Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kaiser Wilhelm II dead at 82

June 4, 1941

Former German Kaiser Wilhelm II died shortly before noon today at his home in Doorn, the Netherlands. He was 82-years-old. He had lived in the Netherlands since going into exile following Germany's defeat and the collapse of the German empire at the end of World War I. The Kaiser suffered an intestinal ailment more than a week ago, but he "rallied sufficiently" to cause members of his family to return to Germany. During the night, Wilhelm suffered a relapse, "super induced by a pulmonary embolism." He never regained consciousness, and he died at 11:30 a.m. The only members of the family who were with him when he died was his wife, Hermine, his only daughter, the Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and his grandson, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. He will be buried with full military honors at Doorn on Monday.
As The Netherlands is under Germany military control, there is nothing to prevent the military burial, according to the New York Times. After Germany invaded the Netherlands last year, "one of the first marks of recognition accorded to the former Kaiser," was an order from Reichsführer Hitler "to the German forces to observe the privacy of his estate."
Herr Hitler had also ordered an honor guard placed at the entrance to the Doorn estate. A guard had remained on duty up until the Kaiser's death.

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