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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agitation by workmen in Russia was believed in Germany to be the beginning of a revolution.

Illuminating figures may be seen in the gold purchase of the German Imperial Bank: in 1911, 174,000,000 marks; in 1912, 173,000,000 marks; but in 1913, 317,000,000 marks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Besides the Rat system there is, of course, the system of decorations. Countless orders and decorations are given in Germany. At the head is the Order of the Black Eagle; there are the Order of the Red Eagle, the Prussian Order of the Crown, the orders, "'Pour le Mérite," the Order of the House of Hohenzollern, and many others, and in each of the twenty-five States there are also orders, distinctions and decorations. These orders in turn are divided into numerous classes.

For instance, a man can have the Red Eagle order of the first, second, third or fourth class, and these may be complicated with a laurel crown, with an oak crown, with swords and with stars, etc. Even domestic servants, who have served a long time in one family, receive orders; and faithful postmen and other officials who have never appeared on the police books for having made statements against the government or the army are sure of receiving some sort of order.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

I have had letters from workingmen who have worked in America begging me for a steerage fare to America, saying that their insurance payments were so large that they could not save money out of their wages. Of course, after having made these payments for some years, the workingman naturally hesitates to emigrate and so lose all the premiums he has paid to the State. In peace times a skilled mechanic in Germany received less than two dollars a day, for which he was compelled to work at least ten hours.

Agricultural labourers in the Central Empires are poorly paid. The women do much of the work done here by men. For instance, once when staying at a nobleman's estate in Hungary, I noticed that the gardeners were all women, and, on inquiring how much they received, I was told they were paid about twenty cents a day. The women in the farming districts of Germany are worked harder than the cattle. In summer time they are out in the fields at five or six in the morning and do not return until eight or later at night. For this work they are sometimes paid as high as forty-eight cents a day in harvest time. Nevertheless, these small wages tempt many Russians to Germany during the harvest season. At the outbreak of the war there were perhaps fifty thousand Russians employed in Germany; men, women and girls. These the Germans retained in a sort of slavery to work the fields. I spoke to one Polish girl who was working on an estate over which I had shooting rights, near Berlin. She told me that at the commencement of the war she and her family were working in Germany and that since the war they all desired to return to Poland but that the Germans would not permit it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

On the twenty-sixth of July, matters began to boil. The Emperor returned on this day and, from the morning of the twenty-seventh, took charge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Your Excellency:

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

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

Yours ever,

(Signed) JAMES W. GERARD."

To this letter I never had any reply.

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

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

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

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

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

On the morning of August fourth, having received an invitation the day before, I "attended" at the Palace in Berlin. In the room where the court balls had been held in peace times, a certain number of the members of the Reichstag were assembled. The diplomats were in a gallery on the west side of the room. Soon the Emperor, dressed in field grey uniform and attended by several members of his staff and a number of ladies, entered the room. He walked with a martial stride and glanced toward the gallery where the diplomats were assembled, as if to see how many were there. Taking his place upon the throne and standing, he read an address to the members of the Reichstag. The members cheered him and then adjourned to the Reichstag where the Chancellor addressed them, making his famous declaration about Belgium, stating that "necessity knew no law," and that the German troops were perhaps at that moment crossing the Belgian frontier. Certain laws which had been prepared with reference to the government of the country, and which I will give in more detail in another place, as well as the war credit, were voted upon by the Reichstag.

The Socialists had not been present in the Palace, but joined now in voting the necessary credits.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There were rumours also that Russians had poisoned the Muggelsee, the lake from whence Berlin draws part of its water supply. There were constant rumours of the arrest of Russian spies disguised as women throughout Germany. Many Americans were detained under a sort of arrest in their hotels; among these were Archer Huntington and his wife; Charles H. Sherrill, formerly our minister to the Argentine and many others.

Chapter Nine

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