Handbook of War Facts and Peace Problems
GERMANY'S PURPOSE AND METHOD IN MAKING WAR
German Warfare System.---From the very first days of the war, during the rush across Belgium to reach Paris, the German army systematically carried out a horrible method of making war. The stories told were at first disbelieved by the world at large, and even when irrefutable proofs were gathered, it was months before it became clear that these were not irresponsible crimes of drunken soldiery, but an organized system of crime directed by the General German Staff, aimed at the destruction of the occupied territory of the enemy nation both in its property and population. The Kaiser himself sanctioned, if he did not plan it, as is proved by his letter to the Emperor of Austria.
To understand the real purpose of Germany in making war as she has, and to connect this purpose with all her methods is much more important than remembering exactly the various events, the names of battles, and the way in which the tide of war flowed backward and forward. We want to understand Germany's "Will to Destruction," the philosophy back of it, and the many ways in which it sought to blast mankind.
Science for its own sake had been superseded in many places in Germany by science in the service of Pan-Germanism. Discoveries in chemistry, physics, aeronautics, were applied to new instrumentalities of warfare. It was poison gas that almost carried the Germans through to Paris; and would have, it is thought, had it been used in as large quantities and as efficiently then as later. This gas, liquid fire, and all the variety of containers and throwers of these new deadly chemical compounds, were contributions of German scientists, as were also the use of deadly microbes and bacteria. A vast majority of the professors at the universities were ardent Pan-Germans and stood shoulder to shoulder with the political, industrial, financial and military leaders who planned the war.
What must here be made clear is that the German people were systematically prepared for it by their Government and all its agents, through a carefully planned system which excited the more cruel and depraved instincts in both the people and the army, playing on their fears and their lowest desires. Unless we understand this we shall miss one of the fundamental explanations of German frightfulness. The atrocities in Belgium probably would not have been committed by the German soldiers so readily if their officers, acting on superior orders, had not falsely told them of all manner of things that the Belgians would do to them and had done to others---gouging out eyes, cutting off ears and noses, breaking arms and legs, treacherous attacks by civilians, poisoning wells and food. The German soldiers when they themselves did these things in Belgium, simply thought they were doing unto the Belgians as the Belgians would do unto them.
This use of false statements was just as common in the highest German diplomatic as in the military sphere. The Austrian Government before the war forged documents (Friedjung trial and conviction, 1909, Zagreb), in order to condemn by their false evidence the most prominent leaders of the Austrian Slavs. The German Government falsified documents from the Belgian archives to prove that Belgium had broken her neutrality by an alliance with England. (See Second Belgian Grey Book.) The Germans promised Cardinal Mercier that, if the Belgian men who had fled the country would return, they would not be forced to work for Germany, but when they did return they were deported or enslaved. Our own government has shown that the German and Austrian governments initiated in America an elaborate propaganda of spying, corruption, and business penetration, which employed, when possible, the same methods used all over the world, of forgery, perjury, felony and conspiracy. As Dernburg and Delbrueck say (Deutsche Politik, Sept. 28, 1917), "Our lies are coarse and improbable, our ambiguity is pitiful simplicity, and our intrigues are without salt and without grace."
The same methods were used in Germany itself in order to control the opinions, the information, and the moods of the people. It has been thought that the leading spirit in the system both inside and outside of Germany was General Ludendorf. The carrying out of his plans in the countries occupied by the German army was largely in the hands of the General Staff, and what this system is has been disclosed in their War Book, which will now be considered.
Teachings of the German War Book.---In 1902, many years before the war, the General Staff of the German army issued its official guide and handbook. It has been described as follows by writers quoted in Morgan's translation of the book: "This cynical and terrible book has been written specially for the instruction of German officers, with the result that it has poisoned the very wells of thought and feeling, not only of the German army itself, but of the entire German people. It gives the highest official sanction to principles and to practices which are in flat contradiction to those of all civilized people. The German officer is required to terrify the helpless into betraying their own people, to murder prisoners, to retain women and children under fire, to levy blackmail upon surrendered cities, to compel the civilian to prepare works for the destruction of his country, to suborn incendiaries and assassins."
The principle on which it is based is terrorism and recourse to all means for attaining the object of the war. This is an old and familiar Prussian axiom, laid down by Clausewitz, their first and foremost military writer, elaborated since his day by Generals Hartmann and Bernhardi, and adopted as the obvious necessity by not only all civilian Pan-Germans but by the rank and file throughout the land. Even leaders in the clergy urged the massacre of the entire civilian population in enemy countries. (Vorverk, Baumgarten, etc.)
Although the War Book ostentatiously forbids many of the most hideous crimes, they have been actually committed by the German army; such as the poisoning of wells, streams, and food, the propagation of infectious diseases, the killing of wounded and prisoners, the use of prisoners of war in work against their own country or work that is prejudicial to health, the general taking of private property, wholesale incendiarism, forced levies, etc.
The teaching given to the army, therefore, may be safely said to have gone far beyond the precepts of the War Book. The German army has repeatedly and officially broken every one of the laws which it pledged itself in its own War Book to respect. It is therefore condemned out of its own mouth.
Varieties of German Crimes.---It is not easy to catalogue the varieties of German criminal practices in common use, but for convenience the. following are mentioned:
(1) Bombing of hospitals and attacking Red Cross units.
(2) Firing on stretcher-bearers.
(3) Murdering of civilian population by poison gas. Burning alive or otherwise murdering entire innocent populations of villages in Belgium and Northern France.
(4) Wholesale killing of the wounded, including burying alive innocent civilians.
(5) Wholesale killing of prisoners and hostages.
(6) Bombing of open towns,
(7) Torpedoing hospital ships.
(8) Torpedoing passenger ships.
(9) Sinking boatloads of people saving themselves from sinking ships.
(10) Mutilating soldiers and civilians, including women and children and wounded.
(11) Torturing soldiers and civilians, including women and children.
(12) Exposing men, women, and children to death by using them as screens in attacking the Allied forces.
(13) Torturing, starving, and killing in prison camps.
(14) Systematic and wholesale violating of women.
(15) Destruction of the children to remove a future menace to Germany.
(16) Use of starvation on large scale for destruction or compulsion of entire populations.
(17) Complete destruction of the public and private property of the occupied territory, with removal of all valuables to Germany.
(18) Deliberate destruction of public buildings of historic value or beauty, and looting or destruction of libraries, galleries, and other collections.
(19) Attempts to completely break the life, pride, honor, and fortunes of the population of all occupied lands.
(20) Attempts to destroy all industrial, commercial, and national life that might interfere with German domination.
(21) Wholesale incendiarism.
No adequate idea of some of these classes of crime is given by the title. In the case of torturing and mutilating, there are instances of deliberate breaking of arms and legs, cutting off of hands and breasts, skinning alive, burning alive, burying alive.
In this chapter the atrocities committed by the allies of Germany (Austrians, Bulgarians, and Turks), are included. It is a well-known fact that in all these matters they were "coached" by Germany.
Mental Tortures.---The teachings of the German War Book and other Pan-German writings lay stress upon terrorization, on breaking the spirit of alien populations. The ingenious cruelties employed to accomplish this are shown in many authenticated documents and accounts of witnesses, These cruelties included: Taking out batches of hostages and other civilians and announcing that they were to be executed in the presence of their families; then taking them back to prison; repeating this several times, going so far as to put the firing squad in position. Announcing that one-third of a large group were to be executed, but not saying which, so that all of these unfortunates and their families remained in the anguish of uncertainty. Many were driven crazy, to the delight of the German soldiers. The degradation of women in public was also a common method. The holding of hostages for execution in case there was the slightest trouble in the town made their lives depend on whether a drunken German discharged his gun. The separation of husbands from wives, grown daughters from their parents, of little children from their mothers, was largely to break the hearts of the people. The return of thousands of unidentified little children, through Switzerland, proves this. Thousands of young girls were farmed out to officers and regiments of privates. In the destruction of all material things in Belgium, Northern France, and parts of Poland, as well as in Serbia, there is shown not only the aim to make the country so poor and desolate that it could not for half a century compete with Germany---an aim publicly and authoritatively stated (Rohrbach, etc.)---but also the aim to destroy everything that attached the people to the land, namely: the church, the home, the resting place of their dead, the heirlooms, and all the belongings associated with their past and present lives.
The destruction of Rheims Cathedral, the national shrine of the French people, was a venomous attempt to break the national spirit.
Plan to Crush the Economic Life of the Allies.---The devastated area of France occupied by Germany seemed quite small compared with the whole country, but it represented a large part of the wealth of France and almost the whole of her mining industry and her manufactures. All raw materials, all manufactured articles, all machinery was shipped to Germany; also all drawings, files, contracts, business records and other papers. What could not be shipped or could not be used was destroyed. The great coal mines of Lens were demolished to such an extent that it will be years before they can be again in full operation. The same system was carried out in Belgium. Big establishments like the Cockerell Iron works were completely wrecked. Usually the skilled mechanics and operatives were forcibly deported to Germany.
In countries like Spain, Sweden, Holland, and in Italy and America (before they entered the war), the process of industrial supremacy was to go on if possible under strictly legal conditions. In Poland, Russia, the Ukraine, Lithuania, the Baltic provinces and Rumania, the Germans denuded the country of everything, even after the Russian armistice. In Bolshevist Russia the Germans obtained practically complete control by so-called purchase, and counted on running all Russian economic life as soon as order was partly reestablished. Their Bolshevist agents turned over to German hands sufficient of what Germany wanted to enable her to eventually control raw material and manufactured articles as well as means of transportation. How much was done in the United States has been disclosed by the Bureau of Alien Property and by the Senate's (Overman) committee on German propaganda.
The same propaganda was extended to Central and South America and Mexico.
The German Government's Plan to Keep the Slavs Ignorant.---The ingenious idea of using ignorance as a weapon was a big German asset. It was applied both at home and abroad. Ignorance of the truth in general and of the outside world in particular, except as distorted, was fostered in Germany and Austria.
Another kind of ignorance was promoted among the Slavs, both in the Central Empires and in Russia. It was a complete ignorance; an ignorance that left the Slavs helpless in the hands of better educated Germans. In this way business, industry, trade, and commerce could be kept without competition in German control. The strong German influence in Russian governmental and court circles before the war was used to prevent the adoption of any adequate scheme for educating the masses of the Russian people. Austria carried out the same idea in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Prussian Horror in Poland.---This can best be expressed in Mr. Walcott's words:
"A year ago I went to Poland to learn the facts concerning the remnant of a people that had been decimated by war. The country had been twice devastated. First the Russian army swept through it, and then the Germans, Along the roadside from Warsaw to Pinsk, the present firing line, a distance of 230 miles, near half a million people had died of hunger and cold. The way was strewn with their bones picked clean by the crows. With their usual thrift the Germans were collecting the larger bones to be milled into fertilizer, but finger and toe bones lay on the ground with the mud-covered and rain-soaked clothing.
"Wicker baskets were scattered along the way---the basket in which the baby swings from the rafter in every peasant home. Every mile there were scores of them, each one telling of a death. I started to count, but after a little while I had to give up, there were so many... . .
"In the refugee camps, 300,000 survivors of the flight were gathered by the Germans, members of broken families. They were lodged in jerrybuilt barracks, scarcely waterproof, unlighted, unwarmed in the dead of the winter. . . .
"In Warsaw, . . . a city of one million inhabitants, one of the most prosperous cities of Europe before the war, the streets were lined with people in the pangs of starvation. . . . Day and night the picture is before my eyes---a people starving, a nation dying.
"In that situation, the German commander issued a proclamation. Every able-bodied Pole was bidden to Germany to work. If any refused, let no other Pole give him to eat, not so much as a mouthful, under penalty of German military law.
"This is the choice the German government gives to the conquered Pole, to the husband and father of a starving family; leave your family to die or survive as the case may be. Leave your country, which is destroyed, to work in Germany for its further destruction. If you are obstinate, we shall see that you surely starve.
"... Germany will set him to work that a German workman may be released to fight against his own land and people. He shall be lodged in barracks, behind barbed wire entanglements, under armed guard. He shall sleep on the bare ground with a single thin blanket. He shall be scantly fed and his earnings shall be taken from him to pay his food.
"That is the choice which the German government offers to a proud, sensitive, high-strung people. Death or slavery.
"When a Pole gave me that proclamation, I was boiling. . . I asked Governor-General Beseler, 'Can this be true?'
"'Really, I cannot say,' he replied. 'I have signed so many proclamations; ask General Kries.'
"So I asked General Kries. 'General, this is a civilized people. Can this be true?'
"'Yes,' he said, 'it is true'---with an air of adding, Why not?
"I dared not trust myself to speak; I turned to go. 'Wait,' he said. And he explained to me how Germany, official Germany, regards the state of subject peoples.
"Even now I find it hard to describe in comprehensible terms the mind of official Germany, which dominates and shapes all German thought and action. . . . I saw it in Poland, I saw the same thing in Belgium, I hear of it in Serbia and Rumania. For weeks it was always before me, always the same. Officers talked freely, frankly, directly. All the staff officers have the same view.
"Let me try to tell it, as General Kries told me, in Poland, in the midst of a dying nation. Germany is destined to rule the world, or at least a great part of it. The German people are so much human material for building the German State, other people do not count. All is for the glory and might of the German State. The lives of human beings are to be conserved only if it makes for the State's advancement, their lives are to be sacrificed if it is to the State's advantage. The State is all, the people are nothing.
"Conquered people signify little in the German account. Life, liberty, happiness, human sentiment, family ties, grace, and generous impulse, these have no place beside the one concern, the greatness of the German State.
"Starvation must excite no pity; sympathy must not be allowed, if it hampers the main design of promoting Germany's ends.
"'Starvation is here,' said General Kries. 'Candidly, we would like to see it relieved; we fear our soldiers may be unfavorably affected by the things that they see. But since it is here, starvation must serve our purpose. So we set it to work for Germany. By starvation we can accomplish in two or three years in East Poland more than we have in West Poland, which is East Prussia, in the last hundred years. With that in view, we propose to turn this force to our advantage!
"'This country is meant for Germany,' continued the keeper of starving Poland. 'It is a rich alluvial country which Germany has needed for some generations. We propose to remove the able-bodied working Poles from this country. It leaves it open for inflow of German working people as fast as we can spare them. They will occupy it and work it.'
"Then, with a cunning smile: 'Can't you see how it works out? By and by we shall give back freedom to Poland. When that happens Poland will appear automatically as a German province.'
"In Belgium, General Bissing told me exactly the same thing. 'If the relief of Belgium breaks down we can force the industrial population into Germany through starvation, and colonize other Belgians in Mesopotamia where we have planned large irrigation works. Germans will then overrun Belgium. Then when the war is over and freedom is given back to Belgium, it will be a German Belgium that is restored. Belgium will be a German province and we have Antwerp---which is what we are after.
"In Poland, the able-bodied men are being removed to relieve the German workman and make the land vacant for Germany. In Belgium the men are deported that the country may be a German colony, In Serbia, where three-fourths of a million people out of three millions have perished miserably in the last three years, Germany hardens its heart, shuts its eyes to the suffering, thinks only of Germany's gain. In Armenia, six hundred thousand people were slain in cold blood by Kurds and Turks under the domination and leadership of German officers---Germany looking on, indifferent to the horror and woe, intent only on seizing the opportunity thus given. War, famine, pestilence---these bring to the German mind no appeal for human effort, only the resolution to profit from them to the utmost that the German State may be powerful and great.
"That is not all. . . . Women left captive are enslaved. Germany makes all manner of lust its instrumentality . . . ---(From the Prussian Horror in Poland by F. R. Walcott, U. S. Bureau of Public Information.)
The German Army in Belgium and Northern France.---After reading the reports of the Belgian, British, and French Commissions of Inquiry, the letters and diaries of German soldiers and officers and the official German proclamations, one is forced to the conclusion that the German army in its invasion acted in every part of its organization in a way that would shame the human race to put it into words. There was usually but one excuse. Some one would call out: "A shot has been fired." This was the signal. There is not a single case in which it has been proved that a German was fired upon by a civilian of any of these towns. Their arms had all been given up and everything was done everywhere to keep the peace and prevent atrocities. But this had no bearing on the result, because of the prearranged Prussian scheme of destruction. In a number of cases where shots were actually fired, it has been proved that they were fired by German soldiers themselves.
In the case of Huy the usual accusation against the inhabitants was even contradicted by the German officer in charge, Major Bassewitz (see illustrative extracts), who puts the blame where it belongs, on drunken German soldiers. Another German officer acknowledges in his diary (Oct. 15, 1914): "This way of making war is purely barbarous. . . . On every occasion, and under no matter what pretext, there is incendiarism and pillage. But God is just and sees all: His mill grinds slowly, but it grinds exceedingly small."
In the massacre of the innocent inhabitants the men were the principal sufferers, quite a common practice being to shoot one-third of the males. But women and children were quite commonly murdered.
Take the case of Dinant, where about 650 people were murdered, more than 100 were women, children, and old men. And in this case the German Military Governor, General Longschamp, declared the innocence of the inhabitants saying: "The result of the inquiry I held was that no civilian fired at Dinant." In this case the premeditation of the German officer is also proved by the warning given several days before the destruction (Aug. 23, 1914).
The prisoners sent to Germany for internment testify to the brutal cruelty of the German civilians on the way, including women and children. This shows how universal was the state of mind brought about in Germany by the educational system of lies and hatred. Pitilessness, a gloating cruelty, an ingeniousness in inventing torments, were the almost universal characteristics of all classes of Germans.
Though German commanders have acknowledged that the alleged shooting by Belgian civilians was really the work of drunken or frightened German soldiers, this, confession comes invariably after the inhabitants of the innocent town have suffered.
After the first few weeks we have the frank German statement that the burning, looting, and murdering, was carried out according to a prearranged plan in order to so frighten the entire country back of the line that only a few old territorials would be required for garrison purposes, and to keep the communication lines and supply depots safe. Therefore it was arranged to divide the country into districts and to pick out one village in the center of each district in which to carry out this scheme of destruction, thus terrorizing all the other villages in the neighborhood, whose inhabitants would live in fear of similar frightfulness and so be abjectly cowed.
The Use of Deadly Microbes.---It will never be known to what extent Germany attempted to poison and infect human beings and animals in both enemy and neutral countries, breeding epidemics and diseases. There are several well-known cases from which a great deal may be inferred. Two of them have a particularly official character; one in Rumania and the other in Sweden, when both of these countries were neutral. The deadly microbes were found in the luggage of an official representative of the German government to Sweden, which he had sent on to Norway. One of his instructions was to infect horses and other livestock to be shipped to Russia. The Bucharest (Rumanian) case will now be given at length.
The Deadly Microbes at Bucharest.---The evidence given by the U. S. State Department shows that before Rumania had declared war against Austria-Hungary, and was observing strict neutrality, German official agents clandestinely introduced into Bucharest, the capital of Rumania, packages containing powerful explosives and vials containing deadly microbes destined to infect domestic animals and susceptible of producing terrible epidemics among the human population of the country. The vials contained anthrax microbes and the bacilli of glanders. The box of disease germs bore the seal of the German consulate at Kronstadt. Inside of this box, above a layer of cotton wool, this typewritten note in German was found:
"Inclosed 4 small bottles for horses and 4 for cattle. Utilization as formerly stipulated. Each phial suffices for 200 head. If possible, to be administered directly into the animals' mouths, otherwise into their fodder. We ask for a small report about successes obtained there, and in case of good results the presence for one day of M. K. would be required."--- (The boxes of explosives and vials were first in the German consulate in Bucharest and then in the German legation, where they were discovered after the U. S.---being still neutral---had taken over German interests in Rumania. N. Y. Times, Current History, Nov., 1917.)
Desecration and Destruction of Churches---The Germans have shown a particular hatred of churches, of religion, of the clergy, of all religious emblems, and works of sacred art. Calumnies of every description were circulated among the German soldiers directed against the Belgian priests, with the result that many were abused, imprisoned, and shot. Especial pains were taken to desecrate the churches, especially the altars, with every kind of filth. Also, in forced evacuations of towns, pains were taken to mine the churches, so as to blow them up when full of people.
German Filthiness.---The picture would be incomplete without calling attention to the unspeakable filthiness of the Germans when they were able to give free rein to their churlish characteristics. It was a disgusting filthiness of mind and body, a perverted gross sensuality and bestiality.
The "high-born" officers in a beautiful French castle took pains to personally defile the curtains, hangings, tapestries, furniture, ornaments, and dishes. (See Madame Huard, "My Home on the Field of Battle.")
Murder Traps.---The greatest ingenuity was shown in the variety and kind of death traps left behind by the Germans for wholesale and retail murder. They traded on the humane and religious sentiments that would make a Frenchman or an Englishman free a tied-up cat or dog, or bury a dead body, or attend service in a church.
Germany's Submarine Warfare.---The purpose of Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare was not merely the immediate one of starving out England and preventing communication between the Allies, but also the ultimate purpose of destroying as much as possible of the non-German world's tonnage. It was not at first understood why the shipping of neutral nations was sunk just as persistently as that of enemy nations, but at last the world knew that Germany was aiming at a monopoly of the sea after the war. Therefore she was planning to sink every non-German ship afloat, not only French, British, Russian, and Italian, but Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, and American. If the crew perished also, so much the better; so many non-German sailors the less. It would be entirely false to German ideals to allow any regard for the rules of international law and humanity to lead to the sparing of any ship whatsoever because it was a Hospital Ship or a Passenger Ship. Two birds could be killed with one stone. The acknowledged Pan-German plan to kill off as many as possible of every non-German race except where they could be of use, made the sinking of such ships especially acceptable: "Sunk without leaving a trace" (Spurlos versenkt).
In his "Submarine Warfare" Frost, the U. S. Consul at Queenstown gives first-hand testimony as to the murders at sea, and such special cases as the turning adrift of boatloads of survivors without food or clothing, and the tying of a boatload to a submarine and by submerging, pulling them under.
German World Philosophy
One single highly cultured German warrior, of those who are, alas! falling in thousands, represents a higher intellectual and moral life-value than hundreds of the raw children of nature from England and France, Russia and Italy, opposed to them.---(Ernest Haeckel, celebrated zoologist, Gems, p. 52.)
Our belief is that the salvation of the whole "Kultur" of Europe depends upon the victory which German militarism is about to achieve.--(Manifesto signed by 3,500 German teachers, professors, and lecturers, "Gems," p. 59.)
No nation in the world can give us anything worth mentioning in the field of science or technology, art or literature, which we should have any trouble in doing without. Let us reflect on the inexhaustible wealth of the German character, which contains in itself everything of real value that the "Kultur" of man can produce. ---(Werner Sombart, a well-known German economist, "Gems," p. 42.)
German Use of Ignorance
We may depend upon the re-Germanizing of Alsace, but not of Livonia and Kurland. There no other course is open to us but to keep the subject race in as uncivilized a condition as possible.---(Treitschke in "Gems," p. 171.)
German War Madness
... Remember that you are the chosen people! The Spirit of the Lord has descended upon me because I am the German Emperor! I am the instrument of the Almighty. I am his sword, his agent. Woe and death to those who do not believe in my mission! Woe and death to the cowards! Let them perish, all the enemies of the German people! God demands their destruction, God who, by my mouth, bids you to do His will!---(William II., Proclamation to the Army of the East, 1914, "Out of their own Mouths," p. 4.)
Perpetual peace is a dream, and it is not even a beautiful dream. War is part of the eternal order instituted by God. . . . ---(Moltke, Letter to Bluntschli, Dec. 11, 1880, "Gems," p. 135.)
... War is not merely a necessary element in the life of nations, but an indispensable factor of "Kultur," in which a truly civilized nation finds the highest expression of strength and vitality .... ---(Bernhardi, "Germany and the Next War.")
A policy of sentiment is folly. Enthusiasm for humanity is idiocy. Charity should begin among one's compatriots. Politics is business. Right and wrong are notions needed in civil life only. ... The German people are always right, because they are the German people and because they number eighty-seven million.---(Tannenberg, "Grossdeutschland," 1911, p. 231.)
You shall love peace as a means to new wars---and the short peace more than the long. . . .You say it is the good cause which halloweth every war? I say unto you; it is the good war which halloweth every cause. War and courage have done more great things than charity....---(Nietzsche, in "Gems," pp. 154, 153.)
This new table, 0 my brethren, put I up over you: "BECOME HARD ... . ---(Nietzsche, "Thus Spake Zarathustra.")
It is foolish to talk of the rights of others; it is foolish to speak of a justice that should hinder us from doing to others what we ourselves do not wish to suffer from them.
We are still hearing of moderation, of the rights of nations to determine their own destiny, but all this is of no consequence.---(Karl Peters, "Not und Weg," 1915.)
The German conquest gave Belgium all that it could hope for---a decent form of death among the powers of the world, although it never belonged to them.---(Prof. Conrad Bornhak, in Grenzboten, June 30, 1915.)
If we conquer, the map of the world will be redrawn. To-day, nothing is more urgent than this---that the will to conquer the world should take possession of the whole German people. Less even than a Great Power can a World Power ever be satisfied. The will to World Power must in its nature be insatiable; satiety would mean senility.---(Ad. Grabowsky in Das neue Deutschland, September, 1914.)
"Kultur" is a spiritual organization of the world, which does not exclude bloody savagery. It raises the demoniac to sublimity. It is above morality, reason, science.--- (Thomas Mann, in Neue Rundschau, November, 1914.)
The Lord's Prayer to the "German God"
Though the warrior's bread be scanty, do Thou work daily death and tenfold woe unto the enemy. Forgive in merciful long-suffering each bullet and each blow which misses its mark! Lead us not into the temptation of letting our wrath be too tame in carrying out Thy divine judgment! Deliver us and our ally from the infernal enemy and his servants on earth. Thine is the Kingdom, the German land; may we, by aid of Thy steel-clad hand, achieve the power and the glory.---(From Poems by German Pastor A Vorverk, in Bang, "Hurrah and Hallelujah.")
Song of the German Sword
I have slaughtered the old and the sorrowful;
I have struck off the breasts of women;
And I have run through the bodies of children,
Who gazed at me with the eyes of the wounded lion.
Germany is so far above and beyond all the other nations that all the rest of the earth . . .
Should feel well cared for when they are allowed to fight with the dogs for the crumbs that fall from her table.
When Germany the divine is happy, then the rest of the world basks in (God's) smiles; but when Germany suffers, God in person is rent with anguish, and, wrathful and avenging. He turns all the waters into rivers of blood.---(From a poem extensively circulated in Germany in 1915, "Out of Their Own Mouths," p. 121.)
Vierorde's Hymn: "Germany, Hate!"
O my Germany, into thy soul thou must etch a deep and indelible hate; this hate thou hast lacked for a long, long time. Retribution, vengeance, fury are demanded; stifle in thy heart all human feeling and hasten to the fight.
O Germany, hate! Slaughter thy foes by the millions and of their reeking corpses build a monument that shall reach the clouds.
O Germany, hate now! Arm thyself in steel and pierce with thy bayonet the heart of every foe; no prisoners! Lock all their lips in silence, turn our neighbors' lands into deserts.
O Germany, hate! Salvation will come of thy wrath. Beat in their skulls with rifle-butts and with axes. These bandits are beasts of the chase, they are not men. Let your clenched fist enforce the judgment of God.
O Germany, the time to hate has come. Strike and thrust, true and hard. Battalions, batteries, squadrons, all to the front! Afterwards thou wilt stand erect on the ruins of the world, healed forever of thine ancient madness, of thy love for the alien.---("Out of Their Own Mouths," p. 115.)
Lissauer's Chant of Hate Against England
What do we care for the Russians or French?
Shot against shot, and thrust for thrust!
We fight the foe with bronze and sheath,
And some day or other we make our peace.
You we shall hate with enduring hate;
We shall not forbear from our hate;
Hate on water and hate on land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions pressing down.
We love as one; we hate as one;
We have one foe, and one alone, England.
---(From third stanza of song by Bavarian soldier, Ernst Lissauer, distributed in German army, taught to German school children, set to music and sung in concerts. Lissauer was decorated for it by the Kaiser. "Out of Their Own Mouths," p. 119, Current History (1915), 984.)
"Gott Strafe England" (God Punish England)
The effect of this poem (Lissauer's Hymn of Hate) has been incalculable. In the early stages of the war there arose in Germany a mighty wave of passionate hatred for England, foaming and surging to such a degree that its expression could not but fill one with horror. "Gott Strafe England" became the daily greeting, spoken and written. When, for instance, a company paraded in the morning the captain cried in a loud voice: "Gott strafe England!" and the response came from 250 throats: "Er strafe es" (May He punish her), and this greeting spread from the army to the whole nation . . . . When you, drink, do not say 'Prosit!' (May it go well with you), no. . . . say 'Gott strafe England,' and reply 'Er strafe, es!'"---(Bang, "Hurrah and Hallelujah," p. 48.)
The Frightfulness of Erzberger, Head of the German Armistice Commission
If I could find the means of destroying the whole of London it would be more humane than to let one single German bleed on the battlefield, inasmuch as so radical a measure would bring about an early peace. Let us spread, with the aid of our dirigibles, frightfulness, and death amongst the British population. All means must be permissible to use and even if we possessed the secret of pouring a rain of liquid fire on British soil, why should we not use it?---(Matthias Erzberger, leader of the Centre Party, head of the Kaiser's Press Propaganda and head of the German Armistice Commission. Quoted in Super, "Pan-Prussianism," p. 100.)
German Glorification of Atrocities
No object whatever is served by taking any notice of the accusations of barbarity levelled against Germany by our foreign critics. Frankly, we are and must be barbarians, if by this we understand those who wage war relentlessly and to the uttermost degree.... There is nothing for us to justify and nothing to explain away. Every act of whatever nature committed by our troops for the purpose of discouraging, defeating and destroying our enemies is a brave act and a good deed, and is fully justified. . . . Germany stands as the supreme arbiter of her own methods, which in the time of war must be dictated to the world,
It is of no consequence whatever if all the monuments ever created, all the pictures ever painted, and all the buildings ever erected by the great architects of the world be destroyed, if by their destruction we promote Germany's victory over her enemies. . . . The commonest, ugliest stone placed to mark the burial place of a German grenadier is a more glorious and venerable monument than all the cathedrals of Europe put together.
They call us barbarians. What of it? We scorn them and their abuse. For my part, I hope that in this war we have merited the title of barbarians. Let neutral people and our enemies cease their empty chatter, which may well be compared to the twitter of birds. Let them cease their talk of the cathedral at Rheims and of all the churches and all the castles in France which have shared its fate. These things do not interest us. Our troops must achieve victory. What else matters?--- (Major-General Disforth, in the Hamburger Nachrichten, early November 1914, Chapman, "Deutschland ueber Alles," p. 81.)
The Kaiser Confesses to Policy of Murder and Destruction
My soul is torn asunder, but everything must be put to fire and blood. The throats of men and women, children and the aged must be cut and not a tree nor a house left standing.
With such methods of terror, which alone can strike so degenerate a people as the French, the war will finish before two months, while if I use humanitarian methods it may be prolonged for years. Despite all my repugnance I have had to choose the first system.---(From letter of William II. to Emperor of Austria at beginning of war; published in Report to Clemenceau by two French leaders of International Law, Larnaude and Lapradelle, Jan. 19, 1919; see U. S. newspapers of Jan. 20, 1919.)
Quotations From the German War Book
A war conducted with energy cannot be directed merely against the combatants of the enemy state and the positions they occupy, but it will and must in like manner seek to destroy the total spiritual and material resources of the latter. Humanitarian claims, such as the protection of men and their goods can only be taken into consideration in so far as the nature and object of the war permits. Consequently the "argument of war" permits every belligerent state to have recourse to all means which enable it to attain the object of the war. (Pp. 68-69.)
Bribery of the enemy's subjects with the object of obtaining military advantages, acceptances of offers of treachery, reception of deserters . . . are permissible; . . . [also] the exploitation of the crimes of third parties (assassination, incendiarism, robbery, and the like) against the enemy. (Pp. 113, 4.)
If the necessity of war (make it advisable) every sequestration, every appropriation, temporary or permanent, every use, every injury and all destruction are permissible. (p. 162.)
War is waged not merely with the hostile combatants but also with the inanimate military resources of the enemy. This includes not only the fortresses but also every town and every village which is an obstacle to military progress. All can be besieged and bombarded, stormed and destroyed, if they are defended by the enemy, and in some cases even if they are only occupied. (p. 103.)
German Official Documents
Notice at Hasselt, Belgium, Aug. 17, 1914.---In case any of the inhabitants fire upon soldiers of the German army, one-third of the male population will be shot.---("Out of Their Own Mouths," p. 176.)
Classes of Persons Ordered Shot in Grivegnée
Any person who approaches Château des Bruyères.
Any person kept as hostage whose substitute does not present himself after 48 hours.
Any person who fails to inform the military commander where there is more than 100 litres of petrol, benzine, benzol, or similar liquids.
Any person not obeying at once order "Hands Up."
Any person circulating false news or doing anything injurious to Germany.---(Order of Commanding Officer at Grivegnée, Major Dickmann, September 1914.)
German Officer Proves Belgian Innocence at Huy
Last night (at Huy, Aug. 24, 1914) a fusilade took place. It has not been proved that the inhabitants of the town had any arms left amongst them. It is not proved either that the people took part in the firing; on the contrary, according to all appearances, the Soldiers were under the influence of drink and began to fire through incomprehensible fear of an enemy attack. The behaviour of the soldiers during the night has made a shameful impression, with very few exceptions. It is in the highest degree regrettable when officers or non-commissioned officers set fire to houses without permission or the order of the commanding officer, or, as in this case, of the senior officer; or when they encourage the troops by their attitude to burn and plunder. I forbid shooting in the town without the order of an officer. The regrettable behaviour of the troops has resulted in a non-commissioned officer and a soldier being seriously wounded by German ammunition. The Commanding Officer, Bassewitz, Major.---(Quoted in Report XVII of the Commission of the Belgian Government.)
Placard at Luneville, Sept. 3, 1914
. . . Every one will be shot who deliberately conceals money, or who endeavors to hide goods from seizure by the military authorities, or who attempts to leave town.---(signed) Fasbender, General Commanding--- (From "Germany's Violations of the Laws of War, 1914-15"---translated by J. 0. P. Bland, from French Government Publ. Putnams, 1915.)
Threats Against Hostages
On the evening of September 25th, railroad tracks and telegraph wires were destroyed between Lovenjoul and Vertryck. On the morning of September 30th, both the localities designated were held to account for this action and were forced to give tip hostages.
In future the inhabitants of places situated near railways and telegraph lines which have been destroyed will be punished without mercy, whether they are guilty of this destruction or not. For this purpose, hostages have been taken in all places in the vicinity of railways in danger of similar attacks; and at the first attempt to destroy any railway, telegraph or telephone line, they will be shot immediately.
Moreover, the troops guarding the railways have orders to shoot any person approaching in a suspicious manner the railway, telegraph or telephone lines.---(The Governor-General in Belgium, Baron von der Goltz, Field-Marshal, Brussels. October 18, 1914.)
The Kaiser Orders that no Prisoners be Taken
A letter from the front brings me the extraordinary news that the German Kaiser personally stated before an assemblage of officers that he had now enough prisoners, and that he hoped the officers would see to it that no more were taken. This news is entirely trustworthy. What a supplement to the address of the Bavarian Crown Prince! What a sequel to the former cry of the Kaiser to the troops of the China Expedition: "No quarter will be given.!"--- (Entry of Nov. 10, 1914, in the Diary of Wilhelm Muehlon, Director of Krupps; "The Vandal of Europe," p. 321.)
German Official Orders to Kill All Prisoners
There came a brigade order that all Frenchmen, whether wounded or not, who fall into our hands are to be shot. No prisoners are to be made.
Brigade orders, August, 1914, Mulhausen.--- (Entered in field book of German prisoner, R. Brenneisen; Bland, "Germany's violations, etc.," p. 52.)
From to-day no more prisoners will be taken. All the prisoners will be put to death. Prisoners, even when in large and compact formations will be put to death. No man must be left alive behind us.---(Order of General Stenger, Commander of the 58th Brigade, August 26th, given out to the 112th Reg. Infantry at Mionville.---Morgan, "German Atrocities," p. 73.)
TESTIMONY OF GERMAN SOLDIERS
The Killing of Prisoners
Englishmen who have surrendered are shot down in small groups. With the French one is more considerate. I ask whether men let themselves be taken prisoner in order to be disarmed and shot down afterwards? Is that chivalry. in battle? It is no longer a secret among the people; one hears everywhere that few prisoners are taken; they are shot down in small groups. They say naively: "We don't want any unnecessary mouths to feed. Where there is no one to enter complaint, there is no judge." Is there then no power in the -world which can put an end to these murders and rescue the victims? Where is Christianity? Where is right? Might is right. ("A German Soldier and Man who is no Barbarian.")--- (Letter addressed to Ambassador Gerard in Berlin.)
German Soldiers' Diaries on Belgian Atrocities
A horrible bath of blood. The whole village (Sommépy) burnt, the French thrown into the blazing houses, civilians with the rest. ---(From the diary of Private Hassemer, of the Eighth Army Corps; "Germany's violations, etc.," p. 159.)
In the night of August 18-19 the village of Saint-Maurice was punished for having fired on German soldiers by being burnt to the ground by the German troops (two regiments, the 12th Landwehr and the 17th). The village was surrounded, men posted about a yard from one another, so that no one could get out. Then the Uhlans set fire to it, house by house. Neither man, woman, nor child could escape; only the greater part of the live stock was carried off, as that could be used. Anyone who ventured to come out was shot down. All the inhabitants left in the village were burnt with the houses.---(From the diary of Private Karl Scheufele, of the Third Bavarian Regiment of Landwehr Infantry: "Germany's violations, etc., p. 192.)
The inhabitants have fled in the village. It was horrible. There was clotted blood on all the boards, and what faces one saw, terrible to behold! The dead, sixty in all, were at once buried. Among them were many old women, some old men, and a half-delivered woman, awful to see; three children had clasped each other and died thus.---(From the diary of Lance-Corporal Paul Spielmann of the Ersatz, First Brigade of Infantry of the Guard: "Germany's violations, etc.," p. 198.)
Massacre of Russian Army at the Mazurian Lakes
(The Russian invasion of East Prussia in 1914-15 was disastrously defeated at the Mazurian Lakes. The Russians were caught in a trap and after surrendering were murdered by the tens of thousands. The following two letters were sent to Ambassador Gerard in Berlin.)
It was frightful, heart-rending, as these masses of human beings were driven to destruction. Above the terrible thunder of the cannon could be heard the heart-rending cries of the Russians: "0 Prussians! 0 Prussians!"---but there was no mercy. Our Captain has ordered: "The whole lot must die; so rapid fire." As I have heard, five men and one officer on our side went mad from those heart-rending cries. But most of my comrades and the officers joked as the unarmed and helpless Russians shrieked for mercy while they were being suffocated in the swamps and shot down.... This was the experience of a Prussian soldier. At present wounded; Berlin, October 22, 1914. . . .
Russian Poland, December 18, '14.
In the name of Christianity I send you these words. . . . Wounded Russians are killed with the bayonet according to orders. And Russians who have surrendered are often shot down in masses according to orders, in spite of their heart-rending prayers.
A German Soldier.
Atrocious Murders at Sommeilles, Northern France
(Sommeilles was completely burned on Sept. 6, 1914.) When the incendiarism started M. and Mine. Adnot (the latter about 60 years old), Mine. X (35 or 36 years old), whose husband was with the colors, and Mine. X's four children all took refuge in the Adnot's cellars. There they were assassinated under atrocious circumstances. The two women were violated. When the children shrieked, one of them had its head cut off, two others one arm, and the mother one of her breasts, while everyone in the cellar was massacred. The children were respectively eleven, five, four, and one and a half years old."---(Report of the Mayor, in Rapports 1, 133, of the French Government Commission, confirmed by many witnesses.)
The German War on Hospital Ships
Owing to the German practice of sinking hospital ships at sight, and to the fact that distinctive marking and lighting of such vessels render them more conspicuous targets for German submarines, it has become no longer possible to distinguish our hospital ships in the customary manner.---(Statement of the British Admiralty, April, 1917.)
Probert Report on Northern France
Destruction wrought by the Germans in north France was so "systematic and diabolical" that it will require five years to rehabilitate the coal, iron, and steel industry and twelve to fifteen years to return the mines and mills to normal output.
The destruction of the coal fields of Northern France is as reprehensible as it is complete.
In my opinion, no such atrocity was ever perpetrated against the industrial life of any country. Magnificent steel plants, comparing favorably with anything we have in the United States, are now but a tangled, twisted mass of structural steel and broken stone. The wilful demolition was scientifically planned and systematically carried out. This after the removal of all such mechanical and electrical powers units as could he used by Germany. The maliciousness and efficiency with which this crime against French industry was carried out is almost unbelievable.
The coal veins of Northern France are overlain by water-bearing strata, necessitating special methods of shaft sinking and support to keep the mines dry. The steel lining of the shafts was dynamited, letting in the quicksands and flooding the underground workings for miles around. In the entire Pas de Calais region it is estimated that 120,000,000 cubic metres of water must be pumped before mining operations are resumed. Having flooded the mines, the head frames and surface equipment were systematically dynamited, the twisted debris in many cases filling up the demolished shafts.---(Preliminary report by Frank H. Probert, consulting engineer of the Bureau of Mines. He is a member of a special investigating committee which recently returned from Europe. N. Y. Times, Apr. 22, 1919.)
THE BALKANS AND THE EAST
The Attempt to Destroy the Serbian Nation
(Under the tuition of Germany the Austrians, first alone and then with the assistance of the Bulgarians, during nearly four years attempted to destroy the Serbian nation. This was done in many different ways : by wholesale deportations and massacres; by wholesale internment of civilians as well as soldiers in unhealthy concentration camps; by carrying off all the boys and girls and assiging them to Bulgarian or Turkish families; by stamping out the Serbian church and killing its priests, substituting Bulgarian for Serbian clergy, and taking possession of the churches; by stamping out the Serbian language, by closing Serbian schools, and destroying all Serbian books; by destroying all historical records of Serbia in manuscripts, inscriptions, monuments, and other records; by destroying all property and every form of Serbian wealth and organization; by killing all leading and influential Serbs, and a universal system of terrorization, famine, and torture.
It is estimated that more than a quarter of the nation has been killed, the majority of them men.
The concentration camps, each of the larger ones containing between 30,000 and 100,000 captives, were in several cases---three in Austria and one in Bulgaria---purposely located in very unhealthy marshy regions, where deadly epidemics, such as typhus, were fostered by lack of sanitation, shelter, warmth, or food. The deportations were sometimes to a great distance, as in the case of about 30,000 men sent to hard labor among the Turks in Asia Minor.
The details of the Serbian atrocities have not been as generally known as the Belgian and Armenian. A Swiss investigator, Prof. Reiss, was able to report on the early Austrian atrocities in 1915. In 1917 the Holland section of the League of Neutral Countries made a careful investigation on which the above statements were based. But after the collapse of Bulgaria the veil was lifted from many of the horrors, and it is known that in one camp alone 30,000 out of a total of 50,000 interned Serbs died. Blacker even than the wholesale murdering was the fiendish cruelty. Lieutenant Topalovich, who had lived through three years in internment camps reported, in November 1918, to the Government at Corfu the conditions that prevailed.)
Methods for Murdering the Serbs Employed by the Austrians. The following methods of killing or mutilation I have established by evidence. The victims were shot, killed by the bayonet, their throats cut with knives, they were violated and then killed, stoned to death, hanged, beaten to death with the butt-end of rifles or with sticks, disembowelled, burnt alive, or their legs or arms were cut or torn off, their ears or noses cut off, their eyes put out, their breasts cut off, their skin cut in strips, or the flesh torn from the bone. Lastly, a little girl of ten months was thrown to the pigs. (A considerable number were buried alive.)---(R. A. Reiss, "Comment les Austro-Hongrois ont fait la guerre en Serbie." Report of personal investigation made in Serbia in 1915 by a neutral Swiss professor of the University of Lausanne.)
Bulgarian Prison Horrors at Sofia.---The Serbian prisoner of war camp on the outskirts of Sofia is terrible evidence of that hatred between Bulgar and Serb which runs like poison through the whole system of the Balkans. Within sight of the main road to Radomir is a muddy compound about three acres in extent, surrounded by barbed wire. In this pen are 103,000 Serbians of all ages, together with 600 Greek civilians carried off from Seres and Drama. A similar body of Russians and a detachment of French were lodged in a few white-washed mud huts which the compound contains.
The great majority of the Serbians have lain in the open, day and night, in wind and rain, summer and winter; many of them for three whole years of captivity had no blankets or protection of ally kind. Their food is one pound of dark bread daily. Their so-called soup, which they were preparing while I was there, is just a caldron of hot water with a dozen maize pods in it. . . .
These are plain facts about the Serbian prisoners confined within a half hour's walk of the Bulgarian War Ministry.---(Ward Price, from British Headquarters in Macedonia, N. Y. Times, Oct. 28, 1918.)
Deportations of the Greeks of Asia Minor and European Turkey
[In Turkey, there was a large and flourishing Greek population,. influential and rich. The Turks feared that the European powers might decide to allow Greece to annex the parts of Macedonia and Thrace that had a majority of Greeks---nearly a million in Thrace alone---and also perhaps the islands and rich southern shores of Asia Minor, peopled by Greeks from time immemorial. The "new Turks" in 1913 decided that these Greeks must be moved, impoverished, killed, or put out of the way. The purely Germanic scheme of wholesale deportation combined with robbery and destruction of all property was adopted. The work began in Asia Minor ----nearly a year before the war. It paralyzed nearly all business throughout the country, because, as is well known, the Turk is utterly incapable of carrying on any business.
The instructions to the Governor of Smyrna (on the next page) give the characteristic Germanic excuse for beginning the atrocities, namely they accuse the Greeks of planning a revolutionary movement, just as they had accused the Armenians. This was an even more transparent lie, because the Greeks had not as yet been obliged to arm themselves for defense against periodical Turkish massacres as had the Armenians. A similar Germanic method of first getting rid of the able-bodied men was practised as in the case of the Armenians. They were drafted into the Turkish army and then, when under military control, were martyrized. The official reports issued in May 1918 by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs show how several hundred thousand Greeks had been killed, the girls forced into Mohammedan harems, the children torn from their families to be brought up as Mohammedans. A thoroughly German touch was to force the inhabitants under fear of death to sign statements that they were leaving their homes of their own free will.
Some evacuated places were prosperous cities like Cydonia (Aivali) with 30,000 inhabitants. Many of the evacuated Christian villages, after being plundered, were destroyed by fire. The people were not allowed to take anything with them, not even warm clothing.
The caravans of deported were herded into the interior of Asia Minor, into the region of Turkish villages, or else sent off on the frightful long march toward Mesopotamia. Wherever it was, those that survived found themselves without shelter or food, and the Mohammedans were instructed by the authorities to starve and abuse them. Their money and clothes were stolen. They died off like flies. They were given food and shelter only in case they abjured Christianity, and usually this applied only to the young. As the able-bodied men, who might have protected them, had all been previously disposed of they were a helpless prey.
Practically all the Greek centres of life in Thrace, along the Sea of Marmora, and the coast of Asia Minor have been destroyed.
Our ambassador to Turkey, Mr. Morgenthau, says: "Admiral Usedom, one of the big German naval experts of Turkey, told me that the Germans had suggested this deportation to the Turks." The Greeks, like the Armenians, were in Germany's way. The leading Pan-German writers upheld the Turks to the limit of their worst atrocities.]
To the Governor of Smyrna
... It is imperative for political reasons that the Greeks dwelling along the coast of Asia Minor be compelled to evacuate their villages in order to settle in the vilayets of Erzerum and Chaldea. If they refuse to emigrate to the places assigned to them, you should issue verbal instructions to our Mussulman brothers so that there may by all kinds of excesses, compel the Greeks to, leave their homes of their own accord.
Do not in this case forget to obtain from these emigrants declarations to the effect that they are leaving their hearths and homes of their own free will so that no political complications may later result there from.--- (Signed by The Chief of the Turkish Bureau of Correspondence, Ali Riza; from Le Temps, Paris, July 20, 1916; and "Persecution of the Greeks in Turkey," by Brown and Ion, Amer. Hellen. Soc. Publ. No. 3, 1918.)
Protest of the Greek Government to the United States
Many officers and soldiers of the Turkish army who have been captured by the Allies and have arrived at Salonica, upon being questioned, have told of the destruction of Hellenism in Turkey.... Three means have been used, general mobilization, requisitions, and deportations.
Up to the end of 1917 more than 200,000 Greeks between 15 and 48 years of age were mobilized. Large numbers of these have succumbed to maltreatment, famine, exposure, and epidemics.
The Hellenic populations that have been compelled to leave their homes in Thrace and Asia Minor number more than 1,500,000. With the exception of the Greek populations of Constantinople, Smyrna, and some other cities, all the Greeks of Turkey are suffering martyrdom through deportations, outrages on women, and starvation.
Half of the deported populations have perished in consequence of ill-treatment, disease, and famine. Many have committed suicide or have been massacred in the interior of Asia Minor. Those that remain are subjected to continual martyrdom as slaves or are forced to become Mohammedans. Turkish functionaries and officers declare that no Christian shall be left alive in Turkey unless he embraces Mohammedanism. . . . The confiscated fortunes of the deported Greeks surpass in value 5,000,000,000 francs. . . . "Smyrna," so an officers says, "is melting like a candle" . . . The streets of the large cities are lined with Greek orphans begging a living, in spite of the fact that the authorities are gathering them in Turkish schools in order to make them Mohammedans.--- (From cablegram received, May 13, 1918, by the Greek Legation at Washington from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece. See Brown and Ion, "Persecution of the Greeks.")
The Martyrdom of the Armenians
The industrious and able Armenians had long excited the hatred of the Turks not only as Christians but because of their ability. There were nearly 100,000 in Constantinople itself. The old Sultan Abdul Hamid had on several occasions massacred as many of them as he dared, principally in that part of Turkey next to the Russian border and the Caucasus which formed part of the old Kingdom of Armenia. After the so-called Young Turks, who dethroned Abdul Hamid, had imagined a theory of Pan-Turkism, imitated from the Pan-Germanism of the Kaiser, they decided to extirpate or enslave or deport all the Christian races of Turkey. The Turks decided to begin with the Armenians. The plan was elaborated by the Turkish Cabinet under Talaat, Enver, and Djavid. It is known to have had the approval of Germany.
The Armenian massacres by the Young Turks, under the direction of Talaat and Enver really began at Van and its neighborhood in the spring of 1915 when the Turkish army that had been fighting the Russians on the Armenian border started a massacre in about eighty Armenian villages, killing about 24,000 people. They would order out all the young men of a village on the pretext of hearing an order of the Sultan and would then shoot them. After that they would take the girls and distribute them, and then sack and burn the villages. When the Turkish governor then called out 4,000 men of Van itself, they know what it meant and refused, preferring to sell their lives. Then there followed a tragedy, and when after five weeks of fighting some Russian troops arrived, they found 55,000 bodies.
This experience taught the Turks caution. If this plan of murdering a race was to succeed, two preliminary steps would therefore have to be taken: it would be necessary to render all Armenian soldiers powerless and to deprive of their arms the Armenians in every city and town. Before Armenia could be slaughtered, Armenia must be made defenceless.
In the early part of 1915 the Armenian soldiers in the Turkish army were reduced to a new status . . . were all stripped of their arms and ... transformed into road laborers and pack animals.... They received only scraps of food; if they fell sick they were left where they had dropped . . . if any stragglers reached their destinations they were not infrequently massacred.
In many instances Armenian soldiers were disposed of in even more summary fashion. Here and there squads of 50 or 100 men would be taken, bound together in groups of four and then marched out to a secluded spot . . . the sound of rifle shots would fill the air ... 2,000 of these unarmed Armenian amales or soldier-workmen were sent from Harpoot to be massacred. Another 2,000 were sent to Diarbekir, and the Kurds, men and women, made to butcher them. Throughout the Turkish Empire a systematic attempt was made to kill all able-bodied men, for the purpose of removing all males who might propagate a new generation of Armenians.
The next stage was a search for hidden arms conducted with hideous tortures; beating the feet until they had to be amputated; pulling out eyebrows and hair, finger-nails and toe-nails; red-hot irons applied to breast; red-hot pincers and boiling butter in wounds; crucifixion; horseshoes nailed to feet. Finally all arms were collected, the men killed or removed, then the deporting of the helpless could begin.
For the better part of six months, from April to October 1915, practically all the highways in Asia Minor were crowded with these unearthly bands of exiles. As far as can be ascertained, about 1,200,000 people started on this journey to the Syrian desert....
The gendarmes whom the government had sent, supposedly to protect the exiles, in a very few hours became their tormentors. They followed their charges with fixed bayonets, prodding any one who showed any tendency to slacken the pace. . . . They even prodded pregnant women with bayonets.... Detachements of gendarmes would go ahead notifying the Kurdish tribes that their victims were approaching and Turkish peasants were also informed that their long waited opportunity had arrived. The Government even opened the prisons and set free the convicts, on the understanding that they should behave like good Moslems to the approaching Armenians. Thus every caravan had a continuous battle for existence with several classes of enemies. . . . The men who might have defended these wayfarers had nearly all been killed or forced into the army as workmen, and the exiles themselves had been systematically deprived of all weapons before the journey began.
How many exiled to the South . . . ever reached their destination? (Out of those who arrived in Mesopotamia and Syria, less than 100,000 of the 1,200,000 survived.) They were so robbed that they ended by going naked; and even in crossing streams, they were prevented from drinking though their tongues were black from thirst and they would throw themselves and their children into the water to drown. (A witness has testified to one method of wholesale murder at the end of the journey. Five hundred Armenians were shut up in a barn and the Turkish gendarmes burned them up by throwing torches through the windows.)
. . . In Trebizond the men were placed in boats and sent out on the Black Sea; gendarmes would follow them in boats, shoot them down and throw their bodies in the water. . . . In the last week in June 1915 several parties of Erzeroum Armenians were deported on successive days and most of them massacred on the way, either by shooting or drowning. One Mine. Zarouhi, an elderly lady of means, who was thrown into the Euphrates, saved herself by clinging to a boulder. . . . She shuddered to recall how hundreds of children were bayoneted by the Turks and thrown into the Euphrates, and how men and women were stripped naked, tied together in hundreds, shot and then hurled into the river. In a loop of the river near Erzingham, she said, the thousands of dead bodies created such a barrage that the Euphrates changed its course for about a hundred yards.---(Quoted and summarized from "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.")
A German Teacher Testifies to Germany's Guilt in the Armenian Massacres
When I returned to Aleppo in September 1915 ... a new phase of Armenian massacres had begun which aimed at exterminating, root and branch, the intelligent, industrious, and progressive Armenian nation. . . . In dilapidated caravansaries (in Aleppo) I found quantities of dead (many corpses being half-decomposed) and others, still living among them, who were soon to breathe their last. . . . In the neighborhood of the German Technical Schools, at which I am employed as a higher grade teacher, there were four such "hans" (caravansaries), with seven or eight hundred exiles dying of starvation. . . . Ta'alim el Aleman, "the teaching of the Germans," is the simple Turk's explanation to everyone who asks him about the originators of these measures. Mohammedans hold the Germans responsible for all such outrages, Germany being considered during the war as Turkey's schoolmaster in everything. Even the Mollahs (Mahommedan preachers) in the mosques say that it was not the Sublime Porte but the German officers who ordered the ill-treatment and destruction of the Armenians.---(Dr. Martin Niepage, "The Horrors of Aleppo"; Engl. Trans. Doran Co., N. Y.)
THE EVENTS WHICH FORCED THE UNITED
INTO THE WAR
German Maritime Outrages.---On August 4, 1914, the day England entered the war, President Wilson issued a proclamation of the neutrality of the United States, and a definition of this neutrality was issued on January 20, 1915, by Secretary of State Bryan. On January 28, 1915, the American merchantman Wm. F. Frye was sunk by a German cruiser, in violation of our treaties of 1799 and 1828 with Prussia. Furthermore, on February 4, 1915, the German Government proclaimed a war zone around the British Isles, effective after February 18, and announced that they would sink all enemy merchant ships, and even neutral ships within this zone, by mines or otherwise. The United States at once (February 10) sent a note to Germany, stating that Germany would be held to "strict accountability" if American lives or property were lost in consequence of carrying out this plan. In spite of this warning, American lives were lost in the torpedoing of the steamer "Falaba," the airplane attack on the American vessel "Cushing," and in the torpedoing of the American steamer "Gulflight."
The Lusitania and Our Warnings.---A crisis was brought on by the torpedoing, without warning (May 7), of the great passenger steamer Lusitania, with the loss of 1,182 lives, of whom 286 were women and 94 children. Among those lost were 124 American citizens. Germany received the news with enthusiasm and celebrated it by a commemorative medal, a national holiday for school children, and decorations for the officers and crew of the submarine. Moreover, pastors, like Baumgarten, glorified it in their sermons. A note sent to Germany on May 13 protested against her submarine policy, and this was supplemented by a second note on June 9, and by a third on July 21. Germany's defense asserted that the Lusitania was armed with guns served by trained gunners, and carried ammunition, high explosives, and troops. These false assertions were proved to have been fabricated by German officials, and Stahl, the one witness to the presence of guns, was convicted of perjury before the courts. (McMaster, "The U. S. in the World War," p. 167.) Germany also disclaimed responsibility on the score of having issued a warning to Americans, through her ambassador, Bernstorff, not to travel on transatlantic boats. But this was dismissed by President Wilson as an inadmissable abridgment of American liberties.
The torpedoings continued: the U. S. steamer Nebraskan, May 25, 1915, the Armenian, June 28; the Anglo-Californian, July 22; the Leelanaw, July 25; the Arabic, Aug. 19, etc., were sunk with repeated cynical apologies.
German Promises.---Germany's reluctant promise, given in Washington, September 1, that she would no longer sink liners without warning and that she would provide for the safety of non-combatants was broken at once and continuously, as in the case of the Arabic, the Ancona, and the Persia. Yet our government kept hoping,. and forbearing to take irretrievable measures; though President Wilson in his letter to Senator Stone, on February 24, 1916, repeated that we intended to hold American rights inviolate.
Promises Broken.---Early in 1916 Germany announced that, after March 1, she would attack as war ships and sink without warning any merchant vessels armed with a defensive gun. At the same time the McLemore resolution was introduced in Congress warning Americans not to travel on such ships. It was defeated.
The Sussex Torpedoed. Our First Ultimatum, and Germany's New Promise Broken.---Soon after, March 24, came the torpedoing of the Sussex, without warning, and with the loss of 80 lives. She was a French channel passenger boat, without even a signal gun.
In consequence, on April 18, President Wilson sent a clear-cut ultimatum to Germany demanding that she change her submarine policy and plainly indicating that war was the alternative. And such was the gravity of the situation that he laid the facts before a joint session of Congress. Germany apparently yielded, in her reply of May 4, and promised to follow international law in giving warning, in visit and search, and in providing for the safety of lives.
There followed some months of relative inaction in submarine warfare. But on Jan. 31, 1917, the German Chancellor proclaimed a renewed relentless submarine warfare, explaining that the reason for the respite had been the wish to accumulate a sufficiently large number of submarines to make the assault deadly.
German Intrigues and Violations of Our Neutrality.---The climax was approaching. Several weeks before this, on Jan. 19, Germany's Foreign Minister, Zimmermann, had sent his famous intercepted dispatch to the German Minister to Mexico, proposing an alliance with Mexico and Japan for an attack on the United States.
This was in the field of secret intrigue. There had been numerous German agents at work here since the beginning of the war and even before. A circular of German Headquarters of Nov. 2, 1914, and the more recent Senate committee investigations, show that agencies with large funds had been established in all neutral countries, including the United States. It has been reckoned that at least $50,000,000 were spent in this country. The German government sought to establish here bases for military attacks on Canada and even India, and for fomenting trouble with Mexico and Japan. Its campaign to interfere, by strikes, explosions, and fires, with the manufacture of munitions and their transportation was widespread and continuous and included the destruction of vessels as well as factories. Another field was the influencing of public opinion, especially through the press. There was an endeavor to influence legislation, both state and national. The German Ambassador, Bernstorff, was at the head of the organization, but our government did not request his recall for that reason, but only that of his attachés, Boy-Ed and Papen, Dr. Albert, and also the Austrian Ambassador Dumba. The officers of the North German Lloyd Steamship Company were also very active.
Diplomatic Relations Severed.---It was not, however, these numerous acts against the neutrality of the United States that brought about the rupture. It was the German submarine declaration of January 31, 1917, already described. The decision was immediate. On February 3 President Wilson addressed Congress, announcing the severing of diplomatic relations with Germany. But this did not necessarily mean war. We were waiting for overt acts. These came thick and fast during February and March. The American ship Housatonic (February 3), Lyman M. Law (February 13), Algonquin (March 12), Vigilancia (March 16), City of Memphis (March 17), Illinois (March 17), and Aztec (April 1), beside numerous British and neutral vessels, especially the Laconia, the Afric, and six Dutch grain ships for Belgian relief were attacked by submarine.
Declaration of War.---Finally the President called a special session of Congress on April 2, and declared: "the challenge is to all mankind"; "it is a war against all nations." He advised that Congress "formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon the government and people of the United States." Congress responded at once with the declaration of a state of war.
Germany's Plan in 1915 to Make America Pay for the War
During the winter of the submarine controversy before the sinking of the Lusitania ... the Frankfurter Zeitung printed an interview with Tirpitz.... The "high naval authority" advocated ruthless submarine war with England. . . . After the surrender (of that country) . . . the German fleet with this accession of strength was to sail for America and exact from us indemnities sufficient to pay the whole cost of the war.---(Gauss, "Why we went to war," p. 281.)
American Protest Against the War Zone Decree
... The sole right of a belligerent in dealing with neutral vessels on the high seas is limited to visit and search, unless a blockade is proclaimed and effectively maintained. . . . To declare or exercise a right to attack and destroy any vessel entering a prescribed area of the high seas without first certainly determining its belligerent nationality and the contraband character of its cargo would be an act so unprecedented in naval warfare that this Government is reluctant to believe that the Imperial Government of Germany in this case contemplates it as possible....
If such a deplorable situation should arise . . . the government of the United States would be constrained to hold the Imperial German Government to a strict accountability for such arts of their naval authorities and to take any steps it might be necessary to take to safeguard American lives and property, and to secure to American citizens the full enjoyment of their acknowledged rights on the high seas.---(From note sent by Secretary of State Bryan to the Imperial German Government, Feb. 10, 1915.)
German Delight Over Lusitania
Whoever cannot prevail upon himself to approve from the bottom of his heart the sinking of the "Lusitania"---whoever cannot conquer his sense of the gigantic cruelty to unnumbered perfectly innocent victims . . . and give himself up to honest delight at this victorious exploit of German defensive power---him we judge to be no true German.---(Pastor Baumgarten, in "Gems," p. 182.)
Warning to Germany After the Destruction of the Lusitania
. . . The objection to their present method of attack against the trade of their enemies lies in the practical impossibility of employing submarines in the destruction of commerce without disregarding those rules of fairness, reason, justice, and humanity, which all modern opinion regards as imperative. It is practically impossible for the officers of a submarine to visit a merchant-man at sea and examine her papers and cargo. It is practically impossible for them to make prize of her; and, if they cannot put a prize crew on board of her, they cannot sink her without leaving her crew and all on board of her to the mercy of the sea in her small boats. These facts it is understood the Imperial German Government frankly admit. . . .
The Imperial German Government will not expect the Government of the United States to omit any word or any act necessary to the performance of its sacred duty of maintaining the rights of the United States and its citizens and of safeguarding their free exercise and enjoyment.---(Sent by the U. S. State Department, May 13, 1915.)
Germany's Promise Not to Sink Liners Without Warning
Liners will not be sunk by our submarines without warning and
. . . safety of the lives of the non-combatants, providing that the latter do not try to escape or offer resistance----(Note of Ambassador Bernstorff to Secretary Lansing, Sept. 1, 1915, based on instructions sent from Berlin before the sinking of the Arabic, Aug. 19.)
Germany's Second Promise---Order to Its Naval Forces
In accordance with the general principles of visit and search and destruction of merchant ships recognized by international law, such vessels both within and without the area declared as naval war zone, shall not be sunk without warning and without saving lives unless these ships attempt to escape or offer resistance.--- (German note of May 4, 1916, to Secretary Lansing.)
International Rights of American Citizens by President Wilson
For my own part, I cannot consent to any abridgment of the rights of American citizens in any respect. . . . We covet peace, and shall preserve it at any cost but the loss of honor. To forbid our people to exercise their rights for fear we might be called upon to vindicate them would be a deep humiliation indeed. It would be an implicit, all but an explicit, acquiescence in the violation of the rights of mankind everywhere, and of whatever nation or allegiance. . . .
It is important to reflect that if in this instance we allow expediency to take the place of principle, the door would inevitably be opened to still further concessions.... What we are contending for in this matter is of the very essence of the things that have made America a sovereign nation. She cannot yield them without conceding her own impotency as a nation, and making virtual surrender of her independent position among the nations of the world.---(President Wilson, letter to Senator Stone, Feb. 24, 1916.)
President Wilson's Second Sussex Note of April 18, 1916
Again and again the Imperial Government has given its solemn assurances . . . that at least passenger ships would not be thus dealt with, and yet it has repeatedly permitted its undersea commanders to disregard those assurances with entire impunity; ... the lives of non-combatants, passengers and crew, have been destroyed wholesale and in a manner . . . wanton and without the slightest color of justification. . . . The roll of Americans who have lost their lives . . . has grown month by month until the ominous toll has mounted into the hundreds.
The government of the United States has been very patient .... It now owes it ... to say to the Imperial Government that ... unless the Imperial Government should now immediately declare and effect an abandonment of its present methods of submarine warfare . . . the Government of the United States can have no choice but to sever diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether.
Germany Officially Breaks Her Promise
. . . The now openly disclosed intentions of the Entente Allies give back to Germany the freedom of action which she reserved in her note addressed to the Government of the United States on May 4, 1916.
Under these circumstances Germany will meet the illegal measures of her enemies by forcibly preventing after February 1, 1917, in a zone around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the Eastern Mediterranean, all navigation, that of neutrals included, from and to France, etc. All ships met within this zone will be sunk.---(Germany's note to the U. S. of Jan. 31, 1917.)
Germany's Reason for Renewed Submarine Frightfulness
[The Chancellor of the German Empire said:] I have always proceeded from the standpoint of whether U-boat war would bring us nearer victorious peace or not. Every means, I said in March, that was calculated to shorten the war constitutes the most humane policy to follow. When the most ruthless methods are considered best calculated to lead us to victory, and swift victory, I said, then they must be employed.
This moment has now arrived. . . . Where has there been any change in the situation? In the first place, the most important fact of all is that the number of our submarines has been very considerably increased as compared with last spring, and thereby a firm basis for success has been established.
The second co-decisive reason is the bad cereal harvest of the world. This fact already confronts England, France, and Italy with serious difficulties, which by means of unrestricted U-boat war will be brought to a point of unbearableness.
. . . The dangers which arise from U-boat war have correspondingly decreased. . . . A few days ago Field Marshal Hindenburg described the situation to me thus: Our fronts stand firm on all sides. We have everywhere the requisite reserves. The spirit of our troops is good, and confident. The military situation as a whole permits us to accept all the consequences which unrestricted U-boat war may bring, and as this U-boat war is the means of injuring our enemies the most greviously, it must be begun. . . . ---(Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, January 31, 1917, New York Times, February 2, 1917. Cited from "America at War.")
Secretary Lansing's Indictment of Germany
It is this disclosure of the character of the Imperial German Government which is the underlying cause of our entry into the war.
We had doubted, or at least many Americans had doubted, the evil purposes of the rulers of Germany. Doubt remains no longer. ---(Robert Lansing, "A War of Self-Defense," Comm. on Pub. Inform.)
Should the U. S. Have Laid an Embargo on the Shipment of Arms?
To write into international law that neutrals should not trade in munitions would be to hand over the world to the rule of the nation with the largest armament factories. Such a policy the United States could not accept.---("How the War Came to America." 133, the U. S. Bureau of Public Information, June 1917.)
German Activities in Neutral Countries
DOCUMENT 55. Circular, November 2, 1914.---From the General Staff to all military attachés in the countries adjacent to Russia, France, Italy, and Norway. In all branches of German banks in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States special war credits have been opened for subsidiary war requirements. The General Staff is authorizing you to avail yourself in unlimited amount of these credits for the destruction of the enemy's factories, plants, and the most important military and civil structures. Simultaneously with the instigation of strikes it is necessary to make provisions for the damaging of motors, of mechanisms, with the destruction of vessels, setting incendiary fires to stocks of raw materials, and finished products, deprivation of large towns of their electric energy, stock of fuel, and provisions. Special agents, detailed to be at your disposal, will deliver to you explosive and incendiary devices, and a list of such persons in the country under your observation, who will assume the duty of agents of destruction. (Signed) Dr. Fischer, General Army Councilor---(Supplied by the Committee on Public Information. Printed in the New York Times, September 21, 1918. Authenticity attested by Report of Committee of Historians signed by Professors Jameson and Harper. See N. Y. Times "Current History," Dec. 1918, p. 528.)
Report of the House Committee on German Intrigues in the United States Before Our Declaration of War
The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, when it presented the war resolution following the President's Message (April 5, 1917), went on formal record as listing at least 21 kinds of unfriendly acts committed upon our soil with the connivance of the German government since the European war began. Among these were:
Inciting Hindus within the United States to stir up revolts in India, and supplying them with funds for that end, contrary to our neutrality laws.
Running a fraudulent passport office for German reservists. This was supported by Captain Papen of the German Embassy.
Sending German agents to England to act as spies, equipped with American passports.
Outfitting steamers to supply German raiders, and sending them out of American ports in defiance of our laws.
Sending an agent from the United States to try to blow up the International Bridge. at Vanceboro, Me.
Furnishing funds to agents to blow up factories in Canada.
Five different conspiracies, some partly successful, to manufacture and place bombs on ships leaving United States ports. For these crimes a number of persons have been convicted, also (the German) Consul General Bopp of San Francisco has been convicted of plotting to cause bridges and tunnels to be destroyed in Canada.
Financing newspapers in this country to conduct a propaganda serviceable to the ends of the German Government.
Stirring up anti-American sentiment in Mexico and disorders generally in that country, to make it impossible for the United States to mix in European affairs.---(From the government publication of President Wilson's "War Message and the Facts behind it," with annotations by Prof. Davis, Prof. Allan, and Dr. Anderson.)
German Plots and Intrigue in Neutral America
(The following material up to the Zimmermann Dispatch has been contributed by Professor E. E. Sperry of Syracuse University.)
The following is a partial list of unfriendly and unlawful activities carried on in the United States by agents of the German or Austrian governments.
Creating Strikes.---One agency used to cause strikes was a pretended Employment Bureau established by the German and Austrian Embassies in August 1915, in New York City, with branches in leading industrial centers of the country.
Another means to cause strikes was the "Labor's National Peace Council," a professedly pacifist organization. It was financed by Franz Rintelen, sent to the United States by the German government to prevent the export of munitions to the Entente Powers. Acting on the pretense that munition making was a crime against humanity, because prompted by greed for blood money, the officers of the "Council" hired agitators who went through the eastern part of the United States causing strikes in munition plants. Plans were considered by the hired promoters of the "Council" to provoke strikes among railway employees, pilots, and marine engineers; and $10,000 was spent in an effort to paralyze America's foreign commerce by a strike of stevedores.
In a letter sent to the Austrian Foreign Office in August, 1915, by the Austrian Ambassador to the United States, Constantin Theodor Dumba, occur these words:
"It is my impression that we can disorganize and hold up for months, if not entirely prevent, the manufacture of munitions in Bethlehem and the Middle West, which in the opinion of the German Military Attaché is of importance and amply outweighs the comparatively small expenditure of money involved. . . ."
(On Nov. 10-11, 1915, incendiary fires and explosions took place in the Bethlehem Steel Works, the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Co., the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and the Roebling Works at Trenton, N. J.)
Pressure on Congress.---The German government in its effort to check the flow of American munitions to the Allies attempted to manipulate the Congress of the United States. One of the agencies through which it worked was the "American Embargo Conference," an organization financed in part by leading German-Americans of New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit.
The Conference distributed many pamphlets and circular letters denouncing American makers of munitions and demanding an embargo on their product. It circulated among voters of the Middle West telegrams requesting Congress to forbid the export of munitions and on a fixed day 250,000 of these identical messages poured into Washington.
Count Bernstorff cabled to the German Foreign Office:
"The 'Embargo Conference,' in regard to whose earlier fruitful cooperation Dr. Hale can give information, is just about to enter upon a vigorous campaign to secure a majority in both houses of Congress favorable to Germany and request further support. There is no possibility of our being compromised. Request telegraphic reply.
"I request authority to pay out up to $50,000 (fifty thousand dollars) in order, as on former occasions, to influence Congress through the organization you know of, which can perhaps prevent war. . . .
"I am beginning in the meantime to act accordingly.
"In the above circumstances a public official declaration in favor of Ireland is highly desirable, in order to gain the support of the Irish influence here."
Destruction of Ships and Their Cargoes.---Another means employed by German Agents in the United States to cut off the Allies from American markets was the destruction of war materials and other supplies while in course of shipment by sea. Capt. Papen, military attaché of the German embassy, paid Dr. Walter T. Scheele, a German chemist of Hoboken, $10,000 to design au incendiary bomb. The bomb shells to the number of about 300 were made on a North German Lloyd steamship interned at Hoboken, were filled with combustibles at Dr. Scheele's laboratory, and then taken to New York City. Thence some were sent to such ports as Boston or New Orleans, or were placed on outgoing ships by German sea captains hired for that purpose. Fires were thus started on thirty-three ships sailing from New York alone.
Forgery of American Passports.---When the war began in July 1914, Count Bernstorff wished to send home the many German reserve officers living in the United States. If they travelled on their own passports, they would be captured by the British cruisers which searched all passenger ships, and accordingly the German embassy opened in New York City an office where American passports were forged by wholesale for the use of the reservists.
The Secret Zimmermann Dispatch (Jan. 19, 1917)
Germany's Attempt to Rouse Mexico and Japan.---On the 1st of February, we intend to begin submarine warfare unrestricted. In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States of America.
If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico.
That we shall make war together and together make peace. We shall give general financial support and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement.
You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the United States, and suggest that the President of Mexico, on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence at once to this plan; at the same time, offer to mediate between Germany and Japan. . . . (Signed) Zimmermann.---(Intercepted despatch of the German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the German Minister in Mexico.)
The Senate Investigation of German Propaganda
[The Committee appointed by the Senate, with Mr. Overman as chairman, to inquire into the purchase of the Washington Post, developed into a searching and wide enquiry into German propaganda in the United States, as well as an inquiry into the Russian Bolshevist revolution and its effects upon the United States. A mass of evidence was produced. It was shown that German propaganda was started many years before the war, that the date of the outbreak of the war was planned and a special group of men trained in Berlin for work in America before the murder of the Austrian Archduke.]
Propaganda Group Formed.---German judges, professors, linguists, scientists, and politicians were selected two or three weeks before the murder at Serajevo (June 28, 1914) for propaganda duty in America when war came.
In June of 1914 there were about 200 or 300 of these men . . . who were approached by agents from the Foreign Office and agents of the chancellor with an inquiry as to whether they were ready for foreign service.---(Capt. Lester's testimony before the Senate Committee.)
Propagandists Sent to U. S.---The instruction of the thirty-one men ordered to the United States, of whom, it may be stated, Professor Bonn of Munich was one, (Captain Lester testified), continued daily until the, propagandists sailed for New York tinder the leadership of Dr. Albert. On their arrival in New York they reported to M. B. Claussen, then publicity manager of the Hamburg-American Line. They then got in communication with Hamburg-American and North German Lloyd officials and agents in all parts of the country, as well as the German diplomatic and consular officials. Every man had had his particular job made plain to him before he left Berlin. . . .
Dr. Albert established headquarters (at 1123 Broadway) . . . Papen, Dernburg, Boy-Ed, and other German head officials met the propagandists for conferences in Albert's suite of offices.
Albert also had an office at 45 Broadway, to get into which you had to say "Bergmeister." . . . A private entrance to the Albert office at 45 Broadway was through the steerage ticket office of the Hamburg-American Line. Direct wire connection with the wireless station at Sayville was established between 1123 Broadway and the Long Island terminus of the German wireless system.
Propaganda Work.---These thirty-one hand-picked propagandists . . . (Captain Lester testified), flooded the country with pro-German literature. They received in the first year of the war enormous quantities of material from Germany. They also scattered German picture postcards by the ton. . . .
The news service which was the visible part of the German propaganda, was prepared in the office of Dr. Albert, and sent over to the American Press Association. . . .
The German Government had a wonderful system for getting information regarding newspapers and their employees. . . . They went to the length of getting complete records. of everybody from the editor in chief to the office boys. Reporters, pressmen, typesetters, telephone girls, stenographers, telegraph operators, office help, all were looked up and listed. I know of one paper where they knew more about the property than the owner did himself. Of course, the purpose was obvious, namely to get information through this very valuable source if it was possible to do so.
Great Silent Army Here.---Then there was the great silent army (Capt. Lester testified). This was made up of people friendly to Germany. It does not include the great numbers of men who registered at the consulates as subject to military service immediately after the war started. They were persons who wanted Germany to win and who had volunteered their services to assist in any way and who were ready for call when wanted . . of which there were two or three hundred thousand.---(Captain Lester's testimony before Senate Overman Committee, reported for example in N. Y. Times, Dec. 14, 1918, etc.)
Bernstorff on Subsidizing Press
As to the value of weekly papers in general, there are here very different views. Mr. Bayard Hale wishes me to propose to you the founding of a first-class weekly, whereas I, in my report No. 412, recommended the starting of a monthly. Personally, I think it entirely depends upon whether we make a happy choice in respect of the editor. .. . .
The fact of an American newspaper being subsidized can never be kept secret, because there is no reticence in this country. It always ends with my being held responsible for all the articles of any such newspaper. This is particularly undesirable when, as now, we are in an electoral campaign of the bitterest character, which is turning. largely upon foreign policy.
I have, therefore, with much satisfaction to myself, at least, succeeded in getting out of all relations with "Fair Play" of Marcus Braun. I should also be glad to be free from "The Fatherland". which has shown itself to be of little value.
It is particularly difficult in a hostile country to find suitable persons for help of this sort, and to this, as well as the Lusitania case, we may attribute the shipwreck of the German propaganda initiated by Herr Dernburg.--- (Cipher letter of Ambassador Bernstorff to German Foreign Office, N. Y. Tribune, Dec. 8, 1918.)
Fox, The Faked Russian Atrocities in Prussia and the Yellow Peril
I was ordered, (Captain Lester testified) to take up the case of Edward Lyell Fox. . . . He turned over a mass of papers and made what was considered nearly a full confession. . . . Mr. Fox was sent to Germany in 1915, by the German Embassy, by an arrangement made through Count Bernstorff, the German Ambassador; Dr. Albert, and others. . . . He went ostensibly as an employee of the Wildman Newspaper Syndicate. . . . Mr. Fox was also employed by the Correspondents' Film Company, which was operated by Matthew B. Claussen as part of the German propaganda in this country, which film company was financed by the German Government.
In addition an arrangement was made by the Hearst newspapers to employ Mr. Fox to write articles while in Germany, attaching himself to the headquarters of the Hearst service in Berlin, then managed by Gustav Schweppendick. He was to write articles and news for the Hearst publications. This arrangement is evidenced by a letter given to Mr. Fox by Mr. Bradford Merrill, who was the publisher of the New York American on June 29, 1915.
. . . The articles that came from Fox were sheer propaganda, and they were written by him without any foundation in fact. The German Publicity Bureau in Germany understood that lie was there to write anything they told him to write. He, himself, told me that.
I have before me an article written by Fox, published. in the New York American on Sunday, April 10, 1915, entitled "Hands and Feet of Boys Cut off by the Cossacks," says Edward Lyell Fox. "Mutilation of Children by Retreating Soldiers Charged in Official Records. Evidences of Atrocious Facts Found Everywhere., Eighteen Lads Found Maimed and Lying Helpless in the Snow."
The facts in respect to that article are these: He never saw an atrocity, never saw any of the events that he described, and he stated to me that those events in his opinion never happened, but he was told to write an article to counteract the information that was being spread through the American press at this particular time, in respect to atrocities in Belgium.
He was told to do this by a representative of the German Government. . . . Mr. Fox was in touch with the Chancellor, Mr. Zimmermann, and various of the higher officials of the German. Government.
On the 25th of April, 1915, there was published in the New York American ail article entitled "Professor Stein, Greatest Peace Apostle, Warns United States of Japanese Perils." This article was written by Fox in Germany. . . .
Professor Stein attempts here to prove conclusively that a combination of Japan and China is imminent, that as a combined power they will arm and be a menace to the United States and rule the world; that is commonly referred to as the "Yellow Peril."(Senate Overman Committee report, N. Y., Times, Dec. 14, 1918.)
Declaration of War by Congress, April 6, 1917
Whereas, the Imperial German Government has committed repeated acts of war against the government and the people of the, United States of America; therefore, be it
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has thus been thrust upon the United States, is hereby formally declared.
OUR GOVERNMENT'S CONDUCT OF THE WAR
Our Unpreparedness.---To understand the magnitude of what we were called upon to accomplish, we must realize both our unpreparedness and our slowness in taking the necessary steps toward efficiency. We were utterly unprepared for war when we entered upon it in April, 1917. There had been a world war for over two years and a half, bringing into use revolutionary war agencies and methods; and we had been for nearly two years, since the Lusitania disaster, in danger of being drawn into it. Yet we had done nothing---less than nothing---for we had not only not provided for an increase of our army but we had not properly equipped the small army we had. Private firms were manufacturing enormous quantities of munitions for our allies, but our army had practically no artillery ammunition. We had no military aircraft worth mentioning; no trench bombs; few motor trucks, no reserve of clothing, equipment, tents; no camps or barracks. We had no poison gas, gas masks, fire-flingers, gas bombs, or grenades. We had no modern rifles and no machine guns, which had now been shown to be a most essential equipment of infantry. We had practically none of the newly developed elements of marine warfare, submarines, destroyers, hydroplanes; while the few submarines we had were almost wholly unprovided with torpedoes. We were even without the plans, tools, and apparatus necessary for manufacturing what we needed.
When the break came the most important question was: could the old army organization handle the new situation, or must new machinery be created? There followed ;in interval of experimentation, which involved considerable delay in settling on the best and final plan. It was at once evident that more and more power must reside in our chief executive. Our war policies were determined and the new machinery for executing them created by the President, acting under the authorization of Congress which, regardless of party or precedent, more and more delegated its powers to him, so that he became virtually the dictator of our policies and methods.
New War Machinery.---The keynote of these policies and methods was Government regulation of production and activity. The Government took from civil life a number of men for public service and often put them in charge of the new departments. The rather chaotic transitional period lasted for nearly a year after the war began. Then results began to be achieved.
What were the principal new agencies? There were five principal non-military war agencies: The Federal Food Administration, the Federal Fuel Administration, the War Trade Board, the War Industries Board, and the War Labor Board. Another important agency of a general character was the Council of National Defence, branches of which were, organized in many places. It produced, among others, the War Industries Board.
Other important organizations were; The U. S. Employment Service, under the Department of Labor; the War Finance Corporation and the Essential Industries Finance Corporation. The tremendous and vital problem of overseas transportation was entrusted to the Shipping Board and to the Emergency Fleet Corporation.
The Government decided to assume the management of practically all public utilities. The Railroads, the Telephone and Telegraph Companies, the Express Companies, and finally, the Cable Companies, were all put under the direction of either Mr. McAdoo, the then Secretary of the Treasury, or of the Postmaster- General, Mr: Burleson.
In the case of the railroads, the Government realized that it had fatally crippled them by the hostile attitude shown ever since the punitive legislation of 1909 under the administration of Mr. Taft. Forbidden as they were to increase their rates, the companies had been unable to replace worn-out equipment, much less to expand. They were now under government control given much more than under private ownership they had ever dared to ask in the raising of both freight and passenger rates, as well as the previously denied pooling privilege.
The question of suitable transportation by sea was another difficult problem. We had no American merchant marine. The little which had existed had been killed a few years before by the legislation of the Seaman's Act. We had to create an immense merchant marine out of practically nothing. Our new army and its equipment and supplies, as well as food for the Allies had to be taken to Europe. We therefore commandeered the German passenger ships in our ports, the machinery of which had been destroyed; we arranged to take over some neutral (especially Dutch) and some Japanese shipping, and meanwhile we developed a whole chain of busy shipbuilding yards from one end of the country to the other. But we could not have managed without the help of England, for not only did England furnish a large part of the protection that enabled us to carry over the constant stream of men and material in safety, but over 50 per cent. of our army was actually carried in English ships.
The Council of National Defense.---The Council of National Defense was created by Act of Congress on August 29, 1916, to create "relations which render possible in time of need, the immediate concentration and the utilization of the resources of the nation."
"Since the declaration of war . . . (it) has concentrated its efforts on the mobilization of industries, resources, and people of the United States for the effective conduct of the war. The Council . . . consists of the Secretaries of War, Navy, Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, and Labor, assisted by an Advisory Commission of Seven Experts. . . . It extended its organization into the States in two ways: first, by appealing to the governors of each State to create State Councils of Defense similar in function to the Council of National Defence; and second, by appointing a Woman's Committee to direct, and organize the war work of women. . . . The Woman's Committee (also) extended its organization into the States by the creation of State divisions.
"The State Councils of Defence are the official war emergency organizations of the States entrusted with the execution of all the work of the State relating to the war . . . ---(J. P. Lichtenberger, in Annals of Am. Acad. of Political and Social Science. September, 1918, No, 168, "War Relief Work," p. 229)
The activities of the forty-eight State Councils were managed by the Field Division, which kept in touch with some 184,000 separate units, in the state, county, municipal, and community organizations.
The Work of the War Industries Board.---Broadly speaking this Board had to see that there was an adequate flow of all materials needed by the two great war-making agencies, the Army and the Navy, and the two organizations that most directly supported the fighting machine---the Emergency Fleet Corporation and the Railroad Administration. The Board at the same time provided the supplies necessary to the military needs of our Allies, together with the commodities urgently required by neutrals.
The Board had also, in alliance with the Food, Fuel, and Labor Administrations, to provide for the country's civilian needs. Its duty was not only to expand and stimulate production in industries essential to the winning of the war, but to protect, so far as possible the industries not immediately necessary to the war programme.
In its operations the Board expanded the production of materials necessary to the war programme and contracted the output of those that were not of prime need. This was accomplished by regulating the use of the basic economic elements: (a) Facilities, (b) Materials, (c) Fuel, (d) Transportation, (e) Labor, and (f) Capital. The Priority List was the key that opened the door of access to the six basic elements named. The Board had the right of commandeering industries. Food and fuel were administered separately, but over every other article of military need and of civilian life the Board had direct control and it had indirect control of food and fuel, as both required for their distribution or production other materials or facilities that might be withheld or supplied by the organization. America was the source of supply and the dependence of all the other powers, for the material needed in resisting Germany's attempt to dominate the world. Most Americans had never appreciated the magnitude of these requirements or the all-embracing economies that had to be practiced here if they were to be met. By curtailing useless types, manufacturing complications were minimized, labor was saved, stocks both of raw material and manufactured articles were reduced, and the drain on fuel, transportation, and capital was diminished.---(Adapted from Price and Spillane, World's Work, October 1918.)
Raw Materials.---Perhaps the biggest problem, at the beginning, for the Council of National Defense, was the mobilizing of the raw materials absolutely necessary for the prosecution of the war. The first important case was copper. Its use in shells and cartridges, in ships, in electrical apparatus, made it indispensable. The government would need 40 to .50 million pounds of copper at once. The market price of copper was then about 30 cents a pound. It was arranged that the government should take it at 16 2/3 cents a pound, a price based on the pre-war average of the ten previous years. This precedent was followed by the men in charge of the lead industry. The steel men made a price of $2.90 for plate, which was to be used in enormous quantities and for which the market price was more than double that rate. The same thing happened with high-grade zinc, which was selling at 26 cents a pound. It was reduced to 11 1/2 cents; the aluminum producers came down to 27 cents a pound from a market price of 50 cents. This was followed, too, in chemicals and explosives.--- (Summarized from David Lawrence's article in the Saturday Evening Post, August 3, 1918.)
Government Regulation of the Public.---The Government also entered deeply into the problems of our private life. Through the Food Administration it told us what to eat, what not to eat, and how to save; it tried to regulate as much as possible the market prices. Through the Fuel Administration it sought to apportion equitably the insufficient supply of coal, engineer its distribution, and prevent profiteering. Through the War Industries Board it divided industries into classes which should be discriminated for or against, as essential or non-essential in war time. Private individuals had to face considerable hardship; private building was stopped; many classes of manufactured articles for private use were no longer manufactured.
The Government and Labor.---It was essential for the government to have a clear understanding with organized labor. As the National War Labor Board declared: "This war is not only a war of arms; it is a war of workshops. It is a gigantic competition in the quantitative production and distribution of munitions and war supplies. It is a contest in industrial resourcefulness and energy."
Officially speaking, labor through its unions, especially the American Federation of Labor stood staunchly back of the government. It labelled war strikes, treachery to the country. It endorsed the decisions of the War Labor Board in labor disputes brought before it for settlement. It used its great influence on European labor organizations to free labor from the insidious virus of international pacifism that seeks to undermine patriotism. The government threatened to draft exempted men such as miners or mechanics who went on strike. This plan it threatened to apply in two rather prominent cases: in the Bridgeport strike of machinists (September, 1918) and in the proposed walk-out of the Pennsylvania anthracite coal miners in the same month. In the Bridgeport case President Wilson sent a scathing letter with the famous "work or fight" ultimatum; and a similar ultimatum was sent to the coal miners by Mr. Garfield. In both cases the Government won, and the men went to work.
It is true however, that, notwithstanding the loyalty of organized labor, there were numerous strikes. In fact there never were nearly as many in this country as during the war. Nearly a million and a half workmen left their work for a time and accounts of more than 3,000 strikes have been published. Many were due to disloyal propaganda by the I. W. W., by anarchists, by pacifists, by German agents.
Employment of Labor.---One of the most useful government agencies was the U. S. Employment Service of the War Labor Policies Board, which took charge of the mobilization of labor. It tried to get the right persons, in the right places with the least loss of time, by dividing the country into labor zones, and obtaining a suitable position for every one within his own zone, so as to avoid loss of time and unnecessary expense in transportation.
Since the armistice the shutting down of many war industries has brought up grave problems of unemployment and possibilities of unrest. Organized labor has joined hands with the U. S. Employment Service in attempting to solve these problems as they arise. It is not only the elaborate shifting of employment that has caused trouble, but the questions of hours and wages. The reduction of working hours to an eight-hour schedule, and the tremendous increase in wage rates, including one and a half or even double rates for overtime and Sunday work have produced an entirely new standard of living in many fields of labor.
The Government has helped to bring labor and capital together, to work on a common basis for action and agreement, which it is hoped, will have a lasting effect.
Cost of the War.---It is roughly estimated that the cost of the war for the Allies, including the United States, has been about 200 billions of dollars. In November, 1918, it was figured that our war expenses had been about 20 billion to date and would be about 30 billion up to July, 1919, an average of over a billion a month, in an ever increasing ratio. The five Liberty Loans brought in subscriptions to Government Bonds and Notes, aggregating over 21 billions. But it must not be forgotten that nearly one-third of this went in loans to the Allies.
The money was raised in two ways beside that of the Liberty Loans; by enormously increased taxation, and by War Saving and Thrift Stamps. The stamps secured a total of about a billion and a half, a figure far exceeding all original expectations. The increased taxation differed radically from that carried out in England in that it affected the rich and the corporations much more severely, and taxed more slightly the smaller incomes. The amount raised by taxation to June, 1918, was about 4 billion, and the 1919 taxes were intended to yield some 6 billions, making a total of 10 billion raised by taxation for financing the war.
Loans to Farmers and Industries.---Through the agency of the Federal Reserve Banks the Government has made immense loans to the farmers of the country, especially for the moving of the crops. After the organization of the 12 Federal Farm Loan Banks in March, 1917, the farmers were loaned up to November, 1918 the sum of $140,000,000 by the Farm Loan Board.
What the Colleges Have Done.---In September, 1916, the War Department, in order to increase the supply of commissioned officers under authorization of Congress, started at certain colleges and universities units of Reserve Officers' Training Corps. In these noted R. O. T. C. units the undergraduates combined the military drill and instruction with regular college work. The men went from college to the Officers' Training Camps, which were first established a month after we entered the war. There had been danger, before the establishment of the R. O. T. C., that the colleges would be deserted. This would have meant the loss of a chance to train men who could shortly be of infinitely greater service as specialists and officers, in the fields of engineering, electricity, chemistry, mechanics, and all studies in the field of the application of science to industry.
With the tremendous enlargement of our army by the extension of the draft age to include all men between 18 and 45, came the creation of the, Student's Army Training Corps (S. A. T. C.). These S. A. T. C. units filled the 500 colleges to the limits of their capacities, and temporarily revolutionized their teaching. This arrangement ended in December, 1918, before it had been possible to test the merits of the experiment.
The Investigation of Enemy Property.---Another important government activity was that of the Alien Property Custodian, which used part of the government detective system. An extraordinary condition was discovered in certain fields. For example German pacific penetration had aimed at gaining control of certain important raw materials necessary for the manufacture of war munitions and other war essentials. German money was poured out like water to buy up certain companies, doing it for the most part secretly, as in the case of the Bridgeport Projectile Company. Property to the extent of several hundred millions was seized and sold by this custodian to patriotic Americans.
Secretary Baker's Report, Dec. 4, 1918
The size of the Army increased between April 6, 1917 and Nov. 11, 1918, from 190,000 to 3,663,000 men, of whom more than 2,000,000 were in France. The appropriations for the War Department on the executive side alone, were increased in that period from $2,000,000 a year to $20,000,000; and the civilian employees from about 2,000 to about 25,000. For the year ending June 30, 1918, the appropriations for the support of the military establishment aggregated $8,000,000,000. For the year ending June 30, 1919, the appropriations aggregate $15,300,000,000.
The first units of the American Expeditionary Force reached France in June, 1917 . . . before the end of the year five divisions had reached Europe . . . . By the end of October American units had entered the line in quiet sectors in the Vosges, and in November engineers from the Twenty-Sixth Division took part in the British engagement at Cambrai.
During the fall and winter American troops received the intensive training in modern warfare which made them able to lead later at Château-Thierry, St. Mihiel, and the Meuse.
On March 21 the storm of the German offensive broke. Under the stress of the situation unity of command was effected, and by the direction of the President, General Pershing immediately placed his forces, numbering at that time about 343,000, at the disposal of Marshal Foch.
During the ensuing months American troops were on trial . . . at first they relieved French and British divisions in quiet sectors . . . then . . . they were thrown into the hottest of the battle. At Cantigny, on May 28, troops of the First Division fought their first real engagement. . . . On June 4, the Second Division of Regulars and Marines went into the line on the Marne, where the Germans were driving towards Paris. On June 15th they met the . . . enemy in the Belleau Wood. . . . On July 15 the enemy resumed the attack from Château-Thierry. . . . Six American divisions were thrown into the line at Château-Thierry. . . . On Sept. 12, the First American Army under the personal direction of General Pershing launched an attack on St. Mihiel. . . . Meanwhile the Twenty-seventh New York Division and the Thirtieth National Guard Division, with troops from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee, were operating with the British. . . . From the point of view of military strategy America's greatest contribution to the successful outcome of the war was the hotly-contested battle of the Meuse (and the Argonne), which resulted in cutting the main artery of the German supply system . . . the Sedan-Mezières railway running parallel to the front. . . . To cut this line at both ends and force withdrawal or capture on this entire front the British attacked in the north, and on Sept. 26, General Pershing drove in west of the Meuse with the. First American Army . . . about 26 American divisions were in the line . . . and November 1, the American forces broke through . . . until, on November 7, the U. S. forces entered the outskirts of Sedan and definitely cut the German supply line. A day later the French forces came up on the left bank (of the Meuse).
General Pershing's Report
Very early a system of schools was outlined and started which should have the advantage of instruction by officers direct from the front. At the great school centre at Langres, one of the first to be organized, was the staff school, where the principles of general staff work, as laid down in our own organization, were taught to carefully selected officers. Men in the ranks who had shown qualities of leadership were sent to the school of candidates for commissions. A school of the line taught younger officers the principles of leadership, tactics, and the use of the different weapons. In the artillery school, at Saumur, young officers were taught the fundamental principles of modern artillery; while at Issoudun an immense plant was built for training cadets in aviation. . . . Both Marshal Haig and General Petain placed officers and men at our disposal for instructional purposes, and we are deeply indebted for the opportunities given to profit by their veteran experience.
American Zone.---If we were to handle and supply the great forces deemed essential to win the war we must utilize the southern ports of France-Bordeaux, La Pallice, St. Nazaire, and Brest---and the comparatively unused railway systems leading therefrom to the northeast. . . .
Artillery, AirpIanes, Tanks.---Our entry into the war found us with few of the auxiliaries necessary for its conduct in the modern sense. Among our most important deficiencies in material were artillery, aviation, and tanks. In order to meet our requirements as rapidly as possible, we accepted the offer of the French Government to provide us with the necessary artillery equipment for thirty divisions from their own factories. The wisdom of this course is fully demonstrated by the fact that, although we soon began the manufacture of these classes of guns at home there were no guns of the calibres mentioned manufactured in America on our front at the date the armistice was signed. The only guns of these types produced at home thus far received in France are 109 seventy-five millimeter guns.
In aviation we were in the same situation, and here again the French Government came to our aid until our own aviation program should be under way. We obtained from the French the necessary planes for training our personnel, and they have provided us with a total of 2,676 pursuit, observation, and bombing planes. The first airplanes received from home arrived in May, and altogether we have received 1,379. The first American squadron completely equipped by American production, including airplanes, crossed the German lines on August 7, 1918. As to tanks, we were also compelled to rely upon the French. Here, however, we were less fortunate, for the reason that the French production could barely meet the requirements of their own armies.---(Adapted from General Pershing's Report, Current History, January, 1919.)
The work of the Navy has been admirable. As soon as we entered the war our fleet began to cooperate in an efficient manner with the Allies; and our destroyers did splendid work in the last naval exploit of the war, the capture of the Adriatic port of Durazzo from the Austrian fleet.
Even before the formal declaration, indeed as early as March 12, 1917, in response to the President's order, the Navy Department began arming American merchantmen. Meantime it gathered in recruits and set about building ships and getting in supplies ready for the more important work which followed when the nation was actually at war. By May, 1918, there were 150 warships, including battleships, with 35,000 personnel, in the war zone.
In a year the Navy more than trebled its personnel. The following figures show the increase:
On May 4, twenty-eight days after the declaration of war, United States destroyers arrived at a British port to assist in patrolling European waters, and on the following day Admiral Sims attended an Allied war conference at Paris. The first of the regular armed forces of the United States to land in France were units of the naval aeronautic corps. They arrived on June 8. The first contingent of the army transported and conveyed by the navy was landed safely at a French port early in July. . . .
Altogether there have been added to the navy since April 6, 1917, vessels to the number of 1,275, aggregating 1,055,166 tons. . . .---(Adapted from America's First Year of War, Current History, May, 1918.)
The Merchant Marine, August 1918
The grand total of ships added to the merchant marine from September, 1917, to September, 1918, was 281, with an aggregate deadweight tonnage of 1,725,731. The launchings total 535 vessels of 2,923,973 tons.---(New York Tribune, August 27, 1918.)
How Uncle Sam Insured His Soldiers and Sailors
The United States Government organized the greatest insurance company in the world. Its underwriters include every American tax-paying citizen. In the first six months of its existence it had written two and one-third times as much insurance as had been done in the whole of 1917 by all the stock, mutual benefit, and fraternal organizations in America. At the beginning of 1918 the total amount of insurance which had been taken out was $2,871,927,000. One month later it was $5,446,925,000. On St. Valentine's Day, the books showed $8,316,099,500 and by July, 1918, it was $22,300,000,000.
It was discovered that the lowest figure insurance companies could afford to offer to enlisted men was $58 a $1,000, and that only for one year. At that rate the $10,000 life insurance for a soldier 26 years old would cost $580 with a private company. Uncle Sam offered the same benefit at $80.40. Government insurance, while being the greatest measure of protection ever offered to its fighting forces by any nation, is not charity; it is merely a means, a very simple, generous, well-devised means of strengthening the morale of the soldiers. . . . Fifty-seven dollars and fifty cents is the monthly income value of a $10,000 policy to the family of a man or to himself if he should be disabled.---(Adapted from Forbes' Magazine in Current Opinion, October, 1918.)
The United States War Financing
Our method of paying the war bill differs radically from that followed by Germany. It is the difference between sound and unsound financing. Instead of attempting to shift the debt to our children, we are paying direct from taxes a larger proportion of our own war costs than any other belligerent, and are buying Liberty Bonds largely from current savings and not from accumulated capital. By increased economy we are paying for the war as we fight it. We will repay some part of the cost to ourselves after the war---that is to those of us who have been wise enough to buy Liberty Bonds---but because we have met a good proportion of the war cost from taxes, it will not be hard to. repay these borrowings. Our Allies will repay a good part of them for the advances we are now making to them. . . .
It is easier for us to finance our share of the war on a sounder basis than any of the other belligerents not only because they have been bearing the burden for nearly four years, but because we are richer. Our national wealth is more than twice that of Great Britain and our national income more than four times what hers is.---(World's Work, August 1918.)
How America Has Fed All the Allies
It is now possible to summarize the shipments of foodstuffs from the United States to the allied countries during the fiscal year just closed (1917-18) practically the last harvest year. These amounts include all shipments to allied countries for their and our armies, the civilian population, the Belgium relief, and the Red Cross. The figures indicate the measure of effort of the American people in support of allied food supplies.
The total value of these food shipments, which were in the main purchased through, or with the collaboration of, the Food Administration, amounted to, roundly, $1,400,000,000 during the fiscal year.
The shipments of meats and fats (including meat products, dairy products, vegetable oils, etc.), to allied destinations were as follows:
|Fiscal year 1916-17||
|Fiscal year 1917-18||
Our slaughterable animals at the beginning of the last fiscal year were not appreciably larger in number than the year before, and particularly in hogs; they were probably less. The increase in shipments is due to conservation and the extra weight of animals. . .
In cereals and cereal products reduced to terms of cereal bushels, our shipments to allied destinations have been:
|Fiscal year 1916-17||
|Fiscal year 1917-18||
Of these cereals our shipments of the prime breadstuffs in the fiscal year 1917-18 to allied destinations were: Wheat, 131,000,000 bushels, and rye, 13,900,000 bushels, a total of 144,900,000 bushels.
The exports to allied destinations during the fiscal year 1916-17 were: Wheat, 135,100,000 bushels, and rye, 2,300,000 bushels, a total of 137,400,000 bushels. In addition, some 10,000,000 bushels of 1917 wheat are now in port for allied destinations or en route thereto. The total shipments to allied countries from our last harvest of wheat will be, therefore, about 141,001,000 bushels, or a total of 154,900,000 bushels of prime breadstuff. . . .
It is interesting to note that since the urgent request of the Allied Food Controllers early in the year for a further shipment of 75,000,000 bushels from our 1917 wheat than originally planned, we shall have shipped to Europe, or have en route, nearly 83,000,000 bushels. At the time of this request our surplus was already more than exhausted. . . . Therefore our wheat shipments to allied destinations represent approximately savings from our own wheat bread.
These figures, however, do not fully convey the volume of the effort and sacrifice made during the past year by the whole American people. Despite the magnificent effort of our agricultural population in planting a much increased acreage in 1917, not only was there a very large failure in wheat, but also the corn failed to mature properly, and corn is our dominant crop. . . .
Our contributions to this end (feeding the Allies) could not have been accomplished without effort and sacrifice, and it is a matter for further satisfaction that it has been accomplished voluntarily and individually.---(Herbert C. Hoover, July 11, 1918, N. Y. Times, Current History, September, 1918.)
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