;
but still more certainly this war will not be ended because of
the starvation of Germany.

Although thinking Germans know that if they do not win the war
the financial day of reckoning will come, nevertheless, owing to
the clever financial handling of the country by the government
and the great banks, there is at present no financial distress in
Germany; and the knowledge that, unless indemnities are obtained
from other countries, the weight of the great war debt will fall
upon the people, perhaps makes them readier to risk all in a
final attempt to win the war and impose indemnities upon not
only the nations of Europe but also upon the United States of

We are engaged in a war against the greatest military power the
world has ever seen; against a people whose country was for so
many centuries a theatre of devastating wars that fear is bred
in the very marrow of their souls, making them ready to submit
their lives and fortunes to an autocracy which for centuries has
ground their faces, but which has promised them, as a result of
the war, not only security but riches untold and the dominion of
the world; a people which, as from a high mountain, has looked
upon the cities of the world and the glories of them, and has
been promised these cities and these glories by the devils of
autocracy and of war.

We are warring against a nation whose poets and professors, whose
pedagogues and whose parsons have united in stirring its people
to a white pitch of hatred, first against Russia, then against
England and now against America.

The U-Boat peril is a very real one for England. Russia may either
break up into civil wars or become so ineffective that the millions
of German troops engaged on the Russian front may be withdrawn
and hurled against the Western lines. We stand in great peril,
and only the exercise of ruthless realism can win this war for us.
If Germany wins this war it means the triumph of the autocratic
system. It means the triumph of those who believe not only in
war as a national industry, not only in war for itself but also
in war as a high and noble occupation. Unless Germany is beaten
the whole world will be compelled to turn itself into an armed
camp, until the German autocracy either brings every nation under
its dominion or is forever wiped out as a form of government.

We are in this war because we were forced into it: because Germany
not only murdered our citizens on the high seas, but also filled
our country with spies and sought to incite our people to civil
war. We were given no opportunity to discuss or negotiate. The
forty-eight hour ultimatum given by Austria to Serbia was not,
as Bernard Shaw said, "A decent time in which to ask a man to
pay his hotel bill." What of the six-hour ultimatum given to
me in Berlin on the evening of January thirty-first, 1917, when
I was notified at six that ruthless warfare would commence at
twelve? Why the German government, which up to that moment had
professed amity and a desire to stand by the _Sussex_ pledges,
knew that it took almost two days to send a cable to America! I
believe that we are not only justly in this war, but prudently
in this war. If we had stayed out and the war had been drawn
or won by Germany we should have been attacked, and that while
Europe stood grinning by: not directly at first, but through an
attack on some Central or South American State to which it would
be at least as difficult for us to send troops as for Germany.
And what if this powerful nation, vowed to war, were once firmly
established in South or Central America? What of our boasted
isolation then?

It is only because I believe that our people should be informed
that I have consented to write this book. There are too many
thinkers, writers and speakers in the United States; from now
on we need the doers, the organisers, and the realists who alone
can win this contest for us, for democracy and for permanent

Writing of events so new, I am, of course, compelled to exercise
a great discretion, to keep silent on many things of which I
would speak, to suspend many judgments and to hold for future
disclosure many things, the relation of which now would perhaps
only serve to increase bitterness or to cause internal dissension
in our own land.

The American who travels through Germany in summer time or who
spends a month having his liver tickled at Homburg or Carlsbad,
who has his digestion restored by Dr. Dapper at Kissingen or
who relearns the lost art of eating meat at Dr. Dengler's in
Baden, learns little of the real Germany and its rulers; and in
this book I tell something of the real Germany, not only that
my readers may understand the events of the last three years
but also that they may judge of what is likely to happen in our
future relations with that country.


    XX LAST.


    AUGUST, 1914.



The second day out on the _Imperator_, headed for a summer's
vacation, a loud knocking woke me at seven A. M. The radio, handed
in from a friend in New York, told me of my appointment as Ambassador
to Germany.

Many friends were on the ship. Henry Morgenthau, later Ambassador
to Turkey, Colonel George Harvey, Adolph Ochs and Louis Wiley
of the _New York Times_, Clarence Mackay, and others.

The _Imperator_ is a marvellous ship of fifty-four thousand
tons or more, and at times it is hard to believe that one is
on the sea. In addition to the regular dining saloon, there is
a grill room and Ritz restaurant with its palm garden, and, of
course, an Hungarian Band. There are also a gymnasium and swimming
pool, and, nightly, in the enormous ballroom dances are given,
the women dressing in their best just as they do on shore.

Colonel Harvey and Clarence Mackay gave me a dinner of twenty-four
covers, something of a record at sea. For long afterwards in
Germany, I saw everywhere pictures of the _Imperator_ including
one of the tables set for this dinner. These were sent out over
Germany as a sort of propaganda to induce the Germans to patronise
their own ships and indulge in ocean travel. I wish that the
propaganda had been earlier and more successful, because it is
by travel that peoples learn to know each other, and consequently
to abstain from war.

On the night of the usual ship concert, Henry Morgenthau translated
a little speech for me into German, which I managed to get through
after painfully learning it by heart. Now that I have a better
knowledge of German, a cold sweat breaks out when I think of
the awful German accent with which I delivered that address.

A flying trip to Berlin early in August to look into the house
question followed, and then I returned to the United States.

In September I went to Washington to be "instructed," talked
with the President and Secretary, and sat at the feet of the
Assistant Secretary of State, Alvey A. Adee, the revered Sage
of the Department of State.

On September ninth, 1913, having resigned as Justice of the Supreme
Court of the State of New York, I sailed for Germany, stopping on
the way in London in order to make the acquaintance of Ambassador
Page, certain wise people in Washington having expressed the
belief that a personal acquaintance of our Ambassadors made it
easier for them to work together.

Two cares assail a newly appointed Ambassador. He must first
take thought of what he shall wear and where he shall live. All
other nations have beautiful Embassies or Legations in Berlin,
but I found that my two immediate predecessors had occupied a
villa originally built as a two-family house, pleasantly enough
situated, but two miles from the centre of Berlin and entirely
unsuitable for an Embassy.

There are few private houses in Berlin, most of the people living
in apartments. After some trouble I found a handsome house on
the Wilhelm Platz immediately opposite the Chancellor's palace
and the Foreign Office, in the very centre of Berlin. This house
had been built as a palace for the Princes Hatzfeld and had later
passed into the possession of a banking family named von Schwabach.

The United States Government, unlike other nations, does not
own or pay the rent of a suitable Embassy, but gives allowance
for offices, if the house is large enough to afford office room
for the office force of the Embassy. The von Schwabach palace
was nothing but a shell. Even the gas and electric light fixtures
had been removed; and when the hot water and heating system,
bath-rooms, electric lights and fixtures, etc., had been put
in, and the house furnished from top to bottom, my first year's
salary had far passed the minus point.

The palace was not ready for occupancy until the end of January,
1914, and, in the meantime, we lived at the Hotel Esplanade,
and I transacted business at the old, two-family villa.

There are more diplomats in Berlin than in any other capital in
the world, because each of the twenty-five States constituting
the German Empire sends a legation to Berlin; even the free cities
of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen have a resident minister at the
Empire's capital.

Invariable custom requires a new Ambassador in Berlin to give
two receptions, one to the Diplomatic Corps and the other to
all those people who have the right to go to court. These are
the officials, nobles and officers of the army and navy, and
such other persons as have been presented at court. Such people
are called _hoffähig_, meaning that they are fit for court.



It is interesting here to note that Jews are not admitted to
court. Such Jews as have been ennobled and allowed to put the
coveted "von" before their names have first of all been required
to submit to baptism in some Christian church. Examples are the
von Schwabach family, whose ancestral house I occupied in Berlin,
and Friedlaender-Fuld, officially rated as the richest man in
Berlin, who made a large fortune in coke and its by-products.

These two receptions are really introductions of an Ambassador
to official and court society.

Before these receptions, however, and in the month of November,
I presented my letters of credence as Ambassador to the Emperor.
This presentation is quite a ceremony. Three coaches were sent
for me and my staff, coaches like that in which Cinderella goes
to her ball, mostly glass, with white wigged coachmen, outriders
in white wigs and standing footmen holding on to the back part
of the coach. Baron von Roeder, introducer of Ambassadors, came
for me and accompanied me in the first coach; the men of the
Embassy staff sat in the other two coaches. Our little procession
progressed solemnly through the streets of Berlin, passing on
the way through the centre division of the arch known as the
Brandenburger Thor, the gateway that stands at the head of the
Unter den Linden, a privilege given only on this occasion.

We mounted long stairs in the palace, and in a large room were
received by the aides and the officers of the Emperor's household,
of course all in uniform. Then I was ushered alone into the adjoining
room where the Emperor, very erect and dressed in the black uniform
of the Death's Head Hussars, stood by a table. I made him a little
speech, and presented my letters of credence and the letters
of recall of my predecessor. The Emperor then unbent from his
very erect and impressive attitude and talked with me in a very
friendly manner, especially impressing me with his interest in
business and commercial affairs. I then, in accordance with custom,
asked leave to present my staff. The doors were opened. The staff
came in and were presented to the Emperor, who talked in a very
jolly and agreeable way to all of us, saying that he hoped above
all to see the whole of the Embassy staff riding in the Tier
Garten in the mornings.

The Emperor is a most impressive figure, and, in his black uniform
surrounded by his officers, certainly looked every inch a king.
Although my predecessors, on occasions of this kind, had worn a
sort of fancy diplomatic uniform designed by themselves, I decided
to abandon this and return to the democratic, if unattractive and
uncomfortable, dress-suit, simply because the newspapers of America
and certain congressmen, while they have had no objection to the
wearing of uniforms by the army and navy, police and postmen,
and do not expect officers to lead their troops into battle in
dress-suits, have, nevertheless, had a most extraordinary prejudice
against American diplomats following the usual custom of adopting
a diplomatic uniform.

Some days after my presentation to the Emperor, I was taken to
Potsdam, which is situated about half an hour's train journey from
Berlin, and, from the station there, driven to the new palace and
presented to the Empress. The Empress was most charming and affable,
and presented a very distinguished appearance. Accompanied by Mrs.
Gerard, and always, either by night or by day, in the infernal
dress-suit, I was received by the Crown Prince and Princess, and
others of the royal princes and their wives. On these occasions
we sat down and did not stand, as when received by the Emperor
and Empress, and simply made "polite conversation" for about
twenty minutes, being received first by the ladies-in-waiting
and aides. These princes were always in uniform of some kind.

At the reception for the _hoffähig_ people Mrs. Gerard stood
in one room and I in another, and with each of us was a
representative of the Emperor's household to introduce the people
of the court, and an army officer to introduce the people of the
army. The officer assigned to me had the extraordinary name of
der Pfortner von der Hoelle, which means the "porter of Hell."
I have often wondered since by what prophetic instinct he was
sent to introduce me to the two years and a half of world war
which I experienced in Berlin. This unfortunate officer, a most
charming gentleman, was killed early in the war.

The Berlin season lasts from about the twentieth of January for
about six weeks. It is short in duration because, if the
_hoffähig_ people stay longer than six weeks in Berlin, they
become liable to pay their local income tax in Berlin, where
the rate is higher than in those parts of Germany where they
have their country estates.

The first great court ceremonial is the _Schleppencour_,
so-called from the long trains or _Schleppen_ worn by the
women. On this night we "presented" Mr. and Mrs. Robert K. Cassatt
of Philadelphia, Mrs. Ernest Wiltsee, Mrs. and Miss Luce and
Mrs. Norman Whitehouse. On the arrival at the palace with these
and all the members of the Embassy Staff and their wives, we
were shown up a long stair-case, at the top of which a guard of
honour, dressed in costume of the time of Frederick the Great,
presented arms to all Ambassadors, and ruffled kettle-drums.
Through long lines of cadets from the military schools, dressed
as pages, in white, with short breeches and powdered wigs, we
passed through several rooms where all the people to pass in
review were gathered. Behind these, in a room about sixty feet by
fifty, on a throne facing the door were the Emperor and Empress,
and on the broad steps of this throne were the princes and their
wives, the court ladies-in-waiting and all the other members of
the court. The wives of the Ambassadors entered the room first,
followed at intervals of about twenty feet by the ladies of the
Embassy and the ladies to be presented. As they entered the room
and made a change of direction toward the throne, pages in white
straightened out the ladies' trains with long sticks. Arrived
opposite the throne and about twenty feet from it, each Ambassador's
wife made a low curtsey and then stood on the foot of the throne,
to the left of the Emperor and Empress, and as each lady of the
Embassy, not before presented, and each lady to be presented
stopped beside the throne and made a low curtsey, the Ambassadress
had to call out the name of each one in a loud voice; and when
the last one had passed she followed her out of the room, walking
sideways so as not to turn her back on the royalties,--something
of a feat when towing a train about fifteen feet long. When all the
Ambassadresses had so passed, it was the turn of the Ambassadors,
who carried out substantially the same programme, substituting low
bows for curtsies. The Ambassadors were followed by the Ministers'
wives, these by the Ministers and these by the dignitaries of
the German Court. All passed into the adjoining hall, and there
a buffet supper was served. The whole affair began at about eight
o'clock and was over in an hour.

At the court balls, which also began early in the evening, a
different procedure was followed. There the guests were required
to assemble before eight-twenty in the ball-room. As in the
_Schleppencour_, on one side of the room was the throne with
seats for the Emperor and Empress, and to the right of this throne
were the chairs for the Ambassadors' wives who were seated in the
order of their husbands' rank, with the ladies of their Embassy,
and any ladies they had brought to the ball standing behind them.
After them came the Ministers' wives, sitting in similar fashion;
then the Ambassadors, standing with their staffs behind them on
raised steps, with any men that they had asked invitations for,
and the Ministers in similar order. To the left of the throne
stood the wives of the Dukes and dignitaries of Germany and then
their husbands. When all were assembled, promptly at the time
announced, the orchestra, which was dressed in mediæval costume
and sat in a gallery, sounded trumpets and then the Emperor and
Empress entered the room, the Emperor, of course, in uniform,
followed by the ladies and gentlemen of the household all in
brilliant uniforms, and one or two officers of the court regiment,
picked out for their great height and dressed in the kind of
uniform Rupert of Hentzau wears on the stage,--a silver helmet
surmounted by an eagle, a steel breast-plate, white breeches
and coat, and enormous high boots coming half way up the thigh.
The Grand Huntsman wore a white wig, three-cornered hat and a
long green coat.

On entering the room, the Empress usually commenced on one side
and the Emperor on the other, going around the room and speaking
to the Ambassadors' wives and Ambassadors, etc., in turn, and
the Empress in similar fashion, chatting for a moment with the
German dignitaries and their wives lined up on the opposite side
of the room. After going perhaps half way around each side, the
Emperor and Empress would then change sides. This going around
the room and chatting with people in turn is called "making the
circle", and young royalties are practised in "making the circle"
by being made to go up to the trees in a garden and address a
few pleasant words to each tree, in this manner learning one
of the principal duties of royalty.

The dancing is only by young women and young officers of noble
families who have practised the dances before. They are under
the superintendence of several young officers who are known as
_Vortänzer_ and when anyone in Berlin in court society gives
a ball these _Vortänzer_ are the ones who see that all dancing
is conducted strictly according to rule and manage the affairs
of the ball-room with true Prussian efficiency. Supper is about
ten-thirty at a court ball and is at small tables. Each royalty
has a table holding about eight people and to these people are
invited without particular rule as to precedence. The younger
guests and lower dignitaries are not placed at supper but find
places at tables to suit themselves. After supper all go back
to the ball-room and there the young ladies and officers, led
by the _Vortänzer_ execute a sort of lancers, in the final
figure of which long lines are formed of dancers radiating from
the throne; and all the dancers make bows and curtsies to the
Emperor and Empress who are either standing or sitting at this
time on the throne. At about eleven-thirty the ball is over,
and as the guests pass out through the long hall, they are given
glasses of hot punch and a peculiar sort of local Berlin bun, in
order to ward off the lurking dangers of the villainous winter

At the court balls the diplomats are, of course, in their best
diplomatic uniform. All Germans are in uniform of some kind, but the
women do not wear the long trains worn at the _Schleppencour_.
They wear ordinary ball dresses. In connection with court dancing
it is rather interesting to note that when the tango and turkey
trot made their way over the frontiers of Germany in the autumn
of 1913, the Emperor issued a special order that no officers of
the army or navy should dance any of these dances or should go
to the house of any person who, at any time, whether officers
were present or not, had allowed any of these new dances to be
danced. This effectually extinguished the turkey trot, the bunny
hug and the tango, and maintained the waltz and the polka in their
old estate. It may seem ridiculous that such a decree should
be so solemnly issued, but I believe that the higher authorities
in Germany earnestly desired that the people, and, especially,
the officers of the army and navy, should learn not to enjoy
themselves too much. A great endeavour was always made to keep
them in a life, so far as possible, of Spartan simplicity. For
instance, the army officers were forbidden to play polo, not
because of anything against the game, which, of course, is splendid
practice for riding, but because it would make a distinction in
the army between rich and poor.



The Emperor's birthday, January twenty-seventh, is a day of great
celebration. At nine-thirty in the morning the Ambassadors, Ministers
and all the dignitaries of the court attend Divine Service in the
chapel of the palace. On this day in 1914, the Queen of Greece and
many of the reigning princes of the German States were present.
In the evening there was a gala performance in the opera house,
the entire house being occupied by members of the court. Between
the acts in the large foyer, royalties "made the circle," and I
had quite a long conversation with both the Emperor and Empress
and was "caught" by the King of Saxony. Many of the Ambassadors
have letters of credence not only to the court at Berlin but
also to the rulers of the minor German States. For instance,
the Belgian Minister was accredited to thirteen countries in
Germany and the Spanish Ambassador to eleven. For some reason
or other, the American and Turkish Ambassadors are accredited
only to the court at Berlin. Some of the German rulers feel this
quite keenly, and the King of Saxony, especially. I had been
warned that he was very anxious to show his resentment of this
distinction by refusing to shake hands with the American Ambassador.
He was in the foyer on the occasion of this gala performance
and said that he would like to have me presented to him. I, of
course, could not refuse, but forgot the warning of my predecessors
and put out my hand, which the King ostentatiously neglected to
take. A few moments later the wife of the Turkish Ambassador was
presented to the King of Saxony and received a similar rebuff;
but, as she was a daughter of the Khedive of Egypt, and therefore
a Royal Highness in her own right, she went around the King of
Saxony, seized his hand, which he had put behind him, brought
it around to the front and shook it warmly, a fine example of
great presence of mind.

Writing of all these things and looking out from a sky-scraper
in New York, these details of court life seem very frivolous
and far away. But an Ambassador is compelled to become part of
this system. The most important conversations with the Emperor
sometimes take place at court functions, and the Ambassador and
his secretaries often gather their most useful bits of information
over tea cups or with the cigars after dinner.

Aside from the short season, Berlin is rather dull; Bismarck
characterised it as a "desert of bricks and newspapers."

In addition to making visits to the royalties, custom required
me to call first upon the Imperial Chancellor and the Minister
of Foreign Affairs. The other ministers are supposed to call
first, although I believe the redoubtable von Tirpitz claimed
a different rule. So, during the first winter I gradually made
the acquaintance of those people who sway the destinies of the
German Empire and its seventy millions.

I dined with the Emperor and had long conversations with him on
New Year's Day and at the two court balls.

All during this winter Germans from the highest down tried to
impress me with the great danger which they said threatened America
from Japan. The military and naval attachés and I were told that
the German information system sent news that Mexico was full
of Japanese colonels and America of Japanese spies. Possibly
much of the prejudice in America against the Japanese was cooked
up by the German propagandists whom we later learned to know
so well.

It is noteworthy that during the whole of my first winter in
Berlin I was not officially or semi-officially afforded an
opportunity to meet any of the members of the Reichstag or any
of the leaders in the business world. The great merchants, whose
acquaintance I made, as well as the literary and artistic people,
I had to seek out; because most of them were not _hoffähig_
and I did not come in contact with them at any court functions,
official dinners or even in the houses of the court nobles or
those connected with the government.

A very interesting character whom I met during the first winter
and often conversed with, was Prince Henkel-Donnersmarck. Prince
Donnersmarck, who died December, 1916, at the age of eighty-six
years, was the richest male subject in Germany, the richest subject
being Frau von Krupp-Böhlen, the heiress of the Krupp cannon
foundry. He was the first governor of Lorraine during the war of
1870 and had had a finger in all of the political and commercial
activities of Germany for more than half a century. He told me, on
one occasion, that he had advocated exacting a war indemnity of
thirty milliards from France after the war of 1870, and said that
France could easily pay it--and that that sum or much more should
be exacted as an indemnity at the conclusion of the World War of
1914. He said that he had always advocated a protective tariff
for agricultural products in Germany as well as encouragement of
the German manufacturing interests: that agriculture was necessary
to the country in order to provide strong soldiers for war, and
manufacturing industries to provide money to pay for the army and
navy and their equipment. He made me promise to take his second
son to America in order that he might see American life, and the
great iron and coal districts of Pennsylvania. Of course, most
of these conversations took place before the World War. After
two years of that war and, as prospects of paying the expenses
of the war from the indemnities to be exacted from the enemies
of Germany gradually melted away, the Prince quite naturally
developed a great anxiety as to how the expenses of the war should
be paid by Germany; and I am sure that this anxiety had much to
do with his death at the end of the year, 1916.

Custom demanded that I should ask for an appointment and call on
each of the Ambassadors on arrival. The British Ambassador was
Sir Edward Goschen, a man of perhaps sixty-eight years, a widower.
He spoke French, of course, and German; and, accompanied by his
dog, was a frequent visitor at our house. I am very grateful
for the help and advice he so generously gave me--doubly valuable
as coming from a man of his fame and experience. Jules Cambon was
the Ambassador of France. His brother, Paul, is Ambassador to
the Court of St. James. Jules Cambon is well-known to Americans,
having passed five years in this country. He was Ambassador to
Spain for five years, and, at the time of my arrival, had been
about the same period at Berlin. In spite of his long residence
in each of these countries, he spoke only French; but he possessed
a really marvellous insight into the political life of each of
these nations. Bollati, the Italian Ambassador, was a great admirer
of Germany; he spoke German well and did everything possible
to keep Italy out of war with her former Allies in the Triple

Spain was represented by Polo de Bernabe, who now represents
the interests of the United States in Germany, as well as those
of France, Russia, Belgium, Serbia and Roumania. It is a curious
commentary on the absurdity of war that, on leaving Berlin, I
handed over the interests of the United States to this Ambassador,
who, as Spanish minister to the United States, was handed his
passports at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war! I am sure
that not only he, but all his Embassy, will devotedly represent
our interests in Germany. Sverbeeu represented the interests
of Russia; Soughimoura, Japan; and Mouktar Pascha, Turkey. The
wife of the latter was a daughter of the Khedive of Egypt, and
Mouktar Pascha himself a general of distinction in the Turkish

An Ambassador must keep on intimate terms with his colleagues.
It is often through them that he learns of important matters
affecting his own country or others. All of these Ambassadors
and most of the Ministers occupied handsome houses furnished
by their government. They had large salaries and a fund for

During this first winter before the war, I saw a great deal of
the German Crown Prince as well as of several of his brothers.

I cannot subscribe to the general opinion of the Crown Prince. I
found him a most agreeable man, a sharp observer and the possessor
of intellectual attainments of no mean order. He is undoubtedly
popular in Germany, excelling in all sports, a fearless rider
and a good shot. He is ably seconded by the Crown Princess. The
mother of the Crown Princess is a Russian Grand Duchess, and
her father was a Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She is a very
beautiful woman made popular by her affable manners. The one
defect of the Crown Prince has been his eagerness for war; but,
as he has characterised this war as the most stupid ever waged
in history, perhaps he will be satisfied, if he comes to the
throne, with what all Germany has suffered in this conflict.

The Crown Prince was very anxious, before the war, to visit the
United States; and we had practically arranged to make a trip
to Alaska in search of some of the big game there, with stops
at the principal cities of America.

The second son of the Kaiser, Prince Eitel Fritz, is considered
by the Germans to have distinguished himself most in this war.
He is given credit for great personal bravery.

Prince Adalbert, the sailor prince, is quite American in his
manners. In February, 1914, the Crown Prince and Princes Eitel
Fritz and Adalbert came to our Embassy for a very small dance to
which were asked all the pretty American girls then in Berlin.

It is never the custom to invite royalties to an entertainment.
They invite themselves to a dance or a dinner, and the list of
proposed guests is always submitted to them. When a royalty arrives
at the house, the host (and the hostess, if the royalty be a
woman) always waits at the front door and escorts the royalties
up-stairs. Allison Armour also gave a dance at which the Crown
Prince was present, following a dinner at the Automobile Club.
Armour has been a constant visitor to Germany for many years,
usually going in his yacht to Kiel in summer and to Corfu, where
the Emperor goes, in winter. As he has never tried to obtain
anything from the Emperor, he has become quite intimate with him
and with all the members of the royal family.

The Chancellor, von Bethmann-Hollweg, is an enormous man of perhaps
six feet five or six. He comes of a banking family in Frankfort.
It is too soon to give a just estimate of his acts in this war.
When I arrived in Berlin and until November, 1916, von Jagow
was Minister of Foreign Affairs. In past years he had occupied
the post of Ambassador to Italy, and with great reluctance took
his place at the head of the Foreign Office. Zimmermann was
an Under Secretary, succeeding von Jagow when the latter was
practically forced out of office. Zimmermann, on account of his
plain and hearty manners and democratic air, was more of a favourite
with the Ambassadors and members of the Reichstag than von Jagow,
who, in appearance and manner, was the ideal old-style diplomat
of the stage.

Von Jagow was not a good speaker and the agitation against him
was started by those who claimed that, in answering questions
in the Reichstag, he did not make a forceful enough appearance
on behalf of the government. Von Jagow did not cultivate the
members of the Reichstag and his delicate health prevented him
from undertaking more than the duties of his office.

As a matter of fact, I believe that von Jagow had a juster estimate
of foreign nations than Zimmermann, and more correctly divined the
thoughts of the American people in this war than did his successor.
I thought that I enjoyed the personal friendship of both von
Jagow and Zimmermann and, therefore, was rather unpleasantly
surprised when I saw in the papers that Zimmermann had stated in
the Reichstag that he had been compelled, from motives of policy,
to keep on friendly terms with me. I sincerely hope that what he
said on this occasion was incorrectly reported. Von Jagow, after
his fall, took charge of a hospital at Libau in the occupied
portion of Russia. This shows the devotion to duty of the Prussian
noble class, and their readiness to take up any task, however
humble, that may help their country.



My commission read, "Ambassador to Germany."

It is characteristic of our deep ignorance of all foreign affairs
that I was appointed Ambassador to a place which does not exist.
Politically, there is no such place as "Germany." There are the
twenty-five States, Prussia, Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, etc.,
which make up the "German Empire," but there is no such political
entity as "Germany."

These twenty-five States have votes in the Bundesrat, a body
which may be said to correspond remotely to our United States
Senate. But each State has a different number of votes. Prussia
has seventeen, Bavaria six, Württemberg and Saxony four each,
Baden and Hesse three each, Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Brunswick
two each, and the rest one each. Prussia controls Brunswick.

The Reichstag, or Imperial Parliament, corresponds to our House
of Representatives. The members are elected by manhood suffrage of
those over twenty-five. But in practice the Reichstag is nothing
but a debating society because of the preponderating power of the
Bundesrat, or upper chamber. At the head of the ministry is the
Chancellor, appointed by the Emperor; and the other Ministers, such
as Colonies, Interior, Education, Justice and Foreign Affairs,
are but underlings of the Chancellor and appointed by him. The
Chancellor is not responsible to the Reichstag, as Bethmann-Hollweg
clearly stated at the time of the Zabern affair, but only to the

It is true that an innovation properly belonging only to a
parliamentary government was introduced some seven years ago,
viz., that the ministers must answer questions (as in Great Britain)
put them by the members of the Reichstag. But there the likeness
to a parliamentary government begins and ends.

The members of the Bundesrat are named by the Princes of the
twenty-five States making up the German Empire. Prussia, which
has seventeen votes, may name seventeen members of the Bundesrat
or one member, who, however, when he votes casts seventeen votes.
The votes of a State must always be cast as a unit. In the usual
procedure bills are prepared and adopted in the Bundesrat and
then sent to the Reichstag whence, if passed, they return to the
Bundesrat where the final approval must take place. Therefore,
in practice, the Bundesrat makes the laws with the assent of
the Reichstag. The members of the Bundesrat have the right to
appear and make speeches in the Reichstag. The fundamental
constitution of the German Empire is not changed, as with us, by
a separate body but is changed in the same way that an ordinary
law is passed; except that if there are fourteen votes against
the proposed change in the Bundesrat the proposition is defeated,
and, further, the constitution cannot be changed with respect
to rights expressly granted by it to anyone of the twenty-five
States without the assent of that State.

In order to pass a law a majority vote in the Bundesrat and Reichstag
is sufficient if there is a quorum present, and a quorum is a
majority of the members elected in the Reichstag: in the Bundesrat
the quorum consists of such members as are present at a regularly
called meeting, providing the Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor

The boundaries of the districts sending members to the Reichstag
have not been changed since 1872, while, in the meantime, a great
shifting of population, as well as great increase of population
has taken place. And because of this, the Reichstag to-day does
not represent the people of Germany in the sense intended by the
framers of the Imperial Constitution.

Much of the legislation that affects the everyday life of a German
emanates from the parliaments of Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony,
etc., as with us in our State Legislatures. The purely legislative
power of the ministers and Bundesrat is, however, large. These
German States have constitutions of some sort. The Grand Duchies
of Mecklenburg have no constitution whatever. It is understood
that the people themselves do not want one, on financial grounds,
fearing that many expenses now borne by the Grand Duke out of
his large private income, would be saddled on the people. The
other States have Constitutions varying in form. In Prussia there
are a House of Lords and a House of Deputies. The members of
the latter are elected by a system of circle votes, by which
the vote of one rich man voting in circle number one counts as
much as thousands voting in circle number three. It is the
recognition by Bethmann-Hollweg that this vicious system must
be changed that brought down on him the wrath of the Prussian
country squires, who for so long have ruled the German Empire,
filling places, civil and military, with their children and

In considering Germany, the immense influence of the military
party must not be left out of account; and, with the developments
of the navy, that branch of the service also claimed a share in
guiding the policy of the Government.

The administrative, executive and judicial officers of Prussia
are not elected. The country is governed and judged by men who
enter this branch of the government service exactly as others
enter the army or navy. These are gradually promoted through
the various grades. This applies to judges, clerks of courts,
district attorneys and the officials who govern the political
divisions of Prussia, for Prussia is divided into circles,
presidencies and provinces. For instance, a young man may enter
the government service as assistant to the clerk of some court.
He may then become district attorney in a small town, then clerk
of a larger court, possibly attached to the police presidency
of a large city; he may then become a minor judge, etc., until
finally he becomes a judge of one of the higher courts or an
over-president of a province. Practically the only elective officers
who have any power are members of the Reichstag and the Prussian
Legislature, and there, as I have shown, the power is very small.
Mayors and City Councillors are elected in Prussia, but have
little power; and are elected by the vicious system of circle

Time and again during the course of the Great War when I made
some complaint or request affecting the interests of one of the
various nations I represented, I was met in the Foreign Office
by the statement, "We can do nothing with the military. Please
read Bismarck's memoirs and you will see what difficulty he had
with the military." Undoubtedly, owing to the fact that the
Chancellor seldom took strong ground, the influence which both
the army and navy claimed in dictating the policy of the Empire
was greatly increased.

Roughly speaking there are three great political divisions or
parties in the German Reichstag. To the right of the presiding
officer sit the Conservatives. Most of these are members from the
Prussian Junker or squire class. They are strong for the rights
of the crown and against any extension of the suffrage in Prussia
or anywhere else. They form probably the most important body of
conservatives now existing in any country in the world. Their
leader, Heydebrand, is known as the uncrowned king of Prussia. On
the left side the Social Democrats sit. As they evidently oppose
the kingship and favour a republic, no Social Democratic member
has ever been called into the government. They represent the great
industrial populations of Germany. Roughly, they constitute about
one-third of the Reichstag, and would sit there in greater numbers
if Germany were again redistricted so that proper representation
were given to the cities, to which there has been a great rush
of population since the time when the Reichstag districts were
originally constituted.

In the centre, and holding the balance of power, sit the members
of the Centrum or Catholic body. Among them are many priests. It
is noteworthy that in this war Roman Catholic opinion in neutral
countries, like Spain, inclines to the side of Germany; while
in Germany, to protect their religious liberties, the Catholic
population vote as Catholics to send Catholic members to the
Reichstag, and these sit and vote as Catholics alone.

Germans high in rank in the government often told me that no part
of conquered Poland would ever be incorporated in Prussia or the
Empire, because it was not desirable to add to the Roman Catholic
population; that they had troubles enough with the Catholics now
in Germany and had no desire to add to their numbers. This, and
the desire to lure the Poles into the creation of a national
army which could be utilised by the German machine, were the
reasons for the creation by Germany (with the assent of Austria)
of the new country of Poland.

This Catholic party is the result in Germany of the
_Kulturkampf_ or War for Civilisation, as it was called by
Bismarck, a contest dating from 1870 between the State in Germany
and the Roman Catholic Church.

Prussia has always been the centre of Protestantism in Germany,
although there are many Roman Catholics in the Rhine Provinces
of Prussia, and in that part of Prussia inhabited principally
by Poles, originally part of the Kingdom of Poland.

Baden and Bavaria, the two principal South German States, and
others are Catholic. In 1870, on the withdrawal of the French
garrison from Rome, the Temporal Power of the Pope ended, and
Bismarck, though appealed to by Catholics, took no interest in the
defence of the Papacy. The conflict between the Roman Catholics
and the Government in Germany was precipitated by the promulgation
by the Vatican Council, in 1870, of the Dogma of the Infallibility
of the Pope.

A certain number of German pastors and bishops refused to subscribe
to the new dogma. In the conflict that ensued these pastors and
bishops were backed by the government. The religious orders were
suppressed, civil marriage made compulsory and the State assumed
new powers not only in the appointment but even in the education
of the Catholic priests. The Jesuits were expelled from Germany
in 1872. These measures, generally known as the May Laws, because
passed in May, 1873, 1874 and 1875, led to the creation and
strengthening of the Centrum or Catholic party. For a long period
many churches were vacant in Prussia. Finally, owing to the growth
of the Centrum, Bismarck gave in. The May Laws were rescinded
in 1886 and the religious orders, the Jesuits excepted, were
permitted to return in 1887. Civil marriage, however, remained
obligatory in Prussia.

Ever since the _Kulturkampf_ the Centrum has held the balance
of power in Germany, acting sometimes with the Conservatives
and sometimes with the Social Democrats.

In addition to these three great parties, there are minor parties
and groups which sometimes act with one party and sometimes with
another, the National Liberals, for example, and the Progressives.
Since the war certain members of the National Liberal party were
most bitter in assailing President Wilson and the United States.
In the demand for ruthless submarine war they acted with the
Conservatives. There are also Polish, Hanoverian, Danish and
Alsatian members of the Reichstag.

There are three great race questions in Germany. First of all,
that of Alsace-Lorraine. It is unnecessary to go at length into
this well-known question. In the chapter on the affair at Zabern,
something will be seen of the attitude of the troops toward the
civil population. At the outbreak of the war several of the deputies,
sitting in the Reichstag as members from Alsace-Lorraine, crossed
the frontier and joined the French army.

If there is one talent which the Germans superlatively lack, it
is that of ruling over other peoples and inducing other people
to become part of their nation.

It is now a long time since portions of the Kingdom of Poland,
by various partitions of that kingdom, were incorporated with
Prussia, but the Polish question is more alive to-day than at
the time of the last partition.

The Poles are of a livelier race than the Germans, are Roman
Catholics and always retain their dream of a reconstituted and
independent Kingdom of Poland.

It is hard to conceive that Poland was at one time perhaps the
most powerful kingdom of Europe, with a population numbering
twenty millions and extending from the Baltic to the Carpathians
and the Black Sea, including in its territory the basins of the
Warta, Vistula, Dwina, Dnieper and Upper Dniester, and that it
had under its dominion besides Poles proper and the Baltic Slavs,
the Lithuanians, the White Russians and the Little Russians or

The Polish aristocracy was absolutely incapable of governing its
own country, which fell an easy prey to the intrigues of Frederick
the Great and the two Empresses, Maria Theresa of Austria and
Catherine of Russia. The last partition of Poland was in the
year 1795.

Posen, at one time one of the capitals of the old kingdom of
Poland, is the intellectual centre of that part of Poland which has
been incorporated into Prussia. For years Prussia has alternately
cajoled and oppressed the Poles, and has made every endeavour to
replace the Polish inhabitants with German colonists. A commission
has been established which buys estates from Poles and sells
them to Germans. This commission has the power of condemning
the lands of Poles, taking these lands from them by force,
compensating them at a rate determined by the commission and
settling Germans on the lands so seized. This commission has
its headquarters in Posen. The result has not been successful.
All the country side surrounding Posen and the city itself are
divided into two factions. By going to one hotel or the other
you announce that you are pro-German or pro-Polish. Poles will
not deal in shops kept by Germans or in shops unless the signs
are in Polish.

The sons of Germans who have settled in Poland under the protection
of the commission often marry Polish women. The invariable result
of these mixed marriages is that the children are Catholics and
Poles. Polish deputies voting as Poles sit in the Prussian
legislature and in the Reichstag, and if a portion of the old
Kingdom of Poland is made a separate country at the end of this
war, it will have the effect of making the Poles in Prussia more
restless and more aggressive than ever.

In order to win the sympathies of the Poles, the Emperor caused
a royal castle to be built within recent years in the city of
Posen, and appointed a popular Polish gentleman who had served
in the Prussian army and was attached to the Emperor, the Count
Hutten-Czapski, as its lord-warden. In this castle was a very
beautiful Byzantine chapel built from designs especially selected
by the Emperor. In January, 1914, we went with Allison Armour
and the Cassatts, Mrs. Wiltsee and Mrs. Whitehouse on a trip
to Posen to see this chapel.

Some of our German friends tried to play a joke on us by telling
us that the best hotel was the hotel patronised by the Poles. To
have gone there would have been to declare ourselves anti-German
and pro-Polish, but we were warned in time. The castle has a
large throne room and ball-room; in the hall is a stuffed aurochs
killed by the Emperor. The aurochs is a species of buffalo greatly
resembling those which used to roam our western prairies. The
breed has been preserved on certain great estates in eastern
Germany and in the hunting forests of the Czar in the neighbourhood
of Warsaw.

Some of the Poles told me that at the first attempt to give a
court ball in this new castle the Polish population in the streets
threw ink through the carriage windows on the dresses of the
ladies going to the ball and thus made it a failure. The chapel
of the castle is very beautiful and is a great credit to the
Emperor's taste as an architect.

While being shown through the Emperor's private apartments in
this castle, I noticed a saddle on a sort of elevated stool in
front of a desk. I asked the guide what this was for: he told
me that the Emperor, when working, always sits in a saddle.

In Posen, in a book-store, the proprietor brought out for me a
number of books caricaturing the German rule of Alsace-Lorraine.
It is curious that a community of interests should make a market
for these books in Polish Posen.

Although not so well advertised, the Polish question is as acute
as that of Alsace-Lorraine.

After its successful war in 1866 against Austria, Bavaria, Saxony,
Baden, Hanover, etc., Prussia became possessed of the two duchies
of Schleswig-Holstein, which are to the south of Denmark on the
Jutland Peninsula. Here, strangely enough, there is a Danish
question. A number of Danes inhabit these duchies and have been
irritated by the Prussian officials and officers into preserving
their national feeling intact ever since 1866. Galling restrictions
have been made, the very existence of which intensifies the hatred
and prevents the assimilation of these Danes. For instance, Amundsen,
the Arctic explorer, was forbidden to lecture in Danish in these
duchies during the winter of 1913-14, and there were regulations
enforced preventing more than a certain number of these Danish
people from assembling in a hotel, as well as regulations against
the employment of Danish servants.

In 1866, after its successful war, Prussia wiped out the old
kingdom of Hanover and drove its king into exile in Austria.
To-day there is still a party of protest against this aggression.
The Kaiser believes, however, that the ghost of the claim of
the Kings of Hanover was laid when he married his only daughter
to the heir of the House of Hanover and gave the young pair the
vacant Duchy of Brunswick. That this young man will inherit the
great Guelph treasure was no drawback to the match in the eyes
of those in Berlin.

There is a hatred of Prussia in other parts of Germany, but coupled
with so much fear that it will never take practical shape. In
Bavaria, for example, even the comic newspapers have for years
ridiculed the Prussians and the House of Hohenzollern. The smashing
defeat by Prussia of Austria and the allied German States, Bavaria,
Saxony, Hesse, Hanover, etc., in 1866, and the growth of Prussianism
since then in all of these countries, keep the people from any
overt act. It is a question, perhaps, as to how these countries,
especially Bavaria, would act in case of the utter defeat of
Germany. But at present they must be counted on only as faithful
servants, in a military way, of the German Emperor.

Montesquieu, the author of the "Esprit des Lois," says, "All law
comes from the soil," and it has been claimed that residence in
the hot climate of the tropics in some measure changes Anglo-Saxon
character. It is, therefore, always well in judging national
character to know something of the physical characteristics and
climate of the country which a nation inhabits.

The heart of modern Germany is the great north central plain which
comprises practically all of the original kingdom of Prussia,
stretching northward from the Saxon and Hartz mountains to the
North and Baltic seas. It is from this dreary and infertile plain
that for many centuries conquering military races have poured
over Europe. The climate is not so cold in winter as that of
the northern part of the United States. There is much rain and
the winter skies are so dark that the absence of the sun must
have some effect upon the character of the people. The Saxons
inhabit a more mountainous country; Württemberg and Baden are
hilly; Bavaria is a land of beauty, diversified with lovely lakes
and mountains. The soft outlines of the vine-covered hills of
the Rhine Valley have long been the admiration of travellers.

The inhabitants of Prussia were originally not Germanic, but
rather Slavish in type; and, indeed, to-day in the forest of
the River Spree, on which Berlin is situated, and only about
fifty miles from that city, there still dwell descendants of
the original Wendish inhabitants of the country who speak the
Wendish language. The wet-nurses, whose picturesque dress is so
noticeable on the streets of Berlin, all come from this Wendish
colony, which has been preserved through the many wars that have
swept over this part of Germany because of the refuge afforded
in the swamps and forests of this district.

The inhabitants of the Rhine Valley drink wine instead of beer.
They are more lively in their disposition than the Prussians,
Saxons and Bavarians, who are of a heavy and phlegmatic nature.
The Bavarians are noted for their prowess as beer drinkers, and
it is not at all unusual for prosperous burghers of Munich to
dispose of thirty large glasses of beer in a day; hence the cures
which exist all over Germany and where the average German business
man spends part, at least, of his annual vacation.

In peace times the Germans are heavy eaters. As some one says,
"It is not true that the Germans eat all the time, but they eat
all the time except during seven periods of the day when they
take their meals." And it is a fact that prosperous merchants of
Berlin, before the war, had seven meals a day; first breakfast
at a comfortably early hour; second breakfast at about eleven, of
perhaps a glass of milk or perhaps a glass of beer and sandwiches;
a very heavy lunch of four or five courses with wine and beer;
coffee and cakes at three; tea and sandwiches or sandwiches and
beer at about five; a strong dinner with several kinds of wines
at about seven or seven-thirty; and a substantial supper before
going to bed.

The Germans are wonderful judges of wines, and, at any formal
dinner, use as many as eight varieties. The best wine is passed
in glasses on trays, and the guests are not expected, of course,
to take this wine unless they actually desire to drink it. I
know one American woman who was stopping at a Prince's castle
in Hungary and who, on the first night, allowed the butler to
fill her glasses with wine which she did not drink. The second
evening the butler passed her sternly by, and she was offered
no more wine during her stay in the castle.

Many of the doctors who were with me thought that the heavy eating
and large consumption of wine and beer had unfavourably affected the
German national character, and had made the people more aggressive
and irritable and consequently readier for war. The influence of diet
on national character should not be under-estimated. Meat-eating
nations have always ruled vegetarians.



During this first winter in Berlin, I spent each morning in the
Embassy office, and, if I had any business at the Foreign Office,
called there about five o'clock in the afternoon. It was the
custom that all Ambassadors should call on Tuesday afternoons
at the Foreign Office, going in to see the Foreign Minister in
the order of their arrival in the waiting-room, and to have a
short talk with him about current diplomatic affairs.

In the previous chapter I have given a detailed account of the
ceremonies of court life, because a knowledge of this life is
essential to a grasp of the spirit which animates those ruling
the destinies of the German Empire.

My first winter, however, was not all cakes and ale. There were
several interesting bits of diplomatic work. First, we were then
engaged in our conflict with Huerta, the Dictator of Mexico,
and it was part of my work to secure from Germany promises that
she would not recognise this Mexican President.

I also spent a great deal of time in endeavouring to get the
German Government to take part officially in the San Francisco
Fair, but, so far as I could make out, Great Britain, probably
at the instance of Germany, seemed to have entered into some
sort of agreement, or at any rate a tacit understanding, that
neither country would participate officially in this Exposition.

After the lamentable failure of the Jamestown Exposition, the
countries of Europe were certainly not to be blamed for not spending
their money in aid of a similar enterprise. But I believe that the
attitude of Germany had a deeper significance, and that certain,
at least, of the German statesmen had contemplated a
_rapprochement_ with Great Britain and a mutual spanking
of America and its Monroe Doctrine by these two great powers.
Later I was informed, by a man high in the German Foreign Office,
that Germany had proposed to Great Britain a joint intervention
in Mexico, an invasion which would have put an end forever to
the Monroe Doctrine, of course to be followed by the forceful
colonisation of Central and South America by European Powers. I
was told that Great Britain refused. But whether this proposition
and refusal in fact were made, can be learned from the archives
of the British Foreign Office.

During this period of trouble with Mexico, the German Press,
almost without exception, and especially that part of it controlled
by the Government and by the Conservatives or Junkers, was most
bitter in its attitude towards America.

The reason for this was the underlying hatred of an autocracy
for a successful democracy, envy of the wealth, liberty and
commercial success of America, and a deep and strong resentment
against the Monroe Doctrine which prevented Germany from using
her powerful fleet and great military force to seize a foothold
in the Western hemisphere.

Germany came late into the field of colonisation in her endeavour
to find "a place in the sun." The colonies secured were not habitable
by white men. Togo, Kameroons, German East Africa, are too tropical
in climate, too subject to tropical diseases, ever to become
successful German colonies. German Southwest Africa has a more
healthy climate but is a barren land. About the only successful
industry there has been that of gathering the small diamonds that
were discovered in the sands of the beaches and of the deserts
running back from the sea.

On the earnest request of Secretary Bryan, I endeavoured to persuade
the German authorities to have Germany become a signatory to the
so-called Bryan Peace Treaties. After many efforts and long
interviews, von Jagow, the Foreign Minister, finally told me
that Germany would not sign these treaties because the greatest
asset of Germany in war was her readiness for a sudden assault,
that they had no objection to signing the treaty with America,
but that they feared they would then be immediately asked to
sign similar treaties with Great Britain, France and Russia,
that if they refused to sign with these countries the refusal
would almost be equivalent to a declaration of war, and, if they
did sign, intending in good faith to stand by the treaty, that
Germany would be deprived of her greatest asset in war, namely,
her readiness for a sudden and overpowering attack.

I also, during this first winter, studied and made reports on
the commercial situation of Germany and especially the German
discriminations against American goods. To these matters I shall
refer in more detail in another chapter.

Opposition and attention to the oil monopoly project also occupied
a great part of my working hours. Petroleum is used very extensively
in Germany for illuminating purposes by the poorer part of the
population, especially in the farming villages and industrial
towns. This oil used in Germany comes from two sources of supply,
from America and from the oil wells of Galicia and Roumania. The
German American Oil Company there, through which the American
oil was distributed, although a German company, was controlled by
American capital, and German capital was largely interested in
the Galician and Roumanian oil fields. The oil from Galicia and
Roumania is not so good a quality as that imported from America.


Before my arrival in Germany the government had proposed a law
creating the oil monopoly; that is to say, a company was to be
created, controlled by the government for the purpose of carrying
on the entire oil business of Germany, and no other person or
company, by its provisions, was to be allowed to sell any
illuminating oil or similar products in the Empire. The bill
provided that the business of those engaged in the wholesale
selling of oil, and their plants, etc., should be taken over
by this government company, condemned and paid for. The German
American Company, however, had also a retail business and plant
throughout Germany for which it was proposed that no compensation
should be given. The government bill also contained certain curious
"jokers"; for instance, it provided for the taking over of all
plants "within the customs limit of the German Empire," thus
leaving out of the compensation a refinery which was situated
in the free part of Hamburg, although, of course, by operation
of this monopoly bill the refinery was rendered useless to the
American controlled company which owned it.

In the course of this investigation it came to light that the
Prussian state railways were used as a means of discriminating
against the American oil. American oil came to Germany through
the port of Hamburg, and the Galician and Roumanian oil through
the frontier town of Oderberg. Taking a delivery point equally
distant between Oderberg and Hamburg, the rate charged on oil
from Hamburg to this point was twice as great as that charged
for a similar quantity of oil from Oderberg.

I took up this fight on the line that the company must be compensated
for all of its property, that used in retail as well as in wholesale
business, and, second, that it must be compensated for the good-will
of its business, which it had built up through a number of years
by the expenditure of very large sums of money. Of course where
a company has been in operation for years and is continually
advertising its business, its good-will often is its greatest
asset and has often been built up by the greatest expenditure
of money. For instance, in buying a successful newspaper, the
value does not lie in the real-estate, presses, etc., but in
the good-will of the newspaper, the result of years of work and
expensive advertising.

I made no objection that the German government did not have a
perfect right to create this monopoly and to put the American
controlled company entirely out of the field, but insisted upon
a fair compensation for all their property and good-will. Even a
fair compensation for the property and good-will would have started
the government monopoly company with a large debt upon which it
would have been required to pay interest, and this interest, of
course, would have been added to the cost of oil to the German
consumers. In my final conversation on the subject with von
Bethmann-Hollweg, he said, "You don't mean to say that President
Wilson and Secretary Bryan will do anything for the Standard
Oil Company?" I answered that everyone in America knew that
the Standard Oil Company had neither influence with nor control
over President Wilson and Secretary Bryan, but that they both
could and would give the Standard Oil Company the same measure
of protection which any American citizen doing business abroad
had a right to expect from his government. I also said that I
thought they had done enough for the Germans interested in the
Galician and Roumanian oil fields when they had used the Prussian
state railways to give these oil producers an unfair advantage
over those importing American oil.

Shortly after this the question of the creation of this oil monopoly
was dropped and naturally has not been revived during the war,
and I very much doubt whether, after the war, the people of
liberalised Germany will consent to pay more for inferior oil in
order to make good the investments of certain German banks and
financiers in Galicia and Roumania. I doubt whether a more liberal
Germany will wish to put the control of a great business in the
hands of the government, thereby greatly increasing the number
of government officials and the weight of government influence
in the country. Heaven knows there are officials enough to-day
in Germany, without turning over a great department of private
industry to the government for the sole purpose of making good
bad investments of certain financiers and adding to the political
influence of the central government.

In May, 1914, Colonel House and his beautiful wife arrived to pay
us a visit in Berlin. He was, of course, anxious to have a talk
with the Emperor, and this was arranged by the Emperor inviting
the Colonel and me to what is called the _Schrippenfest_,
at the new palace at Potsdam.

For many years, in fact since the days of Frederick the Great,
the learning (_Lehr_) battalion, composed of picked soldiers
from all the regiments of Prussia, has been quartered at Potsdam,
and on a certain day in April this battalion has been given a
dinner at which they eat white rolls (_Schrippen_) instead
of the usual black bread. This feast has been carried on from
these older days and has become quite a ceremony.

The Colonel and I motored to Potsdam, arrayed in dress-suits, and
waited in one of the salons of the ground floor of the new palace.
Finally the Emperor and the Empress and several of the Princes and
their wives and the usual dignitaries of the Emperor's household
arrived. The Colonel was presented to the royalties and then a
Divine Service was held in the open air at one end of the palace.
The Empress and Princesses occupied large chairs and the Emperor
stood with his sons behind him and then the various dignitaries
of the court. The Lehr Battalion was drawn up behind. There were
a large band and the choir boys from the Berlin cathedral. The
service was very impressive and not less so because of a great
Zeppelin which hovered over our heads during the whole of the

After Divine Service, the Lehr Battalion marched in review and
then was given food and beer in long arbours constructed in front
of the palace. While the men were eating, the Emperor and Empress
and Princes passed among the tables, speaking to the soldiers.
We then went to the new palace where in the extraordinary hall
studded with curious specimens of minerals from all countries,
a long table forming three sides of a square was set for about
sixty people. Colonel House and I sat directly across the table
from the Emperor, with General Falkenhayn between us. The Emperor
was in a very good mood and at one time, talking across the table,
said to me that the Colonel and I, in our black dress-suits,
looked like a couple of crows, that we were like two undertakers
at a feast and spoiled the picture. After luncheon the Emperor
had a long talk with Colonel House, and then called me into the

On May twenty-sixth, I arranged that the Colonel should meet
von Tirpitz at dinner in our house. We did not guess then what
a central figure in this war the great admiral was going to be.
At that time and until his fall, he was Minister of Marine, which
corresponds to our Secretary of the Navy Department, and what
is called in German _Reichsmarineamt_. The Colonel also
met the Chancellor, von Jagow, Zimmermann and many others.

There are two other heads of departments, connected with the
navy, of equal rank with the Secretary of the Naval Department
and not reporting to him. These are the heads of the naval staff
and the head of what is known as the Marine Cabinet. The head
of the naval staff is supposed to direct the actual operations
of warfare in the navy, and the head of the Marine Cabinet is
charged with the personnel of the navy, with determining what
officers are to be promoted and what officers are to take over
ships or commands.

While von Tirpitz was Secretary of the Navy, by the force of
his personality, he dominated the two other departments, but
since his fall the heads of these two other departments have
held positions as important, if not more important, than that
of Secretary of the Navy.

On May thirty-first, we took Colonel and Mrs. House to the aviation
field of Joachimsthal. Here the Dutch aviator Fokker was flying and
after being introduced to us he did some stunts for our benefit.
Fokker was employed by the German army and later became a naturalised
German. The machines designed by him, and named after him, for
a long time held the mastery of the air on the West front.

The advice of Colonel House, a most wise and prudent counsellor,
was at all times of the greatest value to me during my stay in
Berlin. We exchanged letters weekly, I sending him a weekly bulletin
of the situation in Berlin and much news and gossip too personal
or too indefinite to be placed in official reports.

War with Germany seemed a thing not even to be considered when
in this month of May, 1914, I called on the Foreign Office, by
direction, to thank the Imperial Government for the aid given
the Americans at Tampico by German ships of war.

Early in February, Mr. S. Bergmann, a German who had made a fortune
in America and who had returned to Germany to take up again his
German citizenship, invited me to go over the great electrical
works which he had established. Prince Henry of Prussia, the
brother of the Emperor, was the only other guest and together
we inspected the vast works, afterwards having lunch in Mr.
Bergmann's office. Prince Henry has always been interested in
America since his visit here. On that visit he spent most of
his time with German societies, etc. Of course, now we know he
came as a propagandist with the object of welding together the
Germans in America and keeping up their interest in the Fatherland.
He made a similar trip to the Argentine just before the Great
War, with a similar purpose, but I understand his excursion was
not considered a great success, from any standpoint. A man of
affable manners, no one is better qualified to go abroad as a
German propagandist than he. If all Germans had been like him
there would have been no World War in 1914.

On March eighteenth, we were invited to a fancy-dress ball at
the palace of the Crown Prince. The guests were mostly young
people and officers. The Crown Princess wore a beautiful Russian
dress with its characteristic high front piece on the head. The
Crown Prince and all the officers present were in the picturesque
uniforms of their respective regiments of a period of one hundred
years ago. Prince Oscar, the fifth son of the Kaiser, looked
particularly well.

The hours for balls in Berlin, where officers attended, were a
good example for hostesses in this country. The invitations read
for eight o'clock and that meant eight o'clock. A cold dinner
of perhaps four courses is immediately served on the arrival of
the guests, who, with the exception of a very few distinguished
ones, are not given any particular places. At a quarter to nine
the dancing begins, supper is at about eleven and the guests go
home at twelve, at an hour which enables the officers to get
to bed early. During the season there were balls at the British
and French Embassy and performances by the Russian Ballet, then
in Berlin, at the Russian Embassy.

The wonderful new Royal Library, designed by Ihne, was opened
on March twenty-second. The Emperor attended, coming in with
the beautiful Queen of Roumania walking by his side. She is an
exceedingly handsome woman, half English and half Russian. Some
days later I was presented to her at a reception held at the
Roumanian Minister's and found her as pleasant to talk to as good
to look upon.

At the end of March there was a Horse Show. The horses did not
get prizes for mere looks and manners in trotting and cantering,
as here. They must all do something, for the horse is considered
primarily as a war horse; such, for instance, as stopping suddenly
and turning at a word of command. The jumping was excellent,
officers riding in all the events. It was not a function of
"society," but all "society" was there and most keenly interested;
for in a warlike country, just as in the Middle Ages, the master's
life may depend upon the qualities of his horse.

I have always been fond of horses and horse-racing, and the
race-tracks about Berlin were always an attraction for me.

Many of the drivers and jockeys were Americans. Taral was a
successful jockey for my father-in-law, Marcus Daly. He is the
trainer of one of the best racing stables in Germany, that of
the brothers Weinberg, who made a fortune in dye-stuffs. "Pop"
Campbell, who trained Mr. Daly's Ogden, a Futurity winner, is
also a Berlin trainer. The top notch jockey was Archibald of
California. McCreery, who once trained for one of my brothers,
had the stable which rivalled the Weinbergs', that of Baron
Oppenheim, a rich banker of Cologne.

The German officers are splendid riders and take part in many
races. The Crown Prince himself is a successful jockey and racing
stable owner.

On June fifth, at the annual hunt race, the big steeplechase of
the year, the Emperor himself appeared at the Grünewald track,
occupying his private box, a sort of little house beyond the

Bookmakers are not allowed in Germany. The betting is in mutual
pools. About seventeen per cent of the money paid is taken by the
Jockey Club, the State and charities, so that the bettor, with
this percentage running always against him, has little chance
of ultimate success.

Many of the races are confined to horses bred in Denmark and the
Central Empires.

All of us in the Embassy joined the Red White Tennis Club situated
in the Grünewald about five miles from the centre of Berlin.
The Crown Prince was a member and often played there. He is an
excellent player, not quite up to championship form, but he can
give a good account of himself in any company short of the top
class. He has the advantage of always finding that the best players
are only too glad to have an opportunity to play with him. At
this Tennis Club during all the period of the feeling of hatred
against America we were treated with, extreme courtesy by all
our German fellow members.

We saw a great deal of the two exchange professors in the winter
of 1913-14, Professor Paul Shorey of the University of Chicago
and Professor Archibald Coolidge of Harvard. These exchange
professors give courses and lectures in the universities and
their first appearance is quite an event. On this first day in
1913, they each delivered a lecture in the University of Berlin,
and on this lecture day Prince August Wilhelm, representing the
Kaiser, attended. The Kaiser used invariably to attend, but of
late years I am afraid has rather lost interest in this enterprise
at first so much favoured by him.

The _Cologne Gazette_ at one time after the commencement
of the war, in an article, expressed great surprise that America
should permit the export of munitions of war to the Allies and
said, quite seriously, that Germany had done everything possible
to win the favour of America, that Roosevelt had been offered a
review of German troops, that the Emperor had invited Americans
who came to Kiel on their yachts to dine with him, and that he
had even sat through the lectures given by American exchange

Before the war there was but one cable direct from Germany to
America. This cable was owned by a German company and reached
America via the Azore Islands. I endeavoured to obtain permission
for the Western Union Company to land a cable in Germany, but
the opposition of the German company, which did not desire to
have its monopoly interfered with, caused the applications of
the Western Union to be definitely pigeon-holed. In August, 1914,
after the outbreak of the war, when I told this to Ballin of
the Hamburg American Line and von Gwinner, head of the Deutsche
Bank, and when they thought of how much they could have saved
for themselves and Germany and their companies if there had been
an American owned cable landing in Germany, their anger at the
delay on the part of official Germany knew no bounds. Within a
very short time I received an answer from the Foreign Office
granting the application of the Western Union Company, providing
the cable went direct to America. This concession, however, came
too late and, naturally, the Western Union did not take up the
matter during the war.



In 1913-1914 occurred a series of events known as the "Zabern
Affair," which to my mind decided the "system"--the military
autocracy--for a speedy war. In this affair the German people
appeared at last to be opening their eyes, to recover in some
degree from the panic fear of their neighbours which had made them
submit to the arrogance and exactions of the military caste and to
be almost ready to demilitarise themselves, a thing abhorrent to
the upholders of caste, the system, the army and the Hohenzollerns.

This writing on the wall--these letters forming the word
"Zabern"--the actions of the Social Democrats and their growing
boldness, all were warnings to the autocracy of its waning power,
and impelled that autocracy towards war as a bloodletting cure
for popular discontent.

Prussia, which has imposed its will, as well as its methods of
thought and life on all the rest of Germany, is undoubtedly a
military nation.

More than one hundred and twenty-five years ago Mirabeau, the great
French orator at the commencement of the Revolution, said, "War is
the national industry of Prussia." Later, Napoleon remarked that
Prussia "was hatched from a cannon ball," and shortly before the
Franco-Prussian war of 1870 the French military _attaché_, in
reporting to his government, wrote that "other countries possessed
an army, but in Prussia the army possessed the country."

In practice the class of nobles in Prussia owns the army. Officers
may enter the army in two ways, either by enlisting in the regiment,
first as private and then being rapidly promoted to the position
of non-commissioned officer, and then probationary ensign, or
_avantageur_; or the young aspirant may come directly from
a two years' course in one of the cadet schools and enter the
regiment as probationary ensign. In both cases the young officer
is observed by the officers during a period of probation and
can become an officer of that regiment only by the consent of
the regimental officers. In other words, each regiment is like
a club, the officers having the right of black-ball.

This system has practically confined the professional officers to
a class of nobles. It is not at all unusual to find in a regiment
officers whose ancestors were officers of the same regiment two
hundred years or more ago.

In addition to these officers who make the army their career,
a certain number of Germans, after undergoing an enlistment in
the army of one year and two periods of training thereafter,
are made reserve officers. These reserve officers are called to
the colours for manoeuvres and also, of course, when the whole
nation is arrayed in war. These reserve officers seldom attain
a rank higher than that of captain. They may, however, while
exercising civil functions, be promoted, and in this manner the
Chancellor, while occupying civil positions, has gradually been
promoted to the rank of General and von Jagow, during the war, to
the rank of Major. As a rule reserve officers are the one-yearers,
or _Einjähriger_, who, because they have attained a certain
standard of education, serve only one year with the army instead
of the two required from others. The Bavarian army is in a sense
independent of Prussia, but is modelled on the same system.

For years officers of the army, both in the discharge of their
duties and outside, have behaved in a very arrogant way toward
the civil population. Time and again, while I was in Germany
waiting in line at some ticket office, an officer has shoved
himself ahead of all others without even a protest from those
waiting. On one occasion, I went to the races in Berlin with my
brother-in-law and bought a box. While we were out looking at
the horses between the races, a Prussian officer and his wife
seated themselves in our box. I called the attention of one of
the ushers to this, but the usher said that he did not dare ask
a Prussian officer to leave, and it was only after sending for
the head usher and showing him my Jockey Club badge and my pass
as Ambassador, that I was able to secure possession of my own

There have been many instances in Germany where officers having
a slight dispute with civilians have instantly cut the civilian
down. Instances of this kind and the harsh treatment of the Germans
by officers and under-officers, while serving in the army,
undoubtedly created in Germany a spirit of antagonism not only
to the army itself but to the whole military system of Prussia.
Affairs were brought to a head by the so-called Zabern Affair. In
this affair the internal antagonism between the civil population
and professional soldiers, which had assumed great proportions
in a period of long peace, seemed to reach its climax. Of course
this antagonism had increased with the increase in 1913-14 of
the effective strength of the standing army, bringing a material
increase in the numbers of officers and non-commissioned officers
who represent military professionalism.

The Imperial Provinces or Reichsland, as Alsace and Lorraine are
called, had been in a peculiar position within the body politic
of Germany since their annexation in 1870. The Reichsland, as
indicated by its name, was to be considered as common property
of the German Empire and was not annexed to any one German State.
Its government is by an Imperial Viceroy, with a kind of cabinet
consisting of one Secretary of State, Civil and Under Secretaries
and Department heads, assisted by a legislative body of two chambers,
one elected by popular vote and the other consisting of members
partly elected by municipal bodies, universities, churches and so
forth, and partly appointed by the Imperial Government. The Viceroy
and his cabinet are appointed by the Emperor in his capacity of
the sovereign of the Reichsland. Until the thirty-first of May,
1911, the Reichsland had no constitution of its own, the form
of its government being regulated by the Reichstag and Federal
Council (Bundesrat) in about the same way as the territories
of the United States are ruled by Congress and the President.
In 1911, Alsace-Lorraine received a constitution which gave it
representation in the Federal Council, representation in the
Reichstag having already been granted as early as 1871. The sympathy
of Alsace-Lorraine for France had been increased by the policy of
several of the German viceroys,--von Manteuffel, Prince Hohenlohe,
Prince Münster and Count Wedel, who had, in their administrations,
alternated severe measures with great leniency and had not improved
conditions, so that the population, essentially South German,
was undoubtedly irritated by the tone and manner of the North
German officials.

Great industries had been developed by the Imperial Government,
especially textile and coal mining, and the industrial population
centering in Mülhausen was hotly and thoroughly Social Democratic.
The upper or well-to-do classes were tied to France by family
connections and by religion. The bourgeois remained mildly
anti-German, more properly speaking, anti-government, for similar
reasons, and the working men were opposed to the government on
social and economic grounds. The farming population, not troubling
much about the politics, but being affected by the campaign of
the nationalistic press, were in sympathy with France; so the
atmosphere was well prepared for the coming storm.

Zabern, or in French, Saverne, is a little town of between eight
and nine thousand inhabitants, beautifully situated at the foot
of the Vosges Mountains on the banks of the Rhine-Marne Canal.
Its garrison comprised the staff and two battalions of Infantry
Regiment, Number Ninety-nine, commanded by von Reuter, and among
its officers was a Lieutenant von Forstner, a young man only
twenty years old, whose boyish appearance had excited the school
children and boys working in nearby iron factories to ridicule
him. It became known that this young officer, while instructing
his men, had insulted the French flag and had called the Alsatian
recruits _Wackes_, a nick-name meaning "square-head," and
frequently used by the people of Alsace-Lorraine in a jocular
way, but hotly resented by them if used towards them by others.
It was further reported that he had promised his men a reward
of ten marks if one of them, in case of trouble, should bring
down a Social Democrat. Forstner had told his men to beware,
and warned them against listening to French foreign agents, whom
the Germans claimed were inducing French soldiers to desert in
order to join the French legion. It is probable that Forstner,
in talking to his men of the French Foreign Legion, used language
offensive to French ears. He admitted that he had used the word
_Wackes_ in defiance of an order of the commanding general,
and for this he had been punished with several days' confinement
in a military prison. Lieutenant von Forstner, who was ordered
to instruct his squad about the regulations in case of trouble
with the civil population, claimed that he had only added to the
usual instructions a statement that every true soldier should
do his best to suppress any disturbances and that he, Forstner,
would give a special reward to any of his men who would arrest
one of "those damned Social Democrats."

Reports of the acts of Forstner and other officers were rapidly
spread among the population. The two newspapers of Zabern published
articles. The excitement grew, and there were demonstrations
against the officials and especially against Forstner. Finally,
conditions became so bad that Colonel von Reuter requested the
head of the local civil administration, Director Mahler, to restore
order, stating that he would take the matter into his own hands
if order was not restored. The director, a native of a small
village near Zabern, replied coolly that he saw no necessity
for interfering with peace loving and law abiding people. On
November twenty-ninth, 1913, a large crowd assembled in front
of the barracks. Colonel von Reuter ordered Lieutenant Schad,
commanding the Guard as officer of the day, to disperse the crowd.
Accordingly Lieutenant Schad called the Guard to arms and three
times summoned the crowd to disperse and go home. The soldiers
charged and drove the multitude across the Square and into a
side street and arrested about fifteen persons, among them the
President, two Judges and the State Attorney of the Zabern Supreme
Court, who had just come out from the court building and who were
caught in the crowd. They were subsequently released. The rest
of the persons arrested were kept in the cellar of the barracks
over night.

The report of these occurrences caused immense excitement throughout
Germany. A great outcry went up against militarism, even in quarters
where no socialistic tendencies existed. This feeling was not
helped by the fact that the General commanding the fifteenth
army to which the Zabern regiment belonged was an exponent of
extreme militaristic ideas; a man, who several years before, as
Colonel of the Colonial troops, representing the war ministry
before the Reichstag and debating there the question of the number
of troops to be kept in German South West Africa, had most clearly
shown his contempt for the Reichstag.

Colonel von Reuter and Lieutenant Schad, when court-martialled
for their acts in ordering the troops to move against the civil
population, claimed the benefit of a Prussian law of 1820, which
provided that in any city, town or village, the highest military
officer in command must assume the authority, usually vested
in the civil government, whenever for any reason the civil
administration neglects to keep order. The Colonel and Lieutenant
were subsequently acquitted on the ground that they had acted
under the provisions of this law.

The excitement throughout Germany was further increased by other
circumstances. The Emperor remained during these critical days at
Donaueschingen, the princely estate of his friend and favourite,
Prince Fürstenberg, enjoying himself with fox-hunting, torch-light
processions and cabaret performances. Of course, all this had been
arranged long before anyone dreamed of any trouble in Zabern, and
the Emperor could scarcely be expected to realise the gravity of
the situation which suddenly arose. But this very fact created a
bad impression. It was even rumoured that the Empress, alarmed by
the situation, had ordered a train to be made ready in order to
go to him and try to convince him of the necessity of returning
to Berlin.



The newly appointed minister of war, Falkenhayn, went to
Donaueschingen, where he was joined by von Deimling. This action
aggravated the situation, because the public concluded that the
Emperor would hear the advice and report of military officers
only. The sudden death, by heart failure, of the Emperor's closest
friend, von Hulsen, chief of the Emperor's Military Cabinet,
during a banquet at Donaueschingen, gave the rapidly developing
events a tragic and mysterious colouring, and these conferences
in Donaueschingen resulted in the tendering of their resignations
by the Viceroy, von Wedel, and Secretary of State Zorn von Bulach,
Viceroy and Secretary of State of Alsace-Lorraine, who felt that
the military party had gained an upper hand in the conflict with the
civil authorities. The Chancellor then hurried to Donaueschingen,
arriving a few hours before the departure of the Emperor; and a
subsequent order of the Emperor to General von Deimling to see
to it that the military officers did not overstep their authority
and directing him to investigate the occurrences and take measures
to punish all guilty parties, somewhat quieted the nation and
caused the two highest civil officials of Alsace-Lorraine to
withdraw their resignations.

Zabern, where a brigadier-general had been sent by von Deimling
to restore civil government, had begun to quiet down. But the
Chancellor had hardly returned to Berlin when another incident
stirred Germany. While practising field service in the neighbourhood
of Zabern and marching through a village, Lieutenant von Forstner
had an altercation with a lame shoemaker and cut him down. This
brutal act of militarism caused a new outburst throughout Germany.
Forstner was tried by a court-martial for hitting and wounding
an unarmed civilian, and sentenced by the lower court to one
year's imprisonment, but acquitted by the higher court as having
acted in "supposed self-defence."

No less than three parties, the Centrum, the Progressives and
the Social Democrats, addressed interpellations to the Chancellor
about this occurrence at Zabern. I was present at the debate in
the Reichstag, which took place on the fourth, fifth and sixth
of December, 1913. Three South Germans, a member of the Centrum,
Hauss, a Progressive named Roser, and the Socialist deputy from
Mülhausen in Alsace, Peirotes, commenced by moving and seconding
the interpellation and related in vehement language the occurrences
at Zabern. The Chancellor replied in defence of the government.
Unfortunately he had that morning received family news of a most
unpleasant character, which added to his nervousness. He spoke
with a low voice and looked like a downhearted and sick man. It
was whispered afterwards in the lobbies that he had forgotten
the most important part of his speech. The unfavourable impression
which he made was increased by von Falkenhayn, appearing for the
first time before the Reichstag. If the Reichstag members had
been disappointed by the Chancellor, they were stirred to the
highest pitch of bitterness by the speech of the War Minister. In
a sharp, commanding voice he told them that the military officers
had only done their duty, that they would not be swerved from their
path by press agents or hysterical individuals, that Forstner
was a very young officer who had been severely punished, but
that this kind of courageous young officer was the kind that
the country needed, etc. Immediately after this speech the
Progressive party moved that the attitude of the Chancellor did
not meet the approval of the representatives of the people, and
it became evident that, for the first time in the history of the
German Empire, a vote of censure directed against the government
would be debated. The debate was continued all the next day, the
Chancellor making another speech and saying what he probably had
intended to say the day before. He related what he had achieved
at Donaueschingen; that the Emperor had issued a cabinet order
saying that the military authorities should be kept within legal
bounds, that all the guilty persons would be punished, that the
Regiment, Number Ninety-nine, had been removed from Zabern, that
the absolute law of 1820 had been abolished for Alsace-Lorraine,
and that no Chancellor should for one moment tolerate disregard
of law by any government officials, civil or military, and remain
in his position.

This second speech of the Chancellor made a better impression
and somewhat affected the more extreme members of the Reichstag,
but it came too late to prevent the passage of the vote of censure
by the remarkable majority of two hundred and ninety-three to
fifty-four. Only the Conservatives voted against it. A few days
later, when the Social Democrats demanded that the Chancellor
take the consequence of the vote of distrust and resign, the
attitude of the members of all the other parties, who had been
favourably impressed by the second speech of the Chancellor,
showed that they were not yet prepared to go the length of holding
that a vote of distrust in the Reichstag must necessarily mean
the resignation of the Chancellor.

Public excitement gradually calmed down, and a complete change of
the officials at Zabern helped to bring about a normal condition
of affairs. The Viceroy, Count Wedel, and Secretary of State
Zorn von Bulach, resigned and were replaced by von Dallwitz and
Count Rödern.

However, the everlasting question came up again a little later
during the regular budget debate of the Reichstag. The Chancellor
made his speech, giving a review of the political international
situation. He was followed by Herr Scheidemann, leader of the
Social Democrats, who mercilessly attacked the Chancellor and
stated that if the Chancellor still thought that he was the right
man at the helm, he, Scheidemann, would show that the contrary was
the case. He then enumerated what he called the many political
failures of the Chancellor, the failure of the bill to amend
the Prussian franchise law, and stated that the few bills which
had been passed, such as the bill giving Alsace-Lorraine a real
constitution, had been carried only with the help of the Social
Democratic party. The speaker then once more rehashed the incidents
of the Zabern matter, referred to the attitude of the Emperor,
who, he said, had evidently been too busy with hunting and
festivities to devote time to such trivial matters as the Zabern
Affair, and also said that, if the Chancellor had refused to
withdraw, the only possible conclusion from the vote of the two
hundred and ninety-three Reichstag members, who were certainly
not influenced by personal feelings against the Chancellor, was
that the Chancellor must be sticking to his post only because
of the mistaken idea of the Emperor's authority and because he
must believe in the fetish of personal government. Scheidemann
begged that the same majority which had passed the vote of censure
should now follow it up by voting down the Chancellor's salary
and thus force him out of office.

The Chancellor immediately replied, saying that he needed no
advice from Herr Scheidemann, and that when the government had
consented to change the rules of the Reichstag he had expressly
reserved the authority either to regard or disregard any resolution
passed after an interpellation, and that formerly, after discussing
an interpellation and the answer of the government, no vote could
be taken to approve or reject a resolution expressing its opinion
of such course of action. Such resolutions might be considered as
valuable material, but it had been agreed that they could have
no binding effect either upon the government or any member of it,
and that nobody had ever dreamed that by a mere change of business
rules the whole constitution of the Empire was being changed and
authority given to the Reichstag to dismiss ministers at will;
that in France and Great Britain conditions were different, but
that parliamentary government did not exist in Germany; that it
was the constitutional privilege of the Emperor to appoint the
Chancellor without any assistance or advice from the Reichstag;
that he, the Chancellor, would resist with all his might every
attempt to change this system; and that he, therefore, refused
to resign because the resolution had no other effect than to
make it evident that a difference of opinion existed between the
Reichstag and the government.

This debate took place on December ninth, 1913, and, with the
exception of the Social Democrats and the Polish deputies, the
leaders of all parties supported the view of the Chancellor.
The motion to strike out the Chancellor's salary was voted down,
only the Social Democrats and Poles voting in favour of it.

It is unquestioned, however, that this Zabern Affair and the
consequent attitude of the whole nation, as well as the extraordinary
vote in the Reichstag, greatly alarmed the military party.

It was perhaps the final factor which decided the advocates of
the old military system of Germany in favour of a European war.
Usually in past years when the Reichstag in adjournments had risen
and cheered the name of the Emperor, the Social Democrats absented
themselves from the Chamber, but when the Reichstag adjourned on
May twentieth, 1914, these members remained in the Chamber and
refused either to rise or to cheer the Emperor. The President
of the Reichstag immediately called attention to this breach
of respect to the Emperor, upon which the Socialists shouted,
"That is our affair," and tried to drown the cheers with hoots
and hisses at which the other parties applauded tumultuously.

This occurrence I know greatly incensed the Emperor and did much,
I believe, to win his consent to the war.



To the outsider, the Germans seem a fierce and martial nation.
But, in reality, the mass of the Germans, in consenting to the
great sacrifice entailed by their enormous preparations for war,
have been actuated by fear.

This fear dates from the Thirty Years' War, the war which commenced
in 1618 and was terminated in 1648. In 1648, when the Treaty
of Westphalia was concluded, Germany was almost a desert. Its
population had fallen from twenty millions to four millions.
The few remaining people were so starved that cannibalism was
openly practised. In the German States polygamy was legalised,
and was a recognised institution for many years thereafter.

Of thirty-five thousand Bohemian villages, only six thousand
were left standing. In the lower Palatinate only one-tenth of the
population survived; in Württemberg, only one-sixth. Hundreds of
square miles of once fertile country were overgrown with forests
inhabited only by wolves.

A picture of this horrible period is found in the curious novel,
"The Adventurous Simplicissimus," written by Grimmelshausen, and
published in 1669, which describes the adventures of a wise peasant
who finally leaves his native Germany and betakes himself to a desert
island which he refuses to leave when offered an opportunity to
go back to the Fatherland. He answers those who wish to persuade
him to go back with words which seem quite appropriate to-day:
"My God, where do you want to carry me? Here is peace. There is
war. Here I know nothing of the arts of the court, ambitions,
anger, envy, deceit, nor have I cares concerning my clothing and
nourishment.... While I still lived in Europe everything was
(O, woe that I must appear witness to such acts of Christians!)
filled with war, burning, murder, robbery, plundering and the
shame of women and virgins." The Munich weekly, "Simplicissimus,"
whose powerful political cartoons have often startled Europe,
takes its name from this character.

After the conclusion of the Thirty Years' War, Germany was again
and again ravaged by smaller wars, culminating in the Seven Years'
War of Frederick the Great and the humbling of Germany under
the heel of Napoleon. In the wars Of Frederick the Great, one
tenth of the population was killed. Even the great Battle of
the Nations at Leipsic in 1813 did not free Germany from wars,
and in 1866 Prussia and the smaller North German States, with
Italy, defeated Austria, assisted by Bavaria, Hesse-Cassel,
Hesse-Darmstadt, Nassau, Saxony, Baden, Württemberg and Hanover.

I am convinced that the fear of war induced by a hereditary instinct,
caused the mass of the Germans to become the tools and dupes of
those who played upon this very fear in order to create a military
autocracy. On the other hand, and, especially, in the noble class,
we have in Germany a great number of people who believe in war for
its own sake. In part, these nobles are the descendants of the
Teutonic Knights who conquered the Slav population of Prussia,
and have ever since bound that population to their will.

The Prussian army was created by the father of Frederick the
Great, who went to the most ridiculous extremes in obtaining tall
men at all costs for his force.

The father of Frederick the Great gave the following written
instructions to the two tutors of his son. "Above all let both
tutors exert themselves to the utmost to inspire him with a love
of soldiery and carefully impress upon his mind that, as nothing
can confer honour and fame upon a prince except the sword, the
monarch who seeks not his sole satisfaction in it must ever appear
a contemptible character in the eyes of the world."

Frederick the Great left, by the death of that father who had
once threatened to execute him, at the head of a marvellous army
with a full treasury, finally decided upon war, as he admits in
his own letters, "in order to be talked about," and his desire
to be talked about led to the Seven Years' War.

The short war against Denmark in 1864, against Austria, Bavaria,
etc., in 1866 and against France in 1870, enormously increased
both the pride and prestige of the Prussian army. It must not
be forgotten that at all periods of history it seems as if some
blind instinct had driven the inhabitants of the inhospitable
plains of North Germany to war and to conquest. The Cimbri and
Teutones--the tribes defeated by Marius; Ariovistus, who was
defeated by Julius Caesar; the Goths and the Visi-Goths; the
Franks and the Saxons; all have poured forth from this infertile
country, for the conquest of other lands. The Germans of to-day
express this longing of the North Germans for pleasanter climes
in the phrase in which they demand "a place in the sun."

The nobles of Prussia are always for war. The business men and
manufacturers and shipowners desire an increasing field for their
activities. The German colonies were uninhabitable by Europeans.
All his life the glittering Emperor and his generals had planned
and thought of war; and the Crown Prince, surrounded by his
remarkable collection of relics and reminders of Napoleon, dreamed
only of taking the lead in a successful war of conquest. Early in
the winter of 1913-14, the Crown Prince showed his collection of
Napoleana to a beautiful American woman of my acquaintance, and
said that he hoped war would occur while his father was alive,
but, if not, he would start a war the moment he came to the throne.

Since writing the above, the American woman who had this conversation
with the Crown Prince wrote out for me the exact conversation
in her own words, as follows: "I had given him Norman Angell's
book, 'The Great Illusion,' which seeks to prove that war is
unprofitable. He (the Crown Prince) said that whether war was
profitable or not, when he came to the throne there would be war,
if not before, just for the fun of it. On a previous occasion
he had said that the plan was to attack and conquer France, then
England, and after that my country (the United States of America);
Russia was also to be conquered, and Germany would be master of
the world."

The extraordinary collection of relics, statues, busts, souvenirs,
etc., of the first Napoleon, collected by the Crown Prince, which
he was showing at the time of the first of these conversations
to this American lady, shows the trend of his mind and that all
his admiration is centred upon Napoleon, the man who sought the
mastery of the world, and who is thought by admirers like the
Crown Prince to have failed only because of slight mistakes which
they feel, in his place, they would not have made.

If the Germans' long preparations for war were to bear any fruit,
countless facts pointed to the summer of 1914 as the time when the
army should strike that great and sudden blow at the liberties
of the world.

It was in June, 1914, that the improved Kiel Canal was reopened,
enabling the greatest warships to pass from the Baltic to the
North Sea.

In the Zeppelins the Germans had arms not possessed by any other
country and with which they undoubtedly believed that they could
do much more damage to England than was the case after the actual
outbreak of hostilities. They had paid great attention to the
development of the submarine. Their aeroplanes were superior to
those of other nations. They believed that in the use of poison
gas, which was prepared before the outbreak of the war, they had
a prize that would absolutely demoralise their enemy. They had
their flame throwers and the heavy artillery and howitzers which
reduced the redoubtable forts of Liege and Namur to fragments
within a few hours, and which made the holding of any fortresses

On their side, by the imposition of a heavy tax called the
_Wehrbeitrag_ or supplementary defence tax, they had, in
1913, increased their army by a number of army corps. On the
other hand, the law for three years' military service voted in
France had not yet gone into effect, nor had the law for universal
military service voted by the Belgian Chambers. Undoubtedly the
Germans based great hopes upon the Bagdad railway which was to
carry their influence to the East, and even threatened the rule
of England in Egypt and India. Undoubtedly there was talk, too,
of a Slav railroad to run from the Danube to the Adriatic which
would cut off Germany from access to the Southern Sea. Francis
Deloisi, the Frenchman, in his book published before the great
war, called "De la Guerre des Balkans à la Guerre Européenne,"
says, "In a word, the present war (Balkan) is the work of Russia,
and the Danube Asiatic railway is a Russian project. If it succeeds,
a continuous barrier of Slav peoples will bar the way to the
Mediterranean of the path of Austro-German expansion from the
Black Sea to the Adriatic. But here again the Romanoffs confront
the Hapsburgs, the Austro-Serb conflict becomes the Austro-Russian
conflict, two great groups are formed, and the Balkan conflict
becomes the European conflict."

Another reason for an immediate war was the loan by France to
Russia made on condition that additional strategic railways were
to be constructed by the Russians in Poland. Although this money
had been received, the railways had not been constructed at the
time of the opening of the Great War. Speaking of this situation,
the Russian General Kuropatkin, in his report for the year 1900,
said, "We must cherish no illusions as to the possibility of an
easy victory over the Austrian army," and he then went on to say,
"Austria had eight railways to transport troops to the Russian
frontier while Russia had only four; and, while Germany had seventeen
such railways running to the German-Russian frontier, the Russians
had only five." Kuropatkin further said, "The differences are too
enormous and leave our neighbours a superiority which cannot be
overcome by the numbers of our troops, or their courage."

Comparing the two armies, he said, "The invasion of Russia by
German troops is more probable than the invasion of Germany by
Russian troops"; and, "Our Western frontier, in the event of
a European war, would be in such danger as it never has known
in all the history of Russia."

Agitation by workmen in Russia was believed in Germany to be
the beginning of a revolution. Illuminating figures may be seen
in the gold purchase of the German Imperial Bank: in 1911,
174,000,000 marks; in 1912, 173,000,000 marks; but in 1913,
317,000,000 marks.

There was a belief in Germany that the French nation was degenerate
and corrupt and unprepared for war. This belief became conviction
when, in the debates of the French Senate, Senator Humbert, early
in 1914, publicly exposed what he claimed to be the weakness
and unpreparedness of France.

Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador in London, certainly
reported to his government that England did not wish to enter
the war. He claims now that he did not mean that England would
not fight at all events, but undoubtedly the German Foreign Office
believed that England would remain out of the war. The raising of
the Ulster army by Sir Edward Carson, one of the most gigantic
political bluffs in all history, which had no more revolutionary
or military significance than a torchlight parade during one of
our presidential campaigns, was reported by the German spies
as a real and serious revolutionary movement; and, of course, it
was believed by the Germans that Ireland would rise in general
rebellion the moment that war was declared. In the summer of
1914 Russia was believed to be on the edge of revolution.

As I have said in a previous chapter, the movement against
militarism, culminating in the extraordinary vote in the Reichstag
against the government at the time of the Zabern Affair, warned
the government and military people that the mass of Germans were
coming to their senses and were preparing to shake off the bogy of
militarism and fear, which had roosted so long on their shoulders
like a Prussian old-man-of-the-sea. The Pan-Germans and the
Annexationists were hot for war. The people alive could recall
only three wars, the war against Denmark in 1864, which was settled
in a few days and added the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein to
the Prussian crown, and the war of 1866 in which Bavaria, Baden,
Württemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Saxony were defeated, when the
Austrian kingdom of Hanover disappeared and the territories of
Hesse-Cassel and Nassau, and the free city of Frankfort were
added to Prussia. This war, from its declaration to the battle
of Königgratz in which the Austrians were completely defeated,
lasted only two weeks. In 1870 France was defeated within a month
and a half after the opening of hostilities; so that the Kaiser
was implicitly believed when, on the first day of the war, he
appeared on the balcony of the palace and told the crowds who
were keen for war, that "before the leaves have fallen from the
trees you will be back in your homes." The army and all Germany
believed him and believed, too, that a few short weeks would
see the destruction of France and the consequent seizure of her
rich colonies; that Russia could then be struck a good quick
blow before she could concentrate her army and resources; that
England would remain neutral; and that Germany would consequently
become, if not the actual owner, at least the dictator of the
world. Some one has since said that the Emperor must have meant
pine trees.

Working ever in the dark, either owning or influencing newspapers,
the great munition and arms factory of the Krupp's insidiously
poisoned the minds of the people with the microbe of war.

Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador to London, called upon
me often after the outbreak of the war, and insisted that he
had correctly reported the sentiments of England in saying that
England did not want war. After his return to Germany the Germans
quite unfairly treated him as a man who had failed and seemed
to blame him because England had taken the only possible course
open to her and ranged herself on the side of France and Russia.

The dedication at Leipzig, in the year 1913, of the great monument
to celebrate what is called the "War of Liberation," and the
victory of Leipzig in the War of the Nations, 1813, had undoubtedly
kindled a martial spirit in Germany. To my mind, the course which
really determined the Emperor and the ruling class for war was
the attitude of the whole people in the Zabern Affair and their
evident and growing dislike of militarism. The fact that the
Socialists, at the close of the session of the Reichstag, boldly
remained in the Chamber and refused to rise or to cheer the name
of the Emperor indicated a new spirit of resistance to autocracy;
and autocracy saw that if it was to keep its hold upon Germany
it must lead the nation into a short and successful war.

This is no new trick of a ruling and aristocratic class. From
the days when the patricians of Rome forced the people into war
whenever the people showed a disposition to demand their rights,
autocracies have always turned to war as the best antidote against
the spirit of democracy.



Kiel, situated on the Baltic, on the eastern side of the peninsula
of Jutland near the Baltic entrance of the Kiel Canal, is the
principal naval centre of Germany.

When the Germans decided to build up a great fleet the Emperor
used every means to encourage a love of yachting and of the sea,
and endeavoured to make the Kiel Week a rival of the week at
Cowes, the English yachting centre.

With this end in view, the rich Germans were encouraged and almost
commanded to build and race yachts; and Americans and others who
visited Kiel in their yachts were entertained by the Emperor
in an intimacy impossible if they had come to Berlin merely as
tourists, residing in a hotel.

In June, 1914, we went to Kiel as guests of Allison Armour of
Chicago, on his yacht, the _Utowana_. I was detained by
business in Berlin and Mrs. Gerard preceded me to Kiel. I arrived
there on Saturday, the twenty-seventh of June, and that night
went with Armour to dine with the Emperor on board the Emperor's
yacht, _Hohenzollern_.

In the harbour were a fair number of German yachts, mostly sailing
yachts, taking part in the races; the fine old yacht of Lord
Brassey, _The Sunbeam_, and the yacht of the Prince of Monaco,
in which he conducts his scientific voyages. A great English
fleet, comprising some of the most powerful dreadnoughts, had
also arrived, sent as an earnest of the good will and kindly
feeling then supposed to exist between Great Britain and Germany.
The redoubtable von Tirpitz was present on a German battleship,
and the Hamburg American Line had an old transatlantic steamer,
the _Deutschland_, rechristened the _Victoria Luise_,
filled with guests, most of whom were invited on a hint from
the Emperor.

At dinner on the _Hohenzollern_ a number of English people
were present. The Kaiser had on one side of him the wife of the
British Admiral, Lady Maud Warrender, and on the other side, the
Countess of March, whose husband is heir to the Duke of Richmond.
I sat between Princess Münster and the Countess of March, and
after dinner the Emperor drew me over to the rail of the ship,
and talked to me for some time. I wish that diplomatic etiquette
would permit me to reveal what he said, but even in war time I
do not think I ought to violate the confidence that hospitality
seals. However important and interesting, especially to the tame
Socialists of Germany, I do not give this conversation with the
Emperor, nor the conversation with him and Colonel House at the
_Schrippenfest_, because I was his guest. Conversations
with the Emperor which I had on later occasions were at official
audiences and to these the same rule does not apply. He also
invited me to sail with him in his yacht, the _Meteor_, in
the races from Kiel to Eckernfjord on the coming Tuesday.


[Illustration: THE "HOHENZOLLERN".]

Sunday afternoon Prince Henry and his wife, who reside in the
castle at Kiel, were to give an afternoon reception and garden
party; but on arriving at the gates we were told that the party
would not take place. After going on board the _Utowana_,
Frederick W. Wile, the celebrated correspondent of the
_London Daily Mail_, ranged up alongside in a small launch and
informed us that the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the
Austrian throne, and his wife had been assassinated at Sarajevo.
There was much rushing to and fro in fast launches, the Emperor
himself being summoned from the race which was in progress. That
night we dined on board the yacht of the Prince of Monaco. All the
diplomats and notables whom I met during the afternoon and evening
seemed to think that there was no chance that the tragedy at
Sarajevo would lead to war. The next morning the Emperor left
early for Berlin, but expressly directed that the festivities
and races at Kiel should be carried out as arranged.

Monday afternoon there was a _Bierabend_ in the large hall
of the yacht club at Kiel. The Emperor was to have presided at
this dinner, but his place was taken by his brother, Prince Henry.
Sir Edward Goschen, the British Ambassador, who was living on one
of the British battleships, sat on his right and I sat on his
left. During the evening a curious incident happened. The Prince
and I were talking of the dangers of after-dinner speaking and what
a dangerous sport it was. In the midst of our conversation some
one whispered to the Prince and he rose to his feet, proposed the
health of the visiting British Admiral and fleet, and made a little
speech. As he concluded, he said, addressing the officers of the
British fleet: "We are sorry you are going and we are sorry you
came." It is remarkable as showing the discipline of the German
nation and their respect for authority that thereafter no German
ever referred to this curious slip of the tongue. The night was
rather mild and after dinner we walked about the gardens of the
yacht club. I had a long and interesting conversation with the
Prince of Monaco. That Prince, who receives such a large income
from the company which carries on the gambling rooms at Monte
Carlo, is a man of the world intensely interested in scientific
research: there is practically no corner of the seven seas into
which his yacht has not poked her nose in the search for material
for the Sea Museum which he has established at Monaco.

On Tuesday Armour and I boarded the Emperor's sailing yacht,
the new _Meteor_. The race was a beautiful run from Kiel
to Eckernfjord and was won by the _Meteor_. As the Emperor
was not on board, I did not get one of the souvenir scarf-pins
always given to guests who sail with him on a winning race. Among
our crew was Grand Admiral von Köster, subsequently an advocate
of the ruthless submarine war.

Eckernfjord is a little fishing and bathing town. Near by is
the country residence of Prince Henry, a rather modest house,
built in brick in English Elizabethan style. The wife of Prince
Henry was a Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt and is the sister of the
Czarina of Russia. We had tea with Prince and Princess Henry,
their family, the Duke of Sonderburg-Glücksburg and several others
of his family. The billiard room of the house is decorated with
the large original caricatures made by McCutcheon of the Prince's
stay in America. Prince and Princess Henry came out to dine on
the _Utowana_, and Armour and the Prince went ashore to
attend another _Bierabend_, but I dodged the smoke and beer
and remained on board. Before he left the yacht, I had a talk
with Prince Henry. He seemed most exercised over the dislike of
the Germans by all other peoples and asked me why I thought it
existed. I politely told him that I thought it existed because of
the success which the Germans had had in all fields of endeavour,
particularly in manufacturing and commerce. He said, with great
truth, that he believed a great deal of it came from the bad
manners of the travelling Germans. Prince Henry is an able and
reasonable man with a most delightful manner. He speaks English
with a perfect English accent, and I think would be far happier
as an English country gentleman than as the Grand Admiral of the
German Baltic Fleet. He has been devoted to automobiling and
has greatly encouraged that industry in Germany. The Automobile
Club of Berlin is his particular pet.

On returning to Kiel next day we spent several days longer there.
I lunched on board his battleship with Grand Admiral von Tirpitz,
sitting next to him at the table. He struck me then as an amiable
sea dog, combining much political and worldly wisdom with his
knowledge of the sea. From Kiel we motored one night to dine
with a Count and Countess in their country house. This house
had been built perhaps two hundred years, and was on one side of
a square, the other three sides being formed by the great stone
barns in which the produce of the estate was stored. Although
the first floor of the house was elevated about eight feet above
the ground, the family, on account of the dampness of that part
of the world, lived in the second story, and the dining room
was on this story. An ancestor of the Count had, at a time when
this part of the country was part of Denmark and about the year
1700, lent all his available money to the King of Denmark. A
crude painting in the hall showed him sitting in the hall of
this particular house, smoking a long pipe and surrounded by
three or four sisters who were all spinning. Our hostess told us
that this picture represented the lending ancestor being supported
by his sisters while waiting the return of the loan which he
had made to the Danish king, an early example of the situation
disclosed by the popular song which runs: "Everybody works but
father." Of course, no one ever expected a Prussian nobleman to
do any work except in the line of war or in governing the inferior
classes of the country.



People of other countries have been wondering why it is that
the German government is able so easily to impose its will upon
the German people. I have set out in another chapter, in detail,
the political system from which you have seen that the Reichstag
is nothing but a debating society; that the Prussians do not
really have universal suffrage but, by reason of the vicious
circle system of voting, the elective franchise remains in the
hands of the few; and that the government of the country through the
_Landräte_, _Regierungspräsidenten_ and _Oberpräsidenten_
is a central system from above downwards and not the election
of the rulers by the people; and, in the chapter on militarism
and Zabern, I have told by what means the control of the army
is kept in the hands of the class of nobles.

These are not the only means by which the system controls the
country. These alone would not suffice. From the time when he
is four years old, the German is disciplined and taught that
his government is the only good and effective form. The teachers
in the schools are all government paid and teach the children
only the principles desired by the rulers of the German people.
There are no Saturday holidays in the German schools and their
summer holidays are for only three to five weeks. You never see
gangs of small boys in Germany. Their games and their walks are
superintended by their teachers who are always inculcating in
them reverence and awe for the military heroes of the past and
present. On Saturday night the German boy is turned over by the
State paid school teacher to the State paid pastor who adds divine
authority to the principles of reverence for the German system.

There is a real system of caste in Germany. For instance, I was
playing tennis one day with a man and, while dressing afterwards,
I asked him what he was. He answered that he was a _Kaufmann_,
or merchant. For the German this answer was enough. It placed him
in the merchant class. I asked him what sort of a _Kaufmann_
he was. He then told me he was president of a large electrical
company. Of course, with us he would have answered first that
he was president of the electrical company, but being a German
he simply disclosed his caste without going into details. It is
a curious thing on the registers of guests in a German summer
resort to see Mrs. Manufactory-Proprietor Schultze registered
with Mrs. Landrat Schwartz and Mrs. Second Lieutenant von Bing.
Of course, there is no doubt as to the relative social positions
of Mrs. Manufactory-Proprietor Schultze and Mrs. Second Lieutenant
von Bing. Mrs. Manufactory-Proprietor Schultze may have a steam
yacht and a tiara, an opera box and ten million marks. She may
be an old lady noted for her works of charity. Her husband may
have made discoveries of enormous value to the human race, but
she will always be compelled to take her place behind Mrs. Second
Lieutenant von Bing, even if the latter is only seventeen years

Of course, occasionally, officers of the army and navy condescend
to marry into the merchant caste, and if a girl has a choice
of three equally attractive young men, one a doctor, earning
ten thousand dollars a year; one a manufacturer, earning the
same amount; and one an army officer with a "von" before his
name and three thousand dollars a year, there is no hesitation
on her part: she takes the noble and the army officer.

For years all the highest official positions of the government
have been held by members of the Prussian noble class, and when
Zimmermann, of a substantial family in East Prussia, but not of
noble birth, was made Foreign Minister, the most intense surprise
was exhibited all over Germany at this innovation.

One of the most successful ways of disciplining the people is
by the _Rat_ system. _Rat_ means councillor, and is
a title of honour given to any one who has attained a certain
measure of success or standing in his chosen business or profession.
For instance, a business man is made a commerce _Rat_; a
lawyer, a justice _Rat_; a doctor, a sanitary _Rat_;
an architect or builder, a building _Rat_; a keeper of the
archives, an archive _Rat_; and so on. They are created in
this way: first, a man becomes a plain _Rat_, then, later on,
he becomes a secret _Rat_ or privy councillor; still later,
a court secret _Rat_ and, later still, a _wirklicher_,
or really and truly secret court _Rat_ to which may be added
the title of Excellency, which puts the man who has attained
this absolutely at the head of the _Rat_ ladder.

But see the insidious working of the system. By German custom
the woman always carries the husband's title. The wife of a
successful builder is known as Mrs. Really Truly Secret Court
Building _Rat_ and her social precedence over the other women
depends entirely upon her husband's position in the _Rat_
class. Titles of nobility alone do not count when they come in
contact with a high government position. Now if a lawyer gets to
be about forty years old and is not some sort of a _Rat_,
his wife begins to nag him and his friends and relations look at
him with suspicion. There must be something in his life which
prevents his obtaining the coveted distinction and if there is
anything in a man's past, if he has shown at any time any spirit of
opposition to the government, as disclosed by the police registers,
which are kept written up to date about every German citizen,
then he has no chance of obtaining any of these distinctions
which make up so much of the social life of Germany. It is a
means by which the government keeps a far tighter hold on the
intellectual part of its population than if they were threatened
with torture and the stake. The Social Democrats, who, of course,
have declared themselves against the existing system of government
and in favour of a republic, can receive no distinctions from
the government because they dared to lift their voices and their
pens in criticism of the existing order. For them there is the
fear of the law. Convictions for the crime of _Lèse-Majesté_
are of almost daily occurrence and, at the opening of the war, an
amnesty was granted in many of these cases, the ministry of war
withdrawing many prosecutions against poor devils waiting their
trial in jail because they had dared to speak disrespectfully of
the army. The following quotation from a German book, written
since the war, shows very clearly that this state of affairs
existed: "In the beneficent atmosphere of general amnesty came the
news that the Minister of War had withdrawn pending prosecutions
against newspapers on account of their insults to the army or
its members." (Dr. J. Jastrow, "Im Kriegszustand.")

Besides the _Rat_ system and the military system, there
exists the enormous mass of Prussian officials. In a country
where so many things are under government control these officials
are almost immeasurably more numerous than in other countries.
In Prussia, for example, all the railways are government-owned,
with the exception of one road about sixty miles long and a few
small branch roads. This army of officials are retainers of the
government, and not only, of course, themselves refrain from
criticising the system, but also use their influence upon the
members of their own family and all with whom they come in contact.
They are subject to trial in special secret courts and one of
them who dared in any way to criticise the existing system would
not for long remain a member of it. Of course, the members of the
Reichstag have the privilege of free speech without responsibility,
and there are occasional Socialists, who know that they have
nothing to expect from the government, who dare to speak in

All the newspapers are subject to control as in no other country.
In the first place their proprietors are subject to the influence
of the _Rat_ system as is every other German, and the newspaper
proprietor, whose sons perhaps enter the army, whose daughters
may be married to naval officers or officials, and who seeks
for his sons promotion as judge, state's attorney, etc., has
to be very careful that the utterances of his newspaper do not
prevent his promotion in the social scale or interfere with the
career of his family and relations.

Since the war while a preventive censure does not exist in Germany
nevertheless a newspaper may be suppressed at will; a fearful
punishment for a newspaper, which, by being suppressed for, say,
five days or a week, has its business affairs thrown into the utmost
confusion and suffers an enormous direct loss.

Many of the larger newspapers are either owned or influenced by
concerns like the Krupps'. For instance, during this war, all
news coming from Germany to other countries has been furnished
by either the Over-Seas Or Trans-Ocean service, both news agencies
in which the Krupps are large stockholders. The smaller newspapers
are influenced directly by the government.

In the Middle Ages there was often declared a sort of truce to
prevent fighting in a city, which was called the _Burgfrieden_
or "peace of the city," and, at the beginning of this war, all
political parties were supposed to declare a sort of
_Burgfrieden_ and not try to obtain any political advantage.

There was, therefore, intense indignation among the Social Democrats
of Germany when it was discovered, in the spring of 1916, that
the Minister of the Interior was making arrangements to send out
news service to be furnished free to the smaller newspapers, and
that he was engaged in instructing the various _Landräte_
and other officials of the Interior Department how effectively to
use this machinery in order to gull the people to the advantage
of the government, and to keep them in ignorance of anything
which might tend to turn them against the system.

Besides the _Rat_ system there is, of course, the system
of decorations. Countless orders and decorations are given in
Germany. At the head is the Order of the Black Eagle; there are
the Order of the Red Eagle, the Prussian Order of the Crown,
the orders, "_Pour le Mérite_," the Order of the House of
Hohenzollern, and many others, and in each of the twenty-five
States there are also orders, distinctions and decorations. These
orders in turn are divided into numerous classes. For instance, a
man can have the Red Eagle order of the first, second, third or
fourth class, and these may be complicated with a laurel crown,
with an oak crown, with swords and with stars, etc. Even domestic
servants, who have served a long time in one family, receive
orders; and faithful postmen and other officials who have never
appeared on the police books for having made statements against
the government or the army are sure of receiving some sort of

Once a year in Berlin a great festival is held called the
_Ordensfest_, when all who hold orders or decorations of any
kind are invited to a great banquet. The butler, who has served
for twenty-five years, there rubs shoulders with the diplomat who
has received a Black Eagle for adding a colony to the German
Empire, and the faithful cook may be seated near an officer who
has obtained "_Pour le Mérite_" for sinking an enemy warship.
All this in one sense is democratic, but in its effect it tends
to induce the plain people to be satisfied with a piece of ribbon
instead of the right to vote, and to make them upholders of a
system by which they are deprived of any opportunity to make
a real advance in life.

This system is the most complete that has ever existed in any
country, because it has drawn so many of the inhabitants of the
country into its meshes. Practically, the industrial workers
of the great towns and the stupid peasants in the country are
the only people in Germany left out of its net.

I had a shooting place very near Berlin, in fact I could reach
it in three quarters of an hour by motor from the Embassy door,
and there I had an opportunity of studying the conditions of
life of the peasant class.

Germany is still a country of great proprietors. Lands may be held
there by a tenure which was abolished in Great Britain hundreds of
years ago. In Great Britain, property may only be tied up under
fixed conditions during the lives of certain chosen people, in
being at the death of the testator. In the State of New York,
property may only be tied up during the lives of two persons,
in being at the death of the person making the will, and for
twenty-one years (the minority of an infant) thereafter. But
in the Central Empires, property still may be tied up for an
indefinite period under the feudal system, so that great estates,
no matter how extravagant the life tenant may be, are not sold
and do not come into the market for division among the people.



For instance, to-day there exist estates in the Central Empires
which must pass from oldest son to oldest son indefinitely and,
failing that, to the next in line, and so on; and conditions
have even been annexed by which children cannot inherit if their
father has married a woman not of a stated number of quarterings
of nobility. There is a Prince holding great estates in Hungary.
He is a bachelor and if he desires his children to inherit these
estates there are only thirteen girls in the world whom he can
marry, according to the terms of the instrument by which some
distant ancestor founded this inheritance.

This vicious system has prevented extensive peasant proprietorship.
The government, however, to a certain extent, has encouraged peasant
proprietorship, but only with very small parcels of land; and it
would be an unusual thing in Germany, especially in Prussia,
to find a peasant owning more than twenty or thirty acres of
land, most of the land being held by the peasants in such small
quantities that after working their own lands they have time
left to work the lands of the adjoining landed proprietor at a
very small wage.

All the titles, of the nobility are not confined to the oldest
son. The "Pocketbook of Counts," published by the same firm which
publishes the "Almanac de Gotha," contains the counts of Austria,
Germany and Hungary together, showing in this way the intimate
personal relation between the noble families of these three
countries. All the sons of a count are counts, and so on, ad
infinitum. Thus in Hungary there are probably seventy Counts
Szecheny and about the same number of Zichy, etc. Some of the
German noble families are not far behind. In fact it may be said
that almost any person, in what is known as "society" in the
Central Empires, has a title of some sort. The prefix "von" shows
that the person is a noble and is often coupled with names of
people who have no title. By custom in Germany, a "von" when
he goes abroad is allowed to call himself Baron. But in Germany
he could not do so. These noble families in the Central Empires,
by the system of _Majorat_ which I have described, hold
large landed estates, and naturally exert a great influence upon
their labourers. As a rule the system of tenant farming does not
exist; that is, estates are not leased to small farmers as was
the custom in Ireland and is still in Great Britain, but estates
are worked as great agricultural enterprises under superintendents
appointed by the proprietor. This system, impossible in America or
even in Great Britain, is possible in the Central Empires where
the villages are full of peasants who, not so many generations
ago, were serfs attached to the land and who lived in wholesome
fear of the landed proprietors.

This is the first method by which influence is exercised on the
population. There is also the restricted franchise or "circle
voting" which gives the control of the franchise to a few rich

As a rule, the oldest son enters the army as an officer and may
continue, but if he has not displayed any special aptitude for
the military profession he retires and manages his estate. These
estates are calculated by their proprietors to give at least four
per cent interest income on the value of the land. Many younger
sons after a short term of service in the army, usually as officers
and not as _Einjähriger_ leave the army and enter diplomacy
or some other branch of the government service. The offices of
judge, district attorney, etc., not being elective, this career
as well as that leading to the position of _Landrat_ and
over-president of a province is open to those who, because they
belong to old Prussian landed families, find favour in the eyes
of the government. Much is heard in Germany and out of Germany
of the Prussian Squire or Junker.

There is no leisure class among the Junkers. They are all workers,
patriotic, honest and devoted to the Emperor and the Fatherland.
If it is possible that government by one class is to be suffered,
then the Prussian Junkers have proved themselves more fit for rule
than any class in all history. Their virtues are Spartan, their
minds narrow but incorruptible, and their bravery and patriotism
undoubted. One can but admire them and their stern virtues. This
class, largely because of its poverty and its constant occupation,
does not travel; nor does the casual tourist or health seeker in
Germany come in contact with these men. The Junkers will fight
hard to keep their privileges, and the throne will fight hard
for the Junkers because they are the greatest supporters of the

The workingmen in the cities are hard workers and probably work
longer and get less out of life than any workingmen in the world.
The laws so much admired and made ostensibly for their protection,
such as insurance against unemployment, sickness, injury, old
age, etc., are in reality skilful measures which bind them to
the soil as effectively as the serfs of the Middle Ages were
bound to their masters' estates.

I have had letters from workingmen who have worked in America
begging me for a steerage fare to America, saying that their
insurance payments were so large that they could not save money
out of their wages. Of course, after having made these payments
for some years, the workingman naturally hesitates to emigrate
and so lose all the premiums he has paid to the State. In peace
times a skilled mechanic in Germany received less than two dollars
a day, for which he was compelled to work at least ten hours.
Agricultural labourers in the Central Empires are poorly paid.
The women do much of the work done here by men. For instance,
once when staying at a nobleman's estate in Hungary, I noticed
that the gardeners were all women, and, on inquiring how much they
received, I was told they were paid about twenty cents a day. The
women in the farming districts of Germany are worked harder than
the cattle. In summer time they are out in the fields at five or
six in the morning and do not return until eight or later at night.
For this work they are sometimes paid as high as forty-eight
cents a day in harvest time. Nevertheless, these small wages
tempt many Russians to Germany during the harvest season. At the
outbreak of the war there were perhaps fifty thousand Russians
employed in Germany; men, women and girls. These the Germans
retained in a sort of slavery to work the fields. I spoke to
one Polish girl who was working on an estate over which I had
shooting rights, near Berlin. She told me that at the commencement
of the war she and her family were working in Germany and that
since the war they all desired to return to Poland but that the
Germans would not permit it.

This hard working of women in agricultural pursuits tends to
stupefy and brutalise the rural population and keeps them in a
condition of subjection to the Prussian Church and the Prussian
system, and in readiness for war. Both Prussian Junkers and the
German manufacturers look with favour upon the employment of
so many women in farm work because the greater the number of
the labourers, the smaller their wages throughout the country.

When I first came to Germany I, of course, was filled with the
ideas that prevailed in America that the German workingman had
an easy time. My mind was filled with pictures of the German
workingmen sitting with their families at tables, drinking beer
and listening to classical music. After I had spent some time in
Germany, I found that the reason that the German workingmen sat
about the tables was because they were too tired to do anything

I sincerely hope that after the war the workingmen of this country
will induce delegates of their German brothers to make a tour
of America. For when the German workingmen see how much better
off the Americans are, they will return to Germany and demand
shorter hours and higher wages; and the American will not be
brought into competition with labour slaves such as the German
workingmen of the period before the war.

As one goes through the streets of Berlin there are no evidences
of poverty to be seen; but over fifty-five per cent of the families
in Berlin are families living in one room.

The Germans are taken care of and educated very much in the same
way that the authorities here look after the inmates of a poor-house
or penitentiary. Such a thing as a German railway conductor rising
to be president of the road is an impossibility in Germany; and
the list of self-made men is small indeed,--by that I mean men
who have risen from the ranks of the working-men.

The Socialists, representing the element opposed to the
Conservatives, elect a few members to the Prussian Lower House
and about one-third of the members to the Reichstag, but otherwise
have no part whatever in the government. No Socialist would have
any chance whatever if he set out to enter the government service
with the ambition of becoming a district attorney or judge. Jews
have not much chance in the government service. A few exceptions
have been made. At one time Dernburg, who carried on the propaganda
in America during the first year of the war, and who is a Jew, was
appointed Colonial Minister of the Empire.

In my opinion, the liberalisation of Prussia has been halted
by the fact that there has been no party of protest except that
of the Socialists, and the Socialists, because they have, in
effect, demanded abolition of the monarchy and the establishment
of a republic as part of their programme, have been unable to
do anything in the obtaining of the reforms.

Up to the beginning of the war there was great dissatisfaction.
The people were irritated by certain direct taxes such as the
tax upon matches, and because every Protestant in Prussia was
compelled to pay a tax for the support of the church, unless
he made a declaration that he was an atheist.

The only class in Germany which knows something of the outside
world is the _Kaufmann_ class. Prussian nobles of the ruling
class are not travellers. They are always busy with the army and
navy, government employments or their estates; and, as a rule,
too poor to travel. The poor, of course, do not travel, and the
_Kaufmann_, although he learns much in his travels in other
countries to make him dissatisfied with the small opportunity
which he has in a political way in Germany, is satisfied to let
things stand because of the enormous profits which he makes
through the low wages and long hours of the German workingman.

Lawyers and judges amount to little in Germany and we do not
find there a class of political lawyers who, in republics, always
seem to get the management of affairs in their own hands.



After my return from Kiel to Berlin a period of calm ensued.
No one seemed to think that the murders at Sarajevo would have
any effect upon the world.

The Emperor had gone North on his yacht, but, as I believe, not
until a certain line of action had been agreed upon.

Most of the diplomats started on their vacations. Sir Edward
Goschen, British Ambassador, as well as the Russian Ambassador,
left Berlin. This shows, of course, how little war was expected
in diplomatic circles.

I went on two visits to German country-houses in Silesia, where
the richest estates are situated. One of these visits was to the
country-house of a Count, one of the wealthiest men in Germany,
possessed of a fortune of about twenty to thirty million dollars.
He has a great estate in Silesia, farmed, as I explained, not by
tenant farmers, but by his own superintendents. In the centre is
a beautiful country house or castle. We were thirty-two guests in
the house-party. This Count and his charming wife had travelled
much and evidently desired to model their country life on that
of England. Our amusements were tennis, swimming and clay-pigeon
shooting, with dancing and music at night. Life such as this,
and especially, the lavish entertainment of so many guests, is
something very exceptional in Prussian country life and quite
a seven months' wonder for the country side.

Some days after my return to Berlin the ultimatum of Austria
was sent to Serbia. Even then there was very little excitement,
and, when the Serbian answer was published, it was believed that
this would end the incident, and that matters would be adjusted
by dilatory diplomats in the usual way.

On the twenty-sixth of July, matters began to boil. The Emperor
returned on this day and, from the morning of the twenty-seventh,
took charge. On the twenty-seventh, also, Sir Edward Goschen
returned to Berlin. I kept in touch, so far as possible, with
the other diplomats, as the German officials were exceedingly
uncommunicative, although I called on von Jagow every day and tried
to get something out of him. On the night of the twenty-ninth,
the Chancellor and Sir Edward had their memorable conversation in
which the Chancellor, while making no promises about the French
colonies, agreed, if Great Britain remained neutral, to make
"no territorial aggressions at the expense of France."

The Chancellor further stated to Sir Edward, that ever since he
had been Chancellor the object of his policy had been to bring
about an understanding with England and that he had in mind a
general neutrality agreement between Germany and England.

On the thirtieth, Sir Edward Grey refused the bargain proposed,
namely that Great Britain should engage to stand by while the
French colonies were taken and France beaten, so long as French
territory was not taken. Sir Edward Grey said that the so-called
bargain at the expense of France would constitute a disgrace
from which the good name of Great Britain would never recover.
He also refused to bargain with reference to the neutrality of

Peace talk continued, however, on both the thirtieth and
thirty-first, and many diplomats were still optimistic. On the
thirty-first I was lunching at the Hotel Bristol with Mrs. Gerard
and Thomas H. Birch, our minister to Portugal, and his wife.
I left the table and went over and talked to Mouktar Pascha,
the Turkish Ambassador, who assured me that there was no danger
whatever of war. But in spite of his assurances and judging by
the situation and what I learned from other diplomats, I had
cabled to the State Department on the morning of that day saying
that a general European war was inevitable. On the thirty-first,
_Kriegsgefahrzustand_ or "condition of danger of war" was
proclaimed at seven P. M., and at seven P. M. the demand was made
by Germany that Russia should demobilise within twelve hours. On
the thirtieth, I had a talk with Baron Beyens, the Minister of
Belgium, and Jules Cambon, the French Ambassador, in the garden
of the French Embassy in the afternoon. They both agreed that
nothing could prevent war except the intervention of America.

Both Ambassador Cambon and Minister Beyens were very sad and
depressed. After leaving them I met Sir Edward Grey upon the
street and had a short conversation with him. He also was very

Acting on my own responsibility, I sent the following letter to
the Chancellor:

  "Your Excellency:

  Is there nothing that my country can do? Nothing that I can
  do towards stopping this dreadful war?

  I am sure that the President would approve any act of mine
  looking towards peace.

               Yours ever,
      (Signed) JAMES W. GERARD."

To this letter I never had any reply.

On the first of August at five P. M. the order for mobilisation
was given, and at seven-ten P. M. war was declared by Germany on
Russia, the Kaiser proclaiming from the balcony of the palace
that "he knew no parties more."

Of course, during these days the population of Berlin was greatly
excited. Every night great crowds of people paraded the streets
singing "Deutschland Ueber Alles" and demanding war. Extras,
distributed free, were issued at frequent intervals by the
newspapers, and there was a general feeling among the Germans
that their years of preparation would now bear fruit, that Germany
would conquer the world and impose its _Kultur_ upon all nations.

On the second of August, I called in the morning to say good-bye
to the Russian Ambassador. His Embassy was filled with unfortunate
Russians who had gone there to seek protection and help. Right
and left, men and women were weeping and the whole atmosphere
seemed that of despair.

On the day the Russian Ambassador left, I sent him my automobile
to take him to the station. The chauffeur and footman reported to
me that the police protection was inadequate, that the automobile
was nearly overturned by the crowd, and that men jumped on the
running board and struck the Ambassador and the ladies with him
in the face with sticks. His train was due to leave at one-fifteen
P. M. At about ten minutes of one, while I was standing in my
room in the Embassy surrounded by a crowd of Americans, Mrs.
James, wife of the Senator from Kentucky and Mrs. Post Wheeler,
wife of our Secretary to the Embassy in Japan, came to me and
said that they were anxious to get through to Japan via Siberia
and did not know what to do. I immediately scribbled a note to
the Russian Ambassador asking him to take them on the train with
him. This, and the ladies, I confided to the care of a red-headed
page boy of the Embassy who spoke German. By some miracle he
managed to get them to the railroad station before the Ambassador's
train left, the Ambassador kindly agreeing to take them with
him. His train, however, instead of going to Russia, was headed
for Denmark; and from there the two ladies crossed to Sweden,
thence to England, and so home, it being perhaps as well for them
that they did not have an opportunity to attempt the Siberian
journey during this period of mobilisation.

The Russian Ambassador reciprocated by confiding to me a Russian
Princess who had intended to go out with him but who, intimidated,
perhaps, by the scenes on the way to the station, had lost her
nerve at the railway station and refused to depart with the
Ambassador. She remained for a while in Berlin, and after some
weeks recovered sufficient courage to make the trip to Denmark.

On the morning of August fourth, having received an invitation
the day before, I "attended" at the Palace in Berlin. In the room
where the court balls had been held in peace times, a certain
number of the members of the Reichstag were assembled. The diplomats
were in a gallery on the west side of the room. Soon the Emperor,
dressed in field grey uniform and attended by several members of
his staff and a number of ladies, entered the room. He walked
with a martial stride and glanced toward the gallery where the
diplomats were assembled, as if to see how many were there. Taking
his place upon the throne and standing, he read an address to
the members of the Reichstag. The members cheered him and then
adjourned to the Reichstag where the Chancellor addressed them,
making his famous declaration about Belgium, stating that "necessity
knew no law," and that the German troops were perhaps at that
moment crossing the Belgian frontier. Certain laws which had
been prepared with reference to the government of the country,
and which I will give in more detail in another place, as well as
the war credit, were voted upon by the Reichstag. The Socialists
had not been present in the Palace, but joined now in voting the
necessary credits.

On the afternoon of August fourth, I went to see von Jagow to
try and pick up any news. The British Ambassador sat in the
waiting-room of the Foreign Office. Sir Edward told me that he
was there for the purpose of asking for his passports. He spoke
in English, of course, and I am sure that he was overheard by a
man sitting in the room who looked to me like a German newspaper
man, so that I was not surprised when, late in the afternoon,
extra sheets appeared upon the street announcing that the British
Ambassador had asked for his passports and that Great Britain
had declared war.

At this news the rage of the population of Berlin was indescribable.
The Foreign Office had believed, and this belief had percolated
through all classes in the capital, that the English were so
occupied with the Ulster rebellion and unrest in Ireland that
they would not declare war.

AUGUST, 1914.]


After dinner I went to the station to say good bye to the French
Ambassador, Jules Cambon. The route from the French Embassy by
the Branderburg Thor to the Lehrter railway station was lined
with troops and police, so that no accident whatever occurred.
There was no one at the station except a very inferior official
from the German Foreign Office. Cambon was in excellent spirits
and kept his nerve and composure admirably. His family, luckily,
were not in Berlin at the time of the outbreak of the war. Cambon
instead of being sent out by way of Switzerland, whence of course
the road to France was easy, was sent North to Denmark. He was
very badly treated on the train, and payment for the special
train, in gold, was exacted from him by the German government.

Then I went for a walk about Berlin, soon becoming involved in
the great crowd in front of the British Embassy on the Wilhelm
Strasse. The crowd threw stones, etc., and managed to break all
the windows of the Embassy. The Germans charged afterwards that
people in the Embassy had infuriated the crowd by throwing pennies
to them. I did not see any occurrences of this kind. As the Unter
den Linden and the Wilhelm Platz are paved with asphalt the crowd
must have brought with them the missiles which they used, with
the premeditated design of smashing the Embassy windows. A few
mounted police made their appearance but were at no time in
sufficient numbers to hold the crowd in check.

Afterwards I went around to the Unter den Linden where there was
a great crowd in front of the Hotel Adlon. A man standing on the
outskirts of the crowd begged me not to go into the hotel, as he
said the people were looking for English newspaper correspondents.

So threatening was the crowd towards the English correspondents
that Wile rang up the porter of the Embassy after we had gone
to bed and, not wishing to disturb us, he occupied the lounge in
the porter's rooms.

Believing that possibly the British Embassy might be in such
a condition that Sir Edward Goschen, the British Ambassador,
might not care to spend the night there, I ordered an automobile
and went up through the crowd which still choked the Wilhelm
Strasse, with Holand Harvey, the Second Secretary to the British
Embassy. Sir Edward and his secretaries were perfectly calm and
politely declined the refuge which I offered them in our Embassy.
I chatted with them for a while, and, as I was starting to leave, a
servant told me that the crowds in the street had greatly increased
and were watching my automobile. I sent out word by the servant
to open the automobile, as it was a landau, and to tell the
chauffeur, when I got in, to drive very slowly.

I drove slowly through the crowd, assailed only by the peculiar
hissing word that the Germans use when they are especially angry
and which is supposed to convey the utmost contempt. This word
is "_Pfui_" and has a peculiar effect when hissed out from
thousands of Teutonic throats.

As we left the outskirts of the crowd, a man of respectable
appearance jumped on the running board of the automobile, spit
at me, saying "_Pfui_," and struck Harvey in the face with
his hat. I stopped the automobile, jumped out and chased this man
down the street and caught him. My German footman came running
up and explained that I was the American Ambassador and not an
Englishman. The man who struck Harvey thereupon apologised and
gave his card. He was a Berlin lawyer who came to the Embassy
next morning and apologised again for his "mistake."

The following day, August fifth, I spent part of the time taking
over from Sir Edward the British interests. Joseph C. Grew, our
First Secretary, and I went to the British Embassy; seals were
placed upon the archives, and we received such instructions and
information as could be given us, with reference to the British
subjects in Germany and their interests. The British correspondents
were collected in the Embassy and permission was obtained for
them to leave on the Embassy train.

During the day British subjects, without distinction as to age
or sex, were seized, wherever found, and sent to the fortress
of Spandau. I remonstrated with von Jagow and told him that that
was a measure taken only in the Middle Ages, and I believe that
he remonstrated with the authorities and arranged for a cessation
of the arbitrary arrests of women.

Frederick W. Wile, the well-known American correspondent of the
_London Daily Mail_, was to go out also with the British
party, on the ground that he had been a correspondent of a British
newspaper. In the evening I went to the Foreign Office to get his
passport, and, while one of the department chiefs was signing
the passport, he stopped in the middle of his signature, threw
down the pen on the table, and said he absolutely refused to
sign a passport for Wile because he hated him so and because
he believed he had been largely instrumental in the bringing
about of the war. Of course this latter statement was quite
ridiculous, but it took me some time before I could persuade
this German official to calm his hate and complete his signature.

I have heard a few people say that Wile was unduly fearful of
what the Germans might do to him, but the foregoing incident
shows that his fears were well grounded, and knowing of this
incident, which I did not tell him, I was very glad to have him
accept the hospitality of the Embassy for the night preceding
his departure. He was perfectly cool, although naturally much
pleased when I informed him that his departure had been arranged.

Sir Edward and his staff and the British correspondents left next
morning early, about six A. M. No untoward incidents occurred
at the time of their departure which was, of course, unknown to
the populace of Berlin.

During these first days there was a great spy excitement in Germany.
People were seized by the crowds in the streets and, in some
instances, on the theory that they were French or Russian spies,
were shot. Foreigners were in a very dangerous situation throughout
Germany, and many Americans were subjected to arrest and indignities.

A curious rumour spread all over Germany to the effect that
automobiles loaded with French gold were being rushed across the
country to Russia. Peasants and gamekeepers and others turned
out on the roads with guns, and travelling by automobile became
exceedingly dangerous. A German Countess was shot, an officer
wounded and the Duchess of Ratibor was shot in the arm. It was
sometime before this excitement was allayed, and many notices
were published in the newspapers before this mania was driven
from the popular brain.

There were rumours also that Russians had poisoned the Muggelsee,
the lake from whence Berlin draws part of its water supply. There
were constant rumours of the arrest of Russian spies disguised as
women throughout Germany.

Many Americans were detained under a sort of arrest in their
hotels; among these were Archer Huntington and his wife; Charles
H. Sherrill, formerly our minister to the Argentine and many



Of course, as soon as there was a prospect of war, the Embassy
was overrun with Americans. Few Americans had taken the precaution
of travelling with passports, and passports had become a necessity.
All of the Embassy force and all the volunteers that I could
prevail upon to serve, even a child of eleven years old, who
was stopping in the house with us, were taking applications of
the Americans who literally in thousands crowded the Wilhelm
Platz in front of the Embassy.

The question of money became acute. Travellers who had letters
of credit and bank checks for large sums could not get a cent
of money in Germany. The American Express Company, I believe,
paid all holders of its checks. When, with Mr. Wolf, President
of the American Association of Commerce and Trade in Berlin, I
called upon the director of the Imperial Bank and begged him
to arrange something for the relief of American travellers in
Germany, he refused to do anything; and I then suggested to him
that he might give paper money, which they were then printing
in Germany, to the Americans for good American credits such as
letters of credit and bank checks, and that they would then have a
credit in America which might become very valuable in the future.
He, however, refused to see this. Director Herbert Gutmann of
the Dresdener Bank was the far-seeing banker who relieved the
situation. Gutmann arranged with me that the Dresdener Bank,
the second largest bank in Germany, would cash the bank checks,
letters of credit and the American Express Company's drafts and
international business checks, etc., of Americans for reasonable
amounts, provided the Embassy seal was put on the letter of credit
or check to show that the holder was an American, and, outside
of Berlin, the seal of the American Consulate. This immediately
relieved the situation.

With the exception of Mr. Wolf who was, however, quite busy with
his own affairs, I had no American Committees such as were organised
in London and Paris to help me in Berlin. In Munich, however, the
Americans there organised themselves into an efficient committee.
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Pulitzer were in Berlin and immediately went
to work in our Embassy. Mr. Pulitzer busied himself at giving
out passports and Mrs. Pulitzer proved herself a very efficient
worker. She and Mrs. Ruddock, wife of our Third Secretary, and
Mrs. Gherhardi, wife of the Naval Attaché, with Mrs. Gerard formed
a sort of relief committee to look after the Americans who were
without help or resources.

I arranged, with the very efficient help of Lanier Winslow, for
special trains to carry the Americans in Germany to Holland.
Trains were run from Switzerland, Munich and Carlsbad across
Germany to Holland, and from Berlin were run a number of trains
to Holland.

The first room on entering the Embassy was the ticket-office,
and there, first Mr. Winslow, and afterwards Captain Fenton,
sold tickets, giving tickets free to those who were certified
to be without funds by the committee of Mrs. Pulitzer and Mrs.
Gerard. This committee worked on the second floor of the Embassy
in the ballroom, part of it being roped off to keep the crowds
back from the ladies.

Each week I bought a number of steerage passages from the Holland
American Line and the ladies resold them in the ballroom. We had
to do this because the Holland American Line had no licence to sell
steerage tickets in Germany; but by buying two or three hundred
at a time direct from the Company, I was enabled to peddle them
out in our ballroom to those Americans who, in their eagerness to
reach their own country, were willing to endure the discomforts
of travel in the steerage.

Winslow accompanied one special train to Holland, and I must
say that I sympathised with him when I learned of what he had
to do in the way of chasing lost hand-baggage and finding milk
for crying babies.

These special trains were started from the Charlottenburg station,
in a quiet part of Berlin so that no crowd was attracted by the
departure of the Americans. The Carlsbad train went through very
successfully, taking the Americans who had been shut up in Carlsbad
since the commencement of the war.

One of the curious developments of this time was a meeting of
sympathy for the Americans stranded in Germany, held in the town
hall of Berlin on the eleventh of August. This meeting was commenced
in one of the meeting rooms of the town hall, but so many people
attended that we were compelled to adjourn to the great hall.
There speeches were made by the over-Burgomaster, von Gwinner,
Professor von Harnack and me. Another professor, who spoke excellent
English, with an English accent, made a bitter attack upon Great
Britain. In the pamphlet in which the speeches of Harnack and
the over-Burgomaster were published this professor's speech was
left out. In his speech stating the object of the meeting, the
over-Burgomaster said: "Since we hear that a large number of
American citizens in the German Empire, and, especially, in Berlin,
find themselves in embarrassments due to the shutting off of
means of return to their own country, we here solemnly declare
it to be our duty to care for them as brethren to the limit of
our ability, and we appeal to all citizens of Berlin and the
whole of the German Empire to co-operate with us to this end."

Professor von Harnack, head of the Royal Library in Berlin, is
one of the ablest of the German professors. In his speech he gave
expression to the feeling that was prevalent in the first days
of the war that Germany was defending itself against a Russian
invasion which threatened to blot out the German _Kultur_. He
said, after referring to Western civilisation: "But in the face
of this civilisation, there arises now before my eyes another
civilisation, the civilisation of the tribe, with its patriarchal
organisation, the civilisation of the horde that is gathered and
kept together by despots,--the Mongolian Muscovite civilisation.
This civilisation could not endure the light of the eighteenth
century, still less the light of the nineteenth century, and
now in the twentieth century it breaks loose and threatens us.
This unorganised Asiatic mass, like the desert with its sands,
wants to gather up our fields of grain."

Nothing was done for the Americans stranded in Germany by the
Germans with the exception of the arrangements for the payment
of funds by the Dresdener Bank on the letters of credit and the
dispatching of special trains by the railroad department of the
German government. As a matter of fact, nothing more could have
been required of the Germans, as it was naturally the duty of
the American government to take care of its citizens stranded

Almost the instant that war was declared, I cabled to our government
suggesting that a ship should be sent over with gold because,
of course, with gold, no matter what the country, necessaries
can always be bought. Rumours of the dispatch of the Tennessee
and other ships from America, reached Berlin and a great number
of the more ignorant of the Americans got to believe that these
ships were being sent over to take Americans home.



One morning an American woman spoke to me and said she would
consent to go home on one of these ships provided she was given
a state-room with a bath and Walker-Gordon milk for her children,
while another woman of German extraction used to sit for hours
in a corner of the ballroom, occasionally exclaiming aloud with
much feeling, "O God, will them ships never come?"

In these first days of the war we also made a card index of all
the Americans in Berlin, and, so far as possible, in Germany;
in order to weed out those who had received the passports in
the first days when possibly some people not entitled to them
received them, and to find the deserving cases. All Americans
were required to present themselves at the Embassy and answer
a few questions, after which, if everything seemed all right,
their passports were marked "recommended for transportation to

I sent out circulars from time to time to the consuls throughout
Germany giving general instructions with regard to the treatment
of Americans. The following circular sent out on August twelfth
is a sample:

                "AMERICAN EMBASSY,
                   BERLIN, August 12, 1914.

  "_To the Consular Representatives_
    _of the United States in Germany,_
      _and for the general information of_
        _American Citizens._

  "A communication will to-morrow be published in the _Berlin
  Lokal Anzeiger_ regarding the sending of a special train to
  the Dutch frontier for the special conveyance of Americans.
  Other trains will probably be arranged for from time to time.
  No further news has been received regarding the sending of
  transports from the United States, but applications for
  repatriation are being considered by the Embassy and the
  various consular offices throughout Germany according to the
  Embassy's last circular and the announcements published in
  the _Lokal Anzeiger_.

  "All Americans leaving Berlin must have their passports stamped
  by the Foreign Office, for which purpose they should apply to
  _Geheimer Legationsrat_ Dr. Eckhardt at Wilhelmstrasse
  76. Americans residing outside of Berlin should ascertain from
  their respective consular representatives what steps they should
  take in this regard.

  "Letters for the United States may be sent to the Embassy and
  will be forwarded at the first opportunity.

  "German subjects who desire to communicate with friends in
  Great Britain, Russia, France or Belgium, or who desire to
  send money, should make their requests to the Imperial Foreign
  Office. Americans are permitted to enter Italy. The steamers
  of the Italian lines are running at present, but are full for
  some time in advance. The Embassy is also informed that the
  steamer from Vlissingen, Holland, runs daily at 11 A. M. The
  Ambassador cannot, however, recommend Americans to try to
  reach Holland by the ordinary schedule trains, as he has
  received reports of delays _en route_, owing to the fact
  that all civil travellers are ejected from trains when troops
  require accommodations. It is better to wait for special trains
  arranged for by the Embassy.

  "The Dresdener Bank and its branches throughout Germany will
  cash _for Americans only_ letters of credit and checks
  issued by good American banks in limited amounts. Included
  in this category are the checks of the Bankers' Association,
  Bankers' Trust Company, International Mercantile Marine Company,
  and American Express Company. All checks and letters of credit
  must, however, be stamped by American consuls, and consuls must
  see that the consular stamp is affixed to those checks and
  letters of credit only as are the bona fide property of American
  citizens. The Commerz & Disconto Bank makes the same offer and
  the Deutsche Bank will cash checks and letters of credit drawn
  by its correspondents.

  "American consular officers may also draw later on the Dresdener
  Bank for their salaries and the official expenses of their
  consulates. Before drawing such funds from the bank, however,
  all consular officers should submit their expense accounts to me
  for approval. These expense accounts should be transmitted to
  the Embassy at the earliest opportunity.

                         "THE AMBASSADOR."

It will be noticed from the above circular that all Americans
were required to have their passports stamped at the Foreign
Office. One American did not receive back his passport, although
he had left it at the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office claimed
that it had delivered the passport to some one from the Embassy,
but we were not very much surprised when this identical passport
turned up later in the possession of Lodi, the confessed German
spy, who was shot in the Tower of London.

After a time the American Government cabled me to advance money
to destitute Americans; and the ladies in the ballroom, with
their assistants, attended to this branch, advancing money where
needed or so much as a person needed to make up the balance of
passage on steerage tickets from Holland to the United States.
At the same time we gradually built up a banking system. Those
in the United States who had friends or relatives in Germany
sent them money by giving the money to our State Department,
and the State Department in turn cabled me to make a payment.
This payment was made by my drawing a draft for the amount stated
on the State Department, the recipient selling this draft at a
fixed rate to the Deutsche Bank in Berlin. This business assumed
great proportions, and after the Americans who were in a hurry to
go home had disappeared, the ones remaining were kept in funds
by their friends and relatives through this sort of bank under
our management.

On August twenty-third, Assistant Secretary of War Breckenridge,
who had come from America on the warship _Tennessee_, bringing
gold with him, and a certain number of army officers, arrived
in Berlin and took over our relief organisation in so far as it
applied to the repatriation of Americans, housing it in rooms
hired in a nearby hotel, the Kaiserhoff. This commission: was
composed of Majors J. A. Ryan, J. H. Ford and G. W. Martin and
Captains Miller and Fenton, but the relief committee and the
banking office were still continued in the Embassy ballroom.

A bulletin was published under the auspices of the American
Association of Commerce and Trade and the advice there given was
that all Americans having the means to leave should do so when
the opportunity for leaving by special trains was presented, and
proceed direct to London whence they could obtain transportation
to the United States. All Americans without means were directed
to apply to the relief commission which was authorized to pay
for the transportation and subsistence of stranded Americans
in order to enable them to return home.

The enormous quantity of baggage left behind by Americans in
Germany was a problem requiring solution.

In spite of repeated advice to leave, many Americans insisted
on remaining in Germany. Few of them were business people; there
were many song-birds, piano players, and students. We had much
trouble with these belated Americans. For example, one woman
and her daughter refused to leave when advised, but stayed on
and ran up bills for over ten thousand marks; and as arrest for
debt exists in Germany, they could not leave when they finally
decided to go. All of us in the Embassy had to subscribe the
money necessary to pay their most pressing debts and they finally
left the country, leaving an added prejudice against Americans.



During the period of the first months of the war, in addition
to other work, it became necessary to look after those subjects
of other nations who had been confided to my care.

At first the British were allowed considerable liberty, although
none were permitted to leave the country. They were required to
report to the police at stated times during the day and could
not remain out late at night.

The Japanese had received warning from their Embassy as to the
turn that events might take and, before sending its ultimatum,
the Japanese government had warned its citizens, so that a great
number of them had left Germany. After the declaration of war by
Japan, all the Japanese in Germany were immediately imprisoned.
This was stated to be in order to save them from the fury of
the population and certainly the people seemed to be greatly
incensed against the Japanese. When I finally obtained permission
for their release and departure from Germany I had to send some
one with the parties of Japanese to the Swiss frontier in order
to protect them from injury. They were permitted to leave only
through Switzerland and, therefore, had to change cars at Munich.
Before sending any of them to Munich I invariably telegraphed
our Consul there to notify the Munich police so that proper
protection could be provided at the railway station.

On one occasion a number of Japanese were waiting in the Embassy
in order to take the night train for Munich. I sent a servant
to take them out in order that they might get something to eat
in a restaurant, but as no restaurant in Berlin would sell them
food, arrangements were made to give them meals in the Embassy.

The members of the Siamese Legation, who in appearance greatly
resemble the Japanese, were often subjected to indignities, and
for a long time did not dare move about freely in Berlin, or
even leave their houses.

The Japanese were marvels of courtesy. After I visited some of
them at the civilian camp of Ruhleben, they wrote me a letter
thanking me for the visit. Nearly every Japanese leaving Germany
on his arrival in Switzerland wrote me a grateful letter.

When I finally left Germany, as I stepped from the special train
at Zürich, a Japanese woman, who had been imprisoned in Germany
and whose husband I had visited in a prison, came forward to thank
me. A Japanese man was waiting in the hotel office in Berne when
I arrived there, for a similar purpose, and the next morning
early the Japanese Minister called and left a beautiful clock for
Mrs. Gerard as an expression of his gratitude for the attention
shown to his countrymen. It was really a pleasure to be able to
do something for these polite and charming people.

On August twentieth I paid my first visit to a German prison
camp. This was to the camp at Doeberitz situated about eight
miles west of Berlin, a sort of military camp with permanent
barracks. Some of these barracks were used for the confinement
of such British civilians as the Germans had arrested in the
first days of the war. There were only a few British among the
prisoners, with a number of Russian and French. I was allowed
to converse freely with the prisoners and found that they had
no complaints. As the war went on, however, a number of British
prisoners of war were taken by the Germans during the course of
the great retreat of the British in Northern France. Then officers
and privates began to come into Germany and were distributed
in various camps. Finally, in the autumn of 1914, the British
Government decided on interning a great number of Germans in
Great Britain; and the German government immediately, and as
a reprisal, interned all the British civilian men who, up to
this time, had enjoyed comparative freedom in Berlin and other
cities of the Empire. The British civilians were shut up in a
race track about five miles from the centre of Berlin, called
Ruhleben. This race track in peace times was used for contests
of trotting horses and on it were the usual grandstands and brick
stable buildings containing box stalls with hay lofts above,
where the race horses were kept.

On August twentieth I paid my first visit to the police presidency
in Berlin where political prisoners, when arrested, were confined. A
small number of British prisoners subject to especial investigation
were there interned. This prison, which I often subsequently
visited, was clean and well kept, and I never had any particular
complaints from the prisoners confined there, except, of course,
as the war progressed, concerning the inadequacy of the food.

I had organised a special department immediately on the breaking
out of the war to care for the interests of the British. At first
Mr. Boylston Beal, a lawyer of Boston, assisted by Mr. Rivington
Pyne of New York, was at the head of this department, of which
later the Honourable John B. Jackson, formerly our Minister to
the Balkan States, Greece and Cuba, took charge. He volunteered
to give his assistance at the commencement of the war and I was
glad of his help, especially as he had been twelve years secretary
in the Berlin Embassy and, therefore, was well acquainted not
only with Germany but with German official life and customs. Mr.
Jackson was most ably assisted by Charles H. Russell, Jr., of
New York, and Lithgow Osborne. Of course, others in the Embassy
had much to do with this department.

The first privates, prisoners of war, came to the camp of Doeberitz
near Berlin. Early in the war Mr. Grew, our First Secretary, and
Consul General Lay visited the camp for officers at Torgau. The
question of the inspection of prisoners of the camps and the rights
of Ambassadors charged with the interests of hostile powers was
quite in the clouds. So many reports came to Germany about the
bad treatment in England of German prisoners of war that I finally
arranged to have Mr. Jackson visit them and report. This was arranged
by my colleague, our Ambassador to Great Britain, and in the first
winter Mr. Jackson made his trip there. His report of conditions
there did much to allay the German belief as to the ill-treatment
of their subjects who were prisoners in Great Britain and helped
me greatly in bringing about better conditions in Germany. After
vainly endeavouring to get the German government to agree to some
definite plan for the inspection of the prisoners, after my notes
to the Foreign Office had remained unanswered for a long period of
time, and after sending a personal letter to von Jagow calling his
attention to the fact that the delay was injuring German prisoners
in other countries, I finally called on von Bethmann-Hollweg
and told him that my notes concerning prisoners were sent by
the Foreign Office to the military authorities: that, while I
could talk with officials of the Foreign Office, I never came into
contact with the people who really passed upon the notes sent by
me, and who made the decisions as to the treatment of prisoners
of war and inspection of their camps; and I begged the Chancellor
to break down diplomatic precedent and allow me to speak with
the military authorities who decided these questions. I said,
"If I cannot get an answer to my proposition about prisoners, I
will take a chair and sit in front of your palace in the street
until I receive an answer."

The result was a meeting in my office.

I discussed the question involved with two representatives from
the Foreign Office, two from the General Staff, two from the War
Department and with Count Schwerin who commanded the civilian camp
at the Ruhleben race track. In twenty minutes we managed to reach
an agreement which I then and there drew up: the substance of
which, as between Great Britain and Germany, was that the American
Ambassador and his representatives in Germany and the American
Ambassador and his representatives in Great Britain should have
the right to visit the prison camps on giving reasonable notice,
which was to be twenty-four hours where possible, and should have
the right to converse with the prisoners, within sight but out
of hearing, of the camp officials; that an endeavour should be
made to adjust matters complained of with the camp authorities
before bringing them to the notice of higher authorities; that
ten representatives should be named by our Ambassador and that
these should receive passes enabling them to visit the camps
under the conditions above stated. This agreement was ratified
by the British and German Governments and thereafter for a long
time we worked under its provisions and in most questions dealt
direct with the War Department.

Of course, before this meeting I had managed to get permission
to visit the camps of Ruhleben and Doeberitz near Berlin; and
Mr. Michaelson, our consul at Cologne, and Mr. Jackson and others
at the Embassy had been permitted to visit certain camps. But
immediately preceding the meeting on the fourth of March and
while matters were still being discussed we were compelled to
a certain extent to suspend our visits.

In the first days of the war it was undoubtedly and unfortunately
true that prisoners of war taken by the Germans, both at the time
of their capture and in transit to the prison camps, were often
badly treated by the soldiers, guards or the civil population.

The instances were too numerous, the evidence too overwhelming,
to be denied. In the prison camps themselves, owing to the peculiar
system of military government in Germany, the treatment of the
prisoners varied greatly. As I have, I think, stated in another
place, Germany is divided into army corps districts. Over each
of these districts is, in time of war, a representative corps
commander who is clothed with absolute power in that district,
his orders superseding those of all civilian officials. These
corps commanders do not report to the war department but are
in a measure independent and very jealous of their rights. For
instance, to show the difficulty of dealing with these corps
commanders, after my arrangements concerning the inspection of
prisoners of war had been ratified by both the Imperial and British
governments, I went to Halle to inspect the place of detention
for officers there. Halle is some hours from Berlin and when
I had driven out to the camp, I was met by the commander who
told me that I might visit the camp but that I could not speak
to the prisoners out of hearing. I told him that our arrangement
was otherwise, but, as he remained firm I returned to Berlin.
I complained to the Foreign Office and was told there that the
matter would be arranged and so I again, some days later, returned
to Halle. My experience on the second trip was exactly the same
as the first. I spoke to von Jagow who explained the situation to
me, and advised me to visit first the corps commander at Magdeburg
and try and arrange the matter with him. I did so and was finally
permitted to visit this camp and to talk to the officers out of

This camp of Halle was continued during the war, although not at
all a fit place for the detention of officers, who were lodged in
the old factory buildings surrounded by a sort of courtyard covered
with cinders. This building was situated in the industrial part
of the town of Halle. There was no opportunity for recreation
or games, although several enterprising officers had tried to
arrange a place where they could knock, a tennis ball against
the wall.

It was the policy of the Germans to put some prisoners of each
nation in each camp. This was probably so that no claim could
be made that the prisoners from one nation among the Allies were
treated better or worse than the prisoners from another nation.

In the beginning of the war the Germans were surprised by the great
number of prisoners taken and had made no adequate preparations
for their reception. Clothing and blankets were woefully wanting,
so I immediately bought what I could in the way of underclothes
and blankets at the large department stores of Berlin and the
wholesalers and sent these to the camps where the British prisoners
were confined. I also sent to the Doeberitz camp articles such
as sticks for wounded men who were recovering, and crutches,
and even eggs and other nourishing delicacies for the sick.

At first the prisoners were not compelled to work to any extent,
but at the time I left Germany the two million prisoners of war
were materially assisting the carrying on of the agriculture
and industries of the Empire.

The League of Mercy of New York having telegraphed me in 1914,
asking in what way funds could best be used in the war, I suggested
in answer that funds for the prisoners of war were urgently needed.
Many newspapers poked fun at me for this suggestion, and one bright
editor said that if the Germans did not treat their prisoners
properly they should be made to! Of course, unless this particular
editor had sailed up the Spree in a canoe and bombarded the royal
palace, I know of no other way of "making" the Germans do anything.
The idea, however, of doing some work for the prisoners of war was
taken up by the Young Men's Christian Association. Dr. John R.
Mott was at the head of this work and was most ably and devotedly
assisted by the Rev. Archibald C. Harte. I shall give an account
of their splendid work in a chapter devoted to the charitable
work of the war.

At only one town in Germany was any interest in the fate of the
prisoners of war evinced. This was, I am glad to say, in the
quaint university town of Göttingen. I visited this camp with
Mr. Harte, in April, 1915, to attend the opening of the first
Y. M. C. A. camp building in Germany. The camp was commanded by
Colonel Bogen, an officer strict in his discipline, but, as all
the prisoners admitted, just in his dealings with them. There
were, as I recall, about seven thousand prisoners in this camp,
Russian, French, Belgian and British. It is a pity that the methods
of Colonel Bogen and his arrangements for camp buildings, etc.,
were not copied in other camps in Germany. Here, as I have said,
the civil population took some interest in the fate of the
unfortunate prisoners within their gates, led in this by several
professors in the University. The most active of these professors
was Professor Stange who, working with a French lawyer who had been
captured near Arras while in the Red Cross, provided a library
for the prisoners and otherwise helped them. Of course, these
charitable acts of Professor Stange did not find favor with many
of his fellow townsmen of Göttingen, and he was not surprised
when he awoke one morning to find that during the night his house
had been painted red, white and blue, the colours of France,
England and America.

I heard of so many instances of the annoyance of prisoners by
the civil population that I was quite pleased one day to read
a paragraph in the official newspaper, the _North German
Gazette_, which ran somewhat as follows: "The following
inhabitants of (naming a small town near the borders of Denmark),
having been guilty of improper conduct towards prisoners of war,
have been sentenced to the following terms of imprisonment and
the following fines and their names are printed here in order
that they may be held up to the contempt of all future generations
of Germans." And then followed a list of names and terms of
imprisonment and fines. I thought that this was splendid, that
the German government had at last been aroused to the necessity
of protecting their prisoners of war from the annoyances of the
civil population, and I wrote to our consul in Kiel and asked him
to investigate the case. From him I learned that some unfortunate
prisoners passing through the town (in a part of Germany inhabited
by Scandinavians) had made signs that they were suffering from
hunger and thirst, that some of the kind-hearted people among
the Scandinavian population had given them something to eat and
drink and for this they were condemned to fines, to prison and
to have their names held up to the contempt of Germans for all

I do not know of anyone thing that can give a better idea of
the official hate for the nations with which Germany was at war
than this.

The day after visiting the camp at Göttingen, I visited the
officers' camp situated at the town of Hanover Münden. Here
about eight hundred officers, of whom only thirteen were British,
were confined in an old factory building situated on the bank of
the river below the town. The Russian officers handed me some
arrows tipped with nails which had been shot at them by the
kind-hearted little town boys, and the British pointed out to me
the filthy conditions of the camp. In this, as in unfortunately
many other officer camps, the inclination seemed to be to treat the
officers not as captured officers and gentlemen, but as convicts.
I had quite a sharp talk with the commander of this camp before
leaving and he afterwards took violent exception to the report
which I made upon his camp. However, I am pleased to say that
he reformed, as it were, and I was informed by my inspectors
that he had finally made his camp one of the best in Germany.

Much as I should have liked to, I could not spend much time myself
in visiting the prison camps; many duties and frequent crises kept
me in Berlin, but members of the Embassy were always travelling
in this work of camp inspection.

For some time my reports were published in parliamentary "White
Papers," but in the end our government found that the publication
of these reports irritated the Germans to such a degree that the
British Government was requested not to publish them any more.
Copies of the reports were always sent by me both to Washington
and to London, and handed to the Berlin Foreign Office.


While Winston Churchill was at the head of the British Admiralty,
it was stated that the German submarine prisoners would not be
treated as ordinary prisoners of war; but would be put in a place
by themselves on the ground that they were pirates and murderers,
and not entitled to the treatment accorded in general to prisoners
of war. Great indignation was excited by this in Germany; the
German government immediately seized thirty-seven officers, picking
those whom they supposed related to the most prominent families
in Great Britain, and placed them in solitary confinement. A
few were confined in this way in Cologne, but the majority were
put in the ordinary jails of Magdeburg and Burg.

As soon as I heard of this, accompanied by Mr. Charles H. Russell,
Jr., of my staff, I went to Magdeburg, using my ordinary pass
for the visiting of prisoners. The German authorities told me
afterwards that if they had known I was going to make this visit
they would not have permitted it, but on this occasion the corps
commander system worked for me. Accompanied by an adjutant, in
peace times a local lawyer from the corps commander's office in
Magdeburg, and other officers, I visited these British officers
in their cells in the common jail at Magdeburg. They were in
absolutely solitary confinement, each in a small cell about eleven
feet long and four feet wide. Some cells were a little larger,
and the prisoners were allowed only one hour's exercise a day in
the courtyard of the prison. The food given them was not bad, but
the close confinement was very trying, especially to Lieutenant
Goschen, son of the former Ambassador to Germany, who had been
wounded and in the hospital at Douai. Among them I found an old
acquaintance, Captain Robin Grey, who had been often in New York.
The German authorities agreed to correct several minor matters of
which the officers complained and then we went to the neighbouring
town of Burg, where other officers were confined in the same manner
and under similar conditions in the ordinary jail. After visiting
these prisoners and obtaining for them from the authorities some
modifications of the rules which had been established we visited
the regular officers' camp at Burg.

This was at that time what I should call a bad camp, crowded and
with no space for recreation. Later, conditions were improved
and more ground allowed to the prisoners for games, etc. At the
time of my first visit I found that the commander, a polite but
peppery officer, was in civil life a judge of the Supreme Court
at Leipzig, the highest court in the Empire. As I had been a
judge in the State of New York, we foregathered and adjourned
for lunch with his staff to the hotel in Burg.

After Churchill left the British Admiralty, his successor reversed
his ruling and the submarine prisoners were placed in the ordinary
confinement of prisoners of war. When the Germans were assured of
this, the thirty-seven officers who had been in reprisal placed
in solitary confinement were sent back to ordinary prison camps.
In fact in most cases I managed to get the Germans to send them
to what were called "good" camps.

Lieutenant Goschen, however, became quite in and was taken to the
hospital in Magdeburg. At the time of his capture, the Germans
had told me, in answer to my inquiries, that he was suffering
from a blow on the head with the butt end of a rifle, but an
X-ray examination at Magdeburg showed that fragments of a bullet
had penetrated his brain and that he was, therefore, hardly a
fit subject to be chosen as one of the reprisal prisoners. I
told von Jagow that I thought it in the first place a violation
of all diplomatic courtesy to pick out the son of the former
Ambassador to Germany as a subject for reprisals and secondly
that, in picking him, they had taken a wounded man; that the
fact that they did not know that he had fragments of a bullet in
his brain made the situation even worse because that ignorance
was the result of the want of a proper examination in the German
hospitals; and I insisted that, because of this manifestly unfair
treatment which had undoubtedly caused the very serious condition
of Lieutenant Goschen, he should be returned to England in the
exchange of those who were badly wounded. I am pleased to say
that von Jagow saw my point of view and finally secured permission
for Lieutenant Goschen to leave for England.

Dr. Ohnesorg, one of our assistant Naval Attachés, went with
him to England on account of the seriousness of his condition,
and I was very glad to hear from his father that he had arrived
safely in London.

Undoubtedly the worst camp which I visited in Germany was that
of Wittenberg. Wittenberg is the ancient town where Luther lived
and nailed his theses to the church door. The camp is situated
just outside the city in a very unattractive spot next to the
railway. An outbreak of typhus fever prevented us from visiting
the camp, although Mr. Jackson conversed with some of the prisoners
from outside the barrier of barbed wire. When the typhus was
finally driven out, Mr. Lithgow Osborne visited the camp and his
report of conditions there was such that I visited it myself,
in the meantime holding up his report until I had verified it.

With Mr. Charles H. Russell, Jr., I visited the camp. Typhus
fever seems to be continually present in Russia. It is carried by
the body louse and it is transmitted from one person to another.
Russian soldiers seem to carry this disease with them without
apparently suffering much from it themselves. The Russian soldiers
arriving at Wittenberg were not properly disinfected and, in
consequence, typhus fever broke out in camp. Several British
medical officers were there with their prisoners, because, by the
provisions of the Hague conventions, captured medical officers
may be kept with the troops of their nation, if prisoners have
need of their services. These medical officers protested with
the camp commander against the herding together of the French
and British prisoners with the Russians, who, as I have said,
were suffering from typhus fever. But the camp commander said,
"You will have to know your Allies;" and kept all of his prisoners
together, and thus as surely condemned to death a number of French
and British prisoners of war as though he had stood them against
the wall and ordered them shot by a firing squad. Conditions in
the camp during the period of this epidemic were frightful. The
camp was practically deserted by the Germans and I understand
that the German doctor did not make as many visits to the camp
as the situation required.

At the time I visited the camp the typhus epidemic, of course,
had been stamped out. The Germans employed a large number of
police dogs in this camp and these dogs not only were used in
watching the outside of the camp in order to prevent the escape
of prisoners but also were used within the camp. Many complaints
were made to me by prisoners concerning these dogs, stating that
men had been bitten by them. It seemed undoubtedly true that the
prisoners there had been knocked about and beaten in a terrible
manner by their guards, and one guard went so far as to strike one
of the British medical officers. There were about thirty-seven
civilian prisoners in the camp who had been there all through
the typhus epidemic. I secured the removal of these civilian
prisoners to the general civilian camp at Ruhleben, and the
conditions at Wittenberg may be judged by the fact that when
it was announced to these civilians that they were to be taken
from Wittenberg to another camp one of them was so excited by
the news of release that he fell dead upon the spot.

In talking over conditions at Wittenberg with von Jagow I said,
"Suppose I go back to Wittenberg and shoot some of these dogs,
what can you do to me?" Soon after the dogs disappeared from
the camp.

The food in all these camps for civilians and for private soldiers
was about the same. It consisted of an allowance of bread of
the same weight as that given the civilian population. This was
given out in the morning with a cup of something called coffee,
but which in reality was an extract of acorns or something of the
kind without milk or sugar; in the middle of the day, a bowl of
thick soup in which the quantity of meat was gradually diminished
as war went on, as well as the amount of potatoes for which at
a later period turnips and carrots were, to a large extent,
substituted; and in the evening in good camps there was some sort
of thick soup given out or an apple, or an almost infinitesimal
piece of cheese or sausage.

In the war department at Berlin there was a Prisoners of War
Department in charge of Colonel, later General, Friedrich. This
department, however, did not seem to be in a position to issue
orders to the corps commanders commanding the army corps districts
of Germany, who had absolute control of the prison camps within
their districts. Colonel Friedrich, however, and his assistants
endeavoured to standardise the treatment of prisoners of war in
the different corps districts, and were able to exert a certain
amount of pressure on the corps commanders. They determined on
the general reprisals to be taken in connection with prisoners
of war. For instance, when some of the Germans, who had been
taken prisoners by the British and who were in England, were
sent to work in the harbour of Havre, the Germans retaliated
by sending about four times the number of British prisoners to
work at Libau in the part of Russia then occupied by the Germans.
But while the British permitted our Embassy in Paris to inspect
the prisoners of war at Havre, the Germans for months refused
to allow me permission to send anyone to inspect those British
prisoners at Libau.

Cases came to my attention where individual corps commanders
on their own initiative directed punitive measures against the
prisoners of war in their districts, on account of the rumours
of the bad treatment of German citizens in England. Thus the
commander in the district where the camp of Doeberitz was situated
issued an order directing reprisals against prisoners under his
command on account of what he claimed to be the bad treatment
of German women in England. It required constant vigilance to
seek out instances of this kind and cause them to be remedied.

I did not find the Germans at all efficient in the handling of
prisoners of war. The authority was so divided that it was hard
to find who was responsible for any given bad conditions. For
instance, for a long period of time I contended with the German
authorities for better living conditions at the civilian camp of
Ruhleben. I was promised time and again by Colonel Friedrich,
by the camp commander and by the Foreign
Office that these conditions would be remedied. In that camp men
of education, men in delicate health, were compelled to sleep
and live six in a box stall or so closely that the beds touched
each other in hay-lofts, the outside walls of which were only
four feet high.

I finally almost in despair wrote identical personal letters,
after having exhausted all ordinary diplomatic steps, to General
von Kessel, Commander of the Mark of Brandenburg, to the commander
of the corps district in which the Ruhleben camp was situated,
and to the Minister of War: and the only result was that each
of the officers addressed claimed that he had been personally
insulted by me because I had presumed to call his attention to
the inhuman conditions under which the prisoners were compelled
to live in the Ruhleben camp.

The commander of this civilian camp of Ruhleben was a very handsome
old gentleman, named Count Schwerin. His second in command for
a long time was a Baron Taube. Both of these officers had been
long retired from the army and were given these prison commands
at the commencement of the war. Both of them were naturally
kind-hearted but curiously sensitive and not always of even temper.
On the whole I think that they sympathised with the prisoners
and did their best to obtain a bettering of the conditions of
their confinement. The prisoners organised themselves in their
various barracks, each barrack having a captain of the barrack,
the captains electing one of their number as a camp captain or

The man who finally appeared as head man of the camp was an
ex-cinematograph proprietor, named Powell. In my mind he, assisted
by Beaumont and other captains, conducted the affairs of the camp
as well as possible, given the difficulty of dealing with the
prisoners on one hand and the prison authorities on the other
hand. Naturally he was always subject to opposition from many
prisoners, among whom those of aristocratic tendencies objected
to being under the control of one not of the highest caste in
Great Britain; and there were others who either envied him his
authority or desired his place. The camp authorities allowed
Powell to visit the Embassy at least once a week and in that
way I was enabled, to keep in direct touch with the camp. At
two periods during my stay in Berlin I spent enough days at the
camp to enable every prisoner who had a complaint of any kind
to present it personally to me.

The organisation of this camp was quite extraordinary. I found
it impossible to get British prisoners to perform the ordinary
work of cleaning up the camp, and so forth, always expected of
prisoners themselves; and so, with the funds furnished me from
the British Government, the camp captain was compelled to pay a
number of the poorer prisoners to perform this work. Secretaries
Ruddock and Kirk of our Embassy undertook the uninteresting and
arduous work of superintending these payments as well as of our
other financial affairs. This work was most trying and they deserve
great credit for their self-denial. By arrangement with the British
Government, I was also enabled to pay the poorer prisoners an
allowance of five marks a week, thus permitting them to buy little
luxuries and necessities and extra food at the camp canteen which
was early established in the camp. I also furnished the capital to
the camp canteen, enabling it to make its purchases and carry on
its business. In this establishment everything could be purchased
which was purchasable in Germany, and for months after the
commencement of the war articles of luxury were sold at a profit
and articles of food sold at a loss for the benefit of those
who required an addition to the camp diet. There was a street
in the camp of little barracks or booths which the prisoners
christened Bond Street, and where many stores were in operation
such as a tailor shop, shoe-maker's, watch-maker's, etc. Acting
with Powell, I succeeded in getting the German authorities to
turn over the kitchens to the prisoners. Four of the prisoners
who did most excellent self-denying work in these kitchens deserve
to be specially mentioned. They were Ernest L. Pyke, Herbert.
Kasmer, Richard H. Carrad and George Fergusson.

The men in this camp subsisted to a great extent upon the packages
of food sent to them from England. Credit must be given to the
German authorities for the fairly prompt and efficient delivery
of the packages of food sent from England, Denmark and Switzerland
to prisoners of war in all camps.

In Ruhleben the educated prisoners volunteered to teach the ignorant:
two hundred and ninety-seven different educational courses were
offered to those who desired to improve their minds. A splendid
orchestra was organised, a dramatic society which gave plays in
French and one which gave plays in English and another one which
gave operas. On New Year's day, 1916, I attended at Ruhleben do
really wonderful performance of the pantomime of "Cinderella";
and, in January, 1917, a performance of "The Mikado" in a theatre
under one of the grand stands. In these productions, of course,
the female parts were taken by young men and the scenery, costumes
and accessories were all made by the prisoners. There was a camp
library of over five thousand volumes sent over by the British
Government and a reading and meeting hall, erected by the American
Y. M. C. A. There was even a system of postal service with special
stamps so that a prisoner in one barrack could write to a friend in
another and have a letter delivered by the camp postal authorities.
The German authorities had not hired the entire race track from
the Race Track Association so that I made a special contract
with the race track owners and hired from them the in-field and
other portions not taken over by German authorities. Here the
prisoners had tennis courts and played hockey, foot-ball and
cricket and held athletic games. Expert dentists in the camp
took care of the poorer prisoners as did an oculist hired by me
with British funds, and glasses were given them from the same

The prisoners who needed a little better nourishment than that
afforded by the camp diet and their parcels from England, could
obtain cards giving them the right to eat in the Casino or camp
official restaurant where they were allowed a certain indicated
amount of wine or beer with their meals, and finally arrangements
were arrived at by which the German guards left the camp, simply
guarding it from the outside; and the policing was taken over
by the camp police department, under the charge of the prison
camp commander and committee. The worst features, of course,
were the food and housing. Human nature seems always to be the
same. Establishment of clubs seems inherent to the Anglo-Saxon
nature. Ten or more persons would combine together and erect a
sort of wooden shed against the brick walls of a barrack, hire
some poorer person to put on a white jacket and be addressed as
"steward," put in the shed a few deck chairs and a table and
enjoy the sensation of exclusiveness and club life thereby given.

Owing to the failure of Germany and Great Britain to come to an
agreement for a long time as to the release of captured crews
of ships, there were in Ruhleben men as old as seventy-five years
and boys as young as fifteen. There were in all between fifty and
sixty of these ships' boys. They lived in a barrack by themselves
and under the supervision of a ship's officer who volunteered to
look after them as sort of a monitor. They were taught navigation
by the older prisoners and I imagine were rather benefited by their
stay in the camp. I finally made arrangements by which these boys
were released from England and Germany. With the exception of
the officers and crews of the ships, prisoners were not interned
who were over fifty-five.

The British Government was generous in the allowance of money for
Ruhleben prisoners. The amount allowed by the German Government to
the camp commanders for feeding the prisoners was extremely small,
only sixty pfennigs a day. At first many of the camp commanders
made contracts with caterers for the feeding of the prisoners
and as the caterers' profit had to come out of this very small
sum the amount of food which the remainder purchased for the
prisoners was small indeed. As the war went on the prisoners'
department of the war office tried to induce the camp commanders to
abandon the contractors' system and purchase supplies themselves.
A sort of convention of camp commanders was held in Berlin which I
attended. Lectures were there given on food and its purchase, and
methods of disinfecting prisoners, on providing against typhus,
and on housing and other subjects. A daily lunch was served,
supposed to be composed of the exact rations given at the prison

The schedules of food, etc., made out by the camp commanders
and furnished to foreign correspondents were often not followed
in practice. I know on one occasion when I was at the camp at
Doeberitz, the camp commander gave me his schedule of food for
the week. This provided that soup with pieces of meat was to be
given on the day of my visit, but on visiting the camp kitchen I
found that the contractor was serving fish instead of meat. Some
of the camp commanders not only treated their prisoners kindly but
introduced manufactures of furniture, etc., to help the prisoners
to pass their time. The camps of Krossen and Göttingen deserve
special mention. At Giessen, the camp commander had permitted
the erection of a barrack in which certain prisoners who were
electrical experts gave lessons in electrical fitting, etc.,
to their fellow prisoners. There was also a studio in this camp
where prisoners with artistic talent were furnished with paints
and allowed to work. As more and more people were called to the
front in Germany, greater use was made of the prisoners, and in
the summer of 1916 practically all the prisoners were compelled
to work outside of the camps. They were paid a small extra sum
for this, a few cents a day, and as a rule were benefited by the
change of scene and occupation. The Russians especially became
very useful to the Germans as agricultural laborers.

Professor Alonzo E. Taylor of the University of Pennsylvania,
a food expert, and Dr. D. J. McCarthy, also of Philadelphia,
joined my staff in 1916 and proved most efficient and fearless
inspectors of prison camps. Dr. Taylor could use the terms calories,
proteins, etc., as readily as German experts and at a greater
rate of speed. His report showing that the official diet of the
prisoners in Ruhleben was a starvation diet incensed the German
authorities to such fury that they forbade him to revisit Ruhleben.
Professor Buckhaus, the German expert, agreed with him in some of
his findings. I do not know what will happen to the Professor,
who seemed willing to do his best for the prisoners. He wrote a
booklet on the prison camps which he asked permission to dedicate
to me, but the War Office, which published the book, refused
to allow him to make this dedication. It was a real pleasure
to see the way in which Dr. Taylor carried on his work of food
inspection; and his work, as well as that of the other doctors
sent from America to join my staff, Drs. Furbush, McCarthy, Roler,
Harns, Webster and Luginbuhl, did much to better camp conditions.

Dr. Caldwell, the sanitary expert, known for his great work in
Serbia, now I believe head of the hospital at Pittsburgh, reported
in regard to the prison diet: "While of good quality and perhaps
sufficient in quantity by weight, it is lacking in the essential
elements which contribute to the making of a well-balanced and
satisfactory diet. It is lacking particularly in fat and protein
content which is especially desirable during the colder months
of the year. There is considerable doubt whether this diet alone
without being supplemented by the articles of food received by
the prisoners from their homes would in any way be sufficient
to maintain the prisoners in health and strength."

Dr. Caldwell also visited Wittenberg and found the commander by
temperament, and so on, unfitted for such a position.

The Germans, as Dr. Taylor has pointed out, tried to feed prisoners
on schedule like horses. There is, however, a nervous discrimination
in eating so far as man is concerned; and a diet, scientifically
fitted to keep him alive, may fail because of its mere monotony.

Think of living as the prisoners of war in Germany have for years,
without ever having anything (except black bread) which cannot
be eaten with a spoon.

Officer prisoners were, after matters had settled down and after
several bitter contests which I had with the German authorities,
fairly well treated. There was, as in the case of the camps for
the privates, a great difference between camps, and a great
difference between camp commanders. Mr. Jackson did most of the
visiting of the officers' camps. In many camps the officers were
allowed a tennis court and other amusements, as well as light
wine or beer at meals, but the length of the war had a bad effect
on the mental condition of many of the officers.

A great step forward was made when arrangements were entered
into between Germany and Great Britain whereby wounded and sick
officers and men, when passed by the Swiss Commission which visited
both countries, were sent to Switzerland; sent still as prisoners
of war, subject to return to Germany or England respectively, but
the opportunity afforded by change of food and scene, as well as
reunion of families, saved many a life. By arrangements between
the two countries, also, the severely wounded prisoners were set
free. I believe that this exchange of the heavily wounded between
the Germans and the Russians was the factor which prevented the
entrance of Sweden into the war. These wounded men traversed the
whole length of Sweden in the railway, and the spectacle afforded
to the Swedish population of these poor stumps of humanity, victims
of war, has quite effectually kept the Swedish population from
an attack of unnecessary war fever.

Officers and men who tried to escape were not very severely punished
in Germany unless they had broken or stolen something in their
attempt. Officers were usually subjected to a jail confinement
for a period and then often sent to a sort of punitive camp.
Such a camp was situated in one of the Ring forts surrounding
the city of Kustrin which I visited in September, 1916. There
the officers had no opportunity for exercise except in a very
small courtyard or on the roof, which was covered with grass, of
the building in which they were confined. I arranged, however,
on my visit for the construction of a tennis court outside. The
British officers in Germany practically subsisted on their parcels
received from home, and during the end of my stay a much better
tea could be had with the prison officers than with the camp
commander. The prisoners had real tea and marmalade and white
bread to offer, luxuries which had long since disappeared from all
German tables. On the whole, the quarters given to the officers'
prisons in Germany were not satisfactory, and were not of the
kind that should have been offered to officer prisoners of war.

At the time I left Germany there were nearly two million prisoners
of war in the Empire, of whom about ten thousand were Russian
officers, nine thousand French officers and about one thousand
British officers.

As a rule our inspectors found the hospitals, where the prisoners
of war were, in as good condition as could be expected.

I think this was largely due to the fact that so many doctors
in Germany are Jews. The people who are of the Jewish race are
people of gentle instincts. In these hospitals a better diet
was given to the prisoners. There were, of course, in addition
to the regular hospitals, hospitals where the severely wounded
prisoners were sent. Almost uniformly these hospitals were clean
and the prisoners were well taken care of.


At Ruhleben there was a hospital which in spite of many
representations was never in proper shape. In addition, there
was in the camp a special barrack established by the prisoners
themselves for the care of those who were so ill or so weak as
to require special attention but who were not ill enough to be
sent to the hospital. This barrack was for a long time in charge
of a devoted gentleman, a prisoner, whose name I have unfortunately
forgotten, but whose self-sacrifice deserves special mention.

I arranged with the camp authorities and the German authorities
for permission to enter into a contract with Dr. Weiler. Under
this contract Dr. Weiler, who had a sanatorium in the West of
Berlin, received patients from Ruhleben. Those who were able paid
for themselves, the poorer ones being paid for by the British
Government. This sanatorium, occupied several villas. I had many
disputes with Dr. Weiler, but finally managed to get this sanatorium
in such condition that the prisoners who resided there were fairly
well taken care of.

An arrangement was made between Great Britain and Germany by
which civilians unfit for military service were sent to their
respective countries, and just before I left I effected an
arrangement by which all civilians over forty-five years old,
with the exception of twenty who might be held by each country
for military reasons, were to be released. I do not know whether
this arrangement was actually carried out in full. With the lapse
of time the mental condition of the older prisoners in Ruhleben
had become quite alarming. Soldier prisoners, when they enter the
army, are always in good physical condition and enter with the
expectation of either being killed or wounded or taken prisoner,
and have made their arrangements accordingly. But these unfortunate
civilian prisoners were often men in delicate health, and all
were in a constant state of great mental anxiety as to the fate
of their business and their enterprises and their families. In
1916, not only Mr. Grafton Minot, who for some time had devoted
himself exclusively to the Ruhleben prisoners, but also Mr. Ellis
Dresel, a distinguished lawyer of Boston, who had joined the
Embassy as a volunteer, took up the work. Mr. Dresel visited
Ruhleben almost daily and by listening to the stories and complaints
of the prisoners materially helped their mental condition.

The Germans collected all the soldier prisoners of Irish nationality
in one camp at Limburg not far from Frankfurt a. M. These efforts
were made to induce them to join the German army. The men were
well treated and were often visited by Sir Roger Casement who,
working with the German authorities, tried to get these Irishmen
to desert their flag and join the Germans. A few weaklings were
persuaded by Sir Roger who finally discontinued his visits, after
obtaining about thirty recruits, because the remaining Irishmen
chased him out of the camp.

I received information of the shooting of one prisoner, and although
the camp authorities had told Dr. McCarthy that the investigation
had been closed and the guard who did the shooting exonerated,
nevertheless, when I visited the camp in order to investigate, I
was told that I could not do so because the matter of the shooting
was still under investigation. Nor was I allowed to speak to those
prisoners who had been witnesses at the time of the shooting.
I afterwards learned that another Irishman had been shot by a
guard on the day before my visit, and the same obstacles to my
investigation were drawn about this case.

The Irishmen did not bear confinement well, and at the time of
my visit among them many of them were suffering from tuberculosis
in the camp hospital. They seemed also peculiarly subject to
mental breakdowns. Two devoted Catholic priests, Father Crotty
and a Brother Warren from a religious house in Belgium, were
doing wonderful work among these prisoners.

The sending out of the prisoners of war to work throughout Germany
has had one very evil effect. It has made it to the financial
advantage of certain farmers and manufacturers to have the war
continued. The Prussian land owners or Junkers obtain four or
five times as much for their agricultural products as they did
before the war and have the work on their farms performed by
prisoners of war to whom they are required to pay only six cents
a day. When the _Tageblatt_ called attention to this it was
suppressed for several days.

At many of these so-called working camps our inspectors were
refused admission on the ground that they might learn trade or
war secrets. They succeeded, however, in having the men sent
outside in order that they might inspect them and hear their
complaints. There were in Germany about one hundred central camps
and perhaps ten thousand or more so-called working camps, in
summer time, throughout the country. Some of the British prisoners
were put to work on the sewage farm of Berlin but we succeeded
in getting them sent back to their parent camp.

The prisoners of war were often accused of various breaches of
discipline and crimes. Members of the Embassy would attend these
trials, and we endeavoured to see that the prisoners were properly
represented. But the Germans often refused us an opportunity
to see the prisoners before their trial, or even before their
execution. The case of Captain Fryatt is in point.

Captain Fryatt who commanded a British merchant ship was captured
and taken to the civilian camp at Ruhleben. In searching him the
Germans claimed that he wore a watch presented to him for an
attempt to ram a German submarine. They, therefore, took Fryatt
from the Ruhleben camp and sent him to Bruges for trial. When I
heard of this I immediately sent two formal notes to the German
Foreign Office demanding the right to see Fryatt and hire counsel
to represent him, inquiring what sort of counsel would be permitted
to attend the trial and asking for postponement of the trial
until these matters could be arranged. The German Foreign Office
had informed me that they had backed up these requests and I
believe them, but the answer of the German admiralty to my notes
was to cause the trial to proceed the morning after the day on
which my notes were delivered and to shoot Fryatt before noon
of the same day.

As to the evidence regarding the watch, the British Foreign Office
learned that, when captured, Captain Fryatt had neither a watch
nor any letter to indicate that he had tried to ram a submarine!

This cruel and high-handed outrage caused great indignation in
England, and even in certain circles in Germany; and the manner
in which my request was treated was certainly a direct insult
to the country which I represented. In conversation with me,
Zimmermann and the Chancellor and von Jagow all expressed the
greatest regret over this incident, which shows how little control
the civilian branch of the government has over the military in
time of war. Later on, when similar charges were made against
another British sea captain, the Foreign Office, I think through
the influence of the Emperor, was able to prevent a recurrence
of the Fryatt outrage.

As I have said, many of the camp commanders in Germany were men,
excellent and efficient and kind hearted, who did what they could
for the prisoners. It is a pity that these men should bear the
odium which attaches to Germany because of the general bad treatment
of prisoners of war in the first days of the war, and because
certain commanders of prison camps were not fitted for their

The commander at the camp at Wittenberg was replaced, but the
Germans have never acknowledged that bad conditions had existed
in that camp. Shortly before we left Germany the war department
seemed to gain more control of the prisoners of war situation,
and on our representations at least one camp commander was
permanently relieved. If examples had been made early in the
war of the camp commanders who were not fit for their places
and of those who had in any way mishandled prisoners of war, the
German people as a whole would not have had to bear the burden
of this odium. The many prisoners will return to their homes
with a deep and bitter hatred of all things German.

The British Government took a great interest in the British prisoners
in Germany. Nothing was omitted and every suggestion made by me
was immediately acted on; while many most valuable hints were
given me from London as to prisoners' affairs. Their Majesties,
the King and Queen, showed a deep personal concern in the welfare
of the unfortunate British in German hands; and this concern
never flagged during the period of my stay in Berlin. Lord Robert
Cecil and Lord Newton were continually working for the benefit
of British prisoners.

At a time when the British prisoners were without proper clothing,
the British Government sent me uniforms, overcoats, etc., and I
hired a warehouse in Berlin as a distributing point; but, after
some months, the German authorities refused to allow me to continue
this method of distribution on the ground that it was the duty
of Germany to provide the prisoners with clothes. But Germany
was not performing this duty and the British prisoners had to
suffer because of this German official woodenheadedness.

In the spring of 1916, quite characteristically, the Germans
broke their "treaty" concerning visits to prisoners, and refused
to permit us to speak to prisoners out of hearing. Von Jagow
told me that this was because of the trouble made among Russian
prisoners by the visits of Madam Sazonoff, but this had nothing
to do with the arrangement between Great Britain and Germany.

I think that the Germans suspected that I had learned from fellow
prisoners of the cruel and unnecessary shooting of two Irish
prisoners at Limburg. It was not from prisoners, however, that
I obtained this information, but from Germans who wrote to me.

In addition to the English and Japanese, I had the protection
of the Serbian and Roumanian subjects and the protection of the
interests of a very small country, the Republic of San Marino.
Soon after the Serbians and Roumanians appeared in the prison
camps of Germany we made reports on the condition and treatment
of these prisoners, as well as reports concerning the British.

I was able to converse with some Serbians, in the first days
of the war, in their native tongue, which, curiously enough,
was Spanish. Immediately after the persecution of the Jews in
Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella and other monarchs, a number of
Spanish Jews emigrated to Serbia where they have remained ever
since, keeping their old customs and speaking the old Spanish
of the time of Cervantes.

The German authorities, in the most petty manner, often concealed
from me the presence of British prisoners, especially civilians,
in prison camps. For a long time I was not informed of the presence
of British civilians in Sennelager and it was only by paying
a surprise visit by motor to the camp at Brandenburg that I
discovered a few British, the crew of a trawler, there. It was
on information contained in an anonymous letter, evidently from
the wife of some German officer, that I visited Brandenburg where
the crew of this trawler, deprived of money, were without any of
the little comforts or packages that mitigate life in a German
prison camp.



At the commencement of the war for some days I was cut off from
communication with the United States; but we soon established a
chain of communication, at first through Italy and later by way
of Denmark. At all times cables from Washington to Berlin, or
_vice versa_, took, on the average, two days in transmission.

After the fall of Liège, von Jagow sent for me and asked me if
I would transmit through the American Legation a proposition
offering Belgium peace and indemnity if no further opposition
were made to the passage of German troops through Belgium. As the
proposition was a proposition for peace, I took the responsibility
of forwarding it and sent the note of the German Government to
our Minister at the Hague for transmission to our Minister in

Dr. Van Dyke, our Minister at the Hague, refused to have anything
to do with the transmission of this proposition and turned the
German note over to the Holland Minister for Foreign Affairs,
and through this channel the proposition reached the Belgian

The State Department cabled me a message from the President to
the Emperor which stated that the United States stood ready at
any time to mediate between the warring powers, and directed
me to present this proposition direct to the Emperor.

I, therefore, asked for an audience with the Emperor and received
word from the chief Court Marshal that the Emperor would receive
me at the palace in Berlin on the morning of August tenth. I
drove in a motor into the courtyard of the palace and was there
escorted to the door which opened on a flight of steps leading
to a little garden about fifty yards square, directly on the
embankment of the River Spree, which flows past the Royal Palace.
As I went down the steps, the Empress and her only daughter,
the Duchess of Brunswick, came up. Both stopped and shook hands
with me, speaking a few words. I found the Emperor seated at a
green iron table under a large canvas garden umbrella. Telegraph
forms were scattered on the table in front of him and basking in
the gravel were two small dachshunds. I explained to the Emperor
the object of my visit and we had a general conversation about
the war and the state of affairs. The Emperor took some of the
large telegraph blanks and wrote out in pencil his reply to the
President's offer, This reply, of course, I cabled immediately
to the State Department.

  _For the President of the_
      _United States personally:_

                                                     10/VIII 14.

  1. H. R. H. Prince Henry was received by his Majesty King George
  V in London, who empowered him to transmit to me verbally, that
  England would remain neutral if war broke out on the Continent
  involving Germany and France, Austria and Russia. This message
  was telegraphed to me by my brother from London after his
  conversation with H. M. the King, and repeated verbally on the
  twenty-ninth of July.

  2. My Ambassador in London transmitted a message from Sir E.
  Grey to Berlin saying that only in case France was likely to
  be crushed England would interfere.

  3. On the thirtieth my Ambassador in London reported that Sir
  Edward Grey in course of a "private" conversation told him that
  if the conflict remained localized between _Russia_--not
  Serbia--and _Austria_, England would not move, but if we
  "mixed" in the fray she would take quick decisions and grave
  measures; i. e., if I left my ally Austria in the lurch to
  fight alone England would not touch me.

  4. This communication being directly counter to the King's
  message to me, I telegraphed to H. M. on the twenty-ninth or
  thirtieth, thanking him for kind messages through my brother
  and begging him to use all his power to keep France and
  Russia--his Allies--from making any war-like preparations
  calculated to disturb my work of mediation, stating that I
  was in constant communication with H. M. the Czar. In the
  evening the King kindly answered that he had ordered his
  Government to use every possible influence with his Allies
  to refrain from taking any provocative military measures. At
  the same time H. M. asked me if I would transmit to Vienna
  the British proposal that Austria was to take Belgrade and a
  few other Serbian towns and a strip of country as a "main-mise"
  to make sure that the Serbian promises on paper should be
  fulfilled in reality. This proposal was in the same moment
  telegraphed to me from Vienna for London, quite in conjunction
  with the British proposal; besides, I had telegraphed to H. M.
  the Czar the same as an idea of mine, before I received the two
  communications from Vienna and London, as both were of the same

  5. I immediately transmitted the telegrams _vice versa_ to
  Vienna and London. I felt that I was able to tide the question
  over and was happy at the peaceful outlook.

  6. While I was preparing a note to H. M. the Czar the next
  morning, to inform him that Vienna, London and Berlin were agreed
  about the treatment of affairs, I received the telephones from
  H. E. the Chancellor that in the night before the Czar had given
  the order to mobilize the whole of the Russian army, which was,
  of course, also meant against Germany; whereas up till then the
  southern armies had been mobilized against Austria.

  7. In a telegram from London my Ambassador informed me he
  understood the British Government would guarantee neutrality
  of France and wished to know whether Germany would refrain from
  attack. I telegraphed to H. M. the King personally that
  mobilization being already carried out could not be stopped, but
  if H. M. could guarantee with his armed forces the neutrality of
  France I would refrain _from attacking her_, _leave her alone_
  and employ my troops elsewhere. H. M. answered that he thought my
  offer was based on a misunderstanding; and, as far as I can make
  out, Sir E. Grey never took my offer into serious consideration.
  He never answered it. Instead, he declared England had to defend
  Belgian neutrality, which had to be violated by Germany on
  strategical grounds, news having been received that France was
  already preparing to enter Belgium, and the King of Belgians
  having refused my petition for a free passage under guarantee
  of his country's freedom. I am most grateful for the President's

                                                  WILLIAM, H. R.

When the German Emperor in my presence indited his letter to
President Wilson of August tenth, 1914, he asked that I cable
it immediately to the State Department and that I simultaneously
give it to the press. As I have already stated, I cabled the
document immediately to the State Department at Washington, but
I withheld it from publication.

My interview with the Emperor was in the morning. That afternoon
a man holding a high position in Germany sent for me. I do not
give his name because I do not wish to involve him in any way
with the Emperor, so I shall not even indicate whether he is a
royalty or an official. He said:

"You had an interview today with the Emperor. What happened?"

I told of the message given me for the President which was intended
for publication by the Emperor. He said:

"I think you ought to show that message to me; you know the Emperor
is a constitutional Emperor and there was once a great row about
such a message."

I showed him the message, and when he had read it he said: "I
think it would be inadvisable for us to have this message published,
and in the interest of good feeling between Germany and America.
If you cable it ask that publication be withheld."

I complied with his request and it is characteristic of the
President's desire to preserve good relations that publication
was withheld. Now, when the two countries are at war; when the
whole world, and especially our own country, has an interest in
knowing how this great calamity of universal war came to the
earth, the time has come when this message should be given out
and I have published it by permission.

This most interesting document in the first place clears up one
issue never really obscure in the eyes of the world--the deliberate
violation of the neutrality of Belgium, whose territory "had to
be violated by Germany on strategical grounds." The very weak
excuse is added that "news had been received that France was
already preparing to enter Belgium,"--not even a pretense that
there had ever been any actual violation of Belgium's frontier
by the French prior to the German invasion of that unfortunate
country. Of course the second excuse that the King of the Belgians
had refused entrance to the Emperor's troops under guarantee of
his country's freedom is even weaker than the first. It would
indeed inaugurate a new era in the intercourse of nations if a
small nation could only preserve its freedom by at all times,
on request, granting free passage to the troops of a powerful
neighbour on the march to attack an adjoining country.

And aside from the violation of Belgian neutrality, what would
have become of England and of the world if the Prussian autocracy
had been left free to defeat--one by one--the nations of the
earth? First, the defeat of Russia and Serbia by Austria and
Germany, the incorporation of a large part of Russia in the German
Empire, German influence predominant in Russia and all the vast
resources of that great Empire at the command of Germany. All the
fleets in the world could uselessly blockade the German coasts
if Germany possessed the limitless riches of the Empire of the


The German army drawing for reserves on the teeming populations
of Russia and Siberia would never know defeat. And this is not
idle conjecture, mere dreaming in the realm of possibilities,
because the Russian revolution has shown us how weak and tottering
in reality was the dreaded power of the Czar.

Russia, beaten and half digested, France would have been an easy
prey, and England, even if then joining France in war, would
have a far different problem to face if the V-boats were now
sailing from Cherbourg and Calais and Brest and Bordeaux on the
mission of piracy and murder, and then would come our turn and
that of Latin America. The first attack would come not on us,
but on South or Central America--at some point to which it would
be as difficult for us to send troops to help our neighbor as
it would be for Germany to attack.

Remember that in Southern Brazil nearly four hundred thousand
Germans are sustained, as I found out, in their devotion to the
Fatherland by annual grants of money for educational purposes
from the Imperial treasury in Berlin.

It was not without reason that at this interview, when the Kaiser
wrote this message to the President, he said that the coming
in of England had changed the whole situation and would make
the war a long one. The Kaiser talked rather despondently about
the war. I tried to cheer him up by saying the German troops
would soon enter Paris, but he answered, "The English change
the whole situation--an obstinate nation--they will keep up the
war. It cannot end soon."

It was the entry of England into the war, in defence of the rights
of small nations, in defence of the guaranteed neutrality of
Belgium, which saved the world from the harsh dominion of the
conquest-hungry Prussians and therefore saved as well the two
Americas and their protecting doctrine of President Monroe.

The document, which is dated August tenth, 1914, supersedes the
statement made by the German Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg in
his speech before the Reichstag on August fourth, 1914, in which
he gave the then official account of the entrance into the war of
the Central Empires. It will be noted that von Bethmann-Hollweg
insisted that France began the war in the sentence reading: "There
were bomb-throwing fliers, cavalry patrols, invading companies
in the Reichsland (Alsace-Lorraine). Thereby France, although
the condition of war had not yet been declared, had attacked our
territory." But the Emperor makes no mention of this fact, of
supreme importance if true, in his writing to President Wilson
six days later.

Quite curiously, at this time there was a belief on the part
of the Germans that Japan would declare war on the Allies and
range herself on the side of the Central Powers. In fact on one
night there was a friendly demonstration in front of the Japanese
Embassy, but these hopes were soon dispelled by the ultimatum
of Japan sent on the sixteenth of August, and, finally, by the
declaration of war on August twenty-third.

During the first days of the war the warring powers indulged in
mutual recriminations as to the use of dumdum bullets and I was
given several packages of cartridges containing bullets bored out
at the top which the Germans said had been found in the French
fortress of Longwy, with a request that I send an account of them
to President Wilson and ask for his intervention in the matter.
Very wisely President Wilson refused to do anything of the kind,
as otherwise he would have been deluged with constant complaints
from both sides as to the violations of the rules of war.

The cartridges given to me were in packages marked on the outside
"_Cartouches de Stand_" and from this I took it that possibly
these cartridges had been used on some shooting range near the
fort and the bullets bored out in order that they might not go
too far, if carelessly fired over the targets.

On August fifth, with our Naval Attaché, Commander Walter Gherardi,
I called upon von Tirpitz, to learn from him which ports be
considered safest for the ships to be sent from America with gold
for stranded Americans. He recommended Rotterdam.

I also had a conversation on this day with Geheimrat Letze of
the Foreign Office with reference to the proposition that English
and German ships respectively should have a delay of until the
fourteenth of August in which to leave the English or German
ports in which they chanced to be.

The second week in August, my wife's sister and her husband,
Count Sigray, arrived in Berlin. Count Sigray is a reserve officer
of the Hungarian Hussars and was in Montana when the first rumours
of war came. He and his wife immediately started for New York and
sailed on the fourth of August. They landed in England, and as
England had not yet declared war on Austria, they were able to
proceed on their journey. With them were Count George Festetics
and Count Cziraki, the former from the Austrian Embassy in London
and the latter from that in Washington. They were all naturally
very much excited about war and the events of their trip. The
Hungarians as a people are quite like Americans. They have agreeable
manners and are able to laugh in a natural way, something which
seems to be a lost art in Prussia. Nearly all the members of
Hungarian noble families speak English perfectly and model their
clothes, sports and country life, as far as possible, after the

The thirteenth saw the departure of our first special train
containing Americans bound for Holland. I saw the Americans off
at the Charlottenburg station. They all departed in great spirits
and very glad of an opportunity to leave Germany.

I had some negotiations about the purchase by America or Americans
of the ships of the North German Lloyd, but nothing came of these
negotiations. Trainloads of Americans continued to leave, but
there seemed to be no end to the Americans coming into Berlin
from all directions.

On August twenty-ninth, Count Szoegyeny, the Austrian Ambassador,
left Berlin. He had been Ambassador there for twenty-two years and
I suppose because of his advancing years the Austrian Government
thought that he had outlived his usefulness. Quite a crowd of
Germans and diplomats were at the station to witness the rather
sad farewell. His successor was Prince Hohenlohe, married to a
daughter of Archduke Frederick. She expressly waived her right
to precedence as a royal highness, and agreed to take only the
precedence given to her as the wife of the Ambassador, in order not
to cause feeling in Berlin. Prince Hohenlohe, a rather easy-going
man, who had been most popular in Russia and Austria, immediately
made a favourable impression in Berlin and successfully occupied
the difficult position of mediator between the governments of
Berlin and Vienna.

On September fourth the Chancellor gave me a statement to give
to the reporters in which he attacked England, claiming that
England did not desire the friendship of Germany but was moved by
commercial jealousy and a desire to crush her; that the efforts
made for peace had failed because Russia, under all circumstances,
was resolved upon war; and that Germany had entered Belgium in
order to forestall the planned French advance. He also claimed
that England, regardless of consequences to the white race, had
excited Japan to a pillaging expedition, and claimed that Belgian
girls and women had gouged out the eyes of the wounded; that
officers had been invited to dinner and shot across the table;
and Belgian women had cut the throats of soldiers quartered in
their houses while they were asleep. The Chancellor concluded by
saying, in this statement, that everyone knows that the German
people is not capable of unnecessary cruelty or of any brutality.

We were fully occupied with taking care of the English prisoners
and interests, the Americans, and negotiations relating to commercial
questions, and to getting goods required in the United States out
of Germany, when, on October seventh, a most unpleasant incident,
and one which for some time caused the members of our Embassy
to feel rather bitterly toward the German Foreign Office, took

A great number of British civilians, men and women, were stranded
in Berlin. To many of these were paid sums of money in the form
of small allowances on behalf of the British Government. In order
to facilitate this work, we placed the clerks employed in this
distribution in the building formerly occupied by the British Consul
in Berlin. Of course, the great crowds of Americans resorting to
our Embassy, when combined with the crowds of British, made it
almost impossible even to enter the Embassy, and establishment
of this outlying relief station materially helped this situation.
I occupied it, and employed English men and English women in this
relief work by the express permission of the Imperial Foreign
Office, which I thought it wise to obtain in view of the fact
that the Germans seemed daily to become more irritable and
suspicious, especially after the Battle of the Marne.

On the night of October second, our Second Secretary, Harvey, went
to this relief headquarters at about twelve o'clock at night, and
was witness to a raid made by the Berlin police on this establishment
of ours. The men and women working were arrested, and all books
and papers which the police could get at were seized by them.
The next morning I went around to the place and on talking with
the criminal detectives in charge, was told by them that they had
made the raid by the orders of the Foreign Office. When I spoke
to the Foreign Office about this, they denied that they had given
directions for the raid and made a sort of half apology. The raid
was all the more unjustified because only the day before I had had
a conversation with the Adjutant of the Berlin Kommandantur and
told him that, although I had permission from the Foreign Office,
I thought it would be better to dismiss the English employed and
employ only Americans or Germans; and I sent round to my friend,
Herr von Gwinner, head of the Deutsche Bank, and asked him to
recommend some German accountants to me.

The Kommandantur is the direct office of military control. When
the Adjutant heard of the raid he was almost as indignant as I
was, and on the tenth of October informed me that he had learned
that the raid had been made on the joint orders of the Foreign
Office and von Tirpitz's department.

The books and papers of an Embassy, including those relating
to the affairs of foreign nations temporarily in the Embassy's
care, are universally recognised in international law as not,
subject to seizure, nor did the fact that I was carrying on this
work outside the actual Embassy building have any bearing on
this point so long as the building was directly under my control
and, especially, as the only work carried on was work properly
in my hands in my official capacity. The Foreign Office saw that
they had made a mistake, but at Zimmermann's earnest request
I agreed, as it were, to forget the incident. Later on, this
precedent might have been used by our government had they desired
to press the matter of the seizure of von Igel's papers. Von Igel,
it will be remembered, was carrying on business of a private
nature in a private office hired by him. Nevertheless, as he
had been employed in some capacity in the German Embassy at
Washington, Count von Bernstorff claimed immunity from seizure
for the papers found in that office.

On August sixteenth the Kaiser left Berlin for the front. I wrote
to his master of the household, saying that I should like an
opportunity to be at the railway station to say good-bye to the
Emperor, but was put off on various excuses. Thereafter the Emperor
practically abandoned Berlin and lived either in Silesia, at
Pless, or at some place near the Western front.

At first, following the precedent of the war of 1870, the more
important members of the government followed the Kaiser to the
front, even the Chancellor and the Minister of Foreign Affairs
abandoning their offices in Berlin. Not long afterwards, when it
was apparent that the war must be carried on on several fronts
and that it was not going to be the matter of a few weeks which
the Germans had first supposed, these officials returned to their
offices in Berlin. In the meantime, however, much confusion had
been caused by this rather ridiculous effort to follow the customs
of the war of 1870.

When von Jagow, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was absent at the
Great General Headquarters, the diplomats remaining behind conducted
their negotiations with Zimmermann, who in turn had to transmit
everything to the great general headquarters.

In August, there were apparently rumours afloat in countries
outside of Germany that prominent Socialists at the outbreak of
the war had been shot. The State Department cabled me to find
out whether there was any truth in these rumours, with particular
reference to Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.

Liebknecht is a lawyer practicing in Berlin and so I telephoned
him, asking him to come and see me. He did so, and of course, by
his presence verified the fact that he had not been executed.
He told me that the rumours as to the treatment of the Socialists
were entirely unfounded and said that he had no objection to my
cabling a statement that the Socialists were opposed to Czarismus
and that he personally had confidence in the German army and the
cause of the German people.

Many people confuse Liebknecht with his father, now dead. Liebknecht,
the son, is a man of perhaps forty-three years, with dark bushy
hair and moustache and wearing eye-glasses, a man of medium height
and not at all of strong build. In the numerous interruptions
made by him during the debates in the Reichstag, during the first
year of the war, his voice sounded high and shrill. Of course,
anyone who defies the heavy hand of autocracy must suffer from
nervousness. We all knew that sooner or later autocracy would
"get" Liebknecht, and its opportunity came when he appeared in
citizen's clothes at an attempted mass-meeting at the Potsdamerplatz.
For the offence of appearing out of uniform after being called
and mobilized, and for alleged incitement of the people, he was
condemned for a long term of imprisonment. One can but admire
his courage. I believe that he earns his living by the practice
of law before one of the minor courts. It is hard to say just
what _rôle_ he will play in the future. It is probable that
when the Socialists settle down after the war and think things
over, they will consider that the leadership of Scheidemann has
been too conservative; that he submitted too readily to the powers
of autocracy and too easily abandoned the program of the Socialists.
In this case, Liebknecht perhaps will be made leader of the
Socialists, and it is within the bounds of probability that
Scheidemann and certain of his party may become Liberals rather
than Socialists.



In the autumn of 1914, the rush of getting the Americans out
of Germany was over. The care of the British civilians was on a
business basis and there were comparatively few camps of prisoners
of war. Absolutely tired by working every day and until twelve
at night, I went to Munich for a two weeks' rest.

On February fourth, 1915, Germany announced that on February
eighteenth the blockade of England through submarines would commence.

Some very peculiar and mysterious negotiations thereafter ensued.
About February eighth, an American who was very intimate with
the members of the General Staff came to me with a statement
that Germany desired peace and was ready to open negotiations
to that end. It was, however, to be made a condition of these
peace negotiations that this particular American should go to
Paris and to Petrograd and inform the governments there of the
overwhelming strength of the German armies and of their positions,
which knowledge, it was said, he had obtained by personally visiting
both the fronts, it was further intimated that von Tirpitz himself
was anxious that peace should be concluded, possibly because of
his fear that the proposed blockade would not be successful.

Of course, I informed the State Department of these mysterious

I was taken by back stairways to a mysterious meeting with von
Tirpitz at night in his rooms in the Navy Department. When I was
alone with him, however, he had nothing definite to say or to
offer; if there was any opportunity at that time to make peace
nothing came of it. It looked somewhat to me as if the whole
idea had been to get this American to go to Paris and Petrograd,
certify from his personal observation to the strength of the
German armies and position, and thereby to assist in enticing
one or both of these countries to desert the allied cause. All of
this took place about ten days before the eighteenth of February,
the time named for the announcement of the blockade of England.

Medals were struck having the head of von Tirpitz on one side
and on the other the words "Gott strafe England," and a picture
of a sort of Neptune assisted by a submarine rising from the
sea to blockade the distant English coast.

The Ambassador is supposed to have the right to demand an audience
with the Kaiser at any time, and as there were matters connected
with the treatment of prisoners as well as this coming submarine
warfare which I wished to take up with him, I had on various
occasions asked for an audience with him; on each occasion my
request had been refused on some excuse or other, and I was not
even permitted to go to the railway station to bid him good-bye
on one occasion when he left for the front.

When our Military Attaché, Major Langhorne, left in March, 1915,
he had a farewell audience with the Kaiser and I then asked him
to say to the Kaiser that I had not seen him for so long a time
that I had forgotten what he looked like. Langhorne reported
to me that he had given his message to the Kaiser and that the
Kaiser said, "I have nothing against Mr. Gerard personally, but
I will not see the Ambassador of a country which furnishes arms
and ammunition to the enemies of Germany."

Before the departure of Langhorne, I had succeeded in getting
Germany to agree that six American army officers might visit
Germany as military observers. When they arrived, I presented
them at the Foreign Office, etc., and they were taken on trips
to the East and West fronts.

They were not allowed to see much, and their request to be attached
to a particular unit was refused. Nearly everywhere they were
subject to insulting remarks or treatment because of the shipment
of munitions of war to the Allies from America; and finally after
they had been subjected to deliberate insults at the hands of
several German generals, Mackensen particularly distinguishing
himself, the United States Government withdrew them from Germany.

Colonel (now General) Kuhn, however, who was of these observers,
was appointed Military Attaché in place of Major Langhorne. Speaking
German fluently and acting with great tact, he managed for a long
time to keep sufficiently in the good graces of the Germans to
be allowed to see something of the operations of the various
fronts. There came a period in 1916 when he was no longer invited
to go on the various excursions made by the foreign military
attachés and finally Major Nicolai, the general intelligence
officer of the Great General Headquarters, sent for him early in
the autumn of 1916, and informed him that he could no longer go
to any of the fronts. Colonel Kuhn answered that he was aware of
this already. Major Nicolai said that he gave him this information
by direct order of General Ludendorf, that General Ludendorf had
stated that he did not believe America could do more damage to
Germany than she had done if the two countries were actually
at war, and that he considered that, practically, America and
Germany were engaged in hostilities. On this being reported to
Washington, Colonel Kuhn was quite naturally recalled.

I cannot praise too highly the patience and tact shown by Colonel
Kuhn in dealing with the Germans. Although accused in the German
newspapers of being a spy, and otherwise attacked, he kept his
temper and observed all that he could for the benefit of his own
country. As he had had an opportunity to observe the Russian-Japanese
war, his experiences at that time, coupled with his experiences
in Germany, make him, perhaps, our greatest American expert on
modern war.

It was with the greatest pleasure that I heard from Secretary
Baker that he had determined to promote Colonel Kuhn to the rank
of General and make him head of our War College, where his teachings
will prove of the greatest value to the armies of the United States.

Colonel House and his wife arrived to pay us a visit on March 19,
1915, and remained until the twenty-eighth. During this period the
Colonel met all the principal members of the German Government and
many men of influence and prominence in the world of affairs, such
as Herr von Gwinner, head of the Deutsche Bank, and Dr. Walter
Rathenau, who succeeded his father as head of the Allgemeine
Elektricitats Gesellschaft and hundreds of other corporations. The
Colonel dined at the house of Dr. Solf, the Colonial Minister,
and lunched with von Gwinner.

In April, negotiations were continued about the sinking of the
_William P. Fry_, an American boat loaded with food and
destined for Ireland. The American Government on behalf of the
owners of the _William P. Fry_ claimed damages for the boat.
Nothing was said about the cargo, but in the German answer it was
stated that the cargo of the _William P. Fry_ consisting of
foodstuffs destined for an armed port of the enemy and, therefore,
presumed to be destined for the armed forces of the enemy was,
because of this, contraband. I spoke to von Jagow about this and
told him that I thought that possibly this would seem to amount
to a German justification of the British blockade of Germany.
He said that this note had been drawn by Director Kriege who
was their expert on international law, and that he would not
interfere with Kriege's work. Of course, as a matter of fact,
all foodstuffs shipped to Germany would have to be landed at
some armed port, and, therefore, according to the contentions
of Germany, these would be supposed to be destined to the armed
forces of the enemy and become contraband of war.

At international law, it had always been recognised that private
individuals and corporations have the right to sell arms and
ammunitions of war to any belligerent and, in the Hague Convention
held in 1907, this right was expressly ratified and confirmed.
This same Director Kriege who represented Germany at this Hague
Conference in 1907, in the debates on this point said: "The neutral
boats which engage in such a trade, commit a violation of the
duties of neutrality. However, according to a principle generally
recognised, the State of which the boat flies the flag is not
responsible for this violation. The neutral States are not called
upon to forbid their subjects a commerce which, from the point of
view of the belligerents, ought to be considered as unlawful."
(Conférence International de la Paix, La Haye, 15 Juin-18 Octobre
1907. Vol. III, p. 859.)

During our trouble with General Huerta, arms and ammunition for
Huerta's forces from Germany were landed from German ships in
Mexico. During the Boer war the Germans, who openly sympathised
with the Boers, nevertheless furnished to England great quantities
of arms and munitions, expressly destined to be used against
the Boers; and this, although it was manifest that there was
no possibility whatever that the Boers could obtain arms and
munitions from German sources during the war. For instance, the
firm of Eberhardt in Dusseldorf furnished one hundred and nine
cannon, complete, with wagons, caissons and munitions, etc., to
the English which were expressly designed for use against the

At one time the Imperial Foreign Office sent me a formal note
making reference to a paragraph in former Ambassador Andrew D.
White's autobiography with reference to the alleged stoppage
in a German port of a boat laden with arms and ammunition, for
use against the Americans in Cuba during the Spanish War. Of
course, former Ambassador White wrote without having the Embassy
records at hand and those records show that the position he took
at the time of this alleged stoppage was eminently correct.

The files show that he wrote the letter to the State Department
in which he stated that knowledge came to him of the proposed
sailing of this ship, but he did not protest because he had been
advised by a Naval Attaché that the United States did not have
the right to interfere. The Department of State wrote to him
commending his action in not filing any protest and otherwise

It seemed as if the German Government expressly desired to stir
up hatred against America on this issue in order to force the
American Government through fear of either the German Government,
or the German-American propagandists at home, to put an immediate
embargo on the export of these supplies.

In the autumn of 1914 Zimmermann showed me a long list sent him
by Bernstorff showing quantities of saddles, automobiles, motor
trucks, tires, explosives, foodstuffs and so on, exported from
America to the Allies and intimated that this traffic had reached
such proportions that it should be stopped.

In February, 1915, in the official _Communiqué_ of the day
appeared the following statement: "Heavy artillery fire in certain
sections of the West front, mostly with American ammunition;"
and in April in the official _Communiqué_ something to this
effect: "Captured French artillery officers say that they have
great stores of American ammunition." I obtained through the State
Department in Washington a statement from the French Ambassador
certifying that up to that time, the end of April, 1915, no shells
whatever of the French artillery had been furnished from America.

Nothing, however, would satisfy the Germans. They seemed determined
that the export of every article, whether of food or munitions
which might prove of use to the Allies in the war, should be
stopped. Newspapers were filled with bitter attacks upon America
and upon President Wilson, and with caricatures referring to
the sale of munitions.

It never seemed to occur to the Germans that we could not violate
the Hague Convention in order to change the rules of the game
because one party, after the commencement of hostilities, found
that the rule worked to his disadvantage. Nor did the Germans
consider that America could not vary its international law with
the changing fortunes of war and make one ruling when the Germans
lost control of the sea and another ruling if they regained it.

From early in 1915 until I left Germany, I do not think I ever
had a conversation with a German without his alluding to this
question. Shortly before leaving Germany, in January, 1917, and
after I had learned of the probability of the resumption of ruthless
submarine war, at an evening party at the house of Dr. Solf, the
Colonial Minister, a large German who turned out to be one of
the Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, planted himself some
distance away from me and addressed me in German saying, "You are
the American Ambassador and I want to tell you that the conduct
of America in furnishing arms and ammunition to the enemies of
Germany is stamped deep on the German heart, that we will never
forget it and will some day have our revenge." He spoke in a
voice so loud and slapped his chest so hard that everyone in
the room stopped their conversation in order to hear. He wore
on his breast the orders of the Black Eagle, the Red Eagle, the
Elephant and the Seraphim, and when he struck all this menagerie
the rattle alone was quite loud. I reminded him politely of the
Hague Convention, of the fact that we could not change international
law from time to time with the change in the situation of the war,
and that Germany had furnished arms to England to use against the
Boers. But he simply answered, "We care nothing for treaties,"
and my answer, "That is what they all say," was a retort too
obvious to be omitted.

The German press continually published articles to the effect
that the war would be finished if it were not for the shipment
of supplies from America. All public opinion was with the German
Government when the warning was issued on February fourth, 1915,
stating that the blockade of England would commence on the eighteenth
and warning neutral ships to keep out of the war zone. From then
on we had constant cases and crises with reference to the sinking
of American boats by the German submarine. There were the cases
of the _Gulfflight_ and the _Cushing_ and the _Falaba_, an English
boat sunk without warning on which Americans were killed. On May
sixth, 1915, Director Kriege of the Foreign Office asked Mr. Jackson
to call and see him, and told him that he would like to have the
following three points brought to the attention of the American

  "1. As the result of the English effort to stop all foreign
  commerce with Germany, Germany would do everything in her power
  to destroy English commerce and merchant shipping. There was,
  however, never at any time an intention to destroy or interfere
  with neutral commerce or to attack neutral shipping unless
  engaged in contraband trade. In view of the action of the
  British Government in arming merchant vessels and causing
  them to disguise their national character, the occasional
  destruction of a neutral ship was unavoidable. Naval officers
  in command of submarines had been instructed originally, and
  new and more stringent instructions had been issued repeatedly,
  to use the utmost care, consistent with their own safety, to
  avoid attacks on neutral vessels.

  "2. In case a neutral ship should be destroyed by a submarine
  the German Government is prepared to make an immediate and
  formal expression of its regret and to pay an indemnity, without
  having recourse to a prize court.

  "3. All reports with regard to the destruction of a neutral
  vessel by a German submarine are investigated at once by both
  the German Foreign Office and Admiralty and the result is
  communicated to the Government concerned, which is requested in
  return to communicate to the German Government the result of its
  own independent investigation. Where there is any material
  divergence in the two reports as to the presumed cause of
  destruction (torpedo or mine), the question is to be submitted
  to investigation by a commission composed of representatives of
  the two nations concerned, with a neutral arbiter whose decision
  will be final. This course has already been adopted in two cases,
  in which a Dutch and a Norwegian vessel, respectively, were
  concerned. The German Government reserves its right to refuse
  this international arbitration in exceptional cases where for
  military reasons the German Admiralty are opposed to its taking

Director Kriege told Mr. Jackson that a written communication in
which the substance of the foregoing would be contained, would
soon to be made to the Embassy.

Mr. Jackson put this conversation down in the form above given
and showed Director Kriege a copy of it. Later in the day Geheimrat
Simon called on Mr. Jackson at the Embassy and said that Dr.
Kriege would like to have point two read as follows:

  "In case _through any unfortunate mistake a neutral ship_,"
  and continuing to the end; and that Dr. Kriege would like to
  change what was written on point three beginning with "Where
  there is" so that it should read, as follows:--"Where there is
  any material divergence in the two reports as to the presumed
  cause of destruction (torpedo or mine), the German Government has
  already in several instances declared its readiness to submit
  the question to the decision of an international commission in
  accordance with the Hague Convention for the friendly settlement
  of international disputes."

This had been suggested by Director Kriege in case it should
be decided to make a communication to the American Press. Mr.
Jackson told Geheimrat Simon that he would report the subject of
his conversation to me, but that it would depend upon me whether
any communication should be made to the American Government or
to the press upon the subject.

Of course, the news of the torpedoing of the _Lusitania_ on
May seventh and of the great loss of American lives brought
about a very critical situation, and naturally nothing was done
with Kriege's propositions.

It is unnecessary here for me to go into the notes which were
exchanged between the two governments because all that is already
public property.

Sometime after I had delivered our first _Lusitania_ Note of
May 11th, 1915, Zimmermann was lunching with us. A good looking
American woman, married to a German, was also of the party and
after lunch although I was talking to some one else I overheard
part of her conversation with Zimmermann. When Zimmermann left
I asked her what it was that he had said about America, Germany,
Mr. Bryan and the _Lusitania_. She then told me that she
had said to Zimmermann that it was a great pity that we were
to leave Berlin as it looked as if diplomatic relations between
the two countries would be broken, and that Zimmermann told her
not to worry about that because they had just received word from
the Austrian Government that Dr. Dumba, the Austrian Ambassador
in Washington, had cabled that the _Lusitania_ Note from
America to Germany was only sent as a sop to public opinion in
America and that the government did not really mean what was
said in that note. I then called on Zimmermann at the Foreign
Office and he showed me Dumba's telegram which was substantially
as stated above. Of course, I immediately cabled to the State
Department and also got word to President Wilson. The rest of
the incident is public property. I, of course, did not know what
actually occurred between Mr. Bryan and Dr. Dumba, but I am sure
that Dr. Dumba must have misunderstood friendly statements made
by Mr. Bryan.

It was very lucky that I discovered the existence of this Dumba
cablegram in this manner which savours almost of diplomacy as
represented on the stage. If the Germans had gone on in the belief
that the _Lusitania_ Note was not really meant, war would
have inevitably resulted at that time between Germany and America,
and it shows how great events may be shaped by heavy luncheons
and a pretty woman.

Before this time much indignation had been caused in Germany
by the fact that the _Lusitania_ on her eastward voyage
from New York early in February, 1915, had raised the American
flag when nearing British waters.

Shortly after this incident had become known, I was at the
Wintergarten, a large concert hall in Berlin, with Grant Smith,
First Secretary of the Embassy at Vienna and other members of
my staff. We naturally spoke English among ourselves, a fact
which aroused the ire of a German who had been drinking heavily
and who was seated in the next box. He immediately began to call
out that some one was speaking English and when told by one of
the attendants that it was the American Ambassador, he immediately
cried in a loud voice that Americans were even worse than English
and that the _Lusitania_ had been flying the American flag as
protection in British waters.

The audience, however, took sides against him and told him to
shut up and as I left the house at the close of the performance,
some Germans spoke to me and apologised for his conduct. The
next day the manager of the Wintergarten called on me also to
express his regret for the occurrence.

About a year afterwards I was at the races one day and saw this
man and asked him what he meant by making such a noise at the
Wintergarten. He immediately apologised and said that he had
been drinking and hoped that I would forget the incident. This
was the only incident of the kind which occurred to me during
all the time that I was in Germany.

Both before and after the sinking of the _Lusitania_, the
German Foreign Office put forward all kinds of proposals with
reference to American ships in the war zone. On one afternoon,
Zimmermann, who had a number of these proposals drafted in German,
showed them to me and I wrote down the English translation for him
to see how it would look in English. These proposals were about
the sailing from America of what might be called certified ships,
the ships to be painted and striped in a distinctive way, to come
from certified ports at certain certified times, America to agree
that these ships should carry no contraband whatever. All these
proposals were sternly rejected by the President.

On February sixteenth, the German answer to our note of February
tenth had announced that Germany declined all responsibility for
what might happen to neutral ships and, in addition, announced
that mines would be allowed in waters surrounding Great Britain
and Ireland. This note also contained one of Zimmermann's proposed
solutions, namely, that American warships should convoy American

The German note of the sixteenth also spoke about the great traffic
in munitions from the United States to the Allies, and contained
a suggestion that the United States should induce the Allies to
adopt the Declaration of London and omit the importation not
only of food but also of all raw materials into Germany.

February twentieth was the date of the conciliatory note addressed
by President Wilson to both Great Britain and Germany; and contained
the suggestion that submarines should not be employed against
merchant vessels of any nationality and that food should be allowed
to go through for the civil population of Germany consigned to
the agencies named by the United States in Germany, which were
to see that the food was received and distributed to the civil

In the meantime the mines on the German coast had destroyed two
American ships, both loaded with cotton for Germany; one called
the _Carib_ and the other the _Evelyn_.

In America, Congress refused to pass a law to put it in the power
of the President to place an embargo on the export of munitions
of war.

In April, Count Bernstorff delivered his note concerning the
alleged want of neutrality of the United States, referring to
the numerous new industries in war materials being built up in
the United States, stating, "In reality the United States is
supplying only Germany's enemies, a fact which is not in any
way modified by the theoretical willingness to furnish Germany
as well."

To this note, Secretary Bryan in a note replied that it was
impossible, in view of the indisputable doctrines of accepted
international law, to make any change in our own laws of neutrality
which meant unequally affecting, during the progress of the war,
the relations of the United States with the various nations at
war; and that the placing of embargoes on the trade in arms which
constituted such a change would be a direct violation of the
neutrality of the United States.

But all these negotiations, reproaches and recriminations were
put an end to by the torpedoing of the _Lusitania_, with the
killing of American women and civilians who were passengers on
that vessel.

I believed myself that we would immediately break diplomatic
relations, and prepared to leave Germany. On May eleventh, I
delivered to von Jagow the _Lusitania_ Note, which after
calling attention to the cases of the sinking of American boats,
ending with the _Lusitania_, contained the statement, "The
Imperial German Government will not expect the Government of
the United States to omit any word or any act necessary to the
sacred duty of maintaining the rights of the United States and
its citizens and of safeguarding their free exercises and

During this period I had constant conversations with von Jagow
and Zimmermann, and it was during the conversations about this
submarine warfare that Zimmermann on one occasion said to me:
"The United States does not dare to do anything against Germany
because we have five hundred thousand German reservists in America
who will rise in arms against your government if your government
should dare to take any action against Germany." As he said this,
he worked himself up to a passion and repeatedly struck the table
with his fist. I told him that we had five hundred and one thousand
lamp posts in America, and that was where the German reservists
would find themselves if they tried any uprising; and I also
called his attention to the fact that no German-Americans making
use of the American passports which they could easily obtain,
were sailing for Germany by way of Scandinavian countries in
order to enlist in the German army. I told him that if he could
show me one person with an American passport who had come to
fight in the German army I might more readily believe what he
said about the Germans in America rising in revolution.

As a matter of fact, during the whole course of the war, I knew
of only one man with American citizenship who enlisted in the
German army. This was an American student then in Germany who
enlisted in a German regiment. His father, a business man in New
York, cabled me asking me to have his son released from the German
army; so I procured the discharge of the young man who immediately
wrote to me and informed me that he was over twenty-one, and
that he could not see what business his father had to interfere
with his military ambitions. I thereupon withdrew my request
with reference to him, but he had already been discharged from
the army. When his regiment went to the West front he stowed
away on the cars with it, was present at the attack on Ypres,
and was shot through the body. He recovered in a German hospital,
received the Iron Cross, was discharged and sailed for America.
What has since become of him I do not know.

I do not intend to go in great detail into this exchange of notes
and the public history of the submarine controversy, as all that
properly belongs to the history of the war rather than to an
account of my personal experiences; and besides, as Victor Hugo
said, "History is not written with a microscope." All will remember
the answer of Germany to the American _Lusitania_ Note, which
answer, delivered on May twenty-ninth, contained the charge that
the _Lusitania_ was armed and carried munitions, and had been
used in the transport of Canadian troops. In the meantime, however,
the American ship, _Nebraskan_, had been torpedoed off the coast
of Ireland on the twenty-sixth; and, on May twenty-eighth, Germany
stated that the American steamer, _Gulfflight_, had been torpedoed
by mistake, and apologised for this act.

Von Jagow gave me, about the same time, a Note requesting that
American vessels should be more plainly marked and should illuminate
their marking at night.

The second American _Lusitania_ Note was published on June
eleventh, 1915; and its delivery was coincident with the resignation
of Mr. Bryan as Secretary of State. In this last Note President
Wilson (for, of course, it is an open secret that he was the
author of these Notes) made the issue perfectly plain, referring
to the torpedoing of enemy passenger ships. "Only her actual
resistance to capture or refusal to stop when ordered to do so
for the purpose of visit could have afforded the commander of the
submarine any justification for so much as putting the lives of
those on board the ship in jeopardy." On July eighth the German
answer to this American _Lusitania_ Note was delivered, and
again stated that "we have been obliged to adopt a submarine war
to meet the declared intentions of our enemies and the method of
warfare adopted by them in contravention of international law".
Again referring to the alleged fact of the _Lusitania's_
carrying munitions they said: "If the _Lusitania_ had been
spared, thousands of cases of munitions would have been sent to
Germany's enemies and thereby thousands of German mothers and
children robbed of breadwinners." The note then contained some
of Zimmermann's favourite proposals, to the effect that German
submarine commanders would be instructed to permit the passage of
American steamers marked in a special way and of whose sailing
they had been notified in advance, provided that the American
Government guaranteed that these vessels did not carry contraband
of war. It was also suggested that a number of neutral vessels
should be added to those sailing under the American flag, to
give greater opportunity for those Americans who were compelled
to travel abroad, and the Note's most important part continued:
"In particular the Imperial Government is unable to admit that
the American citizens can protect an enemy ship by mere fact
of their presence on board."

July twenty-first, the American Government rejected the proposals
of Germany saying, "The lives of noncombatants may in no case
be put in jeopardy unless the vessel resists or seeks to escape
after being summoned to submit to examination," and disposed
of the claim that the acts of England gave Germany the right
to retaliate, even though American citizens should be deprived
of their lives in the course of retaliation by stating: "For a
belligerent act of retaliation is _per se_ an act beyond the
law, and the defense, of an act as retaliatory, is an admission
that it is illegal." Continuing it said: "If a belligerent cannot
retaliate against an enemy without injuring the lives of neutrals,
as well as their property, humanity, as well as justice and a
due regard for the dignity of neutral powers, should dictate
that the practice be discontinued."

It was also said: "The United States cannot believe that the
Imperial Government will longer refrain from disavowing the wanton
act of its naval commander in sinking the _Lusitania_ or
from offering reparation for the American lives lost, so far
as reparation can be made for the needless destruction of human
life by an illegal act." And the meat of the Note was contained
in the following sentence: "Friendship itself prompts it (the
United States) to say to the Imperial Government that repetition
by the commanders of German naval vessels of acts in contravention
of those rights must be regarded by the Government of the United
States, when they affect American citizens, as being deliberately

There the matter has remained so far as the Lusitania was concerned
until now. In the meantime, the attack of the American ship,
_Nebraskan_, was disavowed; the German Note stating that
"the torpedo was not meant for the American flag and is to be
considered an unfortunate accident."

The diplomatic situation with regard to the use of the submarine
and the attack on many merchant ships without notice and without
putting the passengers in safety was still unsettled when on
August nineteenth, 1915, the British ship _Arabic_, was
torpedoed, without warning, not far from the place where the
_Lusitania_ had gone down. Two Americans were among the
passengers killed.

The German Government, after the usual quibbling, at length,
in its Note of September seventh, claimed that the Captain of
the German submarine, while engaged in preparing to sink the
_Dunsley_, became convinced that the approaching _Arabic_
was trying to ram him and, therefore, fired his torpedo. The
Imperial Government refused to admit any liability but offered
to arbitrate.

There followed almost immediately the case of the _Ancona_,
sunk by a submarine flying the Austrian flag. This case was naturally
out of my jurisdiction, but formed a link in the chain, and then
came the sinking of the _Persia_ in the Mediterranean. On this
boat our consul to Aden lost his life.

In the Note of Count Bernstorff to Secretary Lansing, dated September
first, 1915, Count Bernstorff said that liners would not be sunk
by German submarines without warning, and without putting the
passengers in safety, provided that the liners did not try to
escape or offer resistance; and it was further stated that this
policy was in effect before the sinking of the _Arabic_.

There were long negotiations during this period concerning the
_Arabic_. At one time it looked as if diplomatic relations
would be broken; but finally the Imperial Government consented
to acknowledge that the submarine commander had been wrong in
assuming that the _Arabic_ intended to ram his boat, offered
to pay an indemnity and disavowed the act of the commander. It
was stated that orders so precise had been given to the submarine
commanders that a "recurrence of incidents similar to the
_Arabic_ is considered out of the question."

In the same way the Austrian Government gave way to the demands
of America in the _Ancona_ case at the end of December, 1915.
Ambassador Penfield, in Austria, won great praise by his admirable
handling of this case.

The negotiations as to the still pending _Lusitania_ case
were carried on in Washington by Count Bernstorff and Secretary
Lansing, and finally Germany offered to pay an indemnity for
the death of the Americans on the _Lusitania_ whose deaths
Germany "greatly regretted," but refused to disavow the act of
the submarine commander in sinking the _Lusitania_ or to admit
that such act was illegal.

About this time our State Department sent out a Note proposing
in effect that submarines should conform to "cruiser" warfare,
only sinking a vessel which defended itself or tried to escape,
and that before sinking a vessel its passengers and crew should
be placed in safety; and that, on the other hand, merchant vessels
of belligerent nationality should be prohibited from carrying
any armaments whatever. This suggestion was not followed up.

Zimmermann (not the one in the Foreign Office) wrote an article
in the _Lokal Anzeiger_ of which he is an editor, saying
that the United States had something on their side in the question
of the export of munitions. I heard that von Kessel, commander of
the _Mark of Brandenburg_ said that he, Zimmermann, ought to be
shot as a traitor. Zimmermann hearing of this made von Kessel
apologise, but was shortly afterwards mobilised.

Colonel House had arrived in Germany at the end of January, 1916,
and remained only three days. He was quite worried by the situation
and by an interview he had had with Zimmermann in which Zimmermann
expressed the readiness of Germany to go to war with the United

In February, 1916, the Junkers in the Prussian Lower House started
a fight against the Chancellor and discussed submarine war, a
matter out of their province. The Chancellor hit back at them hard
and had the best of the exchange. At this period it was reported
that the Emperor went to Wilhelmshafen to warn the submarine
commanders to be careful.

About March first it was reported that a grand council of war
was held at Charleville and that in spite of the support of von
Tirpitz by Falkenhayn, the Chief of Staff, the Chancellor was
supported by the Emperor, and once more beat the propositions
to recommence ruthless submarine war.

In March too, the "illness" of von Tirpitz was announced, followed
shortly by his resignation. On March nineteenth, his birthday,
a demonstration was looked for and I saw many police near his
dwelling, but nothing unusual occurred. I contemplated a trip
to America, but both the Chancellor and von Jagow begged me not
to go.

From the time of the _Lusitania_ sinking to that of the _Sussex_
all Germany was divided into two camps. The party of the Chancellor
tried to keep peace with America and did not want to have Germany
branded as an outlaw among nations. Von Tirpitz and his party of
naval and military officers called for ruthless submarine war, and
the Conservatives, angry with Bethmann-Hollweg because of his
proposed concession as to the extension of the suffrage, joined
the opposition. The reception of our last _Lusitania_ Note in
July, 1915, was hostile and I was accused of being against Germany,
although, of course, I had nothing to do with the preparation of
this Note.

In August, 1915, the deputies representing the great industrials
of Germany joined in the attack on the Chancellor. These men
wished to keep Northern France and Belgium, because they hoped
to get possession of the coal and iron deposits there and so
obtain a monopoly of the iron and steel trade of the continent.
Accelerators of public opinion, undoubtedly hired by the Krupp
firm, were hard at work. These Annexationists were opposed by the
more reasonable men who signed a petition against the annexation
of Belgium. Among the signers of this reasonable men's petition
were Prince Hatzfeld (Duke of Trachenberg) head of the Red Cross,
Dernburg, Prince Henkel Donnersmarck, Professor Delbrück, von
Harnack and many others.

The rage of the Conservatives at the _Arabic_ settlement
knew no bounds, and after a bitter article had appeared in the
_Tageszeitung_ about the _Arabic_ affair, that newspaper was
suppressed for some days,--a rather unexpected showing of backbone
on the part of the Chancellor. Reventlow who wrote for this newspaper
is one of the ablest editorial writers in Germany. An ex-naval
officer, he is bitter in his hatred of America. It was said that
he once lived in America and lost a small fortune in a Florida
orange grove, but I never succeeded in having this verified.

In November, 1915, after the _Arabic_ settlement there followed
a moment for us of comparative calm. Mrs. Gerard was given the
Red Cross Orders of the first and third classes, and Jackson
and Rives of the Embassy Staff the second and third class. The
third class is always given because one cannot have the first
and second unless one has the third or lowest.

There were rumours at this time of the formation of a new party;
really the Socialists and Liberals, as the Socialists as such were
too unfashionable, in too bad odour, to open a campaign against
the military under their own name. This talk came to nothing.

The Chancellor always complained bitterly that he could not
communicate in cipher _via_ wireless with von Bernstorff.
On one occasion he said to me, "How can I arrange as I wish to
in a friendly way the _Ancona_ and _Lusitania_ cases
if I cannot communicate with my Ambassador? Why does the United
States Government not allow me to communicate in cipher?" I said,
"The Foreign Office tried to get me to procure a safe-conduct for
the notorious von Rintelen on the pretense that he was going to do
charitable work for Belgium in America; perhaps Washington thinks
you want to communicate with people like that." The Chancellor then
changed the subject and said that there would be bad feeling in
Germany against America after the war. I answered that that idea
had been expressed by a great many Germans and German newspapers,
and that I had had private letters from a great many Americans
who wrote that if Germany intended to make war on America, after
this war, perhaps we had better go in now. He then very amiably
said that war with America would be ridiculous. He asked me why
public opinion in America was against Germany, and I answered
that matters like the Cavell case had made a bad impression in
America and that I knew personally that even the Kaiser did not
approve of the torpedoing of the _Lusitania_. The Chancellor
said, "How about the _Baralong_?" I replied that I did not
know the details and that there seemed much doubt and confusion
about that affair, but that there was no doubt about the fact
that Miss Cavell was shot and that she was a woman. I then took
up in detail with him the treatment of British prisoners and
said that this bad treatment could not go on. This was only one
of the many times when I complained to the Chancellor about the
condition of prisoners. I am sure that he did not approve of the
manner in which prisoners of war in Germany were treated; but
he always complained that he was powerless where the military
were concerned, and always referred me to Bismarck's memoirs.

During this winter of submarine controversy an interview with
von Tirpitz, thinly veiled as an interview with a "high naval
authority," was published in that usually most conservative of
newspapers, the _Frankfurter Zeitung_. In this interview the
"high naval authority" advocated ruthless submarine war with
England, and promised to bring about thereby the speedy surrender
of that country. After the surrender, which was to include the
whole British fleet, the German fleet with the surrendered British
fleet added to its force, was to sail for America, and exact from
that country indemnities enough to pay the whole cost of the war.

After his fall, von Tirpitz, in a letter to some admirers who
had sent him verses and a wreath, advocated holding the coast of
Flanders as a necessity for the war against England and America.

The successor of von Tirpitz was Admiral von Holtzendorff, whose
brother is Ballin's right hand man in the management of the Hamburg
American Line. Because of the more reasonable influence and
surroundings of von Holtzendorff, I regarded his appointment as
a help towards peaceful relations between Germany and America.

I have told in another chapter how the Emperor had refused to
receive me as Ambassador of a country which was supplying munitions
to the Allies.

From time to time since I learned of this in March, 1915, I kept
insisting upon my right as Ambassador to be received by the Emperor;
and finally early in October, 1915, wrote the following letter
to the Chancellor:

  "Your Excellency:

  Some time ago I requested you to arrange an audience for me
  with his majesty.

  Please take no further trouble about this matter.

  Sincerely yours,


This seemed to have the desired effect. I was informed that I
would be received by the Emperor in the new palace at Potsdam
on October twenty-second. He was then to pay a flying visit to
Berlin to receive the new Peruvian Minister and one or two others.
We went down in the train to Potsdam, von Jagow accompanying us,
in the morning; and it was arranged that we should return on
the train leaving Potsdam a little after one o'clock. I think
that the authorities of the palace expected that I would be with
the Emperor for a few minutes only, as when I was shown into the
room where he was, a large room opening from the famous shell
hall of the palace, the Peruvian Minister and the others to be
received were standing waiting in that hall.

The Emperor was alone in the room and no one was present at our
interview. He was dressed in a Hussar uniform of the new field
grey, the parade uniform of which the frogs and trimmings were
of gold. A large table in the corner of the room was covered
with maps, compasses, scales and rulers; and looked as if the
Emperor there, in company with some of his aides, or possibly
the chief of staff, had been working out the plan of campaign
of the German armies.

The Emperor was standing; so, naturally, I stood also; and, according
to his habit, which is quite Rooseveltian, he stood very close to
me and talked very earnestly. I was fortunately able to clear
up two distinct points which he had against America.

The Emperor said that he had read in a German paper that a number
of submarines built in America for England had crossed the Atlantic
to England, escorted by ships of the American Navy. I was, of
course, able to deny this ridiculous story at the time and furnish
definite proofs later. The Emperor complained because a loan to
England and France had been floated in America. I said that the
first loan to a belligerent floated in America was a loan to
Germany. The Emperor sent for some of his staff and immediately
inquired into the matter. The members of the staff confirmed my
statement. The Emperor said that he would not have permitted
the torpedoing of the _Lusitania_ if he had known, and that
no gentleman would kill so many women and children. He showed,
however, great bitterness against the United States and repeatedly
said, "America had better look out after this war:" and "I shall
stand no nonsense from America after the war."

The interview lasted about an hour and a quarter, and when I finally
emerged from the room the officers of the Emperor's household were
in such a state of agitation that I feel sure they must have
thought that something fearful had occurred. As I walked rapidly
towards the door of the palace in order to take the carriage which
was to drive me to the train, one of them walked along beside
me saying, "Is it all right? Is it all right?"

The unfortunate diplomats who were to have been received and
who had been standing all this time outside the door waiting for
an audience missed their train and their luncheon.

At this interview, the Emperor looked very careworn and seemed
nervous. When I next saw him, however, which was not until the
end of April, 1916, he was in much better condition.

I was so fearful in reporting the dangerous part of this interview,
on account of the many spies not only in my own Embassy but also
in the State Department, that I sent but a very few words in a
roundabout way by courier direct to the President.

The year, 1916, opened with this great question still unsettled
and, in effect, Germany gave notice that after March first, 1916,
the German submarines would sink all armed merchantmen of the
enemies of Germany without warning. It is not my place here to
go into the agitation of this question in America or into the
history of the votes in Congress, which in fact upheld the policy
of the President. A proposal as to armed merchantmen was issued by
our State Department and the position taken in this was apparently
abandoned at the time of the settlement of the _Sussex_ case
to which I now refer.

In the latter half of March, 1916, a number of boats having Americans
on board were torpedoed without warning. These boats were the
_Eaglejoint_, the _Englishman_, the _Manchester Engineer_ and the
_Sussex_. One American was killed or drowned on the _Englishman_,
but the issue finally came to a head over the torpedoing of the
channel passenger boat, _Sussex_ which carried passengers between
Folkstone and Dieppe, France.

On March twenty-fourth the _Sussex_ was torpedoed near the
coast of France. Four hundred and thirty-six persons, of whom
seventy-five were Americans, were on board. The captain and a
number of the passengers saw the torpedo and an endeavour was
made to avoid it. After the boat was struck the many passengers
took to the boats. Three Americans were injured and over forty
persons lost their lives, although the boat was not sunk but
was towed to Boulogne.

I was instructed to inquire from the German Government as to
whether a German submarine had sunk the _Sussex_. The Foreign
Office finally, at my repeated request, called on the Admiralty
for a report of the torpedoing of the _Sussex_; and finally
on the tenth of April the German Note was delivered to me. In the
meantime, and before the delivery of this Note I had been assured
again and again that the _Sussex_ had not been torpedoed by
a German submarine. In this Note a rough sketch was enclosed,
said to have been made by the officer commanding the submarine, of
a vessel which he admitted he had torpedoed, in the same locality
where the _Sussex_ had been attacked and at about the same
time of day. It was said that this boat which was torpedoed was
a mine layer of the recently built _Arabic_ class and that a
great explosion which was observed to occur in the torpedoed ship
warranted the certain conclusion that great amounts of munitions
were on board. The Note concluded: "The German Government must
therefore assume that injury to the _Sussex_ was attributable
to another cause than attack by a German submarine." The Note
contained an offer to submit any difference of opinion that might
develop to be investigated by a mixed commission in accordance
with the Hague Convention of 1907. The _Englishman_ and
the _Eaglepoint_, it was claimed, were attacked by German
submarines only after they had attempted to escape, and an
explanation was given as to the _Manchester Engineer_. With
reference to the _Sussex_, the note continued: "Should the
American Government have at its disposal other material at the
conclusion of the case of the _Sussex_, the German Government
would ask that it be communicated, in order to subject this material
also to investigation."

In the meantime, American naval officers, etc., had been engaged
in collecting facts as to the sinking of the _Sussex_, and
this evidence, which seemed overwhelming and, in connection with
the admissions in the German note, absolutely conclusive, was
incorporated in the note sent to Germany in which Germany was
notified: "Unless the Imperial Government should now immediately
declare and effect abandonment of this present method of submarine
warfare against passenger and freight carrying vessels, the
Government of the United States can have no choice but to sever
diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether."

The issue was now clearly defined.

I have already spoken of the fact that for a long time there had
been growing up two parties in Germany. One party headed by von
Tirpitz in favour of what the Germans called _rücksichtloser_,
or ruthless submarine war, in which all enemy merchant ships
were to be sunk without warning, and the party then headed by
the Chancellor which desired to avoid a conflict with America
on this issue.

As I have explained in a former chapter, the military have always
claimed to take a hand in shaping the destinies and foreign policies
of Germany. When the Germans began to turn their attention to the
creation of a fleet, von Tirpitz was the man who, in a sense,
became the leader of the movement and, therefore, the creator of
the modern navy of Germany. A skilful politician, he for years
dominated the Reichstag and on the question of submarine warfare
was most efficiently seconded by the efforts of the Navy League,
an organization having perhaps one million members throughout
Germany. Although only one of the three heads of the navy (he
was Secretary of the Navy), by the force of his personality, by
the political position which he had created for himself, and by
the backing of his friends in the Navy League he really dominated
the other two departments of the navy, the Marine Staff and the
Marine Cabinet.

Like most Germans of the ruling class, ambition is his only passion.
These Spartans do not care either for money or for the luxury
which it brings. Their life is on very simple lines, both in
the Army and Navy, in order that the officers shall not vie with
one another in expenditure, and in order that the poorer officers
and their wives shall not be subject to the humiliation which
would be caused if they had to live in constant contact with
brother officers living on a more luxurious footing.

Von Tirpitz' ambition undoubtedly led him to consider himself
as a promising candidate for Bethmann-Hollweg's shoes. The whole
submarine issue, therefore, became not only a question of military
expediency and a question for the Foreign Office to decide in
connection with the relations of America to Germany, but also a
question of internal politics, a means of forcing the Chancellor
out of office. The advocates for the ruthless war were drawn from
the Navy and from the Army, and those who believed in the use
of any means of offence against their enemies and particularly
in the use of any means that would stop the shipment of munitions
of war to the Allies. The Army and the Navy were joined by the
Conservatives and by all those who hoped for the fall of the
Chancellor. The conservative newspapers, and even the Roman Catholic
newspapers were violent in their call for ruthless submarine war
as well as violent in their denunciations of the United States
of America.

American passengers on merchant ships of the enemy were called
_Schutzengel_ (guardian angels), and caricatures were published,
such as one which showed the mate reporting to the Captain of
an English boat that everything was in readiness for sailing
and the Captain's inquiry, "Are you sure that the American
_Schutzengel_ is on board?" The numerous notes sent by America
to Germany also formed a frequent subject of caricature and I
remember particularly one quite clever one in the paper called
_Brummer_, representing the celebrations in a German port
on the arrival of the one hundredth note from America when the
Mayor of the town and the military, flower girls and singing
societies and _Turnverein_ were drawn up in welcoming array.

The liberal papers were inclined to support the Chancellor in
his apparent intention to avoid an open break with America. But
even the liberal papers were not very strong in their stand.

The military, of course, absolutely despised America and claimed
that America could do no more harm by declaring war than it was
doing then to Germany; and that possibly the war preparations
of America might cut down the amount of the munitions available
for export to the enemies of the Empire. As to anything that
America could do in a military way, the Navy and the Army were
unanimous in saying that as a military or naval factor the United
States might be considered as less than nothing. This was the
situation when the last _Sussex_ Note of America brought
matters to a crisis, and even the crisis itself was considered
a farce as it had been simmering for so long a period.

I arranged that Colonel House should have an interview with the
Chancellor at this time, and after dinner one night he had a long
talk with the Chancellor in which the dangers of the situation
were pointed out.

With this arrival of the last American _Sussex_ Note, I
felt that the situation was almost hopeless; that this question
which had dragged along for so long must now inevitably lead
to a break of relations and possibly to war. Von Jagow had the
same idea and said that it was "fate," and that there was nothing
more to be done. I myself felt that nothing could alter public
opinion in Germany; that in spite of von Tirpitz' fall, which had
taken place some time before, the advocates of ruthless submarine
warfare would win, and that to satisfy them Germany would risk
a break with America.

I was sitting in my office in a rather dazed and despairing state
when Professor Ludwig Stein, proprietor of a magazine called
_North and South_ and a writer of special articles on Germany's
foreign relations for the _Vossische Zeitung_, under the
name of "Diplomaticus," called to see me.

He informed me that he thought the situation was not yet hopeless,
that there was still a large party of reasonable men in Germany
and that he thought much good could be done if I should go to
the great general headquarters and have a talk with the Kaiser,
who, he informed me, was reported to be against a break.

I told Dr. Stein that, of course, I was perfectly willing to
go if there was the slightest chance of preventing war; and I
also told the Chancellor that if he was going to decide this
question in favor of peace it would be possibly easier for him
if the decision was arrived at under the protection, as it were,
of the Emperor; or that, if the decision lay with the Emperor,
I might possibly be able to help in convincing him if I had an
opportunity to lay the American side of the case before him. I
said, moreover, that I was ready at any time on short notice
to proceed to the Emperor's headquarters.

Dr. Hecksher, a member of the Reichstag, who must be classed
among the reasonable men of Germany, also advocated my speaking
directly to the Kaiser.



Nothing surprised me more, as the war developed, than the discovery
of the great variety and amount of goods exported from Germany to
the United States.

Goods sent from the United States to Germany are mainly prime
materials: approximately one hundred and sixty million dollars a
year of cotton; seventy-five million dollars of copper; fifteen
millions of wheat; twenty millions of animal fats; ten millions
of mineral oil and a large amount of vegetable oil. Of course,
the amount of wheat is especially variable. Some manufactured
goods from America also find their way to Germany to the extent
of perhaps seventy millions a year, comprising machinery such as
typewriters and a miscellaneous line of machinery and manufactures.
The principal exports from Germany to America consist of dye
stuffs and chemical dyes, toys, underwear, surgical instruments,
cutlery, stockings, knit goods, etc., and a raw material called
potash, also known as kali. The last is a mineral found nowhere
in the world except in Germany and a few places in Austria. Potash
is essential to the manufacture of many fertilizers, fertilizer
being composed as a rule of potash, phosphates and nitrates.
The nitrates in past years have been exported to all countries
from Chile. Phosphate rock is mined in South Carolina and Florida
and several other places in the world. Curiously enough, both
nitrates and potash are essential ingredients also of explosives
used in war. Since the war, the German supply from Chile was
cut off; but the Germans, following a system used in Norway for
many years before the war, established great electrical plants
for the extraction of nitrates from the atmosphere. Since the
war, American agriculture has suffered for want of potash and
German agriculture has suffered for want of phosphates, possibly
of nitrates also; because I doubt whether sufficient nitrogen
is extracted from the air in Germany to provide for more than
the needs of the explosive industry.

The dyestuff industry had been developed to such a point in Germany
that Germany supplied the whole world. In the first months of the
war some enterprising Americans, headed by Herman Metz, chartered
a boat, called _The Matanzas_, and sent it to Rotterdam
where it was loaded with a cargo of German dyestuffs. The boat
sailed under the American flag and was not interfered with by
the English. Later on the German Department of the Interior,
at whose head was Delbrück, refused to allow dyestuffs to leave
Germany except in exchange for cotton, and, finally, the export of
dyestuffs from Germany ceased and other countries were compelled
to take up the question of manufacture. This state of affairs
may lead to the establishment of the industry permanently in the
United States, although that industry will require protection
for some years, as, undoubtedly, Germany in her desperate effort
to regain a monopoly of this trade will be ready to spend enormous
sums in order to undersell the American manufacturers and drive
them out of business.

The commercial submarines, _Deutschland_ and _Bremen_,
were to a great extent built with money furnished by the dyestuff
manufacturers, who hoped that by sending dyestuffs in this way to
America they could prevent the development of the industry there.
I had many negotiations with the Foreign Office with reference
to this question of dyestuffs.

The export of toys from Germany to the United States forms a
large item in the bill which we pay annually to Germany. Many
of these toys are manufactured by the people in their own homes
in the picturesque district known as the Black Forest. Of course,
the war cut off, after a time, the export of toys from Germany;
and the American child, having in the meantime learned to be
satisfied with some other article, his little brother will demand
this very article next Christmas, and thus, after the war, Germany
will find that much of this trade has been permanently lost.

Just as the textile trade of the United States was dependent upon
the German dyestuffs for colours, so the sugar beet growers of
America were dependent upon Germany for their seed. I succeeded,
with the able assistance of the consul at Magdeburg and Mr. Winslow
of my staff, in getting shipments of beet seed out of Germany. I
have heard since that these industries too, are being developed
in America, and seed obtained from other countries, such as Russia.

Another commodity upon which a great industry in the United States
and Mexico depends is cyanide. The discovery of the cyanide process
of treating gold and silver ores permitted the exploitation of
many mines which could not be worked under the older methods.
At the beginning of the war there was a small manufactory of
cyanide owned by Germans at Perth Amboy and Niagara Falls, but
most of the cyanide used was imported from Germany. The American
German Company and the companies manufacturing in Germany and
in England all operated under the same patents, the English and
German companies having working agreements as to the distribution
of business throughout the world.

The German Vice-Chancellor and head of the Department of the
Interior, Delbrück, put an export prohibition on cyanide early in
the war; and most pigheadedly and obstinately claimed that cyanide
was manufactured nowhere but in Germany, and that, therefore, if
he allowed cyanide to leave Germany for the United States or
Mexico the English would capture it and would use it to work
South African mines, thus adding to the stock of gold and power
in war of the British Empire. It was a long time before the German
manufacturers and I could convince this gentleman that cyanide
sufficient to supply all the British mines was manufactured near
Glasgow, Scotland. He then reluctantly gave a permit for the
export of a thousand tons of cyanide; and its arrival in the
United States permitted many mines there and in Mexico to continue
operations, and saved many persons from being thrown out of
employment. When Delbrück finally gave a permit for the export
of four thousand tons more of cyanide, the psychological moment
had passed and we could not obtain through our State Department
a pass from the British.

I am convinced that Delbrück made a great tactical mistake on
behalf of the German Government when he imposed this prohibition
against export of goods to America. Many manufacturers of textiles,
the users of dyestuffs, medicines, seeds and chemicals in all forms,
were clamouring for certain goods and chemicals from Germany. But it
was the prohibition against export by the Germans which prevented
their receiving these goods. If it had been the British blockade
alone a cry might have arisen in the United States against this
blockade which might have materially changed the international

The Germans also refused permission for the export of potash
from Germany. They hoped thereby to induce the United States
to break the British blockade, and offered cargoes of potash
in exchange for cargoes of cotton or cargoes of foodstuffs. The
Germans claimed that potash was used in the manufacture of munitions
and that, therefore, in no event would they permit the export
unless the potash was consigned to the American Government, with
guarantees against its use except in the manufacture of fertilizer,
this to be checked up by Germans appointed as inspectors. All
these negotiations, however, fell through and no potash has been
exported from Germany to the United States since the commencement
of the war. Enough potash, however, is obtained in the United
States for munition purposes from the burning of seaweed on the
Pacific Coast, from the brines in a lake in Southern California
and from a rock called alunite in Utah. Potash is also obtainable
from feldspar, but I do not know whether any plant has been
established for its production from this rock. I recently heard
of the arrival of some potash from a newly discovered field in
Brazil, and there have been rumours of its discovery in Spain.
I do not know how good this Spanish and Brazilian potash is, and
I suppose the German potash syndicate will immediately endeavour
to control these fields in order to hold the potash trade of the
world in its grip.

It was a long time after the commencement of the war before England
declared cotton a contraband. I think this was because of the fear
of irritating the United States; but, in the meantime, Germany
secured a great quantity of cotton, which, of course, was used or
stored for the manufacture of powder. Since the cotton imports
have been cut off the Germans claim that they are manufacturing
a powder equally good by using wood pulp. Of course, I have not
been able to verify this, absolutely.

Germany had endeavoured before the war in every way to keep American
goods out of the German markets, and even the Prussian state
railways are used, as I have shown in the article where I speak
of the attempt to establish an oil monopoly in Germany, in order
to discriminate against American mineral oils. This same method
has been applied to other articles such as wood, which otherwise
might be imported from America and in some cases regulations
as to the inspection of meat, etc., have proved more effective
in keeping American goods out of the market than a prohibitive

The meat regulation is that each individual package of meat must
be opened and inspected; and, of course, when a sausage has been
individually made to sit up and bark no one desires it as an
article of food thereafter. American apples were also discriminated
against in the custom regulations of Germany. Nor could I induce
the German Government to change their tariff on canned salmon,
an article which would prove a welcome addition to the German diet.

The German workingman, undoubtedly the most exploited and fooled
workingman in the world, is compelled not only to work for low
wages and for long hours, but to purchase his food at rates fixed
by the German tariff made for the benefit of the Prussian Junkers
and landowners.

Of course, the Prussian Junkers excuse the imposition of the
tariff on food and the regulations made to prevent the entry
of foodstuffs on the ground that German agriculture must be
encouraged, first, in order to enable the population to subsist
in time of war and blockade; and, secondly, in order to encourage
the peasant class which furnishes the most solid soldiers to
the Imperial armies.

The nations and business men of the world will have to face after
the war a new condition which we may call socialized buying and
socialized selling.

Not long after the commencement of the war the Germans placed a
prohibitive tariff upon the import of certain articles of luxury
such as perfumes; their object, of course, being to keep the
German people from sending money out of the country and wasting
their money in useless expenditures. At the same time a great
institution was formed called the Central Einkauf Gesellschaft.
This body, formed under government auspices of men appointed from
civil life, is somewhat similar to one of our national defence
boards. Every import of raw material into Germany falls into the
hands of this central buying company, and if a German desires
to buy any raw material for use in his factory he must buy it
through this central board.

I have talked with members of this board and they all unite in
the belief that this system will be continued after the war.

For instance, if a man in Germany wishes to buy an automobile
or a pearl necklace or a case of perfumery, he will be told,
"You can buy this if you can buy it in Germany. But if you have
to send to America for the automobile, if you have to send to
Paris for the pearls or the perfumery, you cannot buy them."
In this way the gold supply of Germany will be husbanded and
the people will either be prevented from making comparatively
useless expenditures or compelled to spend money to benefit home

On the other hand, when a man desires to buy some raw material,
for example, copper, cotton, leather, wheat or something of that
kind, he will not be allowed to buy abroad on his own hook. The
Central Einkauf Gesellschaft will see that all those desiring to
buy cotton or copper put in their orders on or before a certain
date. When the orders are all in, the quantities called for will
be added up by this central board; and then one man, representing
the board, will be in a position to go to America to purchase
the four million bales of cotton or two hundred million pounds
of copper.

The German idea is that this one board will be able to force the
sellers abroad to compete against each other in their eagerness
to sell. The one German buyer will know about the lowest price at
which the sellers can sell their product. By the buyer's standing
out alone with this great order the Germans believe that the
sellers, one by one, will fall into his hands and sell their
product at a price below that which they could obtain if the
individual sellers of America were meeting the individual buyers
of Germany in the open market.

When the total amount of the commodity ordered has been purchased,
it will be divided up among the German buyers who put in their
orders with the central company, each order being charged with
its proportionate share of the expenses of the commission and,
possibly, an additional sum for the benefit of the treasury of
the Empire.

Before the war a German manufacturer took me over his great factory
where fifteen thousand men and women were employed, showed me
great quantities of articles made from copper, and said: "We buy
this copper in America and we get it a cent and a half a pound
less than we should pay for it because our government permits us
to combine for the purpose of buying, but your government does
not allow your people to combine for the purpose of selling.
You have got lots of silly people who become envious of the rich
and pass laws to prevent combination, which is the logical
development of all industry."

The government handling of exchange during the war was another
example of the use of the centralised power of the Government
for the benefit of the whole nation.

In the first year of the war, when I desired money to spend in
Germany, I drew a check on my bank in New York in triplicate
and sent a clerk with it to the different banks in Berlin, to
obtain bids in marks, selling it then, naturally, to the highest
bidder. But soon the Government stepped in. The Imperial Bank
was to fix a daily rate of exchange, and banks and individuals
were forbidden to buy or sell at a different rate. That this
fixed rate was a false one, fixed to the advantage of Germany, I
proved at the time when the German official rate was 5.52 marks
for a dollar, by sending my American checks to Holland, buying
Holland money with them and German money with the Holland money,
in this manner obtaining 5.74 marks for each dollar. And just
before leaving Germany I sold a lot of American gold to a German
bank at the rate of 6.42 marks per dollar, although on that day
the official rate was 5.52 and although the buyer of the gold,
because the export of gold was forbidden, would have to lose
interest on the money paid me or on the gold purchased, until
the end of the war. What the Germans thought of the value of
the mark is shown by this transaction.

The only thing that can maintain a fair price after the war for
the products of American firms, miners and manufacturers is
permission to combine for selling abroad. There is before Congress
a bill called the Webb Bill permitting those engaged in export
trade to combine, and this bill, which is manifestly for the
benefit of the American producer of raw materials and foods and
manufactured articles, should be passed.

It was also part of our commercial work to secure permits for
the exportation from Belgium of American owned goods seized by
Germany. We succeeded in a number of cases in getting these goods
released. In other cases, the American owned property was taken
over by the government, but the American owners were compensated
for the loss.

Germany took over belligerent property and put it in the hands
of receivers. In all cases where the majority of the stock of a
German corporation was owned by another corporation or individuals
of belligerent nationality, the German corporation was placed in
the hands of a receiver. The German Government, however, would
not allow the inquiry into the stock ownership to go further than
the first holding corporation. There were many cases where the
majority of the stock of a German corporation was owned by an
English corporation and the majority of the stock of the English
corporation, in turn, owned by an American corporation or by
Americans. In this case the German Government refused to consider
the American ownership of the English stock, and put the German
company under government control.

With the low wages paid to very efficient workingmen who worked
for long hours and with no laws against combination, it was always
a matter of surprise to me that the Germans who were in the process
of getting all the money in the world should have allowed their
military autocracy to drive them into war.

I am afraid that, after this war, if we expect to keep a place for
our trade in the world, we may have to revise some of our ideas as
to so-called trusts and the Sherman Law. Trusts or combinations
are not only permitted, but even encouraged in Germany. They are
known there as "cartels" and the difference between the American
trust and the German cartel is that the American trust has, as
it were, a centralised government permanently taking over and
combining the competing elements in any given business, while in
Germany the competing elements form a combination by contract for
a limited number of years. This combination is called a cartel
and during these years each member of the cartel is assigned a
given amount of the total production and given a definite share
of the profits of the combination. The German cartel, therefore,
as Consul General Skinner aptly said, may be likened to a
confederation existing by contract for a limited period of time
and subject to renewal only at the will of its members.

It may be that competition is a relic of barbarism and that one
of the first signs of a higher civilisation is an effort to modify
the stress of competition. The debates of Congress tend to show
that, in enacting the Sherman Law, Congress did not intend to forbid
the restraint of competition among those in the same business but
only intended to prohibit the forming of a combination by those
who, combined, would have a monopoly of a particular business or
product. It is easy to see why all the coal mines in the country
should be prohibited from combining; but it is not easy to see
why certain people engaged in the tobacco business should be
prohibited from taking their competitors into their combination,
because tobacco is a product which could be raised upon millions
of acres of our land and cannot be made the subject of a monopoly.

The German courts have expressly said that if prices are so low
that the manufacturers of a particular article see financial
ruin ahead, a formation of a cartel by them must be looked upon
as a justified means of self-preservation. The German laws are
directed to the end to which it seems to be such laws should
logically be directed; namely, to the prevention of unfair

So long as the question of monopoly is not involved, competition
can always be looked for when a combination is making too great
profits; and the new and competing corporation and individuals
should be protected by law against the danger of price cutting
for the express purpose of driving the new competitor out of
business. However, it must be remembered that a combination acting
unfairly in competition may be more oppressive than a monopoly.
I myself am not convinced by the arguments of either side. It
is a matter for the most serious study.

The object of the American trust has been to destroy its competitors.
The object of the German cartel to force its competitors to join the

In fact the government in Germany becomes part of these cartels
and takes an active hand in them, as witness the participation
of the German Government in the potash syndicate, when contracts
made by certain American buyers with German mines were cancelled
and all the potash producing mines of Germany and Austria forced
into one confederation; and witness the attempt by the government,
which I have described in another chapter, to take over and
make a monopoly of the wholesale and retail oil business of the

The recent closer combination of dyestuff industries of Germany,
with the express purpose of meeting and destroying American
competition after the war, is interesting as showing German methods.
For a number of years the dye-stuff industry of Germany was
practically controlled by six great companies, some of these
companies employing as high as five hundred chemists in research
work. In 1916 these six companies made an agreement looking to a
still closer alliance not only for the distribution of the product
but also for the distribution of ideas and trade secrets. For
years, these great commercial companies supplied all the countries
of the world not only with dyestuffs and other chemical products
but also with medicines discovered by their chemists and made
from coal tar; which, although really nothing more than patent
medicines, were put upon the market as new and great and beneficial
discoveries in medicine. The Badische Anilin and Soda Fabrik,
with a capital of fifty-four million marks has paid dividends
in the ten years from 1903 to 1913, averaging over twenty-six
per cent.

The Farbwerke Meister Lucius und Bruning at Hoeckst, near Frankfort,
during the same period, with a capital of fifty million marks,
has paid dividends averaging over twenty-seven per cent; and
the chemical works of Bayer and Company, near Cologne, during
the same period with a capital of fifty-four millions of marks
has paid dividends averaging over thirty per cent.

Much of the commercial success of the Germans during the last
forty years is due to the fact that each manufacturer, each
discoverer in Germany, each exporter knew that the whole weight
and power of the Government was behind him in his efforts to
increase his business. On the other hand, in America, business
men have been terrorized, almost into inaction, by constant
prosecutions. What was a crime in one part of the United States,
under one Circuit Court of Appeals, was a perfectly legitimate
act in another.

If we have to meet the intense competition of Germany after the
war, we have got to view all these problems from new angles. For
instance, there is the question of free ports. Representative
Murray Hulbert has introduced, in the House of Representatives, a
resolution directing the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary
of War and the Secretary of Commerce to report to Congress as
to the advisability of the establishment of free ports within
the limits of the established customs of the United States.
Free ports exist in Germany and have existed for a long time,
although Germany is a country with a protective tariff. In a
free port raw goods are manufactured and then exported, of course
to the advantage of the country permitting the establishment of
free ports, because by this manufacture of raw materials and
their re-export, without being subject to duty, money is earned
by the manufacturers to the benefit of their own country and
employment is given to many workingmen. This, of course, improves
the condition of these workingmen and of all others in the country;
as it is self-evident that the employment of each workingman in
an industry, which would not exist except for the existence of
the free port, withdraws that workingman from the general labour
market and, therefore, benefits the position of his remaining
fellow labourers.

Although free ports do not exist in the United States, an attempt
has been made to give certain industries, by means of what are
known as "drawbacks," the same benefit that they would enjoy
were free ports existant in our country.

Thus the refiners of raw sugar from Cuba pay a duty on this sugar
when it enters the United States, but receive this duty back when
a corresponding amount of refined sugar is exported to other

There has lately been an attack made upon this system in the
case, however, of the sugar refiners only, and the question has
been treated in some newspapers as if these refiners were obtaining
some unfair advantage from the government, whereas, as a matter
of fact, the allowance of these "drawbacks" enables the sugar
refiners to carry on the refining of the sugar for export much
as they would if their refineries existed in free ports modelled
on the German system.

The repeal of the provision of allowing "drawbacks" in this and
other industries will probably send the industries to Canada or
some other territory where this system, equivalent to the free
port, is permitted to exist.

A few days before I left Germany I had a conversation with a
manufacturer of munitions who employs about eighteen thousand
people in his factories, which, before the war, manufactured
articles other than munitions. I asked him how the government
treated the manufacturers of munitions, and he said that they
were allowed to make good profits, although they had to pay out
a great proportion of these profits in the form of taxes on their
excess or war profits; that the government desired to encourage
manufacturers to turn their factories into factories for the
manufacture of all articles in the war and required by the nation
in sustaining war; and that the manufacturers would do this provided
that it were only a question as to how much of their profits
they would be allowed to keep, but that if the Government had
attempted to fix prices so low that there would have been a doubt
as to whether the manufacturer could make a profit or not, the
production of articles required for war would never have reached
the high mark that it had in Germany.

As a matter of fact, about the only tax imposed in Germany since
the outbreak of the war has been the tax upon cost or war profits.
It has been the policy of Germany to pay for the war by great
loans raised by popular subscription, after authorisation by the
Reichstag. I calculate that the amounts thus raised, together
with the floating indebtedness, amount to date to about eighty
billions of marks.

For a long time the Germans expected that the expenses of the
war would be paid from the indemnities to be recovered by Germany
from the nations at war with it.

Helfferich shadowed this forth in his speech in the Reichstag,
on August 20, 1915, when he said: "If we wish to have the power
to settle the terms of peace according to our interests and our
requirements, then we must not forget the question of cost. We
must have in view that the whole future activity of our people,
so far as this is at all possible, shall be free from burdens.
The leaden weight of billions has been earned by the instigators
of this war, and in the future they, rather than we, will drag
it about after them."

Of course, by "instigators of the war" Helfferich meant the opponents
of Germany, but I think that unconsciously he was a true prophet
and that the "leaden weight of the billions" which this war has
cost Germany will be dragged about after the war by Germany,
the real instigator of this world calamity.

In December, 1915, Helfferich voiced the comfortable plea that,
because the Germans were spending their money raised by the war
loans in Germany, the weight of these loans was not a real weight
upon the German people. He said: "We are paying the money almost
exclusively to ourselves; while the enemy is paying its loans
abroad--a guarantee that in the future we shall maintain the

This belief of the Germans and Helfferich is one of the notable
fallacies of the war. The German war loans have been subscribed
mainly by the great companies of Germany; by the Savings Banks,
the Banks, the Life and Fire Insurance and Accident Insurance
Companies, etc.

Furthermore, these loans have been pyramided; that is to say,
a man who subscribed and paid for one hundred thousand marks
of loan number one could, when loan number two was called for,
take the bonds he had bought of loan number one to his bank and
on his agreement to spend the proceeds in subscribing to loan
number two, borrow from the bank eighty thousand marks on the
security of his first loan bonds, and so on.

There is an annual increment, not easily ascertainable with
exactness, but approximately ascertainable to the wealth of every
country in the world. Just as when a man is working a farm there
is in normal years an increment or accretion of wealth or income
to him above the cost of the production of the products of the
soil which he sells, there is such an annual increment to the
wealth of each country taken as a whole. Some experts have told
me they calculated that, at the outside, in prosperous peace times
the annual increment of German wealth is ten billion marks.

Now when we have the annual interest to be paid by Germany exceeding
the annual increment of the country, the social and even moral
bankruptcy of the country must ensue. If repudiation of the loan
or any part of it is then forced, the loss naturally falls upon
those who have taken the loan. The working-man or small capitalist,
who put all his savings in the war loan, is without support for his
old age, and so with the man who took insurance in the Insurance
Companies or put his savings in a bank. If that bank becomes
bankrupt through repudiation of the war loan, you then have the
country in a position where the able-bodied are all working to
pay what they can towards the interest of the government loan,
after earning enough to keep themselves and their families alive;
and the old and the young, without support and deprived of their
savings, become mere poor-house burdens on the community.

Already the mere interest of the war loan of Germany amounts to
four billions of marks a year; to this must be added, of course,
the interest of the previous indebtedness of the country and
of each political subdivision thereof, including cities, all
of which have added to their before-the-war debt, by incurring
great debts to help the destitute in this war; and, of course,
to all this must be added the expenses of the administration
of the government and the maintenance of the army and navy.

It is the contemplation of this state of affairs, when he is
convinced that indemnities are not to be exacted from other
countries, that will do most to persuade the average intelligent
German business man that peace must be had at any cost.



The interests of Germany in France, England and Russia were placed
with our American Ambassadors in these countries. This, of course,
entailed much work upon our Embassy, because we were the medium of
communication between the German Government and these Ambassadors.
I found it necessary to establish a special department to look
after these matters. At its head was Barclay Rives who had been
for many years in our diplomatic service and who joined my Embassy
at the beginning of the war. First Secretary of our Embassy in
Vienna for ten or twelve years, he spoke German perfectly and
was acquainted with many Germans and Austrians. Inquiries about
Germans who were prisoners, negotiations relative to the treatment
of German prisoners, and so on, came under this department.

One example will show the nature of this work. When the Germans
invaded France, a German cavalry patrol with two officers, von
Schierstaedt and Count Schwerin, and several men penetrated as
far as the forest of Fontainebleau, south of Paris. There they got
out of touch with the German forces and wandered about for days in
the forest. In the course of their wanderings they requisitioned
some food from the inhabitants, and took, I believe, an old coat
for one of the officers who had lost his, and requisitioned a
wagon to carry a wounded man. After their surrender to the French,
the two officers were tried by a French court martial, charged
with pillaging and sentenced to be degraded from their rank and
transported to Cayenne (the Devil's Island of the Dreyfus case).
The Germans made strong representations, and our very skilled
Ambassador in Paris, the Honourable William C. Sharp, took up
the matter with the Foreign Office and succeeded in preventing
the transportation of the officers. The sending of the officers
and men, however, into a military prison where they were treated
as convicts caused great indignation throughout Germany. The
officers had many and powerful connections in their own country
who took up their cause. There were bitter articles in the German
press and caricatures and cartoons were published.

I sent Mr. Rives to Paris and told him not to leave until he
had seen these officers. He remained in Paris some weeks and
finally through Mr. Sharp obtained permission to visit the officers
in the military prison. Later the French showed a tendency to
be lenient in this case, but it was hard to find a way for the
French Government to back down gracefully. Schierstaedt having
become insane in the meantime, a very clever way out of the
difficulty was suggested, I believe by Mr. Sharp. Schierstaedt
having been found to be insane was presumably insane at the time
of the patrol's wandering in the forest of Fontainebleau. As he
was the senior officer, the other officer and the men under him
were not responsible for obeying his commands. The result was
that Schwerin and the men of the patrol were put in a regular
prison camp and Schierstaedt was very kindly sent by the French
back to Germany, where he recovered his reason sufficiently to
be able to come and thank me for the efforts made on his behalf.

I made every endeavour so far as it lay in my power to oblige
the Germans. We helped them in the exchange of prisoners and
the care of German property in enemy countries.

There were rumours in Berlin that Germans taken as prisoners in
German African Colonies were forced to work in the sun, watched
and beaten by coloured guards. This was taken up by one of the
Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg who had been Governor of Togoland
and who also took great interest in sending clothes, etc., to
these prisoners. Germany demanded that the prisoners in Africa
be sent to a more temperate climate.

Another royalty who was busied with prisoners' affairs was Prince
Max of Baden. He is heir to the throne of Baden, although not a
son of the reigning Duke. He is very popular and, for my part,
I admire him greatly. He travels with Emerson's essays in his
pocket and keeps up with the thought and progress of all countries.
Baden will be indeed happy in having such a ruler. Prince Max was
a man so reasonable, so human, that I understand that von Jagow
was in favour of putting him at the head of a central department
for prisoners of war. I agreed with von Jagow that in such case
all would go smoothly and humanely. Naturally, von Jagow could
only mildly hint at the desirability of this appointment. A prince,
heir to one of the thrones of Germany, with the rank of General
in the army, he seemed ideally fitted for such a position, but
unfortunately the opposition of the army and, particularly, of
the representative corps commanders was so great that von Jagow
told me the plan was impossible of realisation. I am sure if
Prince Max had been at the head of such a department, Germany
would not now be suffering from the odium of mistreating its
prisoners and that the two million prisoners of war in Germany
would not return to their homes imbued with an undying hate.

Prince Max was very helpful in connection with the American mission
to Russia for German prisoners which I had organised and which I
have described in the chapter on war charities.

All complaints made by the Imperial Government with reference
to the treatment of German prisoners, and so forth, in enemy
countries were first given to me and transmitted by our Embassy
to the American Ambassadors having charge of German interests
in enemy countries. All this, with the correspondence ensuing,
made a great amount of clerical work.

I think that every day I received one or more Germans, who were
anxious about prisoner friends, making inquiries, and wishing
to consult me on business matters in the United States, etc.
All of these people showed gratitude for what we were able to
do for them, but their gratitude was only a drop in the ocean
of officially inspired hatred of America.



As soon as the war was declared and millions of men marched forward
intent upon killing, hundreds of men and women immediately took up
the problem of helping the soldiers, the wounded and the prisoners
and of caring for those left behind by the men who had gone to
the front.

The first war charity to come under my observation was the American
Red Cross. Two units containing three doctors and about twelve
nurses, each, were sent to Germany by the American National Red
Cross. Before their arrival I took up with the German authorities
the questions as to whether these would be accepted and where
they would be placed. The German authorities accepted the units
and at first decided to send one to each front. The young man
assigned to the West front was Goldschmidt Rothschild, one of the
last descendants of the great Frankfort family of Rothschild. He
had been attached to the German Embassy in London before the war.
The one assigned to the unit for the East front was Count Hélie
de Talleyrand. Both of these young men spoke English perfectly
and were chosen for that reason, and both have many friends in
England and America.

Talleyrand was of a branch of the celebrated Talleyrand family and
possessed German citizenship. During the Napoleonic era the great
Talleyrand married one of his nephews to a Princess of Courland
who, with her sister, was joint heiress of the principality of
Sagan in Germany. The share of the other sister was bought by
the sister who married young Talleyrand, and the descendants of
that union became princes of Sagan and held the Italian title
of Duke de Dino and the French title of Duke de Valençay.

Some of the descendants of this nephew of the great Talleyrand
remained in Germany, and this young Talleyrand, assigned to the
Red Cross unit, belonged to that branch. Others settled in France,
and among these was the last holder of the title and the Duke
de Dino, who married, successively, two Americans, Miss Curtis
and Mrs. Sampson. It was a custom in this family that the holder
of the principal title, that of the Prince of Sagan, allowed
the next two members in succession to bear the titles of Duke
de Dino and Duke de Valençay. Before the last Prince of Sagan
died in France, his son Hélie married the American, Anna Gould,
who had divorced the Count Castellane. On the death of his father
and in accordance with the statutes of the House of Sagan the
members of the family who were German citizens held a family
council and, with the approval of the Emperor of Germany, passed
over the succession from Anna Gould's husband to her son, so
that her son has now the right to the title and not his father,
but the son must become a German citizen at his majority.

The younger brother of the husband of Anna Gould bears the title
of Duke de Valençay and is the divorced husband of the daughter
of Levi P. Morton, formerly Vice-President of the United States.
This young Talleyrand to whom I have referred and who was assigned
to the American Red Cross unit, although he was a German by
nationality, did not wish to fight in this war against France in
which country he had so many friends and relations and, therefore,
this assignment to the American Red Cross was most welcome to

On the arrival of the American doctors and nurses in Berlin,
it was decided to send both units to the East front and to put
one in the small Silesian town of Gleiwitz and the other in
the neighbouring town of Kosel. Count Talleyrand went with these
two units, Goldschmidt Rothschild being attached to the Prussian
Legation in Munich.

We had a reception in the Embassy for these doctors and nurses
which was attended by Prince Hatzfeld, Duke of Trachenberg, who
was head of the German Red Cross, and other Germans interested
in this line of work. The Gleiwitz and Kosel units remained in
these towns for about a year until the American Red Cross withdrew
its units from Europe.

At about the time of the withdrawal of these units, I had heard
much of the sufferings of German prisoners in Russia. I had many
conversations with Zimmermann of the German Foreign Office and
Prince Hatzfeld on this question, as well as with Prince Max
of Baden, the heir presumptive to the throne of that country;
and I finally arranged that such of these American doctors and
nurses as volunteered should be sent to Russia to do what they
could for the German prisoners of war there. Nine doctors and
thirty-eight nurses volunteered. They were given a great reception
in Berlin, the German authorities placed a large credit in the
hands of this mission, and, after I had obtained through our
State Department the consent of the Russian Government for the
admission of the mission, it started from Berlin for Petrograd.
The German authorities and the Germans, as a whole, were very
much pleased with this arrangement. Officers of the Prussian army
were present at the departure of the trains and gave flowers to
all the nurses. It is very unfortunate that after their arrival
in Russia this mission was hampered in every way, and had the
greatest difficulty in obtaining permission to do any work at
all. Many of them, however, managed to get in positions where
they assisted the German prisoners. For instance, in one town
where there were about five thousand Germans who had been sent
there to live one of our doctors managed to get appointed as
city physician and, aided by several of the American nurses,
was able to do a great work for the German population. Others of
our nurses managed to get as far as Tomsk in Siberia and others
were scattered through the Russian Empire.

Had this mission under Dr. Snoddy been able to carry out its
work as originally planned, it would not only have done much
good to the German prisoners of war, but would have helped a
great deal to do away with the bitter feeling entertained by
Germans towards Americans. Even with the limited opportunity given
this mission, it undoubtedly materially helped the prisoners.

On arriving in Berlin on their way home to America from Gleiwitz
and Kosel, the doctors and nurses of these American units were
all awarded the German Red Cross Order of the second class and
those who had been in Austria were similarly decorated by the
Austro-Hungarian Government.

Among those who devoted themselves to works of charity during
this war no one stands higher than Herbert C. Hoover.

I cannot find words to express my admiration for this man whose
great talents for organisation were placed at the service of
humanity. Every one knows of what he accomplished in feeding the
inhabitants of Belgium and Northern France. Mr. Hoover asked me
to become one of the chairmen of the International Commission for
the Relief of Belgium and I was happy to have the opportunity in
Berlin to second his efforts. There was considerable business in
connection with the work of the commission. I had many interviews
with those in authority with reference to getting their ships
through, etc. Mr. Hoover and I called on the Chancellor and
endeavoured to get him to remit the fine of forty million francs
a month which the Germans had imposed upon Belgium. This, however,
the Chancellor refused to do. Later on in April, 1915, I was
able as an eye-witness to see how efficiently Mr. Hoover's
organisation fed, in addition to the people of Belgium, the French
population in that part of Northern France in the occupation of
the Germans.

Mr. Hoover surrounded himself with an able staff, Mr. Vernon
Kellogg and others, and in America men like Mr. A. J. Hemphill
were his devoted supporters.

Early in 1915, Mr. Ernest P. Bicknell, who had first come to
Germany representing the American Red Cross, returned representing
not only that organisation but also the Rockefeller Foundation. With
him was Mr. Wickliffe Rose, also of the Rockefeller Foundation;
and with these two gentlemen I took up the question of the relief
of Poland. Mr. Rose and Mr. Bicknell together visited Poland and
saw with their own eyes the necessity for relief. A meeting was
held in the Reichstag attended by Prince Hatzfeld of the German
Red Cross, Director Guttmann, of the Dresdener Bank, Geheimrat
Lewald, of the Imperial Ministry of the Interior, representing the
German Government, and many others connected with the government,
military and financial interests of Germany.

The Commission for the Relief in Poland, of which I was to be
chairman, was organised and included the Spanish Ambassador,
His Excellency the Bishop of Posen, the Prince Bishop of Cracow,
Jacob H. Schiff of New York, and others. Messrs. Warwick, Greene
and Wadsworth were to take up the actual executive work.

In conjunction with Messrs. Rose and Bicknell, I drew up a sort
of treaty, having particularly in mind certain difficulties
encountered by the American Relief Commission in Belgium. The
main point in this treaty was that the German Government agreed
not to requisition either food or money within the limits of the
territory to be relieved, which territory comprised that part
of Poland within German occupation up to within, as I recall it,
fifty kilometres of the firing line. The one exception was that
a fine might be levied on a community where all the inhabitants
had made themselves jointly and severally liable according to the
provisions of the Hague Convention. The Rockefeller Foundation
on its part agreed to pay all the expenses of the executive work
of the commission. This treaty, after being submitted to General
Hindenburg and approved by him, was signed by Dr. Lewald,
representing the German Government, by Mr. Bicknell, representing
the Rockefeller Foundation, and by me, representing the new
commission for the relief of Poland.

Work was immediately commenced under this arrangement and, so
far as possible, food was purchased in Holland and Denmark, but
there was little to be had in these countries. The Allies, however,
refused to allow food to enter Germany for the purpose of this
commission, and so the matter fell through. Later, when the Allies
were willing to permit the food to enter, it was the German
Government that refused to reaffirm this treaty and refused to
agree that the German army of occupation should not requisition
food in occupied Poland. Of course, under these circumstances, no
one could expect the Allies to consent to the entry of food; because
the obvious result would be that the Germans would immediately,
following the precedent established by them in Northern France,
take all the food produced in the country for their army and
the civil population of Germany, and allow the Poles to be fed
with food sent in from outside, while perhaps their labour was
utilised in the very fields the products of which were destined
for German consumption.

There is no question that the sufferings of the people of Poland
have been very great, and when the history of Poland during the
war comes to be written the world will stand aghast at the story
of her sufferings. It is a great pity that these various schemes
for relief did not succeed. The Rockefeller Commission, however,
up to the time I left Germany did continue to carryon some measure
of relief and succeeded in getting in condensed milk, to some
extent, for the children of that unfortunate country. These
negotiations brought me in contact with a number of Poles resident
in Berlin, whom I found most eager to do what they could to relieve
the situation. I wish here to express my admiration for the work
of the Rockefeller Commission in Europe. Not only were the ideas
of the Commission excellent and businesslike but the men selected
to carry them into effect were without exception men of high
character and possessed of rare executive ability.

As I have said in a previous chapter, I was ridiculed in the
American newspapers because I had suggested, in answer to a cable
of the League of Mercy, that some work should be done for the
prisoners of war. I do not know whether the great work undertaken
by Dr. John R. Mott and his associates was suggested by my answer or
not; that does not matter. But this work undertaken by the American
Y. M. C. A. certainly mattered a great deal to the prisoners of
war in Europe. Dr. Mott after serving on the Mexican Commission,
has gone to Russia as a member of the Commission to that country.

The Y. M. C. A. organisation headed by Dr. Mott, who was most
ably assisted by the Reverend Archibald C. Harte, took up this
work, which was financed, I have been told, by the McCormick
family of Chicago, Cleveland H. Dodge, John D. Rockefeller and
others. Mr. Harte obtained permission from the German authorities
for the erection of meeting halls and for work in German camps.
When he had obtained this authorisation from Germany he went
to Russia, where he was able to get a similar authorisation.

At first in Russia, I have heard, the prisoners of war were allowed
great liberty and lived unguarded in Siberian villages where they
obtained milk, bread, butter, eggs and honey at very reasonable
rates. As the war went on they were more and more confined to
barracks and there their situation was sad indeed. In the winter
season, it is dark at three in the afternoon and remains dark
until ten the following morning. Of course, I did not see the
Russian prison camps. The work carried on there was similar to
that carried on in the German camps by Mr. Harte and his band
of devoted assistants.

I was particularly interested in this work because I hoped that
the aid given to the German prisoners of war in Russia would help
to do away with the great hate and prejudice against Americans in
Germany. So I did all I could, not only to forward Mr. Harte's
work, but to suggest and organise the sending of the expedition
of nurses and doctors, which I have already described, to the
Russian camps.

Of course, Mr. Harte in this work did not attempt to cover all
the prison camps in Germany. He did much to help the mental and
physical conditions of the prisoners in Ruhleben, the English
civilian camp near Berlin. The American Y. M. C. A. built a great
hall where religious exercises were held, plays and lectures
given, and where prisoners had a good place to read and write
in during the day. A library was established in this building.

The work carried on by the Y. M. C. A. may be briefly described
as coming under the following heads: religious activities;
educational activities; work shops, and gardens; physical exercises
and out-door sports; diet kitchens for convalescents; libraries
and music, including orchestra, choruses, and so on.

When I left Germany on the breaking of diplomatic relations, a
number of these Y. M. C. A. workers left with me.

The German women exhibited notable qualities in war. They engaged
in the Red Cross work, including the preparation of supplies and
bandages for the hospitals, and the first day of mobilisation saw
a number of young girls at every railway station in the country
with food and drink for the passing soldiers. At railway junctions
and terminals in the large cities, stations were established
where these Red Cross workers gave a warm meal to the soldiers
passing through. In these terminal stations there were also women
workers possessed of sufficient skill to change the dressings
of the lightly wounded.

On the Bellevuestrasse, Frau von Ihne, wife of the great architect,
founded a home for blinded soldiers. In this home soldiers were
taught to make brooms, brushes, baskets, etc.

German women who had country places turned these into homes for
the convalescent wounded. But perhaps the most noteworthy was
the National Frauendienst or Service for Women, organised the
first day of the war. The relief given by the State to the wives
and children of soldiers was distributed from stations in Berlin,
and in the neighbourhood of each of these stations the Frauendienst
established an office where women were always in attendance,
ready to give help and advice to the soldiers' wives. There there
were card-indexes of all the people within the district and of
their needs. At the time I left Germany I believe that there
were upwards of seven thousand women engaged in Berlin in social
service, in instructing the women in the new art of cooking without
milk, eggs or fat and seeing to it that the children had their
fair share of milk. It is due to the efforts of these social
workers that the rate of infant mortality in Berlin decreased
during the war.

A war always causes a great unsettling in business and trade;
people no longer buy as many articles of luxury and the workers
engaged in the production of these articles are thrown out of
employment. In Germany, the National Women's Service, acting
with the labour exchanges, did its best to find new positions
for those thrown out of work. Women were helped over a period
of poverty until they could find new places and were instructed
in new trades.

Many women engaged in the work of sending packages containing
food and comforts to the soldiers at the front and to the German
prisoners of war in other countries.

Through the efforts of the American Association of Commerce and
Trade, and the Embassy, a free restaurant was established in
Berlin in one of the poorer districts. About two hundred people
were fed here daily in a hall decorated with flags and plants.
This was continued even after we left Germany.

At Christmas, 1916, Mrs. Gerard and I visited this kitchen with
Mr. and Mrs. Wolf and General von Kessel, Commander of the Mark of
Brandenburg, and one of his daughters. Presents were distributed
to the children and the mothers received an order for goods in
one of the department stores. The German Christmas songs were
sung and when a little German child offered a prayer for peace,
I do not think there was any one present who could refrain from

Many of the German women of title, princesses, etc., established
base hospitals of their own and seemed to manage these hospitals
with success.



On my way from Berlin to America, in February, 1917, at a dinner
in Paris, I met the celebrated Italian historian, Ferrero. In a
conversation with him after dinner, I reminded him of the fact
that both he and a Frenchman, named Huret, who had written on
America, had stated in their books that the thing which struck
them most in the study of the American people was the absence
of hate.

Ferrero recalled this and in the discussion which followed and
in which the French novelist, Marcel Prevost, took part, all
agreed that there was more hate in Europe than in America; first,
because the peoples of Europe were confined in small space and,
secondly, because the European, whatever his rank or station,
lacked the opportunities for advancement and consequently the
eagerness to press on ahead, and that fixing of the thought on
the future, instead of the past, which formed part of the American

In a few hours in Europe it is possible to travel in an automobile
across countries where the people differ violently from the countries
surrounding them, not only in language, customs and costumes,
but also in methods of thought and physical appearance.

The day I left Berlin I went to see Herr von Gwinner, head of
the Deutsche Bank, with reference to a charitable fund which
had been collected for widows and orphans in Germany. In our
talk, von Gwinner said that Europeans envied America because we
seemed to be able to assimilate all those people who, as soon
as they landed on our shores, sought to forget their old race
hatreds and endeavoured, as speedily as possible, to adopt American
clothes, language and thought. I told him I thought it was because
in our country we did not try to force anyone; that there was
nothing to prevent a Pole speaking Polish and wearing Polish
dress, if he chose; that the only weapon we used against those
who desired to uphold the customs of Europe was that of ridicule;
and that it was the repressive measures such as, for example,
the repressive action taken by Prussia against the Poles and
the Danes, the Alsatians and the Lorrainers, that had aroused
a combative instinct in these peoples and made them cling to
every vestige of their former nationality.

At first, with the coming of war, the concentrated hate of the
German people seemed to be turned upon the Russians. Even Liebknecht,
when he called upon me in order to show that he had not been
shot, as reported in America, spoke of the perils of Czarismus
and the hatred of the German people for the Russians. But later,
and directed by the master hand of the governing class, all the
hatred of the Germans was concentrated upon England.

The cartoon in _Punch_ representing a Prussian family having
its morning "Hate" was, in some aspects, not at all exaggerated.
Hate in Germany is cultivated as a noble passion, and, during the
war, divines and generals vied with each other in its praise.
Early in 1917, the Prussian General in command at Limburg made a
speech in which he extolled the advantages of hate and said that
there was nothing like getting up in the morning after having
passed a night in thought and dreams of hate.


The phrase "Gott strafe England" seemed to be all over Germany.
It was printed on stamps to be affixed to the back of letters
like our Red Cross stamps. I even found my German body servant
in the Embassy affixing these stamps to the back of all letters,
official and otherwise, that were sent out. He was stopped when
discovered. Paper money was stamped with the words: "Gott strafe
England," "und America" being often added as the war progressed
and America refused to change the rules of the game and stop
the shipment of supplies to the Allies.

Everyone is familiar with Lissauer's "Hymn of Hate." It is not
extraordinary that one man in a country at war should produce a
composition of this kind; but it is extraordinary as showing the
state of mind of the whole country, that the Emperor should have
given him the high order of the Red Eagle of the Second Class as
a reward for having composed this extraordinary document.

Undoubtedly at first the British prisoners of war were treated
very roughly and were starved and beaten by their guards on the
way from the front to the concentration camps. Officers, objects
usually considered more than sacred in Germany, even when wounded
were subjected to brutal treatment and in the majority of their
prisons were treated more like convicts than officers and gentlemen.

As the Germans gradually awoke to the fact that President Wilson
was not afraid of the German vote and that the export of supplies
from America would not be stopped, this stream of hate was turned
on America. There was a belief in Germany that President Wilson
was opposed by a majority of people of the United States, that
he did not represent the real sentiment of America, and that the
sentiment there was favourable to Germany.

Unfortunately many Americans in Germany encouraged the German
people and the German Government in this belief. Americans used
to travel about, giving lectures and making speeches attacking
their own country and their own President, and the newspapers
published many letters of similar import from Americans resident
in Germany.

One of the most active of these was a man named Maurice Somborn,
a German American, who represented in Germany an American business
house. He made it a practice to go about in Berlin and other
cities and stand up in cafes and beer halls in order to make
addresses attacking the President and the United States. So bold
did he become that he even, in the presence of a number of people
in my room, one day said that he would like to hang Secretary
Bryan as high as Haman and President Wilson one foot higher.
The American newspapers stated that I called a servant and had
him thrown out of the Embassy. This statement is not entirely
true: I selfishly kept that pleasure for myself.

The case of Somborn gave me an idea and I cabled to the Department
of State asking authority to take up the passports of all Americans
who abused their own country on the ground that they had violated
the right, by their abuse, to the protection of a passport. The
Department of State sustained my view and, by my direction, the
consul in Dresden took up the passports of a singer named Rains
and a gentleman of leisure named Recknagel who had united in
addressing a letter to the Dresden newspapers abusing the President.
It was sometime before I got Somborn's passport and I later on
received from him the apologies of a broken and contrite man
and obtained permission from Washington to issue him a passport
in order to enable him to return to America.

Of course, these vilifiers of their own country were loud in their
denunciations of me, but the prospect of losing the protection of
their passports kept many of these men from open and treasonable
denunciation of their own country.

The Government actually encouraged the formation of societies which
had for their very object the scattering of literature attacking
the President and the United States. The most conspicuous of these
organisations was the so-called League of Truth. Permanently
connected with it was an American dentist who had been in jail
in America and who had been expelled from Dresden by the police
authorities there. The secretary was a German woman who posed as
an American, and had been on the stage as a snake dancer. The
principal organiser was a German named Marten who had won the
favour of the German authorities by writing a book on Belgium
denying that any atrocities had taken place there. Marten secured
subscriptions from many Germans and Americans resident in Germany,
opened headquarters in rooms on the Potsdamerstrasse and engaged
in the business of sending out pamphlets and leaflets attacking
America. One of his principal supporters was a man named Stoddard
who had made a fortune by giving travel lectures in America and
who had retired to his handsome villa, in Meran, in Austria.
Stoddard issued a pamphlet entitled, "What shall we do with Wilson?"
and some atrocious attempts at verse, all of which were sent
broadcast by the League of Truth.

This was done with the express permission of the German authorities
because during the war no societies or associations of any kind
could meet, be formed or act without the express permission and
superintendence of both the military and police authorities.
Anyone who has lived in Germany knows that it would be impossible
even in peace times to hang a sign or a wreath on a public statue
without the permission of the local authorities; and yet on the
Emperor's birthday, January twenty-seventh, 1916, this League
of Truth was permitted to place an enormous wreath, over four
feet high, on the statue of Frederick the Great, with an American
flag draped in mourning attached, and a silk banner on which was
printed in large letters of gold, "Wilson and his press are not
America." The League of Truth then had a photograph taken of this
wreath which was sent all over Germany, again, of course, with
the permission of the authorities. The wreath and attachments,
in spite of frequent protests on my part to Zimmermann and von
Jagow, remained in this conspicuous position until the sixth of
May, 1916. After the receipt of the _Sussex_ Note, I again
called von Jagow's attention to the presence of this wreath,
and I told him that if this continuing insult to our flag and
President was not taken away that I would go the next day with
a cinematograph operator and take it away myself. The next day
the wreath had disappeared.

This League, in circulars, occasionally attacked me, and in a
circular which they distributed shortly after my return to Germany
at the end of December, 1916, it was stated, "What do you think
of the American Ambassador? When he came to Germany after his
trip to America he brought a French woman with him." And the
worst of this statement was that it was true. But the League,
of course, did not state that my wife came with me bringing her
French maid by the express permission of the German Foreign Office.

I have had occasion many times to wonder at the curious twists
of the German mind, but I have never been able to understand on
what possible theory the German Government permitted and even
encouraged the existence of this League of Truth. Certainly the
actions of the League, headed by a snake dancer and a dentist,
would not terrorise the American Congress, President Wilson or me
into falling in with all the views of the German Government, and
if the German Government was desirous of either the President's
friendship or mine why was this gang of good-for-nothings allowed
to insult indiscriminately their country, their President and
their Ambassador?

One of the friends of Marten, head of this League, was (------)
(---------), a man who at the time he was an officer of the National
Guard of the State of New York, accepted a large sum of money
"for expenses" from Bernstorff. Of course, in any country abroad
acceptance by an officer of money from a foreign Ambassador could
not be explained and could have only one result--a blank wall and
firing party for the receiver of foreign pay. Perhaps we have
grown so indulgent, so soft and so forgetful of the obligations
which officers owe to their flag and country that on (---------)'s
return from Germany he will be able to go on a triumphant lecture
tour through the United States.

There was published in Berlin in English a rather ridiculous
paper called the _Continental Times_, owned by an Austrian
Jewess who had been married to an Englishman. The Foreign Office,
after the outbreak of the war, practically took over this sheet by
buying monthly many thousand copies. News coloured hysterically
to favour the Central Empires was printed in this paper, which
was headed "A Paper for Americans," under the editorship of an
Englishman of decent family named Stanhope, who, of course, in
consequence did not have to inhabit the prison camp of Ruhleben.
(--------) was a contributor to this newspaper, and scurrilous
articles attacking President Wilson appeared. Finally (---------)
wrote a lying article for this paper in which he charged that
Conger of the Associated Press had learned of Sir Roger Casement's
proposed expedition; that Conger told me; that I cabled the news to
Washington to the State Department; and that a member of President
Wilson's Cabinet then gave the information to the British Ambassador.
Later in a wireless which the Foreign Office permitted (---------)
to send Senator O'Gorman of New York, (---------) varied his
lie and charged that I had sent the information direct to Great

_The Continental Times_ was distributed in the prison camps
and after (---------)'s article I said to von Jagow, "I have
had enough of this nonsense which is supported by the Foreign
Office and if articles of the nature of (---------)'s appear
again I shall make a public statement that the prisoners of war
in Germany are subjected to a cruel and unusual punishment by
having the lying _Continental Times_ placed in their hands,
a paper which purports to be published for Americans but which
is supported by the Foreign Office, owned by an Austrian and
edited by a renegade Englishman!"

This _Continental Times_ business again caused one to wonder
at the German psychology which seems to think that the best way
to make friends is to attack them. The author of "The Gentle
Art of Making Enemies" must have attended a German school.

An Ambassador is supposed to be protected but not even when I
filed affidavits in the Foreign Office, in 1916, made by the
ex-secretary of the "League of Truth" and by a man who was constantly
with Marten and the dentist, that Marten had threatened to shoot
me, did the Foreign Office dare or wish to do anything against
this ridiculous League. These affidavits were corroborated by
a respectable restaurant keeper in Berlin and his assistants
who testified that Marten with several ferocious looking German
officers had come to his restaurant "looking" for me. I never
took any precaution against these lunatics whom I knew to be
a bunch of cowardly swindlers.

Marten and his friends were also engaged in a propaganda against
the Jews.

The activities of Marten were caused by the fact that he made
money out of his propaganda; as numerous fool Germans and traitorous
Americans contributed to his war chest, and by the fact that
his work was so favourably received by the military that this
husky coward was excused from all military service.

It seemed, too, as if the Government was anxious to cultivate
the hate against America. Long before American ammunition was
delivered in any quantity to England and long before any at all
was delivered to France, not only did the Government influence
newspapers and official gazettes, but the official _Communiqués_
alleged that quantities of American ammunition were being used
on the West front.

The Government seemed to think that if it could stir up enough
hate against America in Germany on this ammunition question the
Americans would become terrorised and stop the shipment.

The Government allowed medals to be struck in honour of each
little general who conquered a town--"von Emmich, conqueror of
Liege," etc., a pernicious practice as each general and princeling
wanted to continue the war until he could get his face on a
medal--even if no one bought it. But the climax was reached when
medals celebrating the sinking of the _Lusitania_ were sold
throughout Germany. Even if the sinking of the _Lusitania_
had been justified only one who has lived in Germany since the
war can understand the disgustingly bad taste which can gloat
over the death of women and babies.

I can recall now but two writers in all Germany who dared to say
a good word for America. One of these, Regierungsrat Paul Krause,
son-in-law of Field Marshal Von der Goltz, wrote an article in
January, 1917, in the _Lokal Anzeiger_ pointing out the
American side of the question of this munition shipment; and
that bold and fearless speaker and writer, Maximilian Harden,
dared to make a defence of the American standpoint. The principal
article in one of the issues of his paper, _Die Zukunft_,
was headed "If I were Wilson." After some copies had been sold
the issue was confiscated by the police, whether at the instance
of the military or at the instance of the Chancellor, I do not
know. Everyone had the impression in Berlin that this confiscation
was by order of General von Kessel, the War Governor of the Mark
of Brandenburg.

I met Harden before the war and occasionally conversed with him
thereafter. Once in a while he gave a lecture in the great hall
of the Philharmonic, always filling the hall to overflowing.
In his lectures, which, of course, were carefully passed on by
the police, he said nothing startling. His newspaper is a weekly
publication; a little book about seven inches by four and a half,
but wielding an influence not at all commensurate with its size.

The liberal papers, like the largest paper of Berlin, the
_Tageblatt_, edited by Theodor Wolff, while not violently
against America, were not favourable. But the articles in the
Conservative papers and even some of the organs of the Catholic
Party invariably breathed hatred against everything American.

In the Reichstag, America and President Wilson were often attacked
and never defended. On May thirtieth, 1916, in the course of a
debate on the censorship, Strasemann, of the National Liberal
Party and of the branch of that party with Conservative leanings,
violently opposed President Wilson and said that he was not wanted
as a peacemaker.

Government, newspapers and politicians all united in opposing

I believe that to-day all the bitterness of the hate formerly
concentrated on Great Britain has now been concentrated on the
United States. The German-Americans are hated worse than the
native Americans. They have deeply disappointed the Germans:
first, because although German-Americans contributed enormously
towards German war charities the fact of this contribution was
not known to the recipients in Germany. Money sent to the German
Red Cross from America was acknowledged by the Red Cross; but no
publicity was given in Germany to the fact that any of the money
given was from German-Americans. Secondly, the German-Americans
did not go, as they might have done, to Germany, through neutral
countries, with American passports, and enter the German army;
and, thirdly, the most bitter disappointment of all, the
German-Americans have not yet risked their property and their
necks, their children's future and their own tranquillity, by
taking arms against the government of America in the interest
of the Hohenzollerns.

For years, a clever propaganda had been carried on in America
to make all Germans there feel that they were Germans of one
united nation, to make those who had come from Hesse and Bavaria,
or Saxony and Württemberg, forget that as late as 1866 these
countries had been overrun and conquered by Prussian militarism.
When Prince Henry, the Kaiser's brother, visited America, he
spent most of his time with German-Americans and German-American
societies in order to assist this propaganda.

Even in peace time, the German-American who returns to the village
in which he lived as a boy and who walks down the village street
exploiting himself and his property, does not help good relations
between the two countries. Envy is the mother of hate and the
envied and returned German-American receives only a lip welcome
in the village of his ancestors.

Caricatures of Uncle Sam, and of President Wilson were published
in all German papers. A caricature representing our President
releasing the dove of peace with one hand while he poured out
munitions for the Allies with the other was the least unpleasant.

As I have said, from the tenth of August, 1914, to the twenty-fifth
of September, 1915, the Emperor continually refused to receive
me on the ground that he would not receive the Ambassador of a
country which furnished munitions to the enemies of Germany; and
we were thoroughly black-listed by all the German royalties. I did
not see one, however humble, after the outbreak of the war, with
the exception of Prince Max of Baden, who had to do with prisoners
of war in Germany and in other countries. On one occasion I sent
one of my secretaries to the palace of Princess August Wilhelm,
wife of one of the Kaiser's sons, with a contribution of money
for her hospital, she having announced that she would personally
receive contributions on that day. She took the money from the
secretary and spoke bitterly against America on account of the
shipment of arms.

Even some boxes of cigarettes we sent another royalty at the front
at Christmas time, 1914, were not acknowledged.

Dr. Jacobs, who was the correspondent in Berlin of _Musical America_,
and who remained there until about the twenty-sixth of April, 1917,
was called on about the sixteenth of April, 1917, to the Kommandantur
and subjected to a cross-examination. During this cross-examination
he was asked if he knew about the "League of Truth," and why he
did not join that organisation. Whether it was a result of his
non-joining or not, I do not know, but during the remainder of his
stay in Berlin he was compelled to report twice a day to the police
and was not allowed to leave his house after eight o'clock in the
evening. The question, however, put to him shows the direct interest
that the German authorities took in the existence of this malodorous

It appears in some of the circulars issued by the League of Truth
that I was accused of giving American passports to Englishmen
in order to enable them to leave the country.

After I left Germany there was an interpellation in the Reichstag
about this, and Zimmermann was asked about the charge which he
said he had investigated and found untrue.

In another chapter I have spoken of the subject of the selling
of arms and supplies by America to the Allies. No German ever
forgets this. The question of legality or treaties never enters
his mind: he only knows that American supplies and munitions
killed his brother, son or father. It is a hate we must meet for
long years.



A few days after the events narrated in Chapter XII, von Jagow
called to see me at the Embassy and invited me to visit the Emperor
at the Great General Headquarters; but he did not state why I
was asked, and I do not know to this day whether the Chancellor
and those surrounding the Emperor had determined on a temporary
settlement of the submarine question with the United States and
wished to put that settlement out, as it were, under the protection
of the Emperor, or whether the Emperor was undecided and those
in favour of peace wished me to present to him the American side
of the question. I incline to the latter view. Von Jagow informed
me that an officer from the Foreign Office would accompany me and
that I should be allowed to take a secretary and the huntsman
(_Leibjaeger_), without whom no Ambassador ever travels in

Mr. Grew, our counsellor, was very anxious to go and I felt on
account of his excellent work, as well as his seniority, that
he was entitled to be chosen. Lieutenant von Prittwitz, who was
attached to the Foreign Office as a sort of special aide to von
Jagow, was detailed to accompany us. We were given a special
salon car and left on the evening of Friday, April twenty-eighth.
As we neared the front by way of the line running through Saar
Brucken, our train was often halted because of long trains of
hospital cars on their way from the front to the base hospitals
in the rear; and as we entered France there were many evidences of
the obstinate fights which had raged in this part of the country
in August, 1914. Parts of the towns and villages which we passed
were in ruins, and rough trench lines were to be discerned on
some of the hillsides. At the stations, weeping French women
dressed in black were not uncommon sights, having just heard
perhaps of the death, months before, of a husband, sweetheart
or son who had been mobilised with the French army.

The fortress city of Metz through which we passed seemed to be as
animated as a beehive. Trains were continuously passing. Artillery
was to be seen on the roads and automobiles were hurrying to and

The Great General Headquarters of the Kaiser for the Western
Front is in the town of Charleville-Mézières, situated on the
Meuse in the Department of the Ardennes, which Department at that
time was the only French Department wholly in the possession of
the Germans. We were received at the railway station by several
officers and escorted in one of the Kaiser's automobiles, which had
been set apart for my use, to a villa in the town of Charleville,
owned by a French manufacturer named Perin. This pretty little red
brick villa had been christened by the Germans, "Sachsen Villa,"
because it had been occupied by the King of Saxony when he had
visited the Kaiser. A French family servant and an old gardener
had been left in the villa, but for the few meals which we took
there two of the Emperor's body huntsmen had been assigned, and
they brought with them some of the Emperor's silver and china.

The Emperor had been occupying a large villa in the town of
Charleville until a few days before our arrival. After the engineer
of his private train had been killed in the railway station by
a bomb dropped from a French aeroplane, and after another bomb
had dropped within a hundred yards of the villa occupied by the
Kaiser, he moved to a red brick château situated on a hill outside
of Charleville, known as either the Château Bellevue or Bellaire.

Nearly every day during our stay, we lunched and dined with von
Bethmann-Hollweg in the villa of a French banker, which he occupied.
About ten people were present at these dinners, the Chancellor's
son-in-law, Zech, Prittwitz, two experts in international law,
both attached to the Foreign Office, and, at two dinners, von
Treutler, the Prussian Minister to Bavaria, who had been assigned
to represent the Foreign Office near the person of the Kaiser and
Helfferich who, towards the end of our stay, had been summoned
from Berlin.

I had been working hard at German and as von Bethmann-Hollweg
does not like to talk English and as some of these persons did not
speak that language we tried to carry on the table conversation
in German, but I know that when I tried to explain, in German,
to Helfferich the various tax systems of America, I swam out
far beyond my linguistic depth.

During our stay here I received cables from the Department of
State which were transmitted from Berlin in cipher, and which
Grew was able to decipher as he had brought a code book with
him. In one of these it was expressly intimated that in any
settlement of the submarine controversy America would make no
distinction between armed and unarmed merchant ships.

We formed for a while quite a happy family. The French owners
of the villa seemed to have had a fondness for mechanical toys.
After dinner every night these toys were set going, much to the
amusement of von Bethmann-Hollweg. One of these toys, about two
feet high, was a Hoochi-Koochi dancer and another successful one
was a clown and a trained pig, both climbing a step ladder and
performing marvellous feats thereon. Grew, who is an excellent
musician, played the piano for the Chancellor and at his special
request played pieces by Bach, the favourite composer of von
Bethmann-Hollweg's deceased wife. One day we had tea in the garden
of the villa formerly occupied by the Emperor, with the Prince
of Pless (who is always with the Kaiser, and who seemed to be a
prime favourite with him), von Treutler and others, and motored
with Prince Pless to see some marvellous Himalayan pheasants
reared by an old Frenchman, an ex-jailer, who seemed to have a
strong instinct to keep something in captivity.

The Kaiser's automobile, which he had placed at my disposal,
had two loaded rifles standing upright in racks at the right
and left sides of the car, ready for instant use. On one day we
motored, always, of course, in charge of the officers detailed
to take care of us, to the ancient walled city of Rocroy and
through the beautiful part of the Ardennes forest lying to the
east of it, returning to Charleville along the heights above
the valley of the Meuse.



The feeding of the French population, which is carried on by
the American Relief Commission, was a very interesting thing
to see and, in company with one of the members of the French
committee, we saw the workings of this system of American Relief.
We first visited a storehouse in Charleville, the headquarters
for the relief district of which Charleville may be called the

For relief purposes Northern France is divided into six districts.
From the central distribution point in each district, food is
sent to the commune within the district, the commune being the
ultimate unit of distribution and each commune containing on
the average about five hundred souls. We then motored to one
of the communes where the distribution of food for the week was
to take place that afternoon. Here in a factory, closed since the
war, the people of the commune were lined up with their baskets
waiting for their share of the rations. On entering a large room
of the factory, each stopped first at a desk and there either paid
in cash for the week's allowance of rations or signed an agreement
to pay at some future date. The individuals who had no prospect
of being able to pay received the rations for nothing. About
one-third were in each class. The money used was not always French,
or real money, but was, as a rule, the paper money issued in
that part of Northern France by each town and redeemable after
the war.

Signs were hung up showing the quantity that each person was
entitled to receive for the next fifteen days and the sale price
per kilo to each inhabitant. For instance, in this particular
period for the first fifteen days of the month of May, 1916,
each inhabitant could, in this district, receive the following
allowances at the following rates:

  ARTICLE           AMOUNT PER HEAD               PRICE
  Flour                4 K. 500   The Kilogram   0 fr. 48
  Rice                   K. 500                  0 fr. 55
  Beans                  K. 500                  0 fr. 90
  Bacon                  K. 500                  2 fr. 80
  Lard                   K. 250                  2 fr. 30
  Green Coffee           K. 250                  1 fr. 70
  Crystallized Sugar     K. 150                  0 fr. 90
  Salt                   K. 200                  0 fr. 10
  Soap (hard)            K. 250                  1 fr. 00

In addition to these articles each inhabitant of the commune
which we visited, also received on the day of our visit a small
quantity of carrot seed to plant in the small plot of ground
which each was permitted to retain out of his own land by the
German authorities.

The unfortunate people who received this allowance looked very
poor and very hungry and very miserable. Many of them spoke to
me, not only here but also in Charleville, and expressed their
great gratitude to the American people for what was being done
for them. Those in Charleville said that they had heard that I
was in their town because of trouble pending between America
and Germany. They said they hoped that there would be no war
between the two countries because if war came they did not know
what would become of them and that, in the confusion of war,
they would surely be left to starve.

In Charleville notices were posted directing the inhabitants
not to go out on the streets after, I think, eight o'clock in
the evening, and also notices informing the population that they
would be allowed a small quantity of their own land for the purpose
of growing potatoes.

After visiting the factory building where the distribution of
rations was taking place, we motored to Sedan, stopping on the
way at the hamlet of Bazeilles, and visiting the cottage where
Bismarck and Emperor Napoleon the Third had their historic interview
after the battle of Sedan.

The old lady who owns this house received us and showed us bullet
marks made on her house in the war of 1870, as well as in the
present war. She apologised because she had had the window-pane,
broken by a rifle shot in this war, replaced on account of the
cold. As a girl, she had received Bismarck and Napoleon and had
shown them to the room upstairs where they had held their
consultation. I asked her which chair in this room Bismarck had
sat in, and sat in it myself, for luck. I also contributed to the
collection of gold pieces given to her by those who had visited
her cottage.

In Sedan we visited an old mill where stores of the relief commission
were kept, and in the mayor's office were present at a sort of
consultation between the Prussian officers and members of the
French Committee of Sedan in which certain details relative to
the feeding of the population were discussed.

The relief work is not, of course, carried on right up to the
battle line but we visited a small village not many kilometres in
the rear of the German line. In this village we were, as before,
shown the stores kept for distribution by the relief commission.
As there were many soldiers in this village I said I thought that
these soldiers must have stores of their own but, in order to
be sure that they were not living on the supplies of the relief
commission, I thought it only fair that I should see where the
soldiers' stores were kept. I was taken across the railroad track
to where their stores were kept and, judging from the labels on
the barrels and boxes, I should say that a great many of these
stores had come from Holland.

During this trip about the country, I saw a number of women and
girls working, or attempting to work, in the fields. Their appearance
was so different from that of the usual peasant that I spoke to
the accompanying officers about it. I was told, however, that
these were the peasants of the locality who dressed unusually
well in that part of France. Later on in Charleville, at the
lodging of an officer and with Count Wengersky, who was detailed
to act as sort of interpreter and guide to the American Relief
Commission workers, I met the members of the American Relief
Commission who were working in Northern France and who had been
brought on a special train for the purpose of seeing me to
Charleville. This Count Wengersky spoke English well. Having
been for a number of years agent of the Hamburg American Line in
London, he was used to dealing with Americans and was possessed
of more tact than usually falls to the lot of the average Prussian
officer. We had tea and cakes in these lodgings, and then some
of the Americans drew me aside and told me the secret of the
peculiar looking peasants whom I had seen at work in the fields
surrounding Charleville.

It seems that the Germans had endeavoured to get volunteers from
the great industrial town of Lille, Roubeix and Tourcoing to
work these fields; that after the posting of the notices calling
for volunteers only fourteen had appeared. The Germans then gave
orders to seize a certain number of inhabitants and send them
out to farms in the outlying districts to engage in agricultural
work. The Americans told me that this order was carried out with
the greatest barbarity; that a man would come home at night and
find that his wife or children had disappeared and no one could
tell him where they had gone except that the neighbours would
relate that the German non-commissioned officers and a file of
soldiers had carried them off. For instance, in a house of a
well-to-do merchant who had perhaps two daughters of fifteen and
seventeen, and a man servant, the two daughters and the servant
would be seized and sent off together to work for the Germans
in some little farm house whose location was not disclosed to
the parents. The Americans told me that this sort of thing was
causing such indignation among the population of these towns
that they feared a great uprising and a consequent slaughter and
burning by the Germans.

That night at dinner I spoke to von Bethmann-Hollweg about this
and told him that it seemed to me absolutely outrageous; and that,
without consulting with my government, I was prepared to protest
in the name of humanity against a continuance of this treatment
of the civil population of occupied France. The Chancellor told
me that he had not known of it, that it was the result of orders
given by the military, that he would speak to the Emperor about
it and that he hoped to be able to stop further deportations.
I believe that they were stopped, but twenty thousand or more who
had been taken from their homes were not returned until months
afterwards. I said in a speech which I made in May on my return to
America that it required the joint efforts of the Pope, the King
of Spain and our President to cause the return of these people to
their homes; and I then saw that some German press agency had
come out with an article that I had made false statements about
this matter because these people were not returned to their homes
as a result of the representations of the Pope, the King of Spain
and our President, but were sent back because the Germans had
no further use for them. It seems to me that this denial makes
the case rather worse than before.

At the Chancellor's house in the evenings we had discussions
on the submarine situation and I had several long talks with
von Bethmann-Hollweg alone in a corner of the room while the
others listened to music or set the mechanical toys in motion.
These discussions, without doubt, were reported to the Emperor
either by the Chancellor or by von Treutler who at that time
was high in favor with his Majesty.

I remember on one evening I was asked the question as to what
America could do, supposing the almost impossible, that America
should resent the recommencement of ruthless submarine warfare
by the Germans and declare war. I said that nearly all of the
great inventions used in this war had been made by Americans;
that the very submarine which formed the basis of our discussion
was an American invention, and so were the barbed wire and the
aeroplane, the ironclad, the telephone and the telegraph, so
necessary to trench warfare; that even that method of warfare
had been first developed on something of the present scale in our
Civil War; and that I believed that, if forced to it, American
genius could produce some invention which might have a decisive
effect in this war. My German auditors seemed inclined to believe
that there was something in my contentions. But they said, "While
possibly you might invent something in America, while possibly
you will furnish money and supplies to the Allies, you have no
men; and the public sentiment of your country is such that you
will not be able to raise an army large enough to make any
impression." I said that possibly if hostilities once broke out
with the Germans, the Germans might force us by the commission
of such acts as had aroused England, to pass a law for universal
military service. This proposition of mine was branded by the
Germans as absolutely impossible; and, therefore, I am sure that
the adoption by the United States of universal service in the
first round of the war struck a very severe blow at the morale
of Germany.

The Chancellor always desired to make any settlement of the submarine
question contingent upon our doing something against England;
but I again and again insisted that we could not agree to do
anything against some other power as a condition of obtaining
a recognition of our rights from the German Empire.

During my stay at the General Headquarters, General Falkenhayn,
although he was there at the time, carefully avoided me, which
I took to be a sign that he was in favour of war with America.
In fact, I heard afterwards that he had insisted on giving his
views on the subject, but that a very high authority had told
him to confine himself to military operations.

After we had been a day or so at Charleville, the Vice-Chancellor,
Helfferich, arrived. I have always believed that he was sent for
to add his weight to the arguments in favour of peace and to
point out that it was necessary for Germany to hate the friendship
of America after the war, so as to have markets where she could
place her goods. And I am convinced that at this time, at any rate,
the influence of Helfferich was cast in the scale in favour of

Finally, I was told that on the next day, which was Monday, May
first, I was to lunch with the Emperor. Grew was invited to accompany
me, and the Chancellor said that he would call for me about an
hour before the time set for lunch as the Emperor desired to
have a talk with me before lunch. In the afternoon an extract
from the log of a German submarine commander was sent to me in
which the submarine commander had stated that he had sighted a
vessel which he could easily have torpedoed, but as the vessel
was one hundred and twenty miles from land, he had not done so
because the crew might not be able from that distance to reach a
harbour. When the Chancellor called for me the following morning,
he asked me if I had read this extract from the submarine officer's
log, and noted how he had refrained from torpedoing a boat one
hundred and twenty miles from land. I told the Chancellor that I
had read the extract, but that I had also read in the newspaper
that very morning that a ship had been torpedoed in stormy weather
at exactly the same distance from land and the crew compelled
to seek safety in the ship's boats; that, anyway, "one swallow
did not make a summer," and that reports were continually being
received of boats being torpedoed at great distances from land.

We then got in the motor and motored to the château about a mile
off, where the Kaiser resided. We got out of the motor before
going into the courtyard of the château, and immediately I was
taken by the Chancellor into a garden on the gently sloping hillside
below the château. Here the Emperor, dressed in uniform, was

As I drew near the Emperor, he said immediately, "Do you come
like the great pro-consul bearing peace or war in either hand?"
By this he referred, of course, to the episode in which Quintus
Fabius Maximus, chief of the Roman envoys sent to Hannibal in
the Second Punic War, doubled his toga in his hand, held it up
and said: "In this fold I carry peace and war: choose which you
will have." "Give us which you prefer," was the reply. "Then
take war," answered the Roman, letting the toga fall. "We accept
the gift," cried the Carthaginian Senator, "and welcome."

I said, "No, your Majesty, only hoping that the differences between
two friendly nations may be adjusted." The Emperor then spoke of
what he termed the uncourteous tone of our notes, saying that
we charged the Germans with barbarism in warfare and that, as
Emperor and head of the Church, he had wished to carry on the
war in a knightly manner. He referred to his own speech to the
members of the Reichstag at the commencement of the war and said
that the nations opposed to Germany had used unfair methods and
means, that the French especially were not like the French of
'70, but that their officers, instead of being nobles, came from
no one knew where. He then referred to the efforts to starve out
Germany and keep out milk and said that before he would allow
his family and grand-children to starve he would blow up Windsor
Castle and the whole Royal family of England. We then had a long
discussion in detail of the whole submarine question, in the
course of which the Emperor said that the submarine had come
to stay, that it was a weapon recognised by all countries, and
that he had seen a picture of a proposed giant submarine in an
American paper, the _Scientific American_. He stated that,
anyway, there was no longer any international law. To this last
statement the Chancellor agreed. He further said that a person
on an enemy merchant ship was like a man travelling on a cart
behind the battle lines--he had no just cause of complaint if
injured. He asked me why we had done nothing to England because
of her alleged violations of international law,--why we had not
broken the British blockade.

In addition to the technical arguments based on international
law, I answered that no note of the United States had made any
general charge of barbarism against Germany; that we complained
of the manner of the use of submarines and nothing more; that we
could never promise to do anything to England or to any other
country in return for a promise from Germany or any third country
to keep the rules of international law and respect the rights and
lives of our citizens; that we were only demanding our rights
under the recognised rules of international law and it was for
us to decide which rights we would enforce first; that, as I
had already told the Chancellor, if two men entered my grounds
and one stepped on my flower beds and the other killed my sister,
I should probably first pursue the murderer of my sister; that
those travelling on the seas in enemy merchant ships were in a
different position from those travelling in a cart behind the
enemy's battle lines on land because the land travellers were
on enemy's territory, while those on the sea were on territory
which, beyond the three-mile limit, was free and in no sense
enemy's territory. We also discussed the position taken by the
German Government in one of the _Frye_ Notes, in which the
German expert had taken the position that a cargo of food destined
for an armed enemy port was presumed to be for the armies of
the enemy, and therefore contraband. The Emperor spoke of the
case of the _Dacia_ with some bitterness, but when I went
into an explanation the Chancellor joined in the conversation
and said that our position was undoubtedly correct. I said that
it was not our business to break the blockade--that there were
plenty of German agents in the United States who could send food
ships and test the question; that one ship I knew of, the
_Wilhelmina_, laden with food, had been seized by the British,
who then compromised with the owners, paying them, I believed, a
large sum for the disputed cargo. And in taking up the doctrine
of ultimate destination of goods, i.e., goods sent to a neutral
country but really destined for a belligerent, I said I thought
that during our Civil War we had taken against England exactly
the same stand which England now took; and I said I thought that
one of the decisions of our Supreme Court was based on a shipment
to Matamoras, Mexico, but which the Supreme Court had decided
was really for the Confederacy.

Discussing the submarine question, the Emperor and Chancellor
spoke of the warning given in the _Lusitania_ case; and
I said: "If the Chancellor warns me not to go out on the
Wilhelmplatz, where I have a perfect right to go, the fact that
he gave the warning does not justify him in killing me if I
disregarded his warning and go where I have a right to go." The
conversation then became more general and we finally left the
garden and went into the château, where the Emperor's aides and
guests were impatiently waiting for lunch.

This conversation lasted far beyond lunch time. Anxious heads
were seen appearing from the windows and terraces of the château
to which we finally adjourned. I sat between the Emperor and
Prince Pless. Conversation was general for the most of the time,
and subjects such as the suffragettes and the peace expedition
of Henry Ford were amusingly discussed.

After lunch, I again had a long talk with the Emperor but of a
more general nature than the conversation in the garden.

That night about eleven o'clock, after again dining with the
Chancellor, we left Charleville in the same special salon car,
arriving at Berlin about four P. M. the next day, where at the
station were a crowd of German and American newspaper correspondents,
all anxious to know what had happened.

At this last dinner at the Chancellor's he took me off in a corner
and said, "As I understand it, what America wants is cruiser
warfare on the part of the submarines." And I said, "Yes, that
is it exactly. They may exercise the right of visit and search,
must not torpedo or sink vessels without warning, and must not
sink any vessel unless the passengers and crew are put in a place
of safety."

On the morning of the third of May, I heard that the German note
had been drafted, but that it would contain a clause to the
effect that while the German submarines would not go beyond cruiser
warfare, this rule, nevertheless, would not apply to armed

As such a proposition as this would, of course, only bring up
the subject again, I immediately ordered my automobile and called
on the Spanish Ambassador, stating to him what I had heard about
the contents of the note; that this would mean, without doubt, a
break with America; and that, as I had been instructed to hand
the Embassy over to him, I had come to tell him of that fact. I
gave the same information to other colleagues, of course hoping
that what I said would directly or indirectly reach the ears
of the German Foreign Office. Whether it did or not, I do not
know, but the _Sussex_ Note when received did not contain
any exception with reference to armed merchantmen.

With the receipt of the _Sussex_ Note and the President's
answer thereto, which declined assent to the claim of Germany
to define its attitude toward our rights in accordance with what
we might do in regard to the enforcement of our rights against
England, the submarine question seemed, at least for the moment,
settled. I, however, immediately warned the Department that I
believed that the rulers of Germany would at some future date,
forced by public opinion, and by the von Tirpitz and Conservative
parties, take up ruthless submarine war again, possibly in the
autumn but at any rate about February or March, 1917.

In my last conversation with the Chancellor before leaving the
Great General Headquarters, when he referred to the cruiser warfare
of the submarines, he also said, "I hope now that if we settle this
matter your President will be great enough to take up the question
of peace." It was as a result of intimations from government
circles that, after my return to Berlin, I gave an interview to
a representative of a Munich newspaper, expressing my faith in
the coming of peace, although I was careful to say that it might
be a matter of months or even years.

Thereafter, on many occasions the Chancellor impressed upon me
the fact that America must do something towards arranging a peace
and that if nothing was done to this end, public opinion in Germany
would undoubtedly force a resumption of a ruthless submarine war.

In September of 1916, I having mentioned that Mrs. Gerard was
going to the United States on a short visit, von Jagow insistently
urged me to go also in order to make every effort to induce the
President to do something towards peace; and, as a result of his
urging and as a result of my own desire to make the situation
clear in America, I sailed from Copenhagen on the twenty-eighth
of September with Mrs. Gerard, on the Danish ship, _Frederick VIII_,
bound for New York. I had spent almost three years in Berlin,
having been absent during that time from the city only five or
six days at Kiel and two week-ends in Silesia in 1914, with two
weeks at Munich in the autumn, two days at Munich and two days at
Parten-Kirchen in 1916, and two week-ends at Heringsdorf, in the
summer of the same year, with visits to British prison camps
scattered through the two and a half years of war.

On the _Frederick VIII_ were Messrs. Herbert Swope of the
_New York World_ and William C. Bullitt of the _Philadelphia Ledger_,
who had been spending some time in Germany. I impressed upon each
of these gentlemen my fixed belief that Germany intended shortly,
unless some definite move was made toward peace, to commence
ruthless submarine war; and they made this view clear in the
articles which they wrote for their respective newspapers.

Mr. Swope's articles which appeared in the _New York World_
were immediately republished by him in a book called "Inside the
German Empire." In Mr. Swope's book on page ninety-four, he says,
"The campaign for the ruthless U-boat warfare is regarded by one
man in this country who speaks with the highest German authority,
as being in the nature of a threat intended to accelerate and
force upon us a movement toward peace. Ambassador Gerard had
his attention drawn to this just before he left Berlin but he
declined to accept the interpretation."

On page eighty-eight he writes, "Our Embassy in Berlin expected
just such a demonstration as was given by the U-53 in October
when she sank six vessels off Nantucket, as a lesson of what
Germany could do in our waters if war came."

On page seventy-four he says further, "Throughout Germany the
objection for the resumption of ruthless U-boat warfare of the
_Lusitania_ type grows stronger day by day. The Chancellor
is holding out against it, but how long he can restrain it no one
can say. I left Germany convinced that only peace could prevent
its resumption. And the same opinion is held by every German
with whom I spoke, and it is held also by Ambassador Gerard.
The possibility was so menacing that the principal cause of the
Ambassador's return in October was that he might report to
Washington. The point was set out in press despatches at that

I wrote a preface to Mr. Swope's book for the express purpose
of informing the American public in this way that I believed
that Germany intended at an early date to resume the ruthless
V-boat warfare.

Our trip home on the _Frederick VIII_ was without incident
except for the fact that on the ninth day of October, Swope came to
the door of my stateroom about twelve o'clock at night and informed
me that the captain had told him to tell me that the wireless had
brought the news that German submarines were operating directly
ahead of us and had just sunk six ships in the neighbourhood
of Nantucket. I imagine that the captain slightly changed the
course of our ship, but next day the odour of burning oil was
quite noticeable for hours.

These Danish ships in making the trip from Copenhagen to New
York were compelled to put in at the port of Kirkwall in the
Orkney Islands, north of Scotland, where the ship was searched by
the British authorities. On the occasion of our visit to Kirkwall,
on this trip, a Swede, who had been so foolish as to make a sketch
of the harbour and defences of Kirkwall from the top deck of the
_Frederick VIII_, was taken off the boat by the British. The
British had very cleverly spotted him doing this from the shore
or a neighbouring boat, through a telescope.

Ships can enter Kirkwall only by daylight and at six o'clock
every evening trawlers draw a net across the entrance to the
harbour as a protection against submarines. A passage through
this net is not opened until daylight the following morning.

Captain Thomson of the _Frederick VIII_, the ship which
carried us to America and back to Copenhagen, by his evident
mastery of his profession gave to all of his passengers a feeling
of confidence on the somewhat perilous voyage in those dangerous

When I reached America, on October eleventh, I was given a most
flattering reception and the freedom of the City of New York.
Within a few days after my arrival, the President sent for me
to visit him at Shadow Lawn, at Long Branch, and I was with him
for over four hours and a quarter in our first conference. I saw
him, of course, after the election, before returning to Germany,
and in fact sailed on the fourth of December at his special request.

Before I left I was impressed with the idea that he desired above
all things both to keep and to make peace. Of course, this question
of making peace is a very delicate one. A direct offer on our part
might have subjected us to the same treatment which we gave Great
Britain during our Civil War when Great Britain made overtures
looking towards the establishment of peace, and the North answered,
practically telling the British Government that it could attend
to its own business, that it would brook no interference and would
regard further overtures as unfriendly acts.

The Germans started this war without any consultation with the
United States, and then seemed to think that they had a right
to demand that the United States make peace for them on such
terms and at such time as they chose; and that the failure to
do so gave them a vested right to break all the laws of warfare
against their enemies and to murder the citizens of the United
States on the high seas, in violation of the declared principles
of international law.

Nevertheless, I think that the inclination of the President was
to go very far towards the forcing of peace.

Our trip from New York to Copenhagen was uneventful, cold and
dark. We were captured by a British cruiser west of the Orkneys
and taken in for the usual search to the port of Kirkwall where
we remained two days.

The President impressed upon me his great interest in the Belgians
deported to Germany. The action of Germany in thus carrying a
great part of the male population of Belgium into virtual slavery
had roused great indignation in America. As the revered Cardinal
Farley said to me a few days before my departure, "You have to
go back to the times of the Medes and the Persians to find a
like example of a whole people carried into bondage."

Mr. Grew had made representations about this to the Chancellor
and, on my return, I immediately took up the question.

I was informed that it was a military measure, that Ludendorf had
feared that the British would break through and overrun Belgium
and that the military did not propose to have a hostile population
at their backs who might cut the rail lines of communication,
telephones and telegraphs; and that for this reason the deportation
had been decided on. I was, however, told that I would be given
permission to visit these Belgians. The passes, nevertheless,
which alone made such visiting possible were not delivered until
a few days before I left Germany.

Several of these Belgians who were put at work in Berlin managed
to get away and come to see me. They gave me a harrowing account
of how they had been seized in Belgium and made to work in Germany
at making munitions to be used probably against their own friends.
I said to the Chancellor, "There are Belgians employed in making
shells contrary to all rules of war and the Hague conventions."
He said, "I do not believe it." I said, "My automobile is at the
door. I can take you, in four minutes, to where thirty Belgians
are working on the manufacture of shells." But he did not find
time to go.

Americans must understand that the Germans will stop at nothing
to win this war, and that the only thing they respect is force.

While I was in America von Jagow, as had been predicted by his
enemies in Berlin, had fallen and Zimmermann had been given his

I remained a day in Copenhagen, in order to arrange for the
transportation to Germany of the three tons of food which I had
brought from New York, and, also, in order to lunch with Count
Rantzau, the German Minister, a most able diplomat.

Therefore, the President's peace note arrived in Berlin just
ahead of me and was delivered by Mr. Grew a few hours before my
arrival. Joseph C. Grew, of Boston, was next in command during
all my stay in Berlin. He most ably carried on the work of the
Embassy during my absence on the trip to America, in the autumn
of 1916; and at all times was of the greatest assistance to me. I
hope to see him go far in his career. This note was dated December
eighteenth, 1916, and was addressed by the Secretary of State
to the American Ambassadors at the capitals of the belligerent
powers. It commenced as follows: "The President directs me to
send you the following communication to be presented immediately
to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the government to which
you are accredited.

"The President of the United States has instructed me to suggest
to the (here is inserted a designation of the government addressed)
a course of action in regard to the present war which he hopes
that the government will take under consideration as suggested
in the most friendly spirit, etc."

In the note which was sent to the Central Powers it was stated:
"The suggestion which I am instructed to make, the President
has long had it in mind to offer. He is somewhat embarrassed
to offer it at this particular time because it may now seem to
have been prompted by a desire to play a part in connection with
the recent overtures of the Central Powers."

Of course, the President thus referred to the address made by
Bethmann-Hollweg in the Reichstag in December, in which, after
reviewing generally the military situation, the Chancellor said:
"In a deep moral and religious sense of duty towards this nation
and beyond it towards humanity, the Emperor now considers that the
moment has come for official action towards peace. His Majesty,
therefore, in complete harmony and in common with our Allies decided
to propose to the hostile powers to enter peace negotiations."
And the Chancellor continued, saying that a note to this effect
had been transmitted that morning to all hostile powers, through
the representatives of these powers to whom the interests and
rights of Germany in the enemy States had been entrusted; and
that, therefore, the representatives of Spain, the United States
and Switzerland had been asked to forward the note.

Coincidently with this speech of the Chancellor's, which was
December twelfth, 1916, the Emperor sent a message to the commanding
generals reading as follows: "Soldiers! In agreement with the
sovereigns of my Allies and with the consciousness of victory,
I have made an offer of peace to the enemy. Whether it will be
accepted is still uncertain. Until that moment arrives you will
fight on."

I return to the President's note.

The President suggested that early occasion be sought to callout
from all the nations now at war an avowal of their respective
views as to the terms upon which the war might be concluded,
and the arrangements which would be deemed satisfactory as a
guarantee against its renewal.

He called the attention of the world to the fact that according
to the statements of the statesmen of the belligerent powers,
the objects which all sides had in mind seemed to be the same.
And the President finally said that he was not proposing peace,
not even offering mediation; but merely proposing that soundings
be taken in order that all nations might know how near might
be the haven of peace for which all mankind longed.

Shortly after the publication of this note Secretary Lansing
gave an interview to the representatives of the American press
in which he stated that America was very near war. This interview
he later explained.

As soon as possible after my return to Berlin I had interviews
with Zimmermann and the Chancellor. Zimmermann said that we were
such personal friends that he was sure we could continue to work,
as we had in the past, in a frank and open manner, putting all
the cards upon the table and working together in the interests of
peace. I, of course, agreed to this and it seemed, on the surface,
as if everything would go smoothly.

Although the torpedoing without warning of the _Marina_,
while I was in the United States, had resulted in the death of a
number of Americans on board, nevertheless there seemed to be an
inclination on the part of the government and people of the United
States to forget this incident provided Germany would continue to
keep her pledges given in the _Sussex_ Note. During all
the period of the war in Germany I had been on good terms with
the members of the government, namely, the Chancellor, von Jagow,
Zimmermann and the other officials of the Foreign Office, as well
as with Helfferich, Dr. Solf, the Colonial Minister, Kaempf, the
President of the Reichstag and a number of the influential men
of Germany such as von Gwinner, of the Deutsche Bank, Gutmann of
the Dresdener Bank, Dr. Walter Rathenau, who for a long time was
at the head of the department for the supply and conservation of
raw materials, General von Kessel, Over-Commander of the Mark of
Brandenburg, in spite of many tiffs with him over the treatment
of prisoners, Theodor Wolff, editor of the _Tageblatt_, Professor
Stein, Maximilian Harden and many others.

For a long time the fight waged by the Chancellor was America's
fight and a fight for peace, so much so that the newspapers which
attacked the Chancellor were the same ones which had attacked
President Wilson, America and Americans in general, and which had
very often included me in their attacks. During every crisis between
America and Germany I had acted with von Jagow and Zimmermann in
a most confidential way, looking forward always to one object,
namely, the preservation of peace between our respective countries.
Many suggestions were made which, I think, materially aided up
to that time in the preservation of peace.

The Chancellor and the Foreign Office, however, through sheer
weakness did nothing to prevent the insults to our flag and President
perpetrated by the "League of Truth"; although both under the law
and the regulations of the "State of Siege" this gang could not
operate without the consent of the authorities. So far as I was
concerned personally, a few extra attacks from tooth carpenters
and snake dancers meant nothing, but certainly aroused my interest
in the workings of the Teutonic official brain.

On my return everyone in official life,--the Chancellor, Zimmermann,
von Stumm who succeeded Zimmermann, von der Busche, formerly
German Minister in the Argentine, who had equal rank with Stumm
in the Foreign Office--all without exception and in the most
convincing language assured me that cases like that of the
_Marina_, for example, were only accidents and that there
was every desire on the part of Germany to maintain the pledges
given in the _Sussex_ Note.

And the great question to be solved is whether the Germans in
making their offers of peace, in begging me to go to America to
talk peace to the President, were sincerely anxious for peace,
or were only making these general offers of peace in order to
excuse in the eyes of the world a resumption of ruthless submarine
warfare and to win to their side public opinion in the United
States, in case such warfare should be resumed.

Had the decision rested with the Chancellor and with the Foreign
Office, instead of with the military, I am sure that the decision
would have been against the resumption of this ruthless war.
But Germany is not ruled in war time by the civilian power.
Hindenburg at the time I left for America was at the head of
the General Staff and Ludendorf, who had been Chief of Staff,
had been made the Quartermaster General in order that he might
follow Hindenburg to General Headquarters.

Hindenburg, shortly before his battle of the Masurian Lakes,
was a General living in retirement at Hanover. Because he had
for years specialised in the study of this region he was suddenly
called to the command of the German army which was opposing the
Russian invasions. Ludendorf, who had been Colonel of a regiment
at the attack on Liège, was sent with him as his Chief of Staff.
The success of Hindenburg in his campaigns is too well known
to require recapitulation here. He became the popular idol of
Germany, the one general-in fact the one man--whom the people felt
that they could idolise. But shortly before my trip to America an
idea was creeping through the mind of the German people leading
them to believe that Hindenburg was but the front, and that the
brains of the combination had been furnished by Ludendorf. Many
Germans in a position to know told me that the real dictator
of Germany was Ludendorf.

My trip to America was made principally at the instance of von
Jagow and the Chancellor, and, in my farewell talk with the
Chancellor a few days before leaving, I asked if it could not
be arranged, since he was always saying that the civilian power
was inferior to that of the military, that I should see Hindenburg
and Ludendorf before I left. This proposed meeting he either
could not or would not arrange, and shortly after my return I
again asked the Chancellor if I could not see, if not the Emperor,
at least Hindenburg and Ludendorf, who the Chancellor himself
had said were the leaders of the military, and, therefore, the
leaders of Germany. Again I was put off.

In the meantime and in spite of the official assurance given
to me certain men in Germany, in a position to know, warned me
that the government intended to resume ruthless submarine war.
Ludendorf, they said, had declared in favour of this war and,
according to them, that meant its adoption.

At first I thought that Germany would approach the resumption of
ruthless submarine war _via_ the armed merchantman issue.

The case of the _Yarrowdale_ prisoners seemed to bear out
this theory. A German raider captured and sunk a number of enemy
vessels and sent one of the captured boats, the _Yarrowdale_,
with a prize crew to Swinemunde. On board, held as prisoners,
were a number of the crews of the captured vessels; and among
those men I learned "under the rose," were some Americans. The
arrival of the _Yarrowdale_ was kept secret for some time,
but as soon as I received information of its arrival, I sent
note after note to the Foreign Office demanding to know if there
were any Americans among the prisoner crews.

For a long time I received no answer, but finally Germany admitted
what I knew already, that Americans taken with the crews of captured
ships were being held as prisoners of war, the theory of the
Germans being that all employed on armed enemy merchant ships
were enemy combatants. I supposed that possibly Germany might
therefore approach the submarine controversy by this route and
claim that armed merchantmen were liable to be sunk without notice.

Instructed by the State Department, I demanded the immediate
release of the _Yarrowdale_ prisoners. This was accorded
by Germany, but, after the breaking of relations, the prisoners
were held back; and it was not until after we left Germany that
they were finally released.

I asked permission to visit these prisoners and sent Mr. Ayrault
and Mr. Osborne to the place where I knew they were interned.
The permission to visit them arrived, but on the same day orders
were given to remove the prisoners to other camps. Mr. Osborne
and Mr. Ayrault, however, being on the ground, saw the prisoners
before their removal and reported on their conditions.

On January sixth the American Association of Commerce and Trade
gave me a dinner at the Hotel Adlon. This was made the occasion
of a sort of German-American love-feast. Zimmermann, although
he had to go early in the evening to meet the Foreign Minister
of Austria-Hungary, was present; Helfferich, Vice-Chancellor
and Secretary of the Interior; Dr. Solf, the Colonial Minister;
Sydow, Minister of Commerce; Dernburg; von Gwinner of the Deutsche
Bank; Gutmann of the Dresdener Bank; Under Secretary von der
Busche of the Foreign Office; the Mayor and the Police President
of Berlin; the President of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce; Under
Secretary von Stumm of the Foreign Office; and many others of
that office. There were present also Under Secretary Richter
of the Interior Department; Lieutenant Colonel Doeutelmoser of
the General Staff; the editors and proprietors of the principal
newspapers in Berlin; Count Montgelas, who had charge of American
affairs in the Foreign Office; naval officers like Captain Lans;
the American correspondents in Germany; and Prince Isenburg;
rubbing shoulders with the brewers, George Ehret and Krueger,
of New York and Newark. There were literary lights like Ludwig
Fulda, Captain Persius, Professor Hans Delbrück, Dr. Paasche,
Vice-President of the Reichstag, and many others equally celebrated
as the ones that I have named. Speeches were made by Mr. Wolf,
President of the American Association of Commerce and Trade,
Helfferich, Zimmermann, von Gwinner and me. A tone of the greatest
friendliness prevailed. Zimmermann referred to our personal
friendship and said that he was sure that we should be able to
manage everything together. Helfferich in his speech said that
I, by learning German and studying the life of the German people,
was one of the few diplomats that had come to Germany who had
learned something of the real life and psychology of the Germans.
Von Gwinner made a speech in English that would have done credit
to any American after-dinner speaker; and I, in my short address,
said that the relations between the two countries had never been
better and that so long as my personal friends like Zimmermann
and other members of the government, who I named, were in office,
I was sure that the good relations between the two countries
would be maintained. I spoke also of the sums of money that I had
brought back with me for the benefit of the widows and orphans
of Germany.

The majority of the German newspapers spoke in a very kindly
way about this dinner and about what was said at it. Of course,
they all took what I said as an expression of friendliness, and
only Reventlow claimed that, by referring to the members of the
government, I was interfering in the internal affairs of Germany.

The speeches and, in fact, this dinner constituted a last desperate
attempt to preserve friendly relations. Both the reasonable men
present and I knew, almost to a certainty, that return to ruthless
submarine war had been decided on and that only some lucky chance
could prevent the military, backed by the made public opinion, from
insisting on a defiance of international law and the laws of humanity.

The day after the dinner the Chancellor sent for me and expressed
approval of what I said and thanked me for it and on the surface
it seemed as if everything was "as merry as a marriage bell."
Unfortunately, I am afraid that all this was only on the surface,
and that perhaps the orders to the submarine commanders to recommence
ruthless war had been given the day preceding this love-feast.

The Germans believed that President Wilson had been elected with
a mandate to keep out of war at any cost, and that America could
be insulted, flouted and humiliated with impunity. Even before
this dinner we had begun to get rumours of the resumption of
ruthless submarine war and within a few days I was cabling to
the Department information based not upon absolute facts but upon
reports which seemed reliable and which had been collected through
the able efforts of our very capable naval attaché, Commander

And this information was confirmed by the hints given to me by
various influential Germans. Again and again after the sixth of
January, I was assured by Zimmermann and others in the Foreign
Office that nothing of the kind was contemplated.

Now were the German moves in the direction of peace sincere or not?

From the time when the Chancellor first spoke of peace, I asked
him and others what the peace terms of Germany were. I could
never get any one to state any definite terms of peace and on
several occasions when I asked the Chancellor whether Germany
was willing to withdraw from Belgium, he always said, "Yes, but
with guarantees." Finally in January, 1917, when he was again
talking of peace, I said, "What are these peace terms to which
you refer continually? Will you allow me to ask a few questions
as to the specific terms of peace? First are the Germans willing
to withdraw from Belgium?" The Chancellor answered, "Yes, but
with guarantees." I said, "What are these guarantees?" He said,
"We must possibly have the forts of Liege and Namur; we must
have other forts and garrisons throughout Belgium. We must have
possession of the railroad lines. We must have possession of the
ports and other means of communication. The Belgians will not
be allowed to maintain an army, but we must be allowed to retain
a large army in Belgium. We must have the commercial control of
Belgium." I said, "I do not see that you have left much for the
Belgians except that King Albert will have the right to reside in
Brussels with an honor guard." And the Chancellor said, "We cannot
allow Belgium to be an outpost (_Vorwerk_) of England"; and
I said, "I do not suppose the English, on the other hand, wish
it to become an outpost of Germany, especially as von Tirpitz
has said that the coast of Flanders should be retained in order
to make war on England and America." I continued, "How about
Northern France?" He said, "We are willing to leave Northern
France, but there must be a rectification of the frontier." I
said, "How about the Eastern frontier?" He said, "We must have
a very substantial rectification of our frontier." I said, "How
about Roumania?" He said, "We shall leave Bulgaria to deal with
Roumania." I said, "How about Serbia?" He said, "A very small
Serbia may be allowed to exist, but that is a question for Austria.
Austria must be left to do what she wishes to Italy, and we must
have indemnities from all countries and all our ships and colonies

Of course, "rectification of the frontier" is a polite term for

On the twenty-second of January, 1917, our President addressed
the Senate; and in his address he referred to his Note of the
eighteenth of December, sent to all belligerent governments. In
this address he stated, referring to the reply of the Entente
Powers to his Peace Note of the eighteenth of December, "We are
that much nearer to the definite discussion of the peace which
shall end the present war."

He referred to the willingness of both contestants to discuss
terms of peace, as follows: "The Central Powers united in reply
which stated merely that they were ready to meet their antagonists
in conference to discuss terms of peace. The Entente Powers have
replied much more definitely and have stated, in general terms,
indeed, but with sufficient definiteness to imply details, the
arrangements, guarantees and acts of reparation which they deem
to be the indispensable conditions of a satisfactory settlement.
We are that much nearer a definite discussion of the peace which
shall end the present war." The President further referred to a
world concert to guarantee peace in the future and said, "The
present war must first be ended, but we owe it to candour and
to a just regard for the opinion of mankind to say that so far
as our participation in guarantees of future peace is concerned,
it makes a great deal of difference in what way and upon what
terms it is ended." He said that the statesmen of both of the
groups of nations at war had stated that it was not part of the
purpose they had in mind to crush their antagonists, and he said
that it must be implied from these assurances that the peace
to come must be "a peace without victory."

In the course of his address he said: "Statesmen everywhere are
agreed that there should be a united, independent and autonomous
Poland." In another place he said: "So far as practicable, moreover,
every great people now struggling toward a full development of
its resources and its powers should be assured a direct outlet
to the highways of the sea." Where this cannot be done by cession
of territory it can no doubt be arranged by the neutralisation
of direct rights of way; and he closed by proposing in effect
that the nations of the world should adopt the Monroe Doctrine
and that no nation should seek to explain its policy for any
other nation or people.

After the receipt of the Ultimatum of January thirty-first from
Germany, the Chancellor, in a conversation I had with him, referred
to this Peace Note of December eighteenth and to the speech of
January twenty-second.

OF MAY, 1916.]

I must say here that on my return to Germany I went very far
in assuring the Chancellor and other members of the Government
of the President's desire to see peace established in the world;
and I told them that I believed that the President was ready
to go very far in the way of coercing any nation which refused
a reasonable peace; but I also impressed on all the members of
the Government with whom I came in contact my belief that the
election had not in any way altered the policy of the President,
and I warned them of the danger to our good relations if ruthless
submarine warfare should be resumed.

Von Bethmann-Hollweg, however, at this interview after the
thirty-first of January, said that he had been compelled to take
up ruthless submarine war because it was evident that President
Wilson could do nothing towards peace. He spoke particularly of
the President's speech of January twenty-second and said that
in that speech the President had made it plain that he considered
that the answer of the Entente Powers to his Peace Note formed a
basis for peace, which was a thing impossible for Germany even
to consider; and said further (and this was a criticism I heard
not only from him, but also from many Germans), that when the
President spoke of a united and independent Poland he evidently
meant to take away from Germany that part of Poland which had been
incorporated in the Kingdom of Prussia and give it to this new
and independent Kingdom, thereby bringing the Eastern frontier of
Germany within two hours by motor from Berlin; and that, further,
when the President spoke of giving each nation a highway to the
sea, he meant that the German port of Dantzig should be turned over
to this new State of Poland, thereby not only taking a Prussian
port but cutting the extreme Eastern part of Prussia from the
remainder of the country. I said that these objections appeared
to me very frivolous; that the President, of course, like a clever
lawyer endeavouring to gain his end, which was peace, had said
that all parties were apparently agreed that there should be a
peace; that if Germany were fighting a merely defensive war,
as she had always claimed, she should be greatly delighted when
the President declared that all the weight of America was in
favor of a peace without victory, which meant, of course, that
Germany should be secured from that crushing and dismemberment
which Germany's statesmen had stated so often that they feared.
I said, further, that I was sure that when the President spoke
of the united and independent State of Poland he had not, of
course, had reference to Poland at any particular period of its
history, but undoubtedly to Poland as constituted by Germany
and Austria themselves; and that, in referring to the right of
a nation to have access to the sea, he had in mind Russia and
the Dardanelles rather than to any attempt to take a Prussian
port for the benefit of Poland.

Von Bethmann-Hollweg said that one of the principal reasons why
Germany had determined upon a resumption of ruthless submarine
warfare was because of this speech of the President to the American
Senate. Of course, the trouble with this feeling and the criticism
of the President's speech made by the Chancellor is that the
orders for the resumption of ruthless submarine warfare had been
given long before the news of the speech came to Germany.

I had cabled the information collected by Commander Gherardi
as to the orders given to submarines long before the date of
the President's speech, and it happened that on the night after
I had received the German note announcing this resumption I was
taking a walk after dinner about the snow-covered streets of
Berlin. In the course of this walk I met a young German woman of
my acquaintance who was on intimate terms with the Crown Princess.
She was on her way on foot from the opera house, where she had
been with the Crown Princess, to the underground station, for
by this time, of course, taxis had become an unknown luxury in
Berlin, and I joined her. I told her of the Ultimatum which, I
had received at six o'clock that evening from Zimmermann and I
told her that I was sure that it meant the breaking of diplomatic
relations and our departure from Germany. She expressed great
surprise that the submarine warfare was set to commence on the
thirty-first of January and said that weeks before they had been
talking over the matter at the Crown Princess's and that she
had heard then that the orders had been given to commence it on
the fifteenth. In any event it is certain that the orders to the
submarine commanders had been given long prior to the thirty-first
and probably as early as the fifteenth.

I sincerely believe that the only object of the Germans in making
these peace offers was first to get the Allies, if possible, in
a conference and there detach some or one of them by the offer
of separate terms; or, if this scheme failed, then it was believed
that the general offer and talk about peace would create a sentiment
so favourable to the Germans that they might, without fear of
action by the United States, resume ruthless submarine warfare
against England.

A week or two before the thirty-first of January, Dr. Solf asked
me if I did not think that it would be possible for the United
States to permit the resumption of ruthless submarine warfare
against Great Britain. He said that three months time was all
that would be required to bring Great Britain to her knees and end
the war. And in fact so cleverly did von Tirpitz, Grand Admiral
von Meuster, the Conservatives and the enemies of the Chancellor
and other advocates of submarine war carry on their propaganda
that the belief was ingrained in the whole of the German nation
that a resumption of this ruthless war would lead within three
months to what all Germans so ardently desired--peace. It was
impossible for any government to resist the popular demand for
the use of this illegal means of warfare, because army and navy
and people were convinced that ruthless submarine war spelled
success and a glorious peace.

But this peace, of course, meant only a German peace, a peace
as outlined to me by the Chancellor; a peace impossible for the
Allies and even for the world to accept; a peace which would
leave Germany immensely powerful and ready immediately after
the war to take up a campaign against the nations of the Western
hemisphere; a peace which would compel every nation, so long
as German autocracy remained in the saddle, to devote its best
energies, the most fruitful period of each man's life, to
preparations for war.

On January thirtieth, I received a definite intimation of the
coming Ultimatum the next day and, judging that the hint meant
the resumption of ruthless submarine war, I telegraphed a warning
to the American Ambassadors and Ministers as well as to the State
Department. On January thirty-first at about four o'clock in the
afternoon I received from Zimmermann a short letter of which
the following is a copy:

  "The Secretary of State of the Foreign Office, Zimmermann,
  requests the honor of the visit of his Excellency, the
  Ambassador of the United States of America, this afternoon
  at six o'clock in the Foreign Office, Wilhelmstrasse 75/76.

  "Berlin, the 31st January, 1917."

Pursuant to this letter, I went to the Foreign Office at six
o'clock. Zimmermann then read to me in German a note from the
Imperial Government, announcing the creation of the war zones
about Great Britain and France and the commencement of ruthless
submarine warfare at twelve P. M. that night. I made no comment,
put the note in my pocket and went back to the Embassy. It was
then about seven P. M. and, of course, the note was immediately
translated and despatched with all speed to America.

After the despatch of the note I had an interview with the Chancellor
in which he, as I have stated above, criticised both the Peace
Note of December eighteenth as not being definite enough and
the speech to the Senate of January twenty-second; and further
said that he believed that the situation had changed, that, in
spite of what the President had said in the note before the
_Sussex_ settlement, he was now for peace, that he had been
elected on a peace platform, and that nothing would happen.
Zimmermann at the time he delivered the note told me that this
submarine warfare was a necessity for Germany, and that Germany
could not hold out a year on the question of food. He further
said, "Give us only two months of this kind of warfare and we
shall end the war and make peace within three months."

Saturday, February third, the President announced to Congress
the breaking of diplomatic relations with Germany. The news of
this, of course, did not reach Berlin until the next day; and on
this Saturday afternoon Mrs. Gerard and I had an engagement to go
to the theatre with Zimmermann and Mrs. Friedlaender-Fuld-Mitford,
a young lady whose father is considered the richest man in Berlin,
and who had been married to a young Englishman, named Mitford, a
son of Lord Redesdale. Through no fault on the lady's part, there
had been an annulment of this marriage; and she was occupying a
floor of her own in the handsome house of her father and mother
on the Pariser-Platz in Berlin. We stopped for Mrs. Mitford and
took her to the theatre where we saw a very clever play, I think
by Thoma, called "Die Verlorene Tochter" (The Prodigal Daughter).
Zimmermann did not come to the play but joined us later at the
Friedlaender-Fuld House where we had a supper of four in Mrs.
Mitford's apartments. After supper, while I was talking to
Zimmermann, he spoke of the note to America and said: "During
the past month, this is what I have been doing so often at the
General Headquarters with the Emperor. I often thought of telling
you what was going on as I used to tell you in the old days,
but I thought that you would only say that such a course would
mean a break of diplomatic relations, and so I thought there was
no use in telling you. But as you will see, everything will be
all right. America will do nothing, for President Wilson is for
peace and nothing else. Everything will go on as before. I have
arranged for you to go to the Great General Headquarters and see
the Kaiser next week and everything will be all right."

The next day, Sunday, we had a German who is connected with the
Foreign Office and his American wife to lunch, and another German
who had been in America, also connected with the Foreign Office.
Just as we were going in to lunch some one produced a copy of the
"_B. Z._", the noon paper published in Berlin, which contained what
seemed to be an authentic account of the breaking of diplomatic
relations by America. The lunch was far from cheerful. The Germans
looked very sad and said practically nothing, while I tried to
make polite conversation at my end of the table.

The next day I went over to see Zimmermann, having that morning
received the official despatch from Washington, and told him
that I had come to demand my passports.

Of course, Zimmermann by that time had received the news and
had had time to compose himself. The American correspondents
told me that when he saw them on the day before, he had at first
refused to say anything and then had been rather violent in his
language and had finally shown great emotion. I am sure, from
everything I observed, that the break of diplomatic relations
came as an intense surprise to him and to the other members of
the government, and yet I cannot imagine why intelligent men
should think that the United States of America had fallen so low
as to bear without murmur this sudden kick in the face.

The police who had always been about our Embassy since the
commencement of the war, were now greatly increased in numbers;
and guarded not only the front of the house, but also the rear and
the surrounding streets; but there was no demonstration whatever
on the part of the people of Berlin. On Tuesday afternoon I went
out for a walk, walking through most of the principal streets
of Berlin, absolutely alone, and on my return to the Embassy
I found Count Montgelas, who, with the rank of Minister, was
at the head of the department which included American affairs
in the Foreign Office. I asked Montgelas why I had not received
my passports, and he said that I was being kept back because
the Imperial Government did not know what had happened to Count
Bernstorff and that there had been rumours that the German ships
in America had been confiscated by our government. I said that
I was quite sure that Bernstorff was being treated with every
courtesy and that the German ships had not been confiscated. I
said, moreover, "I do not see why I have to disprove your idea that
Bernstorff is being maltreated and the German ships confiscated. It
seems to me it is for you to prove this; and, at any event, why
don't you have the Swiss Government, which now represents you,
cable to its Minister in Washington and get the exact facts?" He
said, "Well, you know, the Swiss are not used to cabling."

He then produced a paper which was a re-affirmation of the treaty
between Prussia and the United States of 1799, with some very
extraordinary clauses added to it. He asked me to read this over
and either to sign it or to get authority to sign it, and said
that if it was not signed it would be very difficult for Americans
to leave the country, particularly the American correspondents.
I read this treaty over and then said, "Of course I cannot sign
this on my own responsibility and I will not cable to my government
unless I can cable in cipher and give them my opinion of this
document." He said, "That is impossible." This treaty was as

  Agreement between Germany and the United States of America
  concerning the treatment of each other's citizens and their
  private property after the severance of diplomatic relations.

  _Article 1._

  After the severance of diplomatic relations between Germany and
  the United States of America and in the event of the outbreak of
  war between the two Powers the citizens of either party and their
  private property in the territory of the other party shall be
  treated according to Article 23 of the treaty of amity and
  commerce between Prussia and the United States of 11 July, 1799,
  with the following explanatory and supplementary clauses.

  _Article 2._

  German merchants in the United States and American merchants
  in Germany shall so far as the treatment of their persons and
  their property is concerned be held in every respect on a par
  with the other persons mentioned in Article 23. Accordingly
  they shall even after the period provided for in Article 23 has
  elapsed be entitled to remain and continue their profession in
  the country of their residence.

  Merchants as well as the other persons mentioned in Article 23
  may be excluded from fortified places or other places of military

  _Article 3._

  Germans in the United States and Americans in Germany shall
  be free to leave the country of their residence within the
  times and by the routes that shall be assigned to them by the
  proper authorities.

  The persons departing shall be entitled to take along their
  personal property including money, valuables and bank accounts
  excepting such property the exportation of which is prohibited
  according to general provisions.

  _Article 4._

  The protection of Germans in the United States and of Americans
  in Germany and of their property shall be guaranteed in accordance
  with the laws existing in the countries of either party. They
  shall be under no other restrictions concerning the enjoyment of
  their private rights and the judicial enforcement of their rights
  than neutral residents; they may accordingly not be transferred
  to concentration camps nor shall their private property be subject
  to sequestration or liquidation or other compulsory alienation
  except in cases that under the existing laws apply also to neutrals.

  As a general rule, German property in the United States and
  American property in Germany shall not be subject to sequestration
  or liquidation or other compulsory alienation under other
  conditions than neutral property.

  _Article 5._

  Patent rights or other protected rights held by Germans in the
  United States or Americans in Germany shall not be declared
  void; nor shall the exercise of such rights be impeded nor shall
  such rights be transferred to others without the consent of the
  person entitled thereto; provided that regulations made exclusively
  in the interest of the State shall apply.

  _Article 6._

  Contracts made between Germans and Americans either before or
  after the severance of diplomatic relations, also obligations
  of all kinds between Germans and Americans shall not be declared
  cancelled, void or in suspension except under provisions applicable
  to neutrals.

  Likewise the citizens of either party shall not be impeded in
  fulfilling their liabilities arising from such obligations either
  by injunctions or by other provisions unless these apply also to

  _Article 7._

  The provisions of the sixth Hague Convention relative to the
  treatment of enemy merchant ships at outbreak of hostilities
  shall apply to the merchant vessels of either party and their

  The aforesaid ships may not be forced to leave port unless at
  the same time they be given a pass recognised as binding by all
  the enemy sea powers to a home port or a port of an allied country
  or to another port of the country in which the ship happens to be.

  _Article 8._

  The regulations of chapter 3 of the eleventh Hague Convention
  relative to certain restrictions in the exercise of the right
  of capture in maritime war shall apply to the captains, officers
  and members of the crews of merchant ships specified in Article
  7 and of such merchant ships that may be captured in the course
  of a possible war.

  _Article 9._

  This agreement shall apply also to the colonies and other
  foreign possessions of either party.

  Berlin, February, 1917.

I then said, "I shall not cable at all. Why do you come to me with
a proposed treaty after we have broken diplomatic relations and
ask an Ambassador who is held as a prisoner to sign it? Prisoners
do not sign treaties and treaties signed by them would not be
worth anything." And I also said, "After your threat to keep
Americans here and after reading this document, even if I had
authority to sign it I would stay here until hell freezes over
before I would put my name to such a paper."

Montgelas seemed rather rattled, and in his confusion left the
paper with me--something, I am sure, he did not intend to do
in case of a refusal. Montgelas was an extremely agreeable man
and I think at all times had correctly predicted the attitude
of America and had been against acts of frightfulness, such as
the torpedoing of the _Lusitania_ and the resumption of
ruthless submarine war. I am sure that a gentleman like Montgelas
undertook with great reluctance to carry out his orders in the
matter of getting me to sign this treaty.

I must cheerfully certify that even the most pro-German American
correspondents in Berlin, when I told them of Montgelas' threat,
showed the same fine spirit as their colleagues. All begged me
not to consider them or their liberty where the interests of
America were involved.

As soon as diplomatic relations were broken, and I broke them
formally not only in my conversation with Zimmermann of Monday
morning but also by sending over a formal written request for my
passports on the evening of that day, our telegraph privileges were
cut off. I was not even allowed to send telegrams to the American
consuls throughout Germany giving them their instructions. Mail
also was cut off, and the telephone. My servants were not even
permitted to go to the nearby hotel to telephone. In the meantime
we completed our preparations for departure. We arranged to turn
over American interests, and the interests of Roumania and Serbia
and Japan, to the Spanish Embassy; and the interests of Great
Britain to the Dutch. I have said already that I believe that
Ambassador Polo de Bernabe will faithfully protect the interests
of America, and I believe that Baron Gevers will fearlessly fight
the cause of the British prisoners.

We sold our automobiles; and two beautiful prize winning saddle
horses, one from Kentucky and one from Virginia, which I had
brought with me from America, went on the stage, that is, I sold
them to the proprietor of the circus in Berlin!

The three tons of food which we had brought with us from America
we gave to our colleagues in the diplomatic corps,--the Spaniards,
Greeks, Dutch and the Central and South Americans. I had many
friends among the diplomats of the two Americas who were all
men of great ability and position in their own country. I think
that most of them know only too well the designs against Central
and South America cherished by the Pan-Germans.

Finally, I think on the morning of Friday, Mr. Oscar King Davis,
correspondent of the _New York Times_, received a wireless
from Mr. Van Anda, editor of the _New York Times_, telling
him that Bernstorff and his staff were being treated with every
courtesy and that the German ships had not been confiscated. In
the evening our telephone was reconnected, and we were allowed to
receive some telegrams and to send open telegrams to the consuls,
etc. throughout Germany; and we were notified that we would probably
be allowed to leave the next day in the evening.

Always followed by spies, I paid as many farewell visits to my
diplomatic colleagues as I was able to see; and on Saturday I
thought that, in spite of the ridiculous treatment accorded us in
cutting off the mail and telephone and in holding me for nearly
a week, I would leave in a sporting spirit: I therefore, had
my servant telephone and ask whether Zimmermann and von
Bethmann-Hollweg would receive me. I had a pleasant farewell
talk of about half an hour with each of them and I expressly told
the Chancellor that I had come to bid him a personal farewell,
not to make a record for any White Book, and that anything he
said would remain confidential. I also stopped in to thank Dr.
Zahn, of the Foreign Office, who had arranged the details of our
departure and gave him a gold cigarette case as a souvenir of
the occasion. At the last moment, the Germans allowed a number
of the consuls and clerks who had been working in the Embassy,
and the American residents in Berlin, to leave on the train with
us; so that we were about one hundred and twenty persons in all
on this train, which left the Potsdamer station at eight-ten in
the evening. The time of our departure had not been publicly
announced, but although the automobiles, etc. in front of the
Embassy might have attracted a crowd, there was no demonstration
whatever; and, in fact, during this week that I was detained in
Berlin I walked allover the city every afternoon and evening,
went into shops, and so on, without encountering any hostile

There was a large crowd in the station to see us off. All the
Spanish Embassy, Dutch, Greeks and many of our colleagues from
Central and South America were there. There were, from the Foreign
Office, Montgelas, Dr. Roediger, Prittwitz and Horstmann. As the
train pulled out, a number of the Americans left in Berlin who
were on the station platform raised quite a vigorous cheer.

Two officers had been sent by the Imperial Government to accompany
us on this train; one, a Major von der Hagen, sent by the General
Staff and the other, a representative of the Foreign Office, Baron
Wernher von Ow-Wachendorf. It was quite thoughtful of the Foreign
Office to send this last officer, as it was by our efforts that
he had secured his exchange when he was a prisoner in England;
and he, therefore, would be supposed to entertain kindly feelings
for our Embassy.

I had ordered plenty of champagne and cigars to be put on the
train and we were first invited to drink champagne with the officers
in the dining car; then they joined us in the private salon car
which we occupied in the end of the train. The journey was
uneventful. Outside some of the stations a number of people were
drawn up who stared at the train in a bovine way, but who made
no demonstration of any kind.

We went through Württemburg and entered Switzerland by way of
Schaffhausen. The two officers left us at the last stop on the
German side. I had taken the precaution before we left Berlin to
find out their names, and, as they left us, I gave each of them
a gold cigarette case inscribed with his name and the date.

At the first station on the Swiss side a body of Swiss troops
were drawn up, presenting arms, and the Colonel commanding the
Swiss army (there are no generals in Switzerland), attended by
several staff officers, came on the train and travelled with
us nearly to Zurich.

I started to speak French to one of these staff officers, but
he interrupted me by saying in perfect English, "You do not have
to speak French to me. My name is Iselin, many of my relations
live in New York and I lived there myself some years."

At Zurich we left the German special train, and were met on the
platform by some grateful Japanese, the American Consul and a
number of French and Swiss newspaper reporters, thus ending our
exodus from Germany.



I have already expressed a belief that Germany will not be forced
to make peace because of a revolution, and that sufficient food
will be somehow found to carry the population during at least
another year of war.

What then offers a prospect of reasonable peace, supposing, of
course, that the Germans fail in the submarine blockade of England
and that the crumbling up of Russia does not release from the
East frontier soldiers enough to break the lines of the British
and French in France?

I think that it is only by an evolution of Germany herself toward
liberalism that the world will be given such guarantees of future
peace as will justify the termination of this war.

There is, properly speaking, no great liberal party in the political
arena in Germany. As I have said, the Reichstag is divided roughly
into Conservatives, Roman Catholics, or Centrum, and Social
Democrats. The so-called National Liberal party has in this war
shown itself a branch of the Conservative party, and on some issues
as bitter, as conservative, as the Junkers themselves. Herr
Bassermann and Herr Stresemann have not shown themselves leaders of
liberal thought, nor has their leadership been such as to inspire
confidence in their political sagacity.

It was Stresemann who on May thirtieth, 1916, said in the Reichstag
referring to President Wilson as a peacemaker, "We thrust the
hand of Wilson aside." On the day following, the day on which
the President announced to Congress the breaking of diplomatic
relations, news of that break had not yet arrived in Berlin and
Herr Stresemann on that peaceful Sunday morning was engaged in
making a speech to the members of the National Liberal party
in which he told them that as a result of his careful study of
the American situation, of his careful researches into American
character and politics, he could assure them that America would
never break with Germany. As he concluded his speech and sat
down amid the applause of his admirers, a German who had been
sitting in the back of the room rose and read from the noon paper,
the "_B. Z._", a despatch from Holland giving the news that
America had broken relations with Germany. The political skill
and foresight of Herr Stresemann may be judged from the above

The Socialists, or Social Democrats, more properly speaking,
have shown themselves in opposition to the monarchical form of
government in Germany. This has put them politically, militarily
and socially beyond the pale.

After a successful French attack in the Champagne, I heard it
said of a German woman, whose husband was thought to be killed,
that her rage and despair had been so great that she had said she
would become a Social Democrat; and her expression was repeated
as showing to what lengths grief had driven her. This girl was
the wife of an ordinary clerk working in Berlin.

The Social Democrats are not given offices, are not given titles:
they never join the class of "_Rat_," and they cannot hope
to become officers of the army. Did not Lieutenant Forstner,
the notorious centre of the Zabern Affair, promise a reward to
the first one of his men who in case of trouble should shoot
one "of those damn Social Democrats"?

There is, therefore, no refuge at present politically, for the
reasonable men of liberal inclinations; and it is these liberal
men who must themselves create a liberal party: a party, membership
in which will not entail a loss of business, a loss of prospects
of promotion and social degradation.

There are many such men in Germany to-day; perhaps some of the
conservative Socialists will join such a party, and there are
men in the government itself whose habits of mind and thought
are not incompatible with membership in a liberal organisation.
The Chancellor himself is, perhaps, at heart a Liberal. He comes
of a banking family in Frankfort and while there stands before
his name the "von" which means nobility, and while he owns a
country estate, the whole turn of his thought is towards a
philosophical liberalism. Zimmermann, the Foreign Secretary,
although the mental excitement caused by his elevation to the
Foreign Office at a time of stress, made him go over to the advocates
of ruthless submarine war, lock, stock and barrel, is nevertheless
at heart a Liberal and violently opposed to a system which draws
the leaders of the country from only one aristocratic class.
Dr. Solf, the Imperial Colonial Minister, while devoted to the
Emperor and his family is a man so reasonable in his views, so
indulgent of the views of others, and indulgent without weakness,
that he would make an ideal leader of a liberalised Germany.
The great bankers, merchants and manufacturers, although they
appreciate the luscious dividends that they have received during
the peaceful years since 1870, nevertheless feel under their
skins the ignominy of living in a country where a class exists
by birth, a class not even tactful enough to conceal its ancient
contempt for all those who soil their hands business or trade.

In fact such a party is a necessity for Germany as a buffer against
the extreme Social Democrats.

At the close of the war the soldiers who have fought in the mud
of the trenches for three years will most insistently demand a
redistricting of the Reichstag and an abolition of the inadequate
circle voting of Prussia. And when manhood suffrage comes in
Prussia and when the industrial population of Germany gets that
representation in the Reichstag out of which they have been brazenly
cheated for so many years, it may well be that a great liberal
party will be the only defence of private property against the
assault of an enraged and justly revengeful social democracy.

The workingmen of Germany have been fooled for a long time. They
constitute that class of which President Lincoln spoke, "You
can fool some of the people all of the time"; and the middle
class of manufacturers, merchants, etc. have acquiesced in the
system because of the profits that they have made.

The difficulty of making peace with Germany, as at present
constituted, is that the whole world feels that peace made with
its present government would not be lasting; that such a peace
would mean the detachment of some of the Allies from the present
world alliance against Germany; preparation by Germany, in the
light of her needs as disclosed by this war; and the declaration
of a new war in which there would be no battle of the Marne to
turn back the tide of German world conquest.

For a long time before this war, radicals in Great Britain pinned
a great faith to the Socialist party of Germany. How little that
faith was justified appeared in July and August of 1914 when the
Socialist party tamely voted credits for the war; a war declared
by the Emperor on the mere statement that it was a defensive
war; declared because it was alleged that certain invasions of
German territory, never since substantiated, had taken place.

The Socialist party is divided. It is a great pity that the world
cannot deal with men of the type of Scheidemann, who, in other
democracies, would appear so conservative as to be almost
reactionary. But Scheidemann and his friends, while they have,
in their attempted negotiations with the Socialists of other
countries, the present protection of the Imperial Government,
will have no hand in dictating terms of peace so long as that
government is in existence. They are being used in an effort
to divide the Allies.

As President Wilson said in his message to Russia of May
twenty-sixth, 1917: "The war has begun to go against Germany,
and, in their desperate desire to escape the inevitable ultimate
defeat, those who are in authority in Germany are using every
possible instrumentality, are making use even of the influence of
the groups and parties among their own subjects to whom they have
never been just or fair or even tolerant to promote a propaganda on
both sides of the sea which will preserve for them their influence
at home and their power abroad, to the undoing of the very men
they are using."

There is an impression abroad that the Social Democratic party
of Germany, usually known abroad as the Socialist party, partakes
of at least some of the characteristics of a great liberal party.
This is far from being the case. By their acts, if not by their
express declarations, they have shown themselves as opposed to
the monarchical form of government and their leaders are charged
with having declared themselves openly in favour of free love
and against religion. The Roman Catholic Church recognises in
Social Democracy its greatest enemy, and has made great efforts
to counteract its advance by fostering a sort of Roman Catholic
trades-union for a religious body of Socialists. The Social Democrat
in Germany is almost an outcast. Although one third of the members
of the Reichstag belong to this party, its members are never
called to hold office in the government; and the attitude of
the whole of the governing class, of all the professors,
school-teachers, priests of both Protestant and Roman Catholic
religions of the prosperous middle classes, is that of violent
opposition to the doctrines of Social Democracy. The world must
entertain no illusion that the Social Democratic leaders speak
for Germany.

If the industrial populations had their fair share of representation
in the Reichstag they might perhaps even control that body. But,
as I have time and again reiterated, the Reichstag has only the
power of public opinion; and the Germany of to-day is ruled by
officials appointed from above downwards. All of these officials in
Germany must be added to the other classes that I have mentioned.
There are more officials there than in any other country in the
world. As they owe their very existence to the government, they
must not only serve that government, but also make the enemies
of that government their own. Therefore, they and the circle
of their connections are opponents of the Social Democrats.

All this shows how difficult it is at present for the men of
reasonable and liberal views, who do not wish to declare themselves
against both religion and morality, to find a political refuge.

The Chancellor, himself a liberal at heart, as I have said, has
declared that there must be changes in Germany. It is perhaps
within the bounds of probability that a great new liberal party
will be formed to which I have referred, composed of the more
conservative Social Democrats, of the remains of the National
Liberal and Progressive parties and of the more liberal of the
Conservatives. The important question is then whether the Roman
Catholic party or Centrum will voluntarily dissolve and its members
cease to seek election merely as representatives of the Roman
Catholic Church.

It is perhaps too much to expect that the Centrum party, as a
whole and as at present constituted, will declare for liberalism
and parliamentary government and for a fair redistricting of
the divisions in Germany which elect members to the Reichstag,
but there are many wise and farseeing men in this party; and
its leaders, Dr. Spahn and Erzberger, are fearless and able men.

For some years a movement has been going on in the Centrum party
looking to this end. Many members believed that the time had
come when it was no longer necessary that the Roman Catholics
in order to safeguard their religious liberties continue the
political existence of the Centrum, and attempts were made to
bring about this change. It was decided adversely, however, by
the Roman Catholics. But the question is not dead. Voluntary
dissolution of the Centrum as a Roman Catholic party would
immediately bring about a creation of a true liberal party to
which all Germans could belong without a loss of social prestige,
without becoming declared enemies of the monarchy and without
declaring themselves against religion and morality.

At the Congress which will meet after the war it will be easy
for the nations of the world to deal with the representatives
of a liberal Germany, with representatives of a government still
monarchical in form, but possessed of either a constitution like
that of the United States or ruled by a parliamentary government.
I believe that the tendency of German liberalism is towards the
easiest transition, that of making the Chancellor and his ministers
responsible to the Reichstag and bound to resign after a vote
of want of confidence by that body.

At the time of the Zabern Affair, Scheidemann claimed that the
resignation of the Chancellor must logically follow a vote of
want of confidence; and it was von Bethmann-Hollweg who refused
to resign, saying that he was responsible to the Emperor alone.
It requires no violent change to bring about this establishment
of parliamentary government, and, if the members of the Reichstag
should be elected from districts fairly constituted, the world
would then be dealing with a liberalised Germany, and a Germany
which has become liberalised without any violent change in the
form of its government.

Of course, coincident with this parliamentary reform, the vicious
circle system of voting in Prussia must end.

This change to a government by a responsible ministry can be
accomplished under the constitution of the German Empire by a
mere majority vote of the Reichstag and a vote in the Bundesrat,
in which less than fourteen votes are against the proposed change
in the constitution. This means that the consent of the Emperor
as Prussian King must be obtained, and that of a number of the
rulers of the German States.

In the reasonable liberalisation of Germany, if it comes, Theodor
Wolff and his father-in-law, Mosse, will play leading parts.
The great newspaper, the _Tageblatt_, which Mosse owns and
Wolff edits, has throughout the war been a beacon light at once
of reason and of patriotism. And other great newspapers will
take the same enlightened course.

I am truly sorry for Georg Bernhard, the talented editor of the
_Vossiche Zeitung_, who, a Liberal and a Jew, wears the
livery of Junkerdom, I am sure to his great distaste.

After I left Germany the _Vossiche Zeitung_ made the most
ridiculous charges against me, such as that I issued American
passports to British subjects. The newspaper might as well have
solemnly charged that I sent notes to the Foreign Office in sealed
envelopes. Having charge of British interests, I could not issue
British passports to British citizens allowed to leave Germany,
but, according to universal custom in similar cases and the express
consent of the Imperial Foreign Office, I gave these returning
British, American passports superstamped with the words "British
subject." A mare's nest, truly!

The fall of von Bethmann-Hollweg was a triumph of kitchen intrigue
and of Junkerism. I believe that he is a liberal at heart, that
it was against his best judgment that the ruthless submarine
war was resumed, the pledges of the _Sussex_ Note broken
and Germany involved in war with America. If he had resigned,
rather than consent to the resumption of V-boat war, he would
have stood out as a great Liberal rallying point and probably
have returned to a more real power than he ever possessed. But
half because of a desire to retain office, half because of a
mistaken loyalty to the Emperor, he remained in office at the
sacrifice of his opinions; and when he laid down that office no
title of Prince or even of Count waited him as a parting gift.
In his retirement he will read the lines of Schiller--a favourite
quotation in Germany--"Der Mohr hat seine Schuldigkeit gethan,
der Mohr kann gehen." "The Moor has done his work, the Moor can
go." And in his old age he will exclaim, as Shakespeare makes
the great Chancellor of Henry the Eighth exclaim, "Oh Cromwell,
Cromwell! Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served
my King, He would not, in mine age, have left me naked to mine
enemies." But this God is not the private War God of the Prussians
with whom they believe they have a gentlemen's working agreement,
but the God of Christianity, of humanity and of all mankind.

It would have been easier for Germany to make peace with von
Bethmann-Hollweg at the helm. The whole world knows him and honours
him for his honesty.

Helfferich remained as Vice-Chancellor and Minister of the Interior:
a powerful, and agile intellect, a man, I am sure, opposed to
militarism. Reasonable in his views, one can sit at the council
table with him and arrive at compromises and results, but his
intense patriotism and surpassing ability make him an opponent
to be feared.

Kühlmann has the Foreign Office. Far more wily than Zimmermann,
he will continue to strive to embroil us with Japan and Mexico,
but he will not be caught. Second in command in London, he reported
then that England would enter the war. The rumours scattered
broadcast, as he took office, to the effect that he was opposed
to ruthless V-boat war were but evidences of a more skilful hand
in a campaign to predispose the world in his favour and, therefore,
to assist him in any negotiations he might have on the carpet.
Beware of the wily Kühlmann!

Baiting the Chancellor is the favourite sport of German political
life. No sooner does the Kaiser name a Chancellor than hundreds
of little politicians, Reichstag members, editors, reporters
and female intriguers try to drive him from office. When von
Bethmann-Hollweg showed an inclination towards Liberalism, and
advocated a juster electoral system for Prussia, the Junkers, the
military and the upholders of the caste system joined their forces
to those of the usual intriguers; and it was only a question of
time until the Chancellor's official head fell in the basket.

His successor is a Prussian bureaucrat. No further description
is necessary.

Of course no nation will permit itself to be reformed from without.
The position of the world in arms with reference to Germany is
simply this. It is impossible to make peace with Germany as at
present constituted, because that peace will be but a truce,
a short breathing space before the German military autocrats
again send the sons of Germany to death in the trenches for the
advancement of the System and the personal glory and advantage
of stuffy old generals and prancing princes.

The world does not believe that a free Germany will needlessly
make war, believe in war for war's sake or take up the profession
of arms as a national industry.

The choice lies with the German people. And how admirably has
our great President shown that people that we war not with them
but with the autocracy which has led them into the shambles of



With the declaration of war the ultimate power in Germany was
transferred from the civil to the military authorities.

At five o'clock on the afternoon of Friday, and immediately after
the declaration of a State of War, the Guard of the Grenadier
Regiment Kaiser Alexander, under the command of a Lieutenant with
four drummers, took its place before the monument of Frederick
the Great in the middle of the Unter den Linden. The drummers
sounded a ruffle on their drums and the Lieutenant read an order
beginning with the words "By all highest order: A State of War
is proclaimed in Berlin and in the Province of Brandenburg."
This order was signed by General von Kessel as Over-Commander
of the Mark of Brandenburg; and stated that the complete power
was transferred to him; that the civil officials might remain
in office, but must obey the orders and regulations of the
Over-Commander; that house-searchings and arrests by officials
thereto empowered could take place at any time; that strangers
who could not show good reason for remaining in Berlin, had
twenty-four hours in which to leave; that the sale of weapons,
powder and explosives to civilians was forbidden; and that civilians
were forbidden to carry weapons without permission of the proper

The same transfer of authority took place in each army
corps--_Bezirk_, or province or district in Germany; and
in each army corps district or province the commanding general
took over the ultimate power. In Berlin it was necessary to create
a new officer, the Over-Commander of the Mark, because two army
corps, the third and the army corps of the guards, had their
head-quarters in Berlin. These army corps commanders were not
at all bashful about the use of the power thus transferred to
them. Some of them even prescribed the length of the dresses
to be worn by the women; and many women, having followed the
German sport custom of wearing knickerbockers in the winter sports
resorts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Generalkommando, or
Headquarters for Bavaria issued in January, 1917, the following
order: "The appearance of many women in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
has excited lively anger and indignation in the population there.
This bitterness is directed particularly against certain women,
frequently of ripe age, who do not engage in sports, but nevertheless
show themselves in public continually clad in knickerbockers. It
has even happened that women so dressed have visited churches
during the service. Such behaviour is a cruelty to the earnest
minds of the mountain population and, in consequence, there are
often many disagreeable occurrences in the streets. Officials,
priests and private citizens have turned to the Generalkommando
with the request for help; and the Generalkommando has, therefore,
empowered the district officials in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to
take energetic measures against this misconduct; if necessary
with the aid of the police."

I spent two days at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February, 1916.
Some of the German girls looked very well in their "knickers,"
but I agree with the Generalkommando that the appearance of some
of the older women was "cruelty" not only to the "earnest mountain
population" but to any observer.

These corps commanders are apparently responsible direct to the
Emperor; and therefore much of the difficulty that I had concerning
the treatment of prisoners was due to this system, as each corps
commander considered himself supreme in his own district not
only over the civil and military population but over the prison
camps within his jurisdiction.

On the fourth of August, 1914, a number of laws were passed,
which had been evidently prepared long in advance, making various
changes made necessary by war, such as alteration of the Coinage
Law, the Bank Law, and the Law of Maximum Prices. Laws as to
the high prices were made from time to time. For instance, the
law of the twenty-eighth of October, 1914, provided in detail
the maximum prices for rye in different parts of Germany. The
maximum price at wholesale per German ton of native rye must
not exceed 220 marks in Berlin, 236 marks in Cologne, 209 marks
in Koenigsberg, 228 marks in Hamburg, 235 marks in Frankfort a/M.

The maximum price for the German ton of native wheat was set at
forty marks per ton higher than the above rates for rye. This
maximum price was made with reference to deliveries without sacks
and for cash payments.

The law as to the maximum prices applied to all objects of daily
necessity, not only to food and fodder but to oil, coal and wood.
Of course, these maximum prices were changed from time to time,
but I think I can safely state that at no time in the war, while
I was in Berlin, were the simple foods more expensive than in
New York.

The so-called "war bread," the staple food of the population,
which was made soon after the commencement of the war, was composed
partially of rye and potato flour. It was not at all unpalatable,
especially when toasted; and when it was seen that the war would
not be as short as the Germans had expected, the bread cards
were issued. That is, every Monday morning each person was given
a card which had annexed to it a number of little perforated
sections about the size of a quarter of a postage stamp, each
marked with twenty-five, fifty or one hundred. The total of these
figures constituted the allowance of each person in grammes per
week. The person desiring to buy bread either at a baker's or in
a restaurant must turn in these little stamped sections for an
amount equivalent to the weight of bread purchased. Each baker
was given a certain amount of meal at the commencement of each
week, and he had to account for this meal at the end of the week
by turning in its equivalent in bread cards.

As food became scarce, the card system was applied to meat, potatoes,
milk, sugar, butter and soap. Green vegetables and fruits were
exempt from the card system, as were for a long time chickens,
ducks, geese, turkeys and game. Because of these exemptions the
rich usually managed to live well, although the price of a goose
rose to ridiculous heights. There was, of course, much underground
traffic in cards and sales of illicit or smuggled butter, etc.
The police were very stern in their enforcement of the law and
the manager of one of the largest hotels in Berlin was taken to
prison because he had made the servants give him their allowance
of butter, which he in turn sold to the rich guests of the hotel.

No one over six years of age at the time I left could get milk
without a doctor's certificate. One result of this was that the
children of the poor were surer of obtaining milk than before
the war, as the women of the Frauendienst and social workers
saw to it that each child had its share.

The third winter of the war, owing to a breakdown of means of
transportation and want of laborers, coal became very scarce.
All public places, such as theatres, picture galleries, museums,
and cinematograph shows, were closed in Munich for want of coal.
In Berlin the suffering was not as great but even the elephants
from Hagenbeck's Show were pressed into service to draw the coal
carts from the railway stations.

Light was economized. All the apartment houses (and all Berlin
lives in apartment houses) were closed at nine o'clock. Stores
were forbidden to illuminate their show windows and all theatres
were closed at ten. Only every other street electric light was
lit; of the three lights in each lamp, only one.

As more and more men were called to the front, women were employed
in unusual work. The new underground road in Berlin is being
built largely by woman labour. This is not so difficult a matter
in Berlin as in New York, because Berlin is built upon a bed
of sand and the difficulties of rock excavation do not exist.
Women are employed on the railroads, working with pickaxes on
the road-bed. Women drive the great yellow post carts of Berlin.
There were women guards on the underground road, women conductors
on the tramways and women even become motor men on the tramcars.
Banks, insurance companies and other large business institutions
were filled with women workers who invaded the sacred precincts
of many military and governmental offices.

A curious development of the hate of all things foreign was the
hunt led by the Police President of Berlin, von Jagow (a cousin
of the Foreign Minister), for foreign words. Von Jagow and his
fellow cranks decided that all words of foreign origin must be
expunged from the German language. The title of the Hotel Bristol
on the Unter den Linden disappeared. The Hotel Westminster on
the same street became Lindenhof. There is a large hotel called
"The Cumberland," with a pastry department over which there was
a sign, the French word, _Confissérie_. The management was
compelled to take this sign down, but the hotel was allowed to
retain the name of Cumberland, because the father-in-law of the
Kaiser's only daughter is the Duke of Cumberland. The word
"chauffeur" was eliminated, and there, were many discussions as
to what should be substituted. Many declared for Kraftwagenfuhrer
or "power wagon driver."

But finally the word was Germanised as "Schauffoer." Prussians
took down the sign, _Confektion_, but the climax came when
the General in command of the town of Breslau wrote a confectioner
telling him to stop the use of the word "_bonbon_" in selling
his candy. The confectioner, with a sense of humour and a nerve
unusual in Germany, wrote back to the General that he would gladly
discontinue the use of the word "_bonbon_" when the General
ceased to call himself "General," and called the attention of
this high military authority to the fact that "General" was as
much a French word as "_bonbon_."

Unusual means were adopted in order to get all the gold coins
in the country into the Imperial Bank. There were signs in every
surface and underground car which read, "Whoever keeps back a
gold coin injures the Fatherland." And if a soldier presented
to his superiors a twenty mark gold piece, he received in return
twenty marks in paper money and two days leave of absence. In
like manner a school boy who turned in ten marks in gold received
ten marks in paper and was given a half holiday. Cinematograph
shows gave these patrons who paid in gold an extra ticket, good
for another day. An American woman residing at Berlin was awakened
one morning at eight o'clock by two police detectives who told
her that they had heard that she had some gold coins in her
possession, and that if she did not turn them in for paper money
they would wreck her apartment in their search for them. She,
therefore, gave them the gold which I afterwards succeeded in
getting the German Government to return to her. Later, the export
of gold was forbidden, and even travellers arriving with gold
were compelled to give it up in return for paper money.

While, of course, I cannot ascertain the exact amounts, I found,
nevertheless, that great quantities of food and other supplies
came into Germany from Holland and the Scandinavian countries,
particularly from Sweden. Now that we are in the war we should
take strong measures and cut off exports to these countries which
export food, raw material, etc. to Germany. Sweden is particularly
active in this traffic, but I understand that sulphur pyrites
are sent from Norway, and sulphuric acid made therefrom is an
absolute essential to the manufacture of munitions of war.

Potash, which is found as a mineral only in Germany and Austria,
was used in exchange of commodities with Sweden and in this way
much copper, lard, etc. reached Germany.

Early in the summer of 1915, the first demonstration took place
in Berlin. About five hundred women collected in front of the
Reichstag building. They were promptly suppressed by the police
and no newspaper printed an account of the occurrence. These
women were rather vague in their demands. They called von Buelow
an old fat-head for his failure in Italy and complained that the
whipped cream was not so good as before the war. There was some
talk of high prices for food, and the women all said that they
wanted their men back from the trenches.

       *       *       *       *       *

Early summer brought also a number of cranks to Berlin. Miss Jane
Addams and her fellow suffragists, after holding a convention
in Holland, moved on Berlin. I succeeded in getting both the
Chancellor and von Jagow to consent to receive them, a meeting to
which they looked forward with unconcealed perturbation. However,
one of them seems to have impressed Miss Addams, for, as I write
this, I read in the papers that she is complaining that we should
not have gone to war because we thereby risk hurting somebody's

       *       *       *       *       *

On July twenty-seventh, 1915, I reported that I had learned that
the Germans were picking out the Revolutionists and Liberals
from the many Russian prisoners of war, furnishing them with
money and false passports and papers, and sending them back to
Russia to stir up a revolution.

       *       *       *       *       *

A German friend of mine told me that a friend of his who manufactured
field glasses had received a large order from the Bulgarian
Government. This manufacturer went to the Foreign Office and
asked whether he should deliver the goods. He was told not only
to deliver them but to do it as quickly as possible. By learning
of this I was able to predict long in advance the entry of Bulgaria
on the side of the Central Powers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Even a year after the commencement of the war there were reasonable
people in Germany. I met Ballin, head of the great Hamburg American
Line, on August ninth. I said to him, "When are you going to
stop this crazy fighting?" The next day Ballin called on me and
said that the sensible people of Germany wanted peace and that
without annexation. He told me that every one was afraid to talk
peace, that each country thought it a sign of weakness, and that
he had advised the Chancellor to put a statement in an official
paper to say that Germany fought only to defend herself and was
ready to make an honourable peace. He told me that the Emperor at
that time was against the annexation of Belgium.

       *       *       *       *       *

In calculating the great war debt built up by Germany, it must
not be forgotten that German municipalities and other political
districts have incurred large debts for war purposes, such as
extra relief given to the wives and children of soldiers.

       *       *       *       *       *

In November, 1915, there were food disturbances and a serious
agitation against a continuance of the war; and, in Leipzig,
a Socialist paper was suppressed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The greatest efforts were made at all times to get in gold; and
some time before I left Germany an advertisement was published
in the newspapers requesting Germans to give up their jewelry for
the Fatherland. Many did so: among them, I believe, the Empress
and other royalties.

       *       *       *       *       *

In December, 1915, a prominent banker in Berlin said to me that
the Germans were sick of the war; that the Krupps and other big
industries were making great sums of money and were prolonging
the war by insisting upon the annexation of Belgium; and that
the Junkers were also in favour of the continuance of the war
because of the fact that they were getting four or five times
the money for their products while their work was being done by
prisoners. He said that the _Kaufleute_ (merchant middle class)
will have to pay the cost of the war and that the Junkers will
not be taxed.

       *       *       *       *       *

In December, butter became very scarce and the women waiting
in long lines before the shops often rushed the shops. In this
month many copper roofs were removed from buildings in Berlin.
I was told by a friend in the Foreign Office that the notorious
von Rintelen was sent to America to buy up the entire product of
the Dupont powder factories, and that he exceeded his authority
if he did anything else.

In December, on the night of the day of the peace interpellation
in the Reichstag a call was issued by placards for a meeting
on the Unter den Linden. I went out on the streets during the
afternoon and found that the police had so carefully divided
the city into districts that it was impossible for a crowd of
any size to gather on the Unter den Linden. There was quite a
row at the session in the Reichstag. Scheidemann, the Socialist,
made a speech very moderate in tone; but he was answered by the
Chancellor and then an endeavour was made to close the debate.
The Socialists made such a noise, however, that the majority gave
way and another prominent Socialist, Landsberger, was allowed
to speak for the Socialists. He also made a reasonable speech
in the course of which he said that even Socialists would not
allow Alsace-Lorraine to go back to France. He made use of a
rather good phrase, saying that the "Dis-United States of Europe
were making war to make a place for the United States of America."

       *       *       *       *       *

The banks sent out circulars to all holders of safe deposit boxes,
asking them to disclose the contents. This was part of the campaign
to get in hoarded gold.

       *       *       *       *       *

In January, 1916, we had many visitors. S. S. McClure, Hermann
Bernstein, Inez Milholland Boissevain--all of the Ford Peace
Ship--appeared in Berlin. I introduced Mrs. Boissevain to Zimmermann
who admired her extremely.

       *       *       *       *       *

In January, 1916, I visited Munich and from there a Bavarian
officer prison camp and the prison camp for private soldiers,
both at Ingolstadt. I also conferred with Archdeacon Nies of
the American Episcopal Church who carried on a much needed work
in visiting the prison camps in Bavaria.

       *       *       *       *       *

The American Colony in Munich maintained with the help of friends
in America, a Red Cross hospital under the able charge of Dr.
Jung, a Washington doctor, and his wife. The nursing was done by
American and German girls. The American Colony at Munich also fed
a number of school children every day. I regret to say, however,
that many of the Americans in Munich were loud in their abuse of
President Wilson and their native country.

       *       *       *       *       *

In March, 1916, I was sounded on the question of Germany's sending
an unofficial envoy, like Colonel House, to America to talk
informally to the President and prominent people. I was told that
Solf would probably be named.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1916, the importation of many articles of luxury into Germany
was forbidden. This move was naturally made in order to keep
money in the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Dane who had a quantity of manganese in Brazil sold it to a
Philadelphia firm for delivery to the United States Steel Company.
The German Government in some way learned of this and the Dane
was arrested and put in jail. His Minister had great difficulty
in getting him out.

       *       *       *       *       *

Liebknecht, in April of 1916, made matters lively at the Reichstag
sessions. During the Chancellor's speech, Liebknecht interrupted
him and said that the Germans were not free; next he denied that
the Germans had not wished war; and, another time, he called
attention to the attempts of the Germans to induce the Mohammedan
and Irish prisoners of war to desert to the German side. Liebknecht
finally enraged the government supporters by calling out that
the subscription to the loan was a swindle.

       *       *       *       *       *

After the _Sussex_ settlement I think that the Germans wished
to inaugurate an era of better feeling between Germany and the
United States. At any rate, and in answer to many anonymous attacks
made against me, the _North German Gazette_, the official
newspaper, published a sort of certificate from the government
to the effect that I was a good boy and that the rumours of my
bitter hostility to Germany were unfounded.

       *       *       *       *       *

In May, 1916, Wertheim, head of the great department store in
Berlin, told me that they had more business than in peace times.

       *       *       *       *       *

Early in June 1 had two long talks with Prince von Buelow. He
speaks English well and is suspected by his enemies of having
been polishing it up lately in order to make ready for possible
peace conferences. He is a man of a more active brain than the
present Chancellor, and is very restless and anxious in some
way to break into the present political situation.

       *       *       *       *       *

In June, the anonymous attacks on the Chancellor by pamphlet
and otherwise, incensed him to such a degree that he made an
open answer in the Reichstag and had rather the best of the
situation. Many anonymous lies and rumours were flying about
Berlin at this period, and even Helfferich had to deny publicly
the anonymous charges that he had been anonymously attacking
the Chancellor.

       *       *       *       *       *

In July, the committee called the National Committee for an
Honourable Peace was formed with Prince Wedel at its head. Most
of the people in this League were friends of the Chancellor, and
one of the three real heads was the editor of the
_Frankfurter Zeitung_, the Chancellor's organ. It was planned that
fifty speakers from this committee would begin to speak all over
Germany on August first, but when they began to speak their views
were so dissimilar and the speeches of most of them so ridiculous
that the movement failed.

       *       *       *       *       *

In August, I spent two Saturdays and Sundays at Heringsdorf,
a summer resort on the Baltic. Before going there I had to get
special permission from the military authorities through the
Foreign Office, as foreigners are not allowed to reside on the
coast of Germany. Regulations that all windows must be darkened
at night and no lights shown which could be seen from the sea
were strictly enforced by the authorities.

There are three bathing places. In each of them the bath houses,
etc. surround three sides of a square, the sea forming the fourth
side. Bathing is allowed only on this fourth side for a space
of sixty-five yards long. One of these bathing places is for
women and one for men, and the third is the so-called Familienbad
(family bath) where mixed bathing is allowed. German women are
very sensible in the matter of their bathing costumes and do
not wear the extraordinary creations seen in America. They wear
bathing sandals but no stockings, and, as most of them have fine
figures but dress badly, they appear at their best at Heringsdorf.
Both sea and air seemed somewhat cold for bathing. On account
of their sensible dress, most of the German women are expert

I noticed one very handsome blonde girl who sat on her bathing
mantle exciting the admiration of the beach because of her fine
figure. She suddenly dived into the pockets of the bathing mantle
and produced an enormous black bread sandwich which she proceeded
to consume quite unconsciously, after which she swam out to sea.
No healthy German can remain long separated from food; and I
noticed in the prospectus of the different boarding-houses at
Heringsdorf that patrons were offered, in addition to about four
meals or more a day, an extra sandwich to take to the beach to
be consumed during the bathing hour.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a beautiful little English church in Berlin which was
especially favoured by the Kaiser's mother during her life. Because
of this, the Kaiser permitted this church to remain open, and
the services were continued during the war. The pastor, Rev. Mr.
Williams, obtained permission to visit the British prisoners,
and most devotedly travelled from one prison camp to another.
Both he and his sister, whose charitable work for the British
deserves mention, were at one time thrown into jail, charged
with spying.

       *       *       *       *       *

I at first attended the hybrid American church, but when, in
1915, I think, the committee hired a German _woman_ preacher
I ceased to attend. The American, the Reverend Dr. Crosser, who
was in charge when I arrived in Berlin left, to my everlasting
regret, in the spring before the war.

       *       *       *       *       *

Poor Creelman, the celebrated newspaper correspondent, died in
Berlin. We got him in to a good hospital and some one from the
Embassy visited him every day.

The funeral services were conducted in the American Church by
the Rev. Dr. Dickie, long a resident of Berlin, whose wife had
presented the library to the American church. The Foreign Office
sent Herr Horstmann as its representative.

       *       *       *       *       *

While to-day all royalties and public men pose for the movies,
Czar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family are probably the first
royalties to act in a cinematograph. In 1916, there was released
in Berlin a play in which Czar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, his wife
and two daughters by a former wife appeared, acting as Bulgarian
royalties in the development of the plot.

       *       *       *       *       *

The difference between von Jagow and Zimmermann was that von
Jagow had lived abroad, had met people from all countries and
knew that there was much to learn about the psychology of the
inhabitants of countries other than Germany. Zimmermann, in the
early part of his career, had been consul at Shanghai; and, on
his way back, had passed through America, spending two days in
San Francisco and three in New York. He seemed to think that
this transcontinental trip had given him an intimate knowledge
of American character. Von Jagow, on the other hand, almost as
soon as war began, spent many hours talking to me about America
and borrowed from me books and novels on that country. The novel
in which he took the greatest interest was "Turmoil," by Booth

       *       *       *       *       *

I think there must have been a period quite recently when the
German Government tried to imbue the people with a greater degree
of frightfulness, because all of us in visiting camps, etc. observed
that the _landsturm_ men or older soldiers were much more merciful
than the younger ones.

       *       *       *       *       *

Alexander Cochran, a New York yachtsman, volunteered to become a
courier between the London Embassy and ours. On his first trip,
although he had two passports (his regular passport and a special
courier's passport), he was arrested and compelled to spend the
night on the floor of the guard-room at the frontier town of
Bentheim. This ended his aspirations to be a courier. He is now
a commander in the British Navy, having joined it with his large
steam yacht, the _Warrior_ some time before the United States
entered the war. In the piping times of peace he had been the
guest of the Emperor at Kiel.

       *       *       *       *       *

A British prisoner, who escaped from Ruhleben, was caught in a
curious manner. Prisoners in Ruhleben received bread from outside,
as I have explained in the chapter on prisoners of war. This bread
is white, something unknown in Germany since the war. The escaped
prisoner took with him some sandwiches made of the bread he had
received in Ruhleben and most incautiously ate one of these
sandwiches in a railway station. He was immediately surrounded
by a crowd of Germans anxious to know where he had obtained the
white bread, and, in this way, was detected and returned to prison.

       *       *       *       *       *

On our way out in September, 1916, we were given a large dinner
in Copenhagen by our skilful minister there, the Hon. Maurice
F. Egan, who has devoted many years of his life to the task of
adding the three beautiful Danish islands to the dominions of the
United States. He is an able diplomat, very popular in Copenhagen,
where he is dean of the diplomatic corps. At this dinner we met
Countess Hegerman-Lindencron, whose interesting books, "The Sunny
Side of Diplomatic Life" and "The Courts of Memory," have had
a large circulation in America. In Copenhagen, too, both on the
way out and in, we lunched with Count Rantzau-Brockedorff, then
German Minister there. Count Rantzau is skilful and wily, and not
at all military in his instincts; and, I should say, far more
inclined to arrive at a reasonable compromise than the average
German diplomat. He is a charming International, with none of the
rough points and aggressive manners which characterise so many
Prussian officials.

       *       *       *       *       *

In judging the German people, we must remember that, while they
have made great progress in the last forty years in commerce
and chemistry, the very little liberty they possess is a plant
of very recent growth. About the year 1780, Frederick the Great
having sent some money to restore the burned city of Greiffenberg,
in Silesia, the magistrates of that town called upon him to thank
him. They kneeled and their spokesman said, "We render unto your
Majesty in the name of the inhabitants of Greiffenberg, our humble
thanks for the most gracious gift which your Majesty deigned to
bestow in aid and to assist us in rebuilding our homes.

"The gratitude of such dust as we, is, as we are aware, of no
moment or value to you. We shall, however, implore God to grant
your Majesty His divine favours in return for your royal bounty."

Too many Germans, to-day, feel that they are mere dust before
the almost countless royalties of the German Empire. And these
royalties are too prone to feel that the kingdoms, dukedoms and
principalities of Germany and their inhabitants are their private
property. The Princes of Nassau and Anspach and Hesse, at the
time of our Revolution, sold their unfortunate subjects to the
British Government to be exported to fight the Americans. Our
American soil covers the bones of many a poor German peasant
who gave up his life in a war from which he gained nothing.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Frederick the Great, the model and exemplar of all German
royalties; died in 1786, he disposed of the Kingdom of Prussia
in his will as if it had been one of his horses. "I bequeath
unto my dear nephew, Frederick William, as unto my immediate
successor, the Kingdom of Prussia, the provinces, towns, palaces,
forts, fortresses, all ammunition and arsenals, all lands mine
by inheritance or right of conquest, the crown jewels, gold and
silver service of plate in Berlin, country houses, collections
of coins, picture galleries, gardens, and so forth." Contrast
this will with the utterances of Washington and Hamilton made
at the same time!

In the Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg, serfdom was not abolished
until 1819.

       *       *       *       *       *

The spies and the influencers of American correspondents made
their headquarters at a large Berlin hotel. A sketch of their
activities is given by de Beaufort in his book, "Behind the German

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the American correspondents in Berlin during the war great
credit should be given to Carl W. Ackerman and Seymour B. Conger,
correspondents of the United and Associated Presses respectively,
who at all times and in spite of their surroundings and in the
face of real difficulties preserved their Americanism unimpaired
and refused to succumb to the alluring temptations held out to
them. I do not mean to imply that the other correspondents were
not loyal, but the pro-Germanism of many of them unfortunately
gave the Imperial Foreign Office and the great general staff a
wrong impression of Americans. It is the splendid patriotism
under fire of Ackerman and Conger that deserves special mention.



I was credited by the Germans with having hoodwinked and jollied
the Foreign Office and the Government into refraining for two
years from using illegally their most effective weapon.

This, of course, is not so. I always told the Foreign Office the
plain simple truth and the event showed that I correctly predicted
the attitude of America.

Our American national game, poker, has given us abroad an unfair
reputation. We are always supposed to be bluffing. A book was
published in Germany about the President called, "President Bluff."

I only regret that those high in authority in Germany should
have preferred to listen to pro-German correspondents who posed
as amateur super-Ambassadors rather than to the authorised
representatives of America. I left Germany with a clear conscience
and the knowledge that I had done everything possible to keep
the peace.

An Ambassador, of course, does not determine the policy of his
own country. One of his principal duties, if not the principal
one, is to keep his own country informed--to know beforehand what
the country to which he is accredited will do, and I think that
I managed to give the State Department advance information of
the moves of the rulers of Germany.

I had the support of a loyal and devoted staff of competent
secretaries and assistants, and both Secretaries Bryan and Lansing
were most kind in the backing given by their very ably organised

I sent Secretary Lansing a confidential letter every week and, of
course, received most valuable hints from him. Secretary Lansing
was very successful in his tactful handling of the American
Ambassadors abroad and in getting them to work together as cheerful
members of the same team.

When I returned to America, after living for two and a half years
in the centre of this world calamity, everything seemed petty
and small. I was surprised that people could still seek little
advantages, still be actuated by little jealousies and revenges.
Freed from the round of daily work I felt for the first time the
utter horror and uselessness of all the misery these Prussian
military autocrats had brought upon the world; and what a reckoning
there will be in Germany some day when the plain people realise
the truth, when they learn what base motives actuated their rulers
in condemning a whole generation of the earth to war and death!

Is it not a shame that the world should have been so disturbed;
that peaceful men are compelled to lie out in the mud and filth
in the depth of raw winter, shot at and stormed at and shelled,
waiting for a chance to murder some other inoffensive fellow
creature? Why must the people in old Poland die of hunger, not
finding dogs enough to eat in the streets of Lemberg? The long
lines of broken peasants in Serbia and in Roumania; the population
of Belgium and Northern France torn from their homes to work
as slaves for the Germans; the poor prisoners of war starving
in their huts or working in factories and mines; the cries of
the old and the children, wounded by bombs from Zeppelins; the
wails of the mothers for their sons; the very rustling of the air
as the souls of the ten million dead sweep to another world,--why
must all these horrors come upon a fair green earth, where we
believed that love and help and friendship, genius and science
and commerce, religion and civilisation, once ruled?

It is because in the dark, cold Northern plains of Germany there
exists an autocracy, deceiving a great people, poisoning their
minds from one generation to another and preaching the virtue
and necessity of war; and until that autocracy is either wiped
out or made powerless, there can be no peace on earth.

The golden dream of conquest was almost accomplished. A little
more advance, a few more wagon loads of ammunition, and there
would have been no battle of the Marne, no Joffre, a modern Martel,
to hammer back the invading hordes of barbarism.

I have always stated that Germany is possessed yet of immense
military power; and, to win, the nations opposed to Germany must
learn to think in a military way. The mere entrance, even of
a great nation like our own, into the war, means nothing in a
military way unless backed by military power.

And there must be no German peace. The old _régime_, left
in control of Germany, of Bulgaria, of Turkey, would only seek
a favourable moment to renew the war, to strive again for the
mastery of the world.

Fortunately America bars the way,--America led by a fighting
President who win allow no compromise with brutal autocracy.










[Illustration: INVITATION TO SAIL ON S. M. J. "METEOR".]



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enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.