Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Hermine is a prisoner of the Reds
August 31, 1946
Kaiserin Hermine of Prussia, widow of Wilhelm II is said to be "living under Russian army guard in a three room flat in Frankfurt-on-Oder, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
Frankfurt-on-Oder is in the Soviet occupation zone. Hermine, 58, and "thin from the lowest of German food rations" has been quoted as saying that she is "isolated from all mail and personal contacts with her friends."
She is guarded by a Soviet army woman in "constant attendance," as a guard and interpreter. Requests to see Hermine must be made through the Russian command section, and for those lucky enough to visit Hermine, have had to "pledge not to tell of their experience."
Hermine recently applied for permission to visit her brother-in-law, a prince of Schönaich-Caroloth, who lives in Berlin. The Soviets denied her application and have also not allowed her to notify her family of her whereabouts.
One of her grandsons, Prince Franz Friedrich of Prussia, who will be two years old in October, is said to be living with her. He is the younger son of Hermine's youngest child, Princess Henriette of Schönaich-Carolath, who married Prince Karl Franz Josef of Prussia, a grandson of Wilhelm II in 1940. The couple and their elder son are not with Hermine.
Hermine was the second wife of Wilhelm II. They were married in Doorn, the Netherlands, in 1922, a year after the death of his first wife, Empress Auguste Viktoria. After his death in 1941, Hermine returned to her own estate in Silesia, now a part of Poland. Unlike other family members, she refused to flee "on the approach of the Red Army.
It is understood that other members of her family have made to safety in western Germany.