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view of the situation, a peace unfavorable to ourselves was unthinkable. Who, at that time, could have compelled us to accept terms which we regarded as incompatible with Germany's position in the world! Herr Helfferich, before the Examination Committee of the National Assembly, expressed the view that in the end Mr. Wilson would have forced peace apon us with the butt-end of a rifle. But whence would he have obtained this butt-end? He had not one, and it took him a year to create an army. No one who is familiar with the United States can believe that it would ever have been possible to drive the Americans into the war, once a Peace Conference had assembled. For then it would only have been a matter of deciding the fate of one or two pieces of territory or colonies, in which the Americans would not have felt the slightest interest. Naturally, we should have had to restore Belgium and accept the disarmament programme, etc. But we had already declared ourselves ready to take these measures, and, as regards disarmament, etc., this reform was inevitable, in view of the economic position of all the countries concerned. If America had not entered the war, no one could have forced us to accept less advantageous terms than the status quo ante, with possibly some mutual compensation.
THE RETURN HOME
AFTER the rupture of diplomatic relations, I entrusted the care of our interests to the Swiss Legation, and from that time I did not speak a word to any American official except to the Assistant Secretary of State, Breckenridge Long, who accompanied us as far as the boat at New York. From the majority of those gentlemen with whom I had official relations, however, I received very friendly letters of farewell.
The principal passage in the letter from Lansing, the Secretary of State, was as follows:
“I shall bear in mind all your earnest efforts in the cause of peace, and will gladly recall our personal relations, which, in spite of the difficulties of the situation, were always a pleasure to me.”
In view of the conditions prevailing at the time, the preparations for our departure took a long time. It was only with difficulty that we were able to obtain the necessary accommodation for the large number of German officials and their families on the Danish ship Friedrich VIII. The business of getting the necessary paperssuch, for instance, as the Entente's safe conduct-also necessitated lengthy negotiations, which were conducted by the Swiss Legation with the assistance of Prince Hatzfeldt, the Secretary of the Embassy. Our departure could only take place on the 14th February.
It was not pleasant to be obliged to remain eleven days longer in Washington. The moment the rupture of diplomatic relations occurred, the secret police took possession of the Embassy, and shadowed every one of my movements. These precautionary measures were supposed to guarantee my personal safety; but I should have been quite safe without them, for all Americans behaved towards me with perfect propriety and courtesy. Our personal friends did not allow the rupture of diplomatic relations to make any difference in their attitude towards us. Until the very day of our departure, my wife and I were the daily guests of American friends. Even the Press, with but a few exceptions, maintained a friendly attitude; for all the journalists knew that I had worked hard to maintain peace. As an example of this, I reproduce below an article from the New York Tribune, which is one of the leading anti-German papers in America. I give the article, somewhat abbreviated, in the original, in order to preserve its American character:
“Diplomacy and Friendship twin arts of Bernstorff.
“Departing German Envoy, target of critics here and at home, quits post with brilliant record and many personal friends.
“The sailing of Friedrich VIII. invites the cordial obituary style, though diplomatic deaths are supposed to warrant no sadness. And yet, curiously enough, Count Bernstorff probably finds himself leaving when more people are personally for him and fewer against him than at any time in the last two years. A less distinguished diplomat would not have had the art to stay so long.
“A letter from Washington, dated June, 1915, is in my desk. It tells incidentally about the visit of a friend to the Ambassador shortly after his interview with the President. “It's coming out all right,' the Count said cheerfully, his melancholy eyes lighting up, and the anxious lines etched in his face during the months past lightening. 'No, they're not going to get rid of me yet for a while,' referring to the Press clamor for his dismissal.
“ 'I'm glad of that,' answered the friend. "Then you'll stay and get some more degrees.' (Eight American universities had honored him.) "Oh,' he answered with a gesture, 'I may leave by degrees.' It is winning to catch an Excellency at puns.
“At his departure many personsclose friends of the last eight years and newspaper correspondents—are going to miss his amazing charm and the easy candor of his talk. He has had an intimate directness in his dealings with all sorts and conditions of people, that only a personage of magnetic personality can adopt.
“Sheer charm alone can forget caste consciousness. Count Bernstorff has had none of the patent heavy regard for himself that makes three-quarters of official Germany a chore to meet. 'I'll put you through,' the little telephone girl, at his favorite New York hotel, used to say promptly, when his Excellency was asked for, and knew that she was safe.
“Reporters will miss seeing him teeter informally by the Embassy fireplace as he interviewed them, or gave out a significant something from behind a hastily-raised newspaper.
“The insistent friends of Germany, heavily friendly and advisory, will miss his English, very soft with an attractive ghost, now and then, of a lisp. He learned it in London, his first language, for he was born there fiftyfive years ago. His father, Count Albrecht, was on service as Ambassador to the Court of St. James'.
“Count Bernstorff came to America from his post as Consul-General in Cairo. He was stationed there in the trying diplomatic period of Anglo-French rapprochement and the rise of naval competition between the English and the German empires. By many, Count Bernstorff is credited with saving Turkish Egypt and most of the Moslem world to the German balance. They say he did it over coffee with Khedive Abbas Hilmy, who never, never was bored by his wit, nor failed to appreciate the graces bred down from thirteenth-century Mecklenburg of the tall Herr Consul-General. And in return from the Moslem Count Bernstorff may have caught some of his comforting regard for kismet.
“The man is more than a little fatalist. •What happens must happen,' he was wont to say, as he sorted the threatening letters from his morning correspondence. And again: 'What difference does it make! They've killed so many that one more can make no difference.'
“He goes back to Berlin now, there as here different things to different people. A rank Social Democrat I have heard him called in drawing-rooms, where news of his earnest plea to his Government for a liberal Lusitania Note had leaked out.
“It has not been easy for him to construe and weigh the American situation for his Government, and have his judgment taken, any more than it has been easy for Mr. Gerard to convince the German Foreign Office that the American Notes were really meant. Often the same agent knocked both men and got in ahead of either as the authority on what America would do.
“A certain American Baroness, Egeria to the American journalists in Berlin, who has no use for Bernstorff or Gerard or Zimmermann, has been one of his many cockle burrs. Most of the German-Americans who chose to protest about the shipment of munitions and all of pro-submarine Germany plus an aspirant or two for his post-all of these have been busy against him. And the Americans are legion who have seconded the hate. He himself has been silent, with an occasional wry smile over