Franz Ferdinand could afford to agree to this plan most readily, because he knew that Austria in her present state could not continue her existence, as she was on the brink of an insurrection of 25,000,000 Austrian Slavs against the continuance of a Government over them of 9,000,000 Austrian Germans. There is no doubt that this question was fully discussed at the conference at Konopish, where the German Emperor, accompanied by Admiral von Tirpitz, went to pay a visit to Franz Ferdinand one month before the latter was assassinated.
The tragedy of Serajevo found Germany after a course of action already had been agreed upon, and the sending of the ultimatum by Austria to Servia can be explained only by the desire of the two nations to fully complete their preparations.
Now, why do we find at this important moment of the world’s history such opposition not only against Germany but also an upheaval of other nations?
The German press of the United States endeavors to prove that the underlying reason for the struggle is the eventual triumph in Europe either of Teutonic or Slavish civilization, and denounces Russian barbarism and extols German culture.
I will not discuss the respective merits of Teutonic and Slavic culture and civilization, as in my opinion these are questions absolutely foreign to the events leading up to the war. The Russian, French, English, and Servian nations are not fighting against German culture, as represented by intellectual giants, such as Goethe, Wagner, and many others, but against German militarism, accompanied by systematic oppression of the individual residing in German territory.
This internal German policy created a national spirit against which the Allies now are fighting—the national spirit of Germany, which the whole world knows, and which is rough, conceited, arrogant, and intolerant toward foreigners beyond all measures, and admits nothing good unless it is German or made in Germany. This kind of German national spirit is in the majority in the empire of Germany and particularly in Prussia; the real cultured, good-hearted, sentimental German is about to die out completely, and the few remaining representatives of this type have no voice in Germany.
The pronounced antipathy to the above-described present majority type of Germans united all European nations against Germany, and supports their respective Governments in their efforts to put a stop to the furor teutonicus of the twentieth century.
For this reason the task of the allied Governments will find unlimited support of the nations and this war against Germany in Europe will prove to be most popular.
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Statement by George Bakhmeteff, Russian Ambassador to the United States, New York, Oct. 11.