On Friday evening Ambassador Schoen of Germany reveals the declaration of Kriegsgefahrzustand and his country’s ultimatum to Russia. He inquires as to France’s intentions in the event of war between Germany and Russia. Viviani is evasive, promising an answer after the expiry of Germany’s ultimatum.
Meanwhile, socialist leader Jean Jaurès returns to Paris from an anti-war congress in Belgium, where he had locked arms with Hugo Haase of the German SPD and affirmed opposition to war. While having dinner in Montmartre he is murdered by an ultra-nationalist fanatic, Raoul Villain. The cabinet is in session when the news arrives. Jaurès had long argued for a general strike by socialists to prevent war. With his murder, there is fear of leftist insurrection. Some suggest that the time has come for a mass round-up of leftist agitators and leaders, but Viviani baulks at this. He is a former socialist and personally acquainted with many of the people who would be hauled in; he blocks mass arrests in the interests of calming tensions within France.
The international situation is clearly tense, with many seeing war as more or less inevitable, but Viviani also blocks mobilisation, for now. Nevertheless, Joffre orders army commanders to prepare for war.
French leaders are initially non-committal in response to British queries on Belgium, but late on Friday they respond unambiguously. Viviani confirms that France will respect Belgium’s neutrality and will not violate its territory unless another power does so first.