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butions for other countries, as, for example, the pictures distributed from New York over South America and Eastern Asia-do not, all told, exceed a million dollars. That is surely only a small fraction of what England and France have expended during the war in order, in spite of very thorough preparation in peace time, to win over American public opinion to their cause. It is actually only a sixth of what, according to the Chicago Tribune on the 1st November, 1919, the official American Press Bureau of Mr. George Creel has spent in order to "cement enthusiasm for the war” during the eighteen months between America's entry into the war and the conclusion of the Armistice. The thirty-five to fifty million dollars which, according to the statements of our enemies, were swallowed up by German propaganda in the United States belong, therefore, to the realms of fable.
In this connection I must mention yet another, far more malicious legend, namely, the slander widely spread in America last year, that the funds collected in America for the German Red Cross were used to finance German propaganda. It is a fact that every dollar that went to the German Red Cross Delegation in New York was remitted to the home organization for which it was intended. Of course these funds were in the first place paid into the various New York banking accounts from which Dr. Dernburg drew the funds for the Press Bureau. But, as Captain Hecker has most definitely stated, their equivalent was remitted to Germany through the bank, regardless of the changes in the exchange.
Dr. Dernburg, in organizing the Press Bureau, availed himself of the assistance he found in New York. The suggestion, widely current in America and repeated by a member of the American Secret Service before the Senatorial inquiry, that this Press Bureau had formed, as it were, a part of the German mobilization, and that, therefore, the most skilled propaganda experts from Europe and the Far East had been gathered together in New York in order that, after a preliminary run there, they might be let loose on the American world, is a ridiculous invention. Just as Dr. Dernburg himself became a propagandist without any premeditation, so it was also the case with his colleagues. At first his only assistants were the New York Press Agent of the Hamburg-Amerika line, Herr M. B. Claussen, and after the entry of Japan into the war a Government official from that country who was unable to continue his journey to Germany, because the passport across the Atlantic granted him through the instrumentality of the State Department was rejected by the British authorities. This official, Dr. Alexander Fuehr, the interpreter of the Consulate-General in Yokohama, who had great experience in Press matters and possessed an intimate knowledge of American affairs, assisted by quite a small staff of assistants engaged in New York, issued the daily bulletins of the “German Information Service,” which appeared for a year and consisted of translations of the substance of the German newspapers, comments on daily events and occasional interviews with people who had returned from Europe. It was Herr Claussens's duty to circulate the bulletins, the arrival of which was in no way kept secret, among the American Press, and to see to it that they should be reproduced as fully as possible, which was done, especially in the provincial Press.
Later, when the propaganda movement had developed to the extent of publishing and circulating leaflets, brochures and longer pamphlets, Dr. Dernburg decided to employ in the Press Bureau a well-known American publicist in the person of Mr. William Bayard Hale, who had already done good work, by speaking and writing, towards an unbiassed appreciation of the German point of view, and he was assisted by two younger New York journalists. Later, when the bureau took up war-picture and war-film propaganda, these were joined by two more young German Government officials, Dr. Mechlenburg and Herr Plage, who also were held up in America on their way from Japan. More than a dozen persons, including messengers, have never been employed by the Press Burean at a time. Of the thirty-one trained propagandists imported from Germany who, according to Captain Lester's evidence before the Senatorial Commission, were supposed to have worked in the Press Bureau, in so far as their names were given in the protocols of the inquiry, we are assured by Herr Fuehr that not one was employed there!
In addition to his direction of the Press Bureau Dr. Dernburg, who continued with inexhaustible energy to write articles for the periodicals and instructive letters for the daily Press, was responsible for keeping in touch with the directors of the American Press. He also availed himself of invitations to speak in American and German circles, and sometimes in other places than New York. As far as I know he never founded any societies for propaganda purposes. On the other hand, when such societies which had arisen without his influence turned to him, he of course supported them by word and deed.
For all questions of propaganda Dr. Dernburg had the assistance of a small committee nominated by himself and consisting, in addition to Herren Albert, Meyer Gerhardt and Fuehr, of a few American journalists and business men. It was his custom to confer with this committee once or twice a month, when the general situation, the prevailing fluctuations of public opinion and the probable influence of the propaganda material about to be published, were discussed in detail.
With this entirely improvised and, as will be seen, very modest machinery, Dr. Dernburg began his campaign. The enemy statement that the German propaganda in the United States had been actually organized many years before the war, so that in 1914 we might have ready at our disposal an organization with branches in every part of the country, is unfortunately devoid of any foundation. It is a regrettable fact that, in spite of my repeated warnings to the authorities, nothing was ever done on the German side before the war. It is well known that at that time the power of public opinion in democratic countries was very little understood in Germany. It was thought at home—which is typical of the objective, matter-of-fact German national character—that it was much more important that the right should be done than that it should be recognized as right by the public. Added to this was the under-estimation of the influence of the United States on the development of world politics.
Before the war no one in Germany had thought it possible that the Union would have to be reckoned with as a factor, much less a decisive factor, in a European war. This was a mistake, the effect of which unfortunately was felt until well into 1917--the result was that there was never enough money available to keep in touch and co-operate with the American Press. As a matter of fact I had, in the course of my activities in Washington, personally entered into certain social relations with the proprietors of a few great American newspapers. But from Berlin no advances were made. Even with the German-American papers there was no organized connection, and they themselves did not work together in any way. It is true that for years there had been a business connection between the greatest American news-agency, the Associated Press, and the Wolff Telegraphic Bureau; as, however, the agency was not served direct with Berlin Wolff-telegrams, but by its own representatives there, this did not amount to much. England, on the other hand-quite apart from the close relationship resulting from a common language-had for years maintained and systematically cultivated the closest contact with the American Press. It followed, then, that on the outbreak of war the English influence on the American daily Press was enormous. It did not rest as exclusively as has been assumed in Germany on direct proprietary rights. I do not think that, with the exception of a single newspaper in one of the smaller cities any great American paper was directly bought by England. Here and there considerable blocks of American newspaper shares may have been in English hands and influenced the tendency of certain papers. If, however, it is truemas was credibly stated in Irish-American quarters during the first year of the war—that Lord Northcliffe boasted a year or two before the war of “controlling” seventeen American papers, it is difficult to believe that this influence of the English press-magnates was based on hard cash. Rather is it the case that certain newspapers received their otherwise very costly private news-service from England on very advantageous terms. To others, English writers of leading articles are said to have been attached, without cost to the newspaper-a scheme of which I have often heard in America, but which is difficult to prove, as all American newspapers maintain the strictest secrecy as to the origin of their leading articles. It is, however, common knowledge that with regard to European affairs the American news service was swayed by this entirely English organization. Until the outbreak of the war the American news agencies drew ex