Mr. Jackson to Mr. Olney.
Berlin, August 1, 1895. (Received Aug. 14.)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, early in the morning of Friday, the 26th ultimo, of the Department’s telegraphic instruction of the 25th.
I at once communicated by telegraph with Mr. Stern at Kissingen, asking him to let the embassy “know details of trouble” and to “suggest how embassy might assist,” and on the same day, after receiving his reply, a copy of which will be found included in his letter to me of [Page 455] the 27th ultimo (inclosure 1), I telegraphed to the United States commercial agent at Bamberg, whose name is also Louis Stern, asking him to inform me of the details of the case, and asking what, he had done and what he proposed doing. Through an error, the first of his answering telegrams (inclosure 2, A) did not reach me until Sunday morning while the second (inclosure 2, B) came at the proper time. After both these telegrams had been received, on Sunday, July 28, I cabled the Department.1
At the same time I sent the letter to the U. S. commercial agent at Bamberg, a copy of which is inclosed (No. 3).
On Monday morning, the 29th, I received from Dr. Loewenfeld (Mr. Stern’s lawyer at Munich) a letter transmitting a copy of the petition, referred to above (inclosure No. 4, with translation), and its accompaniments consisting of a report on the case, 99 pages long; a letter of apology addressed by Mr. Louis Stern to Baron von Thuengen on July 19, a week after the incident at the Casino; circular letter to diplomatic and consular officers, dated State Department, February 23, 1894; certain depositions and letters as to Mr. Stern’s reputation and also showing that it had been his intention to leave Kissingen about July 16, etc.; all these documents being in the German language.
After looking through these papers I telegraphed to the U. S. commercial agent at Bamberg and authorized him to send a copy of them to the Bavarian ministry at once, and at the same time I notified Consul-General Mason, at Frankfurt, that I had done so. The same afternoon I called at the Bavarian legation in this city, and after an interview with the minister, Count Lerchenfeld, in which I showed him the documents sent me by Mr. Stern’s lawyer, and mentioned the damage which would be done to the reputation of Kissingen as a place of resort should it become understood that Americans coming before the courts would be treated with such severity, and in which I asked him to inform his Government that this embassy supported the petition which had been sent in from Bamberg, I wrote the letter to Mr. Stern, at Kissingen, a copy of which is also inclosed (inclosure No. 5).
Late on Tuesday evening I received another telegram from Mr. Stern, Kissingen, which, after a second interview at the Bavarian legation, I answered by letter yesterday afternoon, July 31 (inclosures Nos. 6 and 7).
As I told Mr. Stern in my last letter to him, I have not felt at liberty to assume that the Bavarian courts would treat his case in a manner otherwise than that prescribed by law. As far as I have been able to ascertain, everything which has been done so far has been legally correct, although it appears that the law has been applied with more than usual severity. I have purposely refrained from any discussion of the merits of the case, either with Mr. Stern or at the Bavarian legation, as, on account of the independent position of the courts, a discussion of points, a decision upon which rested solely with the court, would not only be purposeless, but, in my opinion, improper. There are, of course, at least two stories about the incident itself, as well as to what happened before and after it, and even with regard to the circumstances connected with the giving of bail there is a dispute. It is admitted, however, that when, on the evening of July 11, Baron von Thuengen told Mr. Stern’s son that he must not dance at the ball on account of his not being 15 years of age, and when Baron Thuengen expressed doubt as to the truth of Mrs. Stern’s statement that the boy was more than 15, Mr. Stern [Page 456] did use threatening language, and upon the strength of this he is charged with a breach of the peace and with interfering with an officer in the performance of his duty; and as the boy was introduced into the Casino upon a ticket for a child under 15 years of age, on account of the subsequent statement that he was more than 15 a further charge of fraud has been made.
It did, however, seem proper to remark upon the unusually large amount of bail which was accepted, and upon the severity shown in requiring Mr. Stern to remain in Kissingen, at or near his hotel, after this large sum (80,000 marks, about $20,000) had been deposited. I felt at liberty also to request that the Bavarian Government use its influence toward having the matter settled at the earliest possible date.
I shall at once report any further developments, and would be much gratified to learn that my action in the matter has met with the approval of the Department.
I have, etc.,