It must be said in all candor that it is impossible to make a correct historical evaluation of World War I while disregarding the fact that Austria-Hungary began the war, that she was the real issue of the war, and that the most important result of the war is the new order in the Danubian area as established in 1919. Everybody who denies that the World War I is “about” Austria-Hungary, understands neither history nor Europe.- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, The Menace of the Herd
What was the point of the seemly pointless bloodshed a little over a century ago? What started the war in which the last remnants of old Christendom were dismembered and forgotten? I hope to write more on this important subject, but for now I’ll let the words of Freiherr Hengelmüller (the Austro-Hungarian ambassador to the United States) explain:
The issues of the war stand in relation to its causes, and the same attempts have been made to distort and falsify them in the eyes of the American public. I have seen it stated in a New York paper that this war is a fight between civilization and barbarism, and I have seen a member of the present English Cabinet quoted as having said that the issue was one between militarism and freedom, civilization and freedom standing, of course, in both cases, on the side of our enemies.
More idiotic rot – excuse the expression -I have never read in my life. What has civilization to do with Servia’s murderous plotting against us? What with Russia’s desire to shield her from the consequences of her aggressions and to demonstrate to the world that we are of no account in the Balkans, and to establish her own – more or less veiled — protectorate there? And if the case of civilization is advanced by Japan’s ousting Germany from Kiaochow, why should it not be equally furthered if Japan did the same to England in Hongkong or Singapore, or, if the opportunity offered, in India itself? And a person must be indeed at his wits’ end for arguments to proclaim Russia a standard-bearer of freedom in her war against us. Compare her treatment of Poles, Finns, Ukrainians (Small Russians) and Hebrews with the freedom which the different nationalities enjoy in our Empire! And England herself ! Is it for freedom’s sake that she holds Gibraltar and that she subjugated the Boers?
No! Civilization and freedom have nothing to do with the issues at stake now, least of all in the sense as if our enemies had drawn the sword for their cause. It is a war for conquest and supremacy, stirred up by all the hateful passions in human nature, fully as much as any war that has ever been waged before. But we did not stir it up. We are fighting for our existence; right and justice are on our side, and so we trust will victory be.- Freiherr Hengelmüller, in a letter to former President Roosevelt