28/7/1914 The Kaiser and the Tsar exchange telegrams

Kaiser Wilhelm decides to send a telegram directly to the Tsar. He addresses the Tsar familiarly as “Nicky” and signs off himself as “Willy”. The telegram is drafted by Wilhelm von Stumm in the Foreign Ministry, under the Chancellor’s direction, but the Kaiser finalises itself. Crucially, he himself writes: “I am exerting my utmost influence to induce the Austrians to deal straightly to arrive to a satisfactory understanding with you”.

The Tsar separately sends his own telegram to the Kaiser. He begs the Kaiser to restrain the Austro-Hungarians:

“An ignoble war has been declared to a weak country. The indignation in Russia shared fully by me is enormous. I foresee that very soon I shall be overwhelmed by the pressure forced upon me and be forced to take extreme measures which will lead to war. To try and avoid such a calamity as a European war I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far.”

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