Yale University, New Haven, Conn., Sept. 5, 1914.
In Defense of Austria
By Baron L. Hengelmuller.
Late Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to the United States.
The following letter was written by Baron Hengelmuller to Col. Theodore Roosevelt.
ABBAZIA, Sept. 25, 1914.
My Dear Mr. Roosevelt:
Our correspondence has suffered a long interruption. Your last letter was from July of last year. I do not know whether you ever received my answer, by which I thanked you for your preface to my book. You were in Arizona when I wrote it, and soon after your return you started for Brazil. At the occasion of your son’s wedding I sent him a telegram to Madrid, but I had no chance to write to you because I had no information with regard to the length of your stay and your whereabouts in Europe.
Now I write to you at the time of a most momentous crisis in the world’s history, and I do so impelled by the desire to talk with you about my country’s cause and to win your just and fair appreciation for the same. I wish I could address my appeal to the American people, but having no standing and no opportunity to do so, I address it to you as to one of America’s most illustrious citizens with whom it has been my privilege to entertain during many years the most friendly relations.
Since the outbreak of the war our communications with America are slow and irregular. In the beginning they were nil. From the end of July to the middle of August we received neither letters, telegrams, nor papers. I suppose it was the same with you concerning direct news from us. Our adversaries had the field all for themselves and they seem to have made the most of it. To judge from what I have learned since and from what I could glean in our papers, the New York press seem to have written about us and Germany very much in the same tone and spirit as they did about you during your last Presidential campaign. I have seen it stated that The Outlook published an article in which Austro-Hungary was accused of having brought about the war through her greed of conquest and the overbearing arrogance of her behavior toward Servia. I do not know whether I cite correctly, as I have not seen the article, and I am aware that you have severed your connection with The Outlook after your return from Brazil. I only mention the statement as an illustration of what I have said above, for if a review of the standing of The Outlook opens its columns to such a glaringly false accusation the daily papers have certainly not lagged behind.
It is natural that our adversaries should be anxious to win the sympathies of the American people. So are we. But it is not for this purpose that I now write to you. Sympathy is a sentiment and, as a rule, not to be won by argument. What I want to discuss with you are the causes of this war and the issues at stake.