July 12, 1914

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Gagarine-Stourdza, Le collier d’ambre, Salon de Paris, 1914



(313677) No. 48.

Mr. Crackanthorpe to Sir Edward Grey.

(a.)

Tel. (No. 42.) En clair. Belgrade, July 11, 1914.

M. de Hartwig, Russian Minister here, died suddenly last
night of heart failure.

MINUTES.


In the political and diplomatic world, M. de Hartwig’s
death will not cause much grief. E. A. C. July 11.

He was a faithful and active supporter of Russian policy, although his methods were peculiar. His Servian policy was, so far as Russian interests were concerned, distinctly a success. A. N.

I can only say “de mortuis nil.” E. G.

(31514) (b)

Belgrade, July 12, 1914.

D.10:30 A.M.
R. 11:50 A.M.,
Tel. (No. 43.)


My immediately preceding telegram.

By a strange fatality Russian Minister’s death took place during a visit he was paying to the Austrian Minister on the latter’s return from Vienna. Russian Minister was desirous of offering certain personal explanations in regard to various reports concerning his behaviour and attitude after the Archduke’s assassination, asto which I am reporting by bag.(1)

I am assured that interview was quite friendly, and doctor’s evidence is that death would in any case have taken place within a few days.

(l) No. 62.

http://www.gwpda.org/gooch/35-50.htm



The next day Hartwig goes across to his Austrian colleague. Excellency presses Excellency’s sympathetic hand in silent hostility.

“Soon we shall be squaring accounts,” thinks the Austrophobe.

“Scoundrels,” thinks the Russophobe.

The next moment Hartwig falls from his chair, and in two minutes he is dead.

“Extremely awkward, this happening here!” thinks the young Baron, blind to the symbolic character of the scene. Will the nations understand it ?

Emil Ludwig, July `14

In Vienna, where there is no Parliament to dis-
turb the circles of war-mongers, public opinion is
being manipulated all the more vigorously. A
large portion of the Press is fulminating against
Serbia, against that “gang of robbers and mur-
derers” the “sheep-stealers” the “nation of lice.”
By the middle of the month the violence is far
greater than at the beginning; and since the Bel-
grade papers answer in just the same way, the
question arises, who began it. Let it not be an-
swered here, or ever ; it is the Delphic riddle of the
war, for which any solution suits and none suffices.

The Counts, indeed, go about their work in pro-
found secrecy, like Freemasons, so that even the
Serbian Minister in Vienna can do no more than
report, as he does continually, that something is in
the air ; but he cannot say what. Hotzendorf , in his
letter, has recommended “avoiding everything that
might prematurely alarm our antagonists; on the
contrary, every show should be made of absolutely
peaceful intentions.” To postpone the perform-
ance suddenly till to-morrow and then give it to-
day after all — that is their idea of cleverness.

“Have you heard anything?” the foreign dip-
lomats ask one another when they meet at Sacher’s
(for the usual weekly reception at Berchtold’s has
stopped). And although they hear nothing, they
discover all sorts of things; they guess, put two
and two together, criticise.

“I assure you, Your Excellency, there is only
one person who knows anything at all; that is
Tschirschky, and he will not say.”

“They say Stiirgkh is looking worried.”

“I saw Brudermann driving past ; he was beam-
ing.”

“Shebeko said openly that he would back Ser-
bia up if anything happened.”

“Is not Shebeko going on leave to-morrow?
If so, he cannot be expecting anything very bad.”

“Dumaine merely smiles.”

“Dumaine always smiles.”

Yes, Tschirschky holds his tongue because he
does not know much; for the secret is being kept
even from Berlin itself. What a mercy that the
Germans answered a courteous, general question
as to what they thought about the Ultimatum with
a sweeping gesture: “That was Austria’s affair!”
How can they be expected to have time and at-
tention for such things to-day, when quite another
problem is occupying the Foreign Office in Berlin ;
namely, ought one to telegraph to the King of Ser-
bia for his birthday to-morrow or not? The Ulti-
matum? Purely Austria’s concern! In the very
ante-chamber of the World War the courtly diplo-
mats of the Imperial capitals step back politely at
the door and say, in chorus, “After you, Your Ex-
cellency!”

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