Author Topic: The Hesse-Cassel family  (Read 197019 times)

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Offline Nate1865

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #90 on: November 15, 2008, 02:01:26 PM »
Kind of ironic I say that they ended up in concentration camps. Interesting to see how many of QV's Great and Great-Great Grandchildren became Nazi. I can only imagine what she would say if she saw it herself.

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #91 on: November 15, 2008, 02:45:55 PM »
I understand it completely that they - in the beginning - trusted Hitler and his party. Keep in mind the awful times after the revolution: nothing to eat, inflation, many people lost everything they owned, believed. After thousands of years of monarchy.... maybe it had to come in order to wake people up and to make them aware of their rights.
Many found work, food. The Royals believed it kind of restauration.
Even Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig was enthusiastic about it - not for his own position, but for his people whom he passionately loved. But soon he deeply regretted of having been so positively motivated about it.
Knowing these facts I clearly see why all of them joined the party. I would have done too presumably
Meine Kaiserin

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #92 on: November 15, 2008, 02:51:38 PM »
There is now a book published that dealswith the Royal House of Hesse and the Nazi Party. It is a good read and I do recommended it as it was done with co-operation of the Prince Rainer of Hesse and the achievs. The back of the book had a list of royals who joined the Nazi Party.

Interestingly Sofie of Greece was NOT a member of the Nazi Party although her husband, her sisters and husbands were. It shows Sofie was her own woman in terms of political convictions go.

Offline Nate1865

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #93 on: November 15, 2008, 08:10:04 PM »
I understand it completely that they - in the beginning - trusted Hitler and his party. Keep in mind the awful times after the revolution: nothing to eat, inflation, many people lost everything they owned, believed. After thousands of years of monarchy.... maybe it had to come in order to wake people up and to make them aware of their rights.
Many found work, food. The Royals believed it kind of Restoration.
Even Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig was enthusiastic about it - not for his own position, but for his people whom he passionately loved. But soon he deeply regretted of having been so positively motivated about it.
Knowing these facts I clearly see why all of them joined the party. I would have done too presumably

Well in that situation I can obviously see why many German Royals joined the party. I just hope many left or didn't believe in the horrible ideals of Hitler and his Party. 

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #94 on: November 17, 2008, 10:40:37 AM »
Well...It depends when you join and when you start to pull back. Kaiser Bill was one of Hitler's early admirers, but when he knew the full scope of the Nazi Terror, he pull back on his support. He even refuse to allow his furneral to become a rallying point for the Reich.

Offline Helen

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #95 on: November 17, 2008, 12:34:15 PM »
Knowing these facts I clearly see why all of them joined the party. I would have done too presumably
Would you really? That's quite distressing! The terror brought by the Nazis was already apparent at an early stage, years before the Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, commemorated last week. You live in the Rhein-Main area, only a few miles from Frankfurt. The parents of Anne Frank and their children fled from Frankfurt as early as July 1933, because by 1933 the atmosphere had already become so antisemitic that they realised that they and other Jews were not safe any more in the very area where you live. And you would consciously have joined a party advocating that situation? 
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 12:40:39 PM by Helen »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Nate1865

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #96 on: November 17, 2008, 12:52:56 PM »
Knowing these facts I clearly see why all of them joined the party. I would have done too presumably
Would you really? That's quite distressing! The terror brought by the Nazis was already apparent at an early stage, years before the Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, commemorated last week. You live in the Rhein-Main area, only a few miles from Frankfurt. The parents of Anne Frank and their children fled from Frankfurt as early as July 1933, because by 1933 the atmosphere had already become so antisemitic that they realised that they and other Jews were not safe any more in the very area where you live. And you would consciously have joined a party advocating that situation? 

I of course can't speak for Thomas Hesse, but I think he meant that if he were a royal living in that time period he would possibly join rather then himself at this moment knowing what we all know now.

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #97 on: November 17, 2008, 12:56:49 PM »
I think the Hessian House was in contact with the party even before the Machtergreifung in the late 1920ies.
Considering the incredibly hard times and the Europe-wide downfall of thrones and monarchy which was unique in history it is quite understandable why the Royal Houses wanted to believe the dogmas of the Hitler Regime.
Lateron Hitler forbade members of formerly ruling families to participate in his system (like Prince Ludwig).

You mention the Frank family which fled in 1933. I know many others which stayed much longer: the famous Pringsheims for example, the parents in law of Thomas Mann left in 1939. Do you really think the terror interested the politicans? Does it in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Irak, Georgia nowadays?

I think that people did not see the terror that early. Maybe they did not want to see it. there are always sacrifices to be done if you want a real change of things... this is what many people thought in those days.
The result was an extraordinary tragedy in world's history - but few people could have known when they joined the NS party. There were no alternatives....Afterwards one is always wiser....I do not blame them. Not for their hope but, of course, for everything which happened lateron
Meine Kaiserin

Offline Helen

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #98 on: November 17, 2008, 12:58:18 PM »
I of course can't speak for Thomas Hesse, but I think he meant that if he were a royal living in that time period he would possibly join rather then himself at this moment knowing what we all know now.
Let's hope so.  Nevertheless, he  - if he had been a royal living in Darmstadt in that time period - and any royal who did live in Darmstadt in that time period could have known that they were joining a party that made fellow-Germans people flee from Germany to neighbouring countries.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 12:59:59 PM by Helen »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Nate1865

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #99 on: November 17, 2008, 01:16:43 PM »
I would guess that royals who did join the party in the early years didn't see or chose not to see the bad aspects of the Nazi Party. They were mostly just looking at the benefits of joining the party to them personally.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 01:18:25 PM by Nate1865 »

Offline Helen

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #100 on: November 17, 2008, 01:19:23 PM »
Considering the incredibly hard times and the Europe-wide downfall of thrones and monarchy which was unique in history it is quite understandable why the Royal Houses wanted to believe the dogmas of the Hitler Regime.
Is it? I don't think it was understandable at all.

You mention the Frank family which fled in 1933. I know many others which stayed much longer: the famous Pringsheims for example, the parents in law of Thomas Mann left in 1939. ...
I think that people did not see the terror that early. Maybe they did not want to see it. there are always sacrifices to be done if you want a real change of things... this is what many people thought in those days.
In a book published not too long ago, a historian - I'm not sure, but it may have been Ian Kershaw - analysed in detail the information available to Germans at the time. If I recall well, one of the conclusions of this study was that most Germans could have known about the way the Jewish population  in Germany was treated, both in the years before the war and during the war, but that the majority of the Germans simply didn't care. This would be in line with your thought that "they did not want to see it". Forgive me, but I think it simply horrifying that they may have considered their antisemitism as a "sacrifice to be done if you want a real change of things". There are peaceful ways to work a country out of an economic depression!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 01:22:42 PM by Helen »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Nate1865

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #101 on: November 17, 2008, 01:27:52 PM »
Interesting information Helen about that Ian Kershaw book. However, us living in the present and knowing what we all know about the Nazi Party makes it easier for us to judge those back then. We can't truly know what they thought or went through during that time to join such a party. This, of course doesn't excuse them if they knowingly knew about the real horrors behind the Nazi Party though.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #102 on: November 17, 2008, 02:50:20 PM »
I think most reasonable people start doubitng when the Nazis started to persecute others just because they are different (Jews, Gysies, gays...etc).

Offline Helen

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #103 on: November 17, 2008, 03:43:42 PM »
Nate1865, I agree with you to a certain point. I wasn't born yet in the 1930s or 1940s, so I cannot speak from personal experience. Yet my parents and their siblings and many friends and relatives of mine did go through the prewar years and the war itself, and they remember how the situation was as if it was yesterday. People of my generation have all heard very personal stories, told by close relatives and friends, about the horrors - hunger, air attacks, imprisonment, torture - they went through during the war and the dilemmas they were faced with in these years. The war may have ended 63 years ago, and it's true that people from postwar generations can't truly know what people thought or went through in those years, but we have plenty of information at first hand - from both sides.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: The Hesse-Cassel family
« Reply #104 on: November 17, 2008, 03:50:48 PM »
Indeed...However in a desperate situation people can be persuaded to do extreme things. The Nazis did built up the German pride again at the expense of the Jews.