CZERNIN, OTTOKAR, COUNT (18 7 2-193 2) , Austro Hungarian statesman, was born on Sept. 27, 1872, and became in Feb. 1912 a member of the Austrian Upper House, attach ing himself to the Constitutional Party.
In Oct. 1912 he went as Austro-Hungarian minister to Bu charest. Even at that time he was convinced that, despite the treaty signed by the king with the Triple Alliance, Rumania would not support the Central Powers in the event of war ex cept at a price; and on the outbreak of the World War he at tempted to persuade his Government to pay such a price. He was unsuccessful, but kept Rumania neutral for a long time. At the end of 1916 Czernin succeeded Burian as minister of foreign affairs, and from the first endeavoured to persuade the German emperor and high command to seek the conclusion of a peace which should preserve Germany and Austria-Hungary as Great Powers, even though Germany must make sacrifices in Alsace Lorraine and Belgium, for which he suggested that she should receive compensation in the East, chiefly by the acquisition of Polish territory. He was cognizant and approved of the peace negotiations which the emperor, Charles, opened with England and France through his brother-in-law, Prince Sixtus of Parma, although he knew nothing of the wording of the letter of March 24, 1917, in which the emperor, Charles, spoke of his willingness to support the "just dema: id" of France for the return of Alsace Lorraine by any means and by the use of his whole personal influ ence with his ally.
During the negotiations at Brest Litovsk from Dec. 1917 to March 1918 the opposition between the views of the Austro Hungarian delegation, led by Czernin, and the German delegation became strikingly manifest. In the negotiations leading up to the convention between Russia and the Quadruple Alliance, signed on March 3, 1918, Czernin took a conspicuous part. A few weeks earlier peace had been concluded at Brest Litovsk with the newly founded republic of the Ukraine. The fact that Czernin, in order to secure this "bread peace," had ceded to Ukraine the district of Chelm, to which the Poles laid claim, aroused the most violent resentment among the latter, and led to unsparing attacks upon him by the Austrian Poles. In the beginning of April 1918 his position was no longer tenable. The immediate cause of his resignation on April 15, 1918, was the conflict between him and the emperor, Charles, over the "Sixtus letter." BIBLIOGRAPHY.-For Czernin's activity in Bucharest and hi the Bibliography.-For Czernin's activity in Bucharest and hi the World War see his Im Weltkriege (i919). His despatches from Bucharest are printed in the Austro-Hungarian "Red Book," Diplo matische Aktenstiicke betreffend die Beziehungen Oesterreich-Ungarns zu Rumanien, 22 Juli 1914 bis 27 August 1916. A favourable view of Czernin's attitude in the "Sixtus affair" is taken by Count August Demblin in Czernin and die Sixtus Affaire (1920) ; the standpoint of Prince Sixtus is represented in Prince Sixt de Bourbon, L'o ff re de la paix separee de l'Autriche (192o).