Saturday, January 13, 2018

Today -100: January 13, 1918: Wilson is seeking a way out of war

German newspapers are interpreting Wilson’s 14 Points speech in different ways. The Frankfurter Zietung, for example, thinks it shows that Wilson realizes the Allies can't win the  war; “Wilson is seeking a way out of war, although he is doing it in a manner not yet quite acceptable to us.” The paper seems to think the US has given up on getting Alsace-Lorraine back for France, which is very much not what Wilson said.

Russia gives in to Germany’s refusal to remove the peace talks from occupied Brest-Litovsk to a neutral country (which many think was a Germany ploy to force a break in talks). The armistice is extended a month.

Lithuania declares independence. Well, a bunch of Lithuanians in Stockholm declare independence anyway. They have rather expansive ideas about what constitutes Lithuania, including areas presently part of Germany such as Königsberg (Kaliningrad), the capital of East Prussia, as well as all of Russian Lithuania. They point out that they have names in Lithuanian for the territories they’re claiming, and if that doesn’t prove they rightfully belong to Lithuania then they just don’t know what more proof you need.

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