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iN DISSOLUTION 



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PERCY BROWN 



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GERMANY IN DISSOLUTION 




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GERMANY IN 
DISSOLUTION 



BY 

PERCY BROWN 



LONDON: ANDREW MELROSE LTD. 

3 YORK STREET, Covent Garden, W.C. 

1920 



Dear Mother, 

When Mr. Melrose asked me to "go away 
and write a book about it," the chief delight his 
commission caused me, arose from the chance it 
offered of spending, for the first time in ten years, 
a quiet holiday with you in the country. 

Now that my task is finished I want to say 
that whatever good there is in this book has 
come from you alone, and whatever interest I 
have shown, not only in the troubles of the 
German people, but in everything that has come 
into my life, has been doubled by the desire to 
share it with you. Every moment spent with 
you at home, working on the book, gave me 
exquisite joy. 

Your Affectionate Son, 

PERCY BROWN. 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 

PAGE 

Taken Prisoner ...... i 

CHAPTER I 

Meeting Captain Fryatt — The Revolution arrives 
in ruhleben ...... 6 

CHAPTER II 

Arriving in Berlin — Getting into touch with 

the Revolution . . . . .22 

CHAPTER III 

Doctor Solf, Master of Propaganda — At the 

German Foreign Office . . . -32 

CHAPTER IV 

Liebknecht at the Sophien Salle — Victims of 
the Revolution— Funeral Procession and 
Burial— Ledebour talks Bolshevism to the 
Tommies . . . . . -43 

CHAPTER V 

The Making of the Red and the White Armies 
— At the Reichstag — Theodore Wolff — 
Maximilian Harden at Home . . -57 



[ viii ] 



CHAPTER VI 



PAGE 



Kurt Eisner slates Solf at the Chancellery — 

Ebert ....... 76 

CHAPTER VII 

Glimpses of Berlin— " Ersatz "—The Beautiful 

roadmaker— aspasia and her blacklegs . 83 

CHAPTER VIII 

"Solf's Whine to our Correspondent" — I bid 

Berlin Good-bye in a hurry . . -95 

CHAPTER IX 

Kiel— Krupp's Germania Yard — Boarding the 
KdNiG — The Stowaways — A Relic of the 
Queen Mary, sunk during the Battle of 
Jutland— The Soldiers' Councils and their 
Aspirations . . . . . .104 

CHAPTER X 
Story of the Revolution at Kiel . . .133 

CHAPTER XI 

Scapa Flow — The German Fleet — On board 
H.M.S. Lion — Received by the Admiral of 
the Fleet— Home . . . . .148 

CHAPTER XII 
The Berlin Revolution . . . 155 



C ix ] 
CHAPTER XIII 

PAGE 

The Berlin Revolution {Continued) . . .171 

CHAPTER XIV 

The Revolution in January — Last Fights of 
the spartacists — murder of llebknecht and 
Luxemburg . . . . .191 

CHAPTER XV 

Royalist Intrigues at Amerongen — Trebitsch Lin- 
coln, ex-M.P. for Darlington, ex-Spy, Con- 
fidential Odd -job Man for the German 
Monarchists — On the Trail of the German 
Monarchists ...... 207 

CHAPTER XVI 
Interview with Ludendorff . . . .217 

CHAPTER XVII 

Some Impressions of the " New " Germany— Plans 

of the Monarchists— Ludendorff's Sermon . 235 

CHAPTER XVIII 

Has there been a German Revolution? — The 
Present Situation in Central and Eastern 
Europe — Our Lack of a Policy in dealing 
with the German People .... 253 

CHAPTER XIX 

Signs of German Vitality— The Countryside- 
Fuel — The Frankfort Trade Exhibition— 
Our Future Policy towards Central and 
Eastern Europe — Smouldering Fires — Ger- 
many as a Friend in Need . . . 264 



[ x ] 
CHAPTER XX 



PAGE 

The Allies in Berlin ... . 286 



CHAPTER XXI 
Americans and Germans . . . .291 

Epilogue ....... 303 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Author ..... Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

llebknecht addresses the mourners at the 

Graveside of the Victims of the Revolution 42 

Allied Soldiers took part in the Demon- 
stration during the Berlin Disorders. A 
French Prisoner is seen on the Steps of 
the Armoured Motor Car . . -56 

A Scene at the Brandenburger Thor during 

the Hostilities . . . . . 56 

German U-Boats and Warships being dismantled 
in Kiel Harbour before being delivered to 
the Allies ...... 104 

A Permit issued by Noske to the Author to 
allow him to sail in kiel harbour to meet 
Admiral Browning's Naval Mission . . 132 

General Malcolm of the British Military 
Mission (right) passing Two of Noske's 
Green Guards in Unter den Linden . . 192 

British Tommies use the Kaiser's Stables as a 
Garage for Cars belonging to the British 
Military Mission in Berlin . . .192 

General Ludendorff reads the Proofs of his 

War-Book to the Interviewer . . . 216 

Snipers . . . . . . 264 

w.a.a.c.'s attached to the british military 

Mission at the Hindenburg Statue, Berlin . 286 



GERMANY IN DISSOLUTION 



INTRODUCTION 
Taken Prisoner 

BEFORE I begin my story of the German 
Revolution I will tell briefly how I fell into 
the hands of the enemy. 

At the beginning of the war, the activities of corre- 
spondents were not so severely restricted, especially 
in Belgium, as they were later when Lord Kitchener 
prohibited their presence at the front. After^the 
second battle of Ypres it became almost impossible 
for a journalist to get into the fighting zone. This 
was the last big battle I saw in this part of the 
line, for, coming out of the trenches to send away 
my copy, I was arrested by the British Military 
Field Police and taken to the military prison at 
St. Omer. After four days of tedious discomfort, 
sleeping at night in straw on the stone flags, two 
other pressmen and I were sent to England under 
escort and minus our passports and papers. There 
was nothing to complain of in this, but I wearied 
of repeated arrest and, on my next visit to France, 



[ 2 ] 

remained in Paris, hoping to become properly 
accredited to the French Army and meanwhile 
contenting myself with occasional surreptitious 
visits to the lines in armoured cars and motor-lorries. 

I failed to obtain an official pass, so decided to 
visit the Fort of Belfort. A rumoured right flank 
movement by the French supported by a division of 
British infantry, an immediate declaration of war 
by Italy and possibly by Roumania, drew me 
hurriedly from Paris. I managed to reach Belfort 
and one of the outer forts, but on my return I was 
caught by the French, who politely put me outside 
the military zone at the small frontier town of Delle. 
The outlook seemed almost hopeless, but whilst 
searching for another way to the front I hit upon a 
fresh plan — I would cross the frontier at Delle and 
make my way along the Swiss-German frontier and, 
by recrossing it, when the French moved up I should 
be in a first-rate position to watch the movements. 

I had calculated without the mine-field of German 
counter-espionage in which I became entangled. 
Finding the country at Delle difficult to traverse on 
foot, I went to Bale, which from the map seemed 
a suitable base. I began at once to explore the 
possibilities of the district, and took train to 
Schaffhausen on the Swiss railway. This in itself 
meant an interesting little adventure, as the rail- 
way crosses the Rhine and a part of Germany. I 
changed trains at two small German towns and, 



[ 3 ] 

after taking many photographs of the country, I 
resumed my journey. 

Schaffhausen teemed with interest : I stumbled 
on a story at once. Every day two thousand 
refugees from Alsace were being passed through 
this town to Switzerland. It looked like a repeti- 
tion of the Belgian retreat. I was soon busy collect- 
ing their stories — most startling ones. One woman 
told me that the Germans expected an immediate 
advance by the French, which confirmed my first 
information. This was on the 8th of May, 1915, 
which seemed to me quite a likely date for the 
beginning of the big summer offensive. Now I 
could understand why the Allies had taken such 
pains to cloud with mystery the line extending 
from Ypres to Rheims. Nothing at all was going to 
happen there, but a tremendous push would be 
attempted on the Belfort sector ! At last the 
Germans were going to be pushed back and just 
where they least expected it ! From a journalist's 
point of view the situation promised glorious 
possibilities. 

After I had got my stories from the refugees I 
booked a room at the Mulhausen Hotel opposite 
the station. Here I was approached in the friend- 
liest possible manner by people who volunteered 
information, most of which I ignored. But one 
person did interest me — the hotel porter, one John 
Gluck. He had a useful story of escape from the 



[4] 

British authorities in London where, he said, he 
had been a hotel porter until he was imprisoned. 
At six o'clock on the morning after I arrived he 
rushed into my bedroom and told me of an ex- 
change of British and German officer prisoners 
which, according to him, was to take place on the 
frontier at seven o'clock, f hurried into my 
clothes and, without waiting for breakfast, boarded 
a train for the frontier. I must remark here that 
in my experience as a journalist my greatest diffi- 
culty has always been to get into a country. Un- 
fortunately I had no knowledge of German methods, 
which differ entirely from those of other countries, 
which do their utmost to keep suspected persons 
outside their frontiers. I learnt afterwards in 
various German prisons that the Germans not 
only encouraged people to go to Germany but spent 
millions of marks on a special organisation to 
entrap any citizen of the Allied countries re- 
ported to be within twenty kilometres of her 
frontiers. 

After stopping at a few stations the train pulled 
up at the frontier — but the wrong side ! I was soon 
aware of what had happened, and, on the approach 
of a German officer, I got out of the train and made 
a rush to cover the few yards back to Switzerland. 
I had hardly started when two German soldiers 
leapt out of the station, seized me and put me into 
the station guardhouse. From that moment, like 



[ 5 ] 

some of the ships sunk by Germany, I disappeared 
without leaving a trace. 

I had one comforting thought as I was passing 
through the various processes of German prison- 
ment: whatever the Germans did to me, the pro- 
prietors of the Mulhausen Hotel would surely in- 
form my people and my editor. But so far as I know 
thej' were silent, although handbills bearing my 
photograph and description were circulated, and 
they must have received many inquiries from 
various sources. I owe my release from the 
notorious espionage prison at Lorrach, and perhaps 
my life, to Lord Robert Cecil. 



CHAPTER I 

Meeting Captain Fryatt — The Revolution arrives in 

Ruhleben 

Meeting Captain Fryatt 

I HAVE been asked several times whether the 
murders of Captain Fryatt and Nurse 
Cavell, together with the other innumerable bar- 
barous acts, did not help to prepare the mood of 
the German people for the Revolution. It was 
believed in England that, though the people were 
in the grip of the military machine, an expression of 
indignation would be heard at least from some 
quarters. Surely a sane few must have felt horror 
at the acts of their governors. For my own part 
I have never heard of or read any statement of 
regret. If the newspapers expressed any opinion 
at all on the subject the tone was one of justifica- 
tion. When I tentatively discussed the Fryatt 
case with officers and private soldiers the only 
answer I got was, " Krieg ist Krieg " (war is war), 
accompanied with that look common to men who 
have allowed others to do their thinking for 
them. 



[7 ] 

The German press had such influence on the 
minds of the people that many of them believed the 
stories of Allied atrocities which the newspapers 
regularly invented. The German journalists did 
their work so thoroughly that they convinced 
their readers that England had been guilty of 
more than a mere atrocity in daring to declare war. 
It was impossible at that time for us to obtain 
any " advanced " newspapers, but the following 
extract from the Cologne Gazette is a sample of 
the general press opinion : 

" We have before all things to secure the requisite 
respect for our U-boats, for the lives and security 
of our gallant self-sacrificing bluejackets are of far 
greater importance to us than the life of a criminal 
Englishman, which is in any case justly forfeit." 

The Pan-German newspapers were unanimous in 
their efforts to justify the crime. 

I remember the day Captain Fryatt came into 
the camp. News had gone round that he and 
his crew were at the gates waiting to be examined. 
The sailors who had been taken off other ships by 
German U-boats instantly stopped their work or 
games in the barracks and rushed out to " Trafalgar 
Square," the quadrangle between the stables which 
all prisoners had to cross on entering the camp. 
Potatoes were upset, card parties broken up, the 
cards scattered down the gangways as if there had 
just been a paper-chase. 



[8 ] 

" What the 'ell's up ? " asked one deaf old deck- 
hand when he saw the sudden excitement. 

" Fryatt's at the gate," his messmate answered. 

The deaf old man — I believe he was seventy years 
of age — moved more quickly even than when he 
heard that plug tobacco was on sale at the canteen. 

As he walked across the square, Fryatt was 
greeted by an eloquent silence. The sailors, bursting 
with eagerness to shout him a welcome, dared not 
cheer him for fear of drawing the attention of the 
German officers. Afterwards, as he passed between 
the stables on his way to his sleeping quarters, he 
was greeted heartily by crews of other ships, who 
yelled out, " Good-day, sir," " Good-day, skipper," 
from the small windows of the stable-lofts. He 
would look up with a good-natured smile and 
acknowledge the greeting. 

" Wish we'd been in 'is boat when he stuck it 
into them Germans," said a Grimsby fisher- 
man, resuming his dish-washing. 

" Shut up, you b fool! Rudiger's spies are 

nosing about among the crew looking for informa- 
tion. They're after the skipper," said an old deck- 
hand as he caught sight of a former inmate of the 
" Tea-House," the home of the Pro-Germans. 

Captain Fryatt came into my box after he had 
found his sleeping quarters. His broad stocky figure 
loomed big in the dark doorway, shutting out the 
faint light from the corridor. He pushed back the 



[9] 

heavy stable door as easily as if it had been a curtain 
rather than thick timber hung on stiff, rusty pulleys. 
He said he wanted to see his chief steward who, 
with his assistant, was quartered with me. He 
looked round at the pots and domestic contrivances, 
and laughed. 

" You've learnt how to make the best of things, 
then," he said, running his eye over our curious 
bunk arrangements. 

At that point the chief steward arrived. After a 
few preliminary remarks, Fry at t said : 

" I want you to look after my uniform and belong- 
ings." 

" Why, what's up ? " asked the steward. 

" I've got to go somewhere to-morrow morning/' 
replied the Captain. His manner showed that he 
felt conscious of what was ahead. 

The darkness and indeed the whole occasion 
made the voices sound uncanny. When one could 
not clearly see the person speaking, it was slightly 
startling to hear a voice coming from a spot near 
one's feet break into the conversation. Our space 
was so limited that if a few visitors came in it was 
necessary for the occupants of the stable to get into 
their bunks. Old George Meadows, a Grimsby 
fisherman, lying near the floor in his bunk, after 
fumbling in his " sea-chest," as he called his mat- 
tress, offered Fryatt some shag and asked him where 
he was going. 



[ io] 

" I don't know where I am going, nor why," he 
replied, " but whatever happens, I feel that I have 
done my duty. Anyway, I want you to look after 

these things and " He broke off as the chief 

steward suggested that the authorities probably 
only wanted to see him concerning the cargo of the 
Brussels. Though he showed not the slightest 
trace of fear, there was a seriousness in his voice, a 
kind of " do your damnedest ! " (as a sailor might 
phrase it) attitude about him. I think he knew 
better than we did the sort of treatment he might 
expect from Germans. 

While we were speaking, groups of seamen saun- 
tered down the corridor and pressed round the door 
to get a glimpse of the famous " Pirate Dodger," as 
he was known in the camp. 

" That's 'im ! " the rough old salts would exclaim 
admiringly as they peered into the shadows to see 
the Captain. 

My most vivid impression of Captain Fryatt was 
obtained when he visited the camp canteen. He 
walked slowly past the boiler-house scanning with 
amused interest the posters and placards advertising 
the camp's amusements and meetings for the week. 
Near the dry stores he paused, one hand in his 
trousers pocket ; he seemed to be making a mental 
list of purchases he intended to make. An expres- 
sion half quizzical half curious came into his rather 
stern face as he watched the grotesquely dressed 



[ II ] 

prisoners clumping along on their wooden clogs. As 
yet he was hardly one of them, but I think he was 
good-humouredly trying to fit himself into his 
surroundings. He listened to the strange jargon of 
the purchasers as they left the long queue stretching 
away between the barracks. Almost shyly he spoke 
to a prisoner hurrying away with his purchases. 
The reply, " I don't think — my jam's not in ! " 
left him more puzzled than before. The prisoners 
with their light-hearted antics must have seemed 
strange folk to him. He watched a detached group 
of artists one of whom was trying to discipline a 
small puppy. It was the time of the dog fashion, 
cultivated by a certain section of prisoners. The 
affected eccentricities of garb and manner puzzled 
him. The puppy wanted to frisk among the com- 
moners in the queue, but its owner, in a tone of cold 
superiority, called out, " Come to heel, dog, come to 
heel ! " He worried the animal until it lay tremb- 
ling, "squatting at his feet. As each man left the 
canteen with his purchases he would try with a 
friendly whistle to coax the puppy to desert his 
master. 

There was the slightest curl of disdain on the lips of 
Captain Fryatt as he turned his back on the scene 
and took his place at the tail-end of the queue. His 
healthy ruddy colour and clean clothes reminded one 
that he had only just slipped out of civilisation into 
this byway. His face wore the serious expression 



[ 12 ] 

of a man who has had recent contact with big events. 
He shifted impatiently from one leg to another. 
By and by the queue dissolved : the canteen had 
sold out, leaving him a wondering, isolated figure. 
He returned to his stable to prepare for his journey to 
Bruges. 

It was a depressed gathering which watched him 
depart in the morning with the second officer of the 
Brussels. His coming among us had formed a 
link between the camp and the terrific struggle 
raging somewhere outside us. The prisoner's 
portion was a daily view of the military railway, 
where train after train, monotonously regular, 
loaded with guns and soldiers, travelled either to the 
East or West Fronts. At rare intervals a party of 
British soldier prisoners would be working in the 
goods yards opposite the camp. It was on these 
occasions that we received the most important news 
from the West Front. As soon as word came that 
the soldier prisoners were within a quarter of a mile 
of the camp, one of our cooks, an ex-Guardsman 
signaller, would rush out to the barbed wire between 
the barracks and signal them and exchange news. 
This was how we got the first news of the 1918 March 
counter-offensive. 

After Captain Fryatt had gone to Bruges the sea- 
folk anxiously followed the newspapers by means 
of translations. When the news of his execution 
came in the Tageblatt, the camp was as stunned as 



[ 13 ] 

we were when we heard that Lord Kitchener was 
drowned. 

" Them Garmans 'ave shot our skipper ! " gasped 
Geordie, a deck-hand of the Brussels, pitiful 
astonishment on his face. It was incomprehensible 
to the slow-thinking soul that the Captain should be 
murdered " 'cos 'e 'it back." 

The tragic incident had a chastening effect on 
the camp. Petty complaints and squabbles disap- 
peared. The prisoners had seen a brave man go 
calmly to his death. That was a greater lesson 
than all we could read in smuggled newspapers. 
There was nothing to do but wait for the return of 
the second officer who had accompanied him, who 
described in detail the journey to Bruges and the 
subsequent " trial." 

" It was all fixed up," was his comment. 

Tears came into the eyes of one of the boys as the 
last conversation with Fryatt was described. 

" I wouldn't mind so much, if it wasn't for the 
missus and the children," said Fryatt after he was 
sentenced. 

There was little more to relate. The second 
officer came to our box to bring messages to the 
chief steward about his effects. We thought 
of what the Captain had said about his uniform. 
The shooting of Fryatt left the Germans, with very 
few exceptions, quite unmoved. I know that these 
lines are a digression, but I have so often been asked 



[ 14] 

whether this incident might not have had a certain 
effect in inclining the minds of the German people 
to revolution against a Government which could 
perpetrate such crimes. 



The Revolution arrives in Ruhleben 

As Germany was hurried on to her climax, like a 
lumbering rudderless craft carried by rising winds 
towards the rocks, her politics became like the 
meeting-place of several angry mountain torrents. 
Big business, hungry for dividends, represented 
in the Reichstag by the Indnstrielle, demanded 
that the navy should put to sea to engage the 
British in one last desperate struggle. The aris- 
tocracy, suddenly becoming fearful of losing their 
feudal privileges, frantically called for a coup 
d'etat to unseat the moderate but vacillating Prince 
Max and to restore the absolute monarchy of 
William n. A vigorous current of Socialism, swollen 
by tributaries from the progressive thought of the 
Democratic parties, expressed itself in a great cry 
for peace at any price and the abdication of the line 
of Hohenzollern. 

When the clamour was at its loudest a danger 
signal appeared. A small paragraph in a Berlin 
newspaper said that mutiny had broken out at 
Kiel. A few days later Berlin was stunned by the 
news that Kurt Eisner, a Bavarian journalist, had 



[ 15 ] 

demolished at one stroke the rotting structure of 
the Bavarian dynasty. The terse report of this 
extraordinary event was the culmination of 
hundreds of startling rumours which reached the 
camp. 

England seems to have been surprised at the 
coming of the German Revolution. We in Ruhleben 
knew, partly from the talk of our guards, partly 
from the temper of the people of Berlin as exempli- 
fied by visitors to the camp, that in the event of 
Germany's defeat some sort of a revolution was 
inevitable. But only the few, I think, watched 
with real understanding those tides of disaffection 
rise in the North and South which were one day to 
engulf even the high ground of the capital. To the 
rank and file of us the Revolution was of secondary 
importance ; to some it was little more than an 
amusing incident. The. wave of relief which swept 
through the camp was caused not by it but by the 
rapid collapse of the German Army, which made a 
speedy release certain. A week before the Armistice 
was signed, some prisoners had already begun to 
pack their belongings and, so far as they could, to 
smarten up their appearance to pre-prison standard. 
Carefully hoarded stores of coal and wood (to us 
most precious goods), systematically stolen at night 
from the official stock, were thrown away. Even 
before the German Army was on the run, the dust- 
bins were choked up with old garments ruthlessly 



[ i6 ] 

discarded after having seen their wearers through 
four of, I hope, the roughest years of their lives. 

According to the newspapers Germany was " red 
with revolution." Few, I think, believed this ; 
still, the officers in charge of the camp appeared as 
little as possible, allowing their subordinates more 
or less a free hand in guarding the prisoners. The 
question of the moment was — Would Germany agree 
to the terms of the Armistice ? Many hoped that 
she would not, especially the section of the Mer- 
cantile Marine who feared that Germany was going 
to evade the fate she had inflicted on other countries. 
Even then we did not know that she was finally 
defeated. Had this been otherwise, the officers 
would not have retired so early. 

When our " Revolution " arrived, it came by 
very commonplace means — by train ! Loaded with 
rifles, machine-guns and improvised red flags this 
train slowly traversed the railway track before the 
camp. Its sailor crew, looking quite commonplace 
and ordinary, not to say a trifle futile, were received 
with an amused interest, a little laughter, some 
waving of hats. Interest quickened to mildly 
pleasurable excitement when we heard that some 
of the soldiers were sporting red buttons. Ironic 
cheers greeted a stray guard who appeared, now 
smirking, now shamefaced, the little red badge on 
his breast. 

However, as the day wore on and reports of fresh 



[ \7 1 

successes of the sailor revolutionaries reached us, the 
soldiers began to take a serious interest in the events 
in Berlin. Small groups of N.C.O.'s and privates 
gathered about the guard-room door. When an 
officer appeared, the soldiers turned their backs, 
and after a hard-faced Bavarian private had de- 
liberately spat on the ground as a young lieutenant 
approached him, discipline disappeared completely. 
The administration offices were a-flutter with ex- 
citement. The officers hastily took council together. 
Later, the smirking little Junker, Count Schwerin, 
appeared at the doorway. From the windows above 
him peered his brother officers, looking as scared as 
rabbits. As he walked across the quadrangle he 
bowed and smiled at the groups of surly soldiers, his 
kittenish walk betraying his fear. Now came the 
terrible episode. As he was about to pass his 
soldiers they simultaneously spat and turned their 
backs on him. For the officer onlookers and those 
of the soldiers who hung behind the braver ones 
carrying out their part of the agreed plan rather 
fearfullv, it was an anxious moment. The faces 
vanished from the windows as the crestfallen Count, 
rage and shame contributing to the burning colour 
in his cheeks, scurried the few remaining yards to the 
casino, and shot through a welcome doorway. The 
silence was broken by a burst of ironical cheers from 
the prisoners. 
Even at this advanced stage of our revolution 



[ 18 ] 

the ringleaders were uncertain of the support of their 
colleagues. The younger soldiers gazed with a 
sheepish expression as they listened to the ad- 
monitions of the rebel N.C.O.'s. A strengthening 
influence was felt when news of the formation of 
Soldatenrate (Soldiers' Councils) came into the camp 
from Berlin. 

" Aren't you going to have your Soldiers' Council ? 
Everybody's doing it, you know," said one of the 
camp comedians to a German soldier notorious for 
his keenness in landing the prisoners in the cells or 
the " Bird Cage." 

" Soldiers' Council ? What's that ? " he asked 
suspiciously. I suppose he found out, for a few 
hours later the idea seemed to catch on among the 
soldiers. First of all, a secret meeting was called, 
and attended by the boldest spirits of the Guard. 
Reports of further formation of Soldiers' Councils 
continued to come in, but our guards, not being 
of the rash revolutionary order, decided to wait. 

" Suppose the Revolution doesn't materialise, 
where shall we be ? " inquired one of the N.C.O.'s 
uneasily. 

Next day more news arrived from Kiel : a man 
had been killed in a riot. A tense restlessness 
pervaded the camp, groups of prisoners gathering 
round the gates to watch events. Our soldiers 
called another meeting, where it was decided to 
form a Soldiers' Council at once. Two men were 



[ 19 ] 

chosen to go to Berlin to find out how the thing 
was done. " Nobbier," the soldier coachman to 
the Commandant of the camp and general agent 
to the prisoners, was asked his views on the matter, 
and consented to take the party to Berlin in his 
master's carriage. They drove off leaving their 
imprisoned officers grimly staring down from the 
upper windows of the casino. The Abgeordneten- 
haus, where the Executive of the Soldiers' Council 
was sitting, was visited, and instructions were re- 
ceived. The party returned late that night, rather 
nervous but triumphant. On the following day a 
statement was drawn up, passed, and presented to 
the officers in their quarters. The incident pro- 
vided a good hour's entertainment for the prisoners 
who witnessed the installation of the new authority. 
A stout elderly N.C.O. was chosen to present the 
long statement to the officers, who had been warned 
of the ceremony about to take place. The old 
Commandant cut a sorry figure as he listened to 
his men, who carried out their task almost apolo- 
getically. Their badges of rank removed, the 
officers were allowed to depart on the understand- 
ing that they would in no way interfere with the 
"Revolution." 

One of the prisoners reminded the revolutionaries 
that they had no flags or badges. None being 
obtainable outside, — there had been a run on red 
material, — the members of the Camp School Textile 



[ 20 ] 

Department entered into the spirit of the occasion 
and began manufacturing red rosettes by the dozen. 

We were now " Genosse " (comrades), and I think 
we did actually succeed in putting some life into 
the camp " soldiers of the Revolution." They 
learnt to respond more or less heartily to such 
greetings as, " Guten morgen, Genosse, wie geht 
die Revolution ? ' (Good morning, comrade, how 
goes the Revolution ?) Indeed, they seemed to 
be changing from lifeless machines to something in 
the semblance of men. 

The next step was to cut down the Prussian 
eagle which had always been sent fluttering up the 
long flagstaff in " Leicester Square " to celebrate 
German victories. No red flag being procurable, a 
tablecloth dyed in the camp laboratory was put 
in its place. 

Once the preliminary stages were passed, the 
Council entered into its work with zest and began 
to issue permits to the prisoners to leave the camp. 
But here our self-elected autocratic governors 
stepped in and advised the president to issue per- 
mits to leave the camp only for very urgent reasons. 
They went so far as to form a special body, a kind 
of White Guard, to keep their companions in the 
camp. One member procured a rifle and ammuni- 
tion from one of the soldiers and paraded with it 
half the night, " waiting for the stiffs to come," 
as he said. If the movement had been allowed 



[ 21 ] 

to develop, it is probable that Ruhleben would 
have been divided into two factions — the Army 
of the Reds and the Army of the Whites ; but after 
Captain Powell had admonished the prisoners to 
remember " who and what they were," those who 
could not get out officially waited until night, and 
passed out after bribing the sentries with a packet 
of cocoa or a tin of dripping. When it was discovered 
that some members of this peculiar body served 
only in order to get away to Berlin themselves, 
it was decided to abolish them ! 

This opened up immense trading possibilities 
with the enemy. Germans of all classes soon 
heard of the stores of food at Ruhleben and hurried 
out to the camp. I saw one be-furred lady step 
out of a motor-car and buy a tin of corned beef for 
three hundred marks, a sum then equivalent to 
about seven pounds. By the time the camp was 
broken up, hundreds of children arrived in the lane 
leading to it to canvass the prisoners for the sale of 
food-stuffs. 



CHAPTER II 

Arriving in Berlin — Getting into touch with the Revolution 

Arriving in Berlin 

I FIRST left the camp officially as soon as the 
Soldiers' Council had bought a rubber stamp 
to viser my permit. I walked boldly down the lane 
past our stable home, every step a sheer joy. The 
three tedious years rolled away like clouds before 
the sun ; thrills of anticipation surged through me. 
I wanted to sing and run. I realised the real 
meaning of freedom as I passed the last sentry on 
the way to the tram. Although I tried to look very 
sober and matter of fact, my fit of ecstasy was 
remarked by a group of people — they stared at me 
most suspiciously. Two small boys understood 
much better ; in spite of their pale cheeks and 
rickety walk they had not forgotten how • to 
smile. 

" Englander ! " said one, with such friendly 
wonder that I had to stop and tell them all 
about it. When I produced a bar of chocolate, 
they gravely informed me that they had no money 
to buy it ! 



[ 23 ] 

I boarded the tram. To me it was no mere tram 
but a heavenly chariot. It was not until I had 
gone some distance that I found I was going away 
from Berlin — all sense of direction had moment- 
arily left me. I began talking to the passengers, 
but after the Ruhlebenites these poor grey-faced 
creatures seemed most miserable. From their con- 
versation — about food, of course — I gathered they 
were still unaware of any happening likely to dis- 
turb the peaceful routine of war. 

I kept a sharp look-out for signs of revolution, 
but could see nothing beyond the thousands of 
Germans going about their business in their usual 
phlegmatic manner. I caught up with the first 
procession on the outskirts of Berlin. They were 
most respectable-looking people ; one, I remember, 
wore a silk hat and patent leather boots ! I boarded 
another tram and reached a crowd in the Alexander 
Platz : this was quiet enough too, but I warmed 
to it when I heard the stirring strains of the 
" Marseillaise." I waited until the music died down 
and a speaker began addressing the crowd, but he 
only droned out futile invective against the Kaiser 
and the military, in the dullest voice I have ever 
listened to. At the Brandenburger Thor I got on 
better, and attached myself to a procession of soldiers 
and civilians marching towards the Reichstag. 
They were not quite so restrained and orderly, and 
the music was much better : there were at least a 



[ 2 4 ] 

hundred bandsmen. I inquired where we were 
going, but no one knew. 

" Nowhere particular. This is just a street 
parade," answered one sober-looking individual. 

As we neared the Potsdamer Platz, the procession 
plunged into a really excited crowd. People were 
talking and gesticulating wildly. There was no 
singing or playing here, but instead a surging of 
voices occasionally rising into an ominous roar. 
It reminded me of one Labour Day in the Bois de 
Boulogne when the crowd had sung the " Red 
Flag " and the Paris police had tried to suppress 
the speakers. Now and then the crowd abandoned 
restraint, and, like a wave, swept the military 
guards in front of them. 

As I withdrew from the densest part of the crowd 
in the Potsdamer Platz I saw a soldier bleeding 
from a wound, his head on his chest, being carried 
away by his friends. I heard afterwards that two 
persons were killed on this occasion, which was 
described in the newspapers as a " battle between 
the Red Guards and ex-officers." All that I saw 
was two tiny figures on the roof of the Victoria 
Cafe crawling away after they had made a cowardly 
attack on a crowd of people who could not have 
screwed up enough courage to break a window. 
There were other attacks of this kind which nearly 
produced a genuine revolution. It really seemed 
as if the officer sharp-shooters concealed in various 



[ 2 5 ] 

buildings were specially told off to kill a few victims 
in the streets in order to prove to the Allies that 
there really had been a revolution. 

When I went to book a room in the Adlon Hotel 
I found a crowd in the Unter den Linden in a 
particularly dangerous mood. Shots had been fired 
from the cover of a bank building and had killed 
a man walking along the pavement. Although no 
one could be seen, two young soldiers turned a 
machine-gun on the building and criss-crossed it 
with bullets ; the Marstall had been treated the 
same way in the morning. Others worked off their 
feeling by pinking out with their rifles the eyes 
and ears of the statues which decorated the out- 
side of the buildings. When I finally managed to 
get inside the Hotel Adlon, some hours later, I 
found a machine-gun crew in the hall. I tripped 
over the long belt of cartridges before I saw it. 
The gunner, a middle-aged Unter-ofncer, lay on 
his stomach, his eye along the sights training the 
thick barrel of the gun on the swing doors. 

I asked the manager, Mr. Kretschmar, if he ex- 
pected any trouble. He replied in good English: 

" Oh, not exactly. They are here to protect us." 

He was the most obliging and un-German German 
I have met. He put me into one of his best bedrooms 
and did his utmost to make me feel comfortable 
Then he produced an autograph book and asked me 
to sign my name, under which he wrote a eulogy to 



[ 26] 

the first Englishman to come to Berlin during the 
Revolution. 

From my room I could see red flags fluttering 
from the windows. Could the owners of those 
magnificent houses opposite have suddenly become 
Socialists ? Whether they had or no, evidently 
they wished to be thought so. I began to consider 
the flags and badges mere stage properties. Yet 
there was at least one man in Berlin who believed in 
the Revolution — Karl Liebknecht, and so soon as 
his belief became known, he and his followers were 
feared worse than the plague. 

I was anxious to send copy to my paper, but I 
was still without materials for a real " news-story." 
I tried to find out who the villainous-looking 
Feldwebel and his soldiers in the hall expected to 
attack them. All that I could learn from him was, 
" Liebknecht ist aus I" At intervals a bell would 
ring which brought his gun-crew running out of the 
darkness with a machine-gun. 

Rumours of pitched street battles were continually 
arriving in the hotel. When I visited the scenes I 
found that what was described by nervous Berlin 
newspapers as serious sanguinary conflicts were only 
local scuffles between a few officers and young impul- 
sive " Red Guards." I saw one of these Zusam- 
menstosse arise out of a meeting between a private 
soldier and an officer who was stepping into a cafe in 



[2 7 ] 

the Friedrichstrasse. The soldier dealt him a terrific 
blow with the flat hand which sounded like the 
slamming of a door. The ex-officer fell on the pave- 
ment, where he lay stunned and bleeding. From a 
window on the opposite side of the street a man 
fired a pistol, the bullet in a flash changing a beautiful 
pane of plate glass into a network of lines like a 
spider's web. At the sound of the shot the bystanders 
scurried into passages and doorways. After a time 
the ex-officer struggled to his feet, and finding the 
cafe closed against him, walked dazedly down the 
street. But nowhere could I find revolution 
breaking out in a general violence. I followed a 
motor-lorry crowded with armed troops to the 
Marstall, where they sought stores and departed 
peaceably. 

In another street I was overtaken by an armoured 
car. A French soldier riding on the step beckoned 
me to join him. Germans hauled me into the back 
of the car and dumped me on to a pile of ammunition. 
For two hours they drove about the wide streets of 
Berlin, like a party of rowdy enthusiastic students. 
The Frenchman blew loud blasts on a bugle inter- 
mingled with raucous snorts of a motor-horn 
which he manipulated with his right hand. The 
soldiers on the roof of the car fired round after round 
of ammunition from sheer joy of freedom at turrets, 
gables of houses, and any projecting piece of orna- 
mental masonry. The rattling reports of the 



[ 28 J 

machine-guns on the roof must have made us seem 
a terrible crowd to the nervous Berliners as they 
vanished |into shelter. As we tore down the 
Sieges Allee Germany's ancient monarchs in marble 
were the targets for some wild shooting. After 
" attacking " an unoccupied building just outside 
Berlin which looked like an old military depot where 
the soldiers expected to find food, the adventure 
ended with no casualties and a simple meal with the 
soldiers at the Alexander Barracks. 

My recollection of the Revolution of those early 
days is of shoutings in side streets, a mad rush and 
a few shots ; then silence, whilst a wounded or dead 
man was taken away by his friends. The revolu- 
tionaries found no serious opposition, because for 
the moment every one had gone " red." Occasion- 
ally a proud Prussian would forget himself and 
speak brusquely to a commoner. A melee would 
follow, during which he would be badly man- 
handled and put to flight. 

I expected to find the Revolution working out in 
terrible excesses. Like animals escaped from their 
keepers I imagined the docile Germans throwing 
themselves with brutal abandon into the enjoyment 
of all that had been denied them. I thought of the 
terrible atrocities of the war. Recollections of vivid 
stories from France and Belgium prepared my mind 
for the worst sort of bloody revelry. But I found a 
spirit which hungered for something more than 



[ 29] 

violence could satisfy. It was only impetuous 
youth which saw in the occasion merely an- oppor- 
tunity for extravagant merry-making. The young 
soldiers wanted movement and rushed about the 
city in army motor-cars, whilst their middle-aged 
comrades regarded them with friendly disapproval. 

The faith of the poorer citizens in the inherent 
goodness of human nature was remarkable. They 
believed that their unmaterialistic outlook was 
universal and that the goodwill of mankind would 
adjust all differences and mould a new way of living. 
It was not long before they began to doubt. The 
heaven-born spirit of faith in one's fellow-creatures 
changed to a brooding mood of angry suspicion. 
The atmosphere became poisonous and inflammable. 
The masses began to feel that they were being 
betrayed, although they did not know how or by 
whom. And yet in spite of the inflammable 
material there was no conflagration. Tiny blazes 
would flare up suddenly, but as quickly subside into 
crackling embers. 

The Revolution was a mental process. It was not 
fear that kept the soldiers from breaking into whole- 
sale rioting and looting, which we had been led to ex- 
pect by both German and English writers on German 
affairs. There was no one to restrain them, for 
authority was afraid. This is all the more remark- 
able when it is remembered that the common people 
knew of the rich men's hoards of food and treasure. 



f 30 ] 

They knew that the cellars of the large restaurants 
were well stocked with food and drink, but only in 
a few cases did they resort to violent measures. 

The Revolution expressed itself in moods which 
electrified the air. Nothing could have withstood 
the spirit of the soldiers had it expressed itself in 
violence. When Berlin paused for two days, the 
9th and 10th of November, 1918, the citizens en- 
joyed their first and last real experience of liberty. 

On that glorious first night of freedom I went to 
bed early, but I will not relate my experience of the 
"joys of civilisation." A description of the first 
dinner I had in " starving Berlin " must be allowed, 
as it gives an idea of the gross inequalities and 
injustices prevailing there. 

Thick vegetable soup, boiled trout with delicious 
sauce, roast goose and apple sauce with unlimited 
vegetables, and a special sort of pudding were the 
main items served to me by an old manager of the 
London Carlton Hotel, Mr. Jacques Cramer, recently 
released from an English prison camp. And this 
was the ordinary dinner on the hotel menu which 
any one could have for fifteen marks ! A few weeks 
later, when I was sent to the Peace Conference, I 
found that it was much cheaper than a similar 
meal taken under similar circumstances in Paris. 
Of course this was before the serious depreciation of 
the mark set in. 



[ 31 ] 

Mr. Jacques Kramer, as he was known in his 
Carlton days, entertained me with stories of his 
internment in the Alexandra Palace, where the 
British authorities appear to have been particularly 
generous to German prisoners. He told me that 
they were allowed special chefs and servants, and 
opportunities to buy in whatever they liked, in- 
cluding the Rhine wine which was to be had 
in plenty because Londoners considered it un- 
patriotic to drink German wine ! 

But Kramer told me more interesting things than 
these. I learnt from him that Count Bernstorff lived 
in a room on the floor below mine, and from others 
that most of the leaders of the old regime were 
likely to continue to lead in the new one — but — 
from behind the scenes. 



CHAPTER III 

Doctor Solf, Master of Propaganda — At the German 
Foreign Office 

Doctor Solf, Master of Propaganda 

AFTER a perfect night's rest I rose early and 
made my plans for the day. For an hour 
I read through a batch of German newspapers 
thoughtfully sent up by the manager without 
getting a clear impression of the position in Berlin. 
The whole chromatic scale of newspaper opinion, 
from the ultra-Conservative Tdgliche Rundschau 
to the Bolshevist Rote Fahne, reeked with petty 
invective. Each journal was concerned with its 
own party and interests, and absolutely insensible 
to their divine opportunity. The most prominent 
man in Berlin at this time was Doctor Solf. He was 
partly responsible for the negotiations with the 
Allies, and judging by his war record would be a 
difficult person to treat with. 

I remembered many pithy remarks made by him 
in his speeches against England, so I decided to pay 
him a visit. Considering the times and the fact 

that he was a pillar of the old regime, the Foreign 

33 



[ 33 ] 

Office was the last place I expected to find him, 
but I thought I might be able to get news of him 
here. Nominally at least he still held two positions, 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Secretary for the 
Colonies. 

When I reached 7 Wilhelmstrasse, the Foreign 
Office building, I found that there were no guards, 
whereas all other public buildings had by this time 
their full complement of " soldiers (or sailors) of 
the Revolution." My card was taken by a liveried 
servant of the old order, who returned a few minutes 
later and led me up a few steps into a beautiful 
salon. This building must have been overlooked 
by the Executive of the Soldiers' Council, for the 
personnel and procedure, impressive and mysterious, 
were the same as in war and pre-war days. Stranger 
still, I was told that Doctor Solf was in his room and 
would see me. The ripe old gentleman who con- 
ducted me to the Foreign Minister carefully opened 
the padded double door of the room and told me to 
wait. I was not prepared for the voice and splendid 
appearance of the Doctor as he came into the room. 
He is of medium height, broad-shouldered, and of 
excellent carriage. In face he is not unlike Lord 
Haldane, though slightly less rounded. His manners 
are those of an English country squire. He is one of 
the few Germans in Germany who might pass for 
an Englishman. 

If I had not known something of Doctor Solf's 
3 



[ 34 ] 

real opinion of England and Englishmen I should 
have been deceived. From the beginning of our 
acquaintance until the time I left Berlin the Doctor 
tried to impress me with the alleged harshness of 
the Armistice conditions, and constantly referred 
to the terrible state of Germany brought about by 
the British blockade. 

On the table was a pile of English newspaper 

" Have you read these, Mr. Brown ? They are 
not true," he said, without waiting for my answer. 

As I had not seen the English newspapers for 
some days, I did not know what he meant. 

" The English press does not believe that we are 
on the brink of a catastrophe worse than that which 
threatens Russia. They regard my claim that 
Germany is in a desperate position as a trick on 
the part of the new Government to escape its obli- 
gations. What is going to happen to us now that 
the demobilisation has started — millions of soldiers 
returning to Germany, hungry and unscrupulous ? ' 

he said. 

I nodded sympathetically and listened, for I 
wanted to know in what direction this master of 
propaganda was now employing his efforts. Half 
an hour passed, during which the Doctor dis- 
tinguished himself in making out a case for what he 
called " the New Germany." If I had been any- 
thing but a case-hardened prisoner he would have 
brought tears to my eyes. When I told him that I 



[ 35 ] 

wanted to send off an account of the interview, he 

said: 

" Do you think that your paper will understand the 
spirit in which I have given you all this information ? " 

I looked him in the eyes and replied : 

" Have no fear, Doctor Solf ; my editor will know 
exactly what to do with this message." 

I was soon to find that I was right in this parti- 
cular ; when a copy of my newspaper arrived at the 
Foreign Office, a bomb from an Allied aeroplane 
could not have caused greater surprise. 

I left the Doctor, an appointment made for the 
afternoon, and returned to my hotel to write my 
first story. This done, I went to a telegraph office — 
to find that the officials would receive no messages 
to any country outside Germany ! After making 
a good many inquiries, I learnt that the Foreign 
Office possessed the only certain means of direct 
communication with the outside world — wireless 
telegraphy. 

I made a hurried tour of the city and its environs 
and, except for a few processions, I found every- 
thing quiet. At the Bristol Hotel I met a courier 
who was taking private dispatches to Holland, and 
to him I gave a hundred marks and entrusted my 
first message, a very unreliable way of sending copy 
to a newspaper. The only thing to do was to go on 
searching for a channel through which to communi- 
cate with my editor. It was a long and unsuccessful 



[ 36] 

hunt, but it brought me to some of the poorer parts 
of Berlin. 

Here for the first time I saw real hunger among the 
German people. All the men I met seemed to be in 
a much better state of health than the women and 
children. Those who were either too honest or too 
poor to lend themselves to the infamous " Schleich- 
handel " suffered the most. I cannot understand 
the extreme docility of the Germans when they knew 
of the large hoards of food stored away by the 
wealthy people. In the Kaiser's cellars I saw 
tons of stores of all sorts — ham, bacon, sugar, 
coffee, milk, and those delicious meat mixtures in 
tins, for the preparation of which only Felix Potin 
seems to have the secret. 

It was a curious experience for an Englishman to 
see huge stacks of English jams and marmalades and 
Quaker oats, articles which had become luxuries to 
us, stored away in the cellars of the enemy. I 
should think that even the docile Germans can 
never forget this scandal: their King and his cor- 
rupt court in possession of food enough to supply 
an army, whilst the weakest of his subjects were 
starving. I was told that all the wealthy families 
had followed his example and were in possession of 
well-stored cellars. 

After lunch I again visited Doctor Solf, who re- 
ceived me courteously in his magnificent salon at 
the Foreign Office. 



[ 37 ] 

" Have you communicated with your newspaper 
yet ? " The question anticipated the request I 
was going to make. 

" No, not yet, but I hope with your assistance to 
reach my editor," I replied. 

" I suggest that you use our wireless for trans- 
mitting your dispatches," he said. 

I thanked him and then asked for news of the 
Revolution. 

" There is no more to tell than you have read in 
the papers," he said evasively. 

' But I would like to know how it is that you 
and your staff are still allowed to remain here ? " 
I asked. 

' Allowed ! ' ' answered the Doctor with a most 
enlightening smile. 

" Have you been to the Chancellery yet ? " was his 
next question. When I said I had not, he replied : 

" I advise you to go and see Ebert. After that 
you will better understand why I am here. 

' Now, Mr. Brown, I want to tell you something," 
he continued, his changed manner implying that as 
yet we had discussed topics of the utmost insigni- 
ficance. " I have just received a message which 
leads me to believe that our railway system is 
becoming completely dislocated. Now think what 
this means to us. Without taking into account the 
lack of repairs during four years which has caused 
a serious deterioration of material, think of the 



[ 38 ] 

difficulty of distribution now arising out of the rapid 
demobilisation of the armies. By the return of the 
troops the food needs of the country are increased 
thirty per cent. All reserves for the future were 
destroyed during the recent disorder on the coast." 
(It appears that the sailors rushed the stores and 
helped themselves.) The Doctor made a really 
first-class effort to impress me as he continued. I 
was anxious to get my story away, and thought it 
would be policy to give him an opportunity to work 
off some of his food propaganda. 

" You probably know that last harvest proved 
a bitter disappointment. And now I hear that 
German Austria is to be supplied from our stock, 
which will mean that it will not last for more than 
four weeks. Then again, there is the stock of fats 
practically exhausted owing to the inadequate feed- 
ing of the cattle. The effect of all this is shown in 
the appalling increase in the death-rate, particularly 
with regard to infant mortality. Next in importance 
comes the question of transport, and with it the 
coal question. If these problems are not solved 
immediately, most of the big cities will be without 
electric power and gas. In some towns the water 
supply will be cut off. 

" Don't think I am overestimating the urgency of 
these questions ; the Allies will gain nothing by ruining 
Germany, whereas, with the raising of the blockade, 
we shall get through the crisis and reach a stage 



[ 39] 

where we can pay our debts. I see one newspaper 
says that Germany's present political position may 
develop into a state similar to the Russian chaos. 
With a little assistance we shall avoid that. But I 
cannot answer regarding the development which 
must set in in case our adversaries do not re- 
linquish their pitiless attitude, which hinders the 
work of a Provisional Government, in itself weak, 
and, from the view of the world, almost chaotic. 
Consider what a victory of a Bolshevistic anarchy in 
Germany would mean. It would be the doom of 
Western Europe, of England — yes, of all the 
world ! " 

I felt inclined to applaud, for the Doctor had 
spoken as if he were addressing a large and im- 
portant audience. 

" Do you know anything of the extent of the 
' Schleichhandel ' which is going on with food ? " 
was the rather prosaic question I put to the Foreign 
Minister when he had delivered himself of his 
effective peroration. 

" That is a matter which is giving us much 
trouble. It is impossible to stop it. The people 
have become desperate and will have food for their 
children," he answered. 

" But it seems that it is just the children who do 
not get the food," I replied, thinking of the well-fed, 
well-dressed people with whom I was living. 

The topic was obviously unwelcome to the 



t40] 

Foreign Secretary, who personally looked as if 
he had gone short of nothing during the war, so I 
dropped it. 

" When do you want to send away your mes- 
sages ? " he asked. 

" To-night," I replied. 

" Come with me." 

He took me to a Doctor Rudeger, a young man 
of about twenty-seven years who was in charge 
of the Press Bureau. He was another surprise for 
me : in appearance he is what is known as " typi- 
cally English " — lean and wiry with sharp features. 
He was full of his university life in England. 

I lost no time in making use of the Foreign 
Office wireless, and handed him my message, and, 
later, the Solf Interview, which was to prove such 
a source of inconvenience to me. 

Although I continued to send my dispatches 
away by the German Foreign Office wireless, I 
distrusted Solf and his carefully trained assistants. 
Their perfect knowledge of English made it possible 
for them to delete or rewrite my messages to suit 
their own purposes. My suspicions were excited 
by the unscrupulous efforts made by the Foreign 
Secretary both in his food propaganda and his 
manoeuvres to mislead the Allies. Besides, I had 
had some experience of reading and comparing 
" official " German reports. 

After watching the rapidity with which the 



[41 ] 

" Reds " had acquired huge stores of arms and 
ammunition, and the general indications of coming 
conflict, I felt justified in dispatching a long 
message which I headed " The Real Revolution 
Yet to Come." But how was I to get it away ? 
Would Dr. Solf allow it to pass through the Foreign 
Office wireless bureau ? 

The Doctor was always accessible to me, and I 
found him in his rooms, courteous and confident 
as ever. 

" What do you think of the general situation 
now ? " I asked him as soon as I was seated. 

"Oh, I think everything is more or less satis- 
factory," he replied soberly. 

" Do you think the crisis is passed ? " 

" As far as one can judge, yes." 

" Well, Doctor, in my opinion the worst troubles 
are ahead, unless the seventy thousand armed 
Red troops now in Berlin are disarmed at 
once." 

I hoped I had sprung a surprise on him, but 
evidently the Foreign Minister was every bit as 
well informed as I was. 

" How do you know about that ? " he asked. 

" I have seen the preparations and the ugly 
mood of the returning troops," I replied. 

" I suppose you want to tell your paper that. 
Can't you wait to see whether the situation clears 
up ? We are hoping that the measures we are 



[42 ] 

now taking will be effective in preventing any 
disorder," he said rather lamely. 

" But what about the armed Spartacists ? " I 
asked. 

" At the present moment there is no power in 
Germany to disarm them," he admitted hopelessly. 

I took my manuscript out of the envelope and 
laid it on the table before him. 

" ' The Real Revolution Yet to Come ' ! You are 
going to send that ? " he cried, amazed. 

" I must. I am sure that unless Liebknecht is 
co-opted into your Government there will be a 
serious attempt to capture the Government offices 
and services." 

" Then, I suppose, the Allies will send armed 
troops to Berlin," he replied. 

I told him of conversations I had had with 
Independent Socialists and Spartacists who swore 
that they would rather die than submit to a 
bourgeois Government being established in Germany, 
which, they added, would be more oppressive than 
the Junkers. 

" Perhaps it is as well that the Allies should 
know the true situation. They may realise the 
terrible difficulties we are encountering in our 
efforts to fulfil the Armistice conditions," he con- 
ceded, after a little reflection. 

With that I left the Foreign Office, hoping that 
my message would be dispatched at once. 




LlEBKNECHT ADDRESSES THE MOURNERS AT THE GRAVE 

OF the Victims of the Revolution. 



CHAPTER IV 

Liebknecht at the Sophien Salle — Victims of the Revolu- 
tion — Funeral Procession and Burial — Ledebour talks 
Bolshevism to the Tommies 

Liebknecht at the Sophien Salle 

AN air of hesitation pervaded the adminis- 
trative life of Berlin. On the surface of 
things there appeared to be no one to take a lead. 
The helplessness of the German minor officials 
was apparent everywhere. What energy remained 
was used to thwart the efforts of those who were 
trying to evolve an orderly scheme of reform out 
of the temporary chaos. Intrigue was rife in 
committee and poisoning the sensitive plant of 
newly acquired liberty. Bold initiative was shown 
only by the opportunists, who used it to further 
their own base purposes. Hours of conference 
would be wasted in squabbles over positions, and 
vital questions were shelved or avoided altogether. 
The swarms of minor officials seemed to expect a 
system to evolve unaided from the muddle, while 
they were deliberating on which group of intriguers 
to support. 

43 



[ 44 ] 

The ordinary citizens went about their business, 
working conscientiously in the belief that their 
self-appointed leaders would act for the best. The 
industrial machine never stopped, which encouraged 
the opportunists to exploit the people they had 
set out to govern. 

Even at that early date the new rulers had acquired 
the manners of extravagant Ministers. They rode 
in the best motor-cars and ate the best food. What- 
ever good intentions they might have possessed 
disappeared as soon as they felt their feet under the 
loaded tables of the profiteers. 

I realised that I would have to look outside 
Government circles for the men with sufficient 
ability to pilot Germany through her crisis. 

The Junkers kept themselves well in the back- 
ground and could not be induced to express them- 
selves. The industrial magnates were as yet un- 
certain of the masses, and showed the bourgeois 
fear of Liebknecht. I could find no one who had 
a policy to deal with the curious situation. The 
press, for once, was short of an adequate programme 
of constructive suggestion. 

Abuse appeared in every line of journalism. 
Surely now was the chance for those master minds 
at whose existence the left wing of the press had 
hinted for years. The occasion was unique. The 
most favourable conditions awaited the man who 
had a constructive policy. Names of likely men 



[45 ] 

would crop up in the morning, only to be slandered 
back into obscurity by the evening press. 

The crop of revolutionary newspapers which 
had sprung from the newly acquired liberty of the 
press, although differing in details, were unanimous 
in their admiration for Liebknecht. 

The All-Deutsch newspapers were already venom- 
ously attacking him, one calling him the most 
poisonous traitor that ever betrayed his Fatherland ; 
but I found the Sophien Salle, where every day 
he addressed thousands of soldiers and civilians, 
crowded to the doors. When I arrived the chair- 
man was making a few preliminary remarks, at 
the end of which he introduced Liebknecht, a 
middle-aged man, the extreme pallor of whose face 
was accentuated by the darkness of his eyes. His 
hollow cheeks belied that energy which enabled 
him not only to write regularly for his paper Die 
Rote Fahne, but to hold three or four meetings every 
day. 

The thunderous roar of applause which greeted 
him can be compared only to the roar of a railway 
train when it suddenly plunges into a tunnel. 
He went straight into his subject. The audience — 
that night the soldiers greatly outnumbered the 
civilians — listened attentively while he gave his 
reasons for refusing to join the Government. The 
speaker considered each member of it separately, 
and with a few lurid touches laid bare the " miser- 



[46] 

able souls of the new bourgeois plutocracy." Then 
followed a devastating criticism of the policy of 
the Government, a policy unknown to the members 
of that Government, he said, until they had 
received their orders from their masters, the 
" Industrielle." 

Certainly he was an impressive speaker, and, if 
he had not been murdered, he would have been a 
force in whatever government Germany had adopted. 
His voice and gestures, metallic and precise, re- 
minded me at times of Philip Snowden. His 
arguments were sound, but it was easy to see where 
he failed. He spent too much time criticising the 
methods of the opposition ; — his audience wanted 
to hear about his own programme. They loved the 
man, but were puzzled by the extreme Socialistic 
system of administration which he advocated. In 
Russia, where institutions have rotted into decay, 
where the corrupt bureaucrats and exhausted aristo- 
cracy had fled, clearing the ground for big social 
experiments, he would have been as popular as 
Lenin. He could have succeeded in Germany only 
by compromising on some of his most cherished 
ideals. Liebknecht struck me as being too honest 
to be a working politician, too unyielding to be 
a statesman. He was simply a great man. He 
saw the timid German Bourgeoisie already beginning 
to repeat the treachery of their predecessors who, 
in 1848, after spurring on the peasantry to revolt, 



[47 ] 

betrayed them at the barricades of Berlin. To 
him compromise with men of this kind was worse 
than betrayal. 

Before Liebknecht sat down he invited any one 
who wished to come to the platform and speak. 
Soldiers, especially those suffering from some terrible 
war affliction, walked or were carried to the plat- 
form and poured forth bitter complaints against 
both the old and the new Governments. Seeing 
that the meeting was likely to close at any minute, 
I hurried down the gangway to the side of the stage, 
wrote a few lines on a card explaining what I wanted, 
and gave it to a steward. I watched him hand it 
to the Spartacist leader, who, however, shook his 
head. 

" He says he will not see you. The English 
newspapers are insulting him," was the answer I 
received. 

I waited until the meeting broke up, then 
walked across to Liebknecht, who was just putting 
on his overcoat. 

" No, I do not want to see English journalists. 
Look what they are saying about us now we are 
trying to get our rights. They spoke well of us 
during the war. Now we are called Bolshevists 
by the Allies, traitors by our own people. Good- 
night." 

He walked off with his friends without another 
word. 



[48 ] 

Victims of the Revolution — The Funeral 
Procession and Burial 

I had come to Berlin hoping to be in at the death 
of Prussian tyranny, and to see established a people's 
Government — nowhere was it more needed. But 
until the funeral of the victims of the Revolution, 
to me the most impressive incident of those days, I 
had met few inspired by the real revolutionary 
spirit such as I had expected to find after the 
exposure of the intrigues and scandals of the court 
and military parties. I warmed towards the small 
fighting minority headed by Liebknecht, who had 
fought consistently for the downfall of the oppressors, 
and who believed that at last they had destroyed 
the power of the Junkers. A few actually believed 
that by their agitation they had helped on victory 
for the Allies. They had deceived themselves in 
their own small but sincere efforts. This party 
was more in evidence on the day of the funeral 
than at any time since. I pitied them as I saw them 
innocently falling in with the plans of their masters 
who, for the time, were retiring behind the scenes. 

Long before the time advertised for the passing of 
the procession, thousands of people had taken up 
their position in the streets. From the window of 
the hotel I had an uninterrupted view from the 
Brandenburger Thor to the bottom of Unter den 
Linden. From the windows of the magnificent 



[49] 

mansions peered the people who stood for the old 
regime. In my own window were two German- 
American journalists who kept assuring every one 
near them that they were " No Genosse," meaning 
that they had no sort of sympathy with what was 
passing outside. In an adjoining window was a 
party of " Kriegsgewinnler " (war profiteers), their 
coarse shiny faces seeming to ooze the fats in which 
they were illicitly trading. 

" Why do Scheidemann and Ebert allow this — 
this rabble ? " said one, spitting down upon the 
swaying crowd. 

" Wait till Noske gets here ! " replied one of his 
friends savagely. 

In another window was Count Bernstorff and his 
party. They appeared to regard the procession 
as they might have done a passing circus. 

As the appointed time drew near, a wonderful 
silence descended on the crowd. The men rever- 
ently removed their hats and waited. Clear and 
ringing came the first notes of a funeral march. 
Women bowed their heads and sobbed quietly. 
Thousands of eyes focused the head of the pro- 
cession as it appeared under the Brandenburger 
Thor. Chopin's Funeral March, sounding like a 
paean of victory, reverberated about the old 
Embassy buildings as the procession came slowly 
forward. The seven coffins containing the bodies 
were laid across an open hearse, watched by two 
4 



[ 5o ] 

files of bearers. It was strange to see a number 
of French and English soldiers in the procession 
carrying large wreaths. The bystanders looked 
as if they could not believe their eyes. Behind 
came the long lines of civilian and soldier mourners. 
Never have I seen such noble dignity in a crowd. 
Their manner implied that at last they had found 
their road to freedom. Poor deluded folk ! They 
did not know what was happening behind the cur- 
tained windows of the palaces where lurked their 
traditional enemies. 

Suddenly my attention was distracted by the 
movements of the Feldwebel and his soldiers 
billeted on the hotel. A few feet below in the 
stone window-balcony he was fixing his beloved 
machine-gun and training it on the crowd. One 
of his soldiers adjusted a belt of cartridges, while 
two others brought out a second machine-gun from 
an adjoining window. Women looked up at the 
projecting muzzles of the guns and paled. What 
could it mean ? I stepped back and waited. The 
workers from the Goertz Optical Works were passing. 
They looked up grimly at the guns, but passed on. 

" Beware of the Agent Provocateur! " one " ad- 
vanced " newspaper had warned in the morning. 
I had taken the words to be merely a scare headline. 

The Feldwebel was now flat on his stomach be- 
hind his gun, his finger on the trigger, his eyes along 
the sights. Whatever the signal he waited for, it 



[ Si ] 

did not come. The merchants had vanished at the 
first appearance of the soldiers. 

" Well, I've got my first sentence at last ! 
Tamest God-damn show I've seen ! " said one of 
the German-Americans, as he scribbled in his 
note-book. 

I waited no longer, for I wanted to see Lieb- 
knecht again, who was to address his friends at the 
graveside of the victims. By making a detour I 
managed to arrive at the Friedrichshain Cemetery 
before the procession, and worked my way through 
the dense crowd. I thrilled when a one-armed 
soldier addressed me as " Genosse." He showed 
me the spot marked by a small stone column 
where the victims of the revolution of 1848 were 
buried. 

As the coffins were brought to the graveside the 
crowd became emotional. Grim-faced men broke 
down as they watched their womenfolk sobbing. 
There was a number of speakers, but Liebknecht 
was the man of the occasion. The picture of him 
standing at the graveside, exhorting his followers 
to hold fast to their ideals and principles, will live 
in one's mind for ever. With an intensely dramatic 
gesture, pointing down to the coffins, he urged the 
people to go forward until the Revolution was carried 
through. The swelling sea of faces surged about 
him, almost sweeping him into the long, gaping 
grave. They hung on every word, and were loth to 



[ 52 ] 

depart when their leader was gone. I turned away 
from the most moving scene I have yet witnessed. 

The Olive Branch 

One of the most lively incidents during these days 
occurred at a strange meeting which took place at 
" Die Philharmonie," the hall hired by Harden 
when he was out to attack the Government. A 
small notice in the newspapers announced that all 
Allied prisoners of war were cordially invited to a 
meeting to be addressed by Prince Lichnowsky, 
Dr. Cohn, Edward Bernstein, and George Ledebour 
on the future relations of Germany and England. 

When I reached the hall I found about fifteen 
hundred British soldiers and sailors present, as well 
as a large number of German soldiers and civilians. 

The chairman in his opening remarks referred 
vaguely to the future relations (which he hoped 
would be of the friendliest) of the British and 
German Empires, and with a flow of pleasing 
words prepared the way for what might have been 
a most successful meeting. His speech was trans- 
lated bv a Colonel Emerson. 

A rumour to the effect that the meeting would be 
used for purposes of Bolshevist propaganda caused 
Prince Lichnowsky to change his mind at the last 
minute, and send a note of regret to excuse his 
absence. This was read, and the speaker continued 
at some length in a sentimental strain on the hard- 



[ 53 ] 

ships of prisoners. He was followed by a man who 
certainly put some life into the proceedings by a 
striking speech — Mr. Arthur Mayne, a retired Indian 
judge and chief of the British Red Cross Commis- 
sion which had just arrived in Berlin. He began 
by a stern rebuke to Germany and those of her 
apologists present in the hall who had calmly 
countenanced the cruelties meted out to unfortunate 
Allied prisoners of war. It was the first time I had 
heard the popular soldier phrase, " That's the stuff 
to give 'em ! " uttered most appropriately by an 
English soldier at the back of the hall. 

" I was told it might be dangerous to speak 
at a meeting which might possibly be used for 
propaganda of an objectionable nature," said 
Mr. Mayne, " but I wanted to get a chance of 
welcoming you fellows here. Mr. Schlesinger 
assures me that the sole object of this meeting is to 
explain to you that your sufferings have been due 
entirely to the former despotic Government, and 
that the new Germany regrets the past, and is 
genuinely anxious to be friends with you in the 
future." 

The speaker went on to explain what his Com- 
mission had come to do, and that he had already 
chartered ships to take the British prisoners of war 
back to England. 

The soldiers gave him a hearty reception, applaud- 
ing him for some minutes. 



[ 54 ] 

Ledebour talks Bolshevism to the Tommies 

Now came the melodramatic turn to the pro- 
ceedings. The chairman introduced George 
Ledebour, the well-known Independent Socialist, 
who astonished every one by his excellent know- 
ledge of English. 

" You soldiers and sailors of England, do you 
know that your Government is about to commit a 
great crime ? It is about to put Russia, now a free 
country, recently liberated from the yoke of a 
corrupt monarchy, back under a yoke of greedy 
capitalism. Do you understand what it means to 
subjugate Russia, a land which after centuries of 
oppression has now won her liberty ? " cried Lede- 
bour, throwing himself into his subject. It was 
easy to see that he had been waiting to relieve his 
pent-up feelings. 

Pandemonium ensued. Now came the chance 
of those Germans anxious to ingratiate themselves 
with the Tommies. A woman — her voice sounded 
English — got up. 

" Russia is not free ; it is governed by a domin- 
eering minority ! " she exclaimed. 

Ironically encouraged by the British soldiers and 
sailors, Ledebour returned to the attack. 

" That's a he ! " he cried. " Russia is free at 
last, and no other people has the right to concern 
itself with her internal affairs." 



[ 55 J 

The German part of the audience rose in anger, 
many shaking their fists at the troublesome Inde- 
pendent Socialist. 

Ledebour continued to speak, but his voice was 
finally drowned by a storm of abuse, and he sat 
down. With considerable difficulty the chairman 
eventually managed to subdue the indignant 
Germans, who were encouraged by the remarks of 
the soldiers and sailors to continue their counter- 
attack on Ledebour. 

Finally, Bernstein got up and with " tears in his 
voice ' ' expressed his regret for what had passed. 
He wished, he said, to dissociate himself from Mr. 
Ledebour' s remarks, who, he added, represented 
no German opinion whatsoever. He went on to 
explain that the New Germany now stood for Peace, 
Disarmament, and the League of Nations. 

" You bet ! " cried a Tommy. 

The speaker struggled for some time to restore a 
serious atmosphere, but the prisoners were enjoying 
themselves too well. Some of them had been 
prisoners from the early days of the war ; now that 
freedom had come, almost unexpectedly, they were 
determined to enjoy it to the full. 

The meeting broke up in disorder. The soldiers 
surged round Mr. Mayne, eager to learn dates when 
they might expect to start for home. Bernstein 
still tried to express himself and carried on a running 
conversation with two Irishmen on their way out 



[ 56] 

of the hall. Probably he thought he was making 
an impression at last — until a big good-natured 
soldier of a London regiment interrupted him. 

" Look here, mate," he said, " don't apologise. 
You're all tarred with the same brush. When we 
were going through hell in Wittenberg, you chaps 
didn't say a word. Your doctors cleared out 
and left us to it. And the people jeered at us 
when we were burying our dead. And don't you 
say you didn't know anything about it ! Still, 
— it's over. Let's forget it. Come and have one ! ' 

Perhaps in the excitement Bernstein did not 
hear him, for he turned away and cut into the 
conversation of another group. When I last saw 
him he was explaining in philosophic phrases to a 
Sergeant-Major of the Buffs that Germany now 
desired nothing better than to become great friends 
with England. 

I accompanied a party of soldiers to a cafe on 
their way back to the camp, where they at once 
monopolised the attention of the company. The 
chilly atmosphere created by their rather abrupt 
entrance melted away in the sunshine of their 
breezy good-nature. 




Allied Soldiers took part in the Demonstration 
during the berlin disorder. a french prisoner 

IS SEEN ON THE STEP OF THE ARMOURED CAR. 




A Scene at the Brandenburger Thor during the 

Hostilities. 



CHAPTER V 

The Making of the Red and the White Armies — At the Reich- 
stag — Theodore Wolff — Maximilian Harden at Home 

The Making of the Red and the White Armies 

AS soon as the Armistice was signed many of 
the German troops started a mad scramble 
to reach their homes. Even the hastily elected 
Soldiers' Council could not restrain them. Pitiable 
sights were to be seen at the stations as the train- 
loads of soldiers arrived from the fronts. Hundreds 
of those who had climbed on to the roofs of the 
trains, all other space being occupied, were swept 
off and mutilated in the tunnels. And what a 
home-coming for those who did get back ! They 
had been sent away by cheering crowds, with music, 
with fine ladies throwing flowers to them. They 
returned in disgrace. There was no pretence of a 
reception : except for a few relatives, who waited 
hour after hour at the stations, Berlin ostentatiously 
ostracised her soldiers. 

Several days passed before the Provisional 
Government realised its mistake in discouraging 
civic welcomes for the returning troops. Then it was 

57 



[ 58 ] 

too late. This negligence and lack of understand- 
ing of the peculiar mood of the men from the front 
were great factors in the cause of the attempted 
real revolution. The only people alive to the possi- 
bilities of the occasion were the Spartacists. As the 
soldiers crawled from the trains, hungry and ill 
from nights of exposure, they were met by agents, 
and, unless they joined the Red Army, in most 
cases sold their arms for a few marks and a square 
meal. I have seen a rifle sold for as little as three 
and a machine-gun for ten marks. 

In this way thousands of rifles and machine- 
guns were obtained and stored away by the Sparta- 
cists. Some of the older men, on reading the 
appeal from the Russian Bolsheviks to retain their 
weapons, did so and went home to wait events. 
A week after the signing of the Armistice there were 
seventy thousand armed troops in Berlin, men 
bitterly resentful of the treatment accorded them. 
Members of the Bourgeoisie, thinking that all 
danger was passed, went out of their way to show 
their scorn for the groups of miserable, unkempt 
soldiers. 

The awakening came with the news of the rapid 
formation of a " Red Army." The movement 
was well afoot before the attention of the Pro- 
visional Government could be diverted from its 
petty squabbles for places to the serious turn the 
situation had taken. The measures adopted to 



[ 59] 

meet the emergency were momentarily successful. 
Large white placards were posted about the town 
calling for recruits for a " Citizen Army." Pay 
and conditions were, for that period, exceedingly 
generous. I watched hundreds of young soldiers, 
anxious to obtain the colossal sum of eleven marks 
and various valuable privileges, surge through the 
gates at the War Office to enrol in the "White Army." 
Those who were refused walked over to the Reds, 
who were recruiting in the Franzosischestrasse. 

This " Citizen Army " was really the nucleus of 
Noske's notorious " Green Guard," and was mainly 
composed of unscrupulous mercenaries. Although 
the temptations to join the new force were great, 
the organisers of the Red Guard still continued 
to get recruits — even though they did not raise 
the pay, two marks a day with uncertain ration 
allowances. 

The Government took further precautions against 
disorder. As I stepped into the street one morning 
I was surprised to see a score of workmen digging 
deep holes in the lawns opposite the French Em- 
bassy. Other men were unloading long red cloth- 
covered poles. The strange air of urgency about 
their work made me curious. I asked the foreman 
what was happening. 

" The soldiers are coming home," he replied. 

The next troops to arrive at the station were sur- 
prised to find a grand reception awaiting them ! 



[6o] 

There was little food, but at least there was a 
welcome which dispelled much of the bitterness 
which had caused many of their comrades to become 
Red Guards. At the station they made an earnest 
attempt to brighten up their worn-out uniforms 
and battered equipment. They responded to the 
well-dressed crowds, who, over-night, had decided 
to cheer them. By the time they passed the 
Reichstag and under the Victory horses, headed by 
a really wonderful band which repeated " Deutsch- 
land liber Alles " many times, they were transformed 
from the serious disappointed men of whom revolu- 
tionaries are made to their old docile selves. To 
disarm them and send them to their homes was 
now a comparatively simple matter. 

At the Reichstag 

After the " Revolution " had been accepted by all 
classes in Berlin the city became almost barren 
of important incident. It was amusing to read 
accounts in German newspapers of how the Revolu- 
tion had " blazed through the land withering up 
all opposition in its path." I give praise to the 
German sailors who, betrayed by their comrades, 
defied their officers who had treated them like 
dogs, and now seemed to be the only persons to 
show the slightest initiative during the early stages. 
The men who were sent from Kiel to " carry the 



[6i ] 

Revolution to every town in Germany " knew 
already that they would meet with no opposition 
from the Government which was undergoing its 
reshuffling. 

The military leaders for the moment were at a 
loss. They had expected the long-suffering masses 
to turn savagety on their late masters. Hundreds of 
high officers had fled the country to find that Peace 
and defeat had found Germany merely bewildered 
without a sign of revengeful temper. They found 
the sailors, the only people who really revolted, 
offering to protect the property of the wealthy until 
order was restored ! If the General Staff had had 
any sort of a plan by which they could have saved 
their faces they could have suppressed the revolu- 
tionary movement as easily and as completely as 
they have kept the people down since Bismarck 
showed them the way. Except for an occasional 
tussle in the streets nothing happened to supply 
the sort of material needed for a " revolution " 
news-story. I was obliged to fall back on interviews 
with leading personalities and visits to such places 
as the Abgeordnetenhaus and the Reichstag. 

I visited the Arbeiterrat (Workmen's Council) 
at the offices of the Vorwdrts, and the executive 
of the Soldatenrat (Soldiers' Council) at the Ab- 
geordnetenhaus. At both places the agenda was 
dealt with in a manner which reminded one of 
amateur debating societies where points are 



[ 62 ] 

strenuously contested while the real issue is 
forgotten. 

I was particularly disappointed at the Reichstag, 
where I attended the first meeting of delegates of 
Soldiers' Councils from all the German States. To 
a spectator like myself the occasion was of immense 
interest. To think of the rank and file of the 
German Army actually meeting in the German 
Parliament gave one a thrill. I was in my place 
well before the conference began and had plenty 
of time for reflection. I pictured in my mind the 
historic events which must have taken place in the 
vast hall beneath me. I tried to conjure up the 
scene on 4th August, 1914. How the occupants 
of those lines of oak desks sweeping in a series 
of curves from the President's rostrum back to the 
galleries must have bristled with anger when 
Ambassador Goschen delivered his famous message ! 

The interior of the Reichstag, with its perfect 
amphitheatre, seems better suited to theatrical 
displays than debates on State affairs — a place 
where men should be addressed, not where they can 
debate. Had an artiste suddenly appeared through 
the stagey curtains and begun to sing, the event 
would not have seemed out of place. 

I was in the mood to expect at least an impressive 
event. These newly elected inexperienced admini- 
strators must surely feel nervous at the importance 
of the occasion. Privileged visitors began to arrive 



[63 ] 

and take their places. Groups of soldiers assembled 
in the gangways and, with great gusto, loudly 
discussed recent events. Punctually at the time 
arranged for the beginning of the meeting the 
soldier President arrived and faced the delegates 
who had come from all parts of Germany to take 
part in the conference. Strange to say, the Coun- 
cillors seemed not one whit impressed by their 
responsibilities. Some of them had the air of 
parvenus suddenly privileged to disport themselves 
in a palace. 

Almost from the beginning the meeting was dis- 
orderly. The President seized a large hand-bell 
which he continued to ring vigorously right through 
the proceedings. Hardly any one was allowed to 
speak without interruption. Expecting to see 
some stirring incidents, I had made special arrange- 
ments for wiring my messages. I had been led to 
believe that I should hear the outline of the new 
programme which, with the co-operation of the 
Provisional Government, was expected to prove a 
panacea for all the ills of stricken Germany. For 
two hours I listened to a battle of bickering and 
interruption on the most absurd points imaginable. 
So soon as one Councillor got well into his subject, 
either the President with his bell or another Coun- 
cillor interrupted him. 

As I was leaving the building I passed groups of 
soldiers constantly arriving from the front. Why 



[64] 

they should go to the Reichstag I do not know, 
but they got little satisfaction. It was the task of 
two officials in a small office to divert the stream of 
tired creatures and send them on to the Abgeord- 
netenhaus, where, I suppose, they obtained a ration 
card and other necessary documents. 

There was something tragic in the contrast : 
inside the building, small-minded Unter-officers with 
their wordy futilities ; outside, the clamouring crowds 
of soldiers from the front, the marks of war still 
upon them. 

I passed down the steps and turned into the 
grounds, where the lumpy statues of German 
heroes seemed to have been left lying about the 
front of the building. Leaving the Hindenburg 
Statue and the Siegessaule on the right, I reached 
the tramway and made my way to the Zimmer- 
strasse to meet the editor of the Berliner Tageblatt. 

Theodore Wolff 

I found the editor of the Berliner Tageblatt be- 
sieged by a host of visitors. It was due to my 
nationality, I believe, rather than to my profession 
that he received me at once. Although Theodore 
Wolff has occasionally severely criticised leading 
Britons and their war measures, he has shown 
by his writings that he has a great admiration for 
our ways of managing things in general, and for the 



[65 ] 

British Parliamentary system in particular. He 
has consistently tried to rouse the German electorate 
to fight for Universal Suffrage and other like 
measures. He was always a staunch Liberal, but 
during the last months of the war his writings 
showed that he had inclined a little more to the Left. 
At times his criticism of the tactics of the Allies has 
been very damaging in the eyes of neutrals and his 
comparisons unfair. Although he admitted and 
regretted the wrong done to Belgium by German 
troops, this did not prevent him from writing a 
scathing article against the Allies when General 
Hamilton and his army landed in Salonika. No 
one knew better than Wolff the totally different 
conditions in the two cases. 

He welcomed me warmly and drew me into his 
private room. After a few personal remarks he 
asked me how he could help me. 

" By telling me all you know about Berlin," I said. 

"All I know ? I wish I could tell you. We 
don't know what is going on. You, a stranger, 
can get a longer view and probably see better what 
is happening," he said, rather despondently. 

" But what are you doing yourself ? " I asked. 
Having read most of Wolff's articles I was struck by 
the strength and determination permeating them: 
in speaking with the writer I found no trace of 
either quality, only, again, a ridiculous fear of the 
Spartacists. 
5 



[ 66 1 

' Liebknecht will ruin everything, and his friend. 
Rosa Luxemburg, is worse than lie is," he said. 

' I have seen and heard him only twice, but to 
me this general fear of Liebknecht seems absurd," I 
replied. 

' Absurd ! Do you know what he wants to do ? 
He would socialise everything. The people are 
not ready for an ideal world ; they want particular 
men managing practical affairs. The party we are 
now forming is not made up of Socialists, although 
we might work with them in some things. But 
we are against State ownership. We believe that 
Germany can be made great again only by private 
enterprise." 

" How many Spartacists do you think there are 
now in the country ? " I asked. 

" I don't know, but Liebknecht is gaining ground, 
especially among the soldiers." 

I suggested a compromise with him, acknow- 
ledging his influence. 

Wolff shrugged his shoulders, but said nothing. 
He preferred to talk about the cause of the war, a 
subject of which Germans are never tired, while I 
wanted to hear more details about the new German 
Democratic Party and the people supporting it, for 
bere, I suspected, was the bone of contention 
between the Bourgeoisie and the advanced 
Socialists. 

" I suppose, once you get through the present 



[ 67 ] 

critical period, your party will be firmly estab- 
lished ? " I remarked. 

" Exactly. We have a large programme — of 
course republican, with Universal Suffrage, Liberty 
of the Press and all the other privileges of a free 
country which should go with a Parliamentary 
system. We shall retain the system of private 
ownership and the right of every one to acquire 
wealth. We shall avoid complete economic disaster 
only if the workmen produce to their full capacity 
in complete harmony with the employers." 

" So you don't believe in the possibility of com- 
promise with Liebknecht ? He seems to fear a 
repetition of the results of the 1848 Revolution 
as much as you fear his advanced administrative 
measures of social reform." 

He looked at me rather soberly. " There is no 
chance whatever of compromise with persons who are 
little better than Russian Bolsheviks ; who con- 
stitute a grave danger to the future of Germany ; 
who openly advise our soldiers to retain their 
weapons. How could we compete with the rest 
of the world under a Bolshevist regime ? and what 
would England think about it ? Relations with 
other powers would be impossible." 

" Suppose a majority of the German people pre- 
fer a more advanced programme of reform than 
your party has to offer ; shall you compromise 
then ? " 



I 68 ] 

They will not want it," Wolff replied emphati- 
cally. 

With that I left the journalist, thanking him for his 
suggestion that I should meet .Maximilian Harden, 
who might help me in understanding the German 
political puzzle. I tried to think of Theodore Wolff's 
new party as a revival of the old Liberal League 
who clamoured in vain to Frederick William IV. 
for their " Representation of the People " ; but 
I must admit that this new combination, formed in 
fear of the new spirit animating the people, seems to 
me to be intended merely as a brake on the wheel. 

Maximilian Harden at Home 

Harden was one of the few modern German 
writers read in the camp. There was hardly a 
number of his famous Zukunft which did not 
contain something which made good reading for 
hundreds of Allied prisoners. A special class was 
formed at the camp school, where Wolff's and 
Harden's articles were read and the difficult pass- 
ages explained. These readings were appreciated 
nearly as much as the perusal of English newspapers 
smuggled into the camp. 

Although he seems not to have the slightest 
grasp of practical politics, no one in the Vaterland 
has made a greater fight for freedom in the abstract 
than Harden. His " Thirty Years War," as he 



[6 9 ] 

calls it, against the Kaiser, has caused him to be 
mistaken for a Democrat and sometimes for an 
extreme Socialist. But no one admires the Super- 
man more than Harden — which was shown in his 
almost fanatical worship of Prince Bismarck. But 
his kind heart and broad mind have of late years 
considerably tempered his former rigid Nietzschean 
theories. He is now as ready to champion the 
cause of the humblest citizen as he was to fight 
the battles of his friends at court. No one else in 
Germany would have been strong or courageous 
enough to have dragged to trial the murderer of 
the thirty sailors of the People's Marine, who were 
so cruelly done to death by the direct instigation 
of the Government in March, 1919. 

A constant need for caution when carrying on 
his severe attacks has resulted in the forming of a 
literary style, even for Germans, most difficult to 
understand. He cannot drop it even when he 
writes on the simplest of subjects. 

I found him in a very depressed mood at his 
beautiful home in the Griinewald. Directly I saw 
him I was surprised at the lack of resemblance 
between him and his photographs. Then I re- 
membered his age. The pictures of the strong- 
faced man which suit so well the writings with 
which they are published must have been taken 
at least twenty years ago. 

As I talked to him, I wondered how many more 



1. 7° 1 

people I should meet directly responsible for t he- 
fall of the Kaiser ! Certainly Maximilian Harden 
believes that he is the direct cause of the fall of the 
Hohenzollerns. It seems to be a failing of some of 
the best-known Germans when being interviewed 
to speak as if they were addressing a crowd. Harden 
sat rigidly at a large table in his study, in the 
manner of a king giving audience to a subject. 

Although he is a poseur — he was once an un- 
successful actor — he is a kind-hearted man. No 
one has done more real work for the poor in Germany 
than Harden. His thin face and curled locks give 
him a curious appearance, rather at variance with 
his impressive flow of language. His wife, a charm- 
ing white-haired lady, makes a visit to Werner- 
strasse a real pleasure. So soon as one is seated 
and listening to the host, she begins to busy herself 
with a samovar which she keeps replenished with 
tea. If her husband is at a loss for a name or a date, 
she can generally supply it. 

Harden seems the sort of man who would rather 
champion a lost cause than join a party with a 
positive programme. Although he is wonderfully 
sympathetic towards the various democratic factions 
struggling for power, he seems strangely out of 
touch with practical affairs of to-day. Like most 
pioneers he is splendid whilst battling through the 
dense forests of ignorance, but apt to be a hindrance 
in the intricate details of administration. At first 



[ 7i ] 

it was with difficulty that I managed to induce 
him to discuss the pressing needs of the moment. 
At the slightest historical allusion he would slip 
into a discussion of things long past. He does 
not speak English, but his French is almost 
perfect. 

He talked of the freedom of the world, freedom 
of nations and freedom of the individual, then 
abruptly turned to the subject of war and peace, 
which naturally obliged him to discuss the present 
condition of the German people. I gathered that 
he meant me to understand that no matter how 
the Entente might punish Germany for the obvious 
wrongs committed by her leaders, it was almost 
certain that these leaders would not suffer for their 
actions, but, on the contrary, it would be the weakest 
and most helpless — the women and children. He 
went on to discuss militarism and its subsequent 
dissolution. Then, as his voice became stronger 
and steadier, he plunged straight into the question 
of demobilisation. He described the retreat of a 
million of soldiers which had occurred only a few 
days before. To give the reader an example of his 
oral style I will quote him : 

" The demobilisation of the Germany Army," he 
said, " in the West and the East, can succeed with- 
out causing irreparable damage only if it is carried 
out by international methods. I say this because it 
is not only a technical but also an ethical problem, 



L 72 1 

and "is of the profoundest importance, not wily for 
Europe, but for the whole world. Between eight 
and ten millions of armed men, after four years of 
dreadful life and suffering, after a long mental diet 
of deception, are hurried back into a land, the 
aspect of which is completely changed, whose 
economic arrangements are becoming dislocated, 
and whose people are living in want and sorrow. 
The first step to be taken in dealing with these 
soldiers is to explain to them exactly what has 
happened at home, the necessity of consequent 
measures, and to arouse a hope which will carry 
them through a critical period. This must be 
made clear to them in a human, sympathetic way, 
displaying at least one tiny ray of joy. All feelings 
of enmity must be extirpated and the frightful 
times, for a while at any rate, forgotten. Only 
love and sympathy must be allowed to 
remain. 

" The manner in which soldiers are goaded into 
overcrowded trains, to hold on the roofs and stand 
on the foot-boards ; the influencing them by hate, 
intimidation, and hunger ; the necessity of leaving 
behind their food-stuffs and buying war implements, 
horses, machinery parts, etc., will be the cause of 
many of them becoming instruments of unscrupu- 
lous opportunists, and of their taking part in a 
counter-revolution, and infesting the whole earth, 
which now should have become purified and sacred. 



[ 73 ] 

It must not be forgotten that these soldiers are 
returning hurriedly, tired and furious, uninformed 
of all recent events. 

' To hold or to reclaim these millions for the human 
race is a world-wide task, and one which cannot be 
accomplished solely by a land which is exhausted 
and bleeding from a thousand wounds. Every 
nation, enemies until yesterday, even those scarcely 
touched by the war, must take an active part in 
this great work. One must be patient and tolerant 
with these men from the East and the West — poor 
suffering sons of sorrowful mothers, so long in the 
countries of the Allies and neutrals — until their 
transport home can be arranged without paralysing 
the whole internal life of Germany. 

" If there be no other way, be generous and give 
us your help ; see to it that men do not have to 
suffer unnecessarily ! All help advanced in this 
respect will be repaid by Germany. She does not 
ask for alms. Her conscience now wakes and 
inspires us to commence the work of reconciliation, 
and in this, the hour of bitterest necessity, to save 
ten million strong men from running wild and 
becoming a danger to the world, and to teach them 
the work of mankind and human love towards each 
other. Only the internationality of the soul can 
help in this respect. There is no time to be lost. 
Is the spirit of the League of Nations dead ? Over 
the battlefields of the west and the east of Europe 



[ 74 ] 

seeds must be sown from which humanity can 
achieve the most noble and splendid harvest." 

Although the subject is now rather belated, the 
translation of his speech will interest us, as show- 
ing Harden's type of mind. There is no doubt that 
he is sincere in everything he writes. The great 
difficulty sometimes is to know exactly what he 
means. He is a master of satirical allusion, a trait 
which has earned for him the whole-hearted hatred 
of the Kaiser and his court circle. 

I had not expected to obtain news of a vital 
urgency, but went to Griinewald in the hopes of 
meeting a personality of a different mould from 
the many dull people I had met in Berlin. I 
was surely rewarded, for Maximilian Harden is 
unique. 

Although the hour was not very late, my hostess 
was much concerned as to whether I should reach 
the tramway about a mile from their home. Snow 
lay thick on the ground, and it was with reluctance 
that I refused the kindly offer to put me up for the 
night. If I had not journeyed to Griinewald I should 
never have known of the sweet nature which, I 
believe, has kept Harden's spirit untouched by bitter- 
ness. Although he has said hard things about us, he 
has also said many more good ones. In his Kennst 
du das Land (Know'st thou that Land) he writes 
of the English as one who has lived many years 



[ 75 ] 

among them. It was in 1916, I believe, that he 
wrote this essay in which he compares the English 
young men and women enjoying themselves in 
Hyde Park in healthy games and frolics with the 
young Junkers who seek their pleasure in the 
cafe and duelling club. This alone brought a 
storm of abuse on his head. I suspect that it 
was his wife who helped him to a wonderfully 
sympathetic understanding of the pure Cockney. 



CHAPTER VI 
Kurt Eisner slates Solf at the Chancellery — Ebert 

I WAS anxious to hear about the progress of 
the Bavarian Revolution and its connection 
with the movement in Berlin and other parts of 
Germany, so when I was told that the motor-car 
from the Bavarian Legation had come to the hotel 
for me, I hurried into it. 

Directly I arrived I was taken to Dr. Muckle, 
the Bavarian Minister, who appeared to be holding 
a conference with his colleague. 

" We want to have a talk about things in general," 
he said simply but heartily as soon as I had sat 
down. 

I was struck at once by the earnestness of Dr. 
Muckle, who was full of information about the 
events in Munich. 

* ' What do you think of the German Revolution ? ' 
he asked, with particular emphasis on the " German." 

I replied tentatively that although there was a 
nominal change of leaders, things were going on 
much the same as usual. 

" I will let you know at once wlty I have asked 

7 6 



[ 77 ] 

you here. I want England to know that the German 
Revolution is all a sham. These Prussians are 
trying to deceive the Allies. We want you to know 
that we Bavarians will not come into any German 
combination which has for its capital Berlin — the 
centre of political corruption, the ' Wasserkopf,' 
as it is called in Munich. Solf, the very personi- 
fication of all for which the old regime stood, is 
still here, openly treating with the Allies as if he 
represented all Germany outside Berlin." 

The Doctor's manner was that of a man who 
has been badly deceived. I asked him what he 
and his friends had done in Bavaria. 

" We have made a republic, a real republic, 
where the people have at last come into their own. 
There is not an official left who had sympathies 
with the old order. So long as Kurt Eisner — the 
greatest man in Germany to-day — remains Presi- 
dent of Bavaria, we are safe. But already intrigues 
have been started to sabotage our new administra- 
tion, and the source of these intrigues is to be 
found in Berlin. No one has talked more about 
Liberty and done less in the fight for it than the 
Berliners. We in Bavaria want to be recognised 
by the Allies as the Bavarian Republic, and, if 
necessary, we shall ask protection while we set 
our house in order. The Bavarian aristocrats are 
taking courage from the example of the Prussian 
Junkers, who will reappear before many weeks are 



[ 7« I 

gone to domineer over the people. Eisner is 
coming to Berlin to demand, amongst other things, 
the resignation of Solf and his clever clique at the 
Foreign Office. " 

The Doctor carried on in this strain for some time, 
I interposing an occasional question. 

" We want all Foreign Office dealings to be 
handled in the manner suggested by President 
Wilson. We will have no secret diplomacy ! ' he 
cried vehemently. The peoples of the world have 
surely reached a stage where they can be trusted. 
We are not going back to the state when a limited 
clique of unimaginative aged men — I include all 
countries in this — have the power to fling millions 
of human beings together in bloody conflict. Solf 
thinks he is making a great impression on your 
Ministers, and that he will be able to win their 
support. Let us hope your people have good 
memories." 

" Some of the newspapers state that your admini- 
stration has points in common with the Bolshevik 
rule," I remarked. 

" We are not Bolshevists, but we are called 
Bolshevists because w r e deal very severely with 
war profiteers," he said shortly. 

I listened for about an hour to the account of this 
wonderful Bavarian Republic, and pondered over 
the question of its stability. I left the Legation 
after Dr. Muckle had invited me to meet Kiut 






[ 79 ] 

Eisner. But although I had the opportunity of 
speaking for a few minutes with the Bavarian 
President, circumstances prevented my having a 
long interview with him. 

It was at the conference of delegates from the 
German States at the Chancellery on the 25th 
of November that I saw him. This meeting gave 
Eisner an opportunity to express his opinion of 
Dr. Solf and Erzberger, who had both failed to 
please their own people and by their curious methods 
of negotiation had exhausted the patience of the 
Allies. 

Solf v. Eisner 

Ebert, as Chancellor, opening the meeting with 
a brief summary of the political situation, was 
followed by Dr. Solf, the Foreign Minister, who 
made his report. He regretted the antagonistic 
attitude of the Allies and urged the early setting 
up of the National Assembly. 

After State Secretary Erzberger had made his 
report of negotiations with the Allies, Kurt Eisner 
sprang to his feet and at once began his attack on 
the Foreign Secretary. 

" The reports of Solf and Erzberger really tell us 
nothing of the work they have done during the 
Revolution," he said. " Of course we want Peace, 
but we cannot reach it unless we are represented 
by men who are not compromised. Solf has opened 



[ 80 ] 

negotiations with Wilson without realising that 
thereby our other enemies will regard these negotia- 
tions as of small importance. I can only regard the 
activities of these two men as counter-revolu- 
tionary. I demand, in the first place, that we be 
represented by men who do not belong to the old 
system. Clemenceau has only recently declared 
that the Armistice conditions are not meant for 
the German people but for Wilhelm n. The 
Kaiser is gone, and these men now exposed must 
follow him to Holland, if they do not wish to be 
charged with treason. Solf, Erzberger and their 
kind are finished for all time. 

' My second demand is that we have men at the 
head of the German Government who enjoy the 
confidence of the masses. We need an Imperial 
Government which will push forward without 
hesitation a democratic and social policy." 

After he had delivered his attack, Eisner proposed 
that a provisional body should be elected to replace 
the old Bundesrat, which would be charged with 
full powers for dealing with the separate German 
States. Only by this means could the Separatist 
movement, which, he said, he was now fighting in 
Bavaria, be destroyed. 

After Landsberg had again brought up the question 
of the National Assembly, Eisner once more rose 
to his feet and emphatically declared against pro- 
ceeding with the constitution whilst the country was 



[8i ] 

in a state of confusion. He designated the Work- 
men's and Soldiers' Councils as foundations for 
future works. 

" The National Assembly must be the crowning 
of the State structure, not the foundations," he 
said, a remark which drew loud applause from the 
other delegates. 

When the conference closed, Eisner was too 
agitated to grant me a long interview, but suggested 
that I should go to the Bavarian Legation on the 
following day. Since I heard later that he was 
murdered by ex-officers, I have regretted that I did 
not go straight to the Legation next morning. His 
pale delicate features gave me the impression that 
he was ill, and his general appearance was that of a 
poor man who had recently suffered severely. The 
soft, shapeless hat, which must have seen him 
through years of wear, and his undipped beard 
made him look much older than he really was. 
When he died the German people lost their truest 
champion of liberty. 

Ebert 

Very different were the conditions when I again 
visited the Chancellery to find the Chancellor 
surrounded by a bodyguard of minor officials of 
the old regime. Deputations which had journeyed 
hundreds of miles were being side-tracked into 
waiting-rooms and forgotten. A party of Poles 



L 82 ] 

from Prussian Poland had been waiting an audience 
for four days, I was told. 

I watched my opportunity, and as the saddler 
Chancellor was passing down a corridor to his car, 
I asked him for an interview. In physical outline 
he is somewhat stocky and resembles Hindenburg 
in heaviness of features and deportment, but is an 
extremely mild man of plastic disposition. I should 
imagine he makes an ideal stalking-horse for the 
powers behind the Chancellor's chair. 

I mentioned the reason of my visit and was 
getting along nicely with him when I was inter- 
rupted by an official who spoke English very well. 

" Herr Ebert is giving no interviews to pressmen, 
esepcially Englishmen. Who gave you permission 
to come here ? Go back to your camp or I will 
have you arrested," he said. 

Wanting to test the importance of Dr Solf in the 
minds of the reigning bureaucrats, I pulled out a 
note signed by the Foreign Minister and vised 
with the Foreign Office seal, and showed it to my 
interrupter. 

The effect was remarkable ; he collapsed completely 
and mumbled humble apologies. But Ebert had 
gone away in his car. 



CHAPTER VII 

Glimpses of Berlin—" Ersatz " — The Beautiful Road maker — 
Aspasia and her Blacklegs 

Glimpses of Berlin 

THE progress of the revolutionary movement 
hung fire. Except for a few superficial 
changes general conditions and industrial relations 
were much the same as during the war. In place 
of a governing central authority Germany was now 
ruled by cabal. 

The administrative life of the country resembled 
the organs of an animal suddenly beheaded, which 
continue their functions without the direction 
of a brain. The Provisional Government was but 
a nominal power. Its members said they were 
fixing the results of the "Revolution" without 
explaining what these were. The fellow-feeling 
noticed occasionally between the rich and poorer 
classes now withered in the deadening atmosphere 
of suspicion. 

A real thrill went through the city late one even- 
ing, when Das Kleine Journal reported in large 

headlines that Foch was murdered, that Poincare 

83 



[ 84 j 

and Clemenceau had fled from Paris, and that 
bloody Bolshevism was rampant in the countries 
of the Allies. There was as much excitement that 
night in Unter den Linden as there had been on 
the noisiest of " Victory " nights. As a rule, it was 
only at such places as the Reichstag and the Red 
recruiting offices that I now found any incidents 
worth reporting. 

I went there the morning after I had seen Harden, 
and was hardly well inside the doorway when I was 
swept out by a stream of soldiers clamouring for 
rations. I allowed myself to be carried along, and 
jostled my way to the Abgeordnetenhaus, where I 
was again caught up by a procession. 

Groups of people interested in the marks of 
damage done to buildings during the Revolution 
still stood about gazing at the buildings as if 
they were shrines. Crowds visited the Column 
of Victory and the Hindenburg Statue, where they 
met scores of British prisoners on pleasure bent, 
now that the Soldiers' Council had issued proper 
passes. The Germans regarded with amazement 
these lively, cheery foreigners, who crowded up the 
steps to examine the designs of nails in the base 
of the huge wooden effigy. 

"Ersatz" 

Clean-looking crowds filled the main streets, 
looking into the smartly arranged shops, which 



[ 85 ] 

seemed well stocked with goods and food-stuffs. It 
was only when I began to sample some that I found 
what a miserable make-believe it all was. While 
the German troops had had palatable rations, the 
people had had to struggle along on "Ersatz." 
Everything has been " ersatzed " or substituted. 
One class in particular struck me as having suffered. 
The shop workers, either from pride or patriotism, 
not only endured, but made a brave show of enjoy- 
ing the depressing concoctions manufactured by 
the ingenious restaurateurs. Seeing rather a jolly 
party leaving their place of business, I followed 
them to their lunch cafe. 

When I saw piles of pastries and sandwiches 
daintily arranged on the counter I thought I had 
found a first-class place. I took a seat near my 
party of shop assistants, and asked the waiter, a 
well-groomed, disfigured ex-soldier, to bring me 
the same dishes as they ordered. I was anxious 
to find out of what their meals really consisted. 
After I had disposed of my coffee, sandwiches and 
cakes I felt sorry for people who could crack a joke 
on such a diet. I had expected the coffee to be 
poor stuff, but this was worse than the bean con- 
coction I had tasted in one of the prisons. It must 
have become torture to these people to sit down 
day after day to an apparently inviting meal, only 
to find the whole thing an unsatisfying chemical 
compound. What looked like white sugar criss- 



[ 86 ] 

crossed with delicious jelly was substitute sugar and 
gelatine containing not one crumb of solid nourish- 
ment. I observed that each guest brought out a 
small slice of black bread, with which, by judicious 
management, they put a little body into the meal. 

The young men made the best show of being 
satisfied. They pulled out gold-tipped cigarettes 
the thickness of strong straws, and, using many 
matches in the process, puffed out tiny clouds of 
smoke. The girls carefully inspected their dresses 
to see whether any of the powdery substance from 
the cakes had fallen upon them. Although they 
were pretty, and looked well dressed for all their 
paper hats and boots, their delicate, thin features, 
and the almost wolfish look of hunger in their eyes 
seemed to intensify a suppressed desperation. They 
were of the class which must keep up appearances. 
On this lunch they would return to work in their 
shops for at least another six hours. I recalled 
a newspaper article on "War Substitutes," which 
had referred to the daily diet of some of the Berlin 
folk as " solidified water." The lunch cafe and 
similar places which I visited later convinced me 
of the aptness of the term. 

A group infinitely more pathetic, and one which 
I can never forget, I encountered in the Zimmer- 
strasse, presumably on their way to the hospital. 
They were working women with their babies in 
their arms. They themselves were pale and worn ; 



[ 8 7 ] 

the children looked like figures of white wax. As 
they were passing, one woman stooped down to pick 
up a cigar end. The action gave me a full view 
of her baby. Its cheeks resembled enamelled glass. 
The sight of its face was a shock ; the emaciation 
of its tiny, withered sticks of arms was a thing 
uncanny to look upon. 

Hearing that the majority of the German people 
had been reduced to wearing paper clothes I 
visited a large department store, where I was shown 
wonderful results of German ingenuity. Some of 
the substitutes for cloths might well be mistaken 
for the real thing. The texture of one brownish 
material of the nature of whipcord was so strongly 
interwoven that I could hardly tear it. The shop 
assistant was quite frank and explained how it was 
manufactured on a very slight groundwork of 
cotton. He picked a few of the strands off the end 
of the material and unrolled it, revealing the chemi- 
cally-treated paper threads. In the same shop I 
saw some suitcases and bags of " crocodile," "pig- 
skin," and so on, beautifully finished and — all 
paper ! As I moved among the crowd, from shop 
to shop, I began to see Berlin as one huge Ersatz. 
Long ago even the Ersatz had been ersatzed. The 
chestnuts which had replaced the coffee bean and 
had made at least a wholesome beverage were in 
their turn replaced by an unsavoury chemical mix- 
ture, and that is but one example endlessly re- 



[ 88 ] 

peated. Decidedly the Germans are an ingenious 
race ! 

I sometimes reflected, as I pursued my investi- 
gations, that of the Germans the most wonderful is 
the Hausfrau. After the first year of the war she 
became a mistress of " ersatz " contrivances. Was 
she mother of a family, her domestic duties devel- 
oped into a science. While her " Mann " was 
fighting or making munitions she was devising 
palatable meals for her children — often out of next 
to nothing. Many a time has she been obliged to 
come to brave decisions in the choice of the poison- 
ous materials at her disposal. It was said that 
some of the German margarine was made from the 
fats collected from the sewers. One of our camp 
chemists analysed some given to prisoners. In 
appearance and smell it resembled the fat used for 
axle-boxes of English railway waggons. He main- 
tained that it was made of materials collected from 
the sewers, and told us that it was exactly the same 
as that supplied to the people in their ration. The 
unfortunate Hausfrau must have had hard work 
killing both the flavour and the smell. She was 
obliged to line up for hours — sometimes all night 
— in a queue to secure any kind of material for her 
operations. Her first aim was to get bulk into the 
menu — nourishment was almost impossible — and 
a taste sufficiently palatable to coax down the 
strange dishes she concocted. She discovered that 



[ 89 j 

various wild plants were an aid to this, and she 
would travel miles out into the country to get them. 

The men were " ersatzed " from hat to boots, 
unless they were of profiteer or official order. Cir- 
cumstances necessitated a style so close fitting that 
it became skimpy. Lounge coats came to be cut 
nearly as short as our waistcoats. Where material 
could be saved by fine cutting it was done until the 
wearer found himself clad in almost skin-tight 
garments. The footwear was remarkable for its 
durability, considering its substance — paper. The 
weakest point was shown by the wearers' fear of 
wet. At the slightest sign of rain they would hurry 
to a convenient shelter, and, if necessary, wait for 
hours rather than risk soiling their smart-looking 
boots. A special feature was the soles made of 
flexible three-ply wood veneered with waste pieces 
of leather. 

The wearing of war-time dress gave to the poor 
genteel class a new deportment. The girls especi- 
ally managed themselves with excessive care, so as 
to avoid getting their delicate garments caught 
against jagged objects, or even rubbed against 
other people's. They tiptoed past pools of water 
like dainty kittens. With the men it was different. 
They hid their anxiety under a rather grand manner. 
The German man about town walked with his elbows 
well out, his walking-stick to the front as if to parry 
a blow. 



[ 90 ] 

I saw an unpleasing incident, which arose from 
the accidental damaging of clothes, as I was walking 
along the Friedrichstrasse : a smartly dressed man 
alternately kicking and punching an errand-boy 
on a tricycle. The boy yelled with pain, and finally 
rolled on to the ground. From the ferocity of the 
attack and the approving attitude of the spec- 
tators I gathered that the provocation must have 
been very serious. When the boy had made his 
escape I noticed that the attacker was scraping 
some spots of mud from his overcoat. From a 
bystander I learnt that the whole cause of the 
trouble was that the boy had inadvertently muddied 
the man's coat with his tricycle wheel ! 

The Beautiful Roadmaker 

Another incident of the same sort, showing the 
innate cruelty of the crowd, occurred one morning 
as I was passing down one of the streets leading 
into the Potsdamer Platz. At the side of the road 
a girl was at work road-mending. Her face was 
so strikingly beautiful that I did not at first notice 
her shabby clothes, nor that she was engaged in 
heavy, dangerous work. Her fair hair, streaming 
over her shoulders as she bent over her shovel, 
brought Heine's little poem, " Du bist wie eine 
Blume," into my mind. 

She was so deeply engrossed in her work, tugging 



[9i ] 

at a stubborn piece of asphalt, that she did not 
hear the approach of a large motor-car. The 
chauffeur sounded his siren — the kind that sets 
the hearer's teeth on edge and sounds the last note 
of arrogance — almost too late. As the heavy car 
seemed as if it must strike her she managed to jump 
clear. A crowd of bystanders broke into a volley 
of abuse, directed not, as I had imagined, at the 
careless chauffeur, but at the girl. They called 
her every insulting name in their vocabulary. This 
encouraged some young well-dressed men to attach 
themselves to the crowd and join in the chorus of 
abuse. The girl gave them one contemptuous look, 
then continued her work. With a particularly 
offensive remark as a parting shot the smartly 
dressed group went on their way, followed later by 
the crowd. I pictured these same specimens of 
Berlin courtesy passing on to one of their ridicu- 
lous heel-clicking, bowing introductions, straight 
from this scene. 

My beautiful roadmaker was not the only girl I 
saw engaged in work too heavy for her. Many of 
the girl typists employed in Government offices 
were obviously suffering from overstrain. They 
appeared always to be working against time in 
getting out the endless orders which flowed from 
the various committees. The noise of their pushed- 
down keys sounded like machine-guns fired at a 
distance. I wondered how long this desperate 



[ 92 ] 

endeavour could be carried on without a reaction 
setting in. I remembered that in the first flush of 
freedom I had felt splendid and had walked for 
miles about Berlin. My reaction had set in sud- 
denly. A horrible weakness seized me. I felt as 
if I were carrying heavy weights in my pockets, and 
my mind seemed to have lost the power of appre- 
ciation, even of liberty. When a policeman spoke 
to me, words formed sluggishly in my mind but 
would not come through to my lips. My stare 
must have frightened him, for he quickly left me 
alone ; and I imagine that the poor of Germany 
experienced much the same sort of feeling in regard 
to their brief period of liberty. 

I must say a few words on that most loathsome 
of all German war products — the Kriegsgewinnler, 
or war profiteer. The German word implies more 
than the common crook who overcharges his cus- 
tomers ; the profits of the Kriegsgewinnler are 
sometimes more sinister than mere momentary 
gains. They are to be found everywhere, occupy- 
ing the best tables in the restaurants, the best seats 
in the theatres. Until I saw them in the flesh, I 
had thought that Simplicissimus had exaggerated 
in the drawings of this particular type, with their 
fat lumpy faces set in enormous fur collars, and their 
protruding stomachs across which hung heavy gold 
chains. One is surprised at the arrogant display 
of the Kriegsgewinnler as he enters public places 



[ 93 ] 

bejewelled and befurred. His attitude seems to 
imply a pride in his trade of illicitly procuring food 
and selling it at extortionate prices to his favoured 
customers. 

ASPASIA AND HER BLACKLEGS 

Unfortunately it is not only a question of food. 
Apparently the Provisional Government cannot or 
will not make a sincere attempt to prevent these 
men from battening on the citizens. The Allied 
Press have occasionally called attention to the 
alleged increased immorality of the German nation. 
Terrible police court reports revealing murder and 
depravity can be read every day in the newspapers 
of Central Europe. After I had watched the party 
of shop assistants leave the lunch cafe, I saw a big 
overfed man, the very picture of greed, smirk at 
a beautiful girl sitting by herself. She took no 
notice of him until he produced a large bar of choco- 
late of the sort we used to receive in our parcels. 
A lascivious leer came over his face as the girl 
feasted her eyes on the chocolate, and, finally, 
accepted it. They left the cafe together, followed by 
the significant looks of the other customers. 

It was explained to me that the Kriegsgewinnler 
is the biggest power for evil in Germany. A soldier 
put the case bluntly : 

' Every day many beautiful mothers have to 
choose between their own honour and the deaths 



[ 94 ] 

erf their children — and we know what a mother will 
do for her child." 

He pointed out innumerable unescorted well- 
dressed women. " They are not professionals ; they 
come over here, where they are not known, from 
the residential districts," he said, " to get food — 
they won't accept money, that's why they are called 
the 'blacklegs.'" 

While we were watching, a man approached one 
of these veiled women, and, after a brief conversa- 
tion, pushed a tin of Swiss milk into her handbag. 
The soldier went on to explain that this sort of thing 
had increased to such an extent that the Aspasias 
of the city could no longer make a living, and held 
a public meeting to protest against the blacklegging 
r by their respectable sisters. I did not see one of 
these meetings, but I attended one quite as extra- 
ordinary. 

One morning I saw on the bill-posting stations 
large red placards announcing a mass meeting 
of " Gefallene Madchen " (fallen girls), organised 
to demand from the Government better housing 
conditions for the professional prostitute. I went 
to the meeting and was astonished by the earnest 
arguments of the speakers, who seemed to regard 
themselves as important as any other public 
servants. Apparently Berlin accepts the modern 
Aspasia and her movement as she has accepted the 
Kriegsge winnl er . 



CHAPTER VIII 

" Solf's Whine to our Correspondent " — I bid Berlin 
Good-bye in a Hurry 

AS I saw no sign of the Berlin Spartacists using 
their large stocks of arms and ammunition in 
the immediate future, I began to think of visiting 
other parts of Germany. I wanted to get through 
to the West Front and see where the last great push 
had taken place. The Provisional Government 
would perhaps continue its uncertain career for 
weeks, while I might be employing myself better 
than in waiting for something to happen. I felt 
as keen to meet our men on the last fighting line 
as I had been to get out of the camp. 

Although there had been few events of any im- 
portance, I continued to send a daily dispatch to my 
paper containing information of any move on the 
part of the Govsrnment and the names and descrip- 
tion of men likely to figure in another change should 
it come to pass. My interview dealing with Solf's 
food propaganda had for the moment passed from 
my mind. My only reason for staying as long as I 
did in Berlin was because there was a chance of 

9S 



L 96 ] 

sudden conflict between the Provisional Govern- 
ment and the Spartacists. I felt that it would 
come sooner or later, when Ebert and his colleague 
could obtain a more suitable " Minister of War " 
than Otto Wels. 

Ultimately they appointed Noske, a man who 
took a savage joy in building up from the nucleus of 
the Citizen Army the notorious but well-disciplined 
Green Guards. The members of the Provisional 
Government believed that if they could stave off 
the conflict until they had perfected their repressive 
measures they would win. They were supported by 
the middle and upper classes on account of their 
wholesome dread of Liebknecht and his followers. 
The spark which was expected to start the real 
revolution was the murder of Liebknecht, which 
was frankly discussed in the first-class hotels and 
restaurants. 

" Good morning, Mr. Brown. Was that Lieb- 
knecht killed last night ? " was a question put 
to me most mornings during my stay in Berlin 
by some of the wealthy Germans. 

One of the German-Americans offered to wager 
that Liebknecht would be dead within three days. 
It was strange that not only members of the upper 
and bourgeois classes ardently hoped for the death 
of the troublesome Spartacist idealist, but also 
some of the soldiers and sailors were bitter in their 
denunciation of him. 



[97 J 

' But what has this man done ? " asked a prisoner 
friend of one of the German- Americans. 

' Done ? ' he replied in disgusted surprise. 
' What wouldn't he do if he had the chance ! " 



"Solf's Whine to our Correspondent" 

One morning as I was returning from one of my 
expeditions among the Spartacists and the White 
troops at the War Office I called at a newspaper 
kiosk in the Unter den Linden to see whether the 
English newspapers had arrived. I was very pleased 
when the girl told me that a small batch had just 
come in from Rotterdam. I was almost too impatient 
to wait while she unwrapped the bundle. 

" Solf's Whine to our Correspondent " was the 
first headline which caught my eye, in my own 
paper. I opened it and found not only the interview 
but a scathing leading article on the hypocrisy and 
duplicity of the German Foreign Minister. The 
editor had certainly known how to deal with my 
message. Apparently it had been picked up by the 
British Admiralty and passed on to the office without 
any information as to my whereabouts, 's Gravenhage 
was given as the place of dispatch, the editor 
believing that I was safely in Holland. 

Knowing that the Foreign Office courier always 
brought the English newspapers to Solf as soon as 
they arrived in Holland, I decided to leave Berlin 
7 



[93 ] 

at once. When I reached my hotel, about 10 p.m., 
I was met by the manager, who evidently had some- 
thing on his mind. 

" Mr. Brown, some gentlemen have been looking 
for you. Don't look — they are here now," he said 
hurriedly. 

" Who are they — Solf's men ? " I asked. 

" Yes, I think so. What have you been doing? " 
asked Kretschmar, real concern in his face. 

We were standing in the hall where it runs into 
the magnificent lounge. In the shadow of the 
stairs which wind round the elevator I could see 
two men dressed in black suits with black ties, 
on their faces an expression of such calculated 
blandness as to stamp them at once as German plain- 
clothes police. 

" Are those the men ? " I asked, with a side-look 
in the direction of the sombre figures. 

The manager nodded. 

" Well, listen. I've got to get out right away. 
Is the door of the annexe open ? " I asked. 

He nodded again. 

" I shall go upstairs, and I want you to tell them I 
am going to bed. Do they know there is another 
exit ? " 

" No," replied Kretschmar, now losing his ner- 
vousness and entering into the spirit of my plan. 

As I left'him I "yawned as I have never yawned 
before, and I continued;; to yawn all the way up the 






[ 99 ] 

first flight of stairs. The two watchers must have felt 
convinced that I was safe for the night. I knew 
ithe weakness of the German police for arresting 
(people in their bedrooms. Half the British civilians 
arrested in Germany at the outbreak of war seem to 
have been arrested either in bed or whilst getting 
readv for bed. 



I bid Berlin Good-bye in a Hurry. 

Once out of sight I hurried up to my room, picked 
ip my camera and haversack, and rushed down the 
back stairs, which brought me to the door of the 
annexe, through which I quickly passed. 

After I had walked the length of the Friedrich- 
strasse I began to wonder where I should make for. 
I dropped my idea of going to the West Front, and 
was now simply anxious to get away anywhere from 
Berlin. At the end of the street I was particularly 
fortunate in finding a drosky. The driver was wear- 
ing a very high busby, the owner of which, lie told 
me before we parted, he had killed on the Russian 
fnmt. 

' Bahnhof ! " I shouted, as I jumped into the back 

it. Without asking me which station I wanted, he 
started. 

During the drive I began to regret having left 
most of my luggage behind, much of which con- 
sisted of relics collected during my captivity. Books, 



[ ioo ] 

manuscripts, cameras, negatives and prints made 
surreptitiously in our secret dark room, would now I 
all be lost, I thought. But I could not make up 
my mind to ask the driver to call at the Adlon. 
There is nothing meaner than the malice of a German 
who has had his leg pulled. Solf was particularly 
powerful at this time and had the police at his dis- 
posal. There were many queer disappearances 
whispered about Berlin at the same time that some 
ex-officers boasted openly that they were going to 
kill the leaders of the Spartacist movement. The 
memory of the awful prison at Lorrach came back 
to me. My nerves must have been in a bad way, for 
when a man walked towards the drosky as we 
arrived at a station I very nearly bolted through the 
opposite door. The fear of solitary confinement 
would not leave me. I suffered again the mental 
tortures of Lorrach. I dallied some time with the 
drosky driver, paying the fare without getting any 
information of trains departing from the station. 

I felt relieved when I got into a struggling crowd 
of soldiers and was swept with them through the 
booking-hall. It was a simple matter to buy a rail- 
way ticket, but almost impossible to pass through the 
barrier. I could see a train which I was told was to 
start for Hamburg, but when no one knew. Though 
all available space was occupied, I felt I must get on 
that train somewhere. 

Luckily I had plenty of money in my purse. 






[ ioi ] 

Twenty marks to the ticket-puncher saw me through 
the gate, although I was not " militarise!} " and there- 
fore not entitled to travel at all on this train, which 
jwas put on specially to relieve the traffic congestion 
(caused by the wholesale desertions from the armies, 
il walked along the train, searching in vain for a place : 
jthere was not even standing room. I was still 
(searching when the train began to move. There 
was nothing for it but to ride outside. I stepped on 
to the footboard and climbed round to the small 
iron ladder at the end of the carriage which leads up 
to the look-out cabin to be found on most conti- 
nental railway carriages. At least I had the place to 
myself. After an hour's travelling, during which we 
covered about ten miles, I was chilled to the bone 
and had to peel my frozen fingers off the iron ladder. 
To make matters worse, it began to snow, which 
determined me to try to work my way inside one 
of the carriages at the next stopping-place. 

Selecting a fourth-class compartment, which is 
twice the size of a third, I squeezed in after a 
soldier and his wife had been shot out by the com- 
pression inside. A general complaint was raised 
by the occupants, but I continued to push inside until 
I could close the carriage door. There being no light, 
I had to explore my surroundings by groping with 
my hands. The soldiers must have been in a filthy 
condition, poor devils, for they stank abominably. 
By the light of a match I saw in one corner of the com- 



[ 102 ] 

partment a soldier and his wife making a barricade 
with their backs to protect three or four young 
children, the smallest one being still in arms. 

The night passed in sheer misery. The air was 
poisonous, and the manner in which we had to sustain 
awkward positions was torture. The only one of us 
who did not suffer was the baby, who slept through 
the whole night. Although a young soldier dis- 
covered that I was English, the fact did not arouse 
any one's resentment. I suppose they were too tired 
to be angry. 

By making inquiries of the friendly soldier I 
learnt that there was a possibility of getting a train 
for Kiel at the next junction. He and most of the 
other passengers were going to places on the 
Hamburg line. Before we parted he insisted on my 
having a slice of his bread, which he carried on a cord 
slung round his neck. A peasant gave me a drink 
out of a tin of some strange liquid which I had never 
tasted before. As the light became brighter, their 
spirits rose. I staggered the company by pulling 
out a small bar of chocolate. 

' Schokolade ! " gasped the woman. ' Echt 
Schokolade ? ' The look on their faces made me 
feel as rich as a war profiteer. I fumbled in my 
haversack for some broken pieces. From their 
wonder I might have given them chunks of gold 
instead of a few bits of chocolate found on my shelves 
when I was packing up my belongings in camp. 



[ io3 ] 

The young soldier told me when to leave the 
train to catch another going north, and, in spite of 
the extreme discomfort, I felt that I would have liked 
to go farther with them. During the whole of the 
journey I did not hear one complaint. Their long- 
suffering fatalism reminded me of the Russian 
peasants in Stadtvogtei, who would contentedly 
work all day at the roughest sort of work for a few 
biscuits. 

During the night I had decided to make for 
Kiel, where I might reach Admiral Browning's Fleet, 
which was reported to be on its way to this port. 
Interest in the Revolution had, for the moment, been 
dispelled by a severe spasm of home-sickness. For 
the rest of the journey to Kiel I was fortunate in 
getting into a second-class compartment in which 
there were only thirteen other passengers. 



CHAPTER IX 

Kiel — Krupp's Germania Yard — Boarding the Konig — 
The Stowaways — A Relic of the Queen Mary, sunk 
during the Battle of Jutland — The Soldiers' Councils 
and their Aspirations 

Kiel 

1 FOUND Kiel in a dying condition. Its 
nervous system was shattered, its vitality 
gone. The greyness of defeat and death was per- 
ceptible in its every aspect. Great lumbering 
battleships lay in the water, reminders of a futile 
ambition. Behind, rising as it were out of the black 
silent waters, were Krupp's Works, a sombre, ominous 
mass. Except for the activities of workmen on a 
dismantled aeroplane-ship, all was silent. Merely 
to be in this notorious spot, the German naval 
Holy of Holies, was enough to give one a delicious 
thrill. Unlike Berlin and other German cities, it 
had not hysterically cast off the marks symbolical of 
its past. The police were still armed with swords 
and pistols, and looked as insolent as ever. 

I put up at the Hanza Hotel, a place popular 
with German naval officers, the windows of which 

looked out on to Kiel Harbour. 

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[ io5 J 

After a bath and a meal I took the tram which 
runs along the harbour up to Kiel Heights. The 
first interesting place was the Submarine Signalling 
Station, not far from the Kiel Yacht Clubhouse. 
It was here that I first met members of the Kiel 
Soldiers' Council. Georg Spiegvogel, the chief 
signaller, had served on the Schlesien in the battle 
of Jutland, of which he gave me a detailed account. 
I made quite a good beginning in this place, and was 
allowed to go inside. Spiegvogel was dubious about 
allowing me any farther than the first floor, but I 
showed him my papers and explained that I was on 
my way home. 

This polite formality gained me admittance to 
the top of the signalling tower, from where I had an 
excellent view of the various naval craft on the 
harbour waters. Below me three submarines were 
in process of being dismantled, before being de- 
livered to the Allies. I revelled in the scene ; here 
the fangs of the great devouring monster were 
being drawn ! After having to read for months of 
the hundreds of ships, real or imaginary, which the 
U-boats had sunk, it was a particular pleasure for a 
released prisoner to see them now lying impotent 
in harbour in process of demolition. 

I felt I must photograph the wonderful scene. I 
asked the sailors if I might take their photograph, 
hoping to manoeuvre them into a position where I 
could get the submarines in the background. I 



[ >o6 ] 

snapshotted them, but, the tower wall being too 
high, I could get only an old battleship into the 
picture. I pointed to the repair ship and remarked 
what a wonderful sight it was. Then there was the 
huge floating dock used for raising submarines, 
a short distance away ; might I photograph it ? 

' Ja wolil ! Waruni nicht ? ' said the Vert- 
rauensmann, who kept the codes, copies of which the 
British Admiralty is said to have possessed since 
a few weeks after war broke out. 

I exposed four plates on the boats and the sig- 
nallers, and thanked them. I wanted to hear at 
first hand of the incidents of the Kiel re- 
volution, but was afraid of outstaying my 
welcome. 

As I stepped off the wooden bridge which links 
the tower with the land, I realised that I was under 
observation. I sauntered along the edge of the 
water to where the tramlines curve into the dock- 
side and jumped on the first tram to come along. 
The two observers just managed to reach it as it 
started to move. When they found that I had 
slipped off the other side whilst they were settling 
into their seats, they came to the end of the tram 
and glared so hard that I felt inclined to laugh in 
spite of the momentary spasm of fear when I saw 
that they were really shadowing me. 

The Hanza Hotel was only a few hundred yards 
away, so I hurried inside, found the manager, and 



[ io; ] 

asked him if he had any news of Admiral Browning's 
Naval Mission. 

" What's that got to do with me?" he replied 
deprecatingly. 

I was about to explain ; then decided instead to 
go at once to the Governor of Kiel — Noske. I 
inquired the whereabouts of the carpenter governor, 
and found him in the large red brick Naval Head- 
quarters which lies right back from the water. 

I got a lively reception. I confided to the sailor 
secretary that I wished to discuss a very urgent 
matter with his chief. I was shown up at once to his 
offices on the first floor. I had calculated on finding 
one of the Kaiser's tame Socialists, and, indeed, 
at the moment I would have welcomed even one 
of the flowery sentimental speeches of which Bern- 
stein and his colleagues are such masters. But 
although Noske is supposed to be a Socialist, there 
is none of the " brotherhood nonsense " about him. 
He gave valuable service to Bethmann-Hollweg's 
Government as an expert on military matters. 

For some minutes he simply blazed with anger 
when he found that I was an " Englander." Some 
might have been flattered by his curious remarks. 
He associated me with all sorts of important 
matters — with Kitchener's scheme to " crush 
Germany " ; with the Admiralty's plan to " starve 
Germany's women " (judging by their faces the men 
seem to have come out of the war considerably 



[ io8 ] 

better than the weaker sections of the population) ; 
and finally with Foch's alleged plan of making 
Germany a French colony ! 

Gradually his tirade subsided into a conversation, 
during which I told him why I had come : that I 
wanted to get home ; that the Berlin authorities 
had said that prisoners would be sent away as soon 
as trains could be obtained. At this he reverted 
to a discussion of the Armistice terms. Was it 
right, he asked, thumping his desk, to take the 
biggest part of Germany's railway engines when 
women and children were starving ? etc. The most 
tedious experience I know is to have to listen to 
Germans of the Noske type ranting about the 
" sufferings of women and children," " the interests 
of humanity," and all the rest of the fine phrases 
they discovered so soon as the Armistice was signed. 

When I mentioned that I wanted to board Admiral 
Browning's ship when he arrived in Kiel, I gave up 
all hope of getting anything out of the angry Noske. 
The storm burst out afresh. Now we had stolen 
the German Fleet ! Not satisfied with our long 
programme of misdeeds during the war, we must 
now humiliate a great nation who had shown the 
world — etc. etc. My irritation getting the better 
of my caution, I bluntly asked him whether he was 
going to give me a permit to stay in Kiel until I 
could get to England another way, or must I go 
back to Berlin ? He responded in a more rational 



[ log ] 

tone, for which I rewarded him with a bit of 
flattery. I told him how interested we were to read 
of the part he had taken in the Revolution, after 
which he wrote out a pass and vised it with the 
stamp of the Soldiers' Council. Now I had got 
what I wanted I lost no time in getting away from 
the militarist Socialist who was later to be responsible 
for the brutal fratricide during the real Revolution 
in Berlin. 

Krupp's Germania Yard 

Neither the newspapers nor the authorities could 
give any information of the arrival of the British 
Fleet. I took the tram as far as it went and scanned 
the harbour waters for any sign of English ships. 
About the mouth of Kiel Canal there were a few 
small patrol boats which I watched for some time, 
hoping that they were waiting for the Naval 
Commission. 

I turned from the waters and found that I had 
strayed into the grounds of the Naval Hospital. 
An elderly orderly was sweeping by the doorway. 
I started chatting with him, and gradually led the 
conversation round to the Revolution. He was 
very anxious to talk about England and what 
Germany was likely to have to pay in indemnities. 

*' They can have all the ships and guns and the 
officers — if they want them," he continued medi- 
tatively. 



[ no ] 

Before I left him he told me how to cross the 
water to Krupp's Works, which, he said, were not 
very interesting. 

I examined the permit at the hotel and found 
that it allowed me to sail in Kiel Harbour. 

Apparently the ferry boat was not running, so 
for part of the way I took the tram, and after 
making a detour arrived at the gates of Krupp's. 
This part of Kiel very much resembled an English 
industrial town. The streets were untidy, scraps 
of paper blowing along the pavement and little 
children playing in the gutters. The dull day 
increased the effect of depression which brooded 
over the Germania Yard. From the outside I 
could see lines of long steel derricks which, by their 
various positions, reminded me of the victims of 
Pompeii — they seemed to have been simultaneously 
paralysed by some giant power, which left some of 
them still rigidly holding their loads. 

The gates were guarded by armed sailors who 
allowed me to pass when they saw Noske's signature. 
They pointed out the head office where, they said, 
I should find the adjutant in charge. 

Captain Schnabel, a man of middle age, wel- 
comed me so heartily that I think he must have 
been wearying of his lonely vigil. 

" How to you to ? ' he cried in the German 
fashion. His unctuousness came as a relief to 
Noske's angry reception. He took great pains to 



[ III ] 

explain the topography of the works and dock- 
yards on the large charts, and offered to conduct 
me round the different departments. I had seen 
sufficient of the huge inactive machinery and un- 
finished weapons, and tried, successfully, to get 
him to discuss the subject of the Revolution. 

From Krupp's I went to the Naval Academy, 
which, now that the great " Tag " had come and 
gone, I found devoid of interest. I wondered what 
had suddenly become of the thousands of students, 
who, after being taught to think that scientific 
killing was the noblest of occupations, were now 
disbanded to follow their own inclinations. 

There was still no sign of Admiral Browning's 
Fleet. I made some small purchases at the shops, 
which were well stocked with various articles, but 
few except of the " ersatz " sort of food-stuffs, 
and decided to search out other means of leaving 
Kiel. 

The "Konig" 

I rose early next morning, and was soon out 
prospecting for a means to leave Germany. I 
might have tried the frontiers but for the keenness 
of the guards on the look-out for wealthy officers, 
would-be emigres. I wanted to get away by sea 
either from Kiel or Hamburg. 

As I was returning from the railway station, 
which is directly opposite the hotel, I noticed signs 



[ H2 1 

of activity on the harbour. Clouds of smoke were 
coming from the funnels of a battleship. Hoping 
that it was an English ship just coming to anchor, 
I rushed down to the signalling tower. 

" What ship is that ? ' I shouted to Spiegvogel 
when he appeared at the window in answer to my 
ring at the bell. 

' The Konig — just off to England with the 
Dresden and two other boats." 

" Can you get me out to her in anything ? " I 
shouted desperately. 

He shook his head and replied that it would not 
be allowed. I dashed back to the hotel to fetch 
my camera and haversack, and paid my bill I 
was lucky again in getting a drosky which drove me 
along the water's edge until I saw a drifter manned 
by some young sailors. I showed Noske's permit, 
and, after a few arguments, I was taken out to 
the Konig. As I approached I could not but admire 
her graceful lines. Not a chain or stanchion dis- 
figured her clean silhouette. She might have just 
been going into action. 

As the drifter drew near the battleship, a rope 
ladder was thrown down. I scrambled up the 
ship's side and made for a group of officers who 
were standing under one of the big guns. In my 
anxiety to get aboard I had forgotten the import- 
ance of the Soldiers' Councils which had been 
appointed from the crews of the ships during the 



[ H3 ] 

Revolution. I was still a few feet away when I 
! was suddenly intercepted by a small figure which 
seemed to spring from nowhere. 

" What do you want ? " demanded the seaman 
in very peremptory tones. 

" I want to get home," I replied, and was going 
on to explain when he cut me short. 

■' You are English. Who sent you here ? " 
The boat had not yet started — I risked a lie. 
" Governor Noske," I replied. 
" Come with me," he said, and I followed him 
down to the lower gun deck where I explained my 
circumstances. He went away to consult his 
colleagues and returned about ten minutes later, 
and told me that I could stay aboard at my own risk. 
I remained below until I felt the ship begin to move. 
| When I went on deck I found the ship was going 
I through the Kiel Canal, and the crew and officers 
j were at their posts. 

It was a strange experience to feel the great ship 
| as it were slice through the countryside. From 
I where I stood I could not see the waters of the 
I Canal. Aloft the signallers napped out messages 
! from the large searchlights. 

I was not left long to myself. The seaman who 

j had taken me below now reappeared. I can only 

i describe him as the nattiest little person I have 

seen in uniform, not excepting French artillery 

officers. 

8 



[ H4 ] 

" I am the President of the Soldiers' Council 
and Commandant of the Konig," he said, looking 
up at me. 

In spite of my amazement I managed to remark 
that I was very pleased to hear it. 

" You forgot that there had been a revolution 
when you were walking over to the officers," he 
said, smiling saucily. 

I admitted the fact. 

" Come below in the cabin and meet the other 
members of the Council," he continued. 

In the cabin council-chamber I met his colleagues, 
ordinary seamen of particularly bright appearance. 
Although rather pale, their full stocky figures and 
clear skins indicated perfect health. At last I had 
met the real revolutionaries — the men who had 
started the " Grand Blaze " through Germany. 
On the table were inventories of equipment and 
food-stuffs on which one of the Councillors was 
working. 

The President offered me a chair and joined in a 
discussion about certain articles which, according 
to the terms of the Armistice dealing with naval 
matters, should have been put ashore. I suggested 
that I should retire whilst the conference was in 
progress. 

" Not at all necessary. We have no secret," 
replied the President. 

I learnt that his name was Otto and that during 



[ n5 ] 

the battle of Jutland he served as valet to Captain 
Meninger. From my own intercourse with him 
and from fragmentary accounts from some of the 
three hundred odd crew I judged him to be a great 
little man. 

He invited me to accompany him on the tour 
of inspection he was about to make over the ship. 
Although the iron discipline of the past had been 
abolished, I noticed that as the President approached 
the crew drew back to make way in quiet deference. 
The first duty was to search for weapons. One 
Councillor found a bayonet at the back of a shelf 
in one of the officers' cabins. The incident was 
duly recorded and the bayonet ceremoniously 
thrown into the sea. The same thing happened to 
some blank ammunition found in one of the 
barbettes. 

' Why do you throw away the practice ammuni- 
tion ? " I asked Otto when I heard him call for a 
gang of men. 

' My orders stated that I must get rid of all 
ammunition without specifying what kind." 

The sailors brought up ammunition trolleys, 
and in half an hour had cleared the wicked-looking 
twelve-inch blank shells into the sea. This was 
one of the first incidents I photographed aboard. 
When I asked permission to take the picture, Otto 
replied : 

" You can do what you like and go where you like." 



[ "6 ] 

When the search was completed it was time for 
the evening meal — quite a poor affair, though the 
food was the best I had ever received from the 
Germans. 

The Stowaways 

It was now about nine o'clock, and, as I had not 
yet been allotted a space to sleep in, I began to 
look through the cabins. Most of these were 
stripped of bunks, and in none could I find a 
mattress or a hammock. Whilst I was searching, 
an N.C.O. tapped me on the shoulder and in a rather 
confidential manner beckoned me to go with him 
forward. After I had been following him a con- 
siderable time through small iron doors and gang- 
ways we came into the forecastle. Through the 
hazy atmosphere I saw a large crowd of sailors 
standing or sitting round a man who was speaking. 

" And if your b fleet hadn't b well run 

like h , the whole b team would have been 

at the bottom of the b sea ! " were the first 

words I heard as I approached. 

Apparently I had run into a discussion on the 
relative merits of the British and German Navies. 
In the centre of the crowd were what I took 
to be three British seamen. It was a picture I 
shall never forget. Although the words sounded 
harsh, I found that the stowaways, for such they 
were, were having a friendly argument over the 






[ H7 ] 

battle of Jutland with those of the German seamen 
who could understand English. The German sailors 
were rocking with laughter. Even the invalids in 
the sick bay, whom I could see through the door- 
way, raised themselves in bed to listen to the voice 
they probably could not understand. An epidemic 
of influenza had broken out as the ship was about 
to start on her voyage, and about forty of the 
crew were under treatment. 

" He's a funny man," said the N.C.O. who had 
guided me to the forecastle, grinning with amuse- 
ment. 

" Well, I thought I was the first Englishman to 
board this boat, anyway ! ' I cried, as I stepped 
through the audience. 

It was a wonderful reunion. They simply fell 

on me, asking me dozens of questions which I 

could not answer. Then they invited me into 

their " mess." Only one of them was a genuine 

c ailor — Taylor, of the Naval Brigade, who had been 

' prisoner of war since the fall of Antwerp. He had 

persuaded his two soldier friends, who were 

prisoners with him at Doeberitz Military Camp, to 

wear naval uniform the more easily to make their 

I way across county. For some reason, he said, 

German peasants were more friendly dispo-<M 

I towards sailors than soldiers. They were both 

(London infantrymen; the younger, who looked 

comparatively fit, had been taken prisoner during 



[ n8 ] 

the 1918 retreat. The faces of the others showed 
that they had suffered severely. The elder soldier 
was one of the sturdy souls who had fought in 
1915. He told me how thin the front fighting line 
often was in those uncertain days and the tricks 
they used to make the Germans believe their 
numbers were greattr than they actually were. As 
I listened to his descriptions I thought that curved 
front line must have been like a sword continually 
being blunted by fierce attacks, but as often whetted 
again with the best lives. 

Taylor produced a mysterious bundle, from 
which he took a tin of condensed milk, some tea 
leaves, a piece of the white bread sent to prisoners 
from Holland, and a tin of corned beef. It was 
impossible to refuse them, so we sat down to supper 
at a bench in the forecastle, watched by more than 
a hundred German seamen, some of whom assisted 
in the feast by getting hot water for the tea. After 
we had washed the dishes, Taylor slung four ham £ 
mocks from the girders, into which we scrambled, a- 

Before morning I bad heard each one's story , 
it made me feel that my experiences were a mere 
holiday. All three had been wounded, the elder 
infantryman severely. Apparently they had made 
many attempts to get away from Germany. Each 
time they reached a seaport they failed to find any 
ships leaving, and had again to make their way 
across country, meeting with varied treatment 



L "9 ] 

from the peasants and tradesmen. Finally they 
arrived at Kiel and struck up a " cigarette " friend- 
ship with some of the crew of the Konig, who, 
during the night before the ship sailed, smuggled 
the three adventurers aboard. 

To listen to the stories of their treatment while 
they were prisoners made Ruhleben, bad as it was, 
seem a paradise compared with the German 
military camps. Eleven survivors out of forty 
English civilians taken from occupied territory 
came from Wittenberg to our camp. One had 
shown me his terrible typhus wounds and told me 
the story of the awful suffering and loss of life 
in that notorious prison camp. After that I had 
abandoned my idea of getting transferred to a 
military camp, where I should be away from civilians 
who were for ever arguing about their " rights ' 
and complaining about their sufferings. In 1915, 
when our soldiers were suffering the worst sort of 
agonies on the West Front, an association of these 
" sufferers " wrote to the British Government 
demanding a gold medal for their services to their 
country ! 

A Relic of the " Queen Mary," sunk during 
the Battle of Jutland 

There was plenty to interest me aboard the 
Konig. To begin with, she was the flagship which 



[ 120 ] 

led the German Fleet into action in the battle of 
Jutland. From the separate accounts of the 
officers and men I was able to build up a detailed 
picture of the great action. The accounts were 
fairly accurate, all agreeing with our own on the 
main incidents, and especially so on the climax 
when the German Fleet escaped in the fog. One 
of the gunners explained that the reason for their 
success in sinking so many enemy ships was because 
they dropped their shells through the British decks. 
They were unanimous in their praise of their late 
Captain, who, they said, manoeuvred the Konig so 
well that she suffered very little damage although 
she was often in a front place in the fight. 

Whilst I was listening in the Officers' Mess to 
one of these accounts, my eye fell on a large shell 
splinter about a hundred pounds in weight. It was 
fitted on a wooden pedestal placed beside a small 
statue of Hindenburg, and on a board was painted 
in German, " A Greeting from the Queen Mary." 
An N.C.O. who had been on another ship during 
the fight had just given the stowaway trio and me a 
vivid description of the sinking of this magnificent 
ship. 

" And that's all there is left of her ! ' he said, 
pointing to the piece of shell. 

" Except one survivor," he added, with relish. 

My friends evidently knew enough German to 
understand what had been said, and I could see 



[ 121 ] 

that Taylor particularly resented the tone of the 
speaker. 

' We'll relieve them of this little trophy. It 
would look much better in a British Officers' Mess," 
I said to Taylor quietly. 

The anger in his face was replaced by a broad 
grin. 

' How are you going to get it ? " he asked. 

' I don't know yet. Anyway, I'll give them some 
first-class ' eyewash,' and if honest means fail " 

" Let's pinch it ! " interrupted one of the soldiers, 
showing a service man's practical turn of mind. 

But this was not necessary. The German 
N.C.O.'s parted with the trophy as tamely as the 
German nation had surrendered its fleet. It 
needed only three hours' talk to persuade them 
that they were doing the right thing in handing over 
this valuable memento of the greatest naval battle 
in history. Taylor procured some sacking, and 
stowed the splinter away in our part of the ship — 
'* In case they change their minds," he said. 
Hindenburg suffered slightly during the removal, 
which rather upset the chief engineer. 

The Konig zigzagged her way through the mine- 
fields for three days before we saw any other ships 
than those accompanying us, the Dresden and two 
smaller boats. During daylight my three com- 
panions stayed on deck in the hope of seeing a 



[ 122 ] 

British vessel to take us off. I was on the bridge 
with the navigating officer, marvelling at the mass 
of tubes and appliances behind the concrete walls 
of the control tower, when my seaman messmate 
rushed in, shouting: 

" Pack up ! There's a British ship coming to- 
wards us ! " 

I was soon below collecting my few belongings. 
We stood waiting for the ship coming out of the 
haze on our port side. 

" The Hercules ! " exclaimed some one. We 
shouted and waved to the crew who were on deck. 
Although we were close enough to see a stoker 
squirt some tobacco juice into the sea, they did not 
make one sign of response. 

" They think we're Germans," said one of the 
soldiers. It was the same with the four destroyers 
which accompanied Admiral Browning's Hercules. 
Not a sign came from the scores of men on the decks 
in answer to our frantic gesticulations. 

" Well, I'm damned ! " muttered one of the 
infantrymen, as the ship disappeared into the mist. 

Not long after this, the engines of the Dresden 
broke down, which delayed us for some hours while 
we took her in tow. While this was being done, 
Taylor, who ordinarily was a particularly good- 
tempered man, started cursing and threatening 
in a most terrible rage. He had lost his lanyard, 
which he had worn since the beginning of the war- 



[ 123 ] 

Since we had been on board, the German crew had 
unscrupulously stolen such articles as soap, cigar- 
ettes and a small muffler, which did not disturb him. 
If he saw them looking at anything particularly 
hard he would give it them without hesitation. 

" We shall soon be where there are plenty more," 
he would say good-naturedly. But the corded 
lanyard was a treasure he would never have parted 
with. Though we searched thoroughly it could 
not be found. Meanwhile, the Germans stood 
round and grinned. 

" You can't hit such swine ; you've got to kick 
'em," said one of the infantrymen. 

The Soldiers' Councils and their Aspirations 

Whilst my friends continued to keep a sharp 
look-out for a British ship, I was busy below with 
the Councillors getting details of the revolution at 
Kiel. They frankly stated that they had not the 
slightest feeling of disgrace in having to hand over 
their boats to the English. 

" We Germans have not belonged to the German 
Navy. The officers were the Navy ; we were only 
fetchers and carriers. If there had been comrade- 
ship between officers and men, there would have 
been no surrender — we should all have gone out 
to the last glorious smash. They were not worth 
it," said an ordinary seaman, who seemed to be 



[ I2 4 ] 

" Councillor without portfolio " co-opted on occasion 
for advisory purposes. 

" You didn't hold out much hope of a naval 
victory, then ? " I asked. 

" The British Navy, with its bigger boats and 
guns, against our Fleet, with its badly-treated crew 
and lighter vessels, ought to have won easily, 
although our officers did reckon on a ' glucklicher 
Zufall' " (a fluke), was the answer. 

President Otto was the first to touch on the sub- 
ject of the refusal of the Allies to negotiate with 
the Soldiers' Councils. From the earnest spirit in 
which this was debated I gathered that it was a 
burning question with these new controllers. They 
complained that the German Councillors who had 
preceded them in taking the first fleet of vessels to 
the Scapa Flow had been ignored by the British 
naval authorities. 

" You must remember that it was we who de- 
livered our Fleet to you — not the officers, who begin 
to adopt their old tactics as soon as we get into 
British waters." 

" Perhaps it's a mistake," I hazarded. 

" Mistake ? There's no mistake about it. The 
Allies insist that we must have the officers aboard, 
these same officers who are responsible for the crimes 
of which the Allies complain." 

I attempted to change the subject, which only 
opened other fields of difficult discussion. 



[ 125 ] 

" The rulers in the Allied countries are frightened 
to death at the mention of Soldiers' and Workmen's 
Councils ! Yet, how else could the Armistice con- 
ditions have been carried out if we had not stepped 
in and organised everything ? The people and the 
soldiery for once had the chance of expressing 
themselves, and the Councils were the natural 
result. I would like to tell you that Germany can 
re-establish herself only under one of two kinds of 
government : either a limited monarchy or an im- 
proved Soviet system." 

" Are you Bolsheviks, then ? " I asked. 

" No, we are not. But we may have to take 
refuge in the Soviet to make the Revolution secure," 
answered a Councillor who had not joined in the 
discussion before. 

" Even if we have a monarchy in Germany we 
shall also have Wilson's fourteen points to protect 
us from the military party ; and no one can refute 
them now every one has agreed to them," chipped 
in the oldest Councillor. 

As the discussion continued I realised that I 
was in the presence of some of the young German 
intellectuals who, unlike contemporaries and pre- 
decessors in their own and other countries, have 
blended a thorough knowledge of practical politics 
with their intellectualism. It was difficult to be- 
lieve that these quiet keen-faced sailors were the 
same who had fought and overcome the only real 



[ 126 ] 

opposition to the Revolution. They had killed 
coolly and deliberately, and had been killed. They 
discussed the theories of a wonderful world order 
as simply and easily as they had talked of their 
struggles at Kiel. Their remarks on Heine, Schiller 
and Goethe, the comparisons they made of their 
plays and poems with those of Shakespeare, were 
first-class literary lectures. Although they had 
but a slight knowledge of English, they would often 
explain a long German word by dropping into 
French. On the cabin shelves was a large number 
of the favourite Reclam editions of the classics, to 
which they constantly referred. 

I wondered at their intense admiration for 
" the greatest democrat history has ever known," 
President Wilson. He was to them a divinity, and 
the famous fourteen points a heavenly message. 

Another seaman put rather a curious question. 
He had told me his story of how he and his com- 
panions had drawn the boiler fires when the order 
had been given for the German Fleet to put to sea 
to make a last mad gamble. 

" Would Englishmen have thought better of us if 
we had all gone out and down at our posts ? " 

" I suppose they would," I said. 

" That's what the returning crews have told us — 
the officers despise us for not coming out. We 
fought our own Government and officers for four 
years, and now, after we have won our fight, we 



[ 127 ] 

must go out to be murdered in order to satisfy the 
' sporting instincts ' of the British officers. You 
are a curious people, you English ! " 

" Oh well, that's understandable ; they had 
something to fight for, and, in a manner, they were 
fighting our battles too," remarked the Councillor 
who had shown an intimate acquaintance with 
Shakespeare in comparing his plots with those of 
German classics. " But I expect they are very 
touchy about Bolshevism in England ! " he added, 
smiling as if he had just thought of a good joke. 
' At any rate, you may tell them that we are not 
Bolsheviks. And although some of my colleagues 
expect that your sailors will form Councils when 
they come in contact with ours, I do not think so. 
Your officers have the happy knack of blending 
discipline with good-fellowship. Again, don't think 
that we want to see a revolution in England, the 
pivot rock of Europe and the birthplace of de- 
mocracy. With a good Labour — or even an 
advanced Radical Government would do it — 
England can put new life into her neighbours and 
help us all." 

The Councillor paused to fill his pipe, and from 
the expectant look on the faces of the others I 
guessed we were going to be treated to a lecture, 
or at least a little propaganda. His hand stuck in 
his breast and his pipe going nicely, he continued : 
' What we are working for is not a system de- 



[ 128 ] 

pending on the personality and energy of one man. 
Lenin is brilliant, no doubt , and for the moment 
just the man necessary. The great question is — Can 
he leave his system so ordered that it endures, like 
the Roman Law or the Napoleonic Code ? Some 
of our people are inclined to think that Bolshevism 
is like a political party programme. If the Bol- 
sheviks go out of power, the system may be such 
that it can be laid aside like a party programme 
until its inventors return to power. We want 
something better than that. We want not one 
man but many men, elected directly from the people. 
The Soviet is a good beginning, but can be improved 
upon, until it really represents all the people and 
eliminates the incidental injustices which have 
occurred in Russia. 

" Again, our Councillors or Deputies will not be 
governors. They must be administrators. Most 
of the elected representatives of to-day regard 
their positions of governorships as public master- 
ships entitling them to ' govern ' the people, not 
to serve them. We have all suffered something of 
this sort. We cannot blame the adventurers who 
do get into parliaments ; it is the fault of the system. 
It is the hunting-ground for the incompetent 
creatures who could not earn a mark a day in a 
useful business. 

" What you call your Parliamentary system is to 
the manual workers as the game of roulette is to 



[ i2 9 ] 

the gamblers. The Bourgeoisie is as sure of getting 
into power and being greatly over-represented 
as the roulette banker is of winning money from 
his clients. It seems fair, but it is not. Our 
Bourgeoisie are desperate lest they do not get the 
National Assembly elected in time to prevent the 
long-promised reforms going through. The Soldiers' 
Council pass measures or reject them at once, but 
Scheidemann and Ebert could continue an ever- 
lasting wrangle over a progressive measure in the 
National Assembly and finally throw it out, blaming 
others for it. Just think of the ease with which 
a cunning bourgeois lawyer, after he has got through 
one election, can become a Cabinet Minister. Even 
the Soviets are fairer ; the head councillors, when 
they do reach the Chief Council, through the scien- 
tific system of election, although elected in the first 
place by a small number of citizens, are really ap- 
pointed by the millions. We want our representa- 
tives to be known intimately by the workers and to 
be chosen by them. By workers I mean every one, 
for it is a poor person nowadays who does not do 
some sort of work. 

" The class who used to shout from their parks and 
sport fields to the manual workers to work harder 
are now rapidly decreasing. They are all looking 
round for an occupation, which is bound to relieve 
the burden of the workers. If only the leisured 
classes would educate themselves, there is no reason 
9 



[ i3o ] 

why they should not be first-class administrators. 
When they know that honest service will be appreci- 
ated they will train themselves for it. But they 
must be kept out of a ' political ' atmosphere. 
The term politics to-day is synonymous with cor- 
ruption. They could not help themselves ; no 
matter how many Labour members might get into 
the Reichstag, they would all succumb to the 
subtle influence of opportunity and circumstances. 

" In the new system all members will have to be 
trained men and capable of passing certain common 
tests. By the time they reach the Chief Council 
or Parliament, all the unsuitable aspirants will 
have been weeded out. A commanding presence 
and a silky tongue alone are not sufficient equip- 
ment for administrators, and their affectedly 
passionate speeches will sound as ridiculous in 
the new Parliaments as they would at the board 
meeting of the Deutsche Bank. Of course the lawyer 
class cannot be barred, but they would not get very 
far and are bound to be in a minority no matter 
how clever they are. On the other hand, suppose a 
Council of doctors got into power, the fact alone 
would be a revolution — they would be ashamed to 
enter into the political intrigue, and, if given a free 
hand, would administer to a sick country as they 
would to a sick patient. 

" Personality would not play the part it does 
to-day — exploited as it is by moneyed interests. 



[ i3i ] 

We know that if Wilson goes out of power, his 
fourteen points will be rendered ineffective by 
another fourteen points from the opposition. We 
know that if Lloyd George and Clemenceau are 
sent to the Peace Conference, it will be a War 
Conference. Peace cannot be worked out by war 
minds. War is made and carried on by the primitive 
illogical mind. Peace — that is, if we assume we are 
sincerely going to try for a lasting world peace — 
must be managed by clear unbiased minds with the 
historical vision which can see a solvable problem, 
not merely an opportunity to put themselves on 
pedestals." 

The sailor Socialist rolled out his long German 
sentences with the oratorical finish of a university 
lecturer. I can imagine him and his friends carry- 
ing on their propaganda in the forecastle, gradually 
soaking their theories into the minds of their slower- 
thinking comrades. We were quite a crowd in the 
cabin now, and I wondered whether all the young 
recruits who had sidled inside could grasp his mean- 
ing or were merely influenced by his apostolic 
sincerity. 

" When Wilson goes," he continued, " we know 
that Roosevelt Americanism will take the place of 
the famous fourteen points. On the other hand, 
we want our system to develop like a State service 
and be outside the sordid sphere of bartering and 
intrigue of the political market-place. Our system 



[ 132 ] 

of government will be like our garden cities, properly 
planned and laid out with room for every one. And 
all this we will get without establishing a dictator- 
ship. We have a majority now, that is sufficient. 
It is curious that, now we have that majority, the 
German Bourgeoisie have begun telling foreigners 
that we are trying to establish a ' dictatorship ' 
with our Councils. Never have the manual workers 
been so fairly represented as by their Councillors, 
who have come from the heart of the people and 
are part of the people." 

The lecture was broken off on the arrival of one 
of the stowaways, who came to tell us that he had 
sighted the Scottish coast. 







* *^. 






s&?^ 



tfftt js ■//./?■ jOJj 




lOf-a, 





A Permit issued by Noske to the Author to allow 

him to sail in Kiel Harbour to meet Admiral 

Browning's Naval Mission. 



CHAPTER X 

Story of the Revolution at Kiel 

THE general conditions and state of mind pre- 
vailing among the crews of the German Navy 
seem to indicate that, no matter what the outcome 
of the war might have been, sooner or later a revolu- 
tion was bound to come. The food, I am assured, 
was sometimes worse than that given to criminals, 
while the accommodation for the men was the 
worst existing in any modern navy. Since the 
outbreak of war the German Admiralty had been 
much concerned about the morale of the sailors. 
Each case of insubordination was punished severely, 
and a strict censorship held over correspondence 
and newspapers passed to and from the ship. But 
the revolutionaries only worked the harder in 
spreading their dangerous propaganda. The rigor- 
ous discipline and well-organised espionage kept 
the movement in check until the outbreak of the 
Russian Revolution in March, 1917. 

Encouraged and helped by the German Inde- 
pendent Socialists the sailor revolutionaries re- 

133 



[ 134 ] 

sponded to the call of their Russian comrades and 
revolted. Prompt and severe measures were taken 
by the officers, who successfully coped with the situa- 
tion. A number of sailors were shot, others received 
long sentences of imprisonment. But the leaders 
continued to instil their revolutionary ideas into 
their comrades. The movement received con- 
siderable stimulus after the battle of Jutland, 
31st May, 1916, from the survivors who returned 
to the naval bases and swore that they would never 
go out again to meet the British Fleet. From this 
time secret signals were arranged between the crews 
of the various ships. It was agreed that so soon as 
any one found out that orders had been received 
for the Fleet to put to sea, the fires were to be ex- 
tinguished at once. 

On 28th October, 1918, the German Fleet was 
ordered to put to sea. The Pan-Germans put all 
their hopes in a second battle of Jutland. Even if 
the Fleet was defeated, they hoped that the sacrifice 
of the sailors would consolidate the nation sufficiently 
to stave off the rout of the armies which was now 
imminent. The German Fleet was to have left 
Wilhelmshaven by three o'clock in the afternoon. 
The crews signalled each other, and when the orders 
to prepare to sail were given, these were promptly 
disobeyed and the fires put out. The various 
captains informed Admiral Hipper, who postponed 
the sailing until four o'clock, before which time 



[ 135 ] 

he hoped that the officers would have succeeded in 
persuading the men to carry out their duties. The 
crew of the Markgraf seem to have distinguished 
themselves by being the first to break out in open 
rebellion. They opened hostilities by refusing to 
raise the anchor and by taking possession of the 
winches. 

The rebels barricaded themselves on the fore-deck, 
but, owing to insufficient arms and ammunition, 
were temporarily subdued, and finally six hundred 
of them were removed from the ship under 
escort. 

The crew of the Heligoland managed to capture 
three small guns ; but they also quietened down 
when they saw that the object was already attained 
— they had prevented the Fleet from putting to sea. 

After the exit of the ringleaders the officers of 
the Fleet were given the following message from the 
men, who held their first meeting — surely the 
beginning of the Soldiers' Councils : 

' If the English attack us, we will stand together 
and defend ourselves to the bitter end ; but we will 
not be the attacking party. Should you try to 
take the ships farther than Heligoland, we will 
extinguish the fires again." 

The following letter, written by an eye-witness 
to his father and published in the Bergische Arbeiter- 
stimme, gives an idea of the mental state of the 
sailors who had remained loyal until 28th October : 



[ 136] 

" Dear Father, — May this letter not fall into 
indiscreet hands. Great things have happened in 
the Imperial Fleet : the crews of the battleships and 
cruisers have mutinied. Perhaps the rumour has 
already reached you. I will tell you what happened. 

" Whilst scouting in the North Sea, our flotilla was 
approached many times by English ships. From 
this and other signs we had no doubt that some- 
thing was in preparation. Finally, some days 
later, when we were about to re-enter the harbour, 
we saw the main German Fleet, battleships and 
torpedo boats, at anchor at Wilhelmshaven, and 
we also came to anchor. Suddenly the report 
reached us that the Admiral of the Fleet intended 
to carry out some manoeuvres in the gulf ! But no 
one was deceived by that absurd statement. 

" The first order was transmitted during Wednes- 
day night, and forthwith given out on Thursday. 
We, who were lying outside, did not know what 
was happening : we frequently heard whispers of 
insubordination and revolt, but we did not believe 
them. Yesterday the order came : ' B.97 and B.112 ' " 
(his own and another boat of the squadron) " 'will 
be ready from eight o'clock. — The Admiral of the 
First Squadron.' The Admiral came aboard, . . . 
then the captain of our squadron assembled us on 
deck and made a speech which I shall never forget 
as long as I live. Regrettable incidents had occurred 
in the squadron, the crews of different vessels had 
refused to obey orders. When the Fleet should 
have put to sea, the stokers had taken the extin- 
guishers from the fire-boxes and had put out the 



[ 137 ] 

boiler fires. As every fresh order was received, they 
repeated this conduct in such fashion as to prevent 
the departure of the Fleet. When explanations 
were demanded they replied that they would dis- 
obey no further orders, but that they would not 
consent to start at any price ; they refused to take 
part in the final struggle of the German Fleet. 
Some one in high position said, ' Before we hand over 
the Fleet, we will stake all on one throw ; rather 
than surrender our beautiful Fleet to the English, 
we would see it utterly destroyed.' 

" On the Commander of the Thuringen saying, 
' We will fire our two thousand rounds to the last 
shot and go down with flag flying,' the men replied 
that he could go to sea alone. It was then that 
matters came to a head. The situation was most 
serious on the Thuringen and the Heligoland, of the 
First Squadron. The rebels barricaded themselves 
on the fore-deck ; those on the Heligoland got 
possession of three guns. I can't tell you all the 
details of our chief's speech ; in brief he said that 
we had been told off to restore order and, if the 
necessity arose, we were to use our arms against 
our comrades. 

' I cannot tell you what were my feelings ; we 
prepared our machine-guns, our big guns and our 
torpedoes, and advanced to within two hundred 
yards of the Thuringen . Meanwhile a steamer 
had left the harbour bringing two hundred and fifty 
marines to escort away the insurgents : it was in 
case these refused to board the steamer that B.97 
was to fire. 



[ 138 ] 

" My dear Father, if you only knew what an 
impotent rage seized me when we had trained our 
guns on our comrades ! ... At last, an hour later, 
the rebels gave up and hoisted a Red Cross flag 
through a port-hole. About six hundred men 
passed on to the steamer. What a relief to us ! 
It was within an ace . . . 

" On the Heligoland and the other ships the dis- 
turbance was quieted ; they had attained their 
object : the Fleet would not put to sea. We are 
certain to suffer for what has occurred, but 
our hour approaches. Peace must be made 
soon ; otherwise we will make it ourselves. The 
Fleet will take no further part in the war, if only 
the army and the people will follow." 

After this incident the revolt spread right 
through the Fleet. Red flags were hoisted on all 
the ships except the Konig, which was lying in 
dock still flying the war flag. A very bitter fight 
took place, during which two officers were killed, 
one being the captain of the vessel, and many other 
officers and men were wounded. By midday the 
sailors were masters of the ship, and here also was 
hoisted the universal emblem of revolution. Officers 
who would not join the rebels were badly handled 
and driven from the ship. 

The sailors of the Third Squadron asked for the 
release of their comrades. They were refused a 
hearing, which consolidated and decided them on a 
bold course of action. They called a massed meet- 



C 139 ] 

ing at the Trades Union building, at which they 
invited the workmen of the city to j oin them in their 
fight for freedom. The incident passed off quietly, 
another meeting for the week-end having been 
announced. 

On Sunday, 3rd November, thousands of sailors, 
soldiers and civilians streamed on to the exercise 
ground at Kiel, and held several meetings, at which 
it was decided to demand the release of their com- 
rades. In order to compel the naval authorities 
to comply with these resolutions several thousands 
of sailors formed themselves into a procession, all 
carrying red flags, and marched into the town. 
On the way they called at the military barracks to 
induce the soldiers to join them ; here all the arms 
and ammunition in the armoury were distributed 
to the sailors and their friends. The first pitched 
battle of the revolt now took place. The pro- 
cession had resumed its march and was about to 
pass the corner of Brunswikerstrasse and Karl- 
strasse when it was intercepted and held up by a 
company of cadets and petty officers led by an 
officer. After his order to disperse had been 
ignored for the third time, he ordered his troops 
to open fire on the demonstrators. Eight sailors 
were killed outright, and twenty-nine more 
seriously wounded. Besides these, there were 
many other casualties — some women and children. 
In the attacking party the casualties were also 



[ Ho ] 

heavy, the officer in charge being the first to 
fall. " 

Within a few hours the entire garrison had been 
won over to the side of the rebels. Still the authori- 
ties did not believe that the revolt could succeed, 
and did not take strong enough measures to sup- 
press the outbreak. It was not until the high 
officers themselves were obliged to capitulate that 
the Fifteenth Regiment of Wandsbecker Hussars 
was ordered to march on Kiel. On hearing of the 
latest development, the Colonel realised that his 
small force was not strong enough to make any im- 
pression on the vast army of insurgents, so he halted 
his men and marched them back to whence they 
came. At last it occurred to Admiral Souchon, 
the Governor of Kiel, that he had better try to cope 
with the revolutionaries by diplomatic methods. 
Acting on instructions from Berlin, he consented 
to meet a deputation of sailors who might place 
their wishes before him. The following four- 
teen articles were drawn up by the Soldiers' 
Council : 

i. Liberty for all arrested revolutionaries and 
political prisoners. 

2. Freedom of the Press ; liberty of speech. 

3. Abolition of the postal censorship. 

4. Equitable treatment from superiors. 

5. The sailors and soldiers agree to return to 



[ I4i ] 

their ships and barracks if all punishment 
is cancelled. 

6. Under no circumstances must the Fleet put 

to sea. 

7. Suspension of all sanguinary methods of re- 

pression. 

8. Departure of all troops not belonging to the 

city garrison. 

9. All protective measures for guarding private 

property to be arranged by the Soldiers' 
Council. 

10. No superiors except in service relations. 

11. Complete liberty of the individual when off 

duty. 

12. We welcome to our ranks those officers who 

accept rules agreed to by the Soldiers' 
Council. Others must leave the service. 

13. Members of the Soldiers' Council exempted 

from military service. 

14. In future no measures may be taken without 

the consent of the Soldiers' Council. Every 
one in military service will regard these 
recommendations as orders. 

The Soldiers' Council. 

These demands were handed to the Governor by a 
deputation appointed by the Council. 

On 2nd November all the workers except those 
engaged in public services went on strike. Although 



[ 142 ] 

comparatively good order prevailed, Noske and 
Haussmann, Socialist members of the Reichstag, 
received an urgent invitation to come to Kiel. 
It became known that the ringleaders of the revolt 
were to be shot, also the stokers who had put out 
the fires. A terrible passion now seized the sailors, 
who determined that the execution should not be 
carried out. They formed themselves into a huge 
procession and started for the prison. The leaders, 
finding that they had few weapons among them, 
called at the Wiker-Kasernement for reinforcements. 
They found the doorways bristling with weapons. 
When the soldiers had heard the story, they too 
threw in their lot with the liberators. Rifles, 
revolvers and swords were thrown through the 
windows of the barracks, and every one secured 
weapons of some sort. In less than an hour the 
procession of demonstrators had become an armed 
force of ten thousand men. 

They called on the Governor, without obtaining 
any satisfaction. The time was passed in making 
speeches and passing resolutions until the evening. 
The procession again surged through the Holtenauer- 
and Waitzstrasse on its way to the Naval Station. 
They gathered about the building, shouting 
" Liberate the prisoners ! " The cries reached the 
room where the Admiral and the captains were 
conferring. When the shouting was at its loudest, 
a motor-car drove into the crowd, on the roof of 



[ 143 3 

which was a sailor who cried to the crowd that the 
prisoners were already liberated. A roar of cheers 
now drowned the angry shouting. 

The procession re-formed and headed for the prison 
in order to fetch the liberated prisoners. On the 
way they continued to collect more sympathisers. 
At the door of the prison they came to a halt, half 
expecting to hear shots fired from the windows. 
They gazed anxiously at the large door, waiting for 
the appearance of their comrades. At last they 
came, heralded by rolling drums and a fanfare of 
trumpets. The incident touched the sentimental 
sailors. The same drums and bugles which, only 
the day before, had served as the insignia of the 
old order were now being used to herald in the 
new freedom. 

The prisoners stepped out proudly, greeted by a 
roar of welcome from their comrades, the light of 
victory shining from their faces. Darkness was 
approaching and lent to the scene a striking effect. 
The released prisoners marched into the crowd, which 
once again became a procession. The band began 
playing " In der Heimat, da gibt's ein Wiedersehn," 
which brought tears to the eyes of the sailors, many 
of whom had not seen their homes for four years. 

The crowd swung along the street, their song 
ringing out ahead of them. The next stopping-place 
was the Trades Union building, where the combined 
Trade Unions of Kiel assured the sailors of their 



[ 144 ] 

loyal support and also joined the marching army 
now moving towards the railway station. A train 
arrived crowded with soldiers. Officers in field grey 
with clanking swords stepped out on to the platform 
and were hooted by the people,now filling the station. 
The soldiers still sitting in the train were greeted with 
hearty cries of welcome and invited to join the 
revolutionaries. 

The crowd now turned back to the Wilhelmplatz, 
where a rostrum had been erected. Large red flags 
fluttered in the light of a solitary gas lamp. 
Speaker after speaker addressed the ever-increasing 
crowd. 

Suddenly the darkness was pierced by a powerful 
searchlight which set the listening crowds blinking 
as if they were in the full glare of the sun. A large 
motor-car slowly split the crowd up to the platform. 
" Genosse " Noske had arrived. As he climbed 
the steps he was loudly cheered, and it was some 
minutes before he was allowed to speak. He said 
he brought the greetings of the German Socialists 
from all parts of the Empire. It filled him with 
pride to be among the brave bluejackets who alone 
had just completed a wonderful piece of work. They 
only had to remain masters of themselves now to 
complete the Revolution. He impressed on them 
the necessity for order, after which he brought his 
speech to an end, and the crowd slowly dispersed. 

As they were going away, a fusillade of shots was 



[ H5 ] 

fired from the surrounding houses. A number of 
sailors sank to the ground, and great excitement 
took possession of the rest. As the bullets chipped 
up the road the Wilhelmplatz was cleared as by 
magic. All through the night occasional shots 
disturbed the silence. The officers who had arrived 
with regiments to put down the revolt, finding 
their men had deserted them, had formed a skir- 
mishing detachment and continued to harry the 
sailors. At last a mist descended on the city, 
screening the sailor patrols from the officer snipers. 
The citizens woke the following morning, the 5th 
of November, to find red flags hoisted on all the ships 
of the Fleet, the Town Hall and all other public 
buildings. 

Apparently the sailors still suspected Admiral 
Souchon of planning to surprise them with some 
repressive measures. They decided to run no risks 
and took him prisoner, holding him as hostage, after 
which Haase and Ledebour were invited by telegram 
to take part in a central governing body with Noske 
and Haussmann. The morning after Noske arrived, 
handbills were again distributed to inform the 
citizens of the result of the night's conference. 

" Comrades ! The doings of yesterday will re- 
main memorable to us in the history of Germany. 
For the first time political power is now in the hands 
of the soldiers. 

IO 



[ 146 ] 

" We shall never return to the past. We have 
heavy tasks before us ; unity and solidarity are 
necessary. You have elected a Soldiers' Council 
which closely collaborates with the Workmen's 
Council. Follow its instructions and carry out its 
decisions so that nothing can ever be raised to 
discredit us. See to it that order is maintained in 
the barracks. 

" We have obtained the following results late 
yesterday evening from the Government of Kiel 
in presence of Deputy Noske and Secretary of State 
Haussmann : 

i. Haussmann takes up our demands and promises 
to place them before the Government at 
once. 

2. Immediate suspension of all military measures 

directed against our movement. 

3. Sailors to be relieved of all compulsory 

measures to enforce them to return to their 
ships. 

4. The offences of those men still in prison will 

be submitted to the Soldiers' Council, who, 
in collaboration with the Workmen's 
Council, will liberate all prisoners except 
those who are condemned for felonious 
offences. 
" Comrades Haase and Ledebour have been called 

by telegram in order to form a central governing 

body. 



[147] 

" Comrades, have confidence in your Soldiers' 
Council ! " 

After these effective pioneer efforts on the part 
of the sailors, to take the Revolution to other towns 
was now quite a simple matter. The ruling classes 
began to regard the Revolution in the light of a 
deus ex machina — if it did not altogether un- 
ravel the complicated knot in which they found 
themselves, it could be used as a screen behind 
which to shelter until life again became " normal." 



CHAPTER XI 

Scapa Flow — The German Fleet — On board H.M.S. Lion — 
— Received by the Admiral of the Fleet — Home 

Scapa Flow 

IT was not until the fourth day at sea that we 
learned that the Konig was to be interned at 
Scapa Flow. We had heard various disturbing 
rumours, one of which was that she was to go direct 
to Australia ! On the fifth day the captain began 
to speak to the men as he had done in pre-Revolution 
days. He had entered British waters although we 
had not yet sighted any other ships. It was a 
curious sight to see the chief officer, a big man with 
a florid face and large black moustache, sharing 
the bridge with President Otto, who looked like 
an intelligent boy enjoying his first sea trip. 

I suppose I had spent too much time with the 
Councillors to suit the surly captain. His manner 
was very crisp when I asked him where we could 
leave the ship. 

" How do I know what is going to happen now ? " 
he snapped. 

At last we came within sight of the Scottish 

coast. Shortly afterwards we were signalled bv a 

148 



[ 149 ] 

British battleship, which sent a launch panting 
through the water to meet us. We were boarded 
by an officer, a midshipman who carried his chief's 
" ham-bone," and two able seamen who gave us a 
true sailor welcome. The officer was soon up on the 
bridge giving the German officers orders for the 
berthing of the Konig 

The German Fleet 

And then came a glorious sight. We were now 
close to the small islands, and under the haze we 
could see the Grand Fleet lying snugty at anchor. 
The Konig continued to move at half-speed past 
the " Barrel of Butter," and brought us to a still 
more impressive sight — the German Fleet drawn up 
in lines, prisoners of war as we had been ! A faint 
sun limned in the dark shapes of the ships against 
the mist as on a huge panoramic canvas. 

A large tug-boat now took us in tow. As soon as 
the crew saw us on board they pitched bread, 
cigarettes and other articles which they guessed we 
should appreciate on to the deck of the Konig. 

After the ship had been berthed with the other 
battleships of her class, the British officer offered 
to take us to the Renown, A few more observa- 
tions were made with the " ham-bone," of which 
the young midshipman seemed very proud, and we 
prepared to leave the German ship. 



[ i5o] 

Taylor staggered on deck with the shell splinter, 
and after we had nearly sent it through the bottom 
of the waiting launch, we were taken to the Renown. 
No sooner had we scrambled on deck, having over- 
come the difficulties of transferring the trophy, 
than a message arrived from the Admiral of the 
Fleet that we were to be taken aboard the flagship 
Lion at once. 

" Wonder what he wants ? " said the younger 
soldier as we climbed down to the launch again. 

" God knows ! Anyway, he can't eat us," replied 
Taylor philosophically. 

On Board H.M.S. " Lion " 

We were put aboard the Lion, whose officers by 
their sympathetic reception made tears well into 
the eyes of some of us. 

" The Admiral wants you, sir, at once," said a 
marine, coming up to the group. 

" What have you got there ? " inquired Com- 
mander Franklin of Taylor, who was still bending 
under the weight of the trophy on his shoulder. 

" This, sir ? This is a bit of shell which was 
picked out of the ribs of the Konig, stuck there 
by the Queen Mary — her last shot, so the Germans 
said," he answered proudly. 

" Splendid ! But go along to the Admiral. He 
wants to hear all about you." 



[ i5i ] 

The three adventurers went off with the marine, 
and I was taken below to the Commander's cabin, 
the owner of which pressed me not to talk while 
I was making my toilet, and then would suddenly 
exclaim, " But, I say, what sort of people are those 
Huns ? " or, " What did they say to you when you 
asked them why they didn't come out? " Then 
I was taken to the ward-room, where I had to drink 
many cocktails whilst telling the officers what sort 
of people V those blighters " really were. 

" Captain Davies wants to talk to you," came 
another message. 

I found him in a room — one cannot call such 
tremendous places cabins — where he gave me a 
wonderful arm-chair in front of the fire. And so 
it went on all the evening. Dinner was an adven- 
ture, the cinema show afterwards a carnival of 
delight. 

I remember that Les Cloches de Corneville was 
being shown on the screen. During the tragic 
scenes where the miser is particularly unpleasant 
the ward-room of officers behaved like a crowd 
of happy schoolboys. " Villain ! " " Murderer ! " 
" Monster ! " they would shout when the beautiful 
heroine was " going through it," as they phrased 
it. It was a great relief to be once more among 
people who could laugh and joke. The darkness 
was a relief. On either side of me were sympathetic 
senior lieutenants who described Jutland and the 



[ 152 ] 

final surrender, and how Beatty had waited for 
the German Fleet, " ready for tricks." 

I tried to imagine the British Fleet prisoners in 
a German naval base. How the German Govern- 
ment would have encouraged its citizens to gloat 
over the prizes. I am sure they would have 
arranged excursions for the purpose. Pictures can 
convey little of the sensation one experiences on 
coming suddenly in sight of those great boats. 
It is a sight every Briton should have seen for 
himself. I wonder how many saw the German 
battleships at Scapa before they were scuttled. 
It is only such scenes that can convey some of the 
significance of victory. To watch a procession of 
prisoners being brought out of the firing line is not 
an ennobling sight. With ships the case is different ; 
the humiliated human element is not in the picture. 
The sight of the German Fleet lying harmless at 
anchor would have helped people more than any- 
thing else to comprehend the meaning of the 
terrible power which threatened them. 

The regaining of my liberty was as overwhelming 
an experience as the losing of it had been. The 
generosity of the younger officers was the most 
trying. They would take me aside and press me 
to take all manner of things, from money and 
cigarettes to pyjamas and clean linen. Finally, I 
was put to bed in the captain's sea-cabin. On the 



[ 153 ] 

way I passed dozens of sailors who were sleeping 
in hammocks out in the open. No wonder they 
are tough sea-dogs ! From my cabin I could see 
hundreds of lights twinkling on the various ships. 
There was hardly a sound except for a slight wash 
of the water as I revelled in the soothing scene. 
At last I turned into bed, but sleep was impossible. 

About the middle of -the night my door was 
slowly opened, and one of the watch crept quietly 
in. 

" I thought you weren't asleep, sir. I know 
what a chap feels like when he comes home from 
them Germans," he said, his big round face beaming 
good-nature. He was holding a large steaming 
mug of cocoa. " Could you do this, sir ? Just 
made it ; it might get you off to sleep." 

Gradually a delicious drowsiness carried me to 
the borderland of sleeping and waking. I started 
up once, thinking I had wakened from another dream 
of going home — the prisoner's terror. I gripped 
the big rubber speaking-tube at the bedside to 
reassure myself, and shortly afterwards fell sound 
asleep. 

In the morning I joined my three friends and 
heard of their adventures on the lower deck. We 
left the Lion in a drifter and boarded the mail 
steamer for Thurso. It was in the cabin of this 
boat that I met the man who was to separate me 



[ 154] 

from my trophy as easily as I had got it from the 
Germans. 

" What's the trinket in the sack ? " he asked 
when Taylor had dumped it down on the carriage 
floor. He was the gunnery lieutenant of the 
Canada, and showed a keen interest in my 
treasure. At Carlisle the sack changed hands. 
The claim of the Canada seemed to be as satis- 
factory as any I should meet with. After examining 
the splinter, Lieutenant Nash told me that it was 
the nose of a 14-inch shell, and that the Canada 
was the only ship to fire that size of shell at Jutland. 
To complete his claim he added that even if it 
should turn out to have been fired by the Queen 
Mary, the Canada was still entitled to it, because 
the sole survivor of that ship was now serving on 
the Canada ! The last I saw of Nash he was 
staggering along Carlisle railway platform with 
the " trinket " on his shoulder. I don't believe 
he will give it up so readily as I and the crew of 
the Konig did. 

When I last saw the stowaways they were sur- 
rounded by an agitated crowd of Red Cross ladies 
at Preston, who seemed to expect them to drink 
mugs of hot tea and eat countless sandwiches and 
at the same time tell the story of their adventures. 



CHAPTER XII 
The Berlin Revolution 

LOOKING back on the Revolution in Berlin 
a clear narrative of events emerges. The 
first demonstration of any kind to take place in 
Berlin occurred on the 8th of November, and quite 
by an accident. Although it had nothing whatever 
to do with the Revolution, it prepared the way for 
what was to follow. 

When, owing to the news from Kiel, the military 
took control of the railway stations, the soldiers 
on furlough found they could not leave the city. 
Although the authorities had acquainted the officers 
on leave with the precautionary measures taken, 
they could not risk telling the rank and file why 
they were detained in Berlin. During the morning 
over five hundred privates of various units called 
at the Blucherstrasse Barracks for money allow- 
ances and rations. No arrangements having been 
made, they were sent away — a proceeding which 
caused considerable dissatisfaction. Some returned, 
and a large number stated that they would be 
satisfied with their pay, with which they could 

purchase rations. 

155 



[ 156] 

But the pay still not being forthcoming, the 
growing crowd became unmanageable. They 
formed themselves into a procession, together with 
a large number of civilians who thought the demon- 
stration was inspired by the events happening in 
Hamburg, Kiel and other cities. The procession 
made for the Kommandantur, where a spokesman 
was elected to explain the position and demand 
redress from Feldwebelleutenant Manthez, the 
orderly officer. The soldiers stood before the 
gates, in a solid phalanx, while the delegates made 
the most of their case. The Feldwebelleutenant, 
mistaking them for revolutionaries, listened sym- 
pathetically and promised to take up the matter 
at once. They were to return in two hours' time. 
Thereupon the procession, now considerably 
augmented, marched through the streets several 
thousands strong and began to wear a revolutionary 
aspect. One soldier tore the cockade from his 
hat and threw it away, which act was imitated 
by the rest. A red handkerchief produced by a 
civilian became their banner. 

The demonstrators made for the Vorwarts 
office. At their appearance along the streets red 
flags began to flutter at the windows as if they 
were expected. Arrived at the Vorwarts building, 
a fusilier named Hertel climbed on to the roof of a 
motor-car and made a speech to the soldiers, at 
the end of which he called for three " Hochs " for 



[ 157 ] 

the German Republic. The crowd responded to 
the call with a startling heartiness. The be- 
wildered leave-men began to understand what they 
were supposed to be, and felt the bolder for knowing. 
It was now time to return to the Kommandantur. 

" To the Kommandantur ! " cried the civilians, 
without the least notion why they were going there. 

In the meantime the Feldwebelleutenant had 
satisfactorily dealt with the case and had enough 
money on hand to pay each soldier on leave sixty 
marks. 

The demonstration originated by a small group 
of discontented men on leave had now assumed 
such proportions that it put the fear of God into 
the poor Berliners, who were now anxiously dis- 
playing banners and badges made of any old red 
material they could find. It was also probably 
the cause of the Berlin garrison's sudden enthusiasm 
for the revolution. 

Hearing of the affair at the Kommandantur, 
General von Linsingen increased his precautionary 
measures and brought in a brigade of Horse and 
Foot Guards with machine-guns, field-pieces, and a 
large quantity of hand-grenades. All officers on 
leave in Berlin were warned for special duty and 
supplied with automatic pistols. 

A message was received that three thousand 
sailors were coming to Berlin by train from Kiel. 
At once the authorities filled the stations with 



[ 158 ] 

troops, believing they could quarantine the citizens 
from the dangers of becoming infected with the 
" red fever." A wireless message brought news 
of three thousand sailors marching on the capital. 
Still a third message stated that a deputation of 
the Kiel Soldiers' Council was on its way to Berlin 
by airship. When the news leaked out, the workers 
went on strike and assembled in a body at the 
Johannisthal airship ground to assist the landing. 

At one o'clock on 9th November it was made 
known that the Kaiser had abdicated. From this 
time the arrangements to usher in the new Germany 
went quite " planmassig." Scheidemann was the 
Minister chosen to declare Germany a Republic, 
which he did from a window of the Reichstag. 

" The monarchical system has collapsed," he 
said. " The majority of the garrison troops have 
joined us. The Hohenzollerns have abdicated. 
Long live the German Republic ! Ebert is forming 
a new Government in which all Social Democratic 
parties will be represented. Delegate Gohre has 
been sent to the Commander-in-Chief to get his 
signature to the decree. Nothing can rob us of 
the great victory we have won. Preserve quietness, 
order and security." 

So ran the first of the proclamations. 
A general strike was called. This had been 
anticipated by the authorities on the day before. 
The commanding officers of the various Guard 



[ 159] 

regiments dispatched to quell the expected dis- 
order were surprised on approaching Berlin by the 
rapidity with which their troops elected Soldiers' 
Councils. This was the first appearance in the 
Revolution of Ebert, who had been elected on one 
of the Councils to represent the Social Democratic 
party. At a conference between the two Social 
Democratic groups Ebert, Scheidemann and Dr. 
David were elected to represent the Democrats, 
and Ledebour, Vogtherr and Dittmann the Inde- 
pendent Socialists. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon Ebert and his 
colleagues were called to the Chancellery, where 
Prince Max offered him the Chancellorship. Ebert 
accepted and began his duties by sending out 
a proclamation explaining the situation and urging 
the manual workers to remain at work. This was 
followed shortly afterwards by another message 
emphasising the important points of the former 
proclamation. 

Everything went well until the evening when Dr. 
Karl Liebknecht and Herr Barth made their appear- 
ance. The leader of the Spartacists had been out 
all day haranguing the crowds from the balcony 
of the Imperial Palace and hoisting red flags on 
public buildings, whilst Scheidemann, Ebert and 
the other Majority Socialists had been making 
themselves acquainted with the permanent officials 
and the intricacies of the Government offices. 



[ i6o ] 

Liebknecht and Barth suggested that a Cabinet 
should be formed of three Independent Socialists 
and three Majority Socialists, and strenuously 
opposed a proposal to hold an immediate election 
for a National Assembly. They feared that, if 
this were done, the people would re-elect the old 
parties under new names. 

It was agreed that all authority should for the 
time being rest in the hands of the Soldiers' and 
Workmen's Councils, a delegation of which met at 
the Reichstag the same evening. 

More proclamations were published, all emphasis- 
ing the necessity of the continuance of work and the 
preservation of order. 

No serious disorder occurred during the 9th until 
six o'clock in the evening, when a skirmish took 
place near the Castle, where Liebknecht had hoisted 
one of his red flags. A few shots also came from 
the window of the Marstall, killing a number 
of people. Simultaneously firing began near the 
University and the Library, where many were 
killed and wounded. 

The " Meinungscheidenheiten " (difference of opin- 
ion) between the Majority and Independent Socialists 
began when, later in the evening, Liebknecht's pro- 
gramme appeared in his newspaper Die Rote Fakne. 
Until this was published there was a strong feeling 
among the workers and soldiers that Liebknecht 
should be appointed Provisional President. They 



[ i6i ] 

hesitated when it was known that the Majority 
Socialists strongly opposed his very definite demands: 

i. All police to be disarmed, also all officers 
and soldiers who are not in sympathy with 
the Revolution. Arming of the people. 
All soldiers and proletarians to retain their 
arms. 

2. All military and civil authority to be taken 

over by the Soldiers' and Workmen's 
Councils. 

3. Surrender of all arms and ammunition and 

munition factories to the Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Council. 

4. Control of all transport by the Workmen's 

and Soldiers' Council. 

5. Abolition of courts-martial. Compulsory 

military service to be replaced by voluntary 
service of soldiers under control of the 
Workmen's and Soldiers' Council. 

6. The removal of all parliaments, including 

the present Imperial Government. The 
taking over of government by the Berlin 
Soldiers' and Workmen's Council until the 
setting up of Imperial Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Councils. 

7. Election of Workmen's and Soldiers' Councils 

over the whole of Germany, in whose hands 

legislation and government shall rest ex- 
n 



[ 162 ] 

clusively. All able-bodied men and 
women both in town and country to par- 
ticipate in these elections. 

8. Abolition of all dynasties. Our watchword 

is " A united Social Republic of Germany." 

9. Immediate resumption of relations with all 

Soldiers' and Workmen's Councils in Ger- 
many, as well as with our Socialist comrades 
abroad. 
10. Immediate recall of the Russian Soviet am- 
bassador to Berlin. 

On 10th November, in spite of the demands 
of the Spartacists, the extreme left wing of the 
Independent Socialist party, a new Government 
was formed of Ebert, Scheidemann, Landsberg 
(Majority Socialists), Haase, Dittmanm and Emil 
Barth, the secretary of the Spartacists (Independent 
Socialists). Occasional conflicts took place that 
day between ex-officers and the Red patrols. The 
Marstall was the scene of another short but severe 
encounter between a body of royal troops, principally 
officers, and a number of Palace officials who barri- 
caded themselves in the royal stables, whence they 
were driven out by the Reds only after they had 
suffered about fifty casualties. 

Even at this early stage the once universal re- 
volutionary red was rapidly being toned down into 
less vivid shades. Some of the Majority Socialists 



[ 163 ] 

had already become practically white. Thousands 
of flags hastily hung from the windows of the large 
houses for purposes of protection were discreetly 
withdrawn overnight. Pedlars who had laid in 
supplies of red badges began to find a difficulty 
in disposing of their stock. Before I left Berlin I 
saw them peeling the red covers off the Hindenburg 
war buttons, which sold again in their original form. 

Although the Soldiers' Councils insisted upon 
removal of all ins%nia of superior rank from the 
officers' uniforms, they did not interfere with the 
Headquarters Staff. Without even being ap- 
proached, Hindenburg volunteered to support the 
Soldiers' Council and to accept orders from the 
Provisional Government. To him particularly the 
Revolution was a deus ex machina which left him 
in countenance with the Army. Only those offio 
who were not in touch with the general trend of 
things made any resistance at all. 

Hindenburg, almost as popular as in pre-Revolu- 
tion days, was soon busy with his proclamations. 
The first ran as follows : 

" To the Army ! — The Armistice is signed. Un t i 1 
these last days have we carried our arms with 
honour. With its deep devotion and sense of duty 
the Army has accomplished mighty deeds. In 
victorious attack and tenacious defence, in hard 
battles on land and in the air, we have kept the 



[ 164 ] 

enemy from crossing our frontiers and our homes 
free from the horror and desolation of war. Owing 
to the increasing number of our enemies, to the 
collapse of our exhausted allies, — who have fought 
with us until they could fight no longer,— owing to 
the growing pressure of food and economic problems, 
our Government has been obliged to accept an 
armistice, the terms of which are very severe. At 
the same time, we, proud and with our heads high, 
go out of the struggle in which we have been able 
to stand against a world of enemies for over four 
years. Conscious that we have defended our land 
and our honour to the last, we take new strength. 
The Armistice conditions demand a rapid retreat to 
our home — under the prevailing circumstances a 
difficult task. Self-command and a loyal sense of 
duty from every one of you make a severe test for the 
spirit and self-respect of the Army. In battle your 
Commander-in-Chief has never left you in the lurch. 

I now put my trust in you ! 

" Von Hindenburg, 

Commander-in-Chief." 

With what rage must Ludendorff have read this 
and similar proclamations ! With a little resolution 
he might have stayed and withheld his resignation, 
which was his own idea ; he, rather than his faithful 
partner, might have been publishing these messages. 
How the last two lines must have rankled ! 



[ i65 ] 

The Revolution continued "regelmassig." Once 
Berlin had become " red," all other cities followed 
suit. It was quite a simple matter to form Soldiers' 
and Workmen's Councils and to issue proclamations 
to the citizens to remain quietly in their homes. 
On the same day, 16th November, that Graf von 
Arnim-Boitzenburg, President of the Herrenhaus, 
protested vigorously against the abolition of this 
chamber, Ebert and Haase issued a very reassuring 
statement to the Army and people. They said 
that it was not their intention to confiscate bank 
balances or property of any kind, or to interfere 
with the War Loan, though they would keep strict 
control over all questions of income and national 
expense, and further that salaries, pensions and 
allowances for officials, soldiers and their dependents 
would be paid as usual, which meant that the 
Prussian Bureaucracy was still intact. 

After the first few days the Revolution subsided 
into an open quarrel between the Government and 
the Spartacists over the election of a National 
Assembly. Members of the bourgeois parties, who 
had retired at the first sign of red, returned, and 
under the new titles soon became active in their 
efforts to hurry on the election. On 19th 
November a mass meeting was held at Zirkus Busch 
as a protest against these efforts. Feeling ran so 
high on this occasion that there was danger of 
serious disorder. Richard Miiller, the Chairman of 



[ 166 ] 

the Executive Committee of the Soldiers' and Work- 
men's Council, said in passionate tones : 

" The way to the National Assembly is only 
over my dead body. In this roundabout way the 
authority will again pass into the hands of the 
middle classes " — a speech which earned for him 
the name of " Leichenmuller " (corpse Muller). 

" The question of constitution is a question of the 
future," he continued. " We will not let the power 
go out of our hands. If we elect a National Assembly 
now, we shall give the Revolution its death-blow. 
The way to a constitution lies over my dead body " 
(storm of applause at the repetition). " Certainly 
we regard ourselves only as a temporary body. 
We must call together as soon as possible a con- 
gress of Workmen's and Soldiers' Councils from all 
Germany. The Executive Committee is accepted. 
It has the right to nominate a government. If it 
does not act as we wish, we are justified in dis- 
charging the Government." 

After the roar of applause had subsided, Haase, 
a member of the Provisional Government, spoke 
to the same effect, pointing out that the working 
classes formed a large majority of the nation, whilst 
the middle classes, who were now trying to get the 
power into their own hands, were but a small 
minority. Before a constitution could be framed 
much preliminary work must be done. The 
electoral lists must be compiled, and, most im- 



[ r<5; ] 

portant point of all, the soldiers still in the field 
must be returned to their homes. It must be 
explained to those troops engaged in clearing up 
the battlefields for what they were voting. He 
ended by saying, that if the great businesses were 
not nationalised, Germany would again fall into a 
state of slavery. 

It was strange to hear Chancellor Ebert, the man 
who nominally possessed the highest power in the 
land and who was known to be hurrying on the 
elections, say at the same meeting : 

" The efforts of the middle classes to call together 
at once a National Assembly would rob the work- 
ing classes of the fruits of the Revolution. The 
Executive of the Workmen's and Soldiers' Council 
of Berlin therefore demands the calling together of 
a congress of delegates from all Soldiers' and Work- 
men's Councils of Germany." 

The following morning Scheidemann, from the 
safe rostrum of the pages of the Vorwarts, vigorously 
defended his action in trying to bring together the 
National Assembly. A clever writer, he has the 
knack of clothing his weakest arguments in garments 
of quasi-logic. The German language, with its 
long periods and innumerable clauses, lends itself 
to his style of writing. Whenever Scheidemann 
wanted to make out a case which, if put into words, 
would not hold water, he would take refuge in 
print. In his defence in the Vorwarts he insinuated 



[ i68 ] 

that " certain elements " wished, by the postpone- 
ment of the election of the National Assembly, to 
thrust Germany back into a reactionary state, but 
that the " common-sensed middle classes ' who, 
he said, were in a large majority to the workers, now 
wished firmly to fix the results of the Revolution. 
His reckoning was based on the old three-class 
electoral system, where sometimes sixty working 
men's votes only equalled one of a wealthy 
bourgeois. 

Owing to the postponement of the National 
Assembly the Provisional Government now hastened 
to obtain the support of the returning troops, whose 
help they had not at first solicited. Here is a 
sample of the messages of welcome now issued : 

" Comrades ! The German Republic bids you a 
hearty welcome to your homes. You were sent out 
to fight for your Vaterland, in the affairs of which 
you had no say, and where a handful of autocratic 
governors shared the wealth and authority between 
them. Your duties were to remain silent and fight, 
whilst hundreds of thousands of you had to perish. 
To-day you are returning to your own land, whose 
destiny only the people themselves can decide. 
The Revolution has broken the chains ; for you and 
us, Germany is free. Our Social Republic shall, as 
the most free, enter the League of Nations. You 
will not only possess political rights which until 



[ i69 ] 

now have been denied you, but economically you 
will also inherit the land of which it is our will 
that you shall no longer be cheated. The Imperial 
Government, which has earned and retained the 
confidence of your comrades and workmen, will find 
you employment, protection at your work, increased 
wages, an eight-hour day, allowances for those 
who are destitute, employment, extension of sick 
benefits, amelioration of the house famine, socialisa- 
tion of suitable businesses. All is now being done, 
and in part is already law ! 

' Come and be welcome as the holders of the new 
Republic whose future you will direct. Certainly 
you will find a scarcity of food and all domestic 
necessities. Need and suffering prevail in the land ; 
only the common effort of all can help us, working 
in harmony together. 

' Only a Germany which possesses an established 
Government firmly supported by the Workmen and 
Soldiers can obtain that from our enemies for which 
you have fought and yearned for four years : 
Peace. 

" Council of People's Deputies Ebert, Haase, 

SCHEIDEMANN, LANDSBERG, BARTH." 

Other important reasons for the election of a 
National Assembly were put forward by Majority 
Socialists. They were sure that the Entente 
would not make peace with a Provisional Govern- 



[ Wo ] 

ment, and that only an immediate election would 
make it possible for them to receive the American 
provisions which Solf was trying to obtain. Then 
again, the National Assembly would do much to 
bring into line the recalcitrant States desiring to 
secede from Prussia, which, a Bavarian Minister 
asserted, would always be a fertile garden for the 
culture of militarism. German- Austria could only 
be coaxed into the combination by a sound con- 
stitution. The concluding argument of another 
prominent Social Democratic writer was that it 
would be undemocratic to abolish one system of 
class government, the Junker class, to replace it by 
another, the working class. They could not accept 
the principle, under this new freedom, of any class 
being oppressed by another class. And so the 
quarrel continued until the Bourgeoisie finally 
carried their point with machine-guns and liquid- 
fire-throwers. 



CHAPTER XIII 
The Berlin Revolution (Continued) 

THE quarrel now clearly lay between the 
Spartacists and the Provisional Government, 
and both sides began active preparations. Lieb- 
knecht continued his attacks both in speeches and 
articles in Die Rote Fahne. The first serious street 
conflict occurred during the night of 21st November. 
He had been addressing a meeting in the Miiller- 
strasse at which, during question-time, a soldier 
had stated that several of the comrades with whom 
he had attacked the Castle had been arrested, and 
were still in prison. The statement caused great 
excitement, during which the inevitable procession 
was formed and marched to the Polizeipresidium. 
On their arrival there, they were told that no politi- 
cal prisoners were in the cells. When the officer- 
in-charge saw the mood of the crowd, he telephoned 
for help. At one o'clock a motor-car filled with 
armed sailors arrived at the building just as one of 
the crowd shot a police guard. The sailors imme- 
diately opened fire and, after killing and wounding 
many of the demonstrators and scaring away the 
rest, departed. 

I 7 ! 



[ 172 ] 

The Government now began to solicit the support 
of the street crowds, at the same time pressing on 
military preparations. To judge from the size of 
their demonstration, the Spartacists were becoming 
very strong. 

The next incident occurred at the Chancellery 
at six o'clock on 6th December, when a delegation 
of ten soldiers and sailors appeared in the Chan- 
cellor's garden and invited Ebert to become 
President of the German Republic. He looked 
through his window and saw hundreds of armed 
sailors in the street shouting for him. On a wooden 
block stood Soldier Spiro making a speech to his 
comrades. 

" And now I am going to put to Herr Ebert a 
straight question : Herr Ebert is hailed as the 
President of the German Republic. Does he 
accept or no ? Yes or no ? " he concluded. 

" Comrades and brothers," replied Ebert, coming 
forward, " the invitation which has just been 
addressed to me I cannot and will not accept with- 
out first discussing it with my friends. It is a 
matter of the gravest importance and rests entirely 
in the hands of the Council of the People's Com- 
missioners." 

The answer seemed to satisfy the sailors, who 
marched away. Apparently they had fulfilled 
their orders, which formed part of the plan to make 
Ebert President by a coup d'etat. 



[ 173 ] 

On the same day that the delegation arrived at 
the Chancellery, Feldwebel Fischer appeared at the 
Abgeordnetenhaus at the head of a body of soldiers 
armed with trench mortars and liquid-fire-throwers 
and arrested the Executive Council. When asked 
who had instructed him, he replied, " The Govern- 
ment." Luckily for the Council, Herr Barth, a 
member of the Government, happened to be in the 
building, and forthwith, on his own responsibility, 
countermanded the order for arrest. He demanded 
that Fischer should produce his instructions in 
writing. The Feldwebel replied that he had re- 
ceived these by telephone, but he released the 
prisoners and took his men to the Chancellery, 
where Ebert, Scheidemann and Landsberg denied 
having issued the order, and immediately published 
a proclamation to that effect. After the holding 
of an investigation Fischer and a Herr Marten were 
arrested, and two members of the Foreign Office 
Staff, Legation Secretaries Grafen Matuschka and 
von Rheinbaden, fled the country. As Marten and 
his friends were Pan-Germans, the affair was judged to 
be an attempt at a counter-revolutionary coup d'etat. 

The incident was the cause of a bloody conflict at 
the corner of Chausseestrasse and Invalidenstrasse. 
The Spartacusbund were holding a meeting at the 
Sophien Salle when news reached them of the arrest 
of the Executive Council and that Ebert was made 
President. It was as if a hornets' nest had been 



[ 174] 

disturbed. They rushed out into the streets 
crying, "We will avenge the Council!' "Storm 
the Chancellor's Palace ! " " Hang Ebert on the 
lamp-post ! ' It is extraordinary how a madly 
excited crowd can so readily form an orderly pro- 
cession. The Spartacists were soon heading for the 
Wilhelmstrasse and increasing their number on the 
way. Meanwhile the news that the Spartacists 
were abroad reached the Kommandantur. The 
Commanding Officer immediately ordered the barri- 
cading of the Chausseestrasse and Invalidenstrasse, 
and called out the Guard-Fusiliers, who were 
served out with hand-grenades and machine-guns. 
On their way to the Wilhelmstrasse the troops 
marched into a procession of unemployed and 
soldiers on furlough coming from the Germanian- 
salen Hall quite unarmed. Mistaking these for 
Spartacists, they advanced on them and put them to 
flight. The procession from the Sophien Salle now 
turned into the Friedrichstrasse and was challenged 
by the Commandant of the Fusiliers, who ordered 
the Spartacists to disperse. This they refused to 
do, and a shot was fired. Then followed a general 
fusillade from the troops, at the end of which 
sixteen dead lay stretched on the side-walk and 
twenty severely wounded were carried away by their 
comrades. There were also many casualties after 
the disorders at the massed meeting of Spartacists 
in North Berlin. The outbreaks in other cities 



[ 175 ] 

at this time made it appear that these were only 
part of a joint plan. In Munich three hundred 
armed soldiers called on Herr Auer, the Minister of 
the Interior, and compelled him to resign office. 
They were afterwards severely reprimanded by 
the Minister President. 

On Sunday, 8th December, the Berlin Spartacists, 
after making demonstrations in various parts of 
the city, united under the leadership of Liebknecht 
and marched to the Chancellery. Here they pro- 
tested against the recent bloodshed. The Chancellor 
was not to be seen, but Herr Barth came to the 
window and attempted to reason with the crowd. 
They interrupted him with such cries as " Liar ! " 
*' Idiot ! " " Scamp ! " " Skin him ! " " Down with 
him ! ' He leaned against the window-frame, 
calmly smoking a cigarette while Liebknecht made 
a short speech, after which the Spartacist led away 
his supporters and dispersed them. 

Feeling was now running high between the two 
groups. The Provisional Government was now as 
well hated by the left wing of the Independent 
Socialists as the Politico-Militarists had been hated 
by the rest of the nation. An incident which 
showed the hatred of the officer caste for the Reds 
occurred when a young officer on his return from 
the front compelled Prince Frederic Leopold to 
lower the red flag which had been hoisted over 
his castle. 



[ 176] 

On 16th December a sincere attempt was made 
to reconcile the two factions. The first Imperial 
Congress of the Workmen's and Soldiers' Councils 
met at the Abgeordnetenhaus, which was crowded 
to the doors. As soon as the preliminary speeches 
were made, the meeting came to the vital question 
— Should the final authority still remain with the 
Soldiers' and Workmen's Councils, which up to 
the present had carried out the heaviest adminis- 
trative tasks ? Richard Miiller, an Independent 
Socialist, who had served terms of imprisonment 
for his political views, maintained that the Councils 
ought to continue their work until the fruits of 
the Revolution were secure, when a Parliament 
could be elected. In a later speech he shocked 
the respectable bourgeois delegates by saying that 
the workers were demanding that the criminals 
Ludendorff, Tirpitz, and company be brought to 
trial at once. They should not be hanged, he 
added, nor shot, but imprisoned in a dungeon for 
four years and fed on turnips ! 

Ebert himself, once a member of the Workmen's 
Council, now Prince Max's choice for the office of 
Chancellor, made an effective speech in favour of 
an immediate setting up of the National Assembly. 

" Democracy is the rock upon which the working 
class will build the future Germany," he declaimed, 
a peroration highly appreciated by his colleagues and 
calculated to crush the " advanced " Councillors. 



[ 177 ] 

On the second day of the Congress, processions 
of strikers and unemployed marched past the 
Siegessaule through the Brandenburger Thor and 
down the Wilhelmstrasse to the Abgeordnetenhaus, 
where Liebknecht addressed them from the door- 
way and demanded the removal of the Government. 

"Whoever votes for the National Assembly 
votes for the enslavement of the working classes," 
were his final words just before the Congress opened. 
A deputation of Spartacists entered the Congress 
Hall and explained on what grounds their opposi- 
tion rested. 

The next morning session was a very stormy 
affair, during which Ledebour referred to Ebert 
as a blackguard responsible for the attempted 
coup d'etat. His speech counterbalanced the 
effect of Ebert's rhetoric on the wayward 
Councillors. 

" From the middle of 1916," he said, " date 

the first efforts of those pioneers of Social Democracy 

to destroy by a great upheaval the base company 

of criminals. We were mocked by the very people 

who are now enjoying the fruits of the Revolution. 

The resolution of 1916 was strengthened by the 

! January strike of 1918. After this our efforts 

matured so well that we decided to complete our 

plans. All preparations were made, and Barth, 

Wegmann, Ecker, Daumig in particular, as well 

as other members of the Executive Council, rendered 
12 



[ 178 ] 

very special services. It then became a question 
of when to begin. 

" We waited month after month. When the 
collapse of the West Front came about, we judged 
that the time was ripe. We had made effective 
communication with the armies in the field and 
perfected our plans, thanks to the Government 
who nad been generous enough to seize all revolu- 
tionaries and send them to the front ! We knew 
that entire regiments would come over to us. 
Now came the decisive November days. On 
2nd November a meeting of revolutionaries 
took place, in which Haase, Dittmann and Lieb- 
knecht took part. We decided that we could 
depend on the troops, and, after a short battle, 
could overpower Berlin. On the evening of 
3rd November we arranged a meeting to discuss 
the final plans with our comrades in the big in- 
dustries. At this last sitting Haase and Dittmann 
decided that the time was not yet ripe. They 
had no confidence in the revolutionary spirit of the 
people." 

A storm of applause greeted Ledebour's speech, 
though he had said little directly dealing with 
the subject under discussion. 

The next surprise for the Congress was the forcible 
entrance of thirty soldiers carrying their regimental 
coats of arms. The leader stepped forward and 
placed the following motion before the meeting : 



[ 179 ] 

"That the Soldiers' Councils commission the 
body now sitting at the Abgeordnetenhaus to pass 
into law at once the following urgent proposal : 

" A Chief Soldiers' Council, formed from duly 
elected members representative of all Soldiers' 
Councils, to have full authority over all troops of 
the Armies, as is now the practice in the Navy." 

This stirred up another storm among the Govern- 
ment representatives, but they were brought to 
order by the soldiers, who continued to speak and 
threaten with their rifles until the end of the 
meeting. The Spartacists' representatives pleaded 
unsuccessfully with the bourgeois delegates who 
were in favour of a National Assembly being formed 
at once. It was Dr. Cohn who, by a most telling 
speech, made the meeting a turning-point of the 
Revolution. 

" A dictatorship of the minority is incompatible 
with the teachings of Karl Marx, who always 
believed in Government by the majority," he said. 
" Russian Bolshevism has not the slightest re- 
semblance to his teachings. The Bolshevism in 
Russia has now discredited Socialism for centuries. 
. . . The working classes are wrong to think of 
the German Revolution as a mere wages move- 
ment. One can demand from the employers no 
more than what one's work is worth. A regulated 
government is only possible through the National 
Assembly, which alone can create a democratic 



[ i8o] 

constitution, build up the Empire, and again knit 
together its still flourishing branches. . . . We 
have always devoted ourselves to the inheritance 
of the classical German philosophy and believed 
in the power of the moral idea. Therefore we must 
not be small-minded. The Independent Socialist 
circles must stand with us in this question of 
election. But it also needs the support of the 
bourgeois and intellectual circles. 

"We must not underestimate the influence of these 
classes. In Russia the strike of the Intelligentsia 
in November, 1917, crippled the Revolution. If 
the same thing happened to us, it would mean 
total collapse and the invasion of the Allies. . . . 
Bjorn Bjornson has just told me that the French 
Minister in Christiania said to him, ' The state 
of affairs in Berlin suits us admirably. If it 
develops any further, we shall be there in four 
weeks.' In Russia the Allies have advanced 
against the Dictatorship of the Councils and would 
have dispatched them by now were it not winter. 
Do you really believe that the Allies would tolerate 
government by the Councils in Germany ? . . . 
My opponents rest their hopes in the peoples of 
the Entente countries. With this wine you must 
take a good deal of water. At the moment there 
is not a word of revolution from the peoples of the 
Entente countries. We cannot build our hopes 
on such sand -heaps. But even if France and 



[ i8i ] 

Italy did come to revolution, and we could get 
milder Peace terms, we should not get the most 
important things which we need above everything, 
namely, food and raw materials. We can procure 
these things only from England and America, and 
what can we imagine these most anti-Socialist 
countries of the world will do after such a victorious 
war ? At the last election in England Lloyd- 
George got a great majority. The consequences 
would be that, like us, France and Italy would go 
to ruin, and England and America become absolute 
masters. Therefore we Social Democrats must 
guard with all our might and determination our 
pure and virtuous conception of a social world 
from being sabotaged and discredited by Bolshevist 
advances. 

" We should risk our good name if we allowed 
this Bolshevistic sabotage to have the slightest 
association with our great conception of social and 
democratic ideas. The Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Councils are better than their reputation, and the 
historian will think of them more favourably than 
does the present generation. They would like 
to have squandered money, but at the same time 
they have saved milliards of marks' worth, and 
without the Workmen's and Soldiers' Council the 
catastrophe would have swamped us. But the 
task before the National Assembly cannot be 
accomplished by the Councils. For these tasks 



[ 182 ] 

they must make way for the law-making National 
Assembly. In their own particular sphere they 
may still remain and accomplish much good. 

" At the moment they back their authority with 
the bayonet, and I must say that this position is very 
unsatisfactory. It encourages the powerful dema- 
gogue who would tear the bayonet from them, and 
then we should have war here in Germany — civil 
war. We stand for the National Assembly in the 
interest of our German people, whom we love from 
the depths of our souls, and to whom we will remain 
true in their greatest necessity. We also need the 
National Assembly in the interests of our working 
class and in the interests of Democracy and 
Socialism. The National Assembly alone can give 
expression to the will of the whole of the people. 
Because the danger is so great and near, I beseech 
you to vote in great majority for my motion which 
demands that the election for the German National 
Assembly shall take place on the 19th of January. 
In the meantime, please do all you can to enlighten 
the masses. It is really not difficult at the present 
moment to guide Socialism to victory. We want 
our children to inherit a new and better Germany." 

This speech was the death-blow to the Spartacist 
aims. Dittmann, formerly an Independent Socialist, 
now a member of the Provisional Government, 
who had up till now been against the immediate 
formation of a National Assembly, was so moved 



[ i83 ] 

that he now supported Dr. Conn, and said in the 
course of a passionate speech : 

" The masses want the National Assembly ; of 
this there is not the slightest doubt. Therefore 
the leaders must be the instruments of the masses." 

After the Independent Socialists had made an 
angry exit, the motion was carried unanimously. 

This result gave rise to a great agitation against 
the Provisional Government. They were accused of 
"packing" the meeting, and were scorned because 
they were self-appointed. The Spartacists now 
savagely attacked the right wing of their own party, 
the Independent Socialists, owing to the latter's 
failure to cope with the clever coalition. Whatever 
their aims and however useful and sincere these 
may have been, the Spartacists could gain no 
ground in conference ; their opponents were too 
strong in debate and political tactics. They could 
organise mass assemblies and demonstrating pro- 
cessions, but the academic atmosphere of the 
Reichstag and Abgeordnetenhaus and the finesse 
of speech and methods of the bourgeois strategists 
weakened and disarmed them. 

On 17th December, the Provisional Government, 
under persistent pressure from the troublesome 
left, reluctantly relieved themselves of the services 
of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Solf. 
The Kolnische Zeitung referred to the resignation 
as a great sacrifice, and hoped that Dr. Solf would 



[ 184] 

be allowed to retain his second office as Colonial 
Minister. 

On 20th December the German Minister in 
Copenhagen, Graf Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau, 
was appointed Secretary for Foreign Affairs. 

An incident for which, at the time, the Extremists 
received credit was the revolt of the Volks-Marine 
division billeted in the Castle. About midday 
on 23rd December three sailor guards on duty 
at the Chancellery walked into the Conference 
Chamber and told Ebert and Landsberg that they 
were ordered to close the doors and allow no one 
to pass in or out. They disconnected the telephone, 
and for an hour the Government was isolated. A 
messenger was dispatched to fetch help while 
Ebert, with some difficulty, persuaded the sailors 
to leave the building. They then walked down 
Unter den Linden to the Kommandantur. As they 
arrived, a motor-car full of armed sailors, ignoring 
the challenge of the gate sentries, drove right into 
the courtyard. There was a short fight, after 
which Otto Wels, the War Minister, and his ad- 
jutants were taken prisoners and removed to the 
Marstall. On the following day a bitter battle, 
in which seventy sailors lost their lives, took place 
between the Government troops and the sailors. 
The Marstall was surrounded and heavy machine- 
gun fire directed through the windows. 



[ 185 ] 

After the sailors had suffered heavy casualties 
they hoisted the white flag and were granted a 
half-hour's truce, at the end of which, since they 
could not come to terms, the fight began again. 
Finally, General Hoffmann brought up artillery, and 
after suffering heavy slaughter the sailors capitulated, 
and Wels and his staff were liberated. The Pro- 
visional Government denied all responsibility for 
giving the order to fire. Later, in discussing the 
affair with Ledebour, General Hoffmann maintained 
that he did receive orders to attack from the Govern- 
ment. The explanation in official quarters was 
that the quarrel had arisen during negotiations 
about wages. 

Now came the almost comic climax. The 
Vorwdrts, at this time a Provisional Government 
paper, published an article severely censuring the 
sailors for their part in the affair of the 23rd and 
24th. This was too much for the men, who con- 
sidered themselves the injured party. They got 
together some followers of Spartacus, attacked 
and captured the Vorwdrts building, and set up an 
editorial department of their own. Their first 
proceeding was to publish a handbill stating that in 
future the Vorwdrts, to which they referred as a 
" lying reptile," would be known as the Rote 
Vorwdrts. When the editor, Frederick Stampfer, 
protested, he also was taken prisoner and locked up 
in the Marstall. 



[ 186 ] 

The Government now intervened, sending Police 
President Eichorn, who was secretly in league with 
the Spartacists and the Russian Bolshevist Radek, 
to confiscate the machine-guns, hand-grenades, and 
an armoured car which had been stored in the 
publishing department during the first days of the 
Revolution. A Minister finally arranged a recon- 
ciliation in the Abgeordnetenhaus, after which the 
sailors and their Spartacist friends agreed to hand 
the paper back to its owners. 

The Provisional Government did its best to hush 
up this series of incidents, but Ernst Daumig, a 
member of the Soldiers' Council, who had worked for 
the Revolution since 1916, published an article in 
the Republik giving some interesting information : 

"If no one of the members of the Government 
gave the Lequis Corps orders to march, then the 
responsibility of the bloodshed rests with the 
Generals. In this case it is a matter of a military 
counter-revolution, against which the Workmen 
in all circumstancess must mobilise. It is incredible 
that this Corps Lequis, fourteen days after its 
arrival, still remains stationed in Berlin at its full 
strength and formation. At the beginning of 
December the Executive Council told the Provisional 
Government its views with regard to this Corps 
Lequis. But the Government remains careless 
of this Corps which threatens the Revolution. It is 
amazing that regiments are now in Berlin which, 



[ i87 ] 

according to the demobilisation plan, should have 
been in their home towns long ago. For example, 
what has the Sixth Jager Regiment, still supplied 
with horses, which should be garrisoned in Erfurt, 
to do with this Corps Lequis ? The Ebert-Haase 
Government is playing a dangerous game. They 
are daily losing the confidence of the working 
classes, and for support they now rely on the 
bayonets of the counter-revolution. It is high 
time that an end be made of such a compromised 
untrustworthy Government." 

The next day General Lequis resigned, and his 
staff was disbanded, which was followed by an angry 
telegram from Hindenburg to Berlin showing that 
he no longer feared the Councils and that he was in 
close touch with affairs in Berlin. It has been said 
that he was responsible for the attempted military 
coup d'etat. It is not clear how the General would 
have rid himself of the Provisional Government 
which he must have ostensibly supported while he 
established a military dictatorship. Whatever his 
plan, it failed, and he sent the following tersely 
worded telegram : 

" I do not recognise the resolution of the Central 
Council of the Workmen's and Soldiers' Council 
dealing with the disposition of army affairs, especially 
in regard to officers and under-officers. I believe 
that such a decisive alteration in the life of the 
Army and the Nation should not be the business of 



[ 188 ] 

a biased class body, but of one which is repre- 
sentative of all the people — the National Assembly. 
The Army stands at the disposal of the Ebert 
Government and expects it to keep its promise re- 
garding the disposal of the military and the authority 
of the V ertrauens-mdnner (confidential men), through 
which the Officers' and Under-officers' Corps will be 
able to give further services. In this matter I am 
at the service of the Government and shall observe 
the hitherto existing orders." 

On 29th December, during a crisis brought 
about by the atmosphere of suspicion now rapidly 
clouding the minds of the leaders, the Inde- 
pendent Socialists Haase, Dittmann and Barth 
left the Government. To replace them, Noske, the 
militarist Socialist governor of Kiel, was called to 
take charge of the Army and Navy, and Deputy 
Wissel to attend to the Social Policy. 

A big demonstration in support of the Govern- 
ment on the same day as the crisis brought the 
mood of sullen anger to flash out in sudden storm. 
The resignation of the Independents left the Govern- 
ment entirely composed of Social Democrats. Their 
first work was to publish a proclamation to the 
people calling for support. 



" Are you ready to assist in preserving public 
order and security against violent attacks, and to 
help the Government to carry on its duties by 






[ 1 89 1 

putting down disorder, no matter from what quarter 
it comes ? 

" You must answer these questions with ' Yes ! ' 
The Government will place confidence in this 
' Yes ! ' Without this ' Yes ! ' any programme 
remains mere paper and words. We want our 
watchword to be Reconstruction. We are going 
to work. We believe in you and ourselves. We 
shall succeed. 

" Berlin, 29.8.19. 

" The Imperial Government : 
" Ebert, Scheidemann, Landsberg, 

NOSKE, WlSSEL." 

On the same day the Imperial Conference of the 
Spartacists decided to form a new party to be called 
" The Communistic Labour Party of Germany." 
There is no doubt that the Russian Bolsheviks had 
been very active in their assistance to the Spartacist 
movement, although it was not until this conference 
that Radek, a Bolshevik representative, appeared 
publicly at a meeting. The business of the meeting 
ended, he was invited to reply to the greetings of 
the Spartacists, and made a speech in which he 
roundly blamed the English Imperialists and the 
Baltic Barons for the trouble in the Baltic Provinces. 

It is said that Radek had taken part in the exten- 
sive Russian propaganda at the time when there 
were nearly four hundred couriers travelling between 
Russia and Germany. One of these was caught 
by accident in the Friedrichstrasse railway station. 



[ 190 ] 

His bag was packed so tightly with propaganda 
literature that when it was being taken out of the 
train it split, and a stream of Bolshevist pamphlets 
poured on to the platform. On examination by 
the railway police these were found to be printed 
in German and contained appeals from the Russian 
Socialists to their German friends to overthrow 
their Government. Though Dr. Solf ordered 
Joffe, the Soviet Ambassador, to stop the traffic 
in propagandist literature, it is said that money 
and munitions continued to be smuggled into 
Berlin until the January Revolution. 



CHAPTER XIV 

The Revolution in January — Last Fights of the Spartacists 
— Murder of Liebknecht and Luxemburg 

The Revolution in January 

WHEN it was discovered that the workmen 
of the firms Daimler and Schwartzkopf 
were being armed in the courtyard of the Polizei- 
presidium, the Provisional Government demanded 
the instant resignation of Police President Eichorn. 
At the President's refusal, the storm burst. Berlin 
was split into two determined camps, the Spartacists 
and the Government. 

On Sunday, 5th January, the Spartacist 
paper, Die Rote Fahne, and the Independent 
Socialists' Die Freiheil, called for a big demon- 
stration in the Sieges Allee. The workmen surged 
through the streets to the foot of the Siegessaule 
and there were harangued by Liebknecht, Ledebour, 
and Eichorn. As usual, the speakers attacked the 
Provisional Government with bitter invective. The 
day passed without an outbreak, but as darkness 
approached, a body of Spartacists began an attack 

on the newspaper offices. The Vorwdrts building 

191 



[ 192 ] 

was occupied for the second time, the eighty Citizen 
Guards tamely allowing the invaders to disarm them. 
Then followed the occupation of the Wolff Telegraph 
Bureau, and later of the Berliner Tageblatt building. 
Finally, at half-past eleven, the Spartacists pre- 
vented the printing of the Vossische Zeitung and 
the Berliner Morgenpost. 

On the following morning the Vorwarts was cir- 
culated as a Spartacist newspaper, and contained 
a long leader calling attention to that party's 
moderation and urging their followers to rise and 
make a final fight for freedom. The overthrow 
of the Provisional Government was to take place 
the same day. Three hundred armed men, under 
the leadership of a sailor from the Marstall, entered 
and occupied the Kriegsministerium. On hearing 
the news, the Provisional Government gave absolute 
command of the Army to Noske, who received two 
new posts — Commander-in-Chief of the Mark, and 
Governor of Berlin. Simultaneously Liebknecht, 
Ledebour and Schoize, a newly co-opted member 
of the Spartacist Committee, issued a statement 
informing the citizens that these three were taking 
over the Government, as the Ebert-Scheidemann 
combination had proved itself incapable. 

Next there came to the Chancellery a big demon- 
stration of citizens loyal to the Provisional Govern- 
ment and asking to be supplied with arms " to put 
down the Spartacists." 




, 



General Malcolm of the British Military Mission 

(right) passing Two of Noske's Green Guards in 

Unter den Linden. 




British Tommies use the Kaiser's Stables as a 

Garage for Cars belonging to the British Military 

Mission in Berlin. 



[ 193 ] 

" We will willingly do that, but you must not 
expect us to put an umbrella as a shield in the other 
hand," replied Scheidemann from a window. 

Noske also appeared behind his colleague and 
shouted : 

" Be brave, children ; we will quickly bring Berlin 
to order." 

Last Fights of the Spartacists 

Not long after the Minister and the Governor had 
retired, an armoured car drove through the excited 
crowds to the gates of the Chancellery. At once 
a terrible battle flared up between the defending 
Government troops and the attacking sailors of 
the armoured car. Many civilians and soldiers were 
killed and wounded before darkness put an end to 
the conflict. Whilst the fighting was going on in 
the Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden, Radek, 
the Bolshevik representative, drove about the 
streets like a master of operations watching the 
progress of his troops. During the hottest part of 
the fight Liebknecht, the director of the movement, 
was nearly captured. He was driving through the 
Leipzigerstrasse when some one shouted, " Lieb- 
knecht is sitting in the drosky ! " A party of 
loyalists rushed to the horses, others climbed into 
the carriage. A company of armed Spartacists 
arrived in time to save their leader, and promptly 
shot down the enemy. 
x 3 



[ 194 ] 

In order to save further bloodshed Dittmann 
and Kaufsky tried to bring about a reconciliation 
between the warring parties. They were unsuccess- 
ful because the Spartacists would not concede the 
Government's principal demand — the evacuation 
of the occupied buildings. Having gained much 
ground, including the control of the railway system, 
they felt they were the winners. 

But their fortune soon began to change. On the 
8th of January Noske drew all his troops to 
Berlin and surrounded the city, and in council with 
his Generals drew up a plan of attack. Dittmann 
made another unsuccessful effort to avoid bloodshed. 
The Government opened hostilities during the 
evening by sending an armoured car from the 
Donhoffplatz to the Berliner Tageblatt building. 
As it cautiously approached, a withering fire was 
opened from behind a barricade of rolls of paper. 
The survivors of the crew retired for the night. 
In the morning reinforcements were brought up, and 
the attack was resumed. During the night the 
Spartacists threw out firing flanks on the neighbour- 
ing roofs, and posted a section of sharpshooters in 
the tower of the Jerusalem Church. This and other 
fights continued all day, and considerable damage 
was done on both sides. When darkness was 
making accurate shooting impossible, the Spartacists 
hoisted a white flag and asked for half an hour's 
truce to collect their dead and wounded. Just 



[ 195 ] 

before hostilities ceased, a man on the roof was picked 
off whilst changing his position. He slithered off 
the parapet and with a scream of terror dropped 
four storeys to the spiked portal below. 

When the truce ended, the fight flared up again 
and continued intermittently through the night. 
The faintest spark of light displayed on either side 
was the signal for a rattle of concentrated fire. 
When morning broke, rings of bullet marks could be 
seen in the corners of the windows. The fight raged 
furiously all day on the ioth until, darkness falling 
again, the Spartacists sought an armistice, which 
was signed at half-past six. The news soon spread 
through Berlin that one of the Spartacist nests had 
been taken, and a plan was drawn up to attack one 
of the most formidable Spartacist strongholds — 
the Vorwarts building. 

Colonel Reinhard and Major von Stephani were 
put in charge of these operations, and began their 
attack on nth January with three four -inch 
guns. The Spartacists responded readily from the 
roofs, but could not silence the artillery, which began 
to wreck the building. As soon as it was quite light, 
a terrific machine-gun fire was started on both sides. 
The punishing field-pieces soon turned the lower 
storey of the Vorwarts building into a slaughter- 
house, and forced the survivors to ask for a truce. 
Reinhard would accept nothing but complete 
capitulation. The defenders held out until the 



[ 196 ] 

Colonel sent a company close up with small mortars 
and liquid-fire-throwers. The screams from the 
burnt men inside made the listeners shudder with 
horror. Even after the terrible havoc wrought 
among the Spartacists, three hundred prisoners were 
counted when, at last, they capitulated. Among the 
captured material were six armoured motor-cars 
and a large quantity of munitions. 

After the fall of the Vorwdrts office the other 
newspaper nests were more easily cleared. When 
the rightful owners were re-established, they found 

« 

their premises in a shocking condition. Type- 
writers, office furniture, electric fittings were smashed 
to rubbish. 

Now came the attack on the Polizeipresidium, 
which President Eichorn left as soon as news 
came of the defeat in the newspaper buildings. 
The attack began at a quarter-past one on Sunday, 
12th January. The Government troops entered 
into the operations with enthusiasm. Every exit 
was covered by machine-guns, and snipers posted 
on parapets to cover possible points of escape. 
But although the great building was strongly 
barricaded, with huge quantities of arms and am- 
munition placed in convenient heaps, the leadership 
of the defenders was defective. The plan of attack 
was the same as that used in the capture of the news- 
paper buildings. Howitzers were brought up, and 
a steady bombardment of gas-shells poured into the 



[ 197 ] 

building. The storming troops, wearing their 
trench armour, advanced to the entrances and, after 
a short but fierce struggle, captured the building. 
Seeing the struggle going against his side in the three 
serious defeats, President Eichorn left his head- 
quarters and took command of the defence of a 
brewery in North Berlin. His flight disheartened 
the Spartacists still holding the Slesien railway 
station, and after they had vainly tried to cope with 
the attack of gas-shells and liquid - fire - throwers, 
they were driven from behind their barricades. 

The struggle now became open warfare and, later, 
a man-hunt. In many cases the Spartacists were 
given no quarter and were shot in cold blood. 
Believing that the Berlin revolt would be a success 
easily won, Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg 
had concentrated their attention on the other large 
cities. Their best speakers and organisers were 
sent out to help the local Spartacist clubs to plan 
their revolt. That they were more successful than 
their chiefs is proved by the fact that while reports of 
Spartacist successes were still arriving from the other 
cities, Liebknecht, Eichorn and Luxemburg had had 
to seek cover after Ledebour and Dr. Meyer were 
arrested in the capital. Comparative quiet had been 
restored in Berlin at the time that Bremen and 
Cuxhaven were declared Communistic Republics. 
In Hamburg, Dresden, Erfurt, Wilhelmshaven and 
Diisseldorf — where the police went over to them — 



[ 198 ] 

the Spartacists were successful. The Spartacist 
Committee, in sending their best men out to the 
weaker places, had left themselves without adequate 
help for the crisis. Liebknecht had not allowed for 
the fickleness of the crowd, whose cheers, so clamor- 
ously given when he was imprisoned by the Junkers, 
still rang in his ears. 

A rumour calculated to put the finishing touch to 
Noske's work, to the effect that Liebknecht and 
Luxemburg had fled from Berlin, was circulated 
through Government channels. It did not live 
long, for Die Rote Fahne at once came out with an 
article by the Doctor himself: 

" Listen ! We have not fled, we are not beaten. 
And when they put us in chains there, we shall not 
run away. And the victory will yet be ours. For 
Spartacus — which means Fire and Spirit, which 
means Soul and Heart, which means the Will and 
the Deed of the Revolution of the Proletariat — 
for Spartacus — that means Socialism and World 
Revolution — the Day of Deliverance is at hand." 

Murder of Liebknecht and Luxemburg 

On reading this, the Government sent their troops 
to hunt Liebknecht in his old haunts, but he and 
Rosa Luxemburg remained successfully hidden 
until they were entrapped by a police snare in the 
form of a forged letter. He and Rosa were found 



[ 199 ] 

in the house of a relative when arrested during 
the night of 15th January. They were taken to 
the headquarters of the Horse Guards Division at 
Eden Hotel, which was also the plotting-ground for 
the monarchist reactionaries, and from there were 
to be removed to Moabit. On the way both met a 
violent death. 

According to the officer in charge of the escort, 
Liebknecht was shot while trying to escape and not 
stopping when challenged. Owing to the aggressive 
attitude of the crowd waiting at the front entry of 
the Staff Headquarters, the escort smuggled their 
prisoner out through a side door into a waiting motor- 
car. Liebknecht was told that he would be shot 
if he attempted to escape. He had just seated 
himself in the car when the crowd, suspecting the 
ruse, rushed round from the front of the building 
and surrounded the motor-car. A big man jumped 
on to the wheel and dealt Liebknecht a terrible blow 
on the head, causing the blood to gush out in a 
stream. Nevertheless, the driver managed to draw 
his car out of the crowd, and, in order to protect 
the prisoner, took a roundabout way through the 
Tiergarten to Moabit . At Neuen See the car stopped. 
It was explained to the prisoner that the engine had 
broken down and that, if he chose, he could walk 
with his escort towards the Chausseestrasse, where a 
drosky could be hired. When the party had gone 
about sixty yards, Liebknecht turned sharply and 



[ 200 ] 

began running in the opposite direction. A soldier 
said that he tried to hold him, but, after the 
prisoner had drawn a knife and dealt him a slashing 
blow on the hand, he was forced to release him. 
When he again refused to stop, several of the escort 
fired a volley and brought him down. Liebknecht 
did not stir after he collapsed on the ground. 

In the case of Rosa Luxemburg the alleged 
circumstances were somewhat different. The escort 
say that they fetched her from the room in the 
Staff Headquarters at Eden Hotel and told her to 
follow the officer in charge whilst they surrounded 
her to protect her. While they were fetching the 
prisoner an angry threatening crowd had collected 
in the hall of the hotel. With great difficulty they 
managed to get her through to the door of a waiting 
car. Here the crowd became very much excited and 
separated the escort from their prisoner, whom they 
now began to attack savagely. 

After a struggle the escort managed to rescue her 
and place her in the front seat of the car. They had 
just begun to move away when a man sprang on to 
the step and with an automatic pistol shot the already 
unconscious prisoner. The officer in charge now 
called to the driver to drive quickly to the Kurfursten- 
damm. As they were passing the Landwehrkanal, 
the escort was called upon to halt. Thinking that 
one of a patrol had challenged them, they pulled up. 
A pedestrian cried out, " There is Rosa I" A 



[ 201 ] 

crowd suddenly rushed forward, dragged the body 
from the carriage and disappeared with it in the 
darkness. Although the canal was thoroughly 
dragged, no trace of the body could be found. 

That is the official story, which the Government 
could not confirm with any but military evidence. 

When the two incidents were reported there was 
an uproar in Communistic and Spartacist circles 
throughout the country. The official charged with 
the removal of the woman prisoner to Moabit was 
suspended until he could explain why he had not 
used his armed escort against the crowd. It was 
maintained by many Socialists and all Spartacists 
that the prisoners had been murdered. Die Freiheit 
came out with a large headline : " The Murder 
of Karl Liebknecht." 

In the main news column was the following 
report : 

" The corpse of our comrade, Karl Liebknecht, 
has been examined to-day, in accordance with a 
resolution of the Executive Council, by a member 
of the Executive Council and several other trust- 
worthy persons, among whom was a well-known 
doctor. The result of their examination was com- 
municated to us, and is as follows : 

" ' It is not true that comrade Liebknecht was shot 
from behind. There is no doubt that the first shot 
penetrated the forehead and came out at the back 
of the head. The second shot entered his right 



[ 202 ] 

breast, and the third entered the upper part of the 
right arm. The exits of all the bullets are in the 
back. All three shots were fired from the front. 
Where the bullets entered, the flesh is burnt, 
showing that the victim was shot at very short 
range. From the forehead to the back of the head 
is an injury which must have been inflicted with a 
blunt instrument.' 

" Liebknecht's body was handed in to the Ret- 
tungswache, 7 Kurfurstendamm, as an ' unknown 
person ' by Lieutenant Liefmann. The latter had 
taken possession of the deceased's valuables, which 
were handed in to the authorities. The Lieutenant 
belongs to the Horse Guards Division, whose head- 
quarters are in the Eden Hotel." 

In spite of official denials, there seems to be 
no doubt that Liebknecht and Luxemburg were 
murdered at the instigation of the Government. 
The absence of all but official evidence aroused the 
suspicion of Maximilian Harden. He first dragged 
to light the murder of thirty members of the People's 
Marine by Lieutenant Marloh, acting under orders 
from Reinhard and Noske, who were whitewashed 
at the recent trial. The remarkable verdict, in- 
fluenced by the corrupt Ministers, infuriated 
Harden, who published in a December number 
of the Zukunft certain facts bearing on the fate of 
the two Spartacist leaders. He printed a letter 
from Ernst Sonnenfeld, a former paymaster of 



[ 203 ] 

the Reichstag Brigade, then interned in Holland, 
who swears that he received orders from the Pro- 
visional Government to pay fifty thousand marks 
to any person who would deliver up Liebknecht 
and Luxemburg alive or dead, and that Scheide- 
mann offered an additional hundred thousand 
marks for the speedy execution of the deed. In 
the same number Harden exposes the profiteering 
activities of the Schiebers, illicit traders, who robbed 
the citizens of millions of marks under the protection 
of the Government. 

Sonnenfeld was a confidant of Georg Sklarz, who 
was charged with stealing Government supplies, 
and is described by Harden as a "military agent 
provocateur and master profiteer." 

' Ebert, Scheidemann, Noske and other arch- 
enemies of capitalism have been in the habit of going 
to the house of Sklarz to guzzle at his overladen 
table," is one of the passages in Harden 's article. 

The curious attitude and tone of the Vorwdrts 
since the Revolution is explained by the news that 
Sklarz and Dr. Helpband, a millionaire Socialist, 
have bought the controlling interest in this news- 
paper, which now appears to have close connections 
with such Pan-German organs as the Lokal 
Anzeiger and the Deutsche Zeitung. 

Harden can be relied on to carry on his relentless 
attack until the various corrupt officials are hounded 
from office. The Government has already shown 



[ 204 ] 

that their version of the fate of Liebknecht and his 
comrade is untrue by asking the Dutch Govern- 
ment for the extradition of Lieutenant Vogel, one 
of the murderers of Rosa Luxemburg. As by his 
statements in Holland Sonnenfeld has already made 
the position of Noske very uncomfortable, the latter 
is taking the precaution of getting Vogel safely in- 
side a German prison, where no one will be able to 
induce him to confess who issued the orders to kill 
the two Spartacists. Each revelation as it is made 
heightens the universal disgust felt for the infamous 
Government. 

Noske 's suppression of the Berlin revolt cooled 
the revolutionary fires in other cities which, one 
after another, followed the example set by the 
capital. The election for the National Assembly 
was advertised for 19th January. All parties 
were soon busy electioneering, after adopting 
new titles and programmes. The former Con- 
servatives joined up with the Liberal Reactionaries, 
calling themselves the " German National People's 
Party," and captured forty- two seats, significant 
encouragement for the monarchists. The old Pro- 
gressive People's Party and the National Liberal 
Party came together under the name of the " German 
Democratic Party," and with the help of unlimited 
party funds and Wolff's journalistic talents obtained 
seventy-five seats. The Social Democrats did not 



L 205 ] 

change their name, and headed the list with one 
hundred and sixty-three seats. Next to them 
came the old Centre Party, now styling itself "The 
Christian People's Party," with eighty-eight seats. 
The Independent Socialists took twenty-two seats. 
The Communistic Labour Party of Germany, owing 
to the strange methods of its founders and leaders, 
left a majority of the manual workers unrepresented. 
The National Assembly met on 6th February, which 
date terminates the period of the Revolution. 

The present National Assembly promises to be as 
impotent as the Frankfort National Assembly, which 
young Bismarck helped to stultify. The passage in 
his speech when he opposed the Frankfort Parlia- 
ment of incompetent professors held in old St. 
Paul's Church, finds an echo in the arrogant words 
of the present-day inheritors of the " blood and 
iron " doctrine : 

" We are Prussians and will remain Prussians, and 
I hope that, with God's help, we shall still be 
Prussians when this piece of paper (the Frankfort 
Constitution) will long have fallen into forgetfulness, 
like a dead leaf of autumn." 

Ludendorff and the monarchists regard the new 
Parliament with as much contempt as their re- 
actionary predecessors did the 1848 Diet. It is not 
easy to judge in what way the General will attack it. 
He may enter it and break it from the inside, or 
he may resume his " hell-for-leather " tactics and, 



[ 206 ] 

with his army of reactionaries, smash it altogether 
and set up the old system. It has been pointed out 
in the House of Commons and in the newspapers 
that the standing army of Germany is being reduced 
to the size required by the Peace Treaty. As if, 
when the call to arms rings through the land, this 
will make any difference to the thousands of 
loyalists who will flock to the banner of the 
monarchists ! 

Every fresh demand of the Allies has been 
used as propaganda for the counter-revolutionary 
movement. The retention of the prisoners made 
particularly useful material for the champions of 
reaction to impress on the old soldiers. It is no 
wonder that they are being convinced that their 
conquerors are merely sordid materialists eager to 
grasp as much of the spoils of war as any other 
conqueror of history. Since they are convinced 
that the Ebert-Scheidemann Government is both 
dishonest and incompetent, it is inconceivable that 
they will willingly take the field to defend it in a 
new " war of liberation." The Parliament will be 
crushed between the two extremes, and the Bourgeoisie 
will again have to take sides as they did in 1848. 
It would be strange if they threw in their lot with 
the Spartacists. Nevertheless, there is as much 
chance of exterminating Spartacus in Germany as 
there is of driving Sinn Fein from Ireland — for both 
causes have now found their martyrs. 



CHAPTER XV 

The Royalist Intrigue at Amerongen — Trebitsch Lincoln — 
On the Trail of the German Monarchists 

The Royalist Intrigue at Amerongen 

IN August, 1919, the ex-Kaiser was reported to 
be about to move to Doom, his new Dutch 
home. Curious to see who was taking part in the 
mysterious meetings at Bentinck Castle, I wel- 
comed the opportunity to represent my newspaper 
on a roving commission through Holland and 
Germany. An editor of a Berlin Pan-German 
newspaper had told me before I left Berlin that 
the German aristocrats would start their counter- 
revolution only so soon as they knew that they 
would meet with no opposition from the British 
Foreign Office in their campaign to re-establish a 
monarchy in Germany. 

Amerongen is a pretty little village situated in 
the Dutch Highlands, the most beautiful part of 
Holland. From Driebergen the traveller has to 
ride in the steam-tram which puffs its way up a 
gradient through wonderful woods and past 

delightful homesteads and gardens. In the heart 

207 



[ 203 ] 

of the woods are the homes of the Dutch nobility, 
of which glimpses are sometimes caught through 
the long avenues of trees. When I arrived the 
setting sun was turning the rich brown leaves to 
gold. 

At the hotel I found only one of the crowd of 
journalists who had followed the ex-Kaiser to 
Amerongen. He looked very solitary still " sitting 
on the trail of the ex-Kaiser," as he put it, when 
we met in the hotel bar. He is an American and 
still hopes to get an interview. 

He told me that the Kaiser's furniture had 
arrived in Doom and was then being unpacked. 
We drove down in Amerongen's fastest motor-car 
and found a number of Berlin furniture vans in 
Zeist goods station. At Doom House we saw the 
ex-Kaiser's furniture being carried into the stables 
and coach-houses which are the first places to be 
altered to suit his needs. I snapshotted the scene 
and returned to Amerongen to find out whether 
the date, February, given out by the titled press- 
agent at Bentinck Castle as the time when their 
distinguished visitors would leave them, was mere 
bluff to put pressmen off the scent. In the hotel 
garage was the ex-Kaiser's private luggage-car, 
too large to pass through gates, which would have 
been taken away had he been moving immediately. 

I was more anxious to get into touch with the 
ex-Kaiser's visitors than with his furniture, so 



[ 209 ] 

spent some time trying to nose out the names of 
the strangers in the village. But the police were 
very reticent on the matter. 

Trebitsch Lincoln 

I recall the incident of Trebitsch Lincoln at 
Amerongen merely to show the sort of person 
who is received by the small coterie of intriguing 
monarchist exiles. 

The American journalist, Rennick, suggested 
that we should spend the evening at the hotel 
near the Castle, where there is a billiard table. 
We had hardly started a game when in came two 
men whom I took for Germans. The elder was a 
stocky, stubborn-looking man, with square features 
made fierce by a black/ bristling moustache. The 
younger was shorter and rounder than his com- 
panion, and his clean-shaven face wore an 
exaggerated air of blandness. They watched us 
for some time, and as I thought they might be 
wanting the table, I asked them in English whether 
that was the case. Both pretended they could 
not understand me, so I asked them in German. 

" No," said the elder; " we do not want to play, 
thank you." 

Never having seen his photograph, I did not 
even then recognise the master-spy in the carefully 
groomed person who spoke perfect German accom- 
14 



[ 2IO ] 

panied by the most natural German mannerisms. 
They were staying in the hotel, so I judged that 
whatever their business was with General Dommus, 
the Kaiser's aide-de-camp, they could not be doing 
anything that evening. Coming down the road 
early next morning I was met by the Dutch hotel 
proprietor. 

" Did you recognise the German in my place 
last night ? " he said — " Trebitsch Lincoln, one of 
your late Members of Parliament." 

I could hardly believe that this was the audacious 
person who, among many other exploits, had tried 
to lure the British Fleet to disaster. Not being 
quite satisfied, I walked into the hotel and looked 
at the register. There, sure enough, was the 
large sprawling signature of the ex-Member for 
Darlington. 

After Lincoln and his friend had breakfasted, 
they left the hotel and walked straight down to 
the gates of Bentinck Castle. From here the 
chief of police guarding the Kaiser took the pair 
to the headquarters of General Dommus, where 
they stayed for about half an hour. Lincoln's 
manner indicated that he did not expect to be 
recognised. 

I took up a position in the garden of the hotel 
from where I could get an eye on the gates of the 
Castle. Whatever his business, Lincoln seemed 
mightily pleased as he left the General's house 



[ 211 ] 

and walked up the roadway. He was about to 
go into the hotel when I stepped forward to meet 
him. 

"Good morning, Mr. Lincoln; how do you like 
Amerongen ? " I said, startling him out of his 
composure. 

" My name is not Lincoln. You have made a 
mistake," he retorted in German. 

" Who are you now, then, since you have been 
denationalised ? " I replied. 

" I have nothing to say to you," he said, making 
as if to rejoin his companion. 

" Just as you like, but I am sending off a cable 
dealing with you and your visit to the Kaiser. 
I thought I would like to check the main points," 
I said. 

Finally he was convinced that I knew all about 
him, and adopted a milder tone. 

" I haven't seen the Kaiser," he said. 
" No, but you will be very much disappointed 
if you don't see him to-day, won't you ? What 
are you going to see him about ? — a message from 
the Berlin monarchists ? " 

" My business has nothing whatever to do with 
you. . . ." 

" What is your friend, a pressman or a mon- 
archist ? " I asked; but Lincoln walked away. 

A few minutes later I was in the small telegraph 
office writing out my message to London — under 



[ 212 ] 

the heading, " Mysterious Visit of the ex-Kaiser's 
Spy." I had just finished when Lincoln walked 
in alone, looking rather ill at ease. 

" Will you let me see what you are writing 
about me ? " he asked. 

" I don't mind, if you promise to give me the 
details of your interview with the Kaiser and let 
me photograph any signed document you get." 

He was so anxious to see what I had written 
that he agreed. I passed him a copy of the cable, 
which he read carefully. 

" Thank you, you have not put any words into 
my mouth, which is considerate of you," he re- 
marked sarcastically and left the office. 

During the evening Lincoln met Rennick and 
myself over coffee and tried to find out how much 
we knew about him. He was most candid in his 
hatred for England, and said that he was devoting 
the rest of his life to fighting the British Empire. 
He said many other amusing things, and explained 
that Germany would now cultivate the friendship 
of America, who was sooner or later sure to have 
a war with England. He referred to the revised 
American naval programme. 

The following morning, when I saw him at the 
gates of the Castle, he resented my taking his 
photograph because, he said, the German Socialists 
might imprison him on suspicion of being a 
monarchist agent. Although he had many con- 



[ 213 ] 

ferences with members of the Kaiser's entourage, 
I do not believe he succeeded in seeing the royal 
runaway. By this time I had learnt that his 
mysterious friend was an American pressman who 
had been dismissed by cable by his chief for 
associating with the ex-spy. 

The couple disappeared as suddenly as they 
came. Lincoln's sole object in visiting Bentinck 
Castle was to obtain the Kaiser's signature to a 
statement drawn up by the monarchist group in 
Berlin. If the Kaiser had signed it, Lincoln was 
to publish it to the world through Anderson — a 
big journalistic scoop for the latter. But the ex- 
Kaiser, or rather his coterie of advisers have 
learnt the value of silence and refused to speak 
to the world. Left to himself, I think, he could 
hardly refrain from striking a martyr's attitude in 
his picturesque prison and issuing one of his master- 
pieces of meaningless verbosity. The ex-Kaiser's 
guardians probably judge the time not yet ripe 
for the open encouragement of the monarchists. 

On the Trail of the German Monarchists 

From the Hotel Centraal at The Hague I traced 
Lincoln to the Hotel Dahm, Berlin. One of the 
first people he saw here was Defence Minister 
Noske, with whom he had at least three interviews 
at the Reichswehrministerium (literally this means 



[ 214 ] 

Ministry of Imperial Defence, but from what 
I saw of militarist preparations, I regard it as a 
camouflaged War Office). Judging from the 
manner of his reception, I gathered that he was 
already well known here, although he had arrived 
from England only a few weeks before. His next 
visit was to the General Staff building, where 
he presented a letter bearing the seal of General 
Dommus. Since the General Staff is now dissolved, 
on paper at any rate, the high officer to whom the 
message was addressed will have to arrange another 
rendezvous. 

At first I thought Lincoln was merely a glorified 
courier in the service of the monarchists, until his 
mysterious visit to the Crown Prince at Wieringen. 
On my return I called at Amerongen, where an 
American lady colleague working for a New York 
paper told me that Lincoln had arrived the day before 
at The Hague, but had departed almost immediately 
to see the Crown Prince, who, only a few days before, 
had been staying with his father at Amerongen. 
There being no more trains that day for Amsterdam, 
I sent a wire to Lincoln telling him to stay there 
until I arrived. Three hours later a reply came 
saying, " Am returning Hague to-night." On the 
following day I met him in quite a different mood 
from that in which I had last seen him. My tele- 
gram had upset his plans, he said. He was sent 
for by the Crown Prince for a three days' conference, 



[ 215 ] 

and had only just arrived at his house when my 
telegram was brought to him. He was sitting 
with the Crown Prince at the time, who supposed 
that no one knew Lincoln's whereabouts. 

" I thought no one knew you were coming to me," 
said the Crown Prince. " How did they find out 
you were here ? " 

" You know what these pressmen are, your High- 
ness ; they find out everything, somehow," answered 
Lincoln. 

" Well, you must leave at once and deny that 
you have been here if any one asks you. We must 
be more careful." 

" What were you to see him about ? " I asked 
Lincoln, when he had told me how angry the 
Crown Prince was. 

" Now how can I tell you ! For Heaven's sake be 
reasonable. I've got to go back to Berlin now and 
explain what has happened. They will surely 
think I am working with the Press," he said. 

" Tell me when the counter-revolution is likely 
to start, and who is the person to be put on the 
throne. It will be common knowledge when it 
does happen, so you might as well tell me all you 
know." 

" Well, I can only tell you that the Kaiser is not 
going back to Germany ; in fact, the monarchists 
would keep him away if he tried to return. There 
will be a Hohenzollern — that is certain." 



[ 216 ] 

" Who ? The Crown Prince ? " 

" No, but his son, with the Crown Princess as 
Regent. Now, for Heaven's sake, don't send me 
any more wires. Live and let live." 

" I must see what you are about, as you have been 
so frank in telling me how you hate us," I replied. 

" Well, that was said when I was feeling bitter 
against Shortt for keeping me so long in Brixton 
Prison. I am not working against Britain now. 
For the moment I am on very special work, and, as 
you see, I have access to an^ German documents 
which will help me in what I am doing." 

" Are these for the ' revelations ' of the circle 
round the German throne, which you have tried to 
sell ? " 

" That I can't answer. You will know when 
the time comes for me to publish the message which 
will startle the world. But please don't publish 
anything I have told you, or I shall be barred 
from entering Germany — the Socialists are getting 
very suspicious." 

This conversation occurred after I had been to 
Berlin, and the little information Lincoln gave me 
only confirmed what I already knew. 




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CHAPTER XVI 

Interview with Ludendorff 

WHILST following up the German monarchists 
both in Holland and Germany I got news 
of definite plans which have been worked out by 
the Kaiser, the Crown Prince and their circle of 
advisers. At first an effort was to be made to re- 
establish the Crown Prince in the good graces of the 
people. Propaganda was already started in Ger- 
many which was to reveal him as an injured party, 
a son who had been neglected by his father — 
at times even harshly treated. But this plan was 
dropped, for even the Pan-Germans soon realised 
that it was almost hopeless to try to popularise the 
frivolous young man who is so much the son of 
his father. However, the German monarchists are 
determined that a Hohenzollern shall return to the 
throne ; their choice falls on the young son of the 
Crown Prince, with his mother as Princess Regent. 
This plan happens to suit an ambitious soldier 
and would-be statesman, who, to judge from his talk 
and actions, no doubt considers himself a worthy 

successor to Prince Bismarck. As " adviser ' to 

217 



[ 218 ] 

the boy king, Ludendorff would be in a strong 
position ; as German Chancellor he would be able 
to experiment with the political theories which he 
has had time to study since his ignominious flight to 
Sweden. 

No one understands better the psychology of the 
German nation in the mass, nor is there a better 
judge of time and circumstance than Ludendorff. 
Besides, the memories of the Germans are just as 
short as those of other peoples. 

Before we try to follow the General in his new 
adventures, it is interesting to recollect briefly 
a few salient points of his career. Until the last 
few days of the war he was held in great respect 
by all classes. In 1918, so confident of his position 
did he feel that he invited a company of neutral 
and German journalists to his headquarters to 
inform them that his armies would soon be sweep- 
ing past Paris and down the French coast. Four 
months later he was flying for his life. Whatever 
else was expected, the Germans did not dream that 
Ludendorff would be the first of the War Lords to 
leave them. Even while he was preparing to go, the 
Tdgliche Rundschau, a Berlin Pan-German news- 
paper, stated : 

" The enemy may drive us back to the Rhine, but 
even then all will not be lost, for have we not our 
Ludendorff to inspire us to fresh endeavours and to 
animate us with the belief that all is not lost ? " 



[ 219 ] 

At Germany's most critical moment in the war 
her strong man loses his nerve and sends an urgent 
message to the civilian Government (which he 
despises) ordering it to ask for an armistice at once. 

After a conference with Hindenburg, who did 
not make a scapegoat of his colleague — the usual 
practice in Germany when leaders make mistakes — 
but probably cheered and showed him that the 
situation was not quite hopeless, Ludendorff changed 
his mind and might have smashed his armies to 
pieces against Foch's counter-attacks if the Govern- 
ment had not already accepted defeat. Loss of 
life did not concern the " strong man " ; he would 
have hurled division after division to its doom. 
He cared about one life only — his own. His book 
proves that he is a good office General — when every- 
thing goes " planmassig." The man the German 
nation had learnt to regard as the personification 
of stability and bull-dog courage did not even pause 
to make a farewell gesture, but stole away to 
Sweden, where he probably gnashed his teeth in fury 
when he had time to consider this hasty inglorious 
exit. Never were his men in such need of a steady- 
ing hand as when they broke from the fronts. What 
an opportunity for the railway organiser — in which 
capacity he first attracted notice — to get his men 
back into Germany in the limited time allowed under 
the Armistice conditions! What hardships and 
sufferings he could have saved those who for four 



[ 220 ] 

years had so blindly obeyed him. But no, it was 
too risky for himself — he fled. At the time when 
he should have been at his post he was crossing the 
frontier, showing his passport like an ordinary 
civilian to a uniformed frontier official. Even the 
weak irresolute Kaiser had made a better show, and 
stated determinedly that he would abdicate only 
as German Emperor, but would remain King of 
Prussia. Only when Prince Max told him that his 
abdication had already been proclaimed in Berlin 
did he resign himself to his fate. 

That, I thought, was the last we should hear of 
Ludendorff, at any rate in his " strong man " pose. 
He would probably now write his memoirs and retire 
into the country. The Germans gave me the greatest 
surprise of all when, on my second visit to the 
capital, I found them about to restore at least one of 
their fallen idols. When I arrived I had not the 
slightest intention of attempting to interview Luden- 
dorff — I thought of him as a back number in this 
" new ' Germany. Inside the frontiers I found 
the once runaway General now the most discussed 
man in the Empire. He was still a difficult bird to 
catch, and some days elapsed before I tracked him 
down at No. 26a Viktoriastrasse. 

The General would see no pressmen, I was told 
when I called at his house. For a week I tried to 
see him, using all the subterfuges I knew, with no 
success. I was about to give up hope when I came 



[221 ] 

across a friend who arranged what I wanted. One 
evening at dinner at my hotel, the Bristol, I caught 
sight of Prince Wilhelm August sitting a few tables 
away. Although he was not living in the hotel, 
I learnt that he often visited the place on account 
of its famous cuisine. With him I recognised some 
people I had met at breakfast. I lost no time in 
explaining what I wanted. 

" But he is seeing no one yet," replied my ac- 
quaintance. 

" May I not speak with the Prince ? He can 
easily give me an introduction to the General." 

" I am sorry, but the Prince has to be careful. 
This is about the only place he can visit now ; press- 
men have worried him so much." 

The position was becoming desperate. 

" I would hate to worry you, " I continued per- 
sistently, " but I must see Ludendorff before the 
week-end. It is a matter of the greatest importance 
for both our countries. I have come to Berlin on a 
special mission." One can always get a hearing in 
Berlin if one mentions the magic word " mission." 

Two days later my interview was arranged for me. 

His Excellency, as his servants continue to. call 
him, is almost a next-door neighbour of the members 
of the Allied Commission in Berlin. His flat in 
Viktoriastrasse — truly an ironic address! — is in the 
smaU zone of Allied activity which includes Moltke 
Strasse, the headquarters of General Malcolm ; the 



[ 222 ] 

Esplanade, the headquarters of Generals Bingham 
and Morgan ; and Unter den Linden, where are 
situated the Embassies and hotels housing most of 
the members of the Allied Staffs. I had expected to 
be met by a servant, and was surprised when the 
General himself opened the door. He answered my 
unspoken question as I handed him my card. 

" Yes," he said, " I am General Ludendorff." 

He led me across a wide hall into a small and 
simply furnished room where I left my hat and coat. 
Thence I followed him into his beautiful study over- 
looking the street. As soon as we were seated the 
General went straight to the point in a manner 
which seemed to indicate that he would like our 
conversation to be as brief as possible. 

" Now, what can I do for you ? " he asked, 
settling himself solidly in his chair. I was not 
surprised to find that, like many other Germans 
reputed to understand English, he could not speak 
a word of our language. 

I briefly explained the purpose of my second visit 
to Germany, and said that I was anxious to hear his 
views on the rumoured aspirations of some of the 
younger members of the Hohenzollern family. 

" You want to know my ideas on the monarchy 
question in Germany," the General said. " Let me 
remind you at once what President Wilson said on 
this subject — that the monarchical form of state 
suits best the history and national life of the German 



[ 223 ] 

people. I also am of that opinion, and I trust that 
the idea will soon come home to the German masses. 
Mind you, a re-establishment of the monarchy is 
desirable only if it is the will of the people. When 
the will of the people to this effect is likely to be ex- 
pressed, no one can accurately judge. At present 
order and work are essential, and we must formulate 
such plans that, when they are put into execution, 
they will ensure that the work of the country can be 
carried out." 

" And who do you think is best fitted to be the 
next monarch ? " I asked. 

Here the General paused and gave me a very 
searching look. 

" In other words, you would like to know my per- 
sonal feelings towards the Emperor and the Crown 
Prince. On my desk you will see a statuette of 
His Majesty which he presented to me on my birth- 
day of 9th April, 1918. It is by the sculptor Betzner. 
The fact that it still stands there ought to tell you 
how I feel towards His Majesty." 

" And the Crown Prince ? " I asked. 

" As to the Crown Prince, I can only refer to what 
I have already said in my memoirs. In addition, I 
will say that neither he nor the General Staff wished 
for the war. He had no aggressive intention 
whatever, but agreed with the General Staff that a 
strong army was necessary, as we all had the feeling 
that your King, Edward vn., wished a war, and, 



[ 224 ] 

therefore, we had to be on our guard. I am glad 
that the story that we drove the country into war is 
no longer heard. Lies will come out after they have 
brought terrible misery on the world. The origin 
of the war lies in the misunderstanding of the 
German people, which was engineered for the pur- 
pose of destroying us. You have succeeded in de- 
stroying our armies and government, but you have 
not succeeded in creating a new world-order — well " 
(after a pause), " yes, perhaps a Bolshevik one. 
What Englishmen may think about this is not for me 
to judge. When we Germans speak about Bol- 
shevism there is always the danger that the English 
may think we are trying to frighten them in order to 
get them to help us out of our difficulties. They for 
ever suspect us of exploiting the Bolshevik monster. 
I daresay I personally am above this suspicion ; at 
the same time I prefer not to concern myself with 
other people's affairs." 

The General broke off as if he were about to say 
something more. All through the interview he pre- 
served an attitude of extreme caution. He uttered 
his words as if he were dictating an important 
command at his headquarters. 

" And now may I ask whether you associate 
yourself with the stubborn and, as I think, unreason- 
able attitude of the Pan-German Press, which, as 
you know, is bitterly hostile to England and any 
possibility of a reconciliation with the English ? " 



[ 225 ] 

" My attitude towards the English," replied the 
General, " will be decided by England's treatment of 
us. So far, I have the impression that England still 
wishes to destroy us. England must not expect 
that we shall feel grateful to her for this. But, 
on the other hand, if England followed a policy that 
would ensure our national life and future, I would be 
the first to show my gratitude. Up till the present 
I have seen no indication that this is England's 
intention : so you can quite understand that I 
cannot love those who are striving for our 
destruction." 

I tried to get the General to give some details about 
England's alleged cruel desire to destroy Germany. 

" Read the Peace Treaty," he replied shortly. 

" But if England had wanted to disintegrate the 
German Empire, don't you think it would have been 
much easier to have done it when Bavaria and some 
of the other German States wished to treat separately 
with the Allies ? If you remember, the Allies 
refused and also did not encourage the formation of 
the Rhine Republic," I said. 

" That was to suit themselves," replied Ludendorff 
crisply. 

After he had carefully tidied his desk, which 
was already as neat as the womenfolk of his family 
could make it, he continued: 

" Take a very good example — the systematic 
reduction of our army. Even now we could not 
J 5 



[ 226 ] 

suppress a revolution, not even if the troops were 
reliable, which is not the case. Under the very eyes 
of the Defence Ministry the troops are becoming per- 
meated with sedition. Even if we do withstand 
the coming trouble, vast districts of the country 
will always be in the hands of the Spartacists. How 
your Government ever expects us to reach a settled 
state of affairs is not clear to me. The abolition 
of the General Staff on the first of October was 
inspired by petty spite unworthy of such a great 
nation as the English." 

Here the General's attention was distracted by 
something in the street. A fierce expression 
suddenly contracted his eyebrows. Curious to see 
what he was looking at, I rose slightly in my seat. 
General Morgan and three other members of the 
British Military Mission were walking past the 
house on the way from the Tiergarten to the 
Esplanade. Ludendorff turned from the window 
and continued : 

" With such measures you surely cannot expect 
to make friends of a beaten nation, as we honestly 
admit we are." 

The General had worked himself into an angry 
mood. He tidied his desk again with scrupulous 
care as if he were making moves on a chess-board. 
On his stern face appeared a hard look. 

" England may not be in need of friends at the 
moment, but the time will surely come when she 



[ 227 ] 

will again stand alone against a new combination of 
enemies, when she will reap as she has sown." 

His mind was probably dwelling on the climax 
of Napoleon's career, when, as the story is told in 
the German schoolbooks, the English assisted the 
Prussians to subdue Napoleon at the battle of 
Waterloo. 

" I sincerely regret this shortsighted policy," he 
continued in a milder tone ; " it does not correspond 
with my own personal views as to what should be 
the ideal aims of a great nation. I hope that the 
Allied Governments will realise our position before 
it is too late, and that the Inter-Allied Commission 
now in Germany to reduce our army will not bring 
us to another climax by leaving us utterly defence- 
less against such imperialistic nations as the Poles 
and Czecho-Slovaks. That is as far as I wish to 
discuss the subject." 

I pressed for a definite statement regarding 
General Ludendorff 's own plans, but he was reluctant 
to give me information. 

" It is not my intention," he conceded, " to retire 
from public life, but I cannot yet say when I shall 
take an active part in the affairs of government. 
Much depends on the development of the new 
associations and influences." 

" Don't you think," I continued, " that the Ger- 
man nation is now waiting for its Napoleon, a leader 
who could capture the imagination of the people, 



[ 228 ] 

and, before it is too late, bring them to a state of 
mind which would help them to live amicably in the 
new world ? " 

I received a startling answer — one which revealed 
more of the real character of Ludendorff than any- 
thing else he had said. 

" Before the German people will again be in the 
humour to be led," he said, " they will have to suffer 
— more and more. The men are receiving too much 
money for the work they do. The whole nation is 
demoralised, and before we can begin to build again, 
the present rottenness will have to be cleared away." 

" But most people on our side have remarked the 
wonderful discipline and blind obedience of the 

German nation, until their leaders " I paused, 

realising the enormity of my faux pas and seeking 
a way out of it, but the General interrupted me : 

" Yes, that was all right so long as their 
leaders were strong, but when the nation's loyalty is 
poisoned by enemy propagandists it is impossible 
to keep them in hand. The war was lost by a general 
sabotage started by the extremists, encouraged by 
your propaganda, and taken up by the mass of the 
people. But I don't want to speak any further 
about the war." 

The General stopped short, and his eyes showed 
that his mind had recalled the time of terrible 
struggle, perhaps those closing days of retreat 
towards Germany. By and by his vision was 



[ 229 ] 

fixed on the statuette of the ex-Kaiser, and his 
face lit up with affection. I judged the moment 
opportune for another important question. 

" Are you going to accept nomination for election 
to the Reichstag ? " 

" You are asking too much," said Ludendorff 
sharply; " everything will depend on the political 
development and the mental attitude of the people." 

Seeing that the General was becoming restless, I 
allowed the conversation to drift into other channels. 
I asked him whether he intended to continue his 
literary efforts, and mentioned that I had read in a 
German newspaper that he had given all the money 
he had received from his publication to various 
charities. 

Evidently the monarchist propagandists were 
not in touch with one another, for General Ludendorff 
denied this and stated further that up to the present 
he had not received money from any one. 

" Nicht ein Pfennig ! " he repeated rather 
ruefully. 

From this topic he suddenly swung back to the 
vital subject. 

" Do you think," he asked, " Englishmen will 
continue to hate us ? Or is the present outburst 
just the Englishman's usual spasm of bad temper, 
in which he indulges to cover some questionable 
action he wants to take, but which he knows is 
wrong ? " 



[ 230 ] 

I told the General that he was mistaken ; that 
Englishmen find it difficult to hate, especially such 
a vague, indefinable thing as a nation. I asked him 
whether he knew that the British Trade Unionists 
nearly voted a general strike on a programme in 
which one of the main items was the lifting of the 
blockade against Germany. 

" So ! " exclaimed the General in great astonish- 
ment. 

" It is a pity you do not follow the English news- 
papers," I added. 

" Then they are forgetting the war," he said hope- 
fully. 

I told him they would never forget it, and men- 
tioned some of the reasons. I touched on the treat- 
ment of prisoners of war in Germany ; how, on 
returning to their homes, they told their friends and 
relations of the horrors of German prison camps, 
and reminded him that German prisoners in England 
had been given the same rations as the people, 
and had returned home robust and well clad. 

" Soldiers' stories lose nothing in the telling," I 
added. 

" How were you treated as a prisoner ? You were 
all right, weren't you? " he asked, rather impatiently. 

In reply I invited him to accompany me to 
Ruhleben to examine the few feet of space allotted 
to me and some other prisoners, " And, General, 
Ruhleben was your show camp." 



[ 231 ] 

" But hadn't you a racecourse to play your games 
on?" 

This racecourse, for which the British Government 
paid highly, as it did for many other things, in- 
cluding the hot water for use in the German 
bathhouse, has been boasted about from one 
end of Germany to the other by the military 
authorities. 

Reverting to another subject, I called Ludendorff's 
attention to the industrial activity apparent in 
Germany, especially in the State Railway engineer- 
ing shops, and asked him why the foreign press was 
supplied with obviously inaccurate reports as to 
Germany's alleged state of distress. I recalled 
the following explanation given me by a director 
of one of the largest electrical concerns in 
Germany : 

" You cannot blame us for not showing the Allies 
that we are going to live up to our reputation of being 
the most industrious nation in the world. We want 
to know exactly what we shall have to pay before we 
really get to work. What would be the use of work- 
ing hard when, the more we produced, the more the 
Allies would want ? " 

General Ludendorff shrugged his shoulders and 
replied : 

" This is interesting, but you must not think 
that that sort of person represents the German 
nation." 



[ 232 ] 

" No, perhaps not, but it is on account of the 
spreading of this prepared news, which we call 
propaganda, and the shortsighted attitude of the 
business men, that the Allies regard with suspicion 
every statement coming from Germany." 

The General had evidently had enough, and I rose. 
To one who, like myself, had unfortunately ex- 
perienced some of the worst features of Prussian 
militarism, it was a fascinating experience to sit 
opposite the man who so short a time before had 
exercised so tremendous a power. He is said to 
have seriously considered the suggestions of German 
newspapers which openly called for the shooting 
of Allied prisoners. No wonder an epidemic of 
escapes broke out in the various camps when news 
of this additional measure of " f rightfulness " 
reached the prisoners. 

Instead of being chastened by his defeat he is 
as arrogant as ever. He was still the Ludendorff 
of old, the man with big imperial plans and ideas. 
I imagined him waiting watchful in his retreat in 
Viktoriastrasse for " the political development and 
mental attitude of the people," whilst Gustave 
Noske builds up the army which may eventually be 
used to re-establish the monarchy. So soon as 
that moment arrives, Ludendorff will don his uni- 
form, gird on his sword and send out his army to 
fight as in the past. I imagined the old spiked 
helmet and mantle hanging ready in the long 



[ 233 1 

cupboard behind the bust of the beloved Wilhelm. 
Whilst he searched for two photographs which he had 
promised me, my thoughts strayed. I thought of 
Bismarck and the man here who, if not talented 
in statesmanship, has a supreme gift of making 
trouble. 

" Well, are you satisfied ? " asked the General, 
as he handed me the pictures. 

" I am disappointed in one way, although I thank 
you for giving me the opportunity of discussing 
these points with you." 

" Disappointed ? How is that ? " 

" I expected to hear about an honest move- 
ment — democratic in the true sense of the word 
— which would attract all the moderate men in 
Germany." 

" Good-day," said General Ludendorff, as if he 
had not understood. 

As I walked down the stairs, I wondered if the 
German people would once more be persuaded to 
flock to the banner of the autocrats. 

A prominent English newspaper has stated that 
we have not done with Germany. We certainly 
have not done with Ludendorff, who will devote the 
rest of his life to avenging his defeat. And in 
Germany he will be free to scheme, encouraged by 
the militarists. There is no one to hinder him save 
perhaps the Spartacists, who might murder him as 
Liebknecht was murdered. As a militarist politician 



[ 234 ] 

he will breathe new life into the " old Prussian 
spirit," as he calls it. He needs only the slightest 
encouragement from the Allies to begin where 
they left off, and try to " save " Russia from 
Bolshevism. 



CHAPTER XVII 

Some Impressions of the " New " Germany — Plans of the 
Monarchists — Ludendorff's Sermon 

Some Impressions of the " New " Germany 

BEFORE I interviewed Ludendorff I made an 
effort to get into touch with men either in 
leading positions themselves or supporters of the 
new political combinations which have grown out 
of the old ones. Among the first group that I met 
were some of Theodore Wolff's supporters of the 
Deutsche Demokratische Partei, which now includes 
the Deutsche Volkspartei in Bavaria. In all prob- 
ability this party will get a majority at the next 
election. They might have been successful at the 
last, had not the Soldiers' and Workmen's Councils 
advised their followers to vote for " Die Sozial- 
demokratische Partei," which gained double the 
number of votes of any other party. 

I was invited to a gathering of business men who 
are just now striving to cope with the universal 
malady — labour troubles. They give occasional 
dinners at, or rather after, which they discuss busi- 
ness and anything pertaining to it. I found them 

235 



[ 236 ] 

good-natured people once I had penetrated their 
awkwardness. The introductions were particularly 
tedious. The German still brings his heels together 
and bows with the stiff, jerky movements of a 
mechanical toy. Unfortunately there were no 
lady guests to help us over the awkward pauses. 

I feel that criticism is ungrateful when I think 
of the generous meal provided by the host — or 
hosts. I believe the guests had subscribed the 
food among them, as seems to be the custom in 
certain circles where they have intimate relations 
with a Lebensmittelschieber (illicit food- trader) . 

The main item was a roast goose, the like of 
which I have never seen even in England. The 
host carved and made a splendid job of it. The 
bird was done to a turn, the skin beautifully brown 
and crisp. We held back until every one was served 
with a very large portion and delicious vegetables 
cooked in fresh butter. The maid removed the 
carcass and the host sat down. That was our 
signal. The hush in the conversation was so 
sudden that at first I thought some one was going 
to say grace. I hope that my sketchy description 
will not make people who can get good well-cooked 
food every day consider these middle-class Germans 
a company of hogs. They were more like greedy 
boys at a school feast. The rapt expression on their 
faces as they passed down the plates, and their con- 
centrated manner when they had once begun to eat, 



[ 237 ] 

indicated that I was not the only one who had not 
tasted this wonderful dish for a long time. The 
gentleman on my left was eating his food with 
particular relish. So soon as he had got all he could 
off the bone with his knife and fork, he seized it 
firmly in his fingers and gnawed it. 

The silence was almost embarrassing. Under 
the generous influence of the good Rhine wine I made 
an effort to cover the gaps in the conversation and 
my neighbour's funny gaspy noises with a few 
pleasant remarks. He turned towards me, his bone 
gripped firmly in both hands, and gave me a look 
which told me at once that I had done the wrong 
thing. To him eating was as serious as performing 
a religious rite. I attempted no more conversation 
until the end of the meal, when the company were 
sliding into a state of coma. It had indeed been a 
glorious meal, and we had given ourselves up to 
undisturbed enjoyment of it. These men seemed 
to me to form a striking contrast with the Frenchmen 
whom I have known. The latter struck me as being 
extremely animated after dinner and in a mood to 
appreciate delicate luxuries such as fine wines and 
intelligent conversation. 

The liveliest discussion of the evening was one on 
food and how to get it. Each guest contributed 
his knowledge of strange sources of such articles as 
fresh butter, meat, cheese and poultry. This led 
to a discussion of municipal trading, which these 



[ 238 ] 

freedom-loving people regarded as a tyrannical 
measure, the object of which was to ruin the trading 
classes. In spite of the narrowness of their general 
views they surprised me by their local patriotism. 
They showed a real pride in the outward appearance 
of Berlin, and revealed some of the spirit which has 
inspired the building of such splendid cities as 
Hamburg, Frankfort, Dresden and Munich. 

This pride in municipal affairs increased rny 
surprise at the lack of interest shown in national 
and foreign politics. There were endless heated 
discussions on the personal habits and intrigues of 
local politicians, but nothing in the way of intelligent 
anticipation of the outcome of the present critical 
situation. These and all the prominent Germans 
I had met do not grasp the significance of the new 
era. To them it is merely a period of defeat, and 
they are endeavouring in their different spheres to 
make the best of a bad job. The profession of a 
politician is to them a strange craft wrapped in 
mystery. I gathered that the most respected 
politicians of the new Germany are not those who 
do things, but those who prevent their colleagues 
from doing anything. They were very keen to 
explain how they had defeated the Socialists. 
They showed a cowardly dread of reformers, and 
from their conversation one must assume that they 
spend more time in sowing confusion than in spread- 
ing the new gospel of liberty. From them I gathered 



[ 239 ] 

that the new bourgeois rulers have handled 
new movement in the same way as the Lorn 
police handle a troublesome procession. They have 
led it into blind alleys. They realised that it 
futile to oppose the rising wave of passionate feeling, 
so they rode it, except in Bavaria, where Kurt 
Eisner and his group of intelligent assistant s v. 
on their guard. Noske went to Kiel, while Scheide- 
mann and Ebert watched Berlin. For a few days 
the revolutionary wave was so strong that tin- 
Socialist politicians were carried forward on its 
crest. But the new rulers, old monarchist servants, 
managed to remain at the head of the movement. 
They allowed the revolutionaries to march in 
processions to exhaust some of the revolutionary 
fever. Then they split them into sections and 
them off into quiet byways of vague argument where 
they could do no harm. It seems that the move- 
ment is now lost in the forests of meaning 
rhetoric. 

The German nation seems still to be at a >t 
of development where an enemy i> indispensable. 
Just now almost all the Pan-German Press 1- busily 
discovering another " world of enemi sn if 

the workers are sceptical, the middle and upper 
classes believe them— because they wish to bell 
When once the " natural enemy " is found in the 
newspapers, the national cause becomes obvious. 
The spirit of hatred of the Allies now being created 



[ 240 ] 

by the Pan-Germans and even by the Liberal press 
was never equalled during the worst days of the 
war. Hate never made a good building material. 
These shortsighted German journalists think they 
can distract the attention of the masses from the 
reform movement by exposing the " plots " of the 
Allies. They are now trying to find a national 
champion. 

After I left the dinner party I came to under- 
stand what a certain writer meant when he said : 
" The Germans like to be governed." 

The condition of uncertainty and instability 
prevailing before the signing of Peace provided 
valuable material for the monarchist groups, of 
which there are at least three. Resentment against 
the ex-Kaiser and his family has practically 
disappeared during the Ebert regime. If the 
monarchists could sink their differences and come 
out upon a common platform with a progressive 
programme, they would probably get a majority 
to support them at the next elections. This seems 
a startling statement to make in the light of the 
present talk of republicanism. 

Some of the main factors contributing to this state 
of affairs are the advanced aims and methods of the 
Spartacists and the dangerous flood of Bolshevism 
seething across the frontier. This dread of the 
middle classes is something pitiable to behold, and 
is kept alive by the advanced Socialist journalists, 



[ 241 ] 

who, in a large daily press, publish raking criticisms 
of Ebert and his colleagues. The Bourgeoisie 
shudder at the very name of Marx, who they believe 
was the first Bolshevist. To them monarchy 
promises safety and solidarity. A Bolshevik 
culture cannot thrive in a monarchist garden, 
and that is why they are willing to support a 
re-establishment of the Hohenzollerns. 



Plans of the Monarchists 

The old -families who fled at the first breath of 

revolution are now returning to Germany. Their 

fears of the people have been dispelled by reports 

that satisfactory measures have been taken to 

preserve order and protect property. On their 

return, in most cases, they found their homes as 

they had left them in charge of their faithful 

retainers, and resumed their pre-war manner 

of life. The sons felt the change more than 

their parents. The Army and Government offices 

being closed to them for the moment, they were 

thrown on their own resources. Groups of clubs, 

or rather circles, have now grown up among them 

where political and social questions are discussed. 

These had been described to me as " nests tpf 

monarchists," a title which aroused my curiosity. 

There is no doubt that young princes and " vons," 

who forgather in these places, espouse the cause of 
16 



[ 242 ] 

the r<tyal family, and in many ways they remind one 
of the young Jacobites. They are carefully culti- 
vating the acquaintance of all foreigners likely to 
be of use to them, the young members of the Allied 
Commission being especially sought after. 

It was through the introduction of one of our 
officers that I first visited a private club in the 
Friedrichstrasse, where were gathered at least a 
score of representatives of the German nobility. 
It was the first club I had visited where ladies were 
not encouraged. They were a particularly healthy- 
looking company, most of them speaking English 
well ; their well-cut clothes and the anglicisms of 
dress and manner made me forget at times that 
they were Germans. Moreover, there is no doubt 
about the soundness of their ideas, for these have 
nothing in common with those of the ordinary Pan- 
German type of mind which prepared the ground 
for a war between England and Germany. They 
are out to become friends with England, where, they 
imagine, still exists a powerful aristocracy to join 
hands with them. Since the Armistice they have 
come in contact with some of our regular officers, 
who have been able to talk polo, hunting and pig- 
sticking with them. The " best people of both 
countries " is a great conversational tag of theirs. 
They are unaware of the revolution of fortune in 
England which is rapidly sending the old aristocratic 
families to the towns. They are fond of reading 



[ 243 1 

the novels of the Victorians, and still think of 
English society as it was fifty years ago. This is 
partly due also to the fact that the feudal system 
was in part preserved in Germany right up to the 
time of the Armistice. 

From a young ex-officer attached to the diplo- 
matic corps at General Headquarters I obtained 
some interesting information regarding the hopes 
of these young monarchists in regard to the Russian 
intervention. 

" We expected and hoped that England would 
be able to suppress the Bolshevists. It would be a 
grave mistake to withdraw now " (this conversation 
took place during September, 1919), "for once the 
Russians grow used to the communal administration 
it will be difficult to uproot it. If the English 
cannot manage it themselves, they must allow 
Germany to co-operate with them. Even in 
England, with the seas between Russia and Great 
Britain, you are all afraid of Bolshevism. How do 
you think we feel about it — living next door to it ? " 

" What will happen if the British troops are with- 
drawn ? " I asked. 

" God help Germany if that happens ! Noske 
would never be able to hold the Spartacists, who 
are even now negotiating with Lenin. Think what 
it would mean to the world — a Bolshevist Germany 
working with Bolshevik Russia ! " 

" But could it last ? " I inquired. 



[ 244 ] 

" That's the dangerous part of it ! Once the 
growth of Bolshevism got a hold in Germany, it 
could never be rooted out. And what would 
England do, with a tremendous Bolshevist block 
in Central Europe ? She would be helpless in spite 
of her magnificent fleet, for a blockade would be 
useless. Russia, with her unlimited supplies of raw 
materials, and Germany, with her scientific industrial 
methods, could dictate trade terms to the world. 

" The German workers, and even some of the 
business men, would welcome it as they have 
welcomed most State measures. They would 
improve upon it, and with the German admini- 
strative genius would devise a way of living which 
might prove paradise for the workers and slavery 
for us. Even the German Bourgeoisie have begun 
to regard Lenin less as a tyrant. They have 
always taken great pride in their municipal theatres 
and other public institutions, which they manage 
very well. This has at last started them thinking ; 
and if Bolshevism is established in Germany, they 
will get themselves elected on the Soviets and still 
direct the affairs of municipalities. When the 
Revolution reached the inland cities, these little 
tradespeople and shopkeepers were the first to 
welcome it. There were not enough red flags and 
badges to go round. If it had not been for the 
Socialists like Scheidemann — there would have 
been a Socialist regime by now." 



[ 245 ] 

" What are you people doing to counteract the 
influence of the Bolsheviks ? " 

" We are doing just what you see us doing here — 
getting into touch with the neutral and Allied press. 
Of course, our own newspapers are useful, but we 
cannot make the Pan-German press see that they 
must drop their stupid antagonism towards 
England. Then we have the officers' clubs and 
corps, and the cadet corps will be a source of 
strength for the monarchists. But our main strength 
lies in the schools and academies where the teachers 
do brilliant work." 

" How will you get the movement out into the 
open ? " 

" It all depends. The first step is to get the 
elections for the National Assembly over and make 
friends with the main bourgeois parties. They will 
soon begin to bristle when the Allies really start 
carrying out the terms of the Treaty. They are 
practically obliged to turn to us. A coup d'etat 
would be dangerous until we had a strong army to 
back it up. Noske is getting together a good army 
which, with careful handling, would be willing to 
serve under Ludendorff. In fact all Germany 
would support him and Hindenburg in the defence 
of Germany. And you can rest assured that if 
England does not exterminate Bolshevism, Luden- 
dorff will." 

When I suggested that it might not be the wisest 



[ 246 ] 

policy to single out any national party for special 
treatment, be it friendly or hostile, he replied : 

" If you have France in your mind, I must tell 
you that there will never be peace between us and 
the French, who are a decaying nation. French- 
men have gone as far as they dared in humiliating 
Germany. For example, what other nation would 
put black troops, Algerians, in occupied Germany, 
even on the trains to examine the passengers ? If 
France really wished to be friendly, she would not 
commit this sort of petty tyranny. Would it 
surprise you if the Germans in occupied towns 
should already be thinking of the day when they 
will be sweeping back the French to their own 
boundaries ? And the day will surely come when 
she will not be able to call half a dozen nations to 
her aid. By that time Germany will have remedied 
the diplomatic weakness which lost us the war. 
When she knows that, she will think twice before 
declaring war. It is useless to try to explain to an 
Englishman the traditional enmity between France 
and Germany. It will always be so, no matter 
how many Leagues of Nations are formed." 

As I was going from Frankfort to Cologne I had 
an opportunity of seeing for myself the cause of much 
bad feeling between the French and Germans. The 
train had just entered the part of Germany occupied 
by the French when a big, surly-looking Algerian 
appeared in the railway compartment. I had a 



[ 247 ] 

queer sensation as he bent over me. It certainly 
seemed strange to be under the authority of a man 
from the East — perhaps it was an omen. In response 
to his mutterings the German passengers pulled out 
their papers. Having no permit to enter occupied 
territory, I proffered a Burroughs & Welcome 
photographic calendar, which served the purpose. 

A middle-aged German traveller commented on 
the appointment of black troops to examine pass- 
ports. 

" I wonder how America would like coloured 
troops to be put to examine their papers," he said, 
spluttering with suppressed rage. We were now 
entering the American zone outside Coblentz. 

" They don't know anything about this in 
America," replied a German woman. 

" That's right," retorted some one else. " English- 
men and Americans don't know how the French 
enjoy doing the meanest possible things to Germany 
— never mind, the day will come " 

I found this spirit general. Both Frenchmen and 
Germans would smile tolerantly whenever I men- 
tioned the League of Nations. The " Jungle " theory 
of international relations seems to be as much in 
evidence here as ever it was. 

My young ex-officer friend is only one of many 
thousands of unemployed professional soldiers, 
waiting for something to turn up. Japan cannot 
employ them all, and two choices are open to them, 



[ 2 4 8 ] 

to place themselves at the disposal of the mon- 
archists, or to go to work. Having no sense of 
the romantic, the proud Prussian cannot easily 
accommodate himself to work, although there is 
plenty to do in his country. A photograph of an 
English major-general digging his own cabbage 
patch makes the Prussian shudder, while it would 
inspire other men to go and do likewise. To 
work is to lose caste ; far better to sponge on the 
kind German war widows. Now that the mon- 
archists have skilfully managed their informal 
inauguration there will be no scarcity of young 
" vons," ex-regular officers eager to place their 
swords at the disposal of the monarchist cause. 

Should the time and necessity arise, the " one 
million " army will be found to be no myth. The 
Unter-officers' clubs are beginning to think them- 
selves as much a special caste as the officers' corps. 
Once the Allies have been manoeuvred into an 
impossible position, the monarchists will put their 
plans into practice without delay. The position 
will be such that England might have to support 
one of the two extremists. The Russian riddle 
may be repeated, as it seems that we are to have 
no permanent peace with the Bolshevists. As 
French and German militarists have already 
discussed measures to combat the Bolshevik danger, 
it would not seem improbable that German 
monarchist hopes will be fulfilled. 



[ 249 ] 

England, France and Germany are in agreement 
at least on one thing, their desire to extirpate 
Bolshevism from Europe. It is already being said 
that the eastern frontier of Germany would 
provide a much better base from which to attack 
Trotsky than Archangel. 

Ludendorff's Sermon 

As I write, the Commission appointed at 
the Reichstag to inquire into the cause of the 
war is giving the Junkers and monarchists an 
opportunity of welcoming their old leaders. The 
Generals were received with more enthusiasm and 
display than the ex-Kaiser himself in his most 
popular pre-war days. The monarchists mustered 
their ex-officers, cadets and students into a pro- 
cession of welcome ; whilst Noske, by turning out 
his " Green Guards " and machine-gun sections, 
made a most imposing military display which, no 
doubt, was appreciated by the two Generals. 

The singing of " Deutschland uber Alles " an- 
nounced the coming of the procession from Dr. 
Helfferich's house. The accompanying cavalry- 
men riding in the snow appeared strangely incon- 
gruous by the side of the ultra-modern motor-car. 
The steel-hatted " Green Guards," standing almost 
shoulder to shoulder along the streets, presented 
an ominous sight to the crowds as they pressed 



[ 250 ] 

forward eager to catch a glimpse of the pro- 
cession. 

During the investigation General Ludendorff was 
the hero of the piece. As usual, he bullied because 
he could not argue, and, with his impressive 
presence, managed to frustrate the purpose of the 
inquiry. His inquisitors were practically helpless. 
The distinguished spectators, Bethmann-Hollweg 
and Dr. Helfferich, must have been amused as 
the General faced his inquisitors and, answering 
no question directly, thumped the table as he used 
to do at the military-political conferences. Lede- 
bour and Harden, the two bitter opponents of the 
ex-Kaiser and his camarilla, must have felt dis- 
appointed in their efforts when they heard the 
roar of cheering which greeted the War Lords. 

On the following Sunday, at the Potsdam Garrison 
Church, Ludendorff judged the time ripe for a 
declaration. It was an excellent opportunity for 
testing the feelings of the people towards the " old 
Prussian spirit." He called the German Army the 
most democratic institution in the world. It knew 
no class distinctions, he said, there were only 
leaders and led, and with the old Prussian battle- 
cry, " With God for Home and Fatherland," two 
million Germans took the field — " The heroic 
drama developed into a tragedy, the most moving 
and terrible tragedy ever suffered by such a great 
nation. And why ? What was the origin of this 



[ 2 5 i ] 

abysmal disaster ? To the gratification of our 
enemies we abandoned the old Prussian spirit 
which had made us so great Enemies on all sides 
recognised more clearly than we did where our 
strength lay and where our weakness. 

" Selfishness flourished everywhere, and there 
was no gardener to root it out. It is a shameful 
fact that, for many Germans, the highest law of 
life became the law of self. 

" Here in this church let us take oath to our 
dead that we will win back the old unselfish 
Prussian spirit. 

" We must banish all that is false and dishonour- 
able. The old Prussian self-discipline must replace 
selfishness. Since the pressure of an orderly state 
is missing, we must doubly control ourselves. 

" May our dead see a new generation arise which, 
in mutual trust, flocks to the old black-and-white 
standard of Prussia. Let us raise on high this 
banner as a symbol for all Germans who are willing 
to go with us. I trust to heaven there will be 
many, for many must have had the bandage torn 
from their eyes. 

" May the Prussian eagle which once before 
showed Germany the way lead our great Fatherland 
to new power." 

Ludendorff concluded his strange sermon with 
the words: 

" And, indeed, we are still at war — a much 



[ 252 ] 

harder and more serious war than that which for 
four years held the world in suspense." 

Thus speaks the man who, at the first breath of 
danger to his own self-centred life, shirked his 
responsibilities and fled. He has returned to 
preach the old Prussian doctrine of blood and iron. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

Has there been a German Revolution ? — The Present 
Situation in Central and Eastern Europe — Our Lack 
of a Policy in dealing with the German People 

Has there been a German Revolution ? 

OUR belief in the genuineness of the German 
Revolution is the result of continual sug- 
gestion from the press and German bourgeois and 
vested interest propaganda. Ever since the 
Armistice was signed only news of a pessimistic 
nature has left Germany. In no other country 
do the newspapers work more in harmony with 
their Government and with each other. From the 
bombastic chorus of war-time, the German jour- 
nalists changed their tone to a maudlin whimper 
broken occasionally by savage fits of temper. 

On paper the Germans have a democratic electoral 
system, but in reality they are now governed by 
a most reactionary and unscrupulous group of 
politicians. We are friendly disposed towards this 
corrupt group because they carried out the principal 
demand of the Allies, the abdication of the Kaiser, 
and a number of superficial changes which have not 
touched the real structure of the German system. 

253 



[ 254 ] 

There was at least honesty and a certain sort 
of benevolent justice in this system, administered 
as it was by sound bourgeois officials. In the hands 
of the present class of political opportunists, the 
old machinery is used to exploit the people who 
are worse off now than before the paper revolution. 

The German soldiers were deceived when they 
saw their officers shedding their epaulettes, as were 
the workers when they heard their employers 
cry, " Long live Socialism ! " and saw them wearing 
red buttons. While the Bourgeoisie cheered the 
Socialists, and headed demonstrating processions, 
they scientifically sabotaged every social experi- 
ment made by the few sincere reformers not already 
in the pay of the vested interests. German State 
Control, which was promised as the great panacea 
for industrial injustices, is working out in abuses 
worse than those of unrestricted private enterprise. 
Industry is in the position of the hen whose eggs 
were stolen while the owner was fetching food. 
The disastrous results of the efforts to control the 
German coal industry is a good example of this 
capitalistic sabotage. 

The Schwerindustvielle (coal and iron magnates) 
who have ruled modern Germany have never once 
lost control of the political machinery. Both we 
and the German common folk were deceived by a 
political sham. After the Kiel mutiny and sporadic 
disorders, it was easy to believe that the German 



[ 255 ] 

nation had been through the cleansing fires of a 
real revolution. Because the German people had, 
except for a few stoppages, continued to work, and 
communications were rarely interrupted, we were 
inclined to believe that they were satisfied with 
the ultra-Prussian ruling methods of such cruel 
opportunists as Noske and Ebert. 

If it were not for influences outside their own 
country, there would be little chance of the German 
workers releasing themselves from the oppressive 
system under which they writhe. The German 
masses, drilled and schooled into a servile obedience 
and an almost religious belief in national unity, no 
matter how corrupt and cruel the leadership, have 
patiently borne with the wrongs and injustices 
carried on by their new masters, hoping that their 
lot would be lightened as Europe settled down to 
peace. But their plight only becomes worse. 

Can British people who pride themselves on their 
love of freedom really believe that the German 
masses are going to submit permanently to be 
governed by successive parties of political illu- 
sionists ? Under a government of statesmen and 
intelligent treatment from their late enemies, the 
Germans would have been spared their revolution. 

But now her own reactionaries, intriguing with 
those of other countries, are making bitter and bloody 
revolution inevitable. The only revolutionaries in 
Germany during the war, and the only Germans 



[ 256 ] 

for whom we had the slightest respect, were Lieb- 
knecht and his followers. They were idealists, and 
the only Germans who conscientiously tried to 
sweep away the old regime. The docile Democrats 
and compromising Liberals have merely given the 
old rotten structure a coat of paint. 

The Independent Socialists hoped to see their 
country cured of her chronic ailments. But the 
patient was only doped and temporarily relieved, 
and the disease now appears in more malignant 
form. In fact, Germany to-day is in the plight of 
a criminal lunatic. Her idealistic revolutionary 
vitality is bound in Noske's strait-waistcoat of 
militarism. Because the German working folk 
dared to demonstrate outside the Reichstag against 
the taking away of the one solitary measure of 
real reform the Trades Council wrested from the 
Government during the critical days of military 
defeat, Noske, ordered by his financial backers, 
resorted to easy murder rather than sympathetic 
negotiation. 

The workers of Germany have come to the belief 
that the freedom which they thought would come 
with the Armistice is still but an idea. Now that 
we have opened up negotiations with the people, the 
truth has to be faced that there has been no revolu- 
tion in Germany. And unless Providence inter- 
venes in the form of common sense and intelligent 
action on the part of our representatives, the German 



[ 257 ] 

Revolution will be the beginning of the predicted 
conflagration which will burn out the last vestiges 
of civilisation left in the East and the West. 



The Present Situation in Central and 
Eastern Europe 

If to-day we are really watching the long ex- 
pected birth of Freedom, the travail is indeed a 
painful one. 

In the East a triumphant Bolshevism beckons 
or threatens us. The country of Dostoievsky and 
Turgenieff, always famous for its terrible and 
picturesque drama, has now eclipsed itself as the 
source of more strange and awful romances than 
ever before found their way into print. To some, 
Russia is a country ruled by unscrupulous despots. 
To others, it is the realisation of the dreams of 
martyrs, a grand experiment in the brotherhood 
of mankind, the Communist Republic. Along her 
borders is a string of feeble and starving buffer 
States used as intriguing-grounds by the inter- 
ventionists. 

Russia is now like a spreading forest fire approach- 
ing the Spartacist tinder in Germany and the more 
distant inflammatory material in the East. Our 
efforts to quench the flames have so far only re- 
sulted in stimulating the conflagration. Further 
probabilities must now be faced. Lenin is actively 
17 



[ 258 ] 

preparing for a peace with the world, while the 
Bolshevists are said to be still sowing the seeds of 
revolution. He is convincing the waverers by 
pointing out the distress and starvation in countries 
ruled by reactionaries, while in Russia, he says, the 
people are comparatively well cared for. The 
peasants have the land, and no power on earth can 
take it from them, not even Lenin himself, should he 
desire. 

What is to be the next big blaze in this all- 
devouring forest fire ? Is it the German Revolution ? 

From Hungary, Austria, Italy and the border 
States come daily reports of a seething discontent. 

For the moment the industrial, political and eco- 
nomic positions seem all in favour of Leninism. 
How are we going to meet it ? 

The last twelve months of political stumbling has 
made certain one thing: the coming together, 
sooner or later, of Russia and Germany. Whether 
it will be a Russia subdued by Ludendorff or a 
Germany under the spell of a Napoleonic Lenin, 
depends on the vision and statesmanship of Great 
Britain's Ministers and the fortune of war — perhaps 
civil war. The two countries, with their unquench- 
able vitality, seem like two monsters — peace coming 
to them and their neighbours only when one of them 
has swallowed the other. 

Since last March the strength of the German 



[ 259 ] 

Independent Socialists has increased so rapidly 
that they now outnumber the Majority Socialists. 
The Junkers were startled when the Independents 
joined Lenin's Third Internationale. The Sparta- 
cists have now consolidated into a solid fighting 
block. Even the under-dogs of the bourgeois 
parties are becoming absorbed by the extreme Left 
in their fear of a return to a military autocracy. 

The German and Russian masses now believe 
that they have been betrayed by the Allies, which 
accounts for the determination of both parties to 
unite against us in case we take sides with the 
reactionaries of the old regime. The peculiar 
position of the German Government prevents it 
from interrupting the negotiations now openly re- 
sumed between the Bolsheviks and the Spartacists. 

It is almost inevitable that the union of Russia and 
Germany will be preceded by a terrible and bitter 
struggle. The Soviet supporters in Germany, 
increasing daily, would for a time find themselves in 
a desperate position, but would fight with a tigerish 
bravery. They would be inspired by the know- 
ledge that they would have powerful help from 
their Russian comrades led by Trotsky, by whom the 
struggle would be regarded as a continuation of the 
War of Liberation. 

Lenin seems to have gripped the imagination of 
the Continental masses. He has replaced Wilson, 
once regarded as the second saviour of mankind. 



[ 260 ] 

They see him after two years of attack still hold- 
ing at bay the reactionary forces of Europe. The 
influence of his teaching and the strange power of 
his personality have radiated in all directions. 

Our Lack of a Policy in Dealing with the 
German People 

We have lost the respect of the German masses 
since the Armistice was signed, and for this grave 
fact we have only ourselves to blame. When 
hostilities ceased we discarded one of the most 
effective instruments for good. Among many other 
things, we learnt war propaganda from the Germans, 
and improved upon it so much that the reader 
could not distinguish between real news and 
propaganda. 

When the German Government had wanted to 
prepare public " opinion " for some new measure 
of frightfulness — the U-boat war, for example — 
German professors would be turned on to the job. 
At first their work was done so crudely that few 
were impressed, and most people knew the origin of 
the " inspired " literature. 

But as the war progressed there was an improve- 
ment, especially in neutral countries, and it soon 
became clear that Germans would have to be fought 
in the sphere of propaganda as well as on the battle- 
field, so well did they misstate our case to our disad- 



[ 26i ] 

vantage. After our cleverest journalists and littera- 
teurs had been called in to help to create the new 
■ arm," our side of the case was expressed in first- 
class literature. The German man-in-the-street 
was for the first time given an opportunity to read 
the case against his country. There is no doubt 
that our subtle efforts inside the German frontiers, 
and such lucky accidents as Prince Lichnowsky's 
condemnatory pamphlet, left us with more friends 
than enemies. 

One Socialist pamphlet, supposed to be " in- 
spired " by an Allied information bureau, is said 
to have seduced a whole regiment on the West 
Front. 

As long as it suited us, we regarded the German 
masses as something quite separate from their 
ruling classes. We said we were fighting Prussian 
militarism, and not the German nation. So well 
was our story told that the ordinary German 
believed us when we said we were battling to free 
him and his like from slavery. He began to doubt 
us after the signing of the Armistice, when, by our 
negligence, we showed we had no further need for 
the passive support of the German rank and file, 
which in some cases was as effective as an active 
sabotage. He now believes that our propaganda 
was only a war measure. When, with what seemed 
to our friends among the enemy the arrogant 
indifference of a conqueror, we turned our back on 



[ 262 ] 

them and left them to the mercy of German re- 
actionaries, they thought they had merely been 
temporarily used for our selfish ends. 

The Pan-German press chuckled with glee and 
jibed at the Socialists for " allowing the Allies to 
win the war," and recalled their own scornful words 
when President Wilson first gave to the world his 
Fourteen Points. " Let the Allies win the war 
and then see how they will treat you," was the gist 
of their vituperative outpourings. 

Our lack of a policy, after having shown an active 
interest in the freedom of Germans, caused them 
to consolidate into hostile groups, including a vast 
number of moderate men who had been bitterly 
disappointed when the expected English help in 
Germany's plight did not come. This section was 
now inclined to believe the Junker version of the 
cause of the war — the culmination of a long pre- 
pared plan by England to destroy her most dan- 
gerous trade rival, and to aggrandise her Empire. 

Specially printed maps showing Great Britain's 
territorial acquisitions during the war seem to bear 
out this version of the Pan-Germans who had 
favoured a rapprochement between Germany and 
Russia to the detriment of England. There has 
now grown up a keen anti-British spirit. 

Germans have been led to believe that the British 
are a nation of brigands. The prohibition of the 
importation of her goods in order to protect our 



[ 263 ] 

favoured key industries by which Germany could 
have improved the exchange value of her mark, has 
been explained to the Germans as a scheme to 
crush Germany commercially, thus confirming the 
Schwerindustrielle version of the cause of the war. 

But now we hear that the indifference of the 
British Government has suddenly changed to an 
active interest in the lot of our late enemy. We are 
to support the " practical and democratic Govern- 
ment " of Ebert ! 

We seem doomed to misfortune in the political 
choice of our foreign friends. We are to support 
the best-hated group in Germany — a group of 
political assassin-hirers, themselves the tools of 
the vested interests. We seem enamoured with 
Noske, " the only capable strong man " in Germany, 
and his short shrifts with " mad fools " who are not 
of the same opinion as himself. Left alone, this 
corrupt autocratic Government would have sub- 
sided into oblivion under the weight of its own sins. 



CHAPTER XIX 

Signs of German Vitality — The Countryside — Fuel — The 
Frankfort Trade Exhibition — Our Future Policy towards 
Central and Eastern Europe — Smouldering Fires — 
Germany as a Friend in Need 

Signs of German Vitality 

JUDGING by what I saw during my last visit 
to Germany, I believe that in spite of differ- 
ences between Capital and Labour, Germany is 
quietly and thoroughly putting her industrial 
house in order. Even during her political crisis, 
strikes and local disorders, the vital industries 
have been carefully organised in preparation for 
the continuance of the struggle for commercial 
supremacy which the mad militarists interrupted 
in 1914. 

It is a revelation to an Englishman to see how 
the huge munition factories have been adapted to 
peaceful purposes, the manufacture of great quanti- 
ties of tools, agricultural implements and railway 
rolling stock. Krupp's Works are no longer guarded 
and shrouded in secrecy ; any one may now get a 
permit to see the new plant turning out such useful 
articles as railway engines at the rate of not less 

than one a day. No other country, not except- 

264 




Snipers. 



[ 265 ] 

ing the United States, possesses such perfectly 
equipped factories planned for mass production 
as Germany. 

From our camp we prisoners saw Spandau Works 
grow under our eyes from a small collection of 
munition buildings to an industrial town. Night 
and day thousands of German workmen and Allied 
prisoners of war were building extensions to the 
great pile of munition works, which, like a great 
monster, grew so fast that it promised to devour 
the camp. Majestic chimneys were run up in a few 
days. Nothing could stop the tremendous war 
organisation. Between us and Spandau was a 
large lake which we thought would hold back the 
extensive building and divert it to other direc- 
tions. We woke one morning to find the water 
had disappeared. In its place was a stretch of sand 
like a clean new seabeach which had been pumped 
up in a liquid form, and then drained. Thousands 
of prisoners of war were marched up, and in a short 
time sites for new factories, yards and sidings 
were laid out. Then came the huge pile-driving 
machinery to make the foundations safe to carry 
the masses of metal. More chimneys and massive 
blocks of masonry seemed to grow in the night like 
giant mushrooms. 

A great fire only a few hundred yards from our 
prison promised to devour us and Spandau. We 
saw hundreds of tiny figures darting in and out of 



[ 266 ] 

the leaping flames, and finally extinguishing the 
outbreak. The activities at Spandau were to us 
symbolical of the devilish unquenchable energy 
of the German war-god. The very ground on which 
we stood vibrated with the never-ceasing rattle and 
roar of huge machines clangorously pounding into 
shape the murderous engines of war. 

One morning we thought the end had surely come. 
A terrible explosion a few kilometres from the camp, 
so near that we felt as if we were standing on an 
erupting mine, sent the results of months of en- 
gineering effort into the air, and hundreds of lives 
to eternity. In a flash, majestic columns of white 
smoke were shot high into the heavens. At almost 
regular intervals during the morning other ex- 
plosions in the smaller munition works recalled the 
terrible atmosphere of Wells' War of the Worlds when 
countries crumbled to dust on the application of 
the atomic theory to war destruction. Some said 
that the Allies were destroying each town from the 
air, others suggested that we had invented a 
marvellous mine-driller which had honeycombed the 
earth. 

But still the work went on, new buildings arising 
before the ashes of the old had been cleared away. 
This enormous energy is still active, but in other 
directions. Defeat temporarily dammed the vital 
stream. Soon Europe may be deluged with the 
overflow. 



[ 26; ] 

At the vast State Railway Works I found acres 
of shops alive with industrial activity. Only the 
very latest labour-saving engineering machinery 
is used. Not once did I notice men doing the hard 
manual labour usually seen on such work. The 
huge boiler fires, which used to be stoked by men 
stripped to the waist working in the hot glare like 
demons in the inferno, are now fed by automatic 
stokers. One man dressed like a high-class mechanic 
was attending to half a dozen of these boilers, which, 
in the ordinary way, would have required the atten- 
tion of six men. 

In other works I saw marvellous devices for 
adapting the huge stores of war material to peace- 
time purposes. German energy and ingenuity 
are given a free hand during the period of recon- 
struction. The war-time training in stringent 
economy of effort and material has practically 
abolished waste in Germany. Everything is used. 
Once useless residues are now the basis for the 
manufacture of valuable by-products. I was told 
that even the smoke that used to belch out in 
heavy black clouds is now being diverted to a 
useful purpose. 

Travellers' stories tell of a dying Germany 
Englishmen visiting Germany should leave the 
beaten track of cafe and hotel, where the native 
business men whimper out their depressing stories 
of a ruined and impoverished country. Let them go 



[ 268 ] 

out and see the way the grand commercial schemes 
are handled— for example, the magnificent electric- 
power houses, the nerve centres of German industry, 
where the power is stored at the pit-mouth and 
carried direct over the countryside to the factories. 
Whilst we haggle over national schemes and quarrel 
about the division of profits, the Germans are at 
work carefully laying the foundation for their 
commercial future. 

Although as a war weapon the airship failed 
them, the Germans are going ahead with the de- 
velopment of aircraft for commercial purposes. 
As by a general consent only news of a nature 
calculated to win sympathy from foreigners leaves 
Germany, the newspapers are silent about the 
extensive schemes now being worked out. I went 
to see the commercial travellers and others board- 
ing the Boden See, a small type of Zeppelin, near 
Spandau, booking for South Germany. I should 
think that this airship makes the most reliable 
transport service in Germany. She departs and 
arrives with no preliminary fuss, assisted by a 
landing-party of often less than twenty hands. 
The captain handles his craft with the ease of 
a seasoned sea-skipper. The demeanour of the 
passengers is not that of people just satisfying an 
idle curiosity to experience a new thrill. At the 
office where the luggage is weighed I saw a 
traveller selecting samples of nails and bolts which, 



[ 26 9 ] 

being in excess of the weight allowed, he was obliged 
to leave behind. 

The mechanical devices by which the ship is 
taken in and out of the shed reduce risk of damage 
to a minimum, even during a high wind. At a 
blast on the captain's whistle the Boden See slips 
silently along two ground-rails out of the shed 
and almost immediately rises on a steep incline 
and springs up and away on her voyage. This 
incident is only an example of many which showed 
me how the Germans are striving harder than ever 
for perfection in every branch of industry. 

The Countryside 

Everywhere I went I found people busy working 
in the fields. From the railway trains vast stretches 
of country, which before the war never had a plough 
through them, can be seen planted with all sorts of 
produce. Men, women and children labour away 
with an interest and concentration which indicate 
a personal stake in the enterprise. Their happy, 
healthy faces make a pleasant contrast to those of 
their less fortunate friends in the towns. Occasion- 
ally away over the green oceans of produce can be 
seen factories of the most ultra-modern type, either 
in process of building or already in operation. 

The German countryside will be a fruitful recruit- 
ing ground for labour, as it is evident that the 



[ 270 ] 

peasants have suffered much less than the town 
population. Indeed, it is difficult to believe they 
have suffered at all from under-feeding. To some 
extent this class is to blame for the unrestricted 
profiteering which reacts on the workers in the 
towns. During the war, penalties for illicit dealing 
in food were very heavy, but since members of the 
Government have worked with the profiteers, the 
German peasants, like those in most other countries, 
have exploited their opportunities to the utmost. 

Fuel 

I should judge that the majority of the Germans 
suffer little more from scarcity of fuel than we do. 
The officials in the places where there have been 
acute shortages make the most of their story of 
misery. Hearing some distressing stories of coal 
famine in a certain district I visited a few houses 
to make personal inquiries. True, there was no 
coal, but all the same I found families seated round 
most wonderful iron stoves which shed a friendly 
warmth sufficient to heat any ordinary room. 
Nothing had been said of the large quantities of 
peat which I found stacked inside the houses. 
Following up my inquiries I went to a peat field 
near Berlin and saw scores of people cutting away 
at this useful sort of fuel. After seeing the rubbishy 
coal now rationed to the British housewife, a 



[ 271 ] 

scuttleful of which produces nearly a scuttleful 
of chalky residue, I am sure that she would 
appreciate a few hundredweights of this peat. 

Still farther afield I found " brown coal," a most 
valuable and handy sort of fuel. Its burning value 
is less than half that of ordinary coal, but is 
probably preferable to our present " household " 
coal. 

The " brown coal" mine is a huge open gash in 
the ground, and the mining operation a simple 
process, the " coal " being dug out and carried 
away. I was taken to the factory where it is 
pressed into small serviceable nuts and packed 
ready for distribution. 

The Frankfort International Trade 
Exhibition 

The Frankfort Exhibition was a concise summary 
of Germany's industrial efforts during the most 
critical period of her economic history. The Fest- 
halle, a noble building designed in wide, graceful 
contours, made a suitable shelter for the year's 
results of our late enemies' good intentions. The 
organisers hoped that visiting foreigners would 
regard the great hall as symbolic of the new Germany 
rising from the ruins of the old. 

The dominant note of the show was the optimism 
of the merchants at the stalls. They showed the 



[ 272 ] 

same sort of spirit which prevailed in San Francisco 
after the great earthquake. The machinery, 
electrical and agricultural, was a particularly fine 
feature. A new metal, lighter than aluminium 
with the qualities of steel, attracted a good deal 
of attention on account of its promise to revolu- 
tionise the aircraft industry. Then there were 
every variety of leather goods, furniture, aluminium 
ware, musical and scientific instruments, and every 
sort of trunk for travelling ever invented. On 
inquiry I was told that large orders could be exe- 
cuted at once. 

Although few British firms were represented at 
the stalls, many of their agents were taking 
advantage of the favourable exchange by placing 
large orders for the cheap German goods. 

Our Future Policy towards Central and 
Eastern Europe 

Unfortunately our new policy towards Germany 
is dominated by our official attitude towards the 
Soviet. If it were only a question of treating with 
Germany, her internal difficulties, so sensitive to 
outside influences, would still render her position 
in Europe a delicate one. If for no other reasons 
than purely selfish motives we shall have to be 
not only circumspect but magnanimous in our 
treatment of our late enemy during the period of 



[ 273 ] 

convalescence. She is now a mental case and 
requires special treatment, for Germany sick would 
be a deal more injurious to the world than Germany 
healthy. Her peculiar malady might easily make 
her a plague-spot of Europe. 

At the moment we are inclined to be influenced 
by the " strong man " adventurer rather than by 
the masses of people he claims to represent. 
Stricken Europe has been his hunting-ground, 
where he has been comparatively successful because 
he enjoyed a " good press." He put in his most 
deadly work at the Peace Conference, which he 
dominated. 

Smouldering Fires 

The danger of a new European conflagration 
has not yet subsided. In fact, at times it would 
seem that we were about to open hostilities on new 
fronts. A definite war policy could not be worse 
than the present vacillating attitude of the war- 
minds in authority. Until our policy is frankly 
and honestly declared, Europe will continue to 
suffer from her debilitating nervous disorders. 
The world now looks to us for a lead. America 
has let slip the chance to lead the world into a new 
mood. The materialists are temporarily victorious. 
How are we going to meet the new problems grown 
out of the misunderstandings of the Peace Con- 
ference ? Are we going to use repression and 
18 



[ 274 ] 

armed force ? Or are we going to try to bring 
a real peace to the world by sincerely co-operating 
in building the foundation for an economic and 
industrial system on international lines free from 
the abuses of capitalism ? It is a tragedy that 
the men who point the way to an enlightened 
world have little or no power with the peoples. 
Millions of men have given their lives believing 
that they were helping to bring in a new moral 
and social order, when men's thoughts would rise 
above the old plane of sordid barter and intrigue. 

From our rulers' point of view the greatest 
barrier to a peace is Bolshevism. We are frankly 
afraid of the word, which has come to be used as a 
synonym for murder. Some of us want to extirpate 
it by force of arms, as if we can go on spending 
millions of money and lives without regard to those 
who will have to pay the heaviest part of the bill. 

The Continental reactionaries wish to involve 
us in a struggle to suppress what liberty remains 
in Europe. The German Junkers would trick us 
into helping them to oppress the common folk in 
Germany and then to join them in a grand military 
attempt to smash the power of Lenin. 

We were deceived into believing that the Russian 
people were as feeble as their oppressors. We 
joined in an attack on Lenin, to find the weapons 
struck from our hands by a mighty force. We 
had been told that the Russians would welcome 



[ 275 ] 

intervention, but we found a united people firm 
in the belief that we had come to rob them of 
their country. 

If peace is to come to the world it is inevitable 
that peace must first be made with the great 
Russian peoples. Lenin is their leader, whether 
autocrat, democrat or ruler by divine right (which 
is still seriously discussed in England). We must 
meet him. 

Surely if we can condescend to take from a 
country goods for which Europe is craving, we can 
sink our pride sufficiently to allow us to observe 
the ordinary decencies prevailing between the re- 
presentatives of great nations. 

Are we denying the Russians administrative 
methods which we ourselves already possess ? The 
war brought into being a great lumbering admini- 
strative machine, the departments of which are 
sadly out of touch with each other. War needs 
brought into service men whose minds and methods 
would be more in keeping with the Middle Ages. On 
the other hand, the heads of a few departments are 
persons with ultra-modern ideas who fearlessly face 
all industrial and economic problems which crop up. 

It is no coincidence that the men most valued in 
Government Departments of a technical nature are 
those of what we call " advanced " ideas. One 
highly placed Government servant has frankly 
stated to his friends that we ought to send investi- 



[ V6 ] 

gators to Russia, if only to see if the Bolsheviks have 
invented anything of universal value. He is afraid 
that the Germans, being first on the ground, will get 
the first benefits and predispose the Russians 
towards all things German at the expense of 
Britishers. 

It is our inherent conservatism which causes us 
to make war on the Russians to prohibit them the 
uses of some modern administrative inventions 
which we are rapidly blending into our own political 
and industrial life. It seems strange that while 
we are prepared to make war on Communism abroad, 
we are forced into accepting its principles at home. 

The Building Guild promises to bring about 
changes in British industry every bit as "drastic as 
the Soviet has brought in Russia. British work- 
men have been forced into applying " direct labour | 
to the building industry, as the miner will be forced 
again into " direct action " unless the coal muddle 
is finally cleared up. The readiness with which 
the no-profit system has been hailed by all sections 
of building mechanics should suffice to show that 
workmen are anxious to get back to the Guild stage 
when every mechanic was a master-craftsman. 

Surely if we are reaching back to the Guild system 
ourselves, we should not object to other peoples 
adopting Communism — a far less autocratic method 
of dealing with the interminable industrial problems. 

A few of the largest English employers, already 



[ 277 ] 

well known for their imagination in dealing with 
their workers, have frankly invited them to step 
in and take over a share of the responsibilities of 
administration. Where the scheme has been one 
of real co-operation, and not the pernicious system 
of so-called co-partnership which lands the workers 
in a subtle kind of slavery, it has been most success- 
ful. Free access to the trade accounts is noticed to 
have a most wholesome effect on the workers. In 
the new scheme the feeling of responsibility makes 
different beings of the workers. They show a pride 
and interest beyond the mere profit and loss account, 
and develop from the dull chattel slaves of capitalism 
to responsible citizens with a stake both in their 
craft and their country. 

If Bolshevism is really bad and should be swept 
away, there is no better way to start than by boldly 
accepting Lenin's invitation to send an investiga- 
tion committee to Russia. As soon as the populace 
know that the Allies have entered their country 
they will not be so downtrodden that, if they so 
wish, they will not inform the Allies of the true state 
of Russian internal affairs. If conditions are un- 
satisfactory, the Allies can ask the Bolshevik Coun- 
cillors to allow a plebiscite to be taken. The 
elections should be watched by the Allies, who 
should agree to abide by the results. 

Except for one bright ray of hope in the otherwise 
dark horizon, it would seem that sooner or later our 



[ 278 ] 

politicians will involve us in another great war. A 
struggle is in progress among the Allies between 
the war-minds and the statesmen. It is too soon 
after victory to expect the militarists to remember 
that in democratic countries the army is a public 
service and not an instrument to carry out the 
personal whim of a small governing class. 

The fine adventure to which England was invited, 
and which she is still reluctantly considering, is 
an encircling war to depose Lenin, in which our 
shrewdest judges see not the slightest hope of 
success. It has even been suggested that Germany 
be given a " mandate " over certain large areas 
to help to form a barrier against Bolshevism. This 
would mean an open revival of Prussian militarism, 
the consequences of which no one can foresee. 
Outside the question of principle, Germany would 
obtain more by these measures than if she had 
fought a victorious European war. 

Last year it was thought that Lenin and Trotsky 
could be deposed without the help of the German 
Army, whose assistance, so soon after the signing of 
the Armistice, could not in common decency be 
accepted. Aristocratic Germany felt the menace 
of Bolshevism — it threatened the last remains of 
their feudal rights and privileges — more than any 
other country, and only awaited a sign from the 
Supreme Council to place their swords at the service 
of the Allies in the cause of " enlightened democ- 



[ 279 ] 

racy." Luckily we refused all tentative sugges- 
tions from their friends. The position for us, if 
we intend to oppose Bolshevism by force, is worse. 
England, who has much more at stake than any 
of her Allies, has had no policy of her own, and has 
occupied a subordinate position in the discussion. 
Those most interested in the Russian scheme have 
skilfully manoeuvred our representatives into a 
position in which it has been difficult for them 
to take a line of their own without causing diplomatic 
complications. Their part in the business has been 
that of a backer studying horses' form in the news- 
papers and trying to back the right one. Their 
first gamble landed us in a mess from which we ex- 
tricated ourselves only at great cost and difficulty. 
We are now invited to double our bets and join in 
a kind of European sweepstake. 

Let us consider what failure would mean for 
England in this colossal adventure. It would mean 
not merely a withdrawal of troops and, of course, the 
settling of most of the bill, but also the letting loose 
of the revolutionary forces of the East. The natives of 
India, Palestine and Egypt, already simmering with 
discontent through the Prussianizing methods of some 
of our representatives, might prefer the Russian 
Bolsheviks, and, so we are told, for some months 
have had the opportunity of studying the meaning 
of the Soviet from the words and literature of Lenin's 
agents. Besides, how long will it be possible to 



[ 28o ] 

hide from the East the sordid materialism of the 
West? 

The most sinister feature of the semi-secret 
arrangements is that it looks as if we are to support 
the corrupt and murderous reactionaries of Berlin. 

The ray of hope is a belated decision of the 
Supreme Council to allow the " reopening of certain 
trading relations with the Russian people." The 
report emphasises the point that there " is no change 
in the policy of the Allied Governments towards 
the Soviet Government." This decision has an 
ulterior object, the success or failure of which for the 
moment does not matter. It is hoped that by 
dealing directly with the peasants (who, so it is 
reported, have never been Bolsheviks, and have 
only agreed to work with the Soviets on the con- 
dition that they had possession of the land), through 
the Russian Co-operative Societies, we may under- 
mine their loyalty to Lenin. 

Without considering the sinister side of the 
measure, it is a matter for rejoicing that peaceful 
means are at last to be tried. It looks as if Mr. 
Lloyd- George has at last got his own way and that 
the bear-baiting might cease. To his credit it 
must be admitted that the Prime Minister was 
against Russian intervention — at least he always 
said so at the press teas at the Hotel Majestic during 
the Peace Conference, and never failed to emphasise 
the unwisdom of trying to abolish Bolshevism by 



[ 28i ] 

the sword. He was never so serious as when dis- 
cussing the troublesome question, and I have heard 
him say on more than one occasion that he per- 
sonally would never be responsible for sending 
troops to Russia. 

" Besides, the men would not go," he said at the 
close of one of our tea-parties; "and they would 
be right." 

After this we thought that no more would be 
heard of intervention, although there were strong 
rumours at the time that large quantities of muni- 
tions were about to be sent to Russia. The Premier's 
change of mind coincided with Mr. Churchill's visit 
to Paris. 

Let us hope that this new move of the Supreme 
Council is not a gesture of finesse in the game of 
diplomatic bluff. 

It is unfortunate that the efforts for peace made 
by some members of the Cabinet should be made 
in such a tentative manner. They seem afraid of 
not being able to save their faces. We should at 
least recognise that Lenin is in a strong position 
when he asks for peace, and we must admit that 
he has offered to compromise on Soviet methods 
sufficiently to enable Russians to live in harmony 
with the rest of Europe. Whether the Russians 
choose to retain private ownership or not after 
trading relations have been opened should not 
concern us at all. 



[ 282 ] 

In whichever direction the Soviet might develop 
it cannot become autocratic, and should, once we 
have regained the respect of the peasants, tend to 
assist the foreigner who brings manufactured articles 
in return for food products. As soon as free inter- 
course is established between European nations the 
different dammed-up streams of development will 
be released to flow to a common level of enlighten- 
ment. The Russians may choose to retain the 
Industrial Soviet, a less up-to-date method than 
our own Trades Council and Whitley scheme, and 
elect a special sort of legislature for foreign affairs 
and other business for which the local Soviet is 
unsuited. 

In order to hurry on the good work a free ex- 
change of ideas would clear away the clouds of 
suspicion and unwholesome secrecy which screen 
the doings of the intriguers. Commissions selected 
from all classes should visit each other's countries. 
If we really want to " save " Russia we could help her 
to get her house in order by sending some of our 
permanent administrative officials to put their ex- 
pert knowledge at the disposal of the Soviet Republic, 
whose existence we now admit as a fact. If we can 
send policemen to Poland we can certainly spare 
some of our Privy Councillors for Petrograd. With 
no other axe to grind than that of mutual benefit 
the results should be satisfactory. In time the 
importance of the politico-military adventurer 



C 283 ] 

would shrink to that of the Junkers in the mind of 
German workmen. 

Once the cramping influences of embargoes, 
censors, secret police and incompetent bureaucrats 
are removed, and trade, the life-blood of a com- 
munity, revived, Europe should rise from her ruins 
and really become the ennobling Continent which 
her Ministers have promised. 

Germany as a Friend in Need 

In spite of the ominous war rumblings and 
Machiavellian machinations there is hope that the 
plans of the reactionaries will be confounded by 
the humanising reopening of commercial relations 
with Central Europe. Trade is a prosaic and often 
a sordid subject, but in these days of the romantic 
war-mind and the worship of uniforms it seems to 
be the only likely means for the world's commoners 
to escape from the clutches of the supermen. 

We came out of a victorious war abroad to find 
at home an enemy who promises to be as morally 
devastating as the Germans. Whilst the nation 
was occupied in a life-and-death struggle, the Trade 
Combines entrenched themselves at home and now 
defy the efforts of reformers. The maj ority of British 
captains of industry seem to have lost all sense 
of fair dealing. Free competition, so essential to 
healthy trade, no longer governs the business 



[ 2S 4 ] 

world. There is hardly an article whose price is 
not controlled. The Trusts have pushed their 
ramifications in all directions. Investigation 
reveals the staggering fact that the chief object of 
the Trusts is to raise prices and restrict output ! 

It seems incredible that while workmen are 
exhorted to " produce more," the trade federations 
can legally limit production by closing down factories 
while men are clamouring for employment. The 
member of the Combine who closes his business 
receives an income from the Trust fighting fund 
equal to the amount he would earn were he still at 
work. Should a member produce more than a 
stipulated quantity of goods he is heavily fined. 
Such commercial operations have long since been 
made illegal in the United States. 

The leading spirits in the American Trusts, before 
they were controlled by the Government, did at 
least possess sufficient vision and a certain sort of 
patriotism which prevented them from exploiting 
their own people. Be the article coal or cloth, the 
British merchant unscrupulously gives a preference 
to the foreigner at the expense of his own people. 
Even sugar imported into England was exported 
to Europe by the opportunists until the public 
clamour made itself effective. 

Now that commercial relations with the recent 
enemy have been allowed, we should soon be feeling 
the benefit of having Germany as a friend. A free 



[ 285 ] 

market offers a hope of escape from our commercial 
octopuses. We may be sure that the peaceful 
invasion of the German with his useful goods will 
be loudly resented by the members of the Trusts, 
but the cry of the Protectionist should not scare 
us into prohibiting German articles. By allowing 
these goods to stream into our markets we shall be 
helping ourselves as well as helping Central Europe 
back to health. A healthy international trade will 
be the largest factor in getting the world back into 
the paths of peace. 

If we will allow them, the Germans will do more 
to abolish profiteering in Great Britain than our own 
profiteer tribunals, and competition will bring back 
the high pre-war standard of quality of British goods. 



CHAPTER XX. 

The Allies in Berlin 

WHEN the Allied armies were sweeping the 
enemy in front of them there were people 
at home who demanded that Foch should lead his 
troops through the streets of Berlin. 

" Look what the Germans did after the war of 
1870 ! " they said. 

The Allies are now in the streets of Berlin, not 
clad in gorgeous uniforms and wearing clatter- 
ing swords, but just as simple soldiers gone to see 
that Germany carries out the terms of the Peace 
Treaty. 

The officers and men belonging to the British 
Military Mission are our ambassadors of goodwill. 
The Berliners are now going through the same sort 
of experience as the inhabitants of the towns of the 
occupied territory. Ulk, Lustige Blatter and Sim- 
plicissimus had depicted our men as extraordinary 
creatures of skin and bone and abominable manners. 
When the first British officers arrived in Berlin crowds 
of Germans gathered in the Unter den Linden to get 

a glimpse of the newcomers. They saw two rather 

286 







W.A.A.C.'S ATTACHED TO THE BRITISH MILITARY MISSION 
AT THE HlNDENBUKG STATUE, BERLIN. 



[ 28/ ] 

small khaki-clad Generals who looked anything but 
conscious conquerors. They smiled pleasantly at 
the crowd, who were staggered by the very simplicity 
of manner of those who were reputed to have come 
to crush Berlin under the iron heel of British 
discipline. 

Khaki in Berlin has had a wholesome effect in 
many directions. The Prussian military manner 
began to wither when a courteous British General 
smilingly made way for a German lady and her 
male escort at his headquarters as they were passing 
into the street. At first the German civilians 
regarded members of the British Mission with a 
sullen curiosity which grew into an awed respect. 

It is not surprising that German officers when 
calling at the British Headquarters for instructions 
should scowl when they saw the popularity of the 
enemy newcomers. They had made a great effort 
to retain their old arrogant style, which in the pre- 
Armistice days would clear the pavements of humble 
civilians, who now only smile cynically when a 
Prussian officer approaches wearing his war trappings. 
Against the modest khaki the German officers look 
ridiculously theatrical, almost as if they were 
dressed for some stage performance. 

The Tommies also receive a large share of attention 
from the people. It is an old story, that of the 
British soldiers giving up their seats to German 
women, but it is a new experience to the haughty 



[ 288 ] 

Berliner, who is now learning by example lessons 
in politeness. Then there are the Waacs — not 
many, but enough to correct the curious conception of 
the German artists of British womanhood. 

Our Commissions have brought with them an 
atmosphere which is acting as a mental tonic to the 
war- weary capital. They have made friends with 
the population by the spirit in which they carried out 
their delicate duties. Their manner of dealing with 
a conquered enemy has removed some of the bitter- 
ness caused by the anti-British propaganda. When 
the British military representatives first went to 
Berlin a section of the Socialists said that our 
representatives had come to Berlin to intrigue for 
the using of the German Army to exterminate 
Bolshevism in Russia. 

Our representatives must have been surprised 
at the street scenes in " democratic " Germany. 
In spite of revolutionary rumblings, " Berlin will 
always be Berlin," as my hotel manager said when 
we watched the grand ladies and gentlemen driving 
in brilliant equipages, with wooden-faced lackeys, 
down the Unter den Linden. Other grand ladies and 
gentlemen ride beautiful horses openly and un- 
molested. The old Berlin police, in concert with 
their colleagues, Noske's Military Police, keep the 
ways clear of the common people, who gaze wonder- 
ingly at the well-clad and well-fed aristocrats. 
The representatives of the other extreme of the 



[ 289 ] 

social scale are to be found in the gutters and on 
the pavements. 

The large number of beggars and hawkers who 
appeared after the Armistice has now been con- 
siderably increased by hundreds of wounded and 
shell-shocked soldiers. They make a ghastly con- 
trast in the wide thoroughfares as they display with 
a cripple's technique their terrible wounds and un- 
controllable limbs. A stranger would at least 
expect that the quasi-democratic Government would 
provide for the poor creatures whose only hope now 
is in the generosity of the man in the street. The 
Unter den Linden is a favourite place for them, 
and here they show themselves off to the rich hotel 
guests and members of the Allied Missions, who can- 
not resist their appeals. 

Berlin was always famous for its luxurious cafe 
and restaurant life. It is fast recovering its old 
reputation, and in the large beautiful illuminated 
establishments the wealthy people can be seen 
wallowing in large messes of food and drinking end- 
less quantities of beer, as of yore. 

Noske and his colleagues are notorious guzzlers, 
and are favoured patrons of some of the more ex- 
clusive restaurants. He has certainly acquired a 
taste for high living. Our officers look at him 
wonderingly when they see him drive out of his 
Ministry in his splendid motor-car, cigar in mouth, 
and his hat at a rakish angle, hardly believing that 
19 



[ 290 ] 

he is a man of the people. His manner is that of 
a highly successful commercial man. His armed 
troops are everywhere and walk about in groups of 
half a dozen. The stranger is surprised at the mili- 
tary aspect of the city, which is somewhat misleading, 
as nearly every working man who was a soldier still 
wears his uniform, other clothes only being obtain- 
able at very high prices. But it is only the uniform, 
for the wearers have generally had enough of 
militarism. 



CHAPTER XXI 

Americans and Germans 

THE two most misunderstood countries to-day 
are America and Germany. Both these 
countries, so alike in many ways, have expressed 
themselves untruly — the one through her capitalists, 
the other through her militarists. 

Europeans are staggered by the apparently cold- 
blooded attitude of the United States, whom they 
have learnt to associate with wide sympathies and 
lofty principles. They see Uncle Sam, the once 
symbolic expression of the spirit of a generous, 
sensitive and high-souled nation, as a cruel money- 
lender relentlessly demanding his pound of flesh. 
While Europe is painfully sloughing her antiquated 
systems and everywhere still battling with the 
hydra-headed monster of reaction, America, who 
preached idealism and the universal brotherhood 
of mankind, now practises usury and seeks to put 
the very soul of Europe in pawn. Europe thinks 
of the silent hosts who went out to battle with 
tyranny, while America broods over capital in- 
vested and the securities in the safe. 

291 



t 292 ] 

Uncle Sam runs his professional eye over the 
effects of an old customer now debilitated, and 
refuses the use of a small portion of the vast wealth 
he has drained from the embattled nations of 
Europe. He shakes his hands with the money- 
lender's obstinacy, and with brutal insistence de- 
mands gold and foreign securities already passed 
into his keeping. He makes use of every legal 
trick of the past to mortgage the future of stricken 
Europe, and strains the world's financial machinery 
to make the dollar the king of coins. 

While dissociating himself from the troubles of 
Europe and preaching the " high-souled stuff," he 
sends armies of agents like swarms of locusts to 
gobble up businesses and properties of poor defence- 
less peoples who find their currencies depreciated 
almost to nothing. 

America, robust with young health, her sym- 
pathies coarsened into indifference by her wealth 
insists on the absolute fulfilment of formal pledges 
made during a death-struggle by invalid Europe, 
whose vitality is half spent on the battlefields and 
now struggles to raise herself from her sick-bed. 

America is in the position of other profiteers, who, 
while the champions of Liberty dispensed with the 
formalities of barter and secured reward and 
gave their all for the great cause, took the pre- 
caution of the money-lender and put Europe in 
financial fetters. Uncle Sam would possess the 



[ 293 ] 

title-deeds of Europe and lease us our own country 
at a yearly rental, so that he could boast that he 
was the world's biggest landlord. 

Great Britain gave men and money unsparingly, 
knowing that both sorts of debts must be written 
off as dead loss. The soldiers knew that only 
posterity could benefit by their sacrifice. 

This briefly summarises one European impression 
of America. Even I, who have lived among 
Americans and have learnt to love their wonderful 
country as my own, cannot defend the brutal and 
materialistic attitude of official America. I can 
only reply to my sceptical friends that it is not 
the America who fought with us that speaks to-day. 
The greedy unimaginative materialists have mo- 
mentarily conquered the brave and lofty idealists. 

The occasion needs a figure to express the best 
aspect of narrow but wholesome Americanism. 
Roosevelt, were he alive, with all his curious short- 
comings and antagonisms, would have pricked the 
conscience of his country into the realisation of its 
moral responsibilities towards Europe. He would 
have taken the opportunity of making the grand 
gesture, theatrically American, to the spent nations 
of Europe and of saying something like this : 

" A universal forgiveness of debts must be the 
first step to a universal forgiveness of sins." 

He would have shamed his country into the 
cancelling of the European debts except in the case 



[ 294 ] 

of Great Britain, who will insist on fulfilling her 
obligations to the last farthing, although as 
sponsor she borrowed money from America to lend 
it to nations who can never repay it. 

America now has an opportunity to play the 
role of the rich benefactor of high romance. 

With a stroke of the pen she could release her 
harassed debtors from their financial troubles. So 
great is her wealth that she would not miss the 
amount. It is an ironical fact that America is 
now the most important factor in the establish- 
ment of European stability. If she can rise to the 
occasion, the parrot-cry of the capitalists to the 
workers, repeated by Mr. Glass, " Work and produce, 
work and produce ! " could be made to mean some- 
thing. Effort would be inspired by gratitude and 
not goaded by the threat of foreclosure. 

Injustice is often done to a nation when com- 
mitting the common fallacy of considering it as an 
individual and not as a conglomeration of peoples 
susceptible to moods and possessing all shades of 
opinion. It is an easy way out of a difficulty to 
condemn an entire race for the actions of a few 
astute wire-pullers who, on account of the modern 
defective electoral machinery, have got themselves 
chosen as the nation's representatives. 

When the Lusitania was sunk I was shut off 
from the world in solitary confinement in Lorrach 



[ 295 1 

prison. But never was I more sure of what steps 
my America would take. I saw young America, 
quick to avenge an insult, rise and fling herself 
into the fray. I pictured those big young men of 
the West packing up their kit and following those 
who had already found their way to Europe with 
the Canadian Contingents. 

I was sure that even while the German General Staff 
was gloating over their infamous success, President 
Wilson had declared war, backed up by all Americans 
as Asquith had been by the British in August, 1914. 
Never was a more insulting challenge flung at a 
nation than when the German militarists carried 
out their advertised exploit. But I made a mistake. 
The young America which shoots men for using the 
epithet " Liar," considering it the greatest insult 
to a man, has not yet found its way to the White 

House. 

I emerged from my cell to find America still 
exchanging diplomatic notes with the criminals 
at the head of the German nation. I knew that 
these diplomatic messages did not express the 
true feelings of the American people then any more 
than the crafty manoeuvres of Wall Street express the 
true sentiment of the great Republic to-day. 

Another European view of America's attitude 
is that she is driven into her present position by a 
Europe that could not rise to the level of Wilson's 
ideals of freedom. He is regarded as the victim of 



[ 2 9 6 ] 

the revengeful shortsighted Chauvinists, George 
and Clemenceau. It is said that he was entangled 
in the snares laid by the old school of diplomatists. 
There is no doubt that to some extent this is true, 
but it does not absolve the President from blame 
for compromising on principles repugnant both to 
him and to the nation he represents. He could not 
now be in a worse position if he had withdrawn from 
the Conference. By taking this step he would have 
shocked the world into a consciousness of what was 
really taking place at the Quai d'Orsay. 

It is difficult for Englishmen to understand the 
anti-British spirit which is increasing in the United 
States, especially in the Western States. The 
explanation is simple to one who knows California, 
where thousands of Germans flock every year and 
establish their homes. These people become the 
best sort of emigrants, and are welcomed more 
heartily than Britishers, who do not take root in 
American soil so readily as other nationalities. 
Britishers prefer to go to America for a few years to 
save a sum of money, and then depart to invest it 
in a business at home. 

On the other hand, Germans who leave their 
country rarely go back home, and at once take 
out their naturalisation papers. After a few years 
of enlightenment they become staunch "Americans " 
and invest their capital in a plot of land or a busi- 
ness. Every American town shows signs of the 



[ 297 ] 

German, who brings an atmosphere to every place 
he settles in. 

It is not strange that the native Californian 
should often show a preference for the person who, 
after enjoying all that his country lavishes on the 
emigrant, goes the whole hog and becomes a citizen 
of the United States. He cannot understand 
the Britisher's reluctance to forswear allegiance to 
his native land. The only differences I ever had 
with the generous Westerners arose from their 
persistent efforts to persuade me to take out my 
naturalisation papers. At the time I could not 
explain my stolid resistance, for even as a boy 
I possessed rather advanced views. The simple 
hardy men of the West grew angry when I refused 
to discuss seriously Britain's various " black 
pages " of history (knowledge of which Americans 
seem to have at their finger ends), and the futility 
of retaining a king on the English throne. 

If the average Englishman's conception of Ger- 
many could be analysed, it would be found that 
he was generally thinking of sinister Prussia, the 
antithesis of what is known as Germany, with its 
old associations of friendliness. 

I was carried into Germany with the stories of 
atrocities fresh in my mind. My guards, uncouth 
recruits, seemed to embody all the vile qualities 
attributed to the Germans since the beginning of the 
war. Their coarse conversation carried a jarring 



[ 2 9 8 ] 

brutality quite strange to me. I began to see 
my mistake when I experienced the first friendly 
advances from a German soldier in a most un- 
expected place — Lorrach prison. I had almost 
given up hope of ever being able to communicate 
with any one outside the prison, when I struck up a 
furtive friendship with some soldier prisoners under 
sentence for desertion and other offences. Up 
till that time I had unconsciously begun to regard 
my captors and fellow-prisoner-Germans as beings 
different from those of the rest of the world. In 
my isolation I was startled to find that they were 
just ordinary human beings like myself, chafing 
under oppression and longing for friendship. One 
morning I was marched into the courtyard for a half- 
hour's exercise, where I attracted the attention 
of some wood-cutting prisoners. As I walked 
past them one of them suddenly shot out his hand, 
and in a flash had pushed a small object into my 
pocket. I was so surprised that I started back- 
wards, which caused the warder to look in my 
direction and thunder out a string of terrifying 
expletives. Fortunately he had not seen the 
soldier, who was again vigorously sawing wood. 
I pretended that I had stumbled on the paving- 
stones, and hoped that he had not seen the slight 
bulge in my pocket. 

My prison task during those days was to fold 
thousands of book leaves ready for another prisoner 



[ 299 1 

to sew together. As soon as I was back in my cell, 
I plunged into my work, and when darkness ap- 
proached I felt in my pocket and drew out a small 
onion As I mixed it in my skilly I thought it was 
indeed a strange emblem of friendship. The incident 
caused me to discover that what I had mistaken 
for a brutal hostility was in many cases an un- 
couth exterior. This friendly interest in a foreigner, 
an alleged spy, was not confined to my fellow- 
prisoners. I found police officials, when sure that 
the eye of a senior was not upon them, relapse from 
their arrogant manner into amiability. Their 
brusqueness of manner and speech was carefully 
schooled. I began to understand how these men 
could commit atrocities. I am sure it was not 
because they liked carrying out brutal orders, 
but because it was written in the books of discipline, 
« ' Es steht auf dem Papier. ' ' 

When the chief warder saw my fingers bleeding 
after folding thousands of his book leaves, I believe 
he gave orders to his assistant to put me to do other 
work-stringing labels. Whether it was from sym- 
pathy or expediency, I am not sure. I felt that the 
same man, on being given an order to shoot me in the 
courtyard, would not hesitate, but would consider 
it merely part of his day's work. 

Whilst in this prison I heard young impetuous 
Germany marching in battalions to the front. 



[ 30Q ] 

Never had I heard men singing and playing so 
emotionally while on their way to death. The 
clear resonance of the brass instruments lingered in 
echoes about the prison like fading piano notes. 
The music and the heavy tramp of their feet con- 
jured up in my mind thousands of young soldiers 
marching through the streets, emphasising the 
rhythm of the old German folk-songs with their 
noble stride It was difficult to believe that the 
soul-stirring music came from common murderers. 

While I was being taken from one prison to 
another I passed through country which, in com- 
parison to other I have known, looked like mag- 
nificent gardens. The towns, laid out in wide 
streets and beautiful buildings, had a Utopian 
atmosphere. Everywhere was plenty of space. 
The railway stations, which Britishers generally 
associate with grimy, depressing heaps of masonry, 
were designed with a grace and beauty which caused 
me to mistake one for the Kaiser's palace. 

But the most surprising thing of all was the 
scrupulous cleanliness of everything. Children's 
faces, streets, buildings, clothes, station platforms, 
gave me the impression of being in a place where 
the inhabitants are perpetually on their best 
behaviour. 

When I was brought to Berlin I was taken along 
a street lined with trees and flowers. Between the 
tram lines were cultivated grass plots smooth 



1 301 ] 

enough for a bowling-green. During my journey 
from South Germany to Berlin I did not see one 
beggar. 

I realised that the word " Germany " was to me 
like the word " war " to a non-combatant — merely 
a word. 

The contrast of the real Germany to my precon- 
ceived notions revealed to me the danger of words 
and parrot-phrases. I could not understand why 
I had N never heard of this Germany which I had had 
to find for myself. " A nation of murderers," the 
Germans were labelled by the Allied Press. I 
thought of this pithy, thought-saving definition as 
I looked at the crowds of clean, well-dressed people 
who were as interested in me as I was in them. 
We were creatures of different worlds met for the 
first time. 

" Englander Spion," the escort told the inquirers, 
without the slightest trace of resentment. They 
only wanted to get closer and see what sort of a 
creature an Englishman really was. A few of the 
civihans tried to arouse an antagonistic spirit, but 
the majority were too busy to be hostile ; they 
were looking for information. 

My war experiences have shown me that Germans 
and Englishmen know so little of each other that 
they might be inhabitants of separate planets 
instead of next-door neighbours. The difficulties 
of language are not the only reason for this. Unre- 



[ 302 ] 

liable news-services which select only news likely 
to be of use to certain interested groups are re- 
sponsible for the omission of information which 
would have given the inhabitants of both countries 
a clearer and truer picture of each other. The 
only remedy is to meet in each other's countries. 
Perhaps the day will come when the masses of all 
countries will come to know each other, if only 
through a well-organised scheme of exchanging 
labour, 



EPILOGUE 

THE dramatic coup d'etat which was the most 
startling news from Germany a few days 
ago came when the final proofs of this book had been 
returned to my publisher. It is but another step 
in Germany's dissolution, and arrests the attention 

as such. 

What does this new movement portend ? 

Although Doctor Kapp and General von Liittwitz 
have failed in their bold attempt at counter-revolu- 
tion it does not follow that reaction and monarchism 
are 'dead in Germany. They appeared as mere 
adventurers with lies on their lips. They denied 
that they wanted to re-establish the monarchy and 
failed to get the support of the Junkers by whom 
they were financed, and by reason of the character 
of their assistants could not obtain the sympathy 
and support of the ordinary folk. 

Out of the present imbroglio arises a danger for 
the Allies— the danger of being baited to intervene 
on the side of the reactionaries. The Junkers are 
trying to manoeuvre us into a position where we 
shall have to choose between supporting one of 
the two extreme parties. We must not intervene. 
Up to now, the German people have been learning 
the ABC of political reform. When the time 

303 



[ 304 ] 

arrives in which they are able to spell out just 
those necessary words which express what has been 
smouldering in their minds for so long, then the 
older democracies of the world will know what real 
democracy means, and the Junkers of Prussia will 
rub their eyes and wonder what has happened. 

But the German people must be free to choose 
what character of government they will have. 
Three hundred years ago, Englishmen won their 
liberty unhindered by outside influences. So the 
German people must have their chance. 

Apart from a question of principle, to intervene 
in Germany at the present moment would be an 
extremely dangerous proceeding. By our inter- 
vention in Russia we changed Bolshevism from a 
new and uncertain system of government to a 
strong national movement which fired the Russians 
with a national idealism. Why did not the other 
Czarist generals offer their services to the Allies 
to suppress Bolshevism, like Denikin and Kolchak, 
instead of backing Bolshevism against Reaction ? 
Because Bolshevism was in Russia and Reaction 
was outside. Hindenburg and Ludendorff are 
Germans. They were Germans before they were 
generals ; and if the Germans produce a Lenin and 
Trotsky who are prepared, with a firm grasp of the 
German nation and its resources, and say, " Create 
an army for yourselves and protect us, we will 
look after the inside of the country. Take a free 
hand in doing it," who knows what the answer 
would be ? 

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