Dr. Peter Moloney

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In Berlin 1914

travel documents german course r








Travel documents here witness silently to Peter's presence in Berlin; his stay was to end with a rush to safety just days before hostilities began with declaration of war on August 4, 1914. Peter went there with Fr. Henry Carr, C.S.B., his lifelong friend, to improve his German. Having learned it during childhood from the Grawey family, he would eventually need formal training in order to be able to read German scientific publications.

 One of the most notable British journalists of the time, Mr. H. W. Nevinson, was in Berlin for the London Daily News in the first days of August. Through his descriptions we participate in the times Peter experienced. Nevinson speaks of arriving the evening of July 31, and meeting many horse drawn wagons full of working men, cheering and singing as people do when war is coming. There was a chaos of crowds, people rushing home after summer vacations. For two days, he watched the Unter Den Linden, as crowds paced there singing German war songs: "Was Blasen die Trompeten", the finest, then "Deutschland, Deutschland ueber Alles", which came next, and "Die Wacht am Reine" which was most popular. Peter certainly saw and heard these events, his boarding house being 1 km from the travel office on Unter Den Linden, across the river, close to the Friedrichstrasse Bridge.


1. German Institute for  Foreigners, Peter Moloney, participant 16, Summer Language Course, July 6-August 1, 1914, 50 marks paid
2.  Boarding House Wallraff, Berlin C, Monbijou Platz 10, Room 10, one month board, light included, July 4-August 4, 1914
3. Travel pass from Weltriese Bureau Union, Unter Den Linden. The storefront office "Weltreise (Around the World Traveller) Bureau Union, Unter Den Linden 22, is situated on the most famous street in Berlin. Unter Den Linden is a boulevard in the Mitte district of Berlin, running east west from the former Stadtschloss Royal Palace at the Lustgarten Park to Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate. Written upside down in Peter's hand, are names of hotels to stay at in England.
4. Interior of the travel pass.
5. Immigration card: Peter sailed from Liverpool England on August 7 on the "Virginian" and arrived in Canada on August 16. The Virginian was built in Glasgow in 1904 and owned by the Allan Line, Liverpool, 520 ft. by 60 ft. She was launched December 22 1904. In 1914 she was chartered by Canadian Pacific Lines. She carried 1, 632 passengers. The main transatlantic route was Liverpool - Quebec - Montreal in summer. It is worth mentioning here that only months before, there had been a great tragedy. The Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence River on the night of May 29, 1914 after colliding with the Norwegian collier Storstad. This accident took 1012 lives, the world's second worst peacetime sinking since the Titanic.
6. Cooks rail passes (pink covers): No. 236352, and No. 236353
7. Berlin to Vlissingen Holland rail ticket. No. 0323 and No. 0324 On this trip we are told that Peter was napping when approached by a German officer in plumed hat, demanding identification of passengers; Peter pretended to be sleeping deeply and the man passed on.
8. Newspaper headline, dated Thursday July 30, 1914, Full newspaper article below.
9. Class picture - Peter is seated, second from the right

Nationale Zeitung - the evening edition Berlin, July 30, 1914

Imminent Danger

Astonishing things are happening. The chariots of the war-god are rolling. We can hear the hoof-beats of his vehement horses, the grating of his glowing wheels. However, the German people does not revolt against the destiny which drags them into the whirl of the world events-whose implications are not foreseeable. We already suffer enormously from the threat of the European war-which has affected the national and individual economy. Yet we hurl from one sore into the other; rather to have the terrifying end of the scandalous tensions, which are continuing in the world for years, than to endure the unbearable pressure of uncertain and shaky relations. Namely, the pressure which has existed, and did not cease, since the Balkan nations have fallen under the Turkish empire.

This afternoon, the rumours have been spreading, that mobilization has been ordered, but this did not scare anybody. Indeed, often it has been said, we are prepared for mobilization. Namely, we are accepting the rattling outbreak of these important events, as an unavoidable adversity. When soon after, the mobilization was denied, there was no sign of appeasement in the joy on the animated streets. It was felt, people would rather comfort each other, that the mobilization will come only after a few hours or days. Truly, the German people does not like war. However, the continuous scare undermines the cultural, commercial, and national character. We want the permanent peace! We don't want to be menaced daily by the political directions, coming from the east or west of our borders. Russian and France may mobilize-we can do it as well. We are living during the hours of world history. Perhaps only a few chosen ones know, what has been decided during the long consultation among our political and military leaders, under the Kaiser's chairmanship.

What a while ago would have been interpreted as bad, now in all Germany the unanimous resounding jubilation would arouse. Namely, that never has a Ruler been hailed, as was the Kaiser, during the hour of destiny. The German people remember gladly the historic declaration of Bismarck-which like a fanfare blared in the world: "We Germans fear God-nobody else!"

France was badly informed, that it would not give in to the ally-who was indebted to it like a slave-and who used the panslavic threats. Otherwise, when any believer gives great credit to the debtor-then continuously prays to God to give the debtor good health and long life. France let Russia, not only behave in Don Quixote's manner, by pushing its own and other princes to fight for the murderers-then, after defeat at Port Arthur and Mukden, it fall into new disgrace. France puts itself into unspeakable danger.

The poorly armed France must know, what an undertaking against the enemy of 1870 means-while Germany wants to challenge France! Did France forget the five billion which it had to pay us? Is France tired of the Republic, and wants a new form of government? Whatever in the coming events Providence may allot to the German people - Germany will be indemnified from France. Only this time, different measures will take place, compared to 40 years ago. At that time, the ransom was five billion, this time it may be thirty billion. The Holy Mother of Lourdes will have lots to do, when she, the miraculous, has to heal all bones, which on the the other side of the Vosges, our German soldiers will break among the poor people. Poor France! It is so highly civilized, industrious, and cultivated a nation, but will, in the fact become deaf and blind, unintelligent and stupid. There is still time for turning back, but the time will soon be gone. In such case, France would suffer for generations-however Georges Dandin, you wanted that!


Copyright: Family Trust of Dr. Peter Moloney 2013. All rights reserved.

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