Kaiser Wilhelm II Invitation Card

Contributed by Robert Pool

Kaiser Wilhelm II Invitation Card

Kaiser Wilhelm II, Invite and Menu to his birthday celebration at The Windsor Hotel, 250 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, Scotland. Wilhelm was the grandson of Queen Victoria and the last Kaiser of Germany and Prussia.
Wilhelm II (Prince Frederick William Victor Albert of Prussia) (27 January 1859 - 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia (Deutscher Kaiser und König von Preußen), ruling both the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918.

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  • 1. At 19:04 on 10 August 2010, voice_germany wrote:

    Wilhelm II. is mostly known for leading the "German Empire" into WWI.
    A popular opinion at the time of the outbreak of WWI in Germany has been "another war in that the peaceful living Germany has been forced by the hostile hands of the enemy", a quotation from a speech form the celebration of Sedan - the German Empire remembered annually the capitulation of Napoleon III. in the German-French war of 1870/71.

    However, this historic attitude has to be reflected in a critical way because this is an official propagandistic statement as the German Empire has been surrounded by a coalition of England, France and Russia; it is not justified that this coalition as such is a threat to the German Empire or even cause of the war.

    True is however the fact that the German Empire has moved itself into a position of isolation by its foreign policy since the beginning of the 20th century by having only a close ally with Austria.

    Unfortunately in the weeks before the outbreak of WWI, the German government didn´t change this policy - in contrary, it encouraged Austria in the crisis of July 1914 to insist on the partnership by neglecting the chance to avoid a militaristic conflict. A war has even considered to be a risk that can be calculated, having the expectation of a victory.

    However, Germany didn´t provoke the war actively, but more in passive way. In particular through the so-called "Schlieffen-plan" that neglected the neutrality of Belgium that has been guaranteed by England, the German militaristic leadership limited the chance to avoid a conflict.

    The violation of this Belgian neutrality could be furthermore used by France as an evidence, that Germany is an aggressive power.

    The important question who is guilty for the outbreak of WWI is therefore for sure not clear to answer - several powers didn´t want a war, but didn´t do enough to avoid it:

    Russia supported Serbia and connected its own interests in this crisis with the question of the narrow access to the sea;
    Austria didn´t agree with the wide going steps Serbia was ready to do and did a politics of ultimatums with no further option for agreements, backed by the partnership with Germany.
    France and England seemed to be not determined enough by getting Germany for a conflict management of avoiding a war.

    There were many powers that aimed to be a global players by their colonial policy, this seemed to be above their active engagement for a sustainable peace. However, it can´t be denied that the German foreign policy developed inappropiate and overdone ambitions of becoming a world power.
    It would have been in the German interest to secure a European "balance of power" that has been destroyed deliberately by neglecting and misjudging the interests of England in an unrealistic way.

    In the background of this attitude stood the militaristic influence in Germany that got more and more important. With the decision to build a German navy strategic deliberations became the priority - unfortunately above political deliberations.
    Germany believed not to avoid a war, but took it deliberately into consideration in a dangerous self-overestimation of the own strength.

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Location

Glasgow

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1910

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