I hear with astonishment that in France and elsewhere in the world it is imagined that Germany wants to carry on an aggressive war, and that she had with this aim brought about the present situation. It is said that the Emperor was of the opinion that the moment had come to have a final reckoning with his enemies; but what a terrible error that is! Whoever knows the Emperor as I do, whoever knows how very seriously he takes the responsibility of the crown, how his moral ideas are rooted in true religious feeling, must be astonished that any one could attribute such motives to him.
He has not wanted the war; it has been forced upon him by the might of the circumstances. He has worked unswervingly to keep the peace, and has together with England thrown his whole influence into the scales to find a peaceful solution, in order to save his people from the horrors of war. But everything has been wrecked upon the attitude of Russia, which in the middle of negotiations which offered good outlook of success mobilized her forces, wherewith she proved that she did not mean in earnest what her assurances of peaceful intentions indicated.
Now Germany’s frontiers are menaced by Russia which drags her allies into the war, now Germany’s honor is at stake. Is it possible under these circumstances that the most peace-loving monarch can do otherwise than take to the sword in order to defend the most sacred interests of the nation?
And, finally, the German
people! In them is firmly rooted the word
of Prince Bismarck against aggressive wars: “One must not try to
look into the cards of Fate.”
It must be stated again:
Russia alone forces the war upon Europe.
Russia alone must carry the full weight of responsibility.
* * * * *
Issued to The Associated Press from General Headquarters, Sept. 2.
I do not know what is thought of this war in America. I assume there have been published in America the telegrams exchanged between the German Emperor, the Emperor of Russia, and the King of England, containing the history of the events that preceded the outbreak of the war, and which bears irrefutable testimony of how the Emperor, until the last moment, strove hard to preserve the peace.
These efforts had to be futile, as Russia, under all circumstances, had resolved upon war, and as England, which for decades had encouraged the anti-German nationalism in Russia and France, did not avail herself of the splendid opportunity offered her to prove her often-emphasized love of peace, otherwise the war between Germany and France and England could have been averted.
When once the archives are opened the world will learn how often Germany extended to England her friendly hand, but England did not desire