Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/25

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
5
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

Athens, and Mexico, and he had been chargé at Constantinople, several years afterward coming there as ambassador. He understood completely all countries, including the United States; his first wife had been an American, and Wangenheim, when Minister to Mexico, had intimately studied our country and had then acquired an admiration for our energy and progress. He had a complete technical equipment for a diplomat; he spoke German, English, and French with equal facility, he knew the East thoroughly, and he had the widest acquaintance with public men. Physically he was one of the most imposing persons I have ever known. When I was a boy in Germany, the Fatherland was usually symbolized as a beautiful and powerful woman—a kind of dazzling Valkyrie; when I think of modern Germany, however, the massive, burly figure of Wangenheim naturally presents itself to my mind. He was six feet two inches tall; his huge, solid frame, his Gibraltar-like shoulders, erect and impregnable, his bold, defiant head, his piercing eyes, his whole physical structure constantly pulsating with life and activity—there stands, I would say, not the Germany which I had known, but the Germany whose limitless ambitions had transformed the world into a place of horror. And Wangenheim's every act and every word typified this new and dreadful portent among the nations. Pan-Germany filled all his waking hours and directed his every action. The deification of his emperor was the only religious instinct which impelled him. That aristocratic and autocratic organization of German society which represents the Prussian system was, in Wangenheim's eyes, something to be venerated and worshipped; with this as the groundwork, Germany was inevitably destined,