June 19, 1914


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Le Figaro, June 19, 1914


New York Tribune, June 19, 1914

Anonymous, Seven Years in Vienna, London, 1917:

‘Germany decided that the moment for letting
a European war break loose had come, and her
reasons for this decision were weighty. The
most important of all was the ” Slav danger,”
as it was generally called in Germany and Aus-
tria-Hungary. Twenty years ago the German
family averaged sixteen to eighteen children.
In Austria, too, large families had been the rule.
The Magyars in Hungary still boasted big
families, but the cancer that had bitten into
German social life was beginning to be seen
there, too. The one-child family had become
the fashion in Germany. The mode was
adopted by the Germans in Austria. States-
men scolded, and proposed to tax bachelors and
childless couples. But they were unable to
stop the terrifying decrease in the population.
Meanwhile, the Slavonic races in both Germany
and Austria and Hungary multiplied very
rapidly. Military men complained that regi-
ments, officers and men, were composed entirely
of Slavs, because there were not sufficient
Austro-Germans or Magyars, It was impos-
sible to enter a room where men of purely Ger-
man extraction had assembled without hearing
of this ” Slav danger,” which hung like a night-
mare over the ruling races in Germany. Aus-
tria and Hungary saw their preponderance
threatened. They doctored statistics to hide
the truth. This was of little use. The Slav type
was unmistakable. Slavs did not care to inter-
marry with Germans, and the race remained
purely Slavonic, although Serbs and Czechs
often intermarried. A war would afford an op-
portunity of reducing the Slav population. The
military authorities had arranged to place the
regiments composed of subject-races in the
front of the battle so that they might be killed
off. In 1914 leading men in both Germany and
Austria-Hungary considered that war was in-
evitable within the next five years if they were
to retain their supremacy. ‘

‘The financial factor, too, was largely respon-
sible for hastening the date of the war.
Large sums had been spent on armaments in
both Germany and Austria-Hungary far beyond
the capacity of either country. Taxation had
risen imperceptibly, and with it the cost of
living. This had affected the middle classes.
It is doubtful whether the families of officials
in State employ and army officers ever got a
really satisfactory meal in the last years of pre-
paration. Men dressed in gorgeous uniforms,
and with Orders and decorations that showed
their rank, walked about the streets gaunt and

‘People said, ” This cannot go on.” States-
men saw that it would be revolution or war.
Austria was faced with bankruptcy unless she
could fight a successful war which would open
fresh regions for exploitation and relieve her
of her surplus Slavs.’


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