This was the sentiment

“And tell him that the struggle on the American front is sometimes very
hard.”—Dr. Albert.

* * * * *

To outwit John Bull on the high seas by running his blockade is a big
task. To compete against the combined commercial generals of England,
Russia, France and Italy in seeking trade in the Americas is a still
larger undertaking. But for one man to attempt both, while incidentally
keeping watch on the industrial growth of the United States and being a
big factor in Germany’s spy system, seems like a pigmy grappling with a
Hercules. The qualities requisite for the man who would accept such a
battle are diplomatic finesse of the highest degree, strength compared
to one of America’s kings of industry, a vast economic knowledge, the
shrewdness of a Yankee and the cleverness of the Kaiser’s ablest
strategist. Yet the responsibilities of such a manifold enterprise,
romantic in its infinite details and its vastness, were assumed by one

You could find him almost any day until the break with Germany in a
small office in the Hamburg-American Building, the Kaiser’s beehive of
secret agents, at No. 45, Broadway, New York. He was a tall, slender
man, wonderfully supple-looking in spite of the conventional frock coat
and the dignified dress of a European business man. His clear, blue
eyes, his smooth face, thoughtful and refined, his blonde hair, and his
regular features suggested a man of thirty-eight, or even younger,
though you would look for a middle-aged or older man as selected for a
position requiring so many nice decisions. When you entered his room—and
few persons gained admission—he would rise and bow low and most
courteously. He spoke in a soft, melodious voice, was deliberate in the
choice of his words and encouraged conversation rather than made it. He
was the quintessence of politeness, a marked contrast to the clear-cut,
energetic, brusque, American business man—a smooth polished cog in the
steel machinery of Prussian militarism.

Yet this man was the centre of Germany’s business activities in America.
Upon him has rested the task of spending between $2,000,000 and
$3,000,000 a week for the German Government in the purchase of supplies
and in propaganda. His expenditure in furthering the cause has cost him
thirty millions of dollars outside the vast amounts spent in the
purchase of supplies, and he admits he wasted a half million or more

He was Dr. Heinrich F. Albert, privy councillor to the German Embassy
and fiscal agent in America for the German Government. He was the source
of the funds used by the representatives of Germany, her secret
diplomatic and consular agents. He was the channel through whom money
flowed from the Imperial exchequer—unwittingly it may have been on his
part—to men who, in the interest of Germany, have violated American

His job was a big one because this war has demanded the help of
industry, as no other previous war. Just as it has resolved itself into
an enormous race between the industries of the combating nations in
turning out shells and arms, so Geheimrath Albert’s duties became all
the more multitudinous, really a part of the great conflict itself.

Dr. Albert had just as important work as his colleagues, the military
and naval attachés, but in a different field. With industrial
preparedness of greater importance in this than in any other war it is
natural that the commercial attaché and his staff of agents should prove
a most important asset to Germany’s secret service in America.
Geheimrath Albert’s duties in the economic field have been bound
inextricably with the aims of the Fatherland’s secret service. While
directing and financing the collection of data for use in the
preparation of reports to the home government, he has also worked side
by side with the other representatives of his Government.


Albert was equipped for the gigantic task, as few men in the world have
been equipped. He knew finance, the economy of industry, the finesse of
diplomacy and the odd, yet scientific twists of the inventor’s mind. He
had been trained in the things that interested kings and the problems
that appealed to the labouring man. His field of knowledge was broad,
for in preparation for his tasks he had to seek the best commercial,
banking, industrial methods and inventions of the world to help Germany.
So successful was he that his friends have termed him “The German

Around no German official in America has there hovered so much mystery.
A great bulwark of Germany’s propaganda—though no participation in any
illegal or criminal acts has been charged against him—he might have
remained the greater part of the war under cover had it not been for the
activity of secret service agents and for a little nap which Geheimrath
Albert, the courteous and overworked, took upon an elevated train one
day. When he awoke, his dossier was gone. That portfolio contained a
mass of wonderfully illuminating documents, so many and so varied that
if the privy councillor is accustomed to take up in one day so many
diverse matters it almost staggers the imagination to try to conceive of
the tasks which this war brought him. Through them public and official
attention was fastened upon him, serving to deepen the folds of mystery
about him. Through them the public in America first learned of the
vastness of German propaganda. Dr. Albert lost his portfolio in August,

In the quietness of his little office above humming Broadway and within
calling distance of the gold-lined Wall Street into which he so
constantly pried, Geheimrath Albert discussed momentous economic
problems with Germany’s other big men. In the German Club in the
evenings he continued those consultations. In trips to Washington and
Chicago and New Orleans and San Francisco, he and his agents conferred
with big German business men.

His close confidant was Count von Bernstorff, with whom he had a joint
account of several millions of dollars in the Chase National Bank, New
York. His two active colleagues were Captain von Papen and Captain
Boy-Ed. The association with these men must have been very close and
keen; for on von Papen’s recall Dr. Albert wrote him: “I shall feel your
departure most keenly; our work together was excellent and was always a
great pleasure to me. I hope that in the Fatherland you will have an
opportunity for making use of your extraordinary talent in dealing with
economic questions. When I think of your and Boy-Ed’s departure and that
I alone remain behind in New York, I could—well, better not!”

Dr. Albert learned the output of the steel industries and the financial
connections of the big corporations. He had accurate information about
the electrical manufacturing concerns in this country, their output,
their inventions, the ability and the accomplishments of the engineers
at the head of those plants, their training and personal history. He
knew all about America’s transportation systems, their financial
strength and the real mechanical and constructive ability of the
scientific men connected with those systems. His information was as
broad as his American activities. Suffice it to say that it was Dr.
Albert’s business to get these facts—and he did so.


How Dr. Albert looked to the future is set forth in a report which was
prepared for him on June 3, 1915, by a trade representative in the
German General Consulate, New York, on the effect of the British
embargo. This document, compiled by a scientist, was undoubtedly only
one of hundreds of such instruments worked out by Germans in this
country for the help of the Fatherland. In this paper the writer, named
Waetzoldt, says:

* * * * *

“There can be no doubt that the British Government will bring into play
all power and pressure possible in order to complete the total blockade
of Germany from her foreign markets, and that the Government of the
United States will not make a strenuous effort to maintain its trade
with Germany….

“It has been positively demonstrated during this time that the falling
off of imports caused by the war in Europe will in the future be
principally covered by American industry….

“The complete stopping of importation of German products will, in truth,
to a limited extent, especially in the first part of the blockade, help
the sale of English or French products, but the damage which will be
done to us in this way will not be great….

“The _Lusitania_ case did, in fact, give the English efforts in this
direction a new and powerful impetus, and at first the vehemence with
which the anti-German movement began anew awakened serious misgivings,
but this case also will have a lasting effect, which, unless fresh
complications arise, we may be able to turn to the advantage of the sale
of German goods….

“The war will certainly have this effect, that the American business
world will devote all its energy toward making itself independent of the
importation of foreign products as far as possible….

“If the decision is again brought home to German industry it should not
be forgotten what position the United States took with reference to
Germany in this war. Above all, it should not be forgotten that the
‘ultimate ratio’ of the United States is not the war with arms, but a
complete prohibition of trade with Germany, and, in fact, through
legislation. That was brought out very clearly and sharply in connection
with the still pending negotiations regarding the _Lusitania_ case.”

* * * * *

Dr. Albert received among many reports one giving an analysis of the
trade here in war materials:

* * * * *

“The large war orders, as the professional journals also print, have
become the great means of saving American business institutions from
idleness and financial ruin.

“The fact that institutions of the size and international influence of
those mentioned could not find sufficient regular business to keep them
to some extent occupied, throws a harsh light upon the sad condition in
which American business would have found itself had it not been for the
war orders. The ground which induced these large interests to accept war
orders rests entirely upon an economical basis and can be explained by
the above-mentioned conditions which were produced by the lack of
regular business…. These difficulties resulting from the dividing up
of the contracts are held to have been augmented, as stated in business
circles, by the fact that certain agents working in German interest
succeeded in further delaying and making worse American deliveries….

“So many contracts for the production of picric acid have been placed
that they can only be filled to a very small part.”

* * * * *


Naturally one of the most vital problems that stirred Dr. Albert was the
British Order in Council in regard to the blockade of Germany from which
resulted the seizure of meat and food supplies and cotton by British war
vessels. He was always on the alert for information as to what was the
attitude of the Administration and the people of the United States
toward the blockade. That he used secret and perhaps devious means to
get it is revealed by a confidential report which he received under most
mysterious circumstances concerning an interview by a man referred to as
“M. P.” with President Wilson and Secretary Lansing. “M. P.,” according
to the conversation, claimed to have received from the President “a
candid, confidential statement in order to make clear not only his own
opposition, but also necessarily the political opportunity.” A striking
part of this conversation follows:

* * * * *

“L. advises regarding a conference with M. P. Thereafter M. P. saw
Lansing as well as Wilson. He informed both of them that an American
syndicate had approached him which had strong German relations. This
syndicate wishes to buy up cotton for Germany in great style, thereby to
relieve the cotton situation, and at the same time to provide Germany
with cotton. The relations of the American syndicate with Germany are
very strong, so that they might even possibly be able to influence the
position of Germany in the general political question. M. P. therefore
asked for a candid, confidential statement in order to make clear not
only his own position, but also necessarily the political opportunity.
The result of the conversation was as follows:

“1. _The note of protest to England will go in any event whether Germany
answers satisfactorily or not._

“2. _Should it be possible to settle satisfactorily the Lusitania case,
the President will bind himself to carry the protest against England
through to the uttermost._

“3. _The continuance of the difference with Germany over the Lusitania
case is ‘embarrassing’ for the President in carrying out the protest
against England._…

“4. A contemplated English proposal to buy cotton in great style and
invest the proceeds in America would not satisfy the President as an
answer to the protest….

“5. The President, in order to ascertain from Mr. M. P. how strong the
German influence of this syndicate is, would like to have the trend of
the German note before the note is officially sent, and declares himself
ready, before the answer is drafted, to discuss it with M. P., and
eventually to so influence it that there will be an agreement for its
reception, and also to be ready to influence the press through a wink.

“6. As far as the note itself is concerned, which he awaits, so he
awaits another expression of regret, which was not followed in the last
note—regret together with the statement that nobody had expected that
human lives would be lost and that the ship would sink so quickly.

“The President is said to have openly declared that he could hardly hope
for a positive statement that the submarine warfare would be

* * * * *


Dr. Albert also was in close communication with the American branches of
German industries. This fact is apparent from secret correspondence
found in his dossier, showing how after much deliberation and
consultation a group of German representatives in America forbade the
American branch of a German firm to fill a Russian war order. This
correspondence shows that the American branch first sought information
as to whether or not it should fill the order either as a means of
making money or, secondly, as a means of delaying the Russian Government
in getting the material. One of the Embassy staff wrote suggesting that
the Ambassador approve of the acceptance of the order as a means of
hindering the Allies. After a conference it was reported:

* * * * *

“In my opinion it would be hazardous for your firm to ship locomotives,
cars, or wheels to Russia. All these transportation means would lighten
the transport of troops, ammunition and provisions for the Russian
Government, and your firm would, within the meaning of Paragraph 89 of
the (German) Penal Code, be rendering aid to the enemy thereby…. That
you are in a position to delay the delivery of the order to the
prejudice of the hostile country ordering them will in no measure
relieve you from liability.”

* * * * *


When it appeared that the Kaiser would not yield to demands made by the
President, the prices of stocks went down and Germans bought stocks
cheaply. After they loaded up a liberal supply, word would come that
Germany was yielding and the stock market would become buoyant, thus
allowing the German group to sell hundreds of thousands of shares on a
substantial profit. _There is absolutely no doubt that as a result of
every crisis the German Government realized millions of dollars in the

An instance of how Dr. Albert had opportunity to get into the market is
revealed in a secret letter written to Dr. Albert on July 8, 1915, by a
well-known Board of Trade German in Chicago, and associated with a group
of German traders. In this letter he refers to Dr. Albert’s “principal,”
presumed to be no other than the German Government or the Kaiser
himself. His letter says:

* * * * *

“Provisions have been horribly depressed by severe liquidation. We
firmly believe that purchase of September lard will make your principal
a great deal of money. September lard closes tonight at $8.65. This,
with high freight added, will cost under 10 cents delivered Hamburg,
where actual prices are around 35 cents per pound.

“I do not want to appear over persistent, but there never was a better
proposition than buying this cheap lard for September delivery.”

* * * * *

One of Dr. Albert’s functions was to sift this commercial information
and make recommendations to Berlin. He would confer with his coworkers
on all military and naval matters having a commercial phase. That he did
so is proved by the reports which they made and which went to Dr. Albert
for his consideration and further recommendation. Captain von Papen, on
July 7, 1915, submitted to Dr. Albert a memorandum headed, “Steps taken
to Prevent the Exportation of Liquid Chlorine,” in which he tells of the
efforts made by England and France to buy that chemical in America,
tells of the output here, and the firms turning it out.


Another matter of importance to which he gave thought was the problem
which had been in every German mind and mouth since the beginning of the
war, namely, the prevention of the shipment of war supplies to the
Allies. A letter mailed to Dr. Albert from Chicago under date of July
22, 1915, sets forth how zealously his agent was working on an embargo
conference with the aim of arousing sentiment in this country against
the export of arms and ammunition. The letter says that he had obtained
the co-operation of a United States Senator, a Congressman and other
Americans in this project.

One letter from Albert’s agent runs thus:

* * * * *

“I must refrain from communicating the above facts in my report to the
Ambassador, as the matter could be too easily compromised thereby.
Perhaps you will find an opportunity to inform Count von Bernstorff
verbally. As soon as the matter has first gained more headway, I believe
Mr. von Alvensleben, who has taken part in the whole development here,
will come to New York in order to inform the Ambassador fully regarding
prevailing frame of mind here as well as regarding the movement,
provided, however, that is desired.”

* * * * *

Letters from Detroit suggested a plan for a general strike of the
automobile workers in that city as a mighty protest against shipment of
arms. The strike would cost about $50,000.


To Dr. Albert also was assigned the task of studying sentiment in this
country regarding the war and taking steps to influence it in favour of
Germany—in other words, highly paid press work. Through Dr. Albert
arrangements also were made for many German professors, either in
Germany or connected with American institutions, to give up their
occupations as teachers and devote themselves in America exclusively to
lectures before high-class audiences. In these talks the speakers
devoted themselves to showing the friendly relations between Germany and
the United States, the similar aims of both countries in industry and
international affairs, and to arguing for the cordial support of
Germany’s cause.

A complete organization was tabulated of journalists throughout the
country who were sympathetic with the German cause. These men received
news for publication in various papers, also instructions. By the aid of
these men a vast amount of information was gathered and shunted along to
Dr. Albert. In addition Dr. Albert gave consideration to still more
elaborate plans for the purchase of newspapers, the starting of news
syndicates and information bureaus which, apparently neutral, should be
secretly allied with the German cause and supported by German money.
These facts were shown by a number of papers bearing on publicity and
methods of acquiring it which were found in his dossier. The papers show
that in one instance he was subsidizing a weekly paper and that in
return he demanded a certain policy.

The following letter throws some light on the subject:

* * * * *

“I request the proposal of a suitable person who can ascertain
accurately and prove the financial condition of your paper. From the
moment when we guarantee you a regular advance, I must—

“1. Have a new statement of the condition of your paper.

“2. Practice a control over the financial management.

“In addition to this, we must have an understanding regarding the course
in politics which you will pursue, which we have not asked heretofore.
Perhaps you will be so kind as to talk the matter over, on the basis of
this letter, with ——.”

* * * * *

Plans for the purchase of an English daily in New York which would
support the German cause were worked over at length by Dr. Albert and
his assistants. Proof also that Dr. Albert and his associates
contemplated the creation of news bureaus in New York and Berlin which
would furnish and disseminate throughout the United States news
favourable to the German Government is given in the memorandum prepared
apparently by an expert newspaper man, outlining the plan and cost of
organization and giving certain suggestions.

Dr. Albert gave consideration to the suggestion of paying the expenses
of American newspaper men who would go to Germany and send back articles
favourable to the German cause. He did so under orders from von
Bethmann-Hollweg, the German Imperial Chancellor, who caused one of his
aids to write to the German Ambassador a letter suggesting that certain
journalists be invited to visit Germany.


Varied and important as were these various duties, already mentioned,
still the paramount task to which Dr. Albert devoted himself was a
scheme to outwit England’s blockade of Germany. This tall, silent man,
working in his little office, was concerned with the purchase of
millions and millions of dollars’ worth of supplies—cargo after
cargo—for shipment to Germany, direct or through neutral countries. In
this campaign he used every means of deceiving the enemy that were in
his power.

Let it be said that this is meant as no reflection on Dr. Albert. In war
one nation may establish a blockade and the other nation will attempt to
run it. International lawyers agree that one nation has a right to
establish such a blockade. If the shipowner obtains ingress to the port
he makes big profits by the sale of his goods, but if he is caught by
the other belligerent he loses his ship and cargo. It is a gamble.

It has already been established as a part of international law, through
decisions of Lord Stowell in England more than a century ago and of the
United States Supreme Court during the Civil War, that if it can be
shown that shipments of supplies to a neutral country are really
designed for transhipment to a belligerent, then the enemy has a right
to seize and confiscate those goods.

After the Orders in Council were issued by England, Dr. Albert sought
first to make the embargo unpopular in America. Letters and other
documents in his dossier show that plans were submitted to him for
stirring up sentiment in this country against what was denounced by
pro-Germans as arbitrary seizures on the part of Great Britain. For
instance, Edward D. Adams of 71, Broadway, New York, who for many years
was a representative in that city of the Deutsche Bank, sent a letter to
Dr. Albert in which he makes the following suggestion:

* * * * *

“The South politically is of very great importance to the Democratic
Party and to the re-election of its representatives at our next
Presidential election. The Cabinet and Congress have represented in them
Southern men to a considerable number who are keenly alive to the
importance of keeping the Democratic Administration in close touch with
the Southern voters, and it takes such action from time to time as will
secure their sympathy and support.”

* * * * *

Likewise plans were worked out for the arousing of the meat packers in
Chicago to protest to Washington over the seizure of meat ships bound
for Germany by way of neutral ports.

German representatives studying public sentiment in this country also
suggested to Dr. Albert that indignation against Great Britain could be
aroused by making it appear as if the British blockade was hurting
America in preventing the receipt here of various non-contraband
articles from Germany. One associate wrote to Dr. Albert:

* * * * *

“From a German standpoint, the pressure on the American Government can
be strengthened by the interruption of deliveries from Germany even if
the British Government should permit exception. Those shipments
especially should be interrupted which the American industries so badly
require; withholding of goods is the surest means of occasioning the
placing before the Administration in Washington of American interests.
Those protests have the most weight which come from American industries
which employ many workmen.”

* * * * *

In the early months of the war Dr. Albert was a buyer of enormous
supplies of cotton, wheat, copper, lubricating oil and other articles
needed by Germany for the prosecution of the war. He signed contracts
for meat and other supplies amounting to millions of dollars and he made
payment the moment the ships were loaded here so that the American
seller got his money regardless of what happened to the cargo while on
the high seas. Of course, after the German Government seized all food
supplies, the British Government took the attitude that all food
supplies bound for Germany were intended for the Government and were
therefore contraband. In the next place all purchases of food or other
material by Dr. Albert as the official representative of the German
Government made them Government supplies and therefore contraband of
war. The moment the British Government discovered that these articles
were purchased by Albert, no matter whether they were bound for neutral
countries, or not, England argued she was justified in seizing the ships
and confiscating them. But as a fact, England paid the American shippers
in most instances.

All the facts in the vast scheme mapped out by Dr. Albert for outwitting
John Bull’s blockade, have been developed by the Attorney-General of
England and set forth in the prize courts there. It has been shown that
Albert backed the purchase of cotton by the shipload, that he acquired
vessels under neutral flags for carrying these cargoes to neutral
countries. He spent millions of dollars in the purchase of meat. For
instance, Dr. C. T. Dumba, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, writing to Baron
Burian from New York, tells of an interview in Chicago with a beef

“No fewer than thirty-one ships, with meat and bacon shipments from his
firm to Sweden, with a value of $19,000,000, have been detained,” he
says, “in British ports for months under suspicion of being ultimately
intended for Germany. The negotiations have been long drawn out, because
Mr. Meagher and his companion will not accept a lame compromise, but
insist on full compensation or release of the consignments in which the
bacon may still remain sound.”


Dr. Albert issued a statement which purports to be a complete reply to
the charges in regard to a secret German propaganda in the United
States. He said that the purchase of ammunition plants in this country
was justifiable, argued for an embargo on arms and ammunition, charged
Great Britain with piracy on the high seas, denied that the German
Government financed press agents, and asserted that the German
Government had not started any under-cover newspaper campaign in this
country. He said it was inevitable that all sorts of wild and
irresponsible offers, proposals and suggestions should be addressed from
every conceivable quarter to one holding the official position in which
he was placed as an accredited agent of one of the great nations engaged
in this unfortunate world-wide war. He referred to the strike letters as
junk, and said that he should not be held responsible for every crank
that wrote him a letter.

That statement was for the American public. Dr. Albert’s real sentiments
are shown vividly in a letter which he wrote to Captain von Papen from
San Francisco after the announcement of the President’s decision to send
the military attaché out of the country. Here is part of it:

* * * * *

“Well, then! How I wish I were in New York and could discuss the
situation with you and B. E.! Many thanks for the telegram. The ‘Patron’
also telegraphed that I was to continue the journey. So we shall not see
each other for the present. Shall we at all before you leave? It would
be my most anxious wish; but my hope is small. For this time, I suppose,
matters will move more quickly than in Dumba’s case. I wonder whether
our Government will respond in a suitable manner! In my opinion, it need
no longer take public opinion so much into consideration, in spite of
its being artificially and intentionally agitated by the Press and the
legal proceedings, so that a somewhat ‘stiffer’ attitude would be
desirable, naturally quiet and dignified!

“If you should leave New York before my return, we must try to come to
some agreement about pending questions by writing. Please instruct Mr.
Amanuensis Igel as precisely as possible. You will receive then in
Germany the long-intended report of the expenses paid through my account
on your behalf. I would be very thankful to you if you would then
support the question of a monetary advance which you know of, although I
know that I was mistaken in my opinion, that I acted as your
representative and according to your wishes.”

* * * * *

When all the work of Dr. Albert is summed up and taken into
consideration with his propaganda in association with Captain von Papen
and Captain Boy-Ed, the impression remains that he, a guest of the
United States, was immersed in plans that were aimed at the honour and
integrity of this republic.

“If I wanted to flatter the American people, I would make a statement
before my departure, but I say nothing.”

This was the sentiment of Dr. Constantin Theodor Dumba, veteran diplomat
and Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at Washington, just after he had
received his passports from Secretary of State Lansing. He was dismissed
from this country in September, 1915, because of his pro-Teutonic
activities, which were adjudged by the State Department to amount to
interference with the internal affairs of the nation.

The diplomat, regarded at the time as the ablest in Washington, did not
relish the notoriety of being the ninth diplomat to be expelled from
America; and, when questioned by reporters on the eve of his departure,
he revealed the acrid feeling regarding Americans which his wonted
suavity and self-control hitherto had enabled him to conceal. The next
day, however, he did unbend to the extent of saying something about
“wonderful United States”—and then sailed away.

Dumba, master of intrigue and remorseless in the attempted execution of
any scheme that he regarded as beneficial to the welfare of his country,
had been the supervising authority of the Austro-Hungarian espionage
system in America, which was linked almost chain for chain with the
German machinery. The joint activity of the German and the Austrian
organizations was aimed at the same end as those described in connection
with the duties of the German agents and their executives. He had as his
active assistants, Baron Erich Zwiedinek von Sudenhorst, counsellor to
the Austrian Embassy, and after the dismissal of Dumba, Chargé
d’Affaires; Dr. Alexander Nuber von Pereked, Consul-General in New York,
and several other Austrian consuls throughout the country. He is said to
have been the originating genius of many of the ideas which the German
agents tried to put into effect.

The charges against him are based on a series of exposures concerning
the secret propaganda in which Dr. Dumba participated and concerning
which evidence was gathered by the Secret Service and the Department of
Justice. They rest on secret diplomatic messages which Dr. Dumba wrote
and entrusted to Captain James F. J. Archibald, an American, travelling
in August, 1915, on the steamship _Rotterdam_ for Holland, whence he
expected to confer with the Foreign Offices of both Germany and
Austro-Hungary. Those documents were captured by the British and turned
over to the American authorities. They expose much the same sort of
illicit activity as set forth in German documents.


Attorney-General Gregory caused a thorough investigation of these
documents and also of von Nuber’s office in New York. Many consular
employees were taken before the Grand Jury and practically every member
of the Consulate, excepting von Nuber and his immediate associates, was
rounded up one night in the office of Superintendent Offley in New York.
They were questioned, and they gave much information.

* * * * *

Baron Zwiedinek was a busy person at the summer Embassy at
Manchester-by-the-Sea after the outbreak of the war. Hundreds of
Austro-Hungarian reservists were bobbing up at various consulates and
registering, eager for directions and for means of getting back to their
country. Evidently, these matters came under his jurisdiction, for he
wrote the following letter to von Nuber:

* * * * *

“Manchester, A. M., 24 August, 1914.

“To the Imperial and Royal Consulate-General in New York:

“On the 21st inst. the Imperial and Royal Embassy received the following
telegram from the Imperial and Royal Consulate in San Francisco:

“‘Nine employees arrived here on the steamer _Yokohama_ seek
transportation New York at expense of State. Beg for telegraphic
instruction whether Consulate should pay travelling expenses. Stay here
would cause embarrassment.’

“The Embassy has instructed the Consular office mentioned to send these
employees to New York. Thereupon the following telegram of the 22nd

“‘Attaché Hanenschild, Interpreter Nanternatz, Embassy, Tokio, as well
as six employees, journeyed onward.’

“Since the Imperial and Royal Embassy is of the opinion that it is a
patriotic duty of the reservists to do their utmost to reach the
monarchy, will the Imperial and Royal Consulate please make all efforts
in this connection to discover the proper transportation facilities for
these employees who are shortly to arrive. Perhaps it would be possible
also to produce suitable passports of neutral countries at comparatively
slight expense.

“Concerning that which is done in this connection please report in due

“For the Imperial and Royal Embassy,


* * * * *

When that letter was shown to Baron Zwiedinek by Secretary of State
Lansing, he admitted the authenticity of the signature, but denied he
remembered anything of its contents. He explained that it was probably
dictated by a clerk, and that in his haste he signed it without reading
it. He also disclaimed any responsibility for it on the ground that Dr.
Dumba was at the date of the letter the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador.


Part of the schemes considered and recommended by Ambassador Dumba to
prevent the exportation of war munitions from the United States is set
forth in the secret communications which he gave to Captain Archibald to
carry to Baron Burian, Austrian Foreign Minister. The first document
discusses the diplomatic efforts that have been made toward that end,
deprecates the arguments put forth by the State Department in declining
to take any action to forbid the export of war munitions.

* * * * *

“The true ground for the discouraging attitude of the President,” wrote
Dumba, “lies, as his confidant, Colonel House, already informed me in
January, and has now repeated, in the fact that authoritative circles
are convinced that the United States in any serious crisis would have to
rely on foreign neutral countries for all their war material. At no
price, and in no case, will President Wilson allow this source to dry

“For this reason I am of the opinion that to return to the question
whether by a reply from your Excellency or by a semi-official
conversation between myself and the Secretary of State would not only be
useless, but even, having regard for the somewhat self-willed
temperament of the President, would be harmful.”

* * * * *

Dr. Dumba’s plans for causing strikes in munition factories in the
United States are related by himself in the following official document
which he sent to Baron Burian:

* * * * *

“New York, August 20.

“Your Excellency: Yesterday evening Consul General von Nuber received
the enclosed _aide mémoire_ from the chief editor of the local
influential paper _Szabadsag_, after a previous conversation with me in
pursuance of his verbal proposals to arrange for strikes at Bethlehem in
Schwab’s steel and munitions factory and also in the Middle West.

“Archibald, who is well known to your Excellency, leaves to-day at
twelve o’clock on board the _Rotterdam_ for Berlin and Vienna. I take
this rare and safe opportunity of warmly recommending these proposals to
your Excellency’s favourable consideration. It is my impression that we
can disorganize and hold up for months, if not entirely prevent, the
manufacture of munitions in Bethlehem and the Middle West, which, in the
opinion of the German military attaché, is of great importance and amply
outweighs the comparatively small expenditure of money involved.

“But even if strikes do not come off, it is probable that we should
extort under pressure more favourable conditions of labour for our
poorly down-trodden fellow-countrymen in Bethlehem. These white slaves
are now working twelve hours a day, seven days a week. All weak persons
succumb and become consumptive. So far as German workmen are found among
the skilled hands means of leaving will be provided immediately for
them. Besides this, a private German registry office has been
established which provides employment for persons who voluntarily have
given up their places. It already is working well. We shall also join in
and the widest support is assured us.

“I beg your Excellency to be so good as to inform me with reference to
this letter by wireless. Reply whether you agree. I remain, with great
haste and respect,


* * * * *


The enclosure, or “_aide mémoire_,” written in Hungarian, outlines the
scheme which the diplomat recommended.

* * * * *

“I must divide the matter into two parts, Bethlehem and the Middle West
business” (says this paper), “but the point of the departure is common
in both, viz., press agitation, which is of the greatest importance as
regards our Hungarian-American workmen. It means a press through which
we can reach both in Bethlehem and in the West. In my opinion we must
start a very strong agitation on this question in _Freedom_ (Szabadsag),
the leading organ, in respect to the Bethlehem works and the conditions
there. This can be done in two ways and both must be utilized.

“In the first place, the regular daily section must be devoted to the
conditions obtaining there, and a campaign must be regularly conducted
against these indescribably degrading conditions. _Freedom_ already has
done something similar in the recent past, when the strike movement
began at Bridgeport. It must necessarily take the form of strong,
deliberate, decided and courageous action.

“Secondly, the writer of these lines would begin a labour novel in that
newspaper much on the lines of Sinclair’s celebrated story. This might
be published in other local Hungarian, Slovak and German newspapers. The
_Nepszava_ (‘Word of the People’) will undoubtedly be compelled
willingly or unwillingly to follow the movement initiated by _Freedom_,
for it is pleasing the entire Hungarian element in America, and is an
absolutely patriotic act to which that open journal, the _Nepszava_,
could not adopt a hostile attitude. Of course, it would be another
question to what extent and with what energy and devotion that newspaper
would adhere to this course of action without regard to other
influences, just as it is questionable to what extent other local
patriotic papers would go. There is a great reason why, in spite of
their patriotism, American-Hungarian papers hitherto have shrunk from
initiating such action.

“In these circumstances the first necessity is money.

“Bethlehem must be sent as many reliable Hungarian and German workmen as
we can lay our hands on, who will join the factories and begin their
work in secret among their fellow workmen. For this purpose I have my
men, roll-turners and steel workers. We must send an organizer who in
the interests of the union will begin the business in his own way. We
must also send so-called ‘soap-box’ orators who will know how to start a
useful agitation. We shall want money for popular meetings, possibly for
organizing picnics. In general, the same applies to the Middle West. I
am thinking of Pittsburg and Cleveland in the first instance, as to
which I could give details only if I were to return and spend at least a
few days there. I already have shown that much can be done with the
newspapers. We must stir up the men’s feelings in Bethlehem. A sensation
was caused by the articles which appeared at the time of the strike at
Bridgeport. They brought Bethlehem into the affair.

“It is evident that the start of a movement from which serious results
are to be expected requires a sufficiency of money at the very start.
The extent of subsequent expenditure for the most part depends on the
work effected. For example, the newspapers must not receive the whole
sum intended for them all at once, but only half. To union agitators
only a certain amount should be given at first, and a larger sum in case
of success or of a serious strike on the formation of the union. It is
my opinion that for the special object of starting the Bethlehem
business and the Bethlehem and Western newspapers campaign $15,000 to
$20,000 must be at our disposal, but it is not possible to reckon how
much ultimately will be required.

“When a beginning has been made, it will be possible to see how things
develop and where and how much it will be worth while to spend. The
above-mentioned preliminary sum would suffice partially to satisfy the
demands of the necessary newspapers and to a considerable extent those
of the Bethlehem campaign. If circumstances are lucky and leadership is
good, we can arrive at positive results in the West comparatively
cheaply, whereas Bethlehem is one of the most difficult jobs.

“I will telephone at 8 a.m., and request you then to let me know where
and when I can learn your opinion of my proposal, which requires a
considerable amount of verbal exposition. Finally, I make bold to point
out the fact that hitherto I have said nothing on the subject to any one
connected with the newspapers, and am in the fortunate position that in
the case of giving effect to the plan I can make use of names in case of
necessity, for I have already in other matters made payments through
other individuals. In any event, in the case of the newspapers the
greatest circumspection is necessary. No one but the proprietor must
know that money is coming to the undertaking from any source.”

* * * * *


Following the receipt of those documents by the State Department, Dr.
Dumba and Secretary Lansing were in conference. The Ambassador admitted
he had written the letter, and had consigned it to the care of Captain
Archibald. He defended his course on the ground that he was under orders
from his home government, and that he wished to prevent Austro-Hungarian
workmen from committing high treason by helping turn out munitions for
the Allies. President Wilson, however, insisted on the Ambassador’s
recall, and Secretary Lansing, in his note to Austro-Hungary, made these
charges against Dr. Dumba:

* * * * *

“By reason of the admitted purpose and intent of Mr. Dumba to conspire
to cripple legitimate industries of the United States and to interrupt
their legitimate trade, and by reason of the flagrant violation of
diplomatic propriety in employing an American citizen, protected by an
American passport, as a secret bearer of official despatches through the
lines of the enemy of Austria-Hungary, the President directs us to
inform your Excellency that Mr. Dumba is no longer acceptable to the
Government of the United States as the Ambassador of his Imperial
Majesty at Washington.”

* * * * *

After the departure of Dr. Dumba, Baron Zwiedinek and von Nuber began a
series of advertisements in racial newspapers, calling the subjects of
Austria-Hungary out of the munition factories. If any workman wrote him
regarding the matter, he sent a reply, in which he said: “It is demanded
that patriotism, no less than the fear of punishment, should cause every
one to quit his work immediately.”

Continue Reading

While a few strikes

But von Rintelen had still bigger projects afoot. While his precise,
swiftly moving mind supervised the Mexican conspiracy, and carefully
watched over shipments of supplies to the Fatherland, _he was launching
a series of concerted conspiracies designed to cut off this country
almost entirely from Europe_. His vivid imagination had led him to
picture a Utopian fantasy wherein Americans who believed so absolutely
in universal peace—despite the war raging abroad—that the labourers
would refuse to make munitions of war, the farmers would decline to sell
food to warring nations, and the Government would take over all the war
factories. _Von Rintelen, accordingly, determined to bring such a dream
into real life, not for altruistic purposes, but to help Germany conquer
the Allies._

He had made his plans before he left Germany, and he had sent ahead for
information concerning Americans as his aids, who were skilled in
finesse and underground work. _He wanted men who, while men of brains,
might be led by lust for gold or hatred of England to espouse the
criminal schemes which he had originated. He sought leaders whose logic
and oratory could sway the rank and file._ The man of whom he had heard
while in Berlin as a likely assistant was David Lamar, now serving a
term of imprisonment for having impersonated a Congressman, whose
craftiness and ingenious methods in using politicians in his stock
operations had won him the title of “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The two
men were brought together.

One can see von Rintelen, enthusiastically speaking in millions of
dollars, as he outlined his schemes to Lamar, his equal in grace of
manner and deceit, and Lamar cloaking his avarice with smiles and


_Von Rintelen’s first step_, as he outlined it to Lamar, _was to use the
horrors of the European War as an appeal for universal peace, and to
enlist the labouring men and the farmers of America in raising their
united voice against the exports of arms and ammunition. And thus a
great labour peace propaganda_ was originated by a German whose
patriotism had driven away his scruples, and an American who had gone
money-mad. The details of the organization were set forth, and soon von
Rintelen had a staff of workers at his command, though they all may not
have known he was paying their salaries. His agents, in secret
interviews with labour leaders, were soliciting their aid, flashing
rolls of gold-tinted certificates. The men who guiltily handled the
money which von Rintelen drew from the bank had only one complaint,
namely, that the denominations of the bills were entirely too large.

_Two of von Rintelen’s agents following Samuel Gompers, president of the
National Federation of Labour, to Atlantic City one day, offered him
$500,000 for his services in endorsing the peace propaganda and
participating in the work. Mr. Gompers scorned the offer. Other big
labour leaders, whose aid was solicited, began immediately to warn their
associates against the anti-American activities of German agents._

By June, 1915, von Rintelen’s schemes were moving apace. A big
advertising campaign had been started in the early spring with von
Rintelen’s cash. Newspaper propaganda picturing the glories of universal
peace began to appear.

By the aid of Lamar, who kept von Rintelen in the background, the German
soon had many persons working and talking in the interest of universal
peace. It has been stated that the services of Frank Buchanan,
Representative in Congress and former labour leader, and of H. Robert
Fowler, ex-Congressman, were obtained. Whether they were aware of von
Rintelen and his motives is a question for a jury to answer, for they
have been indicted in connection with the alleged activities of the
Labour’s National Peace Council.

Within a short time, thousands of invitations were scattering throughout
the country to labour leaders, small and large, and to heads of farmers’
granges, to attend the national convention of the peace propaganda at
the expense of the organization. All railroad fares, hotel expenses and
a liberal allowance for spending money were promised.

Under the fostering financial auspices of von Rintelen, who hovered
conveniently near the New Willard Hotel, the members of a peace movement
gathered in Washington, expenses paid. They adopted resolutions saying
they desired “to promote peace.” _The resolutions demanded the enactment
of laws that would enable the Government to take over as exclusive
government business the manufacture of all arms, instruments and
munitions of war; demanded an immediate embargo upon shipments of war
supplies to the belligerents; denounced the maintenance of military and
naval forces, and called for a special session of Congress to promote
“peace universal.”_ The executive board went immediately into executive


“How is this movement to be financed?” one of the newly-elected
executive board asked another. He and one of the vice-presidents waited
for an answer. They got none, he says, and the question was repeated by
another. Then one of the officers answered:

“This thing is big enough, so that I do not care where the money comes
from to finance it.”

Another member asked:

“What, after all, does this council want to do?”

“We want,” was the answer, “to stop the exportation of munitions to the
Allies. Germany can manufacture all the munitions she wants.”

Von Rintelen’s deposit in the Trans-Atlantic Trust Company meantime was
growing smaller by jumps of $100,000. It was drawn by cheques payable to
cash, placed in another bank, quickly withdrawn, and on one occasion the
money in bills was taken to the headquarters of a peace organization in
a suit-case. _Bank accounts of von Rintelen’s peace propagandists began
to jump._

The executive board was busy. One of the first moves was a statement
filed with Secretary of State Lansing alleging that nine ships in
various American ports were taking on cargoes of ammunition in violation
of the neutrality laws. That charge, undoubtedly prepared with von
Rintelen’s aid upon information gathered by German spies, showed an
accurate knowledge of the merchantmen loading with supplies for the
Allies. _There was, however, no violation of law_, because the vessels
were officered and manned by ordinary seamen who had no connection with
the Allied governments.

The second step was the preparation of a complaint charging as a
violation of law the issuance of Federal Reserve notes by national banks
on the ground that the New York banks had lent money to the Allies which
was being used in payment for war supplies, and that some of those banks
had rediscounted notes with the Federal Reserve Bank. Here again was
displayed a remarkably detailed knowledge of the business of the Federal
Reserve Banks. _This charge also fell flat._

A third move was against Dudley Field Malone, Collector of the Port of
New York. Resolutions were adopted accusing him of exceeding his
authority in having granted clearance papers to the steamship
_Lusitania_ when that vessel was ladened with munitions, and authorizing
an action to be started against him. No suit, however, was begun. In
this connection, it may be mentioned that one member of the peace
committee was attorney for a woman of Chicago, who, months afterwards,
started suit for $40,000 against Collector Malone and Captain Turner, of
the _Lusitania_, on the ground that the ship illegally carried


These public acts mentioned above, however, are stated by the Federal
Government to have been merely a cloak, covering a more extensive
conspiracy financed by von Rintelen. By a series of strikes in munition
factories, humming with the Allies’ war orders; on railroads carrying
the articles to the seaboard, and on steamships, von Rintelen, it is
alleged, sought to cut off commerce among the United States and the
Allied countries. Von Rintelen and several others are accused in the
Federal indictment of doing six different acts in a conspiracy in
restraint of foreign commerce. They are charged with conspiring to use
“solicitation, persuasion and exhortation” to influence the workers to
go on strike or to quit work, to bribe officers of labour unions to get
the men to strike, and “by divers other means and methods not
specifically determined upon by the defendants, but to be decided as the
occasion arose.”

Von Rintelen was busy now jumping from town to town, sending orders
under one name, then another, and paying out money. _There took place in
June and July, 1915, many strikes which, the national labour leaders of
the respective trades said, were absolutely unauthorized by the national
bodies._ The German agent was delighted to read in the newspapers of
strikes at the Standard Oil plant in Bayonne, N. J.; of strikes at the
Remington Arms Company in Bridgeport, Conn., and in the General Electric
Plant in Schenectady, N. Y. His agents would approach him gleefully with
the newspapers containing these accounts, and immediately would receive
another bundle of bills with the exhortation, “That is fine. Go out and
start some more.”

Another projected strike in connection with which Germans were mentioned
in correspondence, but in which von Rintelen is not named, is presented
here because it fits in the general scheme of the German plotting. That
is the conspiracy on part of moneyed representatives of Germany in May
and June, 1915, to start a strike simultaneously among the 23,000
‘longshoremen on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. _Such a walkout would
absolutely have paralysed American shipping, completely stopped the
movement of explosives to the Allies at a most critical moment._ A
leader of the big ‘Longshoremen’s Union told Chief William J. Flynn, of
the United States Secret Service, that $1,035,000, or $45 for every man,
was offered to keep the men out on strike for four weeks. After the
sinking of the _Lusitania_, the man who approached the ‘longshoremen
wrote under the name of “Mike Foley,” asking if an “S.” (strike) was to
be called, that because of the “L. (_Lusitania_) affair,” his people
were not going to do anything at present, and because the “Big Man” (who
preceded von Rintelen) was going away. It will be recalled that after
the sinking of the _Lusitania_, Dernburg was dismissed from the country
because of his comments concerning the attitude of Germany towards
submarine warfare.


While von Rintelen was reaching out in so many directions in his frantic
endeavour to build a barrier between the United States and the Entente
Powers, he did not hesitate to resort to criminals. Keeping his quick
eyes on the progress of the peace propaganda, he had schemes which,
while distinctly separated from that organization, were designed to work
in harmony with the developments in the strike propaganda. Von Rintelen
planned by aid of reservists and crooks to take other measures in
munition factories to stop, delay, injure the production of materials
destined for the Allies’ battle fronts.

_He sent trained German reservists to get employment in factories with
orders to collect information and do what they could to cause trouble._
Resorting again to the well-developed system of German secret agents in
New York, under new aliases, he got in touch with organized bands of
criminals in New York, and, the authorities say, hired them _to start
depredations on the ships being loaded with supplies_ for the Allies in
New York harbour. To von Rintelen or some other person associated with
him is attributed the origin of a plot for widespread attacks by thieves
on cargoes being lightered from railroad piers to merchantmen. These
thefts of sugar, automobile tyres and magnetos have amounted to millions
of dollars. For instance, one of the sugar thieves stealing bags of
sugar from a lighter said to a comrade:

“Take some more bags. The ship won’t ever reach the other side, anyway,
and nobody will know.”

To the persons who doubt these varied, reckless and extensive activities
of von Rintelen, it may be suggested that von Rintelen asserted
frequently to his associates that he had come to America to take every
step, including peaceful or violent measures, to stop the shipment of

The doubter must not overlook the supervision which von Rintelen
exercised over the manufacturer of fire bombs which German reservists
are accused of hiding on the Allies’ merchantmen, and the fact that von
Rintelen’s aid visited a bomb man in his Hoboken laboratory frequently;
that on one occasion he scored him roughly because the fire bombs were
not proving effective. Furthermore, Fay, after his arrest, and long
before the indictment of the bomb plotters, told Captain Tunney of a
wealthy German, then a prisoner of war in England, who had paid $10,000
to a Hoboken chemist to make fire bombs.

Though von Rintelen, during the months of June and July, was exuberant
over the reports—most of them false—which were carried to him concerning
the progress of peace, the strikes and other schemes, and though he was
kept drawing money from the bank until the $800,000 in the
Trans-Atlantic Trust Company was reduced to $40,000, he began to have
doubts about Lamar and about the effectiveness of the latter’s
management of some of the projects. He knew that Lamar and his
associates were planning for a second rousing meeting in Washington,
but, becoming suspicious, he suddenly cut off the money. He had received
estimates of activities that required more money. After deliberation he
finally decided to slip away to Berlin, get away from Lamar entirely and
after making a report to the War Office return to America to broaden his
scope of work.

All told, von Rintelen had failed to perceive any falling off in the
exports to the Allies. They were, in fact, rapidly increasing, and von
Rintelen’s schemes thus far had proved ineffective, though he still was
optimistic that eventually he would have all his forces working in
unison and thus accomplish his aims.

He did not go to Washington when a second peace convention was in
session, and the word had slipped out to some of the workers that von
Rintelen was about to sail. Still, the meeting with the members claiming
a representation of 8,000,000 voters, was more denunciatory and
enthusiastic over its aims, than ever. There were attacks on President
Wilson and demands for an embargo on war munitions. There was an intense
pro-German feeling.

Differences, meantime, began to arise among the members of the executive
board. One of the vice-presidents resigned just before the second
session convened, saying emphatically that the financing of the
organization was under suspicion. Another quietly quit, not making the
fact public until weeks afterwards. Lamar flitted away to a magnificent
country home which he had bought in Pittsfield, Mass. There was no money
left. The propaganda died.


Von Rintelen was on the high seas. He had left $40,000 in the bank in
charge of his friends, and some of the plotters tried to get that on the
strength of a promise to stop the Anglo-French bond sale of
$500,000,000. Before sailing he had applied for a passport as an
American citizen named Edward V. Gates, of Millersville, Pennsylvania.
But whisperings concerning von Rintelen’s activities had reached the
White House from society folk who had heard von Rintelen’s rash talk and
who knew of some of the unscrupulous things he had attempted. The State
Department ordered an investigation and finally sent his passport on to
New York the day before the sailing of the _Noordam_, in care of Federal
agents; but von Rintelen did not claim it. Though he had bought a ticket
on the boat under the name of Gates, and had obtained drafts payable on
that name, he did not occupy the Gates cabin but at the last minute
engaged passage under the name of Emil V. Gasche, a Swiss citizen.

On board ship, he set to work preparing for the close scrutiny of
British naval officers when the ship neared Falmouth. He handed over
many of his documents to Andrew D. Meloy, his travelling companion, and
Meloy’s secretary. He dictated a long document about financial
conditions of Mexican railways purporting to be the report of himself as
commissioner for a group of English bondholders. He sought to make it
appear that he had been sent to the United States as a representative of
the bondholders’ committee of Mexican railways. When the British
officers came on board and searched him, von Rintelen put up a skilful
bluff, but finally surrendered as a prisoner of war. Meloy, who had
aided von Rintelen in his application for the American passport, was
sent back to this country by the British authorities.


While von Rintelen, after his strenuous days in America, was resting
comfortably in a luxurious prison camp at Donington Hall, England, the
American authorities were busily delving into his record. Mr. Sarfaty
presented witness after witness and thousands of documents to the
Federal Grand Jury. Von Rintelen and Meloy were indicted, first, for the
fraudulent passport conspiracy; and Meloy finally made a confession to
the Government authorities. Von Rintelen’s agent, called before the
Grand Jury and refusing to answer, was adjudged in contempt of court and
spent a night in the Tombs prison. Another agent, summoned before the
Grand Jury and asked about his dealings with von Rintelen, refused to
answer on the ground that it might tend to degrade and incriminate him,
but he afterwards was arrested on a firebomb charge.

Von Rintelen was indicted on the charge of forgery on the passport
application, and upon that as a basis, application was made to the
English authorities for his extradition. After months of investigation,
indictments finally were filed against von Rintelen, Lamar, and his
associates on a charge of conspiring to restrain foreign trade.

The moment a United States District-Attorney, equipped with a mass of
documentary evidence, telegrams, letters, minutes of secret meetings,
and the statements of hundreds of witnesses, laid facts before the Grand
Jury who brought an indictment against a Congressman, the House of
Representatives, without waiting for the trial of the defendant,
immediately ordered an inquiry which in substance amounted to a fishing
expedition by the sub-committee to ascertain just what evidence Mr.
Marshall and Mr. Sarfaty had dug up against one of their members.
Congress did not take any action, and finally, after a spectacular play,
decided to let the matter drop.


From the viewpoint of picturesqueness, fantastic conceptions,
recklessness, extravagance, and a remarkable mastery of detail, von
Rintelen stands forth as the most extraordinary German agent sent to
America. Boy-Ed and von Papen are now telling their friends in Berlin
that their recall was due not to what they did but to what von Rintelen
did and said.

The energetic nobleman had hoped to cause an absolute cessation of
exports from this country to the Allies and to create a political
situation where the United States would be powerless to make any protest
on Germany’s submarine warfare. To bring these conditions about _he had
not hesitated to try to foment war between the United States and Mexico,
to violate various American neutrality laws, to attack American
institutions and American ideals with the aim of causing an industrial
stagnation_. Yet how little he actually accomplished!

His Mexican plans were a failure. His schemes to influence legislation
came to naught. While a few strikes were started and quickly settled,
the activity of the Germans proved hurtful to the working men. Von
Rintelen did get a few supplies over to Germany; but many of his ships
were seized by the English. His enterprises are said to have cost many
millions of dollars, and the supplies which he shipped are about the
only thing that Germany got out of his gigantic schemes. U. S. Attorney
Marshall has a passport issued to Edward V. Gates which von Rintelen can
have any time he wishes to come and get it. Should he ever step upon
American shores, he will face charges which upon conviction furnish a
total sentence of anywhere from fifty to sixty years. _Never did Germany
aim through one man to accomplish so much yet effect so little as
through Franz von Rintelen, the Crown Prince’s friend._

The _Lusitania_ was, in the eyes of the German Admiralty, the symbol of
Great Britain’s supremacy on the seas. The big, graceful vessel,
unsurpassed in speed, had defied the German raiders that lurked in the
Atlantic hoping to capture her and had eluded the submarines that tried
to find her course. Time and time again, the Germans had planned and
plotted to “get” the _Lusitania_, and every time the ocean greyhound had
slipped away from them—every time save when the plot was developed on
American territory.

To sink the _Lusitania_, the German Admiralty had argued, was to lower
England’s prestige and to hoist the black eagle of the Hohenzollerns
above the Union Jack. Her destruction, they fondly hoped, would strike
terror to the hearts of the British, for it would prove the inability of
the English navy to protect her merchantmen. It would prove to the world
that von Tirpitz was on a fair way of carrying out his threat to isolate
the British Isles and starve the British people into submission to
Germany. It would be a last warning to neutrals to keep off the Allies’
merchantmen and would help stop the shipment of arms and ammunition to
the Allies from America. It would—as a certain royal personage
boasted—shake the world’s foundations.

Gloating over their project and forgetting the rights of neutrals, the
mad war lords did not think of the innocent persons on board, the men,
the women and babies. The lives of these neutrals were as nothing
compared with the shouts of triumph that would resound through Germany
at the announcement of the torpedoing of the big British ship, symbol of
sea power. The attitude was truly expressed by Captain von Papen, who on
receiving news of the sinking of the _Lusitania_ remarked: “Well, your
General Sherman said it: ‘War is Hell.’”

So the war lords schemed and the plots which resulted in the sinking of
the _Lusitania_ on May 7, 1915, bringing death to 113 American citizens,
were developed and executed in America, through orders from Berlin.

The agents in America put their heads together in a room in the German
Club, New York, or in a high-powered limousine tearing through the dark.
These men, who had worked out the plot, on the night of the successful
execution had assembled in a club and in high glee touched their glasses
and shouted their devotion to the Kaiser. One boasted afterwards that he
received an Iron Cross for his share in the work.

On the night of the tragedy, one of the conspirators remarked to a
family where he was dining—a family whose son was on the
_Lusitania_—when word came of the many deaths on the ship: “I did not
think she would sink so quickly. I had two good men on board.”


In their secret conferences the conspirators worked their way round
obstacles and set their scheme in operation. Hired spies had made
numerous trips on the _Lusitania_, and had carefully studied her course
to and from England, and her convoy through the dangerous zone where
submarines might be lurking. These spies had observed the precautions
taken against a submarine attack. They knew the fearful speed by which
the big ship had eluded pursuers in February. They also had considered
the feasibility of sending a wireless message to a friend in England—a
message apparently of greeting that might be picked up by the wireless
on a German submarine and give its commander a hint as to the ship’s
course. _In fact, they did attempt this plan._ Spies were on board early
in the year when the _Lusitania_ ran dangerously near a submarine,
dodged a torpedo and then quickly eclipsed her German pursuer.

Spies also had brought reports concerning persons connected with the
_Lusitania_, and had given suggestions as to how to place men on board
in spite of the scrutiny of British agents. All these reports were
considered carefully and the conclusion was that no submarine was fast
enough to chase and get the _Lusitania_; that it was practically
impossible to have the U-boats stationed along every half mile of the
British coast, but that the simplest problem was to send the _Lusitania_
on a course where the U-boats would be in waiting and could torpedo her.
The scheme was, in substance, as follows:

“Captain Turner, approaching the English coast, sends a wireless to the
British Admiralty asking for instructions as to his course and convoy.
He gets a reply in code telling him in what direction to steer and where
his convoy will meet him. First, we must get a copy of the Admiralty
Code and we must prepare a message in cipher, giving directions as to
his course. This message will go to him by wireless as though from the
Admiralty. We must make arrangements to see that the genuine message
from the British Admiralty never reaches Captain Turner.”

That was the plan which the conspirators, aided and directed by Berlin,
chose. Upon it the shrewdest minds in the German secret service were set
to work. _As for the British Admiralty Code, the Germans had that at the
outbreak of the war and were using it at advantageous moments. How they
got it has not been made known; but they got it and they used it, just
as the Germans have obtained copies of the codes used by the American
State Department and have had copies of the codes used in our Army and
Navy. While the codes used by the British officials change almost daily,
such is not the case with merchant vessels on long voyages._

The next step of the conspirators was to arrange for the substitution of
the fake message for the genuine one. Germany’s spy machine has a
wonderful faculty for seeking out the weak characters holding
responsible positions among the enemy or for sending agents to get and
hold positions among their foes. It is now believed that a man on the
_Lusitania_ was deceived or duped. Whether he was a German sympathizer
sent out by the Fatherland to get the position and be ready for the
task, or whether he was induced for pay to play the part he did—has not
been told. Neither is his fate known.

Communication between New York and the German capital, ingenious,
intricate and superbly arranged, was almost as easy as telephoning from
the Battery to Harlem. Berlin was kept informed of every move in New
York and, in fact, selected the ill-fated course for the _Lusitania’s_
last voyage in English waters. Berlin picked out the place where the
_Lusitania_ was to sink.

Berlin chose the deep-sea graves for more than one hundred Americans.
Berlin assigned two submarines to a point ten miles south by west off
Old Head of Kinsale, near the entrance of St. George’s Channel. Berlin
chose the commander of the U-boats for the most damnable sea-crime in

Just here there is a rumour among U-boat men in Europe that the man for
the crime was sent from Kiel with sealed instructions not to be opened
till at the spot chosen. With him went “a shadow” armed with a death
warrant if the U-boat commander “baulked” at the last moment.


The German officials in Berlin looking ahead, sought to prearrange a
palliative for their crime. Their plan, which in itself shows clearly
how carefully the Germans plotted the destruction of the _Lusitania_,
was to warn Americans not to sail on the vessel.

While the German Embassy in Washington was kept clear of the plot and
Ambassador von Bernstorff had argued and fought with all his strength
against the designs of the Berlin authorities, he, nevertheless,
received orders to publish an advertisement warning neutrals not to sail
on the Allies’ merchantmen. Acting under instructions, this
advertisement was inserted in newspapers in a column adjoining the
Cunard’s advertisement of the sailing of the _Lusitania_:


=Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are
reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her
Allies and Great Britain and her Allies; that the zone of war
includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in
accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German
Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain or any of
her Allies are liable to destruction in these waters and that
travellers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or
her Allies, do so at their own risk.=

_Imperial German Embassy._

_Washington, D.C., April 22nd, 1915._

Germans in New York, who had knowledge that German submarines were lying
in wait off the Irish coast to “get” the _Lusitania_, sent intimations
to friends before the sailing of the ship.

The _New York Sun_ was told of the plot and warned Captain Turner by
wireless after the ship sailed. The German secret service in New York
also sent warnings to Americans booked on the _Lusitania_. One of the
persons to receive such a message signed “morte” was Alfred Gwynne
Vanderbilt. Many other passengers got the same warning that the ship was
to be torpedoed; but they all laughed at it. They knew she had outrun
submarines on a previous voyage and tricked them on another voyage.
Besides, before the horrors of this war, optimistic Americans firmly
believed the world was a civilized place. It was only after the
destruction of the _Lusitania_ that many neutral Americans could credit
the atrocity stories of Belgium.


So when the _Lusitania_ backed from her pier in the North River on the
morning of May 1, 1915, there was more than the average levity that
makes the sailing of an ocean liner so absorbing. On the pier were
anxious friends somewhat perturbed by the mysterious whisperings of
impending danger. Mingling among them also were men who knew what that
danger was, and who had just delivered final instructions to German
hirelings on board. On the deck of the great vessel, as she swung her
nose down-stream toward Sandy Hook, was not only the man who had
promised to see that the false message in code reached Captain Turner,
but there also were those two friends, good and true, of von
Rintelen’s—men who, in the event that the _Lusitania_ should run into
the appointed place at night, would flash lights from port holes to give
a clear aim to the commanders of the stealthy submarines.

On board the vessel swinging out past Sandy Hook into the ocean lane
were a notable group of passengers, many of them representative
Americans of inestimable value to this country. Besides Mr. Vanderbilt,
there was Charles Frohman, a talented theatrical producer, who had
furnished by his artistic shows genuine amusement to millions; Elbert
Hubbard, talented and inspiring writer; Charles Klein, writer of
absorbing plays; Justus Miles Forman, novelist, and Lindon W. Bates,
Jr., whose family had befriended von Rintelen. Merchants, clergymen,
lawyers, society women, a large list of useful men and women in the
1,254 passengers.

These, added to the crew of 800, made more than 2,000 lives under the
care of the staunch, blue-eyed captain. _Of that number_, 1,214 were
_being rushed over the waves to doom_. And as the ship sped eastward,
submarines leaving their bases at Cuxhaven and Heligoland clipped their
prows under the waves, and made for Old Head of Kinsale on the south
coast of Ireland, where they were instructed to pause, upon sealed
instructions, and obey them to the letter.

Meantime, Berlin, counting almost to the hour when the _Lusitania_ would
near the British Isles, prepared the exact wording for the false
instructions to Captain Turner. This was sent to New York by wireless,
where it was put into British code. The next step was to have this
message substituted for the British Admiralty’s instructions to the
_Lusitania_. The inside details of how this substitution was
effected—can only be surmised. This secret is buried with the British
Admiralty and with the Bureau in Berlin.


For such intricate action Germany had been preparing with infinite
patience both before and after the war began. Prior to the outbreak,
representatives of Germany had started the building of the wireless
plant at Sayville, Long Island, by which aerial communication was
established with Berlin. After the war began, the equipment of the
station was increased, and instead of 35 kilowatt transmitters, 100
kilowatt transmitters were installed, the machinery for tripling the
efficiency of the plant having been shipped from Germany _via_ Holland
to this country. Wireless experts, members of the German navy, also
slipped away from Germany to direct the work of handling messages
between the two countries.

Everything was in readiness at Sayville, consequently, to catch the
directions that were flashed through the air. There was an operator
specially trained to take the message coded for the deception of Captain
Turner, and send it crackling fatefully through the air. Everything was
ready and only the request of the operator on the _Lusitania_ for
directions south of Ireland was needed. _All this was in violation not
only of our neutrality laws, but also in disregard of American statutes
governing wireless stations._

Meantime, the vessel had reached the edge of the war zone decreed by
Germany in violation of international law, and Captain Turner sent out
his call for instructions. Presently the order came. It was hurried to
Captain Turner’s state-room.

Captain Turner, carefully decoding the message by means of a cipher book
which he had guarded so jealously, read orders to proceed to a point ten
miles south of Old Head of Kinsale, and run into St. George’s Channel,
making the bar at Liverpool at midnight. He carefully calculated the
distance and his running time, and adjusted his speed accordingly. He
felt assured, because he relied on the assumption that the waters over
which he was sailing were being thoroughly scoured by English cruisers
and swift torpedo boats in search of German submarines.


The British Admiralty also received his wireless message—just as the
Sayville operator had snatched it from the air, and despatched an
answer. The order from the head of the Admiralty directed the English
captain to proceed to a point some seventy or eighty miles south of Old
Head of Kinsale and there meet his convoy, which would guard him on the
way to port. _But Captain Turner never got that message, and the British
convoy waited in vain for the Lusitania to appear on the horizon._

The _Lusitania_ headed north-east, going far away from the vessels that
would have protected her. Swiftly she slipped through the waves on the
afternoon of May 7. Unsuspecting, the ship moved directly toward certain
death. The proud, swift liner steered straight between two submarines,
lying in wait.

The details of what happened after the torpedo blew out the side of the
great ship have been told—told so fully, vividly, so terribly that they
need not be repeated here. As Captain Turner heard the explosion of the
torpedo he instantly knew that there had been treachery. He knew he had
been decoyed away from the warships that were to escort him to his pier.

The manner in which the captain had been lured to the waiting submarines
was made clear at the secret session of the Board of Inquiry that
investigated the sinking of the ship. Captain Turner told at the
Coroner’s inquest how he had been warned, supposedly by the British
Admiralty, of submarines off the Irish coast, and that he had received
special instructions as to course. Asked if he made application for a
convoy, he said:

“No, I left that to them. It is their business, not mine. I simply had
to carry out my orders to go, and I would do it again.”

At the official inquiry, the captain produced the orders which he had
received, directing him to proceed south-west of Old Head of Kinsale.
The British Admiralty produced its message which had directed Captain
Turner to go by an utterly different course. It produced also orders
which had been issued to the convoy to meet the _Lusitania_. The orders
did not jibe. _They showed treachery, and further investigation pointed
to Sayville._


The indignation and the revulsion of Americans against Germany because
of the destruction of the _Lusitania_ with the appalling loss of life
was a surprise to the Kaiser and his war staff. They apparently had
believed that the warning contained in the official announcement of
Germany, declaring the waters about the British Islands a war zone, and
the advertisement published would be sufficient excuse, and that their
act would be accepted calmly by America. They were not prepared for
Colonel Roosevelt’s invective stigmatizing the act as piracy, or the
editorial denunciation throughout the country. Their effrontery was
displayed by one of their agents, who announced that American ships also
would be sunk. But this agent’s removal from the country and mob
violence threatened other agents was emphatic proof of America’s state
of mind.

Immediately Germany turned as a defence to the argument that the
_Lusitania_ carried munitions of war and other contraband in violation
of the United States Federal statute. But the American laws were quoted
to Ambassador von Bernstorff to prove to him that cartridges could be
transported in a passenger ship. That argument proved of no avail.

Secretary Bryan’s note, written by President Wilson, and forwarded to
Berlin, demanded a disavowal of the sinking of the _Lusitania_, an
apology and reparation for the lives lost. But Germany sought to parley
with a reply that would lay the blame on Great Britain, and asserting
that the _Lusitania_ had been an armed auxiliary cruiser, requested an
investigation of these alleged facts, and refused to stop her submarine
warfare until England changed her trade policy. But this note again
aroused the wrath of Americans.


German secret agents began to manufacture evidence to support the
Kaiser’s contentions. Here a hireling of Boy-Ed looms as an obedient
servant of the naval attaché, whether he knew all the facts or not. It
was Koenig, who, using the alias of Stemler, obtained from Gustave Stahl
an affidavit to the effect that he had seen four fifteen-centimetre guns
on the decks of the _Lusitania_ before she left port on her ill-fated
voyage. There were three other supporting affidavits. All these
documents were handed to Boy-Ed on June 1, 1915, and the following day
were in the hands of von Bernstorff, who turned them over to the State
Department in Washington.

It required but little work on the part of Federal agents to establish
the untruth of Stahl’s affidavit. Stahl, a German reservist, appeared
before the Federal Grand Jury, where he again repeated his lies. He was
indicted for perjury and upon a plea of guilty was sent to the Federal
prison at Atlanta.

It was Koenig who had hidden Stahl away after the latter had made his
affidavit, and it was Koenig who, at the command of the Federal
authorities, produced him.

So here again Germany’s efforts to deceive and to justify her piratical
act came to naught, and left her even more damned before the world. Time
came within a few days for President Wilson to reject forcibly the
flimsy defence made by Germany, but before that note was drafted, the
United States authorities by a thorough investigation of Sayville, and a
scrutiny of the German naval officers employed there, discovered that
the fake code message that drove the _Lusitania_ to her grave in the sea
had been flashed out from neutral territory; that the conspiracy had
been developed in America, though the details were not obtainable at
that time as they are presented here.

President Wilson was determined to demand absolute safety for Americans
at sea. Though Bryan resigned, Mr. Wilson sent a note, asserting that
the _Lusitania_ was not armed, and had not carried cargo in violation
either of American or international law. The action of Bryan weakened
the position of America in demanding a cessation of Germany’s submarine
warfare. It gave encouragement to Austria, after Germany had promised to
obey international law, to try a series of similar evasions. It gave
impetus to Germany’s plans to make a settlement of the submarine
controversy and to try to divide Congress on the issue.

The loss to America was 113 lives and a great amount of prestige; to
Germany, a tremendous amount of sympathy. But through it all stand out
the pictures of secret agents, boasters, schemers and reckless
adventurers, one of whom, having aided in the sinking of the _Lusitania_
and the drowning of hundreds of her passengers and crew, had still the
audacity to dine on the evening of this ghastly triumph at the home of
an American victim. One agent high in international affairs, overcome by
the force of the tragedy done in answer to the Kaiser’s bidding, had
still enough decency left to remark:

“Oh, what foul work!”

Continue Reading

Order of the Red Eagle

In the days before the Kaiser booted his spur through the treaties of
Europe, you could observe, almost any afternoon, a faultlessly-attired
man—well built, his big round head resting firmly on a powerful
neck—sauntering down Connecticut Avenue, the Rotten Row or Fifth Avenue
of Washington. Jauntily swinging his cane and puffing at his inevitable
cigarette, he would bow gracefully in greeting the members of the
capital’s smart set. He could be seen later at tea at the Chevy Chase
Club, then among government officials and diplomats at the Metropolitan
Club, or a guest at the Army and Navy Club. He was much desired at the
most brilliant functions in New York in the winter, or at the resorts
where, in the summer, the wealthiest and most exclusive Manhattanites
gathered. One always found him graceful, suave, clever at repartee,
effervescing natural humour—the object of admiration on the part of
matchmaking mothers, and the reported seeker after an American
heiress—but always mingling with the persons in official, diplomatic and
navy circles who knew the innermost government secrets.

He was Germany’s Beau Brummel, Captain Karl Boy-Ed, the Kaiser’s naval
attaché, seemingly more interested in the frills, foibles and gaieties
of society than in the supremacy of the German Navy. Very much like an
American in appearance, Oriental in his sense of luxury, and possessing
the French quality of subtlety in rapid-fire wit, he lacked apparently
every vestige of the much vaunted Teutonic efficiency. He would
occasionally, however, drop out of the scenes of beauty and charm,
travelling about the country, visiting warships, tramping over coast
country, scrutinizing fortifications, or places where Uncle Sam would
have coast defences, until finally it began to be whispered that Captain
Boy-Ed knew as much about the American Navy and coast forts as did the
naval officers themselves. Under the veneer of lightness and graceful
ease, the naval attaché hid with the craft to which that Turkish part of
his ancestry made him heir, the persistent methodical thoroughness of
his German ancestry.

And, when the Kaiser set the dogs of war loose, Boy-Ed shunted aside the
cloak of frivolity, disappeared almost entirely from festive gatherings,
settled down by day to room 801, No. 11, Broadway, New York, receiving
code messages as “Nordmann,” and by night to his suite in the German
Club, where he delved into records, conferred with associates and
elaborated plans for activities on the seven seas. From a hale, jolly
fellow he became—as if by the shift of the magic wand of a Turkish
sorcerer—a veritable machine, mind and body, working for the Kaiser. A
man of great brain power, erudite, fertile in schemes, for long an aid
to Admiral von Tirpitz, he assumed charge in America of all enterprises
dealing with the naval phases of the Teutonic warfare in this country
and in or near American waters. These were activities which, despite his
boast: “They haven’t got any evidence against B. E.,” caused his
dismissal from America by President Wilson.


Born of a Turkish father and German mother—the latter, Ida Boy-Ed, a
novelist much loved in Germany—he possessed an unusual combination of
traits, a mingling of Oriental subtlety, the brutal frankness of the
Prussian, and the artistic genius of his mother. He elected for the
navy, and early displayed qualities that attracted von Tirpitz’s
attention. The admiral took him up and made him one of his “Big Six,”
young German officers who were admitted to the naval lord’s most secret
councils and trained for just such executive work and such emergencies
as the great war produced. Having both a literary and constructive
ability, in addition to unusual qualities as a tactician and naval
officer, he was selected by Grand Admiral von Tirpitz as his chief
lieutenant, and was made the head of the news division. As such, he had
charge of propaganda enlightening the German people and arousing a
demand for a bigger navy. He prepared articles for the newspapers and
compiled pamphlets arguing for many battleships, in all of which he
cleverly instilled a distrust of England. Prior to each appropriation
for an increase in the German fleet, Boy-Ed carried on a Press campaign
designed to educate the public as to the urgent necessity for more
Dreadnoughts and submarines. By this means, an appropriation equal to a
hundred million dollars was obtained in 1910.

For five years, prior to his arrival in Washington in 1911 as the
Kaiser’s naval representative, he served under von Tirpitz, making trips
around the world, observing and working out the details of Germany’s
plans for breaking Great Britain’s sea-power. Because of the work which
he performed, the unusual ability which he displayed, and because
Germany was seeking to surpass the naval power of the United States,
then the second only to Great Britain, he was sent to this country. When
he arrived here, he impressed Americans by his knowledge of America and
American ideas. With ample tact and keen insight into American customs,
he began immediately to make himself almost an American. Speaking
English fluently and possessing an unusually attractive personality, he
made himself extremely popular.


His duties in peace times, naturally, were to study the American Navy
and gain whatever facts he could about American war vessels, the
personnel of the navy, the government’s plans for increasing the fleet’s
power and building up coast defences; also to pick up whatever he could,
openly or stealthily, about the secret plans of America in the use of
her battle-fleet. When the war started, a thousand and one more tasks
devolved upon him. As von Papen was in Mexico, he had for a time to look
after the military attaché’s secret service, and, after being relieved
of that, he devoted himself to the manifold details peculiar to naval
intelligence. Like von Papen, he, too, had a staff of experts. They
began, under his direction, delving into every phase of American naval
activities, seeking information about the naval plans of the Allies,
striving to exert their influence to prevent the shipment of arms and
ammunition from this country. Boy-Ed’s work lay also in supervising the
registration of naval reservists with the German consuls, providing for
the return of as many as possible of them to the Fatherland, assigning
spies to the country’s enemies, and collecting all naval information
bearing upon the war.


Seated in his room 801, Captain Boy-Ed gathered a great mass of facts of
value to Germany from enemy sources and from neutral nations. From his
room, which was stacked with maps of the sea and steamer routes, he sent
directions to his spies. He forwarded information about ships—English
merchantmen and British warships—that could be utilized by the German
Government in raids on Allied commerce. He also gave directions for
provisioning the German raiders scouring the Seven Seas for enemy
ships—an enterprise just as romantic—though in violation of American
laws—as the spectacular dashes of the _Karlsruhe_, _Emden_ and the
_Prince Eitel Friedrich_.

Here was a project in which before the war and in preparation for it,
the German Admiralty and the _Hamburg-American Steamship Company_
participated; and after hostilities began, it was simply necessary for
the captain through his staff of assistants or in person to issue
orders. The Atlantic phase of the enterprise, its financing, its
spectacular features and its illegality were presented to a Federal
court in New York by Roger B. Wood, the Assistant United States
Attorney, at the trial and conviction of several _Hamburg-American Line_
officials: Dr. Karl Buenz, its general representative in America, George
Koetter, supervising engineer, Adolf Hachmeister, purchasing agent, and
Joseph Poeppinghaus, second officer and supercargo, on the charge of
conspiring to obtain from the collectors of the ports false clearances
for ships in connection with the coaling and provisioning of raiders.
The Pacific phase of the scheme has been unearthed by United States
District Attorney Preston in San Francisco.


Two years before Germany sent a declaration of war to England, and
just when a crisis in European affairs was impending, Dr. Karl Buenz,
who never before had engaged in steamship business, came to New York
as the American head of the _Hamburg-American Line_. Prior to that he
had been a judge in Germany, a consul in Chicago and New York, and a
minister to Mexico. One of the first things which came to his
attention was the completion of a contract between the Admiralty
Division of the German Government and the steamship company for the
provisioning, during war, of German warships at sea from America as a
base. Arrangement also was made for communication between these ships
and the company by the Admiralty’s code. The documents dealing with
this agreement were kept locked up in the German Embassy in
Washington, and the _Hamburg-American_ officials declined to produce
them at the trial, “because in that agreement,” Prosecutor Wood
asserted, “I venture to say the whole plan whereby false clearances
should be obtained is worked out in detail.”

When Germany stood on the brink of war and England stood ready to pen
her in by a blockade, the Admiralty Division sent its orders to make
ready to provision the raiders. Dr. Buenz himself, on July 31,
1914—before the war—received a cable which he read, and then at once
sent to the German Embassy for safe-keeping. Straightway Boy-Ed was in
and out of Dr. Buenz’s office, giving directions as to the warships
needing supplies and whither the provision ships should proceed by
routes outside the regular freight lines. He kept urging upon Dr. Buenz
the necessity of haste, and even before the German Government advanced
the cash, the ships were chartered—others purchased—under bonds that
guaranteed payment to the owners in the event of seizure. Twelve or more
ships in all set forth from Atlantic ports, carrying coal and food
supplies bought with Hamburg-American cash.

The steamship _Berwind_, which had been chartered and loaded in a hurry,
was the first to sail. When some of the conspirators met in Dr. Buenz’s
office, there was hesitancy as to who should apply for clearance
papers—documents of which Dr. Buenz testified he knew nothing. They
finally told G. B. Kulenkampf, a banker and exporter, that the _Berwind_
was loaded with coal—she had coal and provisions—and told him to get the
clearance papers. He did so, swearing to a false manifest, as he
afterwards admitted. In getting such clearance papers, Germany’s agents
aimed to prevent the Allies from learning about the supply ships.
Germany desired, naturally, to carry on this work secretly in order to
deceive her enemies and prevent her adversaries from knowing where the
German cruisers were.

Such a ruse may be a legitimate trick in war, but the German Government
or her agents had no right to use the American Government in such an
enterprise. So men employed by the _Hamburg-American Line_ went to the
collector of the ports from which these ships sailed, making affidavits
as to the cargo—generally false—and the destination for which they
sailed—also false. On board these ships—the _Berwind_ and the _Lorenzo_,
sailing from New York presumably for Buenos Aires on August 5 and 6,
1914, respectively; the _Thor_ from Newport News for Fray Bentos,
Uruguay; the _Heina_ from Philadelphia in August, for La Guayra; the
_Mowinckle_, _Nepos_ and others—the officials put supercargoes bearing
secret instructions. These men had authority to give sailing orders to
the captains once they were outside the three-mile limit. They knew that
the ships were not bound for the ports designated, but to lonely spots
on the high seas, where they would lie in wait for the arrival of the
German cruisers, whose captains would receive the “tip” by wireless.


Very few of the supercargoes, however, accomplished their aims. The
_Berwind_ reached a point near Trinidad where Supercargo Poeppinghaus
directed the ship to lie to. Presently five German ships, the _Cap
Trafalgar_, _Pontus_, _Elinor Woerman_, _Santa Lucia_ and _Eber_
appeared, and after the task of transferring the supplies to them was
begun, the British converted cruiser _Carmania_ came up. A brisk fight
ensued between the _Carmania_ and the _Cap Trafalgar_, lasting for two
hours, and ending when the German ship sank.

One representative of the _Hamburg-American Line_ sought to use bribery
to effect his purpose. One of the ships chartered was the _Unita_, in
charge of Eno Olsen, a Canadian citizen of Norwegian birth. The German
supercargo made a mistake in thinking that Olsen was friendly to
Germany. When, however, the supercargo explained to him after they had
got out to sea, what the purpose of the cruise was, Captain Olsen

“‘Nothing doing,’ I told the supercargo,” Captain Olsen testified, with
a Norwegian twist to his pronunciation. “So the supercargo offered me
$500 to change my course. ‘Nothing doing—nothing doing for a million
dollars,’ I told him.

“The third day out he offered me $10,000. ‘Nothing doing.’ So,”
concluded Captain Olsen with finality, “I showed him my citizenship
paper. I said the _Unita_ cleared for Cadiz; and to Cadiz she goes.
After we got there I sold the cargo and looked up the British Consul.”

The provisions for each ship were ordered under directions from the
_Hamburg-American_ officials who eventually provided the money. The
_Hamburg-American Company_ received three payments of $500,000 each from
the Deutsche Bank in Berlin. In addition, $750,000 was sent to Boy-Ed by
exchange through Kulenkampf’s firm, Wessels, Kulenkampf & Company, from
the Deutsche Bank, making $2,225,000 in all. Telling of the receipt of
the money, Kulenkampf testified:

“Some time after that, Captain Boy-Ed came to me and asked if I had
received money from Berlin. I said, ‘Yes,’ and he told me that it was
for him. I asked him to obtain instructions, and a little later I was
telephoned to hold the money at the disposal of Boy-Ed. I followed the
instructions of Captain Boy-Ed. He instructed me at different times to
pay over certain amounts, either to banks or to firms. I transferred
$350,000 to the Nevada National Bank in San Francisco, $150,000 to the
_North German Lloyd_, $63,000 to the _North German Lloyd_. That left a
balance of approximately $160,000, which was placed to the credit of the
Deutsche Bank with Gontard & Company, successors of my former firm. That
amount was reduced to about $57,000 by payments drawn by Captain
Boy-Ed’s request to the order of the _Hamburg-American Steamship


How part of the money was spent is shown by the following account of
payments through the _Hamburg-American Line_:

Steamer Total Payment
Thor $113,879.72
Berwind 73,221.85
Lorenzo 430,182.59
Heina 288,142.06
Nepos 119,037.60
Mowinckel 113,867.18
Unita 67,766.44
Sommerstad 45,826.75
Fram 55,053.23
Graecia 29,143.59
Macedonia 39,139.98
Navarra 44,133.50
Total $1,419,394.49

But Boy-Ed’s supervision of supplies to the raiders covered both the
Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. While the _Hamburg-American_ took
charge of handling the supplies in the North and South Atlantic, another
German agency is accused of doing similar work on the Pacific. That
accounts for Boy-Ed’s transfer of money to the West, where his cash also
was used in the purchase of at least one ship. Boy-Ed’s funds, amounting
to more than $600,000, have been traced to the Pacific. In following
these payments it is important to observe how differently and more
cleverly Boy-Ed handled his money than von Papen. Unlike the military
attaché, he paid out little money by personal cheque; but he had
accounts with various commercial firms to whom he gave orders for
payments. Working with the ingenuity of an adept in covering up his
tracks, he caused money in large amounts to be shifted from one bank to
another, from one firm to another, through various cities until after
myriad devious turnings and twisting it finally reached its destination.
He used various commercial concerns as his bankers.

Out on the Pacific Coast, Boy-Ed employed members of the German
consulate to distribute the money and supervise provisioning. Two
indictments returned against Germans and others in San Francisco charge
that an effort was made to employ that port as a “naval base” for
provisioning the German raiders; that false manifests were filed for the
succouring of merchantmen; that supplies were transferred to the German
raiders. More than $150,000, it is specifically charged, was paid out
for this purpose by the German consulate.

The outfitting of the steamships _Sacramento_, _Olsen and Mahoney_,
_Mazatlan_ and the barque _Retriever_ are said to be charged to the
defendants. One device employed in San Francisco Bay to outwit the
Government officers watching for violations of the neutrality laws was
to fill the _Retriever_ with coal, and then announce that the vessel
would be used for an expedition on the high seas to take cinema pictures
of a stirring sea drama. But the officials were not hoodwinked. The
steamer _Sacramento_, formerly the German-owned _Alexandria_, which,
after the war started, was bought by the _Northern and Southern
Steamship Company_ and which flew the American flag, left port piled
high with supplies of all sorts, including sauerkraut and beer, and
reached Valparaiso, Chile, empty. All her supplies were transferred to
German cruisers and a German supply ship at Masefuero Island, near the
Chilean coast.

Captain Fred Jebsen, a lieutenant in the German naval reserve, took a
cargo of coal south on his boat, the _Mazatlan_, for delivery at
Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. He transferred it to lighters, which carried it
to the German cruiser _Leipzig_. Jebsen also is said to have planned to
pilot a ship to India, and being frustrated, made his way in disguise to
Germany, where he is reported to have been drowned by the sinking of a
submarine. The _Olsen and Mahoney_, a steam schooner, was loaded with
supplies, but after considerable controversy with customs officials, was
unloaded. In the early days of the war, the cruisers _Leipzig_ and
_Nürnberg_ lay off San Francisco. The _Leipzig_ put to port for supplies
which were granted in quantities permissible under international law.
Efforts to supply still further quantities are alleged by the

One of the picturesque incidents of the provisioning, which reveals how
minutely Captain Boy-Ed looked after finances and sets forth other
phases of his work on the high seas, as directed from No. 11, Broadway,
is revealed in the piratical cruise of the good ship _Gladstone_,
rechristened under German auspices _Marina Quezada_. Her owner, when she
bobbed into the view of Captain Boy-Ed, was a Norwegian syndicate; but
what money was behind that group it has not been possible to learn.
Under the name of _Gladstone_, the ship had plied between Canada and
Australia; but shortly after the outbreak of the war she put into
Newport News. Then Captain Hans Suhren, a sturdy German formerly of the
Pacific coast, appeared in New York, called upon Captain Boy-Ed, who
took most kindly interest in him, and then departed for Newport News.
Here he assumed charge of the _Gladstone_.

“I paid $280,000 in cash for her,” he told First Officer Bentzen. After
making arrangements for his crew, he flitted back to New York, where he
received messages in care of “Nordmann, Room 801, 11, Broadway, N. Y.
C.” Meantime, in consultation with Captain Boy-Ed, the captain received
instructions to erect a wireless plant on his ship—the equipment having
already been shipped to the _Marina Quezada_—and to hire a wireless
operator. Boy-Ed handed Suhren a German naval code book, gave him a map
with routes marked out and sailing instructions that would take him to
the South Seas, there to await German cruisers. Food supplies, ordered
for a steamer which had been unable to sail, were waiting on the piers
at Newport News and Captain Boy-Ed ordered them put on the _Marina
Quezada_. Two cases of revolvers also were sent to the boat. In a like
manner, it may be observed, ships on the Pacific had been equipped
secretly with arms and wireless.

Again Suhren went back to his boat, kept the wireless operators busy,
hurried the loading of the cargo, which was under the supervision of an
employé of the _North German Lloyd_, and needing more money before
sailing in December, 1914, he drew a draft for $1,000 on the
_Hamburg-American Line_, wiring Hachmeister, the purchasing agent, to
communicate with “Room 801, 11, Broadway,” the office of our friend

Prior to his departure, the skipper had difficulty with the registration
of his ship. Though he insisted he owned her, a corporation in New York
whose stockholders were Costa Ricans were laying claim to ownership, for
they really christened her, and got provisional registration for her
from the Costa Rican minister in Washington. It was necessary, however,
in order for the ship to get permanent registration, to go to Port
Limon, Costa Rica, and register there. So hauling down the Norwegian
flag, that had fluttered over the ship as the _Gladstone_, Captain
Suhren ran up the Costa Rican emblem. Then, having loaded his ship and
having obtained false clearance papers stating his destination as
Valparaiso, based upon a false manifest, sailed for Port Limon. But the
Costa Rican authorities declined to give Suhren permanent papers, and,
accordingly, being without authority to fly any flag and in such status
not permitted under international law to leave port, Suhren was in a
plight. He waited, however, until a heavy storm came up one night, then
quietly slipping his anchor, he sped out into the high seas, a veritable
pirate. Finally, as he neared Pernambuco, he ran up the Norwegian flag,
put into port and got into such difficulties with the authorities that
his ship was interned. His supplies never reached the raiders, and
Boy-Ed, at No. 11, Broadway, learned from Suhren of another fiasco.
Suhren is supposed to have been taken prisoner to Canada.

Had the _Hamburg-American_ officials carried out their part of the
enterprise by means of the false clearance papers—and the same applies
to Boy-Ed—a guest of the nation and to others engaged in the
project—they would have put the American Government in the position of
officially endorsing their work of deceit and stealth. “Is it a nice
thing,” asked Prosecutor Wood, “to have this Government endorse the lies
of these defendants?”

Boy-Ed, furthermore, violated the clause of _The Hague Conference of
1907, which says: “Belligerents are forbidden to use neutral ports and
waters as a base of naval operation against their adversaries.”_


Another operation that appealed to Captain Boy-Ed’s ingenuity was the
use of the wireless to frustrate the enemy. He had given implicit
instructions to Skipper Suhren in regard to the use of the wireless.
Members of the crew of the _Sacramento_ are accused of breaking the
Government seal and using the radio plant. The Government officials also
found such extensive misuse of the German-owned wireless plants in
America that they were obliged either to close them down or take them
over. The Sayville, Long Island, plant, finally was taken over and
operated by the government.


But Boy-Ed delighted in circumventing the Federal authorities. A few
instances have been published, but there remain hundreds of cases which
the Federal radio inspectors have uncovered. To Chief Flynn of the
Secret Service and Charles E. Apgar, an inventor, much credit is due for
detecting one ingenious method used by Boy-Ed and others for sending out
wireless messages. Apgar, an enthusiastic wireless operator, spent much
time “listening in” to the messages sent every night from the wireless
plants at Sayville, Long Island, to Germany. Finally he hit upon the
scheme of recording the splash and splutter of the radio in a
phonograph. After perfecting his device he began to “can” the Berlin
messages—coming and going—every night. Then reeling off these messages
on his phonograph, he would study again and again the dots and dashes of
each word. He observed that messages had been repeated by the Sayville
operator, that numbers were thrown in at intervals and finally that
between words there were gaps of varying lengths—all means undoubtedly
of sending messages in code—a new language of science invented by the
Germans. Many messages were sent by Boy-Ed, himself. It was after a
thorough study of these canned messages that the government began to
operate the Sayville plant itself.


Like von Papen, Boy-Ed was under orders to send spies to the
adversaries’ countries, to make arrangements for naval reservists to
return to Germany, all of which required the use of fraudulent
passports. While there have been charges that Germany had a factory for
forging passports and while the _New York World_ charged, at the time of
Boy-Ed’s recall, that he had dealings with a gang of forgers and
counterfeiters, who made passports, there is evidence that the naval
attaché did pay money to German reservists, who procured passports
fraudulently. One of these men was Richard Peter Stegler, a Prussian,
thirty-three years old, who had served in the German Navy, and
afterwards came to this country to start on his life work. Before the
war he had applied for his first citizenship papers; but his name had
not been removed from the German naval reserve list.

“After the war started,” says Stegler, a well-dressed young man with
rather stern features, “I received orders to return home. I was told
that everything was in readiness for me. I was assigned to the naval
station at Cuxhaven. My uniform, my cap, my boots and my locker were all
set aside for me, and I was told just where to go and what to do. But I
could not get back at that time and I kept on with my work.”

Stegler then became a member of the German secret service in New York.
“There is not a ship that leaves the harbour, not a cargo that is loaded
or unloaded, but that some member of this secret organization watches
and reports every detail,” he said afterwards. “All this information is
transmitted in code to the German Government.” In January, 1915, if not
earlier, Stegler was sent to Boy-Ed’s office, and there he received
instructions to get a passport and make arrangements to go to England as
a spy. Boy-Ed paid him $178, which he admits, but denies that it was to
buy a passport. Stegler immediately got in touch with Gustave Cook and
Richard Madden, of Hoboken, and made use of Madden’s birth certificate
and citizenship in obtaining a passport from the American Government.
Stegler has pleaded guilty to the charge and the two men were convicted
of conspiracy in connection with the project. Stegler paid $100 for the
document. Stegler, Cook and Madden each served a term on Blackwell’s

“I was told to make the voyage to England on the _Lusitania_,” continued
Stegler. “My instructions were as follows: ‘Stop at Liverpool, examine
the Mersey River, obtain the names, exact locations and all possible
information concerning warships around Liverpool, ascertain the amount
of munitions of war being unloaded on the Liverpool docks from the
United States, ascertain their ultimate destination, and obtain a
detailed list of all the maritime ships in the harbour.’”


“I was to make constant, though guarded inquiries, of the location of
the Dreadnought squadron which the Germans in New York understand was
anchored somewhere near St. George’s Channel. I was to appear as an
American citizen soliciting trade. Captain Boy-Ed advised me to get
letters of introduction to business firms. He made arrangements so that
I received such letters and in one letter were enclosed some rare stamps
which were to be a proof to certain persons in England that I was
working for the Germans.

“After having studied Liverpool, I was to go to London and make an
investigation of the Thames and its shipping. From there, I was to
proceed to Holland and work my way to the German border. While my
passport did not include Germany, I was to give the captain of the
nearest regiment a secret number which would indicate to him that I was
a reservist on spy duty. By that means, I was to hurry to Eisendal, head
of the secret service in Berlin.”

Stegler did not make the trip because his wife learned of the enterprise
and begged him not to go. He also had been detected by Federal Agent
Adams and was placed under arrest in February, 1915, shortly after he
decided to stay at home. In his possession were all the letters and
telegrams exchanged between him and Boy-Ed, none of which, however, said
anything about passports. There was one telegram from “Winko,” who was
Captain Boy-Ed’s servant.


Stegler also said that he had been told that Boy-Ed previously had sent
to England Karl Hans Lody, the German who in November, 1915, had been
put to death as a spy in the Tower of London. Lody also had been in the
navy, had served on the Kaiser’s yacht and then had come to this country
and worked as an agent for the _Hamburg-American Line_, going from one
place to another.

Still another man who had a fraudulent German passport was a German
naval reservist, who had shipped as a hand on the freighter _Evelyn_
carrying horses to Bermuda. On one trip that he took, practically all of
the horses were poisoned and were lost. He, however, was arrested by
Federal authorities on the charge of using the name of a dead man in
order to get an American passport.

In passport matters and the handling of spies, Captain Boy-Ed was more
acute and more subtle than his colleague, von Papen. Nevertheless, the
Government officials succeeded in getting a clear outline of his
activities. It seems quite likely that after the arrest of Ruroede in
December, 1914, when suspicion was directed to von Papen as the
superintendent of the passport bureau, the management thereof was
switched to Boy-Ed. The exposure of Boy-Ed’s connection with Stegler
made it necessary for the German Government to change its system once

Boy-Ed, as has been shown, had supervision of naval affairs and matters
pertaining to the sea. He issued information to the Press bearing on
Germany’s conduct of her naval warfare. He made pleas for an embargo on
the export of arms and ammunition. He received from Count von Bernstorff
all information which the Ambassador obtained bearing on that question,
and, on one occasion, the Count sent him a list of the countries which
had forbidden the export of war supplies.

The conviction throughout the country has been steadily growing, since
the exposure of von Papen’s methods, that Boy-Ed was not an innocent
associate of the military attaché. The Federal authorities, in fact,
have unearthed a large amount of evidence to show active participation
by Boy-Ed in these enterprises, for to him they simply were part of the
war of Germany on her enemies. Colonel Roosevelt, who has made a special
study of Germany’s crimes on neutral territories, has expressed the
sentiment of Americans in a speech at the Academy of Music, Brooklyn, on
January 30, 1916, in these words:

“The German and Austrian Governments through their accredited
representatives in the embassies here have carried on a campaign of bomb
and torch against our industries. The action our government should have
taken in view of this campaign was not action against Dumba, von Papen
and Boy-Ed, but the holding of the German and Austrian Governments
themselves responsible for every munition plant that was blown up or

The roll of Boy-Ed’s associates, as indicating his knowledge of plots of
violence, is illuminating. He employed Paul Koenig for a series of
secret activities. He was said to have known Captain Eno Bode, dock
superintendent of the _Hamburg-American Steamship Line_ in Hoboken, and
Captain Otto Wolpert, another dock superintendent, both of whom, it is
charged, were involved in a bond conspiracy.

Boy-Ed and von Papen, in many secret conferences on board the
_Vaterland_ in Hoboken, where they were sure of no eavesdroppers,
developed details of their war on America and the campaign of violence
on land and on sea to stop the carrying of munitions of war to England,
France and Russia. Von Papen superintended the campaigns on land and
projected his work upon the seas. The moment, however, the schemes, as
papers found in von Igel’s possession prove, had anything to do with the
sea, he consulted Boy-Ed.


One of the causes for the summary dismissal of both Boy-Ed and his
confrère, von Papen, from America, was their schemes to involve this
nation in a conflict with Mexico, to bring about American intervention
in that country and thus prevent America’s supply of explosives and
rifles from being used exclusively against Germany. Boy-Ed, prior to the
war, had opposed the suggestion of intervention, but he changed his mind
when he began to appreciate the fact that America in arms would take the
powder, high explosives and rifles that Europe was buying. He always was
a warm supporter of General Huerta, for, when von Papen was in Mexico,
getting acquainted with Huerta, Boy-Ed, addressing his colleague there,
wrote: “I was especially pleased by what you wrote about Huerta, the
only strong man in Mexico. In my opinion, Admiral von Hintze was not
quite right in his estimate of him. For Huerta can scarcely be such a
drunken ruffian as Hintze often implies, if only because a chronic
drunkard could hardly have kept so uncertain a position under such
uncommonly difficult circumstances. I met a number of people in Mexico
City who were in close touch with Huerta, and without exception they all
spoke very highly of the President’s patriotism, capacity and energy.”


Of Boy-Ed’s schemes to do his share in preparing, from a naval
standpoint, for war between Germany and the United States, of the plots
to create disorganization in the American seaports and to render the
German merchantmen useless to Americans, much evidence has been gathered
by Federal investigators. Of his methods in getting information secretly
from the Navy Department and from battleships, of his placing spies,
ready for any deed of daring, on the warships, a greater amount of
information has been learned than ever will be made public by the
Government. Suffice it to say precautions already have been taken
against those schemes. All these formed the basis for the decision to
hand Boy-Ed his passport. Summing up Boy-Ed’s work for the Kaiser in
America, accordingly, we have his supervision of the shipment of
supplies to the German raiders, his activities in fraudulent passports
and his co-operation with Dr. Dumba. When President Wilson requested the
Kaiser to recall his military and naval representatives, he made the
announcement that his action was due to “their improper activities in
military and naval affairs,” a double-barrelled assertion applying to
both men.

Captain Boy-Ed, on his return home, received from the Kaiser the
decoration of the Order of the Red Eagle, third class, with sword, in
“recognition of his services in the United States.” He would
undoubtedly, for “those services,” except for the immunity granted him
as a member of a diplomat’s official family, be facing prison in the
United States with Dr. Karl Buenz and other officials of the Kaiser’s
own steamship line.

When the German spy system was working smoothly and giving gleeful
satisfaction to its builders, the War Staff in Berlin sent to America a
masterly schemer who threw sand into the machinery. He was Franz von
Rintelen, a finished product of the Prussian war-mould. He had been born
with a supreme confidence in the conquering destiny of Germany. He had
been trained for his work in that order of things and he had
subordinated to the needs of the Empire, his business, wealth, brains,
energy—yes, his very soul. _He had been ordered here to undertake, with
the aid of Germany’s agents, the enormous task of isolating commercial
and financial America, as a base of war supplies, from Europe._ In
trying to accomplish his aim, _he sought to wreck American institutions
and to use the United States as a battlefield in a rear attack on the

Highly imaginative, keen of foresight, a master of detail, a superb
organizer, and conscienceless in the execution of his plans, he seemed
like a man so perfectly trained for the emergencies of war that under no
circumstances would he lose his poise. And yet when put face to face
with his own misjudgments and forced to take measures to retrieve
himself, he lost the very quality which his training was meant to
insure—a carefully calculating eye and a cool head. His strategic moves
consequently proved to be ridiculous errors that led to his own

In a brief sojourn in America he moved in the shadows of mystery,
employing the vast network of German spies, hiring Americans, using
thugs and setting in motion manifold plans for gigantic enterprises that
involved the entire governmental, industrial and financial organizations
of the country. When he went away, his work unfinished, his aims
unaccomplished and a large amount of money wasted, there remained a
multitude of trails, isolated facts and incidents suggesting his
activities. Seizing these clues, Federal agents under A. Bruce Bielaski
and William M. Offley, began to dig up von Rintelen’s associates, to get
their stories and to obtain proof of his doings—his letters and
telegrams, his agents’ speeches and the instructions which they tried to
carry out. Taking these facts, Raymond H. Sarfaty, then Assistant United
States Attorney in New York, working with patience and skill, fitted the
details together into a series of great mosaics—depicting conspiracy,
fraud, purchases of strikes, bribery, perjury, forgery, sedition, almost
treason. Those pictures show how hidden forces—Americans and Germans
working in secret—during von Rintelen’s presence in this country,
plotted to cause commotions in political, industrial and financial
spheres, and all to aid Germany in derogation of our rights.


In every one of them, von Rintelen looms as the audacious plotter, man
of mystery, user of a hundred aliases, supreme egotist, a vaunted aid to
the Kaiser and a Teutonic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In one picture, you
see him in exclusive homes on Fifth Avenue, a “mould of form”—scarcely
thirty-eight years old, slim and upstanding, with stalwart shoulders,
the bearing of an aristocrat, short stubborn hair, a moustache with a
like independent twist, and greenish-grey eyes that sparkled defiance.
He garbed himself in the cut of London’s most artistic tailors and
selected the colours of his ties, his shirts and his socks with a view
to perfect harmony. He was the “glass of fashion” on the tip-toe of
courtesy, beguiling with his gallant quips and charming his hearers by
his fascinating stories and comments.

Other pictures show him under an assumed name, in conference with
conspirators. He might meet them secretly in offices, or in hotels, or
he might pick them up in an automobile, whizzing along at full speed and
handing gold to hirelings who for a price were ready to undertake some
criminal job. He might be seen dining in one of Broadway’s most alluring
cabarets, ordering the rarest of wines and boasting of his schemes to
accomplish in America what would be equivalent to Germany’s capture of


And who is this man? He is so important that when made a prisoner in
England, the Kaiser offered to exchange for the nobleman any ten British
prisoners that King George might select. He is so esteemed in Germany
that large amounts of gold were placed at the disposal of Americans to
go to England and by hook or crook effect his escape. Rumour has sought
to make him a relative of the Hohenzollerns. Another report has put him
down actually as the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. But persons, who knew
him well in Berlin, saw him in the United States and at the prison camp
in England, say he is von Rintelen. He is said to be the son of a former
member of the Kaiser’s Cabinet; but the German “Wer Ist’s” does not
credit that man with a son. Still, von Rintelen married into one of the
wealthiest families in Berlin, his wife being a member of the von
Kaufmann family, and he had a commanding social position in Germany.

He is wealthy in his own name, his fortune being estimated at
$15,000,000. He is a director of the Deutsche Bank and the National Bank
für Deutschland. He is, or was, a member of the big financial group of
Germany, and as such was one of the Emperor’s financial advisers. His
knowledge and advisory sphere included England, the United States and
Mexico; and of the financial and industrial resources of these countries
he was supposed to have a broad and comprehensive knowledge. He had
influence also because he was a friend of the Kaiser and a close
associate of the Crown Prince.


Von Rintelen’s work was cut out for him in his early youth. His
qualifications were considered and he was assigned to studies in
preparation for the tasks he gave promise of performing most
efficiently. At the gymnasium and the university, he divided his time
between economics and finance. In addition, he spent considerable time
in the navy, finally became a Captain-Lieutenant, and as such qualified
for the General Navy Staff. He, too, was one of von Tirpitz’s young men
chosen for definite lines of naval secret service and financial
campaigns that would be of value to the further development of the navy.

Finance may have been a mere cloak for the real nature of von Rintelen’s
naval assignments abroad, or his secret service training may have been a
necessary part of his training for a high place in the Teutonic
financial world. Graduating from the university and finishing the
prescribed part of his tutelage under von Tirpitz, he went to London
where he obtained employment in a banking house. While there, he was
learning not only finance, but he was a part of that branch of Germany’s
spy system that radiated through banking institutions to the various
concerns allied therewith. Under the guidance of wise heads in Berlin,
he grasped far more facts about banking conditions than ever were
suspected by his English associates.

Next he came to America. He entered the banking house of Ladenburg,
Thalmann & Co., spending a short time there and then moving to other
banking institutions, some of which were branches of English and
Canadian banks. He obtained letters of introduction from big bankers to
bankers scattered throughout the United States. He grew in knowledge,
learned American banking methods, the connections of banks with big
industries, and sought to make affiliations of benefit to German
institutions. He served, meantime, as Germany’s naval representative at
the exercises in commemoration of John Paul Jones. His entrance into New
York’s society was paved for him through the German Embassy’s friends.
He was a guest at social functions where only the most favoured were
invited. He was accepted as a member of the New York Yacht Club. He was
entertained at Newport. He made friends among the biggest men in New
York; for he was attractive, a remarkable cosmopolite, extremely
learned, versed in international questions, speaking English, French and
Spanish fluently, and, above all, he was an inimitable raconteur. He
showed himself at all times an ardent pro-German, arguing for a union of
Germany and the United States in the event of war.

Through his wide acquaintanceship and innumerable avenues open to him,
he gained information about America such as only the most favoured
business men in America possess. He left this country finally saying he
would go to Mexico to investigate conditions there, hoping that
eventually he might be able to open Mexican and South American branches
of a German bank. But before going, he had acquired insight not only
into American banking connections with Canada, but also with Mexico. He
knew the big financial groups interested in the development of the
natural resources of those countries and he knew thoroughly America’s
actual and industrial preparedness for war.


So, returning to Berlin in 1909, he again took up his banking business
and continued his close affiliation with von Tirpitz and the Big Navy
crowd, setting forth the facts he obtained and making recommendations
for the development of Germany’s secret service in America. He became
more prominent socially than ever, making it a point to entertain
Americans. When his American acquaintances turned up in Berlin, they
invariably found von Rintelen a most cordial and extravagant host. He
obtained introductions at court for some; and he introduced others to
the Crown Prince. When the war started, Americans who besought von
Rintelen for help in the exciting days, found him most obliging.

But before circumstances that brought von Rintelen to this country
arose, he received several Americans. One was a wealthy American
manufacturer who owns a large factory in France. Being on intimate terms
with von Rintelen, he called upon him and explained how the plant had
been closed down with the invasion of the Germans, causing a big
financial loss. He appealed for von Rintelen’s intercession to have the
concern continue business. He got von Rintelen’s promise of aid but
returned to the United States before any definite action was taken as
von Rintelen was too crafty to make any move before he was ready to ask
his compensation.

Von Rintelen was ordered, in January, 1915, the General War Staff to
come to America. It had become necessary to send a man here to buy
supplies of copper, rubber and cotton and to take extensive
precautionary measures against the Allies getting war munitions from
America. He was scornful of American facilities for filling Allies’
orders and backed by the authority of the War Staff and a group of
Berlin’s ablest bankers, he made arrangements for his trip. Knowing he
must elude the English, he obtained the Swiss passport of his sister
Emily V. Gasche, who was with her husband in Switzerland. He erased the
“y” of Emily and had the passport altered in other ways to suit his
needs, travelling as Emil V. Gasche, a Swiss citizen. As he bade goodbye
to his wife and two little daughters, he talked arrogantly of a quick
trip to America past English spies, promised big accomplishments for the
Emperor and an early return home.

Von Rintelen, confident and daring, is said to have gone first to
England. After gathering facts about the manufacture and importation of
munitions of war and England’s method of increasing the supply, he
disappeared suddenly and is believed to have gone to Norway. When he was
on the high seas due to arrive in New York on April 3 he sent a wireless
message to the American owner of the factory in France, asking an
interview at the pier. Von Rintelen, acting at what was the time best
suitable to himself, had succeeded in having the American’s factory
opened. He wished, on landing, to give him this information and in
return get help in the plans that he wished to put into effect. As the
American did not go to the pier, the nobleman, always alert and
suspicious, hired a detective who spent a week investigating. He finally
met this man, told him in part the purpose of his trip to America, and
used him as a means of getting introductions to men who would prove
valuable to him.


Herr von Rintelen, having dropped the guise of E. V. Gasche, immediately
began to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll, visiting the Yacht
Club, and calling upon wealthy friends, proved a more charming, more
delightful von Rintelen than ever, meeting influential business men who
were selling supplies to the Allies. He was presented to society matrons
and débutantes, whom, by flattery and subtlety, he sought to use to
further his purposes. To these, he was Herr von Rintelen in America on
an important financial mission. But occasionally, he made wild boasts of
plans. As a typical Mr. Hyde he sought information from von Bernstorff,
von Papen, Boy-Ed, about the production of war supplies. Astounded by
what he learned from them and corroborated from other sources, he began
to realize how utterly he had misjudged America’s potential resources
and what a blunder he had made in his statement to the General War

Within a brief time von Rintelen realized, with a vividness that chilled
him, the capacity of America to hand war materials to the Allies and her
rapidly increasing facilities to turn out still more ammunition and
bullets. The facts which he obtained struck him with triple force
because of the knowledge he had about the war moves. _It is upon a basis
of the supplies of munitions in the Allied countries, particularly
Russia, as von Rintelen knew them, that his acts are best judged and
upon this basis only can sane motives be assigned to the rash projects
which he launched._

He understood these three striking facts thoroughly: (1) that the German
drive on Paris had failed because in two months the Germans had used up
ammunition they confidently expected to last a half a year; (2) that the
English and French in the west could not take up the offensive because
ammunition was not being turned out fast enough; and (3) that the
Russian drive on Germany and Austria would soon fail for lack of arms
and bullets.

In the winter and spring of 1915 the Russians had made a drive into
Galicia and Austria, hurling the Austrians and Germans back. In May they
had advanced victoriously through the first range of the Carpathian
mountains. Meantime the German General Staff, as von Rintelen knew, was
preparing for a big offensive against the Russians. The War Staff knew
of Russia’s limited capacity to produce arms and ammunition, knew that
during the winter with the port of Archangel closed by ice, her only
source for new supplies lay in the single-track Siberian railway,
bringing material from Japan. He realized that by spring the Russian
resources would well nigh be exhausted, and that with the beginning of
the projected Austro-German offensive the crucial necessity lay in
shutting off supplies from Russia. He knew that England and France could
not help her, and, therefore, the American source must be cut off
absolutely. But spring had already come, ships were sailing for
Archangel laden with American explosives, shells and cartridges.


Von Rintelen, startled by his mistaken estimate of American industrial
preparedness, and frantically determined that Russia’s supplies must be
crippled, that the cargoes going to France and England must be held
back, began mapping out his gigantic enterprises. These conditions were
the big compelling motive; for von Rintelen’s reputation was at stake.
_The work for which he had been so carefully trained was bound to fail
unless he acted quickly._ Desperate measures were necessary. With that
situation in view he exchanged many wireless communications with his
superiors in Berlin—messages that looked like harmless expressions
between his wife and himself in which the names of Americans who had
been in Berlin were used both as code words and as means to impress upon
the American censor their genuineness. He obtained as a result still
greater authority than he had received on the eve of his departure from

In his quick fashion, he often boasted, and there is foundation for part
of what he said, that he had been sent to America by the General Staff,
backed by $50,000,000 to $100,000,000; that he was an agent
plenipotentiary and extraordinary, ready to take any measure on land and
sea to stop the making of munitions, and to halt their transportation at
the factory or at the seaboard.

_He mapped out a campaign, remarkable for detail, scope, recklessness
and utter disregard of American laws._ These plots proved von Rintelen,
or the German General Staff, a master of thoroughness and ingenuity, for
he took into consideration the psychology, the customs, habits, and
reported weaknesses of Americans.

_His schemes in brief were (1) the purchase of war materials for Germany
as a means of inflating prices; (2) the fomenting of war between the
United States and Mexico as a means of compelling the American
Government to seize all available war munitions; (3) a campaign of
publicity and the arousing of public sentiment to bring about an embargo
on arms shipments; (4) strikes in American industries; and (5) a series
of acts of violence against factories and munition-carrying vessels._

Von Rintelen rapidly mobilized his forces of money and men. He went
first to the Trans-Atlantic Trust Company, where he was known by his
right name and where he arranged his finances. Money was transferred
from Berlin through the usual German channels—large corporations with
German affiliations—and placed to his credit in various banking
institutions. He deposited large amounts in the Trans-Atlantic Trust
Company and large amounts, totalling millions, in other banks. He next
rented an office on the eighth floor of the same building that housed
the trust company and had a telephone running to it through the
switchboard of the banking institution. He registered with the county
clerk as the E. V. Gibbon Company, a purchaser of supplies, signing his
name to the document as “Francis von Rintelen.”

Using the name of Fred Hansen, he received persons in that office. There
he summoned to his help a part of the German espionage system. He did
not hesitate to call upon any German for assistance, and thousands of
willing workers were at his disposal. If he wished a naval reservist, he
knew where to get him; if a member of the landsturm was needed for any
detail, he was called. From Boy-Ed, he received data about the sailings
of ships; from von Papen, facts about munition factories. He met Koenig
and assigned numerous tasks to him, particularly the location of
munition factories, their products and exports.

His first task, merely incidental in importance compared with his other
aim, was the succouring of the Fatherland and the blocking of the Allies
through purchases. He participated with influential Germans in the
scheme of buying the leading munition factories. He attempted the
running of the British blockade. Dr. Albert also was buying goods, but
von Rintelen, working on a much larger scale, commensurate with his
fertile imagination, and employing a staff of agents, took charge of the
shipments of raw products and food. Carrying on these purchases through
E. V. Gibbon Company, using the name of Gibbon and Hansen, he had as aid
Captain Steinberg, a German naval officer. _Through him, von Rintelen
chartered ships, purchased materials, caused false manifests to be made
for the cargoes, and arranged for shipment to Italy and the Scandinavian
countries, whence they were trans-shipped._


This officer, it is charged, had dealings with Dr. Walter T. Scheele,
the alleged manufacturer of fire bombs, and arranged with him to mix
lubricating oil, so urgently needed in Germany, with fertilizer, and
ship the oil as “commercial fertilizer.” The oil was to be extracted by
a chemical process in Germany. Von Rintelen, through Steinberg,
importuned Dr. Scheele to ship munitions as farming implements, giving
him $20,000 for that purpose. Dr. Scheele did bill the shipment as
requested, but he did not lie because he shipped farming machinery,
taking a fat commission. Again von Rintelen was hoodwinked. The officer,
von Igel and Dr. Scheele have been indicted on a charge of conspiring to
defraud the United States by false manifests.

“_The British blockade_,” von Rintelen used to boast with purring pride,
“_is a myth. I can send to Germany all the goods that I wish._”

So skilfully did he plan—he was a master of detail and a consummate
artist in concealing his movements—and so many different aliases did he
employ, that at first he attracted no attention, and after a time his
doings were credited to a German Red Cross lecturer. Because of the
German method of switching agents to cause confusion to the enemy’s
spies, it is probable that some Red Cross agents did figure in the
purchases. The investigations of the Federal authorities, however, have
laid to von Rintelen the schemes carried on from April to June, 1915.

_Von Rintelen boasted that he bought provisions, amounting to $2,000,000
a week, for shipment to Germany through Denmark. More than $25,000,000
was consumed by von Rintelen in his blockade-running, many of the boats
being seized by British warships._

_Von Rintelen also took a flier at the most elusive and puzzling
diversions of war-brokers, namely the purchase of the 350,000
Krag-Jorgensen rifles which the United States Government had condemned
just prior to the outbreak of the war._ Around those rifles was centred
more intrigue and deceitful scheming than was incited by almost any
other single article connected with the war. Even after the Government
had announced emphatically that they were not for sale, and _President
Wilson had told one banker: “You will get those rifles only over my dead
body_,” every belligerent tried to get them.

Von Rintelen heard that by bribing Government officials he could obtain
the guns. He was stirred; for if an official would accept money for one
thing, he could be influenced to do other things to help Germany.
Sending out agents, he offered to purchase the rifles. He encountered a
man who put a price of $17,826,000 on them, part of the amount being
intended, von Rintelen was told, as bribes of several millions of
dollars for Government officials.

Things looked bright to von Rintelen. “_So close am I to the
President_,” said the agent who promised to deliver them, “_that two
days after you deposit the money in the bank you can dangle his
grandchild on your knee_.” But von Rintelen apparently came to realize
that he was dealing with the secret agent of another government, who was
laying a trap for him, and he quickly withdrew.


_Then the Lusitania was torpedoed._ Americans who were connected with
von Rintelen’s schemes to ship supplies to Denmark and to buy the Krags,
became alarmed over the prospect of war with Germany. They cut off
negotiations with him and fearing possible government investigations,
they began to talk. Part of the activities of a mysterious German of the
name of Meyer and Hansen reached both the Government officials and
newspapers. A reporter on the New York _Tribune_ who got a “tip” of the
real facts and who hunted for von Rintelen, frightened the German agents
from the office of the E. V. Gibbon Company. Steinberg skipped back to
Germany disguised as a woman carrying a trunk full of reports showing
the necessity of concerted action to prevent the Allies from getting
American war materials.

Von Rintelen slipped away to an office in the Woolworth Building. On
disclosing something of his schemes to men there, he was quickly ordered
out. He moved to the offices, in the Liberty Tower, of Andrew M. Meloy,
who had gone to Germany hoping to interest the German authorities in a
scheme having the same purpose as von Rintelen’s. In Meloy’s office he
posed as E. V. Gates—still retaining the initials of E. V. G. So
effective was von Rintelen’s “getaway,” that he was reported to have
gone abroad as a secretary. Those newspaper stories again gave von
Rintelen cause to chuckle over his cleverness and his elusiveness, and
encouraged him to still more reckless projects. He was reporting
meantime to Berlin by means of apparently innocuous commercial messages
sent by wireless, and also by cablegrams _via_ England and Holland.

Von Rintelen, always scheming to prevent arms and ammunition from going
to the Allies, reached into Mexico to use that country as another angle
from which to harass the United States. _He planned_—and this project
was a part of his vast campaign—_to embroil Mexico and this country in
war, or to cause such a jumble of revolutions within the Mexican borders
that the United States would be compelled to intervene. He pictured this
country in war with Mexico, a mobilization of the regular army and the
militia, an assembling of the American fleet. That would require a large
part of the output of the munition factories. The horses that were being
shipped to the Allies, the arms, the clothing for soldiers, the shoes
and the hundreds of other things which American factories were busily
turning out, would be required for a large American army moving south of
the Rio Grande._


He seized, therefore, upon President Wilson’s opposition to General
Huerta, and he planned to start a revolution in Mexico with the aim of
returning Huerta to power and thus placing the United States in a
position where it would be compelled to go into Mexico and restore
order. The United States would not be in a position then to dictate
terms for the settlement of the _Lusitania_ controversy, would seize the
war supplies going to the Allies, and, incidentally, would be hampered
for the remainder of the European war.

Ensconced in Meloy’s office, von Rintelen had as his daily associate a
man of his own age and of much the same appearance, tall, slender,
splendidly dressed, namely, a Mexican of German ancestry and a banker of
Parral. These two, who had known each other for years, met in New York.
The banker was versed in Mexican affairs, and the young German-Mexican
knew some of von Rintelen’s plans which had been set in operation before
the latter’s arrival in America.

German agents had been sent to Barcelona, Spain, to confer with General
Victoriano Huerta, former dictator of Mexico, and dazzle him with the
prospect of returning to power. Von Rintelen appreciated keenly the fact
that Huerta in Mexico virtually meant a declaration of war by the United
States, and, therefore, he wanted to put him there.

Having coaxed the old warrior to the United States, von Rintelen got
Boy-Ed and von Papen to map out Huerta’s plans. The two attachés, with
von Rintelen standing, invisible, far in the background and pulling the
strings, had many secret conferences in New York hotels, overheard by
Federal agents. They developed the plans for Huerta’s dash into Mexico,
and the uprising of Mexicans to support him. Von Rintelen, Boy-Ed and
von Papen made trips along the Mexican border, arranged for the
mobilization of Mexicans, for the storing of supplies and ammunition and
for furnishing funds. Von Rintelen deposited in Cuban banks and in banks
in Mexico City more than $800,000 for Huerta’s use. When the aged
general, stealing away from New York, reached Texas, he was nipped,
while attempting to jump the international border.

_While the Huertista faction was amply financed, it was only one of
seven groups, five of which were in Mexico, to which von Rintelen passed
out money._ Striving to stir up trouble and still more trouble for the
United States, he poured gold upon gold into Mexico, hoping that
President Wilson, nervous and harassed, would raise a big army for a

Next, as an English banker making a special study of Mexican railway
securities, he called one day upon Villa’s representative in New York,
and discussed the Mexican situation with him, and afterwards he sent
money to Villa. He gave support to Carranza. He financed Zapata, and he
started two other small revolutions in Mexico. He gave $350,000 to one
agent who hurriedly left the country carrying the cash with him. He sent
$400,000 travelling through devious channels to help one of the
revolutionary parties; but that money was recovered by von Rintelen’s
superiors after a most exciting scramble. The reckless agent is reported
to have expended $10,000,000 in his Mexican enterprises, and airily he
said he would spend $50,000,000 if necessary.

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