2: August, 1919
<< 1: Introduction || 3: September, 1919 >>
August 7, 1919. Captain Gore, with myself and two orderlies, left Paris at
9.10 P.M. in Mr. Hoover's private car. Colonel Loree, my aide, Lieutenant Hamilton, and
the rest of the detachment, remained in Paris and are to follow with the least possible
delay. My other aide, Lieutenant Montgomery, was left in Paris with my Cadillac limousine
and chauffeur, as my permanent liaison with the Supreme Council.
August 8, 1919. This morning we found ourselves just across the Swiss border,
where we were held up for five hours while they were deciding whether or not our party,
some of whom had no passports, could cross Switzerland. In any event they insisted that we
wear civilian clothing. I therefore borrowed a blue coat of Mr. Hoover, a lurid purple tie
from his stenographer, and a golf cap from somebody else, completing my demobilization by
removing my spurs. Captain Gore did likewise, after which they decided we could proceed in
uniform, under charge of a Swiss policeman, to the Austrian border. We arrived at the town
of Buchs, very near the frontier line, about six o'clock, where we were joined by Captain
Gregory, Mr. Hoover's representative in this part of the world, and where, after an hour,
we were allowed to proceed on our way.
August 9, 1919. This morning we found ourselves in the town of Linz, Austria,
and from there proceeded to Prague, where we arrived about two o'clock in the afternoon,
Here Captain Gore and myself took a drive all over the city, which is most interesting and
full of antiquities. We had a very good dinner at the Municipal Restaurant, and at nine
o'clock joined Captain Gregory in his car, Mr. Hoover proceeding to Warsaw, and our train
being headed towards Vienna.
August 10, 1919. We arrived at Vienna about noon, lunched at the Hotel
Bristol, and then had a long talk with Admiral Troubridge of the British Navy, who is in
command of the Danube River, and Mr. James, the American representative on the Danube
Commission, both of whom gave me valuable information as to the situation in Hungary. In
the afternoon Captain Gore and I took an automobile ride all over the city of Vienna, and
at 9.10 P.M. I left with Captain Gregory for Budapest. I had previously sent a telegram to
Colonel Yates, the American Military Attaché at Roumanian Headquarters, stating that I
was leaving Vienna, that I hoped to arrive early the following morning in Budapest, and
that I expected the Roumanian Commander to facilitate my progress and work, in every way
within his power.
August 11, 1919. We arrived in Budapest at daylight and were met at the
station by Colonel Yates and Lieutenant-Colonel Causey, who represents the Peace
Conference, in charge of railroads. From the station we went to the Hotel Ritz where I
opened an office in Room 17. Shortly thereafter I was called upon by General Gorton, the
British representative on the Inter-Allied Military Mission. General Gorton and I planned
a campaign, and word was sent to the Roumanian General Holban(1)
that I would be at the Ritz Hotel at 4.30 that afternoon. He took the hint, called and was
given some fatherly advice, At 5.30 in the afternoon the Archduke Joseph(2),
the temporary president of the Hungarian Republic, asked to see me and came into the room
scared nearly to death, holding in his hand what purported to be an ultimatum from the
Roumanian government requiring an answer by 6 o'clock, which meant within one-half hour.
The ultimatum was to the effect that Hungary must yield to all Roumanian demands, giving
up all of her war material and supplies of whatever nature, agree to back Roumania in
taking away the Bánát country(3)
from the Jugo-Slavs, and, finally, that she must consent to political union with
Roumania, with the King of Roumania as ruler of Hungary, along the same lines as the
former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. He was told not to be afraid, and looking at me and
trembling, he replied-"I am not afraid; I am a soldier just like you," which
left-handed compliment was passed by without remark. He asked what he should do in regard
to the ultimatum and was informed that in view of the fact that it had not been presented
by the Roumanian Plenipotentiary he could send word to the sender to go plumb to Hell.
This relieved the strain on the Archducal physiognomy to a great extent, and he retired in
good order. After his departure I proceeded to the Royal Palace, which is on the Buda side
of the river, and selected the best large suite in the building for Headquarters of the
American Mission; and then suggested to General Gorton that he go over and take what was
left for the British Mission. Later in the evening General Mombelli, the Italian
representative, arrived, called upon General Gorton and myself, and agreed to the plans I
had outlined as to the organization of the Mission.
August 12, 1919. The French General not having yet arrived, Generals Gorton,
Mombelli, and myself met in my office in the Ritz Hotel and organized the Inter-Allied
Military Mission on the basis of having daily rotation of chairmanship instead of allowing
seniority to govern in the case, thereby securing national equality in the Mission. It was
also agreed to make English the official language of the Mission. At the afternoon
session, M. Constantine Diamandi(4), the Roumanian
Plenipotentiary, or High Commissioner to the Peace Conference, was introduced to the
session of the Mission. In view of the fact that it was decided to run the rotation of
chairmanship in alphabetical sequence, the American representative, myself, presided at
this first meeting. M. Diamandi was read the instructions of the Supreme Council to the
Military Mission, and asked if Roumania recognized them as valid and was prepared to
follow the suggestions of the Mission. He replied that he could give no answer until he
had communicated with his government. It was then intimated to him that much time had
already been lost and it was expected that the Roumanian Government would proceed to
comply immediately with the wishes of the Mission. On two different occasions he waxed
furious, jumped up from his chair and started to leave the room, but, finding that his
progress was not impeded, he calmed down and returned to his chair. He finally left
apparently self-mollified, and promised to give us a reply as soon as possible.
Colonel Loree arrived this afternoon with a detachment of twenty-two men, and joined us
at the Hotel Ritz, the detachment being sent to the Hotel Bristol.
August 13, 1919. General Graziani, the French representative, arrived last
night, but was not seen until. this morning. He had come with the full intention of
presiding over and dominating the Mission. He had prepared a message to be sent to each of
the other Inter-Allied Generals, to report to him at Hotel Bristol at 10 o'clock this
date, but it was suggested to him that he send no such message to the American
representative as it might cause difficulty. He, therefore, came to our regular meeting
room and introduced himself. Through the medium of General Mombelli, there was explained
to him in French the plan under which the Commission had been organized prior to his
arrival. He could not conceal his chagrin, and explained that he considered that seniority
should govern in the question of chairmanship, adding that he had all kinds of that
article to show, and that his government had undoubtedly expected him to be presiding
officer. I told him that neither my government nor any other government had notified their
representatives of anything of the kind, and that in my opinion it was not right that
accidental individual seniority should outweigh the question of national equality in
representation. He reluctantly agreed to the proposition, stating, however, that he must
inform his Government that he was not to be permanent presiding officer. This, of course,
was acceded to. Immediately thereafter M.. Diamandi, accompanied by General Mardarescu,
the Commander in Chief of the Roumanian army, and General Holban, the Roumanian commander
in Budapest, appeared before the Mission. General Gorton, the British representative, was
President of the Day. They agreed to take steps immediately to alleviate the suffering
from famine in the city of Budapest, and stated that they desired to coöperate with us as
being allies. When they left, M. Diamandi asked if he could see me in the afternoon, was
told he could do so, came at 3 o'clock and expressed supreme regret for his display of
anger on the day previous, alleging that he thought I was prejudiced against the
Roumanians. He told me, incidentally, that the Roumanian government was prepared to accept
as valid the instructions of the Military Mission from the Supreme Council for the Peace
August 14, 1919. General Graziani, the French representative, was chairman
this date. M. Diamandi, in view of his conversation with me on the preceding day and in
view of the fact that he had made similar remarks to General Mombelli, was asked to appear
before the Mission, and upon appearing was asked if Roumania was prepared to accept as
valid the instructions of the Military Mission. He immediately resumed his policy of
sparring for wind and replied that he was of the personal opinion that Roumania would
acknowledge the Mission as the authorized representative of the Supreme Council, but that
he could not as yet give the answer of his government.
In the afternoon all the members of the Mission went over to the Royal Palace, were
shown the offices selected by the American and the British representatives, and took what
was best of that left. Afterwards there was a short meeting at which I presented a
memorandum requiring prompt action on the part of Roumania in complying with the
instructions of the Military Mission. Part of it was immediately adopted and copies sent
to the Roumanian commander.
Lieutenant Hamilton arrived about midnight this date.
August 15, 1919. At 8 o'clock this morning, I found the Hungarian Foreign
Minister and two others in my office stating that they had understood that I had
authorized Captain Gregory to tell them that on account of the overthrow of the Socialist
government in Hungary and the practical reestablishment of the Hapsburg dynasty by the
assumption of the reins of government by the Archduke Joseph, there were in progress
revolutions in both England and America, and to state that the Supreme Council could not
stand for a moment for the continuation of the Archduke in power. They were old that
Captain Gregory had been given no such authority and, furthermore, that he had said
nothing of the kind. They were told, however, that the Supreme Council could not accept or
acknowledge the de facto Hungarian government as sufficiently permanent in
character to justify making a treaty of peace, and that he Peace Conference was most
desirous of having a permanent popular government established in Hungary.
The Mission met at 10.30 A.M., with General Mombelli in the chair. The Archduke burst
into the meeting, followed by his Foreign Minister, to submit a list of his new cabinet.
As it seemed to be becoming a daily practice of the Archduke to come to the Commission for
pap of some kind or another, I stepped over to General Mombelli and told him quietly that
I must insist that the Mission continue with its session, instead of having its time taken
up with Archducal oratory. His Highness was then invited to leave, and the Mission
proceeded with its session. The Hungarian Minister of War was called in, and made a report
on the former and present police organization of the city of Budapest. He was followed by
the Roumanian General, Holban, who agreed to turn over to the Hungarians 6,000 arms for
organizing a Municipal Police Force. When questioned, he stated that he at this time had
10,000 men in the city proper and 5,000 in the outskirts. He was told to make the reverse
arrangement -to place 10,000 in the outskirts, and to place his 5,000 along the perimeter
of the city proper, which he agreed to do. He admitted that, although there were at
present 1 ,800 Hungarian police in Budapest, they had arms for only 600.
There was received this night from the American Mission in Paris a long telegram
containing the Roumanian reply to the Supreme Council's ultimatum, and the reply of the
Supreme Council to the same, to the effect that the Roumanian papers were interpreted as
meaning a yielding on the part of Roumania to the demands of the Peace Conference.
August 16, 1919. I established my office this date in the Royal Palace, in the
room which had been used by the Empress.
It being my turn to preside at the meeting of the Mission, I read to my associates the
telegram from the Supreme Council, submitting to them likewise the draft of a paper which
I proposed to place immediately before the Roumanian Commander in Chief. This was agreed
to, and the latter, accompanied by General Mardarescu and his Chief of Staff, appeared
before the Mission at 4.30. The text of the paper handed them was as follows:
1: (a) Cease at once requisitioning or taking possession of any supplies or property of
whatever nature except in zones authorized by this Mission, and then only of such supplies
as may be necessary for the Roumanian Army, and that this Mission be informed as to the
kind of supplies which will be considered necessary.
(b) The Roumanian Commander in Chief to furnish without delay a map clearly showing the
requisition zones, and also indicating thereon the disposition of his troops.
© Return at once to its owners all private property now in the possession of the
Roumanians, such as automobiles, horses, carriages, or any other property of which the
ownership is vested in individuals.
(d) To arrange for the gradual return to the Hungarian Government of the railroad, post
and telegraph systems.
(e) Make no further requisitions of buildings, stores or real property and evacuate as
rapidly as possible all schools, colleges, and buildings of like character.
(f) Cease at once all shipments of rolling stock or Hungarian property of any kind
whatsoever, to or towards Roumania, and stop and return to Budapest any rolling stock or
property already en route or held at outside stations.
(g) Limit supervision over public or private affairs in the city to such extent as may
be approved by this Mission.
2: The Roumanian government to furnish this Mission not later than August twenty-third
a complete list of all war material, railway or agricultural material, live stock or
property of any kind whatsoever that has been taken possession of in Hungary by Roumanian
The Roumanians received this, agreeing to carry out instructions, and formally
acknowledged the Inter-Allied Military Mission as being the authorized representative in
Hungary of the Supreme Council of the Peace Conference. While at the meeting they were
told that not even Roumanian contact patrols could push on towards Szeged, and that they
must not extend their occupation of Hungary. They were also given a few more bitter pills
which they swallowed with apparent complacency. I wired the American Mission in Paris this
evening that in my opinion the Roumanians were doing their utmost to delay matters in
order to complete the loot of Hungary(5)
and that as far as I could see their progress up to date in complying with the Supreme
Council's desires, was negative rather than positive.
This evening Colonel Loree, Captain Gore, Lieutenant Hamilton and myself moved to our
new quarters, the residence of Count Edelsheim, where we have most commodious and almost
palatial quarters, with a new Hungarian chef and butler. The Count, the Countess and their
daughter occupy the rear portion of the building and give us complete sway over the dining
room, the breakfast rooms, the parlors, our bedrooms, etc., and have only the entrance in
common with us.
August 17, 1919. The Mission met this morning at 10.30 A.M., with General
Gorton presiding. Yesterday afternoon we had sent word that we desired to have the Prime
Minister(6) and the Food Minister report to us at our
meeting, but instead, the entire ministry came, -less any Food Minister. They explained
that the position of Food Minister was at present vacant, that they
ad had four different Food Ministers during the past week or ten days, and that they
were now seeking one who could speak correctly all known languages. They were told we did
not care for a polyglotic minister, but wanted one with some nerve and intelligence, who
could fill the job and use an interpreter. They were also told that we expected the
Hungarians and Roumanians to collaborate and accomplish something, instead of spending all
their time and the Mission's time over mutual recriminations. I prepared a letter to the
Roumanian Commander in Chief, which was adopted by the Mission, directing him, beginning
tomorrow, to submit daily a report of the progress made by the Roumanians in complying
with the instructions received by them from the Mission.
August 18, 1919. To go back into the original history of the situation(7): Shortly after the establishment of the Republic of
Hungary in succession to the kingdom as part of the Dual Monarchy of Austro-Hungary, the
bolshevists under Béla Kun obtained possession of the control of the Government and
started a Reign of Terror. They painted red the windows and many of the statues of the
magnificent Parliament buildings, and could have painted the roof had their supply of red
paint not been exhausted. They arrested and executed hundreds and even thousands,
confiscated for distribution everything of value, turned out a currency called white money
on account of its color and to distinguish from the blue-colored currency existing prior
to that time, and in general started to run things along the same lines as the Bolshevists
in Russia. In order to keep up the national spirit, they started a war against the
Czecho-Slovaks and beat them. They started another war against the Roumanians and were
driving them back when, about the first of August, the Roumanians assumed the offensive,
invaded Hungary and marched without opposition into and took possession of Budapest.
Promptly after their arrival, the Soviet government was overturned by fifty gendarmes and
the Archduke Joseph, a cousin of the Emperor Karl, appointed Governor(8),
which position he still holds. The Roumanians on their part immediately began to loot
Hungary, removing all automobiles, locomotives, cars and other rolling stock, took
possession of and shipped to Roumania all the arms, munitions, and war material they could
find, and then proceeded also to clean the country Out of private automobiles, farm
implements, cattle, horses, clothing, sugar, coal, salt, and in fact everything of value;
and even after they were notified by the Supreme Council of the Peace Conference to cease
such requisitioning, they continued and are still continuing their depredations. They have
taken possession of all branches of the government, all railroad, telegraph, telephone and
postal systems, and at this date have all Hungary completely terrorized and at their feet.
Their arrogance, however, has taken a turn and they are no longer treating the Military
Mission with the same practical contempt as in the beginning.
Our offices located in the Royal Palace are gorgeous in extreme. This magnificent
building must have cost millions to erect and furnish, and no pains or expense were
spared. The walls of each room are covered with the same cloth with which the furniture of
the room is upholstered, except the magnificent ball rooms, the walls of which are solid
marble, and the details of which beggar description.
At this morning's session, Horthy(9), who had been
Admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, stated he was prepared to reorganize a Hungarian
Army and have an effective force ready within four days after he was given permission to
proceed. The Roumanians have as yet made no report of any progress in complying with
instructions from this Mission.
Last night Colonel Loree and I dined with Admiral Troubridge of the British Navy, and
At this afternoon's session, there was quite a fight between the American and the
Italian representatives over the question of having the Roumanian Commander himself attend
our sessions or be represented by an authorized staff officer. General Mombelli insisted
that this should be done by correspondence, the matter laid out in detail in a letter, and
then sent to the Roumanian Commander in Chief, to await his reply. I told him, in view of
the fact that all such letters had then to be translated either from English to French or
French to English, and that no subject could be fully covered and explained in a
communication, that I must insist that the Roumanian government be suitably represented at
our Mission when we so desired. He said that it was very hard to require an army commander
to stop his other most important work to attend a session. I replied that at present the
Roumanian-Hungarian question was the most serious in Europe, that each of our governments
had sent a general, accompanied by his staff and a detachment, to devote all their time to
this question, and that I did not give a damn whether it were the Roumanian Commander in
Chief or the Roumanian King, and I insisted that they be subject to call when needed. A
letter was sent to the Roumanian Commander in Chief requesting him to come or be
represented at tomorrow morning's session.
August 19, 1919. At this morning's session, matters were much more quiet,
although the Roumanians, as usual, won a point by sending as their representative an
officer who was authorized to give information on only two points, namely the question of
food supply and the question of the organization of the Municipal police of Budapest.
General Holban, the Roumanian
Commander of Budapest and vicinity, is the representative and apparently knows as much
about the military game as does an Igorrote about manicuring. On the fifteenth, when he
was before the Mission, he stated that he had 10,000 troops in the city and 5,000 in the
suburbs. Today he insisted that he had only 5,000 all told. When called upon to explain
his map relative to requisition zones, he could not explain it at all and admitted that he
could not turn out a map that would be intelligible. The Serbian plenipotentiary showed up
and presented his credentials to the Mission. He rejoices in the euphonious cognomen of
Lazar Baitch. It was decided in the future to have morning sessions of the Mission,
leaving the afternoons to the members for catching up with their work and making personal
investigations. I then notified the Mission that I must insist that General Mardarescu,
the Roumanian Commander in Chief, be himself directed to appear before the Mission
tomorrow at 11 o'clock. This time there was no dissenting vote. Despite all their promises
and instructions the Roumanians are continuing with their wholesale pillaging of Hungary
and the Hungarians.
It is not possible to describe conditions in a city or country occupied by an enemy,
but judging from conditions in Budapest and Hungary while occupied by the Roumanians, we
Americans should promptly take every measure possible to avoid any such catastrophe.
Universal training should be adopted without further parley.
Last night Colonel Loree, Captain Gore and Lieutenant Hamilton, Captain Weiss, who is a
Hungarian by birth and speaks the language perfectly and whom I have asked to be attached
to my office here, and myself called upon Count Edelsheim, his wife and daughter. They
told us of the terrors of the Bolshevist régime. The house is filled with beautiful
antique furniture and a most peculiar mixture of paintings, ranging from choice
antiquities to rotten moderns. Our chef, having cooked for hotels in both London and
Paris, is living up to his reputation, but our butler in his previous condition of
servitude had undoubtedly been a hostler, and knows more about shoveling in fodder than he
does about waiting on the table.
August 20, 1919. This morning's session, at which I presided, was one of the
most interesting that we have had. In the beginning there was considerable discussion
about our Board of Claims and Complaints. Then the Hungarian Minister of War was
introduced and submitted a verbal proposition for the reorganization of the Hungarian
Army. He was told to reduce the same to writing and submit it with the least practicable
delay. A complaint has been received that the Hungarians have been making wholesale
arrests and committing abuses in certain districts which had been assigned by the Peace
Conference to Austria, and it was decided to ask the Supreme Council to give a correct
definition of the present geographical limits of Hungary. Next, our old friend Diamandi
came in with the Roumanian Commander in Chief, General Mardarescu, and a new star in the
Roumanian constellation in the person of a General Rudeanu. General Mardarescu was put on
the carpet and told in unmistakable terms that it was up to him to report what had been
done in complying with the request from the Mission of August 16, 1919. He resorted to all
sorts of evasions and circumlocutions, which may have been intentional or may have been
due to his grade of intelligence, which appears to be about that of a comatose caribou. He
finally agreed to be a good boy and carry out our instructions. Our friend Diamandi
insisted that in the future, whenever we discuss matters of importance with a Hungarian
official, the Roumanian government should be represented. His proposition was laid on the
table and he received no reply, as we propose to use our own judgment in regard to such
In the afternoon General Rudeanu, with Colonel Yates of our Army, called upon me at my
office in the Royal Palace, and practically asked that we let bygones be bygones, stating
that he is prepared to turn over a new leaf from now on. He appears to be possessed of
almost human intelligence and it is hoped that some progress will now be made.
Later, General Pétain, who is a younger brother of the French Field Marshal of that
name, called upon me at the office and spent an hour trying either to deter mine my exact
attitude as regards the Roumanians, or to influence me in their favor(10).
August 21, 1919. At this morning's session a complaint was submitted by the
Roumanian government that the Archduke had been declaring martial law in certain places in
Hungary and that they could not tolerate this as it was considered an infringement upon
their prerogatives. Additional complaints were also received about acts of violence and
other abuses committed by Hungarians in territory which had been given to Austria by the
Peace Conference(11). Last night a telegram from the
Supreme Council was received intimating that they were not satisfied with a Hapsburg as
governor of Hungary. In view of all the foregoing, it was decided to send for our friend
the Archduke and his Prime Minister and tell them where to get off. This was done. They
promptly arrived and the Archduke was notified that he must immediately revoke his
declaration of martial law in any place in Hungary. He and his Prime Minister obsequiously
acquiesced and promised to revoke the order immediately. The Prime Minister was then
invited to tarry in the antechamber while a little private conversation was addressed to
the Archduke, which in effect was that it was our opinion that a government which could
act in such an idiotic manner as his had been acting could inspire confidence in nobody,
and he was then given the coup de grâce by being told that we considered it our duty to
inform His Highness that the mere fact that the head of a state is a Hapsburg diminishes
the possibility of feeling confidence in an administration, which furthermore had been
established by a coup d'état during a foreign occupation. He maintained that he was the
people's choice and practically the only available Moses to lead them out of their present
political wilderness. He was informed that on this subject there was a great difference of
opinion. At this the Archduke waxed furious, stated that his giving up the reins of
government would mean a return to Bolshevism, and dashed madly out of he room without
shaking hands with anybody.
The Roumanian General, Rudeanu, and the Roumanian High Commissioner Diamandi were then
sent for, and the situation explained to them in order that hey might take the necessary
August 22, 1919. Last night we entertained at our quarters General Rudeanu and
M. Diamandi. They were given champagne and wine ad libitum but fought shy of it,
apparently fearing there was a scheme on foot or inducing garrulity on their part. Being
their host, I allowed no official matters to come up for discussion.
At this morning's session of the Mission, General Mombelli informed us that our old
friend, the Archduke, called on him last night and stated that he was in such a twitter at
our meeting yesterday that he could hardly speak, and went on to complain that we did not
understand that he, as a Hapsburg, was working only or the best interests of Hungary, that
he was remaining bravely at his post only to lead his country until the elections, when
the wishes of his countrymen
would be sacred to him. He failed to add, however, that it would be no fault of his if
any Hungarians were left to dare vote against him. He then asked whether our talk to him
yesterday was inspired from Paris or was on our own initiative. He was told that gave him
just two guesses. He then stated that he thought it was probably inspired from Vienna(12), and was told that, as a supposedly intelligent human
being, it was up to him to make his own interpretation.
We unanimously agreed that the Roumanians must immediately aid the Hungarians to
organize a police force of 6,000 men in Budapest and that we would take up the
of the Hungarian Army on a working basis of 30,000 men. Everything seems to indicate
that the Bolshevists have about 100,000 arms still hidden and we have decided to make the
Roumanians, aided and abetted by the Hungarians, get hold of these arms and place them at
our disposal. We decided furthermore to tell the Roumanian Commander in Chief hat he would
be "skinned" for being off limits whenever he came west of the Danube except at
Budapest. Our gallant Roumanian allies turned in a complaint about the Czecho-Slovaks
invading a portion of Hungary, and it was suggested that the Czecho-Slovaks had damn sight
better ground for complaint of the Roumanians for having done the same thing. I called the
attention of the Mission to the fact that our noble allies were still playing the same
game and that no report of progress had yet been made. I insisted that there be
incorporated in our telegram to the Supreme Council information to that effect. We then
discussed the present political situation in Hungary, upon which we were required to make
a report, and I have attached hereto my memorandum on that subject which was then
The question of claims and complaints is so serious and becoming so complicated that I
stated that Colonel Loree could no longer be spared for that exclusive work, and it was
decided to lay the matter before the Supreme Council, requesting that a suitable number of
officers with proper equipment be sent to Hungary for that purpose.
Memorandum on the Hungarian Political Situation
To consider the present political situation one must start in at least with the
assumption of the reins of government by the Archduke Joseph.
Taking advantage of the fact that the Socialist government had been started but a few
days and that an enemy was in possession of the city, a coup d'état was pulled off by
about fifty gendarmes with the accessory passivity of the Roumanians. The Archduke himself
has shown that when it comes to diplomacy, political matters and the administration of a
government, he is still a babe in swaddling clothes. This is demonstrated by the
seriousness with which he took an anonymous ultimatum, and by the various ridiculous
administrative stunts he has pulled off. He is probably, when all is considered, quite
popular in Hungary, but his popularity is neither so extensive nor so deep-rooted as he
seems to imagine. It is believed that he has been misled by his intimates, who have lured
him into believing that he is the almost unanimous choice of the people of Hungary.
However, either independently, or influenced by his advisers, he is believed to have been
taking measures to perpetuate his office by declaring martial law with the announced
intention of arresting Bolshevists. This is undoubtedly a transparent camouflage to
conceal the real intention of disposing of all political opponents and of assuring his
The Hungarians had barely disentangled themselves from the meshes of Bolshevism when
the present weak régime came into existence. It would be a calamity if either Bolshevists
or the Hapsburgs were allowed to control Hungary. To prevent this, it is important that
some strong man of real popularity and influence among all classes be placed in charge and
given every assistance in reorganizing a semi-permanent government. To restore a Hapsburg
at this time, when it is in the memory of everybody that that unfortunate dynasty was the
intentional or unintentional cause of the World War, would seriously afflict all the
Allies and would give an impulse to Bolshevism,
In brief, the Hungarian political situation is believed to be critical, but not beyond
remedy. If the Roumanian government will shift its gear from first to second, up to third,
and do it's best to facilitate the organization of a government and the creation of a
police force and an army of suitable size, and to arrange for gradual but prompt
withdrawal behind its own recognized boundary, it is believed the present deplorable
condition in Hungary can soon be brought to an end.
Before adjourning, a telegram was received from the Supreme Council authorizing the
Mission to send detachments wherever necessary to prevent the Roumanians from getting
their Hungarian loot over into Roumania, and it was decided to wire the Supreme Council
that this would not be feasible either with the means at our disposal or with any force
that could arrive in time for the purpose. It was furthermore recomnended that additional
officers be sent to watch over he points of egress and take inventory of what the
Roumanians were making away with.
In the afternoon, after sending a telegram to the American Commission posting them to
date on the situation, I took a car and investigated a few of the complaints concerning
Roumanian seizures, etc., and found them to be true. I then called upon General Rudeanu,
told him I had found his people were removing 4,000 telephone instruments from private
houses and were about to take the remaining half of the supplies of the Ministry of Posts
and Telegraphs, which hey had not taken in first requisition; that they were seizing the
few remaining Hungarian breeding stallions; that they had sent word to the Ministry of
Agriculture to deliver to them all maps, instruments, etc.; and that I could give him only
too many instances of like character. I told him that his government had repeatedly
promised to carry out the Mission's instructions, but that I had been here twelve days,
during which the Roumanians had continued their seizures and had not returned a single
thing despite their repeated promises. I added that we were all most anxious to
coöperate, but that I should like for once to telegraph my superiors that the Roumanians
had shown any indication of an intention to play the game according to the rule. He
replied that in my place he would feel as I did, that he would confer with his colleagues
tonight, and would tomorrow let us know whether or not the Roumanian government really
intended to stop requisitioning and return any property already seized. All of this looks
like an admission that they had all along intended to pursue the even tenor of their way
regardless of the wishes of the Supreme Council.
In the evening Count von Edelsheim called upon us and continued his stories of
August 23, 1919. At this morning's session, after disposing of several routine
matters, the Mission prepared to receive M. Diamandi and General Rudeanu, who had
faithfully promised to be in the antechamber at 11.30. As a matter of fact, they were only
twenty minutes late, which is the closest any Roumanian has yet come to keeping his
promise with us(14). Diamandi seated himself with his
unctious diplomatic smile, and stated that he had received advices from his government at
Bucharest, and first proceeded to regale us with information that was already six days old
and which we had read to him ourselves at one of our sessions. He was politely informed of
the fact and then proceeded to other matters, prefacing his remarks by the usual statement
that the Roumanian government desired to work in complete accord with its allies, but that
we must consider the deplorable transportation conditions in Roumania and the fact that
the Roumanians found here in Hungary many supplies taken from their own country, in proof
of which he displayed two first-aid packets, two iodine tubes, and one or two other
matters with the Roumanian mark. We were overwhelmed with this incontrovertible evidence,
but in time sufficiently recovered to let him proceed, which he did by adding that all
Roumanian property found in Hungary must naturally be subject to unqualified seizure, that
the seizures would be limited to what was actually necessary for the Roumanian forces, but
that this government must insist that they pick up an additional 30 per cent to replace
articles taken from Roumania during the German invasion; that formerly Roumania had had
1,000 locomotives whereas they now had only 6o; that they would be very glad to pay for
all private automobiles and other property seized in Hungary, but must insist on doing so
with their government bonds along the same lines as the Central Powers had done in
Roumania. Then he wished to know, in case Roumania did not take things from Hungary, who
would guarantee that the Roumanians got their proper share, and he added that it certainly
would be much better to leave all such property in the hands of faithful and truthful
allies like the Roumanians, than to leave it with the Hungarians, who were known never to
keep their promises. He would probably have gone on indefinitely with similar sophistical
persiflage, had I not intervened and stated that on three separate occasions our truthful
allies, the Roumanians, had faithfully promised to carry out our instructions, but that up
to the present time there was no tangible proof that a single one of the promises had been
kept. Certain it was that they were continuing their requisitions and more boldly than
ever, that no property had yet been returned, that they had submitted no reports as
promised, and that I personally must insist on some proof of the perfect accord that I had
heard so much about. M. Diamandi stated that he could say nothing more than was contained
in his instructions, and any question whatever that was put up to him would need to be
referred to Bucharest for decision, the natural inference being that he could never answer
a question inside of about five days. Our little friend Diamandi has always been in the
diplomatic service, having served at Rome, Vienna, Paris, and Berlin. He was Roumanian
minister to Petrograd when the Boishevist régime started, during which he was arrested by
the Bolshevists, and I shall never forgive them for having afterwards released him. He
typifies perfectly the Roumanian policy of procrastination with a view of absolutely
draining Hungary before it can be stopped.
While the Roumanians were present, a telegram was received from M. Clemenceau, which,
after repeating the opinion held by the Supreme Council of our friend, the Archduke, wound
up by insisting that "Archie" resign tout de suite. The Roumanians were
informed of this, gave evidence of great glee, and it is believed sent word to
"Archie" as soon as they left the building. In any event, the first thing that
was brought up at our afternoon session was how to handle his Royal Highness. Finally we
drafted a letter to him, in which was enclosed a copy of a telegram received from the
Supreme Council, stating that:
The Allied and Associated Powers have been further considering the information, derived
from your report and from other sources, as to recent events in Budapest. Their
conclusions are as follows:
They are most anxious to conclude a durable peace with the Hungarian people but feel
that this cannot be done while the present Hungarian government is in power. That
government has been brought into existence, not by the will of the people, but by a coup
d'état, carried out by a small body of police during the occupation of a foreign army. It
has at its head a member of the House of Hapsburg whose policy and ambition are largely
responsible for the calamities from which the world is suffering and will long suffer. A
peace negotiated by such a government is not likely to be lasting nor can the Allied and
Associated Governments give it the economic support which Hungary so sorely needs.
If it be replied that the Archduke Joseph is prepared, before approaching the Allied
and Associated Governments, to submit his claim to the test of popular election, we must
reply that this procedure cannot be a satisfactory election if carried out under the
auspices of an administration which the Archduke himself controls. The difficulties in
obtaining by election a faithful reflection of the popular will are, in the present
unhappy state of Hungary, of the most serious kind. They would be overwhelming if the
election were carried out under Hapsburg influences. Even if the assembly elected under
such circumstances were really representative, no one would think so. In the interest of
European peace, therefore, the Allied and Associated Governments must insist that the
present claimant to the leadership of the Hungarian state should resign and that a
government in which all parties are represented should appeal to the Hungarian people. The
Allied and Associated Powers would be prepared to negotiate with any government which
possessed the confidence of an assembly so elected.
After dispatching the letter to the Archduke, we took up the Roumanian situation, and
it was decided, in view of Diamandi's statement that in case he were called he could add
nothing to what he had already said, there would be no use in sending for him. I therefore
insisted that a telegram be sent from us to the Supreme Council, informing them of all of
M. Diamandi's statements and adding that in our opinion so far as the Roumanians were
concerned the time of this Mission had been wasted, and that it would be useless to
continue its relations with Roumanian officials who apparently were determined to carry on
a reprehensible policy of procrastination, and who had repeatedly broken their solemn
promises. General Graziani said he
would draft this telegram at once, provided he could take a recess of about an hour.
When he returned with his draft it contained only the bald statement in regard to M.
Diamandi's remarks. I insisted that my reference to our waste of time be incorporated in
the telegram. Thereupon I was asked to draft the telegram. I complied with this request
and handed the telegram to Lieutenant-Colonel Romanelli, General Mombelli's secretary. He
made a very good French translation of it, arid it was then handed to General Graziani's
aide to add to the telegram. Just as we were leaving, I saw this aide hand General
Mombelli my draft, Colonel Romanelli's translation, and another slip of paper, and asked
him what the third paper was. He said that it was for the purpose of putting part of
Romanelli's translation into better French. I insisted on seeing that part. He showed it
to me, and then General Mombelli said that, as handed to him, it was understood that this
new slip of paper was to replace entirely Colonel Romanelli's translation. At this I
thumped the table two or three times and said that I absolutely insisted that the
statement in regard to the futility of hoping for anything from the Roumanians be
incorporated. This was then agreed to. Evidently our French colleague was trying to play a
skin game and got caught at it.
At 8 o'clock the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs showed up with a letter
containing the resignation of the Archduke(15)
and the entire Ministry. He also stated that everything was now in the hands of the
Inter-Allied Military Mission. We then sent for the Prime Minister and told him that this
Mission did not mix in the internal affairs of Hungary, except to such an extent as it
might be definitely instructed by the Supreme Council; that the notice to the Archduke was
sent as directed by our superiors, but that it was not within our province to organize a
new government. We added that it was the duty of the members of the present cabinet to
continue temporarily in office until a new government could be organized, which we hoped
would be within a few days. General Rudeanu, our Roumanian liaison officer, was sent for
and informed of the Archduke's resignation.
August 24, 1919. For the first time since my arrival at Budapest, there was no
session of the Mission today. This resulted from the almost piteous appeals of both the
French and the Italian representatives to have a day off.
About 10 o'clock I was called upon by two representatives of the British press, and I
gave them the dope in regard to the official demise of our friend, the Archduke, and
filled them full to overflowing with complaints and proofs in regard to the rapacity of
our gallant Roumanian allies(16)
I then prepared and sent a long telegram to the American Mission, to the effect that
yesterday our suave friend Diamandi, accompanied by General Rudeanu, had called upon
Admiral Troubridge, apparently on the verge of tears because we had not sent for them the
day before. They both intimated that probably their usefulness in Budapest was over, in
which they were just about right. The rotund and diplomatic Diamandi was undoubtedly thus
affected because he had been sent here to pull off a coup in the shape of forcing Hungary
to make a separate peace with Roumania practically amounting to annexation, which coup had
been demolished by a bomb in the shape of the Supreme Council's handing the Archduke his
hat and telling him not to be in a hurry. I also received word that on the twenty-first
the Crown Prince of Roumania, as the future King of Hungary, received a number of
kowtowing Hungarian aristocrats.
The day before yesterday I sent Colonel Yates, formerly of the Thirtieth Infantry, U.
S. A., and now American attaché at Bucharest, to investigate conditions in Hungary west
of the Danube. On his return today he reported that Admiral Horthy had about 8,000 well-
disciplined, well-trained, and well-armed troops, including machine guns and nineteen
field guns under his command.
I also wired the American Mission in regard to the incident of last night, when our
dapper French colleague tried to put one over on the American and British representatives
by not including all that should have been included in the telegram to the Supreme
Council. General Gorton, the British representative, read over and concurred in all of my
telegram, asked me to say so, and to add that he requested that a copy be furnished the
Upon leaving the Palace about 1.30, I was met by a delegation of about 200 Hungarians
who said that they were small landholders and wished to see the Inter-Allied Military
Mission in regard to their proper representation on the government. I told their spokesman
and interpreter that the Mission could do nothing in regard to this, as we did not meddle
with internal affairs, but that in case they desired to send any petition to the Supreme
Council of the Peace Conference and would present the same in writing tomorrow, I would
submit it to the Mission for consideration.
This morning I found on my desk two magnificent bouquets of purple orchids, and I am
getting so accustomed to the Royal Palace life and surroundings that it will be pretty
difficult to come down to the life of an ordinary American citizen.
August 25, 1919. Yesterday afternoon, accompanied by Colonel Loree and
Lieutenant Hamilton, I visited and inspected the State Railway shops, and found that the
Roumanians were gutting the place strictly in accord with the Hungarian reports. In a
neighboring freight yard there were 120 freight cars loaded with machinery and material,
and in the yard of the shops there were 15 cars, likewise loaded and more than 25 others
partly loaded or in the process of being loaded. I then went through the machine shops and
saw many places where machinery had just been removed and others where it was in the
process of being removed. The workmen stated that the Roumanians had been busy there,
despite the fact that it was Sunday, until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and that they were
obliging the Hungarians to do all the work connected with taking out the machinery.
In the evening, at about 9.50, we heard a racket outside of our window, but we did not
pay much attention to it at the time because a discussion of Roumanians and Hungarians,
none of whom understands the others, usually sounds like a ladies' tea party. This morning
I found out, however, that the trouble was all caused by a Roumanian patrol of one officer
and eight or ten men who had arrested a British Bluejacket and had declined to examine his
pass. One of my men, thinking the rumpus was all due to the fact that the Roumanians did
not understand the Britisher, went to try to explain in German, and met the fate of the
peacemaker. He was pricked by a bayonet wielded by a Roumanian soldier. At this, becoming
disgusted with the role of peace maker, he yelled to the American soldiers and British
sailors across the street. They came tearing to the rescue of their comrade who was
promptly abandoned by the Roumanians.
The Mission met at the usual hour, i.e., 9.30, this morning, but there was
nothing of great importance. This was mainly due to the fact that the Archduke was now out
of the way, and also to our decision to have no more transactions with the Roumanian
officials, on account of their lying propensities.
Our officer who had been sent to the bridge over the Theiss [River Tisza], reported
that the bridge could not be completed inside of three weeks and that it would take about
the same time to complete any of the other bridges.
During the morning a delegation, claiming to represent 600,000 industrial workers,
asked to see the Mission, and when they announced that they desired to insist upon
suitable representation in the new government, they were told that this Mission could not
mix in the internal affairs of Hungary.
August 26, 1919. Yesterday afternoon a verbose but rather stiff telegram came
to me, containing the text of an ultimatum from the Supreme Council to the Roumanian
government. I told them in unmistakable terms that in case they persisted in looting
Hungary, alleging as an excuse that they were simply reimbursing themselves for what they
had lost during Mackensen's invasion, it was all bosh; that they must abide by the
decision of any reparation commission the Peace Conference might appoint; and that in the
meantime this Mission of Inter-Allied Generals would be authorized to appoint such a
commission temporarily. It was added that in case they did not immediately and
affirmatively make a Statement that they would abide by all their past agreements, the
Allied and Associated Powers would be obliged to make them pay in full any claims against
Transylvania and other portions of Hungary which had been given to Roumania by the Peace
Conference. The foregoing telegram was followed up this morning by another one
preëmptorily notifying those sons of Ananias, the Roumanians, that drastic measures would
immediately be adopted if they would not come to time.
I had drafted a telegram, which was sent in the name of the Mission, stating that in
our opinion the Roumanians were looting Hungary as rapidly as possible so that they might
suddenly evacuate the country, and at the same time they were disarming everybody and
refusing to reorganize the police, and in general that, intentionally or unintentionally,
every move they made was in the direction of turning Hungary over to Bolshevism and chaos.
There were several more delegations out in the Palace courtyard today, all representing
the so-called Christian Socialists; all clamoring against the Jews, and practically
demanding control of the government. One delegation, consisting of four balatant and
bellicose females (none of them pretty) and three Bolshevistic-looking males, got into the
Council Room, frothed at the mouth in Hungarian, English, and French, and were told that
the Mission could not mix in the internal affairs of Hungary.
Major Borrow of the British Army, whom we sent to inspect the Szolnok(17)
Bridge, reported that it would take two or three weeks to get that or any other bridge
across the Theiss River so that it would support loaded cars, but that he found at the
bridge, ready to cross, 150 locomotives, 200 to 300 empty freight cars, 4 aeroplanes on
cars, 200 to 300 tank cars and, between Szolnok and Budapest, many hundreds of carloads of
For the past three days we have been having fairly warm weather; in fact the warmest
that any of us have ever seen in Europe, but at that it was not much over 80 degrees
Fahrenheit. Today it has turned cool again, and with the clouds and threatening rain,
reminds me more of "Sunny France."
August 27, 1919. This morning's session of the Mission, with General Graziani,
the French representative, in the chair, was very quiet and orderly, all due to the fact
that we have very little coming in now on account of our strained relations with the
Roumanian Commander in Chief. Each one of the representatives had received a basketful of
telegrams, nearly all of which came from the so-called Christian Socialists. This party
should be more properly called Anti-Jews, because most of their petitions are devoted to a
tirade against their Semitic fellow countrymen. They seem to be a blatant minority, but
more thoroughly organized than any of the other parties.
Yesterday afternoon I was called upon by Mr. Lazar Baitch, the Jugo-Slav
Plenipotentiary to our Mission. He is built along the line of the blonde and bland
Roumanian Diamandi, except as to complexion, which is distinctly brunette. Among other
things, he stated that his country greatly feared an Italian, Austrian, Hungarian, and
Roumanian combination, which would cut the Jugo-Slavs off from the rest of Europe, and
that they, therefore, preferred to see a strong and friendly Hungary. He promised to
report to me any developments as rapidly as they came to his attention. Then he came to
the main object of his visit, which was to ask that I give him the permanent loan of an
automobile. I suggested that he apply first to the Hungarian government, knowing damned
well that the Roumanians had swiped all they had.
Later on in the afternoon I learned that the fine Italian hand had attempted to get in
its deadly work, even during the Bolshevist régime; that the Italians had then bought the
magnificent Hungarian Breeding Farms, which are now being seized by the Roumanians; that
they were now as mad as a nest of hornets because they cannot stop the Roumanian seizures,
as it would give away their rather reprehensible relations with the Bolshevists. I also
learned that the Italian Lieutenant-Colonel Romanelli, who has been in Budapest for some
time, is understood to have been sent with a mission to induce the Hungarians to accept
the Duke of Savoy as their king. This is rather confirmed by the intense hostility towards
Romanelli of the Roumanians, who wanted the Crown Prince Carol to be elected King of
Hungary(18), and also that most of the Hungarians are sore
Yesterday afternoon a British correspondent, named Hamilton, representing a Manchester
paper(19), called me up over the telephone and said that
the inevitable Archduke, accompanied by his former Prime Minister, Friedrich, who is now
supposed to be reorganizing the Hungarian government, butted into the Press Bureau at the
Hotel Ritz and announced that M. Clemenceau had sent a telegram to Friedrich directing
that three Hungarian plenipotentiaries be sent to the Peace Conference to represent
Hungary. Hamilton further stated that Friedrich had publicly announced practically the
same thing to delegations in front of his house. All of this is, of course, a damned lie
and is the line of propaganda spread to delude the Hungarians into the belief that the
Archduke's pet, Friedrich, is persona grata with the Peace Conference.
The Roumanians are proceeding merrily with their seizures and general raising of Hell,
All this cannot last indefinitely and something is sure to pop up before long.
August 28, 1919. Yesterday afternoon, accompanied by General Gorton, the
British representative, I visited some of the places where reports have been received from
Hungarian sources that the Roumanians were making seizures. It is remarkable that, so far
as we have been able to verify, not a single Hungarian complaint has been exaggerated. At
the warehouse of the Hungarian Discount and Exchange Bank, we found that up to date the
Roumanians had seized and removed 2,400 carloads, mainly of provisions and forage, and
were daily carting away great quantities. At the Central Depot of the Hungarian Post and
Telegraph we found seven cars already loaded, two with shoes and five with carpets and
rugs. In this connection, it should be remembered that the Roumanian Commander in Chief
said that he had never taken anything that was not absolutely necessary for the use of
troops in the field. At this place we also found the Roumanians removing the machinery
from the repair shops. At the works of the Ganz-Danubius Company we found the Roumanians
busily engaged loading five freight cars with material, under the charge of Lieutenant
Vaude Stanescu. At the Hungarian Military Hospital Number I, the Roumanians had ordered
all the patients out and there remained only 57 patients in the hospital, whose capacity
was 800, and these 57 could not be removed on account of the serious nature of their
wounds. Next we visited the Hungarian Central Sanitary Depot and found that under Major C.
Georgescu, a medical officer, the Roumanians were absolutely gutting the establishment. In
all the places we visited, the manual labor is performed by Hungarian soldiers under
Last night, accompanied by my aide, Lieutenant Hamilton, I dined with General Graziani,
who is billeted in the magnificent home of Count Széchényi. His wife was formerly Gladys
Vanderbilt. The other guests were the General Mombelli and his aide-de-camp.
At this morning's session, General Graziani reported that he had received a call from
the Hungarian General Soós, Admiral Horthy's Chief of Staff, who said that he would
submit to the Mission today his plans for the reorganization of the Hungarian Army. This
memorandum was received later and is very excellently prepared and arranged. General
Graziani then read a telegram he had received from M. Clemenceau stating that there was no
objection on his part to the rotation of the chairmanship in the organization of the
Mission. General Mombelli then reported that he had had a call from the Hungarian liaison
officer, Colonel Dormándy, who explained that Hungary needed a strong government as
quickly as possible, adding that he thought that the Allied Powers should have a force
here. General Mombelli reported further that he had had a call from our special bęte
noire, the Roumanian diplomat Diamandi, during which the latter stated that his
government could do nothing with the Hungarian government under Friedrich, and that they
could not consent to the reorganization of the police under Friedrich because they knew
that such an organization would be used for political purposes. M. Diamandi then tried to
pump General Mombelli in regard to what information we had received from Paris, but he got
Yesterday afternoon, when General Gorton and I returned from our inspection trip, we
found Heinrich, Minister of Commerce, awaiting us. He wanted to know if the Entente had
stated that they wanted Friedrich at the head of the government, and also what the
Entente's attitude would be toward a cabinet formed either with or without Friedrich. We
gave him the stereotyped reply that we could not mix in the internal affairs of Hungary.
Later a newspaperman came in and told me that he had verified the fact that Friedrich was
the organizer of the Christian Socialist party and that although this party had never had
over 10 per cent of the membership in Parliament, it was now the only party that was
organized and the only one, therefore, able to make itself conspicuous. The newspaperman
also stated that Friedrich was determined to remain in power, with the idea of ultimately
accomplishing the Archduke's election and return to the head of the government. I wired
all this information to the American Commission.
On arrival at my quarters a little before 8 o'clock, I found General Gorton awaiting
me, and he gave me the substance of another ultimatum of a somewhat anonymous character,
delivered through the Roumanian Ardeli, who had sent the first ultimatum to the Archduke.
This one was along similar lines and included demands for immediate peace between Hungary
and Roumania; the occupation of Hungary by Roumania for one year; the cession of
practically all the strategic points, and then the annexation of Hungary to Roumania. This
was coded and ciphered and sent to the American Commission in Paris with a request that a
copy be sent to the British Commission.
Early this morning I sent another coded and ciphered message to the American
Commission, to the effect that the Roumanians certainly could not continue their arrogant
and haughty attitude unless backed by someone, and that I believed it was the French and
the Italians who were trying to accomplish some kind of political or other union between
Roumania, Hungary, Austria, and Italy, with a view to isolating entirely the Jugo-Slavs.
August 29, 1919. At the meeting this morning, there was the usual discussion
and gesticulatory machine gun French on the part of our Latin members, especially after I
suggested that the Mission, owing to the attitude of the Roumanians, had accomplished less
than nothing since its arrival here, and that we should consider whether or not the time
had arrived for notifying the Supreme Council that in our opinion our prolonged stay only
subjected us to humiliation from the Roumanians, and our governments to steady loss of
prestige with both the Roumanians and the Hungarians. After considerable discussion and
playing the fine old game of passing the buck, they invited me to prepare a memorandum on
the subject, which I agreed to do.
Last night we had General Mombelli to dinner, and our chef surely did spread himself.
He sent in course after course of unknown concoctions, but fortunately all of them came in
an inviting manner and tasted good.
This morning I drafted a long memorandum on the subject of the Mission's work in
Hungary and sent it by courier to Vienna for transmission to Paris.
August 30, 1919. At the session of the Mission today, at which General Gorton
presided, I submitted a memorandum arranged on the basis of the deadly parallel, prefacing
the same as follows:
1. This is the eighteenth day that the entire membership of the Mission has been
present in Budapest, and unfortunately it must be said that, but for one or two negligible
exceptions, practically nothing has been accomplished by the Mission as regards the
carrying out of the instructions given it by the Supreme Council. As this has been
entirely due to the action of the Roumanian officials in ignoring the Mission's requests,
in declining to accept the Mission's instructions as authoritative, it is believed that
the time has come when the case should be plainly laid before the Supreme Council and a
statement made that, unless there is an immediate change in the attitude of the Roumanian
government, it would be useless for the Mission to attempt to function at Budapest. In
substantiation of the foregoing, there are presented in chronological order the more
important requests made by the Mission to the Roumanian government, and in a parallel
column the action taken on the same.
After this there were arranged in parallel columns the requests made on the Roumanian
Commander in Chief by the Inter-Allied Military Mission and the action taken on the same
by the Roumanian authorities, and in conclusion I added:
2. It will be seen from the foregoing that this Mission has been unable to make any
progress whatever in the performance of the duties expressly assigned to it by the Supreme
Council. It is difficult to understand what motive can inspire the Roumanian government in
following its long-continued line of conduct, but whether the same is due to deliberate
intent, to inefficiency of subordinates, or to any other cause, the result is the same. It
is recommended that the Military Mission seriously study this matter and consider whether
or not it should immediately telegraph the Supreme Council to the effect that it is the
unanimous opinion of the members that a continuation of the Mission in Budapest could
result in nothing but humiliation for all of us and a loss of prestige for our
governments. We shall lose prestige with the Roumanians because they seem to feel that
they can treat us with contempt, and with the Hungarians because they can plainly see the
treatment we are receiving from the Roumanians.
There was a unanimous opinion that the Roumanians had done nothing to aid the Mission,
but on the contrary had ignored it, but in view of the fact that an ultimatum had recently
been sent by the Supreme Council to Roumania, it would be advisable to await action on the
same before further stirring up the question.
General Mombelli stated that the Archduke Joseph came around to see him last night and
explained that Hungary wanted a real monarchy, and that this was the only form of
government suitable for these people. He stated that there was some talk of the return of
the Emperor Karl as King of Hungary(20)
; that he himself was personally very fond of his cousin Karl, but that he hardly
thought that Karl could fill the bill. He then continued that he felt that he (the
Archduke Joseph) was popular in all Hungary, that the people were clamoring for him, and
that he should be invested with the royal dignity. General Mombelli stated that he allowed
the Archduke to talk, but that he gave him no reply beyond stating that all such matters
were for the decision of the Supreme Council, and not for this Mission.
Our beloved Roumanian allies are continuing merrily with their requisitions and
seizures, and apparently have not the slightest intention of letting up until they have
cleaned Hungary out of everything worth taking.
August 31, 1919. Yesterday one of my agents came to see me and reported that
he himself had just had a talk with the Prime Minister Friedrich, who said that he had
decided to make peace with Roumania on her own terms inside of seventy-two hours, unless
something were done in the meantime by the Entente to alleviate the condition. I
immediately sent this by enciphered code to Paris. Later in the afternoon I received word
that Friedrich had been to see the British Admiral Troubridge, and had repeated to him
practically what he had said to my agent, saying that the Hungarian cause was hopeless,
the country was prostrate, the Roumanians were pillaging them right and left, and the
Entente was doing absolutely nothing. I repeated this also to Paris. Friedrich is
apparently a bullheaded brute who is either in the pay of the Archduke or the Roumanians,
or both, and who proposes to run things his own way regardless of all others. He is backed
by a powerful minority, which is powerful on account of being organized, and his
tendencies are decidedly reactionary. It is believed that he proposes to start a reign of
white terror which will make Béla Kun's red terror look like a billy goat by the side of
an elephant. They have been beating and maltreating Jews in Budapest and now we have
definite information that many wealthy and prominent men have been killed in the country.
It is not enough for Hungary that the Roumanians are gutting her, but apparently she now
insists on cutting her own throat.
I received word today that Lovászy, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was
dropped from Friedrich's last cabinet, has now organized a cabinet of his own and proposes
to oust Friedrich inside of twenty-four hours(21).
Business is decidedly poor in Hungary, if we do not have from three to five cabinets per
The Roumanians are paying not the slightest attention to the last ultimatum sent them
and are going right along with their looting, which has become a habit.
On the twenty-fifth, one of my men, going out with two chauffeurs for an automobile,
was held by the Roumanians, and no report about it was ever made to me. For three days he
went without food or lodging except such as he could pick up himself. His companions were
robbed, and when they were all eventually released, because I took the matter up with the
Roumanian Commander here, they were short changed when their money was returned, and for
their good blue money they were given worthless Bolshevist money. I had the man's
statement prepared and sent a curt note to the Roumanian Commander in Chief that I wanted
to know, not later than September second, what he had done or intended to do in this case.
I am not sure that some of the Roumanian conduct is due as much to ignorance and stupidity
as it is to hostility.
It is difficult to realize how European money has depreciated. The French franc, which
was formerly worth nearly twenty cents and which was ordinarily rated at five for a
dollar, is today about worth twelve cents. The Austrian and Hungarian krone, worth
formerly a little over twenty-one cents, is today worth about two cents.
1. General Holban, who is frequently mentioned unfavorably by
General Bandholtz, committed suicide on the eve of the investigation ordered by the
Roumanian government after Sir George Clerk had come to look into the situation.
2. Archduke Joseph was a distant relative of the late Emperor~King
Karl. He was born in 1872. During the world war he had commanded first a division and
later an army corps on the Italian front and had been a popular and capable military
leader. He had always considered himself specifically a Hungarian. During the Károlyi and
Bolshevik regimes he remained in Hungary, living quietly on his estate under the name of
Joseph Hapsburg. On Aug. 6, 1919, he resumed the position of Nádor, or Regent allegedly
conferred upon him by Emperor-King Karl. After he was forced by the Allies to resign, he
returned to private life and from then on took little part in public affairs.
3. Part of the Bánát was given to Jugo-Slavia by the Peace
conference. The Roumanians claimed that it should belong to them and felt very bitter
towards the Jugo-Slavs.
4. Diamandi, or Diamandy, was Roumanian Minister in Rome from 1911
to 1913. From there he was transferred to St. Petersburg, where he remained during the
world war. Later on he was Roumanian Minister to France. Before the world war he was
considered friendly towards the Triple Alliance. See the report of the German Ambassador
in Rome, von Flotow, to Bethmann-Hollweg, Nov.13, 1913. "Die Grosse Politik der
Europäischen Kabinette," 1871-1914, Berlin, 1926, Vol. 39, p. 456.
5. This is the first mention of the looting of Hungary by the
Roumanians. Other examples are found on pages 38,43, 46, 112, 113, 212, etc.
The following are some opinions of writers familiar with this aspect of Roumanian
occupation of Hungary.
"The story of the pillaging by the Roumanian army in Hungary is Homeric. It equals
anything of the kind done in the war.-A member of the English Mission, sent into the East
of Hungary to investigate the facts, said epigrammatically, that the Roumanians had not
even left the nails in the boards!"-John Foster Bass, The Peace Tangle, New
York, 1920, p.193.
"The Roumanian invasion was more like an old-time Highland cattle foray than a
war."-L. Haden Guest, The Struggle for Power in Europe, London, 1921, p.195.
"The Magyars detest the Roumanians on account of their looting during the
occupation following the Béla Kun régime.-They are accused of having stolen everything
movable - plate, pictures, carpets, linen, furniture, even down to the cloth of billiard
tables. They took the best thoroughbreds and let them die in the train for want of food.
They took twelve hundred locomotives and left the Hungarians only four hundred. In my
hotel Béla Kun had done five million crowns' worth of damage. The Roumanians did seven
million worth. They took literally everything, and the rooms are still without telephones
as a result of their brigandage. This, of course, is all the Hungarian account of what
happened."-Charles ŕ Court Repington, After the War, Boston, 1912,
Even E. J. Dillon, the most ardent defender of Roumanian interests, says: "They
[the Roumanians] seized rolling stock, cattle, agricultural implements, and other property
of the kind that had been stolen from their people and sent the booty home without much
ado." The Inside Story of the Peace Conference, p.230. How far his
statement is correct is left to the reader to judge from the facts given in this diary.
Dillon calls the action of the Roumanians "wholesale egotism."
"Hungary has suffered a Roumanian occupation, which was worse almost than the
revolutions of Bolshevism."-Francesco Nitti, The Wreck of Europe,
Indianapolis, 1912, p.171.
Louis K. Birinyi, The Tragedy of Hungary, Cleveland, 1924. Especially Chapter
XX, "Hungary Fleeced during the Armistice." It is somewhat rhetorical and not
always accurate. This is particularly true of his account of the occupation of Budapest by
Horthy's troops and the evacuation of Budapest.
On the other hand Cecil John Charles Street, in Hungary and Democracy, London,
1923, states "To Roumania was assigned the task of restoring order, and in her
execution of it she displayed an ability and a restraint which will forever redound to her
credit" (p.200). Mr. Street makes it appear as if the aim of the Roumanians in
invading Hungary with their "well disciplined forces" was principally to save
the world from Bolshevism. From Street and Jászi is taken the account of Hungary by C.
Deslisle Burns, 1918-1928, A Short History of the World, New York, 1928.
Consequently it is entirely one-sided.
We may also refer to the statement in the standard short history of Roumania by N.
Jorga, A History of Roumania. Translated from the second edition by Joseph
McCabe, London, 1925. "For several months the capital of Hungary was in possession of
the Roumanians, and a day will come when the baseless charges which are made against the
commander of the army will be judged at their proper value. Light is already breaking, in
fact, upon these unjust charges" (p.263). Charles Upson Clark, Greater Roumania,
New York, 1922. Mr. Clark was an American newspaper correspondent. He is a great friend of
Roumania. His views are admittedly one-sided. He says: "Relying in general on
Rotimanian sources, I shall try to check them up so as not to give too partial an
account" (p.242). Of special interest for us is Chapter XIX, "The Roumanians in
Budapest." In this chapter he makes the statement that he is "trying to get at
the truth - with a strong Roumanian bias, I admit, but anxious to do justice on all
sides" (p. 257). "Doubtless few situations have ever combined more complex
factors than did Budapest under the Roumanians. - No historian will ever clear them up
6. Mr. Stephen Friedrich had originally been a democratic Republican
and an ardent personal follower of Michael Károlyi. During the Bolshevik terror he
changed his opinions completely and became one of the most active counter-revolutionists
and an anti-Semitic nationalist. He is still a member of Parliament and considers himself
now a Fascist.
7. Cf. Introduction.
8. Obviously a mistake on the part of General Bandholtz. Cf.
Introduction, p. xxvi.
9. Nicholas Horthy de Nagybánya. Born in 1868, belongs to an old
family of the landed gentry. He entered the Austro-Hungarian navy. During the World war he
distinguished himself greatly and at the end of it was appointed Commander in Chief of the
Austro~Hungarian fleet. He helped to organize the anti-Bolshevik counter-revolution and
was made Commander in Chief of the army of the new government. On March 1, 1920, he was
chosen Governor or Regent, which position he is still holding today.
It is the same title with which two other Hungarians have been previously honored, John
Hunyadi in the fifteenth, and Louis Kossuth in the nineteenth century.
10. See other pro-Roumanian actions of the French on pp. 32, 35,
57, 79,105,110, 125,331.
11. The Ödenburg or Sopron district, the so-called Burgenland, in
the western part of Hungary.
12. While the Hungarians were returning to monarchial institutions
and showed no dislike for the Hapsburg dynasty, the government of Austria was decidedly
socialistic-republican and violently anti-Hapsburg.
13. This is the first statement in the Diary pertaining to the
important question of the reorganization of the Hungarian police or gendarmerie, which, on
Sept. 5, the Inter-Allied Military Mission put into the hands of colonel Yates, U.S. Army.
The Roumanians tried to prevent such a re-organization. References to their policy in this
respect may be found in statements of Sept. 1, 2, 18, 22, 24, 29, Oct. 3, and 6. Upon
completion of the work Colonel Yates was, on Nov.19, officially congratulated by the
Inter-Allied Military Mission.
It was undoubtedly the firmness of the Inter-Allied Military Mission which brought
about the desired result, and not the good offices of Mr. Vopicka. Charles J. Vopicka was
U.S. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Roumania, Bulgaria, and Serbia.
In his book, Secrets of the Balkans, New York, 1921, he assumes some credit for
the compliance of the Roumanians with the demands of the Allies.
"Polk," he says, "told me what was demanded by the Allies from Roumania,
and stated that unless she complied with this request, the Allies would sever relations. I
first spoke to the Roumanian members of the Peace Commission in Paris, and then I sent
telegrams to the Roumanian Prime Minister. Within ten days the Roumanian government
complied with the first request of the Commission, to supply 10,000 gendarmes in Hungary
with arms and ammunition, and also complied with the other things which were required,
with the exception that they refused to sign the treaty between Roumania and Austria"
14. I found an amusing laconic footnote by Lieutenant-colonel
Repington in his After the War, A Diary, Boston, 1922. "Roumanians are not
remarkable for keeping promises or appointments" (p. 327).
15. His proclamation on leaving the government may be found in
Malbone W. Graham, New Governments of Central Europe, New York, 1924, p.583.
16. Public opinion in the principal Allied countries and in the
United States concerning the situation in Hungary was divided. On page 748 of the New
International Year Book for 1919, New York, 1920, we find the following summary:
"A portion of the American press complained that in France among the official class
as well as among the Italian representatives there was a tendency to blame the United
States and to a less degree Great Britain for what was considered the harsh treatment of
Roumania. As Italian and French representatives on the Supreme Council had approved its
action, there seemed to be no color to these accusations, but in the French and Italian
press there was a disposition to find excuses for Roumania in every instance, and to
oppose any effort toward keeping her within bounds." In this same article, War of
the Nations, may he found a moderate and critical explanation of the Roumanian
viewpoint by a French journalist. The commentary on the disregard of the Allied demands by
Roumania was very severe in the United States. Read also the articles by Frank H. Simonds,
"Hungary, the Balkans, and the League," in The American Review of Reviews,
Sept., 1919, and in the October issue of the same Review, "The European
Reaction." Another summarizing article is contained in the Literary Digest,
April 23, 1919, "Roumania's Invasion of Hungary." Dillon says, in the book
previously referred to, that the French papers applauded the action of the Roumanians, and
also the English; but he gives no example of the latter. In fact, liberal public opinion
in England was absolutely opposed to it.
17. Szolnok, a river port on the right bank of the Theiss.
Population not quite 29,000. An important market and railroad center.
18. Compare statement to this effect in the entry of the Diary on
19. Obviously the Manchester Guardian.
20. The Allies would never have permitted Karl to be King of
Hungary. At the end of March and Oct., 1921, he made two unsuccessful attempts to seize
the throne. He died at Madeira on April 1, 1922.
21. This did not materialize.
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