Page 3728

3728 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

The treatment accorded these interned

persons was very lenient. Large and

comfortable camps were established for

their use. The prisoners were not compelled to work at anything contributing

to the Government's military activities;

they were permitted to communicate

with friends; and, if they chose to work,

they were paid wages. Furthermore, they

were allowed various amusements, and

stores and canteens were placed at

their disposal. The food served them

was good, and they were allowed to have

it cooked in their own way. At Hot

Springs in North Carolina the prisoners

built a German village which resembled

one of the picturesque corners in the

Black Forest of Germany.

Such treatment was all very well for

interned soldiers and sailors and persons of

that sort, but a great many Americans

felt that the Government dealt too leniently with spies and enemy propagandists.

Not a single spy or person active in the

work of destroying American lives and

property was executed during the entire

war, though some of them were undoubtedly guilty of compassing the death of

many Americans.

Beyond question there were many disloyal utterances, and some actual damage

was done by German spies and sympathizers in the way of blowing up

munition plants and causing accidents of

one sort or another. Still there were

fewer such outrages than most people

had expected. In fact, there were not

so many after we entered the war as

there had been before. That this was

true was due, in large measure, to the

effective work done by the United States

Secret Service, which nipped in the bud

many dangerous plots of which the general

public remained in ignorance.

There were also hundreds of "fake"

stories regarding the work of Teutonic

spies and sympathizers. Many of these,

considered in the cooler atmosphere of

post-bellum days, seem too absurd to

have gained credence. That they were

accepted by millions is evidence of the

hysteria that developed in those exciting

times. Perhaps the most ridiculous of

all was a story to the effect that President Wilson's private secretary, Tumulty,

had been found guilty of furnishing

secret intelligence to Germany and had

been shot as a spy. Every day Mr.

Tumulty performed his duties at the

White House, yet for weeks the story

of his supposed execution passed from

person to person over the country. In

the words of George Creel, Chairman

of the Committee on Public Information:

"Every fire, every explosion in a munition plant, every accident on land or on

sea, was straightway credited to the spy

system; if the cut in a child's hand

didn't heal quickly, then the 'Germans'

had put germs in all the court-plaster;

if any experiment in submarine or aircraft

factory failed, it was undoubtedly because

the 'spies' had tampered with delicate

mechanism or dropped acid on the wires;

if a woman's headache didn't yield to

remedies, then the 'Germans' had 'doped'

the particular pill or powder. I am not

saying that none of these things happened;

but what happened was out of all proportion to the dimensions of the mad

rumors that swept the country; yet

through it all the great, splendid majority

of America's 'aliens' stood fast, discharging

their full duty to the United States in

a manner that shamed the patriotism

of many an heir to the traditions of

Plymouth Rock."

Altogether it was found necessary to

arrest only 6,000 persons under personal

warrants. Many of these persons were

arrested on suspicion rather than because

actual proof had been obtained that

they were dangerous. Some were eventually released from internment camps on

parole. In the way of criminal prosecutions, 1,532 persons were arrested under

the Espionage Act, which prohibited disloyal utterances, propaganda, etc. Sixty five persons were arrested for making

threats against the President, ten for committing sabotage, and 908 indictments were

returned under the penal code with relation to conspiracy, most of these against

the Industrial Workers of the World.