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Grandfather's Diary Entry (Berlin, 1917)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 11/11/18 (4:18am)

Grandfather Leopold Klein, born in Chicago but too sick to leave Berlin at the U.S. entry into WWI, wrote in his diary:

"This 'World War' must end soon. When it does come to an end, the principles of justice, mercy and, above all, reason - which dictates all the rest - must guide the nations concerned in the establishment of peace. Otherwise, these nations will only lay the foundation for later, and greater, world conflict.... If a true peace is not made when the shooting stops, the result may be a truly worldwide conflict - thrusting its horror to the four corners of the earth, a World War which will be the greatest catastrophe humanity has yet experienced." (Berlin, 1917)

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As former U.S. ambassador to Germany, James W. Gerard, explained 30 years later: "When America entered World War I, Leopold Klein [originally from Chicago] was seriously ill. Unable to be moved, he had to remain in Germany as an enemy alien, together with his faithful wife and the minor children. As ambassador, I had been able to arrange the departure of some members of the Klein family from Germany before our country’s entry into the war, and Ernest and his brother Julius were serving America months before the arrival of Pershing in France."