The Czechoslovak Review/Volume 3/German Plots Against Czechoslovakia

2928305The Czechoslovak Review, volume 3, no. 5 — German Plots Against Czechoslovakia1919

German Plots Against Czechoslovakia

Dethronement of the Kaiser, election of a socialist for president of the German Republic, even the Spartacide uprisings and the attempts at the establishment of a communist government have not changed the German character. The Germans do not know what it means to be democratic, they have not learned to have any regard for the rights of others, they still consider themselves the superior race entitled to lord it over the inferior races who are their neighbors. While they noisily take their stand on Wilson’s fourteen points and demand a just peace, they plot in Russia and Poland for the extension of their domination over the East of Europe and they make plans for the overrunning of the Czechoslovak Republic. What happened in America during the early years of the world war is taking place now in Central and Eastern Europe. The plots of Bernstorff and Luxburg are repeated in Prague in the conspiracies of the German consul Schwarz against the peace and independence of the country in which he resided.

These plots were exposed and written evidence of them furnished to Allied representatives in Prague and to their military representatives in Vienna and Budapest by the Czechoslovak Government on March 7th. The note embodying these charges and proofs was read in the Czechoslovak National Assembly March 11th by the acting premier Švehla. The note is as follows:

The Government of the Czechoslovak Republic became aware that in certain nationally mixed districts of the republic systematic activity was carried on for some time aimed against the peace and integrity of the Czechoslovak State. By means of agitators, special couriers, newspapers and handbills pan-German propaganda was carried on in these districts; this propaganda, supported by heavy financial subsidies and having at its disposal arms sent from abroad, continually incited the local population to disorders, resistance, strikes and even revolts against the state. The Government of the Czechoslovak Republic followed this agitation with increased attention and ascertained that it was inspired and fed from neighboring states hostile to the Entente. The espionage affair of the former German vice-consul in Prague, Dr. Schwarz, furnished direct proof that the conspiracy against the very existence of the Czechoslovak Republic could be traced to Berlin. From Berlin was sent into the territory of the republic material to create insurrection, and hints in a veiled form as to procedure were given. At the same time, as the attached military orders of German Austrian units indicate, consider able military forces were formed on the territory of the German Austrian Republic, armed and even trained for street fighting; these forces were destined for armed invasion of Czechoslovak territory. This campaign was directly managed by German Austrian authorities, and its wide extent may be estimated by the fact that it was also supported from Hungary and Saxony.

In order to estimate properly the wide extent of this hostile action, menacing the existence of the Czechoslovak Republic, the fact should be considered—as proved by the attached report of the Vienna plenipotentiary of the Czechoslovak Republic—that the state chancellor and the president of the German Austrian Republic finally admitted that the military campaign against the Czechoslovak Republic was conducted by the State Secretary of the German Austrian Republic Mayer, surely not without knowledge of the other members of the German Austrian Government. All these hostile acts were prepared at a time, when the German Austrian Government dared to charge the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic before the whole world with refusing to deliver coal, thus crippling Austrian economic life, although it is well known that the Czechoslovak Government without any legal obligation, solely from humanitarian motives, is trying to supply German Austria as much coal as possible. To guarantee the success of armed invasion planned for early March it was intended to use sabotage in the interior of the Czechoslovak Republic and also declare a general strike, purely political, on March 4th. The real aim was to stir up civil war in the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic, and in many places, especially at Sternberg in Moravia, this led to direct revolts and attacks by local population armed with German Austrian weapons against Czechoslovak garrisons. It was the same with strikes, revolts and armed invasion of Magyar bands in Slovakia. Only by timely discovery of the espionage of Dr. Schwarz and the publication of certain German Austrian orders of February 28th and March 1st were the authors of the conspiracy against the Czechoslovak Republic confounded, so that the projected German-Magyar invasion into the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic had to be postponed.

The Government of the Czechoslovak Republic in bringing these facts to the notice of Allied and associated governments protests most emphatically against the unprecedented acts of the German Austrian Government (respectively the Magyar Government. ) (1) It has most flagrantly broken the armistice of November 3rd. (2) With the direction and participation of members of the government it prepared a dastardly attack against the Czechoslovak Republic, an attack which endangered and might have frustrated all efforts at consolidation of the Czechoslovak Republic as the principal support of peace in Central Europe. (3) By its hostile acts toward the Czechoslovak Republic, planned almost under the very eyes of Entente representatives in Vienna, the German Austrian Government not merely endangered the prestige of associated and Allied powers, but imperilled the vital interests of the Entente of which the Czechoslovak Republic is a part. (4) The Government of German Austrian Republic proved by its machinations that in spite of all painful experiences of the four years’ war it is led by the same principles which formed the substance of Prussian militarism: ruthless violation of written treaties and the most elementary international customs, as well as readiness treacherously to attack a neighbor, whenever a suitable opportunity seems to offer.

The government of the Czechoslovak Republic, being fully conscious that its energetic efforts for the maintenance of security and order serve not only the interests of the Czechoslovak Republic, but also the most important interests of its Allies and the cause of general peace, is compelled to declare that this work will be made impossible, unless the governments of the Allied and associated powers deduce from the foregoing fully established facts the following consequences:

(1) The government of the German Austrian Republic is to be made responsible. (2) All those guilty shall be after proper investigation punished in an exemplary manner and the result of the investigation and punishment shall be communicated to the Czechoslovak Government. (3) The German Austrian Government shall repay expenses incurred by the enforced military and police measures which the Czechoslovak Republic was obliged to take against the projected invasion and revolt. (4) Military detachments intended to invade Czechoslovak territory shall be promptly, under Allied control, disarmed and scattered. (5) Since all peace declarations of the German Austrian Republic to the effect that it would refrain in future from conspiring against the Czechoslovak Republic could receive little credence, the armed forces of the German Austrian Republic shall be reduced to the strength neccessary for mere police service. (6) All arms that such ‚a reduction‘ of military strength of German Austria will make available shall be surrendered to an inter-Allied commission with the participation of Czechoslovak delegates, and this commission shall exercise supervision over all munition works and arsenals on German Austrian territory. (7) All German Austrian railroads shall be placed under control of an Allied commission with the participation of Czechoslovak delegates. (8) With reference to imminent peril, that the government of the German Austrian Republic will continue in its plots against the integrity of the Czechoslovak Republic, the government of the Czechoslovak Republic reserves the right to take all provisional measures that will make impossible any hostile action against the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic. (9) The government of the Magyar Republic shall be called upon to institute under inter-Allied control strict investigation as to the participation of Magyar soldiers in the projected invasion, and as to furnishing of weapons and munitions for that purpose. (10) All persons found guilty after detailed investigation shall be severely punished and the result of the investigation and punishment shall be communicated to the Czechoslovak Government. (11) The government of the Magyar Republic shall be instructed to give proper satisfaction to the Czechoslovak Republic in a manner to be approved by the Czechoslovak Government. (12) The Saxon Government shall be instructed to investigate most carefully cases mentioned in Document No. 9, punish guilty persons and give full satisfaction to the government of the Czechoslovak Republic in a manner to be determined by it.

After reading this note minister Švehla supplemented it by reading excerpts from attached proofs. He summed up the case in the following words:

“We hoped that the German Austrian Government after being notified of these charges on March 4th would of its own accord stop further acts and adopt measures that any other government would take in a similar case. Unfortunately I must state that even after March 4th the German Austrian Government maintained its attitude, and the military formations gathered for an invasion of our republic still stand under arms prepared to move. We were ready and still are ready to live in peace and friendly relations with our neighbors. We hoped for peaceful relations in order that we might devote ourselves to the tremendous tasks that are ahead of us. But we were disappointed. We regret greatly that blood was shed on both sides, that we were compelled to meet a combined attack of our enemies against the existence of our state. We declare with all emphasis that all parties in the entire Czech nation are determined to defend the republic against all attacks and that in this we are and shall be united always and against all."

This work was published in 1919 and is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 104 years or less since publication.

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