Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Baron Giesl to Count Berchtold, 24 July 1914

On 24 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia Baron Wladimir Giesl (pictured) sent a coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Leopold Count Berchtold. In his telegram, Giesl updates Berchtold on the Serbian response to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum.

Baron Wladimir von Giesl

Baron Wladimir von Giesl

Baron von Giesl to Count Berchtold. Belgrade, 24 July 1914.

Cyphered.

Situation.

[The Serbian Prime Minister] Herr Pasic returned here at 5:00 this morning. The Council of Ministers is in session since, and has not yet come to a decision.

I hear in diplomatic circles that there is a question of transferring the government to Nisch. The government organ published a short paragraph on the rendering of the Note [i.e. the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia], which it said contained hard conditions, so that the situation is very serious and critical. All the other papers, of which some were confiscated for containing violent attacks, besides vilifying everybody, unanimously expressed the opinion that Servia could only comply with demands which were not detrimental to its independence.

In government officials circles the highly improbable rumour is circulated, that the government received a telegram from Petersburg last night with the assurance that Servia could rely entirely upon Russia’s support.

This report is contradicted by the fact that the Servian government was completely taken by surprise by yesterday’s Note, as well as by what it contained.

 

Source: 1919 Austro-Hungarian Red Book, with minor edits.

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