Sunday, September 16, 2018

Today -100: September 16, 1918: Of peace talks, Germany’s hired tools & pressed trousers, flu, and the dangers of gaslessness

Austria invites all belligerent nations to send delegates to hold talks. Behind closed doors and non-binding, you know, just talkin’, on the principle that statements directed by the powers at each other have tended, by their public nature, to “strike a higher tone and stubbornly to adhere to extreme standpoints.” While the formal invitation hasn’t yet wended its way to the US, officially anyway, the reception is already not perhaps what Austria had hoped.

Germany generously proposes to restore Belgium’s independence (after the war), if it will remain neutral until then, restore commercial treaties with Germany, do something about the Flemish, and, astonishingly, lobby for Germany to get its colonies back.

The NYT editorializes on the forged documents it’s been publishing, “proving” that the October Revolution was “a counter-revolution, plotted by Germany and carried out by Germany’s hired tools... Nowhere does it appear that any German officer ever commanded Lenine or Trotzky to press his trousers for him; but the correspondence, as a whole, proves that if any such order had been given they would have regarded it as comprehended within the terms on which they entered the German service.” The Bolshies even supposedly changed the results of elections to the Soviet on the orders of the German General Staff.

British Prime Minister Lloyd George’s Spanish Flu relapses. Traffic is diverted from around the hotel where he’s staying so he can get some sleep.


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