11/27

 The result of this rather hesitantly expressed lament was that in the press of my native land I was denounced as a traitor - a new experience for me since despite many contacts with the press I had never before been spat at by the majority. The article containing this denunciation was printed by twenty papers in my country, and all the friends I thought I had among newspaper men only two dared rise to my defence. Old friends informed me that they had been nurturing a viper in their bosoms and that those bosoms in future would throb only for Kaiser and for Reich and not for a degenerate like me. Abusive letters from strangers came in stacks, and the book dealers gave me to understand that an author with such reprehensible views had ceased to exist so far as they were concerned. On a number of these letters I came to recognise a decoration which I saw then for the first time: a little round stamp with the inscription God punish England.

 

One might think that I would have had a hearty laugh at this misunderstanding. But I could do nothing of the sort. This experience, unimportant in itself, brought me as reward the second great transformation of my life.