My Four Years in Germany
James W. Gerard

Part 4 out of 6

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. Th 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 Delbruck, 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, Delbruck, 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 Delbruck 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 Delbruck 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 Helie
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 Valencay.

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 Valencay. Before the last Prince of Sagan
died in France, his son Helie 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 Valencay 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 _Communiques_
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 Wurttemberg, 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-Mezieres, 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 chateau situated on a hill outside
of Charleville, known as either the Chateau 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:

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 chateau about a mile
off, where the Kaiser resided. We got out of the motor before
going into the courtyard of the chateau, and immediately I was
taken by the Chancellor into a garden on the gently sloping hillside
below the chateau. 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 chateau, 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 chateau
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


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