In August 1914 Kurt Riezler accompanied Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg to the Supreme Headquarters in Koblenz and Luxembourg. His duties were not clearly defined and included a variety of things: He worked on war aims, parliamentary speeches, revolutionary movements, and domestic political questions. He helped interpret the chancellor's policies to the press, establish guidelines for censorship, and write anonymous articles supporting Bethmann Hollweg's policies. He could be called Bethmann Hollweg's assistant for political warfare.
Unlike most Germans Riezler sensed from the beginning that a German victory was not assured. On August 14, 1914, in his first diary entry after the outbreak of war, he noted that although “everybody was apparently happy to be able for once to dedicate himself unreservedly to a great cause, … no one doubts or appears to consider even for an instant what a gamble war is, especially this war.” Riezler also realized that the “ideas of 1914” would not retain their strength forever. “Just as the storm frightens the vermin out of the air—when it becomes quieter again, everything crawls out of its refuge—and emerges again in the state as well as in individual human beings.” This realization protected Riezler from the naive belief that Germany could bear a long war without an obvious effort to achieve a negotiated peace, without a new European order which at most allowed Germany indirect control, and without domestic political concessions to the German masses.