As ambassador to England, Prince Lichnowsky struggled hard to avert war. On his return to Germany, he remained a vocal and influential critic of German foreign policy and a campaigner for an early peace to end the War. He wrote the text of what became My Mission to London in the Summer of 1916 to organise his arguments against German support for Austria and hostility to Russia, and to set out his criticism of German foreign policy towards England. He intended there to be only a small number of copies to show to those sympathetic to the cause of peace, but, against his wishes, more copies were made in Germany by peace campaigners in 1917, with one reaching Switzerland by January 1918. It was republished in huge numbers by the covert British propaganda organisation, Wellington House, and circulated to allied and neutral countries as well as to German troops. Although the arguments in My Mission to London were not the ‘revelations’ promised on the cover, the fact that it had been written by someone so senior and close to the German political and diplomatic elite hit home with force.
- Article by:
- Ian Cooke
From the beginning of World War One, both sides of the conflict used propaganda to shape international opinion. Curator Ian Cooke considers the newspapers, books and cartoons produced in an attempt to influence both neutral and enemy countries.