(Kaiser) and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire
and the Kingdom of Prussia
from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe. Crowned in 1888, he dismissed the Chancellor, Prince Otto von Bismarck
, in 1890 and launched Germany on a bellicose "New Course" in foreign affairs that culminated in his support for Austria-Hungary
in the crisis of July 1914 that led to World War I
. Bombastic and impetuous, he sometimes made tactless pronouncements on sensitive topics without consulting his ministers, and allowed his generals to dictate policy during World War I with little regard for the civilian government. An ineffective war leader, he lost the support of the army, abdicated in November 1918, and fled to exile in the Netherlands.
BiographyWilhelm was born on 27 January 1859 in Berlin to Prince Frederick William of Prussia
(the future Frederick III) and his wife, Victoria, Princess Royal
of Great Britain. He was the first grandchild of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, but more importantly, as the first son of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Wilhelm was (from 1861) the second in the line of succession
to Prussia, and also, after 1871, to the German Empire, which, according to the constitution of the German Empire
, was ruled by the Prussian King. He was related to many royal figures across Europe, and as war loomed in 1914, Wilhelm was on a first-name basis with his cousins the Tsar Nicholas II
of Russia and King George V
. He often tried to bully his royal relatives.
left him with a withered left arm due to Erb's palsy
, which he tried with some success to conceal. In many photos he carries a pair of white gloves in his left hand to make the arm seem longer, holds his left hand with his right, or has his crippled arm on the hilt of a sword or holding a cane to give the effect of a useful limb posed at a dignified angle. Historians have suggested that this disability affected his emotional development.
Early yearsWilhelm, beginning at age 6, was tutored and heavily influenced by the 39-year old teacher Georg Hinzpeter. As a teenager he was educated at Kassel
at the Friedrichsgymnasium
and the University of Bonn
, where he became a member of Corps Borussia Bonn. Wilhelm possessed a quick intelligence, but unfortunately this was often overshadowed by a cantankerous temper.
As a scion of the Royal house of Hohenzollern, Wilhelm was exposed from an early age to the military society of the Prussian aristocracy. This had a major impact on him and, in maturity, Wilhelm was seldom seen out of uniform. The hyper-masculine military culture of Prussia in this period did much to frame his political ideals and personal relationships.
Crown Prince Frederick was viewed by his son with a deeply felt love and respect. His father's status as a hero of the wars of unification was largely responsible for the young Wilhelm's attitude, as in the circumstances in which he was raised; close emotional contact between father and son was not encouraged. Later, as he came into contact with the Crown Prince's political opponents, Wilhelm came to adopt more ambivalent feelings toward his father, given the perceived influence of Wilhelm's mother over a figure who should have been possessed of masculine independence and strength. Wilhelm also idolised his grandfather, Wilhelm I, and he was instrumental in later attempts to foster a cult of the first German Emperor as "Wilhelm the Great".
In many ways, Wilhelm was a victim of his inheritance and of Otto von Bismarck's machinations. Both sides of his family had suffered from mental illness, and this may explain his emotional instability. When Wilhelm was in his early twenties, Bismarck tried to separate him from his parents (who opposed Bismarck and his policies) with some success. Bismarck planned to use the young prince as a weapon against his parents in order to retain his own political dominance. Wilhelm thus developed a dysfunctional relationship with his parents, but especially with his English mother. In an outburst in April 1889, Wilhelm angrily implied that “an English doctor
killed my father, and an English doctor crippled my arm – which is the fault of my mother” who allowed no German physicians to attend to herself or her immediate family.
Next to the throneThe German Emperor Wilhelm I died in Berlin on 9 March 1888, and Prince Wilhelm's father was proclaimed Emperor as Frederick III. He was already suffering from an incurable throat cancer
and spent all 99 days of his reign fighting the disease before dying. On 15 June of that same year, his 29-year-old son succeeded him as German Emperor and King of Prussia.
Although in his youth he had been a great admirer of Otto von Bismarck, Wilhelm's characteristic impatience soon brought him into conflict with the "Iron Chancellor", the dominant figure in the foundation of his empire. The new Emperor opposed Bismarck's careful foreign policy, preferring vigorous and rapid expansion to protect Germany's "place in the sun." Furthermore, the young Emperor had come to the throne with the determination that he was going to rule as well as reign, unlike his grandfather, who had largely been content to leave day-to-day administration to Bismarck.
Early conflicts between Wilhelm II and his chancellor soon poisoned the relationship between the two men. Bismarck believed that Wilhelm was a lightweight who could be dominated, and he showed scant respect for Wilhelm's policies in the late 1880s. The final split between monarch and statesman occurred soon after an attempt by Bismarck to implement a far-reaching anti-Socialist law in early 1890.
Break with Bismarck on labor policy
, favored making the laws permanent, with one exception: the police power to expel Socialist agitators from their homes. This power had been used excessively at times against political opponents, and the National Liberal Party was unwilling to pass the expulsion clause in the first place. Bismarck would not give his assent to a modified bill, so the Kartell split over this issue. The Conservatives would support the bill only in its entirety, and threatened to, and eventually did, veto the entire bill.
As the debate continued, Wilhelm became increasingly interested in social problems, especially the treatment of mine workers who went on strike in 1889. Following his policy of active participation in government, he routinely interrupted Bismarck in Council to make clear where he stood on social policy. Bismarck sharply disagreed with Wilhelm's policy and worked to circumvent it. Even though Wilhelm supported the altered anti-Socialist bill, Bismarck pushed for his support to veto the bill in its entirety, but when Bismarck's arguments didn't convince Wilhelm, the Chancellor (uncharacteristically) blurted out his motive for having the bill fail: he wanted the Socialists to agitate until a violent clash occurred that could be used as a pretext to crush them. Wilhelm replied that he wasn't willing to open his reign with a bloody campaign against his subjects.
The next day, after realising his blunder, Bismarck attempted to reach a compromise with Wilhelm by agreeing to his social policy towards industrial workers, and even suggested a European council to discuss working conditions, presided over by the German Emperor.
, the party's parliamentary leader, to discuss a coalition. Wilhelm was furious to hear about Windthorst's visit. In a parliamentary state, the head of government depends on the confidence of the parliamentary majority, and certainly has the right to form coalitions to ensure his policies a majority, but in Germany, the Chancellor had to depend on the confidence of the Emperor, and Wilhelm believed that the Emperor had the right to be informed before his ministers' meeting. After a heated argument at Bismarck's estate over Imperial authority, Wilhelm stormed out. Bismarck, forced for the first time into a situation he could not use to his advantage, wrote a blistering letter of resignation, decrying Wilhelm's interference in foreign and domestic policy, which was only published after Bismarck's death. When Bismarck realised that his dismissal was imminent:
All Bismarck’s resources were deployed; he even asked Empress Victoria to use her influence at her son on his behalf. But the wizard had lost his magic; his spells were powerless because they were exerted on people who did not respect them, and he who had so signally disregarded Kant’s command to use people as ends in themselves had too small a stock of loyalty to draw on. As Lord Salisbury told Queen Victoria: 'The very qualities which Bismarck fostered in the Emperor in order to strengthen himself when the Emperor Frederick should come to the throne have been the qualities by which he has been overthrown.' The Empress, with what must have been a mixture of pity and triumph, told him that her influence with her son could not save him for he himself had destroyed it.
Although Bismarck had sponsored landmark social security legislation, by 1889–90 he had become disillusioned with the attitude of workers. In particular, he was opposed to wage increases, improving working conditions, and regulating labour relations. Moreover the Kartell, the shifting political coalition that Bismarck had been able to forge since 1867, had lost a working majority in the Reichstag. Bismarck also attempted to sabotage the Labour Conference that the Kaiser was organising. In March 1890, the dismissal of Bismarck coincided with the Kaiser's opening of the Labour Conference in Berlin. Subsequently at the opening of the Reichstag on 6 May 1890, the Kaiser stated that the most pressing issue was the further enlargement of the bill concerning the protection of the labourer. In 1891, the Reichstag passed the Workers Protection Acts, which improved working conditions, protected women and children and regulated labour relations.
Wilhelm in controlBismarck resigned at Wilhelm II's insistence in 1890, at age 75, to be succeeded as Chancellor of Germany and Minister-President of Prussia by Leo von Caprivi
, who in turn was replaced by Chlodwig, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst in 1894.
In foreign policy Bismarck had achieved a fragile balance of interests between Germany, France and Russia—peace was at hand and Bismarck tried to keep it that way despite growing popular sentiment against Britain (regarding colonies) and especially against Russia. With Bismarck's dismissal the Russians now expected a reversal of policy in Berlin, so they quickly came to terms with France, beginning the process that by 1914 largely isolated Germany.
However Louis Ferdinand, the Kaiser's grandson and heir, offered a different perspective on the role of Bismarck leading up to his departure:
Had Bismarck stayed he would not have helped. He already wanted to abolish all the reforms that had been introduced. He was aspiring to establish a kind of shogunate and hoped to treat our family in the same way the Japanese shoguns treated the Japanese emperors isolated in Kyoto. My grandfather had no other choice but to dismiss him.
In appointing Caprivi and then Hohenlohe, Wilhelm was embarking upon what is known to history as "the New Course", in which he hoped to exert decisive influence in the government of the empire. There is debate amongst historians as to the precise degree to which Wilhelm succeeded in implementing "personal rule" in this era, but what is clear is the very different dynamic which existed between the Crown and its chief political servant (the Chancellor) in the "Wilhelmine Era". These chancellors were senior civil servants and not seasoned politician-statesmen like Bismarck. Wilhelm wanted to preclude the emergence of another Iron Chancellor, whom he ultimately detested as being "a boorish old killjoy" who had not permitted any minister to see the Emperor except in his presence, keeping a stranglehold on effective political power. Upon his enforced retirement and until his dying day, Bismarck was to become a bitter critic of Wilhelm's policies, but without the support of the supreme arbiter of all political appointments (the Emperor) there was little chance of Bismarck exerting a decisive influence on policy.
The strong chancellorsFollowing the dismissal of Hohenlohe in 1900, Wilhelm appointed the man whom he regarded as "his own Bismarck", Bernhard von Bülow
In the early twentieth century Wilhelm began to concentrate upon his real agenda; the creation of a German navy that would rival that of Britain and enable Germany to declare itself a world power. He ordered his military leaders to read Admiral Mahan's book on naval power and spent hours drawing sketches of the ships that he wanted built. Bülow and Bethmann Hollweg, his loyal chancellors, looked after domestic affairs and Wilhelm began to spread alarm in the chancellories of Europe with his increasingly eccentric views on foreign affairs.
PersonalityHistorians have frequently stressed the role of Wilhelm's personality in shaping his reign. Thus, Thomas Nipperdey
concludes he was: "gifted, with a quick understanding, sometimes brilliant, with a taste for the modern,—technology, industry, science—but at the same time superficial, hasty, restless, unable to relax, without any deeper level of seriousness, without any desire for hard work or drive to see things through to the end, without any sense of sobriety, for balance and boundaries, or even for reality and real problems, uncontrollable and scarcely capable of learning from experience, desperate for applause and success,—as Bismarck said early on in his life, he wanted every day to be his birthday—romantic, sentimental and theatrical, unsure and arrogant, with an immeasurably exaggerated self-confidence and desire to show off, a juvenile cadet, who never took the tone of the officers’ mess out of his voice, and brashly wanted to play the part of the supreme warlord, full of panicky fear of a monotonous life without any diversions, and yet aimless, pathological in his hatred against his English mother."
Langer et al. (1968) emphasize the negative international consequences of his erratic personality:
- He believed in force, and the 'survival of the fittest' in domestic as well as foreign politics....William was not lacking in intelligence, but he did lack stability, disguising his deep insecurities by swagger and tough talk. He frequently fell into depressions and hysterics....William's personal instability was reflected in vacillations of policy. His actions, at home as well as abroad, lacked guidance, and therefore often bewildered or infuriated public opinion. He was not so much concerned with gaining specific objectives, as had been the case with Bismarck, as with asserting his will. This trait in the ruler of the leading Continental power was one of the main causes of the uneasiness prevailing in Europe at the turn-of-the-century.
of 1896 in which Wilhelm congratulated President Paul Kruger
of the Transvaal Republic
on the suppression of the Jameson Raid
, thus alienating British public opinion.
Wilhelm invented and spread fears of a yellow peril
trying to interest other European rulers in the perils they faced by invading Chinese; few other leaders paid attention. German troops were sent to fight in the Boxer Rebellion
Under Wilhelm Germany attempted to develop its colonies in Africa
and the Pacific, but few became self-supporting and all were lost during World War I. In Namibia
a native revolt against German rule led to the Herero and Namaqua Genocide
, although Wilhelm eventually ordered it be stopped.
One of the few times Wilhelm succeeded in personal "diplomacy" was when he supported Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
in marrying Sophie Chotek
in 1900 against the wishes of Emperor Franz Joseph.
One "domestic" triumph for Wilhelm was when his daughter Victoria Louise married the Duke of Brunswick in 1913; this helped heal the rift between the House of Hanover
and the House of Hohenzollern
after the 1866 annexation of Hanover by Prussia.
Moroccan CrisisOne of Wilhelm II's diplomatic blunders sparked the Moroccan Crisis
of 1905, when Wilhelm made a spectacular visit to Tangier
, in Morocco. Wilhelm's presence was seen as an assertion of German interests in Morocco, in opposition to France. In his speech he even made certain remarks in favour of Moroccan independence. This led to friction with France, which had expanding colonial interests in Morocco, and led to the Algeciras Conference
, which served largely to further isolate Germany in Europe.
Daily Telegraph affairPerhaps Wilhelm's most damaging personal blunder in the arena of foreign policy had a far greater impact in Germany than internationally. The Daily Telegraph Affair of 1908 stemmed from the publication of some of Wilhelm's opinions in edited form in the British daily newspaper of that name. Wilhelm saw it as an opportunity to promote his views and ideas on Anglo-German friendship, but instead, due to his emotional outbursts during the course of the interview, Wilhelm ended up further alienating not only the British people, but also the French, Russians, and Japanese all in one fell swoop by implying, among other things, that the Germans cared nothing for the British; that the French and Russians had attempted to incite Germany to intervene in the Second Boer War
; and that the German naval buildup was targeted against the Japanese, not Britain. (One memorable quotation from the interview was, "You English are mad, mad, mad as March hares.") The effect in Germany was quite significant, with serious calls for his abdication being mentioned in the press. Not surprisingly, Wilhelm kept a very low profile for many months after the Daily Telegraph fiasco, and later exacted his revenge by forcing the resignation of Prince Bülow, who had abandoned the Emperor to public criticism by publicly accepting some responsibility for not having edited the transcript of the interview before its publication.
The Daily Telegraph crisis deeply wounded Wilhelm's previously unimpaired self-confidence, so much so that he soon suffered a severe bout of depression
from which he never really recovered (photographs of Wilhelm in the post-1908 period show a man with far more haggard features and greying hair), and he lost much of the influence he had previously exercised in domestic and foreign policy. British public opinion had been quite favourable toward the Kaiser in his first 12 years in office, but turned sour in the late 1890s. During the World War, however, he became the central target of British anti-German propaganda as the personification of a hated enemy.
Promoter of arts and scienceWilhelm II was an enthusiastic promoter of the arts and sciences, as well as public education and social welfare. He sponsored the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, for the promotion of scientific research; it was funded by wealthy private donors and the state and comprised a number of research institutes in both pure and applied sciences. The Prussian Academy of Sciences
, however, was unable to avoid the Kaiser's pressure and lost some of its autonomy when it was forced to incorporate new programs in engineering, and award new fellowships in engineering sciences as a gift from the Kaiser in 1900.
Wilhelm II supported the modernisers as they tried to reform the Prussian system of secondary education, which was rigidly traditional, elitist, politically authoritarian, and unchanged by the progress in the natural sciences. As hereditary Protector of the Order of Saint John, he offered encouragement to the Christian order's attempts to place German medicine at the forefront of modern medical through its system of hospitals, nursing sisterhood and nursing schools, and nursing homes throughout the German empire.
Naval expansionNothing Wilhelm II did in the international arena was of more influence than his decision to pursue a policy of massive naval construction. A powerful navy was Wilhelm's pet project. He had inherited, from his mother, a love of the British Royal Navy
, which was at that time the world's largest. He once confided to his uncle, Edward VII, that his dream was to have a "fleet of my own some day". Wilhelm's frustration over his fleet's poor showing at the Fleet Review at his grandmother Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
celebrations, combined with his inability to exert German influence in South Africa following the dispatch of the Kruger telegram, led to Wilhelm taking definitive steps toward the construction of a fleet to rival that of his British cousins. Wilhelm was fortunate to be able to call on the services of the dynamic naval officer Alfred von Tirpitz
, whom he appointed to the head of the Imperial Naval Office in 1897.
The new admiral had conceived of what came to be known as the "Risk Theory" or the Tirpitz Plan
, by which Germany could force Britain to accede to German demands in the international arena through the threat posed by a powerful battlefleet concentrated in the North Sea
. Tirpitz enjoyed Wilhelm's full support in his advocacy of successive naval bills of 1897 and 1900, by which the German navy was built up to contend with that of the United Kingdom. Naval expansion under the Fleet Acts
eventually led to severe financial strains in Germany by 1914, as by 1906 Wilhelm had committed his navy to construction of the much larger, more expensive dreadnought
type of battleship
In 1889 Wilhelm II reorganised top level control of the navy by creating a Navy Cabinet (Marine-Kabinett)
equivalent to the German Imperial Military Cabinet
which had previously functioned in the same capacity for both the army and navy. The Head of the navy cabinet was responsible for promotions, appointments, administration and issuing orders to naval forces. Captain Gustav von Senden-Bibran
was appointed as its first head and remained so until 1906. The existing Imperial admiralty was abolished and its responsibilities divided between two organisations. A new position (equivalent to the supreme commander of the army) was created, chief of the high command of the admiralty (Oberkommando der Marine
), being responsible for ship deployments, strategy and tactics. Vice Admiral Max von der Goltz
was appointed in 1889 and remained in post until 1895. Construction and maintenance of ships and obtaining supplies was the responsibility of the State Secretary of the Imperial Navy Office (Reichsmarineamt), responsible to the Chancellor and advising the Reichstag on naval matters. The first appointee was Rear Admiral Eduard Heusner, followed shortly by Rear Admiral Friedrich von Hollmann
from 1890 to 1897. Each of these three heads of department reported separately to Wilhelm II.
In addition to the expansion of the fleet the Kiel Canal
was opened in 1895 enabling faster movements between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
World War I
The Sarajevo crisisWilhelm was a friend of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este, and he was deeply shocked by his assassination on 28 June 1914. Wilhelm offered to support Austria-Hungary in crushing the Black Hand
, the secret organisation that had plotted the killing, and even sanctioned the use of force by Austria against the perceived source of the movement—Serbia
(this is often called "the blank cheque"). He wanted to remain in Berlin until the crisis was resolved, but his courtiers persuaded him instead to go on his annual cruise of the North Sea on 6 July 1914. Wilhelm made erratic attempts to stay on top of the crisis via telegram, and when the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum was delivered to Serbia, he hurried back to Berlin. He reached Berlin on 28 July, read a copy of the Serbian reply, and wrote on it:
A brilliant solution—and in barely 48 hours! This is more than could have been expected. A great moral victory for Vienna; but with it every pretext for war falls to the ground, and [the Ambassador] Giesl had better have stayed quietly at Belgrade. On this document, I should never have given orders for mobilisation.
Unknown to the Emperor, Austro-Hungarian ministers and generals had already convinced the 84-year-old Francis Joseph I of Austria
to sign a declaration of war against Serbia. As a direct consequence, Russia began a general mobilization to attack Austria in defense of Serbia.
July 1914On the night of 30 July, when handed a document stating that Russia would not cancel its mobilization, Wilhelm wrote a lengthy commentary containing the startling observations:
"For I no longer have any doubt that England, Russia and France have agreed among themselves—knowing that our treaty obligations compel us to support Austria—to use the Austro-Serb conflict as a pretext for waging a war of annihilation against us ... Our dilemma over keeping faith with the old and honourable Emperor has been exploited to create a situation which gives England the excuse she has been seeking to annihilate us with a spurious appearance of justice on the pretext that she is helping France and maintaining the well-known Balance of Power in Europe, i.e. playing off all European States for her own benefit against us."
More recent British authors state that Wilhelm II actually declared "Ruthlessness and weakness will start the most terrifying war of the world, whose purpose is to destroy Germany. Because there can no longer be any doubts, England, France and Russia have conspired them selves together to fight an annihilation war against us"
When it became clear that Germany would experience a war on two fronts, and that the United Kingdom would enter the war if Germany attacked France through neutral Belgium, the panic-stricken Wilhelm attempted to redirect the main attack against Russia. When Helmuth von Moltke (the younger)
(who had chosen the old plan from 1905, made by the former German general von Schlieffen for the possibility of German war on two fronts) told him that this was impossible, Wilhelm said: "Your uncle
would have given me a different answer!" Wilhelm is also reported to have said: "To think that George and Nicky
should have played me false! If my grandmother had been alive, she would never have allowed it." In the original Schlieffen plan
Germany should attack the (supposed) weaker enemy first, meaning France. The plan supposed that it would take a long time before Russia was ready for war. And defeating France had not been a hard task for Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. At the 1914 border between France and Germany, an attack at this more southern part of France could be stopped by the French fortress along the border. However Wilhelm II got Helmuth Moltke (the younger) to also not invade the Netherlands.
, Wilhelm remarked that he planned to see Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Wilhelm's role in wartime was of ever-decreasing significance. The high command continued with their strategy even when it was clear that the Schlieffen plan had failed. Moltke suffered a nervous breakdown and the fearsome duo of Hindenburg and Ludendorff took effective control of all military affairs. By 1916 the Empire had effectively become a military dictatorship under the control of Paul von Hindenburg
and Erich Ludendorff
. Increasingly cut off from reality and the political decision-making process, Wilhelm vacillated between defeatism and dreams of victory, depending upon the fortunes of his armies, but his role as supreme leader was adopted by the elderly Hindenburg, whose wooden features and unshakable nerves endeared him to nobody but which upheld the illusion of a German victory until long after the war was lost on the battlefields. Nevertheless, Wilhelm still retained the ultimate authority in matters of political appointment, and it was only after his consent had been gained that major changes to the high command could be effected. Wilhelm was in favour of the dismissal of Helmuth von Moltke the Younger in September 1914 and his replacement by Erich von Falkenhayn
. In 1917, Hindenburg and Ludendorff decided that Bethman-Hollweg was no longer acceptable to them as Chancellor and called upon the Kaiser to appoint somebody else. When asked whom they would accept, Ludendorff recommended Michaelis, a nonentity who had made a visit to GHQ a few weeks earlier. Wilhelm did not even know the man, but accepted the suggestion. His role as Kaiser was at an end. The Kaiser's support collapsed completely in October–November 1918 in the army, the civilian government, and German public opinion, as President Wilson made clear the Kaiser could no longer be a party to peace negotiations.
Abdication and flightWilhelm was at the Imperial Army headquarters in Spa, Belgium
, when the uprisings in Berlin and other centres took him by surprise in late 1918. Mutiny
among the ranks of his beloved Kaiserliche Marine
, the imperial navy, profoundly shocked him. After the outbreak of the German Revolution
, Wilhelm could not make up his mind whether or not to abdicate. Up to that point, he was confident that even if he were obliged to vacate the German throne, he would still retain the Prussian kingship. The unreality of this belief was revealed when, in the hope of preserving the monarchy in the face of growing revolutionary unrest, Wilhelm's abdication both as German Emperor and King of Prussia was abruptly announced by the Chancellor, Prince Max of Baden, on 9 November 1918. (Prince Max himself was forced to resign later the same day, when it became clear that only Friedrich Ebert
, leader of the SPD
could effectively exert control.)
Wilhelm consented to the abdication only after Ludendorff's replacement, General Wilhelm Groener
, had informed him that the officers and men of the army would march back in good order under Paul von Hindenburg's command, but would certainly not fight for Wilhelm's throne on the home front. The monarchy's last and strongest support had been broken, and finally even Hindenburg, himself a lifelong royalist, was obliged, with some embarrassment, to advise the Emperor to give up the crown, thus ending the dynasty's rule.
in early 1919, Article 227 expressly provided for the prosecution of Wilhelm "for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties", but Queen Wilhelmina
refused to extradite him, despite appeals from the Allies. King George V wrote that he looked on his cousin as "the greatest criminal in history", but opposed Prime Minister David Lloyd George
's proposal to "hang the Kaiser". President Wilson rejected extradition, arguing that punishing Wilhelm for waging war would destabilize international order and lose the peace.
The erstwhile Emperor first settled in Amerongen, and then subsequently purchased a country house in the municipality of Doorn
on 16 August 1919 and moved in on 15 May 1920. This was to be his home for the remainder of his life. From this residence, Huis Doorn
, Wilhelm absolved his officers and servants of their oath of loyalty to him; however, he himself never formally relinquished his titles, and hoped to return to Germany in the future. The Weimar Republic allowed Wilhelm to remove twenty-three railway wagons of furniture, twenty-seven containing packages of all sorts, one bearing a car and another a boat, from the New Palace
Life in exile
, denouncing his abdication as the "deepest, most disgusting shame ever perpetrated by a person in history, the Germans have done to themselves", "egged on and misled by the tribe of Judah ... Let no German ever forget this, nor rest until these parasites have been destroyed and exterminated from German soil!" He advocated a "regular international all-worlds pogrom à la Russe" as "the best cure" and further believed that Jews were a "nuisance that humanity must get rid of some way or other. I believe the best would be gas!"
In 1922, Wilhelm published the first volume of his memoirs—a very slim volume that insisted he was not guilty of initiating the Great War, and defended his conduct throughout his reign, especially in matters of foreign policy. For the remaining twenty years of his life, the former Emperor regularly entertained guests (often of some standing) and kept himself updated on events in Europe. He grew a beard and allowed his famous moustache to droop. He also learned the Dutch language. Wilhelm developed a penchant for archaeology during his vacations on Corfu
, a passion he retained in his exile. He had bought the former Greek residence of Empress Elisabeth
after her murder in 1898. He also sketched plans for grand buildings and battleships when he was bored. In exile, one of Wilhelm's greatest passions was hunting, and he bagged thousands of animals, both beast and bird. Much of his time was spent chopping wood and thousands of trees were chopped down during his stay at Doorn.
felt for the man who he believed contributed to Germany's greatest defeat, and his own desire for power, would prevent Wilhelm's restoration. Though he hosted Hermann Göring
at Doorn on at least one occasion, Wilhelm grew to mistrust Hitler. He heard about the Night of the Long Knives
of 30 June 1934 by wireless and said of it, "What would people have said if I had done such a thing?" and hearing of the murder of the wife of former Chancellor Schleicher
, "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 was also appalled at the Kristallnacht
of 9–10 November 1938 saying, "I have just made my views clear to Auwi
[Wilhelm's fourth son] in the presence of his brothers. He had the nerve to say that he agreed with the Jewish pogroms and understood why they had come about. When I told him that any decent man would describe these actions as gangsterisms, he appeared totally indifferent. He is completely lost to our family ..." He also stated, "For the first time, I am ashamed to be a German."
In the wake of the German victory over Poland
in September 1939, Wilhelm's adjutant, General von Dommes, wrote on his behalf to Hitler, stating that the House of Hohenzollern "remained loyal" and noted that nine Prussian Princes (one son and eight grandchildren) were stationed at the front, concluding "because of the special circumstances that require residence in a neutral foreign country, His Majesty must personally decline to make the aforementioned comment. The Emperor has therefore charged me with making a communication." Wilhelm stayed in regular contact with Hitler through General von Dommes, who represented the family in Germany. Wilhelm greatly admired the success which Hitler was able to achieve in the opening months of the Second World War
, and personally sent a congratulatory telegram on the fall of Paris stating "Congratulations, you have won using my troops." In a letter to his daughter Victoria Louise, the Duchess of Brunswick, he wrote triumphantly, "Thus is the pernicious entente cordial of Uncle Edward VII brought to nought." Nevertheless, after the Nazi conquest of the Netherlands in 1940, the aging Wilhelm retired completely from public life. In May 1940, when Hitler invaded Holland, Wilhelm declined an offer from Churchill for asylum in the UK, preferring to die at Huis Doorn.
During his last year at Doorn, Wilhelm believed that Germany was the land of monarchy and therefore of Christ and that England was the land of Liberalism
and therefore of Satan
and the Anti-Christ. He argued that the English ruling classes were "Freemasons thoroughly infected by Juda". Wilhelm asserted that the "British people must be liberated from Antichrist Juda. We must drive Juda out of England just as he has been chased out of the Continent." He believed the Freemasons and Jews had caused the two world wars, aiming at a world Jewish empire with British and American gold, but that "Juda's plan has been smashed to pieces and they themselves swept out of the European Continent!" Continental Europe was now, Wilhelm wrote, "consolidating and closing itself off from British influences after the elimination of the British and the Jews!" The end result would be a "U.S. of Europe!" In a letter to his sister Princess Margaret
in 1940, Wilhelm wrote: "The hand of God is creating a new world & working miracles ... We are becoming the U.S. of Europe under German leadership, a united European Continent." He added: "The Jews [are] being thrust out of their nefarious positions in all countries, whom they have driven to hostility for centuries." Also in 1940 came what would have been his mother's 100th birthday, of which he ironically wrote to a friend "Today the 100th birthday of my mother! No notice is taken of it at home! No 'Memorial Service' or... committee to remember her marvellous work for the...welfare of our German people... Nobody of the new generation knows anything about her." This sympathy for his mother is in sharp contrast to the intense animosity he expressed for her during most of her life.
DeathWilhelm II died of a pulmonary embolus
in Doorn, Netherlands on 3 June 1941 aged 82, just weeks before the German invasion of the Soviet Union
. German soldiers had been guarding his estate. Adolf Hitler, however, was reportedly angry that the former monarch had an honor guard of German troops and nearly fired the general who ordered them there when he found out. Despite his personal animosity toward Wilhelm, Hitler wanted to bring Wilhelm's body back to Berlin for a state funeral, as Wilhelm was a symbol of Germany and Germans during World War I. Hitler felt this would demonstrate to Germans the direct succession of the Third Reich from the old Kaiserreich
. However, Wilhelm's wishes of never returning to Germany until the restoration of the monarchy were respected, and the Nazi occupation authorities granted a small military funeral with a few hundred people present, the mourners including August von Mackensen, along with a few other military advisers. Wilhelm's request that the swastika
and other Nazi regalia not be displayed at the final rites was ignored, however, and they are featured in the photos of the funeral that were taken by a Dutch photographer.
He was buried in a mausoleum in the grounds of Huis Doorn, which has since become a place of pilgrimage for German monarchists. To this day, small but enthusiastic and faithful numbers of them gather at Huis Doorn every year on the anniversary of his death to pay their homage to the last German Emperor.
Legacy and memoryThree trends have characterized the writing about Wilhelm. First, the court-inspired writers who considered him a martyr and a hero. Often they uncritically accepted the justifications provided in the Kaiser's memoirs. Second, those who judged Wilhelm as completely unable to handle the great responsibilities of his office and one who was too reckless to deal with power. Third, after 1950, scholars sought to transcend the passions of the 1910s and attempted objective portrayal of William II and his rule.
Until the late 1950s the Kaiser was depicted by most historians as man of considerable influence. Partly that was a deception by German officials. For example, President Theodore Roosevelt believed the Kaiser was in control of German foreign policy because Hermann Speck von Sternburg, the German ambassador in Washington and personal friend of Roosevelt, presented messages of Chancellor von Bülow to the president as messages from the Kaiser. Then historians downplayed his role, arguing senior officials learned to work around him. More recently historian John C. G. Röhl
has portrayed Wilhelm II as the key figure in understanding the recklessness and downfall of Imperial Germany. Thus the argument is made that the Kaiser played a major role in promoting the policies of naval and colonial expansion that caused the sharp deterioration in Germany's relations with Britain before 1914.
First marriage and issue
, were married on 27 February 1881. They had seven children:
- Crown Prince Wilhelm (1882–1951). On 6 June 1905, he married Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-SchwerinDuchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-SchwerinCecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was a Crown Princess of Germany and Prussia as the wife of German Crown Prince William, the son of German Emperor William II...
(20 September 1886 – 6 May 1954) in Berlin. Cecilie was the daughter of Frederick Francis III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-SchwerinFrederick Francis III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-SchwerinFriedrich Franz III was the penultimate Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.-Biography:He was born in Schloss Ludwigslust the son of Friedrich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and his first wife Princess Augusta of Reuss-Köstritz...
(1851–1897) and Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of RussiaGrand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of RussiaGrand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia was a daughter of Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich of Russia; she married Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin...
(1860–1922). They had six children. Their eldest son Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (1906–1940) was killed in World War II.
- Prince Eitel FriedrichPrince Eitel Friedrich of PrussiaPrince Eitel Friedrich was the second son of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany by his first wife, Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein...
(1883–1942). On 27 February 1906, he married Duchess Sophia Charlotte of OldenburgDuchess Sophia Charlotte of OldenburgDuchess Sophia Charlotte of Oldenburg was a member of the House of Holstein-Gottorp. She was the only surviving child of Frederick Augustus II, Grand Duke of Oldenburg by his first wife Princess Elisabeth Anna of Prussia.Sophia Charlotte is best known for her unhappy and well-publicized marriage...
(2 February 1879 OldenburgOldenburgOldenburg is an independent city in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated in the western part of the state between the cities of Bremen and Groningen, Netherlands, at the Hunte river. It has a population of 160,279 which makes it the fourth biggest city in Lower Saxony after Hanover, Braunschweig...
, Germany – 29 March 1964 WesterstedeWesterstedeWesterstede is the capital of the Ammerland district, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approx. 25 km northwest of Oldenburg.-External links:*...
, Germany) in Berlin, Germany. They were divorced 20 October 1926 and had no children.
- Prince AdalbertPrince Adalbert of PrussiaPrince Adalbert of Prussia was a son of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany by his first wife, Princess Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein.-Marriage:He married Princess Adelheid "Adi" of Saxe-Meiningen on 3 August 1914 in...
(1884–1948). On 3 August 1914, he married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-MeiningenPrincess Adelaide of Saxe-MeiningenPrincess Adelaide "Adi" of Saxe-Meiningen was a daughter of Prince Frederick John of Saxe-Meiningen and his wife Countess Adelaide of Lippe-Biesterfeld.-Family:Adelaide 's father Prince Frederick was a younger son of George II of Saxe-Meiningen by his...
(16 August 1891 – 25 April 1971) in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. They had three children.
- Prince August WilhelmPrince August Wilhelm of PrussiaPrince August Wilhelm Heinrich Günther Viktor of Prussia , called "Auwi", was the fourth son of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany by his first wife, Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein....
(1887–1949). On 22 October 1908, he married Princess Alexandra Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (21 April 1887 Germany – 15 April 1957 France). They had one child.
- Prince OskarPrince Oskar of PrussiaPrince Oskar of Prussia was the fifth son of Wilhelm II, German Emperor and Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein.-Education:...
(1888–1958). On 31 July 1914, he married Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz (27 January 1888 – 17 September 1973). It was a morganatic marriageMorganatic marriageIn the context of European royalty, a morganatic marriage is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which prevents the passage of the husband's titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage...
, so Ina-Marie was created Countess von Ruppin. In 1920, she and her children were granted the rank of Prince/ss of Prussia with the styleStyle (manner of address)A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...
Royal HighnessRoyal HighnessRoyal Highness is a style ; plural Royal Highnesses...
. They had four children. His eldest son Prince Oskar Wilhelm Karl Hans Kuno of Prussia was killed in 1939 in World War II.
- Prince JoachimPrince Joachim of PrussiaPrince Joachim Franz Humbert of Prussia was the youngest son of Wilhelm II, German Emperor, by his first wife, Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein.-Candidate for thrones:...
(1890–1920). On 11 March 1916, he married Princess Marie-Auguste of AnhaltPrincess Marie-Auguste of AnhaltPrincess Marie Auguste of Anhalt was the daughter of Eduard, Duke of Anhalt and his wife Princess Luise of Saxe-Altenburg.-Early life and family:...
(10 June 1898 – 22 May 1983). They had one son. Joachim's great grandson Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, Prince of Prussia (born 1981) is a pretenderPretenderA pretender is one who claims entitlement to an unavailable position of honour or rank. Most often it refers to a former monarch, or descendant thereof, whose throne is occupied or claimed by a rival, or has been abolished....
to the Russian throne.
- Princess Viktoria LuisePrincess Viktoria Luise of PrussiaVictoria Louise of Prussia was the only daughter and the seventh child of William II, German Emperor and Empress Augusta Victoria. She was their last surviving child. Princess Victoria Louise is the maternal grandmother of Queen Sophie of Spain and the former King Constantine II of the Hellenes...
(1892–1980). In 1913, she married Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick (1887–1953). They had five children.
Princess Augusta, known affectionately as "Dona", was a constant companion to Wilhelm; and her death on 11 April 1921 was a devastating blow. It also came less than a year after their son Joachim committed suicide
—unable to accept his lot after the abdication of his father, the failure of his own marriage to Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt
, and the severe depression felt after his service in the Great War.
, married the late Prince Joachim's son, Karl Franz Josef, in 1940, but divorced in 1946. Hermine remained a constant companion to the aging Emperor until his death.
Titles and styles
- 27 January 1859 – 9 March 1888: His Royal Highness Prince Wilhelm of Prussia
- 9 March 1888 – 15 June 1888: His Imperial and Royal Highness The German Crown Prince, Crown Prince of Prussia
- 15 June 1888 – 18 November 1918: His Imperial and Royal Majesty The German Emperor, King of Prussia
Full title as German EmperorHis Imperial and Royal Majesty
Wilhelm the Second, by the Grace of God
, German Emperor and King of Prussia, Margrave
, Count of Hohenzollern, Duke
and of the County of Glatz, Grand Duke
of the Lower Rhine
and of Posen, Duke of Saxony
, of Angria
, of Westphalia
, of Pomerania
and of Lunenburg
, Duke of Schleswig
, of Holstein
and of Crossen
, Duke of Magdeburg
, of Bremen
, of Guelderland
and of Jülich
, Duke of the Wends
and the Kashubians
, of Lauenburg and of Mecklenburg
and in Thuringia
, Margrave of Upper
and Lower Lusatia
, Prince of Orange
, of Rugen
, of East Friesland, of Paderborn
and of Pyrmont
, Prince of Halberstadt
, of Münster
, of Minden
, of Osnabrück
, of Hildesheim
, of Verden
, of Kammin
, of Fulda
, of Nassau
and of Moers
, Princely Count of Henneberg
, Count of the Mark, of Ravensberg, of Hohenstein
, of Tecklenburg
and of Lingen
, Count of Mansfeld
, of Sigmaringen
and of Veringen
- William II. – The last days of the German Monarchy. (Original Title: "Wilhelm II. – Die letzten Tage des Deutschen Kaiserreichs") Documentary film about the abdication and flight of the last German Kaiser. Germany/Belgium, 2007. Produced by seelmannfilm and German Television. Written and directed by Christoph Weinert.
- Barry FosterBarry Foster (actor)Barry Foster was a British actor who appeared in numerous film roles and is known for his leading role as a Dutch detective in the ITV drama series, Van der Valk, which spanned five series over 20 years from 1972....
plays Kaiser William II in several episodes of the 1974 BBC TVBBC TelevisionBBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...
series Fall of EaglesFall of EaglesFall of Eagles is a 13-part British television drama aired by the BBC in 1974. The series was created by John Elliot and produced by Stuart Burge....
- Rupert JulianRupert JulianRupert Julian was the first New Zealand cinema actor, director, writer and producer.Born Thomas Percival Hayes in Whangaroa, New Zealand, Son of John Daly Hayes and Eliza Harriet Hayes...
played Kaiser William II in the 1918 Hollywood propaganda film The Kaiser, the Beast of BerlinThe Kaiser, the Beast of BerlinThe Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin is a silent movie that stars Lon Chaney, Sr. The film contains a propagandist view of the First World War, showing the political greed of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, the resistance of some of his own soldiers, and fanciful prediction of the nature of the war's end...
In popular culture
- The Simpsons, Treehouse of Horror XIIITreehouse of Horror XIII"Treehouse of Horror XIII" is the first episode of The Simpsons fourteenth season, as well as the thirteenth Halloween episode. The episode aired on November 3, 2002, three days after Halloween...
– "The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms". The Kaiser rides in as a strange addition to an evil undead band of western villains, consisting of Billy the KidBilly the KidWilliam H. Bonney William H. Bonney William H. Bonney (born William Henry McCarty, Jr. est. November 23, 1859 – c. July 14, 1881, better known as Billy the Kid but also known as Henry Antrim, was a 19th-century American gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier...
, Jesse JamesJesse JamesJesse Woodson James was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. He also faked his own death and was known as J.M James. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary...
, Frank JamesFrank JamesAlexander Franklin "Frank" James was a famous American outlaw. He was the older brother of outlaw Jesse James.-Childhood:...
and Sundance Kid.
- The Kaiser's Last KissThe Kaiser's Last KissThe Kaiser's Last Kiss is a 2003 novel written by Alan Judd. The story gives a fictional account of the last few days in the life of exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II after his home at Doorn, Netherlands is taken over by the invading Germans during the opening months of the Second World War...
, a novel by Alan JuddAlan JuddAlan Judd aka Alan Petty is a former soldier and diplomat who now works as a security analyst and writer in the United Kingdom. He writes both books and articles, regularly contributing to a number of publications, including The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator...
offers a fictional account of the Kaiser's final days at Doorn.
- The Emperor TamarinEmperor TamarinThe Emperor Tamarin is a tamarin allegedly named for its resemblance to the German emperor Wilhelm II. It lives in the southwest Amazon Basin, in east Peru, north Bolivia and in the west Brazilian states of Acre and Amazonas....
allegedly receives its name due to the similar mustache.
- Kaiserlicher Yacht ClubKaiserlicher Yacht ClubKaiserlicher Yacht-Club, "Imperial Yacht Club", was one of the forerunners of the Kiel Yacht Club. Known also as "Küz" from its acronym KYC, it was a prestigious yacht club located in the harbor city of Kiel, Germany. German Emperor Wilhelm II, his younger brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia and...
- Navy League (Germany)Navy League (Germany)The Navy League or Fleet Association in Imperial Germany was an interest group formed on April 30 1898 on initiative of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz through the German Imperial Naval Office which he headed to support the expansion of the Imperial Navy ...
- List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s – 28 June 1926
- Research Materials: Max Planck Society ArchiveResearch Materials: Max Planck Society ArchiveAt the end of World War II, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society was renamed the Max Planck Society, and the institutes associated with the Kaiser Wilhelm Society were renamed "Max Planck" institutes. The records that were archived under the former Kaiser Wilhelm Society and its institutes were placed in the...
- Rulers of Germany family tree. He was related to every other monarch of Germany.
- WilhelminismWilhelminismThe Wilhelmine Period comprises the period between 1890 and 1918, embracing the reign of Wilhelm II and the First World War. By Wilhelminism is not meant a conception of society associated with the name Wilhelm, and traceable to an intellectual initiative of the German Emperor...
- Alesund, a Norwegian city rebuilt by Wilhelm II after it had been almost completely destroyed by fireÅlesund FireThe Ålesund Fire happened in the Norwegian city of Ålesund on 23 January 1904. It destroyed almost the whole city centre, built mostly of wood like the majority of Norwegian towns in that era.-Fire:...
- Carter, Miranda. George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I (2010)
- Clark, Christopher M. Kaiser Wilhelm II. (2000) 271 pp. short biography by scholar
- Clay, Catrine., King Kaiser Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War. (2007). 432 pp. popular narrative
- Eley, Geoff. "The View From The Throne: The Personal Rule of Kaiser Wilhelm II," Historical Journal, June 1985, Vol. 28 Issue 2, pp 469–485
- Hull, Isabel V. The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1888–1918, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. ISBN 9780521236652
- Kohut, Thomas A. Wilhelm II and the Germans: A Study in Leadership, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0195061727
- Ludwig, EmilEmil LudwigEmil Ludwig was a German author, known for his biographies.-Biography:Emil Ludwig was born in Breslau, now part of Poland. Ludwig studied law but chose writing as a career. At first he wrote plays and novella, but also worked as a journalist...
. Wilhelm Hohenzollern: The Last of the Kaisers, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1927 ISBN 0-404-04067-5.
- Macdonogh, Giles. The Last Kaiser: William the Impetuous, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001. ISBN 9781842124789
- Mombauer, Annika, and Wilhelm Deist, eds. The Kaiser: New Research on Wilhelm II's Role in Imperial Germany, (Cambridge University Press, 2003) 299pp; 12 essays by scholars ISBN 9780521824088
- Mommsen, Wolfgang J. "Kaiser Wilhelm II and German Politics." Journal of Contemporary History 1990 25(2–3): 289–316. Issn: 0022-0094 in Jstor
- Retallack, James. Germany in the Age of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Basingstoke: St. Martin's PressSt. Martin's PressSt. Martin's Press is a book publisher headquartered in the Flatiron Building in New York City. Currently, St. Martin's Press is one of the United States' largest publishers, bringing to the public some 700 titles a year under eight imprints, which include St. Martin's Press , St...
, 1996. ISBN 9780333592427
- Van der Kiste, John. Kaiser Wilhelm II: Germany's Last Emperor, Sutton Publishing, 1999. ISBN 9780750919418
- Waite, Robert G. L. Kaiser and Führer: A Comparative Study of Personality and Politics. (1998). 511 pp. Psychohistory that compares him with Adolf HitlerAdolf HitlerAdolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...
- The German Emperor as shown in his public utterances
- My Memoirs: 1878–1918 by William II, London: Cassell & Co., 1922.
- My Memoirs: 1878–1918 by William II, London: Cassell & Co. 1922.
- The German emperor's speeches: being a selection from the speeches, edicts, letters, and telegrams of the Emperor William II
- Commemorative Silk Bookmark of William II from 1913
- Fall of Eagles BBC series
- William II tried to stop the bombing of Belgrade History of the Last Days before the day of fate, documentary by German Historian Guido Knopp, February 1999, as History of Ultimatum to Serbia repeated.