“If any one is called upon to raise his voice in foreign lands for the cause of truth, it is the foreigner who was able to witness the unanimous rising of the German people at the outbreak of war, and their attitude during its continuance. This applies especially to the German-American.
“As a citizen of two continents, in proportion as his character has remained true to German principles, he finds both here and there the right word to say. . . .
“Numberless millions of men are forced to look upon a loathsome spectacle. It is that of certain individuals in America; to whom a great nation has temporarily intrusted its weal and woe, supporting a few multi-millionaires and their dependents, setting at naught—unpunished—the revered document of the Fourth of July, 1776, and daring to barter away the birthright of the white race. . . . We want to see whether the united voices of Germans and foreigners have not more weight than the hired writers of editorials in the newspapers; and whether the words of men who are independent will not render it impossible for a subsidised press to continue its destructive work.”
Gerard’s investigation showed that a group of German-Americans in Berlin were financing the League of Truth; that a man named William F. Marten, who posed as an American, was the head, and that the editors and writers of the publication Light and Truth were being assisted by the Foreign Office Press Bureau and protected by the General Staff. An American dentist in Berlin, Dr. Charles Mueller, was chairman of the league. Mrs. Annie Neumann-Hofer, the American-born wife of Neumann-Hofer, of the Reichstag, was secretary. Gerard reported other names to the State Department, and asked authority to take away the passports of Americans who were assisting the German government in this propaganda.
The “league” heard about the Ambassador’s efforts, and announced that a “Big Bertha” issue would be published exposing Gerard. For several months the propagandists worked to collect data. One day Gerard decided to go to the league’s offices and look at the people who were directing it. In the course of his remarks the Ambassador said that if the Foreign Office didn’t do something to suppress the league immediately, he would burn down the place. The next day Marten and his co-workers went to the Royal Administration of the Superior Court, No. 1, in Berlin, and through his attorney lodged a criminal charge of “threat of arson” against the Ambassador.
The next day Germany was flooded with letters from “The League of Truth,” saying:
“The undersigned committee of the League of Truth to their deepest regret felt compelled to inform the members that Ambassador Gerard had become involved in a criminal charge involving threat of arson. . . . All American citizens are now asked whether an Ambassador who acts so undignified at the moment of a formal threat of a wholly unnecessary war, is to be considered worthy further to represent a country like the United States.”