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August 11, 1914

In the afternoon we are herded out in troops of ten and taken before the Provost Marshal one by one. I put on the most innocent mien and the following conversation ensues:

“Where are you going?”

“To Shanghai.”

“Why did you leave Manila?”

“My firm was forced to discharge me on account of bad business conditions.”

“Did you know that Germany and England are in a state of war?”

“Certainly I know.”

“Are you in any military relationship with your country?”

“No, I am not German, but Swiss.”

“But you are registered on the ship as a German.”

“Oh yes, I am of German parentage and therefore consider myself as German; but I was born in Switzerland and am a citizen of that country.”

This is just a little too much for the gentleman and I am sent to someone higher up, who continues to question me.

“Have you a birth certificate?”


“Any other papers?”

“Oh yes.”

With this I hand him my cedula (receipt for personal
tax in Manila).

“Hm, is this authentic?”

Exit the high personage, After a little while he returns. “You may go; we will give you the benefit of the doubt.”

My companions in misery are not as lucky as I. They must have wondered to what circumstances my freedom could be ascribed. I go to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and secure a ticket to Shanghai on the China, which is supposed to leave tomorrow. Then I take a room at the Astor Hotel. There is plenty of time until evening, so I cross the street to a German place for a glass of beer. Here I meet some American sailors from whom I hear that one of their officers is leaving for Manila the next day. I sit right down to write a letter to a friend of mine in which I recount my experiences, and beg him to report the matter to the German Consul to prevent the
taking of more prisoners. [This letter did not arrive in
Manila until December.]