One of the documents that Peirs chose to keep was this curt announcement that Austria-Hungary had surrendered unconditionally. This was not exactly true on October 31, 1918; instead the Dual Monarchy began negotiations with the Italian government for a ceasefire. The political situation in the former empire was disastrous. The nation had broken apart and the army had ceased to function as a military organization. The writing was not on the wall – there was no wall left to write upon for the once great empire. For more context into the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 see Graydon Tunstall’s excellent article on the the end of the war for the Central Powers.