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The Trial of the Kaiser$
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William A. Schabas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833857

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833857.001.0001

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‘Hang the Kaiser’

‘Hang the Kaiser’

Chapter:
(p.10) 2 ‘Hang the Kaiser’
Source:
The Trial of the Kaiser
Author(s):

William A. Schabas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198833857.003.0002

There is interest in prosecuting war crimes committed by Germany from the first weeks of the war. The execution of Edith Cavell and the sinking of the Lusitania help build public outrage and a desire for justice. The plan to try the Kaiser germinates when George Curzon and Georges Clemenceau meet in Paris immediately after the armistice in November 1918. Curzon and Lloyd George convince the Imperial War Cabinet to ask the Law Officers of the Crown to examine the question of charging the former Emperor, as well as the former Crown Prince, ‘for the crime against humanity of having caused the war’ and ‘for offences, by one or both, against international law during the war’, with the purpose of ‘bringing home to one or both the responsibility for the acts charged’. Lloyd George makes trial of the Kaiser part of his election campaign, using the slogan ‘hang the Kaiser’.

Keywords:   Georges Clemenceau, George Curzon, David Lloyd George, armistice, British election, Edith Cavell, Lusitania

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