Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Exclusive interview: Prince George of Serbia

April 10, 1909

Prince George of Serbia, eldest son of King Peter, recently gave an exclusive interview to the Los Angeles Times, in which he criticized European crowned heads.

The interview took place in the palace at Belgrade.

The Prince made unflattering comments about the German and Russian Emperors, and remains unconvinced about wear.

"I do not think there will be a war because the great powers don't want it.   But war would do good, in a way.  One thing I don't understand  -- why doesn't Germany want to fight now?   The longer she waits the stronger Russian will get and the less will be a chance to getting toward eastern Europe.  Austria is a corpse on the point of decay -- but one cannot be sure that the Slavs in the Austrian army will fight for us.  Ach! I would throw all those crowns off and govern the country myself.

"The Emperor of Germany is mad, but not clever.  King Edward is a clever man, and so is the King of Italy.  The Czar of Russia, whom I visited lately, gave me the impression of a doll.  He is not an Emperor, but a puppet.  He knows nothing about what is going on: people tell him just as much and no more than they want to, and when there is something against him in the papers they tell him how they got lost in the mails and there is an end to it.

"What a country Russia is. What could be done with energy and a leader.  Peter the Great was right to build St. Petersburg and get to the sea.  If we are to live instead of existing we must get to the sea -- otherwise we shall be stifled.  We were so many years under the Turkish yoke and threw it off at last -- why should we not throw off the Austrian, too?"

Prince George offered a high opinion of the United States and the American people.  He said: "I have made up my mind to go to the United States; the Americans look upon life in a wholly different way.  Everything seems to be on a huge scale,  not like it is in Europe.  I think one can learn a good deal from America, the people seem so energetic and enterprising.

He is not as keen about American women.

"But the few American women I have met seem cold and passionless.  Whey do they always go about without their husbands?  I hear the husbands sit at home and earn money for them to spend in Europe.  They must be very complacent -- I have seen their wives at the tables in Ostend.  There is a great fascination about gambling - playing with chance."

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