How did Wilhelm II react to the death of Nicholas II?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,288
Republika Srpska
#1
Nicholas II and his family were killed in July 1918. Wilhelm II was still the Emperor of Germany at the time. I wondered: what was his reaction to the Tsar's murder? Sure, their countries were at war but Wilhelm and Nicholas were cousins and had even written letters to each other (the known Willy-Nicky correspondence). Did the Kaiser feel any guilt at all because after all it was Germany that allowed Lenin to return to Russia? Was he perhaps happy that one of his adversaries was now gone? Somehow I doubt that, because I don't think Wilhelm would want the murder of any European monarch lest it sets a precedent.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#2
If the information here is accurate, this is what Willy said when he found out about Nicky's murder at the hands of the Bolsheviks:

https://www.quora.com/How-did-Willi...-he-feel-any-personal-sense-of-responsibility

“The blood of the unhappy Tsar is not at my door; not on my hands,”

Also, it's worth noting that while Germany could have tried making the Tsar's (and his family's) release a precondition for agreeing to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, they did not do so.
 
Dec 2011
4,381
Iowa USA
#3
If the information here is accurate, this is what Willy said when he found out about Nicky's murder at the hands of the Bolsheviks:

https://www.quora.com/How-did-William-II-feel-about-the-execution-of-his-cousin-the-Tsar-Nicholas-II-by-the-Bolsheviks-Given-Germany’s-role-in-bringing-them-to-power-did-he-feel-any-personal-sense-of-responsibility

“The blood of the unhappy Tsar is not at my door; not on my hands,”

Also, it's worth noting that while Germany could have tried making the Tsar's (and his family's) release a precondition for agreeing to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, they did not do so.
To build on the latter thought, I have never even read a suggestion that this was a topic of negotiation.

I guess the knowledge of Dutch (even Danish) neutrality allowed Wilhelm to not be forced to consider the possibility of revolution leading to the same fate?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#4
To build on the latter thought, I have never even read a suggestion that this was a topic of negotiation.
It probably wasn't ever a topic of negotiation. Still, the Germans could have made it a topic of negotiation if they so desired. Of course, it's also possible that the Germans didn't know that the Bolsheviks were going to kill the Russian royal family until it was too late.

I guess the knowledge of Dutch (even Danish) neutrality allowed Wilhelm to not be forced to consider the possibility of revolution leading to the same fate?
Yeah, probably. (Also, you forgot to mention Swiss neutrality here. :))

What I find interesting, though, is that the German revolutionaries never managed to acquire widespread acceptance of the new German republic afterwards. They were able to topple the Kaiser, but afterwards, a lot of Germans appear to have been unreconciled to the new German republic until the end of WWII.
 
Dec 2011
4,381
Iowa USA
#5
It probably wasn't ever a topic of negotiation. Still, the Germans could have made it a topic of negotiation if they so desired. Of course, it's also possible that the Germans didn't know that the Bolsheviks were going to kill the Russian royal family until it was too late.



Yeah, probably. (Also, you forgot to mention Swiss neutrality here. :))

What I find interesting, though, is that the German revolutionaries never managed to acquire widespread acceptance of the new German republic afterwards. They were able to topple the Kaiser, but afterwards, a lot of Germans appear to have been unreconciled to the new German republic until the end of WWII.
The Social Democrat leadership were antagonists with the Revolutionaries that may have been inclined towards a dictatorship of the proletariat, though. (As you already know I'm sure.)
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#6
The Social Democrat leadership were antagonists with the Revolutionaries that may have been inclined towards a dictatorship of the proletariat, though. (As you already know I'm sure.)
Only something like 15% of Germans voted for the Communists in the Weimar era, though. In turn, this raises an interesting question--did a majority of Germans actually want this revolution, or was it simply a vocal and active minority who successfully made this possible?
 
Likes: Kotromanic
Dec 2011
4,381
Iowa USA
#7
Only something like 15% of Germans voted for the Communists in the Weimar era, though. In turn, this raises an interesting question--did a majority of Germans actually want this revolution, or was it simply a vocal and active minority who successfully made this possible?
There was attempted but aborted attempt at revolution, no more than that. Yes, for a period of perhaps three or four weeks control of Berlin was contested. The military and bureaucracy "answered the bell".
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#8
There was attempted but aborted attempt at revolution, no more than that. Yes, for a period of perhaps three or four weeks control of Berlin was contested. The military and bureaucracy "answered the bell".
The revolution did succeed in getting rid of the Kaiser, though. In turn, this raises the question of "Why?"

Were the German elites willing to simply throw the Kaiser under the bus in an attempt to placate the German revolutionaries and perhaps try to divide them? I mean, the Spartacists were ultimately crushed, but when this was done, there was no attempt to bring back the German Kaiser or at least bring a new Kaiser to Germany in the form of one of Willy's sons or grandsons. This raises the question: "How come?"
 
Likes: Kotromanic
Dec 2011
4,381
Iowa USA
#9
The revolution did succeed in getting rid of the Kaiser, though. In turn, this raises the question of "Why?"

Were the German elites willing to simply throw the Kaiser under the bus in an attempt to placate the German revolutionaries and perhaps try to divide them? I mean, the Spartacists were ultimately crushed, but when this was done, there was no attempt to bring back the German Kaiser or at least bring a new Kaiser to Germany in the form of one of Willy's sons or grandsons. This raises the question: "How come?"
You presented a good question there.

The eldest grandson was probably older than 15, since Willy was born in '60 or maybe '61? It is interesting I haven't seen speculation about a grandson before.

EDIT: Crown Prince W.'s oldest son would turn 13, rather than 15, in July of '19.

A regency of six or seven years and retaining the monarchy might have been most practical choice. I think America was a bit foolhardy with the emphasis on ending the Prussian dynasty. Of course, hindsight is preferred too.
 
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