4: October, 1919
<< 3: September, 1919 || 5: November, 1919 >>
October 1, 1919. At this morning's session, General Mombelli presiding, there
was first read a letter from Minister Diamandi, asking that the Mission arrange for the
prompt transfer of the Mackensen material to some point in Hungary where it could be
divided up and the Roumanians receive their share. I suggested that we write Minister
Diamandi that it was in the hands of the Entente, that its distribution was entirely under
the jurisdiction of this Mission, and that this matter would be taken up in due course. I
then suggested to my colleagues that what the Roumanians ought to have was a letter
telling them that we would take up the question of such distribution when they returned
the loot that they had already removed from Hungary.
According to a telegram received by General Gorton from the British Commission at
Paris, Prime Minister Bratiano has given the Supreme Council representative a beautiful
collection of characteristic Roumanian lies in regard to their seizures and requisitions.
General Gorton received a telegram stating that Sir George Clerk(1)
had been directed to come to Budapest and interview this Mission in order to determine
whether it was Bratiano or the four Allied Generals who were lying.
We received two letters from one of my officers, Captain Shafroth, stating that there
were certain articles in the Hungarian museums which had been taken, either from
Bucharest, or from the portions of Transylvania which belonged to Roumania. He recommend
that the books, etc., which had been identified as coming from Bucharest be returned, and
that all other articles be held pending the action of the Commission. We received a
telegram from the Hungarian town of Drégely, complaining that the Czecho-Slovaks had been
posting patrols on all the roads leading to the town, and were allowing nobody to come in
or go out, and stating with characteristic Middle-European hyperolism that anarchy and
everything else horrible would result on short notice if the situation were not
immediately remedied. The President of the Day was accordingly directed to inform the
Czecho-Slovakian Minister of the situation and direct him to take the proper measures.
General Mombelli invited our attention to the fact hat one battalion of Hungarian
troops was being formed and was occupying territory which, according to the treaty with
Austria, had been given to the latter country. We therefore sent a letter to the Hungarian
Authorities to evacuate immediately any portions of territory which had been granted to
Austria by the Peace Conference.
Yesterday I received a note from the Countess Szirmay to the effect that the safeguard
sent them by the Roumanian General Serbescu and vise'd by him, had been examined by a
young Roumanian lieutenant, named Panescu, who said that such paper did not prevent
requisitioning by his colonel. I therefore sent Colonel Yates to Roumanian headquarters,
and they telephoned out to the colonel of the First Chasseurs directing him to investigate
Lieutenant Panescu's conduct and to award the punishment that the case would seem to
merit. The Roumanian Chief of Staff, Colonel Vasilescu, sent me two safeguards from the
Roumanian headquarters, which I sent out to the Countess with additional information that
if Lieutenant Panescu cared to do any more quibbling about technicalities I would myself
pay him a visit which he would not enjoy.
Yesterday the Roumanians gave a tremendous dinner at the Hotel Hungaria, to the British
officials, during which, I understand, there was much playing of "God Save the
King" and much talking about Great Britain as the greatest power on earth and, in
general, that the affair was effusively affectionate, and that much champagne flowed.
Apparently the Roumanians are trying to cut loose from the French and the Italians.
Yesterday I received a press report to the effect that it was now known that either
Clemenceau himself or the French officials had always notified the Roumanians immediately
after the dispatch of an ultimatum that such ultimatum could be ignored and that the
Supreme Council really did not mean it. All of which is simply in line with the idea
General Gorton and I have always maintained in regard to this situation.
October 2, 1919. Yesterday afternoon Sir George Clerk, the delegate from the
Supreme Council, sent to Roumania for the purpose of giving the Roumanian government the
last and final ultimatum in regard to the occupation of Hungary, arrived. He spent an hour
with the Inter-Allied Military Mission during which he showed himself to be decidedly
He had arrived early during the day, had spent all the forenoon with Minister Diamandi,
had been given a tremendous lunch by the Roumanians at noon, could give us only an hour in
the afternoon, after which he went to the opera with Minister Diamandi, and was again
entertained in the evening by the Roumanians.
His interview with the Mission was in most respects eminently satisfactory. He repeated
in substance the same interview with Bratiano that I had had when in Bucharest; to which,
however, he added that M. Bratiano insisted on having both banks of the Maros River
practically up to Szeged(2) for the purpose of the
strategic control of the railroad line. In his reply to M. Bratiano, covering this one
particular point, he seemed to show the only gleam of diplomatic intelligence, as he told
the Roumanians that he was sure the Allies would not consent to giving any more territory
to Roumania; that present boundaries had been investigated and decided upon by a committee
of geographical and tactical experts.
He asked the Mission if we thought that after the Roumanian evacuation there could not
be made some permanent adjustment between Hungary and Roumania for their future amicable
relations. He was told that the unreasonable and ridiculous excesses to which the
Roumanians had enforced their requisitions, and in particular their crude and
unnecessarily harsh methods of carrying out their seizures, had so embittered the
Hungarians that it was not believed they would ever be satisfied until they had retaliated
It was very comforting to note that the Mission was practically unanimous on all
points, and where any slight differences existed as to personal opinion such differences
It was most apparent that Sir George, owing to his prolonged stay at Bucharest, had
listened to the siren voice of the enchantress Queen, and had fallen under the spell of
Roumanian environment. Her Majesty certainly seems to think that she can control any man
whom she meets, and it must be admitted that she has considerable foundation for that
opinion. I am inclined to think, however, that she realized that it took more than a
signed photograph to cause me to wander from the straight and narrow path of military
duty. It is also evident that Sir George has been influenced by Bratiano's sophistry, as
he advances the same line of argument as does that distinguished Roumanian Prime Minister.
I asked Sir George, at the session of the Mission, if the Roumanians had given him the
same song that they had given me, to the effect that they had never seized any foodstuffs
in Hungary beyond the actual needs of the Roumanian Army in that country, and he replied
that they had. I told him then that any such statement was a lie, using the very word here
quoted; that I had personally investigated one case where they had shipped away to
Roumania 2,800 carloads, mainly foodstuffs from one group of warehouses in Budapest alone,
that they were seizing and removing seed grain and the last head of cattle from many of
the farms, especially east of the Theiss River, and that I could give him overwhelming
proof of only too many concrete cases.
Early this morning, General Gorton came in to see me, very much disgusted. He said that
Sir George Clerk would be here probably only until tomorrow; that he had been wined and
dined constantly by the Roumanians; that he himself had asked him to dinner tonight and
showed me a note he had received from Sir George regretting that he could not accept
because of a previous engagement with some Roumanian. We decided then that we would either
get Sir George in deeper, or get him out; so I wrote a formal invitation, inviting him to
dine with me tonight, and he promptly accepted.
He promised to be with Colonel Loree from 11 to 1 o'clock, but did not show up until
12, and stayed only for about an hour. At this session, he told Colonel Loree that he had
been informed that the Roumanians had shipped back foodstuff to Hungary and were feeding
the Hungarians, and was told that nothing of the kind had ever happened. He attempted to
justify the seizure of all of the rolling stock, along the same lines as that adopted by
the Roumanians, stating that they were taking back only an equivalent of what had been
taken from them during the German occupation. He advanced the same old rotten argument
that the Roumanian Army in its victorious march upon an enemy's capital had done no more
than was customary in time of war, entirely ignoring the fact that there would be no
victorious Roumanian Army had not the Entente first smashed the Germanic Powers, and that
even then the Roumanians would never have gotten into Hungary had they not unfortunately
had the opportunity to sneak in at the time when Hungary and its army were disrupted
temporarily by the overthrow of the Bolshevist government.
Yesterday I had invited the family of Count Szirmay to go to the opera and sit in my
box, but they had to come so far from the country and were delayed so long en route by the
Roumanians, that they did not arrive until the opera was practically finished, and could
not, therefore, go to the Opera House at all. As a result, Colonel Loree and I rattled
around in the Royal box all alone until the last fifteen minutes, during which we were
joined by Colonel Yates. The party eventually arrived and we had them to dinner.
This morning a ceremony took place in my office, during which we decorated a member of
the British Mission, Lieutenant Molesworth, with the emblem of the Ancient, Honorable and
Puissant Order of the P. E. Club of America.
October 3, 1919. Last night we entertained at dinner Admiral Troubridge,
General Gorton, Sir George Clerk, Mr. Rattigan, the British Chargé d'Affaires at
Bucharest, and Admiral Troubridge's son, and Aide. Sir George Clerk looked a little bit
shamefaced, but I think was rather glad to have gotten out of the embarrassment that would
naturally have resulted from too much appearing in public with the Roumanians. He left
early because Mr. Rattigan was obliged, he said, to catch an early train back to
Bucharest. He asked if he could resume his conference with Colonel Loree at 9.30 this
morning, and was told certainly. But up to 11.30 he had not shown up.
The Roumanians kept on with their lying statements, that all requisitions had ceased on
September the sixteenth, but nevertheless they are continuing daily.
Last night I received a telegram from Mr. Polk, stating that he had just had an
interview with the Roumanian delegate, M. Misu, and with the Roumanian Colonel Antonescu.
The latter had been in Paris for a week conferring with the French, but had just been able
to get over to the American Commission. Mr. Polk stated that Antonescu denied all stories
of outrages and looting, and was particularly indignant over stories that they had taken
hospital supplies. He also gave as the reason for failure to arm 10,000 police, the Fact
that the Allies had charge of the Mackensen depôt of supplies and that the police should
be armed from the same. Mr. Polk added that Roumania is apparently beginning to feel the
pressure of the blockade of the Black Sea, because she could not get in the stores that
she had purchased from the French and the Americans, and he added that this blockade would
not be raised until the situation was improved. Mr. Polk suggested that a recommendation
be sent the Supreme Council, to form a board representing the Inter-Allied Military
Mission, with one Roumanian officer, for the purpose of investigating looting and
seizures. I received another telegram from him earlier in the evening which was marked
"double priority-urgent," wishing to know when Sir George Clerk would be back in
Paris. I wired in reply to the latter that Sir George was due to arrive in Paris on
Tuesday, and to the main telegram I sent the following answer:
Replying to your No.63, there is only too much proof of Roumanian looting. I myself saw
them taking hospital supplies and reported it at the time. They did not loot children's
hospitals, but did cut off the usual supply of milk which was equally bad. Concerning
Mackensen supplies, please see my telegrams No. sixty-three, sixty-five, sixty-six, and
sixty- eight. This depot contained no firearms whatever and only about two thousand
carloads of munitions. Roumanian tactics in regard to reorganizing the Hungarian police
and army have been constantly obstructive. They seem determined to force Hungary into a
separate treaty and, if obliged to evacuate, to leave her ripe for anarchy and Bolshevism
so that their return will be requested. Since August 16th there has been a committee of
the Mission on claims and complaints of which Colonel Loree is chairman. The Roumanian
commander was requested to send a liaison officer, who refused to assist in any
investigations, and the Roumanian commander insisted that all claims of any importance
should be sent to him for final decision. Under the circumstances, we have gone on
investigating and accumulating evidence, which is in as good a shape as possible with
facilities at our disposal. Sir George Clerk has been given many data.
In my opinion, the most crying need is to force the Roumanians to carry out the
instructions of the Supreme Council as given to them by the Inter-Allied Military Mission.
Unless they evacuate Hungary as rapidly as we may require, and in the meantime assist,
instead of obstructing, our police and army organization, matters will go from bad to
worse. If for the first time they keep a promise and begin the evacuation of Transdanubia
tomorrow, the fourth, we shall have made our first step forward.
I also sent a code telegram giving my opinion of Sir George Clerk, which was as
Sir George Clerk spent about an hour with the Mission Wednesday afternoon. He repeated
in substance his interview with the Roumanian Prime Minister which was practically the
same as my own as to grievances, etc., but being with a diplomat also included demands for
more territory on both sides of he Maros River for strategic defense of railroad. He said
the Roumanians told him that no food requisitions had been made except for actual use of
troops in Hungary. I told him this was untrue and I could give him absolute proof. The
Mission was practically unanimous on all points discussed. My personal opinion is that
Clerk is under the spell of Roumanian environment and a cooing dove would make a better
ultimatum bearer. The Queen thinks she can handle any man she meets and is usually right.
Clerk arrived Wednesday morning and, except or an hour with the Mission, he spent the
balance of the day conferring with, and being banqueted by, Roumanians. In the evening he
went to the opera with Diamandi; declined an in
invitation tonight to dine with Gorton because of an engagement with a Roumanian. So I
asked him and the entire British Mission, and he had to accept. He asked the Mission about
the prospects for future amicable relations between Hungary and Roumania, and was told
that it was not believed possible, as Roumanian requisition methods and excess had created
permanent retaliation sentiment. The Roumanians are devoting themselves almost exclusively
to the British. For three consecutive days they have been giving them banquets, but the
Admiral and General accepted only one invitation.
October 4, 1919. Although Sir George Clerk had two appointments with Colonel
Loree yesterday, one at 9.30 in the morning and the other at 5 o'clock in the afternoon,
he showed up at neither. During the forenoon, he had one of our stenographers, and in the
afternoon gave General Gorton a copy of his notes, among which the following appears:
Cases brought to the notice of the Roumanian authorities such as M. Diamandi, the High
Commissioner, or General Mardarescu, Commander in Chief, are indeed dealt with at once by
them and an order is immediately issued for investigation, reparation, and if necessary,
He then adds, further on:
The Roumanian government, and those responsible for the conduct of its affairs, do
realize that Hungary, stripped bare of all necessaries of life, is entirely contrary to
the interests of Roumania, and I believe them sincere in their intention to take only what
they consider to be their lawful property, stolen from them, and to limit their
requisitions to the quantities which they have laid down.
I do not doubt but that Minister Diamandi, General Mardarescu, and others of that ilk,
told Sir George just what he set down, and that he believed them. Their statements,
however, are untrue. To give a concrete instance: at one of the meetings of the
Inter-Allied Military Mission, which was attended by both Minister Diamandi and General
Mardarescu, I called their attention to the fact that the Roumanians were seizing and
removing articles like Gobelin tapestries, delicate scientific instruments, animals from
stock farms, machinery installed in series in large factories, and in general that they
were seizing property that had never been taken from them, that was not needed by them at
the time, nor were requisitions being made in a proper manner. General Mardarescu stated
three times in reply that he had seized only what was necessary for troops in the field.
Despite the fact that their attention on this occasion was called to definite cases, no
action was taken by either of them in the way of investigation, reparation, or punishment.
In particular, I read over the complete list of articles that had been removed rom the
Hungarian Directory of Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones, and asked General Mardarescu if
he, is a soldier, could tell me that most of the articles seized were needed by his troops
in the field. As he could give no direct reply, he invariably circumlocuted md switched to
other subjects in which art both he and Diamandi are past masters.
The Roumanians have been most careful to require publication in the Hungarian press of
the various banquets, entertainments, etc., given by them to Sir George Clerk, with the
evident intention, of course, of impressing the Hungarians with the fact that they stood
in with the Supreme Council.
Yesterday afternoon, at General Gorton's suggestion, Sir George saw Prime Minister
Friedrich, and I understand that the latter made a most strong presentation of his case,
showing how the Roumanians had descend even to petty personal persecution in order to
force him to accept their terms.
In my opinion, the Roumanians should be forced by all means to make immediate
restitution to the Hungarians of such portion of the seized rolling stock as may be
required by the Inter-Allied Military Mission. This would enable the Hungarians, upon
Roumanian evacuation, to move their supplies, coal, etc., and would be a great step
forward. In addition, it would restore some of the prestige lost by the four great Powers,
if it could be shown that the Roumanians had finally been forced to do something. They
should also be required to restore draft animals and cattle foodstuffs, certain kinds of
machinery, and such other articles as might seem necessary, but the question of rolling
stock should be at once insisted upon and forced.
Last night we had a box party in the Royal box at the opera, entertaining Count
Szirmay's family, and afterwards we had them at dinner.
October 5, 1919. This morning reports were received from Colonel Horowitz,
U.S. A., and from Major Foster of the British Army, to the effect that the first stage of
the evacuation of western Hungary by the Roumanians had been successfully carried through
without friction or difficulty worth noting.
Last night Colonel Loree and I attended a dinner as the guests of Mr. Butler of the
British Mission, the other guests being Admiral Troubridge, General Gorton, Sir George
Clerk, and Sir William Goode. The latter is the representative of the Supreme Council on
the Inter-Allied Food Commission. All of us, during the course of the evening, hammered
away at Sir George Clerk, and apparently changed his opinions in regard to his friends,
Today being Sunday, there was, of course, no meeting, but this afforded opportunity for
catching up with back work in the office.
October 6, 1919. Last night, just after we had risen from one of the excellent
meals with which Captain Gore is nourishing us, Colonel Horowitz reported and stated that
the Roumanians were at the National Museum with a whole flock of trucks, and proposed to
take away many of the works of art.
At a meeting of the Military Mission on October 1, 1919, it was decided that although
the Roumanians did claim many articles in the National Museum as belonging to them on
account of their present owner-ship of Transylvania, they should have none of these
articles until passed upon by our committee, of which Captain Shafroth, U. S. A., is
chairman. On the same date the Roumanian Commander in Chief was notified of our decision.
Accompanied by Colonel Loree and one American soldier, I followed Colonel Horowitz back
to the Museum, which we found under a strong Roumanian guard. One man tried to stop us,
but it did not do him much good, and we went into the building and eventually routed out
the Director. It appears that about 6 o'clock in the afternoon, General Serbescu,
accompanied by an entourage of officers and civilians, showed up at the Museum convoying
fourteen trucks and a detachment of soldiers. He stated that he was authorized by General
Mardarescu and High Commissioner Diamandi to take over the objects from Transylvania, and
demanded the keys. The Director informed him that the Inter-Allied Military Mission had
taken over the Museum and he would not give up the keys. General Serbescu then told him
that they would return in the morning and that, if the keys were not produced, they would
take the objects by force.
I, therefore, had the Director deliver the key to the storeroom to me and left a paper
worded as follows:
To whom it may concern - As the Inter-Allied Mission is in charge of all the objects in
the Hungarian National Museum at Budapest, the key has been taken charge of by the
President of the Day, General Bandholtz, the American representative.
This was followed by my signature. I then had Colonel Loree place seals on each of the
doors, on which was written:
This door sealed by Order Inter Allied Military Mission.
H. H. Bandholtz, Pres. of the day.
5 October 1919.
As the Roumanians and all Europeans are fond of rubber-stamp display, and as we had
nothing else, we used an American mail-censor stamp, with which we marked each of the
At this morning's session of the Mission, General Mombelli was unfortunately away,
having gone to Vienna to meet his wife, but I related to my colleagues my experience of
last night and asked whether or not the Mission approved the same, knowing in advance that
General Gorton was with me. As there was some little delay before a reply was made, I said
that in case the Mission did not care to do so, I personally would take all the
responsibility and state that what I had done was done as American representative. At
this, General Graziani very gallantly and promptly spoke up and said:
"No, I am with my colleague," and that settled it.
I then telegraphed the American Commission in Paris a statement of what had occurred,
and wound up with the sentence: "In the meantime the seals are on the doors, and we
We had another letter today from the Serbian representative, complaining of his
treatment by his allies, the Roumanians, and he was told that he should lay his complaint
directly before the Roumanians and if they did not act upon it, then he should bring it to
us and we would try to force the issue.
Complaints were also received of abuses of Hungarian prisoners by the Roumanians, so it
was decided to have our Army Organization Committee investigate and report on such abuses.
A letter was received from the Hungarian Ministry, stating that they had applied to the
Roumanians for authority to reopen the mails, to which they had received the reply from
General Mardarescu that he had no objection, provided the Hungarians would pay for forty
Roumanian censors. This was so ridiculous that it was decided to send a copy of the letter
to the Supreme Council.
As the Roumanians are deluging us with statements that they have stopped all
requisitions, we are bringing to their attention the more important reported cases, asking
them to stop immediately and to make restitution. This morning we had a concrete case of
about three million kronen worth of Tokay wine.
Just before adjournment, a letter was received from the Roumanians dated the fourth, in
which they acknowledged receipt of the Mission's letter of the first, relative to the
objects from Transylvania in the National Museum, and stating that these objects would be
seized and that the signers, Mardarescu and Diamandi, would take the responsibility for
this action. As it happens, they will now have to take the responsibility for breaking the
Mission's seals before they get the objects.
In a burst of generosity, the Roumanians said that they would give one thousand rifles
to the police immediately, and then they sent over a colonel to state that there were
twelve to fourteen different kinds of makes in the one thousand rifles, that practically
none of them were serviceable, and that it would be necessary to return them to Szeged and
get others. Of course this will continue indefinitely, and we shall wind up, as usual with
the Roumanians, by getting nothing.
Concerning the objects in the Museum, a letter has also been received from the
Archbishop of Esztergom and Prince Primus of Hungary stating that these objects were by
will placed in his charge on the condition that they form an integral part of a Christian
Museum at Esztergom or at Budapest, and protesting against any-one whomsoever interfering
with the right of the Roman Catholic Church in this collection.
October 7, 1919. Colonel Yates returned from Bucharest yesterday afternoon,
and Lieutenant Hamilton arrived from Paris late at night, and this morning
Lieutenant-Colonel Moore reported for duty with me. He had formerly been in charge of the
Courier Service at Paris, so he is well acquainted with the system of railroads through
this section of the country, and is a West Pointer of the class of 1903. He came on the
same train with Colonel Causey of the Food Commission, who is in Budapest for the day.
Having been invited by General Mosoiu, the Roumanian Commander in Budapest, with all of
my staff, to lunch with him at the Hotel Hungaria at noon, seven of us went over and had
an American-Roumanian love feast. At the entrance to the Hotel, they had an honor guard
drawn up with a band which sounded off with what was supposed to be the "Star
Spangled Banner." After we had entered the large dining room, the band came and
repeated what was again supposed to be the "Star Spangled Banner," but which was
different from the first offense. When we finally left, they sounded off again with the
third variety, and also with the Roumanian national anthem.
We opened up the ball with a hot drink, two glasses of which will lay out a full-grown
man for about a week. Needless to say, none of us took very much. We then sat down to the
usual banquet procedure, which was marked more by sumptuousness than by delicacy. As guest
of honor, I sat facing General Mosoiu, who beamed upon me throughout the whole meal with
his three-hundred-and-ten-pound smile. As previously stated, however, he is a pretty good
old fellow and far above the ordinary Roumanian general, of which there were six specimens
present. Colonel Loree sat next to General Serbescu, who, poor devil, is the Director in
Chief of Roumanian requisitions, seizures, and thefts. He is really not a bad fellow
himself, but has to be fourteen kinds of skunk in the execution of his office. He told
Colonel Loree that I had put him between the devil and the deep sea. His orders were to
seize the articles in the Museum; that he could not seize them without breaking my seals,
and he did not dare to break the seals; so all he could see was disaster approaching in
General Mosoiu toasted "Les Etats-Unis," which was responded to with raucous
Roumanian shouts. In return, I gave them "The Allies and a lasting friendship,"
thereby avoiding a direct allusion to any greater Roumania.
On our return from the hotel, when we were crossing the Danube Bridge, we saw a crowd
congregated, and proceeded to investigate. It seemed that a Hungarian policeman had tapped
a Roumanian soldier in a crowded street car, to warn him that he was in danger. The
Roumanian did not understand and promptly pulled a revolver on the policeman, who then
reached for his bayonet to defend himself. Seeing this, a Roumanian censor, dressed in
civilian clothes, had called up some Roumanian soldiers who promptly responded, and Hell
was about to pop. I took the name of the Hungarian policeman, and sent the Roumanian and
the Roumanian soldier who had caused the difficulty, in charge of Colonel Loree and
Lieutenant Hamilton, to Roumanian Headquarters, where they were turned over, and the
situation was explained by Colonel Loree.
October 8, 1919. Last night we had Lieutenant- Colonel Causey,
Lieutenant-Colonel Moore, and Captain Smythe to dinner. Afterwards Colonel Causey returned
to Vienna by special train.
At this morning's session, General Graziani presided, and we had no matters of great
moment to take up.
Lieutenant-Colonel Berthon, of the Army Organization Committee, reported that some
Hungarian officers, during the evacuation of Transdanubia had indulged in considerable
talk which was hardly proper under the circumstances, so we decided to communicate with
the Hungarian War Department to that effect.
Reports of continuation of Roumanian pillaging between the Danube and the Theiss Rivers
were received, and it seems that this pillaging is increasing in intensity, rather than
There was received a very peculiar and interesting letter from General Mardarescu,
stating that the Roumanians, when entering Budapest, had found several monitors and
Vedette boats in the river here; that this matter had been brought to the attention of
Admiral Troubridge, who had replied that these boats were the property of the Allies and
were awaiting their disposition. The Roumanians, therefore, begged the Inter-Allied
Military Mission to intercede in their behalf and see that there were turned over to them,
without further delay, two monitors and two Vedette boats. As the matter was one which
should be handled entirely by the Danube River Commission and not by our Mission, it was
decided to notify the Roumanians accordingly and to transmit their paper to Admiral
Troubridge. Just to get a rise out of General Graziani, I suggested that we write to the
Roumanians acknowledging receipt of their communication, stating that up to date they had
not complied with any of the requests made by this Mission to cease requisitions or
anything else, that when they returned to Hungary the property which they had taken and
which we had requested, we could consider the matter. In the meantime the boats were in
the Danube and as easily accessible to seizure as was all the other property they had
taken, the only difference being, of course, that the boats were under British guard. Poor
General Graziani nearly had a fit of apoplexy when I suggested this. He gave a most
audible sigh of relief when I added that probably it might be inadvisable to send such a
communication as yet.
Just as we were leaving for lunch, we got word that the Roumanians were down at one of
the banks and proposed to seize some funds which, they claimed, had belonged to the
Bolshevist government. We accordingly hotfooted over there, but found nobody. Later in the
afternoon, we got word that the Roumanians had been to the bank and had taken the funds
away, and then we discovered that we had been directed to the wrong bank. Accordingly
Colonel Loree and Major Foster of the British Service chased down and hoped that they
would be in time to intercept the Roumanian retreat, but they had made a get-away with
funds amounting to two million kronen white money, which is four hundred thousand kronen
blue money or, reduced to United States currency, sixty thousand dollars. General Gorton
and I also went over and found that all the Roumanian high officials were off on a hunting
expedition. We therefore sent Colonel Loree and Major Foster over to Roumanian G. H. Q.,
where they spent the afternoon and left that bunch in fear and trembling.
To show the change of heart on the part of the Roumanians, they volunteered this
afternoon to give us at once 10,000 rifles for the police, which proves that they lied in
the beginning in saying that the rifles had to be imported from Roumania. The whole thing
seems to be turning on the placing of the seals on the Museum, which seals, by the way,
are still intact.
October 9, 1919. Yesterday afternoon I received an inquiry from the American
Commission as to the whereabouts of General Jadwin(3), and
after I had dictated a telegram saying that he had not been seen or even heard from, word
came to me that he had just arrived bringing me two cards, so I spent the evening with
him, at his home in the Hotel Ritz, going over common experiences.
As indicated in the journal of a previous day, the Roumanians seem to be determined to
get revenue from every possible source, including the liberation of Bolshevist prisoners.
Last night, some time after midnight, a Hungarian liaison officer brought word that a
large number of Roumanian soldiers were at the main prison demanding the release of a
Bolshevist prisoner. My secretary, Mr. Fenselau, accompanied by field clerk St. Jacques,
was sent over to the prison and found the facts to be as stated. In fact, the Roumanians
were about leaving with their prisoner. My men insisted on bringing the matter up directly
to the Roumanian high officials, because the officer in charge of the detachment said that
they were acting under verbal orders from Colonel Vasilescu. As Colonel Vasilescu is about
the squarest Roumanian in the whole service, this looked very fishy, and the fishiness was
demonstrated later on when at 2.30 o'clock in the morning neither Colonel Vasilescu nor
his wife could be found in the hotel. Our two men hung on to the proposition like a pup to
a root, and eventually got word that General Panaitescu, he Chief of Staff, had authorized
the return of the prisoner to the jail. I am sending word to Roumanian Headquarters, by
Colonel Loree, that if there is any more of this I will personally put an American guard
on the prison and allow no Roumanians to enter.
October 10, 1919. Last night I had General Jadwin to dinner at our quarters
and invited General Gorton over to meet him.
This morning at 7.45, we all started in automobiles for Vienna. Jadwin and I rode in a
limousine and Captain Gore with Jadwin's extra chauffeurs, etc., in a touring car.
When we struck the Hungarian guard station at Gyôr, they did not know whether or not
to let us through. They wanted me to go back and see an officer. I told them to bring the
officer to see me. Finally after some telephoning, they let us through. At the succeeding
Hungarian posts we had no trouble. Subsequently upon arriving in Vienna, I telegraphed
Colonel Loree about our difficulty, knowing that he would take it up immediately with the
Hungarian War Office so that there would be no delay on our return trip.
When we arrived at Bruck, we ran across the first Austrian guard whom we could not well
understand, and as a result they put a soldier on our running board and took us up to some
office where they again wanted us to go up and see an officer, and I again refused. We did
let one of the chauffeurs go up and he eventually came back with his passport viséd,
which they said would be sufficient.
The other car had not caught up with us at Bruck, nor did it again join us because the
timing chain was out of gear, and it had to remain there until we afterwards sent the
limousine back from Vienna to tow it in. General Jadwin and I arrived at the Hotel Bristol
in Vienna at about 3 o'clock, where I stayed as the guest of Lieutenant-Colonel Causey,
who is on duty with the American Relief Association.
The American consul, Mr. Halstead, called upon me shortly after arrival, and in the
evening we dined at the Bristol as Colonel Causey's guests, but we did not try to go out.
October 11, 1919. Colonel Raymond Sheldon, for whom I had applied, arrived at
Vienna last night, and reported to me this morning. Jadwin and I did a little shopping in
the morning, got some French money, changed it into Austrian kronen, and then separated. I
spent the rest of the day prowling around Vienna alone.
The Austrian currency has been steadily depreciating, until now it takes ten kronen to
make one franc, French money, and it takes about nine francs, French money, to make one
dollar of American money. That makes ninety kronen to the dollar. During the day, I
received in change some two-heller pieces, which made each piece worth less than
one-fortieth of a cent, as it takes one hundred heller to make a krone.
I gave a luncheon party at the Bristol to General Jadwin, Colonel Sheldon, Colonel C.
B. Smith, Lieutenant-Colonel Causey, and Captain Gore. Owing to he depreciated currency, a
very fine lunch for six cost less than the charge in Paris for an ordinary lunch for one.
Colonel Sheldon stated that he was paying thirty-two kronen a day for a fine room with
bath. This reduced to United States currency, would be about thirty-five cents.
In the evening we were all guests of Lieutenant-Colonel Causey at dinner at some
restaurant near one of the palaces.
October 12, 1919. I left Vienna this morning about 3.30, the delay being
caused by the impossibility of getting gasoline early on Sunday morning. Colonel Sheldon,
Captain Gore and I went in the limousine. and on the touring car we loaded all our
purchases and supplies, and Colonel Sheldon's baggage.
When we arrived at Bruck, we were again held up by the Austrian outpost. A soldier got
on the running board, took us up to the same building, and wanted me to go up and see the
officer. I sent word that if he wanted to see me, he could come down. He then sent word
that it would not be necessary for me to come up, but only to send my papers. I again told
him that if he wanted my papers, he could come down and, as he was rather slow in coming
and I understood he objected to the same, we pulled out, made them raise their gates, and
proceeded on our way without further difficulty, as the Hungarians did not attempt to stop
We arrived at the house in Budapest about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, had lunch, and I
put in the rest of the afternoon working at my office in catching up with back work.
In the evening, I went to dinner at General Gorton's, the other guest being the
Roumanian General Mosoiu.
October 13, 1919. At this morning's session of the Mission, at which I
presided, there was very much doing.
We started in by having a letter from the British Food Commissioner, Mr. Domaille,
complaining that the Roumanians had reduced the food reserve in Budapest to one-third of
what it was in September; and another letter from the Hungarian Minister, to the effect
that the Roumanian Commander in Budapest would not allow the Food Commissioner to supply
the suburbs, containing an estimated population of over 600,000..
There was a complaint from the Hungarian government stating that the Czecho-Slovaks
were occupying territory on this side of the Danube opposite the town of Pozsony. As there
were no data on hand to determine whether or not this territory belonged to the
Czecho-Slovaks, a letter was sent to the Supreme Council asking for a decision.
A complaint was received from the Hungarians that the Roumanians, in the evacuation of
Transdanubia, had liberated many Bolshevist prisoners. As this is particularly in line
with what they have been doing in the city of Budapest, a letter was sent to the Roumanian
Commander in Chief calling his attention to the impropriety of any such conduct and
advising him to discontinue it in the future.
A red-hot letter was received from Captain Brunier, the Swiss representative of the
International Red Cross, containing conclusions which are embodied in the telegram to the
Supreme Council, copied further down. It as decided to send Colonel Sheldon, U. S. A., who
had been my second assistant in charge of our prisoners of war in France, accompanied by
an Italian doctor, with Captain Brinier to investigate all of the Roumanian
A long letter was received from the Hungarian Minister of War, explaining that the
conditions in Hungary were so entirely different from those in Austria that the Austrian
treaty should not form a basis for a future Hungarian treaty, especially as regards a
Several other complaints were received and matters worked up to such a climax that I
stated to the Mission that, in my opinion, the time had arrived when we should lay the
case plainly before the Supreme Council and asked that they either force the Roumanians to
evacuate immediately, making much restitution of seized property, or that they relieve the
Inter-Allied Military Mission. With very little discussion, it was decided to draw up and
send such a telegram, which I did, rid which reads as follows:
Cold weather is setting in and a day's delay now more serious than would have been a
week's delay two months ago. Inter-Allied Military Mission therefore desires to present
the Supreme Council following statements of fact concerning conduct of Roumanians with
request for prompt action. They have so thoroughly cleaned out country of rolling stock
that there is not enough for transportation of local food and fuel requirements. Their
administration has reduced food reserve in Budapest to one-third of what it was in
September. According to report of Hungarian Food Minister, they have by unnecessary and
cruel restrictions prevented food from going out of Budapest to neighboring suburbs,
population of which estimated to be six hundred thousand. It is reported that during
evacuation of Transdanubia, they released Bolshevists who had been detained, and in the
city of Budapest they have repeatedly, by force and without, written orders taking
Bolshevist prisoners out of jails. At Szolnok, where a Committee of this Mission was
obtaining information of Roumanian exportation, they have arrested several of the
Hungarian railway men who were aiding in our efforts. They have prevented university
students from a continuation of their courses. On September 26 their Commander in Chief
sent a letter to Mission stating that to cover needs of feeding Hungary, the zone between
Danube and Theiss Rivers had been placed at disposition of Hungarian government; that no
requisitions would take place in that zone except those necessary for actual feeding of
troops; that especially for city of Budapest above zone would be extended to east of
Theiss to boundary line fixed by said commander, despite which on October fifth the
Roumanian Colonel Rujinschi seized thirty aeroplane motors at Budapest which can hardly be
classified as food. On October tenth in Budapest from the firm of Schmitt and Társai they
seized and removed machinery which put two thousand laborers out of work. A large number
of similar cases with proof are on hand. In reply to letter from Mission that it was
desired that objects in National Museum be not disturbed until acted upon by committee,
they sent reply that they intended to take those objects and that the signers of letters,
Mardarescu and Diamandi, assumed responsibility for such action, this being in effect an
insult to nations represented on Inter-Allied Military Mission. That they did not take
these objects was due to fact that doors were sealed and signed by the President of the
Day at the time and they were afraid to go to extreme of breaking seals. Between five and
six o'clock this morning they attempted to arrest Prime Minister Friedrich and did arrest
two government officials, as result of which President of the Day in person delivered to
General Mardarescu a memorandum from Mission, copy of which was telegraphed Supreme
Council this date. They kept their Commander in Chief, General Mardarescu, and High
Commissioner Diamandi absent in Bucharest a week, during which no representative was
present with whom business could be transacted. Although they in August acknowledged the
Inter-Allied Military Mission as representing their superior, they have with comparatively
negligible exceptions carried out none of the instructions of this Mission and have always
insisted on acting as though Roumania were equal or superior to nations represented on
Mission. They have sent misleading reports to Paris placing themselves in attitude of
saviors of Hungary and have censored the press in Hungary to such an tent that Hungarians
could not refute any false statements. On the nineteenth of September their General
Mardarescu wrote to the Mission that he had taken all necessary measures to make treatment
of prisoners satisfactory, stating that especially from sanitary viewpoint according to
report of his surgeon general conditions were very good. On October eleventh, Mission
received communication from International Red Cross representative stating that his
investigation at Arad resulted in discovery of conditions so opposed to conventions
covering treatment of prisoners of war that he felt this Mission should take some action.
His conclusions, which are as follows, concur with all reports concerning same except
"I find that these prisoners were not captured on the field of battle but many
days after the cessation of hostilities; that the lodgings of the prisoners are
unsanitary; that the army which captured them takes no care of them whatever, furnishes
them neither food, clothing, medicine, covering, nor anything; that from the date of their
captivity, the prisoners have had no funds and that the majority cannot purchase anything
for even insufficient nourishment; that doctors are treated contrary to Article IX of
Geneva Convention of 1906; that all these men are exposed to serious diseases if they are
not promptly aided; that the order given to the Red Cross at Arad to take care of the
prisoners' needs is entirely illegal and cannot be based upon any law or international
Doctor Munro of the British Food Commission and the Swiss Captain Brinier of the
International Red Cross have just returned from visiting the following towns: Hatvan,
Gyöngyös, Miskolcz, Sátoralja-Ujhely, Nyiregyháza, Debreczen, Szolnok, Nagyvárad,
Békés-Gyula, Arad, Temesvár, Szeged, all in permanent portion of Hungary, but now
occupied by Roumanians, and have submitted signed statement from which following is
"In all towns occupied by Roumanians we found an oppression so great as to make
life unbearable. Murder is common, youths and women flogged, imprisoned without trial,
arrested without reason, theft of personal property under name of requisition. Condition
of affairs prevails difficult for Western European to realize who has not seen and heard
the evidence. People are forced to take oath of allegiance to Roumanian King; if they
refuse they are persecuted. Experienced Hungarian Directors of Hospitals have been
replaced by inexperienced Roumanian doctors. Roumanian military authorities demand
petition for every passport, request for coal or food. Petition must be written in
Roumanian language, Roumanian lawyer must be employed, and he charges enormous fees.
Station master of Brad and the station master of Kétegyháza have been most fearfully
flogged. Last Good Friday Roumanians advanced suddenly to Boros-Sebes and two hundred
fifty Hungarian soldiers were taken prisoners. These were killed in most barbarous manner;
stripped naked and stabbed with bayonets in way to prolong life as long as possible.
Roumanians have established custom-house in every village. Delivery permits can only be
obtained by payment of ridiculously large sums. Commerce is impossible. People will soon
starve. Deliberately and for no military and political reason apparent the hospitals are
not allowed transports for coal and wood which they have already paid for. Very life of
hospital hangs on coal. Hospitals will have to close down entirely unless relieved
immediately. Results will be disastrous. There will be outbreaks of all sorts of
contagious epidemic diseases, such as typhus, typhoid, etc."
An American officer and an Italian doctor, if Roumanians permit, will accompany the
International Red Cross representative on a thorough investigation of prisoner-of-war
camps. In general Roumanian conduct has been such that this Mission has been almost wholly
unable to carry out its instructions and there is apparently no prospect of immediate
improvement. It is the unanimous opinion of the Mission that unless the Roumanians
immediately evacuate Hungary and make at least partial restitution in particular of
rolling stock, machinery and much other property seized, there will result in a very short
time extreme suffering from lack of food and fuel and a recrudescence of Bolshevism. This
Mission is therefore of the unanimous opinion that either the Roumanians should be forced
to evacuate Hungary at once and make restitution as above outlined or that this Mission
should be relieved.
After acting upon this, Colonel Loree sent me word that the Roumanians had tried to
arrest Prime Minister Friedrich(4) and had arrested at
least two Hungarian officials. This action on their part rather got under the skin of all
of us and we decided to notify them that in our opinion such action could not be
tolerated, and I offered to deliver personally to the Roumanian Commander in Chief a
memorandum on the subject. To make sure that there would be no misunderstanding on his
part, General Graziani wrote this out in his beautiful French, which afforded me much
satisfaction to sign, chase down to Roumanian headquarters, and deliver in person to
General Mardarescu. I told him we had received information that he had tried that morning
to arrest the Prime Minister of the Hungarian government and that I had the honor to hand
him the wishes of the Mission in regard to the conduct of the Roumanians toward the
Hungarian government. He turned as pale as he could under his hide, and, as his Chief of
Staff was with him, they discussed the matter for a few minutes in machine-gun Roumanian.
His Excellency then told me that it was all a horrible mistake, and that they had never
intended it. I told him that I was delighted to hear it, but nevertheless I would leave
the memorandum. Then I departed. Thereupon I telegraphed in English the text of the
memorandum, to the Supreme Council, which was as follows:
The Mission considers it indispensable that the conduct of affairs by the Hungarian
cabinet be not interrupted for a single moment. Therefore in the name of the Supreme
Council the Mission demands that the Roumanian authorities leave the members of the
Hungarian government entirely alone in the conduct of the affairs of their departments
until the Supreme Council has made known its decision.
Drawing up the telegram to the Supreme Council and chasing around after Roumanians took
up practically all of my time, and we did not sit down to dinner until nine o'clock,
having as our only guest a young Hungarian liaison officer, Lieutenant Széchy, who is
attached to the American Mission.
October 14, 1919. As all day yesterday was taken up with cleaning up
accumulation of business, and as result of chasing around with the telegram to the Supreme
Council, my whole forenoon was taken up dictating and receiving callers, and the afternoon
was similarly occupied. In the evening Colonel Loree and I went as guests at the British
"B Mess," which is run by the junior officers. It was certainly a relief to sit
down to a dinner where you could talk in your own lingo.
October 15, 1919. At this morning's session, General Gorton presided, and
there was first read a letter from General Mardarescu complaining that British and
American officers had been guilty of gross discourtesy toward Roumanian soldiers and had
called them pigs. It frequently happens that people do not like to be called by their most
appropriate title. In any event our friend, Mardarescu, made a Hell of a howl and demanded
all sorts of things. It turned out before we got through that the shoe was on the other
foot, and that his pigs had been holding up our officers unnecessarily. His attention was
called to this, and he was advised to instruct his soldiers to act more as such and less
I then turned over to the President of the Day a letter which had been delivered at my
office yesterday by the Hungarian Minister of War. Enclosed in this letter was another one
from the Roumanian Chief of Staff in which he admitted that three Roumanian patrols had
gone across the neutral zone into Hungarian territory and had been beaten up or otherwise
injured. It was demanded by the Roumanian Chief of Staff that the Hungarian Minister of
War deliver to the Roumanian Chief of Staff one million two hundred and fifty thousand
kronen before noon today, and in the event of failure to do so the food supply of the city
of Budapest would be cut off. A letter was written and sent to the Roumanian Commander in
Chief, calling his attention to the fact that according to the admission of his own Chief
of Staff the Roumanian soldiers were entirely out of bounds, that in case of any
difficulties between patrols the matter should be referred to the Army Organization
Committee of this Mission, which had a Roumanian member, and that the recommendation of
this Committee should be received before any action was taken. It was added that it was
not believed that he could be serious in his threat to stop the food supply of two million
people on account of the conduct of individuals many miles away.
I then informed the Mission that according to Paragraph 3 (b) of our instructions from
the Supreme Council, which empower us to define the lines which occupying troops were to
hold, we should notify the Roumanians that it was now time for them to evacuate the city
of Budapest. With but little discussion, this was approved and I later drafted the
In compliance with the requirements contained in Paragraph 3 (b) of the instructions
from the Supreme Council, the Inter-Allied Military Mission has directed me to inform Your
Excellency that it is desired that the Royal Roumanian Forces proceed with the evacuation
of Hungary and without delay withdraw from the city of Budapest to a line at least fifty
Your Excellency will recall that at one of the sessions of this Mission which your
Excellency attended it was decided that an infantry division and a cavalry division at
thirty kilometers distance would be sufficient for moral effect upon the city, could there
be any incipient recrudescence of Bolshevism or any other disturbance.
The Inter-Allied Military Mission requests of Your Excellency prompt information as to
the date upon which the quested withdrawal will take place.
We received a protest from the Roumanians against ur proceeding to organize an
additional Hungarian division near Szeged, and it was decided to reply to them that this
was a matter entirely within the jurisdiction of the Mission. Another letter was received
from he Roumanians to the effect that they had heard that Admiral Horthy's army was far in
excess of what was authorized and already numbered twenty-five thousand men. They demanded
that we check this up at once and that they have a liaison officer at Hungarian
headquarters and at each division. We decided that this likewise vas a matter entirely
within our jurisdiction, and that he Army Organization Committee, which had a Roumanian
member, was fully capable of handling all such matters.
During the day I received a telegram for delivery to General Gorton, informing him that
Sir George Clerk had been designated as Envoy of the Supreme Council at Budapest, and with
full powers. Just what this means was beyond us; so I telegraphed the American Mission
what was meant by "full powers"-did it mean that Sir George Clerk was to relieve
the Military Mission, that the Military Mission was to function under him, or that he was
to represent the Supreme Council to act upon matters which we could bring to his
In the afternoon Lieutenant-General Sir Tom Bridges called upon me and we had quite a
In regard to the attempted arrest of Prime Minister Friedrich, I have ascertained that
the whole affair was undoubtedly a fluke. The Crown Prince of Roumania, whose regiment is
but a short distance out of Budapest, and who is about of the same moral fiber as most
Crown Princes, was in Budapest on the night of the twelfth, as the guest of General
Mosoiu, who commands in the city.
During the table talk, he stated, that when he became King of Hungary he proposed to
turn loose the Communists and other political prisoners and that he would do it now but
for the fact that that scoundrel, Friedrich, was Prime Minister. It is understood by some
that this was taken by Mosoiu as a suggestion to have Friedrich arrested. Other reports
are that the Crown Prince himself ordered the arrest. In any event the attempt failed, and
I am rather satisfied that Mardarescu's surprise was genuine. It is an example, however,
how matters are running in Hungary during Roumanian occupation.
October 16, 1919. It was remarkable that there were today no reports of
I had luncheon at the Hotel Ritz as the guest of General Bridges of the British Army.
With him was also British General Greenly, who is the Attaché to Roumania.
During the conversation, General Bridges repeated me the remarks that he made when he
was my guest, the effect that General Weygand, Marshal Foch's chief of Staff, had told him
that in the Argonne offensive the American army was badly split up, that were from a
hundred thousand to a hundred and fifty thousand stragglers who could not find their
organizations; that hardly any supplies were brought up, and in general almost a state of
I told General Bridges that in view of the fact that was Provost Marshal General at the
time and in charge the straggling proposition I could tell him definitely and positively
that General Weygand's statement was incorrect. I have written General Pershing informing
him of these remarks of General Weygand's.
Of late I have been doing a great deal of adopting, and have several families under my
wing. In one case have six young countesses by the name of Szirmay, ranging from
twenty-four years for the eldest on down, with about two years' intervals. My staff
officers rather like this arrangement.
Last night, considerably to my disgust, I was obliged attend the Grand Opera as General
Gorton's guest. He was giving a big party with dinner afterwards in the Országos Casino.
Nobody knew what the opera was cause it had a Hungarian name, and the words were
Hungarian. It was something about a Jewess, who weighed about two hundred and twenty-five
pounds, in love with a little tenor who was six inches shorter and weighed about one
twenty-five. During the performance a giant of a cardinal wound up, having the Jewess
thrown into a caldron of burning oil where she made a big splash and a red glow. The
dinner was not bad, and I finally got home before eleven o'clock. Owing to the attitude of
the Roumanians about hours, the opera begins at six o'clock and ends at nine, and each
performance consists of a long drawn-out tragedy, with occasional rays of sunshine in the
way of a ballet.
October 17, 1919. At this morning's session, General Graziani presided and we
had another report of the invasion of Hungarian territory by Roumanian patrols. Judging
from a secret service agent's report of the incidents which occurred at the dinner given
to the Crown Prince on the night of the twelfth, the Roumanians intend to put over many of
this kind of incursions in order to stir up the Hungarians to something more than passive
resistance, so that fines can be imposed on the rest of the country.
A most peculiar letter was received from General Mardarescu, announcing that he
proposed to return all the telephone instruments and other apparatus removed from the
Hungarian Ministry of War, but he added that this would not take place until the
Roumanians were about to evacuate.
A letter was received also from General Mardarescu, complaining that a British officer
had gone to the town Gödöllô, forced his way into the château there, and had broken
the Roumanian seals on some of the doors. An explanation was demanded. The reply was that
Major Foster, a member of Colonel Loree's committee, had gone to the château in question;
that there were no seals there whatever; that some doors had been unlocked by the
Roumanians themselves, but no seals were broken; and that Major Foster expected an apology
from the Roumanian officer that had falsely accused him.
We also received a letter from Colonel Yates, stating at the Roumanians had agreed to
accept him as the superior of police and gendarmerie. Everything considered there seems to
be a little progress.
October 18, 1919. Last night about 7 o'clock, a long telegram of about fifteen
hundred words was received from the American Commission, with the request that I furnish
copies to my colleagues. It contained the last ultimatum of the Supreme Council to the
Roumanians. In my opinion if a duck should drop into the Mediterranean Sea, it would have
about as much effect on the tide in the Gulf of Mexico as would any such ultimatum on our
Roumanian friends. It was as sweet as sugar and honey could make it and of the same type
as its numerous predecessors. After reading it over, I went with Captain Gore, about 11
o'clock at night, to General Mombelli's quarters, got him out of bed and translated it to
him in my beautiful, fluent, forceful, and rotten French. He seemed to grasp the point,
however, and we decided that we would call a meeting of the Mission for the morning.
We accordingly met at 9.30, turned loose all of our interpreters upon the telegram, and
eventually absorbed its gentle contents. It started by reminding the Roumanians that there
were points at issue between them and the Allies. The first was their demand for both
banks of the Maros River, which was diplomatically refused. The second was the question of
"Minorities," in which the Supreme Council firmly announced its intention to
abide by its original decision, and then wound up by saying in effect that, however, if
the Roumanians would only please accept the treaty as it was given them, they could
immediately discuss the matter and make any changes for which the Roumanians could give
good reasons. The third clause was the Hungarian question, which was subdivided into two
parts; the first being the question of requisitions, to which the Supreme Council said it
knew very well that the great and glorious Roumanian government never had any intention of
seizing anything beyond railroad rolling stock and war material, but that nevertheless
there was incontestable evidence that some unruly Roumanian subordinates had gone far in
advance of the authorized requisitions and had seized much other property for which the
Supreme Council was regretfully forced to hold the Roumanian government itself
responsible. It was stated that a Reparations Committee or Commission would be appointed,
with Roumanian representation, to go into this matter and adjust it. Then was added one of
those little acts called "closing the barn door after the horse stolen"-it was
suggested that a Commission be sent the Szolnok and Csongrád Bridges to keep track of
exportations from Hungary into Roumania.
The second subdivision was the evacuation of Hungary, and the Supreme Council stated
that it would be tickled to death to receive assurances from the Roumanian government that
they intended promptly to evacuate Hungary.
There was also another point of the Hungarian question, namely, the constitution of a
government. Some time ago our Mission had telegraphed to the Supreme Council recommending
that either the Friedrich government be recognized or that specific instructions be given
as to what kind of government would be recognized. The reply was another beautiful example
of glittering generalities. It was repeated that it was not ought that the Friedrich
government was a correct presentation of all Hungarian parties, and that Minister
Friedrich should have a member in his cabinet from each party, and that in case he could
not do so, the Entente could not make a treaty of peace with his cabinet. In view of the
fact that there are at present eighteen different political parties in Hungary, it is
apparent that long range theory does not always work.
Later in the morning, the American consul in Vienna, Mr. Halstead, called me up by
telephone and gave me a translation from one of the Vienna papers, which was to the effect
that the Supreme Council in Paris had received a telegram from the Inter-Allied Military
Mission in Budapest in which it was declared that the Roumanians must be forced to leave
Hungary; that the Supreme Council agreed with this; that instructions to such effect would
immediately be sent forward, and that Sir George Clerk had left on the evening of the
sixteenth from Paris for Budapest to hand over such instructions to the Roumanians.
During the session of the Mission, General Gorton stated that he had seen Minister
Friedrich at lunch at Admiral Troubridge's, and that the Prime Minister was very much
concerned for his personal safety. The General added then that he had seen me and I had
agreed to send an American soldier over to stay at Minister Friedrich's house until
matters quieted down.
This evening at about 7 o'clock, as I was about to leave the office to dress for
dinner, several Hungarian functionaries, wild-eyed and disheveled, rushed into my office
to say that the Roumanians, having heard that Sir George Clerk was coming, had decided to
arrest Friedrich, and were on their way to make the arrest. I grabbed my riding crop; took
the lot in tow, picked up my aide, Lieutenant Hamilton, and one military policeman, and
went myself over to the government building, where I personally mounted guard, while
Lieutenant Hamilton went and got a corporal and three men. These I posted and left with
the idea of having British and American guards alternate in the future. The Roumanian
company evidently had heard of this and they stopped in the barracks about three or four
This evening Colonel Loree, Captain Gore and my-were invited to dinner by Admiral
Troubridge to Sir Maurice de Bunsen(5) and Lady de Bunsen.
October 19, 1919. This morning, on the way over to my office, I stopped to
look over our guard at the government building, and then started for the Palace, and plumb
into a Roumanian patrol of about eight. Of course, they understood no English and I no
Roumanian, but they evidently understood the sign language of the riding crop and departed
from the Palace precincts, escorted by Colonel Loree.
This noon I was obliged to attend a small luncheon party given by General Gorton to
Lady Cunningham the Countess Orssich. It was a devil of a nuisance because our courier
leaves tomorrow morning and I wanted to finish my memoranda for the American Commission.
Anyway I quit early and got back and busy at work.
In the afternoon General Soós came in to see me, and that he understood that the
Roumanians were going to evacuate the city of Buda tonight. I told him I though he was
mistaken and that only the division which was being relieved by another division, would
leave, but in case there was any general evacuation I would let him know, and warned him
in any event to be prepared for contingencies.
This evening we entertained at dinner Mr. Haan, proprietor of the Hotel St. Regis of
New York City, his wife and two daughters, one of whom is married to a Hungarian general.
Mr. Haan, although now an American citizen, is of Hungarian birth and came with a letter
of introduction from Assistant Secretary of State Polk, and also from Lieutenant Littwitz,
who as enlisted man was so long my chauffeur with the Twenty-seventh Division. Mr. Haan is
bringing over funds to relieve distress in Hungary, but does not wish to appear in the
October 20, 1919. The Mission met this morning as usual at 9.30, and it was my
turn as President of the Day.
There was read the telegram from the Supreme Council to the effect that Sir George
was coming here purely in a political capacity, that his coming had nothing whatever to
do with the duties of the Military Mission, in whom the Supreme Council had the most
beautiful and sublime confidence, all of which caused my Latin colleagues a sigh of
General Mombelli then read four letters which had been received from our slippery
friend Mardarescu, and which in their order were about as follows:
The astute Roumanian stated that in imposing the fine upon the Hungarian government for
the action of the Hungarian National Army towards Roumanian patrols, he was doing only
what he considered right and was sure that the Mission would agree to the justice of his
demands. A letter was sent him ignoring all of his arguments, but informing him that all
matters affecting the conduct of Hungarian and Roumanian patrols, or larger bodies, must
be investigated and settled by the Army Organization Committee, which had been appointed
by this Mission and which had a Roumanian among its members.
The second letter was a sort of thanks for an apology which had not been given, and
covered some unfounded accusations against Major Foster of the British Army.
The third letter was a request that the Roumanians be given free access to the Museums
for the purpose of selecting documents and other articles that had been removed from
Roumania during the German occupation. He was informed that his delegates could have
access to the Museums only when accompanied by Captain Shafroth of the American Army, who
was the committee designated for this purpose by the Mission.
The fourth letter was rather curt and to the point. His Roumanian Excellency
acknowledged receipt of the Mission's instructions to beat it out of Budapest, and in
polite but firm terms told the Mission to go to Hell.
What he said was that the Roumanian Command reserved to itself entire liberty of action
in regard to operations, and that it was acting in strict accord with orders from
Roumanian General Headquarters. A letter was sent to him in reply, to the effect that the
Mission in its original letter had acted in strict accord with its instructions from the
Supreme Council, which required it to determine the placements of the Roumanian troops
necessary to maintain order on Hungarian soil; that the Mission had been previously
recognized by both him and Minister Diamandi, and that the present action could be
interpreted only as a decision on the part of the Roumanian General Headquarters to
recognize no longer the Mission as representing the Supreme Council, which would be
notified of this action. There was next read a long letter from the Hungarian authorities
in regard to the territory which had been turned over to Austria by the Peace Conference(7), and in regard to which they had as yet received no
information. It was decided to forward this paper to the Supreme Council for its
Mr. Butler, of the British Food Commission, submitted a letter showing that the food
conditions in Budapest were from day to day getting more rotten and, in order to give Sir
George Clerk something to do on his arrival, it was decided to give him this letter to
take up with the Roumanians.
I then read a statement to my colleagues telling them what I knew about Roumanian
movements, and to the effect that two divisions and one regiment were already headed
eastward in the direction of Szolnok, that most of the Roumanian troops west of the Danube
were being transferred to the east bank, and that other changes were taking place in
Budapest. It was decided to inform his Excellency Mardarescu that he had promised this
Mission to keep it posted in regard to any evacuation movements, and that we considered
that he should have notified us of all of the movements referred to.
I next informed the Mission that I had received a verbal message from Colonel Sheldon
to the effect that he had been hampered in all his movements as far as possible by the
Roumanians; that at Arad, which place he had reached only through the assistance of the
French commander at Szeged, he found that a Roumanian general had hastened to the scene
and tried to remedy, but unsuccessfully, the situation. The International Red Cross had
been forced to give each man a blanket, the windows had been boarded up, and the Hungarian
officers had been taken out and forced to bathe in the open in cold water, as a result of
which there were two serious cases of sickness, with more in prospect. The Colonel's
report went at some length into the way the Roumanians were handling the wives and
relatives of officers, who came there in their behalf. The women would show up with a
written release of an officer, and the Roumanians would take this paper and tell them to
come the next day. They would report the next day and then be told that no such paper had
even been received, but were informed that if they would sleep that night with some
Roumanian, matters could be straightened out the next day. Some of the women had yielded
and others had been violated. A letter was therefore written to General Mardarescu stating
that in the opinion of the Mission, the situation at Arad, which had first been described
by the Swiss Captain Brinier, was so serious as to require immediate action, and he was
informed that the Mission desired him to enter into arrangements with the Hungarian
government for liberating the officer prisoners of war at once.
October 21, 1919. Last night General Gorton and I were entertained by Colonel
Yates and Lieutenant-Colonel Moore at their mess. The house was beastly cold and they had
only one fire going, so that they were obliged to shove the dining-room table into their
parlor and when he dinner was through, shove it out again. Everywhere have heard
complaints of the cold, and unless something is done very soon to help out the coal
supply, the situation will be serious. Colonel Loree has taken up he matter personally,
and is pushing it in every way possible, but the Coal Commission makes the ridiculous
argument that they cannot do anything unless a peace treaty is effected with Hungary. Of
course the cold weather will hang off until that peace treaty is effected. The reasoning
of some of our statesmen is about on par with that of a five-year-old child.
Sometime this morning we received a telephonic inquiry from the Roumanians as to
whether or not there was a session this date, and they were told that there was not. I
took up the question with General Gorton and insisted that in view of the snubs that both
Mardarescu and Diamandi had given the Mission, we should decline to receive them, and he
agreed with me. We propose at the next session to insist that the Roumanians submit all
their business to this Mission in writing and that they be not received until the Mission
has been acknowledged by them as representative of the Supreme Council. I shall also
probably insist on not receiving Mardarescu and Diamandi until they have apologized to the
Mission for the letter they sent in regard to the Museums.
In view of the fact that Colonel Vasilescu has always been gentlemanly and
accommodating, Colonel Loree took the Colonel and Mrs. Vasilescu to the opera to-night and
we had them at informal dinner afterwards.
October 22, 1919. Last night Colonel Loree and Captain Gore had Colonel and
Mrs. Vasilescu to the opera. I was busy in the office until almost eight o'clock, when I
joined them at the opera and we had dinner at our quarters about nine. I got Vasilescu
into a corner and in due time he waxed confidential, and I learned that our report in
regard to the arrest of Prime Minister Friedrich, which implicated the Crown Prince of
Roumania, was correct(8). Vasilescu has been previously
referred to in my journal as being an exceptionally fine man, and he is. He has had a
tremendous burden to bear on account of the inefficiency and woodenheadedness of
Mardarescu. He told me confidentially that the Roumanians were preparing to leave by the
end of he month, and that the trouble was that Mardarescu instead of selecting skilled
subordinates and holding them responsible for results, required everything to be brought
to him for approval and action.
Yesterday I had a call from Rev. Dr. Morehead(9),
representing the United Lutheran Church of America and other Protestant denominations, and
I gave him much material concerning Roumanian abuse in Transylvania and elsewhere.
At this morning's session we were informed that the Roumanian Colonel, Dimistrescu, was
waiting with a message from his government. I immediately brought up the point that I
would decline to receive Mardarescu or Diamandi until they had withdrawn their letter of
October 4, stating in effect that they proposed to dis-regard our instructions to them of
October 1 in regard to the Museum property, and also they must in writing recognize this
Mission as being the authorized representative of the Supreme Council before we could
transact business with them. General Graziani said that this would practically amount to a
rupture, and I told him rupture be damned; that I had been, he had been, and ill of us had
been, snubbed time and time again by the Roumanians and I did not propose to allow my
government to be subjected to any such additional humiliation. I said, however, that I was
perfectly willing to find out what Dimistrescu had to say, but if it were a case of
receiving Mardarescu and Diamandi, they would have to come to time before I would have
anything to do with them. Dimistrescu was admitted, and he simply made a wooden-faced
explanation of recent Roumanian movements to which I had called attention when President
of the Day.
There was also received a letter from the Roumanians, explaining that the officer who
went up to Friedrich had not the slightest intention of arresting Friedrich, or anything
of the kind. It was such a miserable, rotten explanation that even old Graziani looked
nauseated and condemned it in his spicy French.
We also decided to notify the Serbians that, in compliance with our instructions from
the Supreme Council, we wanted them to beat it out of the Baranya district, and in
particular out of the city of Pécs.
A letter was also received to the effect that the Roumanians were holding forty-three
locomotives at Szolnok for shipment into Roumania, and it was decided to notify them to
send these locomotives back to Hungary.
October 23, 1919. Yesterday afternoon at about 5.30 o'clock, Minister Diamandi
asked to see me and produced some postage stamps surcharged by the Roumanians on Hungarian
stamps for their occupation of Transylvania, and for which I paid him between three and
four thousand kronen. I have not the slightest doubt but that the little rascal got them
for nothing and was told to give them to me. However, it was far better to have paid him
full face value than to have accepted any gifts.
I told him that I was entirely out of patience with he attitude of himself and
Mardarescu, first in regard to the Museum communication, and in regard to the evacuation
of Hungary. He was still riding his high horse and insisted that they had a right to seize
anything at any time and at any place, that came from Transylvania because Transylvania
belonged to them; furthermore that the Mission could not give any orders concerning the
Roumanian Army, that it was an independent army and that they could not accept orders from
anybody; it was never customary in such cases. I informed him that in an Allied
combination there was always a Commander in Chief from whom the various allies received
orders; that both the British and the American Armies received orders from Marshal Foch;
that we as an Inter-Allied Military Mission were in effect the staff officers of the
Supreme Council and as such were authorized to give orders in the name of the Supreme
Council. He then reverted to his old sophistical argument that this present rumpus between
Roumania nd Hungary was a private feud and their own little war in which no one else had
any right to interfere. Invariably when they make the excuse that we are treating them
harshly, they accuse us of treating them worse as Allies than we treat the Hungarians.
Whenever they want to pull anything off, they always maintain it is a little separate
affair that they are having. I told the little scoundrel that while I enjoyed talking to
him-and I did, as it affords me much amusement -that such matters were purely and entirely
personal; that while we may get along amicably and pleasantly in such relations, I would
fight him to the limit in the execution of my orders, and apparently we could not come
Sir George Clerk, having arrived early this morning, General Gorton and I went over to
see him by appointment at noon and found that he was coming purely in a political
capacity. We gave him some fatherly advice, and I also gave him a copy of the memorandum I
had sent to the American Commissioner on the subject of the political parties in Hungary.
He also told me that there was no matter of any importance that would come up before next
week. So I decided to start for Belgrade tonight, and accordingly wired the American
Commission of my intention, adding that there had been no change in the Roumanian
October 24, 1919. Last night, accompanied by Colonel Loree, Field Clerk
Fenselau, and orderlies Lester and Childstedt, and with Major Body of the Serbian army as
liaison officer, I left Budapest on a special train for Belgrade. We arrived at Szeged
between two and three o'clock in the morning and, as we could not find the French
commander himself, the local French officer in charge refused to give us enough coal to
continue to the next station, an hour's journey, where a Serbian locomotive was awaiting
us. The result was that we waited at Szeged until the arrival of the Simplon Express which
took us on to our Serbian connection, and we eventually arrived in Belgrade at three
o'clock in the afternoon. Quarters had been arranged for Colonel Loree and myself at the
Hotel Moskwa, and for the rest of the party at the Grand Hotel. The Serbian government
placed a limousine at my disposal, and I called that afternoon upon the Chief of Staff. In
the evening Colonel Loree and I were entertained informally at dinner by Mr. Dodge, the
October 25, 1919. After spending the night in a room that both smelled and
felt like a sepulcher and was located on the top story of the hotel, with no elevator
running, we started to make our official calls and paid short visits to the Prime
Minister, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the War Minister, all of whom made
the most favorable impressions as men of intelligence and experience.
At twelve-thirty, Minister Dodge gave a formal luncheon on in my honor, to which were
invited the main Serbian functionaries and likewise the military attachés of the various
In the afternoon, we took a drive out to the fortress and around through Belgrade,
which is not a very prepossessing city. Before the War, it was understood to have had a
population of about 90,000, which, when the Serbians re-occupied the city, had dwindled to
about 40,000, and which now, owing to abnormal conditions, ad increased to 150,000, with
about half as many houses as had originally existed. As a result, there is much congestion
and generally high prices.
The Serbian dinar, the standard coin, was exchanging at the rate of 2 for one French
franc, which made it worth in our money a little less than five cents, its former value
being the same as the French franc.
In the evening, by appointment, I met Lieutenant-General Bridges of the British Army.
We had dinner together at the Hotel Moskwa, and later my party and myself again boarded
the train, leaving Belgrade at 11 P.M.
October 26, 1919. Our return journey was a trifle more successful than our
outward-bound trip, owing to the fact that the Serbian locomotive carried us all the way
through Szeged, where a Hungarian locomotive met us and brought us the rest of the way to
Budapest, where we arrived about one o'clock, just in time for lunch; and, although
Budapest is not particularly cheerful under the circumstances, yet it appeared very much
like home after our absence in Belgrade.
This evening Colonel Loree, Captain Gore and I were entertained by the Roumanian
General, Serbescu, at a most sumptuous banquet in his billet in the palace of the Baron
Groedel. The food was well prepared and everything would have been delicious but for the
fact that I had Diamandi on my left front and directly opposite to me General Serbescu,
who did several marvelous sword-swallowing feats with his knife. On my left was little
Mrs. Serbescu, who had a pair of diamond earrings as big as she was; and on my right was a
very homely lady who flashed a diamond about the size of locomotive headlight, on her
forefinger. Colonel Loree was sure that the Roumanians would try to poison us, it by
carefully watching what they ate themselves, and imitating them, we escaped serious
October 27, 1919. The Mission met this morning, with General Mombelli
I related to them my experiences during my trip to Belgrade, informing them that the
trip had no political significance, but that I did bring up with the Prime Minister the
question of the evacuation by the Serbians the Baranya district, and in particular of the
A letter was received from the Hungarian officials, stating that the shortage of coal
was getting acute, and that there was no hope for a solution of the problem until the
Roumanians allowed them the transportation. It was, therefore, decided to inform the
Roumanians of the present situation and that they would be responsible in case any
The Museum authorities have sent me word that there were a few boxes in the Museum
which really belonged to Transylvania and which they were willing turn over to Roumania.
Captain Shafroth had come me with a request for the key to the Museum and for permission
to break the seals in order to deliver the boxes in question. I brought this up before the
Mission and recommended that, in view of the fact that the Roumanians had taken so many
things to which they were not entitled, there need not be any hurry about these few boxes
which might properly belong to them. I was sustained by the Mission and the Roumanians
were informed that they would have to await the action of the Reparation Commission.
The Roumanians also asked the Mission to designate a delegate to receive the telephone
and telegraph instruments which they proposed to return to the Hungarian Minister of War,
and it was decided to have our Committee on Army Organization act in that capacity.
A little after ten, Sir George Clerk appeared before the Mission, in accord with our
previous telegraphic advices from the Supreme Council, but he really had very little light
to shed upon the general situation. We discussed with him the measures to be adopted in
case of evacuation by the Roumanians, and it was agreed that we should proceed, to the
limit of the means at our disposal, with the rapid organization of the Budapest police,
and that the Hungarian Army should not be allowed in the city until the Roumanians had
entirely evacuated, in order to avoid any encounters between individuals or small
detachments. It was decided to request the Hungarian Minister of War to direct Admiral
Horthy and General Soós to report to the Mission at the next meeting, on the
A letter was received from the Roumanian Commander in Chief, evidently written with the
intention of stirring up friction among the members of the Military Mission. He said that
the American Mission had interfered at the jails and had told the Roumanian officials that
no prisoners were to be removed except by permission of the American Mission. As it was
all a lie, it was decided to file the paper and drop it.
Upon arrival here yesterday, I found a Colonel Raymond Sheldon, who had been a Major of
Scouts in the Philippines and whom I have known for a great many years. He recently
reported here, had accepted our invitation to join our mess and was very glad to be
quartered with us. He had just returned from an extensive trip covering all of the
Roumanian prisoner-of-war camps and is now busy, with Doctor Munro and Captain Brunier, in
writing up a comprehensive report. In the evening Colonel Sheldon went out to dine with
the Italians, and Colonel Loree, Captain Gore and myself dined alone.
October 28, 1919. As we are apparently out of gasoline and the Roumanians are
the only ones who possess any, was forced most reluctantly to go and see little Diamandi.
I found him with a bad cold in the head and with a nose on him that looked like a paprika.
He said at he would be very glad to give the necessary instructions and that he would
telephone General Serbescu to give us what gasoline we needed. In order to drive home the
matter, I later went down to General Serbescu's and he said that he would give us
immediately 2,000 liters of gasoline and would supply us from day to day as we needed
During the day we were threatened with a visitation from a delegation of 10,000 women,
but through Colonel Loree, aided and abetted by our Hungarian liaison officers, we managed
to stave them off, and later I had word sent to the Hungarian government that I must
decline any such delegation as they simply annoyed and embarrassed us, and we could have
no transactions whatever with them. Then somebody did a dirty trick and suggested that the
delegation go down and visit Sir George Clerk, which I understand they did. I afterwards
saw a thousand or more, mostly women, girls, and children, lined up in front of the
government building, where Prime Minister Friedrich was addressing them. Down at the foot
of the hill we found a company of Roumanians with machine guns drawn up to defend
themselves against these women and children.
I have been informed that there has just been issued from Roumanian Headquarters an
order prohibiting Roumanian officers from continuing to use rouge and lip sticks. It will
certainly be hard on the poor dears.
October 29, 1919. At the meeting of the Inter-Allied Military Mission today, I
presided and there was considerable activity.
We first took up the question of executions in Hungary, in regard to which the Mission
was on record as being in favor of General Holban's attitude, which would not tolerate
executions until a permanent government had been organized. A memorandum had been received
from Colonel Loree explaining that, as the pardoning power by the chief executive did not
exist Hungary to the same extent as was usual in other countries, and as the judges were
all hold-overs from the older régimes, the decision of the Mission was apparently based
upon wrong premises. General Mombelli insisted that the chief executive still did have
power, and that he would show the authority. It was decided, therefore, to leave this
matter pending until the next meeting of the Mission.
At 10.30 General Schnetzer, the Hungarian Minister of War, accompanied by Admiral
Horthy and General Soós, were introduced and I explained to them that they had been
summoned so that we might lay before them the situation as we saw it and as it would be
affected by a probable early Roumanian evacuation.
I told these gentlemen that Hungary was about to appear before a jury of all the
nations; that she was to certain extent discredited on account of having allowed
Bolshevism to exist within her borders for over three months; that in case any disorders
should result after the Roumanian evacuation, and there should be a recrudescence of
Bolshevism, her standing with the Allied Powers would be practically nil; on the other
hand, if she conducted herself with the dignity of a civilized nation and permitted no
serious disorders to ensue, she would raise herself highly in the estimation the Entente.
I explained to them that there would undoubtedly some young hot-heads of the Hungarian
Army who would be crazy to shoot a Roumanian or hang a Jew, and that one or two such could
bring discredit upon the whole country. It was also explained to them that on the part of
the workmen of Budapest there existed much fear of the so-called "White Army,"
and that they should show that their army was not made up of a gang of "White
Terrorists," but was a well-disciplined and organized National Hungarian Army. The
Admiral said that he had his forces absolutely in hand and under control; that they were
well disciplined and that he would guarantee that there would be no disturbances.
I explained to him that the general idea was that, when the Roumanians evacuated the
city, the Budapest police take over the maintenance of law and order during a short
transitionary period between the leaving of the Roumanians and the arrival of the
Hungarians, and that the time when this should take place would of course be determined by
the Inter-Allied liaison officers attached to both forces.
The Admiral complained that he had drawn up a proclamation for publication in the city
of Budapest, which the Roumanians had censored in its entirety. He was told to submit any
such proclamations to the Mission, which would insist that the Roumanians publish it. Our
visitors then left.
At the beginning of the session, I delivered to each member a copy of the report of
Colonel Sheldon's committee on inspection of Roumanian prison camps. As it was so
voluminous and contained so many disgusting details, it was decided that each member
should study his copy until tomorrow, and that in the meantime I should prepare a telegram
to the Supreme Council embodying the more salient features of the report. In this telegram
I should likewise explain that,
altnough this Mission on October 13 had requested that the Supreme Council either force
the Roumanians to evacuate Hungary or relieve the Mission, and despite he fact that on
October 19 the Supreme Council had telegraphed to the effect that Sir George Clerk would
inform us that the Supreme Council would take all measures to force the Roumanians to
comply with requests, there had been as yet no change in the Rounanian attitude, and that
each succeeding day the difficulties of the Mission were increasing in geometrical
progression. It was also decided to call the attention of the Supreme Council to the fact
that the Roumaiians had been requested to release immediately all officer prisoners-of-war
and interned civilians at Arad, and to arrange with the Hungarian government for the
general delivery of prisoners; yet no reply had been received from the Roumanian
October 30, 1919. This morning I drafted a telegram to the Supreme Council,
took it personally in the afternoon to Generals Gorton, Mombelli and Graziani and had them
all approve it. General Mombelli was a trifle afraid that we were repeating our ultimatum
to the Supreme Council as given in the message of October 3 and, although he talked better
French than I did, mine was the stronger flow and he eventually signed in order to close
the argument. The telegram sent was as follows:
Armistice of August 2nd between Roumanian and Hungarian forces provided that Hungarian
officers should supervise disarming of their own troops and would then be given freedom
with retention of arms. Hungarian troops being disarmed, officers were required to report
daily but about August 7th despite agreement many officers throughout Hungary were
arrested and sent to Arad. Most all so-called prisoners of war were arrested after the
armistice and then disarmed, instead of being captured during a gallant advance. During
transfer from place of arrest to prisons many of both officers and men were beaten,
maltreated and robbed by Roumanian officers and soldiers, and prisoners' female relatives
were insulted when visiting prisoners.
Mission's committee sent to investigate prisoner of war camps visited Arad Citadel,
Brassó Citadel, Bertalan Hospital, Camp Christian, Camp Rajnow, and Fogaras. Committee
consisted of Colonel Raymond Sheldon, U. S. A., Doctor Hector Munro of the International
Hospital Relief Association, Captain Georges Brunier of Swiss Army and delegate of
International Red Cross, and First Lieut. Francesco Braccio of Italian Medical Corps. All
reports of the committee were unanimous, were practically the same as quoted in telegram
of October 13th, and in general resembled following extracts from report on interned
civilians at Arad, Brassó, and Fogaras:
"At Arad about one hundred men and boys occupy casemates of fortress. No
preparation whatsoever had been made for them. No beds or wooden boards to sleep on,
floors were of concrete. No heating stoves, weather wet and bitterly cold. Many windows
broken, food provided not by Roumanians but by local Hungarian Red Cross under orders from
Roumanians. Very few of the men had overcoats, none had blankets, many were without boots
and underclothes. Some had no jackets. It would be difficult to describe the abject misery
of these men and youths. Many were blue with cold; half starved and worried about their
private affairs. Some were quite young, one sixteen years; some upwards of sixty years of
age. At Brassó in Citadel we found 121 civilian prisoners, mixed with military and in the
same buildings. Latrines are thoroughly unsanitary and inadequate. Among civilian
prisoners are six women, one evidently an educated woman who has written poetry. They were
housed in a room ten feet by nineteen feet. Five slept on one bench and one in a bed. At
Fogaras we found 72 civilian prisoners. They were housed with military, and their
condition has already been described. Many of these prisoners had no boots, no
underclothing, and one had no trousers. He wore a kilt made of carpet. All were
inadequately clad for winter weather. They accused Roumanian soldiers and in some
instances officers of stealing their clothes, boots and private property. We found four
boys, two of thirteen and two fourteen years old. One old man of seventy- six. Many were
suffering from incurable diseases."
Nevertheless we are still allies of a nation guilty of conduct described above, which
continues to treat inhabitants of country between Danube and the Theiss as reported in
telegram of October 13th, and which has repeatedly ignored or flatly turned down the
requests of representatives of the Supreme Council. Roumamans claim many prisoners are
Bolshevists, but prisoners deny charges. On October 20th Roumanian commander was asked to
liberate immediately officer prisoners of war and civilians at Arad and to arrange with
Hungarian government for liberation from other camps, and on October 22nd he was also
requested to return from Szolnok to Budapest forty-three idle locomotives that were
urgently needed for food distribution. No action taken on any of these requests; not even
the courtesy of a reply.
Supreme Council's telegram of October 18th stated that Sir George Clerk would inform
Mission that the Council had decided to take all the measures necessary to force the
Roumanian government to follow line of conduct it was requested to adopt. There is as yet
no noticeable change in Roumanian attitude and situation is becoming intolerable. If
Roumanians are allowed to remain until a coalition government is formed, consequences, at
the present rate of progress, will be more serious. Difficulties encountered in
accomplishing our Mission are increasing rapidly. Under instructions of August 13th even
though representing the Supreme Council this Mission can give no orders to Roumanians. In
view of Mission's telegram of thirteenth instant stating that either the Roumanians should
be forced to evacuate Hungary at once or that this Mission should be relieved it is
realized that the Mission will not be held responsible for consequences that may result
from Roumanian refusal to evacuate, but it is deemed necessary to present the facts to the
Upon leaving General Mombelli's quarters, I met General Graziani at the door and we had
a little talk about the general situation, and I was delighted to learn that our Latin
colleagues were getting as thoroughly disgusted with the Roumanians as are General Gorton
Later in the afternoon, Captain Gore and I took tea with the family of Baron Groedel.
They turned over to me a stamp collection which they wish delivered some time to their
home in Vienna.
Upon arriving back at my quarters, I found that the Roumanians had been closing up the
Telephone Central and raising Merry Hell in general. Colonel Sheldon of my Mission and
Captain Aitken of the British Mission had gone over to investigate the proposition and got
all sorts of rough treatment from a bunch of Roumanian rough-necks that were putting the
proposition over. Colonel Sheldon went and saw Colonel Vasilescu. The Roumanians
disclaimed all knowledge of the occurrence and stated likewise that it had not been done
with the knowledge or consent of General Mosoiu. The matter is being investigated.
This evening General Gorton and myself dined with General Mombelli and his family,
which consists of his wife and young-lady daughter of about twenty-two years of age, who
speaks very good English. One of the guests was an Italian who spoke Spanish; so I was
able to get along very well.
October 31, 1919. The Mission met at 9.30 this morning, with General Gorton
We first decided to take up the question of executions in Hungary, which had been laid
on the table at the last meeting, and it was decided to inform the Hungarian government
that our action in concurring with General Holban's decision in regard to the suspension
of executions until the organization of a Hungarian government, applied entirely to the
portion of Hungary under Roumanian military control, that the Inter-Allied Military
Mission did not mix in the internal affairs, and that our previous letters should be so
We then took up the discussion of the report of Colonel Sheldon's Committee on
Prisoner-of-War Camps, and it was decided to send to the Roumanian Commander a letter
telling him that the report of our Committee indicated that conditions in his
prisoner-of-war camps were even worse than reported by Doctor Munro and Captain Brunier;
that the conditions were disgraceful; and that, as it reflected upon all the Allies, we
must insist that he immediately remedy the same; and he was directed to carry out the
Immediately to liberate by turning over to the Hungarian government, all civilians
under eighteen and over sixty years of age, and also all invalid civilian and military
To send immediately to the hospital all civilians whose condition required surgical
To take measures so that the quarantine camps should be handled for the purpose of
ascertaining the state of health of repatriated prisoners, and not for the purpose of
detaining them fifteen days or longer.
That prisoners of war should receive the pay due them in the future and retroactively
from the day on which they were apprehended.
To see that all camps be furnished suitable arrangements for washing and that the
latrines be disinfected and put in condition so that they can be used.
To arrange so that food should be properly distributed in sufficient quantities.
To arrest and punish whatever persons, whether military or civil, who had caused the
arrest of ladies and gentlemen who were the guests of our Committee in Arad; and finally
To arrange for the establishment of a courier service between Arad and Budapest, which
service should be run in conjunction with the Hungarian Red Cross at Arad, which latter
association must be treated according to the rules and customs of war.
Letters were received complaining that homeless illegitimate children in Transylvania
were being deported by the Roumanians in such numbers as to overcrowd the Home in
Budapest. Another report was received showing that the Roumanians were carrying out
general religious persecutions(10)
. It was decided to inform them that it was difficult to believe how any nation that
laid claims to being in a civilized class could handle children along the lines indicated;
and in the second case it was decided to report to the Supreme Council as indication of
the necessity for obliging the Roumanians to adopt the "Minorities" clause in
1. See footnote 48 of diary, October 20, 1919.
2. Szeged, or Szegedin second town in Hungary, with a population of
3. General Edgar Jadwin of the Engineering Corps of the U.S. Army
served as director of the light railways and roads for the A. E. F. in France, then as
director of construction and forestry. In 1919 he was a member of the American Mission to
Poland, and observer in the Ukraine. He died on March 2, 1931.
4. Compare Mr. Charles Upson clark's version of Bandholtz' being
deceived by Friedrich in regard to the alleged attempt made by the Roumanians to kidnap
him. Greater Roumania, New York, 1922, p.267. At the same time the statement
concerning Mr. Clark in footnote No. 5 should be kept in mind.
5. English Ambassador at Vienna, 1913-14. He retired from the
diplomatic service in 1919.
6. Sir George Russel Clerk was an English expert on Balkan affairs.
In 1913-14 he had been Director of the Oriental Department of the English Foreign Office.
"The French government having prudently refused to furnish an envoy" (according
to E. J. Dillon's Inside Story of the Peace Conference, New York, 1920, p. 2~3),
Clerk was sent to Budapest as a special diplomatic representative of the Supreme Council,
to deliver the ultimatum to the Roumanians and to bring about the formation of a coalition
cabinet in which all the responsible parties of Hungary should be represented (Oct. 15 to
Dec. 2, 1919). From General Bandholtz' account, it would appear that he was at first
decidedly prejudiced against the Hungarians and inclined to favor the Roumanians.
Gradually he modified his viewpoint, undoubtedly strongly influenced by the statements of
Generals Bandholtz and Gorton.
Lieutenant Colonel Repington writes in his diary, After the War (p.167):
"I also gather that Sir George Clerk's intervention here was most happy when all was
in disarray. Clerk told them they were not divided on any essential matters and that they
should have a coalition government and get on at once. They seem to have followed the
advice exactly, and it all worked out, though not fully, till the Socialists were put out
and the present lot came in."
On the other hand Professor Jászi's opinion concerning Sir George Clerk Is quite
different. He says: "Sir George Clerk, the plenipotentiary representative of the
Supreme Council in Hungary, appeared at first to be working this direction [i.e.,
democracy], seeking a solution in which the socialist and progressive movement would have
played the leading part. He was kept informed by Socialists, Democrats and Pacifists as to
the steps which needed to be taken. I know that various memorials were submitted to him
indicating the clear path of peaceful settlement on democratic lines.
The Entente, he was told, . . . should at once disarm the White officer's army,
replacing it for the time by a reliable Entente force of 10,000 to 20,000 men, until the
new Hungarian government had succeeded in organizing a reliable army from peasants and
workmen" (p. 154). "Sir George Clerk, at first showed a good deal of sympathy
with these plans, but not for long; he changed his attitude in a very few days. He had
dined and hunted with the nobles until in the end he had completely assimilated the
mentality of the Hungarian ancien régime. He was, moreover, he was so disgusted with
Hungarian conditions that he wanted to get out of this Balkan chaos as soon as possible,
and was only concerned to produce some sort of order, real or apparent. In the end he
obtained the assent of the leaders of the armed bands, the chiefs of the coffee-house
cliques, and the Socialists who had remained in the country, to a patched-up
compromise" (vid., universal suffrage and a plebiscite on the form of the state, p.
This viewpoint of Professor Jászi is criticized by R. W. Seton-Watson in sympathetic
preface to the book of the former writer. He says: "while, however, it is easy to
understand the bitterness with which Dr. Jászi writes of the Entente, it is necessary to
enter a certain caveat against what he says of Sir George Clerk's mission to Budapest....
To blame him for not bringing about a settlement of the acute party discords from which
Hungary was n suffering, is really not quite reasonable; and it should be remembered that
it was he who compelled the government to uphold universal suffrage, as one of those
achievements of the October Revolution which it would not justifiable to reverse. He
thereby provided for the first time a basis for popular representation in Hungary,"
Seton-Watson speaks very highly of George Clerk in his magazine, The New Europe,
Sept. 11, 1919, p. 210. He calls him a well-known Slavophil.
7. The so-called Ödenburg (Sopron) district. See footnote No. 23.
8. See diary October 15.
9. Dr. John A. Morehead, of the American National Lutheran Council,
in charge of relief work for the Lutheran Church of Europe after the world war. In a
conversation with the editor of this diary he spoke most highly of the work done by
General Bandholtz in Hungary.
10. On the condition of religious minorities in Transylvania after
the incorporation of that country into Roumania, see The Religious Minorities in
Transylvania, compiled by Louis C. Cornish, in collaboration with the Anglo-American
commission on the Rights of Religious Minorities in Roumania, Boston, 1925. The Commission
consisted of representatives of the Presbyterian, Reformed, and Unitarian Churches of
England and the United States, and investigated the status of the Reformed, Lutheran, and
Unitarian congregations. It summarized its findings in the following words: "The
impression gained . . . is that unless a solution can be found for the present problems,
racial and linguistic, religious and economic, it will continue to be one of the saddest
lands in Europe, and a menacing danger-spot for the peace of the world (p.22)."
"The Commission submits that the reply of the Roumanian Government is evasive and
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