Mr. Runyon to Mr. Olney.
Berlin, October 11, 1895. (Received Oct. 25.)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt from you this morning of the copy of your note to Baron von Thielmann, German ambassador, in regard to the case of Mr. Louis Stern, with a copy of Mr. Simon Stern’s letter to the State Department on the same subject. Soon after they came to my hands I sought, and obtained to-day, an interview with Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, Imperial secretary of state for foreign affairs, in reference to the matter, although I had only the day before yesterday had a long conversation with him on the topic. I found that he had received to-day your note (or a copy thereof) from Washington and was acquainted with its contents. The subject was again discussed by us with no different result from that of our interview of the day before yesterday.
Baron von Marschall repeated the statement he then made as to the interest felt by the people in this country in regard to the case, and remarked that the German people are, so to speak, fanatical in their views as to the necessity of impartiality in the execution of the laws.
He further said that the punishment of imprisonment in the circumstances (considering that it was the penalty for insulting words merely) could not, in his opinion, properly be regarded as ignominious. I take occasion to refer to Mr. Simon H. Stern’s statement, in his letter above mentioned, that he believes that at my suggestion Mr. Louis Stern’s appeal from the judgment against him was withdrawn and the petition for pardon or commutation sent in. He is in error in this, but the error is not important. The advice which I gave Mr. Louis Stern on that head was that he act without delay if he intended to withdraw his appeal and apply for pardon.
I am, etc.,