Germany’s Initial Reaction: 30 June 1914

On 30 June 1914, two days after the assassinations at Sarajevo, the British Ambassador to Germany shared his view of German opinion to Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary.

Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey. Berlin, 30 June 1914.


At his weekly reception to-day the Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at once began to speak to me of the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his Consort at Serajevo. He had little doubt that this crime was the outcome of a plot hatched by the partisans of a greater Servia. Herr Zimmermann said that he heard that the feeling in Austria-Hungary against Servia and the Servians was very bitter and he could make allowances for this in the circumstances.

The Acting Secretary of State added that he had just told the Russian Ambassador that the Servian Government would be well advised, in their own interests, spontaneously to offer to do all they could to help the Bosnian authorities in their investigations into the origin and ramifications of the plot. In this way the Servian Government, who, he was sure, were not to blame, would give a convincing proof that they dissociated themselves from the motives which had led to the perpetration of this dreadful crime.

Source: Collected Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War

Image: Sir Edward Grey


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