Guillaume II of Germany
Guillaume II ( Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Hohenzollern ) born the January 27th 1859 and dead the June 5th 1941, was the last German emperor (and not emperor of Germany) and last king of Prussia of 1888 to 1918.
Grandson of king de Prusse then German emperor Guillaume Ier, it was born with Potsdam from Kronprinz, future German emperor Frederic III and of his wife Victoria, princess royal of the the United Kingdom. This one was the aunt of the innate Tsar Alexandra (wife of the Tsar Nicolas II of Russia) and the sister of the king Edouard VII of the United Kingdom. He was thus grandson of the queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. For as much, it forever be favorable to the British and privileged and asserted its Prussian ascent. Its British ascent partly explains its will to dispute the maritime supremacy of the United Kingdom. He got along badly with his father as with his mother.
Carrier of a paralysis of the plexus brachial, its arm left was atrophied a little, infirmity of birth, which had with an error of the doctor-obstetrician, whom he always sought to dissimulate and in particular which prevented it from only riding a horse. Certain historians think that it could also have undergone a traumatism cranial, likely to explain some of its character traits (Cyclothymie, aggressiveness, stubbornness, impulsiveness and lack of tact).
It made studies in Gymnasium of Kassel and the Université of Bonn. He married in 1881 the princess Augusta Viktoria von Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (born the October 22nd 1858, dead the April 11th 1921) and they had seven children:
- Guillaume of Prussia (1882 - 1951) Kronprinz which marries in 1905 Cécile de Mecklembourg-Schwerin (1886 - 1954),
- Eitel-Frederic of Prussia (1883 - 1942) which marries in 1906 Sophie-Charlotte d' Oldenbourg (1879 - 1964) divorced in 1926,
- Adalbert of Prussia (1884 - 1948) which marries in 1914 Adélaïde of Saxony-Meiningen (1891 - 1971),
- Auguste-Guillaume of Prussia (1887 - 1949) which marries in 1908 Alexandra de Holstein-Sonderbourg-Glücksbourg (1887 - 1957) divorced in 1920 known as “ Auwi ”,
- Oscar of Prussia (1888 - 1958) which marries in 1914 Ina von Bassewitz (1888 - 1973),
- Joachim of Prussia (1890 - 1920) which marries in 1920 Augusta d' Anhalt (1898 - 1983),
- Victoria-Louise of Prussia (1892 - 1980) which marries in 1913 Ernest-Auguste duke of Brunswick-Lunebourg (1887 - 1953) (Ernest-Auguste III of Hanover).
Its reign was marked by an exacerbated militarism. It returned as of 1890 the chancellor Bismarck and the German-Russian Pacte of mutual assistance did not renew. Its aggressive foreign politics (maritime armament according to the Plane Tirpitz, will of German expansion) put it in confrontation in particular with the the United Kingdom and insulated it on the diplomatic level. The relationship with the France was marked by the will of revenge of the latter and foreign and colonial matter competition.
To prevent that another Prime Minister took as much importance than Bismarck, it changed several times them: after Bismarck followed one another Leo von Caprivi, in 1894 Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, in 1900 Prince Bernhard von Bülow and in 1909 Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, but none was a politician of the scale of Bismarck.
In spite of its behavior, it is difficult to affirm that it caused - at least with him only - the First World War, even if it did not make large-thing to avoid it. The thesis of Fritz Fischer in the Goals of war of imperial Germany (1961) suggests a political calculation of greater width.
During the war, he was commander-in-chief of the armies, but lost soon the real authority and its popularity was decreased by it. After its abdication and the foundation of the republic, it took refuge with Doorn with the Netherlands (protected by the Queen, Guillaume II will not be delivered to be judged in accordance with the wishes of allied). It is it should be noted that he was anti-nazi of the first hour and that he firmly condemned the antijuives laws at the time of the night of Crystal he will say " for the first time I have shame to be German " , it did not approve the invasion of the Poland which started the Second world war (nor the invasion of the other European countries of which the Netherlands, its host), but at the time of the French defeat of June 1940, it sent a telegram to Adolf Hitler to congratulate it. Some of its sons were mobilized under Hitler and two of them were Nazis.
It accepted the German honors military, and it did not want that symbols Nazis is carried at the time of its funeral, which was not respected. Its body rests in Doorn, and became a place of pilgrimage for the nostasliques ones of monarchy.
Guillaume II of Germany belongs to the first branch of the Maison of Hohenzollern. This line gave voters, kings, emperors with the Prussia, the Germany. Guillaume II of Germany is ascending current chief of the imperial House of Germany, the prince Georges Frederic of Prussia.
- Guillaume Ier of Germany (paternal grandfather)
Augusta of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach (paternal grandmother)
Victoria Anger of the United Kingdom (maternal grandmother)
Albert of Saxony-Cobourg-Gotha (maternal grandfather)
Guillaume II collected the uniforms and liked to be disguised, for example as an admiral of the navy when he visited an aquarium. It had some more than 200 which was regularly maintained by its 12 servants.
- It adored the Cheval. The training of horsemanship had been a martyrdom because of its atrophied arm. He considered the fact of being able to ride a horse (essential for a soldier) like a revenge secrête on his handicap. Besides he had a saddle in his office.
- It practiced hunting for the stag in the forests of Prussia in company of Junker.
- It restored the castle of the Haut-Koenigsbourg in Alsace, in ruin since the 17th century.
- It made build the " district impérial" with Metz (station, station) soon classified world heritage by UNESCO, the new temple, the Georges College of the Tower and equipped the Cathédrale with a gate Néo-gothique in conformity with the style of the building and on which it is reproduced the prophet Daniel.
- the shape of its moustache was taken again by many German, thus creating a phenomenon of mode.
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