The First World War, that started on July 28, 1914 ended on November 11, 1918, after nearly 53 months of tragic battles. The armistice between the German Empire and the powers of the Entente was signed on November 11, 1918, at eleven o’clock in the morning. However, before this moment, the situation for Romania was dramatic. Still in refuge, in Iaşi, Queen Marie described in her diary the last moments of the Great War, but also the situation of Germany.
Thursday, October 25/ November 7, 1918
I decided I had to leave on Sunday, I could not take it any longer! Events are too engrossing and everything happens so fast that I think Germany will fall on its knees. She is abandoned by all, and the borders to the south remain open after the capitulation of Austria. On the Western Front, the allied armies continue to advance. Some of our troops have been called to Bukovina to keep the peace. From all sides, the Romanians declare themselves free to form one great nation. The dream of Greater Romania appears to become a reality, it is so unexpected that I can hardly believe it. I have become so accustomed to disaster and to the troubles ever since the beginning of the war that I cannot get used to the idea that our time had finally come, too! I always believed in the final victory of the Allies, I was one of those who never doubted it, but I never envisioned myself with the visionary aura of realizing «the great Romanian dream».” […]
Whether or not my dream will be fulfilled, with weapon in hand, we have to stay with our Allies until the end. Germany seems to give way too fast to get to do it- maybe there’s a plan I know nothing about, I can only hope there is.
Saturday, October 27/ November 9, 1918
I’m receiving enthusiastic telegrams from people loyal to us. The words “the Empress of all Romanians” have begun to be heard again from every direction and, I have to say, with a lot more justification than two years ago. Wilson has publicly stated that he will uphold Romania’s right to unite all of its people into one country… Before dinner, Barbu received the formidable news that the Allies, together with Radu Rosetti, had crossed the Danube into our country! I could not find any details, but that’s what I’ve been waiting for far too long, with eager anticipation.
October 28/ November 10, 1918
[…] General mobilization was ordered! So, we are together again with our Allies, we are going back into battle. The Germans must leave the country or… fight! It remains to be seen what will happen next.
The Kaiser Wilhelm and the heir prince abdicated, what a time!
It may well have been a predictable ending, but I would like the country to live and fall with its king, with its ruler, like a father with his family. Kaiser Will tried to destroy us, but I did not want to see him destroyed. I wanted to see him defeated, yes, because he did what he did to wipe this country off the face of the earth, because he was a brutal and merciless tyrant in which tyranny intertwined with the proverbial «pride that comes before the fall», but in his own way he was a force to be reckoned with- it was something in his excess of energy for which I always felt some sympathy; but the vulgarity concealed in him, the air of primacy made him unbearable […].
Tuesday, October 30/ November 12, 1918
[…] Since Monday, from eleven o’clock in the morning, hostilities ceased on all fronts. The Germans accepted all the conditions, even the harshest, conditions that make it impossible for them to take up arms again.
Germany as it is was is no longer! It seems incredible, difficult to imagine, in many ways very sad, but they have shown such bestial behaviour that it is true that they deserve to be punished; however, I would not have wanted the punishment to be so terrible, I do not like it when things fall apart…”.
Translated by Laurențiu Dumitru Dologa