Two German Giants - John Lord

Treaty Between Germany and Austria Hungary

Imperial and State Gazette,

3rd February, 1888.

The governments of Germany and of the Austria-Hungarian Monarchy have resolved upon the publication of their definite Treaty of October 7th, 1879, in order to end doubts which have been entertained on different sides of their purely defensive intentions, which are construed into different aims. The allied governments are guided in their policy by the endeavor to preserve peace: and, as much as possible to avert all disturbance of the same, they are persuaded that the promulgation of the contents of their Treaty will remove every doubt thereupon, and have therefore determined to publish the same. The text runs as follows:—

Considering that Your Majesties, the German Emperor, King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, do conceive it Your undeniable duty as Monarchs to care for the safety of Your empires and the peace of Your peoples under all conditions;

Considering that both Monarchs will be in a condition to perform this duty more easily and more effectively through the firm cohesion of both empires, as in former standing alliances; finally, that no one can object to an intimate relationship between Germany and Austria-Hungary, which, however, is well fitted to consolidate European peace, originating with the Treaty of Berlin:

YOUR MAJESTIES, The Emperor of Germany, and The Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, since You solemnly engaged to each other that You would at no time impute to the other's purely defensive proceedings an aggressive tendency of any kind, have resolved to unite in a treaty for peace and for mutual protection.

To this end have Your Imperial Highnesses appointed as Your plenipotentiaries: H. I. M. the German Emperor, the R. H. Ambassador in Extraordinary and Plenipotential General Lieutenant Prince Henry VII. of Reuss, etc., etc.; H. I. M. the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, the R. H. Privy Counselor, Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Field-Marshal-Lieutenant Gyula Count Andrassy, of Esik-Szent-Kiralfy and Kraszna-Horka, etc.,—who have convened this day at Vienna, and after exchange of good and sufficient credentials have agreed as follows:

Article I.—Should one of the two Empires be attacked by Russia, against the expectations and against the sincere wish of both Royal contracting parties, the Royal contracting parties are pledged each to assist the other with the whole fighting force of their Empires, and, according to their ability to conclude peace only mutually and harmoniously.

Article II.—Should one of the Royal contracting parties be attacked by another power, the other Royal contractor hereby pledges himself not only not to assist the aggressor of his Royal ally, but, at the least, to observe a favorable neutral disposition toward his Royal ally. Should, however, in such a case, the aggressive power be supported by Russia, be it in the form of active co-operation, be it through military measures which threaten the aggressed, then will hold good in this case Article I, of this treaty, with, its stipulated pledge of mutual assistance from the whole army, immediately in force, and the conduct of the war of the Royal contracting parties shall then be mutual till peace is unanimously concluded.

Article III.—In conformity with its peaceful character, and in order to avoid every misconstruction, this Treaty shall be held secret, and will be communicated to a third Power only with the consent of both parties, and according to special agreement.

Both Royal contracting parties hope that, according to the outspoken opinions of the Czar Alexander at the meeting in Alexandrowo, the preparations for war in Russia will not prove really threatening for You, and have, on this ground, no occasion for any communication. Should, however, this hope prove to be mistaken, contrary to expectation, the two Royal contracting parties would acknowledge it a duty of loyalty at least to give notice confidentially to the Czar Alexander that You must consider an attack on one of You equivalent to an attack on both of You.

In witness whereof have the ambassadors signed this treaty personally and affixed Your seals. Given at Vienna, October 7, 1879.