December 27th, 1917
Received by James Padgett.
I am here, Bismarck:
If convenient I should like to write a few lines tonight in reference to the war and the prospects of its ending. I am Bismarck and as I have not written you for some time in reference to the subject I thought it advisable to write a few words.
As I told you in my last communication, the cause of the ending of the war would not be any decisive battle but the deplorable condition of the people of Germany and of its allied conditions, and what I then said I repeat with renewed emphasis, for since I wrote the conditions of these people in the way of starvation and deprivation of those things that make life worth living have greatly increased with no prospects of betterment so long as the war continues.
The Emperor and his co-workers have endeavored by every false statement that they could make to convince the people that the war would soon end in victory for the fatherland, and that very soon they would be relieved of the distress and starvation, and that peace and good fortune would soon come to them. And with a remarkable credulity these people have believed their representatives and have endeavored to endure all these privations and hardships with patience and confidence. But the time has arrived when this faith and hope have become shaken and in many instances in many parts of Germany and Austria the people have come to a realization that this peace and relief from their deplorable condition is no nearer than they were months ago, and that less certainty attends the promises of the rulers and military parties. And as a consequence dissatisfaction has arisen and the desire to save and make secure the life of the nation has changed into a desire to preserve and save from hunger and destruction the individual workers of that nation.
And this feeling has become so fixed with many of these people they are commencing to think, and are thinking that they are being sacrificed in order to forward the plans and ambitions of their rulers and also that they as individuals are not objects of consideration in the thoughts and schemes of these rulers.
Starvation is prevalent in the land and despair has taken the place of hope with many of these people; and there is slowly creeping into the minds of many the thought that they must arouse themselves and take the control of affairs into their own hands and to such an extent does this thought possess these people, and among them many people who think for themselves, that you must not be surprised to hear at anytime that the people have revolted and that the power of the inhabitants have been overthrown, repulsion of the movement of Russia, although controlled and guided by men of more intelligence and responsibility.
Yes, this ending of the war is coming and the people will rule, and in doing so will make the best terms of peace with the Allies that can be made.
Only a little while longer and you will see the fulfillment of my predictions. No great battle on the western front will be fought as the world now expects, for before that time arises the German army of the Kaiser will have become the army of the people, and many will abandon the fighting line and return to their homes and devastated farms and houses.
It is all so sad when I think of what Germany will become and what it might have been had not the mad Kaiser and his country of ambitious guards and advisers let their ambition run away with their duty and obligation to the true interests of Germany.
As I have said before, the Kaiser will die and his followers will die or be scattered and their names and horrible deeds will become dark memory of things that destroyed the national life and the individual lives of many of the promising men and youth of the fatherland. If I were the Bismarck of a short time ago this calamity of my nation would cause me to worry and regret and deplore the day that the mad boy continued to succeed his good father on the throne; but now I view these things in a different light and see that out of all these calamities will arise a happier Germany and people free and not subject to the iron bonds of any one man or family, with rights supposed and proclaimed to be God-given. Yes, Germany will suffer and decline as a world power but in the place of this power and insatiable desire for aggrandizement and aggression will come peace and happiness and a greater spiritual development among the people.
Well, I have written enough and the handwriting is on the wall and its prediction cannot be escaped from. Soon, soon, soon the end will come and with it the salvation of more nations than one.
I am not a prophet, but in the law of cause and effect nations are unthroned as well as individuals, and as I can see the causes that are operating; I can also see the effects that must follow, and the consummation will be that Germany must fall, never to arise again as a great nation that she has been in the past, but a purer, happier and more loving nation than ever before.
I will not write more.
American lives will not be sacrificed to any great extent, for the great battles of the war have been fought.
Goodnight, Your Friend,