8 July 2012

Maybe Constantinople is the key

-from Kaiser Wilhelm II's memoirs (which is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN)


In 1886, at the end of August and beginning of September, after the last meeting at Gastein of Emperor William the Great and Prince Bismarck with Emperor Franz Josef, where I also was present at the command of my grandfather, I was commissioned to report personally to Tsar Alexander II concerning the decisions made there and to take up with him the questions relating to the Mediterranean and Turkey. Prince Bismarck gave me his instructions, sanctioned by Emperor William; they dealt most especially with Russia's desire to reach Constantinople, to which the Prince meant to raise no obstacles. On the contrary, I received direct instructions to offer Russia Constantinople and the Dardanelles (in other words, San Stefano and the Berlin Treaty had been dropped!). There was a plan to persuade Turkey in a friendly way that an understanding with Russia was desirable for her also.

The Tsar received me cordially at Brest-Litovsk and I was present there at reviews of troops and fortress and defensive maneuvers, which, even then, unquestionably bore an anti-German look.

To sum up my conversations with the Tsar, the following remark by him is of importance: ''If I wish to have Constantinople, I shall take it whenever I feel like it, without need of permission or approval from Prince Bismarck" After this rude refusal of the Bismarck offer of Constantinople, I looked upon my mission as a failure and made my report to the Prince accordingly.

When the Prince decided to make his offer to the Tsar, he must have altered his political conceptions which had led to San Stefano and the Congress of Berlin; or else, on account of the development of the general political situaticm in Europe, he considered that the moment had come for shuffling the political cards in another way or, as my grandfather had put it, to ^^juggle" differently. Only a man of the world importance and diplomatic ability of Prince Bismarck could embark on such a course. Whether the Prince had planned his big political game with Russia in such a way that he might, first, by means of the Congress of Berlin, prevent a general war and cajole England, and then, after having thus hindered Russia's Eastern aspirations, cater to these aspirations later, by a stroke of genius, in an even more striking manner, it is impossible for me to say— Prince Bismarck never told anyone about his great political projects.

If the above is true, Bismarck, trusting absolutely to his statesmanlike skill, must have reckoned upon bringing Germany all the more into Russian favor because Russian aspirations were brought to fulfillment by Germany alone—and that at a moment when the general European political situation was less strained than in 1877-78. In this case, nobody except Prince Bismarck could have played the tremendous game to a successful end. And therein lies the weakness in the superiority of great men. Had he also informed England of his offer to the Tsar? England must have been opposed to it, as in 1878.

In any event, the Prince now adopted the policy which I had already noted when I realized the disillusion of the Russians at having stood before the . gates of Constantinople without being allowed to enter.

permalink: http://whistlewright.parlementum.net/?p=3066
#300yrswar #crusades #thesis
Kaiser Wilhelm on his grandmother Queen Victoria

An obstacle was placed in the way of carrying out this plan by a letter from Queen Victoria of England, who, upon hearing of the projected visit to St. Petersburg, expressed to her eldest grandson, in a good-humored but authoritative tone, her disapproval of the contemplated journey. She said that a year of mourning must first elapse, after which my first visit was due to her, since she was my grandmother, and to England, it being the native country of my mother, before other lands should be considered. When I placed this letter before the Prince, he gave way to a violent fit of anger He spoke about ^^family dictation in England,'' of interference from that quarter which must cease; the tone of the letter showed, he said, how the Crown Prince and Emperor Frederick had been ordered about and influenced by his mother-in-law, wife, etc. Thereupon the Prince wished to draw up the text of a reply to the Queen. I remarked that I would prepare the appropriate answer, steering the proper middle course between the grandson and the Emperor, and that I would show it to the Prince before dispatching it

The answer paid heed in its outward form to the close relationship between a grandson and his grandmother, who had carried him in her arms when he was a baby and, in view of her age alone, commanded great respect—but, in its essentials, it laid stress upon the position and duty of the German Emperor, compelled to carry out unconditionally a command of his dying father affecting Germany^s most vital interests. It stated that the grandson was obliged to respect this command of his grandfather in the interest of the country, the representation of which interests had now devolved upon him by the will of God, and that his royal grandmother must leave to him the question of deciding in what manner this was to be done. I added that, otherwise, I was her loving grandson, who would always be grateful for any advice from his grandmother, who had derived so much experience from her long reign; but that I was, nevertheless, in matters affecting Germany, compelled to retain my freedom of action; the visit to St Petersburg, I said, was politically necessary, and the command of my Imperial grandfather was consonant with the close family relations between me and the Russian Imperial house; therefore it would be carried out

The Prince approved of the letter. The answer, which arrived after a while, was surprising. The Queen agreed that her grandson was in the right; he must act in accordance with the interests of his country; she would be glad to see him, even if it were later on, at her own home. From that day onward my relations with the Queen, who was feared even by her own children, were of the best imaginable; from that day onward she never treated her grandson except as a sovereign of equal rank with herself!

permalink: http://whistlewright.parlementum.net/?p=3069
#300yrswar Finds Seeds of World War

In the chapter Kaiser Wilhelm discusses something right out of Churchill's #300yrswar thesis. I will clean up this machine read epub text for you when I get back to a computer


In a book {The Problem of Japan) which appeared anonymously at The Hague in 1918 and was said to have been written by an "Ex-Diplomat from the Far East," an excerpt was published from a work of the American, Professor Usher of Washington University at St. Louis. Usher, like his former colleague. Prof. John Bassett Moore of

^ ''Once the magnitude of Pan-Germanism dawned on the English and French diplomats, once they became aware of the lengths to which Germany was willing to go, they realized the necessity of strengthening their position, and therefore made overtures to the United States, which resulted, probably before the summer of the year 1897, in an understanding between the three countries. There seems to be no doubt whatever that no papers of any sort were signed, that no pledges were given which circumstances would not justify any one of the contracting parties in den3ring or possibly repudiating. Nevertheless, an understanding was reached that in case of a war begun by Germany or Austria for the purpose of executing Pan-Germanism, the United States would promptly declare in favor of England and France and would do her utmost to assist them."— ^Roland G. Ushbr, Pan-Germanism, chap, z, p. 139.


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Columbia University, New York, has often been called into consultation as an adviser on foreign relations by the State Department at Washington, since he had a knowledge possessed by few other Americans on international questions affecting the United States, Professor Usher, in his book published in 1913, made known, for the first time, the existence and contents of an "agreement" or "secret treaty" between England, America, and France, dating from the spring of 1897. In this it was agreed that, in case Germany or Austria, or both of them, should begin a war for the sake of "Pan-Germanism," the United States should at once declare in favor of England and France and go to the support of these powers with all its resources. Professor Usher cites at length all the reasons, including those of a colonial character, which inevitably imposed upon the United States the necessity of taking part, on the side of England and France, in a war against Germany, which Professor Usher, in 1913, prophesied as imminent//

The unknown author of The Problem of Japan went to the trouble of publishing in tabulated form the agreements between England, France, and America in 1897, in order thereby to show, in a way easily understood, the extent of the reciprocal obligations. This chapter is extraordinarily worth reading; it gives a good glimpse into the preliminary history and preparation of the World War on the part of the Entente, which even at that time was uniting against Germany,


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although not yet appearing under the name of Entente Cordiale. The ex-diplomat remarks in this connection:

Here is a treaty that Professor Usher alleges to have been entered into as long ago as 1897, in which every phase of activity and participation in future events by England, France, and the United States is provided for, including the conquest of the Spanish dependencies, control over Mexico and Central America, the opening of China, and the annexation of coaling stations. And all these measures Professor Usher wishes us to beUeve were taken to defend the world against Pan-Germanism.

It is unnecessary to remind Professor Usher, or anybody else, for that matter, that Pan-Germanism, if we go so far as to assume that such a thing actually exists, had certainly never been heard of in 1897, ^^ which time Germany had not yet adopted her program for naval construction on a large scale, the same having been bruited for the first time in 1898. If, therefore, it is true that England, France, and the United States harbored the mutual designs imputed to them by Professor Usher, and entered into an alliance to accomplish them, it will scarcely do to attribute the conception of the idea and the stimulus to its consummation to so feeble a pretext as the rise of a Pan-Germanism. ^

Thus the ex-diplomat

This is truly amazing. A definite treaty of partition directed against Spain, Germany, etc., arranged even to minute details, was planned between Gauls and Anglo-Saxons, in a time of the profoundest peace, and concluded without the

> Thi Problem •/ Japan, by ao Ex-Countelor of Legation in the Far Bast, chap, yiii, p. 136, note. Published by C L. Langenhuyten, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. 1918*


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slightest twinge of conscience, in order to annihilate Germany and Austria and eliminate their competition from the world market! Seventeen years before the beginning of the World War this treaty was made by the united Anglo-Saxons and its goal was systematically envisaged throughout this entire period! Now one can understand the ease with which King Edward VII could pursue his policy of encirclement; for years the principal actors had been united and in readiness. When he christened the compact "Entente Cordiale," its appearance was for the world, especially for Germany, an unpleasant novelty, but in the countries on the other side it was merely the official acknowledgment of facts long known there.

In view of this agreement, one can understand also the opposition of England in 1897 to an agreement with Germany regarding coaling stations, and the anger aroused because Germany managed, in agreement with Russia, to gain a firm foothold in China, concerning the exploitation of which land without German participation a tripartite treaty had already been made.

Usher talked out of school and conclusively proved at whose door lies the guilt for the World War. The treaty directed against Germany— sometimes called the "gentleman's agreement"— of the spring of 1897, is the basis, the point of departure, for this war, which was systematically developed by the Entente countries for seventeen years. When they had succeeded in winning over Russia and Japan likewise for their purposes, they


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struck the blow, after Serbia had staged the Sarajevo murder and had thus touched the match to the carefully filled powder barrel.

Professor Usher's statements are likewise a complete refutation of all those who were impelled, during the war, to find the reason for the entry of tlie United States in certain military acts on the part of Germany, as, for instance, the Lusitania case, the expansion of U-boat warfare, etc. None of that is right. The recently published, excellent book of John Kenneth Turner, Shall It Be Again? points out, on the basis of convincing proofs, that Wilson's alleged reasons for going to war and war aims were not the real ones. America—or rather President Wilson—^was resolved probably from the start, certainly from 1915, to range herself against Germany and to fight. She did the latter, alleging the U-boat warfare as a pretext, in reality under the influence of powerful financial groups, and yielding to the pressure and prayers of her partner, France, whose resources in man power were becoming more and more exhausted. America did not wish to leave a weakened France along with England, whose annexation designs on Calais, Dunkirk, etc., were well known to her.

It was a fateful thing for Germany—let this be stated here, in a general way—that our Foreign Office was unable to meet the broad policy of encirclement of England and the cunning of Russia and France with an equal degree of diplomatic skill. This was partly because it had not really been trained under Prince Bismarck; and therc-


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fore when, after the retirement of the Prince and Count Herbert, the all-dominating will and spirit were lacking, it was not up to the task of conducting foreign affairs on its own independent initiative.

Moreover, it is difficult in Germany to train up good diplomats, since our people lack the taste and endowment for diplomacy which have shone forth brilliantly only from a few German minds, like Frederick the Great and Bismarck. Unfavorable also to the Foreign Office were the very frequent changes of Secretaries of State. Imperial Chancellors, following the example of Bismarck, maintained their influence upon the Foreign Office and suggested the Secretaries of State who should direct its affairs. I acquiesced in the proposals of the Imperial Chancellors as to these posts, since I admitted their right to choose themselves their leading collaborators in the domain of foreign affairs. That these frequent changes were not calculated to work toward the continuity of political policy was a disadvantage that had to be taken into account

The Foreign Office was largely influenced by the axiom: "No disagreeable quarrels with other powers"—"surtout pas d'histoires" ("above all, no yarns"), as the French general said to a company of soldiers which, he had heard, wished to mutiny. One of the Secretaries of State told me once when, in placing some matter before me, I had called his attention to the apparently serious situation in connection with some foreign question, that this simply


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must be righted, that the Foreign Office based its acts primarily upon the maxim: "Let us have quiet"

Given this attitude, one can also understand the answer which the German representative gave to a German merchant in a South American republic who had asked him for help and intercession with the authorities, since his shop had been plundered and his property stolen: "Oh, don't bother me with these things! We have established such pleasant relations with this republic; any action undertaken in your behalf would only serve to upset them." I need scarcely add that whenever such a conception of duty came to my attention I removed the official concerned from his post.

The Foreign Office enjoyed general unpopularity both among the people and in the army. I worked continuously, during the tenure of office of various Chancellors, for thorough reform, but in vain. Every new Chancellor, especially if he himself did not come from the ranks of the foreign service, needed the Foreign Office in order to work himself into foreign affairs, and this took time. But once he had worked himself in he was under obligation to the officials, and was reluctant to make extensive changes, burdened as he was by other matters and lacking detailed knowledge regarding the Foreign Office personnel, particularly as he still believed that he needed the advice of thosewho were "orientated."

permalink: http://whistlewright.parlementum.net/?p=3073
#300yrswar #kaiser wilhelm #pangermanism
Conspiracie afoot everywhere!

from Kaiser Wilhelm's Memoirs

In February, 1900, while the Boer War was in progress and while I was with the fleet at Heligoland attending the maneuvers of ships of the line after having been present at the swearing in of recruits at Wilhelmshafen I received news by telegraph from the Wilhehnstrasse, via Heligoland, that Russia and France had proposed to Germany to make a joint attack on England, now that she was involved elsewhere, and cripple her sea traffic. I objected and ordered that the proposal be declined.

Since I assumed that Paris and St Petersburg would present the matter at London in such a way as to make it appear that Berlin had made the above proposal to both of them, I immediately telegraphed from Heligoland to Queen Victoria and to the Prince of Wales (Edward) the fact of the Russo-French proposal, and its refusal by me. The Queen answered expressing her hearty thanks, the Prince of Wales with an expression of astonishment.

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#300yrswar #boerwars #kaiser wilhelm
How to handle the English

In the course of one of the first talks which I had with Bulow as Imperial Chancellor he informed himself concerning my ideas of how best to handle the English and have dealings with them. I told him that I considered absolute frankness the most important thing in dealing with England and Englishmen; that the Englishman, in presenting his point of view and working for his interests, was inconsiderate to the point of brutality, for which reason he thoroughly understood anybody who acted similarly toward him; that there must be no playing the diplomatic game, or "finessing," with an Englishman, because it made him distrust those with whom he was dealing and suspect that they were not honest and wished secretly to cheat him; that such devious methods could be successful only in dealing with Latin and Slavic nations; that, once the Englishman had become suspicious, there was nothing more to be done with him, despite the most honeyed words and most obliging concessions; that the only advice, therefore, which I could give the Chancellor was that he confine himself entirely to straightforwardness in his English policy. I said this with particular emphasis, since "finessing" was especially dear to the diplomatic character of Count Bulow and had become second nature to him. ~from The Kaiser's Memoirs

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#300yrswar #kaiser wilhelm



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