Envious peoples everywhere are compelling us to our just defense.
The sword is being forced into our hand. I hope that if my efforts at the last hour do not succeed in bringing our opponents to see eye to eye with us and in maintaining peace we shall with God’s help so wield the sword that we shall restore it to its sheath again with honor.
War would demand enormous
sacrifices of blood and property from the
German people, but we should show our enemies what it means to
And now I commend you
to God. Go to church. Kneel down before God
and pray for His help for our gallant Army.
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Kaiser Wilhelm’s Speech from the Balcony of the Palace, Berlin, Aug. 2.
I thank you for the love and loyalty shown me. When I enter upon a fight let all party strife cease. We are German brothers and nothing else. All parties have attacked me in times of peace. I forgive them with all my heart. I hope and wish that the good German sword will emerge victorious in the right.
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[Illustration: Wilhelm II., German Emperor. (Photo from Charles E. Ritzmann.)]
Kaiser Wilhelm II., Opening Special Session of the Reichstag in White Room of the Royal Palace, Berlin, Aug. 4.
Honored Sirs: It is in an hour fraught with fate that I have assembled about me all the representatives of the German people. For almost half a century we have been able to keep to the path of peace. The attempts to attribute a warlike temperament to Germany and to circumscribe its position in the world have often put to severe tests the patience of our people. With unswerving honesty, my Government, even in provoking circumstances, has pursued as its highest aim the development of all moral, spiritual, and economic powers. The world has been witness how tirelessly we strove in the first rank during the pressure and confusion of the last few years to spare the nations of Europe a war between the great powers.
The very grave dangers which had arisen owing to the events in the Balkans appeared to have been overcome, but then the murder of my friend, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, opened up a great abyss. My high ally, the Emperor and King Francis Joseph, was compelled to take up arms to defend the security of his empire against dangerous intrigues from a neighboring State. In the pursuit of her proper interests the Dual Monarchy has found her path obstructed by the Russian Empire. Not only our duty as an ally calls us to the side of Austria-Hungary, but on us falls also the mighty task of defending