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The German proposition to Huerta was submitted to him at a conference held in a Fifth Avenue hotel, at which there were present, besides Huerta and Rintelen, at least one former Foreign Minister of the Mexican Government and several other Mexicans whose names were household words south of the Rio Grande five years ago.
Von Papen was not at this conference, but he conferred subsequently with Huerta. Von Papen is said to have gone to the border in the Summer of 1915, and, with trusted German agents, made a close study of the situation from a military point of view.
Huerta took kindly to the German proposition, and a few weeks later he announced that he had decided to make New York his home, and rented a house on Long Island. This statement regarding a change of residence proved to be a ruse to throw the United States Secret Service agents off Huerta's track, for a few days after he moved to his Long Island home he disappeared. The Secret Service agents found him in Missouri, speeding on a limited train for El Paso, Texas, where it was learned he was to be joined by confederates and was to slip across the line near Juarez and start the new revolution, the purpose of which was to bring on a war with the United States. The Germans, it is said, had promised Huerta 10,000 rifles, a huge amount of ammunition, and a first credit of about $10,000,000 to finance the enterprise.
Huerta never arrived at El Paso. Instead, the Government agents intercepted him in New Mexico, near the Texas line,
and made him a prisoner. Pascual Orozco, a former Madero chieftain, who was also in the plot, was killed a few weeks later in trying to escape into Mexico. Whether or not Huerta ever confessed to the Federal authorities his part in the German plot has never been stated, but the impression is that he died in the jail at San Antonio without telling what he knew of the affair.
The arrest of Huerta and the subsequent investigation by the Secret Service agents resulted in the flight from this country of Rintelen. He sailed on a Holland-America liner on a fraudulent Swiss passport, and was arrested by the British when his ship called at Falmouth for examination by the British military authorities. He is still a prisoner of war in Great Britain, the place of confinement being, it is said, a prison near London.
A significant indication of the attitude of the Carranza Government toward Japan lies in the fact that about the time the Zimmermann note was due to be delivered at Mexico City the Mexican Government canceled orders for 20,000,000 rifle cartridges that had been let in this country and transferred them to Japanese munitions works. The ostensible reason given was the irksome regulation imposed by our Government in regard to deliveries.
It is stated that by March 10 there were 6,000 Germans in various parts of Mexico, all trained soldiers, and that the number is increasing rapidly by the departure from American cities of hundreds each week for Mexico.
as A German Plot to Infect Rumanian Horses and Cattle
Robert de Lazeu, a writer for the Paris Figaro, has collected the evidence tending to prove that the Germans, under protection of diplomatic immunity in time of peace, had introduced into Rumania certain explosives and microbe cultures intended to be used to blow up Ru. manian railways and infect Rumanian cattle and horses.
[This article is published without verification by the editor, and is pre
sented as an ex parte contribution.-EDITOR CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE] N the course of the Dobrudja cam try not at war-in a European capital, paign I had occasion to witness and diplomats and Military Attachés who verify many Bulgarian horrors and were in social intercourse every evening
German atrocities; but none of these with Ministers or high officials were seems to me to have equaled in infamy spending their days, with sleeves rolled the discovery that was made on Oct. 5, up, in preparing explosives to blow up 1916, at 11 o'clock in the morning, in the their hosts, and deadly microbes to degarden of the German Legation at stroy the horses attached to the vehicles Bucharest, of a case of powerful ex in which they rode. plosives and a whole set of tubes and Bucharest has a Prefect of Police little boxes of bacillus cultures, intended whom all the capitals might envy if they to spread in Rumania two dreaded epi knew him-M. Corbesco. Several weeks demics-anthrax and glanders.
before Rumania's entry into the war M. The fact is so unheard of, so
Corbesco had ascertained that explosives strous, so unprecedented in the annals were being introduced into the countryof civilization and even of barbarism, coming surreptitiously from the Central that I confess I did not give it entire Empires—and that the diplomatic chancredence at first. The newspapers pre nel was being used for this purpose. One sented it in an incomplete and cursory day a policeman came and reported to the fashion. The Austro-German press de Prefect that he had found where the exnied it, and denies it still, sometimes plosives were. They were at the Gerwith violence, sometimes with an air of man Consulate. M. Corbesco was stuperather strained levity. The newspapers fied, but he kept his counsel and bided his of neutral countries, especially those of time. America, remained skeptical and con- . After the mobilization M. Corbesco was cluded that such machinations passed the anxious to search the legation. It relimits of probability. How could one quired long parleying. The American blame them?
Legation, which is intrusted with the This is why it seems to me to be im protection of the German Legation, inportant to ascertain all the circumstances terposed purely formal difficulties. Finalof an act which the mind and even the ly, on Sept. 22, at the request of the imagination refuse to admit, and to de Rumanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, vote all the more care to the proofs be the American Legation delegated its cause the facts involved seem incredible. First Secretary, Mr. Andrews, to be
I have seen all the apparatus, all the present at the search. poison bottles, discovered in the legation Poor Mr. Andrews! Whoever knows garden. I have had in my hands all the Mr. Andrews, so obliging and correct, official reports and all the records in thin as certain scruples and long as an this unprecedented case. I am going to English novel, can guess with what try to present them in such a way that melancholy that diplomat presented himthe German press shall be obliged to self at that ceremony, for which the implore its “good old God” for inspira peaceful and distinguished manners of tion to invent new lies, and that no one the Chancelleries had not exactly fitted can longer doubt that in 1916—in a coun him. He took his overcoat, his hat, his
gloves, his diplomatic phlegm plus his American phlegm, and, covered with all these phlegms, betook himself to the German Legation--very phlegmatically. There he found M. Corbesco, Chief of Police, and M. Rafaël, Chief Inspector. All three entered the premises, then the garden. They found there one Michel Markus, guardian, and one Andrei Maftei, domestic, both authorized to occupy the legation after the departure of the German Minister, their employer, in the capacity of guards.
“I know,” said M. Corbesco, addressing Michel Markus, “ that certain boxes have been buried in this garden, and that you have helped to place them here."
Michel Markus admitted that this was true.
“Do you know what these cases contain?”
“ You are going," said the Prefect, " to show me immediately where these things are buried, and you are going to help me dig them up."
Markus and Maftei went to seek spades and picks, and set themselves to dig in the garden border along the wall of the house on the side next to Cosma Street. At a depth of about twenty inches, between the eighth and ninth tree from the corner of the house, they soon brought to light, first, fifty Bickford fuses, then fifty metal boxes of a long, rectangular shape.
“ That is not all,” insisted M. Corbesco. “No, Monsieur le Préfet."
And the docile Markus led M. Corbesco to the fence that separates the legation garden from the adjoining premises on Cosma Street. He paused before a heap of fagots and firewood. Markus removed this and began a new excavation, which shortly brought to light a rectangular box wrapped in white paper and bearing the seal of the Imperial German Consulate at Kronstadt (Brachow) in red wax -also the following labels:
Durch Feldjäger! Ganz geheim ! Nicht werfen!!!
Bucarest. Fur Herrn Kostoff, S. Hochwohlgeb. Dem
Oberst u. Militarattache an der Kaiserlich-Bulgarischen Gesandtschaft zu Bucarest, Herrn Samargieff.
[Translation: " By orderly. Absolutely secret. Not to be thrown! For Mr, Kostoff. To his Honor, Mr. Samargieff, Colonel and Military Attache at the Imperial Bulgarian Legation in Bucharest."]
Within this first envelope was found another envelope of white paper bearing in red pencil the words: Ganz geheim !
Durch Feld. An den königlichen Oberst und Militarattache, Herrn von
[Translation: " Absolutely secret. Ву orderly. To Mr. von —
royal Colonel and Military Attache."]
The half-effaced name was easily deciphered. It was that of Colonel von Hammerstein, Military Attaché at the German Legation, just as Samargieff was that of the Military Attaché at the Bulgarian Legation. In all this business Kostoff was merely a sort of tool and gobetween, ordered to carry the ignominious package from one legation to the other.
The box was opened and within it was found, on a bed of wadding, a typewritten note in German, as follows:
Anbei 1 Fläschchen fur Pferde und 4 für Hornvieh. Verwendung wie besprochen. Jedes Rörchen genügt für 200 Stück. Wenn möglich den Tieren direct in das Maul, sonst in Futter. Bitten um kleinen Bericht über dortige Erfolge und falls Resultate zu verzeichnen, wäre Anwesenheit von Hr. K. für einen Tag hier Erwünscht.
[Translation:“ One vial for horses, four for cattle. Use as agreed. Each tube is enough for 200 animals. If possible, to be placed di. rectly in the mouth, otherwise in the fodder. Please inform us of the results in a brief note, The presence of Mr. K. is desired here for one day.)
The text of this outrageous document was immediately countersinged by the Chief of Police and by Mr. Andrews, representative of the Central Empires in the circumstances.
In the box, under the wadding, were found six little boxes of white wood, of oblong form. In each little box was a glass tube containing a yellowish liquid, whose nature remained to be ascertained.
How had these objects been buried here-by whom—under whose orders ? This was to be learned by questioning Markus and Maftei, and it was done on that same day of Oct. 5 in the presence of Mr. Andrews, who became more and more depressed, in the hotel of the
United States Legation. I have been able to procure the exact text of the declarations of these two men. That of Michel Markus is as follows:
My name is Michel Markus. I am a German subject living at Bucharest in the premises of the German Legation, where I have been employed for twenty-two years. Regarding the facts on which you interrogate me, namely, what I know concerning the discovery of the fifty fuses and of the fifty boxes containing explosives, and concerning the box sealed with the seal of the German Consulate at Kronstadt, all found buried in the garden of the German Legation at Bucharest, I make the following declara; tion:
On the day before, or the very day of the departure of the German Diplomatic Corps from Bucharest, Mr. von Rheinbaden, counselor of the legation, gave me the order to burn the flags and everything that remained not locked up. The cases containing the objects above mentioned were in a room of the cellar, where they had been brought from the German Consulate before the day on which the decree mobilizing the Rumanian Army was published. When I called the attention of Mr. Rheinbaden to these cases he told me it would be necessary to bury them.
After the departure of the diplomats I asked Mr. Krüger, Chancellor of the legation, what I should do with the cases, and he replied that they must be buried. Then Mr. Krüger, Andrei Maftei, and I took them and buried them in a ditch dug by us at the place where you found them. I did not know what these cases contained; I only know that Mr. Krüger advised me to handle them carefully. Regarding the box wrapped in paper and bearing the seal of the Imperial Consulate, I recall that on the day before the mobilization, or on the day itself, Mr. Adolf (I don't remember his family name, but I know that he was Assistant Military Attaché, serving with Colonel Hammerstein, the Military Attaché) brought me this box and told me to bury it in the garden. I helped for a moment to dig a hole, but, as I was very busy with my own work, it was finally Mr. Adolf himself who buried the box. He did not tell me what was in the box, which he held in his hand. I do not know whence or by whom this box was brought to the legation; I saw it for the first time on the day when Mr. Adolf ordered me to bury it in the garden.
After having read over this declaration and pronounced it correct, the undersigned has hereto placed his signature.
(Signed) MICHEL MARKUS. When Andrei Maftei was questioned regarding the same facts he made the following declaration: My name is Andrei Maftei, and I am a na
tive of Transylvania ; I was employed at the German Legation until the day when Dr. Bernhardt left it to go and live at 8 Temisana Street.
Concerning the explosives, I know that after the departure of the diplomats-I don't remember the day-Mr. Markus told me to take the case and carry it into the garden, where it was buried by Mr. Markus and Mr. Krüger; then I went on to attend to my work. I know nothing more, either about this case or about the white box with a red seal which has been found by you at the back of the garden near the fence, under a pile of wood.
After having read over this declaration and pronounced it correct, the undersigned has hereto placed his signature.
(Signed) ANDREI MAFTEI. What was the nature of the explosives and tubes of poison discovered in the garden of the German Legation? The Bureau of Pyrotechnics of the Rumanian Army and the Institute of Pathology and Bacteriology at Bucharest were asked to ascertain this. The results of their analyses proved beyond doubt that the affair was no “ simple joke,” as one German paper ventured to state—without joking.
Here is the report on the explosives written by Lieut. Col. Philipesco, Director of Pyrotechnics, and Lieutenant A. Pecuraru, chief of the Laboratory Service:
The explosives discovered at the German Legation and sent to us for examination consist of:
Fifty cartouches made of rectangular zincplate boxes of the dimensions of 20 by 7 by 5 centimeters; three of the larger surfaces each present points for priming, in order to permit of the discharge of the cartouche regardless of its position.
These cartouche mines, each weighing one kilogram, (two and one-half pounds,) bear the label, “Donarit I. Kavalerie Sprengpatronen. Sprengstoff A. G. Carbonit Hamburg Schlebusch.'"
The explosive contained in these boxes belongs to the class of shattering explosives, which have as their base nitrate of ammonia and trinitrotoluene (trotyl) with its less nitrous derivatives.
In destructive force this explosive is in the category of dynamite and “ Kieselguhr," one kilogram developing 700 grand calories. Regarding this destructive effect it is sufficient to mention that 200 grams of the said explosive, that is to say, one-fifth of the contents of any one of these boxes, is sufficient to blow up one meter of a railway. The fifty kilograms could destroy a bridge pier or a large building, could be used to mine a railway, &c.
have followed. The Germans hoped that it would spread to other cavalry units. Cavalrymen whose horses are glandered are soon dismounted.
“In like manner the anthrax cultures, if thrown into the food of cattle or horses, would have given some of these the anthrax fever, which kills more surely and rapidly than glanders. The bacilli of glanders and anthrax are not only fatal for horses and cattle, they are also fatal for human beings, who can contract these diseases in caring for the animals or handling infected meat. The Germans, by infecting the animals, hoped also to communicate the disease indirectly to men.
“ Our enemies, who pervert everything, even science, have thus attempted to make of the most beneficent of
sciences—that of bacteriology-a clandestine weapon.
And here is the report of Dr. Babès, Director of the Institute of Pathology and Bacteriology, under date of Oct. 5 (18):
Having completed the testing of the vials of cultures received with your letter No. 143,003, ated Sept. 24, I have ascertained as follows:
1. The vial covered with red paper contained a culture of the bacillus of anthrax, which has been identified by derivative cultures and by inoculations of animals.
2. The vial covered with white paper contained a culture of the bacillus of glanders, which has been identified by derivative cultures and by injections applied to animals.
Comment of Professor Roux In an
article in the Bulletin des Armées the eminent director of the Pasteur Institute at Paris, Dr. Roux, accepts the foregoing charge as proved, and makes the following comment:
“These microbes have been identified by Professor Babès, director of the Bacteriological Institute at Bucharest. Besides, a label in German indicated the method of using these cultures; they were intended for cattle and horses. One vial of glanders was sufficient to infect 200 horses.
“ It is very certain that if the contents of one of these tubes had been turned into the trough from which the horses of a cavalry squadron drink, most of the animals would have been infected, and, with the help of the fatigue of the campaign, an epidemic of glanders would
This incontestable and criminal ability, however, is not as formidable as one might imagine. It is not as easy to create an extensive epidemic among men or animals as the wickedness of our adversaries desired. To sow the disease is not enough; circumstances must lend themselves to the propagation of the microbes. It is probable that the number of human and animal victims in this case would not have been very great, for we now possingularly effective
for checking the extension of these maladies."