Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bulletin: Austria ready to invade Serbia

July 23, 1914

The Austro-Hungarian government sent a note tonight to Serbia, which will bear "on the relations between the two countries" and deals directly with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, at Sarajevo on June 28.

The note reviews Austria's relations with Serbia since 1909, and complains that "although the Serbian government promised loyalty" to the Austro-Hungarian government,  it "failed to suppress subversive movements and agitations in the newspapers."  These actions, Austria-Hungary states, has incited the Serbians to "hatred of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and contempt for its institutions."

This hatred culminated in the assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife.   Austria tells Serbia that its involvement in the crime has been proven by "depositions and confession by the perpetrators," who have admitted that the plan was "hatched in Belgrade," and the arms and explosives were supplied by the "connivance of Serbian officers and functionaries."

"The Austro-Hungarian Government is unable longer to pursue an attitude of forbearance, and sees the duty imposed upon it to put an en to the intrigues which form a perpetual menace to the monarchy's tranquility.  It therefore demands from the Serbian government formal assurance that it condemns the dangerous propaganda whose aim is to detach from the monarchy a portion of its territory, and also that the Serbian government shall no longer permit this machinations and this criminal, perverse propaganda."

The Serbian government is also being asked to "publish in its official journal on the front page, condemning the subversive propaganda, deploring its fatal consequences," as well as regretting the actions of the Serbian officers, who have taken part in the propaganda.  The Austro-Hungarian government is also demanding that Serbia repudiate any further "interference with Austro-Hungarian interests."

Here is a link to the full text of the Austro-Hungarian demand:

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