The Ambassador in Germany (Gerard) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 17.]
My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have just received your personal letter of Nov 12th.10 Thank you for what you say about my work.
Of course I should like a vacation but as I have written you the English would be sure to criticize. Meanwhile I have a shooting place which I can reach in ¾ hour from the door by auto—eat some lunch on the way down and murder pheasants and roebuck one or two afternoons a week. This keeps me in fair condition.
Night before last, while taking a walk, I ran into quite a demonstration—very quiet people—I asked several men why they were demonstrating—two or three refused to answer—finally one said “We have enough of this silly war and days without meat.” I said where are you going—he said “Wherever they drive us”—There were several thousands in the demonstration. All night a lot of mounted police were outside this embassy—whether they feared a demonstration here or against the Chancellor, whose palace is across the square, I don’t know. At any rate there was no crowd in the Wilhelmplatz that night. Last Sunday, as I had already written you, there was another demonstration on Unter den Linden.
The people are undoubtedly getting a little restless and the food question brings the war home to them. Probably there will soon (3 mos.) be a shortage of coffee—the Germans are great coffee drinkers, especially in the middle classes. And great eaters—as one of my brothers said “it is not true that the Germans eat all the time—they eat all the time with exception of five times a day when they take [Page 671] their meals.” Any cutting off of food is resented by every German. Personally I think the country can hold out.
Gus. Roeder of the New York World is here to write on the industrial and general situation: I think you will find his reports excellent—he is a great observer.
Hans Winterfeldt, a German American (American citizen born in Germany) has just come in to tell me he is resigning from 20 directorates and leaving the country—he is being driven out solely on account of his citizenship. He was managing director of the National Bank of Germany, director of the General Electric Co., etc. This shows how the international hate has attacked business men, usually rather liberal.
Maximilian Harden gives a lecture Monday next. He has a great following & if allowed will say something about peace.
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