Order of the Red Eagle

In the days before the Kaiser booted his spur through the treaties of
Europe, you could observe, almost any afternoon, a faultlessly-attired
man—well built, his big round head resting firmly on a powerful
neck—sauntering down Connecticut Avenue, the Rotten Row or Fifth Avenue
of Washington. Jauntily swinging his cane and puffing at his inevitable
cigarette, he would bow gracefully in greeting the members of the
capital’s smart set. He could be seen later at tea at the Chevy Chase
Club, then among government officials and diplomats at the Metropolitan
Club, or a guest at the Army and Navy Club. He was much desired at the
most brilliant functions in New York in the winter, or at the resorts
where, in the summer, the wealthiest and most exclusive Manhattanites
gathered. One always found him graceful, suave, clever at repartee,
effervescing natural humour—the object of admiration on the part of
matchmaking mothers, and the reported seeker after an American
heiress—but always mingling with the persons in official, diplomatic and
navy circles who knew the innermost government secrets.

He was Germany’s Beau Brummel, Captain Karl Boy-Ed, the Kaiser’s naval
attaché, seemingly more interested in the frills, foibles and gaieties
of society than in the supremacy of the German Navy. Very much like an
American in appearance, Oriental in his sense of luxury, and possessing
the French quality of subtlety in rapid-fire wit, he lacked apparently
every vestige of the much vaunted Teutonic efficiency. He would
occasionally, however, drop out of the scenes of beauty and charm,
travelling about the country, visiting warships, tramping over coast
country, scrutinizing fortifications, or places where Uncle Sam would
have coast defences, until finally it began to be whispered that Captain
Boy-Ed knew as much about the American Navy and coast forts as did the
naval officers themselves. Under the veneer of lightness and graceful
ease, the naval attaché hid with the craft to which that Turkish part of
his ancestry made him heir, the persistent methodical thoroughness of
his German ancestry.

And, when the Kaiser set the dogs of war loose, Boy-Ed shunted aside the
cloak of frivolity, disappeared almost entirely from festive gatherings,
settled down by day to room 801, No. 11, Broadway, New York, receiving
code messages as “Nordmann,” and by night to his suite in the German
Club, where he delved into records, conferred with associates and
elaborated plans for activities on the seven seas. From a hale, jolly
fellow he became—as if by the shift of the magic wand of a Turkish
sorcerer—a veritable machine, mind and body, working for the Kaiser. A
man of great brain power, erudite, fertile in schemes, for long an aid
to Admiral von Tirpitz, he assumed charge in America of all enterprises
dealing with the naval phases of the Teutonic warfare in this country
and in or near American waters. These were activities which, despite his
boast: “They haven’t got any evidence against B. E.,” caused his
dismissal from America by President Wilson.

BOY-ED’S CAREER

Born of a Turkish father and German mother—the latter, Ida Boy-Ed, a
novelist much loved in Germany—he possessed an unusual combination of
traits, a mingling of Oriental subtlety, the brutal frankness of the
Prussian, and the artistic genius of his mother. He elected for the
navy, and early displayed qualities that attracted von Tirpitz’s
attention. The admiral took him up and made him one of his “Big Six,”
young German officers who were admitted to the naval lord’s most secret
councils and trained for just such executive work and such emergencies
as the great war produced. Having both a literary and constructive
ability, in addition to unusual qualities as a tactician and naval
officer, he was selected by Grand Admiral von Tirpitz as his chief
lieutenant, and was made the head of the news division. As such, he had
charge of propaganda enlightening the German people and arousing a
demand for a bigger navy. He prepared articles for the newspapers and
compiled pamphlets arguing for many battleships, in all of which he
cleverly instilled a distrust of England. Prior to each appropriation
for an increase in the German fleet, Boy-Ed carried on a Press campaign
designed to educate the public as to the urgent necessity for more
Dreadnoughts and submarines. By this means, an appropriation equal to a
hundred million dollars was obtained in 1910.

For five years, prior to his arrival in Washington in 1911 as the
Kaiser’s naval representative, he served under von Tirpitz, making trips
around the world, observing and working out the details of Germany’s
plans for breaking Great Britain’s sea-power. Because of the work which
he performed, the unusual ability which he displayed, and because
Germany was seeking to surpass the naval power of the United States,
then the second only to Great Britain, he was sent to this country. When
he arrived here, he impressed Americans by his knowledge of America and
American ideas. With ample tact and keen insight into American customs,
he began immediately to make himself almost an American. Speaking
English fluently and possessing an unusually attractive personality, he
made himself extremely popular.

NAVAL STUDENT IN TIMES OF PEACE

His duties in peace times, naturally, were to study the American Navy
and gain whatever facts he could about American war vessels, the
personnel of the navy, the government’s plans for increasing the fleet’s
power and building up coast defences; also to pick up whatever he could,
openly or stealthily, about the secret plans of America in the use of
her battle-fleet. When the war started, a thousand and one more tasks
devolved upon him. As von Papen was in Mexico, he had for a time to look
after the military attaché’s secret service, and, after being relieved
of that, he devoted himself to the manifold details peculiar to naval
intelligence. Like von Papen, he, too, had a staff of experts. They
began, under his direction, delving into every phase of American naval
activities, seeking information about the naval plans of the Allies,
striving to exert their influence to prevent the shipment of arms and
ammunition from this country. Boy-Ed’s work lay also in supervising the
registration of naval reservists with the German consuls, providing for
the return of as many as possible of them to the Fatherland, assigning
spies to the country’s enemies, and collecting all naval information
bearing upon the war.

WATCHING BRITISH VESSELS

Seated in his room 801, Captain Boy-Ed gathered a great mass of facts of
value to Germany from enemy sources and from neutral nations. From his
room, which was stacked with maps of the sea and steamer routes, he sent
directions to his spies. He forwarded information about ships—English
merchantmen and British warships—that could be utilized by the German
Government in raids on Allied commerce. He also gave directions for
provisioning the German raiders scouring the Seven Seas for enemy
ships—an enterprise just as romantic—though in violation of American
laws—as the spectacular dashes of the _Karlsruhe_, _Emden_ and the
_Prince Eitel Friedrich_.

Here was a project in which before the war and in preparation for it,
the German Admiralty and the _Hamburg-American Steamship Company_
participated; and after hostilities began, it was simply necessary for
the captain through his staff of assistants or in person to issue
orders. The Atlantic phase of the enterprise, its financing, its
spectacular features and its illegality were presented to a Federal
court in New York by Roger B. Wood, the Assistant United States
Attorney, at the trial and conviction of several _Hamburg-American Line_
officials: Dr. Karl Buenz, its general representative in America, George
Koetter, supervising engineer, Adolf Hachmeister, purchasing agent, and
Joseph Poeppinghaus, second officer and supercargo, on the charge of
conspiring to obtain from the collectors of the ports false clearances
for ships in connection with the coaling and provisioning of raiders.
The Pacific phase of the scheme has been unearthed by United States
District Attorney Preston in San Francisco.

SMUGGLING SUPPLIES TO RAIDERS

Two years before Germany sent a declaration of war to England, and
just when a crisis in European affairs was impending, Dr. Karl Buenz,
who never before had engaged in steamship business, came to New York
as the American head of the _Hamburg-American Line_. Prior to that he
had been a judge in Germany, a consul in Chicago and New York, and a
minister to Mexico. One of the first things which came to his
attention was the completion of a contract between the Admiralty
Division of the German Government and the steamship company for the
provisioning, during war, of German warships at sea from America as a
base. Arrangement also was made for communication between these ships
and the company by the Admiralty’s code. The documents dealing with
this agreement were kept locked up in the German Embassy in
Washington, and the _Hamburg-American_ officials declined to produce
them at the trial, “because in that agreement,” Prosecutor Wood
asserted, “I venture to say the whole plan whereby false clearances
should be obtained is worked out in detail.”

When Germany stood on the brink of war and England stood ready to pen
her in by a blockade, the Admiralty Division sent its orders to make
ready to provision the raiders. Dr. Buenz himself, on July 31,
1914—before the war—received a cable which he read, and then at once
sent to the German Embassy for safe-keeping. Straightway Boy-Ed was in
and out of Dr. Buenz’s office, giving directions as to the warships
needing supplies and whither the provision ships should proceed by
routes outside the regular freight lines. He kept urging upon Dr. Buenz
the necessity of haste, and even before the German Government advanced
the cash, the ships were chartered—others purchased—under bonds that
guaranteed payment to the owners in the event of seizure. Twelve or more
ships in all set forth from Atlantic ports, carrying coal and food
supplies bought with Hamburg-American cash.

The steamship _Berwind_, which had been chartered and loaded in a hurry,
was the first to sail. When some of the conspirators met in Dr. Buenz’s
office, there was hesitancy as to who should apply for clearance
papers—documents of which Dr. Buenz testified he knew nothing. They
finally told G. B. Kulenkampf, a banker and exporter, that the _Berwind_
was loaded with coal—she had coal and provisions—and told him to get the
clearance papers. He did so, swearing to a false manifest, as he
afterwards admitted. In getting such clearance papers, Germany’s agents
aimed to prevent the Allies from learning about the supply ships.
Germany desired, naturally, to carry on this work secretly in order to
deceive her enemies and prevent her adversaries from knowing where the
German cruisers were.

Such a ruse may be a legitimate trick in war, but the German Government
or her agents had no right to use the American Government in such an
enterprise. So men employed by the _Hamburg-American Line_ went to the
collector of the ports from which these ships sailed, making affidavits
as to the cargo—generally false—and the destination for which they
sailed—also false. On board these ships—the _Berwind_ and the _Lorenzo_,
sailing from New York presumably for Buenos Aires on August 5 and 6,
1914, respectively; the _Thor_ from Newport News for Fray Bentos,
Uruguay; the _Heina_ from Philadelphia in August, for La Guayra; the
_Mowinckle_, _Nepos_ and others—the officials put supercargoes bearing
secret instructions. These men had authority to give sailing orders to
the captains once they were outside the three-mile limit. They knew that
the ships were not bound for the ports designated, but to lonely spots
on the high seas, where they would lie in wait for the arrival of the
German cruisers, whose captains would receive the “tip” by wireless.

RISKY WORK FOR SKIPPERS

Very few of the supercargoes, however, accomplished their aims. The
_Berwind_ reached a point near Trinidad where Supercargo Poeppinghaus
directed the ship to lie to. Presently five German ships, the _Cap
Trafalgar_, _Pontus_, _Elinor Woerman_, _Santa Lucia_ and _Eber_
appeared, and after the task of transferring the supplies to them was
begun, the British converted cruiser _Carmania_ came up. A brisk fight
ensued between the _Carmania_ and the _Cap Trafalgar_, lasting for two
hours, and ending when the German ship sank.

One representative of the _Hamburg-American Line_ sought to use bribery
to effect his purpose. One of the ships chartered was the _Unita_, in
charge of Eno Olsen, a Canadian citizen of Norwegian birth. The German
supercargo made a mistake in thinking that Olsen was friendly to
Germany. When, however, the supercargo explained to him after they had
got out to sea, what the purpose of the cruise was, Captain Olsen
baulked.

“‘Nothing doing,’ I told the supercargo,” Captain Olsen testified, with
a Norwegian twist to his pronunciation. “So the supercargo offered me
$500 to change my course. ‘Nothing doing—nothing doing for a million
dollars,’ I told him.

“The third day out he offered me $10,000. ‘Nothing doing.’ So,”
concluded Captain Olsen with finality, “I showed him my citizenship
paper. I said the _Unita_ cleared for Cadiz; and to Cadiz she goes.
After we got there I sold the cargo and looked up the British Consul.”

The provisions for each ship were ordered under directions from the
_Hamburg-American_ officials who eventually provided the money. The
_Hamburg-American Company_ received three payments of $500,000 each from
the Deutsche Bank in Berlin. In addition, $750,000 was sent to Boy-Ed by
exchange through Kulenkampf’s firm, Wessels, Kulenkampf & Company, from
the Deutsche Bank, making $2,225,000 in all. Telling of the receipt of
the money, Kulenkampf testified:

“Some time after that, Captain Boy-Ed came to me and asked if I had
received money from Berlin. I said, ‘Yes,’ and he told me that it was
for him. I asked him to obtain instructions, and a little later I was
telephoned to hold the money at the disposal of Boy-Ed. I followed the
instructions of Captain Boy-Ed. He instructed me at different times to
pay over certain amounts, either to banks or to firms. I transferred
$350,000 to the Nevada National Bank in San Francisco, $150,000 to the
_North German Lloyd_, $63,000 to the _North German Lloyd_. That left a
balance of approximately $160,000, which was placed to the credit of the
Deutsche Bank with Gontard & Company, successors of my former firm. That
amount was reduced to about $57,000 by payments drawn by Captain
Boy-Ed’s request to the order of the _Hamburg-American Steamship
Company_.”

MONEY SPENT FREELY

How part of the money was spent is shown by the following account of
payments through the _Hamburg-American Line_:

Steamer Total Payment
Thor $113,879.72
Berwind 73,221.85
Lorenzo 430,182.59
Heina 288,142.06
Nepos 119,037.60
Mowinckel 113,867.18
Unita 67,766.44
Sommerstad 45,826.75
Fram 55,053.23
Graecia 29,143.59
Macedonia 39,139.98
Navarra 44,133.50
——————
Total $1,419,394.49

But Boy-Ed’s supervision of supplies to the raiders covered both the
Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. While the _Hamburg-American_ took
charge of handling the supplies in the North and South Atlantic, another
German agency is accused of doing similar work on the Pacific. That
accounts for Boy-Ed’s transfer of money to the West, where his cash also
was used in the purchase of at least one ship. Boy-Ed’s funds, amounting
to more than $600,000, have been traced to the Pacific. In following
these payments it is important to observe how differently and more
cleverly Boy-Ed handled his money than von Papen. Unlike the military
attaché, he paid out little money by personal cheque; but he had
accounts with various commercial firms to whom he gave orders for
payments. Working with the ingenuity of an adept in covering up his
tracks, he caused money in large amounts to be shifted from one bank to
another, from one firm to another, through various cities until after
myriad devious turnings and twisting it finally reached its destination.
He used various commercial concerns as his bankers.

Out on the Pacific Coast, Boy-Ed employed members of the German
consulate to distribute the money and supervise provisioning. Two
indictments returned against Germans and others in San Francisco charge
that an effort was made to employ that port as a “naval base” for
provisioning the German raiders; that false manifests were filed for the
succouring of merchantmen; that supplies were transferred to the German
raiders. More than $150,000, it is specifically charged, was paid out
for this purpose by the German consulate.

The outfitting of the steamships _Sacramento_, _Olsen and Mahoney_,
_Mazatlan_ and the barque _Retriever_ are said to be charged to the
defendants. One device employed in San Francisco Bay to outwit the
Government officers watching for violations of the neutrality laws was
to fill the _Retriever_ with coal, and then announce that the vessel
would be used for an expedition on the high seas to take cinema pictures
of a stirring sea drama. But the officials were not hoodwinked. The
steamer _Sacramento_, formerly the German-owned _Alexandria_, which,
after the war started, was bought by the _Northern and Southern
Steamship Company_ and which flew the American flag, left port piled
high with supplies of all sorts, including sauerkraut and beer, and
reached Valparaiso, Chile, empty. All her supplies were transferred to
German cruisers and a German supply ship at Masefuero Island, near the
Chilean coast.

Captain Fred Jebsen, a lieutenant in the German naval reserve, took a
cargo of coal south on his boat, the _Mazatlan_, for delivery at
Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. He transferred it to lighters, which carried it
to the German cruiser _Leipzig_. Jebsen also is said to have planned to
pilot a ship to India, and being frustrated, made his way in disguise to
Germany, where he is reported to have been drowned by the sinking of a
submarine. The _Olsen and Mahoney_, a steam schooner, was loaded with
supplies, but after considerable controversy with customs officials, was
unloaded. In the early days of the war, the cruisers _Leipzig_ and
_Nürnberg_ lay off San Francisco. The _Leipzig_ put to port for supplies
which were granted in quantities permissible under international law.
Efforts to supply still further quantities are alleged by the
Government.

One of the picturesque incidents of the provisioning, which reveals how
minutely Captain Boy-Ed looked after finances and sets forth other
phases of his work on the high seas, as directed from No. 11, Broadway,
is revealed in the piratical cruise of the good ship _Gladstone_,
rechristened under German auspices _Marina Quezada_. Her owner, when she
bobbed into the view of Captain Boy-Ed, was a Norwegian syndicate; but
what money was behind that group it has not been possible to learn.
Under the name of _Gladstone_, the ship had plied between Canada and
Australia; but shortly after the outbreak of the war she put into
Newport News. Then Captain Hans Suhren, a sturdy German formerly of the
Pacific coast, appeared in New York, called upon Captain Boy-Ed, who
took most kindly interest in him, and then departed for Newport News.
Here he assumed charge of the _Gladstone_.

“I paid $280,000 in cash for her,” he told First Officer Bentzen. After
making arrangements for his crew, he flitted back to New York, where he
received messages in care of “Nordmann, Room 801, 11, Broadway, N. Y.
C.” Meantime, in consultation with Captain Boy-Ed, the captain received
instructions to erect a wireless plant on his ship—the equipment having
already been shipped to the _Marina Quezada_—and to hire a wireless
operator. Boy-Ed handed Suhren a German naval code book, gave him a map
with routes marked out and sailing instructions that would take him to
the South Seas, there to await German cruisers. Food supplies, ordered
for a steamer which had been unable to sail, were waiting on the piers
at Newport News and Captain Boy-Ed ordered them put on the _Marina
Quezada_. Two cases of revolvers also were sent to the boat. In a like
manner, it may be observed, ships on the Pacific had been equipped
secretly with arms and wireless.

Again Suhren went back to his boat, kept the wireless operators busy,
hurried the loading of the cargo, which was under the supervision of an
employé of the _North German Lloyd_, and needing more money before
sailing in December, 1914, he drew a draft for $1,000 on the
_Hamburg-American Line_, wiring Hachmeister, the purchasing agent, to
communicate with “Room 801, 11, Broadway,” the office of our friend
Boy-Ed.

Prior to his departure, the skipper had difficulty with the registration
of his ship. Though he insisted he owned her, a corporation in New York
whose stockholders were Costa Ricans were laying claim to ownership, for
they really christened her, and got provisional registration for her
from the Costa Rican minister in Washington. It was necessary, however,
in order for the ship to get permanent registration, to go to Port
Limon, Costa Rica, and register there. So hauling down the Norwegian
flag, that had fluttered over the ship as the _Gladstone_, Captain
Suhren ran up the Costa Rican emblem. Then, having loaded his ship and
having obtained false clearance papers stating his destination as
Valparaiso, based upon a false manifest, sailed for Port Limon. But the
Costa Rican authorities declined to give Suhren permanent papers, and,
accordingly, being without authority to fly any flag and in such status
not permitted under international law to leave port, Suhren was in a
plight. He waited, however, until a heavy storm came up one night, then
quietly slipping his anchor, he sped out into the high seas, a veritable
pirate. Finally, as he neared Pernambuco, he ran up the Norwegian flag,
put into port and got into such difficulties with the authorities that
his ship was interned. His supplies never reached the raiders, and
Boy-Ed, at No. 11, Broadway, learned from Suhren of another fiasco.
Suhren is supposed to have been taken prisoner to Canada.

Had the _Hamburg-American_ officials carried out their part of the
enterprise by means of the false clearance papers—and the same applies
to Boy-Ed—a guest of the nation and to others engaged in the
project—they would have put the American Government in the position of
officially endorsing their work of deceit and stealth. “Is it a nice
thing,” asked Prosecutor Wood, “to have this Government endorse the lies
of these defendants?”

Boy-Ed, furthermore, violated the clause of _The Hague Conference of
1907, which says: “Belligerents are forbidden to use neutral ports and
waters as a base of naval operation against their adversaries.”_

QUEER WIRELESS CODES

Another operation that appealed to Captain Boy-Ed’s ingenuity was the
use of the wireless to frustrate the enemy. He had given implicit
instructions to Skipper Suhren in regard to the use of the wireless.
Members of the crew of the _Sacramento_ are accused of breaking the
Government seal and using the radio plant. The Government officials also
found such extensive misuse of the German-owned wireless plants in
America that they were obliged either to close them down or take them
over. The Sayville, Long Island, plant, finally was taken over and
operated by the government.

CUTTING IN ON MESSAGES

But Boy-Ed delighted in circumventing the Federal authorities. A few
instances have been published, but there remain hundreds of cases which
the Federal radio inspectors have uncovered. To Chief Flynn of the
Secret Service and Charles E. Apgar, an inventor, much credit is due for
detecting one ingenious method used by Boy-Ed and others for sending out
wireless messages. Apgar, an enthusiastic wireless operator, spent much
time “listening in” to the messages sent every night from the wireless
plants at Sayville, Long Island, to Germany. Finally he hit upon the
scheme of recording the splash and splutter of the radio in a
phonograph. After perfecting his device he began to “can” the Berlin
messages—coming and going—every night. Then reeling off these messages
on his phonograph, he would study again and again the dots and dashes of
each word. He observed that messages had been repeated by the Sayville
operator, that numbers were thrown in at intervals and finally that
between words there were gaps of varying lengths—all means undoubtedly
of sending messages in code—a new language of science invented by the
Germans. Many messages were sent by Boy-Ed, himself. It was after a
thorough study of these canned messages that the government began to
operate the Sayville plant itself.

FRAUDULENT PASSPORTS

Like von Papen, Boy-Ed was under orders to send spies to the
adversaries’ countries, to make arrangements for naval reservists to
return to Germany, all of which required the use of fraudulent
passports. While there have been charges that Germany had a factory for
forging passports and while the _New York World_ charged, at the time of
Boy-Ed’s recall, that he had dealings with a gang of forgers and
counterfeiters, who made passports, there is evidence that the naval
attaché did pay money to German reservists, who procured passports
fraudulently. One of these men was Richard Peter Stegler, a Prussian,
thirty-three years old, who had served in the German Navy, and
afterwards came to this country to start on his life work. Before the
war he had applied for his first citizenship papers; but his name had
not been removed from the German naval reserve list.

“After the war started,” says Stegler, a well-dressed young man with
rather stern features, “I received orders to return home. I was told
that everything was in readiness for me. I was assigned to the naval
station at Cuxhaven. My uniform, my cap, my boots and my locker were all
set aside for me, and I was told just where to go and what to do. But I
could not get back at that time and I kept on with my work.”

Stegler then became a member of the German secret service in New York.
“There is not a ship that leaves the harbour, not a cargo that is loaded
or unloaded, but that some member of this secret organization watches
and reports every detail,” he said afterwards. “All this information is
transmitted in code to the German Government.” In January, 1915, if not
earlier, Stegler was sent to Boy-Ed’s office, and there he received
instructions to get a passport and make arrangements to go to England as
a spy. Boy-Ed paid him $178, which he admits, but denies that it was to
buy a passport. Stegler immediately got in touch with Gustave Cook and
Richard Madden, of Hoboken, and made use of Madden’s birth certificate
and citizenship in obtaining a passport from the American Government.
Stegler has pleaded guilty to the charge and the two men were convicted
of conspiracy in connection with the project. Stegler paid $100 for the
document. Stegler, Cook and Madden each served a term on Blackwell’s
Island.

“I was told to make the voyage to England on the _Lusitania_,” continued
Stegler. “My instructions were as follows: ‘Stop at Liverpool, examine
the Mersey River, obtain the names, exact locations and all possible
information concerning warships around Liverpool, ascertain the amount
of munitions of war being unloaded on the Liverpool docks from the
United States, ascertain their ultimate destination, and obtain a
detailed list of all the maritime ships in the harbour.’”

NEW YORK, THE CENTRE FOR SPIES

“I was to make constant, though guarded inquiries, of the location of
the Dreadnought squadron which the Germans in New York understand was
anchored somewhere near St. George’s Channel. I was to appear as an
American citizen soliciting trade. Captain Boy-Ed advised me to get
letters of introduction to business firms. He made arrangements so that
I received such letters and in one letter were enclosed some rare stamps
which were to be a proof to certain persons in England that I was
working for the Germans.

“After having studied Liverpool, I was to go to London and make an
investigation of the Thames and its shipping. From there, I was to
proceed to Holland and work my way to the German border. While my
passport did not include Germany, I was to give the captain of the
nearest regiment a secret number which would indicate to him that I was
a reservist on spy duty. By that means, I was to hurry to Eisendal, head
of the secret service in Berlin.”

Stegler did not make the trip because his wife learned of the enterprise
and begged him not to go. He also had been detected by Federal Agent
Adams and was placed under arrest in February, 1915, shortly after he
decided to stay at home. In his possession were all the letters and
telegrams exchanged between him and Boy-Ed, none of which, however, said
anything about passports. There was one telegram from “Winko,” who was
Captain Boy-Ed’s servant.

LODY SENT TO DEATH

Stegler also said that he had been told that Boy-Ed previously had sent
to England Karl Hans Lody, the German who in November, 1915, had been
put to death as a spy in the Tower of London. Lody also had been in the
navy, had served on the Kaiser’s yacht and then had come to this country
and worked as an agent for the _Hamburg-American Line_, going from one
place to another.

Still another man who had a fraudulent German passport was a German
naval reservist, who had shipped as a hand on the freighter _Evelyn_
carrying horses to Bermuda. On one trip that he took, practically all of
the horses were poisoned and were lost. He, however, was arrested by
Federal authorities on the charge of using the name of a dead man in
order to get an American passport.

In passport matters and the handling of spies, Captain Boy-Ed was more
acute and more subtle than his colleague, von Papen. Nevertheless, the
Government officials succeeded in getting a clear outline of his
activities. It seems quite likely that after the arrest of Ruroede in
December, 1914, when suspicion was directed to von Papen as the
superintendent of the passport bureau, the management thereof was
switched to Boy-Ed. The exposure of Boy-Ed’s connection with Stegler
made it necessary for the German Government to change its system once
more.

Boy-Ed, as has been shown, had supervision of naval affairs and matters
pertaining to the sea. He issued information to the Press bearing on
Germany’s conduct of her naval warfare. He made pleas for an embargo on
the export of arms and ammunition. He received from Count von Bernstorff
all information which the Ambassador obtained bearing on that question,
and, on one occasion, the Count sent him a list of the countries which
had forbidden the export of war supplies.

The conviction throughout the country has been steadily growing, since
the exposure of von Papen’s methods, that Boy-Ed was not an innocent
associate of the military attaché. The Federal authorities, in fact,
have unearthed a large amount of evidence to show active participation
by Boy-Ed in these enterprises, for to him they simply were part of the
war of Germany on her enemies. Colonel Roosevelt, who has made a special
study of Germany’s crimes on neutral territories, has expressed the
sentiment of Americans in a speech at the Academy of Music, Brooklyn, on
January 30, 1916, in these words:

“The German and Austrian Governments through their accredited
representatives in the embassies here have carried on a campaign of bomb
and torch against our industries. The action our government should have
taken in view of this campaign was not action against Dumba, von Papen
and Boy-Ed, but the holding of the German and Austrian Governments
themselves responsible for every munition plant that was blown up or
damaged.”

The roll of Boy-Ed’s associates, as indicating his knowledge of plots of
violence, is illuminating. He employed Paul Koenig for a series of
secret activities. He was said to have known Captain Eno Bode, dock
superintendent of the _Hamburg-American Steamship Line_ in Hoboken, and
Captain Otto Wolpert, another dock superintendent, both of whom, it is
charged, were involved in a bond conspiracy.

Boy-Ed and von Papen, in many secret conferences on board the
_Vaterland_ in Hoboken, where they were sure of no eavesdroppers,
developed details of their war on America and the campaign of violence
on land and on sea to stop the carrying of munitions of war to England,
France and Russia. Von Papen superintended the campaigns on land and
projected his work upon the seas. The moment, however, the schemes, as
papers found in von Igel’s possession prove, had anything to do with the
sea, he consulted Boy-Ed.

INVOLVING AMERICA IN THE MEXICAN MUDDLE

One of the causes for the summary dismissal of both Boy-Ed and his
confrère, von Papen, from America, was their schemes to involve this
nation in a conflict with Mexico, to bring about American intervention
in that country and thus prevent America’s supply of explosives and
rifles from being used exclusively against Germany. Boy-Ed, prior to the
war, had opposed the suggestion of intervention, but he changed his mind
when he began to appreciate the fact that America in arms would take the
powder, high explosives and rifles that Europe was buying. He always was
a warm supporter of General Huerta, for, when von Papen was in Mexico,
getting acquainted with Huerta, Boy-Ed, addressing his colleague there,
wrote: “I was especially pleased by what you wrote about Huerta, the
only strong man in Mexico. In my opinion, Admiral von Hintze was not
quite right in his estimate of him. For Huerta can scarcely be such a
drunken ruffian as Hintze often implies, if only because a chronic
drunkard could hardly have kept so uncertain a position under such
uncommonly difficult circumstances. I met a number of people in Mexico
City who were in close touch with Huerta, and without exception they all
spoke very highly of the President’s patriotism, capacity and energy.”

PLANNING WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES

Of Boy-Ed’s schemes to do his share in preparing, from a naval
standpoint, for war between Germany and the United States, of the plots
to create disorganization in the American seaports and to render the
German merchantmen useless to Americans, much evidence has been gathered
by Federal investigators. Of his methods in getting information secretly
from the Navy Department and from battleships, of his placing spies,
ready for any deed of daring, on the warships, a greater amount of
information has been learned than ever will be made public by the
Government. Suffice it to say precautions already have been taken
against those schemes. All these formed the basis for the decision to
hand Boy-Ed his passport. Summing up Boy-Ed’s work for the Kaiser in
America, accordingly, we have his supervision of the shipment of
supplies to the German raiders, his activities in fraudulent passports
and his co-operation with Dr. Dumba. When President Wilson requested the
Kaiser to recall his military and naval representatives, he made the
announcement that his action was due to “their improper activities in
military and naval affairs,” a double-barrelled assertion applying to
both men.

Captain Boy-Ed, on his return home, received from the Kaiser the
decoration of the Order of the Red Eagle, third class, with sword, in
“recognition of his services in the United States.” He would
undoubtedly, for “those services,” except for the immunity granted him
as a member of a diplomat’s official family, be facing prison in the
United States with Dr. Karl Buenz and other officials of the Kaiser’s
own steamship line.

When the German spy system was working smoothly and giving gleeful
satisfaction to its builders, the War Staff in Berlin sent to America a
masterly schemer who threw sand into the machinery. He was Franz von
Rintelen, a finished product of the Prussian war-mould. He had been born
with a supreme confidence in the conquering destiny of Germany. He had
been trained for his work in that order of things and he had
subordinated to the needs of the Empire, his business, wealth, brains,
energy—yes, his very soul. _He had been ordered here to undertake, with
the aid of Germany’s agents, the enormous task of isolating commercial
and financial America, as a base of war supplies, from Europe._ In
trying to accomplish his aim, _he sought to wreck American institutions
and to use the United States as a battlefield in a rear attack on the
Allies_.

Highly imaginative, keen of foresight, a master of detail, a superb
organizer, and conscienceless in the execution of his plans, he seemed
like a man so perfectly trained for the emergencies of war that under no
circumstances would he lose his poise. And yet when put face to face
with his own misjudgments and forced to take measures to retrieve
himself, he lost the very quality which his training was meant to
insure—a carefully calculating eye and a cool head. His strategic moves
consequently proved to be ridiculous errors that led to his own
confusion.

In a brief sojourn in America he moved in the shadows of mystery,
employing the vast network of German spies, hiring Americans, using
thugs and setting in motion manifold plans for gigantic enterprises that
involved the entire governmental, industrial and financial organizations
of the country. When he went away, his work unfinished, his aims
unaccomplished and a large amount of money wasted, there remained a
multitude of trails, isolated facts and incidents suggesting his
activities. Seizing these clues, Federal agents under A. Bruce Bielaski
and William M. Offley, began to dig up von Rintelen’s associates, to get
their stories and to obtain proof of his doings—his letters and
telegrams, his agents’ speeches and the instructions which they tried to
carry out. Taking these facts, Raymond H. Sarfaty, then Assistant United
States Attorney in New York, working with patience and skill, fitted the
details together into a series of great mosaics—depicting conspiracy,
fraud, purchases of strikes, bribery, perjury, forgery, sedition, almost
treason. Those pictures show how hidden forces—Americans and Germans
working in secret—during von Rintelen’s presence in this country,
plotted to cause commotions in political, industrial and financial
spheres, and all to aid Germany in derogation of our rights.

PICTURES OF VON RINTELEN

In every one of them, von Rintelen looms as the audacious plotter, man
of mystery, user of a hundred aliases, supreme egotist, a vaunted aid to
the Kaiser and a Teutonic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In one picture, you
see him in exclusive homes on Fifth Avenue, a “mould of form”—scarcely
thirty-eight years old, slim and upstanding, with stalwart shoulders,
the bearing of an aristocrat, short stubborn hair, a moustache with a
like independent twist, and greenish-grey eyes that sparkled defiance.
He garbed himself in the cut of London’s most artistic tailors and
selected the colours of his ties, his shirts and his socks with a view
to perfect harmony. He was the “glass of fashion” on the tip-toe of
courtesy, beguiling with his gallant quips and charming his hearers by
his fascinating stories and comments.

Other pictures show him under an assumed name, in conference with
conspirators. He might meet them secretly in offices, or in hotels, or
he might pick them up in an automobile, whizzing along at full speed and
handing gold to hirelings who for a price were ready to undertake some
criminal job. He might be seen dining in one of Broadway’s most alluring
cabarets, ordering the rarest of wines and boasting of his schemes to
accomplish in America what would be equivalent to Germany’s capture of
Paris.

VON RINTELEN’S VALUE

And who is this man? He is so important that when made a prisoner in
England, the Kaiser offered to exchange for the nobleman any ten British
prisoners that King George might select. He is so esteemed in Germany
that large amounts of gold were placed at the disposal of Americans to
go to England and by hook or crook effect his escape. Rumour has sought
to make him a relative of the Hohenzollerns. Another report has put him
down actually as the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. But persons, who knew
him well in Berlin, saw him in the United States and at the prison camp
in England, say he is von Rintelen. He is said to be the son of a former
member of the Kaiser’s Cabinet; but the German “Wer Ist’s” does not
credit that man with a son. Still, von Rintelen married into one of the
wealthiest families in Berlin, his wife being a member of the von
Kaufmann family, and he had a commanding social position in Germany.

He is wealthy in his own name, his fortune being estimated at
$15,000,000. He is a director of the Deutsche Bank and the National Bank
für Deutschland. He is, or was, a member of the big financial group of
Germany, and as such was one of the Emperor’s financial advisers. His
knowledge and advisory sphere included England, the United States and
Mexico; and of the financial and industrial resources of these countries
he was supposed to have a broad and comprehensive knowledge. He had
influence also because he was a friend of the Kaiser and a close
associate of the Crown Prince.

A SECRET AGENT’S TRAINING

Von Rintelen’s work was cut out for him in his early youth. His
qualifications were considered and he was assigned to studies in
preparation for the tasks he gave promise of performing most
efficiently. At the gymnasium and the university, he divided his time
between economics and finance. In addition, he spent considerable time
in the navy, finally became a Captain-Lieutenant, and as such qualified
for the General Navy Staff. He, too, was one of von Tirpitz’s young men
chosen for definite lines of naval secret service and financial
campaigns that would be of value to the further development of the navy.

Finance may have been a mere cloak for the real nature of von Rintelen’s
naval assignments abroad, or his secret service training may have been a
necessary part of his training for a high place in the Teutonic
financial world. Graduating from the university and finishing the
prescribed part of his tutelage under von Tirpitz, he went to London
where he obtained employment in a banking house. While there, he was
learning not only finance, but he was a part of that branch of Germany’s
spy system that radiated through banking institutions to the various
concerns allied therewith. Under the guidance of wise heads in Berlin,
he grasped far more facts about banking conditions than ever were
suspected by his English associates.

Next he came to America. He entered the banking house of Ladenburg,
Thalmann & Co., spending a short time there and then moving to other
banking institutions, some of which were branches of English and
Canadian banks. He obtained letters of introduction from big bankers to
bankers scattered throughout the United States. He grew in knowledge,
learned American banking methods, the connections of banks with big
industries, and sought to make affiliations of benefit to German
institutions. He served, meantime, as Germany’s naval representative at
the exercises in commemoration of John Paul Jones. His entrance into New
York’s society was paved for him through the German Embassy’s friends.
He was a guest at social functions where only the most favoured were
invited. He was accepted as a member of the New York Yacht Club. He was
entertained at Newport. He made friends among the biggest men in New
York; for he was attractive, a remarkable cosmopolite, extremely
learned, versed in international questions, speaking English, French and
Spanish fluently, and, above all, he was an inimitable raconteur. He
showed himself at all times an ardent pro-German, arguing for a union of
Germany and the United States in the event of war.

Through his wide acquaintanceship and innumerable avenues open to him,
he gained information about America such as only the most favoured
business men in America possess. He left this country finally saying he
would go to Mexico to investigate conditions there, hoping that
eventually he might be able to open Mexican and South American branches
of a German bank. But before going, he had acquired insight not only
into American banking connections with Canada, but also with Mexico. He
knew the big financial groups interested in the development of the
natural resources of those countries and he knew thoroughly America’s
actual and industrial preparedness for war.

BACK TO GERMANY

So, returning to Berlin in 1909, he again took up his banking business
and continued his close affiliation with von Tirpitz and the Big Navy
crowd, setting forth the facts he obtained and making recommendations
for the development of Germany’s secret service in America. He became
more prominent socially than ever, making it a point to entertain
Americans. When his American acquaintances turned up in Berlin, they
invariably found von Rintelen a most cordial and extravagant host. He
obtained introductions at court for some; and he introduced others to
the Crown Prince. When the war started, Americans who besought von
Rintelen for help in the exciting days, found him most obliging.

But before circumstances that brought von Rintelen to this country
arose, he received several Americans. One was a wealthy American
manufacturer who owns a large factory in France. Being on intimate terms
with von Rintelen, he called upon him and explained how the plant had
been closed down with the invasion of the Germans, causing a big
financial loss. He appealed for von Rintelen’s intercession to have the
concern continue business. He got von Rintelen’s promise of aid but
returned to the United States before any definite action was taken as
von Rintelen was too crafty to make any move before he was ready to ask
his compensation.

Von Rintelen was ordered, in January, 1915, the General War Staff to
come to America. It had become necessary to send a man here to buy
supplies of copper, rubber and cotton and to take extensive
precautionary measures against the Allies getting war munitions from
America. He was scornful of American facilities for filling Allies’
orders and backed by the authority of the War Staff and a group of
Berlin’s ablest bankers, he made arrangements for his trip. Knowing he
must elude the English, he obtained the Swiss passport of his sister
Emily V. Gasche, who was with her husband in Switzerland. He erased the
“y” of Emily and had the passport altered in other ways to suit his
needs, travelling as Emil V. Gasche, a Swiss citizen. As he bade goodbye
to his wife and two little daughters, he talked arrogantly of a quick
trip to America past English spies, promised big accomplishments for the
Emperor and an early return home.

Von Rintelen, confident and daring, is said to have gone first to
England. After gathering facts about the manufacture and importation of
munitions of war and England’s method of increasing the supply, he
disappeared suddenly and is believed to have gone to Norway. When he was
on the high seas due to arrive in New York on April 3 he sent a wireless
message to the American owner of the factory in France, asking an
interview at the pier. Von Rintelen, acting at what was the time best
suitable to himself, had succeeded in having the American’s factory
opened. He wished, on landing, to give him this information and in
return get help in the plans that he wished to put into effect. As the
American did not go to the pier, the nobleman, always alert and
suspicious, hired a detective who spent a week investigating. He finally
met this man, told him in part the purpose of his trip to America, and
used him as a means of getting introductions to men who would prove
valuable to him.

JEKYLL AND HYDE

Herr von Rintelen, having dropped the guise of E. V. Gasche, immediately
began to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll, visiting the Yacht
Club, and calling upon wealthy friends, proved a more charming, more
delightful von Rintelen than ever, meeting influential business men who
were selling supplies to the Allies. He was presented to society matrons
and débutantes, whom, by flattery and subtlety, he sought to use to
further his purposes. To these, he was Herr von Rintelen in America on
an important financial mission. But occasionally, he made wild boasts of
plans. As a typical Mr. Hyde he sought information from von Bernstorff,
von Papen, Boy-Ed, about the production of war supplies. Astounded by
what he learned from them and corroborated from other sources, he began
to realize how utterly he had misjudged America’s potential resources
and what a blunder he had made in his statement to the General War
Staff.

Within a brief time von Rintelen realized, with a vividness that chilled
him, the capacity of America to hand war materials to the Allies and her
rapidly increasing facilities to turn out still more ammunition and
bullets. The facts which he obtained struck him with triple force
because of the knowledge he had about the war moves. _It is upon a basis
of the supplies of munitions in the Allied countries, particularly
Russia, as von Rintelen knew them, that his acts are best judged and
upon this basis only can sane motives be assigned to the rash projects
which he launched._

He understood these three striking facts thoroughly: (1) that the German
drive on Paris had failed because in two months the Germans had used up
ammunition they confidently expected to last a half a year; (2) that the
English and French in the west could not take up the offensive because
ammunition was not being turned out fast enough; and (3) that the
Russian drive on Germany and Austria would soon fail for lack of arms
and bullets.

In the winter and spring of 1915 the Russians had made a drive into
Galicia and Austria, hurling the Austrians and Germans back. In May they
had advanced victoriously through the first range of the Carpathian
mountains. Meantime the German General Staff, as von Rintelen knew, was
preparing for a big offensive against the Russians. The War Staff knew
of Russia’s limited capacity to produce arms and ammunition, knew that
during the winter with the port of Archangel closed by ice, her only
source for new supplies lay in the single-track Siberian railway,
bringing material from Japan. He realized that by spring the Russian
resources would well nigh be exhausted, and that with the beginning of
the projected Austro-German offensive the crucial necessity lay in
shutting off supplies from Russia. He knew that England and France could
not help her, and, therefore, the American source must be cut off
absolutely. But spring had already come, ships were sailing for
Archangel laden with American explosives, shells and cartridges.

A PLOTTER AT WORK

Von Rintelen, startled by his mistaken estimate of American industrial
preparedness, and frantically determined that Russia’s supplies must be
crippled, that the cargoes going to France and England must be held
back, began mapping out his gigantic enterprises. These conditions were
the big compelling motive; for von Rintelen’s reputation was at stake.
_The work for which he had been so carefully trained was bound to fail
unless he acted quickly._ Desperate measures were necessary. With that
situation in view he exchanged many wireless communications with his
superiors in Berlin—messages that looked like harmless expressions
between his wife and himself in which the names of Americans who had
been in Berlin were used both as code words and as means to impress upon
the American censor their genuineness. He obtained as a result still
greater authority than he had received on the eve of his departure from
Germany.

In his quick fashion, he often boasted, and there is foundation for part
of what he said, that he had been sent to America by the General Staff,
backed by $50,000,000 to $100,000,000; that he was an agent
plenipotentiary and extraordinary, ready to take any measure on land and
sea to stop the making of munitions, and to halt their transportation at
the factory or at the seaboard.

_He mapped out a campaign, remarkable for detail, scope, recklessness
and utter disregard of American laws._ These plots proved von Rintelen,
or the German General Staff, a master of thoroughness and ingenuity, for
he took into consideration the psychology, the customs, habits, and
reported weaknesses of Americans.

_His schemes in brief were (1) the purchase of war materials for Germany
as a means of inflating prices; (2) the fomenting of war between the
United States and Mexico as a means of compelling the American
Government to seize all available war munitions; (3) a campaign of
publicity and the arousing of public sentiment to bring about an embargo
on arms shipments; (4) strikes in American industries; and (5) a series
of acts of violence against factories and munition-carrying vessels._

Von Rintelen rapidly mobilized his forces of money and men. He went
first to the Trans-Atlantic Trust Company, where he was known by his
right name and where he arranged his finances. Money was transferred
from Berlin through the usual German channels—large corporations with
German affiliations—and placed to his credit in various banking
institutions. He deposited large amounts in the Trans-Atlantic Trust
Company and large amounts, totalling millions, in other banks. He next
rented an office on the eighth floor of the same building that housed
the trust company and had a telephone running to it through the
switchboard of the banking institution. He registered with the county
clerk as the E. V. Gibbon Company, a purchaser of supplies, signing his
name to the document as “Francis von Rintelen.”

Using the name of Fred Hansen, he received persons in that office. There
he summoned to his help a part of the German espionage system. He did
not hesitate to call upon any German for assistance, and thousands of
willing workers were at his disposal. If he wished a naval reservist, he
knew where to get him; if a member of the landsturm was needed for any
detail, he was called. From Boy-Ed, he received data about the sailings
of ships; from von Papen, facts about munition factories. He met Koenig
and assigned numerous tasks to him, particularly the location of
munition factories, their products and exports.

His first task, merely incidental in importance compared with his other
aim, was the succouring of the Fatherland and the blocking of the Allies
through purchases. He participated with influential Germans in the
scheme of buying the leading munition factories. He attempted the
running of the British blockade. Dr. Albert also was buying goods, but
von Rintelen, working on a much larger scale, commensurate with his
fertile imagination, and employing a staff of agents, took charge of the
shipments of raw products and food. Carrying on these purchases through
E. V. Gibbon Company, using the name of Gibbon and Hansen, he had as aid
Captain Steinberg, a German naval officer. _Through him, von Rintelen
chartered ships, purchased materials, caused false manifests to be made
for the cargoes, and arranged for shipment to Italy and the Scandinavian
countries, whence they were trans-shipped._

IN THE MAZE

This officer, it is charged, had dealings with Dr. Walter T. Scheele,
the alleged manufacturer of fire bombs, and arranged with him to mix
lubricating oil, so urgently needed in Germany, with fertilizer, and
ship the oil as “commercial fertilizer.” The oil was to be extracted by
a chemical process in Germany. Von Rintelen, through Steinberg,
importuned Dr. Scheele to ship munitions as farming implements, giving
him $20,000 for that purpose. Dr. Scheele did bill the shipment as
requested, but he did not lie because he shipped farming machinery,
taking a fat commission. Again von Rintelen was hoodwinked. The officer,
von Igel and Dr. Scheele have been indicted on a charge of conspiring to
defraud the United States by false manifests.

“_The British blockade_,” von Rintelen used to boast with purring pride,
“_is a myth. I can send to Germany all the goods that I wish._”

So skilfully did he plan—he was a master of detail and a consummate
artist in concealing his movements—and so many different aliases did he
employ, that at first he attracted no attention, and after a time his
doings were credited to a German Red Cross lecturer. Because of the
German method of switching agents to cause confusion to the enemy’s
spies, it is probable that some Red Cross agents did figure in the
purchases. The investigations of the Federal authorities, however, have
laid to von Rintelen the schemes carried on from April to June, 1915.

_Von Rintelen boasted that he bought provisions, amounting to $2,000,000
a week, for shipment to Germany through Denmark. More than $25,000,000
was consumed by von Rintelen in his blockade-running, many of the boats
being seized by British warships._

_Von Rintelen also took a flier at the most elusive and puzzling
diversions of war-brokers, namely the purchase of the 350,000
Krag-Jorgensen rifles which the United States Government had condemned
just prior to the outbreak of the war._ Around those rifles was centred
more intrigue and deceitful scheming than was incited by almost any
other single article connected with the war. Even after the Government
had announced emphatically that they were not for sale, and _President
Wilson had told one banker: “You will get those rifles only over my dead
body_,” every belligerent tried to get them.

Von Rintelen heard that by bribing Government officials he could obtain
the guns. He was stirred; for if an official would accept money for one
thing, he could be influenced to do other things to help Germany.
Sending out agents, he offered to purchase the rifles. He encountered a
man who put a price of $17,826,000 on them, part of the amount being
intended, von Rintelen was told, as bribes of several millions of
dollars for Government officials.

Things looked bright to von Rintelen. “_So close am I to the
President_,” said the agent who promised to deliver them, “_that two
days after you deposit the money in the bank you can dangle his
grandchild on your knee_.” But von Rintelen apparently came to realize
that he was dealing with the secret agent of another government, who was
laying a trap for him, and he quickly withdrew.

THE “LUSITANIA” GOES DOWN

_Then the Lusitania was torpedoed._ Americans who were connected with
von Rintelen’s schemes to ship supplies to Denmark and to buy the Krags,
became alarmed over the prospect of war with Germany. They cut off
negotiations with him and fearing possible government investigations,
they began to talk. Part of the activities of a mysterious German of the
name of Meyer and Hansen reached both the Government officials and
newspapers. A reporter on the New York _Tribune_ who got a “tip” of the
real facts and who hunted for von Rintelen, frightened the German agents
from the office of the E. V. Gibbon Company. Steinberg skipped back to
Germany disguised as a woman carrying a trunk full of reports showing
the necessity of concerted action to prevent the Allies from getting
American war materials.

Von Rintelen slipped away to an office in the Woolworth Building. On
disclosing something of his schemes to men there, he was quickly ordered
out. He moved to the offices, in the Liberty Tower, of Andrew M. Meloy,
who had gone to Germany hoping to interest the German authorities in a
scheme having the same purpose as von Rintelen’s. In Meloy’s office he
posed as E. V. Gates—still retaining the initials of E. V. G. So
effective was von Rintelen’s “getaway,” that he was reported to have
gone abroad as a secretary. Those newspaper stories again gave von
Rintelen cause to chuckle over his cleverness and his elusiveness, and
encouraged him to still more reckless projects. He was reporting
meantime to Berlin by means of apparently innocuous commercial messages
sent by wireless, and also by cablegrams _via_ England and Holland.

Von Rintelen, always scheming to prevent arms and ammunition from going
to the Allies, reached into Mexico to use that country as another angle
from which to harass the United States. _He planned_—and this project
was a part of his vast campaign—_to embroil Mexico and this country in
war, or to cause such a jumble of revolutions within the Mexican borders
that the United States would be compelled to intervene. He pictured this
country in war with Mexico, a mobilization of the regular army and the
militia, an assembling of the American fleet. That would require a large
part of the output of the munition factories. The horses that were being
shipped to the Allies, the arms, the clothing for soldiers, the shoes
and the hundreds of other things which American factories were busily
turning out, would be required for a large American army moving south of
the Rio Grande._

STIRRING UP MEXICO

He seized, therefore, upon President Wilson’s opposition to General
Huerta, and he planned to start a revolution in Mexico with the aim of
returning Huerta to power and thus placing the United States in a
position where it would be compelled to go into Mexico and restore
order. The United States would not be in a position then to dictate
terms for the settlement of the _Lusitania_ controversy, would seize the
war supplies going to the Allies, and, incidentally, would be hampered
for the remainder of the European war.

Ensconced in Meloy’s office, von Rintelen had as his daily associate a
man of his own age and of much the same appearance, tall, slender,
splendidly dressed, namely, a Mexican of German ancestry and a banker of
Parral. These two, who had known each other for years, met in New York.
The banker was versed in Mexican affairs, and the young German-Mexican
knew some of von Rintelen’s plans which had been set in operation before
the latter’s arrival in America.

German agents had been sent to Barcelona, Spain, to confer with General
Victoriano Huerta, former dictator of Mexico, and dazzle him with the
prospect of returning to power. Von Rintelen appreciated keenly the fact
that Huerta in Mexico virtually meant a declaration of war by the United
States, and, therefore, he wanted to put him there.

Having coaxed the old warrior to the United States, von Rintelen got
Boy-Ed and von Papen to map out Huerta’s plans. The two attachés, with
von Rintelen standing, invisible, far in the background and pulling the
strings, had many secret conferences in New York hotels, overheard by
Federal agents. They developed the plans for Huerta’s dash into Mexico,
and the uprising of Mexicans to support him. Von Rintelen, Boy-Ed and
von Papen made trips along the Mexican border, arranged for the
mobilization of Mexicans, for the storing of supplies and ammunition and
for furnishing funds. Von Rintelen deposited in Cuban banks and in banks
in Mexico City more than $800,000 for Huerta’s use. When the aged
general, stealing away from New York, reached Texas, he was nipped,
while attempting to jump the international border.

_While the Huertista faction was amply financed, it was only one of
seven groups, five of which were in Mexico, to which von Rintelen passed
out money._ Striving to stir up trouble and still more trouble for the
United States, he poured gold upon gold into Mexico, hoping that
President Wilson, nervous and harassed, would raise a big army for a
march.

Next, as an English banker making a special study of Mexican railway
securities, he called one day upon Villa’s representative in New York,
and discussed the Mexican situation with him, and afterwards he sent
money to Villa. He gave support to Carranza. He financed Zapata, and he
started two other small revolutions in Mexico. He gave $350,000 to one
agent who hurriedly left the country carrying the cash with him. He sent
$400,000 travelling through devious channels to help one of the
revolutionary parties; but that money was recovered by von Rintelen’s
superiors after a most exciting scramble. The reckless agent is reported
to have expended $10,000,000 in his Mexican enterprises, and airily he
said he would spend $50,000,000 if necessary.