the Emser telegram was a written report over the negotiations king of William I. with French Ambassador Vincent Benedetti in bath Ems. Bismarck's publication of a drawn up version of the Emser telegram released in the summer 1870 the French-German war .
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1867 was in Spain the corrupt queen Isabella II. fallen and thus the throne vakant become. Juan prime, Prime Minister of Spain and one the leader of the rebellion, stepped thereupon 1869 to the family of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, the catholic line of the house Hohenzollern, near and offered the hereditary prince Leopold (1835 - 1905) the Spanish crown. 1870 it contacted in this affair also officially king William I. of Prussia, the head of the total house Hohenzollern. Prince Leopold explained his readiness for the candidacy to 19. June 1870, William gave its agreement two days later. The accession by a Hohenzollern could have been favourable with regard to foreign policy for likewise hohnzollerisch governed Prussia and thus for the north Germans federation, why this decision was promoted by the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck. So a future Spanish-German personnel union was rather still promised!
To 2. July became the candidacy in the French press admits. The French government under Prime Minister Ollivier and emperor Napoléon III., which had not been informed, a clasping with regard to foreign policy and opposed a German diplomatic triumph feared and therefore energetically against the acceptance in this situation. Minister of foreign affairs Gramont explained to 6. July before the Chambre législative that France do not accept such a development and will do, should it to it come nevertheless, without hesitating its obligation; a hardly masked war threat:
- La France ne tolérerait pas l' does not établissement you prince de Hohenzollern ever D' aucun prince prussien sur le trône espagnol. Pour more empêcher cette éventualité, IL [le gouvernement] comptait à la fois sur la say-eats you peuple all and et sur l' amitié you peuple espagnol. S' IL EN était autrement, away de votre appui et de celui de la nation, nous saurions remplir notre devoir sans hésitation et sans faiblesse.
- France will not bear that the prince von Hohenzollern or otherwise any Prussian prince mounts the Spanish throne. In order to prevent this possible case, the government counts at the same time on the intelligence of the German people and on the friendship of the Spanish people. If it should come however differently, then we would know to do strength of your support and that to the nation without hesitating and without weakness our obligation.
This and other French protests had finally success: To 12. July gave Karl to Anton of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, Leopolds father, who renouncement of its family of the Spanish well-known. This victory with regard to foreign policy appeared to the government Napoléons III. too simply achieved and not piercing enough. A series of inglorious defeats with regard to foreign policy and a precarious situation relating to domestic affairs had the Frenchmen on a diplomatic humiliating of Prussia appear enticing to let the prospect. Gramont assigned therefore his Ambassador in Prussia, Vincent Benedetti, of king William I. to require the warranty that the house Hohenzollern will do not only for the present, but for all times without the Spanish king throne.
William I. stayed to 13. July to the cure in bath Ems, when Benedetti brought it this demand. It asked in addition not for an official audience, but addressed the king on the cure promenade and submitted to it two French demands: On the one hand the king is to approve the renouncement expressly, on the other hand is he to insure that its family will never stand as a candidate again for the Spanish throne. William rejected a renouncement warranty for all future however, because he could not answer for a such obligation. From it it had refrained no message to receive still from its South German relatives over its resignation. This arrived however in the course of the daily in form of a letter of Karl Anton of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen . King William let Benedetti communicate by his aide prince Radziwill that the message was officially confirmed. It let a request Benedettis for a renewed audience reject with the reason that it, as far as it would concern the warranty promise had spoken its last word.
Of Bismarck's close coworkers Heinrich Abeken, which accompanied the king in bath Ems, still wrote on the same day a report over the events and telegraphed these at the Prime Ministers. This was the letter, which entered as Emser telegram history. It had the following wording:
- His majesty the king writes me:
- “Count Benedetti intercepted me on the promenade, in order to require in last very zudringliche kind from me to, I should it authorize of telegraphing immediately that I engaged me for all future to never give again my agreement if the Hohenzollern came on its candidacy back. I white it, last somewhat seriously, back, since one may not take à tout jamais such commitment, nor can. - Natural I said to him that I would have received still nothing, and was there he about Paris and Madrid in former times informed as I, he would probably see that my Gouvernement was again except play. “
- Its majesty got since then a letter of the prince. Since his majesty the count Benedetti has said that it expect message of the prince, all maximum everything in consideration of the above Zumutung to let to receive on the count Eulenburg and means lecture decided, to the count Benedetti no longer but it say only by an aide: that its majesty from the prince the confirmation of the message receive now, which Benedetti from Paris already had, and to which Ambassador has to say nothing else.
- Its majesty leaves to to your Excellency whether the new demand should not be communicated to Benedettis and its rejection immediately both our envoys and in the press?
the publication of the telegram
Bismarck released a strongly drawn up version of the telegram for publication in the press. From the new version it did not follow that king William I. a conversation with the French Ambassador had had and it its refusal had described; the French demand and the Verweigerung of a further audience were only reported in scarce words. By these shortening the resulting message could arouse easily the impression, Benedetti in bath Ems with ungebührender cold weather was treated. The publication at the same time set the French guidance under course obligation. If it would have otherwise the report Benedettis to be waiting and in peace to evaluate be able, then it was now at the pressure of the indignant French public.
The drawn up report read as follows:
- After the messages were officially communicated to that by the renunciation of the hereditary prince von Hohenzollern imperially French government of that royally Spanish, the French Ambassador placed the king still the demand in Ems against his majesty to authorize him that he to Paris telegraph that his majesty the king obligates itself for all future to never give again its agreement if the Hohenzollern should return to its candidacy again. His majesty the king rejected it on receiving and to the same by the aide of the service say let the French Ambassador again that its majesty has to communicate nothing else to the Ambassador.
The drawn up report became still to 13. July of the governmentnear “north German general newspaper” in a special issue publishes.
The publication of the Emser telegram led directly to the declaration of war of France at Prussia, to 19. July 1870 took place.