Superintendent of the New York

America has been the great background of the European War. Though far
removed from the trenches with the play of artillery and the heroic
charges, this country has been the scene of an equally dramatic, though
silent struggle—a battle not visible to the eye. It has been a conflict
of wits, of statesman pitted against statesman, of secret agent striving
to outdo his opponent of a belligerent nation; for in America, agents of
Germany have been striving for a two-fold aim. They have sought to
enmesh the United States in an international conspiracy and to use this
country as the means of a rear attack on the Entente Allies.

And New York has been the centre of it all. In several of the huge
office buildings that make the thoroughfares of the city seem like
canyons, Germany had, and still has, the headquarters of a vast
nerve-like system radiating throughout the country. The nerve coils are
composed of thousands of secret agents located in every city and town.
These men have worked under orders from Berlin in the execution of a
series of campaigns designed to be of service to the Teutonic Allies.
Against these men have been pitted agents of the American government,
all aiming to detect the schemes and frustrate any plans for the
violation of our neutrality laws.

A diplomat, famed for his finesse and grace of manner, was at a
reception given to distinguished statesmen, talented business men and
attractive women. The conversation was turned to the topic of spies. One
woman wished to know if the diplomat had encountered any spies.

“Well,” remarked the diplomat, “I used to stop at the Hotel Grandeur,
but Count ——” (mentioning the name of a diplomat of a nation with which
his country was at war) “persisted in having my baggage searched every
day. So I moved to the Hotel Excellency; but I found things no better

“Didn’t you complain to the management?”

“Ah, no,” answered he gravely, “but every time the Count stops at the
Hotel Elaborate, I have his baggage searched, too.”

Perhaps the diplomat was not serious, but in days when the destiny of
nations was at stake, it was likely that he was speaking none too
lightly of a game that had doubtless cost him many an hour of the
keenest anxiety.

Of all the secret service systems, the German is the most elaborate and
machine-like. It has been organized not merely to gather information,
but to trample upon the laws of the United States, in order to hinder
any project of the Entente Allies. Constructed in the hours of peace
with the utmost care and foresight, it was easily expanded in the United
States at the outbreak of the war into such a vast network that if a
representative of the Allies suddenly retraced his steps or halted
suddenly when around a corner, he was almost sure to bump the shins of a
German spy. Germany, always methodical and thorough, possessing a genius
for moulding a multitude of details into an effective whole, had
prepared her secret service system with the same efficiency with which
through scores of years she had equipped her military forces for battle;
indeed, her secret service was a part of her military forces.

The system is based on the principle of “Lass die linke Hand nicht
wissen was die rechte tut”—“let not the left hand know what the right is
doing.” _So thoroughly is this maxim followed that two German spies may
be working side by side and not be aware of the fact._ Though groups of
Germans may engage in some activity with a thorough understanding of the
aims of another, still the order of silence is rigorously enforced. The
agents hand their information to a superior, who in turn transmits it to
somebody higher up. _One spy knows only the person or group of persons
with whom he directly deals, sending information along devious and
hidden routes up to the final assembling point._

Germany’s spy system has been the sword hand of her statesmen and her
diplomats. When this war is over and the world learns of the moves,
counter-moves, and Machiavellian methods of German diplomats, with their
intrigues, secret understandings, and their daring attempts to force
this country into dangerous situations, people will realize more clearly
than to-day what a marvellous system has been behind many seemingly
casual developments in this country. It will be shown how German agents
have violated our laws in order to gain secret information for the
benefit of Germany; how her secret agents have committed crimes in order
to coerce diplomatic negotiations.


So perfectly organized and so responsive to the slightest suggestion
from Berlin is the American branch of the Kaiser’s secret service that
vast undertakings—some legitimate, many in violation of American
laws—were carried out.

The magician, who invented the wireless, enabled the German General War
Staff to move to New York. The splash and splutter of electricity over
oceans and continents virtually transported Germany’s leading statesmen,
tacticians, and scientists at will to hold sessions in Manhattan on
matters arising in America and bearing on the battle-front in the many
theatres of actual warfare. For instance, how many people know that the
secretary to one of the generals on the Western Line was a brother to
one of the most notorious woman plotters in America? Germany had
foreseen the possibilities of the wireless in war and had developed
secret methods of sending code messages by radiogram, when apparently
only ordinary messages were being transmitted, and she had also, some
way or other, got possession of the code ciphers of other nations. Every
night messages have been sent out from Germany, apparently blindly,
addressed to no one and have been picked up by hidden receiving stations
in America and other countries.

While Germany calls her spy system “a bureau of intelligence,” its
purpose is confined not merely to the gathering of information, but to
the carrying out of any campaign that will be harmful to her enemies. In
the United States, Germans—reservists, army officers, representatives of
the German Government—have been indicted for crimes against Federal
laws. These violations were committed without doubt in a
self-sacrificing spirit with the aim of helping the Fatherland. Germans,
or German influences, have been behind schemes in violation of
neutrality laws and restraint of trade. _They have attempted arson,
bribery, forgery, engaged in military enterprises, caused explosions in
ships and factories, resulting in many deaths, and have set fires in
ships and factories._

They have participated in plots against Canada, Ireland and India, all
developed in the United States under the supervision of the German
representatives of Berlin, though often ostensibly carried out by
anarchist tools. _The activities of the German agents_, multitudinous in
detail and variety, _all have been designed to hinder the Allies_ in
their prosecution of the war, _to cause a breach between the Allies and
the United States, to embroil this country in a war and to accomplish
other secret aims of the General War Staff_. In all the propaganda,
German secret agents and official representatives of the German
Government have not only worked with utter disregard to American laws,
but have endeavoured to place the United States in a position of being
secretly unneutral.

But the German Government has officially denied that she ordered any of
her subjects to undertake any act in violation of American laws. Shortly
after President Wilson in his message to Congress bitterly attacked the
activities of Germans and German-Americans in America, accusing the
latter of treason, the German Government authorized the statement that

* * * * *

“_Naturally has never knowingly accepted the support of any person,
group of persons, society or organization seeking to promote the cause
of Germany in the United States by illegal acts, by counsels of
violence, by contravention of law, or by any means whatever that could
offend the American people in the pride of their own authority. If it
should be alleged that improper acts have been committed by
representatives of the German Government they could be easily dealt
with. To any complaints upon proof as may be submitted by the American
Government suitable response will be duly made…. Apparently the
enemies of Germany have succeeded in creating the impression that the
German Government is in some way, morally or otherwise, responsible for
what Mr. Wilson has characterized as anti-American activities,
comprehending attacks upon property in violation of the rules which the
American Government has seen fit to impose upon the course of neutral
trade. This the German Government absolutely denies. It cannot
specifically repudiate acts committed by individuals over whom it has no
control, and of whose movements and intentions it is neither officially
or unofficially informed._”[1]

* * * * *
Footnote 1:

Berlin despatch in the New York _Sun_, Dec. 19, 1915.

To this official disavowal of German propaganda in America, there are
two answers that stand out with dramatic force. First, the extent to
which the subjects of Germany are expected to go in war time is shown by
excerpts from Germany’s War Book of instructions to officers, which says
in part:

* * * * *

“_Bribery of the enemy’s subjects with the object of obtaining military
advantages, acceptances of offers of treachery, reception of deserters,
utilization of the discontented elements in the population, support of
the pretenders and the like are permissible; indeed, international law
is in no way opposed to the exploitation of the crimes of third parties
(assassination, incendiarism, robbery and the like) to the prejudice of
the enemy. Considerations of chivalry, generosity and honour may
denounce in such cases a hasty and unsparing exploitation of such
advantages as indecent and dishonourable, but law, which is less touchy,
allows it. The ugly and inherently immoral aspect of such methods cannot
affect the recognition of their lawfulness. The necessary aims of war
give the belligerent the right and imposes upon him, according to
circumstances, the duty not to let slip the important, it may be
decisive, advantages to be gained by such means._”[2]

* * * * *
Footnote 2:

The War Book of the German General Staff, translated by J. H. Morgan,
M.A., pp. 113–114.

Secondly, since Germany sent out that semi-official proclamation from
Berlin concerning propagandists, many steps have been taken by the
American Government, both administrative and judicial. Captains von
Papen and Boy-Ed, military and naval attachés respectively, have been
dismissed from this country for “improper activities in military and
naval affairs.”

There was no favouritism in the German secret service. Every German,
high or low, was open to assignment, disagreeable and dishonourable, in
getting information, and to orders to commit crimes—for Germany stops at
no crime—that may be necessary to circumvent the enemy.

Captain von Papen showed his feeling keenly one night at a dinner of a
few men where the wine flowed freely.

“My God, I would give everything in the world,” he exclaimed, “to be in
the trenches where I could do the work of a gentleman.” In his work,
there was no public reward for work well performed according to the war
code. That man’s sentiments were echoed by von Rintelen, who, when among
friends, fairly shook with emotion at the thought of the work in which
he was engaged.

“How loathsome I feel,” he said. “How this dirty work sticks to me! When
this war ends, I shall take a bath in carbolic acid.”


Over all the thousands of reservists, trained agents, and other spies
were the men in charge of the centres of information to whom they made
their report; and the three or four chief lieutenants in charge of the
various and distinct line of activities into which these matters of war,
finance and commerce automatically were divided. There were practically,
outside of the Chief Spy, three important executives in this country,
supervising respectively the commercial, military and naval lines of
information and activity. Each one of these men was surrounded by a
group of experts who had charge of a sub-division of the work. All had
their legal advisers, their bankers, and every sort of an expert that
their special work required. Upon them fell the task of sifting and
analysing the mass of facts gathered by the spies and making reports to
Berlin. Upon each one of them also fell the duty of carrying out any
orders that might come from the General War Staff in Germany.

First and foremost of the three lieutenants was Dr. Heinrich F. Albert,
Privy Councillor to the German Embassy in America and Fiscal Agent of
the German Empire. He directed the gathering of a huge mass of
information of value to Germany concerning the financial, industrial and
commercial activities of this country, and was the chief instrument
through whom money reached the army of spies. Though he was the director
of many activities, nothing criminal, it must be asserted in justice to
him, has been traced to him.

The military agent was Captain Franz von Papen, the attaché of the
German Embassy. His work was confined specifically to the procuring of
information that would be of aid to the Imperial German army and to the
military tasks that might be peculiarly helpful to the army.

The naval expert was Captain Karl Boy-Ed, another attaché of the German
Embassy. He had under him experts who made a speciality of various lines
of naval matters, fortifications, coast defences and explosives.

The headquarters of the entire system were and are yet in New York. Dr.
Albert had his offices in the Hamburg-American Steamship Company’s
building, and he utilized at times a good part of the Hamburg-American
Company’s staff—a concern in which the Kaiser himself owns a large
percentage of the stock. In the same building was the office of Paul
Koenig, the business manager of part of Germany’s spy system in America,
though nominally the Superintendent of Police for the Hamburg-American
line. Captain Boy-Ed had his headquarters in Room 801 of 11, Broadway,
and Captain von Papen had his on the twenty-fifth floor of 60, Wall

This narrative seeks to show as definitely as possible the work of these
three agents of Germany in America and of others co-operating with them.
It sets forth the enterprises that they plotted and the ramifications of
their organization. It reveals how countless agents, unaware that they
were parts of a vast system and often innocent of any intentional
wrongdoing, acted their parts. It shows how that part of the machinery
engaged in legitimate propaganda was linked at places with the machinery
executing illegal acts.

While the conspiracy has been manipulated, the American Government has
been very active. To the skill of the United States secret service,
headed by Chief William J. Flynn, always alert and apparently unruffled
in the most trying crises, and to A. Bruce Bielaski, head of the special
agents of the Department of Justice, and William M. Offley,
Superintendent of the New York Bureau of the special agents, has fallen
the task of seeing that the representatives of the different countries
followed the American maxim, “Play fair; play according to the rules of
international law and the laws of this country.” Upon Police
Commissioner Woods, his deputy, Guy Scull, of New York, and his
enthusiastic and clever aid, Police Captain Thomas J. Tunney, has
devolved also the hazardous and difficult task of combating the schemes
of those spies. Those men, by courageous and skilful detective work have
unearthed and foiled some of the most daring bomb plots of the Germans.

To Messrs. Flynn and Bielaski, at times, have come secrets of intrigue
and conspiracy that must have made them, even as it has the President,
almost tremble with the import of impending events that had to be

“I always say to these idiotic Yankees they had better hold their

So wrote Captain Franz von Papen, German military attaché in America, to
his wife in Germany—a letter which he entrusted to Captain James F. J.
Archibald, American newspaper correspondent and bearer of secret and
confidential messages from Teutonic representatives. The German word
which the Captain used was “bloedsinnig,” meaning silly, stupid,
idiotic. It has a sneering ring, truly typical of the Prussian warrior’s
contempt for Americans. It suggests the disdainful feeling which the
military attaché had for the loyalty of Americans. One can imagine his
sly laugh as he handed to an American that letter and code messages to
the War Staff. With a similar feeling of contempt for the British, when
dismissed from this country and assured of safe conduct as to person, he
carried on board the steamer _Noordam_ a portfolio of papers from
friends reflecting the same disgust for America and outlining his own
unlawful and criminal acts in America. But in both instances his
arrogant self-confidence brought exposure.

This attitude of arrogance was Captain von Papen’s chief characteristic.
Joined to it was the brother trait, bluntness. He believed that the
American people were not only stupid but also weak-sighted and that he
could do anything he wanted without detection. So he put his heart and
soul into military and criminal enterprises upon American soil. The
Captain apparently thought that the American authorities would not
suspect his machinations, for, unlike Captain Boy-Ed, he made
comparatively few efforts to cover up the trails of his activities. That
carelessness proved his scorn for American detective methods, for with
all his haughtiness and bravado he had been trained in a school of
craft. He had been drilled under instructors who placed a prize on
cunning, deceit, intrigue, reckless disregard of the rights of others,
and the destiny of Prussia as a conqueror. The Captain presumably
believed that craft and cunning were not necessary in America.


Confident that he was eluding the watchful eye of the United States
authorities with more skill than his associates, he sent a telegram one
day to Captain Boy-Ed, warning him to be more careful. Whereupon the
latter, smiling cheerfully to himself, wrote this letter: “Dear Papen: A
secret agent who returned from Washington this evening, made the
following statement: ‘The Washington people are very much excited about
von Papen and are having a constant watch kept on him. They are in
possession of a whole heap of incriminating evidence against him. They
have no evidence against Count B. and Captain B.-E. (!)’” Boy-Ed, a
little too optimistically, added: “In this connection I would suggest
with due diffidence that perhaps the first part of your telegram is
worded rather too emphatically.”

Wrapped in that sense of contempt the military attaché began immediately
upon the outbreak of war, even as he had planned before it, to make the
United States “the hinterland” of the European battlefield. In the
Embassy at Washington, the German consulate in New York, the
Hamburg-American Building, an office in 60, Wall Street—which he
secretly leased—and on board German merchantmen tied up in New York
Harbour, he gathered about him German officials and German reservists,
outlining plots in violation of American law, all designed to injure the
Allies and help the cause of Germany. In those conferences, _his
arrogant disregard of America_ and his determination _overruled the
hesitating dissenters_. His was the Prussian spirit of aggression. In
those gatherings, he was both the dominating and the domineering factor:
tall and broad-shouldered, with a commanding attitude, energetic in
speech, and lightning-like in the development of bold plans. He has the
strong forehead, the long, firm nose, and the heavy underjaw of a
commander, but the large ears that denote recklessness and eyes blue and
hard as steel.


He had been selected in his youth for secret work because of an aptness
which he early displayed. He had been trained especially for the work
which he undertook in other countries under direction of the German
General Staff and for the tasks that devolved upon him in America both
before and after the war. As a young officer he was sent out from
Germany, travelling as a civilian, making special studies of the
sentiment of the people, the topography of the country, and getting in
touch with other secret workers. One of the countries which he studied
with remarkable care was Ireland. He tramped and rode every foot of the
land and knew it thoroughly. He displayed something of the knowledge he
had acquired when riding in Central Park, one day after the war started,
he stopped to chat with an acquaintance who had bought a mare. Waxing
enthusiastic over the animal he quickly showed his acquaintance with
Ireland by giving the breed of the mare and telling exactly the counties
in Ireland where that breed could be found.

How well he disguised himself in those various expeditions when he rode
horseback simply as a sightseer, is indicated by his horsemanship.
Though he was trained in a riding school at Hanover, where ostensibly
they teach the French method, nevertheless in Central Park, where many a
morning he could be observed, he displayed perfect English form. They
say that when one learns the French style, one invariably clings to it
above all others. Naturally, a horseman travelling through Ireland
revealing every characteristic of the French school would attract

As the military attaché of the German Embassy, Captain von Papen was
under orders, not of Count von Bernstorff, but of the military head in
Germany. Appointed personally by the Kaiser as the representative of the
German Army in America and Mexico, he had the commission that falls to
every military attaché of a foreign government, namely, to make a study
of the army of the nation to which he is accredited.

Captain von Papen, always striving for praise and preferment from the
Kaiser, was a most enthusiastic gatherer of military information.
Knowing that no phase of military activity throughout the world escapes
the watchful eye of the Chief Spy or the German General Staff, von Papen
was always on the alert for any invention, new method of warfare, or
germ of an idea that might be developed into an important advantage for
Germany; just as the War Staff got their suggestion for the modern
trench warfare from the Indians and later from the Civil War. For
instance, shortly before the great war started, Captain von Papen,
addressed as “Royal Prussian Captain on the General Staff of the Army,”
was directed by R. von Wild, of the Ministry of War’s office, to proceed
to Mexico and there investigate the attacks on railroad trains by means
of mines and explosives. He made a thorough investigation and though he
reported: “I consider it out of the question that explosions prepared in
this way would have to be reckoned with in a European war,” he
nevertheless sought to utilize that method in blowing up tunnels and
railroads in Canada.


How well von Papen, as an organizer and military investigator, acquitted
himself in the interest of the Kaiser is set forth in Rear Admiral von
Hintze’s own language in a report which he made from Mexico to the
Imperial Chancellor recommending von Papen for a decoration. That letter
is striking; for it suggests the work which von Papen afterwards did in
America, if he had not already made the arrangements for it prior to the
outbreak of the European conflict. The admiral wrote that von Papen
“showed special industry in organizing the German colony for purposes of
self-defence and out of this shy and factious material, unwilling to
undertake any military activity, he obtained what there was to be got.”

While von Papen had a staff of experts and of secret agents prior to the
war, he did not then have the perfectly developed system at his command
which he used afterwards. That he had his plans well mapped out for any
contingency and that he knew the situation thoroughly is vividly
illustrated in a draft of a cable message which he sent to Captain
Boy-Ed from Mexico City on July 29, 1914, saying:

“If necessary, arrange business for me too with Pavenstedt. Then inform
Lersner. The Russian attaché ordered back to Washington by telegraph. On
outbreak of war have intermediaries located by detective where Russian
and French intelligence office.” The latter part of the message,
referring to intermediaries, is open to two interpretations: first, that
Boy-Ed was to have detectives locate the Russian and French intelligence
offices; second, Boy-Ed was to place spies in the Russian and French
intelligence bureaus.

Hurrying to Washington, the military attaché immediately took charge of
the military part of Germany’s spy system. He began to weld together
into a vast organization scientists, experts, secret agents and German
reservists who would gather information for him and who would be ready
at the command of the General War Staff, to undertake any military
enterprise. The entire organization of German consuls and
representatives in America work in unity in war as in peace. How quickly
von Papen got his staff together is shown in a statement made by Franz
Wachendorf, alias Horst von der Goltz, alias Bridgeman Taylor, who
became one of Papen’s aids in spy work and military enterprises.
Wachendorf, who was a major in the Mexican army at the outbreak of war,
said under oath: “The 3rd of August, 1914; licence was given me by my
commanding officer to separate myself from the service of the brigade
for the term of six months. I left directly for El Paso, Texas, where I
was told by Mr. Kuck, German consul at Chihuahua, Mexico, who stayed
there, to put myself at the disposition of Captain von Papen.”


The military attaché also had help from Germany and from German
reservists coming from other countries. The War Office in Berlin sent
him men. Captain Hans Tauscher, the husband of Mme. Gadski, was in
Germany when war was declared. A reserve officer of the German Army, he
immediately offered himself for duty. His order was to return to America
at once and report to Captain von Papen. Likewise, soldiers and secret
agents with special equipment, who were in different parts of the world
and who had no definite work, were ordered by wireless or through secret
channels to hasten to Captain von Papen’s assistance. After a time, the
Chief Spy in Germany detailed some of his aids to America to help in the
upbuilding of a still more effective system of espionage.

Though remarkably skilled and trained to a high degree in a number of
different lines, Captain von Papen made it his business to gather around
him experts on every phase of military affairs, giving definite
assignments to each and thus dividing the work so that greater speed and
efficiency were obtained. He chose Captain Tauscher, agent of the Krupps
and other big and small gun manufacturers in Germany and Austria, as one
of his aids in gathering information. Captain Tauscher is an expert on
ordnance and as such he was of invaluable assistance to Captain von
Papen in obtaining facts regarding the manufacture of heavy ordnance and
explosives for the Allies. _Tauscher was on most friendly terms with
U.S. Ordnance officers._

Von Papen selected George von Skal, a German journalist and former
Commissioner of Accounts of New York, as a paid assistant in his office;
and as a matter of fact every one of the big German agents in America
had on his staff at least one trained newspaper man. He took as his
secretary Wolf von Igel, a young man of distinguished appearance, and
through him secretly rented a suite of offices in Wall Street “for
advertising purposes.”

Another man upon whom he could call for help was Paul Koenig, lent by
the Hamburg-American Steamship Company. Through Koenig, von Papen could
reach out to countless Germans and select men for any sort of task.
Sometimes, however, von Papen met with a refusal. He asked Captain
Tauscher to perform a certain piece of work of questionable character
and received in substance this answer: “I am ready to do anything within
the law but I will not attempt this task.” Experts in the chemistry of
explosives, scientists of various sorts, lawyers and other advisers were
on the military attaché’s staff, all having special tasks and all
working for the Kaiser with or without pay.


Von Papen sought to protect his Wall Street suite of offices from public
investigation by installing therein a safe bearing the seal of the
Imperial German Government. That safe, protected by time-locks and by
electrical devices against the curiosity of other secret agents or the
prying eyes of policemen, is said to have contained the plans of the
military phases of German propaganda. When the Federal agents suddenly
descended upon the office one day to arrest von Igel, they found the
safe open and the documents neatly laid out on the table preparatory to
shipment to Washington. From those papers the State Department and the
Attorney-General have learned much of the history of von Papen’s
activities—the inner workings of the German spy system. In that office
von Papen kept the full list of his various secret agents, German and
American, working for him, their addresses and telephone numbers;
various code books for the deciphering of messages sent to him and for
sending word to agents in this country or making reports.

Accordingly, when von Papen’s plan for espionage was perfected, he had
not only a staff of experts at his elbow, but thousands of reservists
and the help of German and Austro-Hungarian consuls and channels of
information. He had men at his disposal for dangerous and delicate
missions to other countries. The ramifications of the system, the
collecting agency and activities which he supervised for the good of the
Fatherland were so finely organized and so comprehensive that von Papen
in reality was the head of the military division of the German spy
system of the entire world, outside of the countries belted by the
Allies with a ring of steel.

Facts to prove the details of von Papen’s organization and deeds were
obtained from the von Igel papers, from the letters and secret documents
taken from Captain Archibald; from documents and check stubs found in
von Papen’s possession when searched at Falmouth, England; from von der
Goltz’s confession; from scores of witnesses and from facts dug up by
the Secret Service and the Department of Justice. The trials of various
offenders against neutrality laws have given the public more evidence.
United States District-Attorney H. Snowden Marshall, in New York, his
assistants, Roger B. Wood, in charge of the criminal division; Raymond
H. Sarfaty, John C. Knox, and Harold A. Content, all set forth before
the public many phases of the ingenious underground methods of spying
and violating the law. Upon the evidence found by those officials and by
United States District-Attorney Preston, of San Francisco, the following
facts are presented:

Once the spies were selected and assigned to their duties, von Papen
sought first, to glean information bearing on the great war. He was
interested, naturally, in the amount of shrapnel shells and high
explosives which the Allies were purchasing. He was eager to ascertain
what American Army officers were learning about the military operations
on the Continent and what the American Government was doing to develop
its army to cope with the new problems arising from the war. He was
watching the officers of the Allies in this country. He was seeking
lines of communication with the racial elements in America that were
allied with the insurrection forces in the colonies of the Entente
Powers. The varied results of his investigations are shown by extracts
from reports which he sent to Berlin by Captain Archibald. One letter
told, for instance, that the Norwegian and Dutch governments were in the
market for war materials. Von Papen asked if there were any objection by
Germany to the sale to those governments of war products purchased by
him in America, adding:

“I could probably dump on the Norwegian Government a great part of the
Lehigh Coke Company’s toluol which is lying around useless.”

In a cipher despatch to the chief of the General Staff in Berlin, he
noted a conversation overheard in Philadelphia between two Englishmen.
One British army officer, he said, was explaining a method for conveying
military information by photographs. Likewise he gathered news of the
Spanish Government seeking supplies, and sifted the facts assembled from
factories, banking houses, diplomatic sources and transportation offices
about the Allied war orders.


Captain von Papen’s cheque counterfoils are a veritable diary of some of
his criminal—or if you please, military—activities in America. They give
the names and the aliases of his secret agents; and day after day are
recorded therein the payments made by von Papen to the persons working
for or with him. The counterfoils tell the story of the purpose of the
payment and by means of the endorsements on the cheques one can gather
in skeleton form the story of a part—but not all—of the propaganda which
the military attaché supervised. The stubs show the receipt of money,
almost immediately after the beginning of the war marked for “War
Intelligence Office.” The interesting thing is that money for war
intelligence work came from von Bernstorff and that funds for salary and
expenses came from Dr. Fr. Adler, the Ambassador’s secretary. To the
fact that Captain von Papen kept such an accurate diary—an instance of
German efficiency—is due in part the exposure of his varied activities
in this country.

To Anton Kuepferle, another German spy captured in England and suspected
after a confession to have shot himself, he gave $100. To Wachendorf he
gave funds that the latter might go both to Berlin and England in the
service of the Kaiser. To Paul Koenig, he handed many accounts for
secret service work, paying also the expenses of Koenig’s agents on
trips to Montreal and Quebec in hunting information about enlistments of
soldiers in Canada and the shipments of supplies from Canadian ports.
The stub book also shows that he sent agents to investigate ammunition
factories in different parts of the country, and that he paid the
expenses of von Skal in getting “photographs for the War Intelligence
Office.” He constantly was sending cheques to consuls in various parts
of the country to pay the expenses of reservists and agents.


The diary, too, tells us of Captain von Papen’s plan to invade Canada.
Scarcely had he arrived in this country from Mexico, a few days after
the Germans had invaded Belgium, than, as general-in-chief of the German
reservists, he began to mobilize his forces for a military enterprise in
Canada. If you look at the Captain’s diary you see these entries:
“September 1, 1914, Mr. Bridgeman Taylor, $200;” “September 16, for
Buffalo, Taylor, Ryan, $200;” “September 22, for Ryan, Buffalo, $200;”
“October 14, for Fritzen and Busse, Buffalo, $40,00.”

These are the earmarks of an unsuccessful military enterprise; for just
as soon as Captain von Papen saw reservists gather in New York and
assembling in other points he laid his plans for a concerted move on
Canada. He discussed the details with his majors, captains and
lieutenants assembling in New York. He met them in secret at night in
the German Club and with maps and other detailed plans he set forth his
mode of attack.

_Captain von Papen’s scheme—as they talked it over at the German
Club—was to create such a reign of terror among Canadians that the
provincial governments would deem it absolutely necessary to keep all
the troops in Canada for defence rather than hurry them to the European
battle-front._ The plan, while it entailed explosions and fighting, was
largely for psychological effect. One part of the scheme was to send an
expedition to blow up the Welland Canal, a waterway that runs around
Niagara Falls on the Canadian side and is a most important avenue of
transportation for freight and passengers. _The second part was to have
an invasion by German reservists upon various parts of the Canadian

Captain von Papen aimed to create a panic among the Canadians, to put
such fear into them that they would say to England, “We need our troops
for self-protection against the Germans in the United States”—thereby
putting the United States in a position of being unable to preserve its
neutrality. The destruction of the canal by a tremendous explosion, or
the detonation of a carload of dynamite on some railroad, or any sort of
explosion in the Dominion, believed to have been supervised by Germans,
would have had a tremendous effect upon the people. Doubtless this was
what Captain von Papen sought; for that was the way he outlined the
scheme to his assistants.

It has been stated that Wachendorf was one of the men whom von Papen
gathered for secret conference in the German Club. “Von der Goltz” in a
confession made to the Federal authorities said that he was asked to
give his opinion about a proposal made to the German Embassy, the writer
of which, a certain Schumacher, had asked for financial support in order
to carry out a scheme by which _he would be able to make raids on towns
situated on the coast of the Great Lakes. He proposed to use motor-boats
armed with machine-guns._ Though the proposal was rejected on account of
the Embassy receiving unfavourable information about the writer, “von
der Goltz” next was requested to aid in a scheme of invasion of Canada
with a small armed force recruited from the reservists in the United
States. The scheme, which was proposed by von Papen and Boy-Ed, was
abandoned as objections to it were made by Count von Bernstorff. “Von
der Goltz” says he was told so by Captain von Papen.


Captain von Papen next asked “von der Goltz” to see at his hotel two
Irishmen, prominent members of Irish associations, both of whom had
fought in the Irish rebellion and who had proposed to Captain von Papen
to blow up the locks of the canals connecting the Great Lakes, main
railway junctions and grain elevators. “Von der Goltz” says he received
the gentlemen at his hotel, the men bringing with them a letter of
introduction written by Captain von Papen. After having taken them to
his room he got further details of the matter, maps and diagrams
evidently cut out of books.

“Von der Goltz” also tells of going to Baltimore to enlist a number of
German reservists who were staying on a German vessel there. In that
scheme, he says, he had the aid of Karl A. Luederitz, German consul. He
brought them to New York, but believing that his movements were being
watched by Federal agents, he sent them back. Continuing his story of
the conspiracy, von der Goltz writes:

“I saw Mr. Tauscher and he gave me a letter of introduction to the
Dupont Powder Company, recommending B. H. Taylor, and the company
supplied me with an order to the bargeman in charge of the dynamite
barges lying on the New Jersey side near the Statue of Liberty. Captain
Tauscher told me he would send the automatic pistols by messenger to
Hoboken, to be delivered there to one of my agents at a certain
restaurant, as he would be liable to punishment if he delivered them in
New York without having seen my permit. The reasons why I did not apply
to the police for a permit are obvious.”


“In order to get the dynamite it was necessary for me to hire a
motor-boat at a place near 146th Street, Harlem, and to put the dynamite
on board in suit-cases. After returning to the dock, where I had hired
the boat, I went in a taxicab, having two suit-cases with me, to the
German Club to see von Papen, who told me to call for the generators and
then wire again at the club. I took the dynamite to my rooms, where I
kept also a portion of the arms packed in small portmanteaus ready to be
moved, the rest of the dynamite and arms being in the keeping of two of
my agents, one of whom was Mr. Fritzen, discharged from a Russian
steamer, where he had acted in the capacity of purser; the other one
being Mr. Busse, a commercial agent, who had lived for some time in
England. The only other agent I employed was C. Covani, who attended to
me personally, Tucker not being entrusted with any of those things.”

Going to Buffalo with his men and equipment, “von der Goltz” was unable
for some reason to receive definite instructions from von Papen, who was
supposed to communicate with him under the name of “Steffens.” He says:

“Being thrown on my own discretion, I determined to reconnoitre the
terrain where I wanted to act first, but to do nothing further till I
should receive orders.

“On 25th September received notice from Ryan to come to Buffalo. Having
meantime received private information that the 1st Canadian Contingent
had left Valcartier Camp, I knew that I should be recalled, the object
of the enterprise being removed. I received from Ryan the telegram
agreed upon in that case, but as I had spent most of the money furnished
to me I asked whether Ryan had not received money to enable me to pay
off the men. Ryan said he had not, but gave me some of his own
initiative, and said he would wire ‘Steffens.’ On the 26th September I
received telegram from ‘Steffens’ telling me to do what I thought best,
and asking whether I had received the $200. Thinking it best to return
to New York, all the more as funds were insufficient, I discharged Busse
and Fritzen, who went to Buffalo, left dynamite and other materials in
the keeping of an aviator who was manager of a restaurant at Niagara
Falls, to be used again when necessary, and left with Covani for New
York by way of Buffalo.”

The trial of Captain Tauscher on the indictment charging him with
conspiring with von Papen, von Igel and others to blow up the Welland
Canal resulted in the acquittal of the German reservist; but it was
admitted that von Papen and von der Goltz had developed a plot to
destroy the Canal.

The evidence presented by Prosecutor Wood made a case, corroborated by
details of testimony and documents, that delighted legal experts. The
jurors, several of whom were of foreign birth, acquitted the captain
apparently on the theory that, though he had furnished the dynamite,
fuses and automatic revolvers to von der Goltz, he knew nothing about
the plot, but simply had followed the orders given him by his superior
officer, Captain von Papen.


Captain Tauscher, in the witness-box, testified that he was in Germany
at the outbreak of the war; that he had proffered his services as a
reservist officer and that he had been directed to return to America and
report to Captain von Papen. He said he knew von Papen as the head of
the German secret service and that he was compelled to obey him. He
protested, however, that he had exacted a promise from von Papen to the
effect that he would not be asked to do anything contrary to American
laws. He said he was an ordnance expert under von Papen.

Many documents, revealing the manner in which von Papen and his
assistants worked, had been taken from von Igel’s office, formerly von
Papen’s New York headquarters, and were presented as evidence by
Prosecutor Wood. One document was a piece of paper in von Papen’s own
handwriting directing that a cheque in payment of the ammunition,
pistols and dynamite, be drawn in favour of Captain Tauscher and that
the same be charged to the account of William G. Sichols. Still another
document was a copy of a letter written to a preacher in March, 1916,
saying that Tucker, one of the witnesses in the Canal expedition, must
be sent away for a time and remain quiet. The amount, $100, was enclosed
for that purpose. Tucker was arrested in Texas. Although Captain
Tauscher was freed, practically every charge of the prosecution was
admitted except that Captain Tauscher had any knowledge of von Papen’s
criminal intentions.


Without doubt, according to facts gathered by the Federal authorities
and developed in Canada, Captain von Papen and reservist German army
officers in the country did plan a mobilization of German reservists to
attack Canadian points. Hundreds of thousands of rifles and hundreds of
thousands of rounds of ammunition that were to be available for German
reservists were stored in New York, in Chicago, and different places
along the border. While the Canadian and the American officials
developed evidence concerning this plan of invasion, Max Lynar Louden,
known to the Federal authorities as “Count Louden,” a man of nondescript
reputation, who had secret communications with the Germans in the early
part of the war, has confessed that he was party to the scheme for quick
mobilization and equipment of an army of German reservists. Many persons
insist that Louden is a fabricator, nevertheless his secret activities
were of such a character that he was under suspicion by the Federal
authorities. At one time, he succeeded in getting himself invited to a
Government House Ball, when the Duke of Connaught was the host. His
bizarre costume attracted attention. The moment it was rumoured that he
was supposed to have two or three wives, a State investigation was
commenced, which resulted in the imprisonment of Louden. His story,
therefore, is interesting.

Through German-American interests the plans were made in 1914, he said,
and a fund of $10,000,000 was subscribed to carry out the details.
Secret meetings were held in New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Detroit,
Milwaukee, and other large cities, and at these meetings, Louden
asserted, it was agreed that _a force of 150,000 men, German reservists,
was available to seize and hold the Welland Canal_, other strategic
points and munitions centres.

“We had it arranged,” said Louden, “to send our men from large cities
following announcements of feasts and conventions; and I think we could
have obtained enough to carry out our plans had it not been for my
arrest on the charge of bigamy. _The troops were to have been divided
into four divisions, with six sections. The first two sections were to
have assembled at Silvercreek, Michigan. The first was to have seized
the Welland Canal. The second was to have taken Wind Mill Point. The
third was to have gone from Wilson, N.Y., to Port Hope, Canada. The
fourth was to have proceeded from Watertown, N.Y., to Kingston, Canada.
The fifth was to have assembled near Detroit and land near Windsor. The
sixth section was to leave Cornwall and take possession of Ottawa._”

After the enterprise on the Welland Canal failed and Count von
Bernstorff, according to von der Goltz, disapproved of the Canadian
invasion, there was a lull in any concerted move upon Canada.

By referring again to Captain von Papen’s diary it is evident that he
had other matters to absorb his attention. The counterfoils of the
cheque-book record payments such as the following payment dated July 10,
1915, “H. Tauscher (Preleuther’s bill for ‘Res. Picric Acid’) $68.” The
busy attaché, fighting here in the interests of the Fatherland had other


Captain von Papen was keenly alive to the production of explosives in
America for sale to the Allies. He was watching closely the product of
the different ammunition factories. He was locating the source of the
ingredients for such explosives, and he was naturally concerned in any
method for preventing the export of arms and ammunition to the Allies.
He possessed an unusual mind for economic data—a quality which aroused
the admiration of Dr. Albert. The two men were much in conference over
industrial matters that might be managed in the interest of the Teutonic
Allies. Under Dr Albert’s guidance he took up the project of acquiring a
monopoly in toluol, a constituent of the deadly explosive T. N. T., and
for buying picric acid, and liquid chlorine.

How he made recommendations on these things to Dr. Albert was shown in
connection with the fiscal agent’s activities. Other secret letters and
reports prove that he and his associates had control of the Lehigh Coke
Company, which turned out a large amount of toluol, and that he was
studying to control the supply of picric acid in this country. Still
further, he devoted much time to the Bridgeport Projectile Company in
Bridgeport, Connecticut. This company was organized shortly after the
outbreak of the war, and its promoters were prevailed upon to sell out
to German buyers who, after an exposé of their activities, disposed of
their holdings to still another group. Carl Heynen, an able German
organizer and expert in Mexican affairs, had charge of the plant and
supervised construction work and the placing of contracts for steel,
ammunition and presses. The money was furnished by Hugo Schmidt and Dr.

Von Papen, Heynen, Dr. Albert, frequently in conference, planned, as
excerpts from memorandum prepared by them prove, to utilize the company
in several ways: (1) _to turn out supplies that could be used by Germany
and her Allies, or by countries planning to make trouble for the United
States_; (2) to take the Allies’ orders and fail to fill them; (3) to
use the company as a means of getting information from the War

One of Captain von Papen’s own letters reveals the importance of these
enterprises. Writing to his wife about the so-called Albert papers, he

“Unfortunately they stole a fat portfolio from our good friend, Dr.
Albert, in the elevated. The English secret service, of course.
Unfortunately, there were some very important things from my report,
among them such as buying up liquid chlorine and about the Bridgeport
Projectile Company, as well as documents regarding the buying up of
phenol and the acquisition of Wright’s aeroplane patent. But things like
that must occur. I send you Albert’s reply, for you to see how we
protect ourselves. We composed the document to-day.”


This search for information of military value and these plans for
acquiring monopolies on certain ingredients for high explosives, carried
on during the winter and spring of 1914–15, were but preliminary to a
much more extensive campaign in which, as will be shown later on, Dr. C.
T. Dumba, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, assisted by von Papen and
Boy-Ed, worked with the idea, first, of controlling the arms and
ammunition factories in this country, and next, of preventing the
shipment of such products from America.

Naturally, during the winter and spring, Captain von Papen, Captain
Boy-Ed, Dr. Albert and Count von Bernstorff, all along various lines,
had been struggling to help the Fatherland, each eagerly hoping for
success and some preferment extended by the Kaiser as a reward for tasks
well performed.

Attacks were planned upon the Canadian Pacific Railway in the east, the
Welland Canal, the St. Clair tunnel, running under the Detroit River
from Port Huron, Michigan, to Sarnia, Ontario, and tunnels of the
Canadian Pacific Railroad in the Selkirk mountains. It is also stated in
indictments handed down by a Federal Grand Jury in San Francisco that
_the conspirators in the West planned also to blow up trains carrying
munitions of war, horses, arms and the like, and also to attack trains
carrying soldiers_. By a study on the map of the points thus mentioned
it will be observed that these enterprises were planned with the utmost
care to break into sections of the Canadian transcontinental railway
system and to paralyse it absolutely. It can be seen at a glance that
such plots, if carried out, would have prevented soldiers and munitions
of war from travelling East to ship for the Western front, or from going
West to cross the Pacific, thence through Siberia to the Eastern front.
_To this land scheme was added the additional plots of destroying docks
by incendiarism, ships by explosions and fire._ Furthermore, _agents_ on
land under the direction of other men _were studying the munition
factories in the western part of the United States preparatory to
causing explosions and fires_.

For the execution of these campaigns against munition industries and
railroads in the West and North-west, Captain von Papen had special
lieutenants. The persons who have been convicted in San Francisco on the
charge of conspiring to blow up railroads and to wreck the
transcontinental railway system in Canada are: Franz Bopp, German consul
in San Francisco; Baron Eckhart H. von Schack, German vice-consul;
Lieutenant Wilhelm von Brincken, attaché of German consulate; Charles C.
Crowley, detective for German consul; and Mrs. Margaret W. Cornell,
secretary to Crowley. They were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment

The question may justly be asked: “Why is it asserted that von Papen was
behind and directed all these enterprises?” The Federal authorities have
established a connection between von Papen’s headquarters in 60, Wall
Street, and the German Consulate in San Francisco, whence, according to
United States District-Attorney Preston of that city, ramifications led
out to the different angles of the conspiracy in the West. So strong is
the evidence that the San Francisco officials have accused the
defendants of using the mails to incite murder, arson and assassination.
It is stated that the defendants planned to destroy munition works at
Aenta, Indiana, at Ishpeming, Michigan, and at Gary and other places in
the West. Among the evidence is one letter among several which has to do
with the question of the price which would be paid for the destruction
of a powder plant at Pinole, California, and in it reference was made to
“P.” The letter follows:

* * * * *

“DEAR S.,—Your last letter with clipping to-day, and note what you have
to say. I have taken it up with them and ‘B.’ (which the Federal
officials say stands for Franz Bopp, German Consul) is awaiting decision
of ‘P.’ in New York, so cannot advise you yet, and will do so as soon as
I get word from you. You might size up the situation in the meantime.”

* * * * *

While this and other letters show, in the opinion of the Government
officials, that von Papen was concerned with the defendants mentioned in
the western indictment, still other facts have been gathered against von
Papen. He has been traced from Washington and New York to a number of
points in the United States, his visits coinciding with remarkable
closeness to the time that meetings of the alleged conspirators were
being held. Captain von Papen sauntered from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in
New York one afternoon about 3.30, down Madison Avenue to 42nd Street,
where he wavered for a moment as if deciding whether he would turn over
for a jaunt on Fifth Avenue or drop into the Grand Central Station to
buy a magazine.

After a moment he walked slowly into the station, glancing casually at
his watch, and moving just before the gate closed toward the entrance to
the track where stood the Twentieth Century Limited, was soon safely on
board. The next day he was observed in Chicago, where he announced that
he was on his way to Yellowstone National Park—and he disappeared. For
several weeks he was lost to the sight of the zealous agents who were
hunting him; but one day he was observed sauntering through the lobby of
the Palace Hotel, San Francisco. In the course of his absence, he is
said to have swung down along the Mexican border, where he caught up
with Captain Boy-Ed, conferred with a number of secret agents from
Mexico, with spies scattered throughout the country, and then hurried up
to San Francisco, where he was busy before the agents of the Department
of Justice picked him up again.


_One indictment_ against the five defendants, phrased in legal terms, is
vivid and forcible though barren of details. _It accuses the German
representatives and their hirelings of plotting to blow up railway
tunnels, railroads, railroad trains, and bridges, already mentioned._
Over this vast system of transportation, the indictment explains,
supplies were being shipped westward for transportation on the ships
_Talthybius_ and _Hazel Dollar_. The defendants, it is stated, hired
Smith to help them gain information about the sailings and the cargoes
of ships leaving Tacoma bound for Vladivostok; that after Smith went to
Tacoma, Crowley sent him money. Crowley and Smith came to New York,
where they had conference with Germans who were in touch with von Papen.
They next went to Detroit, where they were working out plans for the
blowing up of the tunnel when they were arrested. Smith, who was working
on the shipping and the tunnel end of the scheme, confessed, while van
Koolbergen also has made a statement to the authorities which is of
great interest, showing the workings of the defendants.

“On different occasions in his room,” says van Koolbergen, “von Brincken
showed me maps and information about Canada, and pointed out to me where
he wanted the act to be done. This was to be between Revelstoke and
Vancouver on the Canadian Pacific Railway, and I was to get $3,000 in
case of a successful blowing up of a military train, or bridge, or

“There are many tunnels and bridges there, and military trains pass
every three or four days; he also knew when a cargo of dynamite would
pass. He then informed me how I could get hold of dynamite, and
explained to me that on the other side of the river on which the
Canadian Pacific ran (I believe it was the Fraser River) the Canadian
Northern Railway was in course of construction, and they had at
intervals powder and dynamite magazines and that it would be very easy
to steal some of the dynamite.”

Several ships were blown up on the Pacific; others were disabled under
circumstances that suggested conspiracies. There were schemes also to
destroy docks on the Pacific coast. In view of these plots, it is
striking to observe in von Papen’s cheque counterfoils this entry: “May
11, 1915, German Consulate, Seattle (for Schulenberg), $500.” An
explosion in Seattle Harbour occurred on May 30, 1915.

Another excerpt from the counterfoil is dated February 2nd, 1915,
recording the payment of $1,300 to the Seattle, Washington, German
Consulate marked “C. Angelegenheit,” a very vague word for “affair.” He
also paid to A. Kalschmidt, of Detroit, who is accused by the Canadian
authorities of plotting to blow up armouries and factories in Canada,
$1,000 on March 27, 1915, and $1,976 on July 10, 1915.

While this enterprise was being mapped out in the West, a second project
against the Welland Canal was in the making in New York. Paul Koenig,
the intermediary between von Papen and reservists and others, had
charge, it is alleged, of selecting assistants who would carry dynamite,
fuses, and other equipment to the Canadian waterway. Koenig selected as
his assistants Richard Emil Leyendecker, retailer of art woods, a
naturalized German-American, Fred Metzler, Koenig’s stenographer, George
Fuchs, a German, who after a quarrel with Koenig turned State’s
evidence; as also did Metzler, and one or two other men. The party went
to Buffalo and to Niagara Falls, being trailed all the time by agents
under direction by William M. Offley, chief of the Federal investigators
of New York.


While these plots in the West were developed in vain and some of the
culprits have been convicted, still other enterprises were conceived and
set in motion in the East. A great number of explosions and fires have
occurred in factories in the eastern part of the country. Though many of
them were due to natural causes, yet suspicions seem to show that bombs
were manufactured and placed in various plants and that incendiary bombs
were hidden in other factories. The men believed to have committed the
crime have been traced. They invariably proved to be Germans who, under
assumed names, had obtained work in the factory; and then, shortly after
the fire or explosion, had disappeared. But Federal agents following
them learned that they had hurried back to Germany or skipped away to
Mexico or South America. Bombs for their purposes were manufactured in
various places in New York and Brooklyn; and in fact the authorities
have obtained statements from men who made the bombs, but thus far they
have not located the chief man. A German officer skilled in the
manufacture of explosives spent a number of months in New York, living
on board one of the German merchantmen and conferring frequently with
Germans. He disappeared one day and was not heard of until a wireless
message announced his arrival in Berlin.

Into this general scheme for preventing supplies from going to the
Allies fits the conspiracy of Robert Fay and his associates. Fay, a
tall, military-looking man, who has told many stories, some of which are
true, some of which are lies, fought in the trenches for Germany and
then obtained leave of absence and a passport to come to America. He had
an inventive bent, and _he conceived the idea of manufacturing high
explosive mines which could be attached to the rudder posts of ships,
and which would be so regulated by a detonating device that explosions
would occur far out at sea_. Fay says that he sought to blow off the
rudder, disable the ship, but not to sink the vessel or injure her

His aim was to frighten steamship owners, and insurance underwriters, so
that the insurance on munition ships would be raised to an almost
prohibitive rate. Experts, however, have testified that so great was the
amount of high explosive in the mines, that it would have blown off the
stern of the ship, and detonated the cargo of explosives. In other
words, had Fay’s scheme worked, nothing of the cargo and ship would have
remained but a few chips floating upon the waves. But through the
vigilance of Chief Flynn, of the secret service, and Captain Tunney, of
the bomb squad of the New York Police Department, Fay’s plan was
detected and John C. Knox, Assistant United States District Attorney,
presented the evidence so thoroughly that Fay and his brother-in-law,
Walter Scholz, and Paul Daeche, a German reservist, were found guilty.
They were sentenced respectively to eight, four and two years in the
penitentiary. Fay admitted on the witness stand that he laid his plan
before Captain von Papen and Captain Boy-Ed, that he had more than one
conference with Captain von Papen; but he asserted that both men warned
him not to undertake the scheme. It will be remembered that Fay escaped
from the Atlanta Penitentiary within a short time after his sentence,
and he is believed to be either in Mexico or back in the trenches. He
undoubtedly secured aid from German sympathizers.


Another part of this vast conspiracy against the export of arms and
ammunition was the scheme to manufacture the so-called fire bombs, which
could be placed in the holds of ships and which, exploding after a
certain time, would set fire to the cargoes. _By this means,
thirty-three ships were stealthily attacked, with New York as a basis of
operation, and damage of $10,000,000 was done._ Vessels sailing not only
from New York, but from Boston, Galveston, and even from Pacific ports,
carried these bombs stowed away in their holds. Sugar ships especially
were an object of attack, for sugar forms an ingredient of a certain
explosive. These ships especially were adapted to this method, because
once a fire started, the bomb itself would be destroyed, and as water
had to be poured into the hold, the sugar would be destroyed.

Several bombs would be placed in the same hold, as has been shown by the
fact that one fire was started in a vessel before she had left port. The
fire was extinguished and more sugar loaded on the boat. Scarcely had
the boat got out of port when another fire started. Among the ships
attacked by bombs were _La Touraine_, of the French line, the
_Minnehaha_, of the Atlantic Transport Line, the _Rochambeau_, the
_Euterpe_, _Strathtay_, _Devon City_, _Lord Erne_, _Lord Ormonde_,
_Tennyson_ and many others.

The man accused of having charge of these bombs is a chemist, named Dr.
Walter T. Scheele, formerly of Brooklyn, later of Hoboken, and still
later a resident of some foreign country, whither he fled. He
developed—or it was suggested to him by German officers—a scheme for
taking a small metal container divided into two parts. Into one part
would be put sulphuric acid; into another part, chlorate of potash. The
sulphuric acid eating through the partition between the two sections
made of aluminium, would unite with the chlorate of potash, causing
combustion. Thus started, a fire so intense would be created that the
container made of lead would be destroyed, and the cargo would be set on
fire. Dr. Scheele, it is charged, made hundreds of these bombs, and
received a large amount of money from German sources. One story is that
von Rintelen paid him $10,000. Another story is that Wolf von Igel, von
Papen’s assistant, paid him money after von Papen left the country.
Still further, Captain Otto Wolpert, Pier Superintendent of the Atlas
Line, is charged with having received some of these bombs. The metal
containers were manufactured on board the steamship _Friedrich der
Grosse_, tied up in the North German Lloyd pier in Hoboken. The chief
engineer, Carl Schmidt, who spent some time in collecting money for a
monument to commemorate the part Germans have taken in the present war,
is said to have been directed by a German officer to turn over the
workshop of the ship as a bomb factory. At any rate, Ernst Becker, chief
electrician, who has turned State’s evidence, and three assistant
engineers have been arrested as co-conspirators in this ship plot. Dr.
Scheele’s assistant, Captain Charles von Kleist, also has been arrested.
It was through information unwittingly supplied by him that Captain
Tunney and Detective George Barnitz, assisted by extremely keen members
of the bomb squad, unearthed the whole conspiracy.

Captain von Papen, as an organizer of a part of Germany’s secret service
in America, as the schemer who sought to control a monopoly in certain
high explosives and as a director of military enterprises—has been
revealed by the Federal authorities as an extremely able servant of the
Kaiser. These activities, however, were only a part of the task assigned
to him by the German General Staff. He had still other plans which will
be set forth in the following chapter.