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The author of the following pages, Karl Max, Prince Lichnowsky, is a
member of a family which holds estates both in German and Austrian
Silesia, and has an hereditary seat in the Upper House of the Prussian
Diet. The father of the present Prince and his predecessor in the title
was a Prussian cavalry general, who, at the end of his life, sat for
some years in the Reichstag as a member of the Free Conservative Party.
His uncle, Prince Felix, was elected in 1848 to represent Ratibor in the
German National Assembly at Frankfort-on-Main; he was an active member
of the Conservative wing, and during the September rising, while riding
with General Auerswald in the neighbourhood of the city, was attacked
and murdered by the mob.
The present Prince, after serving in the Prussian army, in which he
holds the rank of Major, entered the diplomatic service. He was in 1885
for a short time attached to the German Embassy in London, and
afterwards became Councillor of Embassy in Vienna. From 1899 to 1904 he
was employed in the German Foreign Office, and received the rank and
title of Minister Plenipotentiary.
In 1904 he retired to his Silesian estates, and, as he states, lived for
eight years the life of a country gentleman, but read industriously and
published occasional political articles. He himself recounts the
circumstances in which he was appointed Ambassador in London on the
death of Baron Marschall von Bieberstein.
Baron Marschall, who had been Secretary for Foreign Affairs under the
Chancellorships of Count Caprivi and for a time under Prince Hohenlohe,
had achieved great success as Ambassador at Constantinople, and also,
from the German point of view, as chief German Plenipotentiary at the
Second Hague Conference in 1907. Baron Marschall was, to use an
expression of Bismarck's, "the best horse in Germany's diplomatic
stable." And great things were expected of him in London. But he lived
only a few months after his appointment.
Prince Lichnowsky's high social rank, his agreeable manners, and the
generous hospitality which he showed in Carlton House Terrace gave him a
position in English society which facilitated the negotiations between
England and Germany, and did much to diminish the friction that had
arisen during the time that Prince Bülow held the post of German
The pamphlet which is here translated gives an account of his London
mission; after his return to Germany he has lived in retirement in the
country, but has contributed occasional articles to the Press. The
pamphlet, which was written in August, 1916, was not intended for
publication, but was distributed confidentially to a few friends. The
existence of it had long been known, but it was only in March of this
year that for the first time extracts from it were published in the
Swedish paper _Politiken_. Longer extracts have since appeared in the
London Press; for the first time a complete translation made from the
German original is now placed before the public.
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