in this article, we will talk about that What did Wilhelm II Think of Hitler? before the devastating era of the second world war before the atrocities of the german state during such time and before the man at the center of it all there was an emperor and king who never could have predicted what was to befall his precious homeland german emperor wilhelm ii additionally the king of Prussia would be the final monarch of his kind to rule the german nation his reign began in the summer of 1888.
as he took both thrones in what he assumed was simply another typical secession but this would not be the case instead wilhelm was a peculiar monarch while he contributed greatly to the building of the german navy and undoubtedly helped to strengthen the contemporary german state the emperor and king was not always well-liked by people.
in and outside of his empire his questionable foreign policy maneuvers were even bad enough to often be blamed for stirring up enough tension to eventually contribute to the outbreak of the great war this whether fair or not would domino into the ultimate demise of wilhelm himself after germany’s defeat and internal collapse following the conclusion of world war 1 emperor of germany and king of prussia wilhelm ii was forced to abdicate his power in full on november 9th 1918.
this alone left the emperor bitter and resentful as he fled his home and country for exile in the netherlands swearing to never return unless and until germany would yet again become a monarchy germany was now a republic the weimar republic and wilhelm was having none of it and apparently soon neither would none other than adolf hitler in stark contrast.
in nearly every other way to wilhelm hitler was not a supporter of the former monarchy and quite frankly found the deposed emperor to be a disastrous failure of a leader still the up-and-coming political juggernaut wasn’t satisfied with the weimar republic either he and his party had first attempted a disappointing rebellion in 1923 which fell flat on its face but by 1932.
the economic instability and overall chaos of the weimar republic pushed people to back the previously unpopular adolf in a stunning change of tide the nationalist socialist party catapulted to the top becoming the largest political party in the german parliament seizing this opportunity hitler rose to power in 1933 becoming the chancellor of germany that january this was the point of no return and the start of the dark era to come.
as hitler swiftly invoked article 48 and passed the enabling act in an ingenious yet tyrannical attempt to bolster his own power and authority wilhelm remained abroad in his netherlands home but while no longer living in germany the former monarch was far from disconnected from the german political realm now at this point it’s important to keep in mind that wilhelm himself was beyond disliked by many he was hated some viewed him.
as the incarnation of evil and countless allies and axis alike blamed him for much of the great war the british people for example so badly wanted to see the once powerful monarch executed for all that had happened in their opinions due to him alone that his own relative king george v of the united kingdom refused to speak out in his defense while some other world.
leaders did defend the humiliated german there was no denying just how hated wilhelm was the former emperor on the other hand was also bitter and angry about the recent events of the world and he was more infuriated by the fact that all fingers seemed pointed unjustly at him and this injustice as he saw it had gone so far as to rob him of his titles and power he had to watch his monarchy implode and be replaced by a shaky republic that.
he had no sympathy for and then as he eyed germany’s political situation continuously and intently hoping and praying that soon he would have a moment to pounce and reclaim his throne and state he instead had to watch as one man took his homeland on a gloomy dismal path possibly the first point at which wilhelm developed a strong opinion about adolf hitler was during the failed 1923.
revolt while the efforts were quickly stamped out wilhelm was gravely suspicious of what the motive had been potentially unaware that quite the opposite was true the deposed monarch thought that it was the bavarian house of vito spak who was behind it all his theory was that they were in fact aiming to rebuild the monarchy but with the house of vitel’s in place of his own but this was never the case.
nonetheless the acts of the future chancellor were condemned by the former monarch from the very start still wilhelm made the mistake of thinking that in any context hitler meant to restore the monarchy in reality the nationalist socialist leader had no intentions of doing such a thing but he sure went far to pretend that he did in january of 1931.
hoping to rally the supports of monarchists the soon to chancellor sent the world war one veteran hermann goering to meet with wilhelm at his home in the netherlands the meeting was short and tense and it only seemed to deepen wilhelm’s mistrust in the new german party however guring did return the following year at which point he stayed for an entire week with the former monarch and many within the party believed that they may have won him over quite contrarily.
though wilhelm hadn’t budged he regularly warned his family to stay away from this party and his view of them and their leader remains negative it wasn’t just because they were against the monarchy either as goring had even dishonestly told wilhelm that he and his party in fact did want to restore it adversely it was much of the party’s foundation and policies that wilhelm disapproved of for one thing as much as he tried to understand the concept of national socialism.
he just couldn’t swallow it in his own words this socialism is irreconcilable with the idea of the national additionally although wilhelm had been accused of at a minimum making anti-semitic remarks he was far from the raging maniac that hitler was upon seeing the third reich’s treatment of jews the exiled ruler was appalled and disgusted in fact he was so repulsed that he said for the first time i am ashamed to be a german.
nonetheless there were moments when wilhelm attempted to give praise to the chancellor although maybe a bit backhandedly at times in between the former monarch’s attempts to fully cut any potential ties between himself and the nazi regime he gave honest praise to the good that the third reich accomplished within its own borders and he even sent a message to hitler himself.
after the successful defeat of the french but the letter was only partially complimentary although he gave congratulations wilhelm also made sure to refer to the troops who had fought for the fuhrer as his own which predictably annoyed hitler who labeled the old royal as an idiot this was likely the last contact between the two men as wilhelm buddied up to the guards who by now were stationed around his netherland home due to the german occupation.
hitler was busy with the war and had maintained not an ounce of compassion for the ousted monarch nor his supporters nevertheless the chancellor was far from stupid and heavy-handed with manipulation hence when wilhelm inevitably passed away on june 1941 german authorities saw this as a wonderful gift not only was their long-time rival and critic gone but this was the perfect opportunity for a theatrical propaganda.
event the plan was clear host an extravagant state funeral service in berlin for the once beloved and final emperor of the german empire hitler was to play the part of the heartbroken successor and an ends to the era of the monarchy could finally be seen the idea seemed easy enough to enact until that is the final will of wilhelm ii was addressed predicting the conniving schemes of the fuhrer wilhelm strictly forbade.
any such funeral for himself and directly stated that he was to be buried right where he died on his own estate in the netherlands thus the opinion of the emperor of germany and king of prussia wilhelm ii concerning the dictator that would follow was a combination of disgust resentment and overall disapproval it also can be said that the feeling was very strongly mutual two men at odds over the fate of one state destined to live and die in opposition.
only the words of wilhelm himself could sum up his disdain for the chancellor even more clear there is a man alone without family without children without god he builds legions but he doesn’t build a nation a nation is created by families a religion tradition it is made up out of the hearts of mothers the wisdom of fathers the joy and the exuberance of children germany under hitler is an all-swallowing state disdainful of human dignities and the ancient structure of our race sets.
itself up in place of everything else the man who alone incorporates in himself this whole state has neither a god to honor nor a dynasty to conserve nor a past to consult this man could bring home victories to our people each year without bringing them glory but of our germany which was a nation of poets and musicians and artists and soldiers he has made a nation of hysterics and hermits engulfed in a mob and led by a thousand liars or fanatics.
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