Handbook of War Facts and Peace Problems
HOW THE GOVERNMENT OF GERMANY, WITH AUSTRIA, PREPARED FOR THE WAR FOR WORLD DOMINATION
Democracy versus Absolutism.---The central and decisive fact for every American in the great war is that it has been a struggle between the principles of the American Constitution, drawn and adopted by the American people under the leadership of Washington in 1787-9, and the principles of the Constitution of the Imperial German Government, imposed on Germany in 1871 by Bismarck, creator of the German Empire.
The American Constitution put into operation the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which insured to every individual freedom of self-determination. The triumph of these principles in our Revolutionary war helped to bring on the French Revolution, awoke the English people to the liberties they now enjoy, and started a swelling tide which (after further victories in 1848) had succeeded, before 1871, in destroying autocracy in every European land but four---Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Russia. In Russia a despotic Czar was supreme, ruling through an organized bureaucracy. In Austria-Hungary the Emperor was face to face with eleven conflicting nationalities, in a dual monarchy, increasingly threatened with disruption. In Prussia, there were left both the two great medieval elements of despotism, a King claiming to rule by divine right, supported by the other element, a strongly organized privileged class, the Junkers. Under them was a people who, in 1849, after failing to gain liberties such as the peoples of France and England enjoyed, had accepted their fate. When Prussia, helped by the other German States, conquered France in 1870-71, annexing Alsace-Lorraine, all Germany accepted the overlordship of Prussia, with her King as Emperor. The autocracy of Prussia was thus extended to all Germany. Prince Bismarck, the man of "blood and iron," who had for many years, as Prussian Chancellor, planned this empire, set out to organize in Central Europe a government that would not only continue both the divine right of Kings and the power of a privileged class and thus stem the rising tide of democracy, but would by its ever increasing power, eventually overthrow democracy.
Since 1871, these two principles have been face to face---democracy and absolutism. They could not continue to exist side by side. They must come in collision. Bismarck knew this. We did not. Neither did the free nations of Europe.
German World Domination.---The self-governing countries of Europe and America, because they believed that the government of Germany was not their concern and therefore did not watch its actions carefully, inevitably made it possible for Germany to launch the world war. We did not understand that lust for world domination is the logical and necessary impulse that governs an autocracy assisted by an ambitious privileged class, and that this lust can be gratified only by war to the utmost against all self-governing lands, in order to crush all opposition to the universal spread of despotism.
This idea of world domination could be carried out only after long preparation and by carefully arranging two necessary elements of support for the Prussian Kaiser and his Junkers. These were, first, the absolute, unanimous support of the German people, and, second, the cooperation of as many other powers as would share in the scheme. To obtain this support was the constant Prussian aim for about forty years. To attach the German people to the Kaiser and to Pan-Germanism a complete system of education was worked out, shortly after 1871. It began from earliest childhood to make the Germans worship the State as their god; and to fill them with the idea that God's plan was that Germany should dominate the world because the German people were the greatest, wisest, noblest, and best creation of God.
Alliance of the Three Autocracies.---While this educational process was being carried on, the same care was being given to the external political field. Bismarck and Emperor William, grandfather of the late Kaiser, first sought an alliance, after 1871, with the Czar of Russia and the Emperor of Austria, so as to form a Triple Alliance of the three autocracies. Austria, cowed by her defeat by Prussia in 1866 and by Prussia's victory over France, was ready to allow Germany to dictate her foreign policy. As long as Bismarck guided Germany be tried to bold Russia at Germany's side, but after the Czar had helped, in 1875, to prevent Germany from attacking France, it became Germany's plan to weaken Russia, by preventing the development of Slav power both inside and outside of Russia.
In 1877 Russia attacked Turkey to avenge the Bulgarian massacres and to realize her dream of conquering Constantinople and opening up for herself and all Slavs a great water highway through the Dardanelles. But Germany and Austria united to snatch the fruits of victory from Russia at the Congress of Berlin, in 1878. This treaty restored power to Turkey but placed under Austrian control the two important provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, though their inhabitants were Serbian Slavs who were bitterly opposed to Austrian rule, and wished to be united with Serbia. Four independent Balkan States were recognized: Serbia, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Greece, besides tiny Montenegro; but only one of these, Serbia, had a native King, and her territory was confined within disappointingly narrow boundaries and without outlet to the sea. It was planned to bring Bulgaria, Rumania, and Greece under German influence through rulers of German blood or affiliations. Alexander of Battenberg was sent to rule Bulgaria. A Hohenzollern was king of Rumania. And the Crown Prince of Greece, after a military training in Germany, was married (1889) to the Princess Sophia, sister of the Kaiser.
Germany Courts Turkey.---Having thwarted and humiliated Russia, Germany was obliged, soon after 1878, to turn elsewhere for alliances. This she did in two directions: Turkey and Italy. She needed Turkey's assistance in her plan to help Austria push eastward from Bosnia as far as the great seaport of Salonica; in order that she might herself, across Austrian and Turkish territory, obtain a land route to Asia, and by controlling the East as well as Europe, obtain world domination. This plan was, however, a gradual growth, and notwithstanding the Kaiser's triumphant journey (1898) to Constantinople, Syria, and Jerusalem when he assured "the 300,000,000 Mohammedans" and the Sultan that he was their friend and protector, the wily Sultan Abdul Hamid would not sign an actual treaty of alliance, though he had allowed German officers, in 1883, to train the Turkish army.
Italy joins the Central Powers.---Meantime, in 1882, Germany persuaded Italy to take the place of Russia and to join her and Austria-Hungary in a new defensive Triple Alliance. Bismarck accomplished this miracle, notwithstanding Italy's hatred of Austria, by playing on Italy's wish for colonies in Africa and sowing discord in this way between her and France and England. In 1881 France had occupied Tunis at the suggestion of Bismarck. Now, Italy had planned to make of Tunis an Italian colony, and considered herself betrayed by France. Then in 1882 England decided to remain permanently in Egypt. Italy, humiliated, remembering that Bismarck had told her Germany was content that she should have Tunis, decided to join the Central Powers. This required her to leave in Austrian hands her unredeemed provinces (Trieste and Trentino). Her treaty was for five years, renewable at will. It delivered Italy to German exploitation and pacific penetration, as Italy was poor and therefore a fertile field for propaganda. The treaty was periodically renewed, the last time in 1912.
Behind the protecting screen of the alliance with Italy, which ensured Germany and Austria against attack, Germany pushed her preparations for the future conflict. She kept France continually terrorized by threats of war, she penetrated the Balkans with a German railroad, she projected and partly built the great line from Constantinople, across Asia Minor and Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf. She promised, in return for an alliance, that Turkey should get Egypt back from England, together with parts of Armenia from Russia. She helped Turkey crush Greece. She kept the Balkans in a turmoil.
The Triple Entente.---Meanwhile what were France, England, and Russia doing? They did not suspect the extent of the growing ambitions of Germany's leaders, tremendously enlarged when William II. came to the throne in 1888, and they thus fell in with the plans of the Pan-Germans, already fully worked out. These three powers were still apart, in isolation, and often at cross purposes. But after Russia had again (1887) prevented Germany from attacking France, and had found Germany would no longer supply her with the loans she needed to develop her vast resources, she turned to France, who began in 1888 to lend her enormous sums. This led in 1892 to an agreement between France and Russia, based on the principle of reciprocal assistance and simultaneous mobilization of armies in case of attack. This convention was concluded in 1893. It was a purely defensive alliance. It was this agreement which bound France to go to war with Germany whenever Russia was attacked. This remained a dual alliance until 1904, when England joined it, and this new union between the three powers was called the Triple Entente, because it was in the nature of an understanding rather than a formal and detailed alliance.
Meanwhile each of these three powers, France, Russia, and England, now united in a common policy, was trying to be reconciled to Italy and wean her from the Central Powers. Italy, having lost her chance to get Tunis, planned to annex Tripoli, the only remaining part of the African coast not already taken from the Turks. This involved a probable war with Turkey. To aid her in this plan, she obtained a promise of England's protection against a naval attack on the Mediterranean---which meant a French attack. Also she came later to an understanding with France which culminated in 1902 and 1904, thus making her free to loosen the bonds with the Central Powers if she chose, though Germany was continually forging new financial, commercial, and political chains for her, including control of her leading politicians. Germany was doing the same in Russia, in order to make Russia helpless in case of war.
During this time none of the Entente powers realized either the extent or the character of the danger. England regarded Lord Roberts' insistent campaign in favor of national armament against the German peril as the vapid ravings of a senile jingo, and none but a few clear-eyed men like the Hungarian-born Emil Reich, the Frenchman Chéradame, the Englishman Cramb, and the Belgian Sarolea suspected the completeness of the German scheme for enslaving the world and destroying civilization. So little suspicions was Lord Grey, Great Britain's foreign minister, that in 1912, he agreed to let Germany consider the whole of Mesopotamia as within Germany's sphere of influence, a dangerous concession which only whetted Germany's Eastern ambitions, as it gave her final control of the whole line of the Berlin-Bagdad Railroad.
The Kaiser's Three Threats of War (1905-1911).---What now, were the outstanding facts, that bear on the war, in the ten years between 1904, when England joined the Entente, and the outbreak of the war in 1914?
First came the Kaiser's sudden demonstration at Tangier, on the African coast, in March, 1905, by which for the first time he claimed for Germany a share in the Mediterranean, and threw down the gauntlet to France, to see whether England would support the latter, at the same time, under threat of war, forcing the humiliating resignation of the able French Foreign Minister, Delcassé. In the conference of the powers on this Moroccan question at Algesiras in January, 1906, not only England but Italy acted against Germany. The second threat was when Germany revenged herself by threatening war on Russia if she should interfere when Austria broke the treaty of Berlin by annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina (1908-1909) of which until then she had been merely the mandatory. This embittered Italy, who turned more and more to the Entente. The. third war threat came in 1911, when the Kaiser sent the "Panther" to Agadir and reopened the Morocco question. Out of this Germany again learned that England stood with France, but she obtained from France by her threats of war a large African colony in the Congo. England and France made every possible, concession to avoid a European war.
Italy Fights Turkey.---Italy was now afraid that Germany might also take Tripoli, so (still in 1911) Italy attacked and annexed Tripoli and made war on Turkey.
First Balkan War.---For the Balkan powers (Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece) this seemed an opportunity to attack Turkey before she should conclude peace with Italy. The "Young Turks" who had acquired control of Turkey were even more oppressive in Macedonia and Thrace than the old Sultan. Albania rose in revolt. The four Balkan nations, having formed a league, disregarded the Great Powers, who tried to stop them, and, at the close of 1912, defeated Turkey in a rapid and spectacular campaign, to the utter amazement of Europe. The Turks had hardly anything but Constantinople left in Europe.
Second Balkan War.---Such a result spelled ruin for the plans of Austria, and especially of Germany. It meant a powerful Slavic confederacy barring forever the Pan-German scheme of "Middle-Europe," and the conquest of the East, which had seemed in Germany's grasp, now that England was willing to give her free rein in Mesopotamia, even beyond Bagdad. With great cunning discord was sown at once between members of the Balkan League, and Bulgaria was made suddenly to attack Serbia and Greece for a lion's share of the spoils. But she was unexpectedly overwhelmed. Turkey stepped in and recovered Adrianople. The result, after the Peace of Bucharest, was a stronger Turkey with an army reorganized by Germans, and under a pro-German, Enver Pasha, ready to do Germany's bidding. The second result was a disrupted Balkan League, its members weakened by two wars and full of mutual distrust and hatred. The Allied diplomats were still blind to the consequences.
Serbia Threatened.---Serbia now would be an easy victim. She alone stood in the path of the eastward push of the Central Powers. Austria wanted to make the attack in 1913 and asked for Italy's help, which was refused. Germany held her ally back. She was not quite ready. She knew it would mean war with Russia, which could not desert her weak Slav sister, and so with Russia's ally, France. She feared that England might come in. Therefore, the Kiel canal, which would protect her fleet, must first be finished. Meanwhile, throughout 1913, the whole of Germany was being prepared for immediate world war, made urgent by the need of finding wider markets for dumping the immense surplus of German manufactured goods, made urgent also by increasing unrest among the German people, who saw all constitutional and civil rights outraged and superseded by the military authorities. The conflict must happen before Russia could construct important strategic railroads with French money, and could manufacture her new army rifle, and before the Balkan hatred could cool. It must happen before France had remedied her notorious shortage of ammunition and heavy artillery. Therefore, fortified by agreements with Turkey and Bulgaria (April 1914, Chéradame, "U. S. and Pan-Germany," p. 157), Germany made Austria strike when the excuse was furnished by the assassination of the Austrian heir to the throne, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, at Serajevo, capital of Bosnia, in Austria, on June 28, 1914. The Austrians accused Serbia of the conspiracy and sent to Serbia the famous ultimatum that led, to the war. But there is abundant documentary evidence that several weeks before the assassination Germany was preparing for immediate war. The "Day" (der Tag) was here, the day when they could say "God punish England" (Gott strafe England)---the day that would set "Germany above all" (Deutschland ueber Alles) and make all peoples bow to "Kultur."
The German Government. Why Germany Was a Despotic Autocracy.---Prussia, which dominated the German Empire and comprised two-thirds of its population, was ruled by a king who professed to hold his crown by divine right. The Prussian Constitution existed only by the king's pleasure, and might be revoked by him whenever he saw fit.
The entire executive power of the German Empire was wielded by the Imperial Chancellor, appointed by the Emperor, to whom alone he was responsible, and by whom alone he could be removed.
The effective part of the legislative power was wielded by the Bundesrat, which represented solely the rulers of the twenty-five federated states. In this body most legislation was initiated; its consent was necessary to every law passed by the Reichstag, which, chosen by the people, petitioned the Bundesrat, appointed by the princes, to draw this or that law, and then accepted it. Through it the Princes of Germany, and chiefly the Emperor (as King of Prussia) had an absolute veto on the Reichstag.
The Bundesrat sat in secret. Its debates were not published. All but three of its members (from the free cities of Hamburg, Bremen, and Frankfort) were not only appointed by the Kaiser, Kings, Princes, Grand-dukes, and Dukes; but owed all they were to the royal caste. To the Bundesrat were committed peace and war, treaties and diplomacy, the army and navy, railroads, telegraphs, canals. Internal and foreign trade were in its hands.
The Kaiser, the other rulers, their ministers, and the committees of the Bundesrat controlled every enterprise, bank or corporation, decided the appointment and promotion of the whole body of officers in the army and navy, the civil service, education, transportation, and the whole framework of government. These made a machine stronger than any other ever known. One man controlled it, the Kaiser, since he directly controlled one-third of the vote in the Bundesrat. The Constitution could not be amended if fifteen members of the Bundesrat objected. The Kaiser appointed seventeen.
War under any condition could be declared by the Kaiser and the Bundesrat, without consulting the Reichstag, elected by the people. If the Kaiser decided that a war was defensive, he could declare it alone, without consulting any one. His were the army and navy. In his hands rested finally the fate and fortune of every German.
The electoral. districts of the Reichstag (which had not been changed since 1871) were so unequal that, while a Berlin deputy represented on the average 125,000 voters, a deputy from the Junker districts of East Prussia represented only 24,000. This gave a preponderating voting power to the agrarian interests and the landed aristocracy.
The kingdom of Prussia was likewise ruled by an executive council of ministers appointed by the king responsible neither to a parliament nor to the people, but only to the sovereign.
The upper house (Herrenhaus) of the Prussian Diet (Landtag) consisted of members of the nobility created and selected by their king, the Kaiser, and was for all practical purposes completely subject to his control.
The House of Representatives in the Prussian Diet was elected in the following manner: The voters in each district were divided into three classes according to the taxes paid by them. Those few who paid the first third of the entire tax constituted one class; those who paid the second third, another; while the third class consisted of those who paid the remainder of the taxes. Each of these, groups, voting separately, elected an equal number of delegates to a convention, which chose the representatives of the constituency in the lower house of the Diet. By this unequal franchise, the 4 per cent. of the population which made up the first class, had as much representation in the Diet as the 82 per cent. that formed the third class. In one district, for example, 370 rich men had the same voting capacity as 22,000 poor men; in some districts a single individual constituted the first class, and exercised one-third of the voting power.
The Great General Staff of the German Army, subject to no civil or elective authority but only to the Emperor, was in effect one of the principal organs of government, exercising in many matters an authority superior to that of either Diet or Reichstag. The, officers of the army all came from the ruling and privileged classes. (Adapted from old "Handbook.")
German Education for World Conquest.---For about a half century Germany was being educated for the war of world conquest. This was no simple task, because the South Germans (especially the Bavarians) had no love for war and no love for the Prussians who wanted war. The people were divided roughly for educational purposes into two classes who were given a totally different education. The masses, forming over 90 per cent. of the population, got an eight-year schooling at the "People's Schools," and nothing more. They could not go to what we call a College or University. This was the exclusive privilege of only about 8 per cent. of the population, who were trained to be the rulers, and who attended schools which prepared them for further advanced studies. This separation was secured by making the People's Schools free and by imposing a heavy fee for entering the privileged schools that prepared for the High Schools and Colleges and the Universities. This choice between the two kinds of schools had to be made by the family in the child's sixth year, and once the work began no change of mind was allowed. The children at the People's Schools were purposely restricted; were taught no foreign language, no foreign literature. They were taught the geography of Germany and her immediate neighbors and often a false Pan-German geography. They were taught that Germany was the only great nation, that war was glorious and necessary, that the greatest ambition should be to fight for the fatherland, that a soldier was the superior of a civilian, that every individual must stand ready to be sacrificed for the State, that the Kaiser was the representative of God and must be obeyed without question, that all foreign nations were to be despised or hated and used or abused for the glory of the fatherland. They were given false information. Their school books are full of maps deliberately deceptive.
Both men and women were fed on this gospel, and the character of the people was radically changed. We thought at first that the conduct of the German soldiers from the beginning of the war was forced on unwilling individual Germans by superior orders, and that we should not impute it to the German people. Now we know better. The German people, and government were of one mind: education had accomplished this.
The training of the ruling 8 per cent. of the people as future leaders in the war was equally thorough and practical. As all professors and teachers were appointed and paid by the government, absolute unity of program and purpose was possible. It has been noticed that the professors as a body and the industrial, commercial, and financial leaders as a class have been consistently violent Pan-Germans. There was a feverish search for new forms of dreadfulness in war. Ways for controlling world trade, for financing the future war, for stocking up in all necessary raw materials, were worked out in detail. Men were trained for secret diplomacy, for spy work, for getting possession of foreign business. The amazing expansion of industry and commerce that developed after the Franco-Prussian war was not only fostered by the government but directed by it and all propertied Germany was hypnotized by the scheme for the domination of world trade.
In 1890 the Prussian "Junkers" combined with the intellectual leaders and the trade magnates to form the famous Pan-German League (Alldeutsche Verein). It began in 1895 a nation-wide campaign which culminated in 1913 in a whirlwind drive for war. Subsidiary to this league of the leaders were many other organizations, such as the Navy League, (1,250,000 members), directed by Admiral Tirpitz, the Army League, the Landowners' League, the Central Industrial Society, and the Defense Association (Wehrverein).
In this way the people were saturated with the idea of German greatness and holiness, with the will to conquer and with ruthlessness. The great motto expressing this was "Germany above all" (Deutschland ueber Alles).
Kultur.---In the mind and mouth of the German people there is one word that embodies what Germany represented, what she was fighting for, and what she wished to impose on the rest of the world. It is Kultur. For them it was something more definite than God, yet difficult to describe. It was a monopoly of Germany: other nations represented un-Kultur. It can best be described as the organized thought and activity of the State, by which each individual is lost as an individual and lives only as occupying the niche assigned to him by the State and as contributing his share toward its efficient functioning. Many Germans considered their army to be the highest representative of Kultur.
The word became a fetish, about which Germans indulged in the wildest rhapsodies. It stands at the opposite pole to Anglo-Saxon respect for the rights and free development of the individual in so far as they do not conflict with the interests of the majority. We must divorce it absolutely from our ideas regarding the similar word "culture," for Kultur may display the greatest immorality and criminality and yet remain true to itself.
German International Morals.---Certain axioms were coined in Germany as guides in her relations with other peoples, and may be read in numerous books and speeches by her most prominent men.
The Germans were to be the masters of the world. All other nations were to be their slaves.
In the intercourse of State with State no laws need be observed, no treaties need be kept.
Force is the only law, the only right.
A State could not commit a crime, because it was right for it to do anything that was for its advantage. But not all large states, even, had this right; only the State with the highest "Kultur." God had chosen Germany for this rôle.
Small States were not real States, and had no rights except what they could defend by force.
Violence must be used by Germany to spread her "Kultur."
Conquered races were given the choice between voluntary slavery and extermination.
Enmity and not friendship was the law of international relations and war was the normal and holy condition of humanity.
Every form of immorality that an individual might shrink from was sublime virtue when used in the service of the State.
The German God.---Christ and historic Christianity, the religion of brotherhood, morality, and conscience were despised by the New Germany. A new God, "The German God," had to be, created. All other nations "served Satan." The Germans alone served God. "The German soul was God's soul," and Germany was the center of God's plan for the universe. How was this God conceived? He was a God of war, who demanded the destruction of all Germany's enemies, a God of thunder and lightning, of vengeance and ruthlessness, who, urged the Germans to slay until they had conquered the world. He was the old German or Norse tribal God, like the old, pagan hammer-god Thor, risen from the dead, as the Kaiser's partner and running mate. As a prominent German (Professor W. Ostwald) said: "God the Father is reserved for the personal use of the Kaiser." The Kaiser alone will speak of him, intimately, as our "old great Ally" the "Old God up there." His "old God" filled with the odor of sanctity and covered with the cloak of approval every act perpetrated in the name of Germany and gave, to every German a false sense of rectitude.
A prominent German writer has said (December, 1918) that the reason the German schemes had failed was because God was displeased at the soft-heartedness of the Germans in not killing off more millions of their (and his) enemies.
The Pan-German Plan.---Many utterances of the Kaiser show that even if he had not inspired the Pan-German plan, he had adopted it, at least unofficially. This plan was thus outlined in 1904 by a president of the league, Professor Ernst Hasse:
"The future territory of German expansion, situated between the territories of the Eastern and Western powers, must absorb the intermediate regions; it must stretch from the North Sea and the Baltic through the Netherlands, taking in Luxemburg and Switzerland, down to the lands of the Danube and the Balkan peninsula, and will include Asia Minor, and as far as the Persian Gulf."
More specific statements demanded the annexation of Denmark, Holland, Belgium, parts of northern Italy, and northern France to the English Channel with the rest of the French ore mines, the Baltic provinces of Courland, Esthonia, and Livonia, and part of Russian Poland. The plan involved the crushing of France, the turning of Austria into a colonial state of Germany, the eventual conquest or domination of China, India, and Egypt, the subordination of Turkey and the Southern Slavs, whose two kingdoms, Serbia and Montenegro, should be obliterated. Of course colonial expansion was provided for in connection with the destruction of the colonial system of the Allies. South America also was claimed on Berlin colonial maps.
In order to carry out this program it was necessary to defeat not only England but the United States, on account of the Monroe Doctrine. This accounts for the intense hatred toward both England and the United States that was fostered in Germany, whereas France was pitied, and Russia despised.
The keynote to this plan was expressed by the formula "From Hamburg to the Persian Gulf." The two main stages in the details of the evolution of the plan were expressed in two important books. In 1895 the Pan-German Society published a manifesto called "Greater Germany and Central Europe," in which a big program of conquest was outlined as well as a plan for enslaving all non-Germanic races conquered.
But events favorable to German ambition followed thick and fast, including the building of the railroad through Asia Minor and toward Bagdad, so that in 1911 a far more extensive plan was placed before the public by Tannenberg in his "Great Germany," accompanied by a brutal and pitiless plan of procedure. First, there was to be a confederacy directly under German rule of 77 million Germans and 85 million non-Germans in Central Europe to take in Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Northern France, and Switzerland in the West, and in the East to include Russian Poland, the Baltic provinces, Lithuania, and all of Austria-Hungary. Second, all the Balkan States were to be subject to Germany. Third, Turkey, with Egypt and Persia, was to be ruled by Germany. This would make a total of 204 millions. Fourth, in the colonial field the scheme was even vaster. Germany was to swallow the choice Belgian, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and some of the English colonies, and thus rule 83 million people in Asia, 46 million in Africa, 38 million in Oceania, and 18 million in America. Fifth, she, would make China subject industrially and commercially.
German Propaganda Outside Germany.---Just as systematic was the plan of the German Government to cripple and undermine the countries that might oppose Germany. The public denunciation, by the Socialist leader Liebknecht in the Reichstag in 1913, of the Krupp firm, the gigantic arms factory of Germany, for its subsidies to the French newspapers to get them to print violent attacks on Germany in order to foster antagonism between the two countries and so increase armaments the world over and make war easier, lifted only a small corner of the veil. The Bole trial in France showed wider ramifications of the same scheme of corruption. The revelations concerning the Hasenstein and Vogel newspaper advertising firm of Berlin and Switzerland which aimed at obtaining control, through their advertising, of the bulk of newspapers both in France and in Italy---with almost unbounded success in Italy---showed how large were the corruption funds placed at the disposal of this section of the propaganda work. Financial control meant control of both the editorial and news sections and the unlimited opportunity to mould public opinion. The Centrist leader Erzberger was placed by the German Government in charge of the international bureau of propaganda. The Socialist party leader, Scheidemann, was entrusted with pulling the string of international Socialism and Bolshevism.
The propaganda took a multitude of forms, which can be classified roughly as (1) political, (2) military, (3) social, (4) financial, (5) industrial, (6) educational.
(1) Corruption in the political field in all European countries was carried on by Germany for many years before the war, entering every camp from clerical and conservative to socialist and anarchist, so that whatever party was in power should be under German influence. In Russia this was illustrated by the treachery of the Czar's entourage and highest officials, beginning with the Empress herself, and including the minister of war Soukhomlinoff, General Rennenkamp, and the prime minister Stuermer, and including at the other end the men who later organized the Bolshevist movement. In Italy the Socialists and some few Clericals, at the two extremes, through this propaganda, became equally dangerous to the country's freedom from German over-lordship.
(2) The military propaganda was intense. It is evidenced not only by the actual handing over to German supervision of an entire army, as was the case in Turkey, but by subtler methods such as made the military leaders in Spain, Sweden, and Japan ardent Germanophiles.
(3) The success of Germany in putting German princes and princesses on thrones (Rumania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Sweden, Russia) was a strong influence in the highest social spheres, for it made each court a center of German influence, and where this could not be compassed, as in the case of Italy, men of high rank like Prince Buelow, were used. Friendships in the highest social circles were invaluable in obtaining secret information. The lower spy system was connected with every branch of these higher activities. Not the least valuable among the more inconspicuous and unsuspected agencies were the German hotels, or hotels bought up by the Germans, where spies could be located and luggage, opened.
(4-5) German banks and financiers were established everywhere and given an important rôle, practically as branches of the Deutsche Bank and other big home banks, ruled by the government. This was especially the case with the Banca Commerciale of Milan. Here was the center from which radiated financial control over industries and all business enterprises in each country, by which means Germany hoped to paralyze all opposition to her plans.
(6) Intellectual mastery was also carefully planned. Educational penetration was fostered by means of German teachers and professors planted in schools, colleges, and universities, and by exchange professors. The newspapers also were used to mould popular opinion.
It may be said truly that the German Government attempted to make every German in a foreign country into a spy and a cog in the official machine, no matter how high might be his position. This Peaceful Penetration resulted in giving Germany unrivalled information when the time for military action came; it also gave her an unholy hold upon the industrial, commercial, political, and intellectual life of every land.
Declarations of Prussian Autocracy
There is only one person in the Kingdom, that is myself.
If there is anything to be gained by it we will be honest; if deception is necessary let us be cheats.--- (Frederick II., called the Great.)
Do not be ashamed of making interested alliances from which you yourself will gain the whole advantage. Do not make the foolish mistake of not breaking them when you think your interests require.--- (Frederick II.)
All written constitutions are only scraps of paper.---(King Frederick William IV., 1847.)
Not by speeches and resolutions of majorities are the great questions of the time decided . . . but by blood and iron.---(Bismarck, in Prussian House, 1862.)
War is a Holy Thing, the Handmaid of Kultur, the weapon of Almighty God.---(Treitschke.)
My grandfather (Frederick William IV.), again by his own right, set the Prussian crown upon his head. . . . accorded to him by the will of God alone, and not by Parliament, or by any assemblage of people or by popular vote.---(William. II., 1910.)
There is only one master in this country; I am he and I will tolerate no other.---(William II.)
There is only one law---my law---the law which I myself lay down.- (William II.)
The soldier must not have a will of his own-he must have only one will and that is mine.---(William II.)
The King holds his power by the Grace of God, to whom alone he is responsible. He chooses his own path and decides his actions only from this point of view.---(William II.)
From my childhood I have been under the influence of five men ---Alexander, Julius Caesar, Theodoric II, Napoleon, and Frederick the Great. These five men dreamed their dream of a world empire; they failed. I am dreaming my dream of a world empire, but I shall succeed with my mailed fist.---(William II., before 1900; Davis, "The Kaiser as I Knew Him," p. 130.)
Looking upon myself as the instrument of the Lord, without regard to the opinions and intentions of the day, I go my way.(William II., August 25, 1910.)
The ocean also bears witness, that even in the distance, and on its farther side, without Germany and the German Emperor no great decision dare be taken.--- (William II., July 3, 1900.)
Now that you have donned my uniform it must be your pleasure and your duty to follow my wishes, realizing that I rule Germany by the direct will of God, and you must willingly obey my commands, even though I require you to shoot down your own fathers and brothers in response to my dictates--- (William II. to a body of recruits in Potsdam.---National Geographic Magazine, 1917, p. 378.)
As a matter of fact Germany is the only great power which is in a position to subdue the United States. . . . It is by armed action that we must ultimately enforce our will upon that country. ---(Report to German General Staff in 1901, by Gen. Edelsheim, in "Out of their own Mouths.")
The King at the head of Prussia, Prussia at the head of Germany, Germany at the head of the world.--- (Chancellor Prince Buelow, Herrenhaus in 1904, H. J. Luter-Lerch, "Germany her own judge," 14.)
Can we blame our enemies if they regard the Reichstag as a mere ornament and conclude that Germany is in reality governed according to the ideas of the 18th Century--- (Frankfurter Zeitung, 11 July, 1918.)
(Several of the quotations above, and many others, can be found in Archer: "Gems of German Thought," in Gauss, "The German Emperor," and in Smith's: "Out of their own Mouths.")
Education for War. A German's Statement in 1913
The evidence submitted (here) amounts to an irrefutable proof that a systematic stimulation of the war spirit is going on, based on the one hand on the Pan-German League and on the other on the, agitation of the Defense Association.... These men do not only occasionally incite people to war, but systematically they inculcate a desire for war in the minds of the German people.
... War is represented . . . as a necessity that must come about and the sooner the better . . . . From this dogma it is only a step to the next chauvinistic principle, so dear to the heart of our soldier politicians who are languishing for war---the fundamental principle of the aggressive or preventive war i. e., do not wait until there is a reason for war, but strike when it is most convenient . . . and above all as soon as possible. . . . the motive forces are the nationalist press, organizations like the Pan-German League and the Defense Association, soldier politicians like Generals Keim, Liebert, Bernhardi, Eichhorn, Wrochem, etc., politicians such as Maximilian Harden, Bassermann, and their like. . . . to them war is a quite normal institution of international intercourse.... There is no real issue to-day anywhere between Germany and the powers of the Triple Entente. . . . As a matter of fact, if Germany is in any danger to-day, it comes from within rather than from without--- (Nippold, "German Chauvinism," 1913, with a large collection of quotations from prominent Germans showing the Pan-German ideas, propaganda, and plans.)
Geographical Pan-German Claim in 1912
Germany claimed as her right. . . .
All Europe save Portugal, Spain, the uninvaded portion of France, the British Isles, and the yet unconquered portions of Russia, or 1,196,000 square miles and 270,000,000 of the 464,000,000 inhabitants.
All of South America save the two inconsequential colonies of British and French Guiana . . . or more than 7,400,000 of the total continental area of 7,570,000 square miles and 55,421,200 of the total population of 55,779,000.
In Africa . . . leaving less than 5,000,000 square miles, largely desert, for her sister nations; with a population of 85,000,000 inhabitants, compared with only 57,000,000 for the remainder of the continent.
. . . Germany's Asian aspirations: With Russian Turkestan, India, China, vassal Turkey, and the Mohammedan realms of Persia and Afghanistan, the Central Empire would have had 5,662,000 square miles of this continent. The areas which she wanted have been revealed very recently in the unblushing confessions of Herr Thyssen. (The "Iron King" of Germany, see next paragraphs, "Germany's Dream of World Domination," National Geographic Magazine, June, 1918.)
Thyssen's Statement of the Hohenzollern Dream
I am writing this pamphlet because I want to open the eyes of Germans, especially of the business community, to facts. When the Hohenzollerns wanted to get the support of the commercial class for their war plans, they put their ideas before us as a business proposition. A large number of business and commercial men were asked to support the Hohenzollern war policy on the ground that it would pay them to do so. Let me frankly confess that I am one of those who were led to agree to support the Hohenzollern war plan when this appeal was made to the leading business men of Germany in 1912-13. I was led to do so, however, against my better judgment.
In 1912 the Hohenzollerns saw that the war had become a necessity to the preservation of the military system, upon which their power depends. . . . Prolonged peace would have resulted certainly in the breakup of our military system, and with the breakup of our military system the power of the Hohenzollerns would come to an end. The Emperor and his family, as I said, clearly understood this, and they, therefore, in 1912, decided to embark on a great war of conquest.
But to do this they had to get the commercial community to support them in their aims. They did this by holding out to them hopes of great personal gain as a result of the war. In the light of events that have taken place since, August, 1914, these promises now appear supremely ridiculous, but most of us at the time, were led to believe that they would probably be realized.
. . . I was personally promised a free grant of 30,000 acres in Australia and a loan from the Deutsche Bank of 1,150,000 at 3 per cent. to enable me to develop my business in Australia. Several other firms were promised special trading facilities in India, which was to be conquered by Germany, be it noted, by the, end of 1915. A syndicate was formed for the exploitation of Canada. This syndicate consisted of the heads of 12 great firms; the working capital was fixed at £20,000,000, half of which was to be found by the German government. Every trade and interest was appealed to. Huge indemnities were of course to be levied on the conquered nations and the German manufacturers were by this means practically to be relieved of taxation for years after the war. These promises were not vaguely given. They were made definitely by Bethmann-Hollweg on behalf of the Emperor to gatherings of business men and in many cases to individuals. Promises of a similar kind were made, to at least eighty other persons at special interviews with the Chancellor, and all particulars of these promises were entered in a book at the Trades Department.
Not only were these promises made by the Chancellor; they were confirmed by the Emperor, who on three occasions addressed large private gatherings of business men in Berlin, Munich, and Cassel in 1912 and 1913. I was at one of these gatherings. The Emperor's speech was one of the most flowery orations I have listened to, and so profuse were the promises be made that, were even half of what he promised to be fulfilled, most of the commercial men in Germany would become rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
The Emperor was particularly enthusiastic over the coming German conquest of India. "India," he said, "is occupied by the British; it is by no means completely governed by them. We shall not merely occupy India; we shall conquer it, and the vast revenues that the British allow to be taken by India's princes will, after our conquest, flow in a golden stream into the Fatherland. In all the richest lands of the earth the German flag will fly over every other flag."- (Pamphlet of August Thyssen, Germany's greatest steel manufacturer. N. Y. Times, Current History, p. 479, March, 1918.)
Purpose of the German Defence League
A developing, onward-striving people like ourselves requires new land for its energies, and if peace will not secure it, then only war remains. To arouse people to a realization of this fact was the mission of the Defence League.--- (General Wrochem, at a meeting of the German Defence League, Danzig, March, 1913.)
Apotheosis of War
The Emperor William I. said once to Bismarck, in a moment of irritation, "Why talk of the Empire? The Empire is nothing but an expanded Prussia."
For the State self-assertion is the greatest of the commandments . . . weakness . . . is, in politics, the sin against the Holy Ghost. The living God will take care that war shall always return as a terrible medicine for the human race. We have learned to recognize the moral majesty of war precisely in those of its characteristics which to superficial observers seem brutal and inhuman. That for the sake of the Fatherland the natural sentiment of humanity is to be suppressed.... this . . . is the terrible side of war, but . . . at the same time its grandeur. It is not his life alone that man is called upon to sacrifice but also the natural and most profoundly justified emotions of the human soul. He is to sacrifice his entire ego to a great patriotic idea.--- (Treitschke, "Politik," see "Out of their own Mouths," 43-45.)
German Theory of the Conduct of War
Whoever uses force, without any consideration and without sparing blood, has sooner or later the advantage, if the enemy does not proceed in the same way. One cannot introduce a principle of moderation into the philosophy of war without committing an absurdity. It is a vain and erroneous tendency to wish to neglect the element of brutality in war merely because we dislike it.---(Clausewitz, "On War," 1, 4, 1832. He was the greatest of German writers on war, and is still the idol.)
It would be giving up ourselves to a chimera not to realize that war in the present will have to be conducted more recklessly, less scrupulously, more violently, more ruthlessly, than ever in the past. . . . Distress, the deep misery of war, must not be spared to the enemy State. The burden must be and must remain crushing. The necessity of imposing it follows from the very idea of national war. . . . That individuals may be severely affected when one makes an example of them intended to serve as a deterrent, is truly deplorable for them. But for the people as a whole this severity exercised against individuals is a salutary blessing. When national war has broken out, terrorism becomes a principle which is necessary from a military standpoint.--- (General Hartmann, Deutsche Rundschau, Vol. XIV., p. 89.)
Germany's Belief That Might is Right
In the intercourse of state with state there are no laws and there can be none. . . . Everything in the state must be calculated for the possibility of war. Separate states are therefore by nature in a state of war with each other. Conflict must be regarded as the essence of their relations and as the rule, friendship as accidental and exceptional. . . . Between states there is but one sort of right---the right of the stronger . . . . There is no legal obligation upon a state to observe treaties . . . . A state cannot commit a crime. . . . Treaty rights are governed wholly by considerations of advantage.
A so-called small state is not a state at all, but only a tolerated community. The lesser states have rights only so far as they possess a power of resistance that must be taken into account. The weak are prone to cherish a comforting belief in the inviolability of the treaties that secure their miserable existence. . . . Nobody is forced to be a slave. He who cannot endure slavery finds a road of escape always open in the sacrifice of life. Let war decide.--- (Lasson, "Das Culturideal und der Krieg," 1868, see "Out of their own Mouths," pp. 35-41.)
A Danish View of Kultur
Even the highest Kultur can turn to barbarism when it becomes subservient to utterly false and immoral ideas . . . to what ends is all this highly-developed Kultur to be applied? In Germany, such a craving for power, such a worship of mere strength has taken root and grown, that the claim of right to be the determining factor in international relations has been entirely pushed aside. A colossal and ever increasing self-admiration, a belief in the glory of all things German, the surpassing merit of the German nature, which alone has the right to rule in the world, a cynical, brutal assertion that in relation to this claim all existing treaties, all appeals to international law, all consideration for the weaker peoples, are of no significance whatever---all this we have witnessed with shuddering astonishment. . . . In so far as these ideas govern German warfare and German aspirations as to the aims of the war, the charge of barbarism is, as I understand it, entirely justified. . . . The great Kultur-thoughts cannot by any means thrive in small communities. . . . If a small state stands in the way of a great state's desire for extension, if it becomes an obstacle to the accomplishment of its world-embracing Kultur-mission, then this obstacle must be removed and the small state devoured by the great. This is the law of life, against which it is useless to appeal to any supposed right.---(Bang, "Hurrah and Hallelujah," Doran, 1917, pp. 18, 20, 223, 224.)
"Der Tag" and War on England
About 1895 (in Germany) the dream of World Domination solidified into something more than a dream. Officials of the Army, Navy, and State Departments began to formulate the steps required to attain it. France and Russia---the competing land powers---could easily be smashed; but England, whose empire stretched around the earth, could be reached and overcome only on the sea. So Germany started to build a great navy, and the naval officers at their mess drank regularly their toast "Auf den Tag," "To the Day" when they should be strong enough to meet the hated English.---(Wm. R. Thayer in "Out of their own Mouths," Introd.)
Enslavement of Other Races
The entire European civilization, even in Slav and Latin countries, is the work of the Teutonic race. . . . The Papacy, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Empire were achievements of the Teutonic spirit. . . . The Teutonic race is called to circle the earth with its rule, to exploit the treasures of nature and of human labor power, and to make the passive races servile elements in its cultural development. . . .
The Teutons are the aristocracy of humanity; the Latins, on the contrary, belong to the degenerate mob. . . . All the dark people are mentally inferior, because they belong to the passive races.(Ludwig Woltmann, "Political Anthropology," 1903, and "the Germans in France," "Out of their own Mouths," pp. 69-71.)
The German God
The German soul is the world's soul. . . . God and Germany belong to one another . . . the German soul is God's soul; it shall and will rule over mankind. God is nothing but our moral activity ... the ultimate and deepest motive of our life-struggle . . . that German God is our best and strongest help.---(Pastor W. Lehmann, "About the German God," J. P. Bang, "Hurrah and Hallelujah!" pp. 79, 83, 88.)
Purpose of the Pan-German League
Our frontiers are too narrow. We must become land-hungry, must acquire new regions for settlement. . . . If the Germanic people shrank from war, it would be as good as dead.---(Baron Vietinghoff-Scheel, at meeting of Pan-German League, Erfurt, September, 1912, Archer, "Gems," 195.)
General Bernhardi: Ideas and Plans in 1912
Our next war will be fought for the highest interests of our country and of mankind . . . . .. "World-power or downfall" will be our rallying cry.
We ... now claim our share in the dominion of the world.
The efforts directed towards the abolition of war must not only be termed foolish but absolutely immoral, and must be stigmatized as unworthy of the human race.
We must square our account with France. . . . France must be so completely crushed that she can never again come across our path.
A pacific agreement with England is a will-o'-the-wisp which no serious German statesman would trouble to follow. We must always keep the possibility of war with England before our eyes.
Since the struggle is . . . necessary and inevitable we must fight it out ... we must now decide whether we wish to develop into and maintain a World Empire.
Wars which have been deliberately provoked by far-seeing statesmen have had the happiest results.--- (Bernhardi, "Germany and the Next War," in Archer, "Gems.")
Germany's Plan of Economic World-Penetration Applied to Italy
It may safely be stated that in the last ten years all Italy, professors and manufacturers, socialists and conservatives, free thinkers and clericals, philosophers and musicians alike, had been infected with Germanophilia, Germany was regarded as the universal model, because she had realized the quantitative formula of progress better than any other nation and was the land where population, wealth, production, commerce, army and navy were increasing most rapidly. . . . German influence triumphed all along the line. Everything---army, banks, railways, industry, socialism, science, philosophy, schools and universities alike, became Germanized.---(G. Ferrero, "Europe's Fateful Hour," p. 133.)
The great calamity of Italy is that this bank (The new German Banca Commerciale in Milan), not only controls the navigation companies, the metallurgical and manufacturing industries, but likewise the greater part, if not all, of the industrial enterprises which specialize in the manufacture of armaments. This explains not only the power of the bank but also its policy. The "Commerciale," controlling such an enormous and formidable mass of interests, exercises an almost overpowering influence on our political life and public opinion. Many of our so-called leading lawyers, numberless engineers, manufacturers, senators, deputies, statesmen, officers of the army and navy, members of the clergy, etc., obey its commands. . . . Newspapers great and small in the capitals and in the provinces, smaller banks, stock companies held in leash---these are means by which the "Commerciale" dominates and directs the life of Italy.---(G. Preziosi, "La Germania alla Conquista dell' Italia," p. 86.)
Admiral Goetzen's Threat to the U. S. (1898)
In 1898, before Manila, the German Rear-Admiral Goetzen, a friend of the Kaiser, said to Admiral Dewey: "In about fifteen years my country will begin a great war. She will be in Paris in about two months after the commencement of hostilities. Her move on Paris will be but a step to her real object---the crushing of England. Everything will move like clock work. We will be prepared and others will not be prepared. I speak of this because of the connection which it will have. Some months after we have done our job in Europe we shall take New York, and probably Washington, and we shall keep them for a time. We do not intend to take any territory from you, but only to put your country in its proper place with reference to Germany. We shall extract one or two billions of dollars from New York and other towns."(A. Chéradame, "The United States and Pan-Germania," p. 146.)
The Delbrueck Law of Divided Allegiance
As long ago as 1895, when Germany decided that the world was her field, she began to catalogue her sons and daughters everywhere. The result of this registration was published in the Pan-German atlas at Gotha in 1909. It constitutes the card index of the loyal agents of the Fatherland. . . . In 1913 what is known as the Delbrueck Law was enacted in Germany. . . . Under the Delbrueck law a German citizen . . . may acquire citizenship in any foreign country and yet continue to be a loyal subject of the Fatherland. . . . It is the second part of Article XXV., which reads as follows: If any person before acquiring nationality in a foreign state shall have received the written permission of a competent authority of his native state to retain his nationality of that state, he shall not lose his nationality of the said native state. The German consul shall be consulted before this permission is granted.
The Delbrueck law has completed the German organization in the United States, by enabling an influential party of German-Americans to preserve the appearance of American citizens, while at the same time they remain pledged heart and soul to forward the Kaiser's scheme of universal slavery.---(A. Chéradame, "The United States and Pan-Germania," 1). 145.)
Economic War Conference in Berlin, May, 1914,
At a meeting of the Associated German Chambers of Commerce in August, 1916, several speakers severely criticised the government for its want of foresight in the economic sphere and the inadequacy of its preparatory organization. This brought a defender of the government to his feet. He reminded his fellow-members that the government had made preparations in view of a war with England. He recalled the summoning of a conference at the Ministry of the Interior at Berlin in May, 1914, at which representatives of trade, agriculture, industry, and handicrafts were present, to discuss this very subject on the hyopothesis of a war even with England as an enemy and with a complete blockade of the North Sea; but as he significantly continues, the plans were made on an estimate "of a war of one year's duration at the outside."---(A. Zimmern, "The Economic Weapon in the War Against Germany," 1918.)
Austrian Pre-War Sentiments
The moment is still favorable for us. If we do not decide on war, the war which we shall have to wage in two or three years at latest will be begun under far less favorable circumstances. At present the initiative is in out hands; Russia is not armed; the moral factors and rights are on our side as well as might.---(Militaerische Rundschau of Vienna, official organ of Austrian Army, before ultimatum to Serbia.)
German Industrial Mobilization Planned June 9, 1914 (Before Assassination of the Archduke)
To "Bezirks Kommandanten" (Military District Commanders). Within twenty-four hours of the receipt of this circular you are to inform all industrial concerns by wire that the documents, with industrial mobilization plans and with registration forms, be opened, such as are referred to in the circular of the Commission of Count Waldersee and Caprivi, of June 27, 1887.---(No. 421, Mobilization Section, G. General Staff. Central Abtheilung, Sect. M. No.... Berlin---among the Russian documents published by the U. S. Bureau of Information.)
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WAR. THE 13 DAYS
German Claim of a Defensive War.---The official German claim was that the war was forced on Germany and that for her it was a defensive war, to protect the Fatherland and its sacred rights. The blame was placed by the German government mainly on both England and Russia---France not being considered as so guilty. England was blamed for trying to stifle Germany by her policy of "encirclement," whatever that may mean, for preventing Germany from attaining to her "place in the sun," and for joining Russia and France in the war when Germany had not expected her to. Russia was blamed as representing the "Slav Peril" and as being the immediate cause of the war by mobilizing her army against Austria, when Austria after complete mobilization attacked Serbia. The German people were consistently fed on these two catch phrases; "the defensive war" and "the brutal attack of the Allies who forced the war on peaceful and unprepared Germany."
Its Falsity.---This. misstatement of the facts was concocted to make the German people fight uncomplainingly for the Pan-German plan of world domination. All the intelligent German leaders knew it was false. Representative Germans---such as the radical Socialist Liebknecht, the leading publicist Harden, the industrial magnate Muehlon, the steel king Thyssen, Grelling, the author of the remarkable books "I Accuse" and "The Crime," the author of "The Near East From Within," and even Lichnowsky, Germany's ambassador in London---all acknowledged, during the war, the government's guilt in planning and bringing it on. Now that the war is over, the official documents published by the Bavarian premier, Eisner, and other German documents, give the final proof.
The 13 Days, July 23-August 4, 1914.---We know of the secret diplomacy of the 13 days from the official documents published by the various governments: the German White Book, the Russian Orange Book, the British Blue Book, the French Yellow Book, the Austrian Red Book, the Belgian Grey Book. The German and Austrian Books are not complete, as the others are, and omit many documents that would show the war guilt of the Central Powers. The new revolutionary Bavarian government has published suppressed documents proving Germany's guilt, and others are promised by the new Austrian and German governments.
The first phase extended from the First Potsdam Conference on July 5, up to the ultimatum to Serbia on July 23.
The 13 days themselves may be divided into two parts. In the first part Austria was allowed by Germany to play the leading role in her provocation of Serbia and Russia, until the attack on Serbian territory had actually begun on July 29-30.
The Second Potsdam Conference on July 29 marks the beginning of the second stage, with Germany taking the lead out of Austria's hands. Of course we understand that, even during the first week, Germany was secretly dictating Austria's every move, while professing that she could not meddle, and officially standing rigidly aside.
On July 30, Germany's iron hand took open (as well as secret) charge and she then decided to declare war immediately on both Russia and France, in order to strike before they could prepare, and before Austria could change her mind.
Her plan was to strike rapidly at France through Belgium, to take Paris by a rapid march and bring France to her knees in about a month. She would then turn her whole army against Russia in the second month of the war, before that slow-moving country should have had any chance to strike.
This need for haste in delivering first one knock-out blow and then another, explains why Germany went through Belgium. As the German chancellor said, rapidity of action was an absolute necessity, if her ambitions were to be achieved. The French frontier next to Germany was too strongly fortified and Germany thought she could not break through there. France relying on Belgium's neutrality had not fortified her Belgian frontier.
Let us consider the events leading up to these thirteen days which began with the ultimatum of Austria to Serbia on July 23, and ended August 4, with the entrance of England into the war.
Germany's Plan in 1913.---We have seen that the destruction of Serbia was the first necessity for Germany if she was to, carry out her Pan-German plan of dominating the world by the conquest of the East. It is now known that Austria, with Germany's approval, had planned to present to Serbia, in August, 1913, an ultimatum similar to the one she actually presented in July, 1914. Italy's refusal to take part in 1913 caused a delay of a year. But already the German staff during 1913 had circulated a document that showed war was near and that Germany intended to attack France through Belgium, whose neutrality she planned to violate. Both the Kaiser and Moltke warned King Albert, in November, 1913 that war was at hand, hoping to terrorize him into allowing Germany to push through Belgium unopposed. Every conceivable step was taken by German to prepare for war by laying in enormous stocks of provisions, of raw materials, of arms, ammunition, and accoutrements. Every country was flooded with advance agents, of whom 130 were sent to America. In May and June reservists were called back from abroad. On June 9 the German General Headquarters issued orders to all factory owners to open their mobilization papers.
The Serajevo Murders.---The Kaiser accompanied by Admiral Tirpitz early in June visited the Austrian Crown Prince Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Konopisht, to plan the war. Then came the sending of the Archduke and his wife on a triumphal visit to Serajevo, where the Austrians were hated by the oppressed Slav natives. It was fixed for the very day of what was the great national festival of the Serbs, the anniversary of the battle of Kossovo (where the Serbs defended their independence in the fourteenth century). Into this ferment the archduke came. The route he followed was not guarded by troops. He and his wife were attacked first unsuccessfully by bomb, and later after a ceremony at the city hall, successfully by pistol. The two assassins were both Austrian, not Serbian subjects. It was never proved that they were in relation with the Serbian government. They were never executed. Others---so-called accomplices---were.
Here, at just the right time, was the "God-given pretext." In a public speech in the Reichstag that caused a great uproar, the socialist leader Liebknecht stated that to many people in Germany the murder of the archduke was a gift from heaven.
Preparing the Ultimatum. First Potsdam Meeting.---What did Austria do? She let almost a month elapse---from June 28 to July 23---without taking any overt action. In fact she took pains to assure France, England, and Russia, that while she expected to protest to Serbia, her action would be exceedingly mild and harmless. She lulled these powers into a false sense of security while she was concocting with Germany an ultimatum to Serbia so severe that it could not possibly be accepted and which would make war inevitable. The despatches of Lerchenfeld, the Bavarian representative in Berlin, prove that this was the plan. The last arrangements of the plot were perfected at the historic conference in the Kaiser's palace at Potsdam on July 5. The Kaiser, the military leaders, the diplomatic leaders---including the Austrian---and the financial and industrial magnates are reported to have formed this council of war. All the wolves were gathered together. The ultimatum was drafted. The military leaders reported that all was ready. The financial and industrial magnates asked for a delay of two, weeks to arrange big financial affairs, and the two weeks were given them. This explains why the ultimatum was not sent until the 23rd. This explains the big German transactions on the New York Stock Exchange during the two weeks, and the general closing up of big business affairs before that date (see "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story"). This explains Austria's anxiety that no power should guess the character of the ultimatum. The final preparations for war were made by Germany when on July 21---two days before the ultimatum---the German General Staff sent out secret orders preliminary to mobilization, including the movement of troops toward the French frontier. The Kaiser helped to produce the delusion of safety by going on a yachting cruise to Norway, though keeping in constant communication with Germany. Serbia herself was so unsuspecting that her premier, Pashitch, was away from the capital, Belgrade, and France's President and Prime Minister were on a visit to Russia and the British Fleet on a visit to Kiel.
The Ultimatum Presented to Serbia.---The bomb burst July 23d. Austria presented the ultimatum to Serbia and gave her only 48 hours to answer it. What was the nature of it? The German newspaper Vorwaerts declared, July 25th: "The demands of that (the Austrian) government are more brutal than any ever made upon any civilized state in the history of the world, and they can be regarded only as intended to provoke war." Sir Edward Grey held the same opinion: "I have never before seen one state address to another independent state a document of so formidable a character." It contained the following demands: That the Serbian government should issue an official condemnation of all propaganda against Austria-Hungary and its territorial integrity, condemning any Serbians who conduct such "criminal proceedings." That it should (1) suppress all propagandist literature, (2) dissolve the propagandist society Narodna Odbrana, (3) dismiss all propagandist teachers and prohibit such teaching, (4) dismiss all Serbian officers and functionaries guilty of anti-Austrian propaganda, as specified by the Austrian government, (5) admit the collaboration of Austrian representatives in all such investigation and action, (6) bring to judgment, with the assistance of Austrian delegates, all accessories to the plot to murder the archduke, (7) arrest two persons in particularly whose names were specified, (8) stop traffic in arms and explosives across the Austrian frontier and punish those officials guilty of allowing it, (9) give explanation of hostile utterances of Serbian high officials after the murder, (10) answer it, the affirmative before 6 p. m. July 25th.
The 48 Hours Grace.---It is said that Vienna was in deadly fear lest Serbia should accept unconditionally and therefore went wild with joy when Serbia's refusal to agree to point (6) gave the meagre excuse for war. The next day, July 24th, the various powers received notice of the ultimatum and at once perceived that the peace of Europe was at stake, with hardly more than a day to arrange for keeping war out of Europe. Both Russia and England begged Austria to grant a few more days before requiring an answer, so as to give the Powers a chance to take steps toward straightening out the complications. Not getting any answer from Austria, they asked Germany to intervene, but without success, Germany declaring, July 25th, that she refused to interfere. The Austrian Foreign Minister appears to have purposely gone from Vienna out of reach. Finally, at the last moment, an absolute refusal was sent by Austria. It was on the 24th that Sazonof, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, squarely proposed to England that she join Russia and France in warning Austria. The British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, refused to do so. At the same time the German Secretary of State ingenuously disclosed the state of affairs to the British Ambassador in Berlin when "he admitted quite freely" that the Austro-Hungarian Government wished "to give the Serbians a lesson," and that they "mean to take military action." He also "admitted that the Serbian Government could not swallow certain of the Austro-Hungarian demands." This statement of Germany was made before Serbia's reply. It showed that Germany considered an attack by Austria on Serbia a foregone conclusion, no matter what Serbia's answer might be. Did Germany realize that this meant war with Russia also? She says so herself in her official White Book: "We were perfectly aware that a possible warlike attitude of Austria-Hungary against Serbia might bring Russia upon the field, and that it might therefore involve us in a war in accordance with our duty as allies." This consequence had long been known to both Germany and Austria. The British Blue Book states that "during the Balkan crisis he (the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs) had made it clear to the Austrian Government that war with Russia must inevitably follow an Austrian attack on Serbia."
Germany has denied that she was consulted by Austria before the sending of the note. This denial has been generally disbelieved, and its falsity has been proved by the disclosures of Dr. Muehlon, the director of Krupps, and Lerchenfeld, the Bavarian minister. On July 17th, six days before the presentation of the note, Muehlon had a conversation in Berlin with Dr. Helfferich, since then Vice-Chancellor, who told him about the ultimatum and all its demands in detail, and the same information was given him by Krupp von Bohlen himself, who said that the Kaiser had declared to him that he (i. e., Germany) would declare war at once if Russia mobilized.
Serbia's Reply.---Serbia replied within the time specified and, obeying the conciliatory advice of Russia, backed by France and England, she accepted unconditionally all the demands, except (5) and (6). She accepted (5) to the extent that it should conform to international law and criminal procedure and friendly neighborly relations. As to (6) she agreed to the trial but could not admit in it the cooperation of special delegates of the Austro-Hungarian Government, "as this would be a violation of the Constitution and of the law of criminal procedure," but she promised to keep such Austrian delegates informed.
If the Serbian Government had agreed to No. 6 it would have given up Serbia's sovereign rights and its officers could have been impeached for high treason. Only a referendum of the entire Serbian people would permit such an abdication of independence: and there were but 48 hours.
Austria Declares War on Serbia.---When Serbia's reply was known, on July 26th, all Europe breathed freely, but only for a moment. On the 27th Sir Edward Grey proposed a conference in London on the Serbian question to which Russia, France, and Italy agreed. Germany refused, and at once Austria, to universal amazement, characterizing the Serbian reply as dishonest and evasive, declared, on July 28th, to the Russian Ambassador that it could "no longer recede, nor enter into any discussion about the terms of the Austro-Hungarian note" and, rejecting the efforts at mediation of Great Britain, Russia, and France, declared war on Serbia, beginning the bombardment of Belgrade, the capital, July 29-30.
Russia's Moderation.---What did Russia do? The next step was naturally hers. It must be remembered how important it was for Germany and Austria to place Russia and France in the position of aggressors, in the same way that Bismarck maneuvered in 1870 to badger France into attacking Prussia. If this maneuver succeeded, Italy would be called upon to fight with Austria and Germany because they were attacked, and England might be induced to remain neutral. But if either Germany or Austria opened the attack, this advantage would be lost. It would require all the diplomatic skill of the Entente Powers to prevent such a result as Germany planned.
Russia showed extraordinary moderation. After having fruitlessly expressed her willingness to leave the whole question of Serbia and Russia herself in the hands of England, France, Germany, and Italy (25th), she had then proposed several times to Austria an exchange of views, and to this had had no answer. She had stated her willingness to enter any conference of Powers to reach an agreement, but was rebuffed, as were both England and France, by complete silence, refusal, or evasion. Up to July 30th Austria refused all proposals from every quarter for conference, mediation, arbitration, or even delay. What possible reason, the whole world asked, could there be for refusing a delay of a few days? No attack against Austria was threatened from any quarter. If Austria had wanted peace to be maintained, on her own terms, she would have welcomed any delay that would give her this diplomatic triumph. We now know that her refusal was precisely in order to make war inevitable.
Second Potsdam Meeting.---Late on July 29 a council was held at Potsdam at which it seems to have been decided not to defer any longer a declaration of war by Germany against both Russia and France. It was also decided to make an "infamous proposal" to England, that, should she remain neutral in the event of war between Germany and France, Germany would promise not to annex any French territory in Europe, though she would not make the same promise as to French colonies. Also she would respect Holland's neutrality, and if she were obliged to violate Belgium's neutrality, "when the war was over Belgian sovereignty would be respected if she had not sided against Germany." England refused to promise Germany that she would stand by and see France beaten, as she had previously refused to enter an alliance with Russia and France on behalf of Serbia. She refused at the same time to make any promises to France. She kept her liberty of action.
Russia Proposes Hague Arbitration.---In view, therefore, of the declaration of war by Austria against Serbia, Russia on the 29th began a partial mobilization, in the south of Russia only, with no aggressive intention against Germany. At the same time the Czar proposed to the Kaiser that the whole question be referred to the Hague Tribunal for arbitration. No attention to this was paid by Germany, who did not dare to publish this important proposal in her White Book. On this day, July 29th, Germany tried to get England's promise that she would remain neutral in case of a European war, even if Germany violated Belgian neutrality, but England again refused to bind herself. She informed Germany, however , that England would not feel justified in entering a war "between Teuton and Slav"; but that if the war was not merely between Austria and Russia; if Germany intervened and France were then drawn in, it would be quite a different question. England had not made up her mind what she would do in that case.
Grey's Appeal.---It was on the 30th that Sir Edward Grey made his great appeal to Germany through the British Ambassador in Berlin, saying: "If the peace of Europe can be preserved and the present crisis safely passed, my one endeavor will be to promote some arrangement to which Germany could be a party, by which she could be assured that no aggressive or hostile policy would be pursued against her or her allies, by France, Russia, and ourselves, jointly or severally."
To this comprehensive proposal, which was really a plan for a League of Nations, Germany turned a deaf ear. More than that: on this same day Austria became afraid and weakened, offering to accept Serbia's answer, as Germany foresaw she might, according to the Bavarian minister at Berlin (Lerchenfeld). Germany gave Austria no time for repentance.
Mobilization.---In fact German patrols had already, on the previous day (29th) violated the French frontier, and Germany had declined on behalf of Austria the Russian pleas for an understanding, which went so far as to offer to stop all military preparations, if Austria would respect Serbia's independence. France withdrew her troops five or six miles from the border so as to give Germany no excuse to claim that France had begun the war.
On July 31 Russia felt obliged to order general mobilization, not only because Austria had already made her own mobilization general, but because she had proofs of extensive German mobilization of both army and fleet against Russia herself and France. This day and the next also, Germany again tried to induce England to promise neutrality. England went so far as to say she would not support Russia or France, if they would reject any reasonable proposal for peace by Germany and Austria. Otherwise England would retain absolute freedom of action, and if France were attacked, would herself be drawn in.
Germany Declares War.---On the same day (July 31), Germany sent an ultimatum to France demanding her neutrality in the case of a war between Germany and Russia, to be guaranteed by the cession to Germany of the fortresses of Toul and Verdun, to be held until the end of the war. Later in the evening Germany sent an ultimatum to Russia demanding her immediate and complete demobilization, and requiring an answer in 12 hours, namely by noon on August 1. She then declared war on Russia at 7.10 p. m., because Russia had not demobilized. France ordered a general mobilization, August 1, and as France would not promise to desert Russia, Germany declared war on her, August 3, after having entered Luxemburg the day before. Also, on August 2, England had promised to protect France with her fleet. Also, on the same day, at 7 p. m. Germany demanded that Belgium should allow the passage of her army, alleging falsely that France intended to violate Belgian neutrality. Belgium refused on August 3, and German troops entered the next morning, Belgium at once appealed for help to Great Britain, France, and Russia as guaranteeing powers. In fact King Albert had appealed the previous day to England; and, on August 4, Great Britain sent an ultimatum to Germany demanding that Belgian neutrality be respected, and declared war about midnight, after the famous interview of the British Ambassador at Berlin (Sir Edward Goschen) with the German Chancellor (Bethmann-Hollweg) in which the latter scoffed at England for going to war "just for a scrap of paper." It was not until August 6 that Austria declared war on Russia.
Grey's Work.---England had done everything possible. She had to enter the war not merely as in honor bound by her obligations to Belgium under the treaty of 1835, and by her ties with France under the Entente agreement of 1904, guaranteeing her aid in case of an unprovoked attack, but by a clear understanding that, if she allowed France and Russia to be crushed, her turn would come next, because she, with her great colonial empire, far more than either France or Russia, stood in the way of the Pan-German determination to enslave the whole world.
In fact the one continuous thread running through the thirteen days, aside from the unswerving "will to war" of Germany and Austria, is the work of Sir Edward Grey, for the preservation of peace. Grelling, the author of "I Accuse," says, "Sir Edward Grey deserves more than any other man the name of 'the peacemaker of Europe.' His efforts were in vain, but his merit in having served the cause of peace with indefatigable zeal, with skill and energy, will remain inextinguishable in history." Even the German White Book makes numerous admissions of this fact, and Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador in London, loyally admits it and puts all the blame for the war on his own government.
Germany's Secret Documents. ---On December 14, 1915, Liebknecht asked the Government in the Reichstag if it were willing to produce the official documents having relation to the outbreak of the war and to institute a parliamentary Commission of Inquiry. The Government refused both requests, saying "the responsibility and the expiation concern only our opponents."
German Invasion of Luxemburg.---The neutrality of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg bad been guaranteed by the Treaty of May 18, 1867, signed among others by Germany and Austria. Germany violated it, by occupying the duchy on August 2, using its territory, as it did that of Belgium, as a base for the invasion of France.
Germany's False Promises to Respect the Neutrality of Belgium.---At the meeting of the Budget Committee of the Reichstag of April 29, 1913, Herr Jagow, the German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, declared: "Belgian neutrality is provided for by international conventions, and Germany is determined to respect these conventions." On the same occasion, Herr Herringen, Minister of War, said: "Germany will not lose sight of the circumstances that the neutrality of Belgium is guaranteed by international treaty."
That the plan was to do exactly the opposite is proved (1) by the Secret Report of the German General Staff issued in 1913, which states that in the next European war the small states such as Belgium and Holland must be forced to side with Germany or be subdued, (2) by the statement of the official German War Journal (Sept. 22, 1915) that "the plan for the, invasion of France was thoroughly thought out a long time ago. It was necessary for its success that it should take place in the north by way of Belgium," (3) by the building of railroads to the Belgian border of purely military and not commercial value, (4) by the warning of the Kaiser and Moltke given to King Albert in 1913.
This plan for invading France had also been revealed by General Bernhardi in 1911 when he wrote: "France must be so crushed as never to be able to rise again and interfere with us. This result must be secured at any cost, even at the cost of a European war. The neutrality of Belgium will not stop us."
Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador to London, Pronounces His Own Country Guilty
It is shown by all official publications and is not disproved by our White Book, which, owing to the poverty of its contents and to its omissions, constitutes a grave indictment against ourselves, that
1. We encouraged Count Berchtold to attack Serbia, although no German interest was involved and the danger of a world war must have been known to us....
2. During the period between the 23d and the 30th of July, 1914, when M. Sazonof emphatically declared that he could not tolerate an attack on Serbia, we rejected the British proposal of mediation, although Serbia, under Russian and British pressure, had accepted almost the whole of the ultimatum, and although an agreement about the two points at issue could easily have been reached, and Count Berchtold was even prepared to content himself with the Serbian reply.
3. On the 30th of July, when Count Berchtold showed a disposition to change this course, we (Germany) sent an ultimatum to St. Petersburg merely because of the Russian mobilization and though Austria had not been attacked; and on the 31st of July we declared war against Russia, although the Czar pledged his word that he would not permit a single man to march as long as negotiations were still going on.
Thus we deliberately destroyed the possibility of a peaceful settlement.
In view of these incontestable facts, it is no wonder that the whole civilized world outside of Germany places the sole responsibility for the world war upon our shoulders,---("The Lichnowsky Memorandum," Ed. International Conciliation Series, No. 127, pp. 342-3.)
Germany's Confession of Her Perjury
[The German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, speaking in the Reichstag, August 4, 1914, said] : We are now in a state of necessity, and necessity knows no law. Our troops have occupied Luxemburg and perhaps have already entered Belgian territory. Gentlemen, that is a breach of international law. . . . We were forced to ignore the rightful protests of the governments of Luxemburg and Belgium. The wrong---I speak openly---the wrong we thereby commit we will try to make good as soon as our military aims have been attained. . . . ("Out of Their Own Mouths," p. 18.)
(Already on July 29, Germany bad tried to obtain England's neutrality in case she violated Belgium's neutrality, and England on July 30 had declined.)
German Confession of Guilt
Not as weak-willed blunderers have we undertaken the fearful risk of this war. We wanted it because we had to wish it and could wish it. May the Teuton devil throttle those whiners whose pleas for excuses make us ludicrous in these hours of lofty experiences! We do not stand and we shall not place ourselves before the court of Europe. Germany strikes. . . . Germany . . . is justified in asking and must obtain wider room on earth . . . . Now strikes the hour for Germany's rising power.---(Max Harden, in Zukunft, August 1914.)
Italy's Position by Giovanni
Giolitti, Italian Premier,
1892-3, 1903-5, 1906-9, 1911-14
During the Balkan war, on August 9, 1913, being absent from Rome, I received the following telegram from the late Marquis di San Giuliano (then Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs): "Austria has communicated to us and Germany that it has been the intention to act against Serbia, defining such action as defensive and hoping for an application of a casus foederis (case to which the terms of the treaty of alliance are applicable) by the Triple Alliance, which I consider inapplicable. I am trying to agree with Germany concerning efforts to prevent Austrian action, but it may be necessary to say clearly that we do not consider such eventual action as defensive, and, therefore, do not think that there exists a casus foederis. Please send a telegram saying whether you approve."
I answered Marquis di San Giuliano thus: "If Austria goes against Serbia, a casus foederis evidently does not exist. It is an action she accomplishes on her own account. It is not defensive, because nobody thinks of attacking her. It is necessary to declare this to Austria in the most formal manner, hoping that Germany will act to dissuade Austria from a very dangerous adventure."(In the Italian Chamber of Deputies: cited from Stowell, "The Diplomacy of the War of 1914," pp. 470, 471.)
German War Plan of 1913---Memorandum on the Strengthening of the German Army, Berlin, March 19, 1913
[This secret official report on the causes for the new increase in the German army gives the reasons why Germany had not been strong enough to make her attack either at the time of the Algesiras Conference (1906) or the Agadir incident (1911) or the Balkan wars (1912-13); and which made the new army increase necessary for the great war for "extending Germanism (Deutschtum) all the world over." It further explains how the German people must be made to believe that an offensive war is really a defensive war.]
We must allow the idea to sink into the minds of our people that our armaments are an answer to the armaments and policy of the French. We must accustom them to think that an offensive on our part is a necessity, and in order to combat the provocations of our adversaries. We must act with prudence so as not to arouse suspicion, and to, avoid a crisis which might injure our economic existence. We must so manage matters that under the weight of powerful armaments, considerable sacrifices and strained political relations, an outbreak (of war) should be considered as a relief, because after it would come decades of peace and prosperity, as after 1870. . . .
We must be strong in order to annihilate at one powerful swoop our enemies in the East and West . . . it will also be necessary that the small states should be forced to follow us or be subdued. In certain conditions their armies and their fortified places can be rapidly conquered or neutralized; this would probably be the case with Belgium and Holland . . . a vital question for us, and our aim must be to take the offensive with a large superiority from the, first days. . . . For this purpose it will be necessary to concentrate a large army, followed up by strong Landwehr (Territorial) formations, which will induce the small states to follow us or at least to remain inactive in the theatre of operations, and which would crush them in the event of armed resistance. . . . [If these states, like Belgium, organized forts and army so as to protect Germany, an invasion might be abandoned, otherwise] we would in no circumstances offer Belgium a guarantee for the security of her neutrality. An ultimatum with a short time-limit, to be followed immediately by invasion, would allow a sufficient justification for our action in international law.---(French Yellow Book, and in Willmore, "The Great Crime," pp. 34-38.)
The "Potsdam Conference" of July 5, 1914
The Information of Mr. Morganthau, U. S. Ambassador in Constantinople.---In an outburst of enthusiasm . . . the German Ambassador [Wangenheim] informed me that a conference had been held in Berlin in the early part of July , at which the date of the war was fixed. This conference was presided over by the Kaiser; the Baron Wangenheim. was present to report on conditions in Turkey. Moltke, the Chief of Staff, was there, and so was Grand Admiral Tirpitz. With them were the leaders of German finance, the directors of the railroads, and the captains of industry. . . . Each was asked if he were ready for the war. . . . All replied in the affirmative, except the financiers, who insisted that they must have two weeks in which to sell foreign securities and arrange their loans. . . .
It was not to me alone that Baron Wangenheim told the story of this Berlin Conference. Only recently the Marquis Garroni, the Italian ambassador at Constantinople, announced that Baron Wangenheim said the same thing to him, Italy at that time being a member of the Triple Alliance.---["Ambassador Morgenthau's Story," and World Work, May 1918.]
The Information of the Krupp Director, Muehlon.---In the middle of July 1914, I had, as I frequently had, a conversation with Dr. Helfferich, then director of the Deutsche Bank in Berlin and now Vice-Chancellor. . . . [He said]
"The political situation has become very menacing. The Deutsche Bank must in any case wait before entering into any further engagements abroad. The Austrians have just been with the Kaiser. In a week's time Vienna will send a very severe ultimatum to Serbia, with a very short interval for the answer. The ultimatum will contain demands such as punishment of a number of officers, dissolution of political associations, criminal investigations in Serbia by Austrian officials, and, in fact, a whole series of definite satisfactions will be demanded at once; otherwise Austria-Hungary will declare war on Serbia."
Dr. Helfferich added that the Kaiser had expressed his decided approval of this procedure on the part of Austria-Hungary. He had said that lie regarded a conflict with Serbia as an internal affair between these two countries in which he would permit no other state to interfere. If Russia mobilized, he would mobilize also. But in his case mobilization meant immediate war. This time there would be no oscillation. Helfferich said that the Austrians were extremely well satisfied at this determined attitude on the part of the Kaiser. . . .
On the very day indicated to me by Helfferich the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia appeared. At this time I was again in Berlin, and I told Helfferich that I regarded the tone and contents of the ultimatum as simply monstrous. . . . On this occasion Helfferich also said to me that the Kaiser had gone on his northern cruise only as a "blind"; he had not arranged the cruise on the usual extensive scale, but was remaining close at hand and keeping in constant touch.---[Dr. W. Muehlon, in Berliner Tageblatt, also Dora N. Y., 1916.]
Lerchenfeld Exposes Germany's Guilt
The Bavarian government has published documents concerning the origin of the war and among them is a report from the Bavarian Minister in Berlin, [Count] Lerchenfeld, informing the Munich government, on July 18, 1914, [a week before the ultimatum was presented], of the plot against peace. On that day he told of the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia, saying that its delivery had been postponed until July 23, when Poincaré and Viviani [the President and Premier of France] would be on their return voyage from St. Petersburg. He gave a summary of the note and added: "It is plain that Serbia cannot accept these demands, which are irreconcilable with her dignity as an independent state. Berlin fully approves of Austria making use of the opportunity, even at the risk of foreign complications. Jagow, like Zimmermann, still doubts that Vienna will maintain her demands to the last. The undersecretary of state [Zimmermann] tells me that Austria-Hungary, owing to her irresolution and her discords, has really become the sick man of Europe."---[From cable dispatch published in newspapers of Nov. 26-27, 1918.]
On the same day [July 26, 1914] the Imperial German Ambassador at St. Petersburg was also directed [by the German Emperor] to make the following declaration to the Russian Government:
"Preparatory military measures by Russia will force us to counter-measures, which must consist in mobilizing the army.
"But mobilization, means war.
"As we know the obligations of France towards Russia, this mobilization would be directed against both Russia and France. We cannot assume that Russia desires to unchain a European war . . . [German White Book, Introductory Statement.]
St. Petersburg, 29th July, 1914. To-day the German Ambassador communicated to me [the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs] the resolution taken by his Government to mobilize if Russia did not stop her military preparations. Now we only began these latter as a consequence of the mobilization which Austria had already undertaken and of the evident unwillingness on her part to accept any kind of a pacific solution of her conflict with Serbia.
Since we cannot accede to the desire of Germany, it only remains for us to hasten our own armament and to take measures for the probable inevitability of war.---[Russian Orange Book, No. 58.]
Russia's Final Efforts at Conciliation
. . . It would be right to give over the Austro-Serbian problem to the Hague Tribunal. I trust in your wisdom and friendship.[The Tsar to the German Emperor, July 25, 1914.]
If Austria, recognizing that the Austro-Serbian question has assumed the character of a European question, declares herself ready to eliminate from her ultimatum the points which are an infringement of the sovereign rights of Serbia, Russia undertakes to cease her military preparations.---[Revised form of same proposal, transmitted the next day, July 31, as follows.]
If Austria agrees to arrest the advance of her troops on Serbian territory, and if, recognizing that the dispute between Austria and Serbia has assumed the character of a question of general European interest, she will allow the Great Powers to examine how Serbia can give satisfaction to Austria-Hungary without impairment of her rights as a sovereign and independent state, Russia will undertake to maintain her waiting attitude.[Russian Orange Book, Nos. 60, 67.]
Efforts of England to Avert War
Proposal of Sir Edward Grey, July 27, 1914.---That a conference be held in London to be composed of the German and Italian ambassadors to Great Britain, as friends of Austria, and the French Ambassador and Grey himself, as friends of Russia. Its purpose, to discover "an issue which would prevent complications."
The proposal was accepted by Russia, France, and Italy. It was declined by Germany (without consulting Austria) on the ground that she "could not call Austria in her dispute with Serbia before a European tribunal."- [German White Book; Collected Diplomatic Documents, p. 409.] Grey explained that it "would not be an arbitration, but a private and informal discussion," nevertheless, Austria and Germany continued to decline.--- [Harding, "Study of the Great War," pp. 35-36.]
Proposal of Sir Edward Grey, July 31, 1914.
It has occurred to me that . . . Germany might sound Vienna and I would undertake to sound St. Petersburg, whether it would be possible for the four disinterested Powers to offer to Austria that they would undertake to see that she obtained full satisfaction of her demands on Serbia provided that they did not impair Serbian sovereignty, and the integrity of Serbian territory. . . . All Powers would of course suspend further military operations or preparations. You may sound the Secretary of State about this proposal.
I said to the German Ambassador this morning that if Germany could get any reasonable proposal put forward, which made it clear that Germany and Austria were striving to preserve European peace, and that Russia and France would be unreasonable if they rejected it, I would support it at St. Petersburg and Paris, and go the length of saying that if Russia and France would not accept it, His Majesty's Government would have nothing more to do with the consequences; but, otherwise, I told the German Ambassador that, if France became involved, we should be drawn in. You can add this when sounding Chancellor or Secretary of State as to proposal above.---[ Dispatch to the British Ambassador at Berlin, British White Book, No. 111.]
The German Chancellor to the German Ambassador announced to me, on the instruction of his Government, that if within twelve hours we have not begun to demobilize, not only against Germany but also against Austria, the German Government would be compelled to give the order for mobilization. [Russian Orange Book, No. 70.]
Summary of England's Position by Sir Edward Grey, March 22, 1915
. . . It would have been far easier to have settled by a conference the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, which Germany made the occasion for this war, than it was to get successfully through the Balkan crisis of two years ago. Germany knew, from her experience of the conference in London which settled the Balkan crisis, that she could count upon our good will for peace in any concert or conference of the powers. . . . In recent years we had given Germany every assurance that no aggression upon her would receive any support from us. We had withheld from her but one thing; an unconditional promise to stand aside however aggressive Germany herself might be to her neighbors. Last July, France was ready to accept a conference, Russia was ready to accept a conference.... Germany refused every suggestion made to her for settling the dispute in this way.
. . . We had assured Belgium that never would we violate her neutrality so long as it was respected by others. I had given this pledge to Belgium long before the war. On the eve of the war we asked France and Germany to give the same pledge. France at once did so, but Germany declined to give it.
The German Ambassador to England Says Germany Wanted War
. . . . On the contrary, we pressed for war. What a fine success it would have been! After our refusal Sir Edward asked us to come forward with a proposal of our own. We insisted upon war. I could get no other answer from Berlin than that it was enormous conciliation on the part of Austria to contemplate no annexation of territory.
Thereupon Sir Edward [Grey] justly pointed out that even without annexations of territory a country can be humiliated and subjected, and that Russia would regard this as a humiliation which she would not stand. The impression became ever stronger that we desired war in all circumstances, otherwise our attitude on the question, which, after all, did not directly concern us, was unintelligible.
The urgent appeals and definite declarations of Sazonof [Russian Foreign Minister] later on the positively humble telegrams of the Czar, the repeated proposals of Sir Edward [Grey], the warnings of San Giuliano [Italian Foreign Minister], my own urgent advice---all were of no use, for Berlin went on insisting that Serbia must be massacred.--- [Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador to Great Britain, "My London Mission---1912-1914," 1916, Current History, May 1917.]
Germany's Plan for the Invasion of Belgium
The plan for the invasion of France had been clearly settled for a long time. It had to be pursued with success in the north through Belgium thus avoiding the strong line of delaying forts which the enemy [France] had made to defend its frontiers towards Germany, and which would have been extremely difficult to break through.---[Deutsche Krieger Zeitung, Sept. 2, 1914.]
German Minister to Belgium Promises Inviolability of Belgium
(A)---In the course of the controversy which arose in 1911 as a consequence of the Dutch scheme for the fortification of Flushing, certain newspapers had maintained that in the case of a Franco-German war Belgian neutrality would be violated by Germany,
Herr Bethmann-Hollweg . . . declared that Germany had no intention of violating Belgian neutrality.
... Herr Below [German Minister to Belgium] ... was certain that the sentiments expressed at that time had not changed.---[Letter of July 31, 1914, of Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the King's Ministers at Berlin, London, and Paris.]
(B)---The troops will not cross Belgian territory. Grave events are imminent. Perhaps you will see your neighbor's house in flames, but the fire will spare your dwelling.---[Declaration to Brussels journalists, August 2, 1914, by Below, German Minister to Belgium, only 12 hours before presenting the German ultimatum. See Belgian Grey Book.]
Summary of German View
(A) Surprise at England's Action.---I found the Chancellor very agitated. His Excellency at once began a harangue, which lasted for about twenty minutes. He said that the step taken by His Majesty's Government was terrible to a degree; just for a word---"neutrality," a word which in war time had so often been disregarded---just for a- scrap of paper Great Britain was going to make war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than to be friends with her.---[Report of the British Ambassador to Berlin, Aug. 4, British Blue Book, doc. 160.]
(B) Maximilian Harden on Germany's Will to War.---Krupp has given us the hope not only of getting at England in her floating castles, but also of camping widely, before her face, wry with envy, on two seas, on the coasts of Belgium, France, and Morocco. That Germans do not fit into the bustle of peaceable nations is the proudest ornament of the German character. Their manhood does not feminize itself in long peace. War has always been their chief business.
... Germany means to grow, to coin the achievements of its men and its states into rights of sovereignty before which every head must bow in reverent greeting. Germany is striking. Who gave her leave? Her right is in her might.
One principle only is to be reckoned with---one which sums up and includes all others---force! That is what rings loud and clear; that is what has distinction and fascination. Force, the fist---that is everything. . . . Not against our will were we thrown into this gigantic adventure. It was not imposed on us by surprise. We willed it; we were bound to will it.---[Zukunft, 1914, cited in "Out of Their Own Mouths," pp. 83-85.]
(C) The Kaiser, June, 1915.---The triumph of the greater Germany, which some day must dominate all Europe, is the single end for which we are fighting.---[Cited from "Out of Their Own Mouths," p, 5.]
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