Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/26

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
6
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

he believed, to rule the world. The great land-owning Junker represented the perfection of mankind. "I would despise myself," his closest associate once told me, and this represented Wangenheim's attitude as well, "if I had been born in a city." Wangenheim divided mankind into two classes, the governing and the governed; and he ridiculed the idea that the upper could ever be recruited from the lower. I recall with what unction and enthusiasm he used to describe the Emperor's caste organization of German estates; how he had made them non-transferable, and had even arranged it so that the possessors, or the prospective possessors, could not marry without the imperial consent. "In this way," Wangenheim would say, "we keep our governing classes pure, unmixed of blood." Like all of his social order, Wangenheim worshipped the Prussian military system; his splendid bearing showed that he had himself served in the army, and, in true German fashion, he regarded practically every situation in life from a military standpoint. I had one curious illustration of this when I asked Wangenheim one day why the Kaiser did not visit the United States. "He would like to immensely," he replied, "but it would be too dangerous. War might break out when he was at sea, and the enemy would capture him." I suggested that that could hardly happen as the American Government would escort its guest home with warships, and that no nation would care to run the risk of involving the United States as Germany's ally; but Wangenheim still thought that the military danger would make any such visit impossible.

Upon him, more than almost any diplomatic representative of Germany, depended the success of