CHRONICLE. May 19, 1915. SINKING OF LUSITANIA. Some Facts Connected With It That Are Receiving Consideration by Cool Heads. (Note: There was no author given for this article published twelve days after the sinking. Presented as it was published, honestly I cannot fathom why it was published in any newspaper in America. Now you can see the controversy around the sinking.)
The sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage was the greatest ocean disaster of modern times. Next to that comes the loss of life in the recent sinking of the Lusitania. There is much excitement over the loss of the Lusitania and if it should develop that this country is drawn into war as a result then the Lusitania loss will prove the most appalling in the history of ocean travel, but no person of cool and reasonable mind expects such a thing. There is no need for such a dire result. If it does come it will be the fault of the United States and not of Germany.
LOOK AT THE FACTS. Some months ago England openly declared to the world that she would do all in her power to starve the millions of women and children of Germany and is still doing all possible to that end. Germany replied that unless England would permit food for non combatants of Germany to reach the German nation, Germany would make an effort to blockade the waters around the British isles. England did not yield and Germany began the blockage by sinking all vessels belonging to England and her allies that she would in the waters around the British Isles. England controls the seas so far as warships go in that she can take all vessels into port and, after landing the crews and passengers, confiscate the ships and cargoes. Every one understands that a submarine can not do that and is forced to sink the ships where found, which the Germans have been doing. England has been charging them with violating the rules of war and humanity. Trying to starve millions of defenseless women and children is simply war, but for Germans to sink ships is piracy and murder.
The German government caused advertisements to appear in the New York papers warning the world that persons who took passage with English ships or the ships of her allies were doing so at the risk of their lives, when such vessels entered the proscribed war zone around the British Isles. The people gave no heed and as a result when the Lusitania was sunk a few days ago more than one hundred Americans were drowned. Those in sympathy with England and her allies charge that the drowning of a few people in the sinking of a ship that was carrying contraband of war is piracy and murder, but when England does all in her power to starve millions of German women and children that is legal warfare.
While it is proper for the President to protest to Germany over the loss of American lives, we have not in fact any standing in ‘court’ for the people who lost their lives took passage on the Lusitania of their own free will and with full knowledge of he danger. Germany will very likely continue just as she began so long as England persists in trying to starve German women and children. The English have decided to intern all Germans of military age who are in England. All Germans are being discharged from the positions they hold, the people refuse to sell them anything or have any business transactions with them. If that means anything it means that the English are trying to starve all Germans now in England. Hundreds of German shops have been attacked and more or less damaged, not because of anything they have done, but because they are Germans.
It is to the credit of the English courts that they are punishing the rioters, but that does not change the attitude of the English people towards innocent people. The Germans in England had no more to do with the sinking of the Lusitania than the Germans in the United States, yet they are being made victims of the wrath of the English. No one has heard of any such conditions in Germany in spite of the fact that England is trying to starve the whole German people in the name of war.
On April 6, 1917, the U.S. joined Britain, France, and Russia in the “war to end all wars,” World War I.
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Old Uncle Gib is a weekly historical feature published each week. Old Uncle Gib is a pseudonym that was used by S.C. Bishop, who founded the Chronicle in 1886. Bishop actively published the Chronicle until 1948.