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The German Declaration of War on Russia
1 August, 1914

(July 19th Russian calendar)
Presented by the German Ambassador to St. Petersburg

The Imperial German Government have used every effort since the beginning of the crisis to bring
about a peaceful settlement. In compliance with a wish expressed to him by His Majesty the
Emperor of Russia, the German Emperor had undertaken, in concert with Great Britain, the part of
mediator between the Cabinets of Vienna and St. Petersburg; but Russia, without waiting for any
result, proceeded to a general mobilisation of her forces both on land and sea. In consequence of
this threatening step, which was not justified by any military proceedings on the part of Germany,
the German Empire was faced by a grave and imminent danger. If the German Government had
failed to guard against this peril, they would have compromised the safety and the very existence of
Germany. The German Government were, therefore, obliged to make representations to the
Government of His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias and to insist upon a cessation of the
aforesaid military acts. Russia having refused to comply with [not having considered it necessary to answer]* this demand, and having shown by this refusal [this attitude]* that her action was directed against Germany, I have the honour, on the instructions of my Government, to inform your
Excellency as follows: --

His Majesty the Emperor, my august Sovereign, in the name of the German Empire, accepts the
challenge, and considers himself at war with Russia.

*The words in brackets occur in the original.