In Roumania last December I followed General von Falkenhayn’s armies to the forts of Bucharest. On Thanksgiving Day I crossed by automobile the Schurduck Pass. The Roumanians had defended, or attempted to defend, this road by mounting armoured guns on the crest of one of the mountain ranges in the Transylvanian Alps. I examined a whole position here and found all turrets were made in Germany.
I did not doubt that the shipment of arms and ammunition to the Allies had been a great aid to them. (I was told in Paris, later, on my way to the United States that if it had not been for the American ammunition factories France would have been defeated long ago.) But when Germany argued that the United States was not neutral in permitting these shipments to leave American ports, Germany was forgetting what her own arms and munition factories had done for Germany’s enemies. When the Krupp works sold Russia the defences for Kovno, the German Government knew these weapons would be used against Germany some day, because no nation except Germany could attack Russia by way of that city. When Krupps sold war supplies to Roumania, the German Government knew that if Roumania joined the Allies these supplies would be used against German soldiers. But the Government was careful not to report these facts in German newspapers. And, although Secretary of State von Jagow acknowledged to Ambassador Gerard that there was nothing in international law to justify a change in Washington’s position, von Jagow’s statements were not permitted to be published in Germany.
To understand Germany’s resentment over Mr. Wilson’s interference with the submarine warfare, three things must be taken into consideration.
1. The Allies’ charge that all Germans are “Huns and Barbarians.”
2. The battle of the Marne and the shipment of arms and ammunition from the United States.
3. The intrigue and widening breach between the Army and Navy and the Foreign Office.
One weapon the Allies used against Germany, which was more effective than all others, was the press. When the English and French indicted the Germans as “Barbarians and Huns,” as “pirates,” and “uncivilised” Europeans, it cut the Germans to the quick; it affected men and women so terribly that Germans feared these attacks more than they did the combined military might of their enemies. This is readily understood when one realises that before the war the thing the Germans prided themselves on was their commerce and their civilisation,—their Kultur. Before the war, the world was told by every German what the nation had done for the poor; what strides the scientists had made in research work and what progress the business men had made in extending their commerce at the expense of competitors.