Max von Baden objects to parliamentary democracy (1918)

The following extract comes from a letter written by Prince Max of Baden, to his cousin, Alexander von Hohenlohe, in January 1918. The letter was publicised in October 1918, after Baden’s appointment as chancellor, and caused a firestorm, since it expresses opposition to parliamentary democracy in Germany:

“Since I object to Western parliamentarianism for Germany and Baden, I had to tell the people of Baden and Germany that while I understand its needs, I can see no help in institutions. Thus I can acquire a platform on which I can keep in my own hands the methods I wish to apply, and the people of Baden follow gladly because they feel that their anxieties and their needs are understood…”

I, too, naturally wish that our successes should be exploited as far as possible, and far from agreeing with the so-called Peace Resolution, which was the misbegotten child of fear and of the Berlin dog days, I want the greatest possible compensations in some form or another, so that we may not become too poor after the war…

In dealing with so astute and worldly wise and adversary as England, Belgium is the only pawn for compensation that we possess.”