E.W. Bracht, a former Spokane mining engineer, was arrested in St. Louis on charges of making disloyal remarks.
He was accused of saying these words to an agent of the Department of Justice: “I do not believe the United States went into this war from altruistic motives. The cry about avenging the Lusitania and about Belgium was all to engineer the war spirit. I appreciate that this county is at war, but I know the people of Germany and I know them to be a different people from the kind the newspapers and the government would make us believe.”
He also said the following about President Woodrow Wilson: “The cry ‘he kept us out of war’ was good enough to elect the president, but the damned old hypocrite, as soon as he had what he wanted, responded to the pressure of the money kings and stepped into the breach to protect their privileges.”
Bracht had apparently gone to St. Louis several weeks earlier and checked in as a patient at a local hospital. The federal agent said he interviewed Bracht about his views without making his identity known.
Bracht had been held in St. Louis on these charges for more than a week. His mother, in Spokane, said she didn’t know anything about it.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.