- Project Runeberg -  Diplomatic Reminiscences before and during the World War, 1911-1917
(1920) [MARC] Author: Anatolij Nekljudov - Tema: Russia, War
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DIPLOMATIC REMINISCENCES BEFORE AND DURING THE WORLD WAR, 1911—1917

BY A. NEKLUDOFF FORMERLY RUSSIAN MINISTER AT SOFIA AND AT STOCKHOLM AND AMBASSADOR AT MADRID TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY ALEXANDRA PAGET NEW YORK E. P. DUTTON AND COMPANY 1920 PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BECCLES, ENGLAND.

Preface to the electronic edition

Anatoly Nekludov was Russian minister to Stockholm during World War I, when one of his duties was to inspect the Red Cross trains exchanging German and Russian hospitalized prisoners of war through Sweden as seen here in August 1915. He is also seen here in July 1916 with a delegation from the Russian duma visiting Stockholm.

This text first appeared in a French journal, was translated to English and published in 1920, and also translated to Swedish and published in 1921. We don't know when the English translator Alexandra Paget lived or whether she has been dead for more than 70 years. The book was digitized in May 2014 by the Internet Archive at the State Library of Pennsylvania, from where the scanned images were copied to Project Runeberg in January 2018 and made available together with a new OCR text.

This volume was scanned elsewhere and made available by the Internet Archive, from where the scanned images were copied to Project Runeberg. We very much appreciate that they have made this possible and want to encourage other digital library projects to follow their example. Read more about Project Runeberg's image sources.


The above contents can be inspected in scanned images: pretitle, title page, verso of title page, vii, viii, ix, x, xi, xii, xiii, colophon

Korrstapel / Proof bar for this volume

Table of Contents


Title and Contents - pretitle, title page, verso of title page, vii, viii, ix, x, xi, xii, xiii, colophon
Preface - v, vi
I. My appointment to Sofia - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    My former relations with M. Sazonoff
    Scheme for a Russo-Bulgarian military convention
    Question of relations with King Ferdinand
    Audience of the Emperor; H.I.M. gives me his instructions
    Serious illness of M. Sazonoff
    I leave for Sofia
II. King Ferdinand of Bulgaria - 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
    His youth; his sudden rise to power
    First years of his reign
    His reconciliation with Russia
    Relations between the King and the people; the King’s janizaries
    Moral and political portrait of Ferdinand; his distrust; his irresolution
III. Bulgaria in 1911 - 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
    My audience of the King
    Fall of the Malinov Cabinet; its antecedents
    The Turkish Revolution of 1908
    The crisis of the annexation of Bosnia; complete independence of Bulgaria; we favour the new Kingdom in the settlement of the crisis
    Ulterior Bulgarian ambitions dictate the formation of a new Nationalist and essentially Russophile Cabinet
IV. Russian and Bulgarian relations - 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37
    M. John Gueshov
    M. Todorov
    M. Danev; my first conversation with him
    My relations with Gueshov
    The Great Sobranjé of Tirnova in June, 1911
    Visit to Russia of the Crown-Prince Boris; matrimonial schemes
    Death of M. Stolypin; his characteristics; influence of his disappearance on the foreign policy of Russia
    Visit of the Russian Squadron to Varna
    Outbreak of the Italo-Turkish war
V. Serbo-Bulgarian relations - 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51
    Serbo-Bulgarian relations; the Bulgarians enter on fresh parleyings with the Serbians
    Historical statement of Russian action with regard to the Serbians and Bulgarians
    My journey to Davos
    An unexpected meeting
    Conversation with M. Sazonoff
    Return by Belgrade; conversation with M. Hartwig; characteristics of the latter
VI. The Serbo-Bulgarian treaty - 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66
    Serbo-Bulgarian negotiations
    Demarcation of the “spheres of influence” in Macedonia
    Fixing boundaries
    Conversations with the King
    I warn St. Petersburg of the dangers which might result from a Serbo-Bulgarian alliance
    The alliance is concluded with our approval
    Festivities for the coming-of-age of Prince Boris
    Personal service rendered to King Ferdinand by H.I.M. the Emperor
    Audience of the King before my departure for St. Petersburg
    Ferdinand’s perplexities and suspicions
VII. Rasputin - 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
    Arrival in St. Petersburg; violent speech by M. Gutchkoff at the Duma
    Rasputin; his peculiarities become a subject for scandal; his influence
    Mlle. Tutcheff
    Audience of H.I.M. the Emperor
    The Empress Alexandra spends an afternoon in St. Petersburg
    Conversation with General Jilinsky, the Chief of the General Staff
    Conversations with MM. Kokovtzoff and Gutchkoff; drawing-room gossip
    Reception at the Sazonoffs’; the “Rasputin crisis” is successfully settled
    I return to Sofia
VIII. Intrigues at Sofia - 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107
    Bulgarian “activist” party; M. Danev’s journey to Russia
    Colonel Merrone
    Italian military circles know of the Serbo-Bulgarian agreement
    Intrigues directed against me; I fall into disfavour with Ferdinand; the King’s candidates for my post; M. Rizov enters the arena
    M. Schelking
    A brother-in-law of my predecessor
    My reconciliation with the King
    Rumours of my recall
    Journey to Constantinople; conversations with M. de Giers and with General Holmsen; their opinion of the Turkish Army
    Political ferment in Sofia and Belgrade; my telegram of the 4th July; my warning disregarded; Kotchana and Ishtib incidents
    M. Gutchkoff in Sofia and Belgrade
    Prince Alexander goes to inspect the army
    The Schipka Veterans’ Fête; “it is war!”
    M. de Giers warns Bulgaria
    Europe does not believe it
    Jubilee for the twenty-five years’ reign of Ferdinand
    M. Sazonoff’s apathy
IX. The Balkan war, 1912 - 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131
    Mobilisation of the Balkan allies; futile protests of the Cabinets; war breaks out
    First decisive successes of the Allies
    Lozengrad taken
    Greco-Bulgarian incident at Salonika
    Victory of Lule-Burgas; Bulgarians and Greeks at Salonika; torrential rains alone stop the Bulgarian advance
    King Ferdinand’s elation; his inordinate ambition; his dreams
    Reverse of Chataldja
    In St. Petersburg the question of the “prohibited area” in Thrace is raised; I succeed in causing this prohibition to be removed
    Russian concessions
    Ferdinand wishes to have Rodosto at any cost
    General Radko-Dmitriev’s mission to St. Petersburg
    The Bulgarians allow the propitious moment for the conclusion of peace to escape
X. The Balkan war, 1912 (continued) - 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153
    The Serbians, having to renounce an outlet to the Adriatic, demand compensations in Macedonia
    My conversations on the subject with my Serbian colleague
    Serbian claims
    Visit of M. Venizelos to Sofia; our conversation
    My advice to Gueshov; his powerlessness
    Two meetings with Ferdinand; the French Minister’s audience of the King; The German Minister’s audience
    Bulgaro-Rumanian relations; the Dobrudja
    Russo-Rumanian relations; M. Rosetti-Solesco; our representatives at Bukharest; succeeded by M. Nicolas Schebeko; jubilee of the annexation of Bessarabia; commencement of the Russo-Rumanian intimacy
    Rectification of the Dobrudja frontier in favour of Rumania
XI. Quarrels between the allies - 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175
    Capture of Adrianople
    Quarrels with the Serbians
    Bulgarian cruelties; the character of the Bulgarian people is a product of their history
    I advocate the creation of a small autonomous State, embracing those parts of Macedonia which the Balkan Allies are contesting
    Emperor Alexander II.’s letter to Prince Alexander
    My suggestion rejected
    Idea of an Anti-Bulgarian league; this idea is carried out owing to the Bulgarian faults; the Serbo-Greek alliance is concluded
    The Press in St. Petersburg is against the Bulgarians
    I am ordered to preach conciliation to them
    Madame Karavelov; scene in the military hospital in Sofia
    Peace signed, in London
    Interview between Gueshov and Pachitch
    My Serbian colleague and I begin to hope
    The Emperor of Russia offers himself as mediator; telegrams exchanged
    Conflict in Sofia about the Russian proposal
    King Ferdinand’s telegram attributed falsely to me
    Greece and Serbia continue to arm
    Bulgaria suggests a time limit
    Satisfactory outlook
XII. Bulgaria attacks her allies - 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202
    Danev’s return spoils everything
    Warlike preparations
    An earthquake
    Gueshov leaves the Cabinet; Danev remains alone at the head
    The King holds a Council; our mediation is accepted; I entreat Danev to start at once for St. Petersburg
    The Bulgarians treacherously attack the Serbians
    The shameful underhand play
    War begins
    Soldiers refuse obedience
    The Bulgarians beaten by the Greeks and by the Serbians; my advice to Danev; Mission of General Paprikov and Colonel Romanowski; the Rumanian Army enters Bulgaria and approaches Sofia; the Turks return to Adrianople
    Fall of the Danev Ministry
    Collapse of Bulgarian Army
    The King summons the foreign representatives; a ridiculous conference
    Russian influence
    The Bulgarians forced to conclude the Peace of Bukharest
XIII. The peace of Bukharest - 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219
    Comparison of the conditions of the Peace of London (May, 1913) with those of the Peace of Bukharest (September, 1913)
    The question of Mount Athos; the “Monte Santo” and its customs; the Russian cenobites
    Nature of the Treaty
    Sacrifices imposed on Bulgaria at Bukharest
    The Turks keep Adrianople and Eastern Thrace; enormous signification of this restitution
    Diplomatic influences
    We do not insist on the autonomy of Mount Athos
    Pan-Germans at work
    Disquieting situation in Sofia
    Why Ferdinand’s power was not wrecked
    Solemn reception of the Bulgarian troops on their return to Sofia
    I am intended for the post of Stockholm
XIV. My transfer to Stockholm - 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245
    Departure from Sofia for Paris
    Bad omen
    Arrival in Paris; conversation with M. Sazonoff
    The Grand-Duchess Marie’s divorce
    The Russians enjoy themselves wildly
    M. Kokovtzoff in Paris
    I go to the Crimea
    General Dedulin’s death
    General Dumbadze
    Rasputin again
    Audience and luncheon at Livadia; I give the Emperor a detailed report
    Journey to Sofia and farewell audience of the King and Queen
    St. Petersburg in February, 1914; “balls and festivities”; very serious conversations during the parties
    Count Witte
    Prince Alexander of Serbia
    M. Kokovtzoff out of office
    M. Goremykin
    Conversation with M. Zinovieff, our former Ambassador to Constantinople
    The “young people” continue to be optimistic
    I leave for Stockholm
XV. Sweden in 1914 - 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267
    Three centuries of Swedish history
    Gustaf III.
    Struggles with Russia
    Change of dynasty
    New aspect of Sweden
    Union with Norway
    The people and their qualities
    Sweden’s prosperity
    The Spaniards of the North
    French influence replaced by German influence
    Reasons for this change
    The Bernadottes
    King Oscar II. and German influences
    Prince Max of Baden
    German intrigues
    Russian aspirations
    The Anti-Russian current
    Sven-Hedin
    The Bondestog
    Change of Ministry
    Political situation in March, 1914
XVI. On the eve of war - 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288
    Solemn audience of King Gustaf V.
    “Do not judge Sovereigns too harshly!”
    Queen Victoria
    The Royal Family
    Interesting conversation with M. Wallenberg; I draw erroneous conclusions
    My foreign colleagues
    Mr. Howard
    M. Thiébaud
    Baltic exhibition at Malmö
    The Riksdag “of national defence”
    Alarming symptoms everywhere
    Our incomprehensible calmness
    M. Sverbeieff in Berlin
    Our Ambassadors in Berlin and Vienna
    Count Osten-Sacken’s warnings
    M. Schebeko in Vienna
    Precarious situation in Russia
    The assassination at Serajevo
    Another trip to Malmö; Count Brockdorf-Rantzau
    Delightful expedition; a bad fairy overhears me
    The Austrian ultimatum to Serbia
XVII. The tragic week - 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305
    The tragic week
    President Poincare’s arrival
    Banquet at the Palace
    M. Poincare’s advice
    “The torch of Bellona”
    Germans determined on war
    Last conversation with my German colleague, Reichenau; “the war will kill the monarchical principle”
    Duties of a monarch
    Colonel Kandauroft’s tidings
    The Emperor Nicolas wishes to avoid war at all costs
    Deep emotion in Sweden
    I suggest, if necessary, energetic action in Bulgaria
    War is declared
    “Let us drain the cup to the dregs”
XVIII. Swedish neutrality - 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331
    What will Sweden do?
    Audience of the King; reassuring words of H.M.
    France and England offer guarantees to Sweden
    We associate ourselves with this declaration
    Neutrality of Sweden; pacificist sentiments of most of the country
    England’s decision
    Russians fleeing from Germany inundate Stockholm; tragico-comic scenes
    Refugees of note
    Our Ambassador arrives from Berlin
    Generous hospitality of the Swedes
    Tales of German brutality
    First events of the war; Russian reverses; the luck turns; the Marne victory; German propaganda
    Our advance in Galicia
    Grand-Duke Nicolas’ Manifesto on the subject of Poland
    Decisive hour for the Empire of the Hapsburgs
    Aims of Russian diplomacy
    Neither Austria nor Russia profit by this hour
    Our mistakes in Galicia
    Turkey enters the war
    In spite of the agitation of Germanophiles and Activists, the absolute-neutrality party gains ground in Sweden
    Interview of the three Scandinavian Monarchs
XIX. Sweden in 1915 - 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357
    Economic situation of Sweden during the war
    Temporary prosperity
    The hold over Sweden possessed by the Entente Powers on one side (the grip of the Entente) and by Germany on the other
    Causes of the economic influence of Germany
    A strange tangle
    Perfect co-operation of the Entente representatives in Stockholm
    Baron von Lucius; intrigues of the German Legation
    My official attitude
    Decrease in Swedish hostility to Russia; the Murman railway; the Straits; the case of M. Perrichon
    I wish to build for the future
    Finland for Sweden
    Russian reverses in 1915 encourage Sven-Hedin afresh
    German peace proposals
    The Yul-Klappor and Swedish indignation
    Prince Gortchakoff and M. de Giers
    The understanding between the three Scandinavian countries counter-balances the efforts of the Activists
    The question of the Aland Islands
XX. War sufferers - 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 382, 383, 384
    The Russians in Sweden during the war
    The Russian committee of benevolence
    Prisoners’ correspondence
    The Duke of Amalfi and the splendid work of the Spanish Legation
    The Y.M.C.A.
    Treatment of prisoners of war in Germany
    Conference of the Red Cross representatives in Stockholm, and improvement resulting from it
    The ambulance trains
    Humanity of the Swedes
    Touching scenes; a strange people; odi et amo; an epic hero
    An old acquaintance reappears
    Ferreting out a secret
    Russian official personages pass through Sweden
    M. Peter Struve
    The Poles
    The Lithuanians and Lithuania
    M. Itchas
    Other typically Russian silhouettes
XXI. A visit to Petrograd - 385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410
    I go to Petrograd
    Conversation with Sazonoff
    General Polivanoff’s opinion as to Rumanian help
    Rumania’s difficult position
    I see my successor in Sofia again; M. Savinsky on Balkan affairs; what he tells me and what he does not tell me
    M. Stürmer appointed President of the Council
    The Emperor present at the Duma
    Prince N. Galitzyn
    Prince Alexander of Oldenburg
    M. Alexis Neidhart and the “Moderates”
    Audience of the Emperor
    The Grand-Duke Paul and his family
    Audiences of the Empress Alexandra and the Dowager Empress
    The Grand-Duke Nicolas Mikhailovitch
    Impressions of my visit
    Misgivings in political and Government circles
    In popular circles
    Mutterings of revolution
    German machinations
    The Germans increase their efforts to bring about a revolution in Russia
XXII. Evil omens in Petrograd - 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 438, 439, 440, 441, 442, 443
    Return to Stockholm
    Audience of the King
    Russian “parliamentarians” pass through Stockholm; I make Protopopoff’s acquaintance
    The Swedish Activists raise the Aland question
    Wallenberg’s wise and clever policy
    M. Branting
    All is serene
    Bad news from Petrograd; Stürmer, Rasputin, the Empress Alexandra
    The Empress at General Headquarters; idyll and tragedy; M. Odier; prophetic verses
    Brussiloff’s offensive
    M. Protopopoff and the Polaks
    Protopopoff’s talks with M. Warburg
    M. Pokrovsky
    The rest of the parliamentary delegation returns by Stockholm
    M. Schingareff
    Russo-Swedish banquet
    Baron Rosen
    Count S. Wielopolski
    Operations in Galicia
    Stürmer replaces Sazonoff
    Sazonoff
    A subaltern of the Guards has done his whole duty; painful journey to Petrograd
    Conversations with Sazonoff; a band of malefactors
    Count Wielopolski with Protopopoff
    I call on Stürmer
    Sazonoff’s minute on the Polish question
    The Rumanians come into the war
    Odious impressions of Petrograd
XXIII. Russia in decline - 444, 445, 446, 447, 448, 449, 450, 451, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 459, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468
    Return to Stockholm
    Bad turn of affairs on the Rumanian front
    Ferment and disorder in Russia
    Protopopoff, Home Secretary; his vagaries; his madness
    Prince Nicolas of Greece goes to Russia
    I expect to leave my post
    Fall of Stürmer; succeeded by M. Trepoff
    I retain my post
    The Protopopoff-Warburg incident begins to agitate the Russian public
    I emphatically contradict the Home Secretary
    The Minister for Foreign Affairs has again a perfectly honest man in view
    Intense agitation in all grades of Russian society
    Murder of Rasputin
    Protopopoff’s increasing influence
    The Trepoff Ministry is of short duration
    The situation becomes worse
    Protopopoff and an American spiritist
    Rizov arrives from Berlin to talk to me; his curious prophecy
    “The Emperor must go” and a great illusion
    The Revolution breaks out and triumphs
    Every one is happy and content
    I adhere to the Provisional Government
XXIV. Revolution - 469, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 477, 478, 479, 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 485, 486, 487, 488, 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 497, 498
    The Hindu fakir; a theory of suggestion
    The Revolution relieves the conscience of our Allies and reassures them
    Illusions
    First alarming revelations
    Report of a Danish eye-witness
    The Prikase No. I
    The real origin of those March days; the real situation in Russia
    A tragic dialogue
    The Soviets supreme
    Political exiles return to Russia
    Prince Kropotkin
    “Madam demands her whole paraphernalia”
    A revolutionist of the old stamp
    Early memories of Moscow
    Bolsheviks
    An Armenian throws off his mask
    Some dancers
    The army of treachery
    Lenin and Trotsky pass into Russia
    M. Keskula states the Esthonian case
    I am appointed Ambassador to Madrid
    Bad news from Petrograd
    M. Kerensky, Dictator
    His praiseworthy efforts
    Increasing dissolution
    I leave Stockholm with a heavy heart and scant hopes for the future
XXV. In Spain and in exile - 499, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 520, 521
    Journey from Stockholm to Paris
    Brief revival of hopes and illusions
    Solemn reception of an Ambassador in Madrid
    Stately ceremonies
    Generous step of King Alfonso XIII.
    Two Queens
    Reception by the Marquis de Lema and M. Dato
    Sad reflections
    My colleagues
    Bird’s-eye view of Spain
    Grievous news from Russia
    I reconsider my position
    Journey to Paris; I am disgusted with all I see and hear
    I return to San Sebastian and send in my resignation to Kerensky
    Letter to M. Terestchenko
    A well-advised counsellor
    I go into exile
Index - 523, 524, 525, 526, 527, 528, 529, 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541
    Abdul-Azis ... - 523
    Austro-Hungarian ... - 524
    Bulgaria ... - 525
    Constantine ... - 526
    Enver-Bey ... - 527
    George ... - 528
    Gustavus ... - 529
    Karavelov ... - 530
    Lievin ... - 531
    Mikolajow ... - 532
    Nekludoff ... - 533
    Niemen ... - 534
    Pokrovsky ... - 535
    Rumania ... - 536
    San ... - 537
    Serge ... - 538
    Sweden ... - 539
    Tsarskoe-Selo ... - 540
    Warburg ... - 541

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