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Assassination (1)

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1 Assassination (1)

2 Erich von Falkenhayn, German General, architect of German strategy at Battle of Verdun speaking during the Russo- Japanese War … we must have a struggle for life with all its horrors, but also with all its glorious developments, if everything here is not to grow weary and be smothered in lies and sluggishness. If only it is not already too late.” Mulligan, p111

3 Conrad von Hotzendorf –Austrian Chief of Staff – 1918 Philanthropic religions, moral teachings and philosophical doctrines may certainly sometimes serve to weaken mankind’s struggle for existence in its crudest form, but they will never succeed in removing it as a driving motive in the world….It is in accordance with this great principle that the catastrophe of the world war came about inevitably and irresistibly as the result of the motive forces in the lives of states and peoples, like a thunderstorm which must by nature discharge itself. Joll, The Origins of the First World War, 3 rd ed, 2007

4 Emile Zola – radical French novelist Would not the end of war be the end of humanity? War is life itself. Nothing exists in nature, is born, grows or multiplies except by combat. We must eat and be eaten so that the world may live. It is only warlike nations which have prospered : a nation dies as soon as it disarms. War is the school of discipline, sacrifice and courage.

5 Comments on Hague Conferences: Kaiser Wilhelm, “I’ll go along with the conference comedy but I’ll keep my dagger at my side during the waltz….I agree to the stupid idea so that [the tsar] doesn’t look a fool in front of Europe! But I will in practice in [the] future only rely on and trust God and my sharp sword.” Izvolsky (tsar,s ambassador): whole idea inspired by “… by Socialists, Jews and hysterical old maids…” Joll and Martel, The Origins of the First World War, p 259.

6 Baron von Holstein, senior official in Foreign Ministry If the Chief of the General Staff, and particularly a strategic authority like Schlieffen, thought such a measure to be necessary, then it would be the duty of diplomacy to adjust itself to it and to prepare for it in every possible way. Remak Origins of World War I, p128

7 OLLI 3…..and War Begins Anglo-German Relations The Balkans The Assassination Military Assessment-Triple Entente vs Triple Alliance Responsibility – Interpretations (?)

8 Kaiser Wilhelm ll

9 Max Weber – 1895 Freiburg University We must understand that the unification of Germany was a youthful folly, which the nation committed in it’s declining days and which would have been better dispensed with because of it’s expense, if it should be the conclusion and not the starting point for a German Weltmachpolitik.

10 Hans Delbruck – 1899 We want to be a World Power and pursue colonial policy in the grand manner. That is certain. Here there can be no step backward. The entire future of our people among the great nations depends on it. We can pursue this policy with England or without England. With England means in peace; against England means-through war.

11 19 th Century Novelist Theodore Fontane You mention the speeches given by an exalted tongue, in which so much is said and even more is passed over in silence. I always lose my temper when I read them….He has a million soldiers and wants to have a million battleships too. He dreams …of humiliating England. Germany is to be on top, in each and every thing. I rather like all this – I won’t discuss right now whether it is clever or practical - and I would gladly follow him on his tightrope walk if only I could see the right sort of chalk under his feet and the proper balancing staff in his hands. But those are the things he does not have. What he wants, while it may not be impossible, is vastly dangerous, and his equipment is wrong and his means are insufficient. Remak, The Origins of World War One,p72

12 Queen Victoria to Wilhelm – 1896 My dear William, I feel I cannot refrain from expressing my deep regret at the telegram you sent President Kruger. It is considered very unfriendly toward this country, which I am sure it is not intended to be, and has, I grieve to say, made a very pointed impression here.

13 David Lloyd George -1911 If a situation were to be forced upon us in which peace could only be preserved by the surrender of the great and beneficent position Britain has won by centuries of heroism and advancement, by allowing Britain to be treated where her interests were vitally affected as though she were of no account in the Cabinet of nations, then I say emphatically that peace at that price would be a humiliation intolerable for a great country like ours to endure.

14 Kaiser Wilhelm ll (Dec, 1912) Austria had to act vigorously against the foreign Slavs (Serbs), because she would otherwise lose her power over the Serbs in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. If Russia were to support the Serbs {Russian declaration: she would immediately invade Galicia, if Austria were to invade Serbia}, war would be inevitable for us…The Fleet, of course would have to face the war against Britain. Geiss, p 42

15 Kaiser Wilhelm II instructions to Chancellor (not present) …enlighten the people through the press of the great national interests, which would be at stake also for Germany if a war were to break out over the Austro-Serbian conflict….The people must not be in the position of asking themselves only at the outbreak of a great European war, what are the interests Germany would be fighting for. The people ought rather to be accustomed to the idea of such a war beforehand. Geiss, p42

16 The Balkans Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in decay Austro-Serb Relations Russian Support for Serbia On the Brink?


18 BALKANS 1885-1913


20 Conrad to Arch Duke Ferdinand (Dec 14,1912) The unification of the south Slav race is one of the most powerful national movements which can neither be ignored nor kept down. The question can only be, whether that unification will take place within the boundaries of the Monarchy – that is at the expense of Serbia’s independence - or under Serbia’s leadership at the expense of the Monarchy. The cost to the Monarchy would be the loss of its south Slav provinces and thus of almost its entire coast-line. The loss of territory and prestige would relegate the Monarchy to the status of a small power. Geiss, Imanuel July 1914, (1967), p50

21 Assassination and Road to War Assassination Austrian Ultimatum Attempts at Mediation England and Localization “The lights go out….”

22 Arch Duke Ferdinand


24 Popular British Song – 1909 There’ll be no wo’ar As long as there’s a king like good King Edward For ‘e ‘ates that sort of thing! Mothers needn’t worry As long as we’ve a King like good King Edward Peace with ‘Onner Is his Motter So God Sive the King Tuchman, The Proud Tower, p 391

25 Assassination (2)

26 Acceptance of War Euphoria? Opposition What Kind of War?

27 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924 quoted in Ferguson, The Pity of War, p174.

28 Bethman – Hollweg to Reichstag (8/4/14) Gentlemen, we are now in a state of self defense, and necessity knows no law. Our troops have occupied Luxembourg, and perhaps have already entered Belgian territory. Gentlemen, that is a breach of international law….The wrong – I speak openly – the wrong we thereby commit we will try to make good as soon as our military aims are attained. He who is menaced the way we are, and is fighting for his most precious possessions, can turn his mind only to how he might battle his way out. Remak,p130.

29 Kaiser Wilhelm ll – on First Hague Conference I’ll go along with the conference comedy but I’ll keep my dagger at my side during the waltz. I agree to the stupid idea so that [the Czar] doesn’t look like a fool in front of Europe.

30 Sidney Lowe British publicist at the time of the First Hague Conference: “A righteous and necessary war is no more brutal than a surgical operation. Better give the patient some pain, make your own fingers unpleasantly red, than allow the disease to grow on him until he becomes an offence to himself and the world, and dies in lingering agony.”

31 Interpretation and Responsibility

32 Moritz von Linker, head of Kaiser’s Military Cabinet, 8/1/14 To general astonishment, Moltke declared that the march to the west could not be halted and that, despite all, France had to be overcome in war. At this point, an extremely lively and dramatic discussion took place. Moltke, very excited and with quivering lips, insisted on his point of view. In vein the Chancellor and the Kaiser and every one else tried to persuade him, until Falkenhayn took him aside and a calmer discussion between the two of them took place in the corner of the room. [Moltke carried the day] Mulligan, “Origins of the “First World War”

33 Responsibility-Interpretations Peace of Versailles Fay Albertini Post WW ll Fischer Thesis and Reaction

34 One Man’s Mood at War’s Outbreak The struggle of the year 1914 was not forced on the masses - no, by the living God – it was desired by the whole people. To me, those hours seemed like a release from the painful feelings of my youth. Even today, I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by my stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time. A fight for freedom had begun….My heart, like that of a million others, overflowed with proud joy….


36 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924 quoted in Ferguson, The Pity of War, p174.

37 Moltke the Elder, May 14, 1890 to the Reichstag The age of cabinet wars lies behind us. Now we only have people’s. Gentlemen, it could be the Seven Years War, it could be the Thirty Years War”- woe betide whoever plunges Europe into flames, whoever is the first to light the fuse to the powder keg.

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