Saturday, July 8, 2017


As an amateur historian I find it interesting that there is very little written word covering the period from when the Kaiser went into exile in the Netherlands in 1918 through to his death at his residence in Doorn in 1941.

Perhaps the best account of those years can be found here in this 15 minute video.   Fascinating viewing.    It covers his flight into exile; his marriage to Princess Hermine Reuss (28 years his junior) in 1922 following the death of the Empress Augusta in 1921; his relationship with the Dutch authorities and his death and funeral (where the provision of an German honour guard raised the wrath of Hitler).

It also contains the quite startling revelation that when Germany invaded the Netherlands (Holland) in 1940 Churchill offered him asylum (declined) in the United Kingdom.    Not sure that Churchill would have discussed that with the Palace who, I suspect, might have had a contrary view.     Events were however moving fast and the offer may have come at the end of a long day (and dinner) for Churchill.


Anonymous said...

Mmm...not sure about he palaces response bit... it was they who in early in war one changed their name from Battenberg to Mountbatten, a direct German/English translation.

There still several Scottish families of great antiquity who refer to the Royal family as "The Germans".

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... I think you will find 'they' changed their name from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor but not until 1917.

The Battenburgs were a slightly different lot. They were a family of German Counts that died out around 1314 and whose seat was the Castle of Kellerburg near Battenburg.
The title was revived in 1851, when Alexander (1823–88), a younger son of Louis II, grand duke of Hesse, contracted a morganatic marriage with the Polish countess Julia Theresa von Hauke (1825–95), who was then created countess of Battenberg. In 1858 the countess and her children were all raised to the rank of prince or princess (Prinz or Prinzessin) of Battenberg.

In 1917 the eldest son of this union, Louis Alexander (1854–1921), who had become an admiral in the British navy, was created marquess of Milford Haven and, at the request of King George V, the members of the family who lived in England renounced, in 1917, the German title of prince of Battenberg and adopted the English form of Mountbatten as a surname.