Serbia Explains its Situation to France: 4 July 1914

Vesnitch was the Serbian ambassador to Paris in the summer of 1914. He recounts a conversation with Viviani, France Minister for Foreign Affairs and de facto Prime Minister, to Pašić, the Serbian Prime Minister.

Vesnitch to Pašić. Paris, 4 July 1914.

Sir,

I had a long conversation on Wednesday last on the subject of the Serajevo outrage with M. Viviani, the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was somewhat concerned at what had occurred. I made use of this opportunity to describe to him briefly the causes which had led to the outrage, and which were to be found, in the first place, in the irksome system of Government in force in the annexed provinces, and especially in the attitude of the officials, as well as in the whole policy of the Monarchy towards anything orthodox. He understood the situation, but at the same time expressed the hope that we should preserve an attitude of calm and dignity in order to avoid giving cause for fresh accusations in Vienna.

After the first moment of excitement public opinion here has quieted down to such an extent that the Minister-President himself considered it advisable in the Palais de Bourbon to soften the expressions used in the statement which he had made earlier on the subject in the Senate.

Source: Serbian Blue Book

Image: Serbia in 1914

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3 comments

  1. Mike · · Reply

    I wanted to tell you how much I’m enjoying your blog. I just came across it this morning and have read it entirely. Thank you so much for putting this together. 🙂

    France was slow off the mark in realizing the severity of what had happened in Sarajevo. Vesnitch was right in his assessment about things quieting down. There was a first class political crisis going on in France at the time. Public and government attention was fixed squarely on that, not Sarajevo and Serbia.

    1. July 1914 · · Reply

      Thank you so much! I appreciate it. Your support makes this blog worthwhile.

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