The name von Kress is associated with a significant event in German and Armenian history. As the head of the German military mission in the Caucasus, von Kress played a critical role in Germany’s relationship with Armenia during World War I. In a report from Tiflis on August 5, 1918, he delivered a speech titled “Deutschland und Armenien” (Germany and Armenia) that outlined the German government’s support for an independent Armenian state.
Von Kress’s report reflected Germany’s strategic interests in the region, which were tied to the country’s geopolitical ambitions during the First World War. The German government believed that supporting an independent Armenian state would help to destabilize Russian influence in the region, creating opportunities for Germany to expand its influence.
The report also highlights the complex political landscape in the Caucasus and the challenges that faced the German military mission. Despite these challenges, von Kress remained committed to promoting German interests in the region and supporting the Armenian cause.
The report specifically stated:
“Currently, Turkey wants to launch an offensive from Azerbaijan against the Armenian-populated Karabakh, to ruin the population there under the pretext that the Armenians there are aggressively disposed against the Muslims. The Turkish policy is clear. The Turks have the intention to destroy the Armenians. Armenians are persecuted wherever possible, they are provoked and received reasons for new attacks. If this fails, then Armenian are forced to starve and beg. To this end, they plunder the occupied regions. “
Extracts from the report, Tiflis, August 5, 1918, Deutschland und Armenien…, doc. No. 426.).
Overall, von Kress’s report provides insight into the complex political and strategic considerations that drove Germany’s engagement with Armenia during World War I. It also sheds light on the role that the Caucasus played in the wider global conflict and how different powers sought to exploit the region for their ends.
Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein by wikipedia.org