Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Former Crown Prince Wilhelm sees civil war coming

August 13, 1923

Former Crown Prince Wilhelm, visiting his father at Doorn, gave an interview earlier today to a reporter from the American news service, United Press.

He foresees a communist uprising in Germany, followed by "a counteraction through the Fascisti, which will mean civil war and anarchy."

The prince gave his views, stating he has "no illusions as to the purpose of the fascisti."  He believes the fascists will follow the "communist uprisings."

The former Crown Prince gave the interview before he left for his "exile retreat at Weiringen."   He stood next to his "little red automobile," which was parked on a street in Doorn.  Wearing a "golf costume," the bareheaded prince "was the picture of youth and vigor."

After lighting a cigarette,  Wilhelm offered his views of the German political situation.

"I am most pessimistic of Germany's future," he said.  He acknowledged that he would like to return to Germany to "devote his energies to his family and administration of his estates."  But he does not see a return of the monarchy.

"If a situation would arise as a result of which a plebiscite might call you to the throne, what would you do?"   Shrugging his shoulders,  he added: "There is absolutely no signs of such a movement."

He asked the reporter: "How long will America view the anarchy in Europe without intervention?  America has the French at her mercy because France is so heavily indebted to the United States.  America could compel France to alter her course through pressure as a creditor."

He expressed interested in the views of President Calvin Coolidge, but his real concern remained with Germany.

"I view the present situation with extreme anxiety.  The terrible slump of the mark and the threatened coal shortage present possibilities of serious riots.  I have talked with many bankers, but none see a way out.

"I expect the communists to seize the opportunity presented in the deplorable situation to attempt a coup soon.  This will lead to a counter action by the Fascisti, which will mean utter civil war and anarchy.

"But I am perfectly aware that the nationalistic renaissance, which is apparently growing stronger throughout Germany, does not contain any elements of a monarchist movement."

Wilhelm made it clear that he would have no role in these movements.

"I am interested only as an onlooker, but as an onlooker who loves his country with all the passion of his heart whose hands are tied."

He had been joined at Doorn by his sister, Viktoria Luise, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg.  This was the first visit to Doorn by the Kaiser's only daughter since the Kaiser's second marriage.

There are reports that the Duchess is now reconciled with her father and his wife, Hermine.

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