Primary Documents - King Ferdinand's Proclamation to the Romanian People, 28 August 1916
Reproduced below is the official proclamation issued to the people of Romania by King Ferdinand.
Published on the day war against Austria-Hungary was officially announced by Prime Minister Ion Bratianu, the King's proclamation alerted his people to the sacrifices ahead, but pointed to the great gains made possible by a successful outcome.
Click here to read former Romanian Prime Minister Take Jonescu's statement in support of the war effort. Click here to read the King's proclamation to the Romanian Army; click here to read the reaction of the German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg. Click here to read the statement issued by the Romanian Ambassador to the U.S. in October 1917. Click here to read a memoir of the invasion of Romania by Queen Marie.
Proclamation by King Ferdinand, 28 August 1916
The war which for the last two years has been encircling our frontiers more and more closely has shaken the ancient foundations of Europe to their depths.
It has brought the day which has been awaited for centuries by the national conscience, by the founders of the Rumanian State, by those who united the principalities in the war of independence, by those responsible for the national renaissance.
It is the day of the union of all branches of our nation. Today we are able to complete the task of our forefathers and to establish forever that which Michael the Great was only able to establish for a moment, namely, a Rumanian union on both slopes of the Carpathians.
For us the mountains and plains of Bukowina, where Stephen the Great has slept for centuries. In our moral energy and our valour lie the means of giving him back his birthright of a great and free Rumania from the Tisza to the Black Sea, and to prosper in peace in accordance with our customs and our hopes and dreams.
Animated by the holy duty imposed upon us, and determined to bear manfully all the sacrifices inseparable from an arduous war, we will march into battle with the irresistible élan of a people firmly confident in its destiny. The glorious fruits of victory shall be our reward.
Forward, with the help of God!
Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. V, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923
A "red cap" was a British military policeman.
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