Text Version

Berlin, March 20,1935.
Dear Mr. President:
In accordance with my promise of February 6, I am giving an exact
narrative of the conversation I had on March 15 with Karl von Wiegand,
for more than 25 years principal correspondent of the International
News Service in Central Europe.  Karl von Wiegand, as you may possibly
have heard, was a very strongly pro-German representative through the
Great War.  I have evidence that in March 1918, when the Allies thought
they were about to be defeated, Colonel House commissioned von Wiegand
to go to Sweden, remain a while and if conditions got worse, contact
with high German officials in the hope of making some sort of terms for
our Government.  This shows how critical things were at one moment and
how much confidence was placed in a German-American who was intimately
acquainted with von Hindenburg and others of the German General Staff.
Since the present regime began, von Wiegand has been very much
embarrassed, and Hearst has been even more embarrassing to him.  A
little more than a year ago he and George Vincent were guests at my
house, and he told us then how Hearst had subsidized Mussolini.  That
is why I gave you the statement of February 6. When von Wiegand came
the other day, I asked him if he was willing to give me the whole
story.  He said yes, provided the President and myself alone were to
have this information:
In 1924, Hearst sent Bertilli, one of his best correspondents, to Italy
for a series of articles designed to appraise accurately the Mussolini
movement. After a month or so of work, the first article was sent to
Hearst. It was plain enough that the verdict of Bertilli was not
The President,
The White House,
Washington, D.C.
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