THE INSIDE OF GERMAN DIPLOMACY
The Diary Continued
October, 1915. There is a tendency
here to say Bernstorff went too far. But this
is all for the public, von Jagow told a correspondent
so to-day; but, of course, he did not know about the
note of Austria to Servia either! The Marine people
are positively raging. The paper which Reventlow
writes for, the Tages Zeitung, was suppressed
yesterday; I hear on account of an article on this
Arabic settlement, but I am not yet sure.
There is talk now of marching to Egypt.
More and more men are being called
to colours. But Germany seems to be able to take
care of all fronts. The Emperor is now in the
West. The Foreign Office leads the rejoicing over
the Entente’s invasion of Greece and the
violation of its neutrality and says that talk about
Belgium is now shown to be cant.
Weather is rotten and we shall have
a melancholy winter. Feel the war more deaths
and prices. Six hundred and eighty thousand killed
to October first, and many crippled. Food way
up, but they cannot starve Germany out.
Suppression of the Tages Zeitung
means that the Chancellor has at last exhibited some
backbone and will fight von Tirpitz. The answer
of Germany depends on the outcome of this fight.
It is possible that von Falkenhayn and the army party
may sustain the Chancellor as against von Tirpitz.
It is quite likely that a sort of safe conduct will
be offered in the note for ships especially engaged
in passenger trade. Much stress will be laid on
English orders to merchant ships to ram submarines.
The Kaiser is at Pless, a castle of
Prince of Pless, in Silesia, near Breslau, where he
moved after the attempt of French fliers to bombard
him at Charleville on the West Front. The Germans
probably will have Lemberg in a few days. This
may prevent Roumania coming in. There is talk
here of an attempted revolution in Moscow. There
is said to be jealousy of Hindenburg and on account
of this, Mackensen was put forward to be the hero of
the Galician Campaign. Captain Enochs, one of
our observers in Austria, was forced out of Austria
because of German pressure and our other military
observers will follow soon.
Many commercial magnates have arrived
in town to argue with the government against war with
America; but some are in favor of the continuance
of bitter submarine war, notably one who sees his
Bagdad railway menaced by possible English success
in the Dardanelles.
November, 1915. A man who saw
Tisza tells me the Serbs inquired if they could get
peace and retain their territories. They were
It is said that Italy has also felt
out for peace, but was answered that she must deal
with Austria alone and Austria says that
she will not include Italy in any general peace but
will wallop her alone after general peace is made.
I am working hard to get British prisoners
properly clothed. Winter is already here.
Efforts to starve Germany will not succeed. We
shall be on meat and butter cards, but that is only
a precaution. The people still are well in hand.
Constant rumours of peace keep them hopeful.
Men over forty-five not yet called. They seem
to have plenty of troops. The military are careless
of the public opinion of neutrals; they say they are
winning and do not need good opinion. I am really
afraid of war against us after this war if
Germany wins. We had snow, ice, and cold weather
at the end of October.
There have been uneasy movements among
the people in Leipzig, a great industrial centre,
and the Volkzeitung, a Socialist paper there,
has been put under permanent preventive censorship.
All these movements start with the
question of the price of food.
The Prussian Junkers, however, are
really benefited by the war. They get, even with
a high “stop price,” three times as much
as formerly for their agricultural products and pay
only a small sum, sixty pfennig daily, for the prisoners
of war who now work their fields. They may, in
addition, have to pay the keep of the prisoners, but
that is very small. Camp commanders are allowed
sixty-six pfennig per head per diem.
There is much talk of peace.
The shares of the Hamburg-American Line and the shares
of the Hamburg-South American Line have risen enormously
in price from fifty-six to one hundred and forty in
one case. This may be caused by an advantageous
sale of some shares of the Holland-American Line or
by promise of a subsidy, or by hopes of peace.
There is no question but that every
man under forty-five that can drag a rifle has been
drafted for the army, with the possible exception
of men working in railways, munitions, etc.
Yesterday I noticed many women working
on the roadbed of the railway.
The new Peruvian Minister is named
von der Heyde; his father was a German.
The Greek Minister still thinks Greece
will stay out of the war. His father is one of
The Germans are very glad to get rid
of Brand Whitlock. For some time they have been
looking for an excuse to expel him.
The dyestuff and other chemical manufacturers
are getting quite scared about possible American competition.
I hope the Democrats will give protection to these
new industries and will also enact some “anti-dumping”
The German cities are adding to the
general weight of debt by incurring large debts for
war purposes, such as relief of soldiers’ families,
The former Turkish Ambassador, who
is against the Young Turks, is living here. He
is afraid to go back and also the Germans are keeping
him in stock in case the Young Turks go out of power,
and possibly to stir up trouble in Egypt, as his wife
is a daughter of one of the Khédives.
There are lots of suspicious looking
Spaniards about, possibly cooking up an attack on
Any German peace talk includes payment
of a large subsidy by England, Russia, and France;
Italy to be left to Austria to finish.
The export of gold has now been formally forbidden.
There is no doubt whatever that the
population in the conquered portion of Poland has
been for a long time in need of food.
Our Military Attache, Colonel Kuhn,
just back from Servia, says the Germans have, literally,
stacks of ammunition and had begun preparing last
spring for the present attack, even little mountain
wagons and new harness being all ready. Only about
six German corps are there.
The hate against Americans here is
deep-seated and bitter. Hans Winterfeldt, a prominent
German banker, with American citizenship, just came
in to tell me that at the annual meeting to-day of
the great Allegemeine Electricitaets Gesellschaft
a fight was started against him because of his American
citizenship, and he was not, therefore, re-elected
a director. He thinks of resigning from all banks,
etc., and returning to America.
December, 1915. Red Cross Doctor
Schmidt just in from Servia says Belgrade was completely
Having lots of difficulty getting
the Germans to give the English prisoners clothes.
Hate of Americans worse than ever.
Germans are not resentful when I fight
to get things for English prisoners; they only say
they hope our Ambassadors are doing the same for Germans.
Much disappointment at Dr. Snoddy’s
mission not yet being permitted to work in Russia.
Last Tuesday night I ran into quite
a peace demonstration, called by placards the night
of the Peace Interpretation in the Reichstag.
Soon disbanded by the police with many arrests.
One man told me that they were tired of a silly war
and days without meat. There has been nothing
in the papers about these demonstrations; of course,
each arrest makes an anarchist for life.
It is hard to get butter. The
women storm the butter shops and market.
In a new building (where the Consulate
is) they are taking off the copper roof.
Of a sudden peace talk.
The Chancellor is waiting to address the Reichstag,
waiting to get the sentiment of the members who are
all in Berlin, and then swim with it. Many members,
who are not Socialists, favour peace, and the Chancellor
will be forced to make some sort of a declaration
on why they are fighting and for what.
A Reichstag member told me the Reichstag
will say and do things it did not dream of doing six
months ago. There are many quiet meetings of
members going on.
Hindenburg is out with an interview
saying it is not yet time for peace. This is
a Government measure to stamp out peace talk among
the Reichstag members.
Am having a hard fight to get the
British prisoners properly clothed for the winter.
Of course, the Germans have rather a difficult time
with so many prisoners, but that is no excuse if men
die of cold. The weather is and has been bitterly
Saw von Jagow lately, but only on
business and commercial questions. Zimmermann
lunched here to-day. Roeder, of the World,
is here making a study of German industrial conditions.
I introduced him to Gutmann, of the Dresdner Bank;
Rathenau, head of the Allegemeine Electricitaets Gesellschaft;
Dr. Solf, Colonial Minister, and others. I think
his report will be very sound and worth reading.
There is no question but that there
is a deep-seated hatred of America here, which
must be reckoned with sooner or later.
I don’t expect things to be
easy, but I wish to goodness all Americans would stay
Greek Minister still thinks Greece
will remain neutral.
Probably greatest need of Germany
is lubricating oil for machines, etc. Germans
claim to have a copper mine in Servia. I never
heard of one there.
Dr. Ohnesorg, U. S. N., and Osborne
back from inspecting camps. They report bad conditions;
they were not allowed (contrary to our “treaty”)
to talk out of hearing of camp officers to the prisoners
in Lemburg Camp. These prisoners are 2,000 Irish,
and the reason, of course, for the refusal of the
usual permission is that the Germans, through the
notorious Sir Roger Casement, have been trying to
seduce the Irish, and do not want the soldier prisoners
to tell us about it. I have learned, through other
sources, that the Germans seduced about 30 Irish.
I told von Jagow what I had learned and asked what
the Germans had done with these victims whether
they were in the German army or not. He said,
“No, most of them had been sent to Ireland to
raise hell there.” I suppose they were
landed from submarines.
I think the German press has received
orders to step softly on the von Papen-Boy-ed recall.
The greatest danger now lies in Austria, and over
the Ancona note. There is a large body
of manufacturers, ship-owners, etc., here who
at the last moment declare themselves against war
with the U. S. A. and use their influence to that
end, but in Austria no such interests exist to help
toward peace. However, pressure from Germany may
be brought to bear.
I think Germany will not send successors
to von Papen and Boy-ed even with safe conduct; whether
they will ask the recall of our attaches is another
question not yet decided.
An official tells me confidentially
that Rintelen was sent to America to buy up the product
of the Dupont Powder Company, and that if he did anything
else he exceeded his instructions.
Shop people in Berlin with whom I
have talked are getting sick of the war.
I hear rumours that Germany is trying,
through its Minister in China, to come to an understanding
with Japan and Russia.
The banks are sending circulars to
all safe-deposit box holders, trying to get them to
give up their gold.
An American clergyman has just told
me the German church body has refused to receive an
American Church deputation and has written a very
An official has told me that no new
Military Attache will be sent to America. The
naval people have not yet decided.
I am very glad to hear Colonel House
is coming over. There are many things I want
to tell the President but which I do not dare to commit
A newspaperman supposed to be of the
New York had an interview
with Zimmermann the other day, and Zimmermann sent
some messages by him to the President. I do not
know what the messages are. We all suffer much
from amateur diplomats.
Anthony Czarnecki, a very intelligent
Chicagoan, an American of Polish descent, is here
representing Victor Lawson and the Chicago Daily
News. He informs me that the Spy Nest is
contemplating an attack on the Administration because
of the taking away of Archibald’s and others’
My impression is that the Austrians,
owing to pressure from here, will eventually give
in on the Ancona business. I think the
present a good time to force the settlement of the
The German Foreign Office, trying to
be modern and up-to-date at times, paid more
attention to the tales of pro-German American
correspondents than they did to the utterances
of President Wilson.
Of course, the Germans succeeded in
taking many of those correspondents in their
camp. In the Hotel
in Berlin an agent of the German Government who
possessed American citizenship was always ready
to arrange trips to the front or to make an advance
of money to an American correspondent who would
promise to be “good.”
Some received cash, some were paid
in interviews with prominent officials, some
received both, before all was continually dangled
the blue ribbon the hope of an interview
with the Kaiser and some, thank God,
were real Americans and refused all the offered
temptations news or money.
An American gentleman who lived for
a time at this hotel has given me a written statement
which throws a light on the activities of certain
of these gentry and which I may some day use.
In this he states how one of these gentlemen
claimed that the Imperial Chancellor always sent
for him to consult him on his attitude towards
America and that he had advised him to make a
bold front and bluff. Hence, perhaps the
note of January thirty-first which suddenly announced
the ruthless submarine war.
I have proof that one
of this traitorous gang went
about Berlin personating
me. What scheme he was
cooking up I do not
Zimmermann was particularly
weak in being advised
by one of these shady
I think the German Government will
allow Ford or any of his angels to come here, but
the Peace Ark seems pretty well wrecked.
Provincial and small newspapers are
much more bitter against America than the larger ones.
Von Jagow told me the other day that
he thought the feeling here against America was so
bitter that, eventually, war would be inevitable.
Received following anonymous letter:
“I am enabled to-day to give
your Excellency news of the utmost importance,
Germany is at the end of its forces and the Imperial
Government is inclined to make peace cost what
may! One of the most prominent and influential
members of the Reichstag has assured me, that
the general conviction of the parliament is dominated
by the absolute necessity, to pull back and to
strive for peace as soon as possible. The
financial aspect given by Dr. Helfferich is disastrous,
the military situation, taken in the whole, unsatisfactory
and the confidential information, given by Herr
von Jagow in the committee with regard to the
Egyptian expedition, discouraging if not hopeless.
The Government and particularly Herr von Bethmann
wish for peace, but believe themselves restrained
by public opinion and by the fear of the Pan-Germanists.
It’s now the psychological moment for intervention
by the United States and there can be no doubt,
that it should and will be exercised in favour
of humanity, culture and freedom, in favour of
the prevalence of the Anglo-Saxon race and the
future development of the new world against Prussian
barbarity, Imperial despotism and Teutonic slavery!
22. XI. OLD GENTLEMAN.”