In This Review

Der Ausbruch Des Weltkrieges, 1914
Der Ausbruch Des Weltkrieges, 1914
By Alfred Von Wegerer
Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, 1939, 2 pp

As editor of Die Kriegsschuldfrage (later the Berliner Monatshefte), Dr. von Wegerer was the intellectual leader of the movement to disprove the charge that Germany was responsible for the First World War. The present work represents the synthesis of some fifteen years of research and discussion. Though it contains little that is new in the way of information, it constitutes a more or less definitive exposition of the German point of view. All except the first 80 pages are devoted to a minutely detailed account of events between the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, and England's declaration of war on August 4. Dr. von Wegerer confines himself quite rigidly to diplomatic developments and pays little attention to the constitutional, economic or social problems of the various states. His account of the course of events is sometimes hard to follow because the subject is not treated in strict chronological sequence. There is thus considerable repetition. The work can be commended for its diligent scholarship, though it cannot be characterized as completely impartial. The author does not pretend that Germany was without blame, but he insists on her right to arrange affairs in Central and Eastern Europe without British interference. He ends with a 13-page summary, of which the concluding sentence is: "So war der Ausbruch des Weltkrieges nicht Wille, sondern Schicksal!"