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WHAT 1 FOUND IN HAMBURG

LINERS FOR INVASION. i "WATT TILL THE SPRING COMES." We are to-day in a position to lift the i veil of secrecy "dropped over the German ! seaports since the outbreak of war. We ! publish tho narrative of an American's visit to Bremen and Hamburg, Germany's great commercial seaports, and Kiel, her leading war harbor. Our informant, who had quite exceptional opportunities for obtaining an accurate impression of life in these German ports, has only just returned to London. He paints a striking picture of the deserted docks of Bremen and Hamburg, and gives many illustrations of (ho fierce hatred of England in Germany. This is his narrative : Tho first thing that must strike any traveller entering Germany in theso days is tho intense hatred of England. A wait of seven hours in Osnabruck, after croc-s----ing the Dutch frontier into Germany, gave mo a serious warning of the risks run in Germany at present by anybody looking like an Englishman. People followed mo in the streets shouting : " English dog ! ' Spy'" and at a cafe where I took refuge j a party consisting of an officer, some civi- i .Hans, and a couple of ladies turned ou •me iand hounded mo from the place. Finally I appealed to a policeman, shou-xl j him my American passport, and prevailed on him to escort me to tho railway station. His advice to mo was ■to pick out the darkest corner I could find, and, taking cover behind a German newspaper, wait for my train without venturing forth into the streets again. Silent Harbor.— I spent two days in Bremen, a very different Bremen from the bustling city I knew 10 year* ago. The streets are very quiet and tho tramway cars nearly empty. Ther are- evidences on every side of unemployment, many places of business shut, shops deserted, the harbor silent. Th?. | docks at Bremerhaven are crowded with ' shipping of all kinds, but there is no lit>. Tho smokeless funnels of tho «dups and the unfrequented wharves here, as at, Hair, burg, aro eloquent testimony of England's grim grip on Germany's world trade. One i - not allowed to pee much in the harbor, but I was told that there were, some transports i there filled with troops to be used for a i raid on England. Prices are undoubtedly j higher than usual. Five and six ; shillings are now charged for hotel , bedrooms that otherwise cost three. ; or four. One sees no bread on tho j tables in the restaurant, and, in fact, i most people, especially the lower classes, j are now eating potato bread. I noticed j also thai, railway fares have been increased. ' The second class faro from Bremen to j Hamburg is now Sinks 69pf (about 5s 7r!) ; irstead of 4mks 30pf (about & 4d), as it ; used to he. In Bremen, at the railway . station. I saw two of the most painful , sights I have ever witnessed. Tn a largo : : convov of French and Belgian wounded I v.-l.ich I met on the platlonn were four j Biitish prisoners, two of whom wore j kilted Scotsmen, wearing Belgian overcoats. A hostile, mob surrounded them, reviling them with every abusive word thev could find, and shouting "Why don't ; they shoot the dogs?" Hie four were per- j fect'lv cool. One of the Scotsmen, catching j sight of me. shouted out cheerily " Are we j downhearted":" j —Prodding a Colonel.— | Another time I saw two British officers ! guarded, by no fewer than 24 German soldiers with fixed bayonets. One of the j prisoners was an officer of some importance ! —I think a colonel—but I could not see the marks of his rank. He wae a tremen- i dous man. about 6ft 4in in height, with , iron-grey hair and moustache. His com- • panion. a younger man, wore a red band round his cap, denoting, I believe, that he ; belonged to the. General Staff. The pri- | soners were surrounded by tho usual hoot- ; ing. jeering crowd. Suddenly one of the . giu.rds, deliberately prodded the big colonel ' in the back with'the butt end of his ritle. '; It was a brutal act. The next moment j the grey-haired officer had turned round j and struck his tormentor full in the face j with his fist. It was a fine blow. T saw j no more, for the crowd in a paroxysm of > rage closed in about tho group, surging ; here and there. I heard afterwards that j both prisoners were' handcuffed and led ; away. What their" fate was I do not j know. From Bremen I went on to Ham- I burg. Here was the same Jistlessness as_at j Bremen, tho same denee lines of idle shipping ; in the port, the eaiiio deserted wharves. : Brefid is getting scarce, and it is feared that the output of beer will soon be restricted, as barlev and malt are running short. I a l.so heard that there is a shortage of petrol in i the army. Cafes and places of amusement j are. however, in full swing. There is j much unemployment, and Government j are subsidising landlords against the low j of their rents. I was surprised to rind ! that the hatred of England is as fierce in j Hamburg, despite its centuries-old friend- j stiip with .England, as anywhere in tier- [ many. It is not possible to speak Fug- j lish "in. public. In Hamburg Harbor, which i I was able to visit, though it is afincst j impossible for foreigners now to obtain ac- i cess, I was shown three huge Hamburg- j American liners, their appearance, quite ; transformed by a coat of grey paint ami j yellow funnels. The- soldiers swarming \ about the decks proclaimed them to be ; transports without my being told. I was ! told that these were the transports des- j tined for the invasion of England " when | the time arrives." It was not possible to ! approach close to the ships, and the sol- j diers are forbidden to go ashore. I wan: aleo taken to see the airship sheds outside Hamburg. There were eleven sheds there, ! each, I was told, containing a Zeppelin, j The Germans claim that they now have i 80 Zeppelins, and that 50 are being built. | There was great activity at the air camp, j and I saw any number of aeroplanes oi all | types. |

—-Hamburg Depressed.—

Hamburg made the impression of being j rather depressed. 1 found in several quar- { ters traces of anxiety, unlike the blind con- ; ridenee of Berlin. "Only 'the officer,-, con- : tinue unalterably confident. I heard a lot of stories about"the war one evening I sat up drinking champagne with a group of officers. One had be~en in the llela when she was sunk bv a British submarine (the E9) off Heligoland. He said he was below when the ship was torpedoed, and the effects were terrifying. 'The iron sides of the ship fell about him like the fragments of a cardboard box, and be spent two hours in tho sea before he was picked_ up bv a Dutch boat. Another was a lieutenant in the Flying Corps. "Don't think wo Germans are'such fools," he said, "as to wast© Zeppelins by sjfiglc raids over London. We are keeping" all our dirigibles for the time-when our fleet, accompanied by Zeppelins, will attack the British coast simultaneously. We mean to send cut a dozen Zeppelins at a time. Wo count on losing possibly six of them, but the remainder should give a good account of themselves. But this i.s not a plan for tho bad weather, such as we are now having in tho North Sea. Wait till the spring conies. From Hamburg 1 went over to Kiel for the day. No Englishmen, 1 am told, remain in "the town. Kiel is full of life. Tho streets swarm with sailors and matines; there is tremendous activity in the harbor, with semaphore,-, wagging industriously and despatch boats and tugs dashing liere .and there. I went to tine Imperial Yacht Club, which was crowded with naval officers. Those with whom I talked were extremely confident. They declared that they had largo numbers ot naval reservists who were not yet needed for tl» warships, and that the idea was to employ them in the land operations as long lis thev could be spared. They said that thev counted on wearing the British Navy down bv their submarine attacks, and "that though tho British ships were more numerous the Germans had the bigger guns. After Hamburg, Bremen, and Kiel, London produces on mo an extraordinary impression of imperturbable calm. As far as I can eee, life in the City is proceeding on liormrf lines, and the bustling throngs enlrywhere in the streets are in very great contrast, I can assure you. to tho* silence and listlcssness of Germany's; great »eaport!S.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150104.2.8

Bibliographic details

WHAT 1 FOUND IN HAMBURG, Issue 15691, 4 January 1915

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1,475

WHAT 1 FOUND IN HAMBURG Issue 15691, 4 January 1915

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