Author Topic: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I  (Read 240639 times)

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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #315 on: September 12, 2007, 07:23:35 AM »
I question the suggestion that democracy might have prevented or reduced militarism, as Great Britain had a constitutional democracy at the same time and was just as keen to go to war.  Indeed, Germans of the middle and lower classes were also keen on war - it took the actual slaughter of modern warfare to convince people generally that this was a bad idea.  While Wilhelm II was very much more obviously preoccupied with the military compared to his father, Friedrich III was a very good soldier - much underrated - and may well have found himself caught up in the patriotic fevour which swept all nations involved in the conflict.  Whether - had he lived that long - he would have introduced a form of democracy which would have been more resilient to the political upheavals caused by WWI is an interesting question.  With an autocratic government, the autocrat has to bear the responsibility for a war and all that entails.  In a democracy, everyone bears the responsibility - a government might bear the blame and fall, but another is elected and the transition is seamless.  I don't think Wilhem II or Nicholas II or Franz Joseph were totally responsible for what was really a very popular war, but they (or their heirs) had to take the blame when their countries either lost or could not sustain the economic and social burden.

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #316 on: September 12, 2007, 08:49:09 AM »
Well put, CountessKate. You make excellent points and bring reality to the discussion. It is ever so true that a more democratic/liberal government/society is no less inclined to nationalism in the form of war or empire-building. Had Great Britain been attacked by African nations, India, Australia, Caribbean islands, etc, and thereby won the empire as a liberal state simply defending herself, GB's position that she is blameless in WWI could be considered debateable. But, that is far from the case.

In fact, Britain's excuse for declaring war on Germany was the breach by Germany of Belgium sovereignty, considered by many historians and policticals to have been a lame excuse and obvious desire to go to war regardless of the reason. further, the gross hypocrisy of the excuse is indisputable when England later tramped through Holland without Dutch approval and specifically against Dutch demands not to do so.

Fritz and Vicky would have had an opportunity to guide the winds of change in different directions, perhaps, but it is not necessarily an automatic surety that the Germanophobes in GB and the Anglophobes in Berlin would have been overcome.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2007, 08:55:18 AM by HerrKaiser »
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Offline dmitri

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #317 on: September 12, 2007, 09:02:16 AM »
I doubt very much that Britain would have entered world war one at all unless the Germans had violated Belgian neutrality. It was extremely foolish of Germany to do so.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #318 on: September 12, 2007, 08:02:59 PM »
Which is what makes the lost opportunity of Fritz & Vicky so sad. If only they were given the chance for democracy, but instead followed militarism forged by Bismark which led to all following wars.  :'(

Offline Bonapartist

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #319 on: October 05, 2007, 05:06:18 PM »
The Prncess Royal/Empress did have many sad aspects to her life but she also had much joy.  She was a wonderfull woman. Her and Frederick's fate was sad.  It is also true that what comes around goes around.  Vicky's letters to her mother reveal a rather harsh view of the disasters that befelll Napoleon III and Eugenie.  Thankfully Eugenie never knew of that attitude and was a good friend to the Empress Frederick until her death.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #320 on: October 05, 2007, 08:35:18 PM »
Vicky the politican is very different from Vicky the woman. She was a personal friend of Empress Eugenie, but was critical of her political influrences and its effect on France. Vicky was also critical of her nieces Alicky, Ella and May (of Teck).

Offline pandora

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #321 on: October 06, 2007, 04:54:52 PM »
As with many in this thread, I am very impressed with the Empress Frederick. She seemed very knowledgeable in a wide range of topics. Dealing with Bismarck as she had to would have been enough to send me over the edge, per se.

If anyone has suggestions on books to read about her, I would be most appreciative.

Offline LenelorMiksi

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #322 on: October 06, 2007, 06:26:30 PM »
I think the best bio on Vicky is An Uncommon Woman by Hannah Pakula.  There's also Dearest Vicky, Darling Fritz, by John Van der Kiste, which is a slimmer book about her and Fritz.  Several volumes of letters between Vicky and QV have been published, as well.  Daphne Bennet has written a biography on her as well, which I've read but forgotten the name of said book. 
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline dmitri

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #323 on: October 06, 2007, 08:29:25 PM »
In case new contributors have not read all of this thread, it is possible to visit the last home of Kaiserin Friedrich in Germany. It is now run as a luxury hotel called Schloss Hotel Kronberg. It's easy to reach. You take the train from Frankfurt am Main to Kronberg. There is a taxi rank outside the station. It's a considerable walk there otherwise. Schloss Hotel Kronberg was once called Schloss Friedrichshof. Schloss in German means Castle. The castle has of course changed in some ways since the time of Kaiserin Friedrich. There is still much left of enormous interest. It is a very impressive place both outside and inside and to stay there is indeed a treat. The food is superb and it is extremely comfortable. The gardens are quite delightful and if you are a golfing enthusiast you will have an incredible time.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #324 on: October 06, 2007, 09:49:05 PM »
I think the best bio on Vicky is An Uncommon Woman by Hannah Pakula.  There's also Dearest Vicky, Darling Fritz, by John Van der Kiste, which is a slimmer book about her and Fritz.  Several volumes of letters between Vicky and QV have been published, as well.  Daphne Bennet has written a biography on her as well, which I've read but forgotten the name of said book. 

I second this--An Uncommon Woman is, in my opinion, one of the better royal bios period. Hannah Pakula also wrote the best (again, in my opinion) bio on  Queen Marie of Romania. It's a shame she hasn't written more, nor does it seem she will. She seems to have stopped after her husband, famed director/writer Alan J Pakula (To Kill a Mockingbird, Sophie's Choice, All the Presiden'ts Men), was killed in an auto accident about a decade ago. The early volume on Wilhelm II by John Rohl (very expensive but available in some libraries if you're lucky or through interlibrary loan if you're not) is almost a bio on Vicky itself, it's so detailed in their early relationship.

There's an interview with Hannah Pakula discussing the book on the Charlie Rose show:

http://www.charlierose.com/guests/hannah-pakula

You go to about the 43-44 min mark--she's the last of 3 guests. She apparently had future projects in mind (she wouldn't say what they were so I guess we'll never know) only that QV wasn't one of them as she'd been written on so often and so well. Makes you think another deserving royal is lacking a biography due to her work stopping.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 10:02:56 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline dmitri

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #325 on: October 07, 2007, 06:24:11 AM »
Just wanted to agree with you totally about Hannah Pakula as a royal biograph. She writes extremely well and does her research unlike some others who shall remain nameless.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #326 on: October 08, 2007, 07:21:12 AM »
Some of the best things to read about Vicky are her own words - many of the thousands of letters she exchanged with Queen Victoria have been published in seven volumes, and are still very lively and readable today - and her letters to her daughter Sophie called (I think) 'The Empress Frederick writes to Sophie' are particularly good.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #327 on: October 08, 2007, 08:43:28 PM »
Indeed ! I wondered if her letters to Mossy would be published one day (most likely still in the Hesse Family collection).  ???

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #328 on: October 11, 2007, 02:44:26 PM »
yes, the letters between and among the family members are, perhaps, more telling about the times and situations than the histories written by third parties. Of course, that begs the question of what was in the volumes of letters princess Beatrice took upon herself to destroy. Some people I have talked to feel many of QV's comments as well as those of Vicky were very complimentary about Germany and things German and as such, during the period when Beatrice went on her sanitation spree, those thoughts were "verboten". We'll never really know.
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #329 on: October 11, 2007, 08:27:16 PM »
Yes...But fortunately Vicky's letters to her children were not destroyed. She spoke more canded about politics to Sophie for example.  :)