From Turkey I went to Vienna in the company [of] Ismail Khan. I stayed in Vienna for a few weeks. Syed Zia-ud-din had gone to Paris and had left a word for me in Vienna that he would be waiting for me in Paris. We were staying at Stiphenia Hotel. Ismail Khan did not know German or French. I went out, and on return I found him missing. He had been removed to a special clinic as he was suffering from a disease. From the clinic he rang me, I felt astonished [as to] who could it be since I knew no body in Vienna. But on picking up the telephone receiver I came to know that it was Ismail Khan calling me. He was very much furious and asked me to hurry up to the clinic as was a great danger and that he would kill somebody. I hurried to the clinic and found that he had an iron rod in his hand. It looked as if he would kill anybody who came around him. He said, "I would kill the bloody doctor, he wants to have my hands cut-I have learnt this from these
nurses." From nurses I came to know that the doctor had ordered that he should not touch anything bare-handed, as he was suffering from a special diseases and should put on
gloves (Handschuh in German), Meanwhile the doctor came in and Ismail Khan ran towards him. I stopped Ismail Khan and explained to the doctor the whole story.
With great difficulty I was able to appease Ismail Khan. Vienna has the best Turkish bath and I went there and found the names of certain important persons who had taken bath
From Vienna I went to Germany. I was still traveling on Persian passport. Later, I went to Paris and met my friend Syed Ziuddin there. Here I also came across two Indian patriots—first time I met Indians after leaving India. Their names were Shyamji Krishna Verma (founder of India House in London) and Madame Cama. They used to
pubiish reveries (sic) in English [in] Indian Sociologist. He
had been sent to Oxford University'' by Swami Dayanand' to teach Sanskrit at the request of Max Muller. Max Muller wanted Swami Dayanand to come to England and teach Sanskrit there, but be refused saying that he had a mission to fulfill in India, Shyamji Verm helped Indian students with money. Dr. Savarkar was one of the students whom he helped. The British were against him on this account and he was therefore turned out of England. I also met Chattopadhaya, brother of Mrs. Naidu. All these years I did not receive any news from home, nor did I write to anybody in India considering that my letters might be intercepted by police and the person, whom I wrote might be suspected of having connections with me and [this] might involve [him] in trouble. Here also I came across a little group of Indian patriots Mahadev Rao, who was in exile in Paris, was one of them, He worked with Bose during the last war. He used to publish Bande Maturam in English, which used to be smuggled into India. Indian Sociologist was also being smuggled into India. In Paris it were the Persians who kept company with [me] and were very much attached to me. I lived in Latin quarters. These friends did not let me spend anything. Persians were supporting me all the time. I did not ask, nor did I get,
nor did I care to get any help from the Indians. Mr. Rao was working as a jewel broker. Chattopadhaya used to learn his living by writing, Shyamji Verma and Madame
Cama helped every Indian who was prepared to do some thing in the service of India.Both were rich, Verma was very very intelligent, a great economist and a great scholar. He studied the stock exchange, became such a master of stock affairs that in 1910 he told me that he had never lost a single penny in his transactions in stock exchange; he always gained. People from England used to come to him to ask his opinion about stock exchange business. [In] this way he had made some million. His politics was violent. Shyamji would give anything to an Indian if he knew that he was going to serve India—no economy in food or for the service of the country, but he was opposed to luxury in clothes or otherwise. I lived in France for about 5 months.
Then I went to Lausanne (Switzerland). I knew no one before reaching there- In Paris I had started teaching English in order to earn my living, I had a great success and made enough money for my expenses. .1 am very fond of seeing Swiss administration and their teaching system.
Sardar-i-Asad was the Home Minister in Pereia whom I had already met in Tehran. One day while I was having a walk, I met him and [we] had lea together. He was a big
chief of the Bakhtiari tribe. His -elder brother was Prime Minister. His children and his brother's children were studying in Lausanne and he asked me to lake charge of
them in case I was going to stay there, and this I agreed to do- He paid me for this and also left huge funds in my hands for the maintenance of these children. I was in
Lausanne till 1913. I left charge of Bakhtiari children in 1912. Here I made acquaintance with people from all parts of the world -South America, Japan, Germany etc., mostly sons of important. Having thus achieved a large circle of friends and acquaintance I could go to any country and was sure of finding there someone who knew me very well. I met here Mr Gokhale while having a walk. He was a moderate and I was extremist. He talked about India. At that lime we both were not enjoying good health. He asked why I was putting myself to such a difficult time; he could help me in securing orders for my entry into India. I thanked him for all this and said I would not like to go back to India—I would do so only when conditions had changed. They were fighting for their liberty, A revolutionary group comprising girls und boys, studying special sciences, special
chemistry to make bombs, learning all the arts of secret war and underground work used to live in Charrmiere—mostly Russians and Poles. Revolutionaries displayed interest in
other countries. They had an idea of having a comity of all the oppressed people of the world. They had mutual sympathy. It was a sort of national bond between them all.
I also met Egyptian and Moroccon revolutionaries.
I believed in mutual help and co-operation and with this end in view I selected Switzerland [Luzern] as my residence. Moreover I knew French better than German. Here I could come in frequent touch with Iranians, Egyptians, Moroccons. Iheld an Iranian passport and students, travelers, tourists used to visit this place and I had the chance of coming into at least social contact; .also, I considered this place better for my political ends.
I earned my living by teaching. I had a good success in this. Nature showed its generosity to me. Once as I was taking a walk near a lake I saw Asad, the Home Minister of Iran,I got in touch with the youth—Finns, Turks, Egyptians,
Russians, Irish. After a short time a society of the oppressed of the world was organized which used to meet La Charrmiere, St. Francois and sometimes at Old India.
Irish people used to speak of the hideous oppressions by the British in their country; the Poles, Finns and Russians spoke of oppressions by Czar. Egyptians, Turks and myself
spoke of the British interference in these countries and other oriental countries- infact humiliating treatment shown to all Asiatic countries used to be revealed in the meetings of this society.
The aim of the society was mutual sympathy in each other's cause of liberty, and if possible, co-operation and help. This served as an encouraging factor in preparing different nations for struggles and revolts against usurpers. Selected speeches were compiled and published in the form of pamphlets and sent to various countries. It helped in preparing people in their homelands.
Mr. Wolfe used to translate in [to] Finnish, Mosd Jinsky in [to] Polish and Fahimy in [to] Arabic. There was another society of Oriental people of which no European could become a member. There Moroccans Tunisians, Algerian1, Egyptians, Turks, Persians, Indians [were] its members. Its meetings used to be held at my residence or Rue De Bourge or Old India; all the three places were very near. People from Geneva also used to attend meetings. Sometimes we went to Geneva to meet our sympathizers; Sundays and other holidays was chosen for meetings; the parties concerned were informed beforehand; we also used to hold meetings in boats or ships on hike: this continued
till the beginning of the First World War.
The main function of these societies was to spread hatred against the oppressors, to prepare each other for mutual help in time of need [and to undertake] world-wide
Campaign against the oppressors. My speeches convinced the members that the Britishers were the worst oppressors in the world.
In 1912 Syed Ziauddin came to see me in Switzerland (Luzern) because he was going back to Iran and he wanted to spend some time with me before returning to Tran. One
day we went to Geneva and went to Route de la Chene at the house of Monsieur Bundig, where His Excellency Nizain- ul-Sultaneh was staying. I was introduced to him by Syed
Ziauddin, We had a talk on various topics and this increased mutual sympathy for struggle in both countries. He invited us for to dinner next day. There too we had a pleasant chat. There he had a confidential word with Syed Ziauddin. After this we returned to Luzern. On my way Syed Ziauddin told me that His Excellency was greatly impressed by my conversation with him [and] that he would like to have my company while staying in Europe. I readily availed of this opportunity because I thought His Excellency could be useful some time later on during the coming war between the English and the Germans. So I gave up tutorship of Iranian boys in order to remain with His Excellency.
From Geneva we lefl for Vichy (France). From there we made a trip to Germany. His Excellency wanted to see Germany, especially its ports, because he was anxious to develop ports on the Persian Gulf which was under his jurisdiction. We went to see Hamburg and stayed at Atlantic Hotel, greater part of which was then under construction. This building has withstood the horrible bombardment of war. After seeing the German docks, we left Hamburg for Berlin. We informed the Ministry of our arrival there. We were staying at Esplanade Hotel, where we were paid a visit by a representative of the German Foreign Affairs (Asiatic Branch), who said that he had come to welcome our arrival in the capital of Germany on behalf of his government. He also said that our personalities [figured] in certain references in their archives. This information excited the curiosity of His Excellency who wanted to know the references about him in German
Archives. This information excited the curiosity of His Excellency who wanted to know the references Herr Schmidt was the name of the German representative. He said that the German Government had a design to open a shipping line in the Orient, and that they
had studied the Persian Gulf among other waters and ports of Asia to be reached, and as His Excellency was the head of Shiraz and other important ports on Persian Gulf, they
wanted to approach him, and about myself he said that they had reports about my capacity of using the Indian Army against the British. We had a talk about the coming war. Germany was of the opinion that England would not participate in the coming war against Germany. The Germans were also proud and over confident of their strength, and considered that if England fought against them, they would be able to deal with her adequately without anybody's help. I suggested that it would be a good idea if they established contacts and links in Asia now to be used during the coming war, but the German representative did not take it seriously and in spite of my repeated suggestions and insistence on establishing contacts the suggestion had to be dropped.
In Zurich, I saw Lenin. He had contacts with Russian revolutionaries in Lausanne. Lenin was known to Pillai an Indian living in Germany, He was beaten by the Nazis.
Pillai and Lenin resembled very closely, the only difference was that Lenin was a bit taller. First when I went to see Pillai, I found him speaking to Lenin, so I waited at a distance so that they could finish. I had seen a photograph of Lenin with Pillai and had written to him before hand. He was publishing a paper called Talwar in English from Switzerland which was being smuggled into India. He had written me back giving his address and therefore, I had no difficulty in locating his place. When I reached his residence, I found two people looking very alike, one short and the other tall—one of them was Filial and the other Lenin. When he had finished with Lenin and he had gone, I went to Pillai. After having met Shyamji Krishna Verma, Madame Cama and others in France I thought its desirable to go and Britisher, Sir Stickland, a famous Englishman, who had the courage to denounce British hypocricy to the world and was thus deprived of British citizenship- During our talk he asked me if I knew Pillai and on my telling him that I did not know him personally, but that I had read his paper Talwar and I was on my way to meet him, he explained to me the whole story of his trip to India. While traveling by train, he said, a young man had entered his compartment and stood in a corner half concealed. "I asked him why he did not occupy a comfortable seat, I was informed that the young man was being pursued by the police who wanted to arrest him for his criticism of the British rule." "I helped", he said, "this-young man to escape from India to Ceylon and made him embark for Europe," This young man was the famous Pillai I was going to meet.
Mussolini in those days used to live in Lausanne. He was known to Syed Ziauddin. He invited him and insisted merely to have a chat, I would meet him some other time.
Mussolini had an energetic face, looked intelligent and even at that time he was a legendary figure. Mussolini was very fond of reading and every time I went to the University Library in Lausanne, I found him reading there,
I also saw Trotsky. He was one of the greatest revolutionaries among Russians. I had read about him in papers. In Paris I [had seen] him and heard him talking to other people, but never had acquaintance with him. Every revolutionary was at that time interested in the world movement of oppressed people. Students of different countries were, in fact, pioneers of this movement. This idea was developing but [was] still in the incipient stage, and the movement was not well organised. There, of course, existed a general
and a natural sympathy among oppressed people. Student of different countries were infact, pioneer of this movements.This idea was developing but was still in incipient stage and movement was not well organized. There of course, existed a general and natural sympathy among oppressed people of the world for each other. There was no real international work.
Mussolini never attended any meeting of revolutionaries. He had mature ideas of his own. He was at that time a socialist. Nobody at that time knew that he would become so
Important. He was solitary figure among the revolutionaries.
Mussolini had a friend named Emir-ur-Salaan. an Arab who was in Lausanne in those days. He was a great hotelier. When Mussolini became head of Italian Government, the daughter of the proprietor of the hotel, housed in Lausanne, wrote to him, "We always remember you; we do not know whether you ever think of us now that you are"in so high a position." He sent her nice presents and fixed pension for her. Mussolini wrote that she should not hesitate if they wanted his help—he would be very pleased to help them.
I also met Har Dayal. He later went to America and the british wanted American Government to hand over Har Dayal to them, But the American Government refused to do so. They, however advised Har Dayal to go some other country and that they would facilitate his taking a ship, and he came to Lausanne. He asked me which place was safer I told him for me Lausanne was safer. He went to Pillai and then to Germany. He wanted to come back to India through Stated but died in States while in his way back to India. We were working together. He went to California and worked there.Did a lot of useful work. As I [have] said before, I was not receiving any letters from India, I used to keep in touch with Indian affairs and political developments through newspapers.
Those days my entire time was occupied in reading news of war between Turkey and Tripoli and the Balkan wars. My sympathies was with Tripoli and with Turkey-The Arabs. I felt for the people of Tripoli as if they were of my own countrymen. Till 2 a.m I used to read the war news. I somehow felt as if it was my own cause. These were burning topics of these days. I was still going abut a Persian. The group of revolutionaries, of course, knew my real identity. These revolutionaries showed much interest in India, and on their request I told them how India was fighting for liberty. Amotn them was Jamal Zada, who is now international office, on behalf of Persian government.
It was the time wheb Minto-Morley Reform were announced. When I came to know of these reforms, I did not attched much importance to them. I neer believed in good faith of british . I took them as an appeasement to Indian agitation, nothing of great value beyond that.
Mr Motta was President of Swiss Republic at that time. He was president thrice, and there still exist in Switzerland a photograph showing president Motta and my self together. It was perhaps the second time that he was elected president of swiss republic. In Switzerland at that time was Russian refugee- revolutionary—and Russian Government wanted Switzerland to deliver him to Russia. Switzerland at first did not agree, but later on agreed to hand him over to Russia, if he was not punished for any political crime. They, however, agreed to his being tried for any criminal [offence], "which the Russian Government alleged that he was guilty of, and if found guilty by the judicial authorities be given punishment for any of his criminal activities. There was a good deal of criticism in Swiss press at this action of the Swiss Government which
was considered to be a definite departure from the previous practice --surrendering political refugees to their mother countries. The Russian refugee was tried by Russian
Government and was sentenced to transportation for life --sent to Siberia. After this incident I met President Motta and he showed his repentance at having surrendered the
Russian refugee to Russian Government. Switzerland had been a place of shelter for many revolutionaries from all parts of the world. Swiss Government was generally very
kind and hospitable to these revolutionaries and had adopted a policy of not surrendering them to their mother countries—they did not yield to any amount of pressure. This was
the first instance that there was a departure from this policy.
[The] Swiss in those days used to believe in their integrity and valour. It so happened that the Emperor of Germany , William II, came to visit switerland and many swiss regiments presented to him (guard of honour) he went forward and and entered into conversation with a village soldier. He asked him,”if you have a thousand soldiers and you have to fight against 4000 invader--, What will you do?" The soldier promptly replied, "Each of us will fire four shots and finish the enemy." This bold reply impressed the German Emperor. The Swiss Government rewarded this soldier adequately. His picture was printed on post cards, and the post cards were sold in thousand. On the postcards was also
Printed the conversation the soldier had with the Emperor of Germany. These post cards can still be found in Switzerland.
In 1912 Nizamul-Sultaneh, the Governor of Shiraz, came to Switzerland. He was known to Syed Ziauddin. Syed Ziauddin happened to be with me in Switzerland then. He
had come there to pass a month with me, because he was going back to Persia and [he] wanted to spend some time with me before returning to Persia. He had come from Paris
where he was living then. Syed Ziauddin introduced me to Nizamul-Sultaneh.
Syed Ziauddin and myself [were] separated in 1912, and' [we] again met in 1932. Meanwhile, he had become Prime Minister in Persia. We all three—Nizamul-Sultaneh, Syed Ziauddin and myself—while in Switzerland made plans to expel British out of Persia when war between Germany and England broke out; at that time we were expecting war between Germany and England soon. When the war broke out Nizamul-Sultaneh was leader of the Persian Forces. On becoming Prime Minister, Syed Ziauddin tried to ambassadors to let him know if they knew anything about me. Reports from Berlin had given him to understand that I had left Europe for America but that the british having come to know of the ship I was traveling in drowned it, and I also met watery grave along with the ship. From his Paris ambassador also he got the same news with the difference that the ship was attacked but that I had thrown myself into the sea and had reached some island in America alive, but he could not say which island I reached and where I reached and where I was then. So Syed Ziauddin remained ail the
time anxious about me till we met again in Switzerland in 1932.
in 1913 1 shifted to Paris. As France was preparing for the war and Lord Northcliffe""' had already bought some papers and some important writers in France to prepare
France for the next war, I wanted to be ob the spot to watch the events and to keep myself informed of day-to-day happenings. About that time King George"' paid a visit to
France. A few days before his arrival, the French police started a close watch on me. I was astonished at this. Wherever I went or whether I was at home I was always shadowed
by two or three policemen in plain clothes I asked one of them what was it due to. From him I came to know that king George of England was coming to France in a few days and the French police had instructions from England that they were afraid of myself. At [their] disposal the British Government [had] placed, he added, huge funds to
.spend. He further said that they held me in great regard and respect and were quite sympathetic towards the sacrifices I was undergoing in the fight for the liberation of my country.
It would be better if you remain here and tell us wherever
you go. We will accompany you and spend any amount of unacceptable to you, you might leave France for some time and come back when King George's visit is over." I preferred the later alternative as I did not like being shadowed by policemen. I went to Shyamji Verma, who was also in Paris, and informed him of my plans and the reasons
thereof. I told him that I was going to Switzerland. He also informed me that he too was being closely watched and would, therefore like to accompany me to Switzerland but as he was old, he was afraid of undertaking journey, and although he showed his eagerness to accompany me to Switzerland, he was unable to take a final decision on the spot. He, therefore, asked me not to leave [that day] but leave [the next day] and in the meanwhile he would finally make [up] his mind, and would most probably accompany me. Next morning I went to him and told him that I was going and that if he was coming he should get ready. First he showed hesitation but later accompanied me. On the way he informed [me] that all his assets were lodged in British banks. When I said that it was inadvisable for him to keep all his money in British bank, especially when the was imminent, he said that although [the british were vagabonds, but their commerce and banking were very
Safe and sound. I advised him to have his assets transferred to Swiss banks as that was safer, [for if] the war broke out the British might confiscate his funds. He acted upon my advice and had a major part of his assets transferred to Swiss banks. Later when the war broke out, the British confiscates what ever assets he had in British banks.
I was wondering why Shyamji Verma was keeping his assets in British banks, when the British considered him as their enemy on account of his activities connected with the Indian freedom movement in Europe. My astonishment was over when he informed me that he was keeping his funds in British banks for the sake of convenience. He used to transact business in London on stock exchange, and he found it easier to transact business if his assets were lodged in the British banks.
At the time of his death he left huge funds in the hands of Rana to be spent in setting up an institute, which was to be called Oriental Institute Prof. Levy was the Director of that Institute. He also donated huge funds for publishing books, propaganda material against British and in favour of India's struggle for independence. Savarkar's book, War of Independence, was also published at the cost of Shyamji and distributed free in Europe, and [it] was also smuggled into India- His wife before death also left all the money in the hands of Rana.
Shyamji Verma remained in Switzerland so long as King George remained in Paris. He used to eat once a day. In certain mailers he was very stingy. He subscribed for papers
in Paris and did not subscribed for any paper in Switzerland. But he wanted [to keep] himself informed up-to-date. He either used to read the papers which I was buying or would read them by going to public libraries. He considered it wasteful use of money to subscribe for papers at two places. He used to keep his brief on small sheets of paper, lagged together, and [he] always carried them with him. This also served the purpose of his diary. He never left his papers behind at his house since he [was] afraid they might
be stolen. "These papers", he used to say, "are my treasure. They contain my life and everything that I attach value to."
On seeing that there was more freedom and liberty for political refugees in Switzerland, he decided to take a house in Switzerland. When the war broke out he shifted to Switzerland. There he used to appreciate my advice about transfer of assets from the British banks 10 Swiss banks, as the British concealed whatever assets he had in British
banks. I remained in Paris during the War- In fact, I wanted to go to Germany and gone [sic] to Antwerp and was about to enter Germany when the frontier was closed and I
had to return to Paris.
At that time in Paris there was [a] well-known paper called Figaro. Its editor was Calmette. He by some means got the love letters of Caillaux, Home Minister of France,
and began publishing those letters in his paper. When the war broke out this was a major topic in France and on the continent. Caillaux resigned his post as Home Minister to sue this editor for having published his love letters to his wife. Madame Caillaux, when [she] saw her love letters published, became furious and went to the office of the editor, and shot him with revolver. When I reached Antwerp, I read in the paper that Madame Caillaux had been set free. I also read in the papers that Germany had invaded Belgium. While in Antwerp I used to hear roars of guns. They were Belgian guns encaged in rehearsals. People in Antwerp were greatly horrified. Everybody was withdrawing his money from banks and post office [s], Everybody wanted coins instead of notes. Coin were in great demand even by shopkeepers. Notes were at a discount. One found it great difficult to make purchases in the market if one was in possession of notes and no
I wanted to go to Germany for political reasons. But I found another opportunity and wanted to avail myself of this. A wealthy indian merchant had come to Paris, He had his agents in almost all important cities of the continent, Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, London, etc. He used to deal in jewellery. He wanted to go to Germany to purchase jewellery. Since neither he nor his Paris is agent knew English, they asked me to accompany them and do correspondence for them. I agreed to this. The merchant did not know any European language his Paris agent also knew very little English. I took up the work of correspondence with German firms. I wanted to use this opportunity [for] going to Germany. The Paris agent of the Indian merchant knew my political activities, but the merchant did not know them, hence this offer to me by the merchant. When we reached
Antwerp, his Antwerp agent advised him to purchase jewels worth three or four millions, as there was likely hood of the prices going up. The merchant did so and deposited most of his money with the agent. On purchasing the jewels the merchant distributed [these] to goldsmiths for having them studded in rings. I asked the merchant what he was doing
[and added] that he would lose all these jewels as Belgium would be involved in war. But he replied that his Antwerp agent had told him that Belgium would not be involved in war. The war would only be confined to Germany on one side and France and England on the other. The merchant was a timid fellow. He took up a house and collected food
out. He asked me to lock the door from outside so that if any Germans came, they would go back on find [ing] the door locked from outside. When I returned I had two more persons with me, and we found that the merchant was not inside, although the door was still locked from outside when I arrived and I opened it. On making a search for him. I found him hiding underneath a bed. 1 asked my friend to tease the merchant and him with stick. This one of them did and the merchant blubbered out, "It is me." I
asked him why was he there, and he replied that he considered that place safer. His agent has now become a wealthy merchant in Bombay. He sent Desai to me and asked me to
stay with him if I ever went to Bombay. I told the merchant that Germans were going to enter Belgium and that we were leaving Belgium because the next day was the last day for trains for civilians. He still did not believe us, since he thought his agent could not tell him a lie. He wanted to meet his agent and wanted to have escort, one in front and one behind, so that if he was fired at either from front or behind his escort by becoming target of the shot would save his life. My self and his Paris agent offered ourselves as escort and took him to his agent's house. On reaching we found his agent ready to leave for London with a handbag in his hand
The merchant asked his agent about the jewels he had distributed there and got back the reply that all the shops were closed, and it was impossible to get back the jewels. He then enquired about the money he had deposited with him, and was told that he had already sent all the money to London and if he wanted the money he should come to London and have it, and [he] gave him his London address. After this we escorted the merchant back
to the house. He wanted to accompany us. He generally used to travel lying down near our feet. He asked us to lock him up in a big box so that he should be more safe [sic].
Whenever anybody asked us why was he lying on the floor of the carriage, we used to explain that he was suffering from rheumatism. He was worried that if Belgium did not
allow us to leave the country or the French did not allow us to enter France what would then happen. We asked him to go to London since his agent was there and his assets were
with him. His agent and he went to purchase ticket but could not get it in the first attempt. Then I asked them to bribe the steward and thus he got accommodation. His agent was with us. The train left us at Tuquin and there was a gap between the other train which we had to take. So we had to travel on foot. We saw a tram going and thought we would
reach safely in this way. This tram was going to the depot, near a jungle, at a distance of 6 or 7 miles from the city. The tram left us there. We saw a rest house nearby and went there but there was no arrangement for passing the night there. We sent for our food and consumed it quickly so that we could start earlier. This caused suspicion
in the mind of a person there that we were perhaps spies. On leaving that place we saw a tonga man who demanded 200 francs, but I considered this sum also a sheer waste of
money. As we were going we saw a house at a distance and turned our direction to that side to see if we could find a place of shelter for the night. On reaching there we came to know that it was a military post. There was a military commandant there. He asked us to show him our identity papers and if they were found satisfactory we could go. We told him that we had come to pass night there and not to get our papers examined and then asked to resume De Larara, President of Parisian Syndicate, a man of action, a colonel in the army. The commandant of the military post had served under Baron De Larara and, therefore, showed great regard for me and my companions. He told us that he had no arrangements for our passing the night there, but if we could manage to sleep on benches, that were available there, he would, have no hesitation in allowing us to pass the night there. We passed the night, sleeping on benches.
Ten minutes after our arrival, a man entered the military post, and began to talk without being asked. He said he had received a message for his immediate mobilisation. He had come in such a hurry that he could not embrace his mother who was in another town. While talking he was pacing up and down, and a kid sitting beside me perceived that in the accent at his man there was a German tinge. The boy asked me, "Do you think he is a German?" I only smiled and did not say anything. After pacing up and down for some time the person slipped out- The boy approached the commandant and told him his suspicion about the person. The commandant did not give any reply to the boy and asked a soldier to follow him and watch his movements. After a short time the soldier came back, and informed the commandant that the movements of the person were suspicious and that after walking for some time he used to turn round and look if he was being followed or watched by some one. The commandant then ordered horsemen to go and bring the person. The horsemen caught him and produced him before the commandant who examined him and asked him to produce mobilization orders. He said that in haste he had forgotten to bring them. As be had no document which could prove his identity as French he was detained there.
We left by the first tram at 5 a.m. and reached Lille. After an hour of arrival a state of
seige was announced there. No body could leave the city without lessez passer. We too had to wait to get lessez passer before we could leave for Paris. The number of people who wanted to leave Lille ran into thousands. They were being led to a certain place and the police had asked them to form queues. They were ever swelling—more people waiting to get into queues. After a good deal of waiting and inconvenience it was quite interesting to hear from the police that the lessez passer would be available. It another place, and so they led the people to Municipal Hall, where they said lessez passer would be made available to the public. I doubted if even the second place was the correct place. As it was time to take meals I preferred to slip out of the mob along with Manilal (agent of the Indian merchant who was with me). When we were walking in a street in Lille, I met a friend of mine from Paris, and I asked him if he knew anything about the place where we could get lessez passer. He informed me that he was just coming from that place and that he had friends in the office where lessez passer was being issued. It
was on the top floor of the Municipal Office at a distance of only a few minutes walk from the place we were standing. It was rather difficult to believe him as thousands of people were kept in Municipal Hall, waiting to receive tessez passer.
I, however, went there and found what he said was true. There was no crowd near that office. Only three persons were waiting, one of them a German who got his lessez passer saying that he was a Swiss. We obtained our lessez passer. Manilal was asked his nationality and he replied, "I am Bombay India." This made the people laugh. I told the authorities that he meant that he was from Bombay, India, and that I took his responsibility since he came from India.
After obtaining lessez passer we went to railway station and took a train at 4 p.m. In our compartment there were some Italians who were coming from England and wanted to go to Italy because of the war. There were also some French people traveling in that compartment. All the compartments were joined to each other by communicating doors. Therefore, we could see what was going on in all compartments. In the fourth compartment was sitting the German who had obtained his Lessez passer by saying that
he was a Swiss. The train was guarded by military. The train started from Lillie and we had not gone more than half a mile when the Italians and the French began to sing the
French national song [La Marseillaise). After singing they cried out, Vive La France (long Live France). The German could not stand the slogan and cried out (Vive L’ all Mague) Long live Germany . As soon as he uttered these words the
Italians and the French jumped at him. He drew out a revolver and fired on these people. Four of them fell bleeding and wounded, but the others caught hold of his revolver and him. The train stopped and he was removed along with the wounded out of the train. The train again started towards Paris but it was moving so slowly that it took us more than 12 hours to reach Paris normally it being a journey of 2 hours. Arriving at Paris we saw the women drivers had taken the place of men drivers who had been called up for mobilization. On reaching my place in Paris, I bought a morning paper wherein I read that both the Germans had been condemned to be shot.
After resting for a while and finishing my tea I went round to see how the people felt about the war. I went to Grands Boulevards. There was a great movement of the people, large number of people were standing in front of newspaper offices and in the corners of certain streets where maps of France and Germany were exhibited. People were talking of strategy and frontiers with Germany and looking at the maps, but all of them seemed to be very much terrified. There was a young man selling a toy an effigy of William, Emperor of Germany, attached to an elastic string of rubber William La Cochon (William the Swine). People were buying this in great number. All people looked sad and terrified. There was also a good deal of movement of people called up, passing through streets,
Government had no shoes to give them. Although on paper there were so many million pairs in stock for the army, but actually there was no stock with the French Government.
In French Parliament there were many questions and a commission was set up to enquire into the matter, to visit army magazines to find out if the Government had stocks. In
order to show to the commission that the Government had stocks, they collected shoes of various sizes, including those of children and ladies. The members of the commission
were bribed and the commission certified that the Government had stocks. But there was a lot of howling that the Government was cheating the people, and that they were not prepared for the war. They had deceived the nation.
There were very few taxis available. A Frenchman was looking for a taxi. He asked one taxi driver, another and still another but all were engaged. One of the taxi drivers asked him where he wanted to go. He said, "A word in the gloomy mood cast by war and the taxi driver "lade his services available to him. The whole crowd applauded. People felt greatly encouraged by this humorous remark. In the evening I again went to Boulevards and found all the coffee shops and theatres humming with unusual movement of people, everybody enquiring if the Germans were coming. How they were coming. If they came how they would fight them. Whether Belgium would resist Germany or not. Everywhere there was talk about the war. The crowds dispersed much later than usual. There was hunger for news and excitement all round. Everybody [was] asking others—what was happening, and what would happen.
On the second day also same scenes were witnessed: the groups of recruits going about, singing French national song; full of enthusiasm they were while singing national song.
There was no exception in joining that chorus; it was spontaneous. Especially the Belgians used to collect in de la Concorde, The biggest square in Paris- On one side of this square is river Siene and ministerial buildings on the other Champs Elysees, the most beautiful avenue in the world, was also located there. France had many provinces;
[among] them were also Alsace and Lorraine. They were shown in that avenue by divisions and Alsace and Lorraine were covered with black cloth, because Germany had taken them from France in the war of [1870-71]. French boys and girls used to be taught in schools that France could never be happy unless it took back these provinces from Germany.
It was near these statutes that biggest crowds were seen. Love of the integrity of their country and inspiration of taking these provinces was manifest on the faces of crowds.
A most powerful paper called L’Homme Libre (Free-man), published by Clemenceau" (The Lion of France) was engaged in criticizing the Government, It was exposing to
the people of France that the French Government had criminally neglected the preparation for war, that there was much fraud, dishonesty, slavishness, want of patriotism to be seen among those in power in France. But the other papers did not criticize so harshly and were busy in exciting French people for war, exhorting them to join French Army, and were talking for most pan of their redemption of the two lost provinces, Alsace and Lorraine.
There were expectations every moment of Belgium being attacked by the Germans who had given an ultimatum to Belgium asking her to open the passage for German Army just for passing through Belgium for reaching France. But England and France were both pressing upon Belgium to resist German armies, promising to send help without delay, which actually was never done.
Poor Belgium started resisting, suffered horribly, but by expedience her spirit was kept up to go on resisting. The French and the English played tricks every now and then.
A French would go to Belgian armies and tell them that French armies were on their way to Belgium and they need have no fears. These armies would crush German forces.
[The] English also played similar tricks to make Belgians go on resisting, but neither the French nor the English forces came to their rescue. This expediency was adopted by the
French and the English to gain time and complete preparations at the cost of destruction and complete annihilation of Belgium. The same story was repeated in the last war in the case of Poland. Belgium's destruction furnished. British propaganda machinery a good material for putting false tales of German force' barbarities and savageness, of German troops killing mercilessly this small nation. Horrible tales of killing of children, cutting their hands, roasting them alive, were being spread in the air and in the papers sent round the world. After the war was over Lord Ponsonby in his book Falsehood in Wartime showed how all these false news were spread, and later on the British Premier also confessed about these false news.
Soon after the declaration of war German taubes (aero planes looking live doves) began to appear over Paris, which frightened the population very much. They used to appear every evening, they threw some bombs. One evening there appeared over Gare St. Lazare ;i paper of" tremendous size, attached to which was a sand bag. It was coming down near the Gare St. Lazare. People from different pans of Paris were running in that direction. My curiosity had also taken in to that place. It contained a message from the German Commander, addressed to Paris people saying that "You should feel happy that your all troubles will soon be over, that what is missing in Paris due to mismanagement of dance by the German authorities who are very near France and will soon be entering it." For the first time when the taubes appeared the papers wrote and the authorities announced that this was the first and the last Time and they would take precautions and won't allow them to reach France again, but the taubes came for three consecutive days every afternoon. The taubes came as if from the clouds. The people of Paris and the Government got terrified. The Government thought of shifting the capital from Paris to
Bordeaux. Seeing the whole population of Paris was trying to get out of the town. One could see day and night streets full of people with their luggage just looking for an occasion to leave the place- They were leaving by goods, trains, trains for animals, and were paying any price to be able to quit the capital. On the fourth day the French Parliament had a special train which took all the member of the Parliament, Senators and Deputies to Bordeaux. That very morning I met Mr. Louqet (a member of French
Parliament). He asked me if I wanted to leave the town, I could just bring a small suitcase and accompany him in the special train. I profited by the offer, took a few things which I put in a small suitcase and reached Bordeaux along with the Parliamentary people.
On the second and third day of appearing taubes over Paris, there was so much looting of shops in Paris. People wrote on shops and houses that they were sole proprietors. Those shops where the Germans had any share were not spared at all. – Goondas took advantage of this loot and robbed many shops. On the fourth day the police moved and controlled the situation by rounding up 2000 mischief-mongers. Before leaving for Bordeaux I again met the person who was four days back selling "William La Cochon" and asked him why he was not selling his toy. "Have you finished them?" I asked. He said, "No, we are all brothers, the Germans are as good as the French." This change was due to fear of the Germans coming to Paris soon. Most of the people in crowds said, "We are lost,
France is doomed to suffer." The Government had by then rounded up and sent to concentration camps all the Germans living in France at that time.
In a restaurant I witnessed an interesting incident. A Persian boy was sitting with a French girl drinking champange, and having laughs and gaily (sic) talk- There happened to be an old man (French) sitting there, whose all sons had been called up and he could not stand this sight. He went to the couple and began beating the Persian boy, crying and shouting simultaneously that this boy was a German spy. or else he could not behave in shameful manner. In the distress hour of France he was drinking and should join the French army, otherwise he was enemy of France. This shouting brought the police, and although the Persian boy complained to the policeman that the old man was aggressor, the policeman took the boy away with him.
This shows the sentiments of the French people at that time. Foreigners in France were looked upon with doubt and suspicion. I said to the boy that it was natural for any French man to be irritated at this sight.When they were threatened of loss of freedom. The Persian boy argued that he had come to France for studies, he had been spending his money in France, that he was in no way obliged to France, and that France having benefited by his stay there monetarily should have an obligation to him.
After reaching Bordeaux I saw a cannon being put on St. Andrew's Church. This was being done with a dual purpose. One was to defend the church from aerial bombardment and the other was that the Germans would perhaps not bombard this place considering it sacred and the French army would be allowed to operate the cannon freely and unhampered. This action of the French army frightened the people in Bordeaux, They began asking each other, "Are the Germans coming to Bordeaux?" In the crowd was a French youngman looking very much like a German. He had a watch with a gold chain. Goondas were making the fullest advantage of the disturbed conditions. He asked the crowd, "Look we are lost. Here is a German." On hearing this all people leapt on him and the goondas immediately took the watch along with the chain and left. The crowd gave that young man a good beating. The poor fellow lost one eye. With great difficulty the police rescued him from the wrath of the crowd, who would have killed him other wise. Such occurrences were very common those days. Next morning I went to the railway station to buy an English paper. I bought Daily Mail and Now York Herald Tribune. While I was reading the papers, I happened to notice a French girl with her mother looking curiously at the paper, trying to read them, but as she did not know English she could not make out anything and thought trial they must be German papers. When I finished reading the papers, I put when that girl snatched the papers from under my arm and cried out that I was a German spy and had German papers with me. I caught hold of the girl and snatched back from her my papers by force. I called her a burglar, robbing my papers, which she had no right to do. This brought a policeman on the scene, to whom the girl said that I was a German spy, and that I had German papers with me, I asked the policeman to arrest the girl for robbing me of my papers. The policeman too did not know English and asked
me about those papers. He saw the papers but could not make out anything, I insisted upon the girl being arrested and taken to police station where I would have my case decided. I told the policeman that the papers were in English language. He thought that I was an Englishman and apologized and asked me not to take ill the girl's behavior. "Englishmen", he said, "are our best friends". This
Was the psychco [logical] effect of war on the French people. With the shifting of the Government to Bordeaux, the important newspapers of Paris also shifted to Bordeaux."Freeman" paper was banned as it was criticising the Government. He gave his papers a new name, L'Homme Enchaini', (the man in chain) and remained publishing it. He, however, did not stop criticising the Government policy strongly. The Government in their bulletins were giving false news and he was exposing the Government all the time.
In their bulletins the Government richer mentioned having lost any town or territory to Germany; they mentioned it only when they had retaken it. We used to meet often and
had long talks with each other about Future administration, post-war period and war.
In Bordeaux I received a telegram from a friend of mine, a Brazilian, Dr. Janeen Muller, telling me that he had reserved a cabin on board the ship would touch Lego in Spain and Lisbon in Portugal, giving dates when the ship would be calling at these ports and asking me to catch it either at Lego or at Lisbon, according to my convenience. This Friend of mine left Paris on the second day of Taubes appearing. It was very difficult to take any luggage as the trains were crowded. He had a good deal of luggage. So we played a trick.
He pretended as not knowing French and I acted as his interpreter. I told the French authorities that his presence in Londcn was urgently needed in connection with the war.
The French authorities at that time wanted to please and oblige every Englishman as they were in need of their help in the war, and considering that Dr. Janeen was an English man and that his presence in London must be in connection with taking certain important decisions connected with the war. They allowed him lo take his luggage along with him.
On receiving the telegram, I left for Spain and went to San Sebastian and there I Went to see the Persian Ambassador in France, as all Foreign diplomats in Paris had shifted
to San Sebastian. The Persian Ambassador was a friend of mine. From there I traveled by Paris-Lisbon Express but something went wrong with the engine on the way and we reached Portugal 7 hours late. On reaching Lisbon, learnt that the ship I was to take had left half an hour [earlier]. I had to stop at Lisbon to wait there and to see what could be done.
While we were travelling in Paris-Lisbon Express and were near Portugal frontier, a Spaniard, who was sitting in the same compartment in which I was, asked me, "Do you know why the train was going so slow?" Without waiting for my reply he said that Portugal was so small that if the train moved fast the train would fall into sea! In Lisbon I knew some people who had come from Paris. A friend of mine there introduced me to a member of Parliament in Portugal—De Souza. I asked him what was
the policy of Portugal in war. In reply I was told that Portugal's policy was dictated by England. He added what ever England asked Portugal to do, she would do so and was, in fact, obliged to do so. After a few days I learnt that a Frerch ship was in the harbour, bound for South America.
This ship was known by the name of Lutetia, the biggest passenger ship the French had at that lime. Just for curiosity sake I went on board. It was full of people, some very rich families were traveling on deck they were anxious to get back to their countries. There I met a large number of people who were known to me either in Switzerland or Paris, most of them students, who insisted on my accompanying them to see their countries and the continent.
Some were from Chile, Argentine, Mexico, etc. So much was their pressure that I resolved to travel with them and sent a messenger to my hotel with a note to bring my
luggage from there, and gave him money to settle my account. The young students did not allow me to go back lest I did not return. I asked him also to bring two bags full
of fresh fruit including 500 lemons. I bought my ticket on board the ship.
After leaving Lisbon the first port we touched was Dakar. From Dakar onwards we had to go for days and nights together without seeing any island or land. At night the lights were soon put off to avoid being seen by any German ship which might attack. Dance was prohibited by the captain whose son had died just in the beginning of the war. People would sit together, talk of war; they thought there was practically no danger of any attack on sea. The first ship we came across was a Dutch boat and had a talk with the commandant. This made most of the ladies frightened. They thought the officers were Germans. They might sink [their] ship, or make them prisoners, [this] was their fear. In the latter case they would throw themselves into sea rather than becoming German prisoners. It was, however, ail a fear without reason. The officers only wanted food articles of which they were short of and in exchange they offered certain things, if our ship needed them. Our commandant agreed to the exchange and these officers went back to their ship and the danger was over.
From here onwards the sea was rough and most of the people were feeling sea sick (ness]. The steward profited [by] the occasion and sold lemons at a very high price—6 or 7 francs a lemon, lemons being considered the best remedy for sea sickness. Some people paid that exorbitant price but all were complaining of the prohibitive price that the steward was charging. I went to the steward and asked him not to charge such a high price, that by doing so he was behaving like a criminal. He did not attach any weight to my reprimand. Thereupon, I threatened him and asked him that if he id not stop selling lemons at such a high price and that if he did not sell lemons at 1 fr 2 francs he would distribute lemons free among the sick people. He did not take me seriously. I began distributing lemons free and on seeing this the steward came running to me and begged me not to spoil his trade. He agreed to my conditions but before I stopped distributing lemons, I had distributed half of my stock free.
We were reaching near rocks, when towards evening we saw two ships, pile on the right and the other on the left; the one on the right was nearer, though both were still at a
good distance. We could not make out their nationality. The ship on the that side had its lights on. The other some times had her lights on and sometimes off. The commandant decided to approach (he right one. As we reached nearer, ship. From them we learnt that the ship on our left side was a German ship. This caused a great terror on board the ship and all women were terrified- The speed of our ship was increased to enable us to escape from the German ship. As a result we reached Rio de Janeiro five hours earlier than the normal time fixed for the arrival of the ship.