Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Crown Prince Wilhelm ready to be king

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 March 31, 1946

Crown Prince Wilhelm, the heir to the Hohenzollern dynasty, says he is ready to "serve his fatherland if Germany ever wants a king," reports the Associated Press.

The 65-year-old eldest son of the late Kaiser Wilhelm II, who died in exile in 1941, said: "The best political system in the world is the English Parliament, with a constitutional monarchy. If that were adopted for Germany, it would mean the restoration of the House of Hohenzollern."

The reporter responded: "You mean the restoration of your oldest living son, Louis Ferdinand?"

The former Crown prince offered a gentle correction: "Myself or my son."

He has forsaken his 180-room castle for a "plebian, but snug villa" in Hechingen. Wilhelm "laughed lightly" when the reporter mentioned that a monarchical party had already been launched in Bavaria with support for Crown Prince Rupprecht.

"Oh, that," Wilhelm said.  "Rupprecht is a very decent man.  A lot of people believe in him."

A week ago, the former Crown Prince met with Dr. James K Pollock, a professor at the University of Michigan, who is the number 2 political advisor to the American Military Government in Germany.   Pollock reported what was said in the interview to Lt. Gen Lucius Clay, deputy U.S. commander in Germany,  Robert Murphy, the US Ambassador, and the State Department.   Pollock's report has not been published,

Wilhelm and AP's correspondent discussed the political situation within Germany.  

"The Germans at the moment do not know their own mind.  They talk of democracy, and of course, that is a bad joke.  For the moment I am keeping quiet in the background.  No visits from the German political leaders, who seem to talk so much eyewash these days."

He is not keen on the Russians.  "These ghastly Russians are sitting on my property in Eastern Germany.  My castle on a hill here is not productive -- most of the rooms are not even furnished, and it took so much fuel to heat a few that I moved into town to be sure of having a hot bath at least once a fortnight.

He also used the word ghastly to describe German beer and German divisions. "Beer is ghastly -- fit only for plants.   

"It is ghastly for Germany to be so divided as she is.  One occupation power would have been much better than four, and Germany must always be united, Germany cannot live without the Ruhr.

"The Russians have become such imperialists...I am glad you have an atomic bomb in your trousers."   

Wilhelm admitted to the reporter that he missed "his horses and golf a great deal" after he had to leave Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam toward the end of the war.    He added that he recently completed his memoirs:

"Yes, I have been writing.  It is called 'Thirty-Five years of German History, 1910-1945.  It is my effort to see the problem as a whole."

The reporter asked if he could see the manuscript.  Wilhelm produced a Manila folder that the reporter described as a "terse effort. Thirty-five years have been wrapped into 37 pages."

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