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German Emperor William II.

Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar : copied from government archives in Petrograd unpublished before 1920 online

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dear old gentleman on this occasion.

I got some charming cards from Alix with the
children as a group please thank her from me for
them. I send you a "couteau de chasse" and to
Alix a "saladiere" for the zakouska table, made in
my Majolikafactory, 3 and mounted in silver in Dres-
den.

With the best wishes for a happy prosperous New
Year, which may be one of Peace, and much love
to Alix and the children I remain

Ever your devoted friend and cousin

Willy



NOTES

1. This Captain von Hintze afterwards became the well-known
Admiral. After the fall of Kiihlmann, he became German
Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

2. Russian ambassador at Berlin.

3. The Royal factory at Meissen, a few miles west of Dresden,
until 1863 in the fortress of Albrechtsburg, and thereafter
nearer the city.



[243]



LXVII

CORFU 2i/iv 1911
Dearest Nicky

As your Easter is approaching I beg to be allowed
to send you my warmest Easterwishes through these
lines. It is a time in which one allways passes in
review ones acts and thoughts, before one goes to
the Communion, and at this and after it one goes
back into ones life with fresh resolutions and re-
affirmed convictions. To these latter ones I rekon
our relations to each other and our firm friendship
for one another which were so happily confirmed
at Wolfsgarten 1 and at Potsdam. You may allways
count on me and my faithful interest in you and
your family and your country.

We had a lovely time here amid flowers, scent,
blue sky and sun. Only in the week before last it
was cold and rainy. We were greatly surprised and
interested in the quite unexpected discovery, by a
chance experimental digging, of quite enormous
sculptures belonging as it seems to an antique
Temple 2 which dates as far back as the 6th or yth
century b.Chr. I spent several days basking in the

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Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

sun and looking at the appearance of the different
objects, which was very exciting and would have
amused you immensely.

I send you enclosed some photos from our house
and garden, with the statue of Achilles I caused to
be placed on the Terrace. Besides I enclose an ar-
ticle recently published in the German Press, written
by an intimate friend of Uncle Bertie, an English
Politician; with the intention to persuade the Ger-
mans to think better of Uncles policy than they do
now. His name is not known. As you will see for
yourself, it is very striking the greatest anxiety which
governed Uncle for the future of England, was the
possibility of the closer friendship between the 3
Empires (Germany, Russia, Austria), which he re-
garded as dangerous for England, and which he con-
sequently tried to inhibit by all means in his power.
That is the explanation for the phrase perpetually
used by the English Press "Balance of Powers in
Europe" i.e. keep the 3 Emperors apart, or we are
lost, for they would assemble the whole European
Continent around them and that is against English
interests. I go to London for Grandmamas unveil-
ing, 3 at Georgy's invitation I hope to find out more
about this

With best love to Alix and all I remain

Ever your most devoted cousin and friend

Willy

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Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar



NOTES

1. On November nth, 1910, the Kaiser paid a visit to Schloss
Wolfsgarten, near Darmstadt, where the Russian Emperor
was living.

2. In the course of the excavations in the village of Garitza or
Kastrades, in Corfu, the buried ruins of one of the Corcyrean
temples, probably dating from the beginning of the 6th Cen-
tury B. C., were brought to light. On April i2th, 1911, a few
days before this letter was written, sculptures were discovered
representing the battles between Zeus and the Giants. The
Kaiser all day watched the operations under a blazing sun
and without interval for food.

3. The Kaiser was present at the unveiling of Queen Victoria's
statue in the Mall on May i6th following. His visit lasted
until the 2ist.



[ 246 ]



LXVIII

WlLHELMSHOHE 8/VIII

Dearest Nicky

I am sorry that I am again compelled to approach
you with a request relating to Gen. von Lauenstein,
who has the honour of being attached to your august
person. When I chose him for his post with your
approval he immediately drew my attention to the
fact that his wife was of very delicate health. I
know her personally and am aware of the fact. Yet
I prevailed upon him to go to his post, as you had
written so very kindly about him.

She now has just had her 3rd baby, which has so
much affected her health, that the doctors have all
agreed, that it is quite out of the question, that she
should stand the climate of St. Petersburg. Ac-
cordingly Lauenstein has now again remarked his
request to be relieved of his post. I have regretfully
consented seeing that it is impossible to exact from
him to lead a life permantly detached from his
family.

I feel assured that you will approve of my deci-
sion taken under such serious considerations.

I propose to send as his successor Lieut. Gen. of

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Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

my suite Count Dohna-Schlobitten, now in command
of the Guards Cavalry Division. I daresay you re-
member my presenting him to you during your last
visit to Potsdam which left wish us such pleasant
recollections. He was then about to join my son for
his trip to India and would have been on his staff
during his stay at Zarskoje if the original itinerary
of the journey had been carried out.

Dohna is alltogether a genuine cavalry man
Frontsoldat a first rate horseman, passionate rider
and sportsman and allround man of the world. He
has allways been popular with everybody in his dif-
ferent employments: as Captain in the ist Dragoon
guards, later as Colonel of my Hussars of the
Guard then as Brigadier, and then as Leader of the
Guards Cavalry Division. Last not least he won
every officers esteem and sympathy in India ; so much
so that the Commander in Chief of the Forces there
has invited him to the Coronation Durbar, to which
I granted him leave. He will I trust on his return
be able to give you vivid descriptions of the unique
festivities and their unrivalled oriental splendor.
His wife is good looking most sociable, and an old
friend of mine from long standing. She enjoys an
excellent position in the Berlin Court Society.

Dohna has my entire confidence, and I trust my
choice will meet with your approval. We are deeply
distressed by poor Knesebecks 1 sudden and untimely
death. He was private secretary to my Grand-
mother for 1 1 and to my wife for 2 1 years ! A loyal

[248]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

trusted and faithful friend and a thorough gentle-
man. With best love to Alix and the children (what
is the Railway doing?) believe me dearest Nicky

Ever your devoted friend and cousin

Willy



NOTE

i. Herr Bothe von dem Kneesebeck, who died suddenly at Cassel
two days before this, was Assistant Master of Ceremonies at
the household of the Kaiserin.






[ 249 1



LXIX

NEUES PALAIS 12/1 1912
Dearest Nicky

This letter will be brought to you by Gen. count
Dohna just returned from India. He was present
at the Durbar and will be able to give you vivid
descriptions of the splendid and gorgeous scenes he
took part in. His wife, who is staying since a few
months at Petersburg to arrange his home for re-
turning husband, will I am sure and hope be as agree-
able to you and your Court as he. She writes very
happy letters about the kindness shown to her by
the society. As he is only just out of the tropics and
the change to your climat with 20 beeing very sud-
den, I crave your condescension to think of him when
opendoor ceremonies in winter are on the pro-
gramme. As he is very thin, beeing bald too I sug-
gested a warm wig forthe "Blessing of the water" !
You can decide which colour it is to have !

I once more send you my sincerest wishes for a
happy New Year, joining in your hopes and prayers
to Heaven that He may grant us a peaceful one;
well knowing that our sentiments in this point are
identical, for our 2 countries. I hope that Xmas



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

eve went off well and that no accidents happened
with my gifts; especially I hope that the little "tum-
mies" will be none the worse for their own cooking.

Is the electric Railway of last year still in good
order? I was very sorry when I heard of the death
of poor Gen. Stroukow, 1 he was an excellent man
and an old and cherished acquaintance of mine and
a loyal friend.

With my very best wishes also for Alix and the
children, from whom I had through Olga such a nice
telegram, I remain Ever

Your most aff-ate friend and cousin

Willy



NOTE

i. General Alexander P. Strukov, a well known Russian cavalry
officer.



LXX

ROMINTEN 3/X 1912

Dearest Nicky

May I venture to call your attention and also your
interest to a plan which has allready occupied my
mind since some years. During my stays at Romin-
ten I have minutely studied the question of the de-
velopment of the frontier country 1 on both sides in
my vicinity. I have come to the conclusion that the
districts on both sides of our frontier are promising
and may expect a hopeful future. But they must
be opened up and also, if possible, be brought into
relation to each other. On the enclosed railway
map, a line is marked in red, it is a new railway
which is going to be built running around the great
Rominter Heide, so as to rend the transport of wood
easier than now. The line runs from Goldap, past
Pablindsen to Szittkehmen where it strikes the
branch line to Eydtkuhnen. The line will open up
stone and gravel quarries and pits and will transport
a large amount of wood out of the Rominten forest.
Now I venture to submit to your attention the idea
wether it would not be a practical thing for your
Government to lay a line from Suwalki to Pablind-

[252]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

zen and there join our line. This would develop
commerce between the two districts in a fine way.
Pablindzen is allready a point over which a very
"lebhafter Verkehr" to and fro has developed and
is promising much more, in case a line came there.
This plan has been discussed with your authorities
since a considerable lapse of time, and I especially
had talked it over with Mr. de Stremaukow who
was very much interested in it and thought it most
necessary also in the interest of the Government of
Suwalki. He promised me he would report to you
in a favourable way about this scheme and prepare
to take an active part in furthering it, when he was
relieved from his post, and so there was an end to it.
That is a great pity because the frontier people are
most anxious for the development of this question
and he was quite acquainted with all the details of
the question on both sides of the frontier and in per-
manent "rapport" with my authorities here. All
this has stopped now, as his successor has a yet taken
no steps to communicate with his collegues accross
the frontier, though he is in office since 2 years.
Therefore the people from all sides begged me to
lay the matter directly before you. This I have
done. I beg your pardon for troubling you with
such a miserable little frontier detail; but 24 years
living among these people I have grown together
with them and they have gained confidence in me.
They are simple, quiet, laborious and as all frontier
districts a little bit forgotten, and as it is a good

[253]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

deal to help such poor fellows on, I try my luck with
you. I had good sport about 19 Stags but beast-
ly weather excepting 2 days. Today snow and hail.
Best love to Alix and the children and Waidmann-
sheil for you from Ever your

most aff-ate cousin and friend

Willy



NOTE

i. Some of the lines suggested by the Kaiser were eventually
built They had little strategic value, however, and only served
the busy traffic which was here developing.



[ 254 1



LXXI

BERLIN 3/1 13
Dearest Nicky

The messenger leaves today with my presents for
you Alix and the children. I hope that they may
please the august recipients. At the same time I
send you my heartiest wishes for Xmas and a peace-
ful New Year. I earnestly hope and trust that 1913
may prove a peaceful one, as you telegraphed to me
on New Years day. I think that on the whole the
outlook is reassuring, and that the discussions in
London, 1 which are progressing favourably, will
continue to be held in a conciliatory and friendly
spirit, in which direction the foreign Policy of your
Government so ably cooperates with all the other
Powers.

I thank you for your message Tatischeff trans-
mitted to me, who will allready have returned my
answer to you. I trust that also this matter may
be brought to a satisfactory issue and the difficulties
which have arisen overcome.

Your war minister Gen. Souchomlinow 2 paid me
a visit on his return from Leipzig. He was most

[255]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

agreeable and most interesting in his descriptions of
his deeds during the campaign 1877.

Up to now we have had a warm snowless winter
here, which allows us to indulge in nice long gallops
on horseback, nearly every day, provided it does not
pour with rain.

Goodbye dearest Nicky, my best love to Alix and
the children especially to the boy, who I hope is get-
ting better, and believe myself Ever

Your most aff-ate cousin and friend

Willy



NOTES

1. The London Conference of Ambassadors had met an Decem-
ber xyth, but their discussions did not make the favorable prog-
ress here anticipated.

2. General Wladimir A. Sukhomlinov, who was dismissed as
Minister of War and tried for corruption and mismanagement
during the Great War.



1 256 ]



LXXII

BERLIN 3/11 13
Dearest Nicky

So many thanks for your kind wishes and the
splendid gift you so kindly sent me. What a great
surprise when I entered my birthday room ! and saw
the two grand pictures. It was really a charming
idea of yours to send me those two beautiful origi-
nals which are of great artistical and historical value
to us here, as they represent portraits of so many
well known personality here. These pictures gave
me a real great pleasure, and I beg you to accept
my most hearty thanks once more.

I am so glad to see by your letter, that the dear
boy 1 is making good progress, but sorry that the
state of Alix's health is not satisfactory, I am sure
the weeks she spent in tending the boy, must have
been most trying; but confidently hope that rest and
a cure or the Crimea will soon put her to right again.

I fervently hope with you that the Balkan troubles
may soon be finally arranged without further com-
plications, and am most anxious to cooperate with
you for that purpose. Of course Austria as a near
neighbour to those parts has interests to look after.

[257]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

But I am under the Impression that in doing so, she
does not reclaim anything for herself, but only
wishes to make sure that no readjustments of the
map occur which might turn out a danger to her in
future. Adalbert is again out of bed, and tomorrow
Dona 2 will again take up her quarters together with
me. Thank God all went off so well. Best love to
Alix and the children and believe me

Ever
Your most devoted and aff-ate cousin

Willy



NOTES



1. The Czarevitch Alexei.

2. The Kaiserin.



[258]



LXXIII

BERLIN 18/111 1913
Dearest Nicky

May I inform you that we have now definitely
fixed the date for the wedding of our dear Sissy 1 for
the 24th of May.

The main object of my lines is to convey to you
and Alix our most cordial invitation to the wedding
ceremonies. We both would only be too delighted
if you could give us the pleasure of your presence
and I fervently hope that you will be able to leave
Russia for a few days to meet many of your rela-
tives; as we have asked your dear Mama, Aunt
Alix, Georgie and May, Waldemar 2 etc. to enable
all the "Geschwister" to meet each other as well as
Aunt Thyra. 3

I am so glad all your festivities 4 went off so well
and successfully, and that your boy could be present,
and that he is progressing satisfactorily, and will
soon I hope have quite recovered. After Easter
the Cumberlands 5 are coming for a visit and then
we go to Hamburg for a month, as the damned Bal-
kan muddle has deprived me of the possibility of
beeing at my heavenly paradise Corfu I

[259]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

With best love from Victoria and me to Alix and
all the children believe me Ever your most devoted
cousin and friend

Witty



NOTES

1. Princess Victoria Louise, who on May 24 married the Duke of
Brunswick.

2. The Dowager Empress, Maria Feodorovna, was not present
at the wedding. King George and Queen Mary, but not Queen
Alexandra (Aunt Alix), accepted the invitations here referred
to. Waldemar was the Grand Duke Vladimir.

3. Aunt Thyra mother of the Duke of Brunswick.

4. From the 6th to the 9th of March the sooth anniversary of the
Romanoffs' accession to the throne was celebrated throughout
Russia.

5. The Brunswick family.



[260]



LXXIV

BERLIN 30/1 14.
Dearest Nicky

Many thanks to you dear Alix and the children
for your kind wishes and the lovely china pot which
accompanied them. Thank God I could spend my
birthday in happiness especially owing to the pres-
ence of dear Sophy and Georgy who had come all
the way from Athen to spend the day with me. I am
most gratified that you still keep pleasant recollec-
tions of the visit you paid us last summer on the oc-
casion of Sissy's wedding, and you may be assured
that we all most heartily reciprocate your kind feel-
ings and remembrance.

I am so glad to hear that you all have benefited
so much by your nice stay in the Crimea, and that
especially Alix and the boy are so much better for
their visit to the sunny South.

Remember the interest, which you took a few
years ago, when you visited Homburg, and saw the
cathedral I built there, I venture to present you with
a book, which I have caused to be published about
the Chapel in the New Castle of Posen. 1 It is in the
old Byzantine Style, took 7 years work and was con-

[261]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

secrated in our presence last August. It is copied
from Motives partly from Ravenna (Theodoric the
Great's tomb) partly from Mon Reale and the
Capella Palatina in Palermo.

The mission of Bieloselsky who brought the cra-
vat for Alix's Dragoons was a very kind thought and
most appreciated by the Regiment; he is to lunch
with me on Sunday. With best love to Alix and the
dear children believe me, dearest Nicky Ever

your devoted cousin and friend

Willy



NOTE

i. The Schloss, a Romanesque structure of granite and sand-
stone, was erected in 1905-1910. In the high tower is a chapel,
decorated with mosaics. But there is nothing Byzantine about
Theodoric the Great's tomb in Ravenna.



[262]



LXXV

BERLIN 26/111 14.
Dearest Nicky

General Count Dohna, who has the honour of
beeing attached to your person, has intimated to me
his intention of leaving the service in the month of
May. By the death of his father he has inherited
a very large and extensive property as well as a very
fine castle of Finkenstein; 1 a 100 years ago the
Headquarter of Napoleon I before the battle of
Eylau. He is absolutely necessary for the personal
administration of it and so to my great regret I must
accede to his wish. As remplacant for him I intend
to send you, with your kind approval, his Excellency
Gen. Lieut, v. Chelius. 2 He was my Regimental
adjutant when I commanded the Leib Garde Hus-
ars, spent several years in Rome as militaire attache,
commanded my old Hussar Regiment as Colonel
with great distinction, and was on my personal ser-
vice since then. He is quite phenomenal as musi-
cian, and plays piano as well as Rubinstein, d' Albert
or any other great artist. He is very agreeable and
quite discret and absolutely reliable; he is to accom-
pany me to Corfu next month. He speaks fluently

[263]



Letters from the Kaiser to the Czar

German, English, Italian and Ancient Greek, and

is one of my most intimate personal friends I have.

With best love to Alix and the children Ever your

most aff-ate cousin and friend

Willy



NOTES

1. The Castle of Finkelstein, in East Prussia, is about 20 miles
east of the Vistula and 50 southwest from Preuss-Eylau where
Napoleon fought and defeated the Russians and Prussians un-
der General Bennigsen on February 8, 1807.

2. The last personal attache of the Kaiser's to the Czar's Court.



[264]



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Online LibraryGerman Emperor William IILetters from the Kaiser to the Czar : copied from government archives in Petrograd unpublished before 1920 → online text (page 15 of 15)