While Germany was professing her friendship for the United States in every note written following the sinking of the Lusitania, the government was secretly preparing the nation for a break in diplomatic relations, or for war, in the event of a rupture. German officials realised that unless the people were made to suspect Mr. Wilson and his motives, unless they were made to resent the shipment of arms and ammunition to the Allies, there would be a division in public opinion and the government would not be able to count upon the united support of the people. Because the government does the thinking for the people it has to tell them what to think before they have reached the point of debating an issue themselves. A war with America or a break in diplomatic relations in 1915 would not have been an easy matter to explain, if the people had not been encouraged to hate Wilson. So while Germany maintained a propaganda bureau in America to interpret Germany and to maintain good relations, she started in Germany an extensive propaganda against Wilson, the American press, the United States Ambassador and Americans in general.
This step was not necessary in the army because among army officers the bitterness and hatred of the United States were deeper and more extensive than the hatred of any other belligerent. It was hardly ever possible for the American correspondents to go to the front without being insulted. Even the American military attaches, when they went to the front, had to submit to the insults of army officers. After the sinking of the Arabic the six military observers attached to the American Embassy were invited by the General Staff to go to Russia to study the military operations of Field Marshal von Mackensen. They were escorted by Baron von Maltzahn, former attache of the German Embassy in Paris. At Lodz, one of the largest cities in Poland, they were taken to headquarters. Von Maltzahn, who knew Mackensen personally, called at the Field Marshal’s offices, reported that he had escorted six American army officers under orders of the General Staff, whom he desired to present to the Commander-in-Chief. Von Mackensen replied that he did not care to meet the Americans and told von Maltzahn that the best thing he could do would be to escort the observers back to Berlin.
As soon as the military attaches reached Berlin and reported this to Washington they were recalled.
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Cowards, who kill three thousand miles
See the long lines of shrouded forms increase!
Yours is this work, disguise it as you may;
But for your greed the world were now at peace.
Month after month your countless chimneys
Slaughter your object, and your motive gain;
Look at your money,—it is wet with gore
Nothing can cleanse it from the loathsome stain.