maandag 30 juli 2012

Charles Inman Barnard -- 31 juli 1914

Yesterday (July 31) a sort of war fever permeated the air. A cabinet minister assured me that at whatever capital there was the slightest hope of engaging in negotiations and compromise, at that very point the "mailed fist" diplomacy of the Kaiser William dealt an unexpected blow. There seems no longer any hope for peace, because it is evident that the Military Pretorian Guard, advisers to the German and Austrian emperors, are in the ascendency, and they want war. "Very well, they will have it!" remarked the veteran French statesman, M. Georges Clemençeau.
After dinner last evening I happened to be near the Café du Croissant near the Bourse and in the heart of the newspaper quarter of Paris. Suddenly an excited crowd collected. "Jaurès has been assassinated!" shouted a waiter. The French deputy and anti-war agitator was sitting with his friends at a table near an open window in the café. A young Frenchman named Raoul Villain, son of a clerk of the Civil Court of Rheims, pushed a revolver through the window and shot Jaurès through the head. He died a few moments later. The murder of the socialist leader would in ordinary times have so aroused party hatred that almost civil war would have broken out in Paris. But to-night, under the tremendous patriotic pressure of the German emperor's impending onslaught upon France, the whole nation is united as one man. As M. Arthur Meyer, editor of the Gaulois, remarked: "France is now herself again! Not since a hundred years has the world seen 'France Debout!'"

Charles Inman Barnard was een Amerikaan die tijdens de eerste maanden van de Eerste Wereldoorlog in Parijs een dagboek bijhield: Paris War Days Diary of an American.

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