Saturday, November 25, 2017

Today -100: November 25, 1917: Of secrets, dishonorable peaces, and diplomacy

Trotsky, putting on his Julian Assange wig, releases to the newspapers some of the secret correspondence of the Allies. Included are the discussions of Russia’s demand to be allowed to annex the Dardanelles and Constantinople. The Allies agreed that Russia would determine Germany’s new eastern borders and Britain and France its western ones.

French newspaper La Victoire accuses former PM and finance minister Joseph Caillaux of being behind the campaign for a dishonorable peace. Editor Gustave Hervé challenges Caillaux to sue him, and Caillaux does. A reminder that the last time a newspaper editor libeled Caillaux, his wife shot him dead (and got away with it).

The German government refuses to receive a Bolshevik delegation, saying it will only negotiate with reps of the defunct constitutional government. Also, their condition for talks is that Russian troops withdraw 100 km, while German troops don’t. Interestingly, the Bolshevik government seems to have made no peace offer to Austria.

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