Thursday, July 12, 2018

Today -100: July 12, 1918: Of mustard, grocery shopping, violent pan-Germans, and zitas

US forces in Europe now have a supply of mustard gas, so they can begin setting German skin on fire, which is something they’ve been wanting to do.

Germany demands that neutral Holland supply it with 60,000 cows, 3,000 horses, 10,000 tons of cheese, 2 million eggs, etc. I think they’re planning a party.

Germany’s new foreign minister, replacing the ousted Richard von Kühlmann, is Adm. Paul von Hintze, described by the NYT as a “violent pan-German” (violent pan-Germans are the worst kind) shoved into office by Kaiser Wilhelm & the military rulers of Germany without any consultation with the Reichstag.

A Swedish lieutenant, who claims to have stayed at the hotel in which Grand Duke Michael was imprisoned, says he heard that the former tsarevitch died of fright when someone threw a bomb at the house the Romanovs were staying at. The NYT will publish any rumor from any rando who spent any time at all in Russia.

The NYT also purveys a story that Austria’s Empress Zita twice considered divorce, but the pope said no. Elsewhere in the paper, it is reported that Austria has been complaining about an Allied propaganda offensive against the royal couple. According to a British correspondent stationed in Geneva, “Exactly the same sort of stories which were circulated at the expense of Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution and about the Empress of Russia two years ago are now being repeated about Zita.” Soooooo... sex stuff? That is annoyingly vague. Yet another article suggests pro-Germans are starting these rumors against Zita to undermine her as she pushes for peace. That’s not implausible.

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