4/8/1914 War unites Germany

Germany too is enjoying a new found unity. The Kaiser addresses members of the Reichstag in his palace. He declares the war to have been forced upon Germany by Serbia and Russia. He receives a warm response from across the political spectrum. He responds emotionally: “Ich kenne keine Parteien mehr, ich kenne nur Deutsche.” I see no more parties, I see only Germans.

Later Bethmann Hollweg addresses the Reichstag. He talks of war having been forced on the country. Perhaps unwisely, he accepts that the invasion of Belgium is contrary to international law but asserts that it is necessary for Germany’s survival. The assembled deputies vote for war credits, with the SPD falling into line with their capitalist colleagues.

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