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AN AMERICAN IN GERMANY

TRADE DEAD IN THE GREAT PORTS. Tho London 'Daily Mail' publishes a narrative" of an American, who, in a visit to Bremen, Hamburg, and Kiel, from which he has just returned, had exceptional opportunities for obtaining accurate impressions. "Tho first thing to strike me," the American says, " was the intense, hatred for England. A. wait of seven hours at Osnabrtieck after crossing the Dutch frontier, gave me a seriousj warning of tho risks anybody looking like an Englishman ran. People followed sue through the streets shouting: 'English cbgl Spy!' At .a cafe where I took refuge a pariv of officers and civ'iliarj, including a couple of ladies, turned and hounded me from the place. One man, a sergeantmajor, had been at Rheims. "I spent two d-aya in Bremen, Mainplaces c: business were shut, shops were deserted, the harbor was silent. The docks at Bremerhaven were crowded with shipping of all kinds, but there was no life in the smokeless funnels of the. ships and the unfrequented wharves. Here, as a.t Hamburg, there was eloquent testimony of England's grip on Germany's world-wide_ trade. One was not allowed 'to see much "of the harbor, but I was told that some -of the, transports there were filled with troops for a raid on England. "In the Bremen railway station 1 saw two most painful sights. In a large eonvov of French and Belgian wounded on ona platform were four Briti.sh prisoners, including two kilted Scotsmen. A. hostile mob surrounded them, reviling them and shouting: 'Why don't they shoot the dogs?' The four were perfectly cool. One Scotsman, catching sight of me, shouted out cheerilv: "Arc we downhearted!'' 1 saw two British officers guarded by 24 soldier? with fixed bayonets. One of the officers watf an officer of some importance, T think a colonel, a tremendous man about 6ft 4-in it height, with iron-grey hair and moustache. His companion was a younger man with a red band around his cap, denoting. I believe, that lie belonged to the General Staff. The prisoners were surrounded by the' usual hooting, jeering crowd. Suddenly one of the guards deliberately prodded the big colonel in the back with the mitt end of his rifle. Tt was a brutal act. The next, moment the grey-haired officer turned round and struck his tormentor full in the face with his fist. It was a fine blow. I saw no more. The crowd, in a of rage, closed in on the group. I heard afterwards that both prisoners were' handcuffed and led awav. Their fate I do not know. •' From Bremen 1 went- to Hamburg. Here was the same listlessness. as at Bremen, iho same dense lines of idle shipping in the. port, the same deserted wharves. Bread was getting scarce, and it was feared that, the output of beer soon would be restricted, as the supplies of barley and malt were running short. I also beard that there was a shortage of petrol for the army. "In the harbor 1 saw three huge Ham-burg-American liners transformed by flat grey paint, which covered even their yellow funnels. Soldiers swarming about the decks proclaimed them to be transports. I was told that, these were transports destined for the invasion of England. I also was taken to see the airship sheds outside Hamburg. There were 11 she'ds. each containing a Zeppelin. The Germans claim now to have 85. and say 50 more are being built. There was great "activity at the air camp. T saw any number of aeroplanes of different types. •'• Hamburg gave me. the impression of being rather depressed. I found in Sfrver.il quarters traces of anxiety, which was not like the blind confidence of Berlin. Only the officers continue unalterably confident. "'Don't think we. Germans are such fools." said one officer to me, 'as to waste our Zeppelins in a single raid on London. W« are keeping all our dirigibles for ihe 1 im •> ivben the fleet, accompanied by the Zeppelins, will attack the British coast. We mean to send out a dozen Zeppelins a.t- a time, and count on losing possibly six. But the remainder (should give a good account of themselves.' Another officer had been at, Louvain. He admitted to me that terrible excesses had been committnl by the German soldiers there. He told >:- t.list a. parly of soldiers had broken into the brewery and had become maddened with dunk. They got, so out, of hand, he said, that 60 of them were shot by ihe. (irrmau military authorities. "From Hamburg I went to Kiel for ■>. day. No Englishmen remain there. Kiel is full of life. The streets swarm with soldier*! ttiul marines, and there is tremendous activity in the harbor, semaphore* wagging industriously, despatch boats and tug; dashing hero and there. 1 went to the Impel-in.,' Yacht Club, which, was crowded with naval officci-. Those with whom T talked were p.xtremclv confident. They declared that they had large numbers of nav.il res"i—is: = who h.ad nr.t yet. been needed for the »■»:■- ships. The idea, was to rmploy them in laud operations as long as they could be spared. In: 1 , officers said they counted on wearing the Briti«h Ntn-y out. by submarine atttf'ks, and thru although thf British ships were more numerous, the German vessels had bigger guns."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150114.2.34

Bibliographic details

AN AMERICAN IN GERMANY, Issue 15700, 14 January 1915

Word Count
883

AN AMERICAN IN GERMANY Issue 15700, 14 January 1915

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