Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 5, 1899
Mr. White to Mr. Hay.
Berlin, March 31, 1899.
Sir: Referring to Mr. Jackson’s dispatch No. 684, of December 31, 1898, I have the honor to append hereto a memorandum report of certain military cases, more particularly mentioned below, which have not as yet been referred to in previous correspondence with the Department.
I am, etc.,
military case report.
- The brothers, Paul and Peter Hünerjäger, brought their case to the attention of the embassy through a German attorney in May last, and, after various correspondence, intervention was made in their behalf (F. O. No. 328) on September 3, 1898. They had emigrated from Germany with their father in 1887, and had become duly naturalized American citizens in 1893 and 1895, respectively. On account of failure to present themselves for military service, they had been sentenced to pay fines of 200 marks each. Nothing having been heard of the case, the attention of the foreign office was again called to it on December 23 (F. O. No. 395), and soon after, on January 11, 1899, a note was received in which it was stated that the fines had been remitted, and the names of the brothers taken from the military rolls at Schwerin. It is understood that the brothers live in Indiana, and have not visited Germany since their emigration.
- Julius Surmann’s case was also brought to the embassy’s attention by an attorney (Mr. C. Staser, of Ritzville, Wash.), who stated that his client had emigrated with his father from Germany in 1888, and, as a minor child residing with his father, had become an American citizen through the latter’s naturalization in 1894. In 1897, Surmann had returned to Germany, and subsequently he had been impressed into Prussian military service. After certain preliminary correspondence the embassy made intervention looking to the discharge of Surmann from the service (F. O. No. 355) on October 29, 1898, and again (F.O. No. 395) on December 23. On January 17, 1899, the foreign office replied that Surmann, upon his own request, had become a Prussian subject in 1897, and that consequently military service followed as a matter of course. This information was at once communicated to Mr. Staser, from whom nothing has since been heard.
- Wilhelm Adolph Kanczor was born in Germany, but when about 3 years of age was taken to the United States by his parents, where he had subsequently become [Page 316] naturalized as a citizen. During the summer of 1898 he returned to Germany with an intention to remain for about two years and to learn the trade of brickmaking. He had lived in the United States for about nineteen years. On October 28, 1898, the embassy learned that there was danger of his being impressed into military service at Myslowitz, and the same day intervention (F. O. No. 354) was made in his behalf. Intervention was repeated verbally at the foreign office on November 17, nothing having been heard of the case in the meantime, and under date of the 23d of the same month the embassy was informed that the foreign office had taken action to expedite a decision. Under date of January 25, 1899, the embassy was eventually informed that Kanczor had been recognized as an American citizen and would not be impressed into military service. This information was at once communicated to Kanczor at Myslowitz, and no further complaint has been received from him.
- Emile Bertrand wrote from Paris under date of December 27, 1898, informing the embassy of his desire to visit his former home in Alsace, which he had left more than twenty years before, when about 17 years of age. The embassy replied, advising him how to make a request for the desired permission and promising to give such request, when made, its support. After again hearing from him, the embassy, on January 11 last, addressed a note (F. O. No. 411) to the imperial foreign office requesting that early and favorable action be taken upon the petition sent by Bertrand (of whose American citizenship the embassy had become convinced) to the Statthalter at Strassburg. Under date of January 21 Bertrand informed the embasssy that he had received a favorable answer, and this information was subsequently confirmed by a note from the foreign office dated January 27, in which it was stated that permission had been granted him to spend two weeks in Bischweiler, Alsace, at any time before April 1, 1899. Bertrand is understood to have at once availed himself of this permission, which was all that he wanted, and to have returned to the United States.
- Georg Kübler applied to the embassy from New York, under date of September 21, 1898, inclosing the certificate of his American naturalization (which had been authenticated by the German consul-general in New York) in the court of common pleas, New York City, October 14, 1887, and requesting that appropriate steps be taken to effect the removal of his name from the military lists, and the release of certain property which was said to have been attached on account of his failure to perform military service. Kübler was a native of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg. The embassy at once made intervention in his behalf (F. O. No. 339, of October 1, 1898), and a few days later received a note from the foreign office, dated October 11, in which the naturalization certificate was returned, with a statement that the foreign office would gladly take appropriate steps in the matter if the embassy would authenticate the certificate in question, the authentication of the German consulate not being sufficient for the Wurttemberg Government. The certificate was then returned to Kübler, and subsequently, after it had been authenticated by the secretary of state of the State of New York and the Secretary of State of the United States, was authenticated by the embassy and again sent to the foreign office on December 9, with a request that a speedy settlement of the case be effected. Under date of February 14 the embassy was eventually informed that Kübler had been recognized as an American citizen and his property released.
- John A. Walz applied to the embassy in person on November 30, 1898, submitting evidence of the facts that his father had emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1849, and had duly become naturalized as a citizen in 1854. The father had returned to Germany in 1868, and since that time, with the exception of a few visits to America, he had resided in Wurttemberg, where he had again become a subject of the king in the summer of 1898. John Walz had been born in Wurttemberg in 1871, and had remained in that country as a boy until 1889, when he informed the local authorities that he intended going to America, and inquired as to his military liabilities. He was at that time told that he was an American citizen and not liable to military service. In the United States he was recognized as an American citizen through the naturalization of his father, and civil rights were granted him in the several places in which he resided, and a passport was issued to him by the Department of State in June, 1897. Having obtained a fellowship in Harvard University, Mr. Walz had come abroad, and since October 25 had been residing in Berlin and studying at the local university, where he desired to remain until next summer. A few days before his call at the embassy he had been summoned before the local authorities, and upon presenting himself had been informed that he was considered a German subject and was liable for military service. The embassy at once called the attention of the foreign office to the case (F. O. No. 378) to the end that he be recognized as an American citizen and allowed to continue his studies without molestation, [Page 317] and no answer being received—although in the meantime Walz was not troubled—it addressed the foreign office again in regard to the case on December 23 (F. O. No. 395). Under date of February 17, 1899, the embassy was ultimately informed that Walz would be allowed to remain in Berlin without molestation until the 1st of next October. Before that time he expects to return to America to assume his position at Harvard.
- Herman (Heinrich) Lüning’s was brought to the attention of the embassy by the American consul at Bremen in a letter which was received on December 29, 1898, and the same day intervention (F. O. No. 401) was made. Lüning was born at Rotenburg in 1866 and emigrated in 1883 to the United States, where he duly became naturalized as a citizen at Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1893. While on a visit to his former home he had—although he and his infant child were under the doctor’s care—been ordered by the Prussian authorities to leave the country before January 15, 1899. Under date of February 23 the embassy was informed by the foreign office that permission had been granted him to remain at Rothenburg until the 1st of next June. This information was communicated to Lüning through Consul Lange, and nothing further has been heard from the case.
- Anton Frankfurther (Frankforter) brought his case to the attention of the embassy in a letter from Chicago, which was received on September 5, 1898, and the same day intervention was made in his behalf. Frankfurther had been born in Breslau in 1866, and had emigrated to the United States in 1881, becoming naturalized as a citizen in due course of time. In 1898 he had returned to Germany on a visit, and while sojourning at his former home was compelled to pay, under protest and in order to avoid arrest, a fine amounting, with costs, to 201 marks. No reply having been received to its first note, the embassy again referred to the case (F. O. No. 395) on December 23, and subsequently, under date of March 16, 1899, it was informed that an order had been issued to refund to Frankfurther the money which had been paid by him.
- Ernst W. Jacobi called at the embassy on February 13, 1899, and exhibited an order from the local president of police to leave Prussian territory within four weeks from February 8. He at the same time stated that he was born in Hanover in 1862, and had emigrated to the United States in 1882, and produced evidence of his naturalization at Philadelphia in 1888. He returned to Germany in January, 1897, and since that time had been engaged in the restaurant business in Berlin. Although Mr. Jacobi’s intention had apparently been to remain permanently in Berlin, it was thought proper to make intervention in his behalf (F. O. No. 436), as no reason had been given for his expulsion, and as his obedience of the order in question would have involved considerable pecuniary loss. Under date of March 16 the embassy was informed by the foreign office that in consideration of its intervention Mr. Jacobi would be allowed to remain in Prussia until October 1, 1899, the date fixed by him as that before which he could satisfactorily arrange his business matters.
- Adolph Koppel wrote to the embassy from New York, submitting evidence of his American citizenship (State Department passport No. 12109, of February 19, 1898), and stating that he had been expelled from Prussia in January, 1897, for reasons which were unknown to him. He asked the good offices of the embassy to obtain permission for him to return on a visit to Germany and to remain about a year from June next, and on February 1, 1898, the embassy addressed the foreign office (F. O. No. 423) in his behalf. Under date of March 18 a reply to its note was received in which it was stated that the Prussian Government declined to grant permission for Koppel to return, as he had been expelled because he, together with his mother and other members of his family, had been charged with keeping a house of ill fame. This information was communicated to Koppel, who was at the same time informed that under the circumstances the embassy must decline to take any further action in his behalf.
- George Cohen called at the embassy on March 8, 1899, exhibiting at the same time passport No. 5010, which had been issued him by the Department of State on September 9, 1898, and stated that he had been ordered, under date of the 4th, to leave Prussian territory within one week. He further stated that he was born in Posen in 1877, and when about 16 years of age had emigrated to the United States, where he duly became naturalized as a citizen. He had returned to Germany on a visit to his mother, and desired to be allowed to remain in Berlin until the 1st of April. The embassy at once addressed the foreign office in the matter (F. O. No. 451), and under date of March 30 a reply to its note was received in which it was stated that the Prussian Government had granted permission for Cohen to remain in Prussia until March 31. As nothing had been heard from Cohen since his call, it is to be presumed that he was not further molested.