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[26 July 1917

The New Europe]


the Austrian Germans to be reasonable and conciliatory, not to carry their uncompromising attitude for enough to threaten the existence of the State. She seeks to impress upon the Austrian Germans that, in the interest of Deutschtum, it is their duty to make sacrifices in favour of the Austrian Slavs, that, to a certain extent, they must sacrifice themselves in the true sense of the word, and that they will render to Germany an infinitely greater service if they preserve their State, in which they will share their power with the other nations, than if they compromise everything by hurrying on the general ruin. So spoke Herr Georg Bernhard in the Vossische Zeitung; and the Frankfurier Zeitung and the Zeit of Vienna have summed up the situation in similar terms. The Magyars especially thoroughly understood the position when they earnestly advised the Austrian Germans to make concessions in “Austria,” so that they should not be compelled to make them themselves in Hungary, and thus bring about the same state of impending dissolution as obtains now in Austria. And thus also those who conceived the idea of the amnesty to the Slav political prisoners were acting under the prompting of Berlin, with the deliberate intention of saving Austria by throwing dust in the eyes of the Entente. In short, Germany’s plan is this: Untenable as are conditions in Austria to-day, dismemberment would be a real disaster for Germanism in general; and, therefore, a bold scheme of federation must be advertised in order to dupe the Entente, and to preserve Austria until Germany herself is once more able to recover the lost ground.

The whole of Austro-Hungarian and German policy is now briefly: How to stop this irresistible movement of the nations leading irrevocably to the dissolution of the Monarchy; how to dupe these nations and the Entente at the same time by a scheme of reform acceptable to the Allies; how to save this state which threatens to crumble away the moment a single part of its framework is really touched?

Such is the problem at present. Such is the meaning of the Austro-German pourparlers, of the probable early offer of “peace without annexations and indemnities,” of the amnesty accorded to the Slavs, of the plan to establish a commission at Vienna for the revision of the Constitution, of the departure of Clam-Martinic and Tisza, and of the project