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Neutrality in WWI


Mass Meeting at Turner Hall


Watertown Gazette, 11 04 1915


Hold Mass Meeting next Sunday


A mass meeting of citizens is called to meet in Turner Opera House next Sunday afternoon, November 7, at 2:30 o’clock, under the auspices of the German-American Club of Watertown, of which Dr. A. F. Ernst is president, Prof. E. W. E. Schlueter, treasurer, and C. H. Jacobi, secretary.  The executive committee consists of the following well-known citizens: J. W. Wiggenhorn, Dr. Arthur Hoermann, Rt. Rev. Carl A. Mueller, Dr. J. H. Ott, W. D. Sproesser, Arnold E. Kraeft, C. A. Feisst, Rev. G. Sandrock, Karl A. Keppler, Chas. A. Gamm, John Schatz, Camilla Burger, Henry Mulberger, Wm. Sproesser, Wm. H. Rohr, Max Rohr, E. A. Knaak, H. R. Moldenhauer, Otto R. Krueger, Geo. P. Koenig, John Schempf, C. E. Frey, Dr. Hermann Klein, Prof. E. Wendtland, Max Gaebler, Gustav Exner, Dr. F. B. Hoermann.


Neutrality in the present European war will be the subject, and it will be ably discussed by Mr. Robert Wild of Milwaukee, who will speak in English, and Dr. H. Gerhard of Chicago, who will deliver the German address.


Mass Meeting of German-Americans

Watertown Gazette, 11 11 1915


Turner Opera House was packed last Sunday evening with people to listen to speeches on “Neutrality” by Robert Wild of Milwaukee and Dr. H. Gerhard of Chicago.  A. F. Ernst, president of the Northwestern College presided.  The resolutions adopted and published below were prepared by D. J. H. Ott, Dr. Arthur Hoermann and Rev. George Sandrock.  Before the meeting the Watertown city band played on the streets, and at the meeting music was furnished by the Northwestern college band.  A feature of the meeting was singing by the audience of “Die Wach am Rhein” and “America.” 


Following was the program and resolutions passed:


Overture - Northwestern College Band

Address of Welcome - Dr. A. F. Ernst

German Address - Dr. H. Gerhard, Chicago


Vocal Solos—

Heinrich red Vogler     Loewe

Vaterlandslied....  A. Methfessel

    William Sproesser, Mrs. William Sproesser, Accompanist

Die Wach am Rhein

   Audience, accompanied by N. W. band


English Address

     Robert Wild, Milwaukee

The Star Spangled Banner. 

     William Sproesser Mrs. William Sproesser, Accompanist


Reading of Resolutions


     Sung by Audience



We, the citizens of the United States, in mass meeting assembled at Watertown, Wis., by a unanimous rising vote, adopted the following resolutions referring to our present international relations.


First. We hold that the American people, being declared friends of all the belligerents, should treat them all alike and should not suffer any one of our citizens to do anything detrimental to any one of the warring nations.  We, therefore, condemn most emphatically the present manufacture and shipping of munitions of war, which have of late assumed such gigantic proportions, as flagrantly violating the spirit of neutrality, since we thereby become an active enemy of one group of belligerents.


Second. We are firmly convinced that the majority of our citizens do not desire this traffic in arms which makes us an accomplice of this unprecedented slaughter of human beings, and we, therefore, demand that the president and congress take immediate steps to stop this infamous traffic.


Third. We also hold that in furnishing one group of belligerents enormous sums of money we are identifying ourselves with them and thereby become deeply interested in their success, an interest that again makes true neutrality impossible.


Fourth. We hold that the present time is eminently opportune to establish once for all the principle that “the flag covers the goods,” or that “free ships make free goods;” that our legitimate trade is not subject to the rules and regulations of any foreign power.  We, therefore, demand that the entire navel strength of the country be employed to give effect to these, our rights.


Fifth. We consider ourselves free and independent citizens of the greatest nation of the world, and we, therefore, condemn as a traitorous act any attempt to make us vassals of England, the “bully of the ocean.”


Sixth. We hold further that no distinction ought to be made between American citizens of non-British extraction and American citizens of British extraction, that any attempt to disparage one class is against public policy and is sowing the seed of division in our country, thereby thwarting the happy assimilation of the various elements of our population.


Seventh. We deplore the attitude of the greater part of the American press, whose ignorance and perversity have done much to bring about the present prostitution of public opinion and the unhappy dissentions under which we are now laboring.


Holding these views, we hereby publicly declare that we shall not endorse any one for any office whatsoever who is not in accord with our position and does not pledge his support.





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