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The German Secret Service in America 1914-1918

The German Secret Service in America 1914-1918
Title: The German Secret Service in America 1914-1918
Release Date: 2019-01-08
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Count Johann von Bernstorff

Count Johann von Bernstorff, the
responsible director of Ger-
many'ssecret policies
in America

Title page









Copyright, 1918,

"It is plain enough how we were forced into the war. The extraordinaryinsults and aggressions of the Imperial German Government left us noself-respecting choice but to take up arms in defense of our rightsas a free people and of our honor as a sovereign government. Themilitary masters of Germany denied us the right to be neutral. Theyfilled our unsuspecting communities with vicious spies and conspiratorsand sought to corrupt the opinion of our people in their own behalf.When they found they could not do that, their agents diligentlyspread sedition amongst us and sought to draw our own citizens fromtheir allegiance—and some of these agents were men connected withthe official embassy of the German Government itself here in our owncapital. They sought by violence to destroy our industries and arrestour commerce. They tried to incite Mexico to take up arms against usand to draw Japan into a hostile alliance with her—and that, not byindirection but by direct suggestion from the Foreign Office in Berlin.They impudently denied us the use of the high seas and repeatedlyexecuted their threat that they would send to their death any of ourpeople who ventured to approach the coasts of Europe. And many of ourown people were corrupted. Men began to look upon their neighbors withsuspicion and to wonder in their hot resentment and surprise whetherthere was any community in which hostile intrigue did not lurk. Whatgreat nation in such circumstances would not have taken up arms? Muchas we have desired peace, it was denied us, and not of our own choice.This flag under which we serve would have been dishonored had wewithheld our hand."

Woodrow Wilson, Flag Day Address
June 14, 1917


A nation at war wants nothing less than complete information of herenemy. It is hard for the mind to conceive exactly what "completeinformation" means, for it includes every fact which may contain thelightest indication of the enemy strength, her use of that strength,and her intention. The nation which sets out to obtain completeinformation of her enemy must pry into every neglected corner, fishevery innocent pool, and collect a mass of matter concerning theindustrial, social and military organization of the enemy which whencorrelated, appraises her strength—and her weakness. Nothing less thanfull information will satisfy the mathematical maker of war.

Germany was always precociously fond of international statistics. Shewanted—the present tense is equally applicable—full information ofAmerica and her allies so as to attack their vulnerable points. Shegot a ghastly amount of it, and she attacked. This book sets forth howsecret agents of the Teutonic governments acting under orders haveattacked our national life, both before and after our declaration ofwar; how men and women in Germany's employ on American soil, plannedand executed bribery, sedition, arson, the destruction of property andeven murder, not to mention lesser violations of American law; how theysought to subvert to the advantage of the Central Powers the aims ofthe Government of the United States; how, in short, they made enemiesof the United States immediately the European war had broken out.

The facts were obtained by the writer first as a reporter on theNew York Sun who for more than a year busied himself with no otherconcern, and afterwards in an independent investigation. Some ofthem he has cited in a previous work. This book brings the story ofGermany's secret agencies in America up to the early months of 1918.Because the writer during the past six months has devoted his entiretime to the Liberty Loan, it became necessary for him to leave therearrangement of the work entirely in the hands of the co-author, andhe desires to acknowledge his complete indebtedness to the co-authorfor undertaking and carrying out an assignment for which the fullmeasure of reward will be derived from a sharper American consciousnessof the true nature of our enemy at home and abroad.

So we dedicate this chronicle to our country.

John Price Jones.

New York, June 1, 1918.


I   The Organization 1
The economic, diplomatic and military aspects of
secret warfare in America—Germany's peace-time organization
—vonBernstorff, the diplomat—Albert, the
economist—von Papen and Boy-Ed, the men of war.
II   The Conspirators' Task 19
The terrain—Lower New York—The consulates—The
economic problem of supplying Germany and
checking supplies to the Allies—The diplomatic problem
of keeping America's friendship—The military
problem in Canada, Mexico, India, etc.—Germany's denial.
III   The Raiders at Sea 28
The outbreak of war—Mobilization of reservists—The
Hamburg-American contract—The Berwind—The
Marina Quezada—The Sacramento—Naval battles.
IV   The Wireless System 43
The German Embassy a clearing house—Sayville—German's
knowledge of U. S. wireless—Subsidized
electrical companies—Aid to the raiders—The Emden—The
Geier—Charles E. Apgar—The German code.
V   Military Violence 60
The plan to raid Canadian ports—The first Welland
Canal plot—Von Papen, von der Goltz and Tauscher—The
project abandoned—Goltz's arrest—The
Tauscher trial—Hidden arms—Louden's plan of invasion.
VI   Paul Koenig 73
Justice and Metzler—Koenig's personality—von Papen's
checks—The "little black book"—Telephone codes—Shadowing—Koenig's
agents—His betrayal.
VII   False Passports 82
Hans von Wedell's bureau—The traffic in false
passports—Carl Ruroede—Methods of forgery—Adams'
coup—von Wedell's letter to von Bernstorff—Stegler—Lody—Berlin
counterfeits American passports—von Breechow.
VIII   Incendiarism 100
Increased munitions production—The opening explosions—Orders
from Berlin—Von Papen and Seattle—July,
1915—The Van Koolbergen affair—The
Autumn of 1915—The Pinole explosion.
IX   More Bomb Plots 117
Kaltschmidt and the Windsor explosions—The Port
Huron tunnel—Werner Horn—Explosions embarrass
the Embassy—Black Tom—The second Welland affair—Harry
Newton—The damage done in three years—Waiter spies.
X   Franz Von Rintelen 138
The leak in the National City Bank—The Minnehaha—Von
Rintelen's training—His return to America—His
aims—His funds—Smuggling oil—The Krag-Joergensen
rifles—Von Rintelen's flight and capture.
XI   Ship Bombs 154
Mobilizing destroying agents—The plotters in Hoboken—Von
Kleist's arrest and confession—The Kirk
trial—Further explosions—The Arabic—Robert
Fay—His arrest—The ship plots decrease.
XII   Labor 171
David Lamar—Labor's National Peace Council—The
embargo conference—The attempted longshoremen's
strike—Dr. Dumba's recall.
XIII   The Sinking of the Lusitania 190
The mistress of the seas—Plotting in New York—The
Lusitania's escape in February, 1915—The advertised
warning—The plot—May 7, 1915—Diplomatic
correspondence—Gustave Stahl—The results.
XIV   Commercial Ventures 203
German law in America—Waetzoldt's reports—The
British blockade—A report from Washington—Stopping
the chlorine supply—Speculation in wool—Dyestuffs
and the Deutschland—Purchasing phenol—The
Bridgeport Projectile Company—The lost portfolio—The
recall of the attachs—A summary of Dr. Albert's efforts.
XV   The Public Mind 225
Dr. Bertling—The Staats-Zeitung—George Sylvester
Viereck and The Fatherland—Efforts to buy a press
association—Bernhardi's articles—Marcus Braun and
Fair Play—Plans for a German news syndicate—Sander,
Wunnenberg, Bacon and motion pictures—The
German-American Alliance—Its purposes—Political
activities—Colquitt of Texas—The "Wisconsin Plan"—
Lobbying—Misappropriationof German Red Cross
funds—Friends of Peace—The American Truth Society.
XVI   Hindu-German Conspiracies 252
The Society for Advancement in India—"Gaekwar
Scholarships"—Har Dyal and Gadhr—India in 1914—Papen's
report—German and Hindu agents sent to the
Orient—Gupta in Japan—The raid on von Igel's office—Chakravarty
replaces Gupta—The Annie Larsen
and Maverick filibuster—Von Igel's memoranda—Har
Dyal in Berlin—A request for anarchist agents—Ram
Chandra—Plots against the East and West Indies—Correspondence
between Bernstorff and Berlin,
1916—Designs on China, Japan and Africa—Chakravarty
arrested—The conspirators indicted.
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