To celebrate was anyone feel this 15. October – neither in Bavaria nor anywhere else in the Empire. Although Marie Therese, the wife of king Ludwig III., celebrated on this Tuesday, your name-day. Normally, it was flagged on this occasion, always in the whole Kingdom.
But this time, at 15. October, 1918, there was no white-and-blue towels in Munich as in previous years, not even to the state buildings. “This is the beginning of the end?”, the secondary school teacher Josef Hofmiller asked: “can a hundred times to say, in this time, it is appropriate to remind you of a Prince’s name day – it does not mean, nevertheless, is the cowardly give up on yourself?”
On the same day, the answer of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on the second Note of the government of Prince Max von Baden in Berlin, arrived; she was immediately released. And new shock waves because, unlike hoping for the United States is not contrary to the request of the Reich government to the mediation of a ceasefire.
Instead, the American President said that neither his government nor the allies could consider a truce, as long as German troops committed on the retreat from the occupied territories “wanton destruction” and German U-boats attacks continue to be passenger ships. Only five days earlier, UB-123 was destroyed in the Bay of Dublin, the passenger liner “RMS Leinster” with two torpedoes; of the 771 people on Board, only 270 survived.
Wilson’s Note was, in fact, the invitation to Germany to unilaterally stop the fighting: The Empire had to capitulate unconditionally. Theodor Wolff, the liberal editor-in-chief of the “Berlin day sheet” that had hoped for a consensual end of the war, commented in horror: “the new Wilson’s, the idea of Peace has moved backwards.”
The military leaders of the Empire, Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, were now nothing more of a cease-fire to know that you had requested, but only 16 days earlier, vehemently. Now they demanded, “to stir up Propaganda for the last defence”. Colonel Ernst van Lieutenant den Bergh in the Prussian Ministry of war, the matter of course disturbed, with Ludendorff and his “evil” counselors to take more influence tried: “He and you would already need to be replaced!”
The military leaders knew, however, that in the homeland against the military before. “Without a strong civil unrest we will not get away with it,” said the staff officer korvettenkapitän Ernst von Weizsäcker, the mood in the General headquarters: “a Lot of the question of whether we have to expect a Revolution to be discussed.”
Domestically, especially to the Emperor, loyalty to the Evangelical Church and the opponents of the parliamentary majority of the SPD, liberals and the Catholic centre supported the demand of the Supreme command. The Empire Board of Directors of the German conservative party, proclaimed: “it is time for a peace without resistance.” Instead, the conflict must be fought in this way: “Every combat-capable man to the Front!”
But also the decidedly left-wing artist, Kathe Kollwitz about Wilson’s response frustrated. About the consequences you listed in your diary: “Evil disappointment. The mood for a defensive war until the end of growing.“
a “dark day,” said the liberal Industrial and fine spirit of Walther Rathenau. In a after the first request to ceasefire published call in the “Vossischen newspaper” had evaluated the 51-year-old Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AEG, the stars, as a rush. You have to get carried away, “in the immature moment, in the immature decision”. Prior to negotiations, however, you must first secure the fronts. The call culminated in the statement: peace Yes, “but not the peace of subjection”.
more, But his call lit, but also triggered open opposition, what surprised Rathenau. He wrote the liberal politician Willy Hellpach to Heidelberg: “The German spirit is in such a magnetized dialekti and at the same time atomic in character-that no two people can understand each other. Each hears only himself, and the strongest arguments has to everything else. This is one of the deepest reasons of our decline. I don’t see the people you could bring together. Probably, it is necessary, therefore, to the most severe tests, so that a uniformity of thought, at least to a certain extent.“
Only the work of poet Richard Dehmel jumped to Rathenau, with his article, “Only salvation”, the SPD newspaper “Forward” on 22. October released – however half-heartedly on the penultimate page. Dehmel, calling for a volunteer army, and the resignation of the officers on their privileges.
His son, the 54-wrote-Year-old: “When I read the outrageous American answer to our second Note, clenched itself to me involuntarily fist. It is my hope that our representation will have the arge humiliation by the Hand, and am determined to speak again to the Front; but a lot of trust I put in the brothers.“
in fact, he is not bat, although war damage, “to seek my transfer to the Front, for the case that the negotiations between our government and the Entente, lead to the ceasefire”. It was a question of Ehrgefühls, regardless of the physical condition, to set a good example.
The attitude of his son, the longed for, in contrast to his father, the end of the war, regardless of the price, apologized Dehmel. Youths are always ready, “to look forward to the dawn of a new time”. But: “to Me, the rosy humanity’s future, You from our knee in front of Wilson, expect horrible fog grey unchanged; we will treat German now, people age as a Nation of poured poodles.”
voice, But, like Rathenau Dehmel remained in the second half of October, 1918, a Single. Among the Intellectuals of the Empire hardly more someone who wanted to run the war more found.
Kathe Kollwitz, whose son Peter was to have died almost to the day exactly four years before, in Flanders, sent to the SPD newspaper by return of post an answer to Dehmel. As your Text immediately appeared in the next number, and speculated that the artist is equal to “censorship”. A silly accusation, because on 28. In October 1918, the “Forward” your article, summed up the mood in Germany together perfectly published: “It is enough have died no more to fall”, for: “Seed for sowing should not be milled”.
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