Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/24

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AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

part of a connected, definite story. The several individuals that moved upon the scene now appear as players in a carefully staged, superbly managed drama. I see clearly enough now that Germany had made all her plans for world dominion and that the country to which I had been sent as American Ambassador was one of the foundation stones of the Kaiser's whole political and military structure. Had Germany not acquired control of Constantinople in the early days of the war, it is not unlikely that hostilities would have ended a few months after the Battle of the Marne. It was certainly an amazing fate that landed me in this great headquarters of intrigue at the very moment when the plans of the Kaiser for controlling Turkey, which he had carefully pursued for a quarter of a century, were about to achieve their final success.

For this work of subjugating Turkey, and transforming its army and its territory into instruments of Germany, the Emperor had sent to Constantinople an ambassador who was ideally fitted for the task. The mere fact that the Kaiser had personally chosen Baron Von Wangenheim for this post shows that he had accurately gauged the human qualities needed in this great diplomatic enterprise.

The Kaiser had early detected in Wangenheim an instrument ideally qualified for oriental intrigue; he had more than once summoned him to Corfu for his vacations, and here, we may be sure, the two congenial spirits had passed many days discussing German ambitions in the Near East. At the time when I first met him, Wangenheim was fifty-four years old; he had spent a quarter of a century in the diplomatic corps, he had seen service in such different places as Petrograd, Copenhagen, Madrid,