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it all. He has never excused himself when attacks on him, personally, followed German actions against which he had counselled.
“He has tried over and over again to explain to the German Foreign Office the temper of the American people, whose sentimentality is so different from that which prevails in the Hanover-Bremen-Leipzig breast. The Hamburger-Nachrichten has reviled him. It has been hard to see with Hamburg eyes what Count Bernstorff must know—that hardly a diplomat alive could have stayed so long on friendly terms with Washington, through these two years, or reaped so heavy a harvest of understanding from his study of poker and baseball as well as American commerce and institutions. People like to write-I, too—of his melancholy eyes, his gently cynical estimates of most dreamers' hopes. Over one circumstance he has been always hopeful. He has clung always to the hope that America neutral would be a leader in the erection of peace machinery, eager that every diplomatic transaction should perhaps have the possibility of an instrument. His real object in leaving, I am sure, is that not again will he turn over a communication from the American State Department to read a faint hope of peace between lines.”
Apart from the measures taken for our security, our departure from Washington and New York was not very different from what it would have been in ordinary times, had I been moving to take up my duties in another country. Many friends came to the railway station at Washington, and on the boat at New York. Telegrams and letters of farewell came in hundreds, and our cabins were full of presents, consisting of baskets of fruit, flowers, cigars, books, beverages of all kinds, which are the cugtom at leavetakings in America. In these circumstances, and after all that I have described in the foregoing pages, I was not a little astonished when, about a year later, the American War-Propaganda Department began to hold me responsible for proceedings which were partly simply fiction, and for the rest of a kind that had occurred without any assistance from me whatever. I can understand perfectly the wish of the American Propaganda Department to create a war spirit, just as the same department in all belligerent countries strove to do; nevertheless, it was not necessary to adorn the war propaganda with unjustifiable personal attacks. Nothing happened after my departure from America to prompt such attacks. A few of my telegrams were, to be sure, deciphered and published in order to prove that I had hatched a conspiracy. When the Military and Naval Attachés were compelled to leave the United States, I could not very well avoid discharging the whole of the naval and military business myself. But this does not prove that I had previously had any dealings with these matters, even admitting that the Naval and Military Attachés had been guilty of illegal practices, which, despite all the uproar created by enemy propaganda, I do not believe to have been proved. Once the fever of war has died down, no one, presumably, will feel any interest in devoting any attention to such questions. If, however, later on, anyone should feel inclined to investigate the “German conspiracies,” and “German propaganda," in the United States, in an impartial spirit, he will be astonished to find how many fantastic fictions were brought to the notice of the Investigation Committee of the Senate, and what small justification lay at the bottom of the charges made against the German Embassy.
When, on the afternoon of the 14th of February, we took to sea, we had no idea that we were to enjoy the hospitality of the gallant steamer Friedrich VIII., and its amiable captain, for four long weeks. Ever since the establishment of regular lines of passenger steamers between America and Europe, we must certainly have broken all records in regard to the length of time we took to complete the journey. There were on board the Friedrich VIII., in addition to the whole of the staff of the Embassy, together with their wives and children, the complete personnel of the consulates, as also a few native Germans, who for some reason or other, happened to be in America and had not yet had an opportunity of returning home. A few Scandinavians completed the list of the passengers. The total number of Germans was approximately two hundred. According to the wording of the Safe Conduct which we had been granted, we were allowed to take with us our personal belongings and "a reasonable amount of money." We were expressly forbidden to carry any papers.
The first twenty-four hours of the journey were the most pleasant. The sea was calm and the weather was not too cold, and on the following evening we reached Halifax, which was the port at which we were to be examined. It was selected in order that we might not have to enter the war zone. Here we had the first taste of the vexations of the journey. Our captain wanted to enter the port; but he was ordered to anchor outside. On the following morning the authorities allowed us to enter. We were placed under the supervision of the English cruiser Devonshire, and I cannot help admitting that the English naval officers discharged the undignified and distasteful duties imposed upon them with great courtesy. The Canadian officials, on the other hand, behaved with the utmost disrespect and boorishness. They appeared to be accustomed to dealing only with immigrants and stowaways.
I do not know to this day, why, in spite of our Safe Conduct, we were held up twelve days in the Bedford Basin, which, with its encircling snow-clad hills, was completely shut off from the rest of the world. The examination in itself could not adequately account for this strange and uncustomary behavior, particularly towards an Ambassador: for although the ship's coal was ultimately sifted in the search for contraband goods, if any good-will had been shown, the examination could have been finished in three to four days at the outside. I suppose, however, that the delay was intended to serve political ends. The English probably wanted to keep us shut up in Halifax until the United States had entered into the war. They were perfectly well aware of my views, and feared that in Berlin I might after all succeed in effecting an understanding with the American Government. As, however, developments in the United States dragged on very slowly, and at first only an armed neutrality was contemplated, the English were ultimately obliged to allow us to continue our journey, because they could not very well keep us confined for weeks.
Personally, I cannot complain of the treatment to which I was subjected at Halifax, for I was the only one among all my fellow passengers of German nationality who had not to submit to having my person searched, and was only required to sign a declaration that I was carrying no papers. Everybody else—even my wife—had to consent to being searched, an operation which was performed in a humiliating manner, and which led to many an unpleasant scene. Even little Huberta Hatzfeldt, who was only three months old, was stripped of her swaddling clothes. The Canadian authorities assessed the reasonable sum of money" allowed at ninety dollars a head, and confiscated all moneys above that sum as contraband. In this way, Countess Manfred Matuschka lost 25,000 dollars, which, in ignorance of the regulations, she had brought with her. The sum was to be deposited with a Canadian Bank, but has probably been lost forever by its owner. As I was forbidden to have any communication whatsoever with the outside world, I was not able to carry out my intention of lodging a complaint at Washington regarding this breach of the Safe Conduct that had been granted to us.
At last, however, our imprisonment came to an end, and we were allowed to pursue our journey. Amid the cheers of all on board, including particularly those of our excellent captain, who felt the affront we had received very deeply, we weighed anchor. Judge of the almost panic-stricken disappointment of all the passengers, therefore, when at the end of a few knots, the ship turned back on her course! To the great relief of all concerned, however, it appeared that we had only forgotten to take on board the wireless telegraphy apparatus which had been taken from us at Halifax. From that moment, apart from very bad and cold weather, we continued our journey without further incident. We took a sweeping curve northward, then sailed down the Norwegian coast without meeting either an enemy ship or a German submarine. Some of the neutral passengers were so much terrified of the latter, that they did not retire to their beds for many nights at a stretch.
At ten o'clock in the morning we landed in the snow in Christiania. Meanwhile the Mexico telegram had been published in Washington, and Michaelis, the German Ambassador, in accordance with instructions, came on board, in order to learn from me whether I could offer any explanation of the fact—that is to say, whether I suspected treachery on the part of any of my staff. It is indeed plain from the oft-quoted reports of the Committee of the Senate, that a host of underhand tricks must have been played, particularly in the Post Office;