Author Topic: Kaiser Wilhelm II  (Read 252208 times)

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Offline Louise

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Kaiser Wilhelm II
« on: March 28, 2004, 08:45:44 AM »


As a matter of fact I saw a new biography on the Kaiser a few days ago and it's on my list of books to buy. I have read a few  books on him and I always come away with the feeling that they authors have preconceived opinions on him and can't get past that, so all I have read is that he is a bombastic, arrogant man. There has to be more to him that this.

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Offline Katharina

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2004, 12:17:51 AM »

Offline Dimitri

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2004, 10:41:40 AM »
Is it true that when Kaiser William left Germany for his exile at Doorn, he took train loads of art works and personal possessions from his Potsdam Plalace?

Does this make him a thief if he did so?
I know he had a right to take his personal possessions, but but do you it is right that he took so many art works from Germany, if he really did steal them? :-/
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Offline nerdycool

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2004, 02:53:57 PM »
If he did indeed do so, I personally do not think he was stealing. They would be the possessions of the family whether everything had been nationalized or not.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by nerdycool »

elisa_1872

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2004, 01:13:10 PM »
Hi Louise!

The correspondence of Nicholas and Wilhelm is indeed very interesting! Must tell you that there are two versions of this correspondence that i know of - (my copies are in English though)

One is the smaller book called "The Willy Nicky Correspondence", edited by Herman Bernstein, ca. 1918.
This concentrates mainly on the telegrams exchanged between them.

The other is a much longer book called "The Kaiser's Letters to the Tsar" - by Issac Don Levine, edited by Grant. This is a great book opening with letters from 1894, with the death of Alexander III. The last letter is dated 1914.

I really recommend getting hold of the last book especially! But both are great! :)


Offline AGRBear

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2004, 05:14:44 PM »
Is it true that Tsar Nicholas II called Kaiser Wilhlem II  "Bully Billie" in private?

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2004, 04:06:23 PM »
I think it might be useful to keep in mind that the lines between state and personal property for the old dynasties weren't always clear.  When one is an absolute monarch, the personification of the state, drawing sharp lines between public and private possessions can be very challenging.

After the revolutions in Germany, many of the deposed monarchs were accused of "stealing" from the people when they merely sought to hold onto what had been theirs for generations.

I'm sure many republicans thought Wilhelm took things that weren't his; I'm equally certain Wilhelm believed what he took was entirely his own .

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2004, 10:25:08 PM »
It's much the same with the Romanovs. I don't think any of think they "stole" their jewels, etc... that they managed to take into exile. Felix Y. cut valuable pictures right out of the frames at one of his estates, rolled them up and took them with him! I think it could only be considering thievery if items were taken from any of the various museums, which most countries had back in the Imperial Days but they took things only from their estates and palaces. Empress Eugenie waged a pitched battle with the French Republic after her husband's overthrow about personal/public property and the Greek royals are _still_ in court over the disposition of various royal properties (as are other deposed royals in Bulgaria, Hannover, etc...).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline Olga

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2004, 03:31:37 AM »
What was Kaiser Wilhelm's life in exile like? Did he mellow over the years?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by olga »

Offline Dimitri

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2004, 05:56:45 AM »
Wilhelm spent his life in exile in the Doorn in the Netherlands where he lived the life of an English squire. The victors of the war wanted to extradite him for war crimes but queen Wilhelmina would not let them. In 1921 his wife the Empress Augusta Victoria died, mainly from the shame caused by the loss of the war and their throne. There youngest son Joachim also committed suicide.
Wilhelm then remarried shortly after her death, something which she asked him to do so on her death bed. He married Princess Hermine of Ruess the widow of the Prince. They had no children and often quarrelled.
When ww2 began he was offered sanctuary in Britain but turned it down. When Hitler invaded France Wilhelm sent him a congratulary telegram. However he did not like the Nazis as they placed him under house arrest. Other members of the family hoped he would reinstate the monarchy. When he died in 1942 he asked for no Nazis symbols to be at his funeral, which was respected. He is buried at his country house at Doorn which is now a museum.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2004, 12:16:30 PM »
It's ironic how much happier he actually seemed with his life in Doorn than being Emperor. He may have missed being able to go to Germany, but he certainly does seem to have mellowed in the Netherlands. He seemed to lose a good bit of his German half and his English half came to the fore. He really lived the life of an English country gentleman. He had a garden, farmed his land, had teas, dressed in civilian clothes rather than the uniforms almost all pre-Doorn photos show. He just really seemed content with the quieter life and wasn't so bombastic (though he did gloat a bit over Germany 'revenging' itself on France). He still corresponded and would sign things as the Emperor but didn't relaly have a court in exile the way some did. He even renewed correspondence with Queen Mary. The loss of his wife threw him, but he soon re-married a widow who had young children he was very fond of. He also still received various family members and had family reunions/celebrations.
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Offline Annie

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2004, 08:28:02 PM »
Is it true that he did not want to be buried in Germany, because if they didn't want him alive they wouldn't get him dead, did he really feel that way?

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2004, 09:04:04 AM »
Quote
Is it true that he did not want to be buried in Germany, because if they didn't want him alive they wouldn't get him dead, did he really feel that way?


I do not know the veracity of that statement.  However, he did not want to provide the nazis with the excuse for political capital to be drained out ofhis death and giving the conditions in Germany at the time of his death, the Kaiser asked that his remains stay put in Doorn, where they rest until today.

I have visited Haus Doorn at least a dozen times.   I get invited to opening ceremonies of exhibitions there, many of which have been thoroughly interesting.  Last December an exhbition was inaugurated on political cartoons printed during the First World War, with all the images used coming from the private collection of a subscriber to the European Royal History Journal to whom I have sold quite a few postcards over the years.  I was unable to attend the opening, but I did visit the exhibition this early Spring.

The director of Haus Doorn is not only a friend, but also a client and subscriber of ours.  He is marvelous and his staff is excellent and very knowledgeable.  One time I was allowed to roam about the attic, which is filled with magnificent historial items and framed photos galore!

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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2004, 09:51:02 AM »
Quote
It's much the same with the Romanovs. I don't think any of think they "stole" their jewels, etc... that they managed to take into exile. Felix Y. cut valuable pictures right out of the frames at one of his estates, rolled them up and took them with him! I think it could only be considering thievery if items were taken from any of the various museums, which most countries had back in the Imperial Days but they took things only from their estates and palaces. Empress Eugenie waged a pitched battle with the French Republic after her husband's overthrow about personal/public property and the Greek royals are _still_ in court over the disposition of various royal properties (as are other deposed royals in Bulgaria, Hannover, etc...).


Oh I think it is the other way around...republics have blatantly robbed royals, aristocrats and others of their property and it has been absolutely shameful!

Arturo Beéche
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http://erhj.blogspot.com
European Royal History Journal
Kensington House Books
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East Richmond Heights, CA 94805 USA
510/236-1730
books@eurohistory.com
http://www.eurohistory.com

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2004, 10:28:52 AM »
That is what I was saying, Art. If it was their own property it's not thievery--they had their possessions confiscation when they went into exile. I said it would only be thievery if you looted a state museum on your way out and took national treasures (much as if Elizabeth II was overthrown and took a bunch of stuff from the British Museum--she's perfectly entitled to her property and the state would be wrong to insist on it). I gave the examples of Eugenie being involved in just this kind of argument--the Republic arguing it was State property and her arguing it was her own. I think she mostly won that argument. As for Felix, I admire his ingenuity in getting as much of his stuff out as he could! Pretty straightforward about it--cut them out, roll them up and away you go!
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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