File No. 763.72119/1328
The Chargé in Switzerland ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 17, 10.10 a.m.]
2661. German press comment President’s speech.
Münchner Neueste Nachrichten, 13th: President’s speech shows clear desire continue public discussion between Washington and [Page 121] Central Powers. Tone even milder than January speech which showed great progress over former speeches. Message justified recent articles in this paper written by Germans knowing American situation who painted other picture of Wilson than many of our shallow daily newspapers and comic papers; not as bribed agent Wall Street and champion of trust imperialism grasping rapaciously for world supremacy, but as pacifist of extreme puritanic fanaticism determined use every effort win victory his ideals of right and justice. In this doctrinairism lies perhaps Wilson’s moral greatness and suggestive strength for Americans. German statesmen will do well to realize that if Germany comes to no modus vivmdi with the Wilson mentality it will find in America its most tenacious and richest opponent with inexhaustible resources. Important to observe how greatly Wilson differs in tone and substance from declarations other Entente statesmen. Easily understood today why America not politically represented Versailles, because Wilson’s present policy not Clemenceau’s and Lloyd George’s. Wilson mistaken in assuming existing difference between Military Party and German people but his mistake conceivable when considering recent unprincipled machinations of certain German party which hysterically cried for military coup d’etat. Hoped that Reichstag in close cooperation with Government will immediately convince Wilson of error. Should not be difficult for Hertling, Czernin, by defining more closely former declarations, to come to agreement in principle with Wilson, but latter should also see justice of applying this beautiful principle to Allies. Altogether Wilson shows himself as only opponent with whom discussion possible. Therefore, duty of German statesmen to procure greatest possible benefits from this discussion. If agreement with America succeeds before its war machine assumes irresistible momentum the whole Entente will be unhinged.
Münchener Post, 13th: Wilson’s reply to Hertling, Czernin, shows strong desire for general peace even more emphatic this regard than January message which this paper warmly supported. Must be admitted President entirely right in many points of his [polemic] against Hertling. Latter spoke but formulated no positive program. President places himself on basis Reichstag July resolution and thus general peace reconciliation becomes possible. Paper expects Chancellor to now build binding bridge to America. Professor Bonn recently properly declared that possibility for general peace depends on Germany’s attitude toward American peace principles. Decision will not be difficult for German Government if it still holds to spirit July resolution and it must then subscribe to Wilson’s developed general principles for general and just peace.