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LIFE IN BERLIN, Issue 15672, 10 December 1914
LIFE IN BERLIN
A .singularly interesting aeount of life in Berlin was given by Mrs H , a British lady, at present on a visit to her relatives in Belfast. Mrs H. for the past 12 years has resided in New York, and when the war broke out she was in Berlin visiting her daughter, who is marriod to a German. This: is what she had to say : '"The British women were, after the declaration of hostilities, placed under the. protection of the American Embassy, and they nearly all wore the American Mac;. I wore one myself, but this was not sufficient to protect me from annoyance and iillrcatment, for the women spies in *'?rlin, of whom there are thousands, followed us everywhere, and tried to distinguish between those who were l'ritish and those who were American. Many British ladies were, insulted on the streets, and even spat upon. My accent gave mo ;uvav, and I was told, no matter Ivr.v I dressed, that I could not look anything but British. '• AMERICAN TAUGHT. - ' " It was rather amusing to nod tl.at schools and individuals who formerly advertised ■ English taught ' changed trie advertisement to. 'American taught.'_ jhe excitement in Berlin was iwlescfibribin. and every day the papers announced that from 'IO,OOO to 70.000 prisoners had been captured, besides guns, colors, and transport. Presently- there came a message from the Kaiser asking that flags betaken down and demonstrations cease for the time, the Emperor declaring that they would bo at a loss to know how piwpcrly to celebrate a big victory it evr-ry little, success attending'the German inns was received with siich enthusiasm. 8" the flags were taken in and the city became much quieter. I had to do my "wn shopping, and once I was refused admission to a tramcar, the conductor, in sp.'.e of the American Hag I was wearing, pushing me off with the words, 'No English English hated here.' On more than one occasion when I returned to my apartments I found clear evidence that th«y had been searched, although we heard nothing of it from the concierge. TREATED LIKE CRIMINALS. " One Sunday morning Mr M ' an English gentleman, when changing h>s suit, forgot to transfer his pass, and was ariesled while at church. He was one of 80 pi i.soners packed together in damp, dirty cells, and treated like the worst of criminals. For a week they had nothing to eat but black bread in the morning, vegetable sou]) for dinner, and blade biead in the evening. During the second week, by bribing the gaolers, they were allowed to purchase their food. They .spent 15 days in prison. At the American Embassy I* met five English and th'v. Irish girls employed in Berlin, who, when they returned from business one day, found their trunks on the side walk and the doors of their apartments locked against them. On September 21 we wore (old that arrangements had been made for our return to England. Wo were forbidden, amongst many oilier things, to take any written or printed matter regarding Germany and the war. EVERYTHING KNOWN. " 1 had a complete and most interesting collection of the leading German illustrated papers from the beginning of the war, and I had placed them in the. lid of my trunk : but they were seized at the railway station oy an official, wdio, when I told him that I might smuggle them through in some way. replied, ' Madam, it would have, been impossible, everything you have is known." A young lady on tin- train who had hidden a writen diary in her stocking, where it wa-= found, was detained by the military, while two English schoolgirls, stung by the indignities inflicted on them by Herman officials, declared their hatred of the Kaiser and were also arrested." Mrs II spoke of Germany's state of preparedness for the. war. On one occasion she saw at a Berlin railway terminus large numbers of huge concrete gun platforms, and great quantities of concrete trenches ready to lie dropped into the new-dug holes when required. When the Berlin tram conductors were called to the front their places were taken by women, whose uniforms were ready in advance.
LIFE IN BERLIN, Issue 15672, 10 December 1914
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