January 11, 1918
Duke Ernst Gunther of Schleswig-Holstein has written a scathing attack on America, according to the New York Times. The article, "American morality," was published in the journal, Nord und Sud.
The duke writes that he "cannot understand why the most recent utterances of President Wilson" have not been "severely castigated" in the German press and "why they have not been covered with the discredit they merit."
"This President dates to express his moral indignation about German conditions and speaks of the influence which the German monarchy has exercised on other people. The most superficial knowledge of American conditions tells one that Russia is the only country on a par with the corruption in America.
"The American money magnate is without shame. Each one of them has two Senators and several Members of Congress in his pocket. Nothing is thought of this, it is so usual. Wilson knows all about it and yet he has the face to castigate us!
"Every official in Germany is able to show the white waist coast of a blameless life."
President Wilson never accused the Germans of corruption, according to report, but the Duke implies that he did.
Duke Ernst wrote that President Wilson was a professor "and must know about Germany. He must know that its imperial suffrage is more democratic than that of America, and the Reichstag is not hampered by a Senate or a House of Lords.
"I do not believe that one in a thousand American citizens has the slightest knowledge of the German Constitution. How dare the President pose before Germany as a moral preacher? Were he not the leader of so huge a country, we must regard him as a political mountebank.
"We Germans do not hate like the Latin race. Hate is so foreign to our nature. But I am sure that were a referendum of the German people to be taken today as to whom they most detest, there would a unanimous vote for President Wilson, not because by his supply of munitions to our enemies he has occasioned the loss of the lives of many of our soldiers, but because of his pharisaism, because of his unctuous indignation, which is so contrary to his real acts.
"He might have kept the peace of the world, but instead of this he allowed himself to become the creature of the Morgan trust, he succumbed to the plutocratic influences in their most frightful form. History will pronounce the verdict that the name Wilson is the most baneful in its annals."
Ernst Gunther was only an infant when Prussian troops took possession of the Schleswig-Holstein land in Denmark in 1864, leaving the future duke without a duchy.
For some years, Ernst Gunther railed against the "Hohenzollern usurpers," even though his sister, Auguste Viktoria, five years his senior, married Kaiser Wilhelm II. In the 1890s, Ernst Gunter raged "vociferously" against the Prussians in Nice and in Paris, but after his brother-in-law, the Kaiser "sent him on some personnel foreign mission," which apparently "transformed his point of view."
In 1897, the duke married Princess Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the only daughter of Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Princess Louise of Belgium. The couple have no children.