Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Friday, March 13, 2020

3 October 1918: Germany Asks for Peace

Prince Max of Baden

Berlin, October 3, 1918

The German government requests that the President of the United States of America take the initiative in bringing about peace, that he inform all the belligerent states of this request, and that he invite them to send plenipotentiaries for purposes of beginning negotiations. The German government accepts as the basis for peace negotiations the program stated by the President of the United States in his speech to Congress of January 8, 1918 (1), and in his subsequent
pronouncements, particularly in his speech of September 27 (2).

In order to avoid further bloodshed, the German government requests the immediate conclusion of an armistice on land, at sea, and in the air.

Max, Prince of Baden

(1) The well-known  Fourteen Points

(2)  Less remembered is Wilson's speech in New York on this date.


These, then, are some of the particulars, and I state them with the greater confidence because I can state them authoritatively as representing this Government's interpretation of its own duty with regard to peace;

First, the impartial justice meted out must involve no discrimination between those to whom we wish to be just and those to whom we do not wish to be just. It must be a justice that plays no favorites and knows no standard bu the equal rights of the several peoples concerned;

Second, no special or separate interest of any single nation or any group of nations can be made on the basis of any part of the settlement which is not consistent with the common interest of all;

Third, there can be no leagues or alliances or special covenants and understandings within the general and common family of the League of Nations;

Fourth, and more specifically, there can be no special, selfish economic combinations within the league and no employment or any form of economic boycott or exclusion except as the power of economic penalty by exclusion from the markets of the world may be vested in the League of Nations itself as a means of discipline and control;

Fifth, all international agreements and treaties of every kind must be made known in their entirety to the rest of the world.

Special alliances and economic rivalries and hostilities have been the prolific source in the modern world of the plans and passions that produce war. It would be an insincere as well as an insecure peace that did not exclude them in definite and binding terms.

1 comment:

  1. Prince Max had about much chance of succeeding at Versailles as Ho Chi Minh had at getting freedom for Viet Nam.