EMPEROR WILLIAM II - TYPED LETTER UNSIGNED WITH COUNT FURSTENSTEIN - HFSID 142760
Sale Price $270.00
KAISER WILHELM II (GERMANY)
Typed Letter to an Englishman from his exile in the Netherlands, declining to send an autographed photo, signed by the head of his household, Count Furstenstein
Typed Letter signed Graf Count Fursteinstein as Hofmarschall, 1 page, 6¾x3½. Haus Doorn, the Netherlands, no date. To Perry Warren, London. In German, translated in full: "On receipt of your honored letter to him, H. M. the Kaiser communicated to the Lord Chancellor that his majesty was not in the habit of giving his autograph, on principle; and only on special occasions are such pictures autographed by him given." Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the last German monarch, was the grandson of Britain's Queen Victoria, and the cousin of his World War I adversaries, King George V of Britain and Czar Nicholas II of Russia. Wilhelm II reigned from 1888 to 1918, compelled to abdicate as a condition of peace imposed by US President Wilson. Within two years of taking the throne, Wilhelm had dismissed the "Iron Chancellor", Otto von Bismarck, principal architect of Germany's unification and of the European balance of power, intent on exerting more personal control over policy. The Kaiser's policies, and especially his responsibility for World War I, are still debated, but the victorious allied powers judged him very harshly, as did many Germans. Granted asylum by the Netherlands, Wilhelm purchased Haus Doorn (Doorn Manor), near the town of Doorn, and lived there in exile until his death. Refusing to re-enter Germany except as its ruler, the Kaiser wrote articles justifying his policies, carried on an active correspondence, and received many prominent visitors. He never gave up hope of being restored to the throne, but this was never likely, and Wilhelm and Hitler developed a strong mutual contempt. Every German princely court contained a Hofmarschall, which might be better translated as Lord Steward. The Hofmarschall was chief administrator of the monarch's household, supervising his personal budget, correspondence and schedule. When the Kaiser died on June 4, 1941, Holland was under German occupation, but he was buried at Doorn, frustrating Hitler's desire for a propagandistic state funeral in Berlin. The Haus Doorn was confiscated by the Dutch government in 1945, but it remains a pilgrimage destination for a dwindling number of German monarchists. Fold creases through signature. Lightly soiled at bottom margin. Otherwise, fine condition.
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