“The July 1914 Crisis – Sleepwalking Diplomats?” High level panel discussion on the First World War

13.03.2014 - Press release

Foreign Minister Steinmeier, in collaboration with Prof. Alexander Koch, the President of the German Historical Museum Foundation, is hosting a debate on Friday, 14 March on the failure of diplomacy one hundred years ago.

Following an introduction by Foreign Minister Steinmeier, the historian Prof. Christopher Clark (University of Cambridge) will give a lead in speech examining the leitmotiv of the evening: how did the escalation in the July Crisis in 1914 come about and what role did “sleepwalking diplomats” play? Among other works, Christopher Clark wrote the much discussed book “The Sleepwalkers. How Europe Went to War in 1914”.

In his reply, the historian Prof. Gerd Krumeich (University of Düsseldorf, professor emeritus) will look at Clark’s theses. Krumeich is one of the most renowned German scholars on the history of the First World War and is also academic adviser to the French Government’s Commission on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The audience will have an opportunity to take part in the subsequent discussion about the failure of and need for diplomacy during these decisive weeks.

Peter Sturm of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung will moderate the evening. The event will be entirely in German.

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