You now know that prior to the outbreak of the World War in 1914 Europe was divided into two camps: the Triple Entente, composed of England, France and Russia, and the Triple Alliance, composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy; that the basic and fundamental issue between the two camps was the Berlin-Bagdad Railroad system, which was favored by the Triple Alliance and opposed by the Triple Entente; that Russia was planning to take the Dardanelles away from Turkey and use it as a passageway for Russian ships from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea; that the Berlin-Bagdad Railroad plan crossed the Russian plan but that the Emperor of Germany and the Czar of Russia had settled that issue amicably, which settlement was opposed by England, France and high Russian government officials; that the Triple Entente remained adamant in its determination to prevent the completion and operation of the Berlin-Bagdad Railroad and, with that view in mind, the French and Russian governments definitely decided to provoke and precipitate a Balkan war and to force Germany to fight; that in 1912 the Balkan war broke out but that the French, English and Russian politicians got cold feet, the war was localized and it petered out before Germany could be forced into it; and that Poincaré, the Prime Minister of France, and Izvolski, the Russian Ambassador to France, definitely determined to incite the Balkan people against Austria-Hungary and Germany and to corrupt members of the French government and French politicians and to bribe the French press, so that it could, in turn, mislead the French people and mould their opinions in favor of a general European war.

You will now be shown how members of the French government, politicians and the press were bribed and corrupted with the intention of provoking and precipitating a general European war. You will learn what actually happened in France and what can happen in a country which is ruled by corruptible and unscrupulous men, and how unfortunate it is for a people whose newspapers are owned, edited and published by men who, for financial gain, mislead and deceive their readers.

You have been told that Poincaré, the Prime Minister of France, and Izvolski, the Russian Ambassador to France, were the chief conspirators in the camp of the Triple Entente. These two men refrained from nothing that they considered necessary to provoke and precipitate a general European war and to force Germany and Austria-Hungary into it. We know now from official documents found in the Russian State Archives that as far back as 1909 there was an agreement between France and Russia to the effect that in the event Russia would help Serbia in a war on Austria-Hungary and Germany, France would come to the assistance of Russia. This is verified by the written report sent by Izvolski to the Russian government in 1909, the last sentence of which was the following:{1}

Paris, March 16, 1909


"The French Government fully realizes the extent of its obligations towards us and will fulfill its duty at the moment when the national honor of Russia in Serbia is pledged against Austria -- but how will the French people take it? Will they find satisfaction in seeing peace endangered by Serbia and in the prospect of war against Germany?"




In the same report he discussed the ways and means of misleading and deceiving the French people and of changing their opinion in favor of a European war; and he forthwith advised the Russian government to spend money freely for the purpose of bribing and corrupting French Politicians and the French press by purchasing their silence. In his own words:

"The question is to render neutral the papers hostile to Poincaré's warlike policy to purchase their silence and thus prepare for war."

Money was poured into France from Russia for the purpose of corruption; but it was found that it required a more or less steady stream of money to keep the palms of French politicians and editors well greased. In October, 1912, Izvolski needed more money to grease the gears of the French press, so he sent an urgent message to the Russian Foreign Minister and pleaded for more money. He said:{2}

Paris, October 23, 1912

"Some months ago I wrote you as well as Kokovzeff about the absolute necessity of providing further funds for the purpose of influencing the French press. As I personally have very little experience in such matters, I have conferred with Privy Counsellor Raffalovitch, who is familiar with such questions and who proposes the following scheme: To immediately provide for that purpose 300,000 Francs and to entrust Lenior with the distribution, as the latter has managed previous distributions. It is very important not to undertake anything without consulting Poincaré. French statesmen are very apt in deals of this sort."




The plea of Izvolski was acted upon immediately by the Russian government and it sent its Departmental Chief, Davidoff, to France to find out actually how much more money was needed for bribery and corruption. Poincaré was already a candidate for the French presidency and much money was needed to bribe members of the French Chamber of Deputies to support and vote for Poincaré as president. It will be recalled that in France not the people but the members of the Chamber of Deputies elect the President of France.

Davidoff arrived in Paris on October 29, 1912, and discussed with key persons the necessity and amount of bribe money; and, then, when he was satisfied as to the amount and the necessity therefor, on October 30, 1912, he sent the following telegram to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs:{3}


"Summary of my conference with Poincaré and Russian Ambassador. Further credit of 300,000 francs for quick press-interventions as soon as same becomes necessary. This is reasonable and I accepted subject to referring to you."



In the same telegram Davidoff advised the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs that Poincaré will arrange "tomorrow" with his trusted man, "Lenoir," the matter of bribery and that Perchot, a (French) radical politician and newspaperman will have to be taken care of, because he was making too much trouble for Poincaré. Said Davidoff:


"At our request, Poincaré will sketch with Lenoir tomorrow the plan of organization of this service" (to bribe politicians and newspaper editors) "when started. Poincaré also asks me to receive Perchot and try to quiet him, as his campaign in the radical party is becoming troublesome to Poincard and the Alliance."

The French politicians and newspapermen were decidedly gluttonous in the matter of bribes and, once their appetite was whetted, they wanted more. Before the 300,000 francs arrived from Russia, Izvolski found that he needed 30,000 francs more to oil the machinery of corruption. His Privy Counsellor dispatched a telegram to the Russian government, in which he asked that the 300,000 francs be sent forthwith and an additional 30,000 francs also be sent to be disposed of by Izvolski himself. The telegram was as follows:{4}

Paris, Nov. 30, 1912


"Imperial Ambassador (Izvolski) opines to place credit balance at disposal of financial agent for press without haggling. Wire consent. Ambassador demands further 30,000 francs for direct distribution without anyone except himself ever knowing the names."




The 300,000 francs and the additional 30,000 francs were sent to Paris by the Russian government and we know from the records of the Russian Minister of Finance what became of the money and who received it. The 30,000 francs were paid to Klotz, the French Minister of Finance, and the 300,000 were distributed among politicians and newspapermen. The report to Sazanoff, the Russian Minister of Finance, disclosed the following:{5}


"Raffalovitch" (the Privy Counsellor of Izvolski) "wires me that further sum of 75,000 francs should be placed at the disposal of the "French Minister of Finance for future disbursements."

Klotz must have been a very nice "Frenchman" and equally fine Minister of Finance, though his name does not sound very Frenchy. He must have been well versed in getting the money and he appears not to have been very squeamish as to the purpose for which it was spent. What a government the French people had in 1912! Raffalovitch, the Russian Privi Counsellor at the Russian Embassy in Paris, reported to his chief, Izvolski, that Klotz was on the job in the matter of bribery and that he instructed Lenoir, the mouthpiece of Poincaré, how to proceed with the bribe. The report said:{6}

Paris, December 11, 1912


"I have already informed your Excellency that Lenoir, at the instigation of Klotz, who herein is Poincaré's mouthpiece, has pledged himself firmly towards the journals 'L'Aurore,' 'Lanterne,' 'Radical,' etc. -- as well as to certain directors of journals having but small editions but great influence in politics."




But Klotz, the French Minister of Finance, wanted more money and he did not hesitate to let the Russian government know about it. Clemenceau's paper, the "L'Aurore," and Millerand's "Lanterne" and others had to be greased still further and the Russian government was urged to send another 100,000 francs to Paris for more bribery. Raffalovitch went to St. Petersburg, Russia, and filed with Davidoff, the Russian Minister of Finance, the following report:{7}

"Yesterday I reported to Kokovzeff roughly (grosso modo) about the interview with Klotz. If my telegram surprised you, I was still more astonished when he, Klotz, categorically expressed the wish to receive further 100,000 francs for December and January at the disposal of Lenoir. I observed to him that for our money we should get at least decent value. Even if we were willing in case of need to make payments to such journals as 'L'Aurore' (Clemenceau's paper), the 'Lanterne' (Millerand's paper) and similar ones, I felt diffident about 'La France,' 'L'Evénement.' He replied that a mere 30,000 francs would make but little impression on the papers, and that their rapaciousness would only be enhanced. It would be more advisable to influence the publishers or the editors of the papers. These always have a large following in parliament."




In the meantime the campaign of terror directed against Austria-Hungary and Germany was proceeding full blast. The Hungarians in their own country were insulted, their life and property were jeopardized and an infernal machine was sent to one of the Bishops in Hungary, which exploded, maiming and killing several persons. Austria attempted to bring the government of Serbia, whence the terror came, to reason and to conclude a treaty, in which Serbia would guarantee a friendly attitude toward Austria-Hungary; but, egged on by France and Russia and encouraged from England, the Serbian government refused to stop the terror directed from Serbia. It was rumored that war was inevitable. The dutiful and ever accommodating French Minister of Finance, Klotz, reached out his palm for more bribe money. Public opinion in France was still unsatisfactory for war and the gears of politics and of the French press were getting dry and squeaky. Verily, more bribe money was needed, because French mothers were still unconvinced that their sons should die in a war which was not the concern of the French people. Klotz wanted from the Russian government another 100,000 francs and Raffalovitch made the following report concerning it to the Russian Prime Minister:{8}

"The sequel to Serbia's refusal to conclude a treaty with Austria to maintain friendly terms will be the occupation of Belgrad and a European war. Under these circumstances the Ambassador thinks 100,000 francs, more or less, would not matter, and that these should be placed at Klotz' disposal for the end of January. Izvolski asked for money in order to hand it over to a number of journalists."



In July, 1912, Poincaré looked over the horizon and noticed that the time was about favorable for war. He got into consultation with Izvolski, the Russian Ambassador, and assured him that a little more Russian money was required this time to bathe the French politicians and editors in bribe money. Listen to the secret report made by Izvolski to his government in Russia:{9}


Strictly secret                                                                                                            Paris, July 21, 1912


"After having read the memorandum of the War Minister and after my report with commentary, M. Poincaré admitted that at no time had the extraordinary international situation and political constellation appeared so favorable to the Allies as at the present. From that interview I gained the impression that M. Poincaré agrees with us in every respect and considers the moment had at last arrived for realizing the aims of our traditional policy and to restore the balance of power in Europe by the recovery of the lost provinces of Alsace-Lorraine.


"The greatest difficulty is anticipated by Poincaré on the part of the Radical-Socialists who were averse to any war, but particularly to a war originating in the Balkans. That party embraces a number of capable heads and controls a considerable number of deputies and papers. M. Poincaré thinks, the same as I, that in order to silence that party, heavy sacrifices on our part will be necessary. I scarcely venture to name the amount:


Three Million Francs


of which 250,000 francs alone for the 'Radical,' the organ of Senator Perchot. I suggest to distribute these subsidies in monthly rates so as to make sure of the papers' accommodativeness at any moment."




Money had no odor. What difference did it make to French politicians and newspaper editors what political faith they preached and on what political platform they were elected to office! What did they care how much French blood would have to flow, how many French soldiers would have to be maimed and killed in a war! For money they were willing to betray their own countrymen and to bring a terrible tragedy upon the world. The time for the election of the President of France was drawing near, and Poincaré was a candidate for that office. If elected, he would be in a much better position, than as a Prime Minister, to control the foreign policies of France. As President, he would appoint the Minister for Foreign Affairs and would be able to control him. In addition he would have more prestige with the government of England and it would be easier for him to help the English government to mould public opinion in England, that would be favorable to a war even if it broke out in the Balkans. But the election was an expensive proposition, because there were members of the Chamber of Deputies, who had to be bribed. Senator Perchot was vigorously attacking in his paper, the "Radical," the policies of Poincaré and opposed close alliance with Russia; therefore it was necessary to silence the militant Perchot and his paper. Poincaré turned to Izvolski for financial help and Izvolski frantically sent his telegrams to the Russian government asking for more money to bribe the French press and members of the French Senate and Chamber of Deputies in order to further the candidacy and election of Poincaré. The date of election was January 4, 1913 (old style), and on January 3, 1913, Izvolski sent the following telegram to the Russian government:{10}

Paris, January 3, 1913 "Poincaré asked me to draw your attention to the Perchot affair, which continues to be a source of anxiety to him. He says that arrangement with the Russian Bank mentioned in Perchot's letter to V. Kokovtov is at present under consideration in the Finance Ministry, and that he hopes that you will make a point of working for a satisfactory settlement. I learn from an entirely trustworthy source that it is very important to Poincaré that the affair shall be disposed of by January 4 (old style), the date of the election, for Perchot can do a great deal of harm in this election. I am of the opinion that it is to our interest to give Poincaré's candidature this assistance."



Provisions had been made to bribe, corrupt and influence every shade and manner of French politician and newspaper to insure the election of Poincaré to the French presidency. At the same time politicians and newspapers were bribed and corrupted to incite the French people to war. Professor H. E. Barnes sums up this almost incredible corruption in France, as follows:{11}


"Not only was it necessary to get money from Russia to aid Poincaré in becoming President of France; Russian gold was also essential in the campaign to bribe and corrupt the French press, so that the French people might come to have the same enthusiasm for a war over the Balkans as that possessed by Poincaré and his associates. Consistently through 1912 and 1913 Izvolski wrote or telegraphed home for Russian money to bribe the French editors and writers to prepare articles, news and editorials designed to frighten or incense the French public."

That the Russian bribe money was well and widely distributed among politicians and newspaper editors with satisfactory result is indicated in the report which Izvolski made to his government. According to his report, the French Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance had performed their part in the plot of bribery and corruption. Said Izvolski:{12}


"To secure this attitude I am at present doing my utmost to influence the press. In this certain substantial results have been attained, thanks to the timely adoption of the needed measures. As you know, I am taking no direct part in the distribution of subsidies (bribes). But this distribution, in which French Ministers (the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finances) are concerned, appears to be effectual in every case, and has already produced the needed result. For my part I am taking special pains to influence by personal intervention the most important of the Paris papers, such as the 'Temps,' the 'Journal de Debats,' the 'Echo de Paris,' and so on. On the whole there can be no comparison between the tone of the Paris Press at present and during the 1908-9 crisis. The attitude of the 'Temps' is especially noteworthy: four years ago it was remarkable for its violent advocacy of Austria, while at present M. Tardieu is energetically attacking the Austrian policy in its columns."

To be sure, there was nothing so influential as the well oiled French press. That was well demonstrated when the election of the French president was held. Poincaré was easily elected and two weeks later Izvolski elatedly reported to the Russian government that President Poincaré desired to see him often. Said Izvolski:{13}


"I have just had a long talk with Poincaré. He told me that in his capacity of President of the Republic it would be perfectly possible for him directly to influence France's foreign policy. He will not fail to take advantage of this during his seven years of office to assure the permanence of a policy based on close harmony with Russia. He also expressed the hope that he would continue to see me often, and asked me to go direct to him in every case in which I felt it desirable. . . . As he put it, it is of the greatest importance to the French government to have the opportunity of preparing French public opinion in advance for participation in war which might break out over the Balkans."


In other words, the greasing of the palms of French politicians and newspaper editors had to be continued, if the French people were to be induced to favor a Balkan war or any war.


We now examine how the Russian bribe money was distributed, and the report of Raffalovitch, who was Paris representative of the Russian Ministry of Finance. It will be recalled that politicians and members of the French government were owners of a number of newspapers and, therefore, the corruption of those newspapers was at the same time the corruption of their politician-owners. The following are two of the reports of Raffalovitch:{14}


Strictly secret                                                                                                            Paris, Nov. 7, 1913


"As per arrangement with M. Davidoff I beg to enclose 27 cheques (receipts) totaling 100,000 francs, that have been remitted to me by the party entrusted with the distribution:


'La Laterne' . . . . . 42,000 frs.                                  'La France' . . . . . 11,000 frs.


'L'Aurore' . . . . . .  17,000 frs.                                  'Le Rappel' . . . . .   7,000 frs.


'L'Evénement' . . . 11,000 frs.                                  'Le Journal' . . . . .  1,000 frs.


'L'Action' . . . . . . .   9,000 frs.                                  'Le Gil Blas' . . . . . 2,000 frs.


"All the papers mentioned here are exclusively organs of the Radical-Socialist Party. It must be borne in mind that the apportionment of the first monthly rate as well as of the second, has been accomplished exclusively by the French Government without any interference on our part."


A. Raffalovitch


In this official document you find the indisputable evidence that color or creed was no protection against bribery in France. The radical papers and politicians told their readers and voters that they were interested in the protection of the little man, the workers, their wives and children; yet here we have the evidence that they, too, were bought up with Russian bribe money and, like Judas of old, they betrayed the very people they pretended to serve. In addition we have incontrovertible evidence, showing that the French government, whose duty it was to protect all of the people of France, acted as the chief seducer, briber and corrupter, and the chief betrayer of the French people.

On November 19, 1913, Raffalovitch made a second report of the disbursement of the bribe money sent to Paris from Russia and in that report he details how another batch of 419,000 francs was distributed among the newspapers of the higher French politicians:{15}


" 'Le Radical' (second payment)


Perchot's paper                     120,000 francs


'Le Figaro'                                           25,000 francs


'La Lanterne'


(Millerand's paper)                  35,000 francs


'Le Temps'                                           50,000 francs


'La Libre Parole'                                 80,000 francs


'L'Aurore' (second payment)


Clemenceau's paper                54,000 francs


'Le Gaulois'                                         25,000 francs


'Le Liberté'                                          30,000 francs"


Here you see that Senator Perchot's wounded feelings were healed and he did not have to oppose Poincaré any more. His hands and palms were well greased and no more reason was left for him to oppose a war. Millerand and Clemenceau were also sufficiently oiled, the horizon cleared up, and Poincaré could easily read in the stars the messages of the angels of death. Poincaré and Izvolski now had a clear and unobstructed way to lead the French people into a war.

Before leaving this subject, it would be impolite for us to ignore the ever-accommodating briber and corrupter, Klotz, the French Minister of Finance. In 1928 he was convicted on the charge of forgery and sentenced to a long term of imprisonment, in consequence whereof he retired from politics.

Now that the French politicians and the French press had been bribed and corrupted and the French public were fed daily with false and poisonous lies of anti-Austrian and German propaganda, Poincaré and Izvolski were able to devote much of their time and attention to the Balkans and to speed up their plot to provoke and precipitate a war and force Austria-Hungary and Germany to fight.

In the next chapter you will be told how the plot worked and how the World War was provoked and precipitated. In the meantime it will be well for you to remember that it was these men you met in this chapter who told us, the American people, that France, Russia and England "were fighting to save the world for democracy."

1 "Corruption of the French Press by Russian Bribes," by Fichte Association, p. 1.


2 Stieve's "Der Diplomatische Shriftwechsel Izvolskis," 1911-1914; "Corruption of the French Press by Russian Bribes," p. 1; "The Genesis of the World War," p. 124.


3 "Corruption of the French Press by Russian Bribes," p. 1; "Genesis of the World War," p. 122.


4 "Corruption of the French Press by Russian Bribes," p. 1.

5 Ibid, p. 1.

6 Ibid, p. 1.

7 Ibid, p. 1.

8 Ibid, p. 1.

9 Ibid, p. 1.

10 "The Genesis of the World War," p 116, et seq; Stieve's "Der Diplomatische Schriftwechsel Izvolskis," 1911-1914.

11 "The Genesis of the World War," p. 119.

12 Ibid, pp. 122-3.

13 Ibid, p. 118.

14 "Corruption of the French Press by Russian Bribes," p. 2.

15 Ibid, p. 2; "The Genesis of the World War," pp. 123-4.