Primary Document - German Appeal To American

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German Appeal to Americans The question of who was the primary culprit of the First World War is still in debate today. At the end of the war, treaty of Versailles was signed and concluded that Germany has sole responsibility for causing the war along with many harsh punishments for Germany. The cause of this harsh treaty can be traced back to the very beginning of the war. The early invasion of Belgium has not only cost German its humane and peaceful reputation but also caused a defeat of the propaganda war. In order to minimize the damage of Germany’s reputation after the invasion, Germany wrote an appeal to the neutral United States explaining the reason of its entrance to the war. The “German Appeal to Americans” was issued in August 1914 by a Committee of Leading German Statesmen, Scholars, Bankers and Merchants, Including Prince von Bulow, Marshal von der Goltz, Matthias Erzerberger, Herr Ballin, Count von Reventlow, and the Head of the Imperial Bank. Due to the obvious importance of this document, the authors of this appeal consisted of many highly respected scholars and leaders in Germany. Prince Von Bulow was one of the statesmen who took part in writing of the appeal. He was a German Chancellor and Prussian prime minister from October 17, 1900, to July 14, 1909. (BritannicaEncyclopædia, 2010). Marshal von der Goltz is German politician and a military writer, who also participated in the making of the appeal. During the early days of the war, Marshal was a supporter of Germany’s participation in the war. Just like Marshal, Matthias Erzerberger was also an initial supporter of the war who later changed his mind. The “German Appeal to Americans” was written right after the invasion of Belgium in August 1914. In order to execute the Schrieffen Plan, Germany invaded the neutral Belgium. Belgium’s neutrality was protected by the treaty of 1839, signed by all
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