Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Today -100: March 9, 1921: The Allies are only creating fresh embarrassments for themselves

Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato is assassinated. The three assassins escape on a motorcycle with a sidecar, which may not be a first in assassination history, but I can’t think of an earlier example off the top of my head. Spain has had so much upheaval recently that it’s not clear which group wanted Dato dead (Catalan anarchists, as it will turn out).

Germany is calm about the occupation of Rhine cities. German newspapers think Allied penalties on Germany will fail to pay and they’ll be forced to negotiate more reasonable terms. Chancellor Constantin Fehrenbach says “The Allies are only creating fresh embarrassments for themselves.” Pres. Ebert says Allied demands are “impossible of fulfillment. Not only ourselves but our children and grandchildren would have become the work-slaves of our adversaries by our signature. ... We must not and cannot comply with it. Our honor and self-respect forbid it.” He says the occupation violates the Versailles Treaty but Germany is “defenseless” to resist. Communists are calling for a general strike, but unions refuse. France preempts repeats of German complaints by declaring that none of the new occupation troops will be black or colonial.

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