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Kaiser Wilhelm II: The Last German Emperor

Kaiser Wilhelm II: The Last German Emperor


He was the child from hell – born into royalty
with a deformity that put a lifelong chip on his shoulder, he quickly alienated everyone
around him. By the time he became ruler of Germany, this
grandson of Queen Victoria had grown to hate the British, the French and just about every
other European power. Over the next twenty years, he orchestrated
the tension that exploded into the nightmare that was World War One. In this week’s Biographics, we uncover the
mixed-up life of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Troubled Child
The child who was to become Kaiser Wilhelm II was born Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert
von Hohenzollern. The date was January 27th, 1859 and the place
Potsdam in what was then the state of Prussia. His father was Prince Frederick Wilhelm of
Prussia while his mother was the English princess Victoria. The birth was not an easy one, with the doctor
having great difficulty getting the baby out of the birth canal. As a result, Wilhelm’s left arm was virtually
useless, being significantly shorter than his other arm. Many historians believe that Wilhelm’s deformity
stunted his emotional growth and contributed to his reckless behavior in later life. What is certain is that he was extremely self-conscious
about his impaired arm and constantly sought ways to hide the deformity. Wilhelm was the second in line to be king
of Prussia. He was also the first grandson born to England’s
Queen Victoria. Victoria was fond of the child, considering
him to be a well- mannered youngster. From the start, however, he demonstrated a
volatile disposition. At the age of four, he was taken to England
to attend a royal wedding. Part of his tiny uniform included a small
dagger. During the ceremony, Wilhelm began fidgeting. His uncle standing alongside nudged him and
told him to be still. But the fiery four-year old was having none
of it. He pulled out the dagger and threatened to
stab his uncle. Then, when the uncle attempted to restrain
him, Wilhelm bit him in the leg. Grandmother Victoria would not have been amused
– fortunately she never found out about the incident. Wilhelm’s mother was constantly worrying
about her son. In addition to having to contend with his
angry manner, she felt guilty about his arm deformity, irrationally blaming himself for
the condition. She worried that it would prevent from his
fulfilling his obligations as heir to the throne. One thing she was determined not to let the
arm deformity do was to stop her son from riding a horse. As a result, she ensured that he began taking
horse riding lesson at the age of eight. The lessons were hell for the future ruler. He constantly fell from the horse, due largely
to the lack of balance caused by his deformed arm. Yet, after weeks of persevering, often with
tears rolling down his cheeks, he managed to overcome his limitations, becoming a capable
horseman. In 1871, the German Empire officially came
into being. It was to be ruled by the King of Prussia. Twelve-year- old Wilhelm was now second in
line to become the head of two nations. In his pre-teen years, Wilhelm had been privately
tutored. From the age of thirteen, however, he was
sent to the Freidrichsgymnasium in Kassel. He proved to be a talented student, performing
well in all of his studies. He graduated at the age of 18 in 1877. Grandma Victoria was so delighted with her
special boy that she awarded him the Order of the Garter, one of the highest that she
could have bestowed. After graduating, he attended the University
of Bonn. For the next four years he studied law and
politics. On addition to his formal studies, Wilhelm
was inculcated into the military ideals of Prussian manliness. This concept of the tough, disciplined military
man was closely aligned with that of Prussian nationalism. Although his mother tried hard to impress
the Victorian ideals of liberalism upon him, Wilhelm shunned them in favor of the Prussian
way. A Military Man
Wilhelm’s military service began at the age of 21. He was given the rank of first lieutenant
in the First Regiment of Foot Guards, based in Potsdam. He took to army life like a duck to water,
later saying the following about his time in the military . . .
I really found my family, my friends and my interests – everything of which I up to
that time had to do without. Above all, his time in the military imbued
the young prince with self-confidence. He became surer in his bearing and began to
speak with an air of authority. However, the more he developed as a military
man, the more distant he became from his parents. He viewed them as being too invested in British
liberalism at the expense of Prussian nationalism. Wilhelm was 21 when he met his future wife,
Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, who was known as Dona. It wasn’t his first foray of the heart. A couple of years before he had fallen hard
for his first cousin, princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Darmstadt, but she had refused his marriage
proposal. Not so with Dona, with the couple being engaged
in 1880. They were married in 1881 and would go onto
have seven children. Following his marriage, Wilhelm gained a powerful
ally in the form of Prussian statesman Otto Von Bismarck, who saw the prince as a means
of advancing his own political career. He would use the boy as a means of gaining
an advantage over their parents. With Bismark pulling strings, Wilhelm began
to be sent on diplomatic missions. The first was to St, Petersburg to attend
a coming of age ceremony for 16-year-old Tsarevich Nicholas. But the haughty, arrogant Wilhelm did not
make a favorable impression on Tsar Alexander. Two years later, in 1886, Wilhelm went with
his grandfather to visit the Austrian-Hungarian emperor, Franz Joseph. This trip went better, largely because Wilhelm
was under the ever-watchful eye of his grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I.
Becoming Keiser Meanwhile, Bismark worked at preparing Wilhelm
for rulership. He encouraged him to view all things English
with disdain and to reject the world view of his parents. Then, on March 9th, 1888, Kaiser Wilhelm I
died. Wilhelm’s father now inherited the role. But, just a few months into the reign, he
succumbed to throat cancer. Wilhelm now became Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia
and Germany. He was 29 years of age and the date was June
15th, 1888. Immediately upon ascending the throne, Wilhelm
came into conflict with his advisors. Chief among them was Otto von Bismarck. The experienced statesman advocated a policy
of peaceful relations with the other heads of state of Europe. But Wilhelm was intent on extending the territorial
borders of Germany and was ready to pursue an aggressive international stance. Bismarck had been the trusted foreign policy
adviser to Kaiser Wilhelm I, but the new Kaiser had no such trust in the statesman. For his part, Bismark thought, once Wilhelm
ascended to the throne, he would be able to manipulate and control him. He soon realized how wrong he had been. Wilhelm’s tolerance for Bismarck reached
its limit when the old man tried to implement an anti-socialist policy. Wilhelm opposed the policy at every opportunity. Eventually the two had a heated encounter
which ended with Wilhelm demanding Bismarck’s resignation. Alienating Nations
With Bismark as foreign minister, a balanced state of peace existed between Germany, France
and Russia. The Russians now had no confidence in Wilhelm’s
ability to maintain the peace and so, grew closer to France. The peace between Russia and Germany grew
increasingly fragile. In the early 1900s, Wilhelm focused on building
up Germany’s navy. He saw a powerful navy as being a symbol of
Germany’s position as a world superpower and became obsessed with the idea off huge
ships. Many hours were spent drawing his own designs
of ships. He also made sure to let the rest of Europe
know how he was building up his nation’s military might. At the same time that he was stretching his
international muscles, Wilhelm was making domestic improvements. He reformed public education to make it available
to every child. He was also an advocate of the arts and sciences,
starting the Kaiser Wilhelm Society to advance scientific research. Wilhelm had, by now, managed to alienate most
of the leaders of Europe. He was lacking in patience, had an explosive
temper and possessed no tact whatsoever. An infamous example of his ability to alienate
others was when, in 1896, he sent a telegram to President Kruger of the Transvaal Republic
in South Africa. The message congratulated Kruger for his suppression
of the British led Jameson raid. When news of the telegram reached Britain,
it caused an outcry of rage against Germany. Even before this incident, even those in the
British Royal family who were related to Wilhelm didn’t like him. In addition to his natural arrogance, his
overt racism alienated others. He constantly warned European leaders of the
yellow peril, referring to Japan and China. Building Alliances
While he was content to alienate the European powers, Wilhelm went out of his way to develop
cordial relations with the leaders of the Ottoman Empire. His first trip to Istanbul was in 1889. He made a deal to sell guns to the Ottoman
army. Nine years later he undertook a month-long
trip through the Holy Land. Before heading home, he professed his undying
friendship for the Turks. In 1905, Wilhelm committed one of his bigger
diplomatic blunders when he visited Tangiers in Morocco. There he met with representatives of Sultan
Abdelaziz, expressing his support for Moroccan sovereignty. This was a direct challenge to the French,
who had a large military presence in Morocco. It further alienated the Kaiser from the international
community. What became known as the Moroccan crisis also
served to bring previous life-long rivals France and Britain together in their opposition
to the aggressive stance of the German ruler. In 1908, Wilhelm agreed to an interview for
the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph, seeing it as an opportunity to strengthen
Anglo-German relations. During the interview, his fiery temper got
the better of him and he managed to insult the British people numerous times, as well
as insinuating that the Russians and French had tried to pull Germany into the Second
Boer War. The whole interview was a disaster and it
greatly embarrassed the German people. Calls were even made for Wilhelm to abdicate. In the wake of the fall-out from the interview,
Wilhelm laid low. After a month he re-emerged to immediately
forced his chancellor, Prince Bulow to resign, blaming him for authorizing the disastrous
interview in the first place. This was a terrible move and it lost him any
of the internal support that he had remaining. The Road to War
This episode stole away any of the self confidence that Wilhelm still had. He fell into a deep state of depression. His whole energies were thrown into his pet
project of building up the German navy. His obsession with building more powerful
battleships than the British got his country into serious financial hardship. By the beginning of 1914, Wilhelm had managed
to alienate all of the major powers in Europe, undoing all of the work that Bismarck had
done when Wilhelm I was Kaiser. One of the few friends he had was Ferdinand,
the archduke of Austria. The assassination of Ferdinand on June 28th,
1914 deeply affected Wilhelm. When it was revealed that an underground movement
called the Black Hand was behind the murder, he extended his full support in hunting them
down. He also urged Austria-Hungary to use force
against Serbia, implying that he would back them up. Egged on by Wilhelm, Franz Joseph I of Austria
made demands of Serbia that were impossible to meet. When the deadline to meet the conditions passed
without satisfaction, Austria declared war on Serbia. In response to this, Russian troops began
to mobilize in order to defend Serbia from attack. Wilhelm learned of the Russian mobilization
on July 30th. He knew that his treaty obligations with Austria
meant that he was bound to declare war on Russia. He was also convinced that England, Russia
and France had conspired to knock out Germany. This meant that he would be faced with attack
from two fronts – the Russians from the east and the British and French from the west. Back in 1905, a prominent German general by
the name of von Schlieffen had devised a plan for am attack on France. Now, the general’s nephew, Helmuth von Moltke,
adapted the plan to fight a two-front war. The plan called for a pre-emptive strike on
the weaker country. That weaker country was France. Once that attack had been successfully carried
out, the focus could switch to Russia. Wilhelm was sold on this plan – but not
so with his generals. They were convinced that Russia was not prepared
for war and wanted to strike to the east first. The reality was that the Russians were, indeed,
ready and had their army mobilized to defend the Serbians. Wilhelm got his way and the Schlieffen plan
was put into action. It proved to be a disaster. As the German war effort lurched on, Wilhelm’s
influence became less and less as Germany’s top military officials, Field Marshal Paul
von Hindenburg and General Erich Ludendorff took the reins. The Kaiser busied himself with awarding medals
and officiating at military ceremonies. His moods followed a manic-depressive pattern,
fluctuating between euphoria that Germany was about to crush the Allies and despair
that all was lost. As the war drew to a conclusion in the closing
months of 1918, US President Woodrow Wilson, announced that the German Kaiser would not
be permitted to take part in any peace negotiations. This effectively made Wilhelm a lame duck
leader. Abdication
As German capitulation drew ever nearer, a revolt broke out in Germany. The vast majority of the people were sick
and tired of their arrogant, bungling leader. There were prominent calls for his abdication. Still, Wilhelm vacillated. Even without any support at all, he thought
that he could retain at least one of his two crowns. But the constitution had stipulated that the
two crowns were to forever be intertwined. Abdication from one throne meant abdication
from both of them. On November 9th, Chancellor Prince Max von
Baden announced that Wilhelm was abdicating. He did this in order to stem the tide of revolution. But the Chancellor’s efforts backfired,
and he himself was forced to resign. However, the next day, November 10th, Wilhelm
fled to the Netherlands. He had still not abdicated. Over the next weeks days, however, his top
military adviser, Paul von Hindenburg advised abdication. The general made it clear that Wilhelm did
not enjoy the support of the army and that they would not back him when they returned
from the war. Realizing that his situation was untenable,
Wilhelm faced reality and abdicated on November 28th, 1918. The Treaty of Versailles, which officially
ended the war, was signed on June 28th, 1919. It branded Kaiser Wilhelm as a war criminal
and stipulated that he be prosecuted for ‘a supreme offence against international morality
and the sanctity of treaties’. The Netherlands government, however, refused
to extradite Wilhelm. This situation was actually pleasing to President
Wilson who felt that the trial and prosecution of the Keiser would only prolong tensions
between Germany and the rest of Europe. The best thing would be for Wilhelm to remain
in the Netherlands. Life in Exile
Wilhelm purchased a house in the municipality of Doorn. He would remain there for the rest of his
life. The new German Weimar Republic allowed him
to transport some of his possessions there from his old palace near Potsdam. He now made it his life’s mission to clear
his name of wrongdoing when it came to the war. In April, 1921, Wilhelm’s wife, Dona, died. A few months earlier, their son, Joachim,
had committed suicide. These deaths were a devastating blow to the
exiled Kaiser. In 1922, Wilhelm wrote a memoir in which he
defended his international policy and put forth his case that he was not responsible
for a war that had led to ten million deaths. At the same time, he became socially active
in the Netherlands, entertaining high-profile guests and engaging his passions for archeology
and hunting. He also started a new hobby – wood chopping. Despite his withered arm, he became quite
proficient at it, chopping down thousands of trees during the last two decades of his
life. In Mid-1922, Wilhelm met Princess Hermine
Reuss of Greiz. There was an immediate mutual attraction and
they were married on November 9th. Rise of the Nazis
During the 1930’s, Wilhelm paid close attention to the rise of Nazism. He never embraced the party or its leader
but did hold out the hope that Hitler would eventually restore the monarchy. It was his vain hope that his oldest grandson
would be appointed as Kaiser once that occurred. His wife, Hermine, even sent a request to
that effect to Adolf Hitler. But the Fuhrer wasn’t interested. In fact, he held a special hatred for Wilhelm,
blaming him for the disastrous defeat in the war. As Hitler’s actions became more extreme,
the former leader of Germany, observing from his exiled home on the Netherlands, became
increasingly alarmed at what was taking place under Nazi rule. When he heard that Hitler had ordered the
murder of the wife of a chancellor, he commented . . .
We have ceased to live under the rule of law and everyone must be prepared for the possibility
that the Nazis will push their way in and put them up against the wall. Wilhelm’s antipathy toward Hitler became
personal. He believed that the Fuhrer was turning his
cherished military into a gang of thugs. However, as Hitler began to rack up international
military victories, Wilhelm changed his tune and began to heap praise upon him. When the Netherlands were occupied in May,
1940, he received the following message from Wilhelm . . .
My Fuhrer, I congratulate you and hope that under your marvelous leadership the German
monarchy will be restored completely. Hitler wasn’t amused. In fact, he referred to Wilhelm as an idiot. That impression was reinforced when, following
the fall of Paris, he received this message . . .
Congratulations, you have won using my troops. Under the German occupation, Wilhelm’s house
was kept under German guard. This was more to provide protection for the
old Kaiser, who was now 82, than to imprison him. It was done at the behest of a Nazi general
and when Hitler found out about it, he was furious. He had the general fired. Death of a Kaiser
Kaiser Wilhelm II died on June 4, 1941 of a pulmonary embolism. In the death, Adolf Hitler saw an opportunity
to make political capital. He ordered that the body be returned to Berlin
for a state funeral. He saw this as a way of showing to the German
people that the Third Reich was a continuation of the old German Empire. But Hitler’s wished were denied. Wilhelm had made it clear to the Dutch authorities
that he would never return to Germany until the monarchy was restored. The Dutch government acceded to these wishes
and the body remained in the Netherlands where he was given a military funeral. He was buried in a mausoleum on the property
in Doorn that was his Dutch home. There he remains to this day.


Reader Comments

  1. The American entry into World War 1 was to send a cruise ship filled with ammunition.into the Atlantic. Although, the German government had publicized and made known clearly, that any vessels enroute to England would be deemed as aiding the country. When German U-boats sunk this ship. The American propaganda machine went into full swing profiting from abusing the trust of the American people. A strategy, the American government repeated to enter World War two and a methodology it would use going forward. Each time with success; Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc.
    Bismarck's grand design of uniting German provinces under one government, required going against; France, Austria and Russia. Bismarck realized the frailty of such strategy required an alliance with a country more incline to the Germanic principles. Frederick the Great already stripped Austria of vital resources and Bismarck merely finished what was started. Such a frail unity required an alliance, which meant Germany would assist Austria in return for not attempting to regain its lost provinces. Since Austria had made an existence telling its non-German ethnic minorities they were nothing. When these ethnic minorities became educated their demands to greater autonomy became too loud for Vienna to ignore. The Austrian emperor then began transforming these otherwise backward areas into the image of Paris it is today. But, that wasn't enough and Austria was going broke in the process. When, Britain and France were slowly stripping the Ottoman empire of its empire. To prevent Russia from assuming these territories in Europe. England advised the Austrian government to take possession as to ensure Russia would not take it. Since, it was with British naval ships. The Japanese had purchased from Britain. Which allowed it to defeat Russia's navy in the Pacific. As a mean to protect British interest. Japan was an ally of Britain, a partnership Britain relied on to pillage China. In order for Britain to maintain its empire on which the sun never set, it had to ensure a balance of power on the European continent. Meaning, regardless of which monarch sat on the throne. British interest prevailed. Britain stripped its monarch of any real power, when Charles I was beheaded. When James II assumed himself to be commanded by God and no one else. Parliament brought in William and James fled. Britain, knew it could not defeat Germany in any of its wars. Which is why it relied on America. Nothing more. Germany was defeated because America got involved and that involvement was by abusing the American people's trust in its government. Now its the American people who the American government now fears. Since, America itself is slowly going downhill. What history will be spoken of this empire. In the aftermath of an apocalyptic destruction which will dwarf anything the German emperor could imagine.

  2. Yea, and your "Anti-Germanity" just oozes out. Don't forget to lie & tell everyone that Germany started WWI instead of Austro-Hungary.

  3. He rejected Liberalism for Imperialism? Talk about rejecting leftist trash! I have a lot more respect for him now

  4. There is a great deal of falsehoods in this. Franz Ferdinand was not "good friends" with Wilhelm II. And his death did not matter to him, in fact he was on his way to vacation when he gave Austria the "blank check" and was pissed when they messed up the opportunity to absorb Serbia so badly.

  5. Yeah he hated the british by his birth the doctor was british then his left arm was numb then when his mother died the doctor was also british then his mother died and he was jealous because the brits had so many colonies

  6. The last part about the communications between the Keizer and Adolf were incorrect. Adolf had been giving the Keizer a salary while in his retirement. Adolf knew that the Keizer was tricked during the Great War by the Balfour Declaration which brought the USA into the theatre of war in 1917 and crushed the Germans. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸WWG1WGA

  7. Between 1888 and 1914 Germany became the most prosperous and advanced country in the world. So he must have done something right. Like Napoleon III a capable peacetime ruler, but a failure as a warlord.

  8. 11:51 Helmuth von Moltke “the younger” was not the nephew of Alfred von Schlieffen. Helmuth von Moltke’s uncle was actually Helmuth von Moltke “the Elder” because they had similar names in order to distinguish between them one is known as the “Elder” while the other as the “younger.”

  9. He loved his time in the military. I'll bet he had a different experience than the average German recruit.

  10. All these German videos with Austrian composers' music in the background…Wilhelm would NOT be amused. A little Wagner or von Weber might be better.

  11. Meanwhile in Kaiserreich:

    French Commune declares war against Switzerland, ignoring German ultimatum
    German Empire: Round 2 eh?

    Meanwhile in HOI4 with Waking The Tiger DLC + Man The Guns:

    Player: REVIVE THE KAISERREICH!

    France: Excuse me wtf

    Edward VIII: PUT THE KING'S PARTY IN CHARGE!

    France: RiP me, I'm alone
    German Empire declares war on France

  12. Empress Vic was not shy letting people know that she wanted her second son to rule the Empire. Wonder why we don't hear anything about this son.

  13. The Hohenzollern's still have some impact on the German Government. They still have a Grand Duchess. The German Constitution allows for the monarchy to come back. Germany is one of the few countries that actually still hold their old monarchy in high regard. It would be interesting……just a thought.

  14. The introduction already makes it clear what stereotype propaganda will follow about Willy the greatest. The fleet policy by Tirpitz was clearly defensive. The immorality of pressurizing Morrocco by french occupation is nothing to speak up against ???
    The robbing of Transvaals gold was not a primitive act committed by a deviant british state of mind ? In comparison to the backward traditional imperialists surrounding Germany Willy was a progressive visionary man of peace and a true people´s emperor ! Germanys guilt was to let herself become influenced by the british successfulness in terrorising the globe. Less adoration for Britain and more hate against her ungerman ways would have been more adequate for Willy.

  15. He is a German so you insanely arrogant English MUST point him bad. Does not work anymore. 🙂 You have failed to exterminate us despite 26 allies of yours. Thanks for leaving EU, it will be Europe`s 4 th of July.

  16. I was under the impression that Germany had not started WW1? Benjamin Freedman tells a different story of the wars beginnings and what happened at the end

  17. I wonder what would have been his state of mind had he lived like his general Von Mackensen long enough to see the end of WWII

  18. Reich = empire
    And Hitler was the leader of the third Reich, so isn't Hitler Germany's last emperor?

  19. This bio surely delighted both anglophile and anglophile alike. An unusual departure from excellence in my opinion, Bio. Sorry.

  20. " Now, my story begins in 19- dickety-two, we had to say "dickety" because the kaiser had stolen our word "twenty", I chased that rascal to get it back , but gave up after dickety-six miles…" -Abe Simpson

  21. Ain't this guy got a cousin in West Egg, hosted big parties, and enrichened himself for a girl he lost for five years?

  22. You either die a villain, or live long enough for a decent redemption. Sadly it took a war to make him change his mind.

  23. He was NOT interested in a world war at all.
    In the summer of 1914 he went to his annual trip with his imperial yacht – thinking the July crisis would be nothing to realy worry about –
    The other rulers of Europe prefered to prepare for war. Actually Austria wanted revenge for the murder of the arche duke by Serbian nationalists and France wanted the Alsace.
    Willhelm's rude works are as alianating as several aggressive voices from US politicians. You don't make friends by threatening and attacking them.

  24. I KNOW what a "LIEUTENANT" is, but NOT what a "Leftenant"…
    Well, if you know anyone that serve(d) in the military that Officers in general are WORTHLESS! LOL 😆

  25. Sad story, it appears all German Kings with the name Wilhelm end up on the losing end, from riches to ditches.

  26. There are some glaring omissions and mistruths about Kaiser Wilhelm II. Was he a temperamental, arrogant, and extremely without tact? Yes. But he didn't hate the British or that side of his family fully. He went to England several times to visit with the family. The thing is he did have a love/hate relationship with the country and his family. Wilhelm went back and forth with how he felt about it all. Wilhelm did (mostly) adore his grandmother, Queen Victoria, had crushes on a couple of his first cousins, etc. But the one person he reserved the most hate for was his uncle, Bertie, the future King Edward VII. Bertie thought his nephew was a pompous ass and a bit insignificant. Overall, a difficult situation. Anyway, on to Wilhelm's mother and the "cures." Princess Vicky (aka Queen Vic's daughter) did indeed have a difficult birth. Wilhelm was a breech baby and the doctors had one hell of a time trying to extract the baby boy. One doctor used forceps to bring Wilhelm out, which unfortunately, caused the "useless arm." Vicky felt horrible and did believe it was her fault when actually it wasn't. It was the doctor that screwed up! Well, Vicky's relationship with her eldest son was tumultuous to say the least. First off, Vicky desperately wanted Wilhelm's useless arm to be restored to full use so she had doctors use different techniques, one of the worst being a contraption that was metal structure that was put on his arm. It was painful but Wilhelm wanted to gain his mother's affections. In the end, none of it worked. His arm never straightened out. Something else that needs to be told is that Vicky was extremely bright and her father's favorite. (Prince Albert) As she got older he indoctrinated in her the need to take the policies of Great Britain and their ideas to Prussia when she married her husband. Vicky took that to heart. Unfortunately, the people of Prussia came to hate her pretty quickly. Vicky's husband actually had the same ideals, which only made it worse. For years, both parents pushed to convince Wilhelm that their way was better than the Prussia. Wilhelm sided with his Grandfather. Wilhelm would go to different military functions, where he became obsessed with becoming a soldier. When Wilhelm's father died, the first thing he did was have his soldiers storm the home where Vicky had retreated to with her daughters to look for any incriminating documents that referred to him in any way. The house was a mess by the time the soldiers were done searching and all for nothing. What Wilhelm never knew was that while his father was dying, Vicky gave all her letters and papers to a man who took it back to England. Oops!!! One last point to make before I finish this post because it's long enough already: Kaiser Wilhelm II did NOT start WWI! It was his government that wanted war and he just went along with it. Besides, with all the royal families married into another, with all the rivalries, mistrust, favoritism, along with many countries populations beginning to question their monarchs ability to rule along with many other things, just started building up over time. It was a ticking time bomb and it was going to have to explode at one point. The signs were there that a war was going to break out but nobody really believed it except for a few who tried telling everyone it was coming. Naturally, no one listened and we ended up with a war that ended up taking at least 10 million lives which caused an imbalance in male to female ratio. With so many young eligible men dead, many women ended up just not marrying at all. All in all, a tragic situation that could have possibly been avoided.

  27. Wilhelm was a moron. Within a few decades he managed to destroy Germany. As a German I dont like him… plus he was a racist so that doesnt help eather.

  28. First, I love these mini-docs. However, in keeping with the arrogant and problematic world view of my Us upbringing, I would suggest that some of the aspects of pre-war German/Russian relations may require a little……revisionism. Since I can fully admit my American bias on almost every historical subject, I would submit that this documentary has an Anglo-historical bias. Austria-Hungary was actually the original injured party. Which the narrator rightly specifies. As the crisis intensified, Wilhelm II begged his cousin, Czar Nickolas to halt mobilization. No one including Wilhelm wanted this war at this time. This idea that Germany was absolutely the aggressor is merely the prospective of the victorious parties (including the USA). I feel it is history as wished and not history as it was.

  29. One could claim that Hitler was a emperor in a way. I know they prefer Dictator.
    I guess the difference between the two is blood line.

  30. While no one denies the fact that Wilhelm II's military bulid-up, his swaggering aggressiveness as well as the blank cheque to Austria-Hungary, did help to contribute to the outbreak of World War I, the war came about as a result of:
    1. Serbian terrorism;
    2. Russian aggressiveness in the Balkans;
    3. French resentment of Germany;
    4. The British sense of naval entitlement;
    5. British hesitation over honoring its commitments;
    6. The great power pretensions of Austria-Hungary.

  31. Had an insane temper, was a bumbling idiot with no forethought or strategy or tact, fired people for his mistakes, alienated his allies and was completely convinced of his own genius despite everybody around him thinking he's a complete moron and he blustered his way into disastrous military conflict.

    So basically he was Kaiser Trump.

  32. Schleiffen was not von Moltke's uncle. Von Moltke the Elder was a general in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, Von Moltke the Younger was his nephew and a general in WWI.

  33. Ooo dumb german thinks ships are only for war, not also for exploration and research.
    Prince Drumpf probably thinks space ships are only for war as well, baboon.

  34. so Wilhelm the II is the Queen's great-great-uncle if Victoria is his grandma and Queen Elizabeth the II's great-great-grandmother?

  35. I would love a video on Wilhelms Father Frederick. He was very forward thinking…wished he stayed on the throne much longer!

  36. I am from Greece and i consider Kaiser Wilhelm II my spirit animal. Even though a lot of inaccurate words were said in this vid,i still consider it entertaining enough to give it a like!

  37. The house in Doorn is open for public. It’s close to where i live. Visited a couple of times. It’s a little bourgeois, nothing emperorish to find. But now, after your video, I understand. He didn’t like bling. The way you pictured the man made me change my mind about him, I always thought he was a not to smart.

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