“Let your hearts beat for God and your fists on the enemy.”
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Speech from Balcony of Royal Palace, Berlin, Aug. 2.
All stand as one man for our Kaiser, whatever our opinions or our creeds. I am sure that all the young German men are ready to shed their blood for the fame and greatness of Germany. We can only trust in God, Who hitherto has always given us victory.
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[Illustration: T. Von Bethmann-Hollweg, German Imperial Chancellor. (Photo from Brown Brothers.)]
Speech Delivered in the Reichstag, Berlin, Afternoon of Aug. 4.
A mighty fate has descended upon Europe. Because we were struggling for the esteem of the German Empire in the world, we have for forty-four years lived in peace and safeguarded the peace of Europe. In peaceful industry we have become strong and mighty and in consequence envied. With patience we have borne that, under the pretext that Germany was desirous of war, hostility toward us was being nursed and chains forged for us both in the East and in the West.
We wished to continue to live in peaceful industry, and, like an unexpressed vow, there was passed on from Kaiser to the youngest soldier: “Only in defense of a righteous cause shall our sword be drawn.” (Hearty applause.) The day when we must draw it has appeared, contrary to our desire, contrary to our honest efforts to avoid it. Russia has applied the firebrand to the house. We find ourselves in a forced war with Russia and France.
Gentlemen, a series
of documents, composed in the rush of events,
is in your hands. Allow me to place before you the facts which
characterize our attitude.
From the very beginning of the Austrian conflict we strove and worked toward the end that this trouble remain confined to Austria-Hungary and Servia. All Cabinets, especially that of England, take the same stand; only Russia declares that she must have a word in the decision of this conflict. Therewith the danger of European entanglements arises. As soon as the first authentic reports of the military preparations in Russia reached us we declared in a friendly but emphatic manner in St. Petersburg that war measures and military preparations would force us also to prepare, and that mobilization is closely akin to war.
Russia asserts in what is an apparently friendly manner that she is not mobilizing against us. In the meantime England tries to mediate between Vienna and St. Petersburg, in which she is warmly supported by us. On July 28 the Kaiser telegraphed the Czar, asking him to consider that Austria-Hungary has the right and that it is her