GERMANS WILL SHOW NO MERCY FOR AMERICAN BOATS
Amsterdam (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, February 21, 1917, The Kolnische Volkszeitung* reported...
"assuming that the American government 'is seeking to prove that Germany does not dare sink American ships', declares that should the steamers Rochester and Orleans** meet a German submarine their fate would be sealed.
It makes no difference that they are not carrying contraband. It would be absurd, after the German official declarations, that even in a single case any regard should be paid to the possibility of avoiding a conflict with the United States."
*The Cologne Volkszeitung was founded in 1868 by Josef Bachem. The newspaper, published Tuesday through Sunday, was the main press organ of the Rhenish Catholics. The chief editor was Hermann Cardaun. The CV became the leading Catholic daily newspaper in western Germany.
**Rochester & Orleans were American freight steamers which were the first to embark for the War Zone after the US break with Germany. The captains of the two ships made a race out of it. On Feb. 23 the LA Herald reported that while Orleans made it safely to a point off the coast of Bordeaux, France, no word had yet been received from Rochester.
"Five New Ships Sunk, U-Zone Toll 152," Los Angeles Herald, February 23, 1917, California Digital Newspaper Collection, www.cdnc.ucr.edu/
"No Mercy For American Boats, German Threat," Chicago Daily Tribune, February 22, 1917, www.chicagotribune.com/
"The history of the Cologne Volkszeitung 1860-1941," LVR, www.rheinsche-geschichte.lvr.de/