SINCE this book was written the German Government has published, under the title European Politics in the Decade before the War as Described by Belgian Diplomatists, a series of secret reports made to the Belgian Government in the years 1905-14, by its ministers in London, Paris, and Berlin. Found in Brussels when that city was occupied by the German army, the reports are published with the remark that they "provide a running commentary on European history during the past decade, throwing light which, once shed, could by no means ever be spared, on the causes of the cataclysm through which Europe is now passing." The future historian is assured that the documents "will rank high" among the sources to which he will turn in the writing of a definitive narrative:
"They are not the words of German apologists. They are the words of disinterested expert observers--the considered words, though set down in the very midst of events as they pass. They register the convictions of five professional students of contemporary international history, living in the three chief capitals of Europe and possessing unparalleled access to the facts, with the advantage of being detached and unprejudiced with regard to them."
The despatches are supposed to prove that England enticed France--and later Russia--to oppose Germany, and engineered a campaign for the diplomatic isolation of the great Empire in central Europe. Much is also made of reports from the legation in Paris respecting the revival in France of the idea of revanche, for which President Poincaré chiefly, and to a lesser extent M. Delcassé, are held responsible. Russian diplomatists are criticised by the minister in Berlin for their personal ambitions and lack of discipline. In short, it is contended, the documents prove the entire correctness of German policy in the ten years before the war and its eminently peaceful character.