Translation from German Text


Translation from German Text






1918 November 18


Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


World War, 1914-1918--Armistices
Germany--History--Allied occupation, 1918-1930


Mark Edwin Peterson




Document scan was taken from Library of Congress microfilm reel of the Wilson Papers. WWPL volunteers transcribed the text.


Translation from the German text.

Ottercliffs, MO November 18, 1918

From Hauen, 9:05 am l.

To the American, English, French and Italian Governments:

The terms of the armistice constitute a most serious menace to the economic conditions of the left bank of the Rhine and to its relations with the German Rhenish Provinces of the right bank. If it be practicable to clarify matters in a far-reaching way and in a mitigating sense through interpretation or amplification then, in view of the close economic relations between the left bank of the Rhine and the rest of Germany, it is asserted that we cannot continue to live and it is almost certain that the peaceful development that beginning to get under way here will be again and at once upset. We shall then be confronted by unconceivable more or less Bolshevik conditions that may also prove a danger to the neighboring states. In order to prevent this we hold it to be imperative that the terms be mitigated and their practical execution be determined on the following points: A general understanding that the normal economic intercourse on the left bank of the Rhine, the rest of Germany and the foreign countries be not disturbed even during the military occupation. 2. Separate decisions on the following highly important points: A. Let the coal, potash and mineral mines be worked on the left bank of the Rhine within the old Imperial provinces in the previous manner and by the German owners. B. Let the needed coal and minerals be carried up, down and across the Rhine into the part of Germany on the right bank of the river. C. General free use of the Rhine for transportation within the old boundaries of the German Empire. Allow free navigation to Rotterdam and other water fronts for the supply of coal, potash, food products, etc., to Germany, in the North and Baltic Seas. E. Continue industrial operations on the left bank of the Rhine for the benefit of the rest of Germany. F. Free rail traffic in the occupied territory. G. Delivery of electric power from the left to the right bank of the Rhine. H. Discharged men of military age not to be taken prisoner of war on the left bank of the Rhine, even though they still wear a uniform. The civil and military offices of every kind on the left bank of the Rhine should be allowed to continue in operation. K. Goods of all description in the occupied country should not be requisitioned except in so far as they are unavoidably needed for the maintenance of the occupation force. L. Telephone, telegraph and mail communication of the occupied country with the right bank of the Rhine and with neutral countries should be free, also M. Let food and fodder of every kind be shipped from the left to the right bank of the Rhine N. (unintelligible.

Original Format



American, English, French and Italian Governments




Germany, “Translation from German Text,” 1918 November 18, WWP25499, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.