LII Neues Palais 8/XI/1905

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WWI Document Archive > Pre - 1914 Documents > Willy-Nicky Letters between the Kaiser and the Czar > 'Willy-Nicky' Letters XLIX - LXXV (22 August 1905 - 26 March 1914) > LII Neues Palais 8/XI/1905

Neues Palais 8/XI/1905

Dearest Nicky

The Chancellor, to whom I read some parts of your letter, told me that our purely defensive agreement cannot possibly clash with the French treaty concluded by your Father. For if it did, the meaning would be, that by the French treaty Russia is bound to support France even in a war of aggression against Germany! But such a contingency i.e. Russia supporting France in an agrressive poIicy against us, we never till now looked upon as deservmg even a moments consideration; because your dear father often told me he would at all times set his face openly against any war of aggression. Besides beeing on the most friendly and intimate terms with me. This is illustrated by the fact that in 1891 during the maneuvres near Narva, he openly expressed to me his aversion to the French Republican system, advocating the restoration of Monarchy in Paris, for which undertaking he begged me to help him. If your French agreement is like ours purely defensive, then there is no incompatibility between the two, one does not exclude the other, so that no further declaration is required.

On the other hand I can understand that it may be opportune for you, not to publicly proclaim yourself as ally, at the moment when the international revolutionists are spreading broadcast over the world the infamous lie of my having tried to influence you in favour of reaction.

My fervent wish is that you may pass unharmed through the present crisis, and that your people may fully grasp your noble intentions. Now you must wait and see how the institutions you called into life work practically; only after this it will later on be possible to judge wether and how modifications would be required.

As for your opinion of Witte, I of course cannot pretend to know him as well as you do, but he certainly impressed me as a man above the average. At the same time I am glad you took your uncle Nicolas Nicolaiewitsch[1] into your confidence. He appears to me as representing an element of firmness; and firmness may be necessary to maintain order. Without orders young liberty cannot live.

With regard to Tattenbach[2] and Morokko your French information is incorrect. I do not aim nor ever aimed at any special advantage for Germany, and Tattenbach never advocated any Policy of his own. This is a thing unheard of in my service, my representatives in foreign countries only advocating one policy and that is mine! We only wish to secure the open Door, that is an interest we have in common with all the other seafaring and trading nations. There is no reason whatever why an equitable arrangement with France should not be arrived at on that ground. I trust that you whose permanent aim is to promote peace between all nations and goodwill all over the civilized world, will lend your powerful help to bring the Conference to a general understanding, based on the maintenance of the open Door. A word in this direction to your representative at the Conference would be most advantageous in lightening the task of my minister. With best love to Alix and the baby believe me dear Nicky ever your



  1. It was believed that the Grand Duke, who later commanded the Russian Armies in the Great War, was the influence that was mainly responsible for the annulment of the secret treaty concluded by the Kaiser and Czar at Bjoerkoe.
  2. Count de Tattenbach was on a special mission to the Sultan of Fez to secure special privilege for Germany in Morocco.

WWI Document Archive > Pre - 1914 Documents > Willy-Nicky Letters between the Kaiser and the Czar > 'Willy-Nicky' Letters XLIX - LXXV (22 August 1905 - 26 March 1914) > LII Neues Palais 8/XI/1905