Page 3727

3727 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

addition, there were some Bulgarians

and Turks, to say nothing of millions

of naturalized citizens from the Central

Powers and millions more of their descendants. There had been much uneasiness

lest trouble might be caused by this

population, particularly by the German

alien enemies. As already described, Germans in Germany had boasted that the

United States dare not go to war because

to do so would provoke civil conflict at

home, and a German official's statement

to that effect to Ambassador Gerard

had drawn from him his famous retort

regarding the 501,000 waiting lampposts.

It was deemed necessary to imprison

two classes of enemy subjects. The first

of these consisted mainly of members

of the enemy military and naval forces

and officers and seamen of enemy

merchant vessels in American ports at

the beginning of the war. Secondly, a

considerable number of alien enemies

were imprisoned because they were found

guilty of treasonable activities or were

suspected of such acts. A few German

sea raiders including, for example, the

Prinz Eitel Frederick, had taken refuge in

American ports prior to our entering

the war, and their crews had been interned

under international law. Very many of

the Teutonic prisoners were officers and

crews of the German steamships seized by

the Americans in 1917. The remainder

were aliens whose activities were considered

dangerous at the time of their arrest.

Some were men who had attempted, or were

suspected of attempting, to destroy munition plants, etc. In this class were included

a considerable number of Germans who

had been prominent figures in financial and

commercial circles or in art and learning.