Arthur Zimmermann

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Arthur Zimmermann

Arthur Zimmermann lived from October 5, 1864 to June 6, 1940. He was the German Foreign Minister who sent the sensational proposal that Mexico should enter an alliance with Germany against the United States.

Foreign Secretary Zimmermann sent a telegram on January 16, 1917, to the German ambassador Johann von Bernstorff in Washington who in turn forwarded it to Mexican ambassador Heinrich von Eckardt. But on January 17, British intelligence intercepted the message. The British were unable to read it because it was sent with a new type of encryption and even Mexican ambassador Heinrich von Eckardt could not read it. The British were only able to read it when Johann von Bernstorff transcribed it into an older code so Heinrich von Eckardt could read it. The telegram was sent to US ambassador Walter Hines Page in Britain who then two days later forwarded it to President Wilson. The US passed this telegram to the press. US papers claimed that the telegram was made up by the British to try to get the US in the war on Britain’s side. But later Zimmerman gave a speech confirming his telegram and put all the speculation to an end.

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