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Title: In the World War
Author: Czernin, Ottokar, 1872-1932
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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    | A number of obvious typographical errors have been corrected |
    | in this text. For a complete list, please see the bottom of  |
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[Illustration: COUNT CZERNIN]

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IN THE WORLD WAR

BY COUNT OTTOKAR CZERNIN



_WITH FOUR PLATES_



CASSELL AND COMPANY, LTD
London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne

Copyright in Great Britain.



PREFACE


It is impossible in a small volume to write the history of the World
War in even a partially exhaustive manner. Nor is that the object of
this book.

Rather than to deal with generalities, its purpose is to describe
separate events of which I had intimate knowledge, and individuals
with whom I came into close contact and could, therefore, observe
closely; in fact, to furnish a series of snapshots of the great drama.

By this means the following pages may possibly present a conception of
the war as a whole, which may, nevertheless, differ in many respects
from the hitherto recorded, and possibly faulty, history of the war.

Everyone regards people and events from his own point of view; it is
inevitable. In my book, I speak of men with whom I was in close touch;
of others who crossed my path without leaving any personal impression
on me; and finally, of men with whom I was often in grave dispute. I
endeavour to judge of them all in objective fashion, but I have to
describe people and things as I saw them. Wherever the description
appears to be at fault, the reason will not be due to a prematurely
formed opinion, but rather, probably, to a prevailing lack of the
capacity for judging.

Not everything could be revealed. Much was not explained, although it
could have been. Too short a period still separates us from those
events to justify the lifting of the veil from all that happened.

But what remains unspoken can in no way change the whole picture,
which I describe exactly as imprinted on my mind.

OTTOKAR CZERNIN.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                 PAGE

 1. INTRODUCTORY REFLECTIONS                               1

 2. KONOPISCHT                                            34

 3. WILLIAM II                                            52

 4. ROUMANIA                                              77

 5. THE U-BOAT WARFARE                                   114

 6. ATTEMPTS AT PEACE                                    134

 7. WILSON                                               188

 8. IMPRESSIONS AND REFLECTIONS                          195

 9. POLAND                                               200

10. BREST-LITOVSK                                        211

11. THE PEACE OF BUCHAREST                               258

12. FINAL REFLECTIONS                                    271

    APPENDIX                                             275



LIST OF PLATES


COUNT CZERNIN                                 _Frontispiece_

                                                 FACING PAGE

THE ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND                              48

COUNT TISZA                                              128

GENERAL HOFFMANN                                         240



IN THE WORLD WAR


CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTORY REFLECTIONS


1

The bursting of a thunderstorm is preceded by certain definite
phenomena in the atmosphere. The electric currents separate, and the
storm is the result of atmospheric tension which can no longer be
repressed. Whether or no we become aware of these happenings through
outward signs, whether the clouds appear to us more or less
threatening, nothing can alter the fact that the electric tension is
bound to make itself felt before the storm bursts.

For years the political barometer of the European Ministries of
Foreign Affairs had stood at "storm." It rose periodically, to fall
again; it varied--naturally; but for years everything had pointed to
the fact that the peace of the world was in danger.

The obvious beginnings of this European tension date back several
years: to the time of Edward VII. On the one hand England's dread of
the gigantic growth of Germany; on the other hand Berlin's politics,
which had become a terror to the dwellers by the Thames; the belief
that the idea of acquiring the dominion of the world had taken root in
Berlin. These fears, partly due merely to envy and jealousy, but
partly due also to a positive anxiety concerning existence; these
fears led to the encircling policy of Edward VII., and thus was
started the great drive against Germany. It is well known that Edward
VII. made an attempt to exercise a direct influence on the Emperor
Francis Joseph to induce him to secede from the Alliance and join the
Powers encircling Germany. It is likewise known that the Emperor
Francis Joseph rejected the proposal, and that this decided the fate
of Austria-Hungary. From that day we were no longer the independent
masters of our destiny. Our fate was linked to that of Germany;
without being conscious of it, we were carried away by Germany through
the Alliance.

I do not mean absolutely to deny that, during the years preceding war,
it would still have been possible for Germany to avert it if she had
eradicated from European public opinion all suspicion respecting her
dream of world dominion, for far be it from me to assert that the
Western Powers were eager for war. On the contrary, it is my firm
conviction that the leading statesmen of the Western Powers viewed the
situation as such, that if they did not succeed in defeating Germany,
the unavoidable result would be a German world domination. I mention
the Western Powers, for I believe that a strong military party in
Russia, which had as chief the Grand Duke Nicholas, thought otherwise,
and began this war with satisfaction. The terrible tragedy of this,
the greatest misfortune of all time--and such is this war--lies in the
fact that nobody responsible willed it; it arose out of a situation
created first by a Serbian assassin and then by some Russian generals
keen on war, while the events that ensued took the monarchs and
statesmen completely by surprise. The Entente group of Powers is as
much to blame as we are. As regards this, however, a very considerable
difference must be made between the enemy states. In 1914 neither
France nor England desired war. France had always cherished the
thought of revenge, but, judging from all indications, she had no
intention of fighting in 1914; but, on the contrary--as she did fifty
years ago--left the decisive moment for entering into war to the
future. The war came quite as a surprise to France. England, in spite
of her anti-German policy, wished to remain neutral and only changed
her mind owing to the invasion of Belgium. In Russia the Tsar did not
know what he wanted, and the military party urged unceasingly for
war. As a matter of fact, Russia began military operations without a
declaration of war.

The states that followed after--Italy and Roumania--entered into the
war for purposes of conquest, Roumania in particular. Italy also, of
course, but owing to her geographical position, and being exposed to
pressure from England, she was less able to remain neutral than
Roumania.

But the war would never have broken out had it not been that the
growing suspicion of the Entente as to Germany's plans had already
brought the situation to boiling point. The spirit and demeanour of
Germany, the speeches of the Emperor William, the behaviour of the
Prussians throughout the world--whether in the case of a general at
Potsdam or a _commis voyageur_ out in East Africa--these Prussian
manners inflicting themselves upon the world, the ceaseless boasting
of their own power and the clattering of swords, roused throughout the
whole world a feeling of antipathy and alarm and effected that moral
coalition against Germany which in this war has found such terribly
practical expression. On the other hand, I am fairly convinced that
German, or rather Prussian tendencies have been misunderstood by the
world, and that the leading German statesmen never had any intention
of acquiring world dominion. They wished to retain Germany's place in
the sun, her rank among the first Powers of the world; it was
undoubtedly her right, but the real and alleged continuous German
provocation and the ever-growing fears of the Entente in consequence
created just that fatal competition in armaments and that coalition
policy which burst like a terrible thunderstorm into war.

It was only on the basis of these European fears that the French plans
of revenge developed into action. England would never have drawn the
sword merely for the conquest of Alsace-Lorraine; but the French plan
of revenge was admirably adapted to suit the policy inaugurated by
King Edward, which was derived not from French but from English
motives.

Out of this dread of attack and defence arose that mad fever for
armaments which was characteristic of pre-war times. The race to
possess more soldiers and more guns than one's neighbour was carried
to an absurd extreme. The armaments which the nations had to bear had
become so cumbersome as to be unbearable, and for long it had been
obvious to everyone that the course entered upon could no longer be
pursued, and that two possibilities alone remained--either a voluntary
and general disarmament, or war.

A slight attempt at the first alternative was made in 1912 through
negotiations between Germany and England respecting naval disarmament,
but never got beyond the first stage. England was no readier for
peace, and no more disposed to make advances than was Germany, but she
was cleverer and succeeded in conveying to the world that she was the
Power endangered by Germany's plans for expansion.

I recollect a very telling illustration of the German and British
points of view, given to me by a prominent politician from a neutral
state. This gentleman was crossing the Atlantic on an American
steamer, and among the other travellers were a well-known German
industrial magnate and an Englishman. The German was a great talker
and preferred addressing as large an audience as possible, expatiating
on the "uprising" of Germany, on the irrepressible desire for
expansion to be found in the German people, on the necessity of
impregnating the world with German culture, and on the progress made
in all these endeavours. He discoursed on the rising prosperity of
German trade in different parts of the world; he enumerated the towns
where the German flag was flying; he pointed out with emphasis how
"Made in Germany" was the term that must and would conquer the world,
and did not fail to assert that all these grand projects were built on
solid foundations upheld by military support. Such was the German.
When my informant turned to the silent, quietly smiling Englishman and
asked what he had to say to it, he simply answered: "There is no need
for me to say anything, for I know that the world belongs to us." Such
was the Englishman. This merely illustrates a certain frame of mind.
It is a snapshot, showing how the German and the English mentality was
reflected in the brain of a neutral statesman; but it is symptomatic,
because thousands have felt the same, and because this impression of
the German spirit contributed so largely to the catastrophe.

The Aehrenthal policy, contrary to what we were accustomed to on the
Ballplatz, pursued ambitious plans for expansion with the greatest
strength and energy, thereby adding to the suspicions of the world
regarding us. For the belief gained credence that the Vienna policy
was an offshoot of that of Berlin, and that the same line of action
would be adopted in Vienna as in Berlin, and the general feeling of
anxiety rose higher. Blacker and blacker grew the clouds; closer and
closer the meshes of the net; misfortune was on the way.


2

I was in Constantinople shortly before the outbreak of war, and while
there had a lengthy discussion of the political situation with the
Markgraf Pallavicini, our most efficient and far-seeing ambassador
there. He looked upon the situation as being extremely grave. Aided by
his experience of a decade of political observations, he was able to
put his finger on the pulse of Europe, and his diagnosis was as
follows: that if a rapid change in the entire course of events did not
intervene, we were making straight for war. He explained to me that he
considered the only possibility of evading a war with Russia lay in
our definitely renouncing all claims to influence in the Balkans and
leaving the field to Russia. Pallavicini was quite clear in his own
mind that such a course would mean our resigning the status of a Great
Power; but apparently to him even so bitter a proceeding as that was
preferable to the war which he saw was impending. Shortly afterwards I
repeated this conversation to the Archduke and heir, Franz Ferdinand,
and saw that he was deeply impressed by the pessimistic views of
Pallavicini, of whom, like everyone else, he had a very high opinion.
The Archduke promised to discuss the question as soon as possible with
the Emperor. I never saw him again. That was the last conversation I
had with him, and I do not know whether he ever carried out his
intention of discussing the matter with the monarch.

The two Balkan wars were as summer lightning before the coming
European thunderstorm. It was obvious to anyone acquainted with Balkan
conditions that the peace there had produced no definite result, and
the Peace of Bucharest in 1913, so enthusiastically acclaimed by
Roumania, carried the germ of death at its birth. Bulgaria was
humiliated and reduced; Roumania and, above all, Serbia, enlarged out
of all proportion, were arrogant to a degree that baffles description.
Albania, as the apple of discord between Austria-Hungary and Italy,
was a factor that gave no promise of relief, but only of fresh wars.
In order to understand the excessive hatred prevailing between the
separate nations, one must have lived in the Balkans. When this hatred
came to an outburst in the world war the most terrible scenes were
enacted, and as an example it was notorious that the Roumanians tore
their Bulgarian prisoners to pieces with their teeth, and that the
Bulgarians, on their part, tortured the Roumanian prisoners to death
in the most shocking manner. The brutality of the Serbians in the war
can best be described by our own troops. The Emperor Francis Joseph
clearly foresaw that the peace after the second Balkan war was merely
a respite to draw breath before a new war. Prior to my departure for
Bucharest in 1913 I was received in audience by the aged emperor, who
said to me: "The Peace of Bucharest is untenable, and we are faced by
a new war. God grant that it may be confined to the Balkans." Serbia,
which had been enlarged to double its size, was far from being
satisfied; but, on the contrary, was more than ever ambitious of
becoming a Great Power.

Apparently the situation was still quiet. In fact, a few weeks before
the catastrophe at Sarajevo the prevailing state of affairs showed
almost an improvement in the relations between Vienna and Belgrade.
But it was the calm before the storm. On June 28 the veil was rent
asunder, and from one moment to the next a catastrophe threatened the
world. The stone had started rolling.

At that time I was ambassador to Roumania. I was therefore only able
from a distance to watch developments in Vienna and Berlin.
Subsequently, however, I discussed events in those critical days with
numerous leading personalities, and from all that I heard have been
able to form a definite and clear view of the proceedings. I have no
doubt whatever that Berchtold, even in his dreams, had never thought
of a world war of such dimensions as it assumed; that he, above all,
was persuaded that England would remain neutral; and the German
Ambassador, Tschirsky, confirmed him in the conviction that a war
against France and Russia would inevitably end in victory. I believe
that the state of mind in which Count Berchtold addressed the
ultimatum to Serbia was such that he said to himself, either--and this
is the most favourable view--Serbia will accept the ultimatum, which
would mean a great diplomatic success; or she will refuse it, and
then, thanks to Germany's help, the victorious war against Russia and
France will effect the birth of a new and vastly stronger Monarchy. It
cannot for a moment be denied that this argument contained a series of
errors; but it must be stated that, according to my convictions, Count
Berchtold did not intend to incite war by the ultimatum, but hoped to
the very last to gain the victory by the pen, and that in the German
promises he saw a guarantee against a war in which the participators
and the chances of victory were equally erroneously estimated.

Berchtold could not have entertained any doubt that a Serbian war
would bring a Russian one in its train. At any rate, the reports sent
by my brother, who was a business man in Petersburg, left him in no
doubt on the matter.

Serbia's acceptance of the ultimatum was only partial, and the Serbian
war broke out. Russia armed and joined in. But at this moment
extremely important events took place.

On July 30, at midday, Tschirsky spoke in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, and communicated to Berchtold the contents of a telegram
received from Lichnowsky. This important telegram contained the
following: He (Lichnowsky) had just returned from seeing Grey, who was
very grave, but perfectly collected, though pointing out that the
situation was becoming more and more complicated. Sassonoff had
intimated that after the declaration of war he was no longer in a
position to negotiate direct with Austria-Hungary, and requested
England to resume proceedings, the temporary cessation of hostilities
to be taken for granted. Grey proposed a negotiation between four, as
it appeared possible to him (Grey) that Austria-Hungary, after
occupying Belgrade, would state her terms.

To this Grey added a private comment, calling Lichnowsky's attention
to the fact that a war between Russia and Austria-Hungary would
facilitate England's neutrality, but that the conditions would
inevitably change in the event of Germany and France being involved.
Public opinion in England, which after the assassination was very
favourable to Austria, was now beginning to fluctuate, as it was
difficult to understand Austria's obstinacy.

Lichnowsky also added that Grey had told the Italian Ambassador that
he thought Austria would receive every satisfaction on accepting
negotiation. In any case the Serbians would be punished. Even without
a war Austria would receive a guarantee for the future.

Such were the contents of the communication from London sent by
Tschirsky, to which Bethmann added that he urgently requested the
Vienna Cabinet to accept the negotiation. On receiving this
information, Berchtold conveyed the news to the Emperor. His position
was this: that Russia was already at war with the Monarchy on the
evening of the same day on which the order for general mobilisation
was to be submitted to the Emperor, and it appeared doubtful to him
whether a postponement of their own mobilisation would be possible in
view of the Russian attack. He had also to take into consideration the
different parties prevailing in Russia, and no guarantee was
obtainable that those who were in favour of negotiation would gain the
day. Any postponement of mobilisation might in this case lead to
incalculable military consequences. Obviously hostilities had begun
without the knowledge and against the wishes of the Tsar; if they
were also to be carried on against his wish, then Austria-Hungary
would be too late.

I have never discussed this phase with Berchtold, but the material
placed at my disposal leaves no doubt that he felt bound to inquire
into this side of the question and then leave the decision to the
Emperor Francis Joseph.

On the following day, July 31, therefore, Tschirsky, at the Ballplatz,
communicated the contents of a telegram from King George to Prince
Henry of Prussia. It ran as follows:--

  "Thanks for telegram. So pleased to hear of William's efforts to
  concert with Nicky to maintain peace. Indeed, I am earnestly
  desirous that such an irreparable disaster as a European war
  should be averted. My Government is doing its utmost, suggesting
  to Russia and France to suspend further military preparations if
  Austria will consent to be satisfied with occupation of Belgrade
  and the neighbouring Serbian territory as a hostage for
  satisfactory settlement of her demands, other countries meanwhile
  suspending their war preparations. Trust William will use his
  great influence to induce Austria to accept this proposal, thus
  proving that Germany and England are working together to prevent
  what would be an international catastrophe. Pray assure William I
  am doing and shall continue to do all that lies in my power to
  preserve peace of Europe.

  GEORGE."

Both the telegrams cited were received in Vienna on July 31, subject
to certain military precautions, a proceeding that did not satisfy
London.

In London, as in Berlin, an effort was made to confine the conflict to
Serbia. Berchtold did the same. In Russia there was a strong party
working hard to enforce war at any price. The Russian invasion was an
accomplished fact, and in Vienna it was thought unwise to stop
mobilisation at the last moment for fear of being too late with
defence. Some ambassadors did not keep to the instructions from their
Governments; they communicated messages correctly enough, but if their
personal opinion differed they made no secret of it, and it certainly
weighed in the balance.

This added to the insecurity and confusion. Berchtold vacillated, torn
hither and thither by different influences. It was a question of hours
merely; but they passed by and were not made use of, and disaster was
the result.

Russia had created strained conditions which brought on the world war.

Some months after the outbreak of war I had a long conversation on all
these questions with the Hungarian Prime Minister, Count Stephen
Tisza. He was decidedly opposed to the severe ultimatum, as he foresaw
a war and did not wish for it. It is one of the most widely spread
errors to stigmatise Tisza to-day as one of the instigators of the
war. He was opposed to it, not from a general pacifist tendency, but
because, in his opinion, an efficiently pursued policy of alliance
would in a few years considerably strengthen the powers of the
Monarchy. He particularly returned to the subject of Bulgaria, which
then was still neutral and whose support he had hoped to gain before
we went to war. I also obtained from Tisza several details concerning
the activities of the German Government as displayed by the German
Ambassador immediately preceding the war. I purposely made a
distinction between the German Government and the German diplomat, as
I was under the impression that Herr von Tschirsky had taken various
steps without being instructed so to do, and when I previously have
alluded to the fact that not all the ambassadors made use of the
language enjoined by their Governments, I had Herr von Tschirsky
specially in my mind; his whole temperament and feelings led him to
interfere in our affairs with a certain vehemence and not always in
the most tactful way, thus rousing the Monarchy out of its lethargy.

There is no doubt whatever that all Herr von Tschirsky's private
speeches at this time were attuned to the tone of "Now or Never," and
it is certain that the German Ambassador declared his opinion to be
"that at the present moment Germany was prepared to support our point
of view with all her moral and military power, but whether this would
prove to be the case in future if we accepted the Serbian rebuff
appears to me doubtful." I believe that Tschirsky in particular was
firmly persuaded that in the very near future Germany would have to go
through a war against France and Russia, and he considered that the
year 1914 would be more favourable than a later date. For this reason,
because first of all he did not believe in the fighting capacity of
either Russia or France, and secondly because--and this is a very
important point--he was convinced that he could bring the Monarchy
into this war, while it appeared doubtful to him that the aged and
peace-loving Emperor Francis Joseph would draw the sword for Germany
on any other occasion where the action would centre less round him, he
wished to make use of the Serbian episode so as to be sure of
Austria-Hungary in the deciding struggle. That, however, was his
policy, and not Bethmann's.

This, I repeat, is the impression produced on me by lengthy
conversations with Count Tisza--an impression which has been confirmed
from other sources. I am persuaded, however, that Tschirsky, in
behaving as he did, widely overstretched his prescribed sphere of
activity. Iswolsky was not the only one of his kind. I conclude this
to be so, since Tschirsky, as intimated in a former dispatch, was
never in a position to make an official declaration urging for war,
but appears only to have spoken after the manner of diplomatic
representatives when anxious to adapt the policy of their Government
to their own point of view. Undoubtedly Tschirsky transmitted his
instructions correctly and loyally, nor did he keep back or secrete
anything. An ambassador attains more or less according to the energy
expended by him in carrying out the instructions of his Government;
and the private opinion of the ambassador is, under certain
circumstances, not easy to distinguish from his official one. At all
events, the latter will be influenced by the former, and Tschirsky's
private opinion aimed at a more vigorous policy.

In complete ignorance of impending events, I had arrived at Steiermark
a few days before the ultimatum in order to establish my family there
for the summer. While there I received a message from Berchtold to
return to my post as quickly as possible. I obeyed at once, but before
leaving had one more audience with the Emperor Francis Joseph at
Ischl. I found the Emperor extremely depressed. He alluded quite
briefly to the coming events, and merely asked me if, in case of a
war, I could guarantee Roumania's neutrality. I answered in the
affirmative, so long as King Carol was alive; beyond that any
guarantee was impossible.


3

Certain extremely important details relating to the period immediately
preceding the outbreak of war can only be attributed to the influence
of the group represented by Tschirsky. It is incomprehensible why we
granted to our then allies, Italy and Roumania, facilities for playing
the part of seceders by presenting them with an ultimatum before
action was completed, instead of winning them over and involving them
also.

I am no accurate judge of the events in Rome, but King Carol in
Roumania had certainly tried everything to induce Serbia to yield. In
all probability he would not have succeeded, as Serbia had no idea of
renouncing her plans for a Greater Serbia; but presumably an anxious
feeling would have arisen between Bucharest and Belgrade, which would
strongly have influenced further Roumanian policy in our favour.

Bucharest has made enormous capital out of the diplomatic proceedings.

Before the first decisive Cabinet Council Baron Fasciotti, the Italian
Ambassador, harangued all the members in this spirit, and declared
that the situation in Roumania and Italy was similar, and in each case
there was no reason for co-operation, as neither Rome nor Bucharest
had previously come to an understanding regarding the ultimatum. His
efforts were crowned with success.

On August 1, 1914, I sent the following telegram to Berchtold:

  "The Prime Minister has just notified me the result of the Cabinet
  Council. After a warm appeal from the King to bring the treaty
  into force, the Cabinet Council, with one exception, declared that
  no party could undertake the responsibility of such action.

  "The Cabinet Council has resolved that _as Roumania was neither
  notified nor consulted concerning the Austro-Hungarian action in
  Belgrade no casus foederis exists_. The Cabinet Council further
  resolved that military preparations for the safety of the frontier
  be undertaken, which would be an advantage for the
  Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, as several hundred miles of its
  frontiers would thereby be covered.

  "The Prime Minister added that he had already given orders to
  strengthen all military posts, after which by degrees general
  mobilisation would follow.

  "The Government intends only to publish a short communiqué
  relating to the military measures taken for the safety of the
  country."

Secondly, it appears incomprehensible why the ultimatum was drawn up
as it was. It was not so much a manifestation of Berchtold's wish for
war, as of other influences, above all that of Tschirsky. In 1870
Bismarck also desired war, but the Ems telegram was of quite a
different character.

In the present case it appears incomprehensible why a Note should have
been selected which by its wording gave umbrage to many who hitherto
were favourably disposed towards us.

Had we, before the ultimatum and after the assassination, secretly and
confidentially furnished proofs to the Great Powers who were not
inimical to us, and especially to England, that trouble was impending
over a political murder staged at Belgrade, we should have evoked a
very different frame of mind in those Governments. Instead, we flung
the ultimatum at them and at the whole of Europe.

It was feared probably at the Ballplatz that any communication to the
Powers would result in their intervention in the form of a new
conference of ambassadors, and that stagnation would ensue. But in the
year 1914 the case was very different from former days--before the
ultimatum right was so undoubtedly on our side.

At all events, the Tschirsky group dreaded such an insipid solution,
and had insisted, therefore, on drastic action. In 1870 Bismarck was
the attacking party, and he succeeded in interchanging the parts. We
also succeeded, but in an opposite sense.


4

Then came our greatest disaster: the German entry into Belgium.

Had England remained neutral we should not have lost the war. In his
book, "Ursachen und Ausbruck des Krieges," page 172, Jagow tells how
on August 4, towards the close of the Reichstag session, the English
Ambassador appeared there and again asked whether Germany would
respect Belgium's neutrality. At that time German troops were already
on Belgian soil. On hearing that, the Ambassador retired, but,
returning in a few hours, demanded a declaration, to be handed in
before midnight, that the further advance of the German troops into
Belgium would cease, otherwise he was instructed to ask for his
passport and England would then protect Belgium. Germany refused, and
the consequence was a declaration of war by England.

That England on the same day sent word to Belgium that she would
resist with her utmost strength any violation of her neutrality is
fully in accordance with the steps taken at Berlin by the English
Ambassador.

Two days before, on August 2, the English Cabinet certainly gave
France the assurance that, in addition to the protection of Belgian
neutrality, she had demanded that there should be no naval action
against France. The contradiction between both points of view is
clearly visible. It appears to me, however, that the only explanation
is that on August 4 England no longer adhered to her standpoint of
August 2, for the German acceptance of the English ultimatum on the
evening of August 4 had wrested from England the moral possibility of
making further claims. If England, on August 4, had sought a pretext
for war, she would have put forward, besides the Belgian demand, also
that referring to the abstention from naval action. But she did not do
so, and confined her ultimatum to the Belgian question, thereby tying
her own hands in the event of Germany accepting the ultimatum. _On
the night of August 4, between the hours of nine and midnight, the
decision as to whether England would remain neutral or no lay with
Germany._

Germany kept to her resolve to violate Belgian neutrality in spite of
the certainty of the English declaration of war resulting therefrom.
That was the first fateful victory of the militarists over the
diplomats in this war. The former were naturally the motive power.

The German military plan was to overrun France and then make a furious
onslaught on Russia. This plan was shattered on the Marne.

In more respects than one, German policy foundered on the heritage
left by Bismarck. Not only was the conquest of Alsace-Lorraine a
lasting obstacle to friendly relations with France, perpetually
forcing the latter into the arms of every anti-German coalition, but
Bismarck's heritage became Germany's curse, because the Germans,
though desirous of following in his footsteps, had no one sufficiently
competent to lead them therein.

Bismarck created the German Empire out of Düppel, Königgrätz and
Sedan. His policy was one of "blood and iron"--and for fifty years
that policy of violence and violent means had been engrained in the
mind of every German schoolboy as the gospel of diplomatic art--but
Bismarck was not able to bequeath to the German people his genial
efficiency, wisdom and prudence in the use of his violent means.
Bismarck carefully prepared the wars of 1866 and 1870, and struck when
he held good cards in his hand. The Germany of William II. had no
desire for war, but one day plunged headlong into it, and during the
first week had already created political situations which were beyond
her power to cope with. Belgium and Luxembourg were treated on the
Bismarckian principle of "Might before Right," and the world rose
against Germany. I say world, because England's power extended over
the world.

At the beginning of the war England stood at "order arms." It would
have been entirely true to her traditional policy to allow Germany to
fight against France and Russia and mutually weaken each other, then
at a given moment to intervene and enjoin peace. England was forced to
join in by Germany threatening to establish herself in Belgium. How
far the German invasion of Belgium can morally be extenuated owing to
a French purpose to do likewise has still not been made clear--but
this argument does not apply to Luxembourg, and the breach of right
remains the same whether the country where it occurs be large or
small.

The invasion of Belgium and Luxembourg was a stroke of the Bismarckian
policy of violence, not carried out by politicians but by generals who
were devoid of Bismarck's power of calculating the devastating
consequences.

Later on, during the course of the war, the German Supreme Command
made repeated use of violent means, which were more detrimental than
useful to us, though subsequently these means were morally justifiable
and comprehensible; in fact, were directly forced on us, seeing that
Germany was fighting for her existence, and her adversaries, who would
not come to an understanding, left her no choice of means. The use of
noxious gas, aerial attacks on open towns and the U-boat warfare were
means used in desperation against a merciless enemy, who left women
and children to die of starvation and declared day by day that Germany
must be annihilated.

When war was declared, that murderous element was lacking, and it was
only the entry into neutral territory that fostered an atmosphere of
such terrible hatred and vengeance and stamped the struggle as a war
of annihilation.

England's policy concerning Napoleon III. was more of a diplomatic
than a military nature, and everything tends to show that in the
present case England originally had no intention of joining in the
conflagration, but was content to see Germany weakened by her own
confederates.

So far as I am in a position to review the situation no blame for the
wrongly estimated English attitude can be attached to our ambassadors
in London. Their predictions and warnings were correct, and the final
decision respecting the previously mentioned English ultimatum was
taken in Berlin and not in London. Moreover, the German Foreign
Office would never voluntarily have consented to the acts of violence,
but the military party, who cared neither for diplomatic reports nor
political complications, carried everything before them.

It will always be particularly difficult in a war to define the limits
of military and political spheres of action. The activities of both
encroach to so great an extent on each other as to form one whole, and
very naturally in a war precedence is given to military needs.
Nevertheless, the complete displacement of politicians into
subordinate positions which was effected in Germany and thereby made
manifest the fact that the German Supreme Military Command had
possessed itself of all State power of command, was a misfortune. Had
the politicians at Berlin obtained a hearing there would never have
been any invasion of Belgium, nor yet the ruthless U-boat warfare, the
abstention from which would in both cases have saved the life of the
Central Powers.

From the very first day the Emperor William was as a prisoner in the
hands of his generals.

The blind faith in the invincibility of the army was, like so much
else, an heirloom from Bismarck, and the "Prussian lieutenant,
inimitable save in Germany," became her doom. The entire German people
believed in victory and in an Emperor who flung himself into the arms
of his generals and took upon himself a responsibility far surpassing
the normal limit of what was bearable. Thus the Emperor William
allowed his generals full liberty of action, and, to begin with, their
tactics seemed to be successful. The first battle of the Marne was a
godsend for the Entente in their direst need. But, later, when the war
long since had assumed a totally different character, when the troops
were made stationary by the war of position and fresh enemies were
constantly rising up against us, when Italy, Roumania, and finally
America appeared on the scene, then did the German generals achieve
miracles of strategy. Hindenburg and Ludendorff became gods in the
eyes of the German people; the whole of Germany looked up to them and
hoped for victory through them alone. They were more powerful than
the Emperor, and he, therefore, less than ever in a position to oppose
them.

Both the generals drew the wellnigh unlimited measure of their power
direct from the Entente, for the latter left the Germans in no doubt
that they must either conquer or die. The terrified and suffering
people clung, therefore, to those who, as they believed, alone could
give them victory.


5

Anglo-German competition, the increasing decadence of the Monarchy,
and the consequent growing lust of conquest evinced by our neighbours
had prepared the soil for war. Serbia, by the assassination, brought
about an acute state of tension, and Russia profited thereby to fling
herself on the Central Powers.

That appears to me to be briefly an objective history of the beginning
of the war. Faults, errors and omissions from the most varied sources
may occur in it, but can neither alter nor affect the real nature of
the case.

The victorious Entente gives a different interpretation of it. They
maintain that Germany let loose the war, and the terrible peace of
Versailles is the product of that conception, for it serves as
punishment.

A neutral court of justice, as proposed by Germany, was refused. Their
own witnesses and their own judges suffice for them. They are judge
and prosecutor in one. In Dr. Bauer, the German-Austrian Secretary of
State, they have certainly secured an important witness for their view
of the case. In the winter of 1918 the latter openly declared that
"three Austro-Hungarian counts and one general had started the
war."[1]

Were that true, then Germany would also have to bear a vast amount of
blame. For the four "guilty ones" could not have incited to war
without being sure of having Germany at their back, and were it true,
there could only have been a question of some plot laid by the
Austro-Hungarian and the German Governments, in which case Germany,
being the vastly superior military element, would undoubtedly have
assumed the rôle of leader.

Bauer's statement shows that they who inflicted the punitive peace
were right.


6

While the war was going on, a separate peace on our side that would
have delivered up Germany would have been treachery. But had attempts
at peace failed owing to the claims put forward by Germany, we should
have been morally justified in breaking away from them, as we were
united together in a war of defence and not in a war of conquest.
Although the German military party both dreamed and talked incessantly
of conquest, which doubtless gave rise to a misunderstanding of the
situation, that was by no means the exclusive reason why peace could
not be attained. It simply was because on no consideration could the
Entente be induced to pardon Germany. I have already mentioned this in
my speech of December 11, 1918,[2] in which I discoursed on politics
in the world war: "Ludendorff is exactly like the statesmen of France
and England. None of them wishes to compromise, they only look for
victory: in that respect there is no difference between them." As long
as I was in office the Entente would never come to an agreement with
Germany _inter pares_, thereby directly forcing us to assume the part
of a war of defence. Had we succeeded in what we so often attempted to
do, namely to make the Entente pronounce the saving word; and had we
ever been able to make the Entente state that they were ready to
conclude a _status quo_ peace with Germany, we would have been
relieved of our moral obligations. Against this may be quoted: "_Salus
rei publicas supreme lex_"--in order to save the Monarchy Germany
would have to be given up, and therefore the other question must be
inquired into as to whether the "physical possibility" of a separate
peace really did exist. I also mentioned this matter in the aforesaid
speech, and expressly stated then, and withdraw nothing, that after
the entry of England, then of Italy, Roumania, and finally of America
into the war, I considered a victory peace on our side to be a Utopian
idea. But up to the last moment of my official activities, I cherished
the hope of a _peace of understanding_ from month to month, from week
to week, even from day to day, and believed that the possibility would
arise of obtaining such a peace of understanding, however great the
sacrifices. Just as little as anyone else could I foresee the end
which practically has arrived, nor yet the present state of affairs. A
catastrophe of such magnitude and such dimensions was never what I
feared. This is confirmed in the published report of my aforesaid
speech, where I say: "A victory peace was out of the question; we are
therefore compelled to effect a peace with sacrifice." The Imperial
offer to cede Galicia to Poland, and, indirectly, to Germany, arose
out of this train of thought, as did all the peace proposals to the
Entente, which always clearly intimated that we were ready for
_endurable_ sacrifices.

It had always been obvious that the Entente would tear the Monarchy in
shreds, both in the event of a peace of understanding and of a
separate peace. It was quite in keeping with the terms of the Pact of
London of April 26, 1915.

The resolutions passed at that congress which prepared for Italy's
entry into the war, determined the further course of the war, for they
included the division of the Monarchy, and forced us, therefore, into
a desperate war of defence. I believe that London and Paris, at times
when the fortune of war was on our side, both regretted the
resolutions that had been adopted, as they prevented the dwellers on
both the Seine and the Thames from making any temporarily desired
advances to us.

As far back as 1915 we received vague news of the contents of this
strictly secret London agreement; but only in February, 1917, did we
obtain the authentic whole, when the Russian revolutionary Government
published a protocol referring to it, which subsequently was
reproduced in our papers.

I add this protocol to the appendix of the book,[3] as, in spite of
its being so eminently important, it has not received adequate
attention on the part of the public.

According to the settlements, which were binding on the four
States--England, France, Russia, and Italy--the last-named was awarded
the Trentino, the whole of South Tyrol as far as the Brenner Pass,
Trieste, Gorizia, Gradisca, the whole of Istria with a number of
islands, also Dalmatia.

In the course of the war the Entente had further made binding promises
to the Roumanians and Serbians, hence the need for the dissolution of
the Monarchy.

Having made these statements, I wish to explain why a separate peace
was a sheer impossibility for us. In other words, what were the
reasons that prevented us from ending the war and becoming
neutral--reasons which only left one possibility open to us: to change
our adversary, and instead of fighting the Entente, together with
Germany, to join the Entente and with her fight against Germany? It
must, above all, be kept in mind that up to the last days that I held
office the Eastern front was manned by Austro-Hungarian and German
troops all mixed together, and this entire army was under the Imperial
German Command. We had no army of our own in the East--not in the true
sense of the word, as it had been merged into the German army. That
was a consequence of our military inferiority. Again and again we
resorted to German aid. We called repeatedly for help in Serbia,
Roumania, Russia, and Italy, and were compelled to purchase it by
giving up certain things. Our notorious inferiority was only in very
slight degree the fault of the individual soldier; rather did it
emanate from the general state of Austro-Hungarian affairs. We entered
the war badly equipped and sadly lacking in artillery; the various
Ministers of War and the Parliaments were to blame in that respect.
The Hungarian Parliament neglected the army for years because their
national claims were not attended to, and in Austria the Social
Democrats had always been opposed to any measures of defence, scenting
therein plans for attack and not defence.

Our General Staff was in part very bad. There were, of course,
exceptions, but they only prove the rule. What was chiefly wanting was
contact with the troops. These gentlemen sat with their backs turned
and gave their orders. Hardly ever did they see the men at the front
or where the bullets whistled. During the war the troops learned to
_hate_ the General Staff. It was very different in the German army.
The German General Staffs exacted much, but they also achieved much;
above all, they exposed themselves freely and set an example.
Ludendorff, sword in hand, took Liége, accompanied by a couple of men!
In Austria archdukes were put into leading posts for which they were
quite unsuited. Some of them were utterly incompetent; the Archdukes
Friedrich, Eugen, and Joseph formed three exceptions. The first of
these in particular very rightly looked upon his post not as that of a
leader of operations, but as a connecting link between us and Germany,
and between the army and the Emperor Francis Joseph. He always acted
correctly and with eminent tact, and overcame many difficulties. What
was left of our independence was lost after Luck.

To return, therefore, to the plan developed above: a separate peace
that would have contained an order for our troops on the Eastern front
to lay down their arms or to march back would immediately have led to
conflict at the front. Following on the violent opposition that such
an order would naturally have aroused in the German leaders, orders
from Vienna and counter-orders from Berlin would have led to a state
of complete disorganisation, even to anarchy. Humanly speaking, it was
out of the question to look for a peaceful and bloodless unravelment
at the front. I state this in order to explain my firm conviction that
the idea that such a separating of the two armies could have been
carried out in mutual agreement is based on utterly erroneous
premises, and also to prove that we have here the first factor
showing that we would not have ended the war by a separate peace, but
would, on the contrary, have been entangled in a new one.

But what would have been enacted at the front would also, and in
aggravated fashion, have been repeated throughout the entire country:
a civil war would have been inevitable.

I must here explain a second misunderstanding, resulting also from my
speech of December 11, which is due to my statement that "if we came
out Germany could not carry on the war." I admit that this statement
is not clearly expressed, and was interpreted as though I had intended
to say that if we came out the immediate collapse of Germany was a
foregone conclusion. I did not intend to say that, nor did I say or
mean it. I meant to say that our secession from Germany would render
impossible a victorious ending of the war, or even a lasting
successful continuance of the war; that Germany through this would be
faced by the alternative of either submitting to the dictates of the
Entente or of bringing up her supremest fighting powers and
suppressing the Monarchy, preparing for her the same fate as Roumania
met with. I meant to say that Austria-Hungary, if she allowed the
Entente troops to enter, would prove such a terrible danger to Germany
that she would be compelled to use every means to forestall us and
paralyse the move. Whoever imagines that the German military leaders
would not have seized the latter eventuality knows them but badly, and
has a poor opinion of their spirit. In order to be able to form an
objective judgment of this train of thought one should be able to
enter into the spirit of the situation. In April, 1916, when I sent in
my resignation for other reasons, Germany's confidence in victory was
stronger than ever. The Eastern front was free: Russia and Roumania
were out of action. The troops were bound westward, and no one who
knew the situation as it was then can repudiate my assertion that the
German military leaders believed themselves then to be nearer than
ever to a victory peace; that they were persuaded they would take both
Paris and Calais and force the Entente to its knees. It is out of the
question that at such a moment and under such conditions they could
have replied to the falling away of Austria-Hungary otherwise than by
violence.

All who will not admit the argument, I would refer to a fact which it
would be difficult to evade. Six months afterwards, when there was
already clear evidence of the German collapse, when Andrassy declared
a separate peace, the _Germans, as a matter of fact, threw troops into
the Tyrol_. If they, when utterly exhausted, defeated, and ruined,
with revolution at their back, still held firmly to this decision and
endeavoured to make a battlefield on Austrian territory, how much more
would they have done that six months earlier, when they still stood
full of proud defiance and their generals dreamed of victory and
triumph? What I, secondly, also would maintain is that the immediate
consequence of a separate peace would have been the conversion of
Austria-Hungary into a theatre of war. The Tyrol, as well as Bohemia,
would have become fields of battle.

If it be maintained now that the great exhaustion from the war that
prevailed throughout the Monarchy before April, 1917, had caused the
entire population of the former Monarchy to rally round the Minister
who had concluded the separate peace, it is a conscious or unconscious
untruth. Certainly the Czechs were decidedly against Germany, and it
would not have been reasons of political alliance that would have
prevented them from agreeing. But I would like to know what the Czech
people would have said if Bohemia had been turned into a theatre of
war and exposed to all the sufferings endured by this and all other
peoples, and when to it had been added the devastation of the
fatherland, for, let there be no doubt about it, the troops advancing
with flying colours from Saxony would have made their way to Prague
and penetrated even farther. We had no military forces in Bohemia; we
should not have been able to check the advance, and quicker than
either we or the Entente could have sent troops worth mentioning to
Bohemia, the Germans, drawing troops from their wellnigh
inexhaustible reserves, would have marched either against us or
against the Entente on our territory. The German-Austrian public would
not have been in agreement with such a Minister; the German
Nationalists and the German _bourgeoisie_ have no say in the matter.

On October 28 the German Nationalists published their own particular
point of view in the following manner:

  "The members of the German Nationalist parties were highly
  indignant at the way in which Count Andrassy answered Wilson's
  Note. Count Andrassy came from Hungary, and neither came to any
  agreement with the Imperial German Government nor with the
  representatives of the Executive Committee before drawing up the
  Note. Although the peace negotiations were most warmly welcomed
  and considered most necessary, still the one-sided action of Count
  Andrassy in dispatching the Note to Wilson without previous
  arrangement with the German Empire has roused the greatest
  indignation in the German parties. A few days ago a delegation
  from the German Executive Committee was in Berlin and was
  favourably received by the German Imperial Government in the
  matter of providing for German-Austria. Although German soldiers
  fought by the side of ours in the Alps and the Carpathians, the
  alliance has now been violated by this effort to approach Wilson
  without the consent of the German Empire, as is expressly stated
  in the Note. Besides which, no previous agreement with the
  representatives of the German Executive Committee was sought for.
  They were ignored and the answer was sent to Wilson. The German
  Nationalist parties strongly protest against such an
  _unqualifiable act_ and will insist in the German Executive
  Committee that German-Austria's right of self-determination be
  unconditionally upheld and peace be secured in concert with the
  German Empire."

Neither would the German-Austrian Social Democrats have been a party
to such a movement.

A conscious and intended misrepresentation of fact lies before us if
it be maintained to-day that either the National Assembly or the
Austrian Social Democrats would have approved of and supported such
policy. I again have in mind the Andrassy days.

On October 30 the National Assembly took up its position for action.
Dr. Sylvester drew up the report and pointed out the following:

  "It was, however, neither necessary nor desirable to make the
  attempt in such a way as to create an incurable rupture between
  German-Austria and the German Empire that would endanger the
  future of our people. The German-Austrian National Assembly
  asserts that the Note of October 27 from the Royal and Imperial
  Minister for Foreign Affairs was drawn up and dispatched to
  President Wilson without in any way coming to an agreement with
  the representatives of the German-Austrian people. The National
  Assembly protests all the more insistently against this proceeding
  as the nation to which the present Minister for Foreign Affairs
  belongs has expressly refused any joint dealings. The National
  Assembly states that it and its organs alone have the right to
  represent the German-Austrian people in all matters relating to
  foreign affairs and particularly in all peace negotiations."

The protest met with no opposition in the National Assembly.

Afterwards the chairman, Dr. Ellenbogen, the Social Democrat, spoke as
follows:

  "Instead of now telling the German Emperor that his remaining in
  office is the greatest obstacle to peace" (loud applause from the
  Social Democrats), "and if there ever were an object in Curtius's
  famous leap, it would be comprehensible now were the German
  Emperor to copy it to save his people, this coalition now seizes
  the present moment to break away from Germany and in doing so
  attacks German democracy in the rear. Those gentlemen arrived too
  late to gain any profit from the peace. What now remains is the
  _bare and shameful breach of faith_, the thanks of the House of
  Austria, so styled by a celebrated German poet." (Applause from
  the Social Democrats and the German Radicals.)

It was the attack on the separate peace that furnished the exceptional
opportunity for Social Democrats and German Radicals to unite in
common applause, probably the first instance of such a thing in all
these years of war.

If that could happen at a moment when it already was obvious that
there was no longer a possibility of making a peace of understanding
together with Germany--what would have happened, I ask, at a time
when this was by no means so clear to the great majority of the
population; at a time when it was still far from certain, or, at
least, not to be proved mathematically, that we in time and together
with Germany might still be able to conclude a peace of understanding?
Disbandment at the front, where all would be fighting against all,
civil war in the interior--such would have been the result of a
separate peace. And all that in order finally to impose on us the
resolutions passed in London! For never--as I shall presently
show--had the Entente given up their decision, as they were bound to
Italy, and Italy would allow of no change. Such a policy would have
been as suicide from the sheer fear of death.

In 1917 I once discussed the whole question with the late Dr. Victor
Adler, and pointed out to him the probabilities ensuing from a
separate peace.

Dr. Adler replied: "For God's sake, do not plunge us into a war with
Germany!" After the entry of Bavarian troops into the Tyrol (Adler was
then a secretary in the Foreign Affairs department) he reminded me of
our conversation, and added: "The catastrophe we spoke of then has
arrived. The Tyrol will become a theatre of war."

Everyone in Austria wished for peace. No one wanted a new war--and a
separate peace would have brought about not peace, but a new war with
Germany.

In Hungary, Stephen Tisza ruled with practically unlimited powers; he
was far more powerful than the entire Wekerle Ministry put together.
As applied to Hungary, a separate peace would also have meant the
carrying out of the Entente aims; that is, the loss of the largest and
richest territories in the north and south of Czecho-Slovakia,
Roumania and Serbia. Is there anyone who can honestly maintain that
the Hungarians in 1917 would have agreed to these sacrifices without
putting up the bitterest resistance? Everyone who knows the
circumstances must admit that in this case Tisza would have had the
whole of Hungary behind him in a fierce attack on Vienna. Soon after I
took office I had a long and very serious conversation with him on
the German and the peace questions. Tisza pointed out that the Germans
were difficult to deal with; they were arrogant and despotic; yet
without them we could not bring the war to an end. The proposal to
cede Hungarian territory (Transylvania) and also the plan to enforce
an internal Hungarian reform in favour of the subject nationalities
were matters that were not capable of discussion. The congress in
London in 1915 had adopted resolutions that were quite mad and never
could be realised, and the desire for destruction prevailing in the
Entente could only be suppressed by force. In all circumstances, we
must keep our place by the side of Germany. In Hungary are many
different currents of feeling--but the moment that Vienna prepared to
sacrifice any part of Hungary, the whole country would rise as one man
against such action. In that respect there was no difference between
him--Tisza--and Karolyi. Tisza alluded to Karolyi's attitude before
the Roumanian declaration of war, referred to the attitude of
Parliament, and said that if peace were to be made behind Hungary's
back she would separate from Austria and act independently.

I replied that there was no question either of separating from Germany
or of ceding any Hungarian territory, but that we must be quite clear
as to what we had to guard should we be carried further through the
German lust of conquest.

Thereupon Tisza pointed out that the situation was different. It was
not known for certain what had been determined at the conference in
London (the protocol had not then been published), but that Hungarian
territory was promised to Roumania was just as certain as that the
Entente was planning to intervene in Hungarian internal affairs, and
both contingencies were equally unacceptable. Were the Entente to give
Hungary a guarantee for the _status quo ante_ and to desist from any
internal interference it would alter the situation. Until then he must
declare against any attempt at peace.

The conversation as it proceeded became more animated, owing
particularly to my accusing him of viewing all politics from a
Hungarian point of view, which he did not deny, though he maintained
that the dispute was a mere platonic one, as the Entente peace terms
appeared to be such that Austria would be left with much less than
Hungary. I was also first to state the terms under which we could make
peace; then only would it be seen whether extreme pressure brought to
bear on Germany were advisable or not. There was no sense in Germany's
advocating peace if she intended to continue fighting. For Germany was
fighting above all for the integrity of the Monarchy, which would be
lost the moment Germany laid down her arms. Whatever German
politicians and generals said was of little consequence. As long as
England remained bent on satisfying her Allies with our territory,
Germany was the only protection against these plans.

Tisza had no desire for conquest beyond a frontier protection from
Roumania, and he was decidedly opposed to the dismemberment of new
states (Poland); that would be to weaken not to strengthen Hungary.

After a lengthy discussion we agreed to bind ourselves to the
following policy:


  (1) So long, as the determination made at the conference in
        London, i.e. the destruction of the Monarchy, continues to
        be the Entente's objective, we must fight on in the certain
        hope of crushing that spirit of destruction.

  (2) But as our war is purely a defensive war, it will on no
        account be carried on for purposes of conquest.

  (3) Any semblance of the weakening of our allied relations must be
        avoided.

  (4) No concession of Hungarian territory may take place without
        the knowledge of the Prime Minister.

  (5) Should the Austrian Ministry agree with the Foreign Minister
        respecting a cession of Austrian territory, the Hungarian
        Prime Minister will naturally acquiesce.

When the conference in London and the destruction of the Monarchy came
into question, Tisza was entirely in the right, and that he otherwise
to the end adhered to his standpoint is proved on the occasion of his
last visit to the Southern Slavs, which he undertook at the request of
the Emperor immediately before the collapse, and when in the most
marked manner he showed himself to be opposed to the aspirations of
the Southern Slavs.

Whoever attempts to judge in objective fashion must not, when looking
back from to-day, relegate all that has since happened to former
discernible facts, but should consider that, in spite of all pessimism
and all fears, the hopes of a reasonable peace of understanding, even
though involving sacrifices, still existed, and that it was impossible
to plunge the Monarchy into a catastrophe at once for fear of its
coming later.

If the situation is described to-day as though the inhabitants of the
Monarchy, and especially the Social Democrats, were favourably
disposed for any eventuality, even for a separate peace, I must again
most emphatically repudiate it. I bear in mind that Social Democracy
without doubt was the party most strongly in favour of peace, and also
that Social Democracy in Germany, as with us, repeatedly stated that
there were certain limits to its desire for peace. The German Social
Democrats never agreed that Alsace-Lorraine ought to be given up, and
never have our Social Democrats voted for ceding Trieste, Bozen and
Meran. This would in any case have been the price of peace--and also
the price of a separate peace--for, as I have already pointed out, at
the conference in London, which dates back to 1915, binding
obligations had been entered into for the partition of the Monarchy,
while all that had been promised to Italy.

The fall of the Monarchy was quite inevitable, whether through the
separation from Germany or through the vacillation in the Entente
ranks--for the claims of the Italians, the Roumanians, the Serbians,
and the Czechs had all been granted. In any case the Monarchy would
have fallen and German-Austria have arisen as she has done now; and I
doubt whether the part played by that country during the proceedings
would have recommended it to the special protection of the Entente.
It is a very great mistake, whether conscious or unconscious, to
believe and to maintain that the population of German-Austria, and
especially the present leaders of Social Democracy, are devoid of any
strong national feeling. I refer to the part played by the Austrian
Social Democracy in the question of union. It was the motive power in
the union with Germany, and the papers repeated daily that no material
advantages which the Entente could offer to Austria could alter the
decision. How, therefore, can this same Social Democracy, whose entire
political views and aims are subordinate to the desire for a union
with Germany--how can this Social Democracy demand a policy which,
without doubt, must lead not only to a separation from Germany, but to
a fratricidal war with the German nation? And why condemn the
upholding of allied relations when Andrassy was abused for doing the
opposite?

But what was the situation in March, 1918, shortly before my
resignation? Germany stood at the height of her success. I do not
pretend to say that her success was real. In this connection that is
of no moment; but the Germans were persuaded that they were quite near
a victorious end, that after leaving the Eastern front they would
throw themselves on to the Western front, and that the war would end
before America had time to come in. Their reckoning was at fault, as
we all know to-day. But for the German generals the will to victory
was the leading spirit, and all decisions arrived at by Germany
against the defection of Austria-Hungary proceeded from that dominant
influence.

As already mentioned, I stated in my speech of December 11, on foreign
policy, that neither the Entente nor Germany would conclude a peace of
renunciation. Since then I have had opportunity to speak with several
men of the Entente, and consequent on the views that I obtained, I
feel I must formulate my previous opinion in still stronger terms. I
came to the firm conclusion that the Entente--England above all--from
the summer of 1917 at any rate, had formed an unbending resolve to
shatter Germany.

From that time onwards England, with the obstinacy which is her chief
characteristic, appears to have been determined not to treat further
with Germany, nor to sheathe her sword until Germany lay crushed to
earth. It makes no difference in the matter that the German military
party--though for other reasons--from a total misconception of their
chances of victory, steadily refused a peace involving sacrifice at a
time when it might have been possible. This is an historical fact, but
as an upholder of truth I must distinctly state that I doubt whether
concessions would have changed the fate of Germany. _We_ could have
gone over to the enemy--in 1917 and also in 1918; we could have fought
against Germany with the Entente on Austro-Hungarian soil, and would
doubtless have hastened Germany's collapse; but the wounds which
Austria-Hungary would have received in the fray would not have been
less serious than those from which she is now suffering: she would
have perished in the fight against Germany, as she has as good as
perished in her fight allied with Germany.

_Austria-Hungary's watch had run down._ Among the few statesmen who in
1914 wished for war--like Tschirsky, for instance--there can have been
none who after a few months had not altered and regretted his views.
They, too, had not thought of a world war. I believe to-day,
nevertheless, that even without the war the fall of the Monarchy would
have happened, and that the assassination in Serbia was the first
step.

The Archduke Heir Apparent was the victim of Greater Serbia's
aspirations; but these aspirations, which led to the breaking away of
our Southern Slav provinces, would not have been suppressed, but, on
the contrary, would have largely increased and asserted themselves,
and would have strengthened the centrifugal tendencies of other
peoples within the Monarchy.

Lightning at night reveals the country for a second, and the same
effect was produced by the shots fired at Sarajevo. It became obvious
that the signal for the fall of the Monarchy had been given. The bells
of Sarajevo, which began to toll half an hour after the murder,
sounded the death knell of the Monarchy.

The feeling among the Austrian people, and especially at Vienna, was
very general that the outrage at Sarajevo was a matter of more
importance than the murder of an Imperial prince and his wife, and
that it was the alarm signal for the ruin of the Habsburg Empire.

I have been told that during the period between the assassination and
the war, warlike demonstrations were daily occurrences in the Viennese
restaurants and people's parks; patriotic and anti-Serbian songs were
sung, and Berchtold was scoffed at because he could not "exert himself
to take any energetic steps." This must not be taken as an excuse for
any eventual mistakes on the part of the leaders of the nation, for a
leading statesman ought not to allow himself to be influenced by the
man in the street. It is only to prove that the spirit developed in
1914 appears to have been very general. And it may perhaps be
permitted to add this comment: how many of those who then clamoured
for war and revenge and demanded "energy," would, now that the
experiment has totally failed, severely criticise and condemn
Berchtold's "criminal behaviour"?

It is, of course, impossible to say in what manner the fall of the
Monarchy would have occurred had war been averted. Certainly in a less
terrible fashion than was the case through the war. Probably much more
slowly, and doubtless without dragging the whole world into the
whirlpool. We were bound to die. We were at liberty to choose the
manner of our death, and we chose the most terrible.

Without knowing it, we lost our independence at the outbreak of war.
We were transformed from a subject into an object.

This unfortunate war once started, we were powerless to end it. At the
conference in London the death sentence had been passed on the Empire
of the Habsburgs and a separate peace would have been no easier a form
of death than that involved in holding out at the side of our Allies.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Supposed to be the Counts Berchtold, Tisza and Stürgkh and General
Conrad von Hohendorf.

[2] See Appendix, p. 325.

[3] See page 275.



CHAPTER II

KONOPISCHT


1

Konopischt has become the cradle of manifold legends. The lord of the
castle was the first victim of the terrible world conflagration, and
the part that he played before the war has been the subject of much
and partly erroneous commentary.

The Archduke and heir to the throne was a man of a very peculiar
nature. The main feature of his character was a great lack of balance.
He knew no middle course and was just as eager to hate as to love. He
was unbalanced in everything; he did nothing like other people, and
what he did was done in superhuman dimensions. His passion for buying
and collecting antiquities was proverbial and fabulous. A first-rate
shot, sport was for him a question of murdering _en masse_, and the
number of game shot by him reached hundreds of thousands. A few years
before his death he shot his 5,000th stag.

His ability as a good shot was phenomenal. When in India, during his
voyage round the world, and while staying with a certain Maharajah, an
Indian marksman gave an exhibition of his skill. Coins were thrown
into the air which the man hit with bullets. The Archduke tried the
same and beat the Indian. Once when I was staying with him at
Eckartsau he made a _coup double_ at a stag and a hare as they ran; he
had knocked over a fleeing stag, and when, startled by the shot, a
hare jumped up, he killed it with the second bullet. He scorned all
modern appliances for shooting, such as telescopic sights or automatic
rifles; he invariably used a short double-barrelled rifle, and his
exceptionally keen sight rendered glasses unnecessary.

The artistic work of laying out parks and gardens became in latter
years his dominating passion. He knew every tree and every bush at
Konopischt, and loved his flowers above everything. He was his own
gardener. Every bed and every group was designed according to his
exact orders. He knew the conditions essential to the life of each
individual plant, the quality of the soil required; and even the
smallest spot to be laid out or altered was done according to his
minute instructions. But here, too, everything was carried out on the
same gigantic lines, and the sums spent on that park must have been
enormous. Few people had the varied artistic knowledge possessed by
the Archduke; no dealer could palm off on him any modern article as an
antique, and he had just as good taste as understanding. On the other
hand, music to him was simply a disagreeable noise, and he had an
unspeakable contempt for poets. He could not bear Wagner, and Goethe
left him quite cold. His lack of any talent for languages was
peculiar. He spoke French tolerably, but otherwise no other language,
though he had a smattering of Italian and Czech. For years--indeed, to
the end of his life--he struggled with the greatest energy to learn
Hungarian. He had a priest living permanently in the house to give him
Hungarian lessons. This priest accompanied him on his travels, and at
St. Moritz, for instance, Franz Ferdinand had a Hungarian lesson every
day; but, in spite of this, he continued to suffer from the feeling
that he would never be able to learn the language, and he vented his
annoyance at this on the entire Hungarian people. "Their very language
makes me feel antipathy for them," was a remark I constantly heard him
make. His judgment of people was not a well-balanced one; he could
either love or hate, and unfortunately the number of those included in
the latter category was considerably the greater.

There is no doubt about it that there was a very hard strain in Franz
Ferdinand's mentality, and those who only knew him slightly felt that
this hardness of character was the most notable feature in him and his
great unpopularity can doubtless be attributed to this cause. The
public never knew the splendid qualities of the Archduke, and
misjudged him accordingly.

Apparently he was not always like that. He suffered in his youth from
severe lung trouble, and for long was given up by the doctors. He
often spoke to me of that time and all that he had gone through, and
referred with intense bitterness to the people who were only waiting
day by day to put him altogether on one side. As long as he was looked
upon as the heir to the throne, and people reckoned on him for the
future, he was the centre of all possible attention; but when he fell
ill and his case was considered hopeless, the world fluctuated from
hour to hour and paid homage to his younger brother Otto. I do not for
a moment doubt that there was a great deal of truth in what the late
Archduke told me; and no one knowing the ways of the world can deny
the wretched, servile egotism that is almost always at the bottom of
the homage paid to those in high places. More deeply than in the
hearts of others was this resentment implanted in the heart of Franz
Ferdinand, and he never forgave the world what he suffered and went
through in those distressful months. It was chiefly the ostensible
vacillation of the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Count
Goluchowski, that had so deeply hurt the Archduke, who had always
imagined that Goluchowski was deeply attached to him. According to
Franz Ferdinand's account, Goluchowski is supposed to have said to the
Emperor Francis Joseph that the Archduke Otto ought now to be given
the retinue and household suitable for the heir to the throne as
he--Franz Ferdinand--"was in any case lost." It was not so much the
fact as the manner in which Goluchowski tried "to bury him while still
living" that vexed and hurt him whom a long illness had made
irritable. But besides Goluchowski, there were numberless others whose
behaviour at that time he took greatly amiss, and his unparalleled
contempt of the world which, when I knew him, was one of his most
characteristic features, appears--partly, at any rate--to date from
his experiences during that illness.

In connection with politics, too, this bitterness exercised a lasting
influence on his entire mental outlook. I have been told by an
authentic witness that the Archduke, when suffering and combating his
terrible disease, saw one day an article in a Hungarian paper which,
in brutal and derisive tones, spoke of the Archduke's expectations of
future government as laid aside, and gloated openly, with malicious
delight, over the probable event. The Archduke, who while reading the
article had turned ashen grey with rage and indignation, remained
silent for a moment and then made the following characteristic remark:
"Now I must get better. I shall live from now only for my health. I
must get better in order to show them that their joy is premature."
And though this may not have been the only reason for his violent
antipathy to everything Hungarian, there is no doubt that the episode
influenced his mind considerably. The Archduke was a "good hater"; he
did not easily forget, and woe betide those upon whom he vented his
hatred. On the other hand, though but few knew it, he had an
uncommonly warm corner in his heart; he was an ideal husband, the best
of fathers, and a faithful friend. But the number of those he despised
was incomparably greater than those who gained his affection, and he
himself was in no doubt whatever as to his being the most unpopular
person in the Monarchy. But there was a certain grandeur in this very
contempt of popularity. He never could bring himself to make any
advances to newspapers or other organs that are in the habit of
influencing public opinion either favourably or unfavourably. He was
too proud to sue for popularity, and too great a despiser of men to
attach any importance to their judgment.

The Archduke's antipathy to Hungary runs like a scarlet thread through
the political chain of his thoughts. I have been told that at the time
when the Crown Prince Rudolf was frequently in Hungary shooting, the
Archduke was often with him, and that the Hungarian gentlemen took a
pleasure in teasing and ridiculing the young Archduke in the presence
and to the delight of the considerably older Crown Prince. Ready as I
am to believe that the Crown Prince Rudolf enjoyed the jokes--and
little do I doubt that there were men there who would act in such
fashion so as to curry favour with the Crown Prince--I still think
that these unpleasant incidents in his youth weighed less in the
balance with Franz Ferdinand than the already-mentioned occurrences
during his illness.

Apart from his personal antipathies, which he transferred from a few
Hungarians to the entire nation, there were also various far-reaching
and well-founded political reasons which strengthened the Archduke in
his antagonistic relations with Hungary. Franz Ferdinand possessed an
exceptionally fine political _flair_, and this enabled him to see that
Hungarian policy was a vital danger to the existence of the whole
Habsburg Empire. His desire to overthrow the predominance of the
Magyars and to help the nationalities to obtain their rights was
always in his thoughts, and influenced his judgment on all political
questions. He was the steady representative of the Roumanians, the
Slovaks, and other nationalities living in Hungary, and went so far in
that respect that he would have treated every question at once from an
anti-Magyar point of view without inquiring into it in an objective
and expert manner. These tendencies of his were no secret in Hungary,
and the result was a strong reaction among the Magyar magnates, which
he again took as purely personal antagonism to himself, and as the
years went on existing differences increased automatically, until
finally, under the Tisza régime, they led to direct hostility.

The Archduke's antipathy to party leaders in Hungary was even stronger
than that he felt for Tisza, and he showed it particularly to one of
the most prominent figures of that time. I do not know for certain
what took place between them; I only know that several years before
the catastrophe the gentleman in question was received in audience at
the Belvedere, and that the interview came to a very unsatisfactory
end. The Archduke told me that his visitor arrived bringing a whole
library with him in order to put forward legal proofs that the
Magyar's standpoint was the right one. He, the Archduke, snapped his
fingers at their laws, and said so. It came to a violent scene, and
the gentleman, pale as death, tottered from the room.

Certain it is that Ministers and other officials rarely waited on the
Archduke without beating hearts. He was capable of flying out at
people and terrifying them to such a degree that they lost their heads
completely. He often took their fright to be obstinacy and passive
resistance, and it irritated him all the more.

On the other hand, it was extremely easy to get on with him if one
knew him well and did not stand in awe of him. I had many scenes with
him and often lost my temper, too; but there was never any lasting
ill-feeling. Once when at Konopischt we had a scene one evening after
dinner because, he said, I always worked in opposition to him and
rewarded his friendship by treachery. I broke off the conversation,
remarking that, if he could say such things, any further serious
conversation would be impossible, and I also stated my intention of
leaving the next morning. We separated without saying good night to
each other. Quite early next morning--I was still in bed--he appeared
in my room and asked me to forget what he had said the previous
evening, that he had not meant it seriously, and thus completely
disarmed my still prevailing vexation.

A despiser of men, with his wits sharpened by his own experiences, he
never allowed himself to be fooled by servile cringing and flattery.
He listened to people, but how often have I heard him say: "He is no
good; he is a toady." Such people never found favour with him, as he
always mistrusted them at the outset. He was protected more than
others in such high spheres from the poison of servility that attacks
all monarchs.

His two best friends, and the men to whom--after his own nearest
relations--he was most attached, were his brother-in-law Albrecht von
Würtemberg and the Prince Karl of Schwarzenberg.

The former, a man of charming personality, great intelligence, and
equally efficient in political as in military matters, lived on a
footing of true brotherly unity with Franz Ferdinand, and also,
naturally, on terms of perfect equality.

Karl of Schwarzenberg was the most sincere, honourable and
straightforward character I have ever encountered; a man who concealed
the truth from no one. Rich, independent, and devoid of personal
ambition, it was quite immaterial to him whether the Archduke was
pleased with what he asserted or no. He was his _friend_, and
considered it his duty to be honest and open--and if necessary,
disagreeable. The Archduke understood, appreciated, and valued this
attitude. I do not think there are many monarchs or heirs to the
throne who would have suffered, as the Archduke did, Schwarzenberg's
sayings and doings.

Franz Ferdinand was on very bad terms with Aehrenthal, who easily
became abrupt and repellent. Still, there was another reason why two
such hard millstones could not grind together. I do not believe that
the many reproaches launched against Aehrenthal by the Archduke were
consequent on political differences; it was more Aehrenthal's manner
that invariably irritated the Archduke. I had occasion to read some of
Aehrenthal's letters to Franz Ferdinand which, perhaps unintentionally,
had a slight ironical flavour which made the Archduke feel he was not
being taken seriously. He was particularly sensitive in this respect.

When Aehrenthal fell ill the Archduke made unkind remarks about the
dying man, and there was great and general indignation at the want of
feeling shown by him. He represented the Emperor at the first part of
the funeral service, and afterwards received me at the Belvedere. We
were standing in the courtyard when the procession, with the hearse,
passed on the way to the station. The Archduke disappeared quickly
into a cottage close by, the windows of which looked on to the road,
and there, concealed behind the window curtain, he watched the
procession pass. He said not a word, but his eyes were full of tears.
When he saw that I noticed his emotion he turned away angrily, vexed
at having given proof of his weakness. It was just like him. He would
rather be considered hard and heartless than soft and weak, and
nothing was more repugnant to him than the idea that he had aroused
suspicion of striving to enact a touching scene. I have no doubt that
at that moment he was suffering the torture of self-reproach, and
probably suffered the more through being so reserved and unable to
give free play to his feelings.

The Archduke could be extremely gay, and possessed an exceptionally
strong sense of humour. In his happiest years he could laugh like any
youth, and carried his audience with him by his unaffected merriment.

Some years ago a German prince, who was unable to distinguish between
the numerous archdukes, came to Vienna. A dinner was given in his
honour at the Hofburg, where he was seated next to Franz Ferdinand.
Part of the programme was that he was to have gone the next morning
with the Archduke to shoot in the neighbourhood. The German prince,
who mistook the Archduke Franz Ferdinand for someone else, said to him
during dinner: "I am to go out shooting to-morrow, and I hear it is to
be with that tiresome Franz Ferdinand; I hope the plan will be
changed." As far as I know, the expedition did not take place; but I
never heard whether the prince discovered his mistake. The Archduke,
however, laughed heartily for days at the episode.

The Archduke invariably spoke of his nephew, the present Emperor
Charles, with great affection. The relations between the two were,
however, always marked by the absolute subordination of the nephew to
the uncle. In all political discussions, too, the Archduke Charles was
always the listener, absorbing the precepts expounded by Franz
Ferdinand.

Charles's marriage met with the full approval of his uncle. The
Duchess of Hohenberg, too, entertained the warmest affection for the
young couple.

The Archduke was a firm partisan of the Great-Austria programme. His
idea was to convert the Monarchy into numerous more or less
independent National States, having in Vienna a common central
organisation for all important and absolutely necessary affairs--in
other words to substitute Federalisation for Dualism. Now that, after
terrible military and revolutionary struggles, the development of the
former Monarchy has been accomplished in a national spirit, there
cannot be many to contend that the plan is Utopian. At that time,
however, it had many opponents who strongly advised against dissecting
the State in order to erect in its place something new and "presumably
better," and the Emperor Francis Joseph was far too conservative and
far too old to agree to his nephew's plans. This direct refusal of the
idea cherished by the Archduke offended him greatly, and he complained
often in bitter terms that the Emperor turned a deaf ear to him as
though he were the "lowest serving man at Schönbrunn."

The Archduke lacked the knowledge of how to deal with people. He
neither could nor would control himself, and, charming though he could
be when his natural heartiness was allowed free scope, just as little
could he conceal his anger and ill-humour. Thus it came about that the
relations between him and the aged Emperor grew more and more
strained. There were doubtless faults on both sides. The standpoint of
the old Emperor, that as long as he lived no one else should
interfere, was in direct opposition to that of the Archduke, who held
that he would one day have to suffer for the present faults in the
administration, and anyone acquainted with life at court will know
that such differences between the highest individuals are quickly
raked together and exaggerated. At every court there are men who seek
to gain their master's favour by pouring oil on the flames, and who,
by gossip and stories of all kinds, add to the antipathy that
prevails. Thus it was in this case, and, instead of being drawn closer
together, the two became more and more estranged.

The Archduke had but few friends, and under the old monarch
practically none at all. That was one of the reasons for the advances
he made to the Emperor William. In reality, they were men of such a
different type that there could be no question of friendship in the
true sense of the word, or any real understanding between him and the
Emperor William, and the question was never mooted practically. The
only point common to both their characters was a strongly defined
autocratic trait. The Archduke had no sympathy with the speeches of
the Emperor William, nor yet with his obvious desire for popularity,
which the Archduke could not understand. The Emperor William, on his
part, undoubtedly grew more attached to the Archduke during his latter
years than he had been originally. Franz Ferdinand was not on such
good terms with the Crown Prince of Germany. They spent some weeks
together at St. Moritz in Switzerland, without learning to know each
other any better; but this can readily be explained by the difference
in age and also by the much more serious views of life held by the
Archduke.

The isolation and retirement in which the Archduke lived, and the
regrettably restricted intercourse he had with other circles, gave
rise to the circulation of some true, besides numerous false, rumours.
One of these rumours, which is still obstinately kept up, was to the
effect that the Archduke was a fanatic for war and looked upon war as
a necessary aid to the realisation of his plans for the future.
Nothing could be more untrue, and, although the Archduke never openly
admitted it to me, I am convinced that he had an instinctive feeling
that the Monarchy would never be able to bear the terrible test of
strength of a war, and the fact is that, instead of working to
encourage war, his activities lay all in the opposite direction. I
recollect an extremely symptomatic episode: I do not remember the
exact date, but it was some time before the death of the Archduke. One
of the well-known Balkan turmoils threw the Monarchy into a state of
agitation, and the question whether to mobilise or not became the
order of the day. I chanced to be in Vienna, where I had an interview
with Berchtold who spoke of the situation with much concern and
complained that the Archduke was acting in a warlike spirit. I offered
to draw the Archduke's attention to the danger of the proceeding, and
put myself in telegraphic communication with him. I arranged to join
his train that same day when he passed through Wessely on his way to
Konopischt. I only had the short time between the two stations for my
conversation. I therefore at once took the bull by the horns and told
him of the rumours current about him in Vienna and of the danger of
promoting a conflict with Russia by too strong action in the Balkans.
I did not meet with the slightest opposition from the Archduke, and in
his usual expeditious way he wrote, while still in the train, a
telegram to Berchtold in which he expressed his perfect agreement in
maintaining a friendly attitude and repudiated all the reports of his
having been opposed to it. It is a fact that certain of the military
party, who were anxious for war, made use of the Archduke, or rather
misused him, in order to carry on a military propaganda in his name
and thus gave rise to so wrongful an estimate of him. Several of these
men died a hero's death in the war; others have disappeared and are
forgotten. Conrad, Chief of the General Staff, was never among those
who misused the Archduke. He could never have done such a thing. He
carried out himself what he considered necessary and did it openly and
in face of everybody.

In connection with these reports about the Archduke there is one
remarkable detail that is worthy of note. He told me himself how a
fortune-teller once predicted that "he would one day let loose a world
war." Although to a certain extent this prophecy flattered him,
containing as it did the unspoken recognition that the world would
have to reckon on him as a powerful factor, still he emphatically
pointed out how mad such a prophecy was. It was fulfilled, however,
later, though very differently from what was meant originally, and
never was prince more innocent of causing blood to flow than the
unhappy victim of Sarajevo.

The Archduke suffered most terribly under the conditions resulting
from his unequal marriage. The sincere and true love he felt for his
wife kept alive in him the wish to raise her to his rank and
privileges, and the constant obstacles that he encountered at all
court ceremonies embittered and angered him inexpressibly. The
Archduke was firmly resolved that when he came to the throne he would
give to his wife, not the title of Empress, but a position which,
though without the title, would bestow upon her the highest rank. His
argument was that wherever he was she would be the mistress of the
house, and as such was entitled to the highest position, "therefore
she will take precedence of all the archduchesses." Never did the
Archduke show the slightest wish to alter the succession and put his
son in place of the Archduke Charles. On the contrary, he was resolved
that his first official act on coming to the throne would be to
publish a solemn declaration containing his intention, in order to
counteract the ever-recurring false and biassed statements. As regards
his children, for whom he did everything that a loving father's heart
could devise, his greatest wish was to see them become wealthy,
independent private individuals, and able to enjoy life without any
material cares. His plan was to secure the title of Duke of Hohenberg
for his eldest son. It was, therefore, in harmony with this intention
that the Emperor Charles conferred the title on the youth.

One fine quality in the Archduke was his fearlessness. He was quite
clear that the danger of an attempt to take his life would always be
present, and he often spoke quite simply and openly of such a
possibility. A year before the outbreak of war he informed me that the
Freemasons had resolved to kill him. He even gave me the name of the
town where the resolution was passed--it has escaped my memory
now--and mentioned the names of several Austrian and Hungarian
politicians who must have been in the secret. He also told me that
when he went to the coronation in Spain he was to have made the
journey with a Russian Grand Duke, but shortly before the train
started the news came that the Grand Duke had been murdered on the
way. He did not deny that it was with mixed feelings that he stepped
into his compartment. When at St. Moritz news was sent him that two
Turkish anarchists had arrived in Switzerland intending to murder him,
that every effort was being made to capture them, but that so far no
trace of them had been discovered, and he was advised to be on his
guard. The Archduke showed me the telegram at the time. He laid it
aside without the slightest sign of fear, saying that such events,
when announced beforehand, seldom were carried out. The Duchess
suffered all the more in her fears for his life, and I think that in
imagination the poor lady often went through the catastrophe of which
she and her husband were the victims. Another praiseworthy feature in
the Archduke was that, out of consideration for his wife's anxiety, he
tolerated the constant presence of a detective, which not only bored
him terribly but in his opinion was absurd. He was afraid that if the
fact became known it would be imputed to timidity on his part, and he
conceded the point solely with the view of calming his wife's fears.

But he anxiously concealed all his good qualities and took an
obstinate pleasure in being hard and disagreeable. I will not
endeavour here to excuse certain traits in his character. His strongly
pronounced egotism cannot be denied any more than the hardness of
character, which made him insensible to the sufferings of all who were
not closely connected with him. He also made himself hated by his
severe financial proceedings and his inexorable judgment on any
subordinate whom he suspected of the slightest dishonesty. In this
connection there are hundreds of anecdotes, some true, some false.
These petty traits in his character injured him in the eyes of the
great public, while the really great and manly qualities he possessed
were unknown to them, and were not weighed in the balance in his
favour. For those who knew him well his great and good qualities
outweighed the bad ones a hundredfold.

The Emperor was always very perturbed concerning the Archduke's plans
for the future. There was a stern trait also in the old monarch's
character, and in the interests of the Monarchy he feared the
impetuosity and obstinacy of his nephew. Nevertheless, he often took a
very magnanimous view of the matter. For instance, Count Stürgkh, the
murdered Prime Minister, gave me details respecting my nomination to
the Herrenhaus which are very characteristic of the old monarch. It
was Franz Ferdinand's wish that I should be in the Herrenhaus, as he
was anxious for me to be one of a delegation and also to profit by my
extensive training in the province of foreign policy. I must mention
here that it had been impressed on the Emperor on all sides that the
Archduke's friends and trusted men were working against him; a version
of affairs which to a certain degree he obviously believed, owing to
his numerous disputes with Franz Ferdinand. On Stürgkh mentioning my
name as a candidate for the Herrenhaus, the Emperor hesitated a moment
and then said: "Ah, yes. That is the man who is to be Minister for
Foreign Affairs when I am dead. Let him go to the Herrenhaus that he
may learn a little more."

Political discussions with the Emperor Francis Joseph were often very
difficult, as he kept strictly to the Government department in
question and only discussed what referred thereto. While I was
ambassador the Emperor would discourse to me on Roumania and the
Balkans, but on nothing else. Meanwhile, the different questions were
often so closely interwoven that it was impossible to separate them. I
remember at one audience where I submitted to the Emperor the
Roumanian plans for a closer connection with the Monarchy--plans which
I shall allude to in a later chapter--and in doing so I was naturally
bound to state what the Roumanians proposed respecting the closer
connection with Hungary, and also what changes would be necessitated
thereby in the Hungarian administration. The Emperor at once broke off
the conversation, saying that it was a matter of Hungarian internal
policy.

The old Emperor was almost invariably kind and friendly, and to the
very last his knowledge of the smallest details was astonishing. He
never spoke of the different Roumanian Ministers as the Minister of
Agriculture, of Trade, or whatever it might be, but mentioned them all
by name and never made a mistake.

I saw him for the last time in October, 1916, after my definite return
from Roumania, and found him then quite clear and sound mentally,
though failing in bodily health.

The Emperor Francis Joseph was a "Grand Seigneur" in the true sense of
the word. He was an Emperor and remained always unapproachable.
Everyone left his presence feeling he had stood before an Emperor. His
dignity in representing the monarchical idea was unsurpassed by any
sovereign in Europe.

He was borne to his grave at a time of great military successes for
the Central Powers. He lies now in the Imperial vault, and a century
seems to have elapsed since his death; the world is changed.

Day by day streams of people pass by the little church, but no one
probably gives a thought to him who lies in peace and forgotten, and
yet he, through many long years, embodied Austria, and his person was
a common centre for the State that so rapidly was falling asunder.

He is now at rest, free from all care and sorrow; he saw his wife, his
son, his friends all die, but Fate spared him the sight of his
expiring Empire.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND _Photo: Pietzner, Vienna._]

Franz Ferdinand's character held many sharply defined corners and
edges; judging him objectively, no one can deny his great faults.
Though the circumstances of his death were so tragic, it may well be
that for him it was a blessing. It is hardly conceivable that, once on
the throne, the Archduke would have been able to carry out his plans.
The structure of the Monarchy which he was so anxious to strengthen
and support was already so rotten that it could not have stood any
great innovations, and if not the war, then probably the Revolution,
would have shattered it. On the other hand, there seems to be no doubt
that the Archduke, with all the vehemence and impulsiveness of his
character, would have made the attempt to rebuild the entire structure
of the Monarchy. It is futile to comment on the chances of his
success, but according to human foresight the experiment would not
have succeeded, and he would have succumbed beneath the ruins of the
falling Monarchy.

It is also futile to conjecture how the Archduke would have acted had
he lived to see the war and the upheaval. I think that in two respects
his attitude would have differed from that taken. In the first place,
he never would have agreed to our army being under German control. It
would not have been consistent with his strongly developed autocratic
tendencies, and he was too clever politically not to see that we
should thereby lose all political freedom of action. In the second
place, he would not, like the Emperor Charles, have yielded to
revolution. He would have gathered his faithful followers round him
and would have fallen fighting, sword in hand. He would have fallen as
did his greatest and most dangerous enemy, Stephen Tisza.

But he died the death of a hero on the field of honour, valiantly and
in harness. The golden rays of the martyr's crown surrounded his dying
head. Many there were who breathed more freely on hearing the news of
his death. At the court in Vienna and in society at Budapest there was
more joy than sorrow, the former having rightly foreseen that he would
have dealt hardly with them. None of them could guess that the fall of
the strong man would carry them all with it and engulf them in a world
catastrophe.

Franz Ferdinand will remain portrayed in history as a man who either
loved or hated. But his tragic end at the side of his wife, who would
not allow death to separate them, throws a mild and conciliatory light
on the whole life of this extraordinary man, whose warm heart to the
very last was devoted to his Fatherland and duty.


2

There was a widely-spread but entirely wrongful idea in the Monarchy
that the Archduke had drawn up a programme of his future activities.
This was not the case. He had very definite and pronounced ideas for
the reorganisation of the Monarchy, but the ideas never developed into
a concrete plan--they were more like the outline of a programme that
never was completed in detail. The Archduke was in touch with experts
from the different departments; he expounded the fundamental views of
his future programme to prominent military and political officials,
receiving from them hints on how to materialise these views; but a
really finished and thought-out programme was never actually produced.
The ground lines of his programme were, as already mentioned, the
abolition of the dualism and the reorganisation of the Monarchy to
form a federative state. He was not clear himself into how many states
the Habsburg Monarchy should be converted, but the principle was the
rebuilding of the Monarchy on a national basis. Having always in view
that prosperity depended on the weakening of the Magyar influence, the
Archduke was in favour of a strong preference for the different
nationalities living in Hungary, the Roumanians in particular. Not
until my return to Bucharest and following on my reports did the
Archduke conceive the plan of ceding Transylvania to Roumania and thus
adding Greater Roumania to the Habsburg Empire.

His idea was to make of Austria separate German, Czech, Southern Slav
and Polish states, which in some respects would be autonomous; in
others, would be dependent on Vienna as the centre. But, so far as I
know, his programme was never quite clearly defined, and was subject
to various modifications.

The Archduke had a great dislike for the Germans, especially the
northern Bohemians, who were partisans of the Pan-Germanic tendencies,
and he never forgave the attitude of the Deputy Schönerer. He had a
decided preference for all Germans in the Alpine countries, and
generally his views were very similar to those of the Christian
Socialists. His political ideal was Lueger. When Lueger was lying ill
the Archduke said to me: "If God will only spare this man, no better
Prime Minister could be found." Franz Ferdinand had a keen desire for
a more centralised army. He was a violent opponent of the endeavours
of the Magyars whose aim was an independent Hungarian army, and the
question of rank, word of command, and other incidental matters could
never be settled as long as he lived, because he violently resisted
all Hungarian advances.

The Archduke had a special fondness for the navy. His frequent visits
to Brioni brought him into close touch with our navy. He was always
anxious to transform the Austrian Navy into one worthy of a Great
Power. In regard to foreign policy, the Archduke was always in favour
of a Triple Alliance of the three Emperors. The chief motive of this
idea must have been that, in the three then apparently so powerful
monarchs at Petersburg, Berlin and Vienna, he saw the strongest
support against revolution, and wished thereby to build up a strong
barrier against disorganisation. He saw great danger to the friendly
relations between Russia and ourselves in the rivalry between Vienna
and Petersburg in the Balkans, and contrary to the reports that have
been spread about him, he was rather a partisan than an opposer of
Serbia. He was in favour of the Serbians because he felt assured that
the petty agrarian policy of the Magyars was responsible for the
constant annoyance of the Serbians. He favoured meeting Serbia
half-way, because he considered that the Serbian question was a source
of discord between Vienna and Petersburg. Another reason was that he
was no friend of King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, who constantly pursued an
anti-Serbian policy. I believe that if those who were responsible for
the organisation of the assassination of the Archduke had known what
little justification there was for supposing him to be the man they
thought him, they would have desisted.

Franz Ferdinand had a very pronounced feeling that in spite of all
alliances the Monarchy must remain independent. He was opposed to any
closer combine with Germany, not wishing to be bound to Germany more
than to Russia, and the plan that was formulated later as "Central
Europe" was always far removed from his wishes and endeavours.

His plans for the future were not worked out, not complete, but they
were sound. This, however, is not sufficient to enable one to say that
they could have been successfully carried out. In certain
circumstances more harm than good will result from energy devoid of
the necessary calm prudence, wisdom and, above all, patience.



CHAPTER III

WILLIAM II


1

The Emperor William has been for so long the centre of historic
events, so much has been written about him, that apparently he should
be known to all the world; and yet I believe he has often been
misrepresented.

It is well known that the scarlet thread running through the whole
character of William II. was his firm conviction that he was the
"elect of God," and that the dynasty was inextricably bound to the
German people. Bismarck also believed in the dynastic fidelity of the
Germans. It seems to me that there is just as little dynastic as
republican spirit in nations--just as little in the Germans as in
others. There is merely a feeling of content or discontent which
manifests itself either for or against the dynasty and the form of
government. Bismarck himself was a proof of the justice of this
argument. As he himself always maintained, he was thoroughly
dynastic--but only during the lifetime of the Emperor William I. He
had no love for William II., who had treated him badly, and made no
secret of his feelings. He hung the picture of the "young man" in the
scullery and wrote a book about him which, owing to its contents,
could not be published.

The Monarchists who derive benefit from their attachment to the
reigning monarch deceive themselves as to their true feelings. They
are Monarchists because they consider that form of government the most
satisfactory one. The Republicans, who apparently glorify the majesty
of the people, really mean themselves. But in the long run a people
will always recognise that form of government which soonest can give
it order, work, prosperity and contentment. In ninety-nine per cent.
of the population the patriotism and enthusiasm for one or other form
of government is nothing but a matter of material considerations. They
prefer a good king to a bad republic, and vice versa; the form of
government is the means to the end, but the end is the contentment of
the people governed. Nor has the liberty of those governed anything to
do with the form of government. Monarchical England is just as free as
Republican America, and the Bolshevists have demonstrated _ad oculus_
to the whole world that the proletariat exercises the greatest
tyranny.

The war that was lost swept away the monarchs, but the Republics will
only be maintained if they can convince the people that they are more
successful in satisfying the masses than the monarchs were, a proof
which--it seems to me--the German-Austrian Republic, at any rate, has
hitherto failed to give.

The conviction that these questionable statements not only are false
but also objectionable and criminal errors; that the Divine Will has
placed the monarch at his post and keeps him there--this conviction
was systematically imprinted in the German people, and formed an
integral part of the views attributed to the Emperor. All his
pretensions are based on this; they all breathe the same idea. Every
individual, however, is the product of his birth, his education and
his experience. In judging William II. it must be borne in mind that
from his youth upwards he was deceived and shown a world which never
existed. All monarchs should be taught that their people do not love
them; that they are quite indifferent to them; that it is not love
that makes them follow them and look up to them, but merely curiosity;
that they do not acclaim them from enthusiasm, but for their own
amusement, and would as soon hiss at them as cheer them. The loyalty
of subjects can never be depended on; it is not their intention to be
loyal, but only contented; they only tolerate the monarchs as long as
they themselves are contented, or as long as they have not enough
strength to abolish them. That is the truth, a knowledge of which
would prevent monarchs from arriving at unavoidably false
conclusions.

The Emperor William is an example of this. I do not think there is
another ruler who had better intentions than he had. He lived only for
his calling--as he viewed it. All his thoughts and longings were
centred round Germany. His relations, pleasures and amusements were
all subservient to the one idea of making and keeping the German
people great and happy, and if good will were sufficient to achieve
great things William II. would have achieved them. From the very
beginning he was misunderstood. He made statements and gestures
intended not only to win his listeners but the whole world, which had
just the contrary effect. But he never was conscious of the practical
effect of his actions, because he was systematically misled, not only
by those in his immediate presence, but by the entire German people.
How many millions, who to-day fling curses at him, could not bow low
enough when he appeared on the horizon in all his splendour; how many
felt overjoyed if the Imperial glance fell on them!--and none of them
realise that they themselves are to blame for having shown the Emperor
a world which never existed, and driven him into a course which he
otherwise would never have taken. It certainly cannot be denied that
the whole nature of the Emperor was peculiarly susceptible to this
characteristically German attitude, and that monarchs less talented,
less keen, less ready, and above all, less impregnated with the idea
of self-sufficiency, are not so exposed to the poison of popularity as
he was.

I once had the opportunity of studying the Emperor William in a very
important phase of his life. I met him at the house of a friend in the
celebrated days of November, 1908, when great demonstrations against
the Emperor occurred in the Reichstag, and when the then Imperial
Chancellor, Prince Bülow, exposed him. Although he did not allude to
the matter to us with whom he was not familiar, the powerful
impression made upon him by these events in Berlin was very obvious,
and I felt that in William II. I saw a man who, for the first time in
his life, with horror-stricken eyes, looked upon the world as it
really was. He saw brutal reality in close proximity. For the first
time in his life, perhaps, he felt his position on his throne to be a
little insecure. He forgot his lesson too quickly. Had the
overwhelming impression which prevailed for several days been a
lasting one it might perhaps have induced him to descend from the
clouds to which his courtiers and his people had raised him, and once
more feel firm ground beneath his feet. On the other hand, had the
German people often treated the German Emperor as they did then it
might have cured him.

A remarkable incident which occurred on this occasion is
characteristic of the way in which the Emperor was treated by many of
the gentlemen of his suite. I had opportunity, while waiting at a
German station restaurant for the arrival of the next train, to watch
and study the excitement of the population at the events in Berlin,
which bore signs of a revolutionary character. The densely crowded
restaurant re-echoed with discussion and criticisms of the Emperor,
when suddenly one of the men stood up on a table and delivered a fiery
speech against the head of the Government. With the impression of this
scene fresh in my mind, I described it to the members of the Emperor's
suite, who were just as disagreeably affected by the episode, and it
was suggested that nothing should be said about it to the Emperor. One
of them, however, protested most energetically and declared that, on
the contrary, every detail should be told to the Emperor, and, so far
as I know, he himself probably undertook this disagreeable task. This
case is characteristic of the desire to keep all unpleasantness from
the Emperor and to spare him even the most well-founded criticisms; to
praise and exalt him, but never to show that he was being blamed. This
systematic putting forward of the Emperor's divine attributes, which
in reality was neither due to love of his personality nor any other
dynastic cause, but to the purely egotistical wish not to get into
disfavour themselves or expose themselves to unpleasantness; this
unwholesome state must in the long run act on mind and body as an
enervating poison. I readily believe that the Emperor William,
unaccustomed to so great an extent to all criticism, did not make it
easy for those about him to be open and frank. It was, nevertheless,
true that the enervating atmosphere by which he was surrounded was the
cause of all the evil at his court. In his youth the Emperor William
did not always adhere strictly to the laws of the Constitution; he
subsequently cured himself of this failing and never acted
independently of his counsellors. At the time when I had official
dealings with him he might have served as a model of constitutional
conduct.

In the case of so young and inexperienced a man as the Emperor Charles
it was doubly necessary to uphold the principle of ministerial
responsibility to the fullest extent. As according to our Constitution
the Emperor is not responsible to the law, it was of the greatest
importance to carry out the principle that he could undertake no
administrative act without the cognisance and sanction of the
responsible Ministers, and the Emperor Francis Joseph adhered to this
principle as though it were gospel.

The Emperor Charles, though full of good intentions, was devoid of all
political training and experience, and ought to have been brought up
to understand the principles of the Constitution. This, however, had
never been taken into consideration.

After my resignation in April, 1918, a deputation from the
Constitutional and Central Party in the Herrenhaus waited on the Prime
Minister, Dr. von Seidler, and pointed out the importance of a
severely constitutional régime, whereupon Dr. von Seidler declared
that he took upon himself the full responsibility of the "letter
incident."

This was quite preposterous. Dr. von Seidler could not be responsible
for events that had occurred a year before--at a time when he was not
Minister--apart from its being an established fact that during his
tenure of office he was not aware of what had happened, and not until
after my resignation did he learn the Imperial views on the situation.
He might just as well have accepted responsibility for the Seven Years
War or for the battle of Königgrätz.

In 1917 and '18, when I had certain official dealings with the Emperor
William, his horror of an unpleasant discussion was so great that it
was a matter of extreme difficulty to impart the necessary information
to him. I recollect how once, at the cost of the consideration due to
an Emperor, I was compelled to extract a direct statement from him. I
was with the Emperor Charles on the Eastern front, but left him at
Lemberg and, joining the Emperor William in his train, travelled with
him for a couple of hours. I had certain things to submit to him, none
of which was of an unpleasant nature. I do not know why it was, but it
was obvious that the Emperor was expecting to hear some disagreeable
statements, and offered a passive resistance to the request for a
private interview. He invited me to breakfast with him in his
dining-car, where he sat in the company of ten other gentlemen, and
there was no possibility of beginning the desired conversation.
Breakfast had been over some time, but the Emperor made no sign of
moving. I was several times obliged to request him to grant me a
private interview before he rose from the table, and even then he took
with him an official from the Foreign Ministry to be present at our
conversation as though to have some protection against anticipated
troubles. The Emperor William was never rude to strangers, though he
often was so to his own people.

With regard to the Emperor Charles, the situation was very different.
He was never anything but friendly; in fact I never saw him angry or
vexed. There was no need for any special courage in making an
unpleasant statement to him, as there was no danger of receiving a
violent answer or any other disagreeable consequences. And yet the
desire to believe only what was agreeable and to put from him anything
disagreeable was very strong in the Emperor Charles, and neither
criticism nor blame made any lasting impression on him. But in his
case, too, the atmosphere that surrounded him rendered it impossible
to convince him of the brutal realities prevailing. On one occasion,
when I returned from the front, I had a long conversation with him. I
reproached him for some act of administration and asserted that not
only on me but on the whole Monarchy his action had made a most
unfavourable impression. I told him in the course of the conversation
that he must remember how, when he came to the throne, the whole
Monarchy had looked to him with great hopes, but that now he had
already lost 80 per cent. of his popularity. The interview ended
without incident; the Emperor preserved, as usual, a friendly
demeanour, though my remarks must have affected him unpleasantly. Some
hours later we passed through a town where not only the station but
all buildings were black with people, standing even on the roofs,
waving handkerchiefs and loudly welcoming the Imperial train as it
passed through. The same scenes were repeated again and again at other
stations that we passed. The Emperor turned to me with a smile and a
look that showed me he was firmly convinced everything I had told him
as to his dwindling popularity was false, the living picture before
our eyes proving the contrary.

When I was at Brest-Litovsk disturbances began in Vienna owing to the
lack of food. In view of the whole situation, we did not know what
dimensions they would assume, and it was considered that they were of
a threatening nature. When discussing the situation with the Emperor,
he remarked with a smile: "The only person who has nothing to fear is
myself. If it happens again I will go out among the people and you
will see the welcome they will give me." Some few months later this
same Emperor disappeared silently and utterly out of the picture, and
among all the thousands who had acclaimed him, and whose enthusiasm he
had thought genuine, not one would have lifted a little finger on his
behalf. I have witnessed scenes of enthusiasm which would have
deceived the boldest and most sceptical judge of the populace. I saw
the Emperor and the Empress surrounded by weeping women and men
wellnigh smothered in a rain of flowers; I saw the people on their
knees with uplifted hands, as though worshipping a Divinity; and I
cannot wonder that the objects of such enthusiastic homage should have
taken dross for pure gold in the firm belief that they _personally_
were beloved of the people, even as children love their own parents.
It is easy to understand that after such scenes the Emperor and
Empress looked upon all the criticism of themselves and the discontent
among the people as idle talk, and held firmly to the belief that
grave disturbances might occur elsewhere but not in their own country.
Any simple citizen who has held for a time a higher position
experiences something of the kind, though in a lesser degree. I could
mention names of many men who could not bow low enough as long as I
was in power, but after my resignation would cross the street to avoid
a bow, fearing that Imperial disfavour might react on them. But years
before his rise the simple citizen has an opportunity of learning to
know the world, and, if he be a man of normal temperament, will feel
the same contempt for the servility shown during his time in office as
for the behaviour he meets with afterwards. Monarchs are without
training in the school of life, and therefore usually make a false
estimate of the psychology of humanity. But in this tragi-comedy it is
they who are led astray.

It is less easy, however, to understand that responsible advisers, who
are bound to distinguish between reality and comedy, should also allow
themselves to be deceived and draw false political conclusions from
such events. In 1918 the Emperor, accompanied by the Prime Minister,
Dr. von Seidler, went to the South Slav provinces to investigate
matters there. He found, of course, the same welcome there as
everywhere, curiosity brought the people out to see him; pressure from
the authorities on the one hand, and hope of Imperial favours on the
other, brought about ovations similar to those in the undoubtedly
dynastic provinces. And not only the Emperor, but von Seidler returned
in triumph, firmly convinced that everything stated in Parliament or
written in the papers respecting the separatist tendencies of the
South Slavs was pure invention and nonsense, and that they would never
agree to a separation from the Habsburg Empire.

The objects of these demonstrations of enthusiasm and dynastic
loyalty were deceived by them, but I repeat that those who were to
blame were not the monarchs, but those who were the instigators and
organisers of such scenes and who omitted to enlighten the monarchs on
the matter. But any such explanation could only be effectual if all
those in the immediate neighbourhood of the ruler concurred in a
similar reckless disregard of truth. For if one out of ten people
declares such scenes to be not genuine and the others contradict him
and assert that the demonstrations of the "love of the people" are
overwhelming, the monarch will always be more inclined to listen to
the many pleasant rather than to the few unpleasant counsels.
Willingly or unwillingly, all monarchs try, very humanly, to resist
awakening out of this hypnotic complacency. Naturally, there were men
in the entourage of the German Emperor whose pride kept them from
making too large an offering to the throne, but as a rule their
suffering in the Byzantine atmosphere of Germany was greater than
their enjoyment. I always considered that the greatest sycophants were
not those living at court, but generals, admirals, professors,
officials, representatives of the people and men of learning--people
whom the Emperor met infrequently.

During the second half of the war, however, the leading men around the
Kaiser were not Byzantine--Ludendorff certainly was not. His whole
nature was devoid of Byzantine characteristics. Energetic, brave, sure
of himself and his aims, he brooked no opposition and was not
fastidious in his choice of language. To him it was a matter of
indifference whether he was confronted by his Emperor or anyone
else--he spoke unrestrainedly to all who came in his way.

The numerous burgomasters, town councillors, professors of the
universities, deputies--in short, men of the people and of
science--had for years prostrated themselves before the Emperor
William; a word from him intoxicated them--but how many of them are
there now amongst those who condemn the former régime with its abuses
and, above all, the Emperor himself!

His political advisers experienced great difficulty in their business
dealings with the Emperor William during the war, as he was generally
at Headquarters and seldom in Berlin. The Emperor Charles's absence
from Vienna was also at times most inconvenient.

In the summer of 1917, for instance, he was at Reichenau, which
necessitated a two hours' motor drive; I had to go there twice or
three times a week, thus losing five or six hours which had to be made
good by prolonged night work. On no account would he come to Vienna,
in spite of the efforts made by his advisers to persuade him to do so.
From certain remarks the Emperor let fall I gathered that the reason
of this persistent refusal was anxiety concerning the health of the
children. He himself was so entirely free from pretensions that it
cannot have been a question of his own comfort that prevented his
coming.

The Emperor's desire to restore the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand to a
post of command was for me a source of much unpleasantness. The
Archduke is said to have been to blame for the Luck failure. I cannot
judge whether wrongly--as the Emperor maintained--or rightly; but the
fact remains that the public no longer had confidence in him. Quite
accidentally I learnt that his reinstatement was imminent. As a matter
of fact, this purely military proceeding in no way concerned me, but I
had to reckon with the feeling of the populace, who were in no mood
for further burdens, and also with the fact that, since Conrad had
gone, none of those in the Emperor's entourage showed the slightest
disposition to acquaint him with the truth. The only general who, to
my personal knowledge, was in the habit of speaking frankly to the
Emperor, was Alvis Schonburg, and he was at this time somewhere on the
Italian front. I therefore told the Emperor that the reinstatement was
an impossibility, giving as my reason the fact that the Archduke had
forfeited the confidence of the country, and that no mother could be
expected to give up her son to serve under a general whom everyone
held to be guilty of the Luck catastrophe. The Emperor insisted that
this view was unjust, and that the Archduke was not culpable. I
replied that, even so, the Archduke would have to submit. Everyone had
lost confidence in him, and the most strenuous exertions of the people
could neither be expected nor obtained if the command were handed to
generals who were unanimously regarded as unworthy of the confidence
placed in them.

My efforts were vain.

I then adopted another course. I sent an official from the Department
of Foreign Affairs to the Archduke with the request that he would
resign voluntarily.

It must be admitted that Joseph Ferdinand took both a loyal and a
dignified attitude, as he himself notified the Emperor that he would
relinquish his command at the front. A short correspondence followed
between the Archduke and myself, which on his side was couched in an
indignant and not over-polite tone; this, however, I did not take
amiss, as my interference had been successful in preventing his
resuming the command.

His subsequent appointment as Chief of the Air Force was made without
my knowledge; but this was of no importance when compared to the
previous plans.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is no doubt that the Byzantine atmosphere of Berlin took a more
objectionable form than ever was the case in Vienna. The very idea of
high dignitaries kissing the Emperor's hand, as they did in Berlin,
would have been impossible in Vienna. I never heard of anyone, even
among the keenest sycophants, who demeaned themselves by such an act,
which in Berlin, as I know from personal observation, was an everyday
occurrence. For instance, after a trip on the _Meteor_, during the
"Kiel Week," the Emperor presented two German officials with
scarf-pins as a souvenir. He handed the pins to them himself, and
great was my surprise to see them kiss his hand as they thanked him.

Many foreigners were in the habit of coming for the Kiel Week:
Americans, French, and English. The Emperor paid them much attention,
and they nearly always succumbed to the charm of his personality.
Apparently William II. had a preference for America; on the subject
of his feelings regarding England it is difficult to express an
opinion. My impression always was that the Emperor resented the scant
sympathy shown him in England; he strove to make himself beloved, and
the failure of his efforts caused him a certain annoyance. He was
quite aware that the extent of his popularity in England would
proportionately influence Anglo-German relations, and his desire to
find favour in England did not proceed from personal vanity, but from
political interests.

King Edward was known to be one of the best judges of men in all
Europe, and his interest in foreign policy was predominant. He would
have been an ideal ambassador. There was never a very good
understanding between uncle and nephew. When the nephew was already
Emperor, and his much older uncle still only a prince, the difference
in their positions was characterised by the satirical Kiderlen-Waechter
in the following terms: "The Prince of Wales cannot forgive his nephew,
eighteen years younger than himself, for making a more brilliant career
than has fallen to his lot."

Personal sympathy and personal differences in leading circles are
capable of influencing the world's history. Politics are, and always
will be, made by men, and individual personal relations will always
play a certain part in their development. Who can to-day assert that
the course of the world might not have been different had the monarchs
of Germany and England been more alike in temperament? The encircling
policy of King Edward was not brought into play until he was persuaded
that an understanding with the Emperor William was impossible.

The difficulty the Emperor experienced in adapting himself to the
ideas and views of others increased as the years went by, a state of
things largely the fault of his entourage.

The atmosphere in which he lived would have killed the hardiest plant.
Whatever the Emperor said or did, whether it was right or wrong, was
received with enthusiastic praise and admiration. Dozens of people
were always at hand to laud him to the skies.

For instance, a book was published during the war entitled, "Der
Kaiser im Felde," by Dr. Bogdan Kriegen. The Emperor presented me with
a copy when at Kreuznach in May, 1917, and wrote a suitable
inscription inside. The book contained an accurate account of all the
Emperor had done during the campaign--but it was entirely superficial
matter; where he had driven to, where breakfasted, with whom he had
spoken, the jokes he had made, what clothes he wore, the shining light
in his eyes, etc., etc. It also recorded his speeches to the troops;
dull and uninteresting words that he addressed to individual soldiers,
and much more in the same strain. The whole book is impregnated and
permeated with boundless admiration and unqualified praise. The
Emperor gave me the book when I was leaving, and I read it through
when in the train.

I was asked a few weeks later by a German officer what I thought of
the book. I replied that it was trash and could only harm the Emperor,
and that it should be confiscated. The officer shared my opinion, but
said that the Emperor had been assured on all sides that the book was
a splendid work and helped to fire the spirit of the army; he
therefore had it widely distributed. Once, at a dinner at Count
Hertling's, I called his attention to the book and advised him to
suppress it, as such a production could only be detrimental to the
Emperor. The old gentleman was very angry, and declared: "That was
always the way; people who wished to ingratiate themselves with the
Emperor invariably presented him with such things." A professor from
the University had warmly praised the book to me, but he went on to
say: "The Emperor had, of course, no time to read such stuff and
repudiate the flattery; neither had he himself found time to read it,
but would make a point of doing so now." I did not know much of that
professor, but he certainly was not in frequent touch with the
Emperor, nor was the author of the book.

In this instance, as in many others, I concluded that many of the
members of the Emperor's suite were far from being in sympathy with
such tendencies. The court was not the principal offender, but was
carried away by the current of sycophancy.

During my period of office Prince Hohenlohe, the ambassador, had
numerous interviews with the Emperor William, and invariably spoke
most freely and openly to him, and yet always was on the best footing
with him. This was, of course, an easier matter for a foreign
ambassador than for a German of the Empire, but it proves that the
Emperor accepted it when done in proper form.

In his own country the Emperor was either glorified and exalted to the
skies or else scorned and scoffed at by a minority of the Press in a
prejudicial manner. In the latter case it bore so evidently the stamp
of personal enmity that it was discredited _a priori_. Had there
existed earnest papers and organs that would, in dignified fashion,
have discussed and criticised the Emperor's faults and failings, while
recognising all his great and good qualities, it would have been much
more satisfactory. Had there been more books written about him showing
that the real man is quite different from what he is made to appear to
be; that he is full of the best intentions and inspired with a
passionate love of Germany; that in a true and profound religious
sense he often wrestles with himself and his God, asking himself if he
has chosen the right way; that his love for his people is far more
genuine than that of many of the Germans for him; that he never has
deceived them, but was constantly deceived by them--such literature
would have been more efficacious and, above all, nearer the truth.

Undoubtedly the German Emperor's gifts and talents were above the
average, and had he been an ordinary mortal would certainly have
become a very competent officer, architect, engineer, or politician.
But for lack of criticism he lost his bearings, and it caused his
undoing. According to all the records the Emperor William I. was of a
very different nature. Yet Bismarck often had a hard task in dealing
with him, though Bismarck's loyalty and subservience to the dynastic
idea made him curb his characteristically ruthless frankness. But
William I. was a self-made man. When he came to the throne and began
to govern his kingdom was tottering. Assisted by the very capable men
he was able to find and to retain, he upheld it, and by means of
Königgrätz and Sedan created the great German Empire. William II. came
to the throne when Germany had reached the zenith of her power. He had
not acquired what he possessed by his own work, as his grandfather
had; it came to him without any effort on his part; a fact which had a
great and far from favourable influence on his whole mental
development.

The Emperor William was an entertaining and interesting _causeur_. One
could listen to him for hours without wearying. Emperors usually enjoy
the privilege of finding a ready audience, but even had the Emperor
William been an ordinary citizen he would always have spoken to a
crowded house. He could discourse on art, science, politics, music,
religion, and astronomy in a most animated manner. What he said was
not always quite correct; indeed, he often lost himself in very
questionable conclusions; but the fault of boring others, the greatest
of social faults, was not his.

Although the Emperor was always very powerful in speech and gesture,
still, during the war he was much less independent in his actions than
is usually assumed, and, in my opinion, this is one of the principal
reasons that gave rise to a mistaken understanding of all the
Emperor's administrative activities. Far more than the public imagine
he was a driven rather than a driving factor, and if the Entente
to-day claims the right of being prosecutor and judge combined in
order to bring the Emperor to his trial, it is unjust and an error,
as, both preceding and during the war, the Emperor William never
played the part attributed to him by the Entente.

The unfortunate man has gone through much, and more is, perhaps, in
store for him. He has been carried too high and cannot escape a
terrible fall. Fate seems to have chosen him to expiate a sin which,
if it exists at all, is not so much his as that of his country and his
times. The Byzantine atmosphere in Germany was the ruin of Emperor
William; it enveloped him and clung to him like a creeper to a tree; a
vast crowd of flatterers and fortune-seekers who deserted him in the
hour of trial. The Emperor William was merely a particularly
distinctive representative of his class. All modern monarchs suffer
from the disease; but it was more highly developed in the Emperor
William and, therefore, more obvious than in others. Accustomed from
his youth to the subtle poison of flattery, at the head of one of the
greatest and mightiest states in the world, possessing almost
unlimited power, he succumbed to the fatal lot that awaits men who
feel the earth recede from under their feet, and who begin to believe
in their Divine semblance.

He is expiating a crime which was not of his making. He can take with
him in his solitude the consolation that his only desire was for the
best. And notwithstanding all that is said and written about William
II. in these days, the beautiful words of the text may be applied to
him: "Peace on earth to men of goodwill."[4]

In his retirement from the world his good conscience will be his most
precious possession.

Perhaps in the evening of his days William II. will acknowledge that
there is neither happiness nor unhappiness in mortal life, but only a
difference in the strength to endure one's fate.


2

War was never in William II.'s programme. I am not able to say where,
in his own mind, he had fixed the limits he proposed for Germany and
whether it was justifiable to reproach him with having gone too far in
his ambition for the Fatherland. He certainly never thought of a
_unified_ German world dominion; he was not so simple as to think he
could achieve that without a war, but his plan undoubtedly was
permanently to establish Germany among the first Powers of the world.
I know for certain that the Emperor's ideal plan was to come to a
world agreement with England and, in a certain sense, to divide the
world with her. In this projected division of the world a certain
part was to be played by Russia and Japan, but he paid little heed to
the other states, especially to France, convinced that they were all
nations of declining power. To maintain that William intentionally
prepared and started this war is in direct opposition to his long
years of peaceful government. Helfferich, in his work "Die
Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges," speaks of the Emperor's attitude
during the Balkan troubles, and says:

  A telegram sent by William II. at that time to the Imperial
  Chancellor explains the attitude of the German Emperor in this
  critical position for German politics, being similar to the
  situation in July, 1914. The contents of the telegram are as
  follows: "The Alliance with Austria-Hungary compels us to take
  action should Austria-Hungary be attacked by Russia. In that case
  France would also be involved, and in those circumstances England
  would not long remain quiescent. The present prevailing questions
  of dispute cannot be compared with that danger. It cannot be the
  intention of the Alliance that we, the life interest of our ally
  not being endangered, should enter upon a life-and-death conflict
  for a caprice of that ally. Should it become evident that the
  other side intend to attack, the danger must then be faced."

  This calm and decided standpoint which alone could maintain peace
  was also the German policy observed in further developments. It
  was upheld when confronted by strong pressure from Russia, as also
  against other tendencies and a certain transitory ill-feeling in
  Vienna.

Whether such feeling did exist in Vienna or not I cannot say, but I
believe the account is correct.

It has already been mentioned that all the warlike speeches flung into
the world by the Emperor were due to a mistaken understanding of their
effect. I allow that the Emperor wished to create a sensation, even to
terrify people, but he also wished to act on the principle of _si vis
pacem para bellum_, and by emphasising the military power of Germany
he endeavoured to prevent the many envious enemies of his Empire from
declaring war on him.

It cannot be denied that this attitude was often both unfortunate and
mistaken, and that it contributed to the outbreak of war; but it is
asserted that the Emperor was devoid of the _dolus_ of making war;
that he said and did things by which he unintentionally stirred up
war.

Had there been men in Germany ready to point out to the Emperor the
injurious effects of his behaviour and to make him feel the growing
mistrust of him throughout the world, had there been not one or two
but dozens of such men, it would assuredly have made an impression on
the Emperor. It is quite true that of all the inhabitants of the
earth, the German is the one the least capable of adapting himself to
the mentality of other people, and, as a matter of fact, there were
perhaps but few in the immediate entourage of the Emperor who
recognised the growing anxiety of the world. Perhaps many of those who
so continuously extolled the Emperor were really honestly of opinion
that his behaviour was quite correct. It is, nevertheless, impossible
not to believe that among the many clever German politicians of the
last decade there were some who had a clear grasp of the situation,
and the fact remains that, in order to spare the Emperor and
themselves, they had not the courage to be harsh with him and tell him
the truth to his face. These are not reproaches, but reminiscences
which should not be superfluous at a time when the Emperor is to be
made the scapegoat of the whole world. Certainly, the Emperor, being
such as he is, the experiment would not have passed off without there
being opposition to encounter and overcome. The first among his
subjects to attempt the task of enlightening the Emperor would have
been looked upon with the greatest surprise; hence no one would
undertake it. Had there, however, been men who, regardless of
themselves, would have undertaken to do it, it would certainly have
succeeded, as not only was the Emperor full of good intentions, but he
was also impressionable, and consistent purposefulness on a basis of
fearless honesty would have impressed him. Besides, the Emperor was a
thoroughly kind and good man. It was a genuine pleasure for him to be
able to do good, neither did he hate his enemies. In the summer of
1917 he spoke to me about the fate of the deposed Tsar and of his
desire to help him and subsequently bring him to Germany, a desire due
not to dynastic but to human motives. He stated repeatedly that he had
no desire for revenge, but "only to succour his fallen adversary."

I firmly believe that the Emperor clearly saw the clouds grow blacker
and blacker on the political horizon, but he was sincerely and
honestly persuaded that it was not through any fault of his that they
had accumulated, that they were caused by envy and jealousy, and that
there was no other way of keeping the threatening war danger at bay
than by an ostentatious attitude of strength and fearlessness.
"Germany's power and might must daily be proclaimed to the world, for
as long as they fear us they will do us no harm"--that was the
doctrine that obtained on the Spree. And the echo came back from the
world, "This continued boasting of German power and the perpetual
attempts at intimidation prove that Germany seeks to tyrannise the
world."

When war broke out the Emperor was firmly convinced that a war of
defence was being forced on him, which conviction was shared by the
great majority of the German people. I draw these conclusions solely
from my knowledge of the Emperor and his entourage and from other
information obtained indirectly. As I have already mentioned, I had
not had the slightest connection with Berlin for some years previous
to the war, and certainly not for two years after it broke out.

In the winter of 1917, when I met the Emperor again in my capacity as
Minister for Foreign Affairs, I thought he had aged, but was still
full of his former vivacity. In spite of marked demonstrations of the
certainty of victory, I believe that William II. even then had begun
to doubt the result of the war and that his earnest wish was to bring
it to an honourable end. When in the course of one of our first
conversations I urged him to spare no sacrifice to bring it to an end,
he interrupted me, exclaiming: "What would you have me do? Nobody
longs for peace more intensely than I do. But every day we are told
that the others will not hear a word about peace until Germany has
been crushed." It was a true answer, for all statements made by
England culminated in the one sentence _Germanium esse delendam_. I
endeavoured, nevertheless, to induce the Emperor to consent to the
sacrifice of Alsace-Lorraine, persuaded that if France had obtained
all that she looked upon in the light of a national idea she would not
be inclined to continue the war. I think that, had the Emperor been
positively certain that it would have ended the war, and had he not
been afraid that so distressing an offer would have been considered
unbearable by Germany, he would personally have agreed to it. But he
was dominated by the fear that a peace involving such a loss, and
after the sacrifices already made, would have driven the German people
to despair. Whether he was justified in this fear or not cannot now be
confirmed. In 1917, and 1918 as well, the belief in a victorious end
was still so strong in Germany that it is at least doubtful whether
the German people would have consented to give up Alsace-Lorraine. All
the parties in the Reichstag were opposed to it, including the Social
Democrats.

A German official of high standing said to me in the spring of 1918:
"I had two sons; one of them fell on the field of battle, but I would
rather part with the other one too than give up Alsace-Lorraine," and
many were of the same opinion.

In the course of the year and a half when I had frequent opportunities
of meeting the Emperor, his frame of mind had naturally gone through
many different phases. Following on any great military success, and
after the collapse of Russia and Roumania, his generals were always
able to enrol him on their programme of victory, and it is quite a
mistake to imagine that William II. unceasingly clung to the idea of
"Peace above all." He wavered, was sometimes pessimistic, sometimes
optimistic, and his peace aims changed in like manner. Humanly
speaking, it is very comprehensible that the varying situation in the
theatre of war must have influenced the individual mind, and everyone
in Europe experienced such fluctuations.

Early in September, 1917, he wrote to the Emperor Charles on the
subject of an impending attack on the Italian front, and in this
letter was the following passage: "I trust that the possibility of a
common offensive of our allied armies will raise the spirits of your
Foreign Minister. In my opinion, and in view of the general situation,
there is no reason to be anything but confident." Other letters and
statements prove the Emperor's fluctuating frame of mind. He, as well
as the diplomats in the Wilhelmstrasse, made use, with regard to the
"war-weary Austria-Hungary," of such tactics as demonstrated a
pronounced certainty of victory in order to strengthen our powers of
resistance.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Archduke Friedrich deserves the greatest praise for having kept up
the friendly relations between Vienna and Berlin. It was not always
easy to settle the delicate questions relating to the conduct of the
war without giving offence. The honest and straightforward nature of
the Archduke and his ever friendly and modest behaviour saved many a
difficult situation.

After our collapse and overthrow, and when the Imperial family could
be abused with impunity, certain newspapers took a delight in covering
the Archduke Friedrich with contumely. It left him quite indifferent.
The Prince is a distinguished character, of faultless integrity and
always ready to put down abuse. He prevented many disasters, and it
was not his fault if he did not succeed every time.

When I saw the Crown Prince Wilhelm again after several years, in the
summer of 1917, I found him very tired of war and most anxious for
peace. I had gone to the French front on purpose to meet him and to
try if it were possible through him to exercise some conciliatory
pressure, above all, on the military leaders. A long conversation that
I had with him showed me very clearly that he--if he had ever been of
warlike nature--was then a pronounced pacifist.


_Extract from my Diary._

"On the Western front, 1917. We drove to the Camp des Romains, but in
detachments in order not to attract the attention of the enemy
artillery to our cars, for in some places the road was visible to the
enemy. I drove together with Bethmann. When discussing the military
leaders, he remarked: 'The generals will probably throw hand grenades
at me when they see me.'

"An enemy flier cruised high up in the clouds over our heads. He
circled around, paying little heed to the shrapnel bursting on all
sides. The firing ceased, and the human bird soared into
unapproachable heights. The artillery fire a long way off sounded like
distant thunder.

"The French lines are not more than a couple of hundred metres distant
from the camp. A shot fell here and there and a shell was heard to
whistle; otherwise all was quiet. It was still early. The firing
usually begins at ten and ceases at noon--interval for lunch--and
begins again in the afternoon.

"Poincaré's villa is visible on the horizon in the green landscape. A
gun has been brought to bear on the house--they mean to destroy it
before leaving--they call this the extreme unction.

"The daily artillery duel began on our return drive, and kept up an
incessant roar.


"_St. Mihiel._

"We stopped at St. Mihiel, where many French people still remain. They
were detained as hostages to prevent the town from being fired at.
People were standing about in the streets watching the cars go by.

"I spoke to an old woman, who sat by herself on her house-steps. She
said: 'This disaster can never be made good, and it cannot well be
worse than it is now. It is quite the same to me what happens. I do
not belong here; my only son has been killed and my house is burnt.
Nothing is left me but my hatred of the Germans, and I bequeath that
to France.' And she gazed past me into vacancy. She spoke quite
without passion, but was terribly sad.

"This terrible hatred! Generations will go to their graves before the
flood of hatred is abated. Would a settlement, a peace of
understanding, be possible with this spirit of the nations? Will it
not end by one of them being felled to earth and annihilated?


"_St. Privat._

"We passed through St. Privat on our way to Metz. Monuments that tell
the tale of 1870 stand along the road. Everywhere the soil is
historic, soaked in blood. Every spot, every stone, is reminiscent of
past great times. It was here that the seed was sown that brought
forth the plan of revenge that is being fought for now.

"Bethmann seemed to divine my thoughts. 'Yes,' he said, 'that
sacrifice would be easier for Germany to bear than to part with
Alsace-Lorraine, which would close one of the most brilliant episodes
in her history.'


"_Sedan._

"On the way to the Crown Prince's quarters. There stands the little
house where the historic meeting between Napoleon III. and Bismarck
took place. The woman who lived there at the time died only a few
weeks ago. For the second time she saw the Germans arrive, bringing a
Moltke but no Bismarck with them, a detail, however, that cannot
deeply have interested the old lady.


"_With the Crown Prince._

"A pretty little house outside the town. I found a message from the
Crown Prince asking me to proceed there immediately, where I had
almost an hour's private conversation with him before supper.

"I do not know if the Crown Prince ever was of a warlike disposition,
as people say, but he is so no longer. He longs for peace, but does
not know how to secure it. He spoke very quietly and sensibly. He was
also in favour of territorial sacrifices, but seemed to think that
Germany would not allow it. The great difficulty lay in the contrast
between the actual military situation, the confident expectations of
the generals, and the fears entertained by the military laymen.
Besides, it is not only Alsace-Lorraine. The suppression of German
militarism spoken of in London means the one-sided disarmament of
Germany. Can an army far advanced on enemy soil whose generals are
confident of final victory, can a people still undefeated tolerate
that?

"I advised the Crown Prince to speak to his father on the question of
abdication, in which he fully agreed. I then invited him to come to
Vienna on behalf of the Emperor, which he promised to do as soon as he
could get leave."

On my return the Emperor wrote him a letter, drawn up by me, which
contained the following passage:

  My Minister for Foreign Affairs has informed me of the interesting
  conversation he had the honour to have with you, and it has been a
  great pleasure to me to hear all your statements, which so exactly
  reflect my own views of the situation. Notwithstanding the
  superhuman exertions of our troops, the situation throughout the
  country demands that a stop be put to the war before winter, in
  Germany as well as here. Turkey will not be with us much longer,
  and with her we shall also lose Bulgaria; we two will then be
  alone, and next spring will bring America and a still stronger
  Entente. From other sources there are distinct signs that we could
  win over France if Germany could make up her mind to certain
  territorial sacrifices in Alsace-Lorraine. With France secured to
  us we are the conquerors, and Germany will obtain elsewhere ample
  compensation. But I cannot allow Germany to be the only one to
  make a sacrifice. I too will take the lion's share of sacrifice,
  and have informed His Majesty your father that under the above
  conditions I am prepared not only to dispense with the whole of
  Poland, but to cede Galicia to her and to assist in combining that
  state with Germany, who would thus acquire a state in the East
  while yielding up a portion of her soil in the West. In 1915, at
  the request of Germany and in the interests of our Alliance, we
  offered the Trentino to faithless Italy without asking for
  compensation in order to avert war. Germany is now in a similar
  situation, though with far better prospects. You, as heir to the
  German Imperial crown, are privileged to have a say in the matter,
  and I know that His Majesty your father entirely shares this view
  respecting your co-operation. I beg of you, therefore, in this
  decisive hour for Germany and Austria-Hungary, to consider the
  whole situation and to unite your efforts with mine to bring the
  war to a rapid and honourable end. If Germany persists in her
  standpoint of refusal and thus wrecks the hope of a possible peace
  the situation in Austria-Hungary will become extremely critical.

  I should be very glad to have a talk with you as soon as possible,
  and your promise conveyed through Count Czernin soon to pay us a
  visit gives me the greatest pleasure.

The Crown Prince's answer was very friendly and full of anxiety to
help, though it was also obvious that the German military leaders had
succeeded in nipping his efforts in the bud. When I met Ludendorff
some time afterwards in Berlin this was fully confirmed by the words
he flung at me: "What have you been doing to our Crown Prince? He had
turned very slack, but we have stiffened him up again."

The game remained the same. The last war period in Germany was
controlled by one will only, and that was Ludendorff's. His thoughts
were centred on fighting, his soul on victory.

FOOTNOTES:

[4] This is a literal rendering of the famous text from the German.



CHAPTER IV

ROUMANIA


1

My appointment as ambassador to Bucharest in the autumn of 1913 came
as a complete surprise to me, and was much against my wishes. The
initiative in the matter came from the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. I had
never had any doubt that sooner or later the Archduke would take part
in politics, but it took me by surprise that he should do so in the
Emperor Francis Joseph's lifetime.

A great difference of opinion prevailed then in Vienna on the
Roumanian question, a pro-Roumanian spirit fighting against an
anti-Roumanian one. The head of the former party was the Archduke
Franz, and with him, though in less marked degree, was Berchtold.
Tisza was the leader on the other side, and carried with him almost
the entire Hungarian Parliament. The pro-Roumanians wished Roumania to
be more closely linked to the Monarchy; the others, to replace that
alliance by one with Bulgaria; but both were unanimous in seeking for
a clear knowledge of how matters stood with the alliance, and whether
we had a friend or a foe on the other side of the Carpathians. My
predecessor, Karl Fürstenberg, had sent in a very clear and correct
report on the subject, but he shared the fate of so many ambassadors:
his word was not believed.

The actual task assigned to me was, first of all to find out whether
this alliance was of any practical value, and if I thought not to
suggest ways and means of justifying its existence.

I must mention in this connection that my appointment as ambassador to
Bucharest had raised a perfect storm in the Hungarian Parliament. The
reason for this widely spread indignation in Hungary at my selection
for the post was owing to a pamphlet I had written some years
previously, in which I certainly had attacked the Magyar policy
somewhat vehemently. I maintained the standpoint that a policy of
suppression of the nations was not tenable in the long run, and that
no future was in store for Hungary unless she definitely abolished
that policy and allowed the nations equal rights. This pamphlet gave
serious displeasure in Budapest, and representatives in the Hungarian
Parliament were afraid I should introduce that policy in Roumania,
which, following the spirit of the pamphlet, was directed against the
official policy of Vienna and Budapest. It was at this period that I
made Tisza's acquaintance. I had a long and very frank conversation
with him on the whole subject, and explained to him that I must uphold
the standpoint I put forward in my pamphlet, as it tallied with my
convictions, but that I clearly saw that from the moment I accepted
the post of ambassador I was bound to consider myself as a part of the
great state machinery, and loyally support the policy emanating from
the Ballplatz. I still maintain that my standpoint is perfectly
justifiable. A unified policy would be utterly impossible if every
subordinate official were to publish his own views, whether right or
wrong, and I for my part would never, as Minister, have tolerated an
ambassador who attempted to pursue an independent policy of his own.
Tisza begged me to give my word of honour that I would make no attempt
to introduce a policy opposed to that of Vienna and Budapest, to which
I readily agreed, provided that the Archduke was agreeable to such
decision. I then had a conversation with the latter, and found that he
quite agreed with my action, his argument being that as long as he was
the heir to the throne he would never attempt to introduce a policy
opposed to that of the Emperor; consequently he would not expect it
from me either. But should he come to the throne he would certainly
make an effort to carry out his own views, in which case I should no
longer be at Bucharest, but probably in some post where I would be in
a position to support his efforts. The Archduke begged me for the sake
of my friendship for him to accept the post, which I finally decided
to do after I obtained a promise from Berchtold that, at the end of
two years as the longest term, he would put no obstacle in the way of
my retirement.

The Archduke Franz drew his pro-Roumanian proclivities from a very
unreliable source. He hardly knew Roumania at all. So far as I know,
he had only once been in the country, and paid a short visit to King
Carol at Sinaia; but the friendly welcome accorded to himself and his
wife by the old King and Queen entirely took his warm heart by storm,
and he mistook King Carol for Roumania. This is again a proof how
greatly the individual relations of great personalities can influence
the policy of nations. The royal couple met the Archduke at the
station; the Queen embraced and kissed the duchess and, placing her at
her right side, drove with her to the castle. In short, it was the
first time that the Duchess of Hohenberg had been treated as enjoying
equal privileges with her husband. During his short stay in Roumania
the Archduke had the pleasure of seeing his wife treated as his equal
and not as a person of slight importance, always relegated to the
background. At the court balls in Vienna the duchess was always
obliged to walk behind all the archduchesses, and never had any
gentleman allotted to her whose arm she could take. In Roumania she
was _his wife_, and etiquette was not concerned with her birth. The
Archduke valued this proof of friendly tactfulness on the part of the
King very highly, and always afterwards Roumania, in his eyes, was
endowed with a special charm. Besides which he very correctly
estimated that a change in certain political relations would effect a
closer alliance between Roumania and ourselves. He felt, rather than
knew, that the Transylvanian question lay like a huge obstacle between
Vienna and Bucharest, and that this obstacle once removed would alter
the entire situation.

To find out the real condition of the alliance was my first task, and
it was not difficult, as the first lengthy conferences I had with King
Carol left no doubt in my mind that the old King himself considered
the alliance very unsafe. King Carol was an exceptionally clever man,
very cautious and deliberate, and it was not easy to make him talk if
he intended to be silent. The question of the vitality of the alliance
was settled by my suggesting to the King that the alliance should
receive pragmatic sanction, i.e. be ratified by the Parliaments at
Vienna, Budapest, and Bucharest. The alarm evinced by the King at the
suggestion, the very idea that the carefully guarded secret of the
existence of an alliance should be divulged, proved to me how totally
impossible it would be, in the circumstances, to infuse fresh life
into such dead matter.

My reports sent to the Ballplatz leave no doubt that I answered this
first question by declaring in categorical fashion that the alliance
with Roumania was, under the existing conditions, nothing but a scrap
of paper.

The second question, as to whether there were ways and means of
restoring vitality to the alliance, and what they were, was
theoretically just as easy to answer as difficult to carry out in
practice. As already mentioned, the real obstacle in the way of closer
relations between Bucharest and Vienna was the question of Great
Roumania; in other words, the Roumanian desire for national union with
her "brothers in Transylvania." This was naturally quite opposed to
the Hungarian standpoint. It is interesting, as well as characteristic
of the then situation, that shortly after my taking up office in
Roumania, Nikolai Filippescu (known later as a war fanatic) proposed
that Roumania should join with Transylvania and the whole of united
Great Roumania enter into relations with the Monarchy similar to the
relation of Bavaria to the German Empire. I admit that I welcomed the
idea warmly, for if it were launched by a party which justly was held
to be antagonistic to the Monarchy there can be no doubt that the
moderate element in Roumania would have accepted it with still greater
satisfaction. I still believe that had this plan been carried out it
would have led to a real linking of Roumania to the Monarchy, that the
notification would have met with no opposition, and consequently the
outbreak of war would have found us very differently situated.
Unfortunately the plan failed at its very first stage owing to
Tisza's strong and obstinate resistance. The Emperor Francis Joseph
held the same standpoint as Tisza, and it was out of the question to
achieve anything by arguing. On the other hand, nobody had any idea
then that the great war, and with it the testing of the alliance, was
so imminent, and I consoled myself for my unsuccessful efforts in the
firm hope that this grand plan, as it seemed to me both then and now,
would be realised one day under the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

When I arrived in Roumania a change was proceeding in the Government.
Majorescu's Conservative Ministry gave way to the Liberal Ministry of
Bratianu. King Carol's policy of government was very peculiar. From
the very first his principle was never to proceed with violence or
even much energy against injurious tendencies in his own country; but,
on the contrary, always to yield to the numerous claims made by
extortioners. He knew his people thoroughly, and knew that both
parties, Conservatives and Liberals, must alternately have access to
the manger until thoroughly satisfied and ready to make room the one
for the other. Almost every change in the Government was accomplished
in that manner: the Opposition, desirous of coming into power, began
with threats and hints at revolution. Some highly unreasonable claim
would be put forward and vehemently insisted upon and the people
incited to follow it up; the Government would retire, unable to accede
to the demands, and the Opposition, once in power, would show no
further signs of keeping their promise. The old King was well versed
in the game; he allowed the opposition tide to rise to the highest
possible limit, when he effected the necessary change of individuals
and looked on until the game began again. It is the custom in
Roumania, when a new party comes into power, to change the whole
personnel, even down to the lowest officials. This arrangement,
obviously, has its drawbacks, though on the other hand it cannot be
denied that it is a practical one.

In this manner the Bratianu Ministry came into office in 1913.
Majorescu's Government gave entire satisfaction to the King and the
moderate elements in the country. In the eyes of the Roumanians he had
just achieved a great diplomatic success by the Peace of Bucharest and
the acquisition of the Dobrudsha, when Bratianu came forward with a
demand for vast agrarian reforms. These reforms are one of the
hobby-horses of Roumanian policy which is always mounted when it is a
question of making use of the poor unfortunate peasants, and the
manoeuvre invariably succeeds, largely owing to the lack of
intelligence prevailing among the peasant population of Roumania, who
are constantly made the tools of one or other party, and simply pushed
on one side when the object has been obtained. Bratianu also, once he
was in office, gave no thought to the fulfilment of his promises, but
calmly proceeded on the lines Majorescu had laid down in his time.

Still, it was more difficult to arrive at a satisfactory settlement in
foreign affairs with Bratianu than it had been with Majorescu, as the
former was thoroughly conversant with all West European matters, and
at the bottom of his heart was anti-German. One of the distinctions to
be made between Liberals and Conservatives was that the Liberals had
enjoyed a Parisian education: they spoke no German, only French; while
the Conservatives, taking Carp and Majorescu as models, were offshoots
of Berlin. As it was impossible to carry out the plan of firmly and
definitely linking Roumania to us by a change of Hungarian internal
policy, the idea naturally, almost automatically, arose to substitute
Bulgaria for Roumania. This idea, which found special favour with
Count Tisza, could be carried out, both because, since the Bucharest
peace of 1913, it was out of the question to bring Roumania and
Bulgaria under one roof, and because an alliance with Sofia would have
driven Roumania straight into the enemy camp. But Berchtold, as well
as the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was opposed to this latter
eventuality, nor would the Emperor Francis Joseph have approved of
such proceedings. Hence no change was made; Roumania was not won, nor
was Bulgaria substituted for her, and they were content in Vienna to
leave everything to the future.

In a social sense the year that I spent in Roumania before the war was
not an unpleasant one. The relations of an Austrian-Hungarian
Ambassador with the court, as with the numerous _Bojars_, were
pleasant and friendly, and nobody could then have imagined what
torrents of hatred were so soon to be launched against the
Austro-Hungarian frontiers.

Social life became less pleasant during the war, as will be seen from
the following instance. There lived at Bucharest a certain
Lieut.-Colonel Prince Sturdza, who was a noted braggart and brawler
and an inveterate enemy of Austria-Hungary. I did not know him
personally, and there was no personal reason for him to begin one day
to abuse me publicly in the papers as being an advocate of the
Monarchy. I naturally took not the slightest notice of his article,
whereupon he addressed an open letter to me in the _Adeverul_, in
which he informed me that he would box my ears at the first
opportunity. I telegraphed to Berchtold and asked the Emperor's
permission to challenge this individual, as, being an officer, he was,
according to our ideas, entitled to satisfaction. The Emperor sent
word that it was out of the question for an ambassador to fight a duel
in the country to which he was accredited, and that I was to complain
to the Roumanian Government. I accordingly went to Bratianu, who
declared that he was totally unable to move in the matter. According
to the laws and regulations of the country it was impossible to
protect a foreign ambassador against such abuse. If Sturdza carried
out his threats he would be arrested. Until then nothing could be
done.

Upon this I assured Bratianu that if such were the case I would in
future arm myself with a revolver, and if he attacked me shoot the man;
if one lived in a country where the habits of the Wild West obtained,
one must act accordingly. I sent word to the lieutenant-colonel that
each day, at one o'clock, I could be found at the Hotel Boulevard,
where he would find a bullet awaiting him.

The next time I saw the Emperor Francis Joseph he asked for further
information concerning the episode, and I told him of my conversation
with Bratianu and of my firm intention to be my own helper. The
Emperor rejoined: "Naturally you cannot allow yourself to be beaten.
You are quite right; if he lays hands on you, shoot him."

I afterwards met Sturdza several times in restaurants and
drawing-rooms without his attempting to carry out his threats. This
man, whose nature was that of a daring adventurer, afterwards deserted
to the Russian army, and fought against us at a time when Roumania
still was neutral. I then completely lost sight of him.

The absolute freedom of the Press in the Balkan States, combined with
the brutality of the prevailing customs, produced the most varied
results, even going so far as abuse of their own kings. In this
connection King Carol gave me many drastic instances. While King
Ferdinand was still neutral, one of the comic papers contained a
picture of the King taking aim at a hare, while underneath were these
words, supposed to come from the hare: "My friend, you have long ears,
I have long ears; you are a coward, I am a coward. Wherefore would my
brother shoot me?"

On the day when war broke out this freedom of the Press was diverted
into a different channel and replaced by the severest control and
censorship.

Roumania is a land of contrasts, both as regards the landscape, the
climate, and social conditions. The mountainous north, with the
wonderful Carpathians, is one of the most beautiful districts. Then
there are the endless, unspeakably monotonous, but fertile plains of
Wallachia, leading into the valley of the Danube, which is a very
Paradise. In spring particularly, when the Danube each year overflows
its banks, the beauty of the landscape baffles description. It is
reminiscent of the tropics, with virgin forests standing in the water,
and islands covered with luxuriant growth scattered here and there. It
is an ideal country for the sportsman. All kinds of birds, herons,
ducks, pelicans, and others, are to be met with, besides wolves and
wild cats, and days may be spent in rowing and walking in this
Paradise without wearying of it.

The Roumanians usually care but little for sport, being averse to
physical exertion. Whenever they can they leave the country and spend
their time in Paris or on the Riviera. This love of travel is so
strong in them that a law was passed compelling them to spend a
certain portion of the year in their own country or else pay the
penalty of a higher tax. The country people, in their sad poverty,
form a great contrast to the enormously wealthy _Bojars_. Although
very backward in everything relating to culture, the Roumanian peasant
is a busy, quiet, and easily satisfied type, unpretentious to a
touching degree when compared with the upper classes.

Social conditions among the upper ten thousand have been greatly
complicated owing to the abolition of nobility, whereby the question
of titles plays a part unequalled anywhere else in the world. Almost
every Roumanian has a title derived from one or other source; he
values it highly, and takes it much amiss when a foreigner betrays his
ignorance on the subject. As a rule, it is safer to adopt the plan of
addressing everyone as "_Mon prince_." Another matter difficult for a
foreigner to grasp is the real status of Roumanian society, owing to
the incessant divorce and subsequent remarriages. Nearly every woman
has been divorced at least once and married again, the result being,
on the one hand, the most complicated questions of relationship, and,
on the other, so many breaches of personal relations as to make it the
most difficult task to invite twenty Roumanians, particularly ladies,
to dinner without giving offence in some quarter.

In the days of the old régime it was one of the duties of the younger
members of the Embassy to develop their budding diplomatic talents by
a clever compilation of the list for such a dinner and a wise
avoidance of any dangerous rock ahead. But as the question of rank in
Roumania is taken just as seriously as though it were authorised,
every lady claims to have first rank--the correct allotment of places
at a dinner is really a question for the most efficient diplomatic
capacities. There were about a dozen ladies in Bucharest who would
actually not accept an invitation unless they were quite sure the
place of honour would be given to them.

My predecessor cut the Gordian knot of these difficulties by arranging
to have dinner served at small separate tables, thus securing several
places of honour, but not even by these means could he satisfy the
ambition of all.


2

While at Sinaia I received the news of the assassination of the
Archduke from Bratianu. I was confined to bed, suffering from
influenza, when Bratianu telephoned to ask if I had heard that there
had been an accident to the Archduke's train in Bosnia, and that both
he and the duchess were killed. Soon after this first alarm came
further news, leaving no doubt as to the gravity of the catastrophe.
The first impression in Roumania was one of profound and sincere
sympathy and genuine consternation. Roumania never expected by means
of war to succeed in realising her national ambitions; she only
indulged in the hope that a friendly agreement with the Monarchy would
lead to the union of all Roumanians, and in that connection Bucharest
centred all its hopes in the Archduke and heir to the throne. His
death seemed to end the dream of a Greater Roumania, and the genuine
grief displayed in all circles in Roumania was the outcome of that
feeling. Take Jonescu, on learning the news while in my wife's
drawing-room, wept bitterly; and the condolences that I received were
not of the usual nature of such messages, but were expressions of the
most genuine sorrow. Poklewski, the Russian Ambassador, is said to
have remarked very brutally that there was no reason to make so much
out of the event, and the general indignation that his words aroused
proved how strong was the sympathy felt in the country for the
murdered Archduke.

When the ultimatum was made known the entire situation changed at
once. I never had any illusions respecting the Roumanian psychology,
and was quite clear in my own mind that the sincere regret at the
Archduke's death was due to egotistical motives and to the fear of
being compelled now to abandon the national ambition. The ultimatum
and the danger of war threatening on the horizon completely altered
the Roumanian attitude, and it was suddenly recognised that Roumania
could achieve its object by other means, not by peace, but by war--not
_with_, but _against_ the Monarchy. I would never have believed it
possible that such a rapid and total change could have occurred
practically within a few hours. Genuine and simulated indignation at
the tone of the ultimatum was the order of the day, and the universal
conclusion arrived at was: _L'Autriche est devenue folle._ Men and
women with whom I had been on a perfectly friendly footing for the
last year suddenly became bitter enemies. Everywhere I noticed a
mixture of indignation and growing eagerness to realise at last their
heart's dearest wish. The feeling in certain circles fluctuated for
some days. Roumanians had a great respect for Germany's military
power, and the year 1870 was still fresh in the memory of many of
them. When England, however, joined the ranks of our adversaries their
fears vanished, and from that moment it became obvious to the large
majority of the Roumanians that the realisation of their aspirations
was merely a question of time and of diplomatic efficiency. The wave
of hatred and lust of conquest that broke over us in the first stage
of the war was much stronger than in later stages, because the
Roumanians made the mistake we all have committed of reckoning on too
short a duration of the war, and therefore imagined the decision to be
nearer at hand than it actually was. After the great German successes
in the West, after Görlitz and the downfall of Serbia, certain
tendencies pointing to a policy of delay became noticeable among the
Roumanians. With the exception of Carp and his little group all were
more or less ready at the very first to fling themselves upon us.

Like a rock standing in the angry sea of hatred, poor old King Carol
was alone with his German sympathies. I had been instructed to read
the ultimatum to him the moment it was sent to Belgrade, and never
shall I forget the impression it made on the old King when he heard
it. He, wise old politician that he was, recognised at once the
immeasurable possibilities of such a step, and before I had finished
reading the document he interrupted me, exclaiming: "It will be a
world war." It was long before he could collect himself and begin to
devise ways and means by which a peaceful solution might still be
found. I may mention here that a short time previously the Tsar, with
Sassonoff, had been in Constanza for a meeting with the Roumanian
royal family. The day after the Tsar left I went to Constanza myself
to thank the King for having conferred the Grand Cross of one of the
Roumanian orders on me, obviously as a proof that the Russian visit
had not made him forget our alliance, and he gave me some interesting
details of the said visit. Most interesting of all was his account of
the conversations with the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs. On
asking whether Sassonoff considered the situation in Europe to be as
safe as he (the King) did, Sassonoff answered in the affirmative,
"_pourvu que l'Autriche ne touche pas à la Serbie_." I at once, of
course, reported this momentous statement to Vienna; but neither by
the King nor by myself, nor yet in Vienna, was the train of thought
then fully understood. The relations between Serbia and the Monarchy
were at that time no worse than usual; indeed, they were rather
better, and there was not the slightest intention on our part to
injure the Serbians. But the suspicion that Sassonoff already then was
aware that the Serbians were planning something against us cannot be
got rid of.

When the King asked me whether I had reported Sassonoff's important
remark to Vienna, I replied that I had done so, and added that this
remark was another reason to make me believe that the assassination
was a crime long since prepared and carried out under Russian
patronage.

The crime that was enacted at Debruzin, which made such a sensation at
the time, gave rise to suspicions of a Russo-Roumanian attempt at
assassination.

On February 24, 1914, the Hungarian Correspondence Bureau published
the following piece of news:

  A terrible explosion took place this morning in the official
  premises of the newly-instituted Greek-Catholic Hungarian
  bishopric, which are on the second floor of the Ministry of Trade
  and Commerce in the Franz Deak Street. It occurred in the office
  of the bishop's representative, the Vicar Michael Jaczkovics,
  whose secretary, Johann Slapowszky, was also present in the room.
  Both of them were blown to pieces. The Greek-Catholic bishop,
  Stephan Miklossy, was in a neighbouring room, but had a most
  marvellous escape. Alexander Csatth, advocate and solicitor to the
  bishopric, who was in another room, was mortally wounded by the
  explosion. In a third room the bishop's servant with his wife were
  both killed. All the walls in the office premises fell in, and the
  whole building is very much damaged. The explosion caused such a
  panic in the house that all the inhabitants took flight and
  vanished. All the windows of the neighbouring Town Hall in the
  Verboczy Street were shattered by the concussion. Loose tiles were
  hurled into the street and many passers-by were injured. The four
  dead bodies and the wounded were taken to the hospital. The
  bishop, greatly distressed, left the building and went to a
  friend's house. The daughter of the Vicar Jaczkovics went out of
  her mind on hearing of her father's tragic death. The cause of the
  explosion has not yet been discovered.

I soon became involved in the affair when Hungary and Roumania began
mutually to blame one another as originators of the outrage. This led
to numerous interventions and adjustments, and my task was intensified
because a presumed accomplice of the murderer Catarau was arrested in
Bucharest, and his extradition to Hungary had to be effected by me.
This man, of the name of Mandazescu, was accused of having obtained a
false passport for Catarau.

Catarau, who was a Roumanian Russian from Bessarabia, vanished
completely after the murder and left no trace. News came, now from
Serbia, then from Albania, that he had been found, but the rumours
were always false. I chanced to hear something about the matter in
this way. I was on board a Roumanian vessel bound from Constanza to
Constantinople, when I accidentally overheard two Roumanian naval
officers talking together. One of them said: "That was on the day
when the police brought Catarau on board to help him to get away
secretly."

Catarau was heard of later at Cairo, which he appears to have reached
with the aid of Roumanian friends.

It cannot be asserted that the Roumanian Government was implicated in
the plot--but the Roumanian authorities certainly were, for in the
Balkans, as in Russia, there are many bands like the _Cerna Ruka_, the
_Narodna Odbrena_, etc., etc., who carry on their activities alongside
the Government.

It was a crime committed by some Russian or Roumanian secret society,
and the Governments of both countries showed surprisingly little
interest in investigating the matter and delivering the culprits up to
justice.

On June 15 I heard from a reliable source that Catarau had been seen
in Bucharest. He walked about the streets quite openly in broad
daylight, and no one interfered with him; then he disappeared.

To return, however, to my interview with the old King. Filled with
alarm, he dispatched that same evening two telegrams, one to Belgrade
and one to Petersburg, urging that the ultimatum be accepted without
fail.

The terrible distress of mind felt by the King when, like a sudden
flash of lightning from the clouds, he saw before him a picture of the
world war may be accounted for because he felt certain that the
conflict between his personal convictions and his people's attitude
would suddenly be known to all. The poor old King fought the fight to
the best of his ability, but it killed him. King Carol's death was
caused by the war. The last weeks of his life were a torture to him;
each message that I had to deliver he felt as the lash of a whip. I
was enjoined to do all I could to secure Roumania's prompt
co-operation, according to the terms of the Alliance, and I was even
obliged to go so far as to remind him that "a promise given allows of
no prevarication: that a treaty is a treaty, and _his honour_ obliged
him to unsheathe his sword." I recollect one particularly painful
scene, where the King, weeping bitterly, flung himself across his
writing-table and with trembling hands tried to wrench from his neck
his order _Pour le Mérite_. I can affirm without any exaggeration that
I could see him wasting away under the ceaseless moral blows dealt to
him, and that the mental torment he went through undoubtedly shortened
his life.

Queen Elizabeth was well aware of all, but she never took my action
amiss; she understood that I had to deliver the messages, but that it
was not I who composed them.

Queen Elizabeth was a good, clever and touchingly simple woman, not a
_poet qui court après l'esprit_, but a woman who looked at the world
through conciliatory and poetical glasses. She was a good
conversationalist, and there was always a poetic charm in all she did.
There hung on the staircase a most beautiful sea picture, which I
greatly admired while the Queen talked to me about the sea, about her
little villa at Constanza, which, built on the extreme end of the
quay, seems almost to lie in the sea. She spoke, too, of her travels
and impressions when on the high seas, and as she spoke the great
longing for all that is good and beautiful made itself felt, and this
is what she said to me: "The sea lives. If there could be found any
symbol of eternity it would be the sea, endless in greatness and
everlasting in movement. The day is dull and stormy. One after another
the glassy billows come rolling in and break with a roar on the rocky
shore. The small white crests of the waves look as if covered with
snow. And the sea breathes and draws its breath with the ebb and flow
of the tide. The tide is the driving power that forces the mighty
waters from Equator to North Pole. And thus it works, day and night,
year by year, century by century. It takes no heed of the perishable
beings who call themselves lords of the world, who live only for a
day, coming and going and vanishing almost as they come. The sea
remains to work. It works for all, for men, for animals, for plants,
for without the sea there could be no organic life in the world. The
sea is like a great filter, which alone can produce the change of
matter that is necessary for life. In the course of a century
numberless rivers carry earth to the sea. Each river carries without
ceasing its burden of earth and sand to the ocean; and the sea
receives the load which is carried by the current far out to sea, and
slowly and by degrees in the course of time the sea dissolves or
crushes all it has received. No matter to the sea if the process lasts
a thousand years or more--it may even last for ages, who can tell?

"But one day, quite suddenly, the sea begins to wander. Once there was
sea everywhere, and all continents are born from the sea. One day land
arose out of the sea. The birth was of a revolutionary nature, there
were earthquakes, volcanic craters, falling cities and dying men--but
new land was there. Or else it moves slowly, invisibly, a metre or two
in a century, and returns to the land it used to possess. Thus it
restores the soil it stole from it, but cleaner, refined and full of
vitality to live and to create. Such is the sea and its work."

These are the words of the old half-blind Queen, who can never look
upon the beloved picture again, but she told me how she always
idolised the sea, and how her grand nephews and nieces shared her
feelings, and how she grew young again with them when she told them
tales of olden times.

One could listen to her for hours without growing weary, and always
there was some beautiful thought or word to carry away and think over.

Doubtless such knowledge would be more correct were it taken from some
geological work. But Carmen Sylva's words invariably seemed to strike
some poetic chord; that is what made her so attractive.

She loved to discourse on politics, which for her meant King Carol. He
was her all in all. After his death, when it was said that all states
in the world were losing in the terrible war, she remarked: "Roumania
has already lost her most precious possession." She never spoke of her
own poems and writings. In politics her one thought besides King Carol
was Albania. She was deeply attached to the Princess of Wied, and
showed her strong interest in the country where she lived. Talking
about the Wieds one day afforded me an opportunity of seeing the King
vexed with his wife; it was the only time I ever noticed it. It was
when we were at Sinaia, and I was, as often occurred, sitting with the
King. The Queen came into the room, which she was otherwise not in the
habit of entering, bringing with her a telegram from the Princess of
Wied in which she asked for something--I cannot now remember what--for
Albania. The King refused, but the Queen insisted, until he at last
told her very crossly to leave him in peace, as he had other things to
think of than Albania.

After King Carol's death she lost all her vital energy, and the change
in the political situation troubled her. She was very fond of her
nephew Ferdinand--hers was a truly loving heart--and she trembled lest
he should commit some act of treachery. I remember once how, through
her tears, she said to me: "Calm my fears. Tell me that he will never
be guilty of such an act." I was unable to reassure her, but a kind
Fate spared her from hearing the declaration of war.

Later, not long before her death, the old Queen was threatened with
total blindness. She was anxious to put herself in the hands of a
French oculist for an operation for cataract, who would naturally be
obliged to travel through the Monarchy in order to reach Bucharest. At
her desire I mentioned the matter in Vienna, and the Emperor Francis
Joseph at once gave the requisite permission for the journey.

After a successful operation, the Queen sent a short autograph poem to
one of my children, adding that it was her _first_ letter on
recovering her sight. At the same time she was again very uneasy
concerning politics.

I wrote her the following letter:

  Your Majesty,--My warmest thanks for the beautiful little poem you
  have sent to my boy. That it was granted to me to contribute
  something towards the recovery of your sight is in itself a
  sufficient reward, and no thanks are needed. That Your Majesty has
  addressed the first written lines to my children delights and
  touches me.

  Meanwhile Your Majesty must not be troubled regarding politics. It
  is of no avail. For the moment Roumania will retain the policy of
  the late King, and God alone knows what the future will bring
  forth.

  We are all like dust in this terrible hurricane sweeping through
  the world. We are tossed helplessly hither and thither and know
  not whether we are to face disaster or success. The point is not
  whether we live or die, but how it is done. In that respect King
  Carol set an example to us all.

  I hope King Ferdinand may never forget that, together with the
  throne, his uncle bequeathed to him a political creed, a creed of
  honour and loyalty, and I am persuaded that Your Majesty is the
  best guardian of the bequest.

  Your Majesty's grateful and devoted

  CZERNIN.

When I said that King Carol fought the fight to the best of his
ability, I intended to convey that no one could expect him to be
different from what he always was. The King never possessed in any
special degree either energy, strength of action, or adventurous
courage, and at the time I knew him, as an old man, he had none of
those attributes. He was a clever diplomat, a conciliatory power, a
safe mediator, and one who avoided trouble, but not of a nature to
risk all and weather the storm. That was known to all, and no one,
therefore, could think that the King would try to put himself on our
side against the clearly expressed views of all Roumania. My idea is
that if he had been differently constituted he could successfully have
risked the experiment. The King possessed in Carp a man of quite
unusual, even reckless, activity and energy, and from the first moment
he placed himself and his activities at the King's disposal. If the
King, without asking, had ordered mobilisation, Carp's great energy
would have certainly carried it through. But, in the military
situation as it was then, the Roumanian army would have been forced to
the rear of the Russian, and in all probability the first result of
the battlefields would have changed the situation entirely, and the
blood that was shed mutually in victorious battles would have brought
forth the unity that the spirit of our alliance never succeeded in
evolving. But the King was not a man of such calibre. He could not
change his nature, and what he did do entirely concurred with his
methods from the time he ascended the throne.

As long as the King lived there was the positive assurance that
Roumania would not side against us, for he would have prevented any
mobilisation against us with the same firm wisdom which had always
enabled him to avert any agitation in the land. He would then have
seen that the Roumanians are not a warlike people like the Bulgarians,
and that Roumania had not the slightest intention of risking anything
in the campaign. A policy of procrastination in the wise hands of the
King would have delayed hostilities against us indefinitely.

Immediately after the outbreak of war Bratianu began his game, which
consisted of entrenching the Roumanian Government firmly and willingly
in a position between the two groups of Powers, and bandying favours
about from one to the other, reaping equal profits from each, until
the moment when the stronger of the two should be recognised as such
and the weaker then attacked.

Even from 1914-16 Roumania was never really neutral. She always
favoured our enemies, and as far as lay in her power hindered all our
actions.

The transport of horses and ammunition to Turkey in the summer of 1915
that was exacted from us was an important episode. Turkey was then in
great danger, and was asking anxiously for munitions. Had the
Roumanian Government adopted the standpoint not to favour any of the
belligerent Powers it would have been a perfectly correct attitude,
viewed from a neutral standpoint, but she never did adopt such
standpoint, as is shown by her allowing the Serbians to receive
transports of Russian ammunition via the Danube, thus showing great
partiality. When all attempts failed, the munitions were transmitted,
partially at any rate, through other means.

At that time, too, Russian soldiers were allowed in Roumania and were
not molested, whereas ours were invariably interned.

Two Austrian airmen once landed by mistake in Roumania, and were, of
course, interned immediately. The one was a cadet of the name of
Berthold and a pilot whose name I have forgotten. From their prison
they appealed to me to help them, and I sent word that they must
endeavour to obtain permission to pay me a visit. A few days later the
cadet appeared, escorted by a Roumanian officer as guard. This
officer, not being allowed without special permission to set foot on
Austro-Hungarian soil, was obliged to remain in the street outside the
house. I had the gates closed, put the cadet into one of my cars, sent
him out through the back entrance, and had him driven to Giurgui,
where he got across the Danube, and in two hours was again at liberty.
After a lengthy and futile wait the officer departed. His protests
came too late.

The unfortunate pilot who was left behind was not allowed to come to
the Embassy. One night, however, he made his escape through the window
and arrived. I kept him concealed for some time, and he eventually
crossed the frontier safely and got away by rail to Hungary.

Bratianu reproached me later for what I had done, but I told him it
was in consequence of his not having strictly adhered to his
neutrality. Had our soldiers been left unmolested, as in the case of
the Russians, I should not have been compelled to act as I had done.

Bratianu can never seriously have doubted that the Central Powers
would succumb, and his sympathies were always with the Entente, not
only on account of his bringing up, but also because of that political
speculation. During the course of subsequent events there were times
when Bratianu to a certain extent seemed to vacillate, especially at
the time of our great offensive against Russia. The break through at
Görlitz and the irresistible advance into the interior of Russia had
an astounding effect in Roumania. Bratianu, who obviously knew very
little about strategy, could simply not understand that the Russian
millions, whom he imagined to be in a fair way to Vienna and Berlin,
should suddenly begin to rush back and a fortress like Warsaw be
demolished like a house of cards. He was evidently very anxious then
and must have had many a disturbed night. On the other hand, those who
to begin with, though not for, still were not against Austria began to
raise their heads and breathe more freely. The victory of the Central
Powers appeared on the horizon like a fresh event. That was the
historic moment when Roumania might have been coerced into active
co-operation, but not the Bratianu Ministry. Bratianu himself would
never in any case have ranged himself on our side, but if we could
have made up our minds then to instal a Majorescu or a Marghiloman
Ministry in office, we could have had the Roumanian army with us. In
connection with this were several concrete proposals. In order to
carry out the plan we should have been compelled to make territorial
concessions in Hungary to a Majorescu Ministry--Majorescu demanded it
as a primary condition to his undertaking the conduct of affairs, and
this proposal failed owing to Hungary's obstinate resistance. It is a
terrible but a just punishment that poor Hungary, who contributed so
much to our definite defeat, should be the one to suffer the most from
the consequences thereof, and that the Roumanians, so despised and
persecuted by Hungary, should gain the greatest triumphs on her
plains.

One of the many reproaches that have been brought against me recently
is to the effect that I, as ambassador at Bucharest, should have
resigned if my proposals were not accepted in Vienna. These reproaches
are dictated by quite mistaken ideas of competency and responsibility.
It is the duty of a subordinate official to describe the situation as
he sees it and to make such proposals as he considers right, but the
responsibility for the policy is with the Minister for Foreign
Affairs, and it would lead to the most impossible and absurd state of
things if every ambassador whose proposals were rejected were to draw
the conclusion that his resignation was a necessary consequence
thereof. If officials were to resign because they did not agree with
the view of their chief, it would mean that almost all of them would
send in their resignations.

Espionage and counter-espionage have greatly flourished during the
war. In that connection Russia showed great activity in Roumania.

In October, 1914, an event occurred which was very unfortunate for me.
I drove from Bucharest to Sinaia, carrying certain political
documents with me in a dispatch-case, which, by mistake, was fastened
on behind instead of being laid in the car. On the way the case was
unstrapped and stolen. I made every effort to get it back, and
eventually recovered it after a search of three weeks, involving much
expense. It was found at last in some peasant's barn, but nothing had
apparently been abstracted save the cigarettes that were in it.

Nevertheless, after the occupation of Bucharest copies and photographs
of all my papers were found in Bratianu's house.

After the loss of the dispatch-case I at once tendered my resignation
in Vienna, but it was not accepted by the Emperor.

The Red Book on Roumania, published by Burian, which contains a
summary of my most important reports, gives a very clear picture of
the several phases of that period and the approaching danger of war.
The several defeats that Roumania suffered justified the fears of all
those who warned her against premature intervention. In order to
render the situation quite clear, it must here be explained that
during the time immediately preceding Roumania's entry into war there
were really only two parties in the country: the one was hostile to us
and wished for an immediate declaration of war, and the other was the
"friendly" one that did not consider the situation ripe for action and
advised waiting until we were weakened still more. During the time of
our successes the "friendly" party carried the day. Queen Marie, I
believe, belonged to the latter. From the beginning of the war, she
was always in favour of "fighting by the side of England," as she
always looked upon herself as an Englishwoman, but, at the last moment
at any rate, she appears to have thought the time for action
premature. A few days before the declaration of war she invited me to
a farewell lunch, which was somewhat remarkable, as we both knew that
in a very few days we should be enemies. After lunch I took the
opportunity of telling her that I _likewise_ was aware of the
situation, but that "the Bulgarians would be in Bucharest before the
Roumanians reached Budapest." She entered into the conversation very
calmly, being of a very frank nature and not afraid of hearing the
truth. A few days later a letter was opened at the censor's office
from a lady-in-waiting who had been present at the lunch. It was
evidently not intended for our eyes; it contained a description of the
_déjeuner fort embêtant_, with some unflattering remarks about me.

Queen Marie never lost her hope in a final victory. She did not
perhaps agree with Bratianu in all his tactics, but a declaration of
war on us was always an item on her programme. Even in the distressing
days of their disastrous defeat she always kept her head above water.
One of the Queen's friends told me afterwards that when our armies,
from south, north and west, were nearing Bucharest, when day and night
the earth shook with the ceaseless thunder of the guns, the Queen
quietly went on with her preparations for departure, and was firmly
persuaded that she would return as "Empress of all the Roumanians." I
have been told that after the taking of Bucharest Bratianu collapsed
altogether, and it was Queen Marie who comforted and encouraged him.
Her English blood always asserted itself. After we had occupied
Wallachia, I received absolutely reliable information from England,
according to which she had telegraphed to King George from Jassy,
recommending "her little but courageous people" to his further
protection. After the Peace of Bucharest strong pressure was brought
to bear on me to effect the abdication of the King and Queen. It would
not in any way have altered the situation, as the Entente would
naturally have reinstated them when victory was gained; but I opposed
all such efforts, not for the above reason, which I could not foresee,
but from other motives, to be mentioned later, although I was
perfectly certain that Queen Marie would always remain our enemy.

The declaration of war created a very uncomfortable situation for all
Austro-Hungarians and Germans. I came across several friends in the
Austro-Hungarian colony who had been beaten by the Roumanian soldiers
with the butt-ends of their rifles on their way to prison. I saw wild
scenes of panic and flight that were both grotesque and revolting, and
the cruel sport lasted for days.

In Vienna all subjects of an enemy state were exempt from deportation.
In my capacity as Minister I ordered reprisals on Roumanian citizens,
as there were no other means to relieve the fate of our poor refugees.
As soon as the neutral Powers notified that the treatment had become
more humane, they were set free.

If we showed ourselves at the windows or in the garden of the Embassy
the crowd scoffed and jeered at us, and at the station, when we left,
a young official whom I asked for information simply turned his back
on me.

A year and a half later I was again in Bucharest. The tide of victory
had carried us far, and we came to make peace. We were again subjects
of interest to the crowds in the streets, but in very different
fashion. A tremendous ovation awaited us when we appeared in the
theatre, and I could not show myself in the street without having a
crowd of admirers in my wake.

Before all this occurred, and when war was first declared, the members
of the Embassy, together with about 150 persons belonging to the
Austro-Hungarian colony, including many children, were interned, and
spent ten very unpleasant days, as we were not sure whether we should
be released or not. We had occasion during that time to witness three
Zeppelin raids over Bucharest, which, seen in the wonderful moonlight,
cloudless nights under the tropical sky, made an unforgettable
impression on us.

I find the following noted in my diary:


"_Bucharest, August, 1916._

"The Roumanians have declared war on my wife and daughter too. A
deputation composed of two officials from the Ministry for Foreign
Affairs, in frock-coats and top hats, appeared last night at eleven
o'clock in my villa at Sinaia. My wife was roused out of her sleep,
and by the light of a single candle--more is forbidden on account of
the Zeppelin raids--they informed her that Roumania had declared war
on us.

"As the speaker put it, '_Vous avez déclaré la guerre_.' He then read
the whole declaration of war aloud to them both. Bratianu sent word
to me that he would have a special train sent to take my wife and
daughter and the whole personnel of the Embassy to Bucharest.


"_Bucharest, September, 1916._

"The Roumanians really expected a Zeppelin attack at once. So far it
has not occurred, and they begin to feel more at ease, and say that it
is too far for the Zeppelins to come all the way from Germany. They
seem not to be aware that Mackensen has Zeppelins in Bulgaria. But who
can tell whether they really will come?


"_Bucharest, September, 1916._

"Last night a Zeppelin did come. About three o'clock we were roused by
the shrill police whistles giving the alarm. The telephone notified us
that a Zeppelin had crossed the Danube, and all the church bells began
to peal. Suddenly darkness and silence reigned, and the whole town,
like some great angry animal, sullen and morose, prepared for the
enemy attack. Nowhere was there light or sound. The town, with a
wonderful starry firmament overhead, waited in expectation. Fifteen,
twenty minutes went by, when suddenly a shot was fired and, as though
it were a signal, firing broke out in every direction. The
anti-aircraft guns fired incessantly, and the police, too, did their
best, firing in the air. But what were they firing at? There was
absolutely nothing to be seen. The searchlights then came into play.
Sweeping the heavens from east to west, from north to south, they
searched the firmament, but could not find the Zeppelin. Was it really
there, or was the whole thing due to excited Roumanian nerves?

"Suddenly a sound was heard: the noise of the propeller overhead. It
sounded so near in the clear, starry night, we felt we must be able to
see it. But the noise died away in the direction of Colbroceni. Then
we heard the first bomb. Like a gust of wind it whistled through the
air, followed by a crash and an explosion. A second and third came
quickly after. The firing became fiercer, but they can see nothing
and seem to aim at where the sound comes from. The searchlights sway
backwards and forwards. Now one of them has caught the airship, which
looks like a small golden cigar. Both the gondolas can be seen quite
distinctly, and the searchlight keeps it well in view, and now a
second one has caught it. It looks as though this air cruiser is
hanging motionless in the sky, brilliantly lit up by the searchlights
right and left. Then the guns begin in good earnest. Shrapnel bursts
all around, a wonderful display of fireworks, but it is impossible to
say if the aim is good and if the monster is in danger. Smaller and
smaller grows the Zeppelin, climbing rapidly higher and higher, until
suddenly the miniature cigar disappears. Still the searchlights sweep
the skies, hoping to find their prey again.

"Suddenly utter silence reigns. Have they gone? Is the attack over?
Has one been hit? Forced to land? The minutes go by. We are all now on
the balcony--the women, too--watching the scene. Again comes the
well-known sound--once heard never forgotten--as though the wind were
getting up, then a dull thud and explosion. This time it is farther
away towards the forts. Again the firing breaks out, and machine-guns
bark at the friendly moon; searchlights career across the heavens, but
find nothing. Again there falls a bomb--much nearer this time--and
again comes the noise of the propellers louder and louder. Shrapnel
bursts just over the Embassy, and the Zeppelin is over our heads. We
hear the noise very distinctly, but can see nothing. Again a sudden
silence everywhere, which has a curious effect after the terrible
noise. Time passes, but nothing more is heard. The first rays of dawn
are seen in the east; the stars slowly pale.

"A child is heard to cry somewhere, far away: strange how clearly it
sounds in the silent night. There is a feeling as though the terrified
town hardly dared breathe or move for fear the monster might return.
And how many more such nights are there in prospect? In the calm of
this fairylike dawn, slowly rising, the crying of the child strikes a
note of discord, infinitely sad. But the crying of the child--does it
not find an echo among the millions whom this terrible war has driven
to desperation?

"The sun rises like a blood-red ball. For some hours the Roumanians
can take to sleep and gather fresh strength, but they know now that
the Zeppelin's visit will not be the last.


"_Bucharest, September, 1916._

"The Press is indignant about the nocturnal attack. Bucharest is
certainly a fortress, but it should be known that the guns are no
longer in the forts. It was stated in the _Adeverul_ that the heroic
resistance put up in defence was most successful. That the airship,
badly damaged, was brought down near Bucharest, and that a commission
started off at once to make sure whether it was an aeroplane or a
Zeppelin!


"_Bucharest, September, 1916._

"The Zeppelin returned again this evening and took us by surprise. It
seemed to come from the other side of Plojest, and the sentries on the
Danube must have missed it. Towards morning the night watch at the
Embassy whose duty it is to see that there is no light in the house
saw a huge mass descending slowly over the Embassy till it almost
touched the roof. It hovered there a few minutes, making observations.
No one noticed it until suddenly the engines started again, and it
dropped the first bomb close to the Embassy. A direct hit was made on
the house of the Ambassador Jresnea Crecianu, and twenty gendarmes who
were there were killed. The royal palace was also damaged. The
Government is apparently not satisfied with the anti-aircraft forces,
but concludes that practice will make them perfect. Opportunity for
practice will certainly not be lacking.

"Our departure is being delayed by every sort of pretext. One moment
it seems as though we should reach home via Bulgaria. This idea suited
Bratianu extremely well, as the Bulgarian willingness to grant
permission was a guarantee that they had no plans of attack. But he
reckoned in this without his host. E. and W. are greatly alarmed
because the Roumanians intend to detain them, and will probably hang
them as spies. I have told them, 'Either we all stay here or we all
start together. No one will be given up.' That appears to have
somewhat quieted their fears.

"As might be expected, these nocturnal visits had disagreeable
consequences for us. The Roumanians apparently thought that it was not
a question of Zeppelins, but of Austro-Hungarian airships, and that my
presence in the town would afford a certain protection against the
attacks; after the first one they declared that for every Roumanian
killed ten Austrians or Bulgarians would be executed, and the hostile
treatment to which we were subjected grew worse and worse. The food
was cut down and was terribly bad, and finally the water supply was
cut off. With the tropical temperature that prevailed and the
overcrowding of a house that normally was destined to hold twenty, and
now housed 170, persons, the conditions within the space of
twenty-four hours became unbearable and the atmosphere so bad that
several people fell ill with fever, and neither doctor nor medicine
was obtainable. Thanks to the energetic intervention of the Dutch
Ambassador, Herr von Vredenburch, who had undertaken the charge of our
State interests, it was finally possible to alter the conditions and
to avert the outbreak of an epidemic."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was just about that time that our Military Attaché, Lieut.-Colonel
Baron Randa, made a telling remark. One of our Roumanian slave-drivers
was in the habit of paying us a daily visit and talking in the
bombastic fashion the Roumanians adopted when boasting of their
impending victories. The word "Mackensen" occurred in Randa's answer.
The Roumanian was surprised to hear the name, unknown to him, and
said: "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ce Mackensen? Je connais beaucoup
d'Allemands, mais je n'ai jamais fait la connaissance de M.
Mackensen." "Eh bien," replied Randa, patting him on the shoulder,
"vous la ferez cette connaissance, je vous en guarantie." Three months
after that Mackensen had occupied all Wallachia and had his
headquarters at Bucharest. By that time, therefore, his name must have
been more familiar to our Roumanian friend.

At last we set off for home via Russia and had a very interesting
journey lasting three weeks, via Kieff, Petersburg, Sweden, and
Germany. To spend three weeks in a train would seem very wearisome to
many; but as everything in this life is a matter of habit we soon grew
so accustomed to it that when we arrived in Vienna there were many of
us who could not sleep the first few nights in a proper bed, as we
missed the shaking of the train. Meanwhile, we had every comfort on
the special train, and variety as well, especially when, on Bratianu's
orders, we were detained at a little station called Baratinskaja, near
Kieff. The reason of this was never properly explained, but it was
probably owing to difficulties over the departure of the Roumanian
Ambassador in Sofia and to the wish to treat us as hostages. The
journey right through the enemy country was remarkable. Fierce battles
were just then being fought in Galicia, and day and night we passed
endless trains conveying gay and smiling soldiers to the front, and
others returning full of pale, bandaged wounded men, whose groans we
heard as we passed them. We were greeted everywhere in friendly
fashion by the population, and there was not a trace of the hatred we
had experienced in Roumania. Everything that we saw bore evidence of
the strictest order and discipline. None of us could think it possible
that the Empire was on the eve of a revolution, and when the Emperor
Francis Joseph questioned me on my return as to whether I had reason
to believe that a revolution would occur, I discountenanced the idea
most emphatically.

This did not please the old Emperor. He said afterwards to one of his
suite: "Czernin has given a correct account of Roumania, but he must
have been asleep when he passed through Russia."


3

The development of Roumanian affairs during the war occurs in three
phases, the first of which was in King Carol's reign. Then neutrality
was guaranteed. On the other hand, it was not possible during those
months to secure Roumania's co-operation because we, in the first
period of the war, were so unfavourably situated in a military sense
that public opinion in Roumania would not voluntarily have consented
to a war at our side, and, as already mentioned, such forcible action
would not have met with the King's approval.

In the second phase of the war, dating from King Carol's death to our
defeat at Luck, conditions were quite different. In this second phase
were included the greatest military successes the Central Powers ever
obtained. The downfall of Serbia and the conquest of the whole of
Poland occurred during this period, and, I repeat, in those months we
could have secured the active co-operation of Roumania. Nevertheless,
I must make it clearly understood here that if the political
preliminaries for intervention on the part of Roumania were not
undertaken, the fault must not be ascribed to the then Minister of
Foreign Affairs, but to the _vis major_ which opposed the project
under the form of a Hungarian veto. As previously stated, Majorescu,
as well as Marghiloman, would only have given his consent to
co-operation if Roumania had been given a slice of the Hungarian
state. Thanks to the attitude of absolute refusal observed at the
Ballplatz, the territory in question was never definitely decided on,
but the idea probably was Transylvania and a portion of the Bukovina.
I cannot say whether Count Burian, if he had escaped other influences,
would have adopted the plan, but certain it is that however ready and
willing he was to act he would never have carried out the plan against
the Hungarian Parliament. According to the Constitution, the Hungarian
Parliament is sovereign in the Hungarian State, and without the use of
armed means Hungary could never have been induced to cede any part of
her territory.

It is obvious, however, that it would have been impossible during the
world war to have stirred up an armed conflict between Vienna and
Budapest. My then German colleague, von dem Busche, entirely agreed
with me that Hungary ought to make some territorial sacrifices in
order to encourage Roumania's intervention. I firmly believe that
then, and similarly before the Italian declaration of war, a certain
pressure was brought to bear direct on Vienna by Berlin to this end--a
pressure which merely contributed to strengthen and intensify Tisza's
opposition. For Germany, the question was far simpler; she had drawn
payment for her great gains from a foreign source. The cession of the
Bukovina might possibly have been effected, as Stürgkh did not object,
but that alone would not have satisfied Roumania.

It was quite clear that the opposition to the ceding of Transylvania
originated in Hungary. But this opposition was not specially Tisza's,
for whichever of the Hungarian politicians might have been at the head
of the Cabinet he would have adopted the same standpoint.

I sent at that time a confidential messenger to Tisza enjoining him to
explain the situation and begging him in my name to make the
concession. Tisza treated the messenger with great reserve, and wrote
me a letter stating once for all that the voluntary cession of
Hungarian territory was out of the question; "whoever attempts to
seize even one square metre of Hungarian soil will be shot."

There was nothing to be done. And still I think that this was one of
the most important phases of the war, which, had it been properly
managed, might have influenced the final result. The military advance
on the flank of the Russian army would have been, in the opinion of
our military chiefs, an advantage not to be despised, and through it
the clever break through at Görlitz would have had some results; but
as it was, Görlitz was a strategical trial of strength without any
lasting effect.

The repellent attitude adopted by Hungary may be accounted for in two
ways: the Hungarians, to begin with, were averse to giving up any of
their own territory, and, secondly, they did not believe--even to the
very last--that Roumania would remain permanently neutral or that
sooner or later we would be forced to fight _against_ Roumania unless
we in good time carried her with us. In this connection Tisza always
maintained his optimism, and to the very last moment held to the
belief that Roumania would not dare take it upon herself to attack us.
This is the only reason that explains why the Roumanians surprised us
so much by their invasion of Transylvania and by being able to carry
off so much rich booty. I would have been able to take much better
care of the many Austrians and Hungarians living in Roumania--whose
fate was terrible after the declaration of war, which took them also
by surprise--if I had been permitted to draw their attention more
openly and generally to the coming catastrophe; but in several of his
letters Tisza implored me not to create a panic, "which would bring
incalculable consequences with it." As I neither did, nor could, know
how far this secrecy was in agreement with our military
counter-preparations, I was bound to observe it. Apparently, Burian
believed my reports to a certain extent; at any rate, for some time
before the declaration of war he ordered all the secret documents and
the available money to be conveyed to Vienna, and entrusted to Holland
the care of our citizens; but Tisza told me long after that he
considered my reports of too pessimistic a tendency, and was afraid to
give orders for the _superfluous_ evacuation of Transylvania.

After the unexpected invasion, the waves of panic and rage ran high in
the Hungarian Parliament. The severest criticism was heaped upon me,
as no one doubted that the lack of preparation was due to my false
reports. Here Tisza was again himself when, in a loud voice, he
shouted out that it was untrue; my reports were correct; I had warned
them in time and no blame could be attached to me; he thus took upon
himself the just blame. Fear was unknown to him, and he never tried to
shield himself behind anyone. When I arrived back in Vienna after a
journey of some weeks in Russia, and only then heard of the incident,
I took the opportunity to thank Tisza for the honourable and loyal
manner in which he had defended my cause. He replied with the ironical
smile characteristic of him that it was simply a matter of course.

But for an Austro-Hungarian official it was by no means such a matter
of course. We have had so many cowards on the Ministerial benches, so
many men who were brave when dealing with their subordinates, toadied
to their superiors, and were intimidated by strong opposition, that a
man like Tisza, who was such a contrast to these others, has a most
refreshing and invigorating effect. The Roumanians attempted several
times to make the maintenance of their _neutrality_ contingent on
territorial concessions. I was always opposed to this, and at the
Ballplatz they were of the same opinion. The Roumanians would have
appropriated these concessions and simply attacked us later to obtain
more. On the other hand, it seemed to me that to gain _military
co-operation_ a cession of territory would be quite in order, since,
once in the field, the Roumanians could not draw back and their fate
would be permanently bound up with ours.

Finally, the third phase comprises the comparatively short period
between our defeat at Luck and the outbreak of the war in Roumania,
and was simply the death throes of neutrality.

War was in the air and could be foreseen with certainty.

As was to be expected, the inefficient diplomacy displayed in the
preparations for the world war brought down severe criticism of our
diplomatic abilities, and if the intention at the Ballplatz was to
bring about a war, it cannot be denied that the preparations for it
were most inadequate.

Criticism was not directed towards the Ballplatz only, but entered
into further matters, such as the qualifications of the individual
representatives in foreign countries. I remember an article in one of
the most widely-read Viennese papers, which drew a comparison between
the "excellent" ambassador at Sofia and almost all of the others; that
is, all those whose posts were in countries that either refused their
co-operation or even already were in the field against us.

In order to prevent any misunderstanding, I wish to state here that in
my opinion our then ambassador to Sofia, Count Tarnowski, was one of
the best and most competent diplomats in Austria-Hungary, but that the
point of view from which such praise was awarded to him was in itself
totally false. Had Count Tarnowski been in Paris, London or Rome,
these states, in spite of his undeniable capabilities, would not have
adopted a different attitude; while, on the other hand, there are
numbers of distinguished members of the diplomatic corps who would
have carried out his task at Sofia just as well as Count Tarnowski.

In other words, I consider it is making an unwarrantable demand to
expect that a representative in a foreign land should have a leading
influence on the policy of the state to which he is accredited. What
may be demanded of a diplomatic representative is a correct estimate
of the situation. The ambassador must know what the Government of the
state where he is will do. A false diagnosis is discreditable. But it
is impossible for a representative, whoever he may be, to obtain such
power over a foreign state as to be able to guide the policy of that
state into the course desired by him. The policy of a state will
invariably be subservient to such objects as the Government of that
period deem vital, and will always be influenced by factors which are
quite outside the range of the foreign representative.

In what manner a diplomatic representative obtains his information is
his own affair. He should endeavour to establish intercourse, not only
with a certain class of society, but also with the Press, and also
keep in touch with other classes of the population.

One of the reproaches made to the "old régime" was the assumed
preference for aristocrats in diplomacy. This was quite a mistake. No
preference was shown for the aristocracy, but it lay in the nature of
the career that wealth and social polish were assets in the exercise
of its duties. An attaché had no salary. He was, therefore, expected
to have a tolerably good income at home in order to be able to live
conformably to his rank when abroad. This system arose out of
necessity, and was also due to the unwillingness of the authorities to
raise salaries in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The consequence
was that only sons of wealthy parents could adopt such a career. I
once told some delegates who interviewed me in connection with the
subject that a change of the system depended entirely on themselves
and their increased munificence.

A certain amount of social polish was just as necessary for diplomats
of the old régime as was the requisite allowance for their household
and a knowledge of foreign languages. So long as courts exist in
Europe, the court will always be the centre of all social life, and
diplomats must have the entrée to such circles. A young man who does
not know whether to eat with his fork or his knife would play a sorry
part there--his social training is not an indifferent matter.
Preference is, therefore, not given to the aristocracy, but to young
men of wealth familiar with European society etiquette.

That does not mean that a diplomat is to consider it his duty only to
show himself at all the parties and fêtes given by the upper ten
thousand, but it is one of his duties, as at such places he might gain
information unobtainable elsewhere. A diplomat must be in touch with
all sources from which he can glean information.

Individual capabilities and zeal will naturally play a great part; but
the means that a Government places at the disposition of its foreign
missions are also of the highest importance.

There are people in the East--I do not know whether to say in
contradistinction to the West--who are not immune to the influence of
gold. In Roumania, for instance, Russia, before the war, had
completely undermined the whole country and had lavished millions long
before the war in the hope of an understanding with that country. Most
of the newspapers were financed by Russians, and numbers of the
leading politicians were bound by Russian interests, whereas neither
Germany nor Austria-Hungary had made any such preparations. Thus it
happened that, on the outbreak of war, Russia was greatly in advance
of the Central Powers, an advance that was all the more difficult to
overtake as from the first day of war Russia opened still wider the
floodgates of her gold and inundated Roumania with roubles.

If the fact that the scanty preparation for war is a proof of how
little the Central Powers reckoned on such a contingency it may on the
other hand explain away much apparent inactivity on the part of their
representatives. Karl Fürstenberg, my predecessor at Bucharest, whose
estimate of the situation was a just one, demanded to have more funds
at his disposal, which was refused at Vienna on the plea that there
was no money. After the war began the Ministry stinted us no longer,
but it was too late then for much to be done.

Whether official Russia, four weeks in advance, had really counted on
the assassination of the Archduke and the outbreak of a war ensuing
therefrom remains an open question. I will not go so far as to assert
it for a fact, but one thing is certain, that Russia within a
measurable space of time had prepared for war as being inevitable and
had endeavoured to secure Roumania's co-operation. When the Tsar was
at Constanza a month before the tragedy at Sarajevo, his Minister for
Foreign Affairs, Sassonoff, paid a visit to Bucharest. When there, he
and Bratianu went on a walking tour together to Transylvania. I did
not hear of this tactless excursion until it was over, but I shared
Berchtold's surprise at such a proceeding on the part of both
Ministers.

I once, in 1914, overheard by chance a conversation between two
Russians. It was at the Hotel Capsa, known later as a resort for
anti-Austrians. They were sitting at the table next to mine in the
restaurant and were speaking French quite freely and openly. They
appeared to be on good terms with the Russian Ambassador and were
discussing the impending visit of the Tsar to Constanza. I discovered
later that they were officers in mufti. They agreed that the Emperor
Francis Joseph could not live very much longer, and that when his
death occurred and a new ruler came to the throne It would be a
favourable moment for Russia to declare war on us.

They were evidently exponents of the "loyal" tendency that aimed at
declaring war on us without a preceding murder; and I readily believe
that the majority of the men in Petersburg who were eager for war held
the same view.



CHAPTER V

THE U-BOAT WARFARE


1

My appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs was thought by many to
indicate that the Emperor Charles was carrying out the political
wishes of his uncle, Ferdinand. Although it had been the Archduke's
intention to have made me his Minister for Foreign Affairs, my
appointment to the post by the Emperor Charles had nothing to do with
that plan. It was due, above all, to his strong desire to get rid of
Count Burian and to the lack of other candidates whom he considered
suitable. The Red Book that was published by Count Burian after the
outbreak of war with Roumania may have attracted the Emperor's
attention to me.

Although the Emperor, while still Archduke, was for several years my
nearest neighbour in Bohemia--he was stationed at Brandeis, on the
Elbe--we never became more closely acquainted. In all those years he
was not more than once or twice at my house, and they were visits of
no political significance. It was not until the first winter of the
war, when I went from Roumania to the Headquarters at Teschen, that
the then Archduke invited me to make the return journey with him.
During this railway journey that lasted several hours politics formed
the chief subject of conversation, though chiefly concerning Roumania
and the Balkan questions. In any case I was never one of those who
were in the Archduke's confidence, and my call to the Ballplatz came
as a complete surprise.

At my first audience, too, we conversed at great length on Roumania
and on the question whether the war with Bucharest could have been
averted or not.

The Emperor was then still under the influence of our first peace
offer so curtly rejected by the Entente. At the German Headquarters at
Pless, where I arrived a few days later, I found the prevailing
atmosphere largely influenced by the Entente's answer. Hindenburg and
Ludendorff, who were apparently opposed to Burian's _démarche_ for
peace, merely remarked to me that a definite victory presented a
possibility of ending the war, and the Emperor William said that he
had offered his hand in peace but that the Entente had given him a
slap in the face, and there was nothing for it now but war to the
uttermost.

It was at this time that the question of the unrestricted U-boat
warfare began to be mooted. At first it was the German Navy only, and
Tirpitz in particular, who untiringly advocated the plan.
Hohenlohe,[5] who, thanks to his excellent connections, was always
very well informed, wrote, several weeks before the fateful decision
was taken, that the German Navy was determined and bent on that aim.
Bethmann and Zimmermann were both decidedly against it. It was
entirely in keeping with the prudent wisdom of the former not to risk
such experiments; Bethmann was an absolutely dependable, honourable
and capable partner, but the unbounded growth of the military
autocracy must be imputed to his natural tendency to conciliate. He
was powerless against Ludendorff and little by little was turned aside
by him. My first visit to Berlin afforded me the opportunity of
thoroughly discussing the U-boat question with the Imperial
Chancellor, and we were quite agreed in our disapproval of that method
of warfare. At all events, Bethmann pointed out that such essentially
military matters should in the first instance be left to military
decision, as they alone were able to form a correct estimate of the
result, and these reflections made me fear from the very first that
all reasonable political scruples would be upset by military
arguments. On this my first visit to Berlin, when this question
naturally was the dominating one, the Chancellor explained to me how
difficult his position was, because the military leaders, both on land
and at sea, declared that if the unrestricted U-boat warfare were not
carried out they would not be able to guarantee the Western front.
They thus brought an iron pressure to bear on him, for how could he,
the Chancellor, undertake to guarantee that the Western front could
hold out? As a matter of fact, the danger of introducing the
unrestricted U-boat campaign became greater and greater, and the
reports sent by Hohenlohe left no doubt as to the further development
of affairs in Berlin.

On January 12 he reported as follows:

  The question of the extension of the U-boat warfare, as Your
  Excellency is aware from the last discussions in Berlin, becomes
  daily more acute.

  On the one hand, all leading military and naval authorities insist
  on making use of this means as speedily as possible, as they
  declare it will end the war much more rapidly; on the other hand,
  all statesmen have grave fears as to what effect it will have on
  America and other neutrals.

  The Supreme Military Command declares that a new offensive on a
  very large scale is imminent in the West and that the armies which
  are to resist this attack will not be able to understand why the
  navy should not do all that lies in its power to prevent, or at
  any rate to decrease, the reserves and ammunition being sent to
  our adversaries. The absence of co-operation on the part of the
  navy in the terrible battles the troops on the Western front will
  again have to face will have a most _injurious_ effect on their
  _moral_.

  The objections put forward as to the effect the proceeding might
  have on America are met in military circles by the assumption that
  America will take good care not to go to war; that she, in fact,
  would not be able to do so. The unfortunate failure of the United
  States military machine in the conflict with Mexico clearly proves
  what is to be expected from America in that respect. Even a
  possible breaking off relations with America does not necessarily
  signify war.

  Meanwhile all the leading naval authorities reassert that they may
  be relied on, even though they are not considered capable of
  crushing England, at least to be able, _before_ America can come
  in, so to weaken the British Island Empire that only one desire
  will be left to English politicians, that of seating themselves
  with us at the Conference table.

  To this the Chancellor asked who would give him a guarantee that
  the navy was right and in what position should we find ourselves
  in case the admirals were mistaken, whereupon the Admiralty
  promptly asked what sort of position the Chancellor expected to
  find when autumn arrived without having made a proper use of the
  U-boats and we found ourselves, through exhaustion, compelled to
  _beg_ for peace.

  And thus the scales went up and down, weighing the chances for or
  against the U-boat war, and there was no possibility of positively
  determining which decision was the right one.

  Doubtless the German Government in the near future will be
  constrained to take up a definite standpoint respecting the
  question, and it is obvious--whatever the decision may be--that we
  also shall be largely involved. Nevertheless, it appears to me
  that when the German Government does approach us in that
  connection we should act with all possible reserve. As the matter
  now stands, a positive decision as to which course is the right
  one is not possible. I have, therefore, thought it inadvisable to
  take side definitely with either party and thus remove much of the
  responsibility from the German Government and render it possible
  for them to lay it upon us.

  The Imperial and Royal Ambassador,

  G. HOHENLOHE, M.P.

The concluding passage of the above cited report had already been
anticipated by me in a telegraphic communication in which I begged the
ambassador with all possible energy to urge the political arguments
opposed to the unrestricted U-boat warfare, which is proved by a
telegram from Hohenlohe on January 13 as follows:

  Reply to yesterday's telegram No. 15.

  In accordance with the telegram mentioned, and after discussing it
  with Baron Flotow, I went to the Secretary of State--not being
  able to see the Chancellor to-day--and in conformity with Your
  Excellency's intentions called his attention to the fact that we
  should participate in the results of the U-boat war just as much
  as Germany and that, therefore, the German Government is bound to
  listen to us also. All the leading German statesmen know that Your
  Excellency, during your stay here, expressed _yourself as opposed
  to the movement_, but that I had come once more as Your
  Excellency's representative to repeat the _warning against too
  hasty action_. I further emphasised all the arguments against the
  U-boat warfare, but will not trouble Your Excellency with a
  repetition of them, nor yet with the counter-arguments, already
  known to Your Excellency, that were put forward by the Secretary.
  I gave a brief summary of both these standpoints in my yesterday's
  report No. 6 P.

  Herr Zimmermann, however, laid special stress on the fact that the
  information he was receiving convinced him more and more that
  America, especially after the Entente's answer to Mr. Wilson,
  which was in the nature of an insult, would very probably not
  allow it to come to a breach with the Central Powers.

  I did all I possibly could to impress upon him the responsibility
  Germany was taking for herself and for us by her decision in this
  question, pointing out very particularly that before any decision
  was arrived at our opinion from a nautical-technical standpoint
  must also be heard, in which the Secretary of State fully
  concurred.

  I have the feeling that the idea of carrying out the U-boat
  warfare is more and more favourably received, and Your Excellency
  had the same impression also when in Berlin. The last word as to
  the final attitude to be adopted by the German Government will no
  doubt come from the military side.

  In conformity with the instructions received, _I will nevertheless
  uphold with all firmness the political arguments against the
  U-boat warfare_.

  Baron Flotow will have occasion to meet the Secretary of State
  this afternoon.

I had sent Baron Flotow, a Chief of Department, to Berlin at the same
time, in order that he might support all Hohenlohe's efforts and spare
no pains to induce Germany to desist from her purpose.

Flotow sent me the following report on January 15:

  After a two-days' stay in Berlin my impression is that the
  question of the unrestricted U-boat warfare has again been brought
  to the front by the leading men in the German Empire. This
  question--according to Herr Zimmermann--under conditions of the
  greatest secrecy where the public is concerned, is now under
  debate between the heads of the Army and Navy and the Foreign
  Office; they insist on a decision. For if the unrestricted U-boat
  warfare is to be opened it must be at a time when, in view of the
  vast impending Anglo-French offensive on the Western front, it
  will make itself felt. The Secretary of State mentioned the month
  of February.

  I wish in the following account to summarise the reasons put
  forward by the Germans for the justification of the unrestricted
  U-boat warfare:

  Time is against us and favours the Entente; if, therefore, the
  Entente can keep up the desire for war there will be still less
  prospect of our obtaining a peace on our own terms. The enemy's
  last Note to Wilson is again a striking example of their war
  energy.

  It will be impossible for the Central Powers to continue the war
  after 1917 with any prospect of success. Peace must, therefore,
  unless it finally has to be proposed by the enemy, be secured in
  the course of this year, which means that we must enforce it.

  The military situation is unfavourable owing to the impending
  Anglo-French offensive, which, it is presumed, will open with
  great force, as in the case of the last offensive on the Somme. To
  meet the attack, troops will have to be withdrawn from other
  fronts. Consequently, an offensive against Russia with intent to
  bring that enemy to his knees, which perhaps a year ago would have
  been possible, can no longer be reckoned on.

  If, therefore, the possibility of enforcing a decision in the East
  becomes less and less, an effort must be made to bring it about in
  the West, and to do it at a time when the unrestricted U-boat
  warfare would affect the coming Anglo-French offensive by impeding
  the transport of troops and munitions sailing under a neutral
  flag.

  In estimating the effect on England of the unrestricted U-boat
  warfare, there will be not only the question of hindering the
  transport of provisions, but also of curtailing the traffic to
  such a degree as would render it impossible for the English to
  continue the war. In Italy and in France this will be felt no less
  severely. The neutrals, too, will be made to suffer, which,
  however, might serve as a pretext to bring about peace.

  America will hardly push matters further than breaking off
  diplomatic relations; we need not, therefore, count for certain on
  a war with the United States.

  It must not be overlooked that the United States--as was the case
  in regard to Mexico--are not well prepared for war, that their one
  anxiety is Japan. Japan would not allow a European war with
  America to pass unheeded.

  But even if America were to enter the war it would be three to
  four months before she could be ready, and in that space of time
  peace must have been secured in Europe. According to the estimate
  of certain experts (among others, some Dutch corn merchants),
  England has only provisions sufficient for six weeks, or three
  months at the outside.

  It would be possible to carry on the U-boat warfare on England
  from fifteen bases in the North Sea, so _that the passage of a
  large vessel through to England would be hardly conceivable_.
  Traffic in the Channel, even if not entirely stopped, would be
  very limited, as travelling conditions in France exclude the
  possibility of suitable connection.

  And if the unrestricted U-boat warfare once were started, the
  terror caused by it (the sinking of the vessels without warning)
  would have such an effect that most vessels would not dare to put
  to sea.

  The above already hints at the rejoinder to be put forward to the
  arguments advanced by us against the opening of the unrestricted
  U-boat warfare, and also combats the view that the corn supply
  from the Argentine is not at the present moment so important for
  the United States as would be a prompt opening of the U-boat
  campaign, which would mean a general stoppage of all traffic.

  The fact that America would not be ready for war before the end of
  three months does not exclude the possibility that it might even
  be as long as six or eight months, and that she therefore might
  join in the European war at a time when, without playing our last
  card, it might be possible to end it in a manner that we could
  accept. It must not be forgotten, however, that in America we have
  to do with an Anglo-Saxon race, which--once it had decided on
  war--will enter on it with energy and tenacity, as England did,
  who, though unprepared for war as to military matters, can
  confront to-day the Germans with an army of millions that commands
  respect. I cannot with certainty make any statement as to the
  Japanese danger to America at a time when Japan is bound up with
  Russia and England through profitable treaties and Germany is shut
  out from that part of the world.

  Among other things I referred to the great hopes entertained of
  the Zeppelins as an efficient weapon of war.

  Herr Zimmermann said to me: "Believe me, our fears are no less
  than yours; they have given me many sleepless nights. There is no
  positive certainty as to the result; we can only make our
  calculations. We have not yet arrived at any decision. Show me a
  way to obtain a reasonable peace and I would be the first to
  reject the idea of the U-boat warfare. As matters now stand, both
  I and several others have almost been converted to it."

  But whether, in the event of the ruthless U-boat warfare being
  decided on, it would be notified in some way, has not yet been
  decided.

  Zimmermann told me he was considering the advisability of
  approaching Wilson, and, while referring to the contemptuous
  attitude of the Entente in the peace question, give the President
  an explanation of the behaviour of the German Government, and
  request him, for the safety of the life and property of American
  citizens, to indicate the steamers and shipping lines by which
  traffic between America and other neutrals could be maintained.

  _Vienna, January 15, 1917._

  FLOTOW, M.P.

On January 20 Zimmermann and Admiral Holtzendorff arrived in Vienna,
and a council was held, presided over by the Emperor. Besides the
three above-mentioned, Count Tisza, Count Clam-Martinic, Admiral Haus
and I were also present. Holtzendorff expounded his reasons, which I
recapitulate below. With the exception of Admiral Haus, no one gave
unqualified consent. All the arguments which appear in the official
documents and ministerial protocols were advanced but did not make the
slightest impression on the German representatives. The Emperor, who
took no part in the debate, finally declared that he would decide
later. Under his auspices a further conference was held in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 2 o'clock; the report is as follows:

  Report of a conference held January 20, 1917, in the Imperial and
  Royal Ministry of Home and Foreign Affairs. Members: Dr.
  Zimmermann, Secretary of State of the German Foreign Affairs
  Department; Admiral von Holtzendorff, Chief of the German Naval
  Staff; Count Czernin, Imperial and Royal Minister for Foreign
  Affairs; Count Tisza, Royal Hungarian Prime Minister; Count
  Clam-Martinic, Imperial and Royal Prime Minister; Admiral Haus,
  the German naval attaché in Vienna; Baron von Freyburg, the
  Imperial and Royal naval attaché in Berlin; Count B.
  Colloredo-Mannsfeld.

  On January 20 a discussion took place in the Ministry of Foreign
  Affairs on the question of establishing unrestricted U-boat
  warfare.

  As evidenced by Admiral v. Holtzendorff's statements, the German
  naval authorities hold the standpoint that there exists an
  absolute necessity for the quickest possible inauguration of an
  unrestricted U-boat campaign. The arguments employed in support of
  this thesis are known from the reports of the Imperial and Royal
  Ambassador in Berlin (report of 12/1/17 Nr. 6/P, and telegram of
  13/1 Nr. 22), and may be summarised in the following sentences:
  Lack of time, decreasing human material in the Central Powers,
  progressive deterioration of the harvest, impending Anglo-French
  offensive on the Western front with improved and increased means
  for fighting, and the necessity arising therefrom to prevent or at
  least check the reinforcements required for such undertaking, the
  impossibility of obtaining a decision on land, the necessity of
  raising the _moral_ of the troops by ruthlessly obtained results
  and the use of every available means in war, certainty of the
  success of an unrestricted U-boat warfare in view of provisions
  in England only being sufficient for two to three months, as well
  as the stoppage of the munitions output and industrial production
  owing to the lack of raw material, the impossibility of supplying
  coal to France and Italy, etc., etc.

  Concerning the carrying out of the plan, the German Navy owns at
  present for that purpose 120 U-boats of the latest type. In view
  of the great success achieved by the U-boats at the beginning of
  the war, when there were only 19 of an antiquated type, the
  present increased numbers of the vessels offer a safe guarantee of
  success.

  February 1 is suggested on the part of the Germans as the date on
  which to start the unrestricted U-boat warfare and also to
  announce the blockade of the English coast and the west coast of
  France. Every vessel disobeying the order will be torpedoed
  without warning. In this manner it is hoped to bring England to
  reason within four months, and it must here be added that Admiral
  von Holtzendorff _expressis verbis_ guaranteed the results.

  As regards the attitude to be taken by the neutrals, leading
  German circles, although aware of the danger, hold optimistic
  views. It is not thought that either the Scandinavian countries or
  Holland will interfere with us, although, in view of the
  possibility of such happening, military precautions have been
  taken. The measures taken on the Dutch and Danish frontiers will,
  in the opinion of the Germans, hold those countries in check, and
  the possibility of sharing the fate of Roumania will frighten
  them. Indeed, it is expected that there will be a complete
  stoppage of all neutral shipping, which in the matter of supplies
  for England amounts to 39 per cent. of the cargo space. Meanwhile
  concessions will be granted to the neutrals by fixing a time limit
  for the withdrawal of such of their vessels as may be at sea on
  the opening day of the U-boat warfare.

  With regard to America, the Germans are determined, if at all
  possible, to prevent the United States from attacking the Central
  Powers by adopting a friendly attitude towards America (acting
  upon the proposals made at the time of the _Lusitania_ incident),
  but they are prepared for and await with calmness whatever
  attitude America may adopt. The Germans are, nevertheless, of the
  opinion that the United States will not go so far as making a
  breach with the Central Powers. If that should occur, America
  would be too late and could only come into action after England
  had been beaten. America is not prepared for war, which was
  clearly shown at the time of the Mexican crisis; she lives in fear
  of Japan and has to fight against agricultural and social
  difficulties. Besides which, Mr. Wilson is a pacifist, and the
  Germans presume that after his election he will adopt a still
  more decided tendency that way, for his election will not be due
  to the anti-German Eastern States, but to the co-operation of the
  Central and Western States that are opposed to war, and to the
  Irish and Germans. These considerations, together with the
  Entente's insulting answer to President Wilson's peace proposal,
  do not point to the probability of America plunging readily into
  war.

  These, in brief, are the points of view on which the German demand
  for the immediate start of the unrestricted U-boat warfare is
  based, and which caused the Imperial Chancellor and the Foreign
  Affairs Department to revise their hitherto objective views.

  Both the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Hungarian
  Prime Minister pointed out what disastrous consequences would
  ensue from America's intervention, in a military, moral,
  agricultural and financial sense, and great doubt was expressed of
  the success of a blockade of England. Count Czernin held that the
  Germans overlooked the possibility of lowering the consumption in
  England, taking into consideration the fact that since the war
  consumption in the countries of the Central Powers had been
  reduced by half. Further, Count Czernin referred to the very vague
  and by no means convincing data of the German naval authorities.
  It was also debated whether a continuation of the U-boat war to
  the present extent (the destruction on an average of 400,000 tons
  per month) would not be more likely to achieve the desired end,
  and if it were not more advisable not to play our last and best
  card until all other means had been tried. The possibility of
  being able to start a ruthless U-boat warfare hung like a
  Damocles' sword over the heads of our adversaries, and would
  perhaps be a more effectual means of ending the war than the
  reckless use of the U-boat as a weapon of war, carrying with it
  the danger of an attack by the neutrals. If the effect expected by
  Germany was not realised, which was within the bounds of
  possibility, we must be prepared to see the desire for war in the
  enemy greatly intensified. However that may be, the vanishing of
  the desire for peace must be accepted as an established fact.
  Finally, it was pointed out that the arguments recently put
  forward by the Germans show a complete _novum_, namely, the danger
  on the Western front in view of the great Anglo-French offensive
  that is expected. Whereas formerly it was always said that the
  attacks of the enemy would be repulsed, it is now considered
  necessary to relieve the land army by recklessly bringing the navy
  into the line of action. If these fears are justified, then most
  certainly should all other considerations be put on one side and
  the risk ensuing from the ruthless employment of the U-boats be
  accepted. Both Count Czernin and Count Tisza expressed their
  grave doubts in this connection.

  To meet the case, the Hungarian Prime Minister pointed out the
  necessity of immediately starting propagandist activities in the
  neutral countries and particularly in America, by which the
  Central Powers' political methods and aims would be presented to
  them in a proper light; and then later, after introducing
  unrestricted U-boat warfare, it would be seen that no other choice
  was left to the peaceful tendencies of the Quadruple Alliance as
  the means for a speedy ending of the struggle between the nations.

  The leaders of the foreign policy agreed to take the necessary
  steps in that direction, and remarked that certain arrangements
  had already been made.

  Admiral Haus agreed _unreservedly_ with the arguments of the
  German Navy, as he declared that _no great anxiety need be felt_
  as to the likelihood of America's joining in with military force,
  and finally pointed out that, on the part of the Entente, a
  ruthless torpedoing of hospital and transport ships had been
  practised for some time past in the Adriatic. The Admiral urged
  that this fact be properly recognised and dealt with, to which the
  Foreign Affairs leaders on both sides gave their consent.

  The Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, in conclusion, said
  that the definite decision to be taken must be left to the
  conclusions arrived at by both sovereigns, whereupon the 26th
  inst. was fixed for a meeting to be held for that purpose.

After the general discussion, I had a private talk with the Emperor,
and found that he still had the same aversion to that means of warfare
and the same fears as to the result. We knew, however, that Germany
had definitely made up her mind to start the campaign in any case, and
that all our arguments would be of no practical value. It remained to
be decided whether we should join them or not. Owing to the small
number of our U-boats, our holding aside would not have had any great
effect on the final issue of the experiment, and for a moment I
entertained the idea of proposing to the Emperor that we should
separate from Germany on that one point, although I was aware that it
might lead to the ending of our alliance. But the difficulty was that
the U-boat effort would also have to be carried on in the
Mediterranean in order that it should not lose its effect in the
North Sea. If the Mediterranean remained exempt, the transports would
take that route and proceed by land via Italy, France, and Dover, and
thus render the northern U-boat warfare of no effect. But in order to
carry it on in the Mediterranean, Germany would need our support in
the Adriatic from Trieste, Pola, and Cattaro. If we allowed her at
those places it involved us in the campaign, and if we refused to let
our few U-boats go out, it would be attacking Germany in the rear and
we should become embroiled with her, which would lead to the definite
severance of the Alliance.

This was again one of those instances that prove that when a strong
and a weak nation concert in war, the weak one cannot desist unless it
changes sides entirely and enters into war with its former ally. None
who were in the Government would hear of that, and with a heavy heart
we gave our consent. Bulgaria, who was not affected by this phase of
the war, and had kept up diplomatic relations with America, was
differently situated, being able to stand aside without paralysing the
German plans. Apart from this, I was already persuaded then that
Bulgaria's not joining in would make a bad impression on the outside
world, and would not help her in any way. Although her relations with
America were maintained up to the last, they did not, as a matter of
fact, make her fate easier.

Had we been able to make Germany desist from the unrestricted U-boat
warfare, the advantage would have been very great; whether we joined
in or not was a matter of indifference viewed from the standpoint of
our treatment by the Entente, as is proved by the instance of
Bulgaria. As soon as America had declared war on Germany, a conflict
with us was inevitable in any case, as Austro-Hungarian troops and
artillery were then on the Western front facing Americans. We were
compelled to go to war with America, seeing that Germany was already
at war with her.

It was not possible, therefore, for us to remain in a state of even
nominally peaceful relations with America, such as existed between her
and Bulgaria to the very end of the war.

It is not quite clear when Germany really recognised the fact that
the unrestricted U-boat warfare had no effect, and was thus a terrible
mistake. To the public, as well as to the Allied Cabinets, the German
military authorities continued to profess the greatest optimism, and
when I left my post in April, 1918, the standpoint held in Berlin was
still that England would be defeated by the naval war. Writing on
December 14, 1917, Hohenlohe reported that in competent German circles
the feeling was thoroughly optimistic. I, however, certainly perceived
definite signs of doubt beginning in some German minds, and Ludendorff
in replying to the reproaches I made to him said: "Everything is risky
in war; it is impossible before an operation to be sure of the
results. I admit that the time limit was a mistake, but the final
result will show that I was right." In order to exculpate themselves
all the leaders in Germany declared that America would, in any case,
have gone to war, and that the U-boat had merely given the last
impetus. Whether this is quite true appears doubtful; it cannot either
be asserted or denied positively.

The world has become used to looking upon Hindenburg and Ludendorff as
one; they belonged together. Together they rose to highest power, to
be forcibly separated in their fall. In all business transactions
Ludendorff was in the foreground. He was a great speaker, but always
in a sharp tone, suggestive of the Prussian military system. It
usually aroused a scene, but he seemed to take nothing amiss, and his
anger vanished as rapidly as it broke out. Hindenburg's retiring
modesty made him attractive. Once when we were speaking of the
photographers who besieged every conference in Berlin, the old
gentleman remarked: "I have lived to be seventy, and nobody ever
thought there was anything wonderful about me; now they seem all at
once to have discovered that I have such an interesting head." He was
much more staid and quiet than Ludendorff, nor was he so sensitive to
public opinion as the latter. I remember once how Ludendorff, when I
exhorted him to yield on the peace question, rejoined with vigour:
"The German people wishes for no peace of renunciation, and I do not
intend to end by being pelted with stones. The dynasty would never
survive such a peace." The dynasty has departed, the stones have been
thrown, and the peace of renunciation has become a reality, and is
certainly more terrible than the gloomiest pessimist could ever have
believed!


2

The rupture between America and Germany occurred on February 3, 1917.

The Ambassador, Count Tarnowski, remained in Washington, but was not
received by Wilson, and had intercourse with Lansing only. I still
hoped to maintain these semi-official relations with America, in case
America, in breaking off relations with Germany, might be content with
that and not declare war on her. The German Government would have
preferred our breaking off diplomatic relations simultaneously with
them.

On February 12 Count Wedel called on me, and his request and my
settlement of it appear in the following telegram to Hohenlohe:


  _Vienna, Feb. 12, 1917._

    To notify Your Excellency.

  Count Wedel has been instructed to submit to me the following
  three requests from his Government:

  (1) Count Tarnowski is not to hand over his credentials until the
        situation between Germany and America is clear.

  (2) Count Tarnowski must protest to Mr. Wilson against his having
        tried to make the neutrals turn against Germany.

  (3) On the outbreak of war with Germany Count Tarnowski must be
        recalled.

  I have refused the first two items and accepted the last.

As we should not have been able to prevent Germany from beginning the
U-boat warfare, the only alternative for us was to use all means in
our power to maintain our relations with America, and thus enable us
later to play the part of mediator, although this could only be for
that period during which America, having broken off relations, had not
yet declared war. My answer of March 5, 1917, to America's request
for an explanation of our standpoint was sent with the object of
preventing America from breaking off relations with us, and also to
keep from the public the knowledge of our divergence from Germany.
This will be found noted in the appendix.[6] It met with success so
far that America continued diplomatic relations with us until April 9,
1917.

[Illustration: COUNT TISZA. _Photo: Stanley's Press Agency._]

I had a very lively correspondence with Stephen Tisza in consequence
of my answer. I received the following letter on March 3:

  DEAR FRIEND,--In the interests of the cause I can only greatly
  regret that I had no opportunity of appreciating the definite
  sense of our _aide-mémoire_ before it was dispatched. Apart from
  other less important matters, I cannot conceal my painful surprise
  that we repeatedly and expressly admit having given a promise in
  our _Ancona_ Note. I am afraid that we have placed ourselves in a
  very awkward position with Wilson, which so easily could have been
  avoided, as it was not in accordance with my views that we had
  given a promise.

  An expression of opinion is not a promise. Without wishing to
  detract from its moral value, it has nevertheless a different
  legal character, and from the point of view of a third person has
  no legal authority in favour of that person as a promise.

  By unnecessarily having admitted that we gave the Americans a
  promise we admit the existence of obligations on our side to them.
  In spite of the fine and clever argument in our Note, it will be
  easy for the Americans to prove that our present procedure cannot
  be reconciled with the previous statement; if the statement was a
  promise, then the American Government has the right to look for
  the fulfilment of it, and we will then be in an awkward
  predicament. I remarked in my notification that I would prefer to
  omit the admission that we had made any promise; there would have
  been the possibility of recurring to it. By placing this weapon in
  their hands we have exposed ourselves to the danger of a
  checkmate, and I very much fear that we shall greatly regret it.

  Naturally this remains between us. But I was constrained to pour
  out my heart to you and justify my request that the text of all
  such important State documents which involve such far-reaching
  consequences may be sent to me in time for me to study and
  comment on them. Believe me, it is really in the interest of the
  cause and in every respect can only be for the best. In sincere
  friendship, your devoted

  TISZA.


  _Enclosure._

  It may be presumed with some semblance of truth that the peace
  wave in America is progressing, and that President Wilson,
  influenced thereby, may perhaps be able at any rate to postpone a
  decision of a warlike nature. Even though I may be wrong in my
  presumption, it lies in our interests to avoid for as long as
  possible the rupture of our diplomatic relations with America.

  Therefore the answer to the American _aide-mémoire_, to be
  dispatched as late as possible, should be so composed as to give
  it the appearance of a meritorious handling of the theme put
  forward on the American side without falling into the trap of the
  question put forward in the _aide-mémoire_.

  If we answer yes, then President Wilson will hardly be able to
  avoid a breach with the Monarchy. If we give a negative answer we
  shall abandon Germany and the standpoint we took up on January 31.

  The handle wherewith to grasp evasion of a clear answer is
  provided by the _aide-mémoire_ itself, as it identifies our
  statements in the _Ancona_ and _Persia_ question with the attitude
  of the German Note of May 4, 1916. We should, therefore, be quite
  consistent if we, as we did in our Note of December 14, 1915, were
  to declare that we should be governed by our own ideas of justice.

  In our correspondence with the American Government respecting the
  _Ancona_, _Persia_ and _Petrolite_ questions we treated the
  concrete case always without going deeper into the individual
  principles of legal questions. In our Note of December 29, 1915,
  which contains the expression of opinion cited in the
  _aide-mémoire_ (it may also be noted that our expression of
  opinion was no pledge, as we had promised nothing nor taken any
  obligation upon ourselves), the Austrian Government distinctly
  stated that they would refer later to the difficult international
  questions connected with the U-boat warfare.

  Present war conditions did not appear suited to such a discussion.
  In consequence, however, of the dealings of our enemies, events
  have occurred and a state of things been brought about which, on
  our side also, renders a more intense application of the U-boat
  question unavoidable. Our merchantmen in the Adriatic, whenever
  attainable, were constantly torpedoed without warning by the
  enemy. Our adversaries have thus adopted the standard of the most
  aggravated and unrestricted U-boat warfare without the neutrals
  offering any resistance.

  The Entente when laying their minefields displayed the same
  ruthlessness towards free shipping and the lives of neutrals.

  Mines are considered as a recognised weapon for the definite
  protection of the home coast and ports, also as a means of
  blockading an enemy port. But the use made of them as an
  aggressive factor in this war is quite a new feature, for vast
  areas of open sea on the route of the world's traffic were
  converted into minefields impassable for the neutrals except at
  the greatest danger of their lives.

  There is no question but that that is a far greater check to the
  freedom of movement and a greater obstacle to neutral interests
  than establishing the unrestricted U-boat warfare within a limited
  and clearly marked-out zone, leaving open channels for neutral
  shipping, and by other measures giving due consideration to the
  interests of the neutrals.

  Just at the moment when the President's appeal to the entire
  belligerent world coincided with the spontaneous statement of our
  group, in which we gave a solemn proof of our willingness to
  conclude a just peace and one acceptable by our enemies, a fresh
  and larger minefield was laid down in the North Sea on the route
  of the world's traffic, and, casting ridicule on the noble
  initiative of the United States, a war of destruction against our
  groups of Powers was announced by the Entente.

  We urge the great aims that inspired the action of the American
  Government: the quickest possible cessation of the fearful
  slaughter of men and the founding of an honourable, lasting and
  blessed peace by combating with the greatest energy our enemies'
  furious war for conquest. The course we pursue leads to the common
  aims of ourselves and the American Government, and we cannot give
  up the hope of finding understanding in the people and the
  Government of the United States.

  TISZA.


I answered as follows:


  _March 5._

  DEAR FRIEND,--I cannot agree with you. After the first _Ancona_
  Note you veered round and declared in a second Note that "we
  agreed with the German standpoint in the main"--that was an
  obvious yielding and contained a hidden promise.

  I do not think that any legal wiles will dupe the Americans, and
  if we were to deny the promise it would not advance us any
  further.

  But, secondly and principally, it is altogether impossible with
  words to make the Americans desist from war if they wish it;
  either they will make straight for war and then no Notes will
  avail, or they will seek a pretext to escape the war danger and
  will find it in our Note.

  So much for the merits of the matter.

  What you demand is technically impossible. The Note was not easy
  to compile. I had to alter it entirely as time went on; His
  Majesty then wished to see it, made some alterations and
  sanctioned it. Meanwhile Penfield[7] importuned me and telegraphed
  even a week ago to America to reassure his people; the Germans,
  too, had to be won over for that particular passage.

  You know how ready I am to discuss important matters with you, but
  _ultra posse nemo tenetur_--it was physically impossible to upset
  everything again and to expect His Majesty to alter his views.

  In true friendship, your

  CZERNIN.

I thereupon, on March 14, received the following answer from Tisza:

  DEAR FRIEND,--I also note with genuine pleasure the success of
  your American _aide-mémoire_ (meaning thereby America's resolve
  not to break off relations with us). But it does not alter my
  opinion that it was a pity to admit that a pledge had been given.
  It may be requited at a later stage of the controversy, and it
  would have been easy not to broach the subject for the moment.

  Do you think me very obstinate? I have not suppressed the final
  word in our retrospective controversy so that you should not think
  me better than I am.

  Au revoir, in true friendship, your

  TISZA.

Tisza was strongly opposed to the U-boat warfare, and only tolerated
it from reasons of _vis major_, because we could not prevent the
German military leaders from adopting the measure, and because he, and
I too, were convinced that "not joining in" would have been of no
advantage to us.

Not until very much later--in fact, not until after the war--did I
learn from a reliable source that Germany, with an incomprehensible
misunderstanding of the situation, had restricted the building of more
U-boats during the war. The Secretary of State, Capelle, was
approached by competent naval technical experts, who told him that, by
stopping the building of all other vessels, a fivefold number of
U-boats could be built. Capelle rejected the proposal on the pretext
"that nobody would know what to do with so many U-boats when the war
was at an end." Germany had, as mentioned, 100 submarines; had she
possessed 500, she might have achieved her aims.

I only heard this in the winter of 1918, but it was from a source from
which I invariably gleaned correct information.

Seldom has any military action called forth such indignation as the
sinking, without warning, of enemy ships. And yet the observer who
judges from an objective point of view must admit that the waging war
on women and children was not begun by us, but by our enemies when
they enforced the blockade. Millions have perished in the domains of
the Central Powers through the blockade, and chiefly the poorest and
weakest people--the greater part women and children--were the victims.
If, to meet the argument, it be asserted that the Central Powers were
as a besieged fortress, and that in 1870 the Germans starved Paris in
similar fashion, there is certainly some truth in the argument. But it
is just as true--as stated in the Note of March 5--that in a war on
land no regard is ever paid to civilians who venture into the war
zone, and that no reason is apparent why a war at sea should be
subject to different moral conditions. When a town or village is
within the range of battle, the fact has never prevented the artillery
from acting in spite of the danger to the women and children. But in
the present instance, the non-combatants of the enemy States who are
in danger can easily escape it by not undertaking a sea voyage.

Since the débâcle in the winter of 1918, I have thoroughly discussed
the matter with English friends of long standing, and found that their
standpoint was--that it was not the U-boat warfare in itself that had
roused the greatest indignation, but the cruel nature of the
proceedings so opposed to international law. Also, the torpedoing of
hospital ships by the Germans, and the firing on passengers seeking to
escape, and so on. These accounts are flatly contradicted by the
Germans, who, on their part, have terrible tales to tell of English
brutality, as instanced by the _Baralong_ episode.

There have, of course, been individual cases of shameful brutality in
all the armies; but that such deeds were sanctioned or ordered by the
German or English Supreme Commands I do not believe.

An inquiry by an international, but neutral, court would be the only
means of bringing light to bear on the matter.

Atrocities such as mentioned are highly to be condemned, no matter who
the perpetrators are; but in itself, the U-boat warfare was an
allowable means of defence.

The blockade is now admitted to be a permissible and necessary
proceeding; the unrestricted U-boat warfare is stigmatised as a crime
against international law. That is the sentence passed by might but
not by right. In days to come history will judge otherwise.

FOOTNOTES:

[5] The Ambassador, Gottfried, Prince Hohenlohe-Schillingsfurst.

[6] See p. 279.

[7] Mr. Penfield, American Ambassador to Vienna.



CHAPTER VI

ATTEMPTS AT PEACE


1

The constitutional procedure which prevails in every parliamentary
state is ordered so that the minister is responsible to a body of
representatives. He is obliged to account for what he has done. His
action is subject to the judgment and criticism of the body of
representatives. If the majority of that body are against the
minister, he must go.

The control of foreign policy in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was in
the hands of the delegations.

Besides which, however, there existed in the Hungarian Constitution a
regulation to the effect that the Hungarian Prime Minister was
responsible to the country for the foreign policy, and, consequently,
the "foreign policy of the Monarchy had to be carried out, in
conjunction, by the then Minister for Foreign Affairs in office and
the Prime Minister."

It depended entirely on the personality of the Hungarian Prime
Minister how he observed the regulation. Under Burian's régime it had
become the custom for all telegrams and news, even of the most secret
nature, to be communicated at once to Count Tisza, who then brought
his influence to bear on all decisions and tactical events. Tisza
possessed a most extraordinary capacity for work. He always found time
to occupy himself very thoroughly with foreign policy, notwithstanding
his own numerous departmental duties, and it was necessary, therefore,
to gain his consent to every step taken. The control of our foreign
policy was, therefore, twofold--both by the delegation and the Prime
Minister.

Great as was my esteem and respect for Count Tisza and close the
friendship between us, still his constant supervision and
intervention put boundless difficulties in the way of the discharge of
business. It was not easy, even in normal times, to contend with, on
top of all the existing difficulties that confront a Minister for
Foreign Affairs; in war, it became an impossibility. The unqualified
presumption behind such twofold government would have been that the
Hungarian Prime Minister should consider all questions from the
standpoint of the entire Monarchy, and not from that of the Magyar
centre, a presumption which Tisza ignored like all other Hungarians.
He did not deny it. He has often told me that he knew no patriotism
save the Hungarian, but that it was in the interests of Hungary to
keep together with Austria; therefore, he saw most things with a
crooked vision. Never would he have ceded one single square metre of
Hungarian territory; but he raised no objection to the projected
cession of Galicia. He would rather have let the whole world be ruined
than give up Transylvania; but he took no interest whatever in the
Tyrol.

Apart from that, he applied different rules for Austria than for
Hungary. He would not allow of the slightest alteration in Hungary's
internal conditions, as they must not be effected through external
pressure. When I, forced thereto by the distress due to lack of
provisions, yielded to Ukrainian wishes and notified the Austrian
Ministry of the Ukrainian desire to divide Galicia in two, Tisza was
fully in accordance therewith. He went even further. He opposed any
expansion of the Monarchy as it might weaken Hungary's influence. All
his life he was an opponent of the Austro-Polish solution, and a
mortal enemy of the tripartist project; he intended that Poland at
most should rank as an Austrian province, but would prefer to make her
over to Germany. He did not even wish Roumania to be joined with
Hungary, as that would weaken the Magyar influence in Hungary. He
looked upon it as out of the question to grant the Serbians access to
the sea, because he wanted the Serbian agricultural products when he
was in need of them; nor would he leave an open door for the Serbian
pigs, as he did not wish the price of the Hungarian to be lowered.
Tisza went still further. He was a great stickler for equality in
making appointments to foreign diplomatic posts, but I could not pay
much heed to that. If I considered the Austrian X better fitted for
the post of ambassador than the Hungarian Y, I selected him in spite
of eventual disagreement.

This trait in the Hungarian, though legally well founded, was
unbearable and not to be maintained in war, and led to various
disputes between Tisza and myself; and now that he is dead, these
scenes leave me only a feeling of the deepest regret for many a hasty
word that escaped me. We afterwards made a compromise. Tisza promised
never to interfere except in cases of the greatest urgency, and I
promised to take no important step without his approval. Soon after
this arrangement he was dismissed by the Emperor for very different
reasons.

I greatly regretted his dismissal, in spite of the difficulties he had
caused me. To begin with, the Magyar-central standpoint was not a
speciality of Tisza's; all Magyar politicians upheld it. Secondly,
Tisza had one great point in his favour: he had no wish to prolong the
war for the purpose of conquest; he wished for a rectification of the
Roumanian frontier and nothing beyond that. If it had come to peace
negotiations, he would have supported me in taking as a basis the
_status quo ante_. His support--and that was the third reason--was of
great value, for he was a man who knew how to fight. He had become
hard and old on the battlefield of parliamentary controversy. He stood
in awe of nothing and nobody--and he was true as gold. Fourthly, this
upright man was one of the few who openly told the Emperor the truth,
and the Emperor made use of this, as we all did.

I was, therefore, convinced beforehand that a change would not improve
the situation for me. Esterhazy, who succeeded Tisza, certainly never
put obstacles in the way of my policy. At the same time, I missed the
strong hand that had kept order in Hungary, and the stern voice that
warned the Emperor, and I did not place the same reliance on Wekerle
as on Tisza, perhaps because I was not on the same terms of friendship
with him as with Tisza.

Although I had many disputes with Tisza, it is one of the dearest
reminiscences of my time of office that, up to the death of this
remarkable man, our friendship remained unchanged. For many years
Hungary and Stephen Tisza were as one. Tisza was a man whose brave and
manly character, stern and resolute nature, fearlessness and integrity
raised him high above the average man. He was a thorough man, with
brilliant qualities and great faults; a man whose like is rare in
Europe, in spite of those faults. Great bodies cast long shadows; and
he was great, and modelled out of the stuff from which the heroes of
old were made--heroes who understood how to fight and die. How often
did I reproach him with his unhappy "_puszta_" patriotism, that was
digging a grave for him and all of us. It was impossible to change
him; he was obstinate and unbending, and his greatest fault was that,
all his life, he was under the ban of a petty ecclesiastical policy.
Not a single square metre would he yield either to Roumania in her
day, nor to the Czechs or the Southern Slavs. The career of this
wonderful man contains a terrible tragedy. He fought and strove like
none other for his people and his country; for years he filled the
breach and protected his people and his Hungary with his powerful
personality, and yet it was his obstinate, unyielding policy that was
one of the chief reasons of Hungary's fall; the Hungary he so dearly
loved; the fall that he saw when he died, killed by the accursed hand
of some cowardly assassin.

Tisza once told me, with a laugh, that someone had said to him that
his greatest fault was that he had come into the world as a Hungarian.

I consider this a most pertinent remark. As a human being and as a
man, he was prominent; but all the prejudices and faults of the Magyar
way of thinking spoilt him.

Hungary and her Constitution--dualism--were one of our misfortunes in
the war.

Had the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had no other plan but that of doing
away with dualism, he would on that account alone have merited love
and admiration. In Aehrenthal's and Berchtold's time Hungarian policy
settled the Serbian disputes; it made an alliance with Roumania an
impossibility; it accomplished the food blockade in Austria during the
war; prevented all internal reforms; and, finally, at the last moment,
through Karolyi's petty shortsighted selfishness, the front was
beaten. This severe judgment on Hungary's influence on the war remains
true, in spite of the undoubtedly splendid deeds of the Magyar troops.
The Hungarian is of a strong, courageous, and manly disposition;
therefore, almost always an excellent soldier; but, unfortunately, in
the course of the last fifty years, Hungarian policy has done more
injury than the Hungarian soldier possibly could make good in the war.
Once, during the war, a Hungarian met my reproaches with the rejoinder
that we could be quite sure about the Hungarians, they were so firmly
linked to Austria. "Yes," said I; "Hungary is firmly linked to us, but
like a stone a drowning man has tied round his own neck."

If we had not lost the war a fight to the death with the Magyars would
have been inevitable, because it is impossible to conceive that any
sensible European _consortium_ would consent to be brought into
partnership with Magyar aspirations and plans for dominion.

But, of course, during the war an open fight with Budapest was
impossible.

Whether the nations that once composed the Habsburg Empire will ever
be reunited is an open question; should it come to pass, may a kind
fate preserve us from a return of dualism.


2

On December 26, 1916--four days after entering upon office--I received
a letter from Tisza in which he imparted to me his views on the
tactics to be observed:

  All the European neutrals feel that they are more seriously
  threatened by England than by us. The events in Greece, Roumania,
  etc., as well as England's commercial tyranny, act in our favour,
  and the difference of our attitude to the peace plans as compared
  with that of the Entente--if consistently and cleverly carried
  out--will secure neutral sympathy for our group of Powers.

  From this point of view I see that the chief danger will be that
  our necessarily cautious attitude as regards revealing our war
  aims may give rise to the idea that we are merely trifling with a
  plan for peace for tactical reasons and do not really earnestly
  desire peace.

  We must therefore furnish our representatives accredited to
  neutrals (the most important being Spain and Holland) with the
  necessary instructions, so that they may be able to account for
  our cautious attitude and explain the reasons that keep us from
  making a premature or one-sided announcement of our conditions.

  An announcement of the conditions on both sides would expose the
  belligerent parties in both camps to unfavourable criticism and
  might easily make the situation more strained; _a one-sided
  announcement of the war aims would simply afford the leader of the
  belligerent enemy group the opportunity of undoing everything_.

  It is therefore in the interests of peace that a communication of
  the peace terms should only be made mutually and confidentially,
  but we might be able to give the individual neutral various hints
  concerning it, to show that our war aims coincide with the lasting
  interests of humanity and the peace of the world, that our chief
  aim, _the prevention of Russian world dominion on land and of the
  English at sea_, is in the interests of the entire world, and that
  our peace terms would not include anything that would endanger the
  future peace of the world or could be objected to on the neutral
  side.

  I offer these views for your consideration, and remain in truest
  friendship, your devoted

  TISZA.

My predecessor, Burian, shortly before he left, had drawn up a peace
proposal together with Bethmann. The Entente's scornful refusal is
still fresh in everyone's memory. Since hostilities have ceased and
there have been opportunities of talking to members of the Entente, I
have often heard the reproach made that the offer of peace could not
have been accepted by the Entente, as it was couched in the terms of a
conqueror who "grants" peace terms to the enemy. Although I will not
attempt to deny that the tone of the peace proposal was very
arrogant--an impression which must have been enhanced by Tisza's
speeches in the Hungarian Parliament--I think, nevertheless, that even
had it been differently worded it had small prospect of success.
However that may be, the stern refusal on the part of the Entente only
strengthened the situation for the war-keen military party, who, with
increased vehemence, maintained the point that all talk of peace was a
mistake, and that the fighting must go on to the end.

In the winter of 1917, Italy made a slight advance. What territorial
concessions was the Monarchy prepared to make? This did not proceed
from the Italian Government, but was a step taken by a private
individual which was communicated to me through a friendly Government.
It is extremely difficult to judge of the true value of such a step. A
Government can make use of a private individual to take the first
step--it will probably do so when intercourse is desired; but it may
also be that a private person, without instructions from, or the
knowledge of, his Government, might do the same. Instances of the
latter occurred frequently during my term of office.

I always held the standpoint that any such tentative steps for peace,
even when a ministerial source could not be proved _a priori_, should
be treated with prudence, but in a friendly spirit. In the
above-mentioned case, however, the fact was that Italy neither could
separate from her Allies, nor did she wish to do so. Had that been her
purpose, it would have involved her in a conflict with England, whose
aim in war was the conquest of Germany and not any Italian
aspirations. A separate peace with Italy--her separation from her
Allies--was entirely out of the question, but a general peace would
have been possible if the Western Powers could have come to an
understanding with Germany.

The only object gained by that appeal would have been to confirm the
extent of our exhaustion from the war. Had I answered that I was ready
to give up this or that province, it would have been interpreted as a
conclusive symptom of our increasing weakness, and would not have
brought peace any nearer, but rather kept it at a greater distance.

I answered, therefore, in friendly tone that the Monarchy did not aim
at conquests, and that I was ready to negotiate on the basis of
pre-war conditions of possession. No answer was sent.

After the downfall I was told by a person, certainly not competent to
judge, that my tactics had been mistaken, as Italy would have
separated from her Allies and concluded a separate peace. Further
accounts given in this chapter prove the injustice of the reproof. But
it is easy now to confirm the impression that there was not a single
moment while the war lasted when Italy ever thought of leaving her
Allies.

An extraordinary incident occurred at the end of February, 1917. A
person came to me on February 26 who was in a position to give
credentials showing him to be a recognised representative of a neutral
Power, and informed me on behalf of his Government that he had been
instructed to let me know that our enemies--or at least one of
them--were ready to conclude peace with us, and that the conditions
would be favourable for us. In particular, there was to be no question
of separating Hungary or Bohemia from the Empire. I was asked, if
agreeable to the proposition, to communicate my conditions through the
same agency, my attention being called, however, to the proviso that
_these proposals made by the enemy Government would become null and
void from the moment that another Government friendly to us or to the
hostile country heard of the step_.

The bearer of this message knew nothing beyond its contents. The final
sentence made it obvious that one of the enemy Powers was anxious to
negotiate unknown to the others.

I did not for a moment doubt that it was a question of Russia, and my
authority confirmed my conviction by stating distinctly that he could
not say so positively. I answered at once by telegram on February 27
through the agency of the intervening neutral Power that
Austria-Hungary was, of course, ready to put an end to further
bloodshed, and did not look for any gains from the peace, because, as
stated several times, we were engaged in a war of defence only. But I
drew attention to the rather obscure sense of the application, not
being able to understand whether the State applying to us wished for
peace _with us only_, or with the entire _group of Powers_, and I was
constrained to emphasise the fact that we did not intend to separate
from our Allies. I was ready, however, to offer my services as
mediator if, as presumed, the State making the advance was ready to
conclude peace with our entire group of Powers. I would guarantee
secrecy, as I, first of all, considered it superfluous to notify our
Allies. The moment for that would only be when the situation was made
clear.

This was followed on March 9 by a reply accepting, though not giving a
direct answer to the point of whether the proposal was for a peace
with us alone or together with our Allies. In order to have it made
clear as quickly as possible, and not to lose further time, I answered
at once requesting the hostile Power to send a confidential person to
a neutral country, whither I also would send a delegate, adding that I
hoped that the meeting would have a favourable result.

I never received any answer to this second telegram. A week later, on
March 16, the Tsar abdicated. Obviously, it was a last attempt on his
part to save the situation which, had it occurred a few weeks earlier,
would not only have altered the fate of Russia, but that of the whole
world.

The Russian Revolution placed us in an entirely new situation. After
all, there was no doubt that the East presented an obvious possibility
of concluding peace, and all our efforts were turned in that
direction, for we were anxious to seize the first available moment to
make peace with the Russian Revolutionary Party, a peace which the
Tsar, faced by his coming downfall, had not been able to achieve.

If the spring of 1917 was noted for the beginning of the unrestricted
U-boat warfare and all the hopes centred on its success and the
altered situation anticipated on the part of the Germans, the summer
of the same year proved that the proceeding did not fulfil all
expectations, though causing great anxiety to England. At that time
there were great fears in England as to whether, and how, the U-boat
could be paralysed. No one in London knew whether the new means to
counteract it would suffice before they had been tried, and it was
only in the course of the summer that the success of the
anti-submarine weapons and the convoy principle was confirmed.

In the early summer of 1917 very favourable news was received relative
to English and French conditions. Information was sent from Madrid,
which was always a reliable source, that some Spanish officers
returning to Madrid from England reported that the situation there
during the last few weeks had become very much worse, and that there
was no longer any confidence in victory. The authorities seized all
the provisions that arrived for the troops and the munition workers;
potatoes and flour were not to be obtained by the poorer classes; the
majority of sailors fit for service had been enrolled in the navy, so
that only inefficient crews were left in the merchant service, and
they were difficult to secure, owing to their dread of U-boats, and,
therefore, many British merchantmen were lying idle, as there was no
one to man them.

This was the tenor of the Spanish reports coming from different
sources. Similar accounts, though in slightly different form, came
from France. It was stated that in Paris great war-weariness was
noticeable. All hope of definite victory was as good as given up; an
end must certainly come before the beginning of winter, and many of
the leading authorities were convinced that, if war were carried on
into the winter, the result would be as in Russia--a revolution.

At the same time, news came from Constantinople that one of the enemy
Powers in that quarter had made advances for a separate peace. The
Turkish Government replied that they would not separate from their
Allies, but were prepared to discuss a general peace on a basis of
non-annexation. Talaat Pasha notified me at once of the request and
his answer. Thereupon nothing more was heard from the enemy Power. At
the same time news came from Roumania evincing great anxiety
concerning the increasing break-up in Russia, and acknowledging that
she considered the game was lost. The revolution and the collapse of
the army in Russia still continued.

Taken altogether, the outlook presented a more hopeful picture for us,
and justified the views of those who had always held that a little
more "endurance"--to use a word since become ominous--would lead to a
decision.

During a war every Minister of Foreign Affairs must attach an
important and adequately estimated significance to confidential
reports. The hermetic isolation which during the world war divided
Europe into two separate worlds made this doubly urgent. But it is
inevitable in regard to confidential reports that they must be
accepted, for various reasons, with a certain amount of scepticism.
Those persons who write and talk, not from any material, but from
political interests, from political devotion and sympathy, are, from
the nature of the case, above suspicion of reporting, for their own
personal reasons, more optimistically than is justified. But they are
apt to be deceived. Nations, too, are subject to feelings, and the
feelings of the masses must not be taken as expressing the tendencies
of the leading influences. France was tired of war, but how far the
leading statesmen were influenced by that condition, not to be
compared to our own war-weariness, was not proved.

In persons who make this _métier_ their profession, the wish is often
present, alongside the comprehensible mistakes they make, to give
pleasure and satisfaction by their reports, and not run any risk of
losing a lucrative post. I think it will be always well to estimate
confidential reports, no matter from what source they proceed, as
being 50 per cent. less optimistic than they appear. The more
pessimistic opinion that prevailed in Vienna, compared with Berlin,
was due, first and foremost, to the reliance placed on news coming
from the enemy countries. Berlin, too, was quite certain that we were
losing time, although Bethmann once thought fit in the Reichstag to
assert the contrary; but the German military leaders and the
politicians looked at the situation _among our opponents_ differently
from us.

When the Emperor William was at Laxenburg in the summer of 1917 he
related to me some instances of the rapidly increasing food trouble in
England, and was genuinely surprised when I replied that, though I was
convinced that the U-boats were causing great distress, there was no
question of a famine. I told the Emperor that the great problem was
whether the U-boats would actually interfere with the transport of
American troops, as the German military authorities asserted, or not,
but counselled him not to accept as very serious facts a few passing
incidents that might have occurred.

After the beginning of the unrestricted U-boat warfare, I repeat that
many grave fears were entertained in England. It is a well-known fact.
But it was a question of fears, not actualities. A person who knew how
matters stood, and who came to me from a neutral country in the summer
of 1917, said: "If the half only of the fears entertained in England
be realised, then the war will be over in the autumn"; but a wide
difference existed between London's fears and Berlin's hopes on the
one hand, and subsequent events on the other, which had not been taken
into account by German opinion.

However that may be, I consider there is no doubt that, in spite of
the announced intervention of America, the summer of 1917 represented
a more hopeful phase for us. We were carried along by the tide, and it
was essential to make the most of the situation. Germany must be
brought to see that peace must be made, in case the peace wave became
stronger.

I resolved, therefore, to propose to the Emperor that he should make
the first sacrifice and prove to Berlin that it was not only by words
that he sought for peace. I asked him to authorise me to state in
Berlin that, in the event of Germany coming to an agreement with
France on the Alsace-Lorraine question, Austria would be ready to cede
Galicia to Poland, which was about to be reorganised, and to make
efforts to ensure that this Great-Polish State should be attached to
Germany--not _incorporated_, but, say, some form of personal union.

The Emperor and I went to Kreuznach, where I first of all made the
proposal to Bethmann and Zimmermann, and subsequently, in the presence
of the Emperor Charles and Bethmann, laid it before the Emperor
William. It was not accepted unconditionally, nor yet refused, and the
conference terminated with a request from the Germans for
consideration of the question.

In making this proposal, I was fully aware of all that it involved. If
Germany accepted the offer, and we in our consequent negotiations with
the Entente did not secure any noteworthy alterations in the Pact of
London, we could count on war only. In that case, we should have to
satisfy not only Italy, Roumania, and Serbia, but would also lose the
hoped-for compensation in the annexation of Poland. The Emperor
Charles saw the situation very clearly, but resolved at once,
nevertheless, to take the proposed step.

I, however, thoroughly believed then--though wrongly--that in the
circumstances London and Paris would have been able to effect an
amendment in the Pact of London. It was not until much later that a
definite refusal of our offer was sent by Germany.

In April, before a decision had been arrived at, I sent a report to
the Emperor Charles explaining the situation to him, and requesting
that he would submit it to the Emperor William.

The report was as follows:--

  Will Your Majesty permit me, with the frankness granted me from
  the first day of my appointment, to submit to Your Majesty my
  responsible opinion of the situation?

  It is quite obvious that our military strength is coming to an
  end. To enter into lengthy details in this connection would be to
  take up Your Majesty's time needlessly.

  I allude only to the decrease in raw materials for the production
  of munitions, to the thoroughly exhausted human material, and,
  above all, to the dull despair that pervades all classes owing to
  under-nourishment and renders impossible any further endurance of
  the sufferings from the war.

  Though I trust we shall succeed in holding out during the next few
  months and carry out a successful defence, I am nevertheless
  quite convinced that another winter campaign would be absolutely
  out of the question; in other words, that in the late summer or in
  the autumn an end must be put to the war at all costs.

  Without a doubt, it will be most important to begin peace
  negotiations at a moment when the enemy has not yet grasped the
  fact of our waning strength. If we approach the Entente at a
  moment when disturbances in the interior of the Empire reveal the
  coming breakdown every step will have been in vain, and the
  Entente will agree to no terms except such as would mean the
  absolute destruction of the Central Powers. To begin at the right
  time is, therefore, of extreme importance.

  I cannot here ignore the subject on which lies the crux of the
  whole argument. That is, the danger of revolution which is rising
  on the horizon of all Europe and which, supported by England, is
  demonstrating a new mode of fighting. Five monarchs have been
  dethroned in this war, and the amazing facility with which the
  strongest Monarchy in the world was overthrown may help to make us
  feel anxious and call to our memory the saying: _exempla trahunt_.
  Let it not be said that in Germany or Austria-Hungary the
  conditions are different; let it not be contested that the firmly
  rooted monarchist tendencies in Berlin and Vienna exclude the
  possibility of such an event. This war has opened a new era in the
  history of the world; it is without example and without precedent.
  The world is no longer what it was three years ago, and it will be
  vain to seek in the history of the world a parallel to the
  happenings that have now become daily occurrences.

  The statesman who is neither blind nor deaf must be aware how the
  dull despair of the population increases day by day; he is bound
  to hear the sullen grumbling of the great masses, and if he be
  conscious of his own responsibility he must pay due regard to that
  factor.

  Your Majesty has seen the secret reports from the governor of the
  town. Two things are obvious. The Russian Revolution affects our
  Slavs more than it does the Germans, and the responsibility for
  the continuation of the war is a far greater one for the Monarch
  whose country is only united through the dynasty than for the one
  where the people themselves are fighting for their national
  independence. Your Majesty knows that the burden laid upon the
  population has assumed proportions that are unbearable; Your
  Majesty knows that the bow is strained to such a point that any
  day it may be expected to snap. But should serious disturbances
  occur, either here or in Germany, it will be impossible to conceal
  the fact from the Entente, and from that moment all further
  efforts to secure peace will be defeated.

  I do not think that the internal situation in Germany is widely
  different from what it is here. I am only afraid that the military
  circles in Berlin are deceiving themselves in certain matters. I
  am firmly convinced that Germany, too, like ourselves, has reached
  the limit of her strength, and the responsible political leaders
  in Berlin do not seek to deny it.

  I am firmly persuaded that, if Germany were to attempt to embark
  on another winter campaign, there would be an upheaval in the
  interior of the country which, to my mind, would be far worse than
  a peace concluded by the Monarchs. If the Monarchs of the Central
  Powers are not able to conclude peace within the next few months,
  it will be done for them by their people, and then will the tide
  of revolution sweep away all that for which our sons and brothers
  fought and died.

  I do not wish to make any _oratio pro domo_, but I beg Your
  Majesty graciously to remember that I, the only one to predict the
  Roumanian war two years before, spoke to deaf ears, and that when
  I, two months before the war broke out, prophesied almost the very
  day when it would begin, nobody would believe me. I am just as
  convinced of my present diagnosis as I was of the former one, and
  I cannot too insistently urge you not to estimate too lightly the
  dangers that I see ahead.

  Without a doubt, the American declaration of war has greatly
  aggravated the situation. It may be many months before America can
  throw any noteworthy forces into the field, but the moral fact,
  the fact that the Entente has the hope of fresh forces, brings the
  situation to an unfavourable stage for us, because our enemies
  have more time before them than we have and can afford to wait
  longer than we, unfortunately, are able to do. It cannot yet be
  said what course events will take in Russia. I hope--and this is
  the vital point of my whole argument--that Russia has lost her
  motive power for a long time to come, perhaps for ever, and that
  this important factor will be made use of. I expect, nevertheless,
  that a Franco-English, probably also an Italian, offensive will be
  launched at the first opportunity, though I hope and trust that we
  shall be able to repulse both attacks. If this succeeds--and I
  reckon it can be done in two or three months--we must then, before
  America takes any further military action to our disadvantage,
  make a more comprehensive and detailed peace proposal and not
  shrink from the probably great and heavy sacrifices we may have to
  make.

  Germany places great hopes on the U-boat warfare. I consider such
  hopes are deceptive. I do not for a moment disparage the fabulous
  deeds of the German sea heroes; I admit admiringly that the
  tonnage sunk per month is phenomenal, but I assert that the
  success anticipated and predicted by the Germans has not been
  achieved.

  Your Majesty will remember that Admiral Holtzendorff, when last in
  Vienna, told us positively that the unrestricted U-boat warfare
  would bring England to her knees within six months. Your Majesty
  will also remember how we combated the prediction and declared
  that, though we did not doubt the U-boat campaign would seriously
  affect England, yet the looked-for success would be discounted by
  the anticipated entry of America into the war. It is now two and a
  half months (almost half the time stated) since the U-boat warfare
  started, and all the information that we get from England is to
  the effect that the downfall of this, our most powerful and most
  dangerous adversary, is not to be thought of. If, in, spite of
  many scruples, Your Majesty yielded to Germany's wish and
  consented to allow the Austro-Hungarian Navy to take part in the
  U-boat warfare, it was not because we were converted by the German
  arguments, but because Your Majesty deemed it to be absolutely
  necessary to act with Germany in loyal concert in all quarters and
  because we were firmly persuaded that Germany, unfortunately,
  would never desist from her resolve to begin the unrestricted
  U-boat warfare.

  To-day, however, in Germany the most enthusiastic advocates of the
  U-boat warfare are beginning to see that this means to victory
  will not be decisive, and I trust that the mistaken idea that
  England within a few months will be forced to sue for peace will
  lose ground in Berlin too. Nothing is more dangerous in politics
  than to believe the things one wishes to believe; nothing is more
  fatal than the principle not to wish to see the truth and to fall
  a prey to Utopian illusions from which sooner or later a terrible
  awakening will follow.

  England, the motive power in the war, will not be compelled to lay
  down her arms in a few months' time, but perhaps--and here I
  concede a limited success to the U-boat scheme--perhaps England in
  a few months will ask herself whether it is wise and sensible to
  continue this war _à l'outrance_, or whether it would not be more
  statesmanlike to set foot upon the golden bridges the Central
  Powers must build for her, and then the moment will have come for
  great and painful sacrifices on the part of the Central Powers.

  Your Majesty has rejected the repeated attempts of our enemies to
  separate us from our Allies, in which step I took the
  responsibility because Your Majesty is incapable of any
  dishonourable action. But at the same time, Your Majesty
  instructed me to notify the statesmen of the German Empire that
  our strength is at an end, and that after the close of the summer
  Germany must not reckon on us any longer. I carried out these
  commands and the German statesmen left me in no doubt that for
  Germany, too, another winter campaign would be impossible. In this
  one sentence may be summed up all that I have to say:

  We can still wait some weeks and try if there is any possibility
  of dealing with Paris or Petersburg. If that does not succeed,
  then we must--and at the right time--play our last card and make
  the extreme proposals I have already hinted at. Your Majesty has
  proved that you have no selfish plans and that you do not expect
  from your German Ally sacrifices that Your Majesty would not be
  ready to make yourself. More than that cannot be expected.

  Your Majesty, nevertheless, owes it to God and to your peoples to
  make every effort to avert the catastrophe of a collapse of the
  Monarchy; it is your sacred duty to God and to your peoples to
  defend those peoples, the dynastic principle and your throne with
  all the means in your power and to your very last breath.

On May 11 there came the following official answer from the Imperial
Chancellor, which was sent by the German Emperor to the Emperor
Charles, and then to me:--

  In accordance with Your Majesty's commands I beg most humbly to
  submit the following in answer to the enclosed _exposé_ from the
  Imperial and Royal Minister for Foreign Affairs of 12th ult.

  Since the _exposé_ was drawn up, the French and English on the
  Western front have carried out the predicted great offensive on a
  wide front, ruthlessly sacrificing masses of men and an enormous
  quantity of war material. The German army checked the advance of
  the numerically superior enemy; further attacks, as we have every
  reason to believe, will also be shattered by the heroism of the
  men and the iron will of their leaders.

  Judging from all our experiences hitherto in the war, we may
  consider the situation of the Allied armies on the Isonzo with the
  same confidence.

  The Eastern front has been greatly reduced owing to the political
  upheaval in Russia. There can be no question of an offensive on a
  large scale on the part of Russia. A further easing of the
  situation would release more men even if it were considered
  necessary to have a strong barrier on the Russian frontier to
  guard against local disturbances owing to the revolutionary
  movement. With the additional forces, the conditions in the West
  would become more favourable for us. The withdrawal of men would
  also provide more troops for the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy for
  the successful carrying out of the fighting on the Italian front
  until the end of the war is reached.

  In both Allied Monarchies there is an ample supply of raw material
  for the manufacture of munitions. Our situation as regards
  provisions is such that with the greatest economy we can hold out
  until the new harvest. The same applies to Austria-Hungary,
  especially if her share of the supplies from Roumania are taken
  into consideration.

  The deeds of our navy rank beside the successes of the army. When
  Admiral von Holtzendorff was permitted to lay before His Apostolic
  Majesty the plans for the U-boat warfare, the prospects of success
  for this stringent measure had been thoroughly tested here and the
  expected military advantages weighed against the political risk.
  We did not conceal from ourselves that the infliction of a
  blockade of the coasts of England and France would bring about the
  entry into war of the United States and, consequently, a falling
  off of other neutral states. We were fully aware that our enemies
  would thus gain a moral and economic renewal of strength, but we
  were, and still are, convinced that the disadvantages of the
  U-boat warfare are far surpassed by its advantages. The largest
  share in the world struggle which began in the East has now been
  transferred to the West in ever increasing dimensions, where
  English tenacity and endurance promote and strengthen the
  resistance of our enemies by varied means. A definite and
  favourable result for us could only be achieved by a determined
  attack on the vital spot in the hostile forces; that is, England.

  The success obtained and the effect already produced by the U-boat
  warfare far exceed all calculations and expectations. The latest
  statements of leading men in England concerning the increasing
  difficulty in obtaining provisions and the stoppage of supplies,
  as well as corresponding comments in the Press, not only include
  urgent appeals to the people to put forth their utmost strength,
  but bear also the stamp of grave anxiety and testify to the
  distress that England is suffering.

  The Secretary of State, Helfferich, at a meeting of the Head
  Committee of the Reichstag on the 28th ult., gave a detailed
  account of the effects of the U-boat warfare on England. The
  review was published in the _Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung_ of
  the 1st inst. I beg herewith to refer to the enclosed.[8]

  According to the latest news the Food Controller, Lord Rhondda,
  owing to the inadequate supply of corn, has been compelled to
  specify a new allotment of cargo space. This is already so
  restricted that more room for corn can only be secured by
  hindering the conduct of the war in other ways. Apart from
  abandoning overseas traffic, vessels could only be released by
  cutting down such imports as absorbed much space. England requires
  not only great transport facilities for provisions but also for
  the import of ore to keep up war industries, and also pit props to
  enable the coal output to be kept at a high level. In the case of
  the ore needed for England and the wood available in the country,
  it is not possible to restrict the cargo space in these two
  instances. Already, after three months of the U-boat warfare, it
  is a fact that the shortage of cargo space caused by the U-boats
  reduces the living conditions of the population to an unbearable
  extent, and paralyses all war industries, so much so that the hope
  of defeating Germany by superior stores of munitions and a greater
  number of guns has had to be given up. The lack of transport
  facilities will also prevent the larger output of war industries
  in America making up for the lesser output in England. The speed
  with which the U-boat warfare has destroyed vessels excludes the
  possibility of building new vessels to furnish adequate cargo
  space. More vessels have been destroyed in a month of U-boat
  warfare than the English dockyards have turned out in the last
  year. Even the thousand much-talked-of American wooden vessels, if
  they were there, would only cover the losses of four months. But
  they will not come before it is too late. English experts on the
  subject have already said quite openly that there are only two
  ways of counteracting the effect of the U-boats: either to build
  vessels quicker than the Germans destroy them, or else to destroy
  the U-boats quicker than the Germans can build them. The first has
  proved to be impossible, and the U-boat losses are far less than
  the new vessels building.

  England will also have to reckon on a progressive rise in the loss
  of tonnage.

  The effects of the U-boat warfare on the people's provisions and
  on all private and Government activities will be felt more and
  more.

  I anticipate, therefore, the final results of the U-boat warfare
  with the greatest confidence.

  According to secret but reliable information, the Prime Minister
  Ribot recently stated to the Italian Ambassador in Paris that
  France was faced with exhaustion. This opinion was expressed
  before the beginning of the last Franco-English offensive. Since
  then, France has sacrificed life to a terrible extent by keeping
  up the intensity of the fighting until the offensive ceased.

  The French nation is certainly doing marvellous things in this
  war, but the Government cannot sustain the enormous burden after
  it reaches a certain limit. A reaction in the temper of France,
  which is kept up by artificial means, is inevitable.

  As regards our own internal situation, I do not under-estimate the
  difficulties presented by the inevitable results of the severe
  fighting and the exclusion from the seas. But I firmly believe
  that we shall succeed in overcoming these difficulties without
  permanently endangering the nation's strength and general welfare,
  without any further crises and without menace to Government
  organisation.

  Although we are justified in viewing the total situation in a
  favourable light, I am nevertheless in complete agreement with
  Count Czernin in pursuing the aim of bringing about as speedily as
  possible an honourable and, in the interests of the Empire and of
  our Allies, just peace. I also share his opinion that the
  important factor of the weakening of Russia must be exploited, and
  that a fresh tentative offer for peace must be put forward at a
  time when both political and military initiative are still in our
  hands. Count Czernin estimates a suitable time will be in two or
  three months, when the enemy offensive will be at an end. As a
  matter of fact, in view of the French and English expectations of
  the decisive success for their offensive, and the Entente not
  having lost all hopes of Russia resuming her activities, any too
  pronounced preparations for peace would not only be doomed to
  failure, but would put new life into the enemy by revealing the
  hopeless exhaustion of the Central Powers' forces. At the present
  moment a general peace could only be bought by our submission to
  the will of the enemy. A peace of that nature would not be
  tolerated by the people and would lead to fatal dangers for the
  Monarchy. It appears to me that quiet determination and caution as
  regards the outer world are more than ever an imperative
  necessity. The development of affairs in Russia has hitherto been
  favourable for us. Party disputes are kept more and more within
  the narrow limits of peace and war questions by political,
  economic and social exigencies, and the impression grows every day
  that the party which makes for peace with the Central Powers will
  be the one to remain in power. It is our solemn duty carefully to
  follow and encourage the process of development and disruption in
  Russia and to sound the country, not with too obvious haste, but
  yet with sufficient expert skill to lead to practical peace
  negotiations. The probability is that Russia will avoid any
  appearance of treachery towards her Allies, and will endeavour to
  find a method which will practically lead to a state of peace
  between herself and the Central Powers, but outwardly will have
  the appearance of the union of both parties as a prelude to the
  general peace.

  As in July, 1914, we entered regardlessly into a loyal alliance
  with Austria-Hungary, in like manner when the world war is at an
  end will a basis be found for terms which will guarantee a
  prosperous peace to the two closely united Monarchies.

This optimistic reply of Bethmann's was obviously not only based on
the idea of infusing more confidence in the future in us, but was also
the true expression of a more favourable atmosphere prevailing, as
Berlin naturally received the same reports from the enemy countries as
we did.

I received about that time a letter from Tisza which contained the
following passage:--

  The varied information received from the enemy countries leaves no
  doubt that the war is drawing to a close. It is now above all
  essential to keep a steady nerve and play the game to the end with
  _sangfroid_. Let there be no signs of weakness. It is not from a
  love of humanity in general that our enemies have become more
  peacefully inclined, but because they realise that we cannot be
  crushed.

  I beg of you no longer to give vent to the sentiments in your
  report of April 12. A pessimistic tendency evinced now by the
  leader of our foreign affairs would ruin everything. I know that
  you are prudent, but I beg you to use your influence so that both
  His Majesty and his entourage may show a confident front to the
  world. And again, no one will have anything to say to us if they
  cease to believe in our powers of resistance--and are not
  persuaded that our Alliance rests on a solid foundation.

It was evident that the only right tactics were to make the supremest
efforts at the front and throughout the country, on the one hand, in
order to hold the situation a little longer, and, on the other, to
persuade the enemy that, in spite of the favourable situation, we were
prepared for peace without conquest. To appoint Hebel to the German
military Commission to carry out this last procedure seemed devoid of
sense. Neither did I expect to gain much from recent intervention in
the Wilhelmstrasse, and endeavoured therefore to put myself in direct
touch with the German Reichstag.

One of my political friends who had numerous and excellent connections
with the German Reichstag put himself into communication with
different leaders in Berlin and explained to them the situation in the
Monarchy. It was understood that this gentleman was not acting for the
Ministry, but presenting his own impressions and views. He was
enjoined to be very cautious, as any indiscretion might have
incalculable consequences. If the Entente were to imagine that we were
thinking of ending the war, not for love of peace but because we
simply could not hold out any longer, all efforts would have been
vain. In that respect, Tisza was perfectly right. It was, therefore,
absolutely necessary that the person to whom this delicate mission had
been entrusted should act in such a manner as would keep it a secret
from the Entente, a manner devoid of weakness and uniting confidence
with reasonable war aims, but also in a manner which would enable the
Ministry eventually to disavow the advances.

My friend undertook the task with just as great zeal as efficiency
and, in brief, this is what he told the Berlin leaders, Erzberger[9]
and Südekum in particular. As far as he could judge, we had now
reached a turning point. The next few weeks would decide whether it
was to be peace or war _à l'outrance_. France was tired and not
anxious for America's entry into the war if it was not to be the
latter. If Germany forced the Entente to continue the war the
situation would be very grave. Neither Austria-Hungary nor Turkey
could do more. Germany, by herself, could not bring the war to a
successful end. Austria-Hungary's position was obvious to the whole
world. She was ready to make peace without annexations and without war
compensation, and to devote all her energies to preventing the
recurrence of a war. (Austria-Hungary's standpoint was that a
universal, equal, but extensive disarmament on sea and on land offered
the only means to restore the financial situation in Europe after the
war.)

Germany must publicly notify her position just as clearly as
Austria-Hungary had done and must declare the following:

  (1) No annexations, no indemnities.

  (2) Particularly the unconditional and total release of Belgium
        (politically and economically).

  (3) All territories occupied by Germany and Austria-Hungary to be
        evacuated as soon as both those States had had their
        territories restored to them (including the German
        colonies).

  (4) Germany, as well as Austria-Hungary, to work for a general
        disarmament and guarantee that no further war be possible.

Such declaration to be a joint one from the German Government and the
Reichstag, and to be made public.

The peace resolution of July 19, 1917, was the result of this step.
The Imperial Chancellor Bethmann was the first victim. The Supreme
Military Command, by whom he always had been persecuted, now trying to
secure his dismissal, declared such resolution to be unacceptable.
When Bethmann had gone and Michaelis had been appointed, they were
satisfied.

Although the resolution in itself was satisfactory, it had one fault
at the start. It was no secret that everyone connected with
Pan-Germanism, especially the German generals, disagreed with the
decision, and would not accept the resolution as coming from the
entire country. Certainly the great majority in Germany, counting them
per head, supported the resolution but the leading men, together with
a considerable following, were opposed to it. The "Starvation Peace,"
the "Peace of Renunciation," and the "Scheidemann Peace" were the
subjects of articles in the papers expressing the greatest disapproval
of the resolution. Neither did the German Government take up any
decided attitude. On July 19 the Imperial Chancellor Michaelis made a
speech approving the resolution, but adding "as I understand it."

The Imperial Chancellor wrote a letter to me in August confirming his
very optimistic views of the situation, and defining Germany's views
regarding Belgium. The phrase, "as I understand it," above alluded to
in his approval of the resolution, was explained in his letter, at any
rate, as to the Belgium question: "As Germany wishes to reserve to
herself the right to exercise a far-reaching military and economic
influence on Belgium." He wrote as follows:--

  _Berlin, August 17, 1917._

  DEAR COUNT CZERNIN,--According to our agreement, I take the
  liberty briefly to lay before you my views of our discussions of
  the 14th and 15th inst., and would be extremely grateful if Your
  Excellency would be so kind as to advise me of your views on my
  activities.

  The internal economic and political situation in Germany justifies
  me in the firm belief that Germany herself would be able to stand
  a fourth year of war. The bread-corn harvest promises better than
  we thought five or six weeks ago, and will be better than that of
  the previous year. The potato harvest promises a considerably
  higher yield than in 1916-17. Fodder is estimated to be much less
  than last year; by observing a unified and well-thought-out
  economic plan for Germany herself and the occupied territories,
  including Roumania, we shall be in a position to hold out with
  regard to fodder, as was also possible in the very dry year 1915.

  There is no doubt that the political situation is grave. The
  people are suffering from the war, and the longing for peace is
  very great; however, there is no trace of any general and really
  morbid exhaustion, and when food is controlled any work done will
  be no worse than it was last year.

  This economic and political prospect can only be altered if the
  condition of the Allies, or of the neutrals, under pressure from
  the Entente, should become very much worse. It would be a change
  for the worse for us if our Allies or the neutral states, contrary
  to our expectations and hopes, were to experience such shortage as
  would cause them to turn to us. To a certain extent, this is
  already the case; a further increase of their claims would greatly
  prejudice our economic position and in certain cases endanger it.
  It must be admitted that the situation in the fourth year of war
  in general is more difficult than in the third year. The most
  earnest endeavours, therefore, will be made to bring about a peace
  as soon as possible.

  Nevertheless, our genuine desire for peace must not lead us to
  come forward with a fresh peace proposal. That, in my opinion,
  would be a great tactical error. Our _démarche_ for peace last
  December found sympathy in the neutral states, but it was answered
  by our adversaries raising their demands. A fresh step of the kind
  would be put down to our weakness and would prolong the war; any
  peace advances must come now from the enemy.

  The leading motive in my foreign policy will always be the
  watchful care of our Alliance with Austria-Hungary that the storm
  of war has made still stronger, and a trusting, friendly and loyal
  co-operation with the leading men of the Allied Monarchy. If the
  spirit of the Alliance--and in this I know Your Excellency
  agrees--remains on the same high level as heretofore, even our
  enemies would see that it was impossible for one of the Allies to
  agree to any separate negotiations offered to him, unless he
  states beforehand that the discussion would only be entered into
  if the object were a general peace. If this were clearly laid down
  there could be no reason why one of the Allies should not listen
  to such proposal from the enemy and with him discuss preparations
  for peace.

  At present no decided line of action can be specified for such a
  proceeding. Your Excellency was good enough to ask me whether the
  reinstatement of the _status quo_ would be a suitable basis on
  which to start negotiations. My standpoint in this matter is as
  follows: I have already stated in the Reichstag that Germany is
  not striving for any great changes in power after the war, and is
  ready to negotiate provided the enemy does not demand the cession
  of any German territory; with such a conception of the term
  "reinstatement of the _status quo_," that form would be a very
  suitable basis for negotiations. This would not exclude the
  desired possibility of retaining the present frontiers, and by
  negotiating bring former enemy economic territory into close
  economic and military conjunction with Germany--this would refer
  to Courland, Lithuania and Poland--and thus secure Germany's
  frontiers and give a guarantee for her vital needs on the
  continent and overseas.

  Germany is ready to evacuate the occupied French territory, but
  must reserve to herself the right, _by means of the peace
  negotiations, to the economic exploitation of the territory of
  Longwy and Briey_, if not through direct incorporation, by a legal
  grant to exploit. We are not in a position to cede to France any
  noteworthy districts in Alsace-Lorraine.

  I should wish to have a free hand in the negotiations in the
  matter of _connecting Belgium with Germany in a military and
  economic sense_. The terms that I read out, taken from notes at
  the Kreuznach negotiations--the military control of Belgium until
  the conclusion of a defensive and offensive Alliance with Germany,
  the acquisition of Liége (or a long-term rental thereof)--were
  the maximum claims of the Supreme Military and Naval Command. The
  Supreme Military Command agrees with me that these terms or
  similar ones can only be secured if peace can be enforced on
  England. But we are of opinion that a vast amount of economic and
  military influence must be brought to bear in Belgium in the
  matter of the negotiations and would perhaps not meet with much
  resistance, because Belgium, from economic distress, will come to
  see that her being joined to Germany is the best guarantee for a
  prosperous future.

  As regards Poland, I note that the confidential hint from Your
  Excellency to give up Galicia and enrol it in the new Polish State
  is subject to the ceding of portions of Alsace-Lorraine to France,
  which was to be as a counter-sacrifice, but must be considered as
  out of the question. The development of Poland as an independent
  State must be carried out in the sense of the proclamation of
  November 5, 1916. Whether this development will prove to be an
  actual advantage for Germany or will become a great danger for the
  future will be tested later. There are already many signs of
  danger, and what is particularly to be feared is that the
  Austro-Hungarian Government cannot notify us now during the war of
  her complete indifference to Poland and leave us a free hand in
  the administration of the whole state.

  It will also remain to be seen whether, in view of the danger
  caused to Germany and also to her relations with Austria-Hungary
  through Poland's unwillingness to accept the situation, it would
  not be more desirable politically for Germany, while retaining the
  frontier territory as being necessary for military protection, to
  grant to Poland full right of self-determination, also with the
  possibility of being joined to Russia.

  The question of the annexation of Roumania, according to the
  Kreuznach debate of May 1, must be treated further and solved in
  connection with the questions that are of interest to Germany
  respecting Courland, Lithuania and Poland.

  It was a special pleasure to me to meet you, dear Count Czernin,
  here in Berlin and to discuss openly and frankly with you the
  questions that occupy us at present. I hope in days to come there
  may be an opportunity for a further exchange of thoughts enabling
  us to solve problems that may arise, and carry them out in full
  agreement.

  With the expression of my highest esteem, I remain your very
  devoted

  MICHAELIS.

I replied to the Chancellor that I welcomed, as a matter of course,
the agreement to maintain complete frankness, but remarked that I
could not share his optimism. I explained that the increasing
war-weariness, both in Germany and in Austria-Hungary, rendered it
imperative to secure peace in good time, that is, before any
revolutionary signs appeared, for any beginning of disturbances would
spoil the chance of peace. The German point of view in the case of
Belgium seemed to me quite mistaken, as neither the Entente nor
Belgium would ever consent to the terms. I could not, therefore,
conceal from him that his point of view was a serious obstacle to
peace; that it was also in direct opposition to the Reichstag view,
and I failed to understand it.

I then spoke of the necessity of coming to an understanding as to the
minimum of the war aims in which an important part is played by the
question whether and how we can achieve a voluntary and peaceable
annexation of Poland and Roumania by the Central Powers.

I finally again pointed out that I interpreted the views of the German
Reichstag as demanding a peace without annexation or indemnity, and
that it would be out of the question for the German Government to
ignore the unanimous decision of the Reichstag. It was not a question
of whether we _wished_ to go on fighting, but whether we _could_, and
it was my duty to impress upon him in time that we were bound to end
the war.

Dr. Michaelis was more given to Pan-Germanism than his predecessor.

It was astonishing to what degree the Pan-Germans misunderstood the
situation. They disliked me so intensely that they avoided me, and I
had very few dealings with them. They were not to be converted. I
remember one instance, when a representative of that Party called on
me in Vienna to explain to me the conditions under which his group was
prepared to conclude peace: the annexation of Belgium, of a part of
east France (Longwy and Briey), of Courland and Lithuania, the cession
of the English Fleet to Germany, and I forget how many milliards in
war indemnity, etc. I received this gentleman in the presence of the
Ambassador von Wiesner, and we both agreed that it was purely a case
for a doctor.

There was a wide breach between the Imperial Chancellor Michaelis's
ideas and our own. It was impossible to bridge it over. Soon after he
left office to make way for the statesmanlike Count Hertling.

About this time very far-reaching events were being enacted behind the
scenes which had a very pronounced influence on the course of affairs.

Acts of great indiscretion and interference occurred on the part of
persons who, without being in any important position, had access to
diplomatic affairs. There is no object here in mentioning names,
especially as the responsible political leaders themselves only heard
the details of what had happened much later, and then in a very
unsatisfactory way--at a time when the pacifist tendencies of the
Entente were slackening.[10]

It was impossible then to see clearly in such a labyrinth of confused
and contradictory facts. The truth is that in the spring or early
summer of 1917 leading statesmen in the countries of the Allies and of
the Entente gathered the impression that the existence of the
Quadruple Alliance was at an end. At the very moment when it was of
the utmost importance to maintain secrecy concerning the conditions of
our Alliance the impression prevailed, and, naturally, the Entente
welcomed the first signs of disruption in the Quadruple Alliance.

I do not know if the opportunity will ever occur of throwing a clear
light on all the proceedings of those days. To explain the further
development it will suffice to confirm what follows here. This is what
happened. In the spring of 1917 connecting links were established with
Paris and London. The first impressions received were that the Western
Powers were ready to make use of us as a bridge to Germany and to a
general peace. At a somewhat later stage the wind veered and the
Entente endeavoured to make a separate peace with us.

Several important details only came to my knowledge later, some at the
time of my resignation in the spring of 1918, and some not until the
collapse in the winter of 1918-19. There was no lack of voices to
blame me for a supposed double policy, which the public also
suspected, and to accuse me of having made different statements to
Berlin from those I made in Paris. These charges were brought by
personal enemies who deliberately slandered me, which tales were
repeated by others who knew nothing about the affair. The fact is that
when I heard of the episode I immediately _possessed myself of
documents proving that not only did I know nothing whatever about the
matter_, but could not possibly have known.

Astronomical causes sometimes give rise to disturbances in the
universe, the reason of which cannot be understood by the observer. I
felt in the same way, without being able to prove anything definite,
from certain signs that I noticed, that in those worlds on the other
side of the trenches events were happening that were inexplicable to
me. I felt the effect, but could not discover the cause. In the spirit
of the Entente, now more favourably disposed for peace, an undertone
was distinctly audible. There was anxiety and a greater inclination
for peace than formerly, but again probably only in view of the
alleged laxity of our Alliance conditions and the hopes of the
downfall of the Quadruple Alliance. A friend of mine, a subject of a
neutral state, wrote to me from Paris in the summer and told me he had
heard from a reliable source that apparently at the Quai d'Orsay they
expected the Monarchy to separate from Germany, which, as a matter of
course, would alter the entire military situation.

Soon afterwards very secret information was received from a neutral
country that a Bulgarian group was negotiating with the Entente behind
the back and without the knowledge of Radoslawoff. As soon as
suspicion of a breach in the Alliance had been aroused in our Allies,
the Bulgarian party hastened to forestall the event. We felt as safe
about Radoslawoff as about Talaat Pasha; but in both countries other
forces were at work.

The suspicions aroused in our friends concerning our plans were a
further disadvantage, certainly only of a technical nature, but yet
not to be underestimated. Our various agents worked splendidly, but it
lay in the nature of the case that their dealings were more protracted
than those carried out by the Foreign Minister himself. According to
the course taken by the conversations, they were obliged to seek fresh
instructions; they were more tied, and therefore forced to assume a
more halting attitude than a responsible leader would have to do. In
the summer of 1917, therefore, I suggested going to Switzerland
myself, where negotiations were proceeding. But my journey could not
have been kept secret, and if an effort had been made to do so it
would have been all the more certain to arouse suspicion, owing to the
mistrust already awakened. But not in Berlin. I believe I still held
the confidence of the leading men in Berlin sufficiently to avert
that. I should have explained the situation to the Imperial
Chancellor, and that would have sufficed. In Turkey and Bulgaria the
case was different.

One party in Bulgaria favoured the Entente. If Bulgaria was under the
impression that our group was falling asunder she would have staked
everything to try and save herself by a separate peace. In
Constantinople, too, there was an Entente group. Talaat and Enver were
as reliable as they were strong. But a journey undertaken by me to
Switzerland in the conditions described might prove to be the alarm
signal for a general _sauve qui peut_. But the very suggestion that
the two Balkan countries would act as they supposed we should do would
have sufficed to destroy any attempt at peace in Paris and London.

The willingness to prepare for peace on the part of the enemy declined
visibly during the summer. It was evident from many trifling signs,
separately of small import, collectively of much. In the summer of
1917, too, the first horror of the U-boat warfare began to grow less.
It was seen by the enemy that it could not accomplish what he had
first feared, and that again put life into the desire for a final
military victory.

These two facts together probably contributed to fan back the peace
wind blowing from the West. Among other things, the Armand-Revertera
negotiations were proceeding the whole time. It is not yet the moment
to speak of the negotiations which in the spring of 1918, together
with the letters of the Emperor to Prince Sixtus, created such a
sensation. But this much must be stated: that Revertera in the
negotiations proved himself to be an equally correct as efficient
agent who acted exactly according to the instructions he received from
the Ballplatz. Our various attempts to take up the threads of peace
when emanating from the Ballplatz were always intended for our entire
group of Powers.

Naturally, it was not in the interests of the Entente to _prevent_ us
from separating from Germany, and when the impression was produced in
London and Paris unofficially that we were giving Germany up, we
ourselves thus used _sabotage_ in the striving for a general peace;
for it would, of course, have been pleasing to the Entente to see
Germany, her chief enemy, isolated.

There was a twofold and terrible mistake in thus trifling with the
idea of a separate peace. First of all, it could not release us from
the terms of the Pact of London, and yet it spoiled the atmosphere for
negotiating a general peace. At the time when these events were being
enacted, I presumed, but only knew for certain later, that Italy, in
any case, would claim the promises made to her.

In the spring of 1917 Ribot and Lloyd George conferred with Orlando on
the subject, when at St. Jean de Maurienne, and endeavoured to modify
the terms in case of our separating from Germany. Orlando refused, and
insisted on his view that, even in the event of a separate peace, we
should still have to yield up Trieste and the Tyrol as far as the
Brenner Pass to Italy, and thus have to pay an impossible price. And
secondly, these separatist tactics would break up our forces, and had
already begun to do so.

When a person starts running away in a fight he but too easily drags
others with him. I do not doubt that the Bulgarian negotiations,
opened with the purpose of taking soundings, were connected with the
foregoing events.

The effect of this well-meant but secret and dilettante policy was
that we suggested to the Entente a willingness to separate from our
Allies, and lost our position in the struggle for a separate peace.
For we saw that in separating from Germany we could not escape being
crippled; that, therefore, a separate peace was impossible, and that
we had dealt a death-blow at the still intact Quadruple Alliance.

Later I had information from England relating to the official view of
the situation there, which differed very much from the optimistic
confidential reports, and proved that the desire for peace was not so
strong. It will easily be understood that for us the English policy
was always the most interesting. England's entry into the war had made
the situation so dangerous that an understanding arrived at with
her--that is, an understanding between England and Germany through our
intervention--would have put an end to the war.

This information was to the effect that England was less than ever
inclined to confer with Germany until the two cardinal points had been
guaranteed--the cession of Alsace-Lorraine and the abolition of German
militarism. The former was a French claim, and England must and would
support France in this to her very utmost; the second claim was
necessary in the interests of the future peace of the world. Germany's
military strength was always estimated very highly in England, but the
army's deeds in this war had surpassed all expectations. The military
successes had encouraged the growth of the military spirit. The peace
resolution passed in the Reichstag proved nothing, or at any rate, not
enough, for the Reichstag is not the real exponent of the Empire in
the outside world; it became paralysed through an unofficial
collateral Government, the generals, who possessed the greater power.
Certain statements made by General Ludendorff--so the Entente
said--proved that Germany did not wish for an honourable peace of
understanding. Besides this the Wilhelmstrasse did not associate
itself with the majority in the Reichstag. The war was not being waged
against the German nation, but against its militarism, and to conclude
peace with the latter would be impossible. It appeared, further, that
in no circumstances would England restore Germany's colonies. So far
as the Monarchy was concerned, England appeared to be ready to
conclude a separate peace with her, though subject to the promises
made to her own Allies. According to the latter there was much
territory to be given up to Italy, Serbia and Roumania. But in
exchange we might reckon on a sort of annexation of newly made states
like Poland.

This information left no doubt that England was not then thinking of
making advances to Germany; the fear of Prussian militarism was at the
bottom of her reasons for refusing. My impression was that, through a
more favourable continuous development, a settlement and understanding
might be feasible on the territorial but not on the military
questions. On the contrary, the stronger Germany's military power
proved itself to be, the more did the Entente fear that their enemy's
power of defence would be invincible unless it was broken then.

Not only the period preceding war and the outbreak of war, but the
actual course of the war has been full of many and disturbing
misunderstandings. For long it was not understood here what England
meant by the term militarism. It was pointed out that the English Navy
was jealously defending the dominion of the seas, that France and
Russia stood ready armed for the attack, and that Germany was only in
a similar position to any other state; that every state strengthened
and equipped its defensive forces as thoroughly as possible.

By the term "Prussian militarism" England did not only mean the
strength of the German army. She understood it to be a combination of
a warlike spirit bent on oppressing others, and supported by the best
and strongest army in the world. The first would have been innocuous
without the second; and the splendid German army was in England's
eyes the instrument of a domineering and conquest-loving autocrat.
According to England's view, Germany was exactly the counterpart of
France under Bonaparte--if for Napoleon be substituted a many-headed
being called "Emperor, Crown Prince, Hindenburg, Ludendorff"--and just
as little as England would treat with Napoleon would she have any
dealings with the individual who to her was the personification of the
lust for conquest and the policy of violence.

The notion of the existence of German militarism seems to be quite
justified, although the Emperor and the Crown Prince played the
smallest part in it. But it seems to me an altogether wrong conception
that militarism is a speciality of Germany. The negotiations at
Versailles must now have convinced the general public that it is not
only on the banks of the Spree that militarism reigns.

Germany in former days was never able to understand that on the enemy
continent, by the side of morally unjustified envy, fear and anxiety
as to Germany's plans practically reigned, and that the talk about the
"hard" and "German" peace, about "victory and triumph" was like
throwing oil on the flames of their fears; that in England and France,
too, at one time, there was a current of feeling urging for a peace of
settlement, and that such expressions as the foregoing were highly
detrimental to all pacifist tendencies.

In my opinion the air raids on England may be ranked in the same
category as these expressions. They were carried out with the greatest
heroism by the German fliers, but no other object was gained but to
irritate and anger England and rouse to the utmost resistance all who
otherwise had pacifist tendencies. I said this to Ludendorff when he
called on me at the Ballplatz in the summer of 1917, but it made not
the slightest impression on him.

The _démarche_ for peace made by the Pope and our reply have been
published in the European Press. We accepted the noble proposals made
by the Holy Father. I have therefore nothing to add on that matter.

In the early part of the summer of 1917 the Socialist Conference at
Stockholm had become a practical question. I issued passports to the
representatives of our Social Democrats, and had several difficulties
to overcome in connection therewith. My own standpoint is made clear
by the following letter to Tisza.

  (_Not dated._)

  DEAR FRIEND,--I hear that you do not approve of the delegation of
  Socialists for Stockholm. To begin with, it is not a delegation.
  The men came to me of their own accord and applied for permission
  to travel, which I granted. Adler, Ellenbogen and Seitz were
  there, Renner as well. The two first are capable men, and I value
  them in spite of the differences that exist between us. The two
  last are not well known to me. But all are genuinely desirous of
  peace, and Adler in particular does not wish the downfall of the
  Empire.

  If they secure peace it will be a socialistic one, and the Emperor
  will have to pay out of his own pocket; I am sure too, dear
  friend, that if it is not possible to end the war, the Emperor
  will have to pay still more; you may be sure of that.

  Or, as may be expected, if they do not secure peace, then my
  prediction was all the more correct, for then I shall have proved
  to them that it is not the inefficiency of the Diplomatic Service
  but the conditions surrounding it that must be blamed for the war
  not coming to an end.

  If I had refused to grant permission for them to travel, they
  would have continued to the last declaring that, if they had been
  allowed to proceed, they would have secured peace.

  Everyone is indignant with me here, particularly in the
  Herrenhaus. They even go so far that they imagine I had tried to
  "buy" the Socialists by promising to lower the Customs dues if
  they returned with peace. I do not want the dues, as you know, but
  that has no connection with Stockholm, "Sozie" and peace.

  I was at an Austrian Cabinet Council lately and gave the
  death-blow to the Customs dues--but I felt rather like Daniel in
  the lions' den when I did it; N. and E. in particular were very
  indignant. The only one who entirely shares my standpoint beside
  Trnka is the Prime Minister Clam.

  Consequently, this contention that they have been deprived of the
  octroi owing to my love for the "Sozies" angers them still more,
  but the contention is false.

  You, my dear friend, are doubly wrong. In the first place, we
  shall be forced to have Socialist policy after the war whether it
  is welcome or not, and I consider it extremely important to
  prepare the Social Democrats for it. Socialist policy is the
  valve we are bound to open in order to let off the superfluous
  steam, otherwise the boiler will burst. In the second place, none
  of us Ministers can take upon ourselves the false pretence of
  using _sabotage_ with regard to peace. The nations may perhaps
  tolerate the tortures of war for a while, but only if they
  understand and have the conviction that it cannot be
  otherwise--that a _vis major_ predominates; in other words, that
  peace can fail owing to circumstances, but not owing to the ill
  will or stupidity of the Ministers.

  The German-Bohemian Deputy, K.H. Wolf, made a scene when the
  speech from the throne was read in the "Burg"; he declared that we
  were mad and would have to account for it to the delegation, and
  made many other equally pleasant remarks, but he had also come to
  a wrong conclusion about the Customs dues and Stockholm.

  You are quite right in saying that it is no concern of Germany's
  what we do in the interior. But they have not attempted the
  slightest interference with the dues. If they are afraid of an
  anti-German rate of exchange and, therefore, are in favour of the
  dues, we are to a certain extent to blame. The Berlin people are
  always afraid of treachery. When a vessel answers the starboard
  helm it means she turns to the right, and in order to check this
  movement the steersman must put the helm to larboard as the only
  way to keep a straight course--he must hold out. Such is the case
  of statecraft in Vienna--it is always carried out of the course of
  the Alliance.

  It is possible to turn and steer the Entente course if thought
  feasible; but then courage would be needed to make the turn fully.
  Nothing is more stupid than trifling with treachery and not
  carrying it out; we lose all ground in Berlin and gain nothing
  either in London or Paris. But why should I write all this--_you_
  share my opinions; I do not need to convert you. We will talk
  about Stockholm again.--In true friendship, your old

  CZERNIN.

As a matter of fact, Tisza in this instance allowed himself to be
quite converted, and raised no objections as to the Hungarian Social
Democrats. The negative result of the Stockholm Congress is known.

As already mentioned, it is at present still impossible to discuss in
detail the various negotiations and attempts at peace. Besides the
negotiations between Revertera and Armand, other tentative efforts
were made. For instance, the interviews already alluded to between the
Ambassador Mennsdorff and General Smuts, which were referred to in
the English Parliament. I do not consider it right to say more about
the matter here. But I can and will repeat the point of view which was
at the bottom of all our peace efforts since the summer of 1917, and
which finally wrecked them all.

The last report cited reflected the views of the Entente quite
correctly. With Germany there was at present no possibility of
intercourse. France insisted on the restoration of Alsace-Lorraine,
and the entire Entente demanded the abolition of German militarism.
Neither would Germany be allowed to retain her colonies. But Germany
was not yet "ripe" for this demand to be made. In the opinion of the
Entente, therefore, any debate on the subject would be useless. For us
the case was different. The impression prevailed that we could
conclude a separate peace providing we were ready to make sacrifices.
The London terms had created a situation which must be accepted.
Concessions to Roumania, the cession of Trieste and the Trentino, as
well as the German South Tyrol, to Italy, and concessions to the
Southern Slav state would be unavoidable, besides reforms in the
Monarchy on a federal basis. Our answer was that a one-sided
concession of Austro-Hungarian and German territory in that form was,
naturally, not possible. But still we thought that, under certain
premises in the territorial questions, an agreement might perhaps not
meet with insurmountable difficulties. As a matter of course, however,
the Entente were not in a position to make terms such as could only be
laid down by the victor to the vanquished, as we were anything but
beaten, but, in spite of that, we did not cling so firmly to the
frontier posts in the Monarchy.

It might be thought, therefore, that, the Entente being willing, a
settlement of the various interests would be possible; but proposals
such as the giving up of Trieste, Bozen, and Meran were impossible, as
was also the suggestion to make peace behind Germany's back. I
referred to the military situation and the impossibility of anyone
accepting these views of the Entente. I was full of confidence in the
future, and even if that were not the case I could not conclude a
peace in the present situation which the Entente could not dictate in
other terms, even if we were beaten. To lose Trieste and access to the
Adriatic was a totally unacceptable condition, just as much as the
unconditional surrender of Alsace-Lorraine.

Neutral statesmen agreed with my views that the Entente demands were
not couched in the terms of a peace of understanding, but of victory.
Opinion in neutral countries was quite clear on the subject. But in
England especially there were various currents of thought; not
everyone shared Lloyd George's views. The main point was, however, to
lead up to a debate which would tend to clear up many matters, and I
seized the idea eagerly. The greatest difficulty, I was assured by
some, lay in the Entente's assertion that Germany had shown remarkable
military strength, but yet had not been adequately prepared for war;
she had not had sufficient stores either of raw materials or
provisions, and had not built sufficient U-boats. The Entente's idea
was that if peace were made now, Germany might perhaps accept even
unfavourable conditions, but it would only be to gain time and make
use of the peace to draw breath before beginning a fresh war. She
would make up for loss of time and "hit out again." The Entente,
therefore, considered the preliminary condition of any peace, or even
of a discussion of terms, to be the certainty of the abolition of
German militarism. I replied that nobody wished for more war, and that
I agreed with the Entente that a guarantee in that connection must be
secured, but that a one-sided disarmament and disbanding of men by
Austria-Hungary and Germany was an impossibility. It might be imagined
what it would be like if one fine day an army, far advanced in the
enemy country, full of confidence and hope and certain of victory, had
to lay down arms and disappear. No one could accept such a proposal.
Meanwhile, a general disarmament of all the Powers was both possible
and necessary. Disarmament, the establishment of courts of arbitration
under international control: that, according to my idea, would present
an acceptable basis. I mentioned my fears that the Entente rulers in
this, as in the territorial question, would not mete out the same
measure to themselves as they intended for us, and unless I had some
guarantee in the matter I should not be in a position to carry the
plan through here and with our Allies; anyhow, it would be worth a
trial.

Long and frequent were the debates on the Central European question,
which was the Entente's terror, as it implied an unlimited increase in
Germany's power. In Paris and London it would presumably be preferred
that the Monarchy should be made independent of Germany, and any
further advances to Berlin on the part of Vienna checked. We rejoined
that to us this was not a new Entente standpoint, but that the
mutilation caused by the resolutions of the Pact of London forced us
to investigate the matter. Apart from the question of honour and duty
to the Alliance, as matters now stood, Germany was fighting almost
more for us than for herself. If Germany to-day, and we knew it,
concluded peace, she would lose Alsace-Lorraine and her military
superiority on land; but we, with our territory, would have to pay the
Italians, Serbians, and Roumanians for their part in the war.

I heard it said on many sides that there were men in the Entente who
readily understood this point of view, but that the Entente nations
would do what they had intended. Italy had based her entry into the
war on promises from London. Roumania also had been given very solid
assurances, and heroic Serbia must be compensated by Bosnia and
Herzegovina. Many, both in Paris and London, regretted the situation
that had arisen through the conference in London, but a treaty is a
treaty, and neither London nor Paris could forsake their Allies.
Meanwhile, it was thought likely in Entente circles that both the new
Serbian and Polish states, probably Roumania as well, would have
certain relations with the Monarchy. Further details respecting such
relations were still unknown. Our reply was: we would not give up
Galicia to Poland, Transylvania and the Bukovina to Roumania, and
Bosnia together with Herzegovina to Serbia, in return for a vague
promise of the closer relations of those states with the pitiful
remains left to us of the Monarchy. We were not impelled thereto by
dynastic interests. I myself had persuaded the Emperor to sacrifice
Galicia to Poland; but in Transylvania there lived so many Germans and
Magyars who simply could not be made a present of, and above all the
concessions, to Italy! I once asked a neutral statesman if he could
understand what was meant by making Austria voluntarily give up the
arch-German Tyrol as far as the Brenner Pass. The storm that would be
let loose by such a peace would uproot more than merely the Minister
who had made the peace. I told my visitor that there were certain
sacrifices which on no conditions could be expected of any living
being. I would not give up German Tyrol, not even though we were still
more unfavourably situated. I reminded him of a picture that
represented wolves chasing a sledge. One by one the driver threw out
fur, coat, and whatever else he had to the pack to check them and save
himself--but he could not throw his own child to them: rather would he
suffer to the last gasp. That was how I felt about Trieste and the
German Tyrol. We were not in the position of the man in the sledge,
for, thank God, we had our arms and could beat off the wolves; but
even in the extremest emergency, never would I accept a peace that
deprived us of Bozen and Meran.

My listener did not disagree with my argument, but could see no end to
the war in that way. England was ready to carry on the war for another
ten years and, in any case, would crush Germany. Not the German
people, for whom no hatred was felt--always the same repetition of
that deceptive argument--but German militarism. England was in a
condition of constraint. Repeatedly it had been said that if Germany
were not defeated in this war she would continue with still more
extensive armaments. That was the firm belief in London; she would
then, in a few years, have not 100, but 1,000, U-boats, and then
England would be lost. Then England was also fighting for her own
existence, and her will was iron. She knew the task would be a hard
one, but it would not crush her. In London they cite again the
example of the wars of Napoleon, and conclude with: "What man has done
man can do again."

This fear of Prussian militarism was noticeable on all occasions, and
the suggestion constantly was put forward that if we were to declare
ourselves satisfied with a general disarmament, that in itself would
be a great advantage and an important step towards peace.

My speech on October 2, 1917, at Budapest, on the necessity of
securing a reorganised world was prompted by the argument that
militarism was the greatest obstacle in the way of any advance in that
direction.

At Budapest on that occasion I was addressing an audience of party
leaders. I had to take into consideration that too pacifist a tone
would have an effect at home and abroad contrary to my purpose. At
home the lesser powers of resistance would be still further paralysed,
and abroad it would be taken as the end of our capacity for fighting,
and would further check all friendly intentions.

The passage in my speech relating to the securing of a new world
organisation is as follows:--

  The great French statesman, Talleyrand, is supposed to have said:
  words are merely to conceal thoughts. It may be that it was true
  respecting the diplomacy of his century, but I cannot imagine a
  maxim less suited to the present day. The millions who are
  fighting, whether in the trenches or behind the lines, wish to
  know why and wherefore they are fighting. They have a right to
  know why peace, which all the world is longing for, has not yet
  been made.

  When I entered upon office I seized the first opportunity openly
  to state that we should commit no violence, but that we should
  tolerate none, and that we were ready to enter into peace
  negotiations as soon as our enemies accepted the point of view of
  a peace of understanding. I think I have thus clearly explained,
  though on broad lines only, the peace idea of the Austro-Hungarian
  Monarchy. Many at home and also in friendly countries abroad have
  reproached me for speaking so openly. The arguments of the said
  critical gentlemen have only confirmed my belief in the justness
  of my views. I take nothing back of what I said, convinced as I am
  that the great majority of people here and in Austria approve my
  attitude. Following on these introductory remarks, I feel called
  upon to-day to tell the public how the Imperial and Royal
  Government will deal with the further development of the utterly
  distorted European conditions.

  Our programme for the reconstruction of the world organisation,
  preferably to be called the building of a new world organisation,
  is given in our answer to the peace Note of the Holy Father. It,
  therefore, only remains for me to-day to complete the programme
  and, above all, to state what were the considerations that decided
  us to accept the principles that overthrow the former system. It
  will come as a surprise to many, and perhaps appear
  incomprehensible, that the Central Powers, and especially
  Austria-Hungary, should be willing to desist from future military
  armament, as it is only their military power that has protected
  them through these trying years against vastly superior forces.

  Not only has the war created new factors and conditions, but it
  has also led to new conceptions which have shattered the
  foundations of former European policy. Among many other political
  theses, the one which held that Austria-Hungary was an expiring
  state has vanished. The dogma of the impending collapse of the
  Monarchy was what made our position in Europe more difficult and
  caused all the misunderstanding concerning our vital needs. But
  having shown ourselves in this war to be thoroughly sound and, at
  any rate, of equal standing, it follows that we can reckon now on
  a proper understanding of our vital needs in Europe and that no
  hopes are left of being able to beat us down by force of arms.
  Until the moment had arrived when this could be proved, we could
  not do without the protection of armaments nor expose ourselves to
  unfavourable treatment in the matters vital to us produced by the
  legend of our impending collapse. But from that moment, we have
  been in the position simultaneously with our enemies to lay down
  arms and settle our difficulties peacefully and by arbitration.
  This being recognised by the world affords us the possibility of
  not only accepting the plan of disarmament and a court of
  arbitration, but, as you, gentlemen, are aware, of working with
  all our energy for its realisation, as we have for some time past.

  After this war Europe must without doubt be placed on a new
  political basis, the permanency of which can be guaranteed. This
  basis will, I believe, be of a fourfold nature:

  In the first place, it must furnish a guarantee that there shall
  be no war of revenge on any side; we must make sure that we can
  bequeath to our children's children the knowledge that they will
  be spared the horrors of a time similar to that which we have
  undergone. No shifting of power in the belligerent states can
  achieve that. The only manner by which it can be attained is
  international disarmament throughout the world and acceptance of
  the principle of arbitration. It is needless to say that these
  measures for disarmament must not be confined to one separate
  state or to a single group of Powers, and that they apply equally
  to land, water and air. War as a factor in policy must be
  combated. A general, uniform and progressive disarmament of all
  states in the world must be established on an international basis
  and under international control, and the defensive forces limited
  to the utmost. I am well aware that this object will be difficult
  to achieve and that the path that leads thereto is long and thorny
  and full of difficulties. And yet I am firmly convinced it is a
  path that must be trodden and will be trodden, no matter whether
  it is approved of individuals or not. It is a great mistake to
  imagine that after such a war the world can begin from where it
  left off in 1914. A catastrophe such as this war does not pass by
  and leave no trace, and the most terrible misfortune that could
  happen to us would be if the race for armaments were to continue
  after the conclusion of peace, for it would mean the economic ruin
  of all states. Before the war began the military burdens to be
  borne were heavy--though we specially note that Austria-Hungary
  was far from being on a high level of military preparedness when
  we were surprised by the outbreak of war, and it was only during
  the war that she resumed her armaments--but after this war an open
  competition in armaments would render state burdens all round
  simply intolerable. In order to keep a high standard of armaments
  in open competition all the states would have to secure a tenfold
  supply of everything--ten times the artillery, munition factories,
  vessels and U-boats of former days, and also many more soldiers to
  work the machinery. The annual military budget of all the Great
  Powers would comprise many milliards--it would be impossible with
  all the other burdens which the belligerent states will have to
  bear after peace is concluded. This expense, I repeat, would mean
  the ruin of the nations. To return, however, to the relatively
  limited armaments in existence previous to 1914 would be quite
  impossible for any individual state, which would be so far behind
  that its military strength would not count. The expense incurred
  would be futile. But were it possible to return to the relatively
  low level of armaments in 1914, that in itself would signify an
  international lowering of armaments. But then there would be no
  sense in not going further and practically disarming altogether.

  There is but one egress from this narrow defile: the absolute
  international disarmament of the world. There is no longer any
  object in such colossal fleets if the states of the world
  guarantee the freedom of the seas, and armies must be reduced to
  the lowest limit requisite for the maintenance of order in the
  interior. This will only be possible on an international basis;
  that is, under international control. Every state will have to
  cede some of its independence to ensure a world peace. The present
  generation will probably not live to see this great pacifist
  movement fully completed. It cannot be carried out rapidly, but I
  consider it our duty to put ourselves at the head of the movement
  and do all that lies in human power to hasten its achievement. The
  conclusion of peace will establish the fundamental principles.

  If the first principle be laid down as the compulsory
  international arbitration system as well as general disarmament on
  land, the second one must be that of the freedom of the high seas
  and disarmament at sea. I purposely say the high seas, as I do not
  extend the idea to straits or channels, and I readily allow that
  special rules and regulations must be laid down for the connecting
  sea routes. If these first two factors have been settled and
  assured, any reason for territorial adjustments on the plea of
  ensuring national safety is done away with, and this forms the
  third fundamental principle of the new international basis. This
  idea is the gist of the beautiful and sublime Note that His
  Holiness the Pope addressed to the whole world. We have not gone
  to war to make conquests, and we have no aggressive plans. If the
  international disarmament that we so heartily are longing for be
  adopted by our present enemies and becomes a fact, then we are in
  no need of assurances of territorial safety; in that case, we can
  give up the idea of expanding the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy,
  provided, of course, that the enemy has entirely evacuated our own
  territory.

  The fourth principle to enforce in order to ensure a free and
  peaceful development of the world after the hard times we have
  experienced is the free economic participation by everyone and the
  unconditional avoidance of an economic war; a war of that nature
  must be excluded from all future contingencies. Before we conclude
  peace we must have the positive assurance that our present enemies
  have given up that idea.

  Those, my honourable friends, are the principles of the new world
  organisation as it presents itself to me, and they are all based
  on general disarmament. Germany, in her answer to the Papal Note,
  has also positively recognised the idea of a general disarmament.
  Our present enemies have likewise, partly at any rate, adopted
  these principles. I differ from Lloyd George in most points, but
  agree thoroughly on one--that there nevermore should be a war of
  revenge.

The impression made by my speech on the Entente surpassed the most
pessimistic expectations. In order not to approach too closely the
subject of their own disarmament, my propositions were said to be
hypocritical and a peace trap. This needs no comment.

Had the Entente replied that I must obtain the support of and secure a
guarantee from Germany that she would disarm, it would have been an
opportunity for me, with the help of the nations, to exercise the
greatest possible pressure on Germany's leaders. But the sword was
knocked out of my hand by the Entente themselves, for the retort came
from Berlin: Here is the proof that the Entente rejects our offer of
disarmament as they reject everything coming from us. There is only
one way out of it--a fight to the end and then victory.

Again did the Entente force the peoples of the Central Powers to side
unconditionally with the generals.

Never in the whole term of my office did I receive so many letters as
after my speech--both for and against, with both sides equally
impetuous. "Death sentences" from Germany were showered on me; scorn
and contempt alternated with genuine sympathy and agreement.

In the autumn of 1917 the peace movement diminished visibly. The
U-boat fiasco was very obvious. England saw that she was able to
overcome the danger. The German military leaders still spoke of the
positively expected successes of their submarines, but the tenor of
their predictions became very different. There was no longer any talk
of the downfall of England within a few months. A new winter campaign
was almost a certainty, and yet the Germans insisted that though
mistakes occurred in the term fixed, this was not so respecting the
ultimate effect of the U-boats and that England would collapse. The
U-boat warfare had achieved this amount of success, that the Western
front remained intact, though it would otherwise have fallen.

The military situation underwent a change in the autumn. The end of
the war in the East was within sight, and the possibility of being
able to fling the enormous masses of troops from the East into the
line in the West, and at last break through there, greatly improved
the situation.

It was not on the sea that the U-boat campaign had brought about a
decision, but it enabled a final decision on land to be made; such was
the new military opinion. Paris and Calais could not be taken.

In these different phases of military hopes and expectation we floated
like a boat on a stormy sea. In order to land in the haven of peace,
we needed a military wave to carry us nearer to the land; then only
could we unfurl the sail of understanding that would help us to reach
the saving shores. As long as the enemy persisted only in dealing with
the crushed and depopulated Central Powers all was in vain.

I never believed in the success of the U-boat warfare. I believed in a
break-through on the Western front, and during the winter of 1917-1918
lived in the hope that by such means we might break the obstinate love
of destruction in our enemies.

As long as our adversaries' peace terms remained the same peace was
impossible, as was also the bringing of any outside pressure to bear
on Germany, for it was true that "the German army was fighting more to
support Austria-Hungary than it was for its own existence."

Threatening and breathing disaster, the decisions of the Pact of
London confronted us. They forced us always to take up arms again, and
drove us back into the field.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the time of writing these lines, in June, 1919, Austria has long
ceased to exist. There is only left now a small, impoverished,
wretched land called German-Austria, a country without army or money;
helpless, starving, and wellnigh in despair. This country has been
told of the peace terms at St. Germain. It has been told it must give
up the Tyrol as to be handed over to Italy. And defenceless and
helpless as it is, it sends up a cry of despair and frantic grief. One
voice only is heard--such peace is impossible!

How could an Austrian Government accept the dictates of London at a
time when our armies stood far advanced in enemy country, unvanquished
and unbroken, when we had for Ally the strongest land Power in the
world, and when the greatest generals of the war so firmly believed in
the break-through and in final victory?

To demand that in 1917 or 1918 I should have accepted peace terms
which in 1919 were rejected by the whole of the German-Austrian people
is sheer madness. But it may be there is method in such madness. The
method of using every means to discredit the "old régime."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the beginning of August, 1917, an effort was made at a
_rapprochement_ between England and Germany which, unfortunately,
almost immediately broke down.

At the suggestion of England a neutral Power had sounded Germany with
regard to Belgium. Germany replied that she was ready for direct
verbal negotiations with England on the Belgian question. In
transmitting this favourable answer, Germany did not entrust it to the
same neutral Power that had brought the message, but for some unknown
reason confided it to a trusted messenger from another neutral
country. This latter appears to have been guilty of some indiscreet
dealings, and when rumours of the affair reached Paris it caused some
anxiety. It was probably thought there that England was more
interested in the Belgian than in the Alsace-Lorraine question.

The messenger sent from Berlin thought that his task had failed, and
sent word to Berlin that, owing to his errand having been made known,
the opinion among the Entente was that every step taken by Germany was
condemned beforehand to failure.

The Government which had employed the messenger took up the case on
its own initiative, and transmitted the German reply to London. No
answer was ever received from England.

This is the account as given to me _post festum_ by Berlin, and
doubtless reflects Berlin's views. Whether the incident in detail was
exactly as described, or whether many more hitherto unknown events
took place, has not been proved.

During the war all happenings on the other side of the trenches were
looked upon with dim and gloomy eyes as through a veil, and, according
to news received by me later, it was not clear whether England had
sent an answer. Whether it was dispatched and held up on the way, or
what became of it I never knew. It is said never to have reached
Berlin.

A warlike speech by Asquith on September 27 appears to be connected
with this unsuccessful attempt, and served to calm the Allies.

It appears extremely doubtful to me, however, whether this advance
would have led to anything, had the occasion been more favourable. The
previously mentioned letter of the Imperial Chancellor Michaelis dates
from those August days, a letter referring to Belgian projects which
were very far removed from the English ideas on the subject. And even
if it had been possible to settle the Belgian question, there would
have been that of Alsace-Lorraine, which linked France and England
together, and, first and foremost, the question of disarmament. The
chasm that divided the two camps would have grown so wide that no
bridge could possibly have spanned it.

Not until January, 1918, did I learn the English version. According to
that, the Germans are said to have taken the first steps, and the
English were not disinclined to listen, but heard nothing further. It
was stated in _Vorwärts_ that the suggestion was made at the
instigation of the Cabinet Council, but that subsequently military
influence gained the upper hand. The episode did not tend to improve
the frame of mind of the leading men in England.

In the early summer of 1917 conditions seemed favourable for peace and
the hope of arriving at an understanding, though still far distant,
was not exactly a Utopian dream. How far the hope of splitting our
group and the failure of the U-boat warfare may have contributed to
stiffen the desire for war in the Entente countries cannot definitely
be stated. Both factors had a share in it. Before we came to a
deadlock in the negotiations, the position was such that even in case
of a separate peace we should have been compelled to accept the terms
of the conference of London. Whether the Entente would have abandoned
that basis if we had not veered from the straight course, and by
unofficial cross-purposes become caught in the toils of separatist
desires, but had quickly and consistently carried out our task, is not
proved, and never will be. After the débâcle in the winter of 1918-19
it was intimated to me as a fact that when Clemenceau came into power
a peace of understanding with Germany became out of the question. His
standpoint was that Germany must be definitely vanquished and crushed.
Our negotiations, however, had begun under Briand, and Clemenceau only
came into power when the peace negotiations had become entangled and
were beginning to falter.

With regard to Austria-Hungary, both France and England would have
welcomed a separate peace on our part, even during Clemenceau's period
of office; but in that case we should have had to accept the terms of
the London conference.

Such was the peace question then. How it would have developed if no
misleading policy had come into being naturally cannot be stated.

I am not putting forward suppositions but confirming facts. And the
fact remains that the failure of the U-boat campaign on the one hand,
and a policy carried on behind the backs of the responsible men on the
other hand, were the reasons why the favourable moment passed and the
peace efforts were checked. And I herewith repeat that this fact does
not in itself prove that peace negotiations would not also have failed
later if the two reasons mentioned above had not existed.

It became quite clear in the autumn that the war would have to
continue. In my speeches to delegations I endeavoured to leave no
doubt that we were faithful to our Allies. When I said "I see no
difference between Strassburg and Trieste," I said it chiefly for
Sofia and Constantinople, for the overthrow of the Quadruple Alliance
was the greatest danger. I still hoped to be able to prop the
trembling foundations of the Alliance policy, and either to secure a
general peace in the East, where the military opposition was giving
way, or to see it draw nearer through the anticipated German
break-through on the Western front.

Several months after my dismissal in the summer of 1918 I spoke in the
Herrenhaus on foreign policy, and warned everyone present against
trying to undermine the Quadruple Alliance. When I declared that
"honour, duty to the Alliance, and the call for self-preservation
compel us to fight by the side of Germany," I was misunderstood. It
did not seem as though the public realised that the moment the Entente
thought the Quadruple Alliance was about to break up, from that moment
our cause was lost. Had the public no knowledge of the London
agreement? Did they not know that a separate peace would hand us over
totally defenceless to those cruel conditions? Did they not realise
that the German army was the shield that afforded us the last and only
possibility of escaping the fate of being broken up?

My successor steered the same course as I had done, doubtless from the
same reasons of honour and the call for self-preservation. I have no
particulars as to what occurred in the summer of 1918.

Afterwards events followed in rapid succession. First came our
terrible defeat in Italy, then the Entente break-through on the
Western front, and finally the Bulgarian secession, which had
gradually been approaching since the summer of 1917.


3

As is the case in all countries, among the Entente during the war
there were many and varied currents of thought. When Clemenceau came
into office the definite destruction of Germany was the dominant war
aim.

To those who neither see nor hear the secret information which a
Foreign Minister naturally has at his disposal, it may appear as
though the Entente, in the question of crushing Germany's military
strength, had sometimes been ready to make concessions. I think that
this may have been the case in the spring of 1917, but not later, when
any such hope was deceptive. Lansdowne in particular spoke and wrote
in a somewhat friendly tone, but Lloyd George was the determining
influence in England.

When sounding England on different occasions, I endeavoured to
discover by what means the dissolution of the military power in
Germany was to be or could be guaranteed--and I invariably came to an
_impasse_. It was never explained how England intended to carry out
the proposal.

The truth is that there is no way of disarming a strong and determined
people except by defeating them, but such an aim was not to be openly
admitted to us in the preliminary dealings. The delegates could not
suggest any suitable mode of discussion, and no other proposals could
lead to a decision.

Lansdowne, and perhaps Asquith as well, would have been content with a
parliamentary régime which would have deprived the Emperor of power
and given it to the Reichstag. Not so Lloyd George; at least, not
later. The English Prime Minister's well-known speech, "A disarmament
treaty with Germany would be a treaty between a fox and many geese,"
conveyed what he really thought.

After my Budapest speech, which was treated with such scorn and
contempt in the Press and by public opinion on the other side of the
Channel, word was sent to me from an English source that it was said
the "Czernin scheme" might settle the question. But again it was not
Lloyd George who said that.

Owing to the extreme distrust that Clemenceau, the English Prime
Minister, and with them the great majority in France and England, had
of Germany's intentions, no measure could be devised that would have
given London and Paris a sufficient guarantee for a future peaceful
policy. From the summer of 1917, no matter what Germany had proposed,
Lloyd George would always have rejected it as inadequate.

In consequence of this it was quite immaterial later to the course of
the war that Germany not only did nothing whatever to allay English
fears, but, on the contrary, poured oil in the fire and fanned the
flames.

Germany, the leading military Power in the war, never for one moment
thought of agreeing to disarmament under international control. After
my speech in Budapest I was received in Berlin not in an unfriendly
manner, but with a sort of pity, as some poor insane person might be
treated. The subject was avoided as much as possible. Erzberger alone
told me of his complete agreement with me.

Had Germany been victorious her militarism would have increased
enormously. In the summer of 1917 I spoke to several generals of high
standing on the Western front, who unanimously declared that after the
war armaments must be maintained, but on a very much greater scale.
They compared this war with the first Punic War. It would be continued
and its continuation be prepared for; in short, the tactics of
Versailles. The standard of violence must be planted, and would be the
banner of the generals, the Pan-Germans, the Fatherland Party, etc.
etc. They thought as little about a reconciliation of the nations
after the war as did the Supreme Council of Four at Versailles, and
Emperor, Government and Reichstag floundered helplessly in this
torrent of violent purpose.

The military spirit flourished on the Spree as it is doing now on the
Seine and the Thames. Lloyd George and Unter den Linden in Berlin.
The only difference between Foch and Ludendorff is that the one is a
Frenchman and the other a German; as men they are as like as two peas.

The Entente is victorious, and many millions are delighted and declare
that the policy of Might is justified. The future only can show
whether this is not a terrible mistake. The lives of hundreds of
thousands of young, hopeful men who have fallen might have been saved
if in 1917 peace had been made possible for us. The triumph of victory
cannot call them back to life again. It appears to me that the Entente
has conquered too much, too thoroughly. The madness of expiring
militarism, in spite of all its orgies, has perhaps celebrated its
last triumph at Versailles.


Postscript.

Taking it altogether, the real historical truth concerning the peace
movement is that, in general, neither the Entente nor the ruling,
all-powerful military party in Germany wished for a peace of
understanding. They both wished to be victorious and to enforce a
peace of violence on the defeated adversary. The leading men in
Germany--Ludendorff above all--never had a genuine intention of
releasing Belgium in an economic and political sense; neither would
they agree to any sacrifices. They wished to conquer in the East and
the West, and their arbitrary tendencies counteracted the pacifist
leaning of the Entente as soon as there were the slightest indications
of it. On the other hand, the leading men in the Entente--Clemenceau
from the first and Lloyd George later--were firmly resolved to crush
Germany, and therefore profited by the continuous German threats to
suppress all pacifist movements in their own countries, always ready
to prove that a peace of understanding with Berlin would be a "pact
between the fox and the geese."

Thanks to the attitude of the leading Ministers in Germany, the
Entente was fully persuaded that an understanding with Germany was
quite out of the question, and insisted obstinately on peace terms
which could not be accepted by a Germany still unbeaten. This closes
the _circular vitiosus_ which paralysed all negotiating activities.

_We_ were wedged in between these two movements and unable to strike
out for ourselves, because the Entente, bound by their promises to
their Allies, had already disposed of us by the Pact of London and the
undertakings to Roumania and Serbia. We therefore _could_ not exercise
extreme pressure on Germany, as we were unable to effect the annulment
of those treaties.

In the early summer of 1917 the possibility of an understanding
_seemed_ to show itself on the horizon, but it was wrecked by the
previously mentioned events.

FOOTNOTES:

[8] Helfferich's _exposé_ is reproduced in the Appendix. (See p. 288.)

[9] At this time I did not know that my secret report to the Emperor
was handed over to Herr Erzberger and not kept secret by him. (Later it
was made public through the revelations of Count Wedel.)

[10] The disclosures made by Count Wedel and Helfferich concerning
Erzberger are only a link in the chain.



CHAPTER VII

WILSON


Through the dwindling away of the inclination for peace in the enemy
camp we were faced in the autumn of 1917 by the prospect either of
concluding separate peace and accepting the many complicated
consequences of a war with Germany and the ensuing mutilation of the
Monarchy under the terms of the Pact of London, or else fighting on
and, aided by our Allies, breaking the will for destruction of our
enemies.

If Russia was the one to let loose war, it was Italy who perpetually
stood in the way of a peace of understanding, insisting upon obtaining
under all circumstances the whole of the Austrian territory promised
to her in 1915. The Entente during the war assigned the several parts
to be enacted. France was to shed the most blood; England, besides her
fabulous military action, to finance the war, together with America,
and diplomatic affairs to be in Italy's hands. Far too little is known
as yet, and will only later be public knowledge, as to the extent to
which Italian diplomacy dominated affairs during the war. Our
victories in Italy would only have changed the situation if the
defeats that were suffered had led to an Italian revolution and a
complete overthrow of the régime existing there. In other words, the
Royal Government would not be influenced in its attitude by our
victories. Even had our armies advanced much farther than they did, it
would have held to its standpoint in the expectation that, perhaps not
Italy herself, but her Allies, would secure final victory.

Such was the situation in the autumn of 1917 when Wilson came forward
with his Fourteen Points.

The advantage of the Wilson programme in the eyes of the whole world
was its violent contrast to the terms of the Pact of London. The right
of self-determination for the nations had been utterly ignored in
London by the allotment of German Tyrol to Italy. Wilson forbade this
and declared that nations could not be treated against their will and
moved hither and thither like the pieces in a game of chess. Wilson
said that every solution of a territorial question arising out of this
war must be arrived at in the interests and in favour of the peoples
concerned, and not as a mere balancing or compromise of claims from
rival sources; and further, that all clearly stated national claims
would receive the utmost satisfaction that could be afforded them,
without admitting new factors or the perpetuation of old disputes or
oppositions, which in all probability would soon again disturb the
peace of Europe and the whole world. A general peace, established on
such a basis could be discussed--and more in the same strain.

The publication of this clear and absolutely acceptable programme
seemed from day to day to render possible a peaceful solution of the
world conflict. In the eyes of millions of people this programme
opened up a world of hope. A new star had risen on the other side of
the ocean, and all eyes were turned in that direction. A mighty man
had come forward and with one powerful act had upset the London
resolutions and, in so doing, had reopened the gates for a peace of
understanding.

From the first moment the main question was, so it seemed, what hopes
were there of Wilson's programme being carried out in London, Paris
and, above all, in Rome?

Secret information sent to me from the Entente countries seemed to
suggest that the Fourteen Points were decidedly not drawn up in
agreement with England, France and Italy. On the other hand I was, and
still am, fully persuaded that Wilson had spoken honestly and
sincerely and, as a matter of fact, believed that his programme could
be carried out.

Wilson's great miscalculation was his mistaken estimate of the actual
distribution of power in the Entente on the one hand, and his
surprising ignorance of national relationships in Europe, and
especially in Austria-Hungary, on the other hand, which would greatly
weaken his position and his influence on his Allies. There would be
no difficulty in the Entente's cleverly introducing Wilson into the
international labyrinth and there bewildering him with wrong
directions, so that he could not find his way out again. To begin
with, therefore, Wilson's theory brought us not a step further.

The '67 settlement was proposed by a leading German-Magyar magnate in
Austria-Hungary. Fifty years ago nationalism was much less developed
than it is now. Nations were still sleeping--the Czechs, Slovaks and
Southern Slavs, the Roumanians and Ruthenians had barely awakened to
national life. Fifty years ago it was possible to distinguish between
what was deceptive and what gave promise of lasting. The union between
Italians and Germans only took effect with the coming of--or was
perhaps the first sign of--the world-movement. At all events it was in
the second half of the last century that we came within the radius of
international politics.

The world's racial problems found a centre in Austria-Hungary, whose
affairs, therefore, became very prominent. A chemist can enclose in
his retorts different substances and observe how, following the
eternal laws of nature, the processes of nature take place. In a
similar way during past decades the effect of unsolved racial
antagonisms might have been studied within the Habsburg Monarchy and
the inevitable explosion anticipated, instead of its being allowed to
culminate in the world war.

In putting forward his Fourteen Points Mr. Wilson obviously felt the
necessity of settling the world problem of nationality and recognised
that the Habsburg Monarchy, once arranged and settled, could serve as
a model to the world, as hitherto it had afforded a terrifying
example. But to begin with, he overlooked the fact that in the
settling of national questions there must be neither adversary nor
ally, as those reflect passing differences, whereas the problem of
nationality is a permanent one. He also ignored the fact that what
applies to the Czechs applies also to Ireland, that the Armenians as
well as the Ukrainians desire to live their own national life, and
that the coloured peoples of Africa and India are human beings with
the same rights as white people. He also failed to see that good will
and the desire for justice are far from being sufficient in themselves
to solve the problem of nationality. Thus it was that under his
patronage, and presumably on the basis of the Fourteen Points, the
question of nationality was not solved but simply turned round where
not actually left untouched. If Germans and Magyars had hitherto been
the dominating races they would now become the oppressed. By the terms
settled at Versailles they were to be handed over to states of other
nationality. Ten years hence, perhaps sooner, both groups of Powers as
they exist at present will have fallen. Other constellations will have
appeared and become dominant. The explosive power of unsolved
questions will continue to take effect and within a measurable space
of time again blow up the world.

Mr. Wilson, who evidently was acquainted with the programme of the
Pact of London, though not attaching sufficient importance to the
national difficulties, probably hoped to be able to effect a
compromise between the Italian policy of conquest and his own ideal
policy. In this connection, however, no bridge existed between Rome
and Washington. Conquests are made by right of the conqueror--such was
Clemenceau's and Orlando's policy--or else the world is ruled on the
principles of national justice, as Wilson wished it to be. This ideal,
however, will not be attained--no ideal is attainable; but it will be
brought very much nearer. Might or Right, the one alone can conquer.
But Czechs, Poles and others cannot be freed while at the same time
Tyrolese-Germans, Alsatian-Germans and Transylvanian-Hungarians are
handed over to foreign states. It cannot be done from the point of
view of justice or with any hope of its being permanent. Versailles
and St. Germain have proved that it can be done by might, and as a
temporary measure.

The solution of the question of nationality was the point round which
all Franz Ferdinand's political interests were centred during his
lifetime. Whether he would have succeeded is another question, but he
certainly did try. The Emperor Charles, too, was not averse to the
movement. The Emperor Francis Joseph was too old and too conservative
to make the experiment. His idea was _quieta non movere_. Without
powerful help from outside any attempt during the war against the
German-Magyar opposition would not have been feasible. Therefore, when
Wilson came forward with his Fourteen Points, and in spite of the
scepticism with which the message from Washington was received by the
German public and here too, I at once resolved to take up the thread.

I repeat that I never doubted the honourable and sincere intentions
entertained by Wilson--nor do I doubt them now--but my doubts as to
his powers of carrying them out were from the first very pronounced.
It was obvious that Wilson, when conducting the war, was much stronger
than when he took part in the Peace Conference. As long as fighting
proceeded Wilson was master of the world. He had only to call back his
troops from the European theatre of war and the Entente would be
placed in a most difficult position. It has always been
incomprehensible to me why the President of the United States did not
have recourse to this strong pressure during this time in order to
preserve his own war aims.

The secret information that I received soon after the publication of
the Fourteen Points led me to fear that Wilson, not understanding the
situation, would fail to take any practical measures to secure respect
for the regulations he had laid down, and that he underestimated
France's, and particularly Italy's, opposition. The logical and
practical consequences of the Wilson programme would have been the
public annulment of the Pact of London; it must have been so for us to
understand the principles on which we could enter upon peace
negotiations. Nothing of that nature occurred, and the gap between
Wilson's and Orlando's ideas of peace remained open.

On January 24, 1918, in the Committee of the Austrian Delegation, I
spoke publicly on the subject of the Fourteen Points and declared them
to be--in so far as they applied to us and not to our Allies--a
suitable basis for negotiations. Almost simultaneously we took steps
to enlighten ourselves on the problem of how in a practical way the
fourteen theoretical ideas of Wilson could be carried out. The
negotiations were then by no means hopeless.

Meanwhile the Brest negotiations were proceeding. Although that
episode, which represented a victory for German militarism, cannot
have been very encouraging for Wilson, he was wise enough to recognise
that we were in an awkward position and that the charge brought
against Germany that she was making hidden annexations did not apply
to Vienna. On February 12--thus, _after_ the conclusion of the Brest
peace--the President, in his speech to Congress, said:

  Count Czernin appears to have a clear understanding of the peace
  foundations and does not obscure their sense. He sees that an
  independent Poland composed of all the undeniably Polish
  inhabitants, the one bordering on the other, is a matter for
  European settlement and must be granted; further, that Belgium
  must be evacuated and restored, no matter what sacrifices and
  concessions it may involve; also that national desires must be
  satisfied, even in his own Empire, in the common interests of
  Europe and humanity.

  Though he is silent on certain matters more closely connected with
  the interests of his Allies than with Austria-Hungary, that is
  only natural, because he feels compelled under the circumstances
  to defer to Germany and Turkey. Recognising and agreeing with the
  important principles in question and the necessity of converting
  them into action, he naturally feels that Austria-Hungary, more
  easily than Germany, can concur with the war aims as expressed by
  the United States. He would probably have gone even further had he
  not been constrained to consider the Austro-Hungarian Alliance and
  the country's dependence on Germany.

In the same speech the President goes on to say:

  Count Czernin's answer referring mainly to my speech of January 8
  is couched in very friendly terms. He sees in my statements a
  sufficiently encouraging approach to the views of his own
  Government to justify his belief that they afford a basis for a
  thorough discussion by both Governments of the aims.

And again:

  I must say Count Hertling's answer is very undecided and most
  confusing, full of equivocal sentences, and it is difficult to say
  what it aims at. It certainly is written in a very different tone
  from that of Count Czernin's speech and obviously with a very
  different object in view.

There can be no doubt that when the head of a State at war with us
speaks in such friendly terms of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, he
has the best intentions of coming to an understanding. My efforts in
this connection were interrupted by my dismissal.

In these last weeks during which I remained in office the Emperor had
definitely lost faith in me. This was not due to the Wilson question,
nor yet was it the direct consequence of my general policy. A
difference of opinion between certain persons in the Emperor's
entourage and myself was the real reason. The situation became so
strained as to make it unbearable. The forces that conspired against
me convinced me that it would be impossible for me to gain my
objective which, being of a very difficult nature, could not be
obtained unless the Emperor gave me his full confidence.

In spite of all the rumours and stories spread about me I do not
intend to go into details unless I should be compelled to do so by
accounts derived from reliable sources. I am still convinced to this
day that morally I was perfectly right. I was wrong as to form,
because I was neither clever nor patient enough to _bend_ the
opposition, but would have _broken_ it, by reducing the situation to a
case of "either--or".



CHAPTER VIII

IMPRESSIONS AND REFLECTIONS


1

In the autumn of 1917 I had a visit from a subject of a neutral state,
who is a pronounced upholder of general disarmament and world
pacifism. We began, of course, to discuss the theme of free
competition in armaments, of militarism, which in England prevails on
the sea and in Germany on land, and my visitor entered upon the
various possibilities likely to occur when the war was at an end. He
had no faith in the destruction of England, nor had I; but he thought
it possible that France and Italy might collapse. The French and
Italians could not possibly bear any heavier burdens than already were
laid on them; in Paris and Rome, he thought, revolution was not far
distant, and a fresh phase of the war would then ensue. England and
America would continue to fight on alone, for ten, perhaps even
twenty, years. England was not to be considered just a little island,
but comprised Australia, India, Canada, and the sea. "_L'Angleterre
est imbattable_," he repeated, and America likewise. On the other
hand, the German army was also invincible. The secession of France and
Italy would greatly hinder the cruel blockade, for the resources of
those two countries--once they were conquered by the Central
Powers--were very vast, and in that case he could not see any end to
the war. Finally, the world would collapse from the general state of
exhaustion. My visitor cited the fable in which two goats met on a
narrow bridge; neither would give way to the other, and they fought
until they both fell into the water and were drowned. The victory of
one group as in previous wars, he continued, where the conqueror
gleaned a rich harvest of gains and the vanquished had to bear all
the losses, was out of the question in this present war. _Tout le
monde perdra, et à la fin il n'y aura que des vaincus._

I often recalled that interview later. Much that was false and yet, as
it seemed to me, much that was true lay in my friend's words. France
and Italy did not break down; the end of the war came quicker than he
thought; and the invincible Germany was defeated. And still I think
that the conclusions he arrived at came very near the truth.

The conquerors' finances are in a very precarious state, particularly
in Italy and France; unrest prevails; wages are exorbitant; discontent
is general; the phantom of Bolshevism leers at them; and they live in
the hope that the defeated Central Powers will have to pay, and they
will thus be saved. It was set forth in the peace terms, but _ultra
posse nemo tenetur_, and the future will show to what extent the
Central Powers can fulfil the conditions dictated to them.

Since the opening of the Peace Congress at Versailles continuous war
in Europe has been seen: Russians against the whole world, Czechs
against Hungarians, Roumanians against Hungarians, Poles against
Ukrainians, Southern Slavs against Germans, Communists against
Socialists. Three-fourths of Europe is turned into a witch's cauldron
where everything is concocted except work and production, and it is
futile to ask how this self-lacerated Europe will be able to find the
war expenses laid upon her. According to human reckoning, the
conquerors cannot extract even approximate compensation for their
losses from the defeated states, and their victory will terminate with
a considerable deficit. If that be the case, then my visitor will be
right--there will only be the vanquished.

If our plan in 1917, namely, Germany to cede Alsace-Lorraine to France
in exchange for the annexation of all Poland, together with Galicia,
and all states to disarm; if that plan had been accepted in Berlin and
sanctioned by the Entente--unless the _non possumus_ in Berlin and
opposition in Rome to a change in the Pact of London had hindered any
action--it seems to me the advantage would not only have been on the
side of the Central Powers.

Pyrrhus also conquered at Asculum.

       *       *       *       *       *

My visitor was astonished at Vienna. The psychology of no city that he
had seen during the war could compare with that of Vienna. An amazing
apathy prevailed. In Paris there was a passionate demand for
Alsace-Lorraine; in Berlin the contrary was demanded just as eagerly;
in England the destruction of Germany was the objective; in Sofia the
conquest of the Dobrudsha; in Rome they clamoured for all possible and
impossible things; in Vienna nothing at all was demanded. In Cracow
they called for a Great Poland; in Budapest for an unmolested Hungary;
in Prague for a united Czech State; and in Innsbruck the descendants
of Andreas Hofer were fighting as they did in his day for their sacred
land, Tyrol. In Vienna they asked only for peace and quiet.

Old men and children would fight the arch-enemy in Tyrol, but if the
Italians were to enter Vienna and bring bread with them they would be
received with shouts of enthusiasm. And yet Berlin and Innsbruck were
just as hungry as Vienna. _C'est une ville sans âme._

My visitor compared the Viennese to a pretty, gay, and frivolous woman,
whose aim in life is pleasure and only pleasure. She must dance, sing,
and enjoy life, and will do so under any circumstances--_sans âme_.

This pleasure-loving good nature of the Viennese has its admirable
points. For instance, all enemy aliens were better treated in Vienna
than anywhere else. Not the slightest trace of enmity was shown to
those who were the first to attack and then starve the city.

Stronger than anything else in Vienna was the desire for sensation,
pleasure, and a gay life. My friend once saw a piece acted at one of
the theatres in Vienna called, I believe, _Der Junge Medardus_. The
scene is laid during the occupation of Vienna by Napoleon. Viennese
citizens condemned to death for intriguing with the enemy are led away
by the French. In a most thrilling scene weeping women and children
bid them farewell. A vast crowd witnesses the affair. A boy suddenly
rushes in shouting: "Napoleon is coming." The crowd hurries away to
see him, and cries of "Long live Napoleon" are heard in the distance.

Such was Vienna a hundred years ago, and it is still the same. _Une
ville sans âme._

I pass on the criticism without comment.


2

In different circles which justly and unjustly intervened in politics
during my time of office, the plan was suggested of driving a wedge
between North and South Germany, and converting the latter to the
peaceful policy of Vienna in contradistinction to Prussian militarism.

The plan was a faulty one from the very first. To begin with, as
already stated, the most pronounced obstacle to peace was not only the
Prussian spirit, but the Entente programme for our disruption, which a
closer connection with Bavaria and Saxony would not have altered.
Secondly, Austria-Hungary, obviously falling more and more to pieces,
formed no point of attraction for Munich and Dresden, who, though not
Prussian, yet were German to the very backbone. The vague and
irresponsible plan of returning to the conditions of the period before
1866 was an anachronism. Thirdly and chiefly, all experiments were
dangerous which might create the impression in the Entente that the
Quadruple Alliance was about to be dissolved. In a policy of that
nature executive ability was of supreme importance, and that was
exactly what was usually lacking.

The plan was not without good features. The appointment of the
Bavarian Count Hertling to be Imperial Chancellor was not due to
Viennese influence, though a source of the greatest pleasure to us,
and the fact of making a choice that satisfied Vienna played a great
part with the Emperor William. Two Bavarians, Hertling and Kühlmann,
had taken over the leadership of the German Empire, and they, apart
from their great personal qualities, presented a certain natural
counter-balance to Prussian hegemony through their Bavarian origin;
but only so far as it was still possible in general administration
which then was in a disturbed state. But farther they could not go
without causing injury.

Count Hertling and I were on very good terms. This wise and
clear-sighted old man, whose only fault was that he was too old and
physically incapable of offering resistance, would have saved Germany,
if she possibly could have been saved, in 1917. In the rushing torrent
that whirled her away to her fall, he found no pillar to which he
could cling.

Latterly his sight began to fail and give way. He suffered from
fatigue, and the conferences and councils lasting often for hours and
hours were beyond his strength.



CHAPTER IX

POLAND


1

By letters patent November 5, 1916, both the Emperors declared
Poland's existence as a Kingdom.

When I came into office, I found the situation to be that the Poles
were annoyed with my predecessor because, they declared, Germany had
wanted to cede the newly created kingdom of Poland to us, and Count
Burian had rejected the offer. Apparently there is some
misunderstanding in this version of the case, as Burian says it is not
correctly rendered.

There were three reasons that made the handling of the Polish question
one of the greatest difficulty. The first was the totally different
views of the case held by competent individuals of the Austro-Hungarian
Monarchy. While the Austrian Ministry was in favour of the so-called
Austro-Polish solution, Count Tisza was strongly opposed to it. His
standpoint was that the political structure of the Monarchy ought not
to undergo any change through the annexation of Poland, and that Poland
eventually might be joined to the Monarchy as an Austrian province, but
never as a partner in a tripartite Monarchy.

A letter that he wrote to me from Budapest on February 22, 1917, was
characteristic of his train of thought. It was as follows:

  YOUR EXCELLENCY,--Far be it from me to raise a discussion on
  questions which to-day are without actual value and most probably
  will not assume any when peace is signed. On the other hand, I
  wish to avoid the danger that might arise from mistaken
  conclusions drawn from the fact that I accepted without protest
  certain statements that appeared in the correspondence of our
  diplomatic representatives.

  Guided exclusively by this consideration, I beg to draw the
  attention of Your Excellency to the fact that the so-called
  Austro-Polish solution of the Polish question has repeatedly (as
  in telegram Nr. 63 from Herr von Ugron) been referred to as the
  "tripartite solution."

  With reference to this appellation I am compelled to point out the
  fact that in the first period of the war, at a time when the
  Austro-Polish solution was in the foreground, all competent
  circles in the Monarchy were agreed that the annexation of Poland
  to the Monarchy must on no account affect its _dualistic
  structure_.

  This principle was distinctly recognised by the then leaders in
  the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as also by both Prime Ministers;
  it was also recognised and sanctioned by His late Majesty the
  Emperor and King Francis Joseph. I trust I may assume that this
  view is shared by Your Excellency; in any case, and to avoid
  misunderstanding, I must state that the Royal Hungarian Government
  considers this to be the ground-pillar of its entire political
  system, from which, in no circumstances, would it be in a position
  to deviate.

  It would, in our opinion, be fatal for the whole Monarchy. The
  uncertainty of the situation lies in the Austrian State, where the
  German element, after the separation of Galicia, would be in a
  very unsafe position, confronted by powerful tendencies that
  easily might gain the upper hand should a relatively small number
  of the Germans, whether from social-democratic,
  political-reactionary or doctrinary reasons, separate from the
  other German parties. The establishment of the new Polish element
  as a third factor with Austria-Hungary in our constitutional
  organism would represent an element so unsafe, and would be
  combined with such risks for the further development of the policy
  of the Habsburg Great Power, that, in view of the position of the
  Monarchy as such, I should feel the greatest anxiety lest the new
  and unreliable Russian-Polish element, so different from us in
  many respects, should play too predominant a part.

  The firm retention of dualism, according to which half the
  political influence on general subjects rests with Hungary, and
  _the Hungarian and German element in common furnish a safe
  majority_ in the delegation, alone can secure for the dynasty and
  the two States under its sceptre an adequate guarantee for the
  future.

  There is no other factor in the Monarchy whose every vital
  interest is so bound up in the dynasty and in the position of the
  Monarchy as a Great Power, as Hungary. The few people whose clear
  perception of that fact may have become dulled during the last
  peaceful decade must have been brought to a keener realisation of
  it by the present war.

  The preservation of the Danube Monarchy as a vigorous and active
  Great Power is in the truest sense of the word a vital condition
  for the existence of the Hungarian State. It was fatal for all of
  us that this willing people, endowed with so many administrative
  qualities, ready to sacrifice themselves for all State and
  national aims, have for centuries past not been able to devote
  themselves to the common cause. The striving for a solution of the
  world racial problem and the necessity of combining the
  responsibilities of a Great Power with the independence of the
  Hungarian State have caused heavy trials and century-long friction
  and fighting.

  Hungary's longing for independence did not take the form of
  efforts for dissolution. The great leaders in our struggle for
  liberty did not attack the continuance of the Habsburg Empire as a
  Great Power. And even during the bitter trials of the struggle
  they never followed any further aim than to obtain from the Crown
  a guarantee for their chartered rights.

  Hungary, free and independent, wished to remain under the sceptre
  of the Habsburgs; she did not wish to come under any foreign rule,
  but to be a free nation governed by her own king and her own laws
  and not subordinate to any other ruler. This principle was
  repeatedly put forward in solemn form (in the years 1723 and
  1791), and finally, in the agreement of 1867, a solution was found
  which endowed it with life and ensured its being carried out in a
  manner favourable for the position of a great nation.

  In the period of preparation for the agreement of 1867 Hungary was
  a poor and, comparatively speaking, small part of the then
  Monarchy, and the great statesmen of Hungary based their
  administrative plan on dualism and equality as being the only
  possible way for ensuring that Hungarian independence, recognised
  and appealed to on many occasions, should materialise in a
  framework of modern constitutional practice.

  A political structure for the Monarchy which would make it
  possible for Hungary to be outvoted on the most important
  questions of State affairs, and therefore subject to a foreign
  will, would again have nullified all that had been achieved after
  so much striving and suffering, so much futile waste of strength
  for the benefit of us all, which even in this war, too, would have
  brought its blessings. All those, therefore, who have always stood
  up firmly and loyally for the agreement of 1867 must put their
  whole strength into resisting any tripartite experiments.

  I would very much regret if, in connection with this question,
  differences of opinion should occur among the present responsible
  leaders of the Monarchy. In view of this I considered it
  unnecessary to give publicity to a question that is not pressing.
  At all events, in dealing with the Poles, all expressions must be
  avoided which, in the improbable, although not impossible, event
  of a resumption of the Austro-Polish solution, might awaken
  expectations in them which could only lead to the most complicated
  consequences.

  The more moderate Poles had made up their minds that the dualistic
  structure of the Monarchy would have to remain intact, and that
  the annexation of Poland by way of a junction with the Austrian
  State, with far-reaching autonomy to follow, would have to be the
  consequence. It would therefore be extremely imprudent and
  injurious to awaken fresh aspirations, the realisation of which
  seems very doubtful, not only from a Hungarian point of view but
  from that which concerns the future of the Monarchy.

  I beg Your Excellency to accept the expression of my highest
  esteem.

  TISZA.

  _Budapest, February 22, 1917._



The question as to what was to be Poland's future position with regard
to the Monarchy remained still unsolved. I continued to press the
point that Poland should be annexed as an independent state. Tisza
wanted it to be a province. When the Emperor dismissed him, although
he was favoured by the majority of the Parliament, it did not alter
the situation in regard to the Polish question, as Wekerle, in this as
in almost all other questions, had to adopt Tisza's views; otherwise,
he would have been in the minority.

The actual reason of Tisza's dismissal was not the question of
electoral reforms, as his successors could only act according to
Tisza's instructions. For, as leader of the majority, which he
continued to be even after his dismissal, no electoral reforms could
be carried out in opposition to his will. Tisza thought that the
Emperor meditated putting in a coalition majority against him, which
he considered quite logical, though not agreeable.

The next difficulty was the attitude of the Germans towards Poland. At
the occupation of Poland we were already unfairly treated, and the
Germans had appropriated the greater part of the country. Always and
everywhere, they were the stronger on the battlefield, and the
consequence was that they claimed the lion's share of all the
successes gained. This was in reality quite natural, but it greatly
added to all diplomatic and political activities, which were
invariably prejudiced and hindered by military facts. When I entered
upon office, Germany's standpoint was that she had a far superior
right to Poland, and that the simplest solution would be for us to
evacuate the territory we had occupied. It was, of course, obvious
that I could not accept such a proposal, and we held firmly to the
point that under no circumstances would our troops leave Lublin. After
much controversy, the Germans agreed, _tant bien que mal_, to this
solution. The further development of the affair showed that the German
standpoint went through many changes. In general, it fluctuated
between two extremes: either Poland must unite herself to Germany--the
German-Polish solution, or else vast portions of her territory must be
ceded to Germany to be called frontier adjustments, and what remained
would be either for us or for Poland herself. Neither solution could
be accepted by us. The first one for this reason, that the Polish
question being in the foreground made that of Galicia very acute, as
it would have been quite impossible to retain Galicia in the Monarchy
when separated from the rest of Poland. We were obliged to oppose the
German-Polish solution, not from any desire for conquest, but to
prevent the sacrifice of Galicia for no purpose.

The second German suggestion was just as impossible to carry out,
because Poland, crippled beyond recognition by the frontier
readjustment, even though united with Galicia, would have been so
unsatisfactory a factor that there would never have been any prospect
of harmonious dealings with her.

The third difficulty was presented by the Poles themselves, as they
naturally wished to secure the greatest possible profit out of their
release by the Central Powers, even though it did not contribute much
to their future happiness so far as military support was concerned.
There were many different parties among them: first of all, one for
the Entente; a second, Bilinski's party; above all, one for the
Central Powers, especially when we gained military successes.

On the whole, Polish policy was to show their hand as little as
possible to any particular group, and in the end range themselves on
the side of the conquerors. It must be admitted that these tactics
were successful.

In addition to these difficulties, there prevailed almost always in
Polish political circles a certain nervous excitement, which made it
extremely difficult to enter into any calm and essential negotiations.
At the very beginning, misunderstandings occurred between the Polish
leaders and myself with regard to what I proposed to do;
misunderstandings which, toward the end of my term of office,
developed into the most bitter enmity towards me on the part of the
Poles. On February 10, 1917, a whole year before Brest-Litovsk, I
received the news from Warsaw that Herr von Bilinski, apparently
misunderstanding my standpoint, evolved from the facts, considered
that hopes represented promises, and in so doing raised Polish
expectations to an unwarranted degree. I telegraphed thereupon to our
representative as follows:

  _February 16, 1917._

  I have informed Herr von Bilinski, together with other Poles, that
  it is impossible in the present unsettled European situation to
  make, on the whole, any plans for the future of Poland. I have
  told them that I sympathise with the Austro-Polish solution longed
  for by all our Poles, but that I am not in the position to say
  whether this solution will be attainable, though I am equally
  unable to foretell the opposite. Finally, I have also declared
  that our whole policy where Poland is concerned can only consist
  in our leaving a door open for all future transactions.

I added that our representative must quote my direct orders in
settling the matter.

In January, 1917, a conference was held respecting the Polish
question: a conference which aimed at laying down a broad line of
action for the policy to be adopted. I first of all referred to the
circumstances connected with the previously-mentioned German request
for us to evacuate Lublin, and explained my reasons for not agreeing
to the demand. I pointed out that it did not seem probable to me that
the war would end with a dictated peace on our side, and that, with
reference to Poland, we should not be able to solve the Polish
question without the co-operation of the Entente, and that there was
not much object so long as the war lasted in endeavouring to secure
_faits accomplis_. The main point was that we remain in the country,
and on the conclusion of peace enter into negotiations with the
Entente and the Allies to secure a solution of the Austro-Polish
question. That should be the gist of our policy. Count Tisza spoke
after me and agreed with me that we must not yield to the German
demand for our evacuation of Lublin. As regards the future, the
Hungarian Prime Minister stated that he had always held the view that
we should cede to Germany our claim to Poland in exchange for economic
and financial compensation; but that, at the present time, he did not
feel so confident about it. The conditions then prevailing were
unbearable, chiefly owing to the variableness of German policy, and
he, Count Tisza, returned to his former, oft-repeated opinion that we
should strive as soon as possible to withdraw with honour out of the
affair; impose no conditions that would lead to further friction, but
the surrendering to Germany of our share in Poland in exchange for
economic compensation.

The Austrian Prime Minister, Count Clam, opposed this from the
Austrian point of view, which supported the union of all the Poles
under the Habsburg sceptre as being the one and only desirable
solution.

The feeling during the debate was that the door must be closed against
the Austro-Polish proposals, and that, in view of the impossibility of
an immediate definite solution, we must adhere firmly to the policy
that rendered possible the union of all the Poles under the Habsburg
rule.

After Germany's refusal of the proposal to accept Galicia as
compensation for Alsace-Lorraine, this programme was adhered to
through various phases and vicissitudes until the ever-increasing
German desire for frontier readjustment created a situation which made
the achievement of the Austro-Polish project very doubtful. Unless we
could secure a Poland which, thanks to the unanimity of the great
majority of all Poles, would willingly and cheerfully join the
Monarchy, the Austro-Polish solution would not have been a happy one,
as in that case we should only have increased the number of
discontented elements in the Monarchy, already very high, by adding
fresh ones to them. As it proved impossible to break the resistance
put up by General Ludendorff, the idea presented itself at a later
stage to strive for the annexation of Roumania instead of Poland. It
was a return to the original idea of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the
union of Roumania with Transylvania, closely linked to the Monarchy.
In that case we should have lost Galicia to Poland, but a certain
compensation would have been conceded to us in Roumania with her corn
and oil springs, and for the Monarchy, as for the Poles, it appeared
better to unite the latter collectively with Germany rather than to
divide them, as suggested in the Vienna-Berlin dispute.

The plan for the annexation of Roumania presented wellnigh
insurmountable internal difficulties. Owing to her geographical
position, Roumania ought naturally to be annexed to Hungary. Tisza,
who was not in favour of the plan, would, nevertheless, have agreed to
it if the annexed country had been administered from Budapest and in
the Magyar spirit, which meant that it would be incorporated in
Hungary. This, for obvious reasons, would involve the failure of the
plan, for the Roumanians would gain no advantage from the annexation
if it was to be at the sacrifice of their national independence. On
the other hand, the Austrian Ministry raised quite justifiable
objections to the suggestion of a future combination that would add a
rich and vast country to Hungary, while Austria would be reduced in
proportion, and compensation in one or other form was demanded.
Another, but tentative, plan was to make over Bosnia and the
Herzegovina definitely by way of compensation to Austria. All these
ideas and plans, however, were of a transitory nature, evoked by the
constantly recurring difficulties in Berlin and Warsaw, and they
invariably fell through when it was seen that the obstacles arising
from dualism were not to be overcome. The original Austro-Polish
solution was taken up again, although it was impossible to extort
from the Germans a definite statement as to a reasonable western
frontier for Poland. In the very last term of my office the Roumanian
plan again came up, partly owing to the bitter feelings of the Poles
on the Cholm question, and partly owing to the claims made by Germany,
which rendered the Austro-Polish solution impossible.

Simultaneously with these efforts, a plan for the future organisation
of the Monarchy was being considered. The Emperor adhered to the
correct standpoint, as I still consider it to be, that the structure
of the Monarchy, after an endurable issue from the war, would have to
be altered, and reconstruction on a far more pronounced national basis
be necessary. As applied to the Poles, this project would entail the
dividing of East and West Galicia, and an independent position for the
Ruthenian Poles.

When at Brest-Litovsk, under the pressure of the hunger riots that
were beginning, I refused to agree to the Ukrainian demands, but
consented to submit the question of the division of Galicia to the
Austrian Crown Council. I was impelled thereto by the conviction that
we were adhering strictly to the programme as it had been planned for
the Monarchy.

I will give fuller details respecting this question in the next
chapter, but will merely relate the following incident as an example
to show the degree of hostile persecution to which I was exposed. The
rumour was spread on all sides that the Emperor had told the Poles
that "I had concluded peace with the Ukraine without his knowledge and
against his will." It is quite out of the question that the Emperor
can have made such a statement, as the peace conditions at Kieff were
a result of a council convoked _ad hoc_, where--as the protocol
proves--the Emperor and Dr. von Seidler were responsible for the
terms.

The great indignation of the Poles at my conduct at Brest-Litovsk was
quite unfounded. I never promised the Poles that they were to have the
Cholm district, and never alluded to any definite frontiers. Had I
done so the capable political leaders in Poland would never have
listened to me, as they knew very well that the frontiers, only in a
very slight degree, depended on the decisions at Vienna. If we lost
the war we had nothing more to say in the matter; if a peace of
agreement was concluded, then Berlin would be the strongest side,
having occupied the largest portion of the country; the question would
then have to be decided at the general Conference.

I always told the Polish leaders that I hoped to secure a Poland
thoroughly satisfied, also with respect to her frontier claims, and
there were times when we seemed to be very near the accomplishment of
such an aim; but I never concealed the fact that there were many
influences at work restricting my wishes and keeping them very much
subdued.

The partition of Galicia was an internal Austrian question. Dr. von
Seidler took up the matter most warmly, and at the Council expressed
the hope of being able to carry out these measures by parliamentary
procedure and against the opposition of the Poles.

I will allude to this question also in my next chapter.

Closely connected with the Polish question was the so-called
Central-European project.

For obvious and very comprehensible reasons Germany was keenly
interested in a scheme for closer union. I was always full of the idea
of turning these important concessions to account at the right moment
as compensation for prospective German sacrifices, and thus promoting
a peace of understanding.

During the first period of my official activity, I still hoped to
secure a revision of the Pact of London. I hoped, as already
mentioned, that the Entente would not keep to the resolution adopted
for the mutilation of the Monarchy, and I did not, therefore, approach
the Central-European question closer; had I raised it, it would
greatly have complicated our position with regard to Paris and London.
When I was compelled later to admit that the Entente kept firmly to
the decision that we were to be divided in any case, and that any
change in their purpose would only be effected, if at all, by military
force, I endeavoured to work out the Central-European plan in detail,
and to reserve the concessions ready to be made to Germany until the
right moment had arrived to make the offer.

In this connection it seemed to me that the Customs Union was
unfeasible, at any rate at first; but on the other hand, a new and
closer commercial treaty would be desirable, and a closer union of the
armies would offer no danger; it was hoped greatly to reduce them
after the war. I was convinced that a peace of understanding would
bring about disarmament, and that the importance of military
settlements would be influenced thereby. Also, that the conclusion of
peace would bring with it different relations between all states, and
that, therefore, the political and military decisions to be determined
in the settlement with Germany were not of such importance as those
relating to economic questions.

The drawing up of this programme was met, however, by the most violent
opposition on the part of the Emperor. He was particularly opposed to
all military _rapprochement_.

When the attempt to approach the question failed through the
resistance from the crown, I arranged on my own initiative for a
debate on the economic question. The Emperor then wrote me a letter in
which he forbade any further dealings in the matter. I answered his
letter by a business report, pointing out the necessity of continuing
the negotiations.

The question then became a sore point between the Emperor and myself.
He did not give his permission for further negotiations, but I
continued them notwithstanding. The Emperor knew of it, but did not
make further allusion to the matter. The vast claims put forward by
the Germans made the negotiations extremely difficult, and with long
intervals and at a very slow pace they dragged on until I left office.

Afterwards the Emperor went with Burian to the German Headquarters.
Following that, the Salzburg negotiations were proceeded with and,
apparently, at greater speed.



CHAPTER X

BREST-LITOVSK


1

In the summer of 1917 we received information which seemed to suggest
a likelihood of realising the contemplated peace with Russia. A report
dated June 13, 1917, which came to me from a neutral country, ran as
follows:

  The Russian Press, bourgeois and socialistic, reveals the
  following state of affairs:

  At the front and at home bitter differences of opinion are rife as
  to the offensive against the Central Powers demanded by the Allies
  and now also energetically advocated by Kerenski in speeches
  throughout the country. The Bolsheviks, as also the Socialists
  under the leadership of Lenin, with their Press, are taking a
  definite stand against any such offensive. But a great part of the
  Mensheviks as well, _i.e._ Tscheidse's party, to which the present
  Ministers Tseretelli and Skobeleff belong, is likewise opposed to
  the offensive, and the lack of unanimity on this question is
  threatening the unity of the party, which has only been maintained
  with difficulty up to now. A section of the Mensheviks, styled
  Internationalists from their trying to re-establish the old
  _Internationale_, also called _Zimmerwalder_ or _Kienthaler_, and
  led by Trotski, or, more properly, Bronstein, who has returned
  from America, with Larin, Martow, Martynoz, etc., returned from
  Switzerland, are on this point, as with regard to the entry of
  Menshevik Social Democrats into the Provisional Government,
  decidedly opposed to the majority of the party. And for this
  reason Leo Deutsch, one of the founders of the Marxian Social
  Democracy, has publicly withdrawn from the party, as being too
  little patriotic for his views and not insisting on final victory.
  He is, with Georgei Plechanow, one of the chief supporters of the
  Russian "Social Patriots," which group is termed, after their
  Press organ, the "Echinstvo" group, but is of no importance either
  as regards numbers or influence. Thus it comes about that the
  official organ of the Mensheviks, the _Rabocaja Gazeta_, is
  forced to take up an intermediate position, and publishes, for
  instance, frequent articles against the offensive.

  There is then the Social Revolutionary party, represented in the
  Cabinet by the Minister of Agriculture, Tschernow. This is,
  perhaps, the strongest of all the Russian parties, having
  succeeded in leading the whole of the peasant movement into its
  course--at the Pan-Russian Congress the great majority of the
  peasants' deputies were Social Revolutionaries, and no Social
  Democrat was elected to the executive committee of the Peasants'
  Deputies' Council. A section of this party, and, it would seem,
  the greater and more influential portion, is definitely opposed to
  any offensive. This is plainly stated in the leading organs of the
  party, _Delo Naroda_ and _Zemlja i Wolja_. Only a small and
  apparently uninfluential portion, grouped round the organ _Volja
  Naroda_, faces the bourgeois Press with unconditional demands for
  an offensive to relieve the Allies, as does the Plechanow group.
  Kerenski's party, the Trudoviks, as also the related People's
  Socialists, represented in the Cabinet by the Minister of Food,
  Peschechonow, are still undecided whether to follow Kerenski here
  or not. Verbal information, and utterances in the Russian Press,
  as, for instance, the _Retch_, assert that Kerenski's health gives
  grounds for fearing a fatal catastrophe in a short time. The
  official organ of the Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies' Council,
  the _Isvestia_, on the other hand, frequently asserts with great
  emphasis that an offensive must unquestionably be made. It is
  characteristic that a speech made by the Minister of Agriculture,
  Tschernow, to the Peasants' Congress, was interpreted as meaning
  that he was opposed to the offensive, so that he was obliged to
  justify himself to his colleagues in the Ministry and deny that
  such had been his meaning.

  While, then, people at home are seriously divided on the question
  of an offensive, the men at the front appear but little inclined
  to undertake any offensive. This is stated by all parties in the
  Russian Press, the symptoms being regarded either with
  satisfaction or with regret. The infantry in particular are
  against the offensive; the only enthusiasm is to be found among
  the officers, in the cavalry or a part of it, and the artillery.
  It is characteristic also that the Cossacks are in favour of war.
  These, at any rate, have an ulterior motive, in that they hope by
  success at the front to be able ultimately to overthrow the
  revolutionary régime. For there is this to be borne in mind: that
  while most of the Russian peasants have no landed property
  exceeding five deshatin, and three millions have no land at all,
  every Cossack owns forty deshatin, an unfair distinction which is
  constantly being referred to in all discussion of the land
  question. This is a sufficient ground for the isolated position of
  the Cossacks in the Revolution, and it was for this reason also
  that they were formerly always among the most loyal supporters of
  the Tsar.

  Extremely characteristic of the feeling at the front are the
  following details:

  At the sitting on May 30 of the Pan-Russian Congress, Officers'
  Delegates, a representative of the officers of the 3rd
  Elizabethengrad Hussars is stated, according to the _Retch_ of May
  1, to have given, in a speech for the offensive, the following
  characteristic statement: "You all know to what extremes the
  disorder at the front has reached. The infantry cut the wires
  connecting them with their batteries and declare that the soldiers
  will not remain _more than one month_ at the front, but will go
  home."

  It is very instructive also to read the report of a delegate from
  the front, who had accompanied the French and English majority
  Socialists at the front. This report was printed in the _Rabocaja
  Gazeta_, May 18 and 19--this is the organ of the Mensheviks, i.e.
  that of Tscheidse, Tseretelli and Skobeleff. These Entente
  Socialists at the front were told with all possible distinctness
  that the Russian army could not and would not fight for the
  imperialistic aims of England and France. The state of the
  transport, provisions and forage supplies, as also the danger to
  the achievements of the Revolution by further war, demanded a
  speedy cessation of hostilities. The English and French Socialist
  delegates were said to be not altogether pleased at this state of
  feeling at the front. And it was further demanded of them that
  they should undertake to make known the result of their experience
  in Russia on the Western front, i.e. in France. There was some
  very plain speaking, too, with regard to America: representatives
  from the Russian front spoke openly of America's policy of
  exploitation towards Europe and the Allies. It was urged then that
  an international Socialist conference should be convened at the
  earliest possible moment, and supported by the English and French
  majority Socialists. At one of the meetings at the front, the
  French and English Socialists were given the following reply:

  "Tell your comrades that we await definite declarations from your
  Governments and peoples renouncing conquest and indemnities. We
  will shed no drop of blood for Imperialists, whether they be
  Russians, Germans or English. We await the speediest agreement
  between the workers of all countries for the termination of the
  war, which is a thing shameful in itself, and will, if continued,
  prove disastrous to the Russian Revolution. We will not conclude
  any separate peace, but tell your people to let us know their aims
  as soon as possible."

  According to the report, the French Socialists were altogether
  converted to this point of view. This also appears to be the case,
  from the statements with regard to the attitude of Cachin and
  Moutet at the French Socialist Congress. The English, on the other
  hand, were immovable, with the exception of Sanders, who inclined
  somewhat toward the Russian point of view.

  Private information reaching the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
  this country states that shots were fired at M. Thomas, the
  Minister of Munitions, in the course of one of his war speeches at
  the Russian front.

  The disorganisation at the front is described by an officer or
  soldier at the front in the same organ, the _Rabocaja Gazeta_ for
  May 26, as follows:

  "The passionate desire for peace, peace of whatever kind, aye,
  even a peace costing the loss of ten governments (i.e. districts),
  is growing ever more plainly evident. Men dream of it
  passionately, even though it is not yet spoken of at meetings and
  in revolutions, even though all conscious elements of the army
  fight against this party that long for peace." And to paralyse
  this, there can be but one way: let the soldiers see the democracy
  fighting emphatically for peace and the end of the war.

  The Pan-Russian Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Delegates'
  Councils and the Army Organisation at the front in St. Petersburg
  June 1-14 took for its first point in the order of the day the
  following: "The War, questions of defence and the struggle for
  peace." At this time the Government would doubtless have to give a
  declaration with regard to the answer already received at the
  beginning of June from the Allies as to their war aims. This
  congress will also probably decide definitely upon the nomination
  for the Stockholm Conference and appoint delegates. Point 4 deals
  with the question of nationality. An open conflict had broken out
  between the Petersburg Workers' and Soldiers' Deputy Councils and
  the Ukrainian Soldiers' Congress, sitting at Kieff, on account of
  the formation of an Ukrainian army. The appointment of an
  "Ukrainian Army General Committee" further aggravated the
  conflict.

  With regard to the increasing internal confusion, the growing
  seriousness of the nationality dispute, the further troubles in
  connection with agricultural and industrial questions, a detailed
  report dealing separately with these heads will be forwarded
  later.

Towards the end of November I wrote to one of my friends the following
letter, which I have given _in extenso_, as it shows faithfully my
estimate of the situation at the time:

  _Vienna, November 17, 1917._

  MY DEAR FRIEND,--After many days, full of trouble, annoyance and
  toil, I write to you once more in order to answer your very
  noteworthy observations; to be in contact with you again turns my
  thoughts into other channels, and enables me, for the time at
  least, to forget the wretchedness of every day.

  You have heard, you say, that matters are not going so well
  between the Emperor and myself, and you are sorry for this. I am
  sorry myself, if for no other reason than that it increases the
  friction of the daily working machine to an insupportable degree.
  As soon as a thing of this sort leaks out--and it does so fast
  enough--all enemies, male and female, rush in with renewed
  strength, making for the vulnerable point, in the hope of securing
  my overthrow. These good people are like carrion vultures--I
  myself am the carrion--they can scent from afar that there is
  something for them to do, and come flying to the spot. And the
  lies they invent and the intrigues they contrive, with a view to
  increasing existing differences--really, they are worthy of
  admiration. You ask, who are these inveterate enemies of mine?

  Well, first of all, those whom you yourself conjecture.

  And, secondly, the enemies whom every Minister has, the numbers of
  those who would fain be in his place. Finally, a crowd of
  political mountebanks from the Jockey Club, who are disgusted
  because they had hoped for some personal advantage through my
  influence, and I have ignored them. No. 3 is a comfortingly
  negligible quantity, No. 2 are dangerous, but No. 1 are deadly.

  In any case, then, my days are numbered. Heaven be thanked, relief
  is not far off. If only I could now settle things with Russia
  quickly, and thus perhaps secure the possibility of a peace all
  round. All reports from Russia seem to point to the fact that the
  Government there is determined on peace, and peace as speedily as
  possible. But the Germans are now full of confidence. If they can
  throw their massed forces against the West, they have no doubt of
  being able to break through, take Paris and Calais, and directly
  threaten England. Such a success, however, could only lead to
  peace if Germany could be persuaded to renounce all plans of
  conquest. I at any rate cannot believe that the Entente, after
  losing Paris and Calais, would refuse to treat for peace as _inter
  pares_--it would at least be necessary to make every endeavour in
  that direction. Up to now Hindenburg has done all that he
  promised, so much we must admit, and the whole of Germany believes
  in his forthcoming success in the West--always taking for granted,
  of course, the freeing of the Eastern front; that is to say, peace
  with Russia. The Russian peace, then, _may_ prove the first step
  on the way to the peace of the world.

  I have during the last few days received reliable information
  about the Bolsheviks. Their leaders are almost all of them Jews,
  with altogether fantastic ideas, and I do not envy the country
  that is governed by them. From our point of view, however, the
  most interesting thing about them is that they are anxious to make
  peace, and in this respect they do not seem likely to change, for
  they cannot carry on the war.

  In the Ministry here, three groups are represented: one declines
  to take Lenin seriously, regarding him as an ephemeral personage,
  the second does not take this view at all, but is nevertheless
  unwilling to treat with a revolutionary of this sort, and the
  third consists, as far as I am aware, of myself alone, and I
  _will_ treat with him, despite the possibly ephemeral character of
  his position and the certainty of revolution. The briefer Lenin's
  period of power the more need to act speedily, for no subsequent
  Russian Government will recommence the war--and I cannot take a
  Russian Metternich as my partner when there is none to be had.

  The Germans are hesitating--they do not altogether like the idea
  of having any dealings with Lenin, possibly also from the reasons
  already mentioned; they are inconsistent in this, as is often the
  case. The German military party--which, as everyone knows, holds
  the reins of policy in Germany entirely--have, as far as I can
  see, done all they could to overthrow Kerenski and set up
  "something else" in his place. Now, the something else is there,
  and is ready to make peace; obviously, then, one must act, even
  though the party concerned is not such as one would have chosen
  for oneself.

  It is impossible to get any exact information about these
  Bolsheviks; that is to say, there is plenty of information
  available, but it is contradictory. The way they begin is this:
  everything in the least reminiscent of work, wealth, and culture
  must be destroyed, and the bourgeoisie exterminated. Freedom and
  equality seem no longer to have any place on their programme; only
  a bestial suppression of all but the proletariat itself. The
  Russian bourgeois class, too, seems almost as stupid and cowardly
  as our own, and its members let themselves be slaughtered like
  sheep.

  True, this Russian Bolshevism is a peril to Europe, and if we had
  the power, besides securing a tolerable peace for ourselves, to
  force other countries into a state of law and order, then it would
  be better to have nothing to do with such people as these, but to
  march on Petersburg and arrange matters there. But we have not the
  power; peace at the earliest possible moment is necessary for our
  own salvation, and we cannot obtain peace unless the Germans get
  to Paris--and they cannot get to Paris unless their Eastern front
  is freed. That is the circle complete. All this the German
  military leaders themselves maintain, and it is altogether
  illogical of them now apparently to object to Lenin on personal
  grounds.

  I was unable to finish this letter yesterday, and now add this
  to-day. Yesterday another attempt was made, from a quarter which
  you will guess, to point out to me the advantage of a separate
  peace. I spoke to the Emperor about it, and told him that this
  would simply be shooting oneself for fear of death; that I could
  not take such a step myself, but would be willing to resign under
  some pretext or other, when he would certainly find men ready to
  make the attempt. The conference of London has determined on a
  division of the Monarchy, and no separate peace on our part would
  avail to alter that. The Roumanians, Serbians and Italians are to
  receive enormous compensation, we are to lose Trieste, and the
  remainder is to be broken up into separate states--Czechish,
  Polish, Hungarian and German. There will be very slight contact
  between these new states; in other words, a separate peace would
  mean that the Monarchy, having first been mutilated, would then be
  hacked to pieces. But until we arrive at this result, we must
  fight on, and that, moreover, _against_ Germany, which will, of
  course, make peace with Russia at once and occupy the Monarchy.
  The German generals will not be so foolish as to wait until the
  Entente has invaded Germany through Austria, but will take care to
  make _Austria itself the theatre of war_. So that instead of
  bringing the war to an end, we should be merely changing one
  opponent for another and delivering up provinces hitherto
  spared--such as Bohemia and Tyrol--to the fury of battle, only to
  be wrecked completely in the end.

  On the other hand, we might perhaps, in a few months' time, secure
  peace all round, with Germany as well--a tolerable peace of mutual
  understanding--always provided the German offensive turns out
  successful. The Emperor was more silent then. Among his entourage,
  one pulls this way, another that--and we gain nothing in that
  manner among the Entente, while we are constantly losing the
  confidence of Berlin. If a man wishes to go over to the enemy,
  then let him do it--_le remède sera pire que le mal_--but to be
  for ever dallying with the idea of treachery and adopting the
  pose without carrying it out in reality--this I cannot regard as
  prudent policy.

  I believe we could arrive at a tolerable peace of understanding;
  we should lose something to Italy, and should, of course, gain
  nothing in exchange. Furthermore, we should have to alter the
  entire structure of the Monarchy--after the fashion of the
  _fédération Danubienne_ proposed in France--and I am certainly
  rather at a loss to see how this can be done in face of the
  Germans and Hungarians. But I hope we may survive the war, and I
  hope also that they will ultimately revise the conditions of the
  London conference. Let but old Hindenburg once make his entry into
  Paris, and then the Entente _must_ utter the decisive word that
  they are willing to treat. But when that moment comes, I am firmly
  determined to do the utmost possible, to appeal publicly to the
  _peoples_ of the Central Powers and ask them if they prefer to
  fight on for conquest or if they will have peace.

  To settle with Russia as speedily as possible, then break through
  the determination of the Entente to exterminate us, and then to
  make peace--even at a loss--that is my plan and the hope for which
  I live. Naturally, after the capture of Paris, all "leading"
  men--with the exception of the Emperor Karl--will demand a "good"
  peace, and that we shall never get in any case. The odium of
  having "spoiled the peace" I will take upon myself.

  So, I hope, we may come out of it at last, albeit rather mauled.
  But the old days will never return. A new order will be born in
  throes and convulsions. I said so publicly some time back, in my
  Budapest speech, and it was received with disapproval practically
  on all sides.

  This has made a long letter after all, and it is late. _Lebe
  wohl_, and let me hear from you again soon.--In friendship as of
  old, yours

  (Signed) CZERNIN.

With regard to the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk, I will leave
my diary to speak for itself. Despite many erroneous views that may
appear in the following notes, and various unimportant details, I have
not abbreviated it at all, since it gives, in its present form, what I
believe will be a clear picture of the development.

"_December 19, 1917._--Departure from Vienna, Wednesday, 19th.

"Four o'clock, Nordbahnhof. Found the party already assembled there:
Gratz and Wiesner, Colloredo, Gautsch and Andrian, also Lieut.
Field-Marshal Csicserics, and Major Fleck, Baden.

"I took the opportunity on the journey to give Csicserics an idea of
my intentions and the tactics to be pursued. I told him that in my
opinion Russia would propose a _general_ peace, and that we must of
course accept this proposal. I hoped that the first steps for a
general peace would be taken at Brest, and not given up for a long
time. Should the Entente not accept, then at least the way would be
open for a separate peace. After that I had long discussions with
Gratz and Wiesner, which took up more or less the whole day.

"_December 20, 1917._--Arrived at Brest a few minutes past five. At
the station were the Chief of Staff, General Hoffmann, with some ten
of his suite, also the emissary Rosenberg and Merey with my party. I
greeted them on the platform, and after a few words Merey went into
the train with me to tell me what had happened during the past few
days. On the whole, Merey takes a not unfavourable view of the
situation, and believes that, unless something unforeseen crops up, we
should succeed within a reasonable time in arranging matters
satisfactorily.

"At six o'clock I went to pay my visit to General Hoffmann; he gave me
some interesting details as to the mentality of the Russian delegates,
and the nature of the armistice he had so fortunately concluded. I had
the impression that the General combined expert knowledge and energy
with a good deal of calm and ability, but also not a little Prussian
brutality, whereby he had succeeded in persuading the Russians,
despite opposition at first, to agree to very favourable terms of
truce. A little later, as arranged, Prince Leopold of Bavaria came in,
and I had some talk with him on matters of no importance.

"We then went to dinner, all together, including the whole staff of
nearly 100 persons. The dinner presented one of the most remarkable
pictures ever seen. The Prince of Bavaria presided. Next to the Prince
sat the leader of the Russian delegation, a Jew called Joffe,
recently liberated from Siberia; then came the generals and the other
delegates. Apart from this Joffe, the most striking personality in the
delegation is the brother-in-law of the Russian Foreign Minister,
Trotski, a man named Kameneff, who, likewise liberated from prison
during the Revolution, now plays a prominent part. The third delegate
is Madame Bizenko, a woman with a comprehensive past. Her husband is a
minor official; she herself took an early part in the revolutionary
movement. Twelve years ago she murdered General Sacharow, the governor
of some Russian city, who had been condemned to death by the
Socialists for his energy. She appeared before the general with a
petition, holding a revolver under her petticoat. When the general
began to read she fired four bullets into his body, killing him on the
spot. She was sent to Siberia, where she lived for twelve years, at
first in solitary confinement, afterwards under somewhat easier
conditions; she also owes her freedom to the Revolution. This
remarkable woman learned French and German in Siberia well enough to
read them, though she cannot speak them, not knowing how the words
should be pronounced. She is the type of the educated Russian
proletariat. Extremely quiet and reserved, with a curious determined
set of the mouth, and eyes that flare up passionately at times. All
that is taking place around her here she seems to regard with
indifference. Only when mention is made of the great principles of the
International Revolution does she suddenly awake, her whole expression
alters; she reminds one of a beast of prey seeing its victim at hand
and preparing to fall upon it and rend it.

"After dinner I had my first long conversation with Hr. Joffe. His
whole theory is based on the idea of establishing the right of
self-determination of peoples on the broadest basis throughout the
world, and trusting to the peoples thus freed to continue in mutual
love. Joffe does not deny that the process would involve civil war
throughout the world to begin with, but he believes that such a war,
as realising the ideals of humanity, would be justified, and its end
worth all it would cost. I contented myself with telling him that he
must let Russia give proof that Bolshevism was the way to a happier
age; when he had shown this to be so, the rest of the world would be
won over to his ideals. But until his theory had been proved by
example he would hardly succeed in convincing people generally to
adopt his views. We were ready to conclude a general peace without
indemnities or annexations, and were thoroughly agreed to leave the
development of affairs in Russia thereafter to the judgment of the
Russian Government itself. We should also be willing to learn
something from Russia, and if his revolution succeeded he would force
Europe to follow him, whether we would or not. But meanwhile there was
a great deal of scepticism about, and I pointed out to him that we
should not ourselves undertake any imitation of the Russian methods,
and did not wish for any interference with our own internal affairs:
this we must strictly forbid. If he persisted in endeavouring to carry
out this Utopian plan of grafting his ideas on ourselves, he had
better go back home by the next train, for there could be no question
of making peace. Hr. Joffe looked at me in astonishment with his soft
eyes, was silent for a while, and then, in a kindly, almost imploring
tone that I shall never forget, he said: 'Still, I hope we may yet be
able to raise the revolution in your country too.'

"We shall hardly need any assistance from the good Joffe, I fancy, in
bringing about a revolution among ourselves; the people will manage
that, if the Entente persist in refusing to come to terms.

"They are strange creatures, these Bolsheviks. They talk of freedom
and the reconciliation of the peoples of the world, of peace and
unity, and withal they are said to be the most cruel tyrants history
has ever known. They are simply exterminating the bourgeoisie, and
their arguments are machine guns and the gallows. My talk to-day with
Joffe has shown me that these people are not honest, and in falsity
surpass all that cunning diplomacy has been accused of, for to oppress
decent citizens in this fashion and then talk at the same time of the
universal blessing of freedom--it is sheer lying.

"_December 21, 1917._--I went with all my party to lunch at noon with
the Prince of Bavaria. He lives in a little bit of a palace half an
hour by car from Brest. He seems to be much occupied with military
matters, and is very busy.

"I spent the first night in the train, and while we were at breakfast
our people moved in with the luggage to our residence. We are in a
small house, where I live with all the Austro-Hungarian party, quite
close to the officers' casino, and there is every comfort that could
be wished for here. I spent the afternoon at work with my people, and
in the evening there was a meeting of the delegates of the three
Powers. This evening I had the first talk with Kühlmann alone, and at
once declared positively that the Russians would propose a _general_
peace, and that we must accept it. Kühlmann is half disposed to take
my view himself; the formula, of course, will be 'no party to demand
annexations or indemnities'; then, if the Entente agree, we shall have
an end of all this suffering. But, alas! it is hardly likely that they
will.

"_December 22, 1917._--The forenoon was devoted to the first
discussion among the Allies, the principles just referred to as
discussed with Kühlmann being then academically laid down. In the
afternoon the first plenary sitting took place, the proceedings being
opened by the Prince of Bavaria and then led by Dr. Kühlmann. It was
decided that the Powers should take it in turns to preside, in order
of the Latin alphabet as to their names, i.e. Allemagne, Autriche,
etc. Dr. Kühlmann requested Hr. Joffe to tell us the principles on
which he considered a future peace should be based, and the Russian
delegate then went through the six main tenets already familiar from
the newspapers. The proposal was noted, and we undertook to give a
reply as early as possible after having discussed the matter among
ourselves. These, then, were the proceedings of the first brief
sitting of the peace congress.

"_December 23, 1917._--Kühlmann and I prepared our answer early. It
will be generally known from the newspaper reports. It cost us much
heavy work to get it done. Kühlmann is personally an advocate of
general peace, but fears the influence of the military party, who do
not wish to make peace until definitely victorious. But at last it is
done. Then there were further difficulties with the Turks. They
declared that they must insist on one thing, to wit, that the Russian
troops should be withdrawn from the Caucasus immediately on the
conclusion of peace, a proposal to which the Germans would not agree,
as this would obviously mean that they would have to evacuate Poland,
Courland, and Lithuania at the same time, to which Germany would never
consent. After a hard struggle and repeated efforts, we at last
succeeded in persuading the Turks to give up this demand. The second
Turkish objection was that Russia had not sufficiently clearly
declared its intention of refraining from all interference in internal
affairs. But the Turkish Foreign Minister agreed that internal affairs
in Austria-Hungary were an even more perilous sphere for Russian
intrigues than were the Turkish; if I had no hesitation in accepting,
he also could be content.

"The Bulgarians, who are represented by Popow, the Minister of
Justice, as their chief, and some of whom cannot speak German at all,
some hardly any French, did not get any proper idea of the whole
proceedings until later on, and postponed their decision until the
24th.

"_December 24, 1917._--Morning and afternoon, long conferences with
the Bulgarians, in the course of which Kühlmann and I on the one hand
and the Bulgarian representatives on the other, were engaged with
considerable heat. The Bulgarian delegates demanded that a clause
should be inserted exempting Bulgaria from the no-annexation
principle, and providing that the taking over by Bulgaria of Roumanian
and Serbian territory should not be regarded as annexation. Such a
clause would, of course, have rendered all our efforts null and void,
and could not under any circumstances be agreed to. The discussion was
attended with considerable excitement at times, and the Bulgarian
delegates even threatened to withdraw altogether if we did not give
way. Kühlmann and my humble self remained perfectly firm, and told
them we had no objection to their withdrawing if they pleased; they
could also, if they pleased, send their own answer separately to the
proposal, but no further alteration would be made in the draft which
we, Kühlmann and I, had drawn up. As no settlement could be arrived
at, the plenary sitting was postponed to the 25th, and the Bulgarian
delegates wired to Sofia for fresh instructions.

"The Bulgarians received a negative reply, and presumably the snub we
had expected. They were very dejected, and made no further difficulty
about agreeing to the common action. So the matter is settled as far
as that goes.

"In the afternoon I had more trouble with the Germans. The German
military party 'fear' that the Entente may, perhaps, be inclined to
agree to a general peace, and could not think of ending the war in
this 'unprofitable' fashion. It is intolerable to have to listen to
such twaddle.

"If the great victories which the German generals are hoping for on
the Western front should be realised, there will be no bounds to their
demands, and the difficulty of all negotiations will be still further
increased.

"_December 25, 1917._--The plenary sitting took place to-day, when we
gave the Russians our answer to their peace proposals. I was
presiding, and delivered the answer, and Joffe replied. _The general
offer of peace is thus to be made, and we must await the result._ In
order to lose no time, however, the negotiations on matters concerning
Russia are being continued meanwhile. We have thus made a good step
forward, and _perhaps_ got over the worst. It is impossible to say
whether yesterday may not have been a decisive turning point in the
history of the world.

"_December 26, 1917._--The special negotiations began at 9 A.M. The
programme drawn up by Kühlmann, chiefly questions of economical matters
and representation, were dealt with so rapidly and smoothly that by 11
o'clock the sitting terminated, for lack of further matter to discuss.
This is perhaps a good omen. Our people are using to-day to enter the
results of the discussion in a report of proceedings, as the sitting
is to be continued to-morrow, when territorial questions will be
brought up.

"_December 26, 1917._--I have been out for a long walk alone.

"On the way back, I met an old Jew. He was sitting in the gutter,
weeping bitterly. He did not beg, did not even look at me, only wept
and wept, and could not speak at first for sobs. And then he told me
his story--Russian, Polish, and German, all mixed together.

"Well, he had a store--heaven knows where, but somewhere in the war
zone. First came the Cossacks. They took all he had--his goats and his
clothes, and everything in the place--and then they beat him. Then the
Russians retired, beat him again, _en passant_ as it were, and then
came the Germans. They fired his house with their guns, pulled off his
boots, and beat him. Then he entered the service of the Germans,
carrying water and wood, and received his food and beatings in return.
But to-day he had got into trouble with them in some incomprehensible
fashion; no food after that, only the beatings; and was thrown into
the street.

"The beatings he referred to as something altogether natural. They
were for him the natural accompaniment to any sort of action--but he
could not live on beatings alone.

"I gave him what I had on me--money and cigars--told him the number of
my house, and said he could come to-morrow, when I could get him a
pass to go off somewhere where there were no Germans and no Russians,
and try to get him a place of some sort where he would be fed and not
beaten. He took the money and cigars thankfully enough; the story of
the railway pass and the place he did not seem to believe. Railway
travelling was for soldiers, and an existence without beatings seemed
an incredible idea.

"He kept on thanking me till I was out of sight, waving his hand, and
thanking me in his German-Russian gibberish.

"A terrible thing is war. Terrible at all times, but worst of all in
one's own country. We at home suffer hunger and cold, but at least we
have been spared up to now the presence of the enemy hordes.

"This is a curious place--melancholy, yet with a beauty of its own. An
endless flat, with just a slight swelling of the ground, like an ocean
set fast, wave behind wave as far as the eye can see. And all things
grey, dead grey, to where this dead sea meets the grey horizon. Clouds
race across the sky, the wind lashing them on.

"This evening, before supper, Hoffmann informed the Russians of the
German plans with regard to the outer provinces. The position is this:
As long as the war in the West continues, the Germans cannot evacuate
Courland and Lithuania, since, apart from the fact that they must be
held as security for the general peace negotiations, these countries
form part of the German munition establishment. The railway material,
the factories, and, most of all, the grain are indispensable as long
as the war lasts. That they cannot now withdraw from there at once is
clear enough. If peace is signed, then the self-determination of the
people in the occupied territory will decide. But here arises the
great difficulty: how this right of self-determination is to be
exercised.

"The Russians naturally do not want the vote to be taken while the
German bayonets are still in the country, and the Germans reply that
the unexampled terrorism of the Bolsheviks would falsify any election
result, since the 'bourgeois,' according to Bolshevist ideas, are not
human beings at all. My idea of having the proceedings controlled by a
_neutral_ Power was not altogether acceptable to anyone. During the
war no neutral Power would undertake the task, and the German
occupation could not be allowed to last until the ultimate end. In
point of fact, both sides are afraid of terrorisation by the opposing
party, and each wishes to apply the same itself.

"_December 26, 1917._--There is no hurry apparently in this place. Now
it is the Turks who are not ready, now the Bulgarians, then it is the
Russians' turn--and the sitting is again postponed or broken off
almost as soon as commenced.

"I am reading some memoirs from the French Revolution. A most
appropriate reading at the present time, in view of what is happening
in Russia and may perhaps come throughout Europe. There were no
Bolsheviks then, but men who tyrannised the world under the battle-cry
of freedom were to be found in Paris then as well as now in St.
Petersburg. Charlotte Corday said: 'It was not a man, but a wild beast
I killed.' These Bolsheviks in their turn will disappear, and who can
say if there will be a Corday ready for Trotski?

"Joffe told me about the Tsar and his family, and the state of things
said to exist there. He spoke with great respect of Nicolai
Nicolaievitch as a thorough man, full of energy and courage, one to be
respected even as an enemy. The Tsar, on the other hand, he considered
cowardly, false, and despicable. It was a proof of the incapacity of
the bourgeois that they had tolerated such a Tsar. Monarchs were all
of them more or less degenerate; he could not understand how anyone
could accept a form of government which involved the risk of having a
degenerate ruler. I answered him as to this, that a monarchy had first
of all one advantage, that there was at least one place in the state
beyond the sphere of personal ambition and intrigues, and as to
degeneration, that was often a matter of opinion: there were also
degenerates to be found among the uncrowned rulers of states. Joffe
considered that there would be no such risk when the people could
choose for themselves. I pointed out that Hr. Lenin, for instance, had
not been 'chosen,' and I considered it doubtful whether an impartial
election would have brought him into power. Possibly there might be
some in Russia who would consider him also degenerate.

"_December 27, 1917._--The Russians are in despair, and some of them
even talked of withdrawing altogether. They had thought the Germans
would renounce all occupied territory without further parley, or hand
it over to the Bolsheviks. Long sittings between the Russians,
Kühlmann, and myself, part of the time with Hoffmann. I drew up the
following:--

"1. As long as general peace is not yet declared, we cannot give up
the occupied areas; they form part of our great munition works
(factories, railways, sites with buildings, etc.).

"2. After the general peace, a plebiscite in Poland, Courland, and
Lithuania is to decide the fate of the people there; as to the form in
which the vote is to be taken, this remains to be further discussed,
in order that the Russians may have surety that no coercion is used.
Apparently, this suits neither party. Situation much worse.

"_Afternoon._--Matters still getting worse. Furious wire from
Hindenburg about "renunciation" of everything; Ludendorff telephoning
every minute; more furious outbursts, Hoffmann very excited, Kühlmann
true to his name and 'cool' as ever. The Russians declare they cannot
accept the vague formulas of the Germans with regard to freedom of
choice.

"I told Kühlmann and Hoffmann I would go as far as possible with them;
but should their endeavours fail, then I would enter into separate
negotiations with the Russians, since Berlin and Petersburg were
really both opposed to an uninfluenced vote. Austria-Hungary, on the
other hand, desired nothing but final peace. Kühlmann understands my
position, and says he himself would rather _go_ than let it fail.
Asked me to give him my point of view in writing, as it 'would
strengthen his position.' Have done so. He has telegraphed it to the
Kaiser.

"_Evening._--Kühlmann believes matters will be settled--or broken off
altogether--by to-morrow.

"_December 28, 1917._--General feeling, dull. Fresh outbursts of
violence from Kreuznach. But at noon a wire from Bussche: Hertling had
spoken with the Kaiser, who is perfectly satisfied. Kühlmann said to
me: 'The Kaiser is the only sensible man in the whole of Germany.'

"We have at last agreed about the form of the committee; that is, a
committee _ad hoc_ is to be formed in Brest, to work out a plan for
the evacuation and voting in detail. _Tant bien que mal_, a
provisional expedient. All home to report; next sitting to be held
January 5, 1918.

"Russians again somewhat more cheerful.

"This evening at dinner I rose to express thanks on the part of the
Russians and the four Allies to Prince Leopold. He answered at once,
and very neatly, but told me immediately afterwards that I had taken
him by surprise. As a matter of fact, I had been taken by surprise
myself; no notice had been given; it was only during the dinner itself
that the Germans asked me to speak.

"Left at 10 P.M. for Vienna.

"From the 29th to the morning of the 3rd I was in Vienna. Two long
audiences with the Emperor gave me the opportunity of telling him what
had passed at Brest. He fully approves, of course, the point of view
that peace must be made, if at all possible.

"I have dispatched a trustworthy agent to the outer provinces in order
to ascertain the exact state of feeling there. He reports that _all_
are against the Bolsheviks except the Bolsheviks themselves. The
entire body of citizens, peasants--in a word, everyone with any
possessions at all--trembles at the thought of these red robbers, and
wishes to go over to Germany. The terrorism of Lenin is said to be
indescribable, and in Petersburg all are absolutely _longing_ for the
entry of the German troops to deliver them.

"_January 3, 1918._--Return to Brest.

"On the way, at 6 P.M., I received, at a station, the following
telegram, in code, from Baron Gautsch, who had remained at Brest:

  "'Russian delegation received following telegram from Petersburg
  this morning: To General Hoffmann. For the representatives of the
  German, Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and Turkish delegations. The
  Government of the Russian Republic considers it necessary to carry
  on the further negotiations on neutral ground, and proposes
  removing to Stockholm. Regarding attitude to the proposals as
  formulated by the German and Austro-Hungarian delegation in Points
  1 and 2, the Government of the Russian Republic and the
  Pan-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Councils of
  Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies consider, in entire
  agreement with the view expressed by our delegation, that the
  proposals are contrary to the principle of national
  self-determination, even in the restricted form in which it
  appears in Point 3 of the reply given by the Four Powers on the
  12th ult. President of the Russian Delegation, A. Joffe." Major
  Brinkmann has communicated this by telephone to the German
  delegation, already on the way here. Herr von Kühlmann has sent a
  telephone message in return that he is continuing the journey, and
  will arrive at Brest this evening.'

"I also went on of course, considering this manoeuvre on the part of
the Russians as rather in the nature of bluffing. If they do not come,
then we can treat with the Ukrainians, who should be in Brest by now.

"In Vienna I saw, among politicians, Baernreither, Hauser, Wekerle,
Seidler, and some few others. The opinion of almost all may be summed
up as follows: 'Peace _must_ be arranged, but a separate peace without
Germany is _impossible_.'

"No one has told me how I am to manage it if neither Germany nor
Russia will listen to reason.

"_January 4, 1918._--Fearful snowstorm in the night; the heating
apparatus in the train was frozen, and the journey consequently far
from pleasant. On awaking early at Brest the trains of the Bulgarians
and Turks were standing on adjacent sidings. Weather magnificent now:
cold, and the air as at St. Moritz. I went across to Kühlmann, had
breakfast with him, and talked over events in Berlin. There seems to
have been desperate excitement there. Kühlmann suggested to Ludendorff
that he should come to Brest himself and take part in the
negotiations. After long discussion, however, it appeared that
Ludendorff himself was not quite clear as to what he wanted, and
declared spontaneously that he considered it superfluous for him to go
to Brest; he would, at best, 'only spoil things if he did.' Heaven
grant the man such gleams of insight again, and often! It seems as if
the whole trouble is more due to feeling against Kühlmann than to
anything in the questions at issue; people do not want the world to
have the impression that the peace was gained by 'adroit diplomacy,'
but by military success alone. General Hoffmann appears to have been
received with marked favour by the Kaiser, and both he and Kühlmann
declare themselves well satisfied with the results of their journey.

"We talked over the reply to the Petersburg telegram, declining a
conference in Stockholm, and further tactics to be followed in case of
need. We agreed that if the Russians did not come, we must declare the
armistice at an end, and chance what the Petersburgers would say to
that. On this point Kühlmann and I were entirely agreed. Nevertheless,
the feeling, both in our party and in that of the Germans, was not a
little depressed. Certainly, if the Russians do break off
negotiations, it will place us in a very unpleasant position. The only
way to save the situation is by acting quickly and energetically with
the Ukrainian delegation, and we therefore commenced this work on the
afternoon of the same day. There is thus at least a hope that we may
be able to arrive at positive results with them within reasonable
time.

"In the evening, after dinner, came a wire from Petersburg announcing
the arrival of the delegation, including the Foreign Minister,
Trotski. It was interesting to see the delight of all the Germans at
the news; not until this sudden and violent outbreak of satisfaction
was it fully apparent how seriously they had been affected by the
thought that the Russians would not come. Undoubtedly this is a great
step forward, and we all feel that peace is really now on the way.

"_January 5, 1918._--At seven this morning a few of us went out
shooting with Prince Leopold of Bavaria. We went for a distance of 20
to 30 kilometres by train, and then in open automobiles to a
magnificent primeval forest extending over two to three hundred square
kilometres. Weather very cold, but fine, much snow, and pleasant
company. From the point of view of sport, it was poorer than one could
have expected. One of the Prince's aides stuck a pig, another shot two
hares, and that was all. Back at 6 P.M.

"_January 6, 1918._--To-day we had the first discussions with the
Ukrainian delegates, all of whom were present except the leader. The
Ukrainians are very different from the Russian delegates. Far less
revolutionary, and with far more interest in their own country, less
in the progress of Socialism generally. They do not really care about
Russia at all, but think only of the Ukraine, and their efforts are
solely directed towards attaining their own independence as soon as
possible. Whether that independence is to be complete and
international, or only as within the bounds of a Russian federative
state, they do not seem quite to know themselves. Evidently, the very
intelligent Ukrainian delegates intended to use us as a springboard
from which they themselves could spring upon the Bolsheviks. Their
idea was that we should acknowledge their independence, and then, with
this as a _fait accompli_, they could face the Bolsheviks and force
them to recognise their equal standing and treat with them on that
basis. Our line of policy, however, must be either to bring over the
Ukrainians to our peace basis, or else to drive a wedge between them
and the Petersburgers. As to their desire for independence, we
declared ourselves willing to recognise this, provided the Ukrainians
on their part would agree to the following three points: 1. The
negotiations to be concluded at Brest-Litovsk and not at Stockholm. 2.
Recognition of the former political frontier between Austria-Hungary
and Ukraine. 3. Non-interference of any one state in the internal
affairs of another. Characteristically enough, no answer has yet been
received to this proposal!

"_January 7, 1918._--This forenoon, all the Russians arrived, under
the leadership of Trotski. They at once sent a message asking to be
excused for not appearing at meals with the rest for the future. At
other times also we see nothing of them. The wind seems to be in a
very different quarter now from what it was. The German officer who
accompanied the Russian delegation from Dunaburg, Captain Baron
Lamezan, gave us some interesting details as to this. In the first
place, he declared that the trenches in front of Dunaburg are entirely
deserted, and save for an outpost or so there were no Russians there
at all; also, that at many stations delegates were waiting for the
deputation to pass, in order to demand that peace should be made.
Trotski had throughout answered them with polite and careful
speeches, but grew ever more and more depressed. Baron Lamezan had the
impression that the Russians were altogether desperate now, having no
choice save between going back with a bad peace or with no peace at
all; in either case with the same result: that they would be swept
away. Kühlmann said: 'Ils n'ont que le choix à quelle sauce ils se
feront manger.' I answered: 'Tout comme chez nous.'

"A wire has just come in reporting demonstrations in Budapest against
Germany. The windows of the German Consulate were broken, a clear
indication of the state of feeling which would arise if the peace were
to be lost through our demands.

"_January 8, 1918._--The Turkish Grand Vizier, Talaat Pasha, arrived
during the night, and has just been to call on me. He seems
emphatically in favour of making peace; but I fancy he would like, in
case of any conflict arising with Germany, to push me into the
foreground and keep out of the way himself. Talaat Pasha is one of the
cleverest heads among the Turks, and perhaps the most energetic man of
them all.

"Before the Revolution he was a minor official in the telegraph
service, and was on the revolutionary committee. In his official
capacity, he got hold of a telegram from the Government which showed
him that the revolutionary movement would be discovered and the game
be lost unless immediate action were taken. He suppressed the message,
warned the revolutionary committee, and persuaded them to start their
work at once. The coup succeeded, the Sultan was deposed, and Talaat
was made Minister of the Interior. With iron energy he then turned his
attention to the suppression of the opposing movement. Later, he
became Grand Vizier, and impersonated, together with Enver Pasha, the
will and power of Turkey.

"This afternoon, first a meeting of the five heads of the allied
delegations and the Russian. Afterwards, plenary sitting.

"The sitting postponed again, as the Ukrainians are still not ready
with their preparations. Late in the evening I had a conversation with
Kühlmann and Hoffmann, in which we agreed fairly well as to tactics. I
said again that I was ready to stand by them and hold to their demands
as far as ever possible, but in the event of Germany's breaking off
the negotiations with Russia I must reserve the right to act with a
free hand. Both appeared to understand my point of view, especially
Kühlmann, who, if he alone should decide, would certainly not allow
the negotiations to prove fruitless. As to details, we agreed to
demand continuation of the negotiations at Brest-Litovsk in the form
of an ultimatum.

"_January 9, 1918._--Acting on the principle that attack is the best
defence, we had determined not to let the Russian Foreign Minister
speak at all, but to go at him at once with our ultimatum.

"Trotski had prepared a long speech, and the effect of our attack was
such that he at once appealed for adjournment, urging that the altered
state of affairs called for new resolutions. The removal of the
conference to Stockholm would have meant the end of matters for us,
for it would have been utterly impossible to keep the Bolsheviks of
all countries from putting in an appearance there, and the very thing
we had endeavoured with the utmost of our power to avoid from the
start--to have the reins torn from our hands and these elements take
the lead--would infallibly have taken place. We must now wait to see
what to-morrow brings: either a victory or the final termination of
the negotiations.

"Adler said to me in Vienna: 'You will certainly get on all right with
Trotski,' and when I asked him why he thought so, he answered: 'Well,
you and I get on quite well together, you know.'

"I think, after all, the clever old man failed to appreciate the
situation there. These Bolsheviks have no longer anything in common
with Adler; they are brutal tyrants, autocrats of the worst kind, a
disgrace to the name of freedom.

"Trotski is undoubtedly an interesting, clever fellow, and a very
dangerous adversary. He is quite exceptionally gifted as a speaker,
with a swiftness and adroitness in retort which I have rarely seen,
and has, moreover, all the insolent boldness of his race.

"_January 10, 1918._--The sitting has just taken place. Trotski made a
great and, in its way, really fine speech, calculated for the whole of
Europe, in which he gave way entirely. He accepts, he says, the
German-Austria 'ultimatum,' and will remain in Brest-Litovsk, as he
will not give us the satisfaction of being able to blame Russia for
the continuance of the war.

"Following on Trotski's speech, the Committee was at once formed to
deal with the difficult questions of territory. I insisted on being on
the Committee myself, wishing to follow throughout the progress of
these important negotiations. This was not an easy matter really, as
the questions involved, strictly speaking, concern only Courland and
Lithuania, i.e., they are not our business, but Germany's alone.

"In the evening I had another long talk with Kühlmann and Hoffmann, in
the course of which the General and the Secretary of State came to
high words between themselves. Hoffmann, elated at the success of our
ultimatum to Russia, wished to go on in the same fashion and 'give the
Russians another touch of the whip.' Kühlmann and I took the opposite
view, and insisted that proceedings should be commenced quietly,
confining ourselves to the matters in hand, clearing up point by point
as we went on, and putting all doubtful questions aside. Once we had
got so far, in clearing up things generally, we could then take that
which remained together, and possibly get telegraphic instructions
from the two Emperors for dealing therewith. This is undoubtedly the
surest way to avoid disaster and a fresh breach.

"A new conflict has cropped up with the Ukrainians. They now demand
recognition of their independence, and declare they will leave if this
is not conceded.

"Adler told me at Vienna that Trotski had his library, by which he set
great store, somewhere in Vienna, with a Herr Bauer, I fancy. I told
Trotski that I would arrange to have the books forwarded to him, if
he cared about it. I then recommended to his consideration certain
prisoners of war, as L. K. and W., all of whom are said to have been
very badly treated. Trotski noted the point, declared that he was
strongly opposed to ill-treatment of prisoners of war, and promised to
look into the matter; he wished to point out, however, that in so
doing he was not in the least influenced by the thought of his
library; he would in any case have considered my request. He would be
glad to have the books.

"_January 11, 1918._--Forenoon and afternoon, long sittings of the
Committee on territorial questions. Our side is represented by
Kühlmann, Hoffmann, Rosenberg, and a secretary, in addition to myself,
Csicserics, Wiesner, and Colloredo. The Russians are all present, but
without the Ukrainians. I told Kühlmann that I only proposed to attend
as a second, seeing that the German interests were incomparably more
affected than our own. I only interpose now and again.

"Trotski made a tactical blunder this afternoon. In a speech rising to
violence, he declared that we were playing false; we aimed at
annexations, and were simply trying to cover them with the cloak of
self-determination. He would never agree to this, and would rather
break off altogether than continue in that way. If we were honest, we
should allow representatives from Poland, Courland, and Lithuania to
come to Brest, and there express their views without being influenced
in any way by ourselves. Now it should here be noted that from the
commencement of the negotiations it has been a point of conflict
whether the legislative bodies at present existing in the occupied
territories are justified in speaking in the name of their respective
peoples, or not. We affirm that they are; the Russians maintain they
are not. We at once accepted Trotski's proposal, that representatives
of these countries should be called, but added that, when we agreed to
accept their testimony, then their judgment if in our favour should be
taken as valid.

"It was characteristic to see how gladly Trotski would have taken back
what he had said. But he kept his countenance, fell in with the new
situation at once, and requested that the sitting be adjourned for
twenty-four hours, as our reply was of such far-reaching importance
that he must confer with his colleagues on the matter. I hope Trotski
will make no difficulty now. If the Poles could be called, it would be
an advantage. The awkward thing about it is that Germany, too, would
rather be without them, knowing the anti-Prussian feeling that exists
among the Poles.

"_January 12, 1918._--Radek has had a scene with the German chauffeur,
which led to something more. General Hoffmann had placed cars at the
disposal of the Russians in case they cared to drive out. On this
occasion it happened that the chauffeur was not there at the proper
time, and Radek flew into a rage with the man and abused him
violently. The chauffeur complained, and Hoffmann took his part.
Trotski seems to consider Hoffmann's action correct, and has
_forbidden_ the entire delegation to go out any more. That settled
them. And serve them right.

"No one ventured to protest. They have indeed a holy fear of Trotski.
At the sittings, too, none of them dare to speak while he is there.

"_January 12, 1918._--Hoffmann has made his unfortunate speech. He has
been working at it for days, and was very proud of the result.
Kühlmann and I did not conceal from him that he gained nothing by it
beyond exciting the people at home against us. This made a certain
impression on him, but it was soon effaced by Ludendorff's
congratulations, which followed promptly. Anyhow, it has rendered the
situation more difficult, and there was certainly no need for that.

"_January 15, 1918._--I had a letter to-day from one of our mayors at
home, calling my attention to the fact that disaster due to lack of
foodstuffs is now imminent.

"I immediately telegraphed the Emperor as follows:

  "'I have just received a letter from Statthalter N.N. which
  justifies all the fears I have constantly repeated to Your
  Majesty, and shows that in the question of food supply we are on
  the very verge of a catastrophe. The situation _arising out of the
  carelessness and incapacity of the Ministers_ is terrible, and I
  fear it is already too late to check the total collapse which is
  to be expected in the next few weeks. My informant writes: "Only
  small quantities are now being received from Hungary, from
  Roumania only 10,000 wagons of maize; this gives then a decrease
  of at least 30,000 wagons of grain, without which we must
  infallibly perish. On learning the state of affairs, I went to the
  Prime Minister to speak with him about it. I told him, as is the
  case, that in a few weeks our war industries, our railway traffic,
  would be at a standstill, the provisioning of the army would be
  impossible, it must break down, and that would mean the collapse
  of Austria and therewith also of Hungary. To each of these points
  he answered yes, that is so, and added that all was being done to
  alter the state of affairs, especially as regards the Hungarian
  deliveries. But no one, not even His Majesty, has been able to get
  anything done. We can only hope that some _deus ex machina_ may
  intervene to save us from the worst.'"

"To this I added:

  "'I can find no words to describe properly the apathetic attitude
  of Seidler. How often and how earnestly have I not implored Your
  Majesty to intervene forcibly for once and _compel_ Seidler, on
  the one hand, and Hadik, on the other, to set these things in
  order. Even from here I have written entreating Your Majesty to
  act while there was yet time. But all in vain.'

"I then pointed out that the only way of meeting the situation would
be to secure temporary assistance from Germany, and then to
requisition by force the stocks that were doubtless still available in
Hungary; finally, I begged the Emperor to inform the Austrian Prime
Minister of my telegram.

"_January 16, 1918._--Despairing appeals from Vienna for food
supplies. Would I apply at once to Berlin for aid, otherwise disaster
imminent. I replied to General Landwehr as follows:

  "'Dr. Kühlmann is telegraphing to Berlin, but has little hope of
  success. The only hope now is for His Majesty to do as I have
  advised, and send an urgent wire at once to Kaiser Wilhelm. On my
  return I propose to put before His Majesty my point of view, that
  it is impossible to carry on the foreign policy if the food
  question at home is allowed to come to such a state as now.

  "'Only a few weeks back your Excellency declared most positively
  that we could hold out till the new harvest.'

"At the same time I wired the Emperor:

  "'Telegrams arriving show the situation becoming critical for us.
  Regarding question of food, we can only avoid collapse on two
  conditions: first, that Germany helps us temporarily, second, that
  we use this respite to set in order our machinery of food supply,
  which is at present beneath contempt, and to gain possession of
  the stocks still existing in Hungary.

  "'I have just explained the entire situation to Dr. Kühlmann, and
  he is telegraphing to Berlin. He, however, is not at all sanguine,
  as Germany is itself in straitened circumstances. I think the only
  way to secure any success from this step would be for Your Majesty
  to send at once, through military means, a Hughes telegram to
  Kaiser Wilhelm direct, urgently entreating him to intervene
  himself, and by securing us a supply of grain prevent the outbreak
  of revolution, which would otherwise be inevitable. I must,
  however, emphatically point out that the commencement of unrest
  among our people at home will have rendered conclusion of peace
  here absolutely impossible. As soon as the Russian representatives
  perceive that we ourselves are on the point of revolution, they
  will not make peace at all, since their entire speculation is
  based on this factor.'

"_January 17, 1918._--Bad news from Vienna and environs: serious
strike movement, due to the reduction of the flour rations and the
tardy progress of the Brest negotiations. The weakness of the Vienna
Ministry seems to be past all understanding.

"I have telegraphed to Vienna that I hope in time to secure some
supplies from the Ukraine, if only we can manage to keep matters quiet
at home for the next few weeks, and I have begged the gentlemen in
question to do their utmost not to wreck the peace here. On the same
day, in the evening, I telegraphed to Dr. von Seidler, the Prime
Minister:

  "'I very greatly regret my inability to counteract the effect of
  all the errors made by those entrusted with the food resources.

  "'Germany declares categorically that it is unable to help us,
  having insufficient for itself.

  "'Had your Excellency or your department called attention to the
  state of things _in time_, it might still have been possible to
  procure supplies from Roumania. As things are now, I can see no
  other way than that of brute force, by requisitioning Hungarian
  grain for the time being, and forwarding it to Austria, until the
  Roumanian, and it is to be hoped also Ukrainian, supplies can come
  to hand.'

[Illustration: GENERAL HOFFMANN (on right) WITH MAJ. BRINKMANN]

"_January 20, 1918._--The negotiations have now come to this: that
Trotski declares his intention of laying the German proposals before
Petersburg, though he cannot accept them himself; he undertakes, in
any case, to return here. As to calling in representatives from the
outer provinces, he will only do this provided he is allowed to choose
them. We cannot agree to this. With the Ukrainians, who, despite their
youth, are showing themselves quite sufficiently grown to profit by
the situation, negotiations are proceeding but slowly. First they
demanded East Galicia for the new 'Ukrainia.' This could not be
entertained for a moment. Then they grew more modest, but since the
outbreak of trouble at home among ourselves they realise our position,
and know that we _must_ make peace in order to get corn. Now they
demand a separate position for East Galicia. The question will have to
be decided in Vienna, and the Austrian Ministry will have the final
word.

"Seidler and Landwehr again declare by telegram that without supplies
of grain from Ukraine the catastrophe is imminent. There _are_
supplies in the Ukraine; if we can get them, the worst may be avoided.

"The position now is this: Without help from outside, we shall,
according to Seidler, have thousands perishing in a few weeks. Germany
and Hungary are no longer sending anything. All messages state that
there is a great surplus in Ukraine. The question is only whether we
can get it in time. I hope we may. But if we do not make peace _soon_,
then the troubles at home will be repeated, and each demonstration in
Vienna will render peace here most costly to obtain, for Messrs.
Sewrjuk and Lewicky can read the degree of our state of famine at
home from these troubles as by a thermometer. If only the people who
create these disturbances know how they are by that very fact
increasing the difficulty of procuring supplies from Ukraine! And we
were all but finished!

"The question of East Galicia I will leave to the Austrian Ministry;
it must be decided in Vienna. I cannot, and dare not, look on and see
hundreds of thousands starve for the sake of retaining the sympathy of
the Poles, so long as there is a possibility of help.

"_January 21, 1918._--Back to Vienna. The impression of the troubles
here is even greater than I thought, and the effect disastrous. The
Ukrainians no longer treat with us: they _dictate_!

"On the way, reading through old reports, I came upon the notes
relating to the discussions with Michaelis on August 1. According to
these, Under-Secretary of State von Stumm said at the time:

"'The Foreign Ministry was in communication with the Ukrainians, and
the separatist movement in Ukrainia was very strong. In furtherance of
their movement, the Ukrainians demanded the assurance that they should
be allowed to unite with the Government of Cholm, and with the areas
of East Galicia occupied by Ukrainians. So long as Galicia belongs to
Austria, the demand for East Galicia cannot be conceded. It would be
another matter if Galicia were united with Poland; then a cession of
East Galicia might be possible.'

"It would seem that the unpleasant case had long since been prejudged
by the Germans.

"On January 22 the Council was held which was to determine the issue
of the Ukrainian question. The Emperor opened the proceedings, and
then called on me to speak. I described first of all the difficulties
that lay in the way of a peace with Petersburg, which will be apparent
from the foregoing entries in this diary. I expressed my doubt as to
whether our group would succeed in concluding general peace with
Petersburg. I then sketched the course of the negotiations with the
Ukrainians. I reported that the Ukrainians had originally demanded the
cession of East Galicia, but that I had refused this. With regard to
the Ruthenian districts of Hungary also they had made demands which
had been refused by me. At present, they demanded the division of
Galicia into two parts, and the formation of an independent Austrian
province from East Galicia and Bukovina. I pointed out the serious
consequences which the acceptance of the Ukrainian demands would have
upon the further development of the Austro-Polish question. The
concessions made by the Ukrainians on their part were to consist in
the inclusion in the peace treaty of a commercial agreement which
should enable us to cover our immediate needs in the matter of grain
supplies. Furthermore, Austria-Hungary would insist on full
reciprocity for the Poles resident in Ukraine.

"I pointed out emphatically that I considered it my duty to state the
position of the peace negotiations; that the decision could not lie
with me, but with the Ministry as a whole, in particular with the
Austrian Prime Minister. The Austrian Government would have to decide
whether these sacrifices could be made or not, and here I could leave
them in no doubt that if we declined the Ukrainian demands we should
probably come to no result with that country, and should thus be
compelled to return from Brest-Litovsk without having achieved any
peace settlement at all.

"When I had finished, the Prime Minister, Dr. von Seidler, rose to
speak. He pointed out first of all the necessity of an immediate
peace, and then discussed the question of establishing a Ukrainian
crown land, especially from the parliamentary point of view. Seidler
believed that despite the active opposition which was to be expected
from the Poles, he would still have a majority of two-thirds in the
House for the acceptance of the bill on the subject. He was not blind
to the fact that arrangement would give rise to violent parliamentary
conflicts, but repeated his hope that a two-thirds majority could be
obtained despite the opposition of the Polish Delegation. After
Seidler came the Hungarian Prime Minister, Dr. Wekerle. He was
particularly pleased to note that no concessions had been made to the
Ukrainians with regard to the Ruthenians resident in Hungary. A clear
division of the nationalities in Hungary was impracticable. The
Hungarian Ruthenians were also at too low a stage of culture to enable
them to be given national independence. Dr. Wekerle also laid stress
on the danger, alike in Austria, of allowing any interference from
without; the risk of any such proceeding would be very great, we
should find ourselves on a downward grade by so doing, and we must
hold firmly to the principle that no interference in the affairs of
the Monarchy from without could be tolerated. In summing up, however,
Wekerle opposed the point of view of the Austrian Prime Minister.

"I then rose again to speak, and declared that I was perfectly aware
of the eminent importance and perilous aspects of this step. It was
true that it would bring us on to a down-grade, but from all
appearances, we had been in that position already for a long time,
owing to the war, and could not say how far it might lead us. I put
the positive question to Dr. Wekerle, what was a responsible leader of
our foreign policy to do when the Austrian Prime Minister and both the
Ministers of Food unanimously declared that the Hungarian supplies
would only suffice to help us over the next two months, after which
time a collapse would be absolutely unavoidable, unless we could
secure assistance from somewhere in the way of corn? On being
interrupted here by a dissentient observation from Dr. Wekerle, I told
him that if he, Wekerle, could bring corn into Austria I should be the
first to support his point of view, and that with pleasure, but so
long as he stood by his categorical denial, and insisted on his
inability to help us, we were in the position of a man on the third
floor of a burning house who jumps out of the window to save himself.
A man in such a situation would not stop to think whether he risked
breaking his legs or not; he would prefer the risk of death to the
certainty of the same. If the position really were as stated, that in
a couple of months we should be altogether without food supplies, then
we must take the consequences of such a position. Dr. von Seidler
here once more took up the discussion, and declared himself entirely
in agreement with my remarks.

"During the further course of the debate, the probability of a
definitive failure of the Austro-Polish solution in connection with
the Ukrainian peace was discussed, and the question was raised as to
what new constellation would arise out of such failure. Sektionschef
Dr. Gratz then took up this question. Dr. Gratz pointed out that the
Austro-Polish solution must fail even without acceptance of the
Ukrainian demands, since the German postulates rendered solution
impossible. The Germans demanded, apart from quite enormous
territorial reductions of Congress-Poland, the restriction of Polish
industry, part possession of the Polish railways and State domains, as
well as the imposition of part of the costs of war upon the Poles. We
could not attach ourselves to a Poland thus weakened, hardly, indeed,
capable of living at all, and necessarily highly dissatisfied with its
position. Dr. Gratz maintained that it would be wiser to come back to
the programme already discussed in general form; the project, by which
United Poland should be left to Germany, and the attachment of
Roumania to the Monarchy in consequence. Dr. Gratz went at length into
the details of this point of view. The Emperor then summed up the
essence of the opinions expressed to-day as indicating that it was
primarily necessary to make peace with Petersburg and the Ukrainians,
and that negotiations should be entered upon with Ukrainia as to the
division of Galicia. The question as to whether the Austro-Polish
solution should be definitely allowed to drop was not finally settled,
but shelved for the time being.

"In conclusion, Dr. Burian, the Minister of Finance, rose to speak,
and pointed out, as Dr. Wekerle had done, the danger of the Austrian
standpoint. Burian declared that, while the war might doubtless change
the internal structure of the Monarchy, such alteration must be made
from within, not from without, if it were to be of any benefit to the
Monarchy at all. He further pointed out that if the Austrian principle
of the division of Galicia were to be carried through, the _form_ of
so doing would be of great importance. Baron Burian advised that a
clause referring to this should be inserted, not in the instrument of
peace itself, but in a secret annexe. This form was, in his, Burian's,
view, the only possible means of diminishing the serious consequences
of the steps which the Austrian Government wished to take."

Thus the notes in my diary relative to this Council. The Austrian
Government was thus not only agreed as to the proposed arrangement
with the Ukraine; it was indeed at the direct wish of the Government,
by its instigation and on its responsibility, that it was brought
about.

"_January 28, 1918._--Reached Brest this evening.

"_January 29, 1918._--Trotski arrived.

"_January 30, 1918._--The first plenary session has been held. There
is no doubt that the revolutionary happenings in Austria and in
Germany have enormously raised the hopes of the Petersburgers for a
general convulsion, and it seems to me altogether out of the question
now to come to any peace terms with the Russians. It is evident among
the Russians themselves that they positively expect the outbreak of a
world-revolution within the next few weeks, and their tactics now are
simply to gain time and wait for this to happen. The conference was
not marked by any particular event, only pin-pricks between Kühlmann
and Trotski. To-day is the first sitting of the Committee on
territorial questions, where I am to preside, and deal with our
territorial affairs.

"The only interesting point about the new constellation seems to be
that the relations between Petersburg and Kieff are considerably worse
than before, and the Kieff Committee is no longer recognised at all by
the Bolsheviks as independent.

"_February 1, 1918._--Sitting of the Territorial Committee, I myself
presiding, with the Petersburg Russians. My plan is to play the
Petersburgers and the Ukrainians one against the other, and manage at
least to make peace with one of the two parties. I have still some
slight hope that a peace with one may so affect the other that
possibly peace with both may be attained.

"As was to be expected, Trotski replied to my question, whether he
admitted that the Ukrainians should treat with us alone on questions
dealing with their frontiers, with an emphatic denial. I then, after
some exchange of words, proposed that the sitting be adjourned, and a
plenary sitting convened, in order that the matter might be dealt with
by the Kieff and Petersburg parties together.

"_February 2, 1918._--I have tried to get the Ukrainians to talk over
things openly with the Russians, and succeeded almost too well. The
insults hurled by the Ukrainians to-day against the Russians were
simply grotesque, and showed what a gulf is fixed between these two
Governments, and that it is not our fault that we have not been able
to bring them together under one hat on the question of peace. Trotski
was so upset it was painful to see. Perfectly pale, he stared fixedly
before him, drawing nervously on his blotting paper. Heavy drops of
sweat trickled down his forehead. Evidently he felt deeply the
disgrace of being abused by his fellow-citizens in the presence of the
enemy.

"The two brothers Richthofen were here a little while ago. The elder
has shot down some sixty, the younger 'only' some thirty enemy
airmen. The elder's face is like that of a young and pretty girl. He
told me 'how the thing is done.' It is very simple. Only get as near
to the enemy as possible, from behind, and then keep on shooting,
when the other man would fall. The one thing needful was to 'get over
your own fright,' and not be shy of getting quite close to your
opponent.--Modern heroes.

"Two charming stories were told about these two brothers. The English
had put a price on the head of the elder Richthofen. When he learned
of this, he sent down broadsheets informing them that to make matters
easier for them, he would from the following day have his machine
painted bright red. Next morning, going to the shed, he found all the
machines there painted bright red. One for all and all for one.

"The other story is this: Richthofen and an English airman were
circling round each other and firing furiously. They came closer and
closer, and soon they could distinctly see each other's faces.
Suddenly something went wrong with Richthofen's machine-gun, and he
could not shoot. The Englishman looked across in surprise, and seeing
what was wrong, waved his hand, turned and flew off. Fair play! I
should like to meet that Englishman, only to tell him that he is
greater, to my mind, than the heroes of old.

"_February 3, 1918._--Started for Berlin. Kühlmann, Hoffmann,
Colloredo.

"_February 4, 1918._--Arrived Berlin. Nothing this afternoon, as the
Germans are holding council among themselves.

"_February 5, 1918._--Sitting all day. I had several violent passages
of arms with Ludendorff. Matters seemed to be clearing up, though this
is not yet altogether done. Apart from deciding on our tactics for
Brest, we have at last to set down _in writing_ that we are only
obliged to fight for the pre-war possessions of Germany. Ludendorff
was violently opposed to this, and said, 'If Germany makes peace
without profit, then Germany has lost the war.'

"The controversy was growing more and more heated, when Hertling
nudged me and whispered: 'Leave him alone, we two will manage it
together without him.'

"I am now going to work out the draft at once and send it in to
Hertling.

"Supper this evening at Höhenlohe.

"_February 6, 1918._--Arrived Brest this evening. Wiesner has been at
it untiringly and done excellent work; the situation, too, is easier
now. The leader of the Austrian Ruthenians, Nikolay Wassilko, arrived
yesterday, and albeit evidently excited by the part his
Russian-Ukrainian comrades are playing at Brest, speaks nationally,
far more chauvinistically than when I thought I knew him in Vienna,
and we have at last agreed on the minimum of the Ukrainian demands. I
gave as my advice in Berlin that we should try to finish with the
Ukrainians as soon as possible. I could then in the name of Germany
commence negotiations with Trotski, and try if I could not get speech
with him privately, and find out whether any agreement were possible
or not. It is Gratz's idea. After some opposition we agreed.

"_February 7, 1918._--My conversation with Trotski took place. I took
Gratz with me; he has far exceeded all my expectations of him. I began
by telling Trotski that a breach of the regulations and a resumption
of hostilities were imminent, and wished to know if this could not be
avoided before the fatal step were definitely taken. I therefore
begged Herr Trotski to inform me openly and without reserve what
conditions he would accept. Trotski then declared very frankly and
clearly that he was not so simple as we appeared to think, that he
knew well enough force was the strongest of all arguments, and that
the Central Powers were quite capable of taking away the Russian
provinces. He had several times tried to bridge a way for Kühlmann
during the conference, telling him it was not a question of the right
of self-determination of the peoples in the occupied districts, but of
sheer brutal annexation, and that he must give way to force. He would
never relinquish his principles, and would never give his consent to
this interpretation of the right of self-determination. The Germans
must say straight out what were the boundaries they demanded, and he
would then make clear to all Europe that it was a brutal annexation
and nothing else, but that Russia was too weak to oppose it. Only the
Moon Sound Islands seemed to be more than he could swallow. Secondly,
and this is very characteristic, Trotski said he could never agree to
our making peace with the Ukraine, since the Ukraine was no longer in
the hands of its Rada, but in the hands of his troops. It was a part
of Russia, and to make peace with it would be interfering in the
internal affairs of Russia itself. The fact of the matter seems to be
that about nineteen days ago the Russian troops really did enter
Kieff, but were subsequently driven out, the Rada once more coming
into power as before. Whether Trotski was unaware of this latter
development or purposely concealed the truth I cannot say for certain,
but it seems as if the former were the case.

"The last hope of coming to an understanding with Petersburg has
vanished. An appeal from the Petersburg Government to the German
soldiers has been discovered in Berlin, inciting them to revolt, to
murder the Kaiser and their generals, and unite with the soviets.
Following on this came a telegram from Kaiser Wilhelm to Kühlmann
ordering him to terminate negotiations at once, by demanding, besides
Courland and Lithuania, also the unoccupied territories of Livonia and
Esthonia--all without regard to the right of self-determination of the
peoples concerned.

"The dastardly behaviour of these Bolsheviks renders negotiation
impossible. I cannot blame Germany for being incensed at such
proceedings, but the instructions from Berlin are hardly likely to be
carried out. We do not want to drag in Livonia and Esthonia.

"_February 8, 1918._--This evening the peace with Ukraine is to be
signed. The first peace in this terrible war. I wonder if the Rada is
still really sitting at Kieff? Wassilko showed me a Hughes message
dated 6th inst. from Kieff to the Ukrainian delegation here, and
Trotski has declined my suggestion to dispatch an officer of the
Austrian General Staff to the spot, in order to bring back reliable
information. Evidently, then, his assertion that the Bolsheviks were
already masters of Kieff was only a ruse. Gratz informs me, by the
way, that Trotski, with whom he spoke early this morning, is much
depressed at our intention of concluding peace with Ukraine to-day
after all. This confirms me in my purpose of having it signed. Gratz
has convened a meeting with the Petersburgers for to-morrow; this will
clear matters up, and show us whether any agreement is possible, or if
we must break off altogether. In any case, there can be no doubt that
the intermezzo at Brest is rapidly nearing its end."

After conclusion of peace with Ukraine, I received the following
telegram from the Emperor:

  "'_Court train, February 9, 1918._

  "'Deeply moved and rejoiced to learn of the conclusion of peace
  with Ukraine. I thank you, dear Count Czernin, from my heart for
  your persevering and successful endeavours.

  "'You have thereby given me the happiest day of my hitherto far
  from happy reign, and I pray God Almighty that He may further
  continue to aid you on your difficult path--to the benefit of the
  Monarchy and of our peoples.

  KARL.'

"_February 11, 1918._--Trotski declines to sign. The war is over, but
there is no peace.

"The disastrous effects of the troubles in Vienna will be seen clearly
from the following message from Herr von Skrzynski, dated Montreux,
February 12, 1918. Skrzynski writes:

  "'I learn from a reliable source that France has issued the
  following notification: We were already quite disposed to enter
  into discussion with Austria. Now we are asking ourselves whether
  Austria is still sound enough for the part it was intended to give
  her. One is afraid of basing an entire policy upon a state which
  is perhaps already threatened with the fate of Russia.' And
  Skrzynski adds: 'During the last few days I have heard as follows:
  It has been decided to wait for a while.'"

Our position, then, during the negotiations with Petersburg was as
follows: We could not induce Germany to resign the idea of Courland
and Lithuania. We had not the physical force to do so. The pressure
exerted by the Supreme Army Command on the one hand and the shifty
tactics of the Russians made this impossible. We had then to choose
between leaving Germany to itself, and signing a separate peace, or
acting together with our three Allies and finishing with a peace
including the covert annexation of the Russian outer provinces.

The former alternative involved the serious risk of making a breach in
the Quadruple Alliance, where some dissension was already apparent.
The Alliance could no longer stand such experiments. We were faced
with the final military efforts now, and the unity of the Allies must
not in any case be further shaken. On the other hand, the danger that
Wilson, the only statesman in the world ready to consider the idea of
a peace on mutual understanding, might from the conclusion of such a
peace obtain an erroneous impression as to our intentions. I hoped
then, and I was not deceived, that this eminently clever man would
see through the situation and recognise that we were forced to act
under pressure of circumstances. His speeches delivered after the
peace at Brest confirmed my anticipation.

The peace with Ukraine was made under pressure of imminent famine. And
it bears the characteristic marks of such a birth. That is true. But
it is no less true that despite the fact of our having obtained far
less from Ukraine than we had hoped, we should, without these
supplies, have been unable to carry on at all until the new harvest.
Statistics show that during the spring and summer of 1918 42,000
wagon-loads were received from the Ukraine. It would have been
impossible to procure these supplies from anywhere else. Millions of
human beings were thus saved from death by starvation--and let those
who sit in judgment on the peace terms bear this in mind.

It is also beyond doubt that with the great stocks available in
Ukraine, an incomparably greater quantity could have been brought into
Austria if the collecting and transport apparatus had worked
differently.

The Secretary of State for Food Supplies has, at my request, in May,
1919, furnished me with the following statistical data for
publication:

  Brief survey of the organisation of corn imports from Ukraine (on
  terms of the Brest-Litovsk Peace) and the results of same:

  When, after great efforts, a suitable agreement had been arrived
  at with Germany as to the apportionment of the Ukrainian supplies,
  a mission was dispatched to Kieff, in which not only Government
  officials but also the best qualified and most experienced experts
  which the Government could procure were represented.

  Germany and Hungary had also sent experts, among them being
  persons with many years of experience in the Russian grain
  business, and had been in the employ of both German and Entente
  grain houses (as, for instance, the former representative of the
  leading French corn merchants, the house of Louis Dreyfuss).

  The official mission arrived at Kieff by the middle of March, and
  commenced work at once. A comparatively short time sufficed to
  show that the work would present quite extraordinary difficulties.

  The Ukrainian Government, which had declared at Brest-Litovsk that
  very great quantities, probably about one million tons, of
  surplus foodstuffs were ready for export, had in the meantime
  been replaced by another Ministry. The Cabinet then in power
  evinced no particular inclination, or at any rate no hurry, to
  fulfil obligations on this scale, but was more disposed to point
  out that it would be altogether impossible, for various reasons,
  to do so.

  Moreover, the Peace of Brest had provided for a regular exchange
  system, bartering load by load of one article against another. But
  neither Germany nor Austria-Hungary was even approximately in a
  position to furnish the goods (textiles especially were demanded)
  required in exchange.

  We had then to endeavour to obtain the supplies on credit, and the
  Ukrainian Government agreed, after long and far from easy
  negotiations, to provide _credit valuta_ (against vouchers for
  mark and krone in Berlin and Vienna). The arrangements for this
  were finally made, and the two Central Powers drew in all 643
  million karbowanez.

  The Rouble Syndicate, however, which had been formed under the
  leadership of the principal banks in Berlin, Vienna and Budapest,
  was during the first few months only able to exert a very slight
  activity. Even the formation of this syndicate was a matter of
  great difficulty, and in particular a great deal of time was lost;
  and even then the apparatus proved very awkward to work with.
  Anyhow, it had only procured comparatively small sums of roubles,
  so that the purchasing organisation in Ukraine, especially at
  first, suffered from a chronic lack of means of payment.

  But, in any case, a better arrangement of the money question would
  only have improved matters in a few of the best supplied
  districts, for the principal obstacle was simply _the lack of
  supplies_. The fact that Kieff and Odessa were themselves
  continually in danger of a food crisis is the best indication as
  to the state of things.

  In the Ukraine, the effects of four years of war, with the
  resulting confusion, and of the destruction wrought by the
  Bolsheviks (November, 1917, to March, 1918) were conspicuously
  apparent; cultivation and harvesting had suffered everywhere, but
  where supplies had existed they had been partly destroyed, partly
  carried off by the Bolsheviks on their way northward. Still, the
  harvest had given certain stocks available in the country, though
  these were not extensive, and the organisation of a purchasing
  system was now commenced. The free buying in Ukraine which we and
  Germany had originally contemplated could not be carried out in
  fact, since the Ukrainian Government declared that it would itself
  set up this organisation, and maintained this intention with the
  greatest stubbornness. But the authority in the country had been
  destroyed by the Revolution, and then by the Bolshevist invasion;
  the peasantry turned Radical, and the estates were occupied by
  revolutionaries and cut up. The power of the Government, then, in
  respect of collecting supplies of grain, was altogether
  inadequate; on the other hand, however, it was still sufficient
  (as some actual instances proved) to place serious, indeed
  insuperable, obstacles in our way. It was necessary, therefore, to
  co-operate with the Government--that is, to come to a compromise
  with it. After weeks of negotiation this was at last achieved, by
  strong diplomatic pressure, and, accordingly, the agreement of
  April 23, 1918, was signed.

  This provided for the establishment of a German-Austro-Hungarian
  Economical Central Commission; practically speaking, a great firm
  of corn merchants, in which the Central Powers appointed a number
  of their most experienced men, familiar, through years of activity
  in the business, with Russian grain affairs.

  But while this establishment was still in progress the people in
  Vienna (influenced by the occurrences on the Emperor's journey to
  North Bohemia) had lost patience; military leaders thought it no
  longer advisable to continue watching the operations of a _civil_
  commercial undertaking in Ukraine while that country was occupied
  by the military, and so finally the General Staff elicited a
  decree from the Emperor providing that the procuring of grain
  should be entrusted to Austro-Hungarian army units in the
  districts occupied by them. To carry out this plan a general, who
  had up to that time been occupied in Roumania, was dispatched to
  Odessa, and now commenced independent military proceedings from
  there. For payment kronen were used, drawn from Vienna. The War
  Grain Transactions department was empowered, by Imperial
  instructions to the Government, to place 100 million kronen at the
  disposal of the War Ministry, and this amount was actually set
  aside by the finance section of that department.

  This military action and its execution very seriously affected the
  civil action during its establishment, and also greatly impaired
  the value of our credit in the Ukraine by offering kronen notes to
  such an extent at the time. Moreover, the kronen notes thus set in
  circulation in Ukraine were smuggled into Sweden, and coming thus
  into the Scandinavian and Dutch markets undoubtedly contributed to
  the well-known fall in the value of the krone which took place
  there some months later.

  The Austro-Hungarian military action was received with great
  disapproval by the _Germans_, and when in a time of the greatest
  scarcity among ourselves (mid-May) we were obliged to ask Germany
  for temporary assistance, this was granted only on condition that
  independent military action on the part of Austria-Hungary should
  be suppressed and the whole leadership in Ukraine be entrusted to
  Germany.

  It was then hoped that increased supplies might be procured,
  especially from Bessarabia, where the Germans have established a
  collecting organisation, to the demand of which the Roumanian
  Government had agreed. This hope, however, also proved vain, and
  in June and July the Ukraine was still further engaged. The
  country was, in fact, almost devoid of any considerable supplies,
  and in addition to this the collecting system never really worked
  properly at all, as the arrangement for maximum prices was
  frequently upset by overbidding on the part of our own military
  section.

  Meantime everything had been made ready for getting in the harvest
  of 1918. The collecting organisation had become more firmly
  established and extended, the necessary personal requirements were
  fully complied with, and _it would doubtless have been possible to
  bring great quantities out of the country_. But first of all the
  demands of the Ukrainian cities had to be met, and there was in
  many cases a state of real famine there; then came the Ukrainian
  and finally the very considerable contingents of German and
  Austro-Hungarian armies of occupation. Not until supplies for
  these groups had been assured would the Ukrainian Government allow
  any export of grain, and to this we were forced to agree.

  It was at once evident that the degree of cultivation throughout
  the whole country had seriously declined--owing to the entire
  uncertainty of property and rights after the agrarian revolution.
  The local authorities, affected by this state of things, were
  little inclined to agree to export, and it actually came to local
  embargoes, one district prohibiting the transfer of its stocks to
  any other, exactly as we had experienced with ourselves.

  In particular, however, the agitation of the Entente agents (which
  had been frequently perceptible before), under the impression of
  the German military defeats, was most seriously felt. The position
  of the Government which the Germans had set up at Kieff was
  unusually weak. Moreover, the ever-active Bolshevik elements
  throughout the whole country were now working with increasing
  success against our organisation. All this rendered the work more
  difficult in September and October--and then came the collapse.

  The difficulties of transport, too, were enormous; supplies had
  either to be sent to the Black Sea, across it and up the Danube,
  or straight through Galicia. For this we often lacked sufficient
  wagons, and in the Ukraine also coal; there were, in addition,
  often instances of resistance on the part of the local railways,
  incited by the Bolsheviks, and much more of the same sort.

  However great the lack of supplies in Ukraine itself, however much
  the limitations of our Russian means of payment may have
  contributed to the fact that the hopes entertained on the signing
  of peace at Brest-Litovsk were far from being realised, we may
  nevertheless maintain that _all that was humanly possible_ was
  done to overcome the unprecedented difficulties encountered. And
  in particular, by calling in the aid of the most capable and
  experienced firms of grain merchants, the forces available were
  utilised to the utmost degree.

  Finally it should perhaps be pointed out that the import
  organisation--apart from the before-mentioned interference of the
  military department and consequent fluctuations of the system--was
  largely upset by very extensive smuggling operations, carried on
  more particularly from Galicia. As such smuggling avoided the high
  export duty, the maximum prices appointed by the Ukrainian
  Government were constantly being overbid. This smuggling was also
  in many cases assisted by elements from Vienna; altogether the
  nervousness prevailing in many leading circles in Vienna, and
  frequently criticising our own organisation in public, or
  upsetting arrangements before they could come into operation, did
  a great deal of damage. It should also be mentioned that Germany
  likewise carried on a great deal of unofficially assisted
  smuggling, with ill effects on the official import organisation,
  and led to similar conditions on our own side.

  Despite all obstacles, the machinery established, as will be seen
  from the following survey, nevertheless succeeded in getting not
  inconsiderable quantities of foodstuffs into the states concerned,
  amounting in all to about 42,000 wagons, though unfortunately the
  quantities delivered did not come up to the original expectations.


  SURVEY OF THE IMPORTS FROM UKRAINE DATING FROM COMMENCEMENT OF
  IMPORTATION (SPRING, 1918) TO NOVEMBER, 1918.

  I. Foodstuffs obtained by the War Grain Transactions Department
  (corn, cereal products, leguminous fruits, fodder, seeds):

  Total imported for the contracting states
    (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey)       113,421 tons
  Of which Austria-Hungary received                        57,382   "
    Grain and flour amounting to                           46,225   "

  II. Articles obtained by the Austrian Central Purchasing Company:

                                                            Of which
                                                         Austria-Hungary
                                    Total                   received:

  Butter, fat, bacon                3,329,403 kg.          2,170,437 kg.
  Oil, edible oils                  1,802,847 "              977,105 "
  Cheese, curds                       420,818 "              325,103 "
  Fish, preserved fish, herrings    1,213,961 "              473,561 "
  Cattle                              105,542 head            55,421 head
                                  (36,834,885 kg.)       (19,505,760 kg.)
  Horses                               98,976 head            40,027 head
                                  (31,625,172 kg.)       (13,165,725 kg.)
  Salted meat                       2,927,439 "            1,571,569 "
  Eggs                                 75,200 boxes           32,433 boxes
  Sugar                            66,809,969 kg.         24,973,443 kg.
  Various foodstuffs               27,385,095 "            7,836,287 "
                                  -------------          -------------
           Total                  172,349,556 "           61,528,220 "
                                   and 75,200 boxes       and 32,433 boxes
                                              eggs                   eggs
                      (Total, 30,757 wagons)        (Total, 13,037 wagons)

  The goods imported under II. represent a value of roughly 450
  _million kronen_.

  The quantities _smuggled_ unofficially into the states concerned
  are estimated at about 15,000 wagons (about half the official
  imports).

So ended this phase, a phase which seemed important while we were
living through it, but which was yet nothing but a phase of no great
importance after all, since it produced no lasting effect.

The waves of war have passed over the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, washing
it away as completely as a castle of sand on the shore is destroyed by
the incoming tide.

Long after I was reproached by the Polish element in the Herrenhaus,
who asserted that I had proved my incapability by my own confession
that the Peace of Brest had not withstood the test of subsequent
events. But should I have shown more capability by asserting, after
the collapse of the Central Powers, that the peace still existed?

The term "bread peace" (_Brotfrieden_) was not coined by me, but by
Burgemeister Weisskirchner on the occasion of my reception by the
Gemeinderat of Vienna at the Nordbahnhof. The millions whose lives
were saved by those 42,000 wagon-loads of food may repeat the words
without a sneer.



CHAPTER XI

THE PEACE OF BUCHAREST


At Brest-Litovsk rumours had already spread that Roumania did not
intend to continue the war. These rumours assumed a very definite
character after peace was concluded with the Ukraine. That peace, as
well as Trotski's attitude, left no doubt in Bucharest that Roumania
could no longer reckon on further co-operation on the part of Russia
and gave rise to the idea in some circles that she would turn back. I
say in _some_ circles, for there was one group which, to the very last
moment, was all for war.

While at Brest-Litovsk I began to get into touch with the leaders of
the Hungarian Parliament in order to come to an agreement on the peace
aims relating to Roumania. It was evident that, as regards Roumania, a
peace without annexations would be more difficult to bring about than
with any other state, because the treacherous attack by the Roumanians
on the whole of Hungary had raised the desire for a better strategical
frontier. As might be expected, I met with violent opposition from
Hungary, where, under the name of strategical frontier rectifications,
as a matter of fact greater annexations were desired. The first person
with whom I dealt was Stephen Tisza, who, at great trouble, was
brought to modify his original standpoint and finally was led so far
as to admit that the fundamental ideas for peace were capable of
acceptance. On February 27, 1918, he handed me a _pro-memoria_ with
the request to show it to the Emperor, in which he explained his
already more conciliatory point of view, though, nevertheless, he very
distinctly showed his disapproval of my intentions. The _pro-memoria_
reads as follows:

  Unfortunately, Roumania can withdraw from the war not as much
  exhausted as justice and the justified interests of the Monarchy
  could wish.

  The loss of the Dobrudsha will be made good by territorial gains
  in Bessarabia, while the frontier rectifications demanded by us
  are out of all proportion with Roumania's guilt and with her
  military situation.

  Our peace terms are so mild that they are as a generous gift
  offered to vanquished Roumania and are _not at all to be made a
  subject for negotiations_. In no case are these negotiations to
  assume the character of trading or bargaining. If Roumania refuses
  to conclude peace on the basis laid down by us our answer can only
  be a resumption of hostilities.

  I consider it highly probable that the Roumanian Government will
  run that risk to prove her necessity in the eyes of the Western
  Powers and her own population. But it is just as probable that
  after breaking off negotiations she will just as quickly turn back
  and give way before our superior forces.

  At the worst a short campaign would result in the total collapse
  of Roumania.

  In all human probability it is almost certain that the development
  of affairs will take a course similar to the last phase in the
  peace with Northern Russia, and will lead to an easy and complete
  success for the Central Powers. That we lay down the frontier
  rectification as _conditio sine qua non_ forms a justifiable
  measure to protect an important interest for the Monarchy of a
  purely defensive nature. It is energetically demanded by the
  entire patriotic public opinion of Hungary. It appears out of the
  question that a Minister of Foreign Affairs, had he taken up
  another attitude in the matter, would have been able to remain in
  the Delegation.

  And, besides, the procedure--to which the greatest importance must
  be attached--is absolutely necessary in order not to compromise
  the chances of a general peace.

  It is obvious from the public statements of leading statesmen of
  the Western Powers that they will not be prevailed upon to agree
  to an acceptable peace, as they do not believe in our capacity and
  firm resolve to carry it out. Whatever confirms their views in
  this respect widens the distance between us and peace; the only
  way to bring us really nearer to peace is to adopt an attitude
  that will lead them to think differently.

  This must constitute the line of action in our resolves and
  undertakings. In connection with the Roumanian peace, it is
  evident that to yield on the frontier question--even for fear of a
  breakdown in the negotiations--must have a deplorable effect on
  the opinion our enemies have of us. It would certainly be right
  not to take advantage of Roumania's desperate situation, but to
  grant her reasonable peace terms in accordance with the
  principles embodied in our statements. But if we do not act with
  adequate firmness on that reasonable basis we shall encourage the
  Western Powers in the belief that it is not necessary to conclude
  a peace with us on the basis of the integrity of our territory and
  sovereignty, and fierce and bitter fighting may be looked for to
  teach them otherwise.

  TISZA.

  _February 27, 1916._

Andrassy and Wekerle were also opposed to a milder treatment of
Roumania, and thus the whole Hungarian Parliament were of one accord
on the question. I am not sure what standpoint Karolyi held, and I do
not know if at that period the "tiger soul" which he at one time
displayed to Roumania, or the pacifist soul which he laid later at the
feet of General Franchet d'Esperey, dominated.

Thus at Brest-Litovsk, when the Roumanian peace appeared on the
horizon, I took up the standpoint that the party desirous of peace
negotiations must be supported.

The episode of the Roumanian peace must not be taken out of the great
picture of the war. Like the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, the Roumanian
peace was necessary from a military point of view, because it seemed
desirable to release troops in the East as quickly as possible and
transfer them to the Western front. It was urgently desired and
repeatedly demanded that we should come to a final settlement with
Roumania as soon as possible. In order to secure a speedy result I had
already, from Brest-Litovsk, advised the Emperor to send word
privately to King Ferdinand that he could reckon on an honourable
peace should he wish to enter into negotiations. The Emperor took my
advice, and Colonel Randa had one or two interviews with a member of
the immediate entourage of the King. But the German opinion was that
King Ferdinand must be "punished for his treachery" and no
negotiations entered into with him. For this reason, and to avoid
fruitless controversy, I first imparted to Herr von Kühlmann the
accomplished fact and informed him that we had put ourselves secretly
into communication with King Ferdinand. This event was quite in
accordance with the standard of equality in our Federation, by which
every member was privileged to act according to the best of his
ability and was merely bound to inform the friendly Powers of the
proceedings. It was not our duty to apply to Germany for permission to
take such a step.

There was a three-fold reason why I did not share Germany's opinion on
this question. In the first place, my point of view was that it was
not our duty to mete out divine justice and to inflict punishment,
but, on the contrary, to end the war as quickly as possible. Therefore
my duty was to seize every means possible to prevent a continuance of
the war. I must mention here that the idea prevailing in many circles
that the Roumanians were quite at the end of their strength, and were
compelled to accept all the conditions, is entirely false. The
Roumanians held very strong positions, the _moral_ in the army was
excellent, and in the last great attack on Maracesci, Mackensen's
troops had suffered very severely. This success turned the Roumanians'
heads, and there were many leading men in the ranks of the Roumanian
army who sided entirely with those who wished to carry on the war _à
l'outrance_. They did not count so much on an actual victory, but were
upheld by the hope that for some time to come they could maintain the
defensive and that, meanwhile, the decisive successes of their Allies
on the West would secure victory for them. They were probably afraid,
too, that a peace concluded with us would place them in permanent
disgrace with the Entente--that they would lose the friendship of the
Entente, fail to gain ours, and find themselves between two stools.
The second reason which decided me to insist on negotiating with the
King was that, from a dynastic point of view, I considered it most
unwise to dethrone a foreign king. There was already then a certain
fall in the value of kings on the European market, and I was afraid it
might develop into a panic if we put more kings off their thrones. The
third reason was that, in order to conclude peace, we must have a
competent representative in Roumania. If we were to depose the King we
should divide Roumania into two camps and would, at the best, only be
able to conclude a transitory peace with that party which accepted the
dethronement of the King. A rapid and properly-secured peace could
only be concluded with the legitimate head in Roumania.

In the introductory interviews which Colonel Randa had on February 4
and 5 with the confidential envoy from the King of Roumania, the envoy
asked whether all the Quadruple Alliance Powers were acting in the
step in question, and whether the occupied territory in Roumania would
be released. I was notified of this inquiry of the King, and replied
that I was persuaded that no refusal need be expected from the other
Central Powers should he, with the object of securing an honourable
peace, address them accordingly. As to the question of territorial
possessions, I stated that, for the present, I was not able to express
any opinion on the matter, as it would have to be a subject for the
introductory negotiations.

The view held by the German military leaders in agreement with
Hungarian politicians that Roumania should be treated differently
from, and in a much sterner manner than, any other state was, if the
question is considered from the point of view of retribution, quite
justified. Roumania's actions with regard to us were far more
treacherous than those of Italy. Italy, owing to her geographical
position and to the fact of her being totally dependent on the Western
Powers--a blockade by whom might finally have forced her to submit to
their demands--would have found it very difficult to remain neutral in
this world war. Roumania was not only perfectly independent, but was
amply provided for through her rich granaries. Apart from the fact
that Roumania alone was to blame for allowing things to go so far that
Russia was enabled finally to send her an ultimatum and so force her
into war, it must be admitted that Roumania was far less likely to be
influenced by the Entente than Italy. But neither would the Russian
ultimatum have taken effect if Roumania had not consciously and
willingly placed herself in a position in regard to military and
political matters that gave her into Russia's power. Bratianu said to
me in one of our last interviews: "Russia is exactly like a blackcock
dancing before the hens." In admitting the truth of this appropriate
comparison, it must be added that the female of the simile, longing to
be embraced, directly provoked violence.

For two years Bratianu had stirred up public opinion against us in his
own country. Had he not done so, and had he not finally bared his
Russian frontier of all troops, the Russian ultimatum would have had
no effect.

In Roumania the Avarescu Ministry was in power. On February 24
Kühlmann and I had our first interview alone with Avarescu at the
castle of Prince Stirbey, at Buftia. At this interview, which was very
short, the sole topic was the Dobrudsha question. The frontier
rectifications, as they stood on the Austro-Hungarian programme, were
barely alluded to, and the economic questions, which later played a
rather important part, were only hinted at. Avarescu's standpoint was
that the cession of the Dobrudsha was an impossibility, and the
interview ended with a _non possumus_ from the Roumanian general,
which was equivalent to breaking off negotiations. As regards the
Dobrudsha question, our position was one of constraint. The so-called
"old" Dobrudsha, the portion that Roumania in 1913 had wrested from
Bulgaria, had been promised to the Bulgarians by a treaty in the time
of the Emperor Francis Joseph as a reward for their co-operation, and
the area that lies between that frontier and the Constanza-Carnavoda
railway line was vehemently demanded by the Bulgarians. They went much
further in their aspirations: they demanded the whole of the
Dobrudsha, including the mouth of the Danube, and the great and
numerous disputes that occurred later in this connection show how
insistently and obstinately the Bulgarians held to their demands. At
the same time, as there was a danger that the Bulgars, thoroughly
disappointed in their aspirations, might secede from us, it became
absolutely impossible to hand over the Dobrudsha to the Roumanians.
All that could be effected was to secure for the Roumanians free
access to Constanza, and, further, to find a way out of the
difficulty existing between Turkey and Bulgaria in connection with the
Dobrudsha.

In order not to break off entirely all discussion, I suggested to
Avarescu that he should arrange for his King to meet me. My plan was
to make it clear to the King that it would be possible for him now to
conclude a peace, though involving certain losses, but still a peace
that would enable him to keep his crown. On the other hand, by
continuing the war, he could not count on forbearance on the part of
the Central Powers. I trusted that this move on my part would enable
him to continue the peace negotiations.

I met the King on February 27 at a little station in the occupied
district of Moldavia.

We arrived at Focsani at noon and continued by motor to the lines,
where Colonel Ressel and a few Roumanian officers were waiting to
receive me. We drove past positions on both sides in a powerful German
car that had been placed at my disposal, and proceeded as far as the
railway station of Padureni. A saloon carriage in the train had been
reserved for me there, and we set off for Rasaciuni, arriving there at
5 o'clock.

The Roumanian royal train arrived a few minutes later, and I at once
went across to the King.

Incidentally my interview with King Ferdinand lasted twenty minutes.

As the King did not begin the conversation I had to do so, and said
that I had not come to sue for peace but purely as the bearer of a
message from the Emperor Charles, who, in spite of Roumania's
treachery, would show indulgence and consideration if King Ferdinand
would _at once_ conclude peace under the conditions mutually agreed on
by the Quadruple Alliance Powers.

Should the King not consent, then a continuance of the war would be
unavoidable and would put an end to Roumania and the dynasty. Our
military superiority was already very considerable, and now that our
front would be set free from the Baltic to the Black Sea, it would be
an easy matter for us, in a very short space of time, to increase our
strength still more. We were aware that Roumania would very soon have
no more munitions and, were hostilities to continue, in six weeks the
kingdom and dynasty would have ceased to exist.

The King did not oppose anything but thought the conditions terribly
hard. Without the Dobrudsha Roumania would hardly be able to draw
breath. At any rate, there could be further parley as to ceding "old"
Dobrudsha again.

I said to the King that if he complained about hard conditions I could
only ask what would his conditions have been if his troops had reached
Budapest? Meanwhile, I was ready to guarantee that Roumania would not
be cut off from the sea, but would have free access to Constanza.

Here the King again complained of the hard conditions enforced on him,
and declared he would never be able to find a Ministry who would
accept them.

I rejoined that the forming of a Cabinet was Roumania's internal
business, but my private opinion was that a Marghiloman Cabinet, in
order to save Roumania, would agree to the conditions laid down. I
could only repeat that no change could be made in the peace terms laid
before the King by the Quadruple Alliance. If the King did not accept
them, we should have, in a month's time, a far better peace than the
one which the Roumanians might consider themselves lucky to get
to-day.

We were ready to give our diplomatic support to Roumania that she
might obtain Bessarabia, and she would, therefore, gain far more than
she would lose.

The King replied that Bessarabia was nothing to him, that it was
steeped in Bolshevism, and the Dobrudsha could not be given up;
anyhow, it was only under the very greatest pressure that he had
decided to enter into the war against the Central Powers. He began
again, however, to speak of the promised access to the sea, which
apparently made the cession of the Dobrudsha somewhat easier.

We then entered into details, and I reproached the King for the
dreadful treatment of our people interned in Roumania, which he said
he regretted.

Finally, I requested that he would give me a clear and decided answer
within forty-eight hours as to whether he would negotiate on the basis
of our proposals or not.

The result of the interview was the appointment of the Marghiloman
Ministry and the continuation of the negotiations.

Before Marghiloman consented to form a Cabinet, he approached me to
learn the exact terms.

He declared himself to be in agreement with the first and hardest of
the conditions--the cession of the Dobrudsha, because he was quicker
than the King in seeing that in consequence of our binding obligation
to Bulgaria in this connection, it could not be otherwise. As to our
territorial demands, I told Marghiloman that I laid chief stress on
entering into friendly and lasting relations with Roumania after peace
was concluded, and, therefore, desired to reduce the demands in such
measure as Roumania, on her part, would consider bearable. On the
other hand, he, Marghiloman, must understand that I was bound to
consider the Hungarian aspirations to a certain degree, Marghiloman,
who was an old and tried parliamentarian, fully saw in what a
constrained position I was placed. We finally agreed that the cession
of the populated districts and towns like Turn-Saverin and Okna should
not take place, and, altogether the original claims were reduced to
about half. Marghiloman said he accepted the compromise.

My desire to enter into a lasting economic union with Roumania played
an important part in the negotiations. It was clear to me that this
demand was in Austrian, but not in Hungarian interests; but I still
think that, even so, it was my duty, although joint Minister for both
countries, to work for Austria, as the shortage of provisions made the
opening of the Roumanian granaries very desirable. As was to be
expected, this clause in the negotiations met with the most violent
opposition in Hungary, and it was at first impossible to see a way out
of the difficulty. I never took back my demand, however, and was
firmly resolved that peace should not be signed if my plan was not
realised. I was dismissed from office in the middle of the
negotiations, and my successor did not attach the same importance to
that particular item as I did.

On the German side there was at once evidence of that insatiable
appetite which we had already noticed at Brest-Litovsk. The Germans
wished to have a species of war indemnity by compelling Roumania to
cede her petroleum springs, her railways and harbours to German
companies, and placing the permanent control of her finances in German
hands. I opposed these demands in the most decided manner from the
very first, as I was convinced that such terms would preclude all
possibility of any friendly relations in future. I went so far as to
ask the Emperor Charles to telegraph direct to the Emperor William in
that connection, which met with a certain amount of success. In the
end the German claims were reduced by about fifty per cent., and
accepted by Marghiloman in the milder form. With regard to the
petroleum question, a ninety years' lease was agreed on. In the matter
of the corn supply, Roumania was to bind herself to deliver her
agricultural produce to the Central Powers for a certain number of
years. The plan for Germany to be in the permanent control of
Roumanian finances was not carried out. In the question of price, the
Roumanian views held good. The most impossible of the German demands,
namely, the occupation of Roumania for five to six years after the
conclusion of peace, gave rise to great difficulties. This was the
point that was most persistently and energetically insisted on by the
German Supreme Military Command, and it was only with great trouble
and after lengthy explanations and discussions that we settled the
matter on the following lines: That on the conclusion of peace the
entire legislative and executive power of the Roumanian Government
would be restored in principle, and that we should content ourselves
with exercising a certain control through a limited number of agents,
this control not to be continued after the general peace was made. I
cannot say positively whether this standpoint was adhered to by my
successor or not, but certain it is that Marghiloman only undertook
office on condition that I gave him a guarantee that the plan would be
supported by me.

As already mentioned, the question of the Dobrudsha had prepared great
difficulties for us in two respects. First of all there was the
relinquishing of their claim which, for the Roumanians, was the
hardest term of all, and imparted to the peace the character of a
peace of violence; and secondly, the matter had precipitated a dispute
between Turkey and Bulgaria.

The Bulgarians' view was that the entire Dobrudsha, including the
mouth of the Danube, must be promised to them, and they insisted on
their point with an obstinacy which I have seldom, if ever, come
across. They went so far as to declare that neither the present
Government nor any other would be able to return to Sofia, and allowed
it clearly to be seen that by refusing their claims we could never
again count on Bulgaria. The Turks, on the other hand, protested with
equal vehemence that the Dobrudsha had been conquered by two Turkish
army corps, that it was a moral injustice that the gains chiefly won
by Turkish forces should be given exclusively to the Bulgarians, and
that they would never consent to Bulgaria receiving the whole of the
Dobrudsha unless compensation was given to them. By way of
compensation, they asked not only for that stretch of land which they
had ceded to Bulgaria on their entry into the war (Adrianople), but
also a considerable area beyond.

In the numerous conferences at which the question was discussed,
Kühlmann and I played the part of honest mediators who were making
every effort to reconcile the two so divergent standpoints. We both
saw clearly that the falling off of the Bulgars or Turks might be the
result if a compromise was not effected. Finally, after much trouble,
we succeeded in drawing up a programme acceptable to both sides. It
took this form: That "old" Dobrudsha should at once be given back to
Bulgaria, and the other parts of the area to be handed over as a
possession to the combined Central Powers, and a definite decision
agreed upon later.

Neither Turkey nor Bulgaria was quite satisfied with the decision, nor
yet averse to it; but, in the circumstances, it was the only possible
way of building a bridge between the Turks and the Bulgars.

Just as England and France secured the entry into the war of Italy
through the Treaty of London, so did the Emperor Francis Joseph and
Burian, as well as the Government in Berlin, give binding promises to
the Bulgars to secure their co-operation, and these promises proved
later to be the greatest obstacles to a peace of understanding.
Nevertheless, no sensible person can deny that it is natural that a
state engaged in a life-and-death struggle should seek an ally without
first asking whether the keeping of a promise later will give rise to
important or minor difficulties. The fireman extinguishing flames in a
burning house does not first ask whether the water he pumps on it has
damaged anything. When Roumania attacked us in the rear the danger was
very great, the house was in flames, and the first act of my
predecessor was naturally, and properly, to avert the great danger.
There was no lack of promises, and the Dobrudsha was assigned to the
Bulgarians. Whether and in what degree the Turks had a right, through
promises, to the territory they, on their part, had ceded to the
Bulgars I do not know. But they certainly had a moral right to it.

On the occasion of the Roumanian peace in the spring of 1918, too
severe a test of the loyalty of Bulgars and Turks to the alliance was
dangerous. For some time past the former had been dealing in secret
with the Entente. The alliance with Turkey rested mainly on Talaat and
Enver. Talaat told me in Bucharest, however, quite positively that he
would be forced to send in his resignation if he were to return
empty-handed, and in that case the secession of Turkey would be very
probable.

We tried then at Bucharest to steer our way through the many shoals;
not mortally to offend the Roumanians, to observe as for as possible
the character of a peace of understanding, and yet to keep both Turks
and Bulgars on our side.

The cession of the Dobrudsha was a terribly hard demand to make on the
Roumanians, and was only rendered bearable for them when Kühlmann and
I, with the greatest difficulty and against the most violent
opposition from the Bulgarians, obtained for them free access to the
Black Sea.

When later, in one breath, we were reproached with having enforced a
peace of violence on the Roumanians and with not having treated the
Bulgarian claims and wishes with sufficient consideration--the answer
to the charge is obvious. _Because_ we were compelled to consider both
Bulgaria and Turkey we were forced to demand the Dobrudsha from the
Roumanians and treat them with greater severity than we should have
done otherwise, in order finally to gain the Turks and the Bulgars for
our negotiation plans. Judged according to the Versailles standard,
the Peace of Bucharest would be a peace of understanding, both as
regards form and contents.

The Central Powers' mediators, both at Versailles and St. Germain,
would have been glad had they been treated in the same way as the
Marghiloman Ministry was treated.

The Roumanians lost the Dobrudsha, but acquired safe and guaranteed
access to the sea; they lost a district of sparsely populated
mountainous country to us, and through us they acquired Bessarabia.

They gained far more than they lost.



CHAPTER XII

FINAL REFLECTIONS


The farther the world war progressed, the more did it lose the
character of the work of individual men. It assumed rather the
character of a cosmic event, taking more and more from the
effectiveness of the most powerful individuals.

All settlements on which coalitions were based were connected with
certain war aims by the Cabinets, such as the promises of compensation
given to their own people, the hopes of gain from the final victory.
The encouragement of intense and boundless hatred, the increasing
crude brutality of the world all tended to create a situation making
each individual like a small stone which, breaking away from an
avalanche of stones, hurls itself downwards without a leader and
without goal, and is no longer capable of being guided by anyone.

The Council of Four at Versailles tried for some time to make the
world believe that they possessed the power to rebuild Europe
according to their own ideas. According to their own ideas! That
signified, to begin with, four utterly different ideas, for four
different worlds were comprised in Rome, Paris, London, and
Washington. And the four representatives--"the Big Four," as they were
called--were each individually the slave of his programme, his
pledges, and his people. Those responsible for the Paris negotiations
_in camera_, which lasted for many months, and were a breeding ground
for European anarchy, had their own good reasons for secrecy; there
was no end to the disputes, for which no outlet could be found.

Here, Wilson had been scoffed at and cursed because he deserted his
programme; certainly, there is not the slightest similarity between
the Fourteen Points and the Peace of Versailles and St. Germain, but
it is forgotten now that Wilson no longer had the power to enforce his
will against the three others. We do not know what occurred behind
those closed doors, but we can imagine it, and Wilson probably fought
weeks and months for his programme. He could have broken off
proceedings and left! He certainly could have done so, but would the
chaos have been any less; would it have been any better for the world
if the only one who was not solely imbued with the lust of conquest
had thrown down his arms? But Clemenceau, too, the direct opposite of
Wilson, was not quite open in his dealings. Undoubtedly this old man,
who now at the close of his life was able to satisfy his hatred of the
Germans of 1870, gloried in the triumph; but, apart from that, if he
had tried to conclude a "Wilson peace," all the private citizens of
France, great and small, would have risen against him, for they had
been told for the last five years: _Que les boches payeront tout_.
What he did, he enjoyed doing; but he was forced to do it or France
would have dismissed him.

And Italy? From Milan to Naples is heard the subterraneous rumbling of
approaching revolution; the only means the Government have adopted to
check the upheaval is to drown the revolution in a sea of national
interests. I believe that in 1917, when the general discontent was
much less and finances were much better, the Italian Government might
much more probably have accepted Wilson's standpoint than after final
victory. Then they could not do it. At Versailles they were the slaves
of their promises. And does anyone believe that Lloyd George would
have had the power at Versailles to extend the Wilson principle of the
right of self-determination to Ireland and the Dominions? Naturally,
he did not wish to do otherwise than he did; but that is not the
question here, but rather that neither could have acted very
differently even had he wished to do so.

It seems to me that the historical moment is the year 1917 when Wilson
lost his power, which was swallowed up in Imperialism, and when the
President of the United States neglected to force his programme on his
Allies. Then power was still in his hands, as the American troops were
so eagerly looked for; but later, when victory came, he no longer held
it.

And thus there came about what is now a fact. A dictated peace of the
most terrible nature was concluded and a foundation laid for a
continuance of unimaginable disturbances, complications and wars.

In spite of all the apparent power of victorious armies, in spite of
all the claims of the Council of Four, a world has expired at
Versailles--the world of militarism. Solely bent on exterminating
Prussian militarism, the Entente have gained so complete a victory
that all fences and barriers have been pulled down and they can give
themselves up unchecked to a torrent of violence, vengeance and
passion. And the Entente are so swallowed up by their revengeful
paroxysm of destruction that they do not appear to see that, while
they imagine they still rule and command, they are even now but
instruments in a world revolution.

The Entente, who would not allow the war to end and kept up the
blockade for months after the cessation of hostilities, has made
Bolshevism a danger to the world. War is its father, famine its
mother, despair its godfather. The poison of Bolshevism will course in
the veins of Europe for many a long year.

Versailles is not the end of the war, it is only a phase of it. The
war goes on, though in another form. I think that the coming
generation will not call the great drama of the last five years the
world-war, but the world-revolution, which it will realise began with
the world-war.

Neither at Versailles nor St. Germain has any lasting work been done.
The germs of decomposition and death lie in this peace. The paroxysms
that shattered Europe are not yet over; as, after a terrible
earthquake, the subterraneous rumblings may still be heard. Again and
again we shall see the earth open, now here, now there, and shoot up
flames into the heavens; again and again there will be expressions of
elementary nature and elementary force that will spread devastation
through the land--until everything has been swept away that reminds us
of the madness of the war and the French peace.

Slowly but with unspeakable suffering a new world will be born. Coming
generations will look back to our times as to a long and very bad
dream, but day follows the darkest night. Generations have been laid
in their graves, murdered, famished, and a prey to disease. Millions,
with hatred and murder in their hearts, have died in their efforts to
devastate and destroy.

But other generations will arise and with them a new spirit: They will
rebuild what war and revolution have pulled down. Spring comes always
after winter. Resurrection follows after death; it is the eternal law
in life.

Well for those who will be called upon to serve as soldiers in the
ranks of whoever comes to build the new world.

_June, 1919._



APPENDIX


1

=Resolutions of the London Conference, of April 26, 1915=[11]

On February 28, 1917, the _Isvestia_ published the following text of
this agreement:

"The Italian Ambassador in London, Marchese Imperiali, acting on the
instructions of his Government, has the honour to convey to the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sir Edward Grey, the French Ambassador
in London, M. Cambon, and the Russian Ambassador in London, Count
Benckendorff, the following notable points:

§1. A _Military Convention_ shall be concluded without delay between
the General Staffs of France, Great Britain, Russia and Italy. This
convention to determine the minimum of forces to be directed by Russia
against Austria-Hungary in case that country should turn all its
forces against Italy, provided Russia decides to concentrate chiefly
against Germany. The Military Convention referred to shall also settle
questions bearing upon an armistice, in so far as these by their
nature come within the scope of the Army Command.

§2. Italy on her part undertakes to carry on war with all the means at
her disposal, together with France, Great Britain and Russia, against
all countries at war with them.

§3. The naval forces of France and Great Britain are to render Italy
undiminished, active assistance until the _destruction of the Austrian
fleet_, or until the moment peace is concluded. A _Naval Convention_
shall be concluded without delay between France, Great Britain and
Italy.

§4. At the coming conclusion of peace Italy is to receive: the
district of the _Trentino; the whole of South Tyrol as far as its
natural geographical boundary, thereby understood the Brenner; the
city and district of Trieste; the provinces of Goerz and Gradisca,
the whole of Istria_ as far as Quarnero, including Volosca and the
Istrian islands of Cherso and Lussin, also the smaller islands of
Plavnica, Unie, Canidolo, Palazzoli, as well as the island of St.
Peter de Nembi, Astinello and Cruica, with the neighbouring islands.

Note: 1. By way of supplement to §4, the frontier shall be drawn
through the following-points: From the peak of the Umbrail in a
northerly direction as far as the Stilfserjoch, and thence along the
watershed of the Ratische Alps as far as the sources of the rivers
Etsch and Eisack, then over the Reschen-Scheideck, the Brenner and the
Oetztaler and Zillertaler Alps; the frontier line then to turn
southwards, cutting the Toblach range, and proceeding as far as the
present frontier of Grein, drawn towards the Alps; following this it
will run to the heights of Tarvis, then, however, pursuing a course
along the watershed of the Julian Alps, over the heights of Predil,
Mangart and Triglav group, and the passes of Podbrda, Podlaneskan and
Idria. From there the frontier continues in a south-easterly direction
to the Schneeberg, so that the basin of the River Save, with its
sources, shall not fall within the Italian territory. From the
Schneeberg the frontier proceeds towards the coast, enclosing Castua,
Matuglie and Volosca in the Italian possessions.

§5. Similarly, Italy is to receive the province of Dalmatia in its
present form, including Lissarik and Trebinje in the north, and all
possessions as far as a line drawn from the coast at Cape Blanca
eastward to the watershed in the south, so as to include in the
Italian possessions all valleys on the course of the rivers debouching
at Sebenico, such as Cikola, Kerke and Budisnica, with all those
situate on their sources. Similarly also, Italy is promised _all the
islands lying north and west of the Dalmatian coast_, beginning with
the islands of Premuda, Selve, Ulbo, Skerda Maon, Pago and Puntadura,
etc., in the north; as far as Malarda in the south, adding also the
islands of St. Andrae, Busi, Lissa, Lessina, Torzola, Curzola, Cazza
and Lagosta, with all rocks and islets thereto pertaining, as well as
Pelagosa, but not to include the islands of Great and Lesser Zirona,
Pua, Solta and Brazza.

The following are to be _neutralised_: (1) The entire coast from Cape
Blanca in the north as far as the southern end of the peninsula of
Sabbioncello, and in the south including the whole of the mentioned
peninsula in the neutralised area; (2) a part of the coast beginning
from a point situate 10 versts south of the cape of Alt-Ragusa, as far
as the river Wojusa in the south, so as to include within the
boundaries of the neutralised zone _the whole of the Bay of Cattaro_
with its ports, Antivari, Dulcigno, San Giovanni di Medua and Durazzo;
this not to affect the declarations of the contracting parties in
April and May, 1909, as to the rights of _Montenegro_.

In consideration, however, of the fact that these rights were only
admitted as applying to the present possessions of Montenegro, they
shall not be so extended as to embrace any lands or ports which may in
the future be ceded to Montenegro. In the same way, no part of the
coast at present belonging to Montenegro shall be subject to future
neutralisation. The restrictions in the case of the port of Antivari,
agreed by Montenegro itself in 1909, remain in force. (3) Finally, the
islands not accorded to Italy.

Note: 3. The following lands in the Adriatic Sea are accorded by the
Powers of the Quadruple Alliance to the territories of _Croatia,
Serbia and Montenegro_: In the north of the Adriatic, _the entire
coast, commencing from the Bay of Volosca_ on the frontier of Istria
as far as the _northern frontier_ of Dalmatia, including the whole of
the coast-line now belonging to Hungary, the entire coast of Croatia,
the port of Fiume and the small harbours of Novi and Carlopago, as
also the islands of Velia, Pervicchio, Gregorio, Goli and Arbe. In the
south of the Adriatic, where Serbia and Austrian interests lie, the
entire coast from Cape Planca as far as the river Drina, with the
principal ports of _Spaluto, Ragusa, Cattaro, Antivari, Dulcigno and
San Giovanni di Medua_, and with the islands of Greater Zirona, Pua,
Solta, Brazza, Jaklian and Calamotta.

The port of Durazzo can be accorded to an independent Mohammedan State
of Albania.

§6. Italy to be given full possession of _Valona, the Island of
Sasseno_, and a sufficiently extensive territory to protect it in
military respects, approximately from the River Vojusa in the north
and east to the boundary of the Chimara district in the south.

§7. Italy, receiving the Trentino according to §4, Dalmatia and the
islands of the Adriatic according to §5, as well as Valona, is not to
oppose the possible wishes of France, Great Britain and Russia in case
of the establishment of a small autonomous neutralised state in
Albania, as to _division of the northern and southern frontier belts
of Albania between Montenegro, Serbia and Greece_. The southern strip
of coast from the frontier of the Italian district of Valona as far as
Cape Stiloa to be subject to neutralisation.

Italy has the prospect of _right to determine the foreign policy of
Albania_; in any case, Italy undertakes to assent to the cession of a
sufficient territory to Albania to make the frontiers of the latter on
the west of the Ochrida Lake coincide with the frontiers of Greece and
Serbia.

§8. Italy to have full possession of all the _islands of the
Dodecanessus_ which it occupies at present.

§9. France, Great Britain and Russia accept in principle the fact of
_Italy's interest in maintaining political equilibrium_ in the
Mediterranean, as also Italy's right, in case of any _division of
Turkey, to a like portion with themselves_ in the basin of the
Mediterranean, and that in the part adjacent to the _province of
Adalia_, where Italy has already acquired particular rights, and
developed particular interests, to be noted in the Italo-British
Convention. The zone then falling to the possession of Italy will in
due time be determined according to the vital interests of France and
Great Britain. Similarly, the interests of Italy are also to be
considered in case the territorial integrity of Asiatic Turkey should
be maintained by the Powers for a further period, and only a
limitation between the spheres of interest be made. Should, in such
case, any areas of Asiatic Turkey be occupied by France, Great Britain
and Russia during the present war, then the entire area contiguous to
Italy, and further defined below, shall be granted to Italy, together
with the right to occupy the same.

§10. In Lybia, Italy is to be granted all rights and claims hitherto
conceded to the Sultan on the basis of the Treaty of Lausanne.

§11. Italy to receive such part of the war contribution as shall be
commensurate with her sacrifices and efforts.

§12. Italy subscribes to the declaration issued by France, England and
Russia whereby _Arabia and the holy cities of the Mohammedans_ are to
be granted to _an independent Mohammedan Power_.

§13. In case of any extension of the French and English colonial
possessions in Africa at the expense of Germany, France and Great
Britain acknowledge in principle the right of Italy to demand certain
compensation in respect of extension of Italian possessions in
Eritrea, Somaliland, in Lybia, and the colonial areas contiguous to
the colonies of France and England.

§14. England undertakes to facilitate the immediate realisation of _a
loan of not less than 50 million pounds sterling_ in the English
market on favourable conditions.

§15. France, England and Russia undertake to support Italy in
_preventing the representatives of the Holy See from taking any
diplomatic steps whatever in connection with the conclusion of a
peace_, or the regulation of questions connected with the present war.

§16. The present treaty to be _kept secret_. As regards Italy's
agreement to the declaration of September 5, 1914, this declaration
will be made public as soon as war is declared by Italy or against
Italy.

The foregoing points having been duly noted, the respective authorised
representatives of France, Great Britain and Russia, together with the
representative of Italy similarly authorised by his Government for
this purpose, are agreed: France, Great Britain and Russia declare
their full agreement with the foregoing notable points, as set before
them by the Italian Government. With regard to §§1, 2 and 3, referring
to the agreement upon military and naval undertakings of all four
Powers, _Italy undertakes to commence active operations at the
earliest possible date_, and in any case not later than one month
after the signing of the present document by the contracting parties.

The present agreement, in four copies, signed in London on the 26th
April, 1915, and sealed, by

  Sir Edward Grey,
  Cambon,
  Marchese Imperiali,
  Graf Benckendorff."

After the entry of Roumania into the war (September, 1916) this
programme was further extended.


2

=Note from Count Czernin to the American Government, dated March 5,
1917=

From the _aide-mémoire_ of the American Ambassador in Vienna, dated
February 18 of this year, the Imperial and Royal Ministry for Foreign
Affairs understands that the Washington Cabinet entertains some doubt,
in view of the statements issued by the Imperial and Royal Government
on February 10 and January 11 of this year, as to what attitude
Austria-Hungary contemplates adopting for the future with regard to
submarine warfare, and whether the assurance given by the Austrian
Government to the Washington Cabinet in the course of the proceedings
with regard to the case of the vessels _Ancona_ and _Persia_ might not
be taken as altered or withdrawn by the statements mentioned.

The Austrian Government is most willing to meet the desire of the
United States Government that this doubt should be removed by a clear
and final declaration.

It should here be permitted first of all to touch very briefly on the
methods adopted by the Allied Powers in marine warfare, since these
form the starting-point of the aggravated submarine warfare put into
practice by Austria-Hungary and her allies, besides throwing a clear
light upon the attitude hitherto adopted by the Austrian Government in
the questions arising therefrom.

When Great Britain entered upon the war with the Central Powers, but a
few years had elapsed since the memorable time when Great Britain
itself, together with the remaining states, had commenced at the Hague
to lay the foundations of a modern code of law for marine warfare.
Shortly after that the English Government had brought about a meeting
of representatives of the principal naval Powers, assembling in
London, in order further to carry forward the work commenced at the
Hague, presumably in a spirit of reasonable compromise between the
interests of belligerents and those of neutrals. The unexpected
success of these endeavours, which aimed at nothing less than
concerted establishment of legal standards calculated to maintain the
freedom of the seas and the interests of neutrals even in time of war,
was not to be long enjoyed by the peoples concerned.

Hardly had the United Kingdom decided to take part in the war than it
also began to break through the barriers with which it was confronted
by the standards of international law. While the Central Powers
immediately on the outbreak of war had announced their intention of
observing the Declaration of London, which also bore the signature of
the British representative, England discarded the most important
points in that Declaration. In the endeavour to cut off the Central
Powers from all supplies by sea, England gradually extended the list
of contraband until it included everything now required by human
beings for the maintenance of life. Great Britain then placed all the
coasts of the North Sea--an important transit-way also for the
maritime trade of Austria-Hungary--under the obstruction of a
so-called "blockade," in order to prevent the entry into Germany of
all goods not yet inscribed on the contraband list, as also to bar all
neutral traffic with those coasts, and prevent any export from the
same. That this method of proceeding stands in the most lurid
contradiction to the standards of blockade law arrived at and
established by international congress has already been admitted by the
President of the United States in words which will live in the history
of the law of nations. By this illegally preventing export of goods
from the Central Powers Great Britain thought to be able to shut down
the innumerable factories and industries which had been set up by
industrious and highly-developed peoples in the heart of Europe; and
to bring the workers to idleness and thence to want and revolt. And
when Austria-Hungary's southern neighbour joined the ranks of the
enemies of the Central Powers her first step was to declare a
blockade of all the coasts of her opponent--following the example, of
course, of her Allies--in disregard of the legal precepts which Italy
had shortly before helped to lay down. Austria-Hungary did not fail to
point out to the neutral Powers at once that this blockade was void of
all legal validity.

For two years the Central Powers have hesitated. Not until then, and
after long and mature consideration for and against, did they proceed
to answer in like measure and close with their adversaries at sea. As
the only belligerents who had done everything to secure the observance
of the agreement which should provide for freedom of the seas to
neutrals, it was sorely against their wishes to bow to the need of the
moment and attack that freedom; but they took that step in order to
fulfil their urgent duty to their peoples and with the conviction that
the step in question must lead towards the freedom of the seas in the
end. The declarations made by the Central Powers on the last day of
January of this year are only apparently directed against the rights
of neutrals; as a matter of fact, they are working toward the
restitution of those rights which the enemy has constantly infringed
and would, if victorious, annihilate for ever. The submarines, then,
which circle round England's shores, announce to all peoples using and
needing the sea--and who does not need it?--that the day is not far
off when the flags of all nations shall wave over the seas in newly
acquired freedom.

It may doubtless be hoped that this announcement will find echo
wherever neutral peoples live, and that it will be understood in
particular by the great people of the United States of America, whose
most famous representative has in the course of the war spoken up with
ardent words for the freedom of the seas as the highway of all
nations. If the people and the government of the Union will bear in
mind that the "blockade" established by Great Britain is intended not
only to force the Central Powers to submission by starvation but
ultimately to secure undisputed mastery of the sea for itself, and
thereby ensure its supremacy over all other nations, while on the
other hand the blockading of England and its Allies only serves to
render possible _a peace with honour_ for these Powers and to
guarantee to all peoples the freedom of navigation and maritime trade,
thus ensuring their safe existence, then the question as to which of
the two belligerent parties has right on its side is already decided.
Though the Central Powers are far from wishing to seek for further
allies in their struggle, they nevertheless feel justified in claiming
that neutrals should appreciate their endeavours to bring to life
again the principles of international law and the equal rights of
nations.

Proceeding now to answer the questions set forth in the memorandum of
February 18 of this year, already referred to, the Austrian Government
would first of all remark that in the exchange of Notes in the cases
of the _Ancona_ and _Persia_ this Government restricted itself to
consideration of the concrete questions which had up to then arisen,
without setting forth the legal position in point of principle. In the
Note of December 29, 1915, however, regarding the _Ancona_ case it
reserved the right to bring up the intricate questions of
international law connected with the submarine warfare for discussion
at a later date. In reverting now to this point, and taking up the
question as to sinking of enemy ships, with which the memorandum is
concerned, for brief consideration, it is with the hope that it may be
made clear to the American Government that the Austrian Government now
as heretofore _holds immovably by the assurance already given_, and
with the endeavour to avoid any misunderstanding between the Monarchy
and the American Union by clearing up the most important question
arising out of the submarine warfare--most important as it rests on
the dictates of humanity.

First and foremost the Austrian Government wishes to point out that
the thesis advanced by the American Government and adopted in many
learned works--to the effect that enemy merchant vessels, save in the
event of attempted flight or resistance, should not be destroyed
without provision for the safety of those on board--is also, in the
opinion of the Austrian Government itself, the kernel, so to speak, of
the whole matter. Regarded from a higher point of view, this theory
can at any rate be considered in connection with possible
circumstances, and its application be more closely defined; from the
dictates of humanity, which the Austrian Government and the Washington
Cabinet have equally adopted as their guide, we can lay down the
general principle that, in exercising the right to destroy enemy
merchant shipping, loss of life should be avoided as far as possible.
This necessitates a warning on the part of the belligerent before
exercising the right of destruction. And he can here adopt the method
indicated by the theory of the Union Government referred to, according
to which _the commander of the warship himself issues a warning to the
vessel about to be sunk_, so that crew and passengers can be brought
into safety at the last moment; or, on the other hand, the Government
of the belligerent state can, when it is considered an imperative
necessity of war, give warning, with complete effect, _before the
sailing of the vessel_ to be sunk; or, finally, such Government can,
when preparing comprehensive measures against the enemy traffic at
sea, have recourse to _a general warning applicable to all enemy
vessels concerned_.

That the principle as to providing for the safety of persons on board
is liable to exceptions has been admitted by the Union Government
itself. The Austrian Government believes, however, that destruction
without warning is not only justifiable in cases of attempted escape
or resistance. It would seem, to take one instance only, that the
character of the vessel itself should be taken into consideration;
thus merchant ships or other private craft, placed in the service of
war operations, whether as transports or guardships, or with a
military crew or weapons on board for the purpose of any kind of
hostilities, should doubtless, according to general law, be liable to
destruction without notice. The Austrian Government need not go into
the question of how far a belligerent is released from any obligation
as to provision for safety of human life when his opponent sinks enemy
merchant vessels without such previous warning, as in the well-known
cases, previously referred to, of the _Elektra_, _Dubrovnik_,
_Zagreb_, etc., since, in this respect, despite its evident right, the
Austrian Government itself has never returned like for like.
Throughout the entire course of the war Austro-Hungarian warships have
not destroyed a single enemy merchant vessel without previous warning,
though this may have been of a general character.

The theory of the Union Government, frequently referred to, also
admits of several interpretations; the question arises, for instance,
whether, as has frequently been maintained, only armed resistance can
be held to justify destruction of ship and persons on board, or
whether the same applies to resistance of another sort, as, for
example, when the crew purposely refrain from getting the passengers
into the boats (the case of the _Ancona_), or when the passengers
themselves decline to enter the boats. In the opinion of the Austrian
Government cases such as those last should also justify destruction of
the vessel without responsibility for the lives of those on board, as
otherwise it would be in the power of anyone on the vessel to deprive
the belligerent of his right to sink the ship. For the rest it should
also be borne in mind that there is no unanimity of opinion really as
to when the destruction of enemy merchant tonnage is justifiable at
all.

The obligation as to issuing a warning immediately before sinking a
vessel will, in the view of the Austrian Government on the one hand,
involve hardships otherwise avoidable, while, on the other, it may in
certain circumstances be calculated to prejudice the rightful
interests of the belligerent. In the first place it cannot be denied
that saving lives _at sea_ is nearly always a matter of blind
uncertainty, since the only alternatives are to leave them on board a
vessel exposed to the operations of the enemy, or to take them off in
small boats to face the dangers of the elements. It is, therefore,
far more in accordance with the dictates of humanity _to restrain
people from venturing upon vessels thus endangered by warning them
beforehand_. For the rest, however, the Austrian Government is not
convinced, despite careful consideration of all legal questions
concerned, that the subjects of neutral countries have any claim to
immunity when travelling on board enemy ships.

The principle that neutrals shall also in time of war enjoy the
freedom of the seas extends only to neutral vessels, not to neutral
persons on board enemy ships, since the belligerents are admittedly
justified in hampering enemy traffic at sea as far as lies in their
power. Granted the necessary military power, they can, if deemed
necessary to their ends, forbid enemy merchant vessels to sail the
sea, on pain of instant destruction, as long as they make their
purpose known beforehand so that all, whether enemy or neutral, _are
enabled to avoid risking their lives_. But even where there is doubt
as to the justification of such proceeding, and possible reprisals
threatened by the opposing side, the question would remain one to be
decided between the belligerents themselves alone, they being
admittedly allowed the right of making the high seas a field for their
military operations, of suppressing any interruption of such
operations and supremely determining what measures are to be taken
against enemy ships. The neutrals have in such case no legitimate
claims beyond that of demanding that due notice be given them of
measures contemplated against the enemy, in order that they may
refrain from entrusting their persons or goods to enemy vessels.

The Austrian Government may presumably take it for granted that the
Washington Cabinet agrees with the foregoing views, which the Austrian
Government is fully convinced are altogether unassailable. To deny the
correctness of these views would imply--and this the Union Government
can hardly intend--that neutrals have the right of interfering in the
military operations of the belligerents; indeed, ultimately to
constitute themselves the judges as to what methods may or may not be
employed against an enemy. It would also seem a crying injustice for a
neutral Government, in order merely to secure for its subjects the
right of passage on enemy ships when they might just as well, or
indeed with far greater safety, travel by neutral vessels, to grasp at
the arm of a belligerent Power, fighting perhaps for its very
existence. Not to mention the fact that it would open the way for all
kinds of abuses if a belligerent were forced to lay down arms at the
bidding of any neutral whom it might please to make use of enemy ships
for business or pleasure. No doubt has ever been raised as to the fact
that subjects of neutral states are themselves responsible for any
harm they may incur _by their presence in any territory on land where
military operations are in progress_. Obviously, there is no ground
for establishing another standard for naval warfare, particularly
since the second Peace Conference expressed the wish that, pending the
agreement of rules for naval warfare, the rules observed in warfare
upon land should be applied as far as possible at sea.

From the foregoing it appears that the rule as to warning being given
to the vessel itself before such vessel is sunk is subject to
exceptions of various kinds under certain circumstances, as, for
instance, the cases cited by the Union Government of flight and
resistance, the vessel may be sunk without any warning; in others
warning should be given before the vessel sails. The Austrian
Government may then assert that it is essentially in agreement with
the Union Government as to the protection of neutrals against risk of
life, whatever may be the attitude of the Washington Cabinet towards
some of the separate questions here raised. The Austrian Government
has not only put into practice throughout the war the views it holds
in this respect, but has gone even farther, regulating its actions
with the strictest care according to the theory advanced by the
Washington Cabinet, although its assurance as published only stated
that was "essentially in agreement" with the Union Government's views.
The Austrian Government would be extremely satisfied if the Washington
Cabinet should be inclined to assist it in its endeavours, which are
inspired by the warmest feelings of humanity, to save American
citizens from risk at sea by instructing and warning its subjects in
this direction.

Then, as regards the circular verbal note of February 10 of this year
concerning the treatment of armed enemy merchant vessels, the Austrian
Government must in any case declare itself to be, as indicated in the
foregoing, of the opinion that the arming of trading ships, even when
only for the purpose of avoiding capture, is not justified in modern
international law. The rules provide that a warship is to approach an
enemy merchant vessel in a peaceable manner; it is required to stop
the vessel by means of certain signals, to interview the captain,
examine the ship's papers, enter the particulars in due form and,
where necessary, make an inventory, etc. But in order to comply with
these requirements it must obviously be understood that the warship
has full assurance that the merchant vessel will likewise observe a
peaceable demeanour throughout. And it is clear that no such assurance
can exist when the merchant vessel is so armed as to be capable of
offering resistance to a warship. A warship can hardly be expected to
act in such a manner under the guns of an enemy, whatever may be the
purpose for which the guns were placed on board. Not to speak of the
fact that the merchant vessels of the Entente Powers, despite all
assurances to the contrary, have been proved to be armed for offensive
purposes, and make use of their armament for such purposes. It would
also be to disregard the rights of humanity if the crew of a warship
were expected to surrender to the guns of an enemy without resistance
on their own part. No State can regard its duty to humanity as less
valid in respect of men defending their country than in respect of the
subjects of a foreign Power.

The Austrian Government is therefore of opinion that its former
assurance to the Washington Cabinet could not be held to apply to
armed merchant vessels, since these, according to the legal standards
prevailing, whereby hostilities are restricted to organised military
forces, must be regarded as privateers (freebooters) which are liable
to immediate destruction. History shows us that, according to the
_general_ law of nations, merchant vessels have never been justified
in resisting the exercise by warships of the right of taking prizes.
But even if a standard to this effect could be shown to exist, it
would not mean that the vessels had the right to provide themselves
with guns. It should also be borne in mind that the arming of merchant
ships must necessarily alter the whole conduct of warfare at sea, and
that such alteration cannot correspond to the views of those who seek
to regulate maritime warfare according to the principles of humanity.
As a matter of fact, since the practice of privateering was
discontinued, until a few years back no Power has ever thought of
arming merchant vessels. Throughout the whole proceedings of the
second Peace Conference, which was occupied with all questions of the
laws of warfare at sea, not a single word was ever said about the
arming of merchant ships. Only on one occasion was a casual
observation made with any bearing on this question, and it is
characteristic that it should have been by a British naval officer of
superior rank, who impartially declared: "Lorsqu'un navire de guerre
se propose d'arrêter et de visiter un vaisseau marchand, le
commandant, avant de mettre une embarcation à la mer, fera tirer un
coup de canon. Le coup de canon est la meilleure garantie que l'on
puisse donner. _Les navires de commerce n'ont pas de canons à bord._"
(When a warship intends to stop and board a merchant vessel the
commander, before sending a boat, will fire a gun. The firing of a gun
is the best guarantee that can be given. _Merchant vessels do not
carry guns._)

Nevertheless, Austria-Hungary has in this regard also held by its
assurance; in the circular verbal note referred to neutrals were
cautioned beforehand against entrusting their persons or their goods
on board any armed ship; moreover, the measures announced were not put
into execution at once, but a delay was granted in order to enable
neutrals already on board armed ships to leave the same. And, finally,
the Austro-Hungarian warships are instructed, even in case of
encountering armed enemy merchant vessels, to give warning and to
provide for the safety of those on board, provided it seems possible
to do so in the circumstances.

The statement of the American Ambassador, to the effect that the armed
British steamers _Secondo_ and _Welsh Prince_ were sunk without
warning by Austrian submarines, is based on error. The Austrian
Government has in the meantime received information that no
Austro-Hungarian warships were at all concerned in the sinking of
these vessels.

The Austrian Government has, as in the circular verbal note already
referred to--reverting now to the question of aggravated submarine
warfare referred to in the memorandum--also in its declaration of
January 31 of this year issued a warning to neutrals with
corresponding time limit; indeed, _the whole of the declaration itself
is, from its nature, nothing more or less than a warning to the effect
that no merchant vessel may pass the area of sea expressly defined
therein_. Nevertheless, the Austrian warships have been instructed as
far as possible to warn such merchant vessels as may be encountered in
the area concerned and provide for the safety of passengers and crew.
And the Austrian Government is in the possession of numerous reports
stating that the crews and passengers of vessels destroyed in these
waters have been saved. But the Austrian Government cannot accept any
responsibility for possible loss of human life which may after all
occur in connection with the destruction of armed vessels or vessels
encountered in prohibited areas. Also it may be noted that the
Austro-Hungarian submarines operate only in the Adriatic and
Mediterranean Seas, and there is thus hardly any question as to any
action affecting American interests on the part of Austro-Hungarian
warships.

After all that has been said in the preamble to this Memorandum, it
need hardly be said that the declaration of the waters in question as
a prohibited area is in no way intended as a measure aiming at the
destruction of human life, or even to endangering the same, but that
its object--apart from the higher aims of _relieving humanity from
further suffering by shortening the war_, is only to place Great
Britain and its Allies, who have--without establishing any legally
effective blockade of the coasts of the Central Powers--hindered
traffic by sea between neutrals and these Powers in a like position of
isolation, and render them amenable to a peace with some guarantee of
permanency. That Austria-Hungary here makes use of other methods of
war than her opponents is due mainly to circumstances beyond human
control. But the Austrian Government is conscious of having done all
in its power to avoid loss of human life. _The object aimed at in the
blockading of the Western Powers would be most swiftly and certainly
attained if not a single human life were lost or endangered in those
waters._

To sum up, the Austrian Government may point out that the assurance
given to the Washington Cabinet in the case of the _Ancona_, and
renewed in the case of the _Persia_, is neither withdrawn nor
qualified by its statements of February 10, 1916, and January 31,
1917. Within the limits of this assurance the Austrian Government
will, together with its Allies, continue its endeavours to secure to
the peoples of the world a share in the blessings of peace. If in the
pursuit of this aim--which it may take for granted has the full
sympathy of the Washington Cabinet itself--it should find itself
compelled to impose restrictions on neutral traffic by sea in certain
areas, it will not need so much to point to the behaviour of its
opponents in this respect, which appears by no means an example to be
followed, but rather to the fact that Austria-Hungary, through the
persistence and hatred of its enemies, who are determined upon its
destruction, is brought to a state of self-defence in so desperate
extreme as is unsurpassed in the history of the world. The Austrian
Government is encouraged by the knowledge that the struggle now being
carried on by Austria-Hungary tends not only toward the preservation
of its own vital interests, but also towards the realisation of the
idea of equal rights for all states; and in this last and hardest
phase of the war, which unfortunately calls for sacrifices on the part
of friends as well, it regards it as of supreme importance to confirm
in word and deed the fact that it is guided equally by the laws of
humanity and by the dictates of respect for the dignity and interests
of neutral peoples.


3

=Speech by Dr. Helfferich, Secretary of State, on the Submarine
Warfare=

The _Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung_ of May 1, 1917, gives the
following speech by Dr. Helfferich, Secretary of State, on the
economic effects of the submarine warfare delivered in the principal
committee of the Reichstag on April 28. The speech is here given
verbatim, with the exception of portions containing confidential
statements:

"In the sitting of yesterday a member rightly pointed out that the
technical and economic results of the submarine warfare have been
estimated with caution. In technical respects the caution observed in
estimating the results is plain; the sinkings have, during the first
month, exceeded by nearly a quarter, in the second by nearly half, the
estimated 600,000 tons, and for the present month also we may fairly
cherish the best expectations. The technical success guarantees the
economic success with almost mathematical exactitude. True, the
economic results cannot be so easily expressed numerically and set
down in a few big figures as the technical result in the amount of
tonnage sunk. The economic effects of the submarine warfare are
expressed in many different spheres covering a wide area, where the
enemy seeks to render visibility still more difficult by resorting, so
to speak, to statistical smoke-screens.

"The English statistics to-day are most interesting, one might almost
say, in what they wisely refrain from mentioning. The Secretary of
State for the Navy pointed out yesterday how rapidly the pride of the
British public had faded. The English are now suppressing our reports
on the successes of our submarines and our statements as to submarine
losses; they dare not make public the amount of tonnage sunk, but
mystify the public with shipping statistics which have given rise to
general annoyance in the English Press itself. The English Government
lets its people go on calmly trusting to the myth that instead of six
U-boats sunk there are a hundred at the bottom of the sea. It conceals
from the world also the true course of the entries and departures of
tonnage in British ports since the commencement of unrestricted
submarine warfare. And more than all, the English Government has since
February suppressed most strictly all figures tending to throw light
on the position of the grain market. In the case of the coal exports,
the country of destination is not published. The monthly trade report,
which is usually issued with admirable promptness by the tenth of the
next month or thereabouts, was for February delayed and incomplete;
and for March it has not yet appeared at all. It is to be regretted
that this sudden withdrawal of information makes it more difficult for
us to estimate the effect of our submarine operations, but there is a
gratifying side to the question after all. It is not to be supposed
that England should suddenly become reticent in order to avoid
revealing its strength.

"For the rest, what can be seen is still sufficient to give us an
idea.

"I will commence with the tonnage. You are aware that in the first two
months of the unrestricted submarine warfare more than 1,600,000 tons
were sunk, of which probably considerably over one million tons sailed
under the British flag.

"The estimates as to the quantity of English tonnage at present
available are somewhat divergent; in any case, whether we take the
higher or the lower figures, a loss of more than a million tons in two
months is a thing that England cannot endure for long. And to replace
it, even approximately, by new building, is out of the question. In
the year 1914 England's newly-built ships gave a tonnage increment of
1,600,000; in 1915 it was 650,000 tons, in 1916 only 580,000, despite
all efforts. And the normal loss of the British merchant fleet in
peace time amounts to between 700,000 and 800,000 tons. It is hopeless
to think of maintaining equilibrium by urging on the building of new
vessels.

"The attempts which are made to enlist the neutral tonnage in British
service by a system of rewards and punishments may here and there, to
the ultimate disadvantage of the neutrals themselves, have met with
some success, but even so, the neutrals must consider the need for
preserving a merchant fleet themselves for peace time, so that there
is a narrow limit to what can be attained in this manner. Even in
January of this year about 30 per cent. of the shipping entries into
British ports were under foreign flags. I have heard estimates brought
up to 80 per cent. in order to terrify the neutrals; if but 50 per
cent. of this be correct it means a decrease in British shipping
traffic of roughly one-sixth. Counting tonnage sunk and tonnage
frightened off, the arrivals at British ports have been reduced, at a
low estimate, by one-fourth, and probably by as much as one-third, as
against January. In January arrivals amounted to 2.2 million net tons.
I may supplement the incomplete English statistics by the information
that in March the arrivals were only 1.5 to 1.6 million tons net, and
leave it to Mr. Carson to refute this. The 1.5 to 1.6 million tons
represent, compared with the average entries in peace time, amounting
to 4.2 millions, not quite 40 per cent. This low rate will be further
progressively reduced. Lloyd George at the beginning of the war
reckoned on the last milliard. Those days are now past. Then he based
his plans on munitions. England has here, with the aid of America,
achieved extraordinary results. But the Somme and Arras showed that,
even with those enormous resources, England was not able to beat us.
Now, in his greeting to the American Allies, Lloyd George cries out:
'Ships, ships, and yet more ships.' And this time he is on the right
tack; it is on ships that the fate of the British world-empire will
depend.

"The Americans, too, have understood this. They propose to build a
thousand wooden vessels of 3,000 tons. But before these can be brought
into action they will, I confidently hope, have nothing left to save.

"I base this confidence upon the indications which are visible,
despite the English policy of suppression and concealment.

"Take the total British trade. The figures for March are still not yet
available, but those for February tell us enough.

"British imports amounted in January of this year to 90 million pounds
sterling, in February to only 70 million; the exports have gone down
from 46 to 37 millions sterling--imports and exports together showing
a decline of over 20 per cent. in the first month of the submarine
warfare. And again, the rise in prices all round has, since the
commencement of the U-boat war, continued at a more rapid rate, so
that the decline in the import quantity from one month to another may
fairly be estimated at 25 per cent. The figures for imports and
exports, then, confirm my supposition as to the decrease of tonnage in
the traffic with British ports.

"The British Government has endeavoured, by the strictest measures
rigorously prohibiting import of less important articles, to ward off
the decline in the quantity of vital necessaries imported. The attempt
can only partially succeed.

"In 1916, out of a total import quantity of 42 million tons, about 31
millions fall to three important groups alone, viz., foodstuffs and
luxuries, timber, and iron ore; all other goods, including important
war materials, such as other ores and metals, petroleum, cotton and
wool, rubber, only 11 million tons, or roughly one-fourth. A decline
of one-fourth, then, as brought about by the first month of
unrestricted submarine warfare, must affect articles indispensable to
life and to the purposes of war.

"The decline in the imports in February, 1917, as against February,
1916, appears as follows:

"Wool 17 per cent., cotton 27 per cent., flax 38 per cent., hemp 48
per cent., jute 74 per cent., woollen materials 83 per cent., copper
and copper ore 49 per cent., iron and steel 59 per cent. As to the
imports of iron ore I will give more detailed figures:

"Coffee 66 per cent., tea 41 per cent., raw sugar 10 per cent.,
refined sugar 90 per cent., bacon 17 per cent., butter 21 per cent.,
lard 21 per cent., eggs 39 per cent., timber 42 per cent.

"The only increases worth noting are in the case of leather, hides,
rubber and tin.

"As regards the group in which we are most interested, the various
sorts of grain, no figures for quantities have been given from
February onwards.

"The mere juxtaposition of two comparable values naturally gives no
complete idea of the facts. It should be borne in mind that the
commencement of the unrestricted U-boat campaign came at a time when
the economical position of England was not normal, but greatly
weakened already by two and a half years of war. A correct judgment
will, then, only be possible when we take into consideration the
entire development of the imports during the course of the war.

"I will here give only the most important figures.

"In the case of iron ore, England has up to now maintained its
position better than in other respects.

"Imports amounted in 1913 to 7.4 million tons.

"In 1916 to 6.9 million tons.

"January, 1913, 689,000 tons; February, 1913, 658,000 tons.

"January, 1916, 526,000 tons; February, 1916, 404,000 tons.

"January, 1917, 512,000 tons; February, 1917, 508,000 tons.

"Here again comparison with the peace year 1913 shows for the months
of January and February a not inconsiderable decrease, though the
imports, especially in February, 1917, were in excess of those for the
same month in 1916.

  "Timber imports, 1913, 10.1 million loads.
     "       "     1916,  5.9    "      "
     "   February, 1913, 406,000 loads.
     "       "     1916, 286,000   "
     "       "     1917, 167,000   "

"As regards mining timber especially, the import of which fell from
3.5 million loads in 1913 to 2.0 million in 1916, we have here
December, 1916, and January, 1917, with 102,000 and 107,000 loads as
the lowest import figures given since the beginning of 1913; a
statement for the import of mining timber is missing for February.

"Before turning to the import of foodstuffs a word may be said as to
the export of coal.

"The total export of coal has decreased from 78 million tons in 1913
to 461/2 million tons in 1915; in 1916 only about 42 million tons were
exported. In December, 1916, the export quantity fell for the first
time below 3 million tons, having remained between 3.2 and 3.9 million
tons during the months from January to November, 1916. In January,
1917, a figure of 3.5 million tons was again reached; it is the more
significant, therefore, that the coal export, which from the nature of
the case exhibits only slight fluctuations from month to month, falls
again in February, 1917, to 2.9 million tons (as against 3.4 million
tons in February of the year before), thus almost reaching once more
to the lowest point hitherto recorded--that of December, 1916. And it
should be remembered that here, as in the case of all other exports,
sunk transports are included in the English statistics.

"Details as to the destination of exported coal have since the
beginning of this year been withheld. England is presumably desirous
of saving the French and Italians the further distress of reading for
the future in black and white the calamitous decline in their coal
supply. The serious nature of this decline, even up to the end of
1916, may be seen from the following figures:

"England's coal export to France amounted in December, 1916, to only
1,128,000 tons, as against 1,269,000 tons in January of the same year;
the exports to Italy in December, 1916, amounted only to 278,000 tons,
as against 431,000 tons in January, and roughly 800,000 tons monthly
average for the peace year 1913.

"As to the further development since the end of February, I am able to
give some interesting details. Scotland's coal export in the first
week of April was 103,000 tons, as against 194,000 tons the previous
year; from the beginning of the year 1,783,000 tons, as against
2,486,000 tons the previous year. From this it is easy to see how the
operations of the U-boats are striking at the root of railway and war
industries in the countries allied with England.

"Lloyd George, in a great speech made on January 22 of this year,
showed the English how they could protect themselves against the
effects of submarine warfare by increased production in their own
country. The practicability and effectiveness of his counsels are more
than doubtful. He makes no attempt, however, to instruct his Allies
how they are to protect themselves against the throttling of the coal
supply.

"I come now to the most important point: _the position of England with
regard to its food supply_.

"First of all I would give a few brief figures by way of calling to
mind the degree to which England is dependent upon supplies of
foodstuffs from overseas.

"The proportion of imports in total British consumption averaged
during the last years of peace as follows:

"Bread-corn, close on 80 per cent.

"Fodder-grain (barley, oats, maize), which can be utilised as
substitutes for, and to supplement, the bread-corn, 50 per cent.;
meat, over 40 per cent.; butter, 60-65 per cent. The sugar
consumption, failing any home production at all, must be entirely
covered by imports from abroad.

"I would further point out that our U-boats, inasmuch as concerns the
food situation in England, are operating under quite exceptionally
favourable conditions; the world's record harvest of 1915 has been
followed by the world's worst harvest of 1916, representing a loss of
45-50 million tons of bread and fodder-grain. The countries hardest
hit are those most favourably situated, from the English point of
view, in North America. The effects are now--the rich stocks from the
former harvest having been consumed--becoming more evident every day
and everywhere. The Argentine has put an embargo on exports of grain.
As to the condition of affairs in the United States, this may be seen
from the following figures:

"The Department of Agriculture estimates the stocks of wheat still in
the hands of the farmer on March 1, 1917, at 101 million bushels, or
little over 21/2 million tons. The stocks for the previous year on that
date amounted to 241 million bushels. Never during the whole of the
time I have followed these figures back have the stocks been so low or
even nearly so. The same applies to stocks of maize. Against a supply
of 1,138,000 bushels on March 1, 1916, we have for this year only
789,000 bushels.

"The extraordinary scarcity of supplies is nearing the panic limit.
The movement of prices during the last few weeks is simply fantastic.
Maize, which was noted in Chicago at the beginning of January, 1917,
at 95 cents, rose by the end of April to 127 cents, and by April 25
had risen further to 148 cents. Wheat in New York, which stood at 871/4
cents in July, 1914, and by the beginning of 1917 had already risen to
1911/2 cents, rose at the beginning of April to 229 cents, and was noted
at no less than 281 on April 2. This is three and a half times the
peace figure! In German currency at normal peace time exchange, these
281 cents represent about 440 marks per ton, or, at present rate of
exchange for dollars, about 580 marks per ton.

"That, then, is the state of affairs in the country which is to help
England in the war of starvation criminally begun by itself!

"In England no figures are now made public as to imports and stocks of
grain. I can, however, state as follows:

"On the last date for which stocks were noted, January 13, 1917,
England's visible stocks of wheat amounted to 5.3 million quarters, as
against 6.3 and 5.9 million quarters in the two previous years. From
January to May and June there is, as a rule, a marked decline in the
stocks, and even in normal years the imports during these months do
not cover the consumption. In June, 1914 and 1915, the visible stocks
amounted only to about 2 million quarters, representing the
requirements for scarcely three weeks.

"We have no reason to believe that matters have developed more
favourably during the present year. This is borne out by the import
figures for January--as published. The imports of bread-corn and
fodder-grain--I take them altogether, as in the English regulations
for eking out supplies--amounted only to 12.6 million quarters, as
against 19.8 and 19.2 in the two previous years.

"For February the English statistics show an increase in the import
value of unstated import quantity of all grain of 50 per cent., as
against February, 1916. This gives, taking the distribution among the
various sorts of grain as similar to that of January, and reckoning
with the rise in prices since, about the same import quantity as in
the previous year. But in view of the great decrease in American grain
shipments and the small quantity which can have come from India and
Australia the statement is hardly credible. We may take it that March
has brought a further decline, and that to-day, when we are nearing
the time of the three-week stocks, the English supplies are lower than
in the previous years.

"The English themselves acknowledge this. Lloyd George stated in
February that the English grain supplies were lower than ever within
the memory of man. A high official in the English Ministry of
Agriculture, Sir Ailwyn Fellowes, speaking in April at an agricultural
congress, added that owing to the submarine warfare, which was an
extremely serious peril to England, the state of affairs had grown far
worse even than then.

"Captain Bathurst, of the British Food Controller's Department
(_Kriegsernährungsamt_), stated briefly on April 19 that the then
consumption of breadstuffs was 50 per cent. in excess of the present
_and prospective_ supplies. It would be necessary to reduce the
consumption of bread by fully a third in order to make ends meet.

"Shortly before, Mr. Wallhead, a delegate from Manchester, at a
conference of the Independent Labour Party in Leeds had stated that,
according to his information, England would in six to eight weeks be
in a complete state of famine.

"The crisis in which England is placed--and we can fairly call it a
crisis now--is further aggravated by the fact that the supplies of
other important foodstuffs have likewise taken an unfavourable turn.

"The import of meat in February, 1917, shows the lowest figures for
many years, with the single exception of September, 1914.

"The marked falling off in the butter imports--February, 1917, showing
only half as much as in the previous year--is not nearly
counterbalanced by the margarine which England is making every effort
to introduce.

"The import of lard also, most of which comes from the United States,
shows a decline, owing to the poor American crops of fodder-stuffs.
The price of lard in Chicago has risen from 151/2 cents at the beginning
of January, 1917, to 211/2 cents on April 25, and the price of pigs in
the same time from 9.80 to 16.50 dollars.

"Most serious of all, however, is the shortage of potatoes, which at
present is simply catastrophic. The English crop was the worst for a
generation past. The imports are altogether insignificant. Captain
Bathurst stated on April 19 that in about four weeks the supplies of
potatoes in the country would be entirely exhausted.

"The full seriousness of the case now stares English statesmen in the
face. Up to now they have believed it possible to exorcise the danger
by voluntary economies. Now they find themselves compelled to have
recourse to compulsory measures. I believe it is too late."

The Secretary of State then gives a detailed account of the measures
taken up to date in England for dealing with the food question, and
thereafter continues:

"On March 22 again the English food dictator, Lord Devonport, stated
in the House of Lords that a great reduction in the consumption of
bread would be necessary, but that it would be _a national disaster_
if England should have to resort to compulsion.

"His representative, Bathurst, stated at the same time: 'We do not
wish to introduce _so un-English a system_. In the first place,
because we believe that the patriotism of the people can be trusted to
assist us in our endeavours towards economy, and, further, because, as
we can see from the example of Germany, the compulsory system promises
no success; finally, because such a system would necessitate a too
complicated administrative machinery and too numerous staffs of men
and women whose services could be better employed elsewhere.'

"Meantime the English Government has, on receipt of the latest
reports, decided to adopt this un-English system which has proved a
failure in Germany, declaring now that the entire organisation for the
purpose is in readiness.

"I have still something further to say about the vigorous steps now
being taken in England to further the progress of agriculture in the
country itself. I refrain from going into this, however, as the
measures in question cannot come to anything by next harvest time, nor
can they affect that harvest at all. The winter deficiency can hardly
be balanced, even with the greatest exertions, by the spring. Not
until the 1918 crop, if then, can any success be attained. And between
then and now lies a long road, a road of suffering for England, and
for all countries dependent upon imports for their food supply.

"Everything points to the likelihood that the universal failure of the
harvest in 1916 will be followed by a like universal failure in 1917.
In the United States the official reports of acreage under crops are
worse than ever, showing 63.4, against 78.3 the previous year. The
winter wheat is estimated at only 430 million bushels, as against 492
million bushels for the previous year and 650 million bushels for
1915.

"The prospects, then, for the next year's harvest are poor indeed, and
offer no hope of salvation to our enemies.

"As to our own outlook, this is well known to those present: short,
but safe--for we can manage by ourselves. And to-day we can say that
the war of starvation, that crime against humanity, has turned against
those who commenced it. We hold the enemy in an iron grip. No one can
save them from their fate. Not even the apostles of humanity across
the great ocean, who are now commencing to protect the smaller nations
by a blockade of our neutral neighbours through prohibition of
exports, and seeking thus to drive them, under the lash of starvation,
into entering into the war against us.

"Our enemies are feeling the grip of the fist that holds them by the
neck. They are trying to force a decision. England, mistress of the
seas, is seeking to attain its end by land, and driving her sons by
hundreds of thousands to death and mutilation. Is this the England
that was to have sat at ease upon its island till we were starved into
submission, that could wait till their big brother across the Atlantic
arrived on the scene with ships and million armies, standing fast in
crushing superiority until the last annihilating battle?

"No, gentlemen, our enemies have no longer time to wait. Time is on
our side now. True, the test imposed upon us by the turn of the
world's history is enormous. What our troops are doing to help, what
our young men in blue are doing, stands far above all comparison. But
they will attain their end. For us at home, too, it is hard; not so
hard by far as for them out there, yet hard enough. Those at home must
do their part as well. If we remain true to ourselves, keeping our own
house in order, maintaining internal unity, then we have won existence
and the future for our Fatherland. Everything is at stake. The German
people is called upon now, in these weeks heavy with impending
decision, to show that it is worthy of continued existence."


4

=Speech by Count Czernin to the Austrian Delegation, January 24,
1918.=

"Gentlemen, it is my duty to give you a true picture of the peace
negotiations, to set forth the various phases of the results obtained
up to now, and to draw therefrom such conclusions as are true, logical
and justifiable.

"First of all it seems to me that those who consider the progress of
the negotiations too slow cannot have even an approximate idea of the
difficulties which we naturally had to encounter at every step. I will
in my remarks take the liberty of setting forth these difficulties,
but would like first to point out a cardinal difference existing
between the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk and all others which
have ever taken place in the history of the world. Never, so far as I
am aware, have peace negotiations been conducted with open windows. It
would be impossible that negotiations of the depth and extent of the
present could from the start proceed smoothly and without opposition.
We are faced with nothing less than the task of building up a new
world, of restoring all that the most merciless of all wars has
destroyed and cast down. In all the peace negotiations we know of the
various phases have been conducted more or less behind closed doors,
the results being first declared to the world when the whole was
completed. All history books tell us, and indeed it is obvious enough,
that the toilsome path of such peace negotiations leads constantly
over hill and dale, the prospects appearing often more or less
favourable day by day. But when the separate phases themselves, the
details of each day's proceedings, are telegraphed all over the world
at the time, it is again obvious that nervousness prevailing
throughout the world must act like an electric current and excite
public opinion accordingly. We were fully aware of the disadvantage of
this method of proceeding. Nevertheless we at once agreed to the wish
of the Russian Government in respect of this publicity, desiring to
meet them as far as possible, and also because we had nothing to
conceal on our part, and because it would have made an unfavourable
impression if we had stood firmly by the methods hitherto pursued, of
secrecy until completion. _But the complete publicity in the
negotiations makes it insistent that the great public, the country
behind, and above all the leaders, must keep cool._ The match must be
played out in cold blood, and the end will be satisfactory if the
peoples of the Monarchy support their representatives at the
conference.

"It should be stated beforehand that the basis on which
Austria-Hungary treats with the various newly-constituted Russian
states is that of 'no indemnities and no annexations.' That is the
programme which a year ago, shortly after my appointment as Minister,
I put before those who wished to talk of peace, and which I repeated
to the Russian leaders on the occasion of their first offers of peace.
And I have not deviated from that programme. Those who believe that I
am to be turned from the way which I have set myself to follow are
poor psychologists. I have never left the public in the slightest
doubt as to which way I intended to go, and I have never allowed
myself to be turned aside so much as a hair's breadth from that way,
either to right or left. And I have since become far from a favourite
of the Pan-Germans and of those in the Monarchy who follow the
Pan-German ideas. I have at the same time been hooted as an inveterate
partisan of war by those whose programme is peace at any price, as
innumerable letters have informed me. Neither has ever disturbed me;
on the contrary, the double insults have been my only comfort in this
serious time. I declare now once again that I ask not a single
kreuzer, not a single square metre of land from Russia, and that if
Russia, as appears to be the case, takes the same point of view, then
peace must result. Those who wish for peace at any price might
entertain some doubt as to my 'no-annexation' intentions towards
Russia if I did not tell them to their faces with the same complete
frankness that I shall never assent to the conclusion of a peace going
beyond the lines just laid down. If the Russian delegates demand any
surrender of territory on our part, or any war indemnity, then I shall
continue the war, despite the fact that I am as anxious for peace as
they, or I would resign if I could not attain the end I seek.

"This once said, and emphatically asserted, that there is no ground
for the pessimistic anticipation of the peace falling through, since
the negotiating committees are agreed on the basis of no annexations
or indemnities--and nothing but new instructions from the various
Russian Governments, or their disappearance, could shift that basis--I
then pass to the two great difficulties in which are contained the
reasons why the negotiations have not proceeded as quickly as we all
wished.

"The first difficulty is this: that we are not dealing with _a single_
Russian peace delegation, but with various newly-formed Russian
states, whose spheres of action are as yet by no means definitely
fixed or explained among themselves. We have to reckon with the
following: firstly, the Russia which is administered from St.
Petersburg; secondly, our new neighbour proper, the great State of
Ukraine; thirdly, Finland; and, fourthly, the Caucasus.

"With the first two of these states we are treating directly; that is
to say, face to face; with the two others it was at first in a more or
less indirect fashion, as they had not sent any representative to
Brest-Litovsk. We have then four Russian parties, and four separate
Powers on our own side to meet them. The case of the Caucasus, with
which we ourselves have, of course, no direct questions to settle, but
which, on the other hand, is in conflict with Turkey, will serve to
show the extent of the matter to be debated.

"The point in which we ourselves are most directly interested is that
of the great newly-established state upon our frontiers, Ukraine. In
the course of the proceedings we have already got well ahead with this
delegation. We are agreed upon the aforementioned basis of no
indemnities and no annexations, and have in the main arrived at a
settlement on the point that trade relations are to be re-established
with the new republic, as also on the manner of so doing. But this
very case of the Ukraine illustrates one of the prevailing
difficulties. While the Ukraine Republic takes up the position of
being entirely autonomous and justified in treating independently with
ourselves, the Russian delegation insists that the boundaries between
their territory and that of the Ukraine are not yet definitely fixed,
and that Petersburg is therefore able to claim the right of taking
part in our deliberations with the Ukraine, which claim is not
admitted by the members of the Ukraine delegation themselves. This
unsettled state of affairs in the internal conditions of Russia,
however, gave rise to very serious delays. We have got over these
difficulties, and I hope that in a few days' time we shall be able
once more to resume negotiations.

"As to the position to-day, I cannot say what this may be. I received
yesterday from my representative at Brest-Litovsk the following two
telegrams:

"'Herr Joffe has this evening, in his capacity as President of the
Russian Delegation, issued a circular letter to the delegations of the
four allied Powers in which he states that the Workers' and Peasants'
Government of the Ukrainian Republic has decided to send two delegates
to Brest-Litovsk with instructions to take part in the peace
negotiations on behalf of the central committee of the workers',
soldiers' and peasants' councils of Pan-Ukraine, but also to form a
supplementary part of the _Russian_ delegation itself. Herr Joffe adds
with regard to this that the Russian delegation is prepared to receive
these Ukrainian representatives among themselves. The above statement
is supplemented by a copy of a "declaration" dated from Kharkov,
addressed to the President of the Russian Peace Delegation at Brest,
and emanating from the Workers' and Peasants' Government of the
Ukrainian Republic, proclaiming that the Central Rada at Kiev only
represents the propertied classes, and is consequently incapable of
acting on behalf of the entire Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian
Workers' and Peasants' Government declares that it cannot acknowledge
any decisions arrived at by the delegates of the Central Rada at Kiev
without its participation, but has nevertheless decided to send
representatives to Brest-Litovsk, there to participate as a
supplementary fraction of the Russian Delegation, which they recognise
as the accredited representatives of the Federative Government of
Russia.'

"Furthermore: 'The German translation of the Russian original text of
the communication received yesterday evening from Herr Joffe regarding
the delegates of the Ukrainian Government at Kharkov and the two
appendices thereto runs as follows:

"'To the President of the Austro-Hungarian Peace Delegation.

"'Sir,--In forwarding you herewith a copy of a declaration received by
me from the delegates of the Workers' and Peasants' Government of the
Ukrainian Republic, W.M. Schachrai and J.G. Medwjedew, and their
mandates, I have the honour to inform you that the Russian Delegation,
in full agreement with its frequently repeated acknowledgment of the
right of self-determination among all peoples--including naturally the
Ukrainian--sees nothing to hinder the participation of the
representatives of the Workers' and Peasants' Government of the
Ukrainian Republic in the peace negotiations, and receives them,
according to their wish, among the personnel of the Russian Peace
Delegation, as accredited representatives of the Workers' and
Peasants' Government of the Ukrainian Republic. In bringing this to
your knowledge, I beg you, sir, to accept the expression of my most
sincere respect.--The President of the Russian Peace Delegation:
A. JOFFE.'

"'Appendix 1. To the President of the Peace Delegation of the Russian
Republic. Declaration.

"'We, the representatives of the Workers' and Peasants' Government of
the Ukrainian Republic, People's Commissary for Military Affairs, W.M.
Schachrai, and the President of the Pan-Ukrainian Central Executive
Committee of the Council of the Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants'
Deputation, J.G. Medwjedew, delegated to proceed to Brest-Litovsk for
the purpose of conducting peace negotiations with the representatives
of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, in full agreement
with the representatives of the Workers' and Peasants' Government of
the Russian Federative Republic, thereby understood the Council of
People's Commissaries, hereby declare as follows: The General
Secretariat of the Ukrainian Central Rada can in no case be
acknowledged as representing the entire Ukrainian people. In the name
of the Ukrainian workers, soldiers and peasants, we declare
categorically that all resolutions formed by the General Secretariat
without our assent will not be accepted by the Ukrainian people,
cannot be carried out, and can in no case be realised.

"'In full agreement with the Council of People's Commissaries, and
thus also with the Delegation of the Russian Workers' and Peasants'
Government, we shall for the future undertake the conduct of the peace
negotiations with the Delegation of the four Powers, together with the
Russian Peace Delegation.

"'And we now bring to the knowledge of the President the following
resolution, passed by the Central Executive Committee of the
Pan-Ukrainian Council of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies,
on the 30th December, 1917/12th January, 1918:

"'The Central Committee has decided: To delegate Comrade Medwjedew,
President of the Central Executive Committee, and People's Secretary
Satonski and Commissary Schachrai, to take part in the peace
negotiations, instructing them at the same time to declare
categorically that all attempts of the Ukrainian Central Rada to act
in the name of the Ukrainian people are to be regarded as _arbitrary
steps_ on the part of the bourgeois group of the Ukrainian population,
against the will and interests of the working classes of the Ukraine,
and that no resolutions formed by the Central Rada will be
acknowledged either by the Ukrainian Soviet Government or by the
Ukrainian people; that the Ukrainian Workers' and Peasants' Government
regards the Council of People's Commissaries as representatives of the
Pan-Russian Soviet Government, and as accordingly entitled to act on
behalf of the entire Russian Federation; and that the delegation of
the Ukrainian Workers' and Peasants' Government, sent out for the
purpose of exposing the arbitrary steps of the Ukrainian Central Rada,
will act together with and in full agreement with the Pan-Russian
Delegation.

"'Herewith: The mandate issued by the People's Secretariat of the
Ukrainian Workers' and Peasants' Republic, 30th December, 1917.

"'Note: People's Secretary for Enlightenment of the People, Wladimir
Petrowitch Satonski, was taken ill on the way, and did not therefore
arrive with us.

"'January, 1918.

"'The President of the Central Executive Committee of the Ukrainian
Council of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, E. Medwjedew.

"'The People's Commissary for Military Affairs, Schachrai.

"'A true copy of the original.

"'The Secretary of the Peace Delegation, Leo Karachou.'

"Appendix 2.

"'On the resolution of the Central Executive Committee of the Council
of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Deputies of Ukraina, the People's
Secretariat of the Ukrainian Republic hereby appoints, in the name of
the Workers' and Peasants' Government of Ukraina, the President of the
Central Executive Committee of the Council of Workers', Soldiers' and
Peasants' Deputies of Ukraina, Jesim Gregoriewitch Medwjedew, the
People's Secretary for Military Affairs, Wasili Matwjejewitch
Schachrai, and the People's Secretary for Enlightenment of the People,
Wladimir Petrowitch Satonski, in the name of the Ukrainian People's
Republic, to take part in the negotiations with the Governments of
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria as to the terms of peace
between the mentioned states and the Russian Federative Republic. With
this end in view the mentioned deputies, Jesim Gregoriewitch
Medwjedew, Wasili Matwjejewitch Schachrai and Wladimir Petrowitch
Satonski are empowered, in all cases where they deem it necessary, to
issue declarations and to sign documents in the name of the Workers'
and Peasants' Government of the Ukrainian Republic. The accredited
representatives of the Ukrainian Workers' and Peasants' Government are
bound to act throughout in accordance with the actions of the
accredited representatives of the Workers' and Peasants' Government of
the Russian Federative Republic, whereby is understood the Council of
People's Commissaries.

"'In the name of the Workers' and Peasants' Government of the
Ukrainian People's Republic, the People's Secretary for International
Affairs, for Internal Affairs, Military Affairs, Justice, Works,
Commissariat.

"'The Manager of the Secretariat.

"'Kharkov, 30th December, 1917/12th January, 1918.

"'In accordance with the copy.

"'The President of the Russian Peace Delegation, A. Joffe.'

"This is at any rate a new difficulty, since we cannot and will not
interfere in the internal affairs of Russia.

"This once disposed of, however, there will be no further difficulties
to encounter here; we shall, in agreement with the Ukrainian Republic
determine that _the old boundaries between Austria-Hungary and the
former Russia will also be maintained as between ourselves and the
Ukraine._


=Poland=

"As regards Poland, the frontiers of which, by the way, have not yet
been exactly determined, _we want nothing at all from this new state_.
Free and uninfluenced, the population of Poland shall choose its own
fate. For my part I attach no great weight to the _form_ of the
people's vote in this respect; _the more surely it expresses the
general wish of the people, the better I shall be pleased_. For I
desire only the _voluntary_ attachment of Poland; only in the express
_wish_ of Poland itself toward that end can I see any guarantee for
lasting harmony. It is my unalterable conviction that _the Polish
question must not be allowed to delay the signing of peace by a single
day_. If, after peace is arrived at, Poland should wish to approach
us, we will not reject its advances--_the Polish question must not and
shall not endanger the peace itself_.

"I should have been glad if _the Polish Government had been able to
take part in the negotiations_, since in my opinion Poland is _an
independent state_. The Petersburg Government, however, takes the
attitude that the present Polish Government is not entitled to speak
in the name of the country, and does not acknowledge it as competent
to represent the country, and we therefore gave way on this point in
order to avoid possible conflict. The question is certainly one of
importance, but it is more important still in my opinion _to set aside
all difficulties likely to delay the negotiations_.


=German-Russian Differences as to the Occupied Areas=

"The second difficulty to be reckoned with, and one which has been
most widely echoed in the Press, is the _difference of opinion between
our German allies and the Petersburg Government_ anent the
interpretation of _the right of self-determination among the Russian
peoples_; that is to say, in the areas occupied by German troops.
Germany maintains that it _does not aim at any annexation of territory
by force_ from Russia, but, briefly stated, the difference of opinion
is a double one.

"In the first place, Germany rightly maintains that _the numerous
expressions of desire for independence_ on the part of _legislative
corporations, communal representations_, etc., in the occupied areas
should be taken as the _provisional_ basis for the will of the people,
to be _later_ tested by _plebiscite on a broader foundation_, a point
of view which the Russian Government at first was indisposed to agree
to, as it did not consider the existing administrations in Courland
and Lithuania entitled to speak for those provinces any more than in
the case of Poland.

"In the second place, Russia demands that this plebiscite shall take
place _after all German troops and officials have been withdrawn from
the occupied provinces_, while Germany, in reply to this, points out
that if this principle were carried to its utmost limits it would
create a vacuum, which could not fail to bring about at once a state
of complete anarchy and the utmost misery. It should here be noted
that everything in these provinces which to-day renders possible the
life of a state at all is _German property_. Railways, posts and
telegraphs, the entire industry, and moreover the entire
administrative machinery, police, law courts, all are in German hands.
The sudden withdrawal of all this apparatus would, in fact, create a
condition of things which seems _practically impossible to maintain_.

"In both cases it is a question of finding a _middle way_, which
moreover _must be found_.

"_The differences between these two points of view are in my opinion
not great enough to justify failure of the negotiations_.

"But such negotiations cannot be settled from one day to another; they
take time.

"_If once we have attained peace with Russia, then in my opinion the
general peace cannot be long delayed_, despite all efforts on the part
of the Western Entente statesmen. I have learned that some are unable
to understand why I stated in my first speech after the resumption of
negotiations that it was not now a question at Brest of a general
peace, but of a _separate peace with Russia_. This was the necessary
recognition of a plain fact, which Herr Trotski also has admitted
without reserve, and it was necessary, since the negotiations would
have been on a different footing--that is to say, _in a more limited
sphere_--if treating with Russia alone than if it were a case of
treating for a general peace.

"Though I have no illusions in the direction of expecting the fruit of
general peace to ripen in a single night, I am nevertheless convinced
that the fruit _has begun to ripen_, and that it is now only a
question of holding out whether we are to obtain a general honourable
peace or not.


=Wilson's Message=

"I have recently been confirmed in this view by the offer of peace put
forward by the President of the United States of America to the whole
world. This is _an offer of peace_, for in fourteen points Mr. Wilson
sets forth the principles upon which he seeks to establish a general
peace. Obviously, an offer of this nature cannot be expected to
furnish a scheme acceptable in every detail. If that were the case,
then negotiations would be superfluous altogether, and peace could be
arrived at by a simple acceptance, a single assent. This, of course,
is not so.

"_But I have no hesitation in declaring that these last proposals on
the part of President Wilson seem to me considerably nearer the
Austro-Hungarian point of view_, and that there are among his
proposals some which we can even agree to _with great pleasure_.

"If I may now be allowed to go further into these proposals, I must,
to begin with, point out two things:

"So far as the proposals are concerned with _our Allies_--mention is
made of the German possession of _Belgium_ and of the _Turkish
Empire_--I declare that, in fulfilment of our duty to our Allies, I am
firmly determined _to hold out in defence of our Allies to the very
last. The pre-war possessions of our Allies we will defend equally
with our own_. This standpoint is that of all four Allies in complete
reciprocity with ourselves.

"In the second place, I have to point out that I must _politely but
definitely decline_ to consider the Point dealing with our internal
Government. We have in Austria _a parliament elected by general,
equal, direct and secret ballot_. There is not a more democratic
parliament in the world, and this parliament, together with the other
constitutionally admissible factors, has the sole right to decide upon
matters of _Austrian internal affairs_. I speak of _Austria_ only,
because I do not refer to _Hungarian_ internal affairs in the
_Austrian Delegation_. I should not consider it constitutional to do
so. _And we do not interfere in American affairs; but, on the other
hand, we do not wish for any foreign guidance from any state
whatever._ Having said this, I may be permitted, with regard to the
remaining Points, to state as follows:

"As to the Point dealing with the abolition of 'secret diplomacy' and
the introduction of full openness in the negotiations, I have nothing
to say. From my point of view I have _no objection to such public
negotiations so long as full reciprocity_ is the basis of the same,
though I do entertain _considerable doubt_ as to whether, all things
considered, _it is the quickest and most practical method_ of arriving
at a result. Diplomatic negotiations are simply a matter of business.
But it might easily be imagined that in the case, for instance, of
commercial treaties between one country and another it would not be
advisable _to publish incomplete results beforehand_ to the world. In
such negotiations both parties naturally commence by setting their
demands as high as possible in order to climb down gradually, using
this or that expressed demand as matter for _compensation in_ other
ways until finally an _equilibrium of the opposing interests is
arrived at_, a point which must necessarily be reached if agreement is
to be come to at all. If such negotiations were to be carried on with
full publicity, nothing could prevent the general public from
passionately defending every separate clause involved, regarding any
concession as a defeat, even when such clauses had only been advanced
_for tactical reasons_. And when the public takes up any such point
with particular fervour, ultimate agreement may be thereby rendered
impossible or the final agreement may, if arrived at, be regarded as
in itself _a defeat_, possibly by both sides. And this would not
conduce to peaceable relations thereafter; it would, on the contrary,
_increase the friction_ between the states concerned. And as in the
case of commercial treaties, so also with _political_ negotiations,
which deal with political matters.

"If the abolition of secret diplomacy is to mean that _no secret
compacts are to be made_, that no agreements are to be entered upon
without the public knowledge, then I have no objection to the
introduction of this principle. As to how it is to be realised and
adherence thereto ensured, I confess I have no idea at all. Granted
that the governments of two countries are agreed, they will always be
able to make a secret compact without the public being aware of the
fact. These, however, are minor points. I am not one to stick by
formalities, and _a question of more or less formal nature will never
prevent me from coming to a sensible arrangement_.

"Point 1, then, is one that can be discussed.

"Point 2 is concerned with the _freedom of the seas_. In this
postulate the President speaks from the hearts of all, and I can here
_fully and completely share America's desire_, the more so as the
President adds the words, 'outside territorial waters'--that is to
say, we are to understand the freedom of _the open sea_, and there is
thus, of course, no question of any interference by force in the
sovereign rights of our faithful _Turkish_ Allies. Their standpoint in
this respect will be ours.

"Point 3, which is definitely directed against any _future economic
war_, is so right, so sensible, and has so often been craved by
ourselves that I have here again nothing to remark.

"Point 4, which demands _general disarmament_, sets forth in
particularly clear and lucid form the necessity of reducing after this
present war the free competition in armaments to a footing sufficient
for the _internal security_ of states. Mr. Wilson states this frankly
and openly. In my speech at Budapest some months back I ventured to
express the same idea; it forms _part of my political creed_, and I
am most happy to find any other voice uttering the same thought.

"As regards the _Russian clause_, we are already showing in deeds that
we are endeavouring to bring about friendly relations with our
neighbours there.

"With regard to _Italy, Serbia, Roumania and Montenegro_, I can only
repeat my statement already made in the Hungarian Delegation.

"I am not disposed to effect any insurance on the war ventures of our
enemies.

"I am not disposed to make any one-sided concessions to our enemies,
who still obstinately adhere to the standpoint of fighting on until
the final victory; to prejudice permanently the Monarchy by such
concessions, which would give the enemy the invaluable advantage of
being able to carry on the war indefinitely without risk.
(_Applause._)

"Let Mr. Wilson use the great influence he undoubtedly possesses among
his Allies to persuade them on their part to declare _on what
conditions they are willing to treat_; he will then have rendered the
enormous service of having set on foot the _general peace
negotiations_. I am here replying openly and freely to Mr. Wilson, and
I will speak as openly and freely to any who wish to speak for
themselves, but it must necessarily be understood that _time, and the
continuation of the war, cannot but affect the situations here
concerned_.

"I have already said this once before; Italy is a striking example.
Italy had the opportunity before the war of making great territorial
acquisitions without firing a shot. It declined this and entered into
the war; it has lost hundreds of thousands of lives, milliards in war
expenses and values destroyed; it has brought want and misery upon its
own population, and all this _only to lose for ever an advantage which
it might have won_.

"Finally, as regards Point 13, it is an open secret that we are
adherents to the idea of establishing 'an independent Polish State to
include the areas undoubtedly occupied by Polish inhabitants.' On this
point also we shall, I think, soon agree with Mr. Wilson. And if the
President crowns his proposals with the idea of a universal _League of
Nations_ he will hardly meet with any opposition thereto on the part
of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

"As will be seen from this comparison of my views with those of Mr.
Wilson, we are not only _agreed in essentials as to the great
principles_ for rearrangement of the world after this war, but _our
ideas as to several concrete questions bearing on the peace are
closely allied_.

"The differences remaining do not appear to me so great but that a
discussion of these points might lead to a clearer understanding and
bring us closer still.

"The situation, then, seems to be this: Austria-Hungary on the one
hand, and the United States of America on the other, are the two Great
Powers in the hostile groups of states whose interests are least
opposed one to the other. It seems reasonable, then, to suppose that
_an exchange of opinion between these two Powers might form the
natural starting point for a conciliatory discussion_ between all
those states which have not yet entered upon peace negotiations.
(_Applause._) So much for Wilson's proposals.


=Petersburg and the Ukraine=

"And now, gentlemen, I hasten to conclude. But this conclusion is
perhaps the most important of all I have to say; I am endeavouring to
bring about peace between the Ukraine and Petersburg.

"The conclusion of peace with Petersburg alters nothing in our
definitive situation. Austro-Hungarian troops are nowhere opposed to
the Petersburg Government--we have the Ukrainian against us--and it is
impossible to export anything from Petersburg, since they have nothing
there themselves but _revolution and anarchy, goods which the
Bolshevists, no doubt, would be glad to export, but which I must
politely decline to receive_.

"In spite of this, I wish to make peace with Petersburg as well, since
this, like any other cessation of hostilities, brings us nearer to the
_general peace_.

"It is otherwise with Ukraine. For the Ukraine has supplies of
provisions which they will export if we can agree on commercial terms.
The question of food is to-day a matter of anxiety throughout the
world; among our opponents, and also in the neutral countries, it is a
burning question. I wish to profit by the conclusion of peace with
those Russian states which have food to export, in order to help our
own population. _We could and would hold out without this assistance._
But I know my duty, and my duty bids me do all that can be done to
lighten the burden of our suffering people, and I will not, therefore,
from any hysterical nervousness about getting to final peace a few
days or a few weeks earlier, throw away this possible advantage to our
people. Such a peace takes time and cannot be concluded in a day. For
such a peace must definitely state whether, what and how the Russian
party will deliver to us, for the reason that the Ukraine on its part
wishes to close the business not after, but at the signing of peace.

"I have already mentioned that the unsettled conditions in this newly
established state occasion great difficulty and naturally considerable
delay in the negotiations.


=Appeal to the Country=

"_If you fall on me from behind, if you force me to come to terms at
once in headlong fashion, we shall gain no economic advantage at all_,
and our people will then be forced to renounce the alleviation which
they should have gained from the peace.

"A surgeon conducting a difficult operation with a crowd behind him
standing watch in hand may very likely complete the operation in
record time, but in all probability the patient would not thank him
for the manner in which it had been carried out.

"If you give our present opponents the impression that we must have
_peace at once, and at any price_, we shall not get so much as a
single measure of grain, and the result will be more or less platonic.
It is no longer by any means a question principally of terminating the
war on the Ukrainian front; neither we nor the Ukrainians themselves
intend to continue the war now that we are agreed upon the
no-annexation basis. It is a question--I repeat it once again--not of
'imperialistic' annexation plans and ideas, but of securing for our
population at last the merited reward of their endurance, and
procuring them those supplies of food for which they are waiting. Our
partners in the deal are good business men and are closely watching to
see _whether you are forcing me to act or not_.

"_If you wish to ruin the peace_, if you are anxious to renounce the
supply of grain, then it would be logical enough to force my hand by
speeches and resolutions, strikes and demonstrations, but not
otherwise. And there is not an atom of truth in the idea that we are
now at such a pass that we must prefer a bad peace without economic
gain rather than a good peace with economic advantages to-morrow.

"The difficulties in the matter of food of late are not due solely to
lack of actual provisions; it is the crises in coal, transport and
organisation which are increasing. _When you at home get up strikes
you are moving in a vicious circle; the strikes increase and aggravate
the crises concerned and hinder the supplies of food and coal._ You
are cutting your own throats in so doing, and all who believe that
peace is accelerated thereby are terribly mistaken.

"It is believed that men in the country have been circulating rumours
to the effect that the Government is instigating the strikes. I leave
to these men themselves to choose whether they are to appear as
_criminal slanderers or as fools_.

"If you had a Government desirous of concluding a peace different
from that desired by the majority of the population, if you had a
Government seeking to prolong the war for purposes of conquest, one
might understand a conflict between the Government and the country.
_But since the Government desires precisely the same as the majority
of the people--that is to say, the speedy settlement of an honourable
peace without annexationist aims--then it is madness to attack that
Government from behind, to interfere with its freedom of action and
hamper its movements._ Those who do so are fighting, not against the
Government, they are fighting blindly against the people they pretend
to serve and against themselves.

"As for yourselves, gentlemen, it is not only your right, but your
duty, to choose between the following alternatives: either you trust
me to proceed with the peace negotiations, and in that case you must
help me, or you do not trust me, and in that case you must depose me.
I am confident that I have the support of the majority of the
Hungarian delegation. The Hungarian Committee has given me a vote of
confidence. If there is any doubt as to the same here, then the matter
is clear enough. The question of a vote of confidence must be brought
up and put to the vote; if I then have the majority against me I shall
at once take the consequences. No one of those who are anxious to
secure my removal will be more pleased than myself; indeed far less
so. Nothing induces me now to retain my office but the sense of duty,
which constrains me to remain as long as I have the confidence of the
Emperor and the majority of the delegations. A soldier with any sense
of decency does not desert. But no Minister for Foreign Affairs could
conduct negotiations of this importance unless he knows, and all the
world as well, that he is endowed with the confidence of the majority
among the constitutional representative bodies. There can be no half
measures here. You have this confidence or you have not. You must
assist me or depose me; there is no other way. I have no more to say."


5

=Report of the Peace Negotiations at Brest-Litovsk=

The Austro-Hungarian Government entered upon the peace negotiations at
Brest-Litovsk with the object of arriving as quickly as possible at a
peace compact which, if it did not, as we hoped, lead to a general
peace, should at least secure order in the East. The draft of a
preliminary peace was sent to Brest containing the following points:

1. Cessation of hostilities; if general peace should not be
concluded, then neither of the present contracting parties to afford
any support to the enemies of the other.

2. No surrender of territory; Poland, Lithuania and Courland retaining
the right of determining their own destiny for the future.

3. No indemnity for costs of war or damages due to military
operations.

4. Cessation of economic war and reparation of damages sustained by
private persons through the economic war.

5. Resumption of commercial intercourse and the same provisionally on
the basis of the old commercial treaty and twenty years' preference
subject to restriction in respect of any Customs union with
neighbouring countries.

6. Mutual assistance in raw materials and industrial articles.

A further point was contemplated, dealing with the evacuation of the
occupied areas, but the formulation of this had to be postponed until
after consultation with the German Supreme Military Command, whose
co-operation was here required owing to the mingling of German and
Austro-Hungarian troops on the Russian front. The Army Command has
indicated a period of at least six months as necessary for the
evacuation.

In discussing this draft with the German delegates two points in
particular were found to present great difficulty. One was that of
evacuation. The German Army Command declared categorically that no
evacuation of the occupied districts could be thought of until after
conclusion of the general peace. The second difficulty arose in
connection with the question as to treatment of the occupied
districts. Germany insisted that in the peace treaty with Russia it
should be simply stated that Russia had conceded to the peoples within
its territory the right of self-determination, and that the nations in
question had already availed themselves of that right. The plain
standpoint laid down in our draft we were unable to carry through,
although it was shared by the other Allies. However, in formulating
the answer sent on December 25, 1916, to the Russian peace proposals a
compromise was, after persistent efforts on our part, ultimately
arrived at which at least prevented the full adoption of the divergent
German point of view on these two points. In the matter of evacuation
the Germans agreed that the withdrawal of certain bodies of troops
before the general peace might be discussed.

In the matter of annexations a satisfactory manner of formulating this
was found, making it applicable only in the event of general peace.
Had the Entente then been disposed to make peace the principle of "no
annexations" would have succeeded throughout.

Even allowing for the conciliatory form given through our endeavours
to this answer by the four Powers to the Russian proposals, the German
Headquarters evinced extreme indignation. Several highly outspoken
telegrams from the German Supreme Command to the German delegates
prove this. The head of the German Delegation came near to being
recalled on this account, and if this had been done it is likely that
German foreign policy would have been placed in the hands of a firm
adherent of the sternest military views. As this, however, could only
have had an unfavourable effect on the further progress of the
negotiations, we were obliged to do all in our power to retain Herr
Kühlmann. With this end in view he was informed and invited to advise
Berlin that if Germany persisted in its harsh policy Austria-Hungary
would be compelled to conclude a separate peace with Russia. This
declaration on the part of the Minister for Foreign Affairs did not
fail to create a certain impression in Berlin, and was largely
responsible for the fact that Kühlmann was able to remain.

Kühlmann's difficult position and his desire to strengthen it rendered
the discussion of the territorial questions, which were first
officially touched upon on December 27, but had been already taken up
in private meetings with the Russian delegates, a particularly awkward
matter. Germany insisted that the then Russian front was not to be
evacuated until six months after the general peace. Russia was
disposed to agree to this, but demanded on the other hand that the
fate of Poland was not to be decided until after evacuation. Against
this the Germans were inclined to give up its original standpoint to
the effect that the populations of occupied territories had already
availed themselves of the right of self-determination conceded, and
allow a new inquiry to be made among the population, but insisted that
this should be done during the occupation. No solution could be
arrived at on this point, though Austria-Hungary made repeated efforts
at mediation. The negotiations had arrived at this stage when they
were first interrupted on December 29.

On resuming the negotiations on January 6 the situation was little
changed. Kühlmann's position was at any rate somewhat firmer than
before, albeit only at the cost of some concessions to the German
military party. In these circumstances the negotiations, in which
Trotski now took part as spokesman for the Russians, led only to
altogether fruitless theoretical discussions and the right of
self-determination, which could not bring about any lessening of the
distance between the two firmly maintained points of view. In order to
get the proceedings out of this deadlock further endeavours were made
on the part of Austria to arrive at a compromise between the German
and Russian standpoints, the more so as it was generally, and
especially in the case of Poland, desirable to solve the territorial
question on the basis of complete self-determination. Our proposals to
the German delegates were to the effect that the Russian standpoint
should so far be met as to allow the plebiscite demanded by the
Russians, this to be taken, as the Germans insisted should be the
case, during the German occupation, but with extensive guarantees for
free expression of the will of the people. On this point we had long
discussions with the German delegates, based on detailed drafts
prepared by us.

Our endeavours here, however, were again unsuccessful. Circumstances
arising at the time in our own country were responsible for this, as
also for the result of the negotiations which had in the meantime been
commenced with the Ukrainian delegates. These last had, at the first
discussion, declined to treat with any Polish representatives, and
demanded the concession of the entire Cholm territory, and, in a more
guarded fashion, the cession of Eastern Galicia and the Ukrainian part
of North-Eastern Hungary, and in consequence of which the negotiations
were on the point of being broken off. At this stage a food crisis
broke out in Austria to an extent of which the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs was hitherto unaware, threatening Vienna in particular with
the danger of being in a few days devoid of flour altogether. Almost
immediately after this came a strike movement of threatening
proportions. These events at home weakened the position of the Foreign
Minister both as regards his attitude towards the German Allies and
towards the opposing parties in the negotiations--with both of which
he was then in conflict--and this, at a most critical moment, to a
degree that can hardly be appreciated from a distance. He was required
to exert pressure upon Germany, and was now forced, not merely to ask,
but to entreat Germany's aid in sending supplies of food, or Vienna
would within a few days be in the throes of a catastrophe. With the
enemy, on the other hand, he was forced, owing to the situation at
home, to strive for a settlement of peace that should be favourable to
Austria, in spite of the fact that our food situation and our labour
troubles were well known to that enemy.

This complete alteration of the position changed the whole basis and
tactics of the Foreign Minister's proceedings. He had to obtain the
supplies of grain asked for from Germany and thus to diminish
political pressure on that country; but at the same time he had to
persuade the Soviet delegates to continue negotiations, and finally to
arrive at a settlement of peace under the most acceptable conditions
possible with the Ukraine, which would put an end to the still serious
difficulties of the food situation.

In these circumstances it was impossible now to work on the German
delegates by talking of Austria-Hungary's concluding a separate peace
with Russia, as this would have imperilled the chance of food supplies
from Germany--the more so as the representative of the German Army
Command had declared that it was immaterial whether Austria-Hungary
made peace or not. Germany would in any case march on Petersburg if
the Russian Government did not give way. On the other hand, however,
the Foreign Minister prevailed on the leader of the Russian delegation
to postpone the carrying out of the intentions of his Government--to
the effect that the Russian delegation, owing to lack of good faith on
the part of German-Austro-Hungarian negotiators, should be recalled.

At the same time the negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation were
continued. By means of lengthy and wearisome conferences we succeeded
in bringing their demands to a footing which might just possibly be
acceptable, and gaining their agreement to a clause whereby Ukraine
undertook to deliver at least 1,000,000 tons of grain by August, 1918.
As to the demand for the Cholm territory, which we had wished to have
relegated to the negotiations with Poland, the Ukrainian delegates
refused to give way on this point, and were evidently supported by
General Hoffmann. Altogether the German military party seemed much
inclined to support Ukrainian demands and extremely indisposed to
accede to Polish claims, so that we were unable to obtain the
admission of Polish representatives to the proceedings, though we had
frequently asked for this. A further difficulty in the way of this was
the fact that Trotski himself was unwilling to recognise the Polish
party as having equal rights here. The only result obtainable was that
the Ukrainians should restrict their claims on the Cholm territory to
those parts inhabited by Ukrainian majority and accept a revision of
the frontier line, as yet only roughly laid down, according to the
finding of a mixed commission and the wishes of the population, i.e.
the principle of national boundaries under international protection.
The Ukrainian delegates renounced all territorial claims against the
Monarchy, but demanded from us on the other hand a guarantee as to the
autonomous development of their co-nationals in Galicia. With regard
to these two weighty concessions, the Foreign Minister declared that
they could only be granted on the condition that the Ukraine fulfilled
the obligation it had undertaken as to delivery of grain, the
deliveries being made at the appointed times; he further demanded that
the obligations on both sides should be reciprocal, i.e. that the
failure of one party to comply therewith should release the other.
The formulation of these points, which met with the greatest
difficulties on the part of Ukraine, was postponed to a later date.

At this stage of the proceedings a new pause occurred to give the
separate delegates time to advise their Governments as to the results
hitherto attained and receive their final instructions. The Foreign
Minister returned to Vienna and reported the state of the negotiations
to the proper quarters. In the course of these deliberations his
policy of concluding peace with Russia and Ukraine on the basis of the
concessions proposed was agreed to. Another question dealt with at the
same time was whether the Monarchy should, in case of extreme
necessity, conclude a separate peace with Russia if the negotiations
with that state should threaten to come to nothing on account of
Germany's demands. This question was, after full consideration of all
grounds to the contrary, answered _in thesi_ in the affirmative, as
the state of affairs at home apparently left no alternative.

On resuming the negotiations at Brest-Litovsk further endeavours were
made to persuade Germany to give way somewhat by pointing out what
would be the consequence of its obstinate attitude. In the course of
the deliberations on this point with Herr Kühlmann we succeeded after
great difficulty in obtaining the agreement of the German delegates to
a final attempt at compromise, to be undertaken by the Foreign
Minister. The proposals for this compromise were based on the
following considerations:

For months past conflicting views had been expressed as to:

1. Whether in the territories where constitutional alterations were to
be made owing to the war the right of self-determination should be
taken as already exercised, or whether a plebiscite should be taken
first;

2. Whether such plebiscite, if taken, should be addressed to a
constituent body or in the form of a referendum to the people direct;

3. Whether this should be done before or after evacuation; and

4. In what manner it was to be organised (by general franchise, by a
vote of the nobles, etc.). It would be advisable, and would also be in
accordance with the principles adopted by Russia, to leave the
decision on all these points to the people themselves, and deliver
them over to the "temporary self-administrative body," which should,
also according to the Russian proposal (Kameneff), be introduced at
once. The whole of the peace negotiations could then be concentrated
upon a single point: the question as to the composition of this
temporary body. Here, however, a compromise could be arrived at, as
Russia could agree that the already existent bodies set in the
foreground by Germany should be allowed to express a part of the will
of the people, Germany agreeing that these bodies should, during the
occupation, be supplemented by elements appointed, according to the
Russian principles, by free election.

On February 7, immediately after Herr Kühlmann had agreed to mediation
on this basis, the Foreign Minister saw the leader of the Russian
delegation, Trotski, and had a series of conversations with him. The
idea of compromise on the lines just set forth was little to Trotski's
taste, and he declared that he would in any case protest against the
handling of the self-determination question by the Four Powers. On the
other hand, the discussion did lead to some result, in that a new
basis for disposing of the difficulties which had arisen was now
found. There was to be no further continuance of the conflict as to
whether the territorial alterations involved by the peace should be
termed "annexations," as the Russian delegates wished, or "exercise of
the right of self-determination," as Germany wished; the territorial
alterations were to be simply noted in the peace treaty ("Russia notes
that ..."). Trotski, however, made his acquiescence to the conclusion
of such a compact subject to two conditions: one being that the Moon
Sound Islands and the Baltic ports should remain with Russia; the
other that Germany and Austria-Hungary should not conclude any
separate peace with the Ukrainian People's Republic, whose Government
was then seriously threatened by the Bolsheviks and, according to some
reports, already overthrown by them. The Foreign Minister was now
anxious to arrive at a compromise on this question also, in which he
had to a certain degree the support of Herr von Kühlmann, while
General Hoffmann most vehemently opposed any further concession.

All these negotiations for a compromise failed to achieve their end
owing to the fact that Herr Kühlmann was forced by the German Supreme
Army Command to act promptly. Ludendorff declared that the
negotiations with Russia must be concluded within three days, and when
a telegram from Petersburg was picked up in Berlin calling on the
German Army to rise in revolt Herr von Kühlmann was strictly ordered
not to be content with the cessions already agreed to, but to demand
the further cession of the unoccupied territories of Livonia and
Esthonia. Under such pressure the leader of the German delegation had
not the power to compromise. We then arrived at the signing of the
treaty with Ukraine, which had, after much trouble, been brought to an
end meanwhile. It thus appeared as if the efforts of the Foreign
Minister had proved fruitless. Nevertheless he continued his
discussions with Trotski, but these still led to no result, owing to
the fact that Trotski, despite repeated questioning, persisted in
leaving everything vague till the last moment as to whether he would,
in the present circumstances, conclude any peace with the Four Powers
at all or not. Not until the plenary session of February 10 was this
cleared up; Russia declared for a cessation of hostilities, but signed
no treaty of peace.

The situation created by this declaration offered no occasion for
further taking up the idea of a separate peace with Russia, since
peace seemed to have come _via facta_ already. At a meeting on
February 10 of the diplomatic and military delegates of Germany and
Austria-Hungary to discuss the question of what was now to be done it
was agreed unanimously, save for a single dissentient, that the
situation arising out of Trotski's declarations must be accepted. The
one dissentient vote--that of General Hoffmann--was to the effect that
Trotski's statement should be answered by declaring the Armistice at
an end, marching on Petersburg, and supporting the Ukraine openly
against Russia. In the ceremonial final sitting, on February 11, Herr
von Kühlmann adopted the attitude expressed by the majority of the
peace delegations, and set forth the same in a most impressive speech.
Nevertheless, a few days later, as General Hoffmann had said, Germany
declared the Armistice at an end, ordered the German troops to march
on Petersburg, and brought about the situation which led to the
signing of the peace treaty. Austria-Hungary declared that we took no
part in this action.


6

=Report of the Peace Negotiations at Bucharest=

The possibility of entering upon peace negotiations with Roumania was
considered as soon as negotiations with the Russian delegations at
Brest-Litovsk had commenced. In order to prevent Roumania itself from
taking part in these negotiations Germany gave the Roumanian
Government to understand that it would not treat with the present King
and the present Government at all. This step, however, was only
intended to enable separate negotiations to be entered upon with
Roumania, as Germany feared that the participation of Roumania in the
Brest negotiations would imperil the chances of peace. Roumania's idea
seemed then to be to carry on the war and gain the upper hand. At the
end of January, therefore, Austria-Hungary took the initiative in
order to bring about negotiations with Roumania. The Emperor sent
Colonel Randa, the former Military Attaché to the Roumanian
Government, to the King of Roumania, assuring him of his willingness
to grant Roumania honourable terms of peace.

In connection with the peace negotiations a demand was raised in
Hungarian quarters for a rectification of the frontier line, so as to
prevent, or at any rate render difficult, any repetition of the
invasion by Roumania in 1916 over the Siebenbürgen, despite opposition
on the part of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The strategical
frontier drawn up by the Army Command, which, by the way, was
influenced by considerations not conducive to peace, followed a line
involving the cession to Hungary of Turnu-Severin, Sinaia and several
valuable petroleum districts in Moldavia. Public opinion in Hungary
voiced even further demands. The Hungarian Government was of opinion
that the Parliament would offer the greatest hindrances to any peace
not complying with the general desire in this respect, and leading
Hungarian statesmen, even some among the Opposition parties, declared
the rectification of the frontier to be a condition of peace _sine qua
non_. Wekerle and Tisza in particular took this view. Despite this
serious difference of opinion, the Foreign Minister, in entire
agreement with the Emperor, even before the commencement of the
negotiations in the middle of February, took up the position that
demands connected with the frontier line should not offer any obstacle
to the conclusion of peace. The rectification of the frontier should
only seriously be insisted on as far as could be done on the basis of
a loyal and, for the future, amicable relations with Roumania. Hungary
regarded this lenient attitude on the part of the Foreign Minister
with increasing disapproval. We pointed out that a frontier line
conceding cities and petroleum districts to Hungary would be
unfortunate in every respect. From the point of view of internal
politics, because the number of non-Hungarian inhabitants would be
thereby increased; from the military point of view, because it would
give rise to frontier conflicts with unreliable Roumanian factions;
and, finally, from the point of view of foreign policy, because it
would mean annexations and the transference of population this way and
that, rendering friendly relations with Roumania an impossibility.
Nevertheless, it would be necessary for a time to hold fast by the
frontier line as originally conceived, so that the point could be used
to bring about the establishment in Roumania of a régime amicably
disposed toward the Central Powers. The Foreign Minister was
particularly anxious to see a Marghiloman Cabinet formed, inaugurating
a policy friendly to ourselves. He believed that with such a Cabinet
it would be easier to arrive at a peace of mutual understanding, and
was also resolved to render possible such a peace by extensive
concessions, especially by giving his diplomatic support in the
Bessarabian question. He informed Marghiloman also in writing that he
would be prepared to grant important concessions to a Cabinet of which
he, Marghiloman, was the head, in particular as regards the cession of
inhabited places such as Turnu-Severin and Ocna, on which points he
was willing to give way. When the Marghiloman Cabinet was formed the
Austro-Hungarian demands in respect of the frontier line would,
despite active opposition on the part of the Hungarian Government, be
reduced almost by half. The negotiations with Roumania were
particularly difficult in regard to the question of two places, Azuga
and Busteni. On March 24 Count Czernin prepared to terminate these
negotiations, declaring that he was ready to renounce all claim to
Azuga and Busteni and halve his demands as to the much-debated Lotru
district, provided Marghiloman were willing to arrange the frontier
question on this basis. Marghiloman declared himself satisfied with
this compromise. On the next day, however, it was nevertheless
rejected by the Hungarian Government, and not until after further
telegraphic communication with the Emperor and Wekerle was the assent
of all competent authorities obtained. This had, indeed, been widely
considered in Hungarian circles as an impossibility.

Another Austro-Hungarian demand which played some part in the
Bucharest negotiations was in connection with the plan of an
economical alliance between Austria-Hungary and Roumania. This was of
especial interest to the Austrian Government, whereas the frontier
question, albeit in some degree affecting Austria as well, was a
matter of indifference to this Government, which, as a matter of fact,
did not sympathise with the demands at all. The plan for an economical
alliance, however, met with opposition in Hungary. Immediately before
the commencement of the Bucharest negotiations an attempt was made to
overcome this opposition on the part of the Hungarian Government and
secure its adherence to the idea of an economical alliance with
Roumania--at any rate, conditionally upon the conclusion of a customs
alliance with Germany as planned. It proved impossible, however, at
the time to obtain this assent. The Hungarian Government reserved the
right of considering the question later on, and on March 8 instructed
their representatives at Bucharest that they must dissent from the
plan, as the future economical alliance with Germany was a matter
beyond present consideration. Consequently this question could play no
part at first in the peace negotiations, and all that could be done
was to sound the leading Roumanian personages in a purely private
manner as to the attitude they would adopt towards such a proposal.
The idea was, generally speaking, well received by Roumania, and the
prevalent opinion was that such an alliance would be distinctly
advisable from Roumania's point of view. A further attempt was
therefore made, during the pause in the peace negotiations in the
East, to overcome the opposition of the Hungarian Government; these
deliberations were, however, not concluded when the Minister for
Foreign Affairs resigned his office.

Germany had, even before the commencement of negotiations in
Bucharest, considered the question of imposing on Roumania, when
treating for peace, a series of obligations especially in connection
with the economical relations amounting to a kind of indirect war
indemnity. It was also contemplated that the occupation of Wallachia
should be maintained for five or six years after the conclusion of
peace. Roumania should then give up its petroleum districts, its
railways, harbours and domains to German companies as their property,
and submit itself to a permanent financial control. Austria-Hungary
opposed these demands from the first on the grounds that no friendly
relations could ever be expected to exist with a Roumania which had
been economically plundered to such a complete extent; and
Austria-Hungary was obliged to maintain amicable relations with
Roumania.

This standpoint was most emphatically set forth, and not without some
success, on February 5 at a conference with the Reichskansler. In the
middle of February the Emperor sent a personal message to the German
Emperor cautioning him against this plan, which might prove an obstacle
in the way of peace. Roumania was not advised of these demands until
comparatively late in the negotiations, after the appointment of
Marghiloman. Until then the questions involved gave rise to constant
discussion between Germany and Austria-Hungary, the latter throughout
endeavouring to reduce the German demands, not only with a view to
arriving at a peace of mutual understanding, but also because, if
Germany gained a footing in Roumania on the terms originally
contemplated, Austro-Hungarian economical interests must inevitably
suffer thereby. The demands originally formulated with regard to the
Roumanian railways and domains were then relinquished by Germany, and
the plan of a cession of the Roumanian harbours was altered so as to
amount to the establishment of a Roumanian-German-Austro-Hungarian
harbour company, which, however, eventually came to nothing. The
petroleum question, too, was reduced from a cession to a ninety years'
tenure of the state petroleum districts and the formation of a
monopoly trading company for petroleum under German management.
Finally, an economic arrangement was prepared which should secure the
agricultural products of Roumania to the Central Powers for a series of
years. The idea of a permanent German control of the Roumanian finances
was also relinquished owing to Austro-Hungarian opposition. The
negotiations with Marghiloman and his representatives on these
questions made a very lengthy business. In the economic questions
especially there was great difference of opinion on the subject of
prices, which was not disposed of until the last moment before the
drawing up of the treaty on March 28, and then only by adopting the
Roumanian standpoint. On the petroleum question, where the differences
were particularly acute, agreement was finally arrived at, in face of
the extreme views of the German economical representative on the one
hand and the Roumanian Foreign Minister, Arion, on the other, by a
compromise, according to which further negotiations were to be held in
particular with regard to the trade monopoly for petroleum, and the
original draft was only to apply when such negotiations failed to lead
to any result.

The German demands as to extension of the period of occupation for
five to six years after the general peace likewise played a great part
at several stages of the negotiations, and were from the first stoutly
opposed by Austria-Hungary. We endeavoured to bring about an
arrangement by which, on the conclusion of peace, Roumania should have
all legislative and executive power restored, being subject only to a
certain right of control in respect of a limited number of points, but
not beyond the general peace. In support of this proposal the Foreign
Minister pointed out in particular that the establishment of a
Roumanian Ministry amicably disposed towards ourselves would be an
impossibility (the Averescu Ministry was then still in power) if we
were to hold Roumania permanently under our yoke. We should far rather
use every endeavour to obtain what could be obtained from Roumania
through the medium of such politicians in that country as were
disposed to follow a policy of friendly relations with the Central
Powers. The main object of our policy to get such men into power in
Roumania, and enable them to remain in the Government, would be
rendered unattainable if too severe measures were adopted. We might
gain something thereby for a few years, but it would mean losing
everything in the future. And we succeeded also in convincing the
German Secretary of State, Kühlmann, of the inadvisability of the
demands in respect of occupation, which were particularly voiced by
the German Army Council. As a matter of fact, after the retirement of
Averescu, Marghiloman declared that these demands would make it
impossible for him to form a Cabinet at all. And when he had been
informed, from German sources, that the German Supreme Army Command
insisted on these terms, he only agreed to form a Cabinet on the
assurance of the Austrian Foreign Minister that a solution of the
occupation problem would be found. In this question also we did
ultimately succeed in coming to agreement with Roumania.

One of the decisive points in the conclusion of peace with Roumania
was, finally, the cession of the Dobrudsha, on which Bulgaria insisted
with such violence that it was impossible to avoid it. The ultimatum
which preceded the preliminary Treaty of Buftea had also to be altered
chiefly on the Dobrudsha question, as Bulgaria was already talking of
the ingratitude of the Central Powers, of how Bulgaria had been
disillusioned, and of the evil effects this disillusionment would have
on the subsequent conduct of the war. All that Count Czernin could do
was to obtain a guarantee that Roumania, in case of cession of the
Dobrudsha, should at least be granted a sure way to the harbour of
Kustendje. In the main the Dobrudsha question was decided at Buftea.
When, later, Bulgaria expressed a desire to interpret the wording of
the preliminary treaty by which the Dobrudsha "as far as the Danube"
was to be given up in such a sense as to embrace the whole of the
territory up to the northernmost branch (the Kilia branch) of the
Danube, this demand was most emphatically opposed both by Germany and
Austria-Hungary, and it was distinctly laid down in the peace treaty
that only the Dobrudsha as far as the St. George's branch was to be
ceded. This decision again led to bad feeling in Bulgaria, but was
unavoidable, as further demands here would probably have upset the
preliminary peace again.

The proceedings had reached this stage when Count Czernin resigned his
office.


7

=Wilson's Fourteen Points=

I. Open covenants of peace openly arrived at, after which there shall
be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy
shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas outside territorial
waters alike in peace and in war except as the seas may be closed in
whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of
international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the
establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations
consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its
maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will
be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all
colonial claims based upon a strict observance of the principle that
in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the
populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims
of the Government whose title is to be determined.

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory, and such a settlement of
all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest
co-operation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an
unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent
determination of her own political development and national policy,
and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations
under institutions of her own choosing; and more than a welcome
assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself
desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the
months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their
comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests,
and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and
restored without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys
in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve
as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws
which they have themselves set and determined for the government of
their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole
structure and validity of international law is for ever impaired.

VIII. All French territory should be freed, and the invaded portions
restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the
matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world
for nearly 50 years, should be righted in order that peace may once
more be made secure in the interests of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along
clearly recognisable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we
wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the first
opportunity of autonomous development.

XI. Roumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated, occupied
territories restored, Serbia accorded free and secure access to the
sea, and the relations of the several Balkan States to one another
determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of
allegiance and nationality, and international guarantees of the
political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the
several Balkan States should be entered into.

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be
assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are
now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life
and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development,
and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to
the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

XIII. An independent Polish State should be erected which should
include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations,
which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose
political and economic independence and territorial integrity should
be guaranteed by international covenant.

XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific
covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political
independence and territorial integrity to great and small States
alike.


8

=Ottokar Czernin on Austria's Policy During the War=

_Speech delivered December 11, 1918_

GENTLEMEN,--In rising now to speak of our policy during the war it is
my hope that I may thereby help to bring the truth to light. We are
living in a time of excitement. After four years of war, the bloodiest
and most determined war the world has ever seen, and in the midst of
the greatest revolution ever known, this excitement is only too easily
understood. But the result of this excitement is that all those rumours
which go flying about, mingling truth and falsehood together, end by
misleading the public. It is unquestionably necessary to arrive at a
clear understanding. The public has a right to know what has really
happened, it has the right to know why we did not succeed in attaining
the peace we had so longed for, it has a right to know whether, and if
so where, any neglect can be pointed out, or whether it was the
overwhelming power of circumstances which has led our policy to take
the course it did. The new arrangement of relations between ourselves
and Germany will make an end of all secret proceedings. The day will
come then when, fortunately, all that has hitherto been hidden will be
made clear. As, however, I do not know when all this will be made
public, I am grateful for the opportunity of lifting the veil to-day
from certain hitherto unknown events. In treating of this theme I will
refrain from touching upon those constitutional factors which once
counted for so much, but which do so no longer. I do so because it
seems to me unfair to import into the discussion persons who are now
paying heavily for what they may have done and who are unable to defend
themselves. And I must pay this honourable tribute to the
Austro-Hungarian Press, that it has on the whole sought to spare the
former Emperor as far as possible. There are, of course,
exceptions--_exceptiones firmant regulam_. There are in Vienna, as
everywhere else, men who find it more agreeable to attack, the less if
those whom they are attacking are able to defend themselves. But,
believe me, gentlemen, those who think thus are not the bravest, not
the best, nor the most reliable; and we may be glad that they form so
insignificant a minority.

But, to come to the point. Before passing on to a consideration of the
various phases of the work for peace, I should like to point out two
things: firstly, that since the entry of Italy and Roumania into the
war, and especially since the entry of America, a "victorious peace"
on our part has been a Utopian idea, a Utopia which, unfortunately,
was throughout cherished by the German military party; and, secondly,
that we have never received any offer of peace from the Entente. On
several occasions peace feelers were put forward between
representatives of the Entente and our own; unfortunately, however,
these never led to any concrete conditions. We often had the
impression that we might conclude a separate peace without Germany,
but we were never told the concrete conditions upon which Germany, on
its part, could make peace; and, in particular, we were never informed
that Germany would be allowed to retain its possessions as before the
war, in consequence of which we were left in the position of having to
fight a war of defence for Germany. We were compelled by our treaty to
a common defence of the pre-war possessions, and since the Entente
never declared its willingness to treat with a Germany which wished
for no annexations, since the Entente constantly declared its
intention of annihilating Germany, we were forced to defend Germany,
and our position in Berlin was rendered unspeakably more difficult.
We ourselves, also, were never given any assurance that we should be
allowed to retain our former possessions; but in our case the desire
for peace was so strong that we would have made territorial
concessions if we had been able thereby to secure general peace. This,
however, was not the case. Take Italy, for instance, which was
primarily at war with ourselves and not with Germany. If we had
offered Italy concessions however great, if we had offered all that
Italy has now taken possession of, even then it could not have made
peace, being bound by duty to its Allies and by circumstances not to
make peace until England and France made peace with Germany.

When, then, peace by sacrifice was the only peace attainable,
obviously, as a matter of principle, there were two ways of reaching
that end. One, a general peace, i.e. including Germany, and the other,
a separate peace. Of the overwhelming difficulties attending the
former course I will speak later; at present a few words on the
question of separate peace.

I myself would never have made a separate peace. I have never, not
even in the hour of disillusionment--I may say of despair at my
inability to lead the policy of Berlin into wiser channels--even in
such hours, I say, I have never forgotten that our alliance with the
German Empire was no ordinary alliance, no such alliance as may be
contracted by two Emperors or two Governments, and can easily be
broken, but an alliance of blood, a blood-brotherhood between the ten
million Austro-Germans and the seventy million of the Empire, which
could not be broken. And I have never forgotten that the military
party in power at that time in Germany were not the German people, and
that we had allied ourselves with the German people, and not with a
few leading men. But I will not deny that in the moments when I saw my
policy could not be realised I did ventilate the idea of suggesting to
the Emperor the appointment, in my stead, of one of those men who saw
salvation in a separation from Germany. But again and again I
relinquished this idea, being firmly convinced that separate peace was
a sheer impossibility. The Monarchy lay like a great block between
Germany and the Balkans. Germany had great masses of troops there from
which it could not be cut off, it was procuring oil and grain from the
Balkans; if we were to interpose between it and the Balkans we should
be striking at its most sensitive vital nerve. Moreover, the Entente
would naturally have demanded first of all that we joined in the
blockade, and finally our secession would automatically have involved
also that of Bulgaria and Turkey. Had we withdrawn, Germany would have
been unable to carry on the war. In such a situation there can be no
possibility of doubt but that the German Army Command would have flung
several divisions against Bohemia and the Tyrol, meting out to us the
same fate which had previously befallen Roumania. The Monarchy,
Bohemia in particular, would at once have become a scene of war. But
even this is not all. Internally, such a step would at once have led
to civil war. The Germans of Austria would never have turned against
their brothers, and the Hungarians--Tisza's Hungarians--would never
have lent their aid to such a policy. _We had begun the war in common,
and we could not end it save in common._ For us there was no way out
of the war; we could only choose between fighting with Germany against
the Entente, or fighting with the Entente against Germany until
Germany herself gave way. A slight foretaste of what would have
happened was given us through the separatist steps taken by Andrassy
at the last moment. This utterly defeated, already annihilated and
prostrate Germany had yet the power to fling troops toward the Tyrol,
and had not the revolution overwhelmed all Germany like a
conflagration, smothering the war itself, I am not sure but that the
Tyrol might at the last moment have been harried by war. And,
gentlemen, I have more to say. The experiment of separate peace would
not only have involved us in a civil war, not only brought the war
into our own country, but even then the final outcome would have been
much the same. The dissolution of the Monarchy into its component
national parts was postulated throughout by the Entente. I need only
refer to the Conference of London. But whether the State be dissolved
by way of reward to the people or by way of punishment to the State
makes little difference; the effect is the same. In this case also a
"German Austria" would have arisen, and in such a development it would
have been hard for the German-Austrian people to take up an attitude
which rendered them allies of the Entente. In my own case, as Minister
of the Imperial and Royal Government, it was my duty also to consider
dynastic interests, and I never lost sight of that obligation. But I
believe that in this respect also the end would have been the same. In
particular the dissolution of the Monarchy into its national elements
by legal means, against the opposition of the Germans and Hungarians,
would have been a complete impossibility. And the Germans in Austria
would never have forgiven the Crown if it had entered upon a war with
Germany; the Emperor would have been constantly encountering the
powerful Republican tendencies of the Czechs, and he would have been
in constant conflict with the King of Serbia over the South-Slav
question, an ally being naturally nearer to the Entente than the
Habsburgers. And, finally, the Hungarians would never have forgiven
the Emperor if he had freely conceded extensive territories to Bohemia
and to the South-Slav state; I believe, then, that in this confusion
the Crown would have fallen, as it has done in fact. _A separate peace
was a sheer impossibility._ There remained the second way: to make
peace jointly with Germany. Before going into the difficulties which
rendered this way impossible I must briefly point out wherein lay our
great dependence upon Germany. First of all, in military respects.
Again and again we were forced to rely on aid from Germany. In
Roumania, in Italy, in Serbia, and in Russia we were victorious with
the Germans beside us. We were in the position of a poor relation
living by the grace of a rich kinsman. But it is impossible to play
the mendicant and the political adviser at the same time, particularly
when the other party is a Prussian officer. In the second place, we
were dependent upon Germany owing to the state of our food supply.
Again and again we were here also forced to beg for help from Germany,
because the complete disorganisation of our own administration had
brought us to the most desperate straits. We were forced to this by
the hunger blockade established, on the one hand, by Hungary, and on
the other by the official authorities and their central depots. I
remember how, when I myself was in the midst of a violent conflict
with the German delegates at Brest-Litovsk, I received orders from
Vienna to bow the knee to Berlin and beg for food. You can imagine,
gentlemen, for yourselves how such a state of things must weaken a
Minister's hands. And, thirdly, our dependence was due to the state of
our finances. In order to keep up our credit we were drawing a hundred
million marks a month from Germany, a sum which during the course of
the war has grown to over four milliards; and this money was as
urgently needed as were the German divisions and the German bread.
And, despite this position of dependence, the only way to arrive at
peace was by leading Germany into our own political course; that is to
say, persuading Germany to conclude a peace involving sacrifice. _The
situation all through was simply this: that any momentary military
success might enable us to propose terms of peace which, while
entailing considerable loss to ourselves, had just a chance of being
accepted by the enemy._ The German military party, on the other hand,
increased their demands with every victory, and it was more hopeless
than ever, after their great successes, to persuade them to adopt a
policy of renunciation. I think, by the way, that there was a single
moment in the history of this war when such an action would have had
some prospect of success. I refer to the famous battle of Görlitz.
Then, with the Russian army in flight, the Russian forts falling like
houses of cards, many among our enemies changed their point of view.
I was at that time still our representative in Roumania. Majorescu was
then not disinclined to side with us actively, and the Roumanian army
moved forward toward Bessarabia, could have been hot on the heels of
the flying Russians, and might, according to all human calculations,
have brought about a complete débâcle. It is not unlikely that the
collapse which later took place in Russia might have come about then,
and after a success of that nature, with no "America" as yet on the
horizon, we might perhaps have brought the war to an end. Two things,
however, were required: in the first place, the Roumanians demanded,
as the price of their co-operation, a rectification of the Hungarian
frontier, and this first condition was flatly refused by Hungary; the
second condition, which naturally then did not come into question at
all, would have been that we should even then, after such a success,
have proved strong enough to bear a peace with sacrifice. We were not
called upon to agree to this, but the second requirement would
undoubtedly have been refused by Germany, just as the first had been
by Hungary. I do not positively assert that peace would have been
possible in this or any other case, but I do positively maintain that
during my period of office _such a peace by sacrifice was the utmost
we and Germany could have attained_. The future will show what
superhuman efforts we have made to induce Germany to give way. That
all proved fruitless was not the fault of the German people, nor was
it, in my opinion, the fault of the German Emperor, but that of the
leaders of the German military party, which had attained such enormous
power in the country. Everyone in Wilhelmstrasse, from Bethmann to
Kühlmann, wanted peace; but they could not get it simply because the
military party got rid of everyone who ventured to act otherwise than
as they wished. This also applies to Bethmann and Kühlmann. The
Pan-Germanists, under the leadership of the military party, could not
understand that it was possible to die through being victorious, that
victories are worthless when they do not lead to peace, that
territories held in an iron grasp as "security" are valueless
securities as long as the opposing party cannot be forced to redeem
them. There were various shades of this Pan-Germanism. One section
demanded the annexation of parts of Belgium and France, with an
indemnity of milliards; others were less exorbitant, but all were
agreed that peace could only be concluded with an extension of German
possessions. It was the easiest thing in the world to get on well with
the German military party so long as one believed in their fantastic
ideas and took a victorious peace for granted, dividing up the world
thereafter at will. But if anyone attempted to look at things from
the point of view of the real situation, and ventured to reckon with
the possibility of a less satisfactory termination of the war, the
obstacles then encountered were not easily surmounted. We all of us
remember those speeches in which constant reference was always made to
a "stern peace," a "German peace," a "victorious peace." For us, then,
the possibility of a more favourable peace--I mean a peace based on
mutual understanding--I have never believed in the possibility of a
victorious peace--would only have been acute in the case of Poland and
the Austro-Polish question. But I cannot sufficiently emphasise the
fact that the Austro-Polish solution never was an obstacle in the way
of peace and could never have been so. There was only the idea that
Austrian Poland and the former Russian Poland might be united and
attached to the Monarchy. It was never suggested that such a step
should be enforced against the will of Poland itself or against the
will of the Entente. There was a time when it looked as if not only
Poland but also certain sections among the Entente were not
disinclined to agree to such a solution.

But to return to the German military party. This had attained a degree
of power in the State rarely equalled in history, and the rarity of
the phenomenon was only exceeded by the suddenness of its terrible
collapse. The most striking personality in this group was General
Ludendorff. Ludendorff was a great man, a man of genius, in
conception, a man of indomitable energy and great gifts. But this man
required a political brake, so to speak, a political element in the
Wilhelmstrasse capable of balancing his influence, and this was never
found. It must fairly be admitted that the German generals achieved
the gigantic, and there was a time when they were looked up to by the
people almost as gods. It may be true that all great strategists are
much alike; they look to victory always and to nothing else. Moltke
himself, perhaps, was nothing more, but he had a Bismarck to maintain
equilibrium. We had no such Bismarck, and when all is said and done it
was not the fault of Ludendorff, or it is at any rate an excuse for
him, that he was the only supremely powerful character in the whole of
Germany, and that in consequence the entire policy of the country was
directed into military channels. Ludendorff was a great patriot,
desiring nothing for himself, but seeking only the happiness of his
country; a military genius, a hard man, utterly fearless--and for all
that a misfortune in that he looked at the whole world through Potsdam
glasses, with an altogether erroneous judgment, wrecking every attempt
at peace which was not a peace by victory. Those very people who
worshipped Ludendorff when he spoke of a victorious peace stone him
now for that very thing; Ludendorff was exactly like the statesmen of
England and France, who all rejected compromise and declared for
victory alone; in this respect there was no difference between them.
The peace of mutual understanding which I wished for was rejected on
the Thames and on the Seine just as by Ludendorff himself. I have said
this already. According to the treaty it was our undoubted duty to
carry on a defensive war to the utmost and reciprocally to defend the
integrity of the State. It is therefore perfectly obvious that I could
never publicly express any other view, that I was throughout forced to
declare that we were fighting for Alsace-Lorraine just as we were for
Trentino, that I could not relinquish German territory to the Entente
so long as I lacked the power to persuade Germany herself to such a
step. But, as I will show, the most strenuous endeavours were made in
this latter direction. And I may here in parenthesis remark that our
military men throughout refrained from committing the error of the
German generals, and interfering in politics themselves. It is
undoubtedly to the credit of our Emperor that whenever any tendency to
such interference appeared he quashed it at once. But in particular I
should point out that the Archduke Frederick confined his activity
solely to the task of bringing about peace. He has rendered most
valuable service in this, as also in his endeavours to arrive at
favourable relations with Germany.

Very shortly after taking up office I had some discussions with the
German Government which left those gentlemen perfectly aware of the
serious nature of the situation. In April, 1917--eighteen months
ago--I sent the following report to the Emperor Charles, which he
forwarded to the Emperor William with the remark that he was entirely
of my opinion.

[This report is already printed in these pages. See p. 146.]

This led to a reply from the German Government, dated May 9, again
expressing the utmost confidence in the success of the submarine
campaign, declaring, it is true, their willingness in principle to
take steps towards peace, but reprehending any such steps as might be
calculated to give an impression of weakness.

As to any territorial sacrifice on the part of Germany, this was not
to be thought of.

As will be seen from this report, however, we did not confine
ourselves to words alone. In 1917 we declared in Berlin that the
Emperor Charles was prepared to permit the union of Galicia with
Poland, and to do all that could be done to attach that State to
Germany in the event of Germany making any sacrifices in the West in
order to secure peace. But we were met with a _non possumus_ and the
German answer that territorial concessions to France were out of the
question.

The whole of Galicia was here involved, but I was firmly assured that
if the plan succeeded Germany would protect the rights of the Ukraine;
and consideration for the Ukrainians would certainly not have
restrained me had it been a question of the highest value--of peace
itself.

When I perceived that the likelihood of converting Berlin to our views
steadily diminished I had recourse to other means. The journey of the
Socialist leaders to Stockholm will be remembered. It is true that the
Socialists were not "sent" by me; they went to Stockholm of their own
initiative and on their own responsibility, but it is none the less
true that I could have refused them their passes if I had shared the
views of the Entente Governments and of numerous gentlemen in our own
country. Certainly, I was at the time very sceptical as to the
outcome, as I already saw that the Entente would refuse passes to
their Socialists, and consequently there could be nothing but a "rump"
parliament in the end. But despite all the reproaches which I had to
bear, and the argument that the peace-bringing Socialists would have
an enormous power in the State to the detriment of the monarchical
principle itself, I never for a moment hesitated to take that step,
and I have never regretted it in itself, only that it did not succeed.
It is encouraging to me now to read again many of the letters then
received criticising most brutally my so-called "Socialistic
proceedings" and to find that the same gentlemen who were then so
incensed at my policy are now adherents of a line of criticism which
maintains that I am too "narrow-minded" in my choice of new means
towards peace.

It will be remembered how, in the early autumn of 1917, the majority
of the German Reichstag had a hard fight against the numerically
weaker but, from their relation to the German Army Command, extremely
powerful minority on the question of the reply to the Papal Note. Here
again I was no idle spectator. One of my friends, at my instigation,
had several conversations with Südekum and Erzberger, and encouraged
them, by my description of our own position, to pass the well known
peace resolution. It was owing to this description of the state of
affairs here that the two gentlemen mentioned were enabled to carry
the Reichstag's resolution in favour of a peace by mutual
understanding--the resolution which met with such disdain and scorn
from the Pan-Germans and other elements. I hoped then, for a moment,
to have gained a lasting and powerful alliance in the German Reichstag
against the German military plans of conquest.

And now, gentlemen, I should like to say a few words on the subject of
that unfortunate submarine campaign which was undoubtedly the beginning
of the end, and to set forth the reasons which in this case, as in many
other instances, forced us to adopt tactics not in accordance with our
own convictions. Shortly after my appointment as Minister the idea of
unrestricted submarine warfare began to take form in German minds. The
principal advocate of this plan was Admiral Tirpitz. To the credit of
the former _Reichskansler_, Bethmann-Hollweg, be it said that he was
long opposed to the idea, and used all means and every argument to
dissuade others from adopting so perilous a proceeding. In the end he
was forced to give way, as was the case with all politicians who came
in conflict with the all-powerful military party. Admiral Holtzendorff
came to us at that time, and the question was debated from every point
of view in long conferences lasting for hours. My then ministerial
colleagues, Tisza and Clam, as well as myself were entirely in
agreement with Emperor Charles in rejecting the proposal, and the only
one who then voted unreservedly in favour of it was Admiral Haus. It
should here be noted that the principal German argument at that time
was not the prospect of starving England into submission, but the
suggestion that the Western front could not be held unless the American
munition transports were sunk--that is to say, the case for the
submarine campaign was then based chiefly on a point of _technical
military importance_ and nothing else. I myself earnestly considered
the question then of separating ourselves from Germany on this point;
with the small number of U-boats at our disposal it would have made but
little difference had we on our part refrained. But another point had
here to be considered. If the submarine campaign was to succeed in the
northern waters it must be carried out at the same time in the
Mediterranean. With this latter water unaffected the transports would
have been sent via Italy, France and Dover to England, and the northern
U-boat campaign would have been paralysed. But in order to carry
on submarine war in the Adriatic we should have to give the Germans
access to our bases, such as Pola, Cattaro and Trieste, and by so doing
we were _de facto_ partaking in the submarine campaign ourselves. If we
did not do it, then we were attacking Germany in the rear by hindering
their submarine campaign--that is to say, it would bring us into direct
conflict with Germany. Therefore, albeit sorely against our will, we
agreed, not convinced by argument, but unable to act otherwise.

And now, gentlemen, I hasten to conclude. I have but a few words to
say as to the present. From time to time reports have appeared in the
papers to the effect that certain gentlemen were preparing
disturbances in Switzerland, and I myself have been mentioned as one
of them. I am doubtful whether there is any truth at all in these
reports; as for myself, I have not been outside this country for the
last nine months. As, however, my contradiction on this head itself
appears to have given rise to further misunderstandings, I will give
you my point of view here briefly and, as I hope, clearly enough. I am
most strongly opposed to any attempt at revolt. I am convinced that
any such attempt could only lead to civil war--a thing no one would
wish to see. I am therefore of opinion that the Republican Government
must be maintained untouched until the German-Austrian people as a
whole has taken its decision. But this can only be decided by the
German people. Neither the Republic nor the Monarchy is in itself a
dogma of democracy. The Kingdom of England is as democratic as
republican Switzerland. I know no country where men enjoy so great
freedom as in England. But it is a dogma of democracy that the people
itself must determine in what manner it will be governed, and I
therefore repeat that the final word can only be spoken by the
constitutional representative body. I believe that I am here entirely
at one with the present Government. There are two methods of
ascertaining the will of the people: either each candidate for the
representative body stands for election on a monarchical or a
republican platform, in which case the majority of the body itself
will express the decision; or the question of Monarchy or Republic can
be decided by a plebiscite. It is matter of common knowledge that I
myself have had so serious conflicts with the ex-Kaiser that any
co-operation between us is for all time an impossibility. No one can,
therefore, suspect me of wishing on personal grounds to revert to the
old régime. But I am not one to juggle with the idea of democracy, and
its nature demands that the people itself should decide. I believe
that the majority of German-Austria is against the old régime, and
when it has expressed itself to this effect the furtherance of
democracy is sufficiently assured.

And with this, gentlemen, I have finished what I proposed to set
before you. I vainly endeavoured to make peace together with Germany,
but I was not unsuccessful in my endeavours to save the
German-Austrians from ultimately coming to armed conflict with
Germany. I can say this, and without exaggeration, that I have
defended the German alliance as if it had been my own child, and I do
not know what would have happened had I not done so. Andrassy's "extra
turn" at the last moment showed the great mass of the public how
present a danger was that of war with Germany. Had the same
experiment been made six months before it would have been war with
Germany; would have made Austria a scene of war.

There are evil times in store for the German people, but a people of
many millions cannot perish and will not perish. The day will come
when the wounds of this war begin to close and heal, and when that day
comes a better future will dawn.

The Austrian armies went forth in the hour of war to save Austria.
They have not availed to save it. But if out of this ocean of blood
and suffering a better, freer and nobler world arise, then they will
not have died in vain, all those we loved who now lie buried in cold
alien earth; they died for the happiness, the peace and the future of
the generations to come.

FOOTNOTES:

[11] Translated from the German text given by Count Czernin, no English
text being available.



INDEX


Adler, Dr. Victor, a discussion with, 27
  and the Socialist Congress at Stockholm, 168
  and Trotski, 234, 235

Adrianople, cession of, 268

Aehrenthal, Franz Ferdinand and, 40
  policy of expansion, 5

Air-raids on England, cause of, 16
  their effect, 167

Albania, and the Peace of Bucharest, 6
  Queen Elizabeth of Roumania and, 92

Albrecht von Würtemberg, 39

Alsace-Lorraine, Bethmann on, 74
  cession of, demanded by Entente, 165
  conquest of, a curse to Germany, 15
  Emperor Charles's offer to Germany, 75
  France insists on restoration of, 170
  Germany and, 71, 158, 159

Ambassadors and their duties, 97, 110

America and the U-boat campaign, 116, 119, 120
  enters the war, 17, 148
  rupture with Germany, 127
  shipbuilding programme of, 291
  unpreparedness for war, 122
  (_Cf._ United States)

American Government, Count Czernin's Note to, 279 _et seq._

Andrassy, Count, and Roumanian peace negotiations, 260
  declares a separate peace, 24, 25
  German Nationalist view of his action, 25

Andrian at Nordbahnhof, 219

Anti-Roumanian party and its leader, 77

Arbitration, courts of, 171, 176, 177

Arion, Roumanian Foreign Minister, 322

Armaments, pre-war fever for, 3

Armand-Revertera negotiations, the, 164, 169

Asquith, a warlike speech by, 181

Austria-Hungary, a rejected proposal decides fate of, 2
  and Albania, 6
  and cession of Galicia, 145
  and question of separate peace, 27, 164, 170
  and the U-boat campaign, 124, 125, 149, 334
  ceases to exist, 179
  consequences of a separate peace, 24
  death-blow to Customs dues, 168
  declaration on submarine warfare, 279
  democratic Parliament of, 306
  enemy's secret negotiations for peace, 141, 162
  food troubles and strikes in, 238, 239, 241, 314
  her army merged into German army, 21
  her position before and after the ultimatum, 13
  heroism of her armies, 336
  impossibility of a separate peace for, 19, 21 _et seq._
  maritime trade obstructed by blockade, 280
  mobilisation and its difficulties, 8, 9
  obstinate attitude after Sarajevo tragedy, 8
  parlous position of, in 1917, 188
  peace negotiations with Roumania, 259, 318
  peace terms to, 179
  policy during war, Count Czernin on, 325
  racial problems in, 190
  separatist tactics in, 164
  Social Democracy in, 21, 31
  terms on which she could make peace, 29
  the Archdukes, 22
  views on a "tripartite solution" of Polish question, 201

Austrian Delegation, Count Czernin's speech to, 298 _et seq._

Austrian Government and the Ukrainian question, 242, 245

Austrian Navy, the, Franz Ferdinand and, 50

Austrian Ruthenians, leader of, 247

Austro-Hungarian demands at Bucharest negotiations, 319

Austro-Hungarian army, General Staff of, 22
  inferiority of, 21

Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the, and foreign policy, 134
  peace idea of, 174

Austro-Polish question, the, and the Ukrainian demands, 242
  no bar to peace, 331
  solution of, 200 _et seq._

Avarescu, interview with, 263
  retirement of, 323


=B=

Baernreither, his views of a separate peace, 230

Balkan Wars, the, 6

Balkans, the, troubles in: attitude of German Emperor, 68

_Baralong_ episode, the, 133

Bathurst, Captain, and consumption of breadstuffs, 295
  on an "un-English" system, 296

Bauer, Dr., German-Austrian Secretary of State, 18

Bauer, Herr, houses Trotski's library, 235

Bavarian troops enter into the Tyrol, 27

Belgian neutrality violated by Germany, 14

Belgian question, the, Germany ready for negotiations with England on, 180

Belgium, England's promise to, 14
  German entry into, 14
  Germany's views regarding, 157, 158

Belgium, invasion of, changes England's policy, 2

Benckendorff, Count, at London Conference, 275

Benedict XV, Pope, Austria's answer to peace Note of, 175
  German reply to, 333
  proposals for peace by, 167, 177

Berchtold, Count, and Franz Ferdinand, 43, 44
  and the Roumanian question, 77
  criticised by pro-war party at Vienna, 33
  ultimatum to Serbia, 7
  vacillation of, 10

Berlin, Byzantine atmosphere of, 62, 66
  the English Ambassador demands his passport, 14

Bessarabia, Bolshevism in, 265

Bethmann-Hollweg, and Austria's willingness to cede Galicia, 146
  and the Supreme Military Command, 156
  draws up a peace proposal, 139
  opposes U-boat warfare, 115, 334
  optimistic view of U-boat campaign, 151 _et seq._
  replies to author's _exposé_, 150
  requests Vienna Cabinet to accept negotiations, 8
  visits Western front, 73

Bilinski, Herr von, and the future of Poland, 205

Bismarck, Prince, and the invincibility of the army, 17
  and William II., 52
  dealings with William I., 65
  heritage of, becomes Germany's curse, 15
  his policy of "blood and iron," 15

Bizenko, Madame, murders General Sacharow, 220

Blockade, enemies feeling the grip of, 297
  of Germany, 280
  why established by Great Britain, 281

Bohemia as a possible theatre of war: author's reflections on, 24

Bolsheviks and the Kieff Committee, 245

Bolsheviks, dastardly behaviour of, 249
  destruction wrought in Ukraine, 252
  enter Kieff, 248, 249

Bolshevism, Czernin on, 216, 221
  in Bessarabia, 265
  in Russia, 211, 216, 229
  terrorism of, 226
  the Entente and, 273

Bosnia, as compensation to Austria, 207

Bozen, proposals for cession of, 170, 173

Bratianu, a tactless proceeding by, 112
  apprises author of Sarajevo tragedy, 86
  collapse of, 99
  Ministry of, 88
  on Russia, 263
  reproaches author, 96

"Bread peace," origin of the term, 257

Brest-Litovsk, a dejected Jew at, 225
  a victory for German militarism, 193
  answer to Russian peace proposals, 224
  arrival of Trotski at, 232
  conflict with Ukrainians at, 235
  episode of Roumanian peace, 260
  evacuation of occupied areas: difficulties of, 312
  first peace concluded at, 249
  frontier question, 208
  further Ukrainian representation at, 300
  heated discussions at, 228
  object of negotiations at, 305
  peace negotiations at, 218 _et seq._, 311
  Russians threaten to withdraw from, 227
  territorial questions at, 235, 236, 245
  Ukrainian delegation and their claims, 208, 231, 314

Briand, peace negotiations with, 182

Brinkmann, Major, transmits Petersburg information to German
  delegation, 230

British losses by submarines, 290
  trade, and result of submarine warfare, 291

Bronstein and Bolshevism, 211

_Brotfrieden_ ("Bread peace"), 257

Bucharest, fall of, 99
  report of peace negotiations at, 318
  Zeppelin attacks on, 101 et seq.

Bucharest, Peace of, 6, 82, 100, 258 _et seq._, 270

Budapest, author's address to party leaders at, 174
  demonstrations against Germany in, 233

Buftea, Treaty of, 323

Bulgaria, a dispute with Turkey, 268
  and the Dobrudsha question, 263, 323
  her relations with America, 125
  humiliation of, 6
  negotiations with the Entente, 162, 163, 269
  question of her neutrality, 10
  secession of, 183

Bulgarian representatives at Brest, 223

Bülow, Prince, exposes William II., 54

Burian, Count, 106, 200
  and the division of Galicia, 244
  draws up a peace proposal, 139
  his Red Book on Roumania, 98, 114
  succeeded by author, 114
  visits German headquarters, 210

Busche, von dem, and territorial concessions, 107


=C=

Cachin, his attitude at French Socialist Congress, 214

Cambon, M., attends the London Conference, 275

Capelle and U-boats, 132

Carmen Sylva (_see_ Elizabeth, Queen of Roumania)

Carol, King, a fulfilled prophecy of, 88
  and Serbia, 12
  last days of, 90
  peculiar policy of Government of, 81
  tactfulness of, 79
  Tsar's visit to, 88
  urges acceptance of ultimatum, 90
  visited by Franz Ferdinand, 79

Carp, 82, 87, 94

Catarau, and the crime at Debruzin, 89

Central-European question, the, 209
  the terror of the Entente, 172

Central Powers and the Bratianu Ministry, 97
  enemy blockade of, 132
  favourable news in 1917, 143
  why they adopted submarine warfare, 281 _et seq._

Charles VIII., Emperor, and Franz Ferdinand, 41
  and problem of nationality, 192
  and the principle of ministerial responsibility, 56
  and the Ukrainian question, 244
  apprised by author of critical condition of food supply, 237, 239
  cautions the Kaiser, 321
  communicates with King Ferdinand on Roumanian peace, 260
  confers a title on eldest son of Franz Ferdinand, 45
  correspondence with Prince Sixtus, 164
  frequent absences from Vienna, 61
  his ever friendly demeanour, 57, 58
  invites Crown Prince to Vienna, 75
  opposes U-boat warfare, 334
  reinstates Archduke Joseph Ferdinand, 61
  rejoices at peace with Ukraine, 249
  submits author's _exposé_ to William II., 146, 332
  suggests sacrifices for ending World War, 75
  visits South Slav provinces, 59

Clam-Martinic, Count, and the customs question, 168
  and U-boat campaign, 121
  attends conference on Polish question, 206
  opposes submarine warfare, 334

Clemenceau, M., and Germany, 182
  and the Peace of Versailles, 272
  dominant war aim of, 184, 186

Colloredo-Mannsfield, Count, at Brest-Litovsk, 236
  attends conference on U-boat question, 121
  meets author, 219

Compulsory international arbitration, 171, 176, 177

Conrad, Chief of the General Staff, 44

Constantinople, an Entente group in, 163

Corday, Charlotte, cited, 227

Cossacks, the, 212

Courland demanded by Germany, 249

Crecianu, Ambassador Jresnea, house damaged in Zeppelin attack
  on Bucharest, 103

Csatth, Alexander, mortally wounded, 89

Csicserics, Lieut. Field-Marshal, 219
  at Brest-Litovsk, 236

Czechs, the, attitude of, regarding a separate peace, 24

Czernin, Count Ottokar, a candid chat with Franz Ferdinand, 43
  a hostile Power's desire for peace, 141
  a scene at Konopischt, 39
  abused by a braggart and brawler, 83
  acquaints Emperor of food shortage, 237, 239
  activities for peace with Roumania, 258 _et seq._
  ambassador to Roumania, 7
  an appeal for confidence, 310
  and American intervention, 123
  and the reinstatement of Archduke Joseph Ferdinand, 61
  and the Ukrainian question (_see_ Ukrainian)
  answers explanation of an American request, 128
  appeals to Germany for food, 238, 239, 329
  appointed Ambassador to Bucharest, 77
  apprises Berchtold of decision of Cabinet Council, 12
  attends conference on U-boat warfare, 121
  avoided by Pan-Germans, 160
  becomes Minister for Foreign Affairs, 114
  breakfasts with Kühlmann, 230
  confers with Tisza, 27, 28
  conflicts with the Kaiser, 335
  conversation with Trotski, 248
  converses with Crown Prince, 74
  criticises Michaelis, 160
  decorated by King Carol, 88
  disapproves of U-boat warfare, 115
  dismissal of, 183, 194, 266
  extracts bearing on a trip to Western front, 72
  friction with the Emperor, 210, 215
  his hopes of a peace of understanding, 20 _et seq._, 174,
    209, 217, 331, 333
  imparts peace terms to Marghiloman, 266
  informs Emperor of proceedings at Brest, 229
  interviews King Ferdinand, 264
  issues passports for Stockholm Conference, 168, 333
  journeys to Brest-Litovsk, 218
  learns of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, 86
  loss of a dispatch-case, 98
  loyalty to Germany, 327
  lunches with Prince of Bavaria, 222
  meets the Emperor William II., 54
  misunderstandings resulting from a speech by, 19, 23
  nominated to the Herrenhaus, 46
  note to American Government, 279
  obtains a direct statement from William II., 57
  on a separate peace, 327
  on Austria's policy during war, 325
  on Bolshevism, 216, 221
  on President Wilson's programme, 192
  on U-boat warfare, 148, 179, 334
  passages of arms with Ludendorff, 247
  peace programme of, 299
  persecution of, 208
  Polish leaders and, 205
  President Wilson on, 193
  private talk with the Emperor, 124
  sends in his resignation, 23
  sets interned prisoners at liberty, 95, 96
  speech to Austrian Delegation, 298 _et seq._
  threatens a separate peace with Russia, 228
  unfounded charges against, 162
  urges sacrifice of Alsace-Lorraine, 71
  William II.'s gift to, 64
  with Emperor Charles visits Eastern front, 57


=D=

Danube Monarchy, the, a vital condition for existence of
  Hungarian State, 202
  dangers of a political structure for, 202

Debruzin, sensational crime at, 88

Declaration of London, the, 280

D'Esperey, General Franchet, and Karolyi, 260

Deutsch, Leo, and the Marxian Social Democrats, 211

Devonport, Lord, on the food question, 296

Disarmament, negotiations respecting, 4
  international, 171, 176, 177, 308
  question of, 181

Divorces in Roumania, 85

Dobrudsha, the, acquisition of, 82
  assigned to Bulgaria, 268, 269
  cession of, at peace with Roumania, 323
  King Ferdinand and, 265
  Marghiloman's view on, 266
  question discussed with Avarescu, 263
  Turkish attitude concerning, 268

Dualism, the curse of, 137


=E=


East Galicia, cession of, demanded by Ukrainians, 240 _et seq._

"Echinstvo" group, the, 211

Edward VII., King, and Emperor Francis Joseph, 1, 2
  and William II., 63
  encircling policy of, 1, 63

Elizabeth, Queen of Roumania, a word-picture by, 91
  an operation for cataract, 93
  her devotion to King Carol, 92

Ellenbogen, Dr., and Socialist Conference at Stockholm, 168
  plain speaking by, 26

England, an effort at _rapprochement_ with Germany and its failure, 180
  and dissolution of military power in Germany, 184
  and the elder Richthofen, 246
  attitude of, at beginning of World War, 15, 16
  blockade of, by U-boats, 142, 151
  bread shortage in, 295
  declares war on Germany, 14
  discards Declaration of London, 280
  distress in, from U-boat warfare, 145
  distrust of Germany's intentions in, 185
  dread of gigantic growth of Germany in, 1
  Flotow's tribute to, 120
  food supply of, 293
  freedom in, 335
  her desire to remain neutral at opening of war, 2
  negotiates with Germany on naval disarmament, 4
  public opinion in, after Sarajevo tragedy, 8
  refusal to restore German colonies, 166, 170
  shortage of potatoes in, 296
  the Pacifist party in, 167
  "unbending resolve" of, to shatter Germany, 31, 32, 71

English mentality, a typical instance of, 4

English Socialists, 214

Entente, the, adheres to Pact of London, 209, 217
  and arming of merchant vessels, 286
  and Italy, 27
  and the trial of William II., 66
  answers President Wilson, 118, 120
  as instruments in a world revolution, 273
  Austria pressed to join, 2
  demands abolition of German militarism, 165, 170, 171, 173
  desire of final military victory, 164
  exterminates Prussian militarism, 273
  impression on, of author's speech at Budapest, 178
  mine-laying by, 130
  peace proposals to, 19, 20
  rejects first peace offer, 115
  suspicious of Germany's plans, 3
  their "unbending resolve" to shatter Germany, 31, 326
  views as to peace, 170

Enver Pasha, his influence in Turkey, 233, 269

Erzberger, Herr, agrees with "Czernin scheme", 185, 333
  and author's secret report to the Emperor, 155 (note)

Espionage in Roumania, 97

Esterhazy succeeds Tisza, 136

Esthonia demanded by Germany, 249, 317

Eugen, Archduke, 22

Europe after the war, 175

European tension, beginnings of, 1


=F=

Fasciotti, Baron, and Austro-Hungarian action in Belgrade, 12

Fellowes, Sir Ailwyn, admits success of U-boats, 295

Ferdinand, King of Roumania, author's interview with, 264
  German opinion of, 260
  Queen Elizabeth's fondness for, 93

Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King, anti-Serbian policy of, 51

Filippescu, Nikolai, a proposal by, 80

Fleck, Major, at Nordbahnhof, 219

Flotow, Baron, interview with Hohenlohe, 117
  reports on German attitude on U-boat warfare, 118

Fourteen Points, Wilson's, 190 _et seq._, 271, 305, 306, 323 _et seq._

France, and Austria: effect of Vienna troubles, 250
  Bethmann's tribute to, 153
  distrust of Germany's intentions in, 185
  insists on restoration of Alsace-Lorraine, 170
  opening of war a surprise to, 2
  the Pacifist party in, 167

Francis Joseph, Emperor, a tribute to, 47
  advised to accept negotiations, 8
  and Franz Ferdinand, 42, 46
  and the principle of ministerial responsibility, 56
  author's audience with, 12
  death of, 48
  gives audience to author, 47
  King Edward VII. and, 1, 2
  on the Peace of Bucharest, 6
  opposes Filippescu's scheme, 81

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke, a fortune-teller's prediction concerning, 44
  anti-Magyar point of view of, 38, 50
  antipathy to Hungary, 35, 37, 38
  as gardener, 35
  as husband and father, 44, 45
  dislike for the Germans of, 50
  false rumours concerning, 43
  fearlessness of, 45
  friendships of, 39
  Goluchowski and, 36
  Great-Austrian programme of, 41, 49
  his high opinion of Pallavicini, 5
  his sense of humour, 41
  makes advances to the Kaiser, 42
  marriage of, 41, 44
  mentality of, 35
  personality of, 34
  pro-Roumanian proclivities of, 77, 78, 79
  tragic end of, 49 (_see also_ Sarajevo tragedy)
  views on foreign policy of, 51

Freedom of the seas, 177
  attacked by Entente, 280, 281
  neutrals and, 284
  President Wilson on, 281, 307

French Socialistic Congress, 214

Freyburg, Baron von, attends conference on U-boat question, 121

Friedrich, Archduke, a tribute to, 22
  tact of, 72

Frontier rectifications, Hungary and, 258, 266, 319, 330

Fürstenberg, Karl, a request of, refused at Vienna, 112
  report on Roumanian question by, 77


=G=

Galicia, proposed cession of, 20, 75, 145, 159, 173, 332
  partition of, 209
  Tisza and, 135

Gas attacks, reason for Germany's use of, 16

Gautsch, Baron, a code telegram from, 229
  at Nordbahnhof, 219

George, Lloyd, admits grave state of grain supplies, 295
  and the Peace of Versailles, 272
  author in agreement with, 177-8
  confers with Orlando, 164
  Dr. Helfferich's allusions to, 290
  his desire to crush Germany, 186
  influence of, 184
  on disarmament, 184

George V., King, his telegram to Prince Henry of Prussia, 9

German army, the General Staff, 22

German-Austria, 179
  population of, 31

German Empire, the, creation of, 15, 66

German Government, _versus_ German Diplomacy, 10

German mentality, a typical instance of, 4
  military party refuse peace, 32

German Nationalists and Count Andrassy, 25, 26

German policy founders on heritage left by Bismarck, 15

German-Russian differences as to occupied areas, 304

German Supreme Command and evacuation question, 312

Germans and a friendly attitude towards America, 122
  at Brest conference, 224
  attitude of, towards Poland, 203
  inferior mentality of, 69
  "insatiable appetite" of, 267
  Lenin and, 216
  oppose peace negotiations with Roumania, 260
  refuse to renounce occupied territory, 226
  the dynastic fidelity of, 52

Germany, a moral coalition against, 3
  advocates unrestricted U-boat warfare, 115 _et seq._
  and Alsace-Lorraine, 71
  and Austro-Hungarian military action in Ukraine, 254
  answers the Papal Note, 177
  blind faith in invincibility of her army, 17
  blockade of, and her retaliatory measures, 16
  confident of victory, 23, 71
  culpability of, in matter of peace, 185
  decides on U-boat campaign, 124
  declares Armistice with Russia at an end, 318
  disillusionment of, 31
  dissatisfaction in, over peace resolution in Reichstag, 156
  England declares war on, 14
  evil times in store for, 336
  her dream of a victorious peace, 326, 331
  her hopes of food shortage in England, 145
  Michaelis on internal economic and political situation in, 157
  military party of, 19, 327, 330, 331
  negotiations respecting naval disarmament, 4
  post-war intentions of, 185
  restricts building of U-boats, 131
  revolution in, 328
  rupture with America, 127
  unsuccessful effort at _rapprochement_, 180
  violates neutrality of Belgium, 14

Goluchowski, Count, vacillation of, 36

Görlitz, battle of, 96, 107, 329

Gratz, Dr., a good suggestion by, 248
  author's discussion with, 219
  on Austro-Polish solution of Polish question, 244

Great-Roumania, question of, 80

Great War, the, psychology of various cities, 197
  (_See_ World War)

Grey, Sir Edward, an interview with Lichnowsky, 7
  at London Conference, 275
  proposes negotiations, 8


=H=

Habsburgs, Empire of, the Treaty of London and, 21, 29, 33

Hadik, apathetic attitude of, 238

Hague Convention, the, 280

Haus, Admiral, favours submarine warfare, 334
  in Vienna, 121

Hauser, and the question of separate peace, 230

Hebel, appointment for, 154

Helfferich, Dr., disclosures by, 161 (note)
  on attitude of William II. during Balkan troubles, 68
  speech on submarine warfare, 151, 288 _et seq._

Henry of Prussia, Prince, a telegram
     from King George to, 9

Hertling, Count, advised to suppress "Der Kaiser im Felde," 64
  becomes Imperial Chancellor, 198
  President Wilson on, 193
  succeeds Michaelis, 161

Herzegovina as compensation to Austria, 207

Hindenburg, Field-Marshal, modesty of, 126
  popularity of, in Germany, 17

Hoffmann, General, an unfortunate speech by, 237
  and plans for outer provinces, 226
  high words with Kühlmann, 235
  received by the Kaiser, 230
  receives a telegram from Petersburg, 229
  visited by author, 219

Hohenberg, Duchess of, 41
  welcomed in Roumania, 79

Hohendorf, General Conrad von, and his responsibility for
  the war, 18 (note)

Hohenlohe, Prince, and settlement of Wedel's request, 127
  free speech with William II., 65
  report on U-boat campaign, 116, 126

Holtzendorff, Admiral, and submarine campaign, 149
  arrives in Vienna, 121
  guarantees results of U-boat campaign, 122, 334

Hungarian Ruthenians, Wekerle on, 243
  Social Democrats, 168

Hungary and cession of her territory, 106
  and Roumanian intervention, 77, 106, 107
  and the alliance with Roumania, 77 _et seq._
  demands of, at Bucharest, 319
  frontier rectification question, 258, 266, 319, 330
  her influence on the war, 138
  indignation in, at author's appointment to Bucharest, 77
  "just punishment" of, 97
  opposes economical alliance with Roumania, 266, 320
  question of a separate peace, 27
  repellent attitude of, 107
  struggle for liberty in, 202
  why her army was neglected, 22


=I=

Imperiali, Marchese, points submitted to London Conference by, 275

International arbitration (_see_ Arbitration)

International disarmament, 171, 176, 177

International law, Germany's breach of, in adoption of U-boat
  warfare, 280, 281

Internationalists, Russian, 211

Ischl, an audience with Emperor Francis Joseph at, 12

Iswolsky, 11

Italy, Allied defeat in, 183
  and Albania, 6
  and the Peace of Versailles, 272
  Czernin on, 308
  declares a blockade, 281
  points submitted to London Conference, 275
  stands in way of a peace of understanding, 188
  ultimatum to, 12
  why she entered the war, 3


=J=

Jaczkovics, Vicar Michael, tragic death of, 89

Jagow, Herr von, a frank disclosure by, 14

Joffe, Herr, a circular letter to Allies, 300
  conversation with, at Brest, 220
  criticisms on the Tsar, 227

Jonescu, Take, and the Sarajevo tragedy, 86

Joseph Ferdinand, Archduke, 22
  appointed Chief of Air Force, 62
  reinstatement of, 61
  relinquishes his command, 62
  the Luck episode, 61


=K=

Kameneff at Brest, 220, 316

Karachou, Leo, secretary of Peace Delegation, 303

Karl, Emperor, peace proposals to the Entente, 20

Karl of Schwarzenberg, Prince, Franz Ferdinand and, 39, 40

Karolyi and Roumanian peace negotiations, 260
  his attitude before the Roumanian declaration of war, 28

Kerenski and the offensive against Central Powers, 211
  newspaper report of condition of his health, 212

Kiderlen-Waechter, a satirical remark by, 63

Kieff, a mission to, 251
  entered by Bolsheviks, 248, 249
  in danger of a food crisis, 252
  peace conditions at, 208

Kieff Committee and the Bolsheviks, 245

Kiel Week, the, 62

_Kienthaler_ (Internationalists), 211

Konopischt and its history, 34 _et seq._

Kreuznach, a conference at, 145

Kriegen, Dr. Bogdan, a fulsome work by, 64

Kühlmann, Dr., and the food shortage, 238, 239
  author's talk with, 222
  difficult position of, 313
  high words with Hoffman, 235
  his influence, 198, 199
  informed of Roumanian peace overtures, 260
  on the Kaiser, 228
  returns to Brest, 230


=L=

Lamezan, Captain Baron, at Brest-Litovsk, 233

Landwehr, General, and the food shortage, 238, 240

Lansdowne, Lord, conciliatory attitude of, 184

Larin and Menshevik Socialists, 211

League of Nations, the, 308

Lenin, author on, 216
  opposed to offensive against Central Powers, 211

Leopold of Bavaria, Prince, a day's shooting with, 231
  chats with author, 219

Lewicky, M., 240

Lichnowsky interviews Sir Edward Grey, 7

Liége taken by Ludendorff, 22

Lithuania, Germany and, 249

Livonia demanded by Germany, 249, 317

London, Declaration of, discarded by England, 280

London, Pact of, 20, 170, 172, 179, 328
  desired amendments to, 146
  text of, 21, 275 _et seq._

Lublin, German demand for evacuation of, 204, 205, 206

Luck episode, the, 22, 106
  Archduke Joseph Ferdinand and, 61

Ludendorff and Belgium, 186
  and the Polish question, 207
  candid admission by, 247
  compared with enemy statesmen, 19
  confident of success of U-boat warfare, 126
  congratulates Hoffmann, 237
  displays "a gleam of insight", 230
  dominating influence of, 79, 115, 126
  German hero-worship of, 17
  his independent nature, 60
  how he captured Liége, 22
  personality of, 331

Lueger and Franz Ferdinand, 50

Luxembourg, German invasion of, 16


=M=

Mackensen, a fleet of Zeppelins at Bucharest, 101
  failure at Maracesci, 261
  headquarters at Bucharest, 105

Magyars, the, and Franz Ferdinand, 38, 50
  author and, 78

Majorescu and Austria's policy, 330
  and territorial concessions, 97, 206
  forms a Ministry, 81

Mandazescu, arrest and extradition of, 89

Maracesci, attack on, 261

Marghiloman and co-operation of Roumania, 106
  forms a Cabinet, 266, 320

Marie, Queen of Roumania, English sympathies of, 98, 99

Marne, the, first battle of, 17

Martow and the Menshevik party, 211

Martynoz, and the Russian Internationalists, 211

Medwjedew, J.G., Ukrainian delegate to Brest, 301

Mennsdorff, Ambassador, interviews General Smuts, 169

Menshevik party, the, 211

Meran, the Entente's proposals regarding, 170, 173

Merchant vessels, arming of, author on, 285

Merey meets Czernin at Brest, 219

Michaelis, Dr., appointed Imperial Chancellor, 156
  defines Germany's views regarding Belgium, 157
  on peace proposals, 157
  Pan-Germanism of, 160

"Might before Right," Bismarckian principle of, 15

Miklossy, Bishop Stephan, marvellous escape of, 89

Militarism, German faith in, 17
  England's idea of German, 166

Monarchists _v._ Republicans, 52

Monarchs, hypnotic complacency of, 58 _et seq._

Moutet, attitude of, at French Socialist conference, 214


=N=

Nationality, problem of, 190
  Franz Ferdinand and, 191

Naval disarmament, negotiations on, 4

Nicholas, Grand Duke, and the military party in Russia, 2

Nicolai, Tsar, Joffe on, 227

North Sea, the, blockade of, 280

Noxious gas, why used by Germany, 16


=O=

Odessa, in danger of a food crisis, 252

Orlando confers with Ribot and Lloyd George, 164

Otto, Archduke, brother of Franz Ferdinand, 36


=P=

Pallavicini, Markgraf, discusses the political situation with author, 5

Pan-Germans, 330
  conditions on which they would conclude peace, 160

Pan-Russian Congress, the, 212, 213, 214

Papal Note, the, 167, 177
  Austria's reply to, 175
  German reply to, 333

Paris, negotiations _in camera_ at, 271

Peace by sacrifice, 327

Peace Congress at Brest-Litovsk, 218 _et seq._

Peace movement, real historical truth concerning, 186

Peace negotiations, Count Czernin on, 298 _et seq._
  deadlock in, 182
  the Pope's proposals, 167, 175, 177, 333

Peace resolution, a, and its consequences, 156

Penfield, Mr., American Ambassador to Vienna, 131

People's Socialists, the, 212

Peschechonow, Minister of Food, 212

Petersburg and the Ukraine, 309

Plechanow, Georgei, and the Russian Social Patriots, 211

Poklewski, Russian Ambassador to Roumania, 86

Poland, a conference on question of, 205
  becomes a kingdom, 200
  conquest of, 106
  Count Czernin on, 304
  Emperor Charles's offer regarding, 75
  future position of, 203
  German standpoint on, 203
  Michaelis on, 159
  re-organisation of, 145
  the German demands, 244
  unrepresented at Brest, and the reason, 304, 315

Poles, the, and Brest-Litovsk negotiations, 208
  party divisions among, 204

Polish question, and the Central-European project, 209
  difficulties of, 200

Popow, Bulgarian Minister of Justice, 223

Pro-Roumanian party and its head, 77

Prussian militarism, England's idea of, 166
  extermination of, 273
  fear of, 174
  (_See also_ German military party)


=Q=


Quadruple Alliance, the, dissension in, 250
  Germany as shield of, 183
  peace terms to Roumania, 262


=R=

Radek, a scene with a chauffeur, 237

Radoslawoff, ignorant of negotiations with Entente, 162

Randa, Lieut.-Col. Baron, a telling remark by, 104
  and Roumanian peace overtures, 260, 262, 319

Reichstag, the, a peace resolution passed in, 156
  demands peace without annexation, 156, 160

Renner and the Stockholm Congress, 168

Republicans _v._ Monarchists, 52

Ressel, Colonel, 264

Revertera negotiates for peace, 164, 169

Revolution, danger of, 147

Rhondda, Lord, British Food Controller, 151

Ribot confers with Orlando, 164
  statement by, 152

Richthofen brothers, the, 246

Rosenberg meets author at Brest, 219

Roumania, 77 _et seq._
  a change of Government in, 81
  a land of contrasts, 84
  affairs in, after Sarajevo tragedy, 86
  and the Peace of Bucharest, 6
  author's negotiations for peace, 258
  between two stools, 261
  declares war, 100, 279
  espionage in, 97
  freedom of the Press in, 84
  Germany and, 262, 267
  her treachery to Central Powers, 262
  how news of Sarajevo tragedy was received in, 86
  Marghiloman forms a Cabinet, 266
  negotiations for peace, 318
  out of action, 23
  peace concluded with, 323
  question of annexations of, 159, 207
  question of her neutrality, 12, 95
  Russian gold in, 111
  social conditions in, 85
  ultimatum to, 12, 262
  why she entered the war, 3

Roumanian invasion of Transylvania, 108

Roumanians, mistaken views of strength of, 261
  their love of travel, 85

Rudolf, Crown Prince, and Franz Ferdinand, 37

Russia, a contemplated peace with, 211
  abdication of the Tsar, 142
  an appeal to German soldiers, 249
  begins military operations without a declaration of war, 3
  Bolshevism in, 211, 216, 229
  declares for cessation of hostilities, 318
  differences of opinion in, as to continuance of war, 211 _et seq._
  enters the war, 7
  Francis Joseph's inquiry as to a possible revolution in, 105
  her responsibility for Great War, 10
  incites German army to revolt, 317
  negotiations for peace, 298
  out of action, 23
  peace treaty signed, 318
  prepared for war, 112
  the military party in, 2, 9
  ultimatum to Roumania, 262

Russian Revolution, the, 142, 147, 211 _et seq._

Russians, their fear of Trotski, 237

Ruthenian districts of Hungary, Ukrainian demands, 242


=S=

Sacharow, General, murder of, 220

St. Mihiel, author at, 73

St. Privat, reminiscences of, 74

Salzburg negotiations, the, 210

Sarajevo, the tragedy of, 6, 49
  sounds death knell of the Monarchy, 32

Sassonoff, a momentous statement by, 88
  attitude of, after declaration of war, 8
  visits Bucharest, 112

Satonski, Wladimir Petrowitch, 302

Schachrai, W.M., at Brest, 301

Schonburg, Alvis, and the Emperor Charles, 61

Schönerer, Deputy, Franz Ferdinand and, 50

Secret diplomacy, abolition of: author's views, 306-7

Sedan, a house with a history at, 74

Seidler, Dr. von, a _faux pas_ by, 56
  and the food shortage, 240
  and the partition of Galicia, 209
  and the Ukrainian question, 208, 242, 243
  apathetic attitude of, 238, 239
  author's meeting with, 230
  visits South Slav provinces, 59

Seitz, and the Stockholm Conference, 168

Serbia, arrogance of, 6
  ultimatum to, 7

Sewrjuk, M., 240

Sixtus, Prince, letters from Emperor Charles to, 164

Skobeleff and the Mensheviks, 211

Skrzynski, Herr von, 250

Slapowszky, Johann, tragic death of, 89

Slav provinces, a visit by the Emperor to, 59

Smuts, General, interview with Mennsdorff, 170

Social Democrats and the question of peace, 26, 30
  and the Stockholm Conference, 168, 333
  Hungarian, 243
  opposed to sacrifice of Alsace-Lorraine, 71

"Social Patriots," Russian, 211

Social Revolutionary Party, the, 212

Socialists and offensive against Central Powers, 211

Spanish reports of war-weariness in England and France, 143

Stirbey, Prince, 263

Stockholm, a Socialist Conference at, 168, 333
  Russians ask for a conference at, 229

Stockholm Congress, negative result of, 169

Strikes and their danger, 310

Stumm, von, on Ukrainian claims, 241

Sturdza, Lieut.-Col., extraordinary behaviour of, 83

Stürgkh, Count, 18 (note)
  recollections of, 46

Submarine warfare, author's note to American Government on, 279
  Czernin on, 334
  destruction without warning justified, 283
  enemy losses in, 290
  enemy's "statistical smoke-screens" as to, 289
  question of safety of passengers and crew, 282
  speech by Dr. Helfferich on, 288
  why adopted by Central Powers, 281 _et seq._
  (_See also_ U-boats)

Südekum, Herr, and Austria-Hungary's peace proposals, 155, 333

Supreme Military and Naval Command, conditions of, for peace
  negotiations, 159

Switzerland, reported disturbances in: author's disclaimer, 335

Sycophancy in high places, 58, 60, 62, 63, 64

Sylvester, Dr., and the German-Austrian National Assembly, 26


=T=

Talaat Pasha arrives at Brest, 233
  influence of, 143
  threatens to resign, 269

Talleyrand, a dictum of, 174

Tarnowski, Count, author's opinion of, 110
  German Ambassador to Washington, 127

Thomas, M., war speech on Russian front, 214

Tisza, Count Stephen, 18 (note)
  a characteristic letter from, 200
  advocates unrestricted U-boat warfare, 115, 334
  and American intervention, 123
  and author's appointment to Bucharest, 78
  and cession of Hungarian territory, 135
  and control of foreign policy, 134
  and the Stockholm Conference, 168
  assassination of, 137
  at a U-boat campaign conference, 121
  author's conference with, 27, 28
  defends Count Czernin, 108
  dismissal of, 136, 203
  Franz Ferdinand and, 38
  his influence in Hungary, 27
  leads anti-Roumanian party, 77
  lively correspondence with author, 128
  on dangers of pessimism, 154
  on the Treaty of London, 28
  opposes annexation of Roumania, 207
  opposes the war, 10
  opposes U-boat warfare, 131, 334
  peace proposal of, 139
  _pro-memoria_ of, on Roumanian peace negotiations, 258
  question of frontier rectifications, 319
  refuses cession of Hungarian territory, 107
  speech at conference on Polish question, 206
  tribute to, 137
  views regarding Poland, 200
  visits the Southern Slavs, 30

Transylvania, 173
  opposition to cession of, 107
  proposed cession of, 28, 50
  Roumanian invasion of, 108

Trentino, the, offered to Italy, 75

Trieste, Entente proposals regarding, 170, 173

"Tripartite solution" of Polish question, Tisza on, 201

Trnka and the Customs dues, 168

Trotski, a tactical blunder by, 236
  accepts the German-Austria ultimatum, 235
  and the Internationalist party, 211
  arrives at Brest, 232
  declines to sign, 250
  his brother-in-law Kameneff, 220
  his library, 235, 236
  negotiations with, 247
  opposed to ill-treatment of war prisoners, 236
  ultimatum to, 234

Trudoviks, the, 212

Tscheidse, and the Mensheviks, 211, 213

Tschernow, speaks at Peasants' Congress, 212

Tschirsky, Herr von, a momentous communication to Berchtold, 7
  and a telegram from King George, 9
  his desire for war, 32
  untactful diplomacy of, 10

Tseretelli and the Menshevik party, 211

Turkey, a dispute with Bulgaria, 268
  asks for munitions, 95
  how the Sultan was deposed, 233
  probable secession of, 269

Turkish Grand Vizier arrives at Brest, 233

Turks, a reported advance by a hostile Power for a separate peace, 143
  at Brest Conference, 223

Tyrol, the, German troops in, 24


=U=

U-boat warfare, 114 _et seq._
  a conference in Vienna on, 121
  "a terrible mistake", 126
  and America's entry into the war, 126
  and why adopted by Germany, 16
  Czernin on, 148
  political arguments against, 117, 118
  what it achieved, 178
  (_See also_ Submarine warfare)

Ugron, Herr von, and the "tripartite" solution of Polish question, 201

Ukraine and Petersburg, 309
  Bolshevik destruction in, 252
  food supplies from, 251 _et seq._, 315
  military action in, and the consequences, 253
  peace concluded with, 249
  revolution in, 253
  survey of imports from, 255
  treaty signed, 317

Ukrainian Army General Committee appointed, 214
  delegates at Brest, 231, 300
  Workers' and Peasants' Government, a declaration from, 301

Ukrainians and their demands, 208, 240, 314
  dictatorial attitude of, 241
  negotiations with, 315

United States, the, scarcity of supplies in, 294
  (_See also_ America)


=V=

Versailles, opening of Peace Congress at, 196
  the Council of Four at, 271
  the Peace of, 18, 19, 271
  terrible nature of, 273
  triumph of Entente at, 186

Vienna, a council in, 121
  differences of opinion in, 77
  disastrous effects of troubles in, 250
  disturbances in, 58
  food shortage and strikes in, 238, 239, 241, 314
  politicians' views on peace proposals, 230
  psychology of, 197
  warlike demonstrations at, after Sarajevo tragedy, 33

Vredenburch, Herr von, Dutch Ambassador to Roumania, 104


=W=

Wales, Prince of (_see_ Edward VII., King)

Wallachia, occupation of, 99, 105

Wallhead, Mr., 295

Washington Cabinet, and Austria-Hungary's attitude to submarine
  warfare, 279

Wassilko, Nikolay, leader of Austrian Ruthenians, 247, 249

Wedel, Count, calls on Count Czernin, 127
  disclosures of, 161 (note)
  revelations of, 155 (note)

Weisskirchner, Burgemeister, coins the term "bread peace," 257

Wekerle, Dr., and the Polish question, 203
  author and, 136, 230
  on the Ukrainian question, 242
  standpoint of, on Roumanian peace negotiations, 260, 319

Western front, an Entente break-through on, 183

Western Powers, the, and Germany's ambitions, 2

Wiesner, Ambassador, von, and a Pan-German, 161
  at Brest-Litovsk, 236
  author discusses Russian peace with, 219

Wilhelm, Crown Prince, and Franz Ferdinand, 43
  anxious for peace, 72
  author's conversation with, 74
  his quarters at Sedan, 74

William I. and Bismarck, 65

William II., Emperor, and Bismarck, 52
  and Franz Ferdinand, 42
  and the German Supreme Military Command, 17
  as _causeur_, 66
  as the "elect of God," 52, 53
  cause of his ruin, 62 _et seq._
  demonstrations against, in the Reichstag, 54
  desires to help deposed Tsar, 70
  difficulties of his political advisers, 60
  fails to find favour in England, 63
  his projected division of the world, 67
  impending trial of: author's protest, 66
  informed of serious nature of situation for Allies, 332
  instructions to Kühlmann, 249
  long years of peaceful government, 68
  longs for peace, 70
  on food troubles in England, 145
  on impending attack on Italian front, 71
  presents author with "Der Kaiser im Felde," 64
  Prince Hohenlohe and, 65
  question of his abdication, 75
  the Press and, 65
  warlike speeches of, 68

Wilson, President, advantages of his "Fourteen Points," 188
  as master of the world, 192
  author on his Message, 305
  Count Andrassy's Note to, 25
  Count Czernin on, 192
  Entente's reply to his peace proposal, 118, 120, 123
  his Fourteen Points and the Peace of Versailles, 271
  on the freedom of the seas, 281
  ready to consider peace, 250
  reopens hopes of a peace of understanding, 189
  speech to Congress, 193
  text of the Fourteen Points, 323

Wolf, K.H., a scene in the "Burg," 169

World-domination, Germany's dream of, 1, 2

World organization, a new, principles of, 174 _et seq._

World War, the, an important phase of, 107
  attempts at peace, 134 _et seq._
  author's impressions and reflections on, 195 _et seq._, 271 _et seq._
  by whom started, 18 (note)
  causes of, 3
  President Wilson and, 188 _et seq._
  questions of responsibility for outbreak of, 2

World War, the, U-boat warfare in, 114 _et seq._
  (_see also_ Submarine warfare and U-boat)
  violent measures adopted by Germany in, 16


=Z=

Zeppelin raids on Bucharest, 100

Zimmermann, Herr, and author's peace proposals, 146
  opposes unrestricted U-boat warfare, 115, 120

_Zimmerwalder_ (Russian Internationalists), 211



PRINTED BY CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED, LA BELLE SAUVAGE, LONDON, E.C. 4

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   | Typographical errors corrected in text:                          |
   |                                                                  |
   | Table of Contents: Appendix is listed as 257, changed to 275     |
   | Page  47: 'and and in doing so' replaced with 'and in doing so'  |
   | Page  81: 'to made room' replaced with 'to make room'            |
   | Page 107: session replaced with cession                          |
   | Page 196: perdera replaced with perdra                           |
   | Page 201: Nr 63 replaced with Nr. 63                             |
   | Page 251: official replaced with officials                       |
   | Page 286: 'Les navir' replaced with 'Les navires'                |
   | Page 293: persumably replaced with presumably                    |
   | Page 333: Sudekum replaced with Südekum                          |
   | Page 334: 'would have have been' replaced with 'would have been' |
   | Page 343: Gouluchowski replaced with Goluchowski                 |
   | Page 344: Gorlitz replaced with Görlitz                          |
   | Page 346: Lubin replaced with Lublin                             |
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   | The surname Colloredo-Mannsfield/Colloredo-Mannsfeld appears     |
   | once each way, on page 121, and in the index                     |
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