The Septemberprogramm was a plan drafted by the German leadership in the early weeks of the First World War. It detailed Germany's ambitious gains should it win the war, as it expected. The plan was never officially adopted or put into practice, and was only discovered long after the war by historian Fritz Fischer
Fritz Fischer
Fritz Fischer was a German historian best known for his analysis of the causes of World War I. Fischer has been described by The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing as the most important German historian of the 20th century.-Biography:Fischer was born in Ludwigsstadt in Bavaria. His...

, who concluded the expansionary goals were Germany's motives for going to war in the first place. That interpretation has been very controversial.

The modern consensus is that it was more of a discussion document and not a formally-adopted government policy.

War goals

  • Annexing Luxembourg
    Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

  • Disabling of France by a crippling war indemnity of 10 billion Reichsmarks for France, with further payments to cover veterans' funds and to pay off all Germany's existing national debt.
  • Cession of some northern territory such as steel producing Briey
    Briey is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is located above and in a steep section of the valley of the little River Woigot, some thirty kilometres to the west of the autoroute that connects Metz with Luxembourg...

     and a coastal strip running from Dunkirk to Boulogne-sur-Mer
    -Road:* Metropolitan bus services are operated by the TCRB* Coach services to Calais and Dunkerque* A16 motorway-Rail:* The main railway station is Gare de Boulogne-Ville and located in the south of the city....

    . The French economy would be dependent on Germany and all trade with the British Empire
    British Empire
    The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

     will cease. France will partially disarm by demolishing its northern forts.
  • Turning Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     and the Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     into satellite state
    Satellite state
    A satellite state is a political term that refers to a country that is formally independent, but under heavy political and economic influence or control by another country...

    s, if not annexing Belgium altogether. Parts of Belgium would be annexed to Prussia
    Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

     and Luxembourg. Germany would retain military and naval bases in Belgium and possibly the Netherlands, which would be ruled under Germany's "guidance".
  • Abolition of neutral states on Germany's borders.
  • Creation of a Mitteleuropa
    Mitteleuropa is the German term equal to Central Europe. The word has political, geographic and cultural meaning. While it describes a geographical location, it also is the word denoting a political concept of a German-dominated and exploited Central European union that was put into motion during...

     economic association dominated by Germany but ostensibly egalitarian. Members would include newly-created buffer states carved out of the Russian Empire
    Russian Empire
    The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

    's west such as Poland
    Kingdom of Poland (1916–1918)
    The Kingdom of Poland, also informally called the Regency Kingdom of Poland , was a proposed puppet state during World War I by Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1916 after their conquest of the former Congress Poland from Russia...

    , which would remain under German sovereignty "for all time".
  • Expansion of the German colonial empire
    German colonial empire
    The German colonial empire was an overseas domain formed in the late 19th century as part of the German Empire. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Imperial Germany's colonial efforts began in 1884...

     with, most importantly, the creation of a contiguous German colony across central Africa
    German colonization of Africa
    The German colonization of Africa took place in the following areas:*German East Africa*German West Africa*German South-West Africa*Togoland-See also:*German colonial empire*List of former German colonies*German colonization of the Americas...

     at the expense of the French and Belgian colonies. Presumably leaving the option open for future negotiations with Britain, no British colonies were to be taken, but Britain's "intolerable hegemony" in world affairs was to end.

Never in effect

The "September plan" was drafted by Kurt Riezler
Kurt Riezler
Kurt Riezler was a German philosopher and diplomat. A top-level cabinet adviser in the German Empire and the Weimar Republic, he negotiated Germany's underwriting of Russia's October Revolution and authored the 1914 September Program which outlined German war aims during World War I...

, a staffer in the Chancellor's office. It was a proposal that was under discussion but was strongly opposed by powerful political elements in Germany. It was never adopted and no movement of people was ever ordered. As historian Raffael Scheck concluded, "The government, finally, never committed itself to anything. It had ordered the September Program as an informal hearing in order to learn about the opinion of the economic and military elites."

External links

Full text of the Septemberprogramm. 9 September 1914. Retrieved on 2010-09-15. English translation. Retrieved on 2010-09-15.
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