I am very glad to be able to send you the best reports of the Nineteenth Army Corps and the Twelfth Reserve Corps. I visited yesterday the Third Army and greeted especially the brave 181st Regiment, to which I expressed my recognition. I found your third son and your brother Max as well as Laffert and Kirchbach in the best of health. The spirit among the men is splendid. With such an army we shall be able to complete victoriously the rest of our difficult task. To this end may the Almighty stand by us.
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Interview With Kaiser Wilhelm II., Oct. 28, 1908,
An interview between the German Emperor and “a representative Englishman, who long since passed from public to private life,” appeared in The London Telegraph on Oct. 28, 1908, and was the next day authenticated by the German Foreign Office in Berlin with the comment that it was “intended as a message to the English people.” This last expression of the Kaiser toward Great Britain—until his declarations on the eve of the present war—deeply stirred the German people in protest and resulted in the Kaiser’s pledge to Chancellor von Buelow that henceforth the imperial views would be subject to the bridle of the Ministry and the Council of the Empire. The interview as recorded by the “representative Englishman” was as follows:
Moments sometimes occur in the history of nations when a calculated indiscretion proves of the highest public service. It is for this reason that I have decided to make known the substance of a lengthy conversation which it was my recent privilege to have with the Emperor.
I do so in the hope that it will help to remove that obstinate misconception of the character of the Emperor’s feelings toward England, which I fear is deeply rooted in the ordinary Englishman’s breast. It is the Emperor’s sincere wish that it should be eradicated. He has given repeated proofs of his desire by word and deed. But, to speak frankly, his patience is sorely tried now; he finds himself so continually misrepresented and has so often experienced the mortification of finding that any momentary improvement in relations is followed by renewed outbursts of prejudice and a prompt return to the old attitude of suspicion.
His Majesty spoke with impulsive and unusual frankness, saying: “You English are as mad, mad, mad as March hares. What has come over you that you are completely given over to suspicions that are quite unworthy of a great nation? What more can I do than I have done? I declared with all the emphasis at my command in my speech at the Guildhall that my heart was set upon peace and that it was one of my dearest wishes to live on the best terms with England. Have I ever been false to my word? Falsehood and prevarication are alien to my nature. My actions ought to speak for themselves, but you will not listen to them, but to those who misinterpret and distort them.”
Resents a Personal Insult.