6: December, 1919
<< 5: November, 1919 || 7: January, 1920 >>
December 1, 1919. Last night Colonel Sheldon and I dined with our dentist,
Doctor Dick, and had a horrible time. It was one of those occasions during which the host
and hostess are so annoyingly attentive, and so insistent upon one's making a garbage can
out of one's self, that much of the joy of the occasion is lost. After the dinner we
adjourned to a sitting room, where some she-musicians piled on agony, and one of them in
particular fiddled out a lot of dirges.
This morning the Mission met at General Mombelli's quarters, with him presiding, as
General Gorton had not yet returned from Vienna. I read to them Colonel Yates' report to
me, to the effect that General Mardarescu maintains that he has no instructions about
retiring beyond the Tisza(1); that he thinks he should
remain there until a treaty of peace is signed with Hungary, in order to keep an obstacle
between himself and the Hungarians; that he sees no necessity for a liaison officer, as he
understood that the Inter-Allied Military Mission was to arrange only for the evacuation
from Budapest to the Tisza. Mardarescu's statements are always so palpably lies that there
is never any use discussing them. However, he clearly outlined the plans of the
I then informed my colleagues that last night Colonel Moore had called me up by
telephone from Pécs and had told me that the Serbs declined to recognize any commission
from the Inter-Allied Military Mission, stating that they had received no orders from
their government and could not discuss evacuation or anything of the kind; and that I had,
therefore, ordered Colonel Moore to return.
I then informed my two Latin colleagues that I had got damn sick and tired myself of
having two miserable little misfit nations like Roumania and Serbia insult the United
States of America through its unworthy representatives; that I was equally sick and tired
of sending urgent telegrams to the Supreme Council with the strongest possible
recommendations, without even receiving the courtesy of a reply; and then I suggested that
we consider the advisability of informing the Supreme Council that in our opinion our
usefulness had practically ended, and the relief of the Mission was advisable. They all
solemnly concurred in my remarks, but thought the question of taking up the matter with
the Supreme Council should receive a little longer consideration. I learned afterwards
that both the French and Italian officers are receiving as allowances several times what
their pay would be in case they were relieved and returned to France and Italy, all of
which accounts for their reluctance to give up a remunerative job.
General Graziani confirmed the reports that I had received in regard to the
Czecho-Slovaks, and seemed to be of the opinion that things were in a ferment over there
and that something would pop before long.
We received characteristic letters from Mardarescu, stating that he would now allow the
bridges to be repaired at Tokaj, Szolnok, and Csongrád; that he proposed to return, on
the sixth, 1,840 Hungarian soldier prisoners-of-war and 886 officers, and that he would
like to have arrangements made so that goods en route through Hungary to Roumania would
not be delayed.
After the meeting of the Mission, accompanied by Colonel Sheldon and Captain Gore, and
likewise by Major Foster, representing the British in General Gorton's absence, we went to
the reception given by Dr. Baitch, the Serbian Minister. Here we went through some kind of
ceremony on the anniversary of the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croates and Slovenes
in succession to the Kingdom of Serbia. Eventually, toward noon, we escaped from the
Serbian Mission, and then after lunch loaned all of our cars to the English Mission
because one of their captains, named Graham, is going this afternoon to marry the
Hungarian Baroness Podmaniczky.
December 2, 1919. This morning I sent a car down to meet Colonel Causey, who
was returning from Vienna with General Gorton. Colonel Causey is still left by our
government as adviser to the Austrian government on railroad and other similar matters,
and he reports conditions in Vienna to be most deplorable. He doubts if there will be an
outbreak of Bolshevism, despite the fact that there is dire distress from shortage of both
fuel and provisions. We had Colonel Causey to luncheon and invited him to dinner also, but
he had a previous engagement with General Gorton.
In the forenoon I went to the city and attended an art exhibit and arranged for the
purchase of a couple of paintings, which I hope to be able eventually to install in
In the afternoon General Gorton called upon me and I gave him a résumé of what had
happened during his absence of a few days in Vienna to meet Mrs. Gorton. He retaliated by
inviting me to dinner tomorrow night and I accepted on condition that I be allowed to tell
Mrs. Gorton all that I knew of his horrible derelictions prior to her arrival. He tried to
buy me off but the price was not high enough.
December 3, 1919. General Gorton having returned from Vienna, the Mission met
in his office with him in the chair, and it was one of the most unimportant sessions that
we have had, with practically no business before us.
The Hungarians sent in a request that certain persons, whom they desired to place on
their list of peace delegates, were in Roumanian occupied territory and they were very
anxious to have arrangements made so that these persons could come to Budapest and proceed
with the Hungarian delegation. All the Mission could do was to repeat their request to the
General Graziani tried to calm me down and told me to be patient, that we had done a
great deal here after all, and that there was no occasion to get worried, but that we
should bide our time and all would be well. I told him that sounded bully, but that I
couldn't see why four generals should be hanging around Budapest and practically doing
nothing; that I was of course willing to wait for instructions, which I was now doing.
Last night there was a report current that Minister Friedrich had been implicated as
accessory to the murder of Count Tisza. This morning the report is denied.
A Mrs. French, from California, who is over here on some sort of a suffrage
proposition, was in to tell me about a meeting that took place in Budapest and, if all her
statements are true, there is still a wild-eyed bunch of fanatics who will have to be
skinned before much progress is made in Hungary. She said that a Catholic priest, at a
public meeting on the thirtieth of November, said:
The Bible tells us we must forgive our enemies. I say we can personally forgive our
enemies as Christians, but not as Hungarians. The Hungarian people must never forget and
the Jews must be punished. They say it is shameful to have pogroms, but we say it is just
as shameful to have communism in the twentieth century, and we had it.
The second speaker was a professor by the name of Zarkany, who after giving some
left-handed compliments to the Entente, stated:
The Jewish question is a national one for the Hungarian people to settle and we will
December 4, 1919. Things are getting quieter and quieter. Now that the
Roumanians are out of Budapest and have practically cut all communications, there is
comparatively little doing. A French officer, however, came over today to say that General
Graziani could communicate by telegraph direct to the Roumanians in very few minutes, so
it would appear that, although the latter do not care to establish liaison with the
Inter-Allied Military Mission, they are doing so with the French mission, which, when
everything is considered, not to be wondered at.
Count Somssich came in to see me and I arranged with him to send a telegram to the
Supreme Council from the Hungarian government, acknowledging receipt of the invitation to
send peace delegates to Paris and explaining how impossible it was to make satisfactory
arrangements while the Roumanians were still occupying one-third of Hungary.
As previously stated, I had permanently assigned to me the Royal Box in the Opera
House, but in view of the fact that there is now a recognized government in Hungary, I
sent the following letter today:
To His Excellency, the Hungarian Prime Minister.
The undersigned is deeply grateful for the courtesy and the honor conferred upon him by
the assignment of the large central box at the Opera House. As long as there was no
government in Hungary that had been recognized by the Allied and Associated Powers, there
was no apparent impropriety in the use of this box as assigned. Now, however, that the
Government of which Your Excellency is the honored Minister President has been duly
recognized, and as it is understood the box in question is the one usually reserved for
the Head of the State, the undersigned, with sincere thanks and grateful appreciation of
the past honor conferred upon him, desires to relinquish the box in question, and with
assurances of the highest respect and esteem begs to remain,
If this currency keeps on tumbling, it will not be worth the paper it is printed on.
The krone, which in ante-bellum days was worth 21 cents, is today worth just 8 mills or
4/5 of a cent, and today I converted a few dollars at the rate of 125 kronen to the
December 5, 1919. This morning's session was held at my quarters and I
presided, and we had a hot old time. General Gorton stated that last night he had received
communication, as President of the Day, from the diplomatic representative of the Kingdom
of the Serbs, Croates and Slovenes, complaining that Hungarian regular troops to the
number of one thousand had crossed he Serbian line, attacking the Serbian forces and
capturing prisoners in the vicinity of Redics; asking that he Hungarians be required to
release the prisoners immediately, and that a committee be sent from this Mission at once
to investigate the facts in the case. We asked the Hungarian Prime Minister to send an
authorized officer to explain this matter to us, and accordingly General Soós reported at
10.15, bringing with him maps and all data in connection with the incident, which occurred
on November 29.
It appears that there are no Hungarian regular troops in the vicinity mentioned, and
only one company of seventy gendarmes. These gendarmes were going through military
exercises near the Serbian line, and the Serian soldiers got scared and came out and
surrendered to them, thinking the Hungarians were preparing for an attack. The people of
the town, at this, came out and, on account of the repeated Serbian atrocities, begged the
gendarmes to go to the neighboring town as there were no Serbians there. However, upon
arriving in this town, the Serbians at long range opened fire with infantry and artillery,
at which the Hungarians, although two of them were wounded, withdrew without replying. The
Hungarian commander investigated the matter and sent a messenger with a flag of truce to
the Jugo-Slav commander, explaining that the whole incident was due to a misunderstanding
and was a mistake.
It was accordingly decided to send a letter to the diplomatic representative of the
Jugo-Slavs, giving him a synopsis of General Soós' report, calling his attention to the
fact that all of the incident had occurred on purely Hungarian territory from which the
Serbs had been repeatedly requested to withdraw by this Mission, and adding that in view
of the fact that a committee, sent by this Mission to Pécs, had been refused recognition
as representative of the Supreme Council by any of the Serbian officials or authorities,
it would not be practicable to send any other such committee until assurances had been
received from the Serbian government that any committee from this Mission would be
recognized as authoritative and would have its labors facilitated in every way possible.
A telegram was also sent to the Supreme Council to the same effect, and adding that
General Soós had stated that unless the Entente required the Roumanians and Serbs to
withdraw immediately beyond their line of demarcation, it was manifestly only just and
proper that the Hungarians be allowed to defend themselves against the pillaging, murders
and other atrocities committed by occupying forces.
All the way through, this has been a hectic day. I was not only President of the Day of
the Mission, but our mail came in with a whole raft of official and other letters to be
This afternoon the Prince Ferdinand Montenuovo called upon me to make complaint about
the Serbians robbing his property, and several counts and a few barons were floating
around, in addition to much lesser fry.
Tonight we are invited to dinner with Baron Weiss.
December 6, 1919. Last night Colonel Sheldon, Captain Gore and I dined with
the family of Baron Weiss, and had a very delicious dinner. The Baron is about the
wealthiest man in Hungary, owns immense factories and has other large interests. The
Roumanians looted some of his various plants property to the value of eight million
dollars, but he still seems to have enough for turning out a square meal.
After the usual routine in the morning, and when things were beginning to look as
though we would have quiet day, a code message was received from Mr. Polk, informing me
that the Supreme Council had decided to relieve the Inter-Allied Military Mission, but
that I would be left by my government as the United States presentative in Hungary until
the arrival of Mr. Grant Smith, who had been sent by the Department of State and who was
due to reach here in three or four weeks. The telegram wound up with the statement that
the American Commission thoroughly approved my entire administration of affairs while on
my present duty.
Later in the afternoon, a couple of fine-looking young Jewish boys were brought in, who
had been beaten up by Hungarian soldiers at the railroad station, so I sent for General
Soós, who promptly came over, and told him that I was damned sick and tired of any such
conduct; that although I could understand how the Hungarians would naturally feel sore
over the fact that most of the Bolshevist leaders had been Jews, nevertheless, neither
America nor England could understand any such barbaric conduct; that one of England's
greatest Prime Ministers had been a Jew, and the present Chairman of the Military
Committee in the American House of Representatives is a Jew(4);
that if reports got out that Hungarians were lapsing into the same form of barbarism as
the Russians, it would seriously affect their whole future; that I could now give him a
concrete case and information as to who the responsible Hungarian captain was who had been
guilty of such brutal conduct, and I wanted him punished. I also informed the General that
other reports had come to me from the outlying districts, and I gave him the minutes of a
meeting which had taken place in Budapest, where pogroms were openly advocated. He
promised me that he would take immediate and drastic action to cut short this growing
One of my office force brought me in a translation of an article in one of the Budapest
papers, which is as follows:
Statements of General Bandholtz to the Representative of he Pesti Napló(5)
on the future of Hungary.
In the apartment of Queen Zita, the walls of which are covered with silk and adorned
with beautiful pictures and Gobelins worth a fortune, I had an opportunity of conversing
with Harry Hill Bandholtz, General of the United States Army. This General of world fame
has been entrusted with a very diffcult military and diplomatic task, that of representing
the United States in Budapest during Hungary's most trying time. How energetically,
successfully, and at the same time how tactfully, he fulfills this mission, could best be
told by the members f our government. They could tell how uplifting was the message of
General Bandholtz sent through Premier Huszár, which in as follows:
"It is now that we are beginning to appreciate you," said the American
General to the Premier. "I have just read your history and am becoming acquainted
with the Hungarian nation. A nation that appreciates itself, must needs obtain the general
appreciation of the world. We see that your nation is a martyr and the sympathy of America
is now with you."
These noble words of the General have induced me to call on him concerning our misery
and our future. General Bandholtz was busily engaged when my arrival was announced, but he
immediately stopped work and received me with an extremely obliging kindness. The General,
to whom I was presented by Ministerial Councilor Emil Zerkowitz, was sitting at desk,
putting in order a batch of papers, telegrams, reports, letters, and petitions. When I
entered, he arose, came quickly towards me, shook hands in a friendly manner and offered
me a seat.
General Bandholtz is a man of middle size, his head is getting bald, his moustache is
white, his look friendly and candid. His age may be about fifty. If I wanted to
characterize him in a brief manner, I should say he is kind and human. In his work, is
guided by a thorough impartiality, for he considers himself not only the representative of
America, but also one of the delegates of the Allied Powers. He does not look upon the
future of Hungary from the viewpoint of a rigid soldier, but with the feeling and
understanding soul of a man. He is indeed watching the state of affairs in Hungary with
the cleverness of a diplomat; he has learned to understand the history of this
thousand-years-old nation, so full of sad and glorious events, and his friendly feelings
are not merely grounded on the sympathy of the kind man, but on the American tradition
that always takes the side of the friendless and the weak.
The uniform of General Bandholtz was ornamented by three rows of decorations, on the
collar of his coat we see nothing but the two letter "U. S." The General is a
veteran soldier. He was one of the first leaders of the Philippine war, where he also
rendered extremely valuable service to his country as governor. American punctuality and
readiness for work are characteristic of him. His working capacity is unparalleled. In his
office, that occupies fifteen rooms in the Royal Palace, punctuality is the motto, but
with his subordinates he is a commander only while matters strictly official are being
handled. The next minute he talks to everybody who works with him in the most amiable
manner. He has smiling brown eyes and a serene temper. After work, he likes to mix with
the distinguished society in Budapest; you can frequently see his limousine in the Váci
utca where he does some shopping. He is an enthusiastic stamp collector and a great art
patron. He likes Budapest very much and everybody can see that he is very happy amongst
I had a formidable array of questions ready for the General, but with the skill of a
practiced diplomatist, he picked out those questions that he could properly answer. My
attack on some of the most important questions was repelled by General Bandholtz with a
"I beg your pardon, General, but this question is of great military and political
importance for us; you would oblige me extremely by giving further information. Hungary is
about to hold elections and in the territory which the Roumanians occupy and where they
are requisitioning mercilessly, there lives a pure-blooded Hungarian population. We must
know about the Roumanian withdrawal."
He replied: "I must remind you that the Entente has given orders for Roumania to
retreat as far as the line of demarcation. Naturally the Entente will not tolerate that
the Roumanian Army remain for any length of time on this side of the line of demarcation,
in contravention of orders."
I mentioned to the General the latest action of Food Commissioner Hoover, the essence
of which is that America is ready to despatch foodstuff to Hungary, especially to
Budapest, providing sufficient official guarantees are forthcoming from the state, and
that America is ready to facilitate this transaction as regards the rate of exchange,
adding that the dollars intended to be sent home by the Hungarians living in America would
considerably facilitate this arrangement.
General Bandholtz showed great sympathy in this matter, and said: "Upon request of
Charles Huszár, Premier, I recently forwarded a telegram to the Hungarian Relief
Committee in New York. In this telegram, the Premier expressed his thanks to the Committee
for the support given by the relief funds collected by the Hungarians, and begged the
Hungarian brethren living in America not to forget those that are suffering want in
Hungary. I forwarded the telegram with the greatest pleasure, and I am always ready to
help to alleviate suffering and to give my support to humanitarian institutions."
At this moment my glance fell on the General's desk, and I was touched to see a scroll
sent by a Hungarian peasant woman to the kind-hearted General of the United States Army.
The lines were scribbled on a large white sheet and I committed the impropriety of reading
a few lines.
The letter began: "Blessed be Jesus Christ!" followed by the address:
"Right Honorable Mr. General!" Then a long epistle. The letter was signed:
"With the deepest respect and hope, dated: Hahót, 27th Nov. 1919. Mrs. Stephen
What a world cataclysm must have taken place to make it possible for Mrs. Stephen
Horvath, from a small thatched cottage at Hahót, to have anything to do with the Royal
Palace and with General Harry Hill Bandholtz! Miklós Vécsei.
December 7, 1919. Last night Colonel Sheldon, Lieutenant-Colonel Moore,
Captain Gore and myself attended a large reception given by the Prime Minister, and the
friendliness of the Archduke and the Archduchess, of the Prime Minister, of Admiral
Horthy, and others, towards the American delegation was most marked and conspicuous.
It appears that the former Prime Minister, Friedrich, is completely at outs with the
present Prime Minister. Friedrich openly advocates a postponement of peace negotiations,
because he says that the Entente can do nothing with Czecho-Slovakia, Roumania, and
Jugo-Slavia, and can, therefore, do nothing with Hungary; that the three small nations
first mentioned, are now on the verge of an upheaval and will probably split into separate
parts, so that all that Hungary should do is to bide her time and take advantage of the
Huszár, on the other hand, although also of the opinion that the upheaval referred to
will take place, advocates conservatism without reaction; a prompt conclusion of a peace
treaty with the Entente, which will then back Hungary in her just ambitions and desires,
enabling her to gain more from any upheaval among her neighbors than she would by
antagonizing the Entente.
This morning I received a long telephone message from Colonel Causey in Vienna,
complaining that the Czecho-Slovaks would not allow timber or dynamite to be sent to the
Tata-Bánya mines, where it was badly needed, as otherwise the mines could not operate. He
repeated that the Czecho-Slovaks had absolutely no use for the timber or the
explosives, and needed the money badly, but were acting like a herd of swine, which
conduct has characterized them in practically all their relations with their neighbors.
While at the Prime Minister's reception last night, I took my colleague, General
Mombelli, "apart" and gave him a hint that the days of the Inter-Allied Military
Mission were numbered, and he nearly collapsed. I have not yet broken the sad tidings to
my other colleague, General Graziani, but shall probably do so tomorrow at our session,
which I hope will be the last one. It will be much more convenient for me to work as a
free lance here and to coöperate with General Gorton. It will not only give us more time,
but it will also give us greater freedom of action.
December 8, 1919. At the meeting today, I submitted a letter written by
Lieutenant-Colonel Moore explaining the necessity for obtaining clothing without delay for
the Hungarian police, and it was decided to notify the Hungarian government that this
Mission would approve of the purchase of such clothing wherever it could be found.
As there is a steady flow of complaints about the Serb's seizures and general
misconduct in the vicinity of Pécs, it was decided to send for the Serbian diplomatic
representative, Doctor Baitch, to be present at the next meeting of the Mission, which
will be held at the French Headquarters. General Graziani was rather reluctant to have
this occur when he was chairman, but he was forced to yield to a majority vote and finally
consented to send for Baitch.
There were also received several complaints of abuses on the part of the Hungarian
"White Army" and others towards Jews, and it was decided to refer all of these
to the Prime Minister of Hungary, with the statement that it was understood that he would
immediately take suitable action.
On November 25 the Supreme Council sent another last ultimatum to the Roumanians(6). In general, Roumania was invited to take without
discussion, reservation, or conditions, the following resolutions:
First. To evacuate entirely Hungarian territory, without drawing within the definite
frontiers fixed by the Conference.
Second. To accept the constitution of the Inter-Allied Commission provided for to
decide, control and base judgment upon the requisitions made in Hungary since the
beginning of the Roumanian occupation.
Third. To sign the Austrian Treaty and the Minorities Treaty under the conditions
indicated by the note of the Supreme Council of October 12, 1919.
The Roumanian government was first given eight days in which to send an answer, but as
there was some delay in transmission of the message, the time was extended, and on the
last day it is understood they signed the treaties, but so far no information has been
received that would indicate any intention on their part to abandon the line which they
are holding on the Theiss so I telegraphed the American Commission to that effect this
In conclusion the ultimatum of the Supreme Council stated:
Should this reply not be satisfactory to the Supreme Council of the Allies the latter
has decided to notify Roumania that she has separated herself from them. They shall invite
her to recall immediately her delegates to the Peace Conference, and they will also
withdraw their diplomatic missions at Bucharest. As the questions concerning the
settlement of boundaries are still to be made, Roumania will thus by her own action
deprive herself of all title to the support of the Powers as well as to the recognition of
her rights by the Conference. It would be with the profoundest regret that the Supreme
Council of the Allies should see itself forced to sever relations with Roumania, but it is
confident that it has been patient to the very last degree.
The communication also contained the following paragraph:
In short the Roumanian Government has continued for the last three and one half months
to negotiate with the Conference from Power to Power, taking into consideration no other
rights or interests than her own and refusing to accept the charges of solidarity although
she wishes to enjoy the benefit of them.
And then continued:
The Conference wishes to make a last appeal to the wisdom of the Roumanian Government
and of the Roumanian people before taking the grave resolution of severing all relations
with Roumania. Their right to dictate rests essentially on the fact that Roumania owes the
priceless service of having reconstituted her national unity, in doubling her territory
and population, to the victory of the Allies. Without the enormous sacrifices consented to
by them at the present time Roumania would be decimated, ruined and in bondage without any
possible hope. Roumania entered the struggle for her freedom at the end of the second year
of the war, making her own conditions; it is true she made great sacrifices and suffered
heavy losses, but she finally consented to treat separately with the enemy and to submit
to his law; her liberty and her victory, as well as her future she owes to the Allies(7). How can such a situation be lost sight of and so soon
forgotten by the Roumanian statesmen?
December 9, 1919. It is a pretty cold day when I am not photographed by a new
royal photographer. As near as I can ascertain, all the photographers in Budapest spent
most of their time photographing royalty, and they are now concentrating on the poor
defenseless members of the Inter-Allied Military Mission.
The newspapers have also begun their interviews and I have so far waded through five.
As it is understood that there are seventy-six such newspapers in Budapest, the beginning
has hardly begun.
The following is an extract of an article which appeared in the Pester Lloyd(8)
of December 5, 1919.
General Bandholtz on Hungary
Budapest, 4th December.
The statements made by Brigadier General Bandholtz, the worthy leader of the American
Military Mission, to Prime Minister Huszár at the celebration of Thanksgiving Day and
later during the visit paid to him by the Premier, have made a deep impression on the
whole country. These statements are further proof of the fact that the fate of Hungary is
duly appreciated by the United States and that the American Mission in Budapest, of all
others, has studied and grasped thoroughly our position and thus greatly contributed to
putting right the erroneus opinions existing with regard to our country. Nearly four
months have now elapsed since General Bandholtz has started his work in Budapest. His
arrival coincides with the darkest days in Hungary's history; the country and the capital
bad hardly recovered from the terrors of Bolshevism, when armed hordes of foreign troops
of occupation invaded Hungary. In consideration of the modesty of General Bandholtz, we
dare not yet adequately appreciate what he has done for us during this period. The time
will come when we shall be able to give a more detailed account of his work, of that of
the American Military Mission under his charge, and also of the Claim Office within its
sphere of action. Then the public will be able rightly to appreciate this work.
Our reporter has today called on General Bandholtz in the apartment of the former Queen
at the Royal Castle, or National Palace, as it is at present called, where the General's
offices are. The General had just returned from a meeting of the Inter-Allied Military
Mission when our reporter was intro duced to him by Ministerial Councilor Zerkowitz.
Although the General was engaged and very busy, he has had the goodness to reply to the
. . . . . .
The well-known leader of the American Army in the Philippine War continued to converse
without restraint with our representative concerning the position of Budapest, making some
enthusiastic remarks about the beauties of the capital, expressing warm feelings for the
population, and speaking with confidence about the future of the country. We have found in
General H. H. Bandholtz a true friend of Hungary and an impartial and just leader of the
December 10, 1919. Yesterday afternoon at 4.30, accompanied by Colonel
Sheldon, I went over and took tea with my old friend "Joe," always alluded to
here with much kotowing and genuflexioning as the Archduke Joseph. Although I had called
on "Joe" some time ago with Colonel Loree, the Palace had not then been in
shape, on account of the fact that the Bolshevists had removed most of the furniture. This
is all back now, and it really is a magnificent building. When we arrived at the
antechamber, I didn't know whether the gorgeous personages awaiting us were generals or
flunkies, but I thought I would wait to see whether they offered to shake my hand before
making the first step myself. As they offered to help me off with my coat, I compromised
by letting them keep it. We then entered a beautiful room and ran into a small flock of
little "archduchesslets" and the young "Archdukelet." "Joe"
then advanced smilingly to meet us and we were escorted into a room pretty well filled
with the créme de la créme of Hungarian nobility, and including General and
Mrs. Gorton. It was noted that no members of the French or Italian Missions were present.
I got planted next to Countess Somssich, the wife of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
and was buzzing her good and plenty when "Joe" came over and insisted that I
give the Archduchess the benefit of some of my conversation, so I approached the royal
presence in the usual humble American spirit and turned my buzzing apparatus loose on
"Augusta." It took her a little while to get on to the American pronunciation,
as she spoke only English, but after a while I was able to produce several giggles and we
had a genuine good time until the meeting broke up, when most of the party went down to
the opera, which was of such political significance that we could not attend; While
Colonel Sheldon and I went down to see a Jewish printing office that had been wrecked by a
The Mission met this date at the French Headquarters, with General Graziani presiding.
There was first brought up the question of whether or not members should accept an
invitation from the Archduchess Augusta to a cinematograph performance to be given in the
Archducal Palace for the benefit of widows and orphans of the Hungarian National Army. In
view of the fact that this invitation was of a semi-personal nature, it was decided that
each member could follow his own inclination.
It was noted that General Graziani had received many messages from the Roumanians,
which showed conclusively that the French and Roumanians are in very close touch, as no
one else was receiving any such messages.
Reports keep coming in that the Serbs in Pécs are acting along the same lines as the
Roumanians have done heretofore and are still doing east of the Theiss. While we were
discussing this proposition, Baitch, the Serbian Minister, came fox-trotting in, and
General Graziani, as President of the Day, explained to him that we could not send any
committee, as he requested, to investigate the reported incident at Redics, on account of
the fact that the Serbians had not recognized the committee that we had previously sent to
Pécs. Graziani then went on to tell about the complaints we had had of Serbian seizures,
etc., in Hungarian territory still held by them, and wanted to know when the Serbs were
going to evacuate and carry out the instructions given them. Little Baitch gave us a
characteristic diplomatic smile and said that he had noted in the Paris papers and
elsewhere that the Serbs were charged with appropriating property; that he had called the
attention of the Belgrade government to this matter, and that they had replied, telling
him to deny this absolutely as being without foundation. As it was about time that I had
an inning, I stated that I should like to address a few remarks to the diplomatic envoy of
the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croates and Slovenes, and as little Baitch and I are boon
companions and as he understands English fairly well, I looked him in the eye and said:
My dear Doctor, why in Hell do you insist on imitating the Roumanians in everything? We
know that your people are requisitioning and seizing property around Pécs; you know that
they are doing it; and the proofs are right here before you. Now, why imitate and blindly
follow Roumanian tactics, and try to lie out of it under all these circumstances?
He smilingly admitted that the Serbs were following a bad precedent, and that he would
look into the matter.
The Mission then adjourned.
Upon arriving back at the Palace, I had a talk with General Gorton and, while there, a
Canadian officer who is attached to the British Food Commission, reported that the Serbs
were making a big hullabaloo about the Redics incident, that they had had a special
session of the Parliament, and that they had decided in view of this that no food would be
allowed to cross the Hungarian boundary line until reparation had been made for same.
After considerable difficulty, the Captain got in touch with a high ranking officer in
Belgrade and got him to consent to lifting the embargo on exportation of food into Hungary
if the Hungarians should voluntarily comply with the following conditions:
1. Apologize for the incident;
2. Set free unconditionally any Serbian prisoners who had been taken;
3. Pay the families of any Serbs who had been injured, according to amount fixed by an
4. Give assurance that there would be no repetition of the incident.
As General Soós had already practically complied with these conditions through the
Inter-Allied Military Mission, General Gorton and I sent word to the Hungarian Premier
suggesting that he act likewise directly through the Serbian diplomatic envoy.
Before leaving the session of the Mission, in view of the food crisis now existing in
Budapest, I insisted that the Mission telegraph the Roumanians to the effect that the
present situation in Budapest was primarily due to the damned-fool requisition methods of
the Roumanians in the beginning, and was intensified by the fact that they, despite their
repeated promises, had sent no food supplies into Budapest.
General Graziani apparently did not like to send the message, and dislikes exceedingly
to give any bad-tasting medicine to either the Roumanians or the Serbs.
Today I received from the Hungarian Prime Minister a reply to my letter returning the
Royal Box, and his reply read as follows:
Hungarian Prime Minister
Budapest, the 9th of December 1919
To his Excellency
General H. H. Bandholtz
Chief of the American Mission to Negotiate Peace
in reply to your kind note of the 4th of December in the matter of the Opera box I beg
most respectfully to ask you to keep the box in question in the future as well.
It caused me as well as to the other members of the Government real pleasure to give
you by offering you the box, another sign of the respect and esteem we are feeling towards
your Excellency as to a real and sincere friend of the Hungarians and a protector of our
Believe me Sir
very respectfully yours
Today we received a telephonic message from Colonel Loree, who is now as far back as
Vienna on his return. Owing to the congestion in passenger transportation, it will
probably be three or four days before he can make the short run from Vienna to Budapest.
In reply to Prime Minister Huszár's letter I sent the following:
10th December 1919
To His Excellency
M. Charles Huszár,
Prime Minister of Hungary
My dear M. Huszár:
Your characteristic letter of the ninth instant insisting that I retain the large
central box at the Opera has affected me more than I can express. I shall consider this
act as being intended to indicate the most kindly feeling towards my country and I cannot
do otherwise than gratefully accept your repeated offer.
H. H. Bandholtz
December 11, 1919. Last night the Count and Countess de Troismonts gave what
they called a "nine-thirty o'clock tea," which was in reality a sort of at-home
thé dansant. The crowd was decidedly mixed; practically all of the French officers
and Italian officers were there, and a scattering of Hungarians, with Captain Gore and
myself from the American Mission, as Colonel Loree had not yet returned and Colonel
Sheldon was somewhat under the weather. It was noted that no British officers were
present. The little "Archdukelet" was there, having the time of his life, and
danced considerable attendance on one of my adopted daughters.
The room was so full of wood smoke from the stoves and tobacco smoke from cigarettes,
that fortunately one's eyes were considerably dimmed, and a young lady who was dancing in
what looked like a very décolleté nightdress, did not attract as much attention as might
otherwise have been the case.
This afternoon is the cinematograph affair that the Archduchess is giving, and I have
sent my regrets, as one cannot be chasing around with royalty all the time and likewise
attend to one's business.
This morning, in view of the fact that the food situation in Budapest is rapidly
approaching a crisis, I went down and saw my boon companion, little Lazar Baitch, the
Bringing up the subject of the Redics incident, mentioned before, I told Baitch that I
was astonished that the Serbs were falling into the horrible error of blindly imitating
the Roumanians in their rotten traits. I repeated the talk I had given him yesterday at
the session of the Mission and told him that the Roumanians had lost the chance of a
lifetime in not handling their occupation of Hungary properly, and that I did not want the
Jugo-Slavs to make a similar mistake.
I then whispered in his ear that there was now in Budapest the representative of one of
the great New York dailies, and asked him how he would like to have scattered broadcast
through the United States in large headlines, something to the following effect:
Serbians worse than Roumanians. Using a trivial frontier incident as pretext, they
proceed to starve 2,000,000 people,
all to be followed by the harrowing details which only newspaper correspondents know
how to bring out. I told him it was all right to demand an apology from the Hungarians,
and a promise of punishment to the guilty, and of adequate arrangements for the prevention
of a repetition of similar incidents, but that they ought now to break their necks to let
into Hungary immediately the five thousand carloads of provisions which they were holding
up and which, worst of all, the Hungarians had already paid for. He promised me that he
would telegraph his government immediately. I then suggested to him that in view of the
fact that both Roumania and Italy were both already hostile to Serbia, I thought it almost
suicidal for her to force Hungary into a similar position, whereas by retaining Hungary as
a friend she could separate the Italians and the Roumanians. He agreed likewise with this.
I then went over to Admiral Horthy's Headquarters, finding him out; but did find
General Soós, to whom I gave friendly advice in the way of immediately apologizing to the
Serbs for the Redics incident, in order to admit food. After General Soós I went to see
Count Somssich, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and had a similar talk with him. He
promised to take up and push the matter immediately.
In the afternoon Mr. Arno Dorch-Fleurot, the New York World representative
referred to in my conversation with Baitch, came in to say good-by, as he was on his way
through Belgrade to try to get into Southern Russia.
About noon I received a code telegram in Mr. Polk's name, stating that Grant-Smith was
due to arrive in about two or three weeks and would have a party of seven with him. I was
asked to arrange for quarters, food and fuel for the party, to leave two automobiles for
them and to transfer chauffeurs, and it was added that no reason was known why they should
not continue with the offices and quarters that I was now occupying. It is most apparent
that Mr. Polk himself never saw the telegram, and I replied as follows:
11th December 1919
Number E 5 Polk from Bandholtz. Replying to your 132 of December 9th. Quarters now
occupied by me are part of Count Edelsheim's house which he does not care to rent after my
departure. Offices are in part of Royal Palace which our occupancy saved from Roumanian
looters but which would not be appropriate for permanent representative. I shall take
immediate steps to make tentative arrangements for suitable quarters. There are now here
three Cadillac automobiles, two limousines and one touring car, and all are understood to
be State Department property. Unless contrary instructions are received they will be left
here. They were all received in bad condition and two at a time usually undergoing
repairs. To do my work it was necessary constantly to hire two to three other cars. An
effort now being made completely to overhaul Cadillacs. My American chauffeurs are all
soldiers who do not desire to remain. I have also hired Hungarians when necessary and will
try to have two or three trained on Cadillacs. It is suggested that one or more American
chauffeurs of mechanical training accompany any new party, that a complete set of spare
parts, extra tubes, tires, etc., be brought, and that another carload of gasoline be sent
to arrive here by January 20th. Contract for fuel will be made, but a general food supply
for at least three months should be brought along. Local prices are exorbitant.
11th December 1919
Priority Number E4. Polk from Bandholtz. Your number 132 answered in detail by my
number E5. As Commission is supposed to sail on thirteenth I shall consider myself
automatically relieved as member of Inter-Allied Military Mission on that date unless
contrary instructions are in meantime received. Please inform me as to my official
December 12, 1919. The Mission met this morning at the Italian Headquarters,
with General Mombelli presiding. Considering my telegram of yesterday, this undoubtedly
was my last sitting with the Mission as a member. I could not, however, as yet, notify my
colleagues of this fact, and took the same apparent lively interest in the proceedings
that I have taken heretofore.
I called their attention to the fact that the Roumanians had received an ultimatum in
regard to the immediate evacuation of Hungary, signing all treaties, etc.; that they had
signed the treaties, so I understood, but were still hanging on to eastern Hungary.
Generals Mombelli and Graziani both said they had heard nothing of such an ultimatum, and
that they had never seen it. I told them I had seen it, had a copy of it, and would be
glad to furnish them one the next day. It was decided, therefore, to telegraph the Supreme
Council along the lines indicated. It is frequently commented upon that the Supreme
Council has practically forgotten our existence. As near as I can make out from telegrams
from my own Mission, we really do not exist, at least officially, but the Supreme Council
has neglected to notify us that we have petered out. As the others are having so much fun
about it, I decided to let them plug on and enjoy themselves, but on Sunday, the
fourteenth, unless I receive contrary instructions in the meantime, I will inform them
that I can no longer sit as a member.
When I got back to my office after the session, General Soós, came in to tell me that
his government had complied with my suggestion and had sent its regrets through the
Serbian Minister for the Redics incident. I complimented him on the wisdom of the policy
they had pursued, and hope that there will be no more difficulty about getting in the five
thousand carloads of food from Jugo-Slavia.
Colonel Loree arrived about 10 o'clock this morning from Vienna, which did not surprise
me, as I knew that he would be on the train if it was humanly possible for anybody to get
Colonel and Mrs. Kelly arrived in Budapest this morning, on their return trip from
Belgrade and Bucharest. Colonel Kelly states that he found both places to be just about as
I had described them; that the Roumanians were decidedly inhospitable and did not care to
see Americans; that Roumania was full of loot, sidetracks were filled with cars which they
had not yet had time to unload, and in general the whole country showed that the
Roumanians were utterly lacking in system and organization as well as in decency. We had
Colonel and Mrs. Kelly to dinner, but they left early as they had had a very hard trip.
December 13, 1919. This morning, Colonel Loree, Captain Gore and myself tried
to do a little Christmas shopping, but there was mighty little to be bought.
Lieutenant-Colonel Hume, of the Army Medical Corps, who is our senior Red Cross
representative in Serbia, came up to see me, being en route from Paris to Belgrade by
automobile with his wife, who just recently arrived from the United States. We therefore
had them to luncheon. It was fortunate that he arrived, because Colonel Sheldon is
somewhat under the weather and it is a comfort to feel that we have an American medical
officer to look him over. Colonel Hume states that at any time we need anything of the
kind he will send, if necessary, both a doctor and a nurse from Belgrade, as he considers
it is more important to look after Americans than anybody else.
As on this date, per my telegram to Mr. Polk of yesterday, I shall automatically cease
to be a member of the Inter-Allied Military Mission, I drew up several letters, signed
them and will deliver them tomorrow. These letters were as follows. To Generals Graziani,
Mombelli, and Gorton, I sent each the following letter:
My dear General:
It is with a feeling of real regret that I am obliged this date, as per my official
communication to the Inter-Allied Military Mission, to sever for myself the close and
harmonious official relations that have from the beginning existed between me and my
colleagues of the Inter-Allied Military Mission.
My association for four months with three generals of international fame has been for
me a great honor, a privilege and an education.
Your patience under the steady fire of my Americanisms has been admirable, but has also
been appreciated. I shall ever retain most pleasant and affectionate recollections of each
all of you. Very sincerely,
H. H. BANDHOLTZ
Brig. Gen., U.S. A.
13th December 1919
From: Brigadier General H. H. Bandholtz, U.S. A.
To: Inter-Allied Military Mission
Subject: Change of Status
1: In compliance with telegraphic instructions from the American Commission to
Negotiate Peace, the undersigned this date ceases to be a member of the Inter- Allied
H. H. BANDHOLTZ
13th December 1919
From: American Military Representative in Hungary
To: Hungarian Prime Minister
Subject: Information as to change of status
1: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that on this date, pursuant to
instructions from the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, I shall cease to be a member
of the Inter-Allied Military Mission, but shall remain temporarily in Hungary as American
Military Representative [should have read "Commissioner"].
Brig. Gen., U.S. Army
Just as things were going along swimmingly in the automobile line, we ground out
another axle bearing in one of the limousines, so that both of them are now in the shop
and we are plugging around in open cars.
At present everybody seems to be out of gasoline except ourselves and our popularity is
as great as it is undesirable. It will be a pleasure to accommodate Colonel Hume and
people who have been nice to us, and it will be likewise a pleasure to be unaccommodating
to a few others.
December 14, 1919. Last night Colonel Loree, Captain Gore and myself attended
the opera, having with us the Szirmay family and Colonel and Mrs. Hume, who were mentioned
yesterday as being en route to Belgrade. The opera was "Rigoletto" and it was
the best that I have yet seen. My taste along the lines of grand opera, however, is so
depraved that whatever I like is probably inferior. Still our musical expert, Captain
Gore, admitted that it was very well presented.
This morning I dropped in to see General Gorton and, as he will be the President of the
Day of the Mission for tomorrow, I handed him my letter notifying the Mission that I was
ceasing to function as a member thereof. He stated that he had talked the matter over the
night before with General Mombelli, and Graziani thought that my notice to the Hungarian
government of my ceasing to be a member of the Mission should be sent through the Mission.
I told General Gorton that, with all due respect to General Mombelli's astuteness, he was
off his nut; that I did not recognize the Mission and never had recognized it as being my
superior; that I had been relieved by my own commission and I recognized no other
Colonel Sheldon is laid up in bed with an attack of tonsillitis, which, however, has
not yet reached a serious stage, and we hope to have him cured up in a day or so.
December 15, 1919. It is very annoying to be quite as much in demand as the
American Mission now seems to be in Budapest. The fact that I bought a painting at the
exhibit has been pretty well advertised, and I never imagined that there were so many
paintings in the world as are now being offered me. The newspaper articles have also given
us a widely circulated advertisement and there is a steady stream of invitations to attend
all sorts of openings, meetings, celebrations, etc.
Then for the evening I was invited by the officers of the British Mission to be their
guest at an opera and dinner party. Not having one of those technical ears that listen for
beautiful notes in the bell-like tones of sopranos and the bull-like tones of basso
profundos, I arranged to arrive at the opera about half an hour before its conclusion.
They intended to give "The Flying Dutchman," but I saw in the paper that it was
to be "Lohengrin." My timing was accurate, as the opera begins at six and
ordinarily ends at nine, so I arrived at about 8.20, but it appears that
"Lohengrin" is a musical endurance test and the damned thing lasted until after
We then went with the British officers to their "B" Mess, where we had a
delicious dinner to the tune of "cigány"(9)
music. After dinner they prepared to do what the British called "take the
floor," which means to dance. This latter began about midnight and my party beat it
at one o'clock.
It seemed good to be able to come to my own Headquarters this morning and tackle my own
work without being obliged to waste the whole forenoon with an emasculated Military
Mission that could issue instructions and ultimata and get snubbed for its pains.
Yesterday afternoon the young Archduke called up a friend of mine and said that he was
in a Hell of a fix, or words to that effect; that he and his sister had been invited to
General Bandholtz's birthday party on December 18, but that Papa Archduke and Mama Arch
duchess had not been included; that papa and mama were crazy to come, but were a little
bit afraid of General Bandholtz and did not know how he could be approached, and would my
friend be so kind as to try to arrange the matter?
Accordingly, accompanied by Colonel Loree, I went over to see his Royal Highness at
half past twelve, told him that I had seen his son enjoying himself at Count Troismont's
dance, and had therefore asked the young Archduke and his sister to come over to my
birthday party; that I was not sure whether their Highnesses would themselves care to
attend such a function, and I had, therefore, come personally to ask him, with one lady in
waiting, to butt in on the scene in case they cared to come. "Archie" was
tickled to death and showed it, and said he sure would be there with the whole Archducal
During the course of the conversation he spoke about my length of stay, and I told him
I was very anxious to get home, that although I had only a son and a daughter-in-law in
America, with seven daughters in Budapest -at which he interrupted me, with admiration
marking his entire pose and expression, saying: "What already!" I then explained
to him that they were all adopted and were from families of friends of his, at which his
admiration passed away to a certain extent, and I was no longer the wonder he thought I
Count Apponyi, who is to be chairman of the Peace Delegation to Paris(10)
, came to see me and ask if I could help him get to his estate, in territory now
occupied by the Czecho-Slovaks, for the holidays and then return. The Czecho-Slovaks had
announced that they would either not let him come, or if he did, that they would not let
him return here. I told him that I would send a telegram to Prague which I thought would
fix the matter, but I suggested that he come with me to the Mission, which was in session.
I called General Gorton out of the meeting, explained the situation to him, and left them
together. The Count later returned to me and said that the Mission would back him, and
with my backing also he now felt safe to go home for the holidays.
Count Andrássy came in, likewise, to see about get ting passes to Czecho-Slovakia and
return, so I gave him the same kind that I gave to Count Edelsheim two or three months
ago, in the shape of a letter, stating that he had been of service to the Mission, and we
trusted that he be extended every courtesy in his contemplated journey to and from
Czecho-Slovakia, the passes being written in English, German, French, Hungarian, and
Colonel Sheldon came down to dinner tonight with his usual appetite and now seems well
on the road to recovery.
December 16, 1919. General Gorton came in this morning and said that he had
been mistaken about Mombelli thinking that my notice to the Hungarian government in regard
to separation from the Mission should have been sent through the Mission, but that he
referred to the telegrams which had been received by me from the Supreme Council for the
Hungarian government and which I had delivered directly.
I told General Gorton that this was the characteristic Italian way of doing things;
that instead of coming to me and making his complaint he went to someone else, and I was
going right down to see General Mombelli and tell him that when he had any growls coming
that I wished he would growl at me and not do it vicariously; that the telegrams which I
had delivered to the Hungarian government did not come to me from the Supreme Council, but
came to me from the American Committee, with instructions to deliver to the Hungarian
government; and that I did not give a whoop in Hell how many Italians, French, and others
felt hurt, and that I proposed to carry out my instructions.
I then chased down to the Italian Mission to say the same thing to General Mombelli,
but found him away on a hunting expedition, so it will be reserved for another occasion.
At the time I did not know that he was away hunting, but thought he was simply out of his
office; so I went to the French Mission to see General Graziani, and was told by his aide
de camp that the Italian General was with General Graziani. He asked me if I would wait. I
said that I would not, but that I would be very glad to have him send my name in to
General Graziani and see what the result would be, this mainly with the idea of seeing
both Graziani and Mombelli together.
I was immediately ushered in and found out that it was not Mombelli, but another
Italian General, who had been sent here on the Reparations Commission. He promptly beat it
on my arrival, so I had a little chat with Graziani. It appears that at their meeting
yesterday they were somewhat concerned as to how they might use the American telegraph
line and as to whether or not it would be necessary to write me a request for general use
or for each time. I told General Graziani for Heaven's sake to come off his perch, that I
was here to do business and not to spend all my time in reading and dictating letters,
that the line was at the disposal of the Mission exactly the same as it had been when I
was a member thereof, that my relations with my former colleagues would continue on the
same amicable footing, and that I would coöperate to the fullest extent.
I then told the General that I was going to have a birthday in Budapest on the
eighteenth and would like to have him and his Chief of Staff attend. He said he would be
charmed, and I beat it.
In view of the fact that my separation from the Mission seemed to cause some uneasiness
in the city, and to prevent any misunderstanding, I then drew up for publication, and sent
each of my former colleagues, a copy of the following notice:
CHANGE IN THE INTER-ALLIED MILITARY MISSION
It has been known for some time that the American Commission to Negotiate Peace would
leave Europe early in December, the original date for their departure being scheduled for
December 5. The Commission, however, did not sail from France until December 13, 1919.
As a natural result of the Commission's departure, General Bandholtz, the American
representative on the Inter-Allied Military Mission, was automatically relieved as a
member thereof. It is understood, however, on the best of authority that this change in
the Inter-Allied Military Mission has no material significance. The remaining members will
continue as heretofore, and General Bandholtz will remain temporarily in Budapest as
American Military Representative and, although no longer a member of the Inter-Allied
Military Mission, his relations with his former colleagues will be those of the
representative of one of the Allied and Associated Powers with the representatives of
other such Powers, and he will cooperate with the Mission in every way practicable.
Later in the day I received a letter from General Gorton, of which the following is a
16th December 1919.
My dear General Bandholtz
The letter which you have sent to the Interallied Military Mission announcing the
termination of your membership therein, contains sad news for us all, but for none more
than for your British colleague.
I take this opportunity of expressing my admiration for your energy and ability which
have inspired our meetings, as much as your flowers of speech and elegancies of metaphor
have enlivened them.
I should like also to say how proud I am that the relations between your Mission and
mine have been of so pleasant a character. We could not have been more in unison had we
been comrades of long association instead of newly-found cousins.
Accept, my dear General, my best thanks for the ready assistance and kind fellowship
for which I and my officers are indebted to you and yours, and believe me to remain,
Yours very sincerely,
R. S: G. Gorton
I knew damned well what he alluded to by "my flowers of speech and elegancies of
metaphor," and rather think he enjoyed my frequent breaks into the stilted and
ordinary conversation of a Mission of distinguished generals.
When I arrived at home I found waiting for me a letter from General Graziani, of which
the following is a free translation(11)
Budapest, 15th December, 1919
My dear General:
Like you, I shall ever retain pleasant memories of those four months of collaboration,
which has always been marked so plainly by harmony, cordiality and frankness. It was
perfectly natural that each one of us should, in our discussions, be influenced by his
temperament, but we were always soldiers, talking to other soldiers, and we were,
therefore, always on the ground of perfect understanding.
I regret greatly your withdrawal, but fortunately it is only relative since, although
you leave the Mission, you do not leave Budapest.
Believe me, my [dear] General, with most cordial and sincere sentiments.
[Signed] General Graziani.
In view of the fact that General Mombelli had gone hunting and I could not see him
today, and that there would be a meeting of the Mission tomorrow, I decided to send a
formal communication concerning the criticism which had been made in regard to my
transmitting telegrams directly to the Hungarian government. The following letter was
therefore dictated and sent to the President of the Day.
16th December 1919
From: American Military Representative
To: President of the Day-Inter-Allied Military Mission
Subject: Criticism of Procedure.
1: There has come to my attention the fact that I have been criticized for transmitting
to the Hungarian government telegrams that it was thought should have been forwarded
through the Inter-Allied Military Mission.
2: As this happened repeatedly while I was a member of the Mission I cannot understand
why the criticism was not then made.
3: While regretting that my action may have created doubts in the minds of any of my
former colleagues, I must add that I did and do consider it to have been perfectly proper
under all the circumstances.
4: The telegrams which I transmitted to the Hungarian government were all of the same
general form of arrangement and composition, which in effect was as follows:
You will please deliver the following message to the Hungarian Minister President:
[here would follow the message, usually from Clemenceau]
[Signed] Polk Admission."
5: My letter of transmissal was invariably limited to the customary stereotyped form,
embodying the message.
6: Each entire transaction was one in which the American telegraph line had been
utilized, and in which I received and obeyed orders from my immediate superiors, and it
was one in which the Inter-Allied Military Mission had no direct concern or control.
7: I fear that the exaggerated headlines and distorted versions that appeared in the
local press in regard to such telegrams, and for which I was in no-ways responsible, gave
an entirely erroneous impression which could have been quickly cleared away by a few words
at the time.
8: I repeat that I regret exceedingly that any doubts whatever should have arisen in
the minds of my former colleagues, whose good will and opinion I so highly prize, and I
trust that the foregoing explanation will be satisfactory. If I have not made myself
perfectly clear, I shall be pleased to go into further detail either verbally or in
With assurances of the highest esteem and respect, I am,
H. H. Bandholtz
Brig. Gen., U.S. A.
December 17, 1919. Last night Colonel Loree, Captain Gore, and myself were
again the guests of Count Edelsheim at the Nemzeti Casino, the finest club of Budapest.
The Count explained that in view of the fact that I was daily meeting diplomats,
politicians and military officers, he would try and give me as brother guests civilians
only. I cannot recall the names of other Hungarian guests, but they were all very charming
gentlemen, and we had an excellent dinner and a pleasant evening.
Yesterday four communists, who had smuggled themselves in some way or other from
Austria to Hungary, endeavored to blow up the Gellért Hotel, where Admiral Horthy has his
Headquarters. Fortunately they were discovered and apprehended before they did any damage.
In this connection it might be mentioned that today we received several seats for the
hanging of twelve Bolshevists, which is to take place in a day or so.
Now that I no longer have the sessions of the Mission to attend, and there is no
Supreme Council or American Commission to Negotiate Peace to whom I can send frequent
reports, my work has fallen off materially, but we still have a great number of visitors
who seem to think that the American Mission can accomplish results when all others fail.
December 18, 1919. My birthday today seems to have been pretty well advertised
on account of the little celebration we are giving at our mess.
Admiral Horthy sent over his aide with his best compliments, and the Mayor of the City
sent me the following letter:
Budapest, the 18th of Dec.1919.
I have the honour in the name of the City-Council to deliver our best wishes at the
occasion of your birthday. May the Lord grant you a long, happy and sorrowless life.
Permit us to hope, dear General, that you will preserve for our unfortunate Country and
City the greatly appreciated sympathy and attachment which you have always so kindly shown
[Signed] D. Bódy
Mayor of the City of Budapest.
The Prime Minister came in person to offer his congratulations and to pay the respect
of the Hungarian government.
The largest paper here, the Pester Lloyd, burst into melody of which the
following is a translation:
Harry Hill Bandholtz: Tomorrow, the eighteenth of December, is the birthday of Brig.
Gen. Harry Hill Bandholtz, U. S. A., the leader of the American Military Mission to
Hungary, who won fame in the Philippine war. It is not essential for us to know where he
was born and what age he will be tomorrow, as we respect in this son of the great Union
only the noble, energetic, kind-hearted, and strong man, who combines the virtues of the
old soldier with the qualities of a most capable diplomat.
Yes, we love and honor General Bandholtz, who visited Budapest as the first
representative of the United States, thus awakening within us those sympathies which we
have ever harbored since the beginning of the War, for the nation of George Washington,
Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. He has since done everything to increase this
enthusiasm and sympathy. We owe this noble man a great debt of gratitude for his work of
mediation, which he is doing for us in all quietude, but none the less energetically in
our much-tried country. We avail ourselves of this opportunity to express to him the
warmest wishes of every Hungarian and trust that he may live to see many a happy return of
this day, in good health and good spirits.
One gentleman sent me a beautiful gold cup; my British colleague sent me a fine silver
dish; and in fact all of the birthday presents of my past brief existence combined would
hardly come up to what has been showered upon me today.
While the Prime Minister was here, he also discussed the political situation, explained
that he was having a great deal of difficulty in keeping the extreme Right factions and
the extreme Left factions from clashing constantly, and that as a result the anti-Semitic
group had separated from the Christian-Socialist party.
He stated that one of the papers yesterday came out in an editorial strongly advocating
pogroms and persecution of the Jews, and that he was having the editor punished.
He seems to be of the opinion that the Socialist members of the Cabinet will resign at
an early date because they have been unable to push through many of their communistic
schemes. He says he himself has been threatened many times, but is paying very little
attention to it; that he recently went to investigate the abuses reported from Kecskemét
and that he put a stop to them; that he was going to leave again at an early date for
Csongrád, which is the Socialist center, and he hoped to be there nominated for
Parliament and to beat the Socialists out of business.
He then went into details about how the Roumanians are completely gutting the country
east of the Theiss in absolute defiance of the Entente, and in total noncompliance with
the ultimatum of November 5. I included the substance of his remarks in a telegram to the
American Embassy in Paris, adding that fourteen Bolshevists were hanged this morning in
Budapest, and that instead of all four of the party who came from Vienna to blow up the
Gellért Hotel having been captured, only one of them had been captured, but that the plot
had nevertheless been frustrated.
In the evening we had some of my adopted family to dinner and then wound up with a
dance. The Archduke, the Archduchess, their two children, General Gorton, and wife,
General Mombelli, his wife, daughter and aide, and General Graziani with aide, were also
present. By special request of Her Royal Highness, the Archduchess Augusta, they danced a
Hungarian dance called the "Csárdás." In this, you face your partner squarely,
the lady puts both arms upon your shoulders and looks soulfully into your eyes, you place
both hands on her hips and ditto the soulful stunt. You then wiggle back and forth to the
right and left with a couple of side jumps, occasionally intermingled with a hundred- yard
dash speed on a ring-around-the-rosy with your partner. After watching the celebration for
some time, I got the step and when the elder Countess Teleki ambled up, dazzling my eyes
with her tiara of two hundred and ten big diamonds and her ten-carat diamond earrings, we
took a catch-as-catch-can hold and then showed the Archduke and assembled multitude how
the Csárdás should be danced. "Joe" applauded vigorously and General Gorton
nearly cracked his monocle by his rapid change of facial contortions. The Archduchess had
intimated in the beginning that she wanted to be treated in a strictly American manner and
she surely got it.
We tried to close up the party about half past two, but my young Hungarian aide,
Lieutenant Count Teleki, under the inspiration of several libations of Kümmel, etc., and
some of the others, having got started, could not shift their gears, and it was only at
5.30 that we were able to stop the formation by use of the emergency brake. All
participants voted the affair a grand success.
December 19, 1919. In view of last night's celebration, this forenoon was
practically used up. However, I rose at 10 and the others got up at 11.30.
The newspaper people came in to offer belated congratulations, and several others who
had not known of my approaching birthday did likewise.
I sent a telegram to the American Embassy to the effect that Sir George Clerk, when
here, had in the name of the Supreme Council promised the Hungarians immediate Roumanian
evacuation, in case they would organize a coalition government as he desired; adding that
the Hungarians assert now that they have complied in the spirit and in the letter with all
of their instructions, but that the Supreme Council has not complied with its promise to
force the Roumanians to evacuate the country immediately, and that the latter were still
on the banks of the Theiss and had already done incalculable harm.
During the day the following letter was received from the Hungarian Prime Minister:
Hungarian Prime Minister.
To his Excellency General
H. H. Bandholtz
American Military Representative in Hungary
I am thanking you for your note of the 18th Dec. a. c. informing me that you ceased to
be a member of the Interallied Military Mission.
I take this opportunity of expressing in my own name as in that of the whole government
my most sincere thanks for the friendly and appreciative attitude your Excellency has
taken towards Hungary in these sad days of her trials. I can assure your Excellency that
the country will remember with gratitude your noble and valuable activity.
It causes me great pleasure that your Excellency will still remain in Budapest as the
American Military Representative in Hungary and I beg to express my hope that your
Excellency will stay in our midst for an extended period.
Believe me Sir
Most faithfully yours,
The following letter was also received today(12)
Inter-Allied Military Mission Budapest, 17th December 1919
To General Bandholtz
Chief of the American Military Mission Budapest.
My dear General Bandholtz,
It is with the greatest regret that I have learned you have ceased to form part of our
Inter-Allied Military Mission.
Your collaboration has been very efficient and your activity as well as your firmness
have always been highly appreciated.
Please remember me with the same amicable and grateful recollection I shall always have
for you and permit me to express to you as well as to all the officers of your Mission my
most sincere sentiments of friendship.
Very cordially yours,
The General of Division Mombelli.
December 20, 1919. Yesterday I received word from Count Apponyi that the
Czecho-Slovaks had sent him intimation that in case he ever showed up again in their
territory he would be immediately arrested.
All this billing and cooing at the Peace Conference has apparently resulted -instead of
leaving a whole dovecote of peaceful little squabs- in leaving a ravenous flock of turkey
buzzards. Each one of these miserable little countries down here is utterly and absolutely
devoid of all sense of international decency, and spends most of its time in devising
schemes for robbing and irritating its neighbors. If the three great powers had been able
to keep armies and could have sent them immediately to any place where trouble was
brewing, it would have been entirely different, but the Supreme Council's prestige went
aglimmering when a steady stream of ultimata had no effect whatever upon that miserable
little nation of Roumania. The Hungarians, although down and out on account of Bolshevism,
are a much more virile nation than any of the others, and it would not astonish me at any
day to see them turn and lick Hell out of the Czechs, aided and abetted by the Poles, who
would probably attack the Czechs on the Northeast, and then turn back on the Roumanians.
The Serb, although as unprincipled a looter as any of the others, is a mighty good
fighter, and in all probability the Hungarians and the Serbs will some time or other get
together and be a hard combination for the other weaklings to go against.
Today Colonel Sheldon and I got inveigled into a tea, and although I attended I did not
do any tea lapping. It was a sort of farewell tea given by my protégés, who tomorrow
start for the country to be gone over the holidays. It appears that anybody in Budapest
who has any social standing whatever must go out to the country and have a family reunion
in some miserable cold hole in order to hold his own in the upper crust of society.
A cablegram was received from Secretary of State Lansing, asking me to leave here at
Budapest the two State Department automobiles for the use of my State Department
successor, Mr. U. Grant-Smith, who is scheduled to arrive about January 22. This is the
nearest to any definite date that we have had in regard to Mr. Grant-Smith's arrival. He
is surely welcome to the two old arks that were left here by General Jadwin. Both of them
have gone through every possible stunt in the way of breakdowns that an automobile can go
December 21, 1919. This is supposed to be the shortest day of the year and I
am thankful for it. After having been freer from colds than ever, I am now coming down
with a miserable one which makes days seem longer whether so in reality or not.
We have pretty good information that, although it was expected that the Hungarians
would be limited to an army of between twenty and thirty thousand, they already have about
eighty thousand, which is rather confirmatory of my belief that they are getting in shape
to take a fall out of the Czechs and then the Roumanians.
Yesterday the Roumanian Commander of the Army of Occupation in Hungary sent word to the
Inter-Allied Military Mission that he did not care to receive any more messages from the
Mission, as he considered that their relations had ended when he crossed the Theiss, and
that in the future he desired to have such communications sent to Bucharest, all of which
was in direct contravention and disregard of the explicit instructions from the Supreme
Council. Fortunately I am no longer a member of the Inter-Allied Military Mission, and
this latest Roumanian insult passes me by.
I have also just received a telegram from the American Embassy in Paris to the effect
that my automatic relief of myself from the Inter-Allied Military Mission, on December 13,
was approved. As a matter of fact, they could not do anything else but approve it.
In acknowledgment of the beautiful silver dish that General Gorton presented me with on
my birthday, I sent him the following note:
21st December 1919
My dear Gorton:
In proper acknowledgment of that "pippin" of a birthday present, as
scintillatingly substantial as your attractive self, I have endeavored anon and again to
indite a touching epistle that would induce the weeps and melt your tinkling monocle, and
which, in return for the oft-repeated and outrageous verbal assaults committed against my
archducal dignity, would be as coals of fire upon your stiff and bushy pompadour.
And now, in despair at doing the subject justice, I will simply say, many many thanks
and God bless you and yours.
Your devoted friend,
General R. St. G. Gorton H. H. Bandholtz
December 22, 1919. Thanks to a liberal supply of adrenalin, with which I have
been spraying my mouth and throat at frequent intervals, my cold seems to be decidedly
better, and was put to a severe test because I went up for my first sitting at the studio
of the celebrated artist, Gyula Stetka, who is going to paint my portrait.
In the news summaries from Vienna, the Arbeiter Zeitung(13)
of the seventeenth of December, gave the Americans honorable mention, and among other
An American Commission which visited Kecskemét found sixty-two corpses lying unburied
and hanging on the trees of a neighboring forest. This paper is in position to prove by an
official document that this wholesale murder was committed by order of the functionaries
of the Hungarian state, with the knowledge of the highest authorities and of the Ministry
of Justice, and that it was hushed up, though the number of victims is said to be about
The Allied Powers are about to conclude peace with this government of murderers and
thus to receive them into the community of civilized humanity. The Roumanians kept these
men in check, but hardly had they left when the slaughtering began. English, French, and
Americans did not permit them to protect the lives of these miserable people. The American
Colonel Yates undertakes the supreme control over the Brachialgewalt, that is,
the new forces. Now, under the Stars and Stripes of the United States, who could hold back
these monsters, the murderous work will go on.
The above translation was sent me by Mr. Halstead, the American Commissioner in
Austria, and immediately upon receipt I telegraphed as follows:
Mr. Halstead, 22nd December 1919
B 225 Reference your Press Summary Number 81 your regrets about action of Vienna press
apply particularly to article from Arbeiter Zeitung of December 17 quoted in your
Press Summary Number 85. Every statement in this article as received and regarding
Americans is false. No American Commission visited Kecskemét. Colonel Yates returned to
his permanent duties in Roumania over three weeks ago. The American member of the
Inter-Allied Military Mission was relieved from same on December 13. Report that Colonel
Yates undertakes supreme control over the new forces and that murderous work is going on
under the Stars and Stripes of the United States is inexpressibly false and libelous and
it is requested that prompt and efficacious action be taken adequately to punish the
perpetrators, to force the Arbeiter Zeitung to retract its false statements, and
to prevent a repetition of such a scurrilous publication. B. 225. Bandholtz.
December 23, 1919. In order to complete the portrait painting sooner, I went
to M. Stetka's studio at half past ten and stayed until about noon, when the light played
out. The old duffer says that he is putting his soul into the portrait and I am curious to
see what sort of a composite will result from my physiognomy and his soul.
The people in this section of the world remind me so frequently of my old friends, the
Filipinos. They do not and cannot look at things the same as we do. I was approached by a
proposition to arrange for the entry into Hungary of six carloads of sugar from Czecho
Slovakia, the proposition being that if I could arrange and guarantee the return to
Czecho-Slovakia of six empty cars for the cars bringing the sugar, there would be no
difficulties. This I did; then to my surprise found out that a contract was being made
between the sugar people and the American Mission by which the American Mission engaged to
use six carloads of sugar at a value of about twenty thousand dollars for its own use.
This meant that I was to be a party to the contract and then turn the sugar over to
somebody else to dispose of. Quite naturally I stepped on the proposition good and plenty.
If they want to bring the sugar in to relieve suffering, which I understood was the case,
I am for it. But getting mixed up in any kind of a private deal is a little bit too much.
Another thing, before my favorite adopted daughter, Juliska, had left for the country,
I noticed that she frequently referred to individuals as being "damned fools"
and damned things pretty generally. I must caution Colonel Loree, Colonel Sheldon, and
Captain Gore to be more particular in their conversation. Young men are so prone to be
thoughtless in the selection of their adjectives.
Last night Colonel Loree and I went to the opera to see what we thought was going to be
a ballet. Instead of that, it was a combination of babes being lost in the woods, angels
coming down the ladder, witches riding broomsticks, and children burning up witches,
explosions, animated toys, etc. In addition to Colonel Loree, there were hundreds of other
children in the Opera House.
December 24, 1919. Again I reported at ten-thirty at the studio for my daily
sitting, and found the rotund little artist chasing back and forth across the room with an
overcoat on and a muffler around his neck and no fire. He explained that there would be no
fuel until Saturday, and the best he could do would be for me to come again next Sunday
and resume the sittings.
I met Captain Gore just in front of the studio, so we went down town to look at
Christmas presents and found that during the past few days practically everything had
doubled in price.
A short time after arriving back at the office, I received a call from Count Apponyi,
who has been previously referred to as the chairman of the Hungarian Peace Commission
which is to be sent to Paris. It appears that Count Apponyi, owing to the recent change in
boundaries, had his estate shifted out of Hungary into Czecho-Slovakia, where he was
residing when he received an urgent appeal from the Hungarian government to come to
Budapest with a view to helping out in the organization of the new Cabinet and ultimately
to becoming chairman of the Peace Commission. He was assured protection by the
Inter-Allied Military Mission and the message was delivered by a Czech officer who
courteously escorted him across the border.
The Count would now like to return to his home for the holidays, but the Czechs refuse
to allow him to return, and stated that if he once arrives there he will be arrested. On
the other hand, the Countess Apponyi, who was left behind in Czecho-Slovakia, is not
allowed to leave the country. The Czechs give as their reason that a person who is
commissioned to represent the interests of Hungary at the Peace Conference against those
of the Czecho-Slovak Republic, cannot be allowed to sojourn in the territory of the
latter. This is such a peculiar attitude that it is impossible to analyse the thought that
produced it. All I can do, of course, is to report the matter to Paris where, I know,
nothing will be done.
The whole trouble is that Czecho-Slovakia is entirely dominated by the French. The
French papers have lately come out in strong opposition to Count Apponyi being a member of
the Peace Commission, and they are, therefore, using their puppets, the Czechs, to make it
uncomfortable for the Count.
When the American Army was in France and we heard so much of the Czecho-Slovaks, we
formed a very high opinion of them, but I am afraid that this opinion was based entirely
on propaganda, because, in all the asinine and ridiculous stunts lately pulled off in this
corner of Europe, the Czechs have been ahead of all other small nations.
There is no question, however, but that they are going to get theirs good and plenty
and before long. The Slovaks are determined to separate from them, and would make a move
now, were the Hungarians ready to help them out. When they do move, the Hungarians and the
Poles will combine with them and it will all be up with the Czechs. At the same time, we
know that there is a delegation of Croats trying to get in touch with the Hungarians with
a view to separation from Serbia and reunion with Hungary; and to complicate the situation
still further, the Serbs are flirting with the Hungarians with the object of an offensive
and defensive alliance against the Roumanians. It looks as though, if the Hungarians were
shrewd and played first one and then the other, that they would rapidly be able to get
back all that they lost by the War.
It is rather remarkable that we are at war with Hungary, because our troops never faced
each other and we had no hostility whatever against this little country and, had they not
been a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, we would still be at peace with them the same
as with Turkey and Bulgaria.
My sugar-contractor friend came in this afternoon, so I called Colonel Loree in to be a
witness to our conversation. I told the gentleman in question, a Mr. Guthard Imre, that
the proposition as advanced to me was simply to guarantee to the Czechs that the
Hungarians would return six good empty cars in exchange for an equal number that would
bring in the sugar; that when it came to being a party to a contract in which the American
Mission guaranteed to use the sugar exclusively for its own purposes, I must decline to
have any participation. He said that it was intended to use the sugar entirely for
distribution by the Hungarian government among the families of employees of the railways,
posts and telegraphs. I told him this was a most praiseworthy object and that I would be
perfectly willing to undertake to assure the sugar company of the Czecho-Slovaks that the
sugar would be disposed of for that purpose, but that there was nothing doing on any
contract in which the American Mission was a party of the first or the second part. He
left, assuring me that he would see the agent of the sugar company and try to have the
December 25, 1919. This morning I spent over at the office, from ten o'clock
until noon, to get off a memorandum on traffic control which had been requested by Colonel
Youngberg of the Engineers.
Late in the afternoon Captain Aitken, of the British Mission, came over to invite all
of us to come to the British "B" Mess about ten o'clock and celebrate with them.
As I knew I could not, with the damned cold, do myself or the subject justice, I sent
Colonel Loree and Captain Gore to represent us. They found the representation apparently
quite pleasant, because it was well towards morning when they returned. I understand that
one of the favorite beverages of the evening was a "Black and White" whisky high
ball in which flat champagne was substituted for water. After a few libations they
indulged in playing charades, blindman's buff and other childlike games.
December 26, 1919. Mr. Zerkowitz, the Hungarian gentleman who from the
beginning attached himself to this Mission and has rendered us such valuable service,
induced my old portrait painter, Stetka, to transfer his operations from his atelier to my
office. So he rolled in this morning with canvas, easels, tubes of paint, brushes, etc.,
and got ensconced in the corner where I had always kept my desk, promptly ranking me out
of this location, but thereby assuring the completion of the portrait before we finally
leave Hungary. The various amateurs who have dropped in and seen the old man's work all
have criticisms to make; some say the nose isn't right; some that the face is too broad;
others that it is too narrow, etc. It is probably all of these and results from his trying
to make a composite of his soul and my face. However, as he has the reputation of being
one of the best painters in Europe, I think it will eventually turn out all right.
December 27, 1919. Last night when I went over to the Post after five o'clock,
there were evidences everywhere that the Hungarians were laying off for the holiday week,
the same as the Filipinos, and they certainly do resemble the Filipinos when it comes to
laying off for holidays. All the way from Buda to the Elizabeth Bridge, which is usually a
very busy thoroughfare, I met only three vehicles.
This morning my old friend, the painter, showed up on time and I had three hours of
very tedious sitting.
This afternoon I sent for Mr. Unger, who is representing the Czecho-Slovak sugar
concern and told him that, while I was interested in any humanitarian movement, I could
not and would not make any contract in the name of the American Mission by which sugar
would be bought solely for the Mission's purposes; that I was willing to arrange for the
return of the empty cars and to supervise and do my best to see that the sugar upon
arrival in Hungary was turned over as represented to me, for the use of the families of
employees of the railways, posts, telegraphs and telephones, instead of being allowed to
fall into the hands of profiteers. He said that this was perfectly agreeable to him and
that he would endeavor to ship the sugar along these lines.
December 28, 1919. For sometime past, the city of Budapest has been placarded
with posters protesting against the dismemberment of Hungary, and as a result a society
has been formed called the "Association for the Preservation of the Old Hungarian
Boundaries"- or words to that effect. This morning a delegation of several hundred
people came up to the Royal Palace in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and called
for Count Apponyi, who will be Chief of the Hungarian Peace Commission to Paris, and
implored him to use his utmost endeavor to preserve Hungary in her original entirety. In a
speech which he made from the balcony, he pledged himself to do his utmost. In view of the
fact that Hungary is already practically dismembered I am afraid his utmost cannot amount
to very much.
In the afternoon, I had a meeting with Mr. B. A. Unger, representing George Morgensen
of 50 Broad Street, New York City, which firm has loaned to the Czecho-Slovak state one
hundred million dollars in raw materials and taken as security the Czecho-Slovak sugar
crop. There were with him Mr. Imre Guthard, who is negotiating for the six carloads of
sugar before referred to, Mr. Zerkowitz as interpreter, and Colonel Loree. To clarify the
situation, I handed Mr. Unger a letter, of which the following is a copy:
Budapest, 27th December, 1919.
Mr. B. A. Unger
My dear Mr. Unger:
Relative to the six carloads of sugar which are to be shipped into Hungary, the
understanding is that there is no contract in which the American Mission enters at all. In
the interest of humanity and with a view to relieving suffering, I will, however, do my
utmost to facilitate the transaction.
There is enclosed herewith a copy of a communication from the Hungarian Railroad
Commissioner agreeing to turn over at Szob Station six empty cars immediately upon the
arrival of the six cars loaded with sugar.
In addition to this, I shall be glad to arrange for the delivery of this sugar to the
proper person, for distribution, as I have been given to understand, among the officials
and employees of the Hungarian railways, posts and telegraphs.
With this understanding, you may ship the sugar addressed to the Mission and
arrangements will be made for turning over as above outlined.
H. H. Bandholtz
Brig. Gen., U.S. A.
I then informed Mr. Guthard that he must bring to me a communication from the Food
Minister designating him as the person to receive the sugar for distribution among the
employees of the railway service and posts, telegraphs and telephones. This he agreed to
do, and the matter was ended.
During the day, Colonel Loree brought in a communication asking for twenty-five
carloads of sugar for distribution among the various other governmental employees, and I
told Mr. Unger that I would be very glad to help in any such matter, under the same
conditions as indicated in his letter.
A few days prior to this, one of my stamp friends, who is a journalist, informed me
that the journalists of Budapest and their families, representing some eight hundred
people, had contracted in Jugo-Slavia for fifteen carloads of supplies which the Serbs
were holding up, and he implored me to use my influence with the Serbs to induce them to
allow the food to enter Hungary. This occurred some time before Christmas. So I took the
gentleman in to Colonel Loree, told him to give the data to Colonel Loree, and I would
send him immediately over to see the Serbian Minister. My stamp friend then said that he
could give it himself, but that the director of the association would have to furnish it,
and in view of the fact that the Holidays were approaching, he did not think much of
anything could be done until after New Year's. Colonel Loree informed him that we were not
starving and, if they were not sufficiently interested to bring it up before New Year's,
it made no difference to us. Everything in this neck of the woods must make way for
December 29, 1919. Shortly after arriving at the office, General Mombelli
called informally, just to talk things over. He said things were very quiet at Mission
meetings now and that they missed very much my occasional thumping of the table and
saying, "I'll be damned if I'll do it." He also said that he understood that a
British diplomatic representative was due to arrive to take charge of the diplomatic
situation, thereby relieving General Gorton from the same. The Italian representative is
already here, the American representative is expected, but we have had no word yet in
regard to a Frenchman.
I received a short letter from my adopted family, stating that they hoped that the
"damned cold" was better. It is astonishing how rapidly young Hungarians take up
December 30, 1919. Today in order to make sure of getting rid of the damned
cold, I also stayed in and am feeling decidedly better.
December 31, 1919. According to the doctor's advice, ~ am still hanging on to
my room for today in the hope that when New Year's breaks tomorrow I shall be able to get
out and raise Hell with the boys.
Yesterday I received a cablegram from Mr. Polk stating that Mr. Grant-Smith had already
sailed from the United States and suggesting that I communicate with him in Paris. This
opens up the field a little and it looks as though we can begin to see the end of our
Budapest tour of duty. I imagine, however, that Mr. Grant-Smith will stay in Paris for a
week or two before coming down here, and I shall have to stay a week or two after he gets
here. So we probably will depart early in February.
1. Or Theiss.
2. General Bandholtz' residence in the United States.
3. Before the world war and the rule of Bolshevism, there existed no
anti-Semitic movement in Hungary to speak of. Hungary contained in its population a
relatively large percentage of Jews, but they felt as strongly Hungarian as the old German
Jews felt German. In contrast to their racial confreres in Roumania and Russia, Hungarian
Jews did not suffer from persecution or exceptional legal treatment.
But a disproportionate number of Jews participated in establishing Bolshevism in
Hungary and they were its most cruel exponents. Ninety-five percent of the communist
leaders were Jewish, and, of the twenty-six Commissars, eighteen were Jews, though there
were only one and a half million Jews among the twenty million inhabitants of Hungary.
Furthermore, a very large number of the Jewish Bolshevik leaders had immigrated into
Hungary only recently and could really not be called Hungarians in any true sense. The
conservative and national Jewish-Hungarian element despised these foreigners as much as
did their Christian compatriots. Unfortunately, however, the despicable behavior of many
of the Jewish Communists caused the Hungarian people, after the overthrow of the Bolshevik
rule, to turn against all Jews.
It is deplorable, but quite natural, that the reaction against the Red Terror was
accompanied by excesses and persecution of the Jews though the account of it is generally
greatly exaggerated. The attitude of the better element is expressed in the following
words of Count Paul Teleki: "I would like to say that it is a mistake to think that
the anti-Jewish movement, which really existed and which still exists in Hungary, is one
against the Jewish religion or Jews in general. If I had to characterize it as a historian
it would be rather with the words 'anti-Galician movement.' " The Evolution of
Hungary and its Place in European History, New York, 1925, p.141.
A few examples of the anti-Semitic feeling and actions in Hungary are given in this
4. The late Julius Kahn, of California.
5. The Journal of Budapest, a Liberal morning daily.
6. This was in fact the last and definite ultimatum, the fourth. It
was accepted by the Roumanian government, which, on Dec.10, signed the treaties with
Austria and Bulgaria, containing the Minority Clauses so obnoxious to them. The signatures
were affixed to these treaties just after the American delegates had left Paris.
7. The truth is that the Allies had not kept their promises when the
Roumanians entered the war on their side, and had left the Roumanians in a bad military
situation. They could hardly do anything else but conclude peace. It cannot he denied that
the Roumanians had a right to harbor a bitter feeling against their allies in this
8. A well-known Liberal newspaper written in the German language.
10. Count Albert Apponyi. From 1906 to 1910 he was Minister of
Education in the Wekerle cabinet. He succeeded Francis Kossuth as president of the party
of Hungarian independence and was an advocate of the introduction of universal suffrage in
Hungary. During the War, he was a loyal supporter of the government. After the outbreak of
the revolution in 1918, he retired to private life. In 1919 he was elected a non-partizan
representative of the National Assembly. He developed more and more as a man above the
parties, and enjoys today [Written by Krüger in 1932.] great prestige as the Grand Old
Man of his country.
He has been Member of Parliament for more than fifty years and has been Speaker of the
House of Representatives. When in Washington in the year 1911, he was honored by being
asked to address the House of Representatives, an honor previously conferred only upon
Lafayette and Kossuth.
The other leading members of the Hungarian Peace Delegation were Count Paul Teleki and
5 Budapest, le 15 - XII - 19
Mon cher Généra1
comme vous, je garderai un souvenir ineffacable de ces quatre mois d'une collaboration
qui a toujours été marquée au coin de la bonne harmonie, de la cordialité et de la
Il était trčs naturel que chacun de nous apportat, dans nos discussions, son
tempérament; mais nous étions des soldats parlant it d'autres soldats et nous devions,
dčs lors, trouver toujours un terrain d'entente.
Je regrette beaucoup votre éloignement mais il nest, heureusement, que relatif
puisque, si vous quittez la commission, vous n'abandonnez pas Budapest.
Veuillez croire, mon cher Général, ŕ mes sentiments trčs cordialement dévoués,
[signed] G'l. Graziani
12. Commissione Militare Interalleata
Budapest, 17 Decembre 1919
A Mr. Le General Bandholtz
Chef de la Mission Militaire Américaine Budapest
Mon cher Général Bandholtz,
C'est avec le plus grand regret que j'ai appris que vous avez cessé de faire part de
notre Mission Militaire Interalliée.
Votre collaboration a été trčs efficace et votre activite, ainsi que votre fermeté
ont été toujours hautement appreciées.
Veuillez vous rappeler de moi avec le męme souvenir amical et reconnaissant que je
garderai toujours de vous et permettez moi d'exprimer ŕ vous ainsi qu'it tous les
Officiers de votre Mission mes sentiments de sympathie la plus sincčre.
Trčs cordialement ŕ vous.
Le General de Division
13. Organ of the Social Democratic party. It has a wide
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