Sunday, April 6, 2014

World War I: The League of Truth

By the summer of 1915, as war raged in the midst of the Kaiser's Germany....there was this odd propaganda tool which "the League of Truth".  It's purpose?  Usually, when you design a propaganda's for those you fight against.  In this case, it was devised as a tool of use for Germans.

The League of Truth has never been identified in great detail.  Who created the idea from the Kaiser's staff....who manipulated it....who financed portions of it.....and who controlled the inner workings.....has never been explained in any detail.

The League for the most part, was made up of Americans who'd been in Europe at the time, and fixated on seminars and lectures (an entertainment gadget of society in this period leading up to the war).

In modern society, it'd be like O'Reilly of Fox News meeting up at some arena in Mainz for a one-night lecture on international events.  There would be a charge at the door....not hefty, but not cheap.....and an hour or two would be given to make you happy.  If you were leftist....he'd deliver a leftist lecture.  If you were anti-France....he'd deliver a anti-France lecture.  The money at the door paid for his travels, his accommodations, and helped to ensure a style of living that most never felt.

The general leadership of the League of Truth?  An American dentist, and a secondary figure who pretended to be an American gal, but actually was a German.....who was an entertainer of sorts....dancing on a stage with a snake.  Yeah, it's a bit comical but no one was around to question these people.  Added to the two....was a German who went by the name of Marten.  Marten was more of a writer than anything else....turning out various information packets and pamphlets, which condemned the US.

What you can generally grasp of the League of Truth....was that they were supposed to keep Germans on the street in some confused state of mind....believing in the evil President Wilson, and the evil America.

The odd thing about this gimmick? was an established part of the Prussian dominated society that existed at the time (1915)....unless you were approved to exist as a foundation, group, association, or "league" were banned.  Since no one from the Kaiser's government ever said'd have to assume they were blessed to exist.

A lot of what they produced....was mostly staged material....propaganda stuff....that led a German to believe Americans were not being told the truth by their own media....that their leadership was leading them to the corrupt British ideology....and Wilson was not capable of understanding the big picture.

As 1915 went into economic turmoil for Germans....they desperately needed to believe in something positive, and sadly....the League of Truth was this positive charm deal for the public.

By the end of 1916....the League was getting fairly desperate....reaching a stage where they even condemned the US ambassador to Germany at the time (James Gerald).

Ambassador Gerald, by the close of 1916.....had come around to one interesting aspect of the players in the League.  Marten (the head German of the League).....had one close friend who happened to be traveling a good bit within Germany.....who was actually an officer of the New York state National Guard.  History notes that the National Guard officer traveled in style and likely had accepted a fair amount of money for his "assistance" to the League's chief.

James Gerald never gives the guy's name, and I suspect it's better that we don't know his details.

The League's success?  It's hard to say.  By the end of 1915....the original promise of a twelve-month war (the always told epic saga of past German campaigns and wars).....was broken.  While economics and survival were marginal....Germans of this era needed something to believe in, and maybe the League was that vehicle.

What happened after 1919?  No one really says.  The League of Truth appears to have dissolved into nothing, and with financial collapse the result of the war.....there wasn't any real money to spend on dimwitted lectures or anti-American propaganda talk.  We know little about the snake charmer gal, the National Guard officer, or the dentist, or where they went onto in life.  

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