apparent of Austria, had been assassinated in Sarajevo. A week or so after this my mother took me and my two sisters for our summer holidays to Alt-Aussee, a village not far from Salzburg. And there, on my twelfth birthday, I received a letter from my father in which he said that he was sorry not to be able to come for my birthday, as he had intended, “because, unfortunately, there is war” (“denn es ist leider Krieg”). Since this letter arrived on the day of the actual declaration of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, it seems that my father realized that it was coming.


4.

THE FIRST WORLD WAR

I was twelve, then, when the First World War broke out; and the war years, and their aftermath, were in every respect decisive for my intellectual development. They made me critical of accepted opinions, especially political opinions.

Of course, few people knew at that time what war meant. There was a deafening clamour of patriotism throughout the country in which even some of the members of our previously far from warmongering circle participated. My father was sad and depressed. Yet even Arndt could see something hopeful. He hoped for a democratic revolution in Russia.

Afterwards I often remembered these days. Before the war, many members of our circle had discussed political theories which were decidedly pacifist, and at least highly critical of the existing order, and had been critical of the alliance between Austria and Germany, and of the expansionist policy of Austria in the Balkans, especially in Serbia. I was staggered by the fact that they could suddenly become supporters of that very policy.

Today I understand these things a little better. It was not only the pressure of public opinion; it was the problem of divided

-9-

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