Leopold Count von Berchtold von und zu Ungarschitz, Fratting und Pullitz
Austrian Foreign Minister since 1912, the Count was known as Poldi to his friends. He is probably most responsible, if not for the Great War, then certainly, for the escalation of the June Balkan crisis into a major European crisis. His descriptions include snob, society blade, and ladies' man. Owner of a racing stable and lover of the good life, his contemporaries viewed him as less than intelligent and of shabby character. His plotting with Field Marshal Conrad von Hotzendorff assured the invasion of Serbia by the forces of Austria-Hungary following the 28-Jun-1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. His double dealing with Germany during the crisis ensured the episode in Sarajevo would explode into World War.
Jul-1914: The July Crisis
ø The 'Blank Check'
ø The Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum to Serbia
- "...one noted, yes, consternation and indignation, but also a certain easing of mood."
- von Berchtold on the atmosphere at the first cabinet meeting after the Archduke's assassination.
- "I recommend that you and the Minister of War leave for your vacation so as to keep up the appearance that nothing is going on."
- von Berchtold to General von Hotzendorff on 8-Jul-1914