Page:EB1922 - Volume 31.djvu/28

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the court, however, in its judgment took the line that Helfferich's allegations regarding Erzberger's corrupt business practices and untruthful statements on the part of Erzberger were justified. Erzberger was consequently compelled by his party to resign his ministerial office. During the case an attempt was made upon his life as he was leaving the court by a youth who had been brought up under reactionary influences. He was rather serious- ly wounded by the bullet from the assassin's pistol. Erzberger was once more returned to the Reichstag at the general election of Jan. 1 020, but in accordance with the wish of his party ab- stained from immediate participation in politics, as proceedings had been instituted against him on a charge of evading taxation. In 1920 he published a memorandum endeavouring to justify his policy during the war, and he followed it with interesting disclosures regarding the attitude of the Vatican in 1917 and the mission of the papal legate in Munich, Pacelli, to Berlin. Erz- berger's power in German politics was based upon his great in- fluence with the Catholic working classes in the Rhineland and Westphalia, in central Germany and in Silesia. In the industrial regions of these districts the Catholic workmen were organized in their own trade unions on lines of very advanced social policy, and Erzberger became the leading exponent of their views in the Reichstag and on public platforms. On the other hand, he in- curred the strong opposition of the conservative and landed sec- tion of the Catholics, of some of the higher clergy like Cardinal Archbishop Hartmann of Cologne (d. 1919) and of the Bavarian agricultural interest as represented by the Bavarian Catholic People's party in the Diet at Munich and in the Reichstag in Berlin. Erzberger continued to be pursued by the relentless animosity of the reactionary parties, the Conservatives (now called Deutsch-N ationalen) and the National Liberals (now styling themselves the Deutsche Volksparlci). This hostility, which amounted to a real vendetta, was based, not so much upon the foreign policy of its victim, his negotiation of the Armistice terms and the decisive influence which he exercised in securing the acceptance of the Treaty of Versailles, as upon his financial policy both as Finance Minister in 1919 and as the Democratic Catholic supporter and, it is said, the political adviser of the Catholic Chancellor of the Reich, Dr. Wirth, in the preparation in the summer of 1921 of a fresh scheme of taxation designed to impose new burdens upon capital and upon the prosperous landed interest. The denunciations of the Con- servative and National Liberal press undoubtedly went beyond the ordinary limits of party polemics. Thus the Tdgliche Rund- schau observed, in allusion to Erzberger's personal appearance, " he 'may be as round as a bullet, but he is not bullet-proof." The climax of these attacks was that Erzberger was assassinated on Aug. 26 1921 while taking a walk with. a parliamentary colleague in a lonely part of the Black Forest near Griesbach. The assassins, two well-dressed young men, were very generally believed to have been at least voluntary agents of the reaction- ary and military cliques. The assassination caused great political excitement, and exacerbated existing party feuds.

(C. K.*; G. S.)

ESHER, REGINALD BALIOL BRETT, 2ND VISCOUNT (1852- ), English politician and writer, eldest son of the ist Viscount Esher (see 9.768), was born in London June 30 1852. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and afterwards entered politics, becoming private secretary to the Marquess of Harrington in 1878. From 1880 to 1885 he sat as Liberal member for Penrhyn and Falmouth, and in the latter year unsuccessfully contested Plymouth. From 1895 to 1902 he was secretary to the Office of Works. He succeeded his father in 1899 and in 1901 was appointed deputy constable and lieutenant-governor of Windsor Castle. In 1902 he was appointed one of the commissioners who inquired into the conduct of the S. African War, in 1903 he was chairman of the War Office Reconstitution Committee, and in 1905 became a permanent member of the Committee of Imperial Defence. From 1909 to 1913 he was chairman of the Territorial Force Association of the county of London. Lord Esher was selected by King Edward VII. as one of the editors of the Letters of Queen Victoria, which appeared in 1907, and he produced The Girlhood of Queen Victoria (1912). His other works include Footprints of Statesmen (1892); To-day and To-morrow (1910); The Influence of King Edward (1914); After the War (1918); and The Tragedy of Kitchener (1921).

ESMEIN, JEAN PAUL HIPPOLYTE EMMANUEL ADHEMAR (1848-1913), French jurist, was born at Tourverac, Charente, Feb. 1 1848, In 1888 he became professor of law in the university of Paris, and in 1904 member of the Institute of France. His best-known works are Cours elemeniaire d'hisloire du droil franfais (1895) and Elements de droit constitutionnel fran&is el compare. (1903). He died July 22 1913.

ESSAD (c. 1875-1920), Turkish pasha and Albanian leader, sprang from the rich Albanian family of the Toptani, and was born at Elbasan. In his youth he sought and obtained the favour of "Abdul Hamid. He entered the political service of the Sultan. enriched himself therein, and, as was then usual, became a pasha while still a young man. In Elbasan he played the leading politi- cal part. When the Turkish Revolution broke out, Essad quickly bent his steps to the new path, which seemed to him the most promising, and was deputy for Albania in the first Turkish Parliament. His influence over the somewhat uncertain Albanian population, and the de'sire of the Constantinople Government not to have so exceedingly cunning and skilful a man for their enemy, led to his being in 1912 given the high command at Scutari, then under siege by the Montenegrins, though he knew almost nothing of military matters. Indeed, he never showed himself to the troops except once, in March 1913, when he had 50 men shot for an insignificant revolt. Political antagonisms and personal motives combined to make the town commandant, Hasan Riza, the target of his hatred. This honourable Old Turk was the soul of the defence of Scutari; and, in order to have a free hand for his own secret dealings with the Montenegrins, Essad had him assassinated on Jan. 13 1913. On April 25 Essad took the lead in the unreal and theatrical ceremony of handing over the fortress to Montenegro, but when the princedom of Albania was constituted after the Balkan War, Essad became Minister of War and also Minister of the Interior to William of Wied, and brought his policy into close touch with that of Italy. During the World War he was president of the Albanian dele- gation in Paris but appeared at frequent intervals at Salonika and on the Albanian front as a guerrilla leader. He succeeded in bringing about the overthrow, by a so-called National Assembly in Cusonio, of the " Provisional Government of Durazzo " which was under Italian influence, and this National Assembly pur- posed to proclaim Essad King of Albania. But on June 13 1920 he was killed in front of the Hotel Continental in Paris by Aveni Rustam, an Albanian. (F. C. E.)

ESTHONIA (Eesti) was declared an independent republic on May 19 1919. The former Russian province of Esthonia (see 9.797) was extended by the Russian law of April 12 1917 over the four northern districts of Livonia, inhabited by Esthonians, namely Pernau (Parnu), Fellin (Viljandi), Dorpat (Tartu, russ. Youriev) and Verro, and the island of Osel or Ezel (Saaremaa). The Russo-Esthonian peace treaty of Feb. 2 1920 added Narva, parts of the Yamburg and Gdov districts of the province of Petrograd and of the district of Pechori (Petserimaa) of the province of Pskov. This new strategic frontier runs from 10 m. E. of the Narova river across the Peipus lake towards Isborsk. The western frontier bordering Latvia includes the town of Valk ceded to Esthonia by arbitration on ethnographical grounds, and runs in the same direction towards the Baltic Sea. Thus Esthonia's political boundaries coincide almost completely with the linguistic extension of the race. The area, 18,300 sq. m., is larger than Switzerland, Denmark or Holland.

The population of the former province of Esthonia was estimated in Jan. 1913 at 492,000; United Esthonia, as the republic is called, has a pop. of 1,500,000 (according to Martna 1,750,000). About 90% of the pop. belong to the Esthonian race, 4% to the Russian and 2-4% to the German Balto-Saxons (called Baits, Germano-Balts, in Esthonia " Saksa," who formerly numbered 21,800, 4,700 forming the nobility, 300 the clergy). There were in Dec. 1920 about 40,000 resident foreigners, chiefly Russians.