Author Topic: Kaiser Wilhelm II  (Read 229281 times)

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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #165 on: March 01, 2005, 10:46:31 AM »
There was massive public outcry worldwide due to the never-before-witnessed amount of total destruction and lives killed or mutilated. The "winners" did their best to mimic the public horror, and in a well orchestrated campaign, claimed victim status for themselves and placed all criminal blame on the losers. The residual effects are still present, as much of the discussion has shown.

I would also like to see more on what Lloyd George did to attempt to put William on trial.

Thanks!
HerrKaiser

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #166 on: March 01, 2005, 10:48:49 AM »
Was it not more political bluster than any real actions?
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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #167 on: March 02, 2005, 09:28:22 AM »
I've been trying to find out more about this but not with a great deal of success. The possibility of Wilhelm's extradition must have been quite serious because several of George's German cousins (I do not know which!) wrote to him saying:
"Your Majesty, whose throne originated among us...[should defend the Kaiser because his trial would threaten..]...every throne including the English throne."

I kind of agree with Wilhelm really. After the war he was distressed that George would have nothing to do with him (which is understable) but Wilhelm wrote that a war shoud not, "affect their personal relationships after the war was over."
I suppose it was all very difficult on all sides?
But Missy of Roumania felt quite a lot of sympathy for Willy, didn't she, in spite of what she saw 'he' had done to her country??
 :-/ It's a difficult situation, I guess; they could not separate their family relationships from their duties as monarchs etc.  :-/

Offline Lucien

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #168 on: August 29, 2005, 01:52:08 AM »
Quote
Iv seen a couple of Images of Doorn, but most are of him in the garden.  Obviously it wasn't a castle at all, which is what I usually hear it referenced to as, maybe people just presumed.  

At school my history teacher told me that Wilhelm was such a good horseman due to his parents training him rather harshly.  Due to his arm, he would fall easily, but they insisted on him being placed right back on the horse as soon as this happened, over and over again until he 'got it right'.  It seems really cruel, but when you consider he was going to be the Kaiser one day, they had to ensure he wouldn't be prohibited, despite his disability.  I still feel sorry for him though, I was bucked really badly when I was little, and refused to ride for years!


James,Huis(house)Doorn was a castle originally but got its present "look" in the middle of the 18th century.

Wilhelm II bought it from Mrs.W.C. de Beaufort,widow of W.H.J. Baron van Heemstra.(She was the grandmother of Audrey Hepburn).After alterations to the House,the Emperor send for some of his belongings from Berlin,and that,furniture,art,uniforms etc etc arrived by rail in 52 wagons,packed.

He lived the life of a squire,but on occasion House Doorn was the venue for celebrations such as the wedding of Prince Louis-Ferdinand and Grand Duchess Kira.An event that was attended by the then Crown Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard.(Note:contact between the House of Orange and WilhelmII was kept to a minimum by "wish"of Queen Wilhelmina).

After WilhelmII passed away in 1941,Princess Hermine left for Germany.Lucien.  
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Offline Booklady

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #169 on: September 01, 2005, 09:05:14 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of Willy, but there is one special picture of him that I saw somewhere.   I think he is in costume and he wrote below "I bide my time" or something to that effect.  Does anyone out there have it?

Offline Marc

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #170 on: September 15, 2005, 07:56:15 PM »

Offline Marc

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #171 on: September 15, 2005, 07:57:10 PM »
And one photo of Kaiser's 80th birthday!

Offline Grace

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #172 on: September 16, 2005, 10:42:25 PM »
It's interesting to note Wilhelm's 80th birthday photograph.

For someone who always seemed larger than life when he was Kaiser, he appears to be the smallest person there!  :-/

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #173 on: September 17, 2005, 11:21:03 AM »
Was this photo taken at Haas Doorn? It looks like the woman on William's left may be Mossy. Does anyone know? thanks!
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Offline Bernardino

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #174 on: January 12, 2006, 01:47:48 PM »
Hello  :)

Was Kaiser Wilhelm II as bad as almost everyone says he was or...there is a littel winner's 'vendeta'?

I would like very much to know your opinions... ;)

Offline Grace

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #175 on: January 12, 2006, 04:48:35 PM »
I suppose it would depend on what is meant by "bad".

I do not think that Wilhelm II was an evil person, no.  In fact he had some very good qualities.  

For all his bombastic pomposity, his ill-treatment of some of his family members, love of all things military and ability to alienate almost all those around him, he was not really a great leader, and relied heavily on his ministers, generals etc. for advice.

He was not the war-monger of WWI he is commonly believed to be, either.  I think his Willy/Nicky correspondence would attest to this. I think the fast-moving events of WWI "got away from him", so to speak, and he found himself quite powerless, a state that somebody with his overly developed sense of self-importance would have found exceedingly difficult to cope with.

No, he was not a genuinely bad person...

Just my opinions though.  :)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #176 on: January 12, 2006, 04:52:10 PM »
I'm on your side too Grace. Despite everything, I find it curiously hard to dislike Wilhelm.  ::)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Grace

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #177 on: January 12, 2006, 04:57:03 PM »
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I'm on your side too Grace. Despite everything, I find it curiously hard to dislike Wilhelm.  ::)


Yes, it is quite odd.  I have never been able to dislike him.  There was something curiously vulnerable about him - like an overgrown little boy.

By stating this, I am not meaning to dismiss some of his actions, though.

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #178 on: January 13, 2006, 08:53:14 AM »
Indeed, history and the vilification of the losers is always in the hands of the victors. There is much about Wilhelm on other threads, too.

The Wilhelmine era in Germany was one of the most successful examples of a nation's rise to heights of economic power, social consciousness, military strength, and education. It was Bismarck and Wilhelm who constructed the world's first social welfare/retirement program for senior citizens. At the turn of the last century (1900) nearly all major science literature and papers were in German. The industrial output and growth rate of Wilhelmine Germany vied for top rank. Wilhelm's flambouyancy, that is now commonly ridiculed, was actually admired and considered uplifting and fun by many during the 25 year period prior to WWI. His famous handlebar moustache set fashion worldwide.

By most historian study, his being "blamed" for starting WWI is way off base. There was equal or greater blame to be shared among the French, Russians, and English. One of the main Anglo-German problems leading up to the war was, indeed, the very fact that Germany was emerging as the European leader on economic, social, and political venues. Churchill's and others Germanophobe tendencies did little to ease tensions and fear of an equal or superior nation nearby.

Wilhelm did not want a war. His embassador in London litterally begged, in tears, the Brits to not declare war and mobilize their troops, to no avail. Wilhelm's famous quote at the outset of WWI to his ministers is "Gentlemen, you are making a mistake."

Yes, Wilhelm treated Vicky with dispicable behavior and he had many unpleasant quirks in the ways he handle people and situations. But, there are also key examples of great compassion such as his vigil at the death bed of QV.

His reliance on ministers is, to me, not a negative. As one of the few remaining autocrats, his engaging of staff was a modern and collaborative style that recognized not only the value of a more democratic style government but also the sheer inability to run single handedly a world power of that size.

He will continue to be blamed for the horrors of WWI. While he deserves some of this, all the leaders had dirty hands causing the deaths of millions of innocents who did not need a war. I predict that the newer studies on his reign will take a more realisitic view. There is a symposium on Wilhelm and his times being sponsored by Norwegian and Israeli historians which should produce some new insights as well.

Overall, bad son, good Kaiser, the world's whipping boy.
HerrKaiser

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #179 on: January 13, 2006, 09:23:43 AM »
There's an interesting link to the introduction which Wilhelm wrote to an edition of his mother's letters:

http://www.kaiserinfriedrich.de/ponson_willy.html


I think it shows quite a human side to his character ( I find it actually quite moving) - it is also extremely nicely written. His style is not pompous in the way that Ernst of Hesse's memoirs sometimes are. I can see where he is coming from in his account of the 1887-8 crisis. It obviously scarred him deeply.

I think he loved his mother very much.  :'(

As far as ruling goes. Yes, Germany boomed under his rule - but it would have prospered without him. He was certainly a hyperactive monarch though - always coming up with improvement schemes for this and that.

After his nervous breakdown in 1907-8 his influence was on the wane. It's certainly not right to blame him for WWI.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)