This offering consists of two original photographs of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) after WW I ‘s end, while he lived in the Netherlands. After WW I ended, Kaiser Wilhelm II was exiled to live the balance of his life in the Netherlands at Huis Doorn. It was an agreeable place to live, if not as exciting as ruling over Germany. Wilhelm II was nearly sixty years old when he went into exile. While Huis Doorn is a lovely estate (I have had the privilege to visit it several times), it is certainly not like the castles that Wilhelm II left behind. The elderly Kaiser suddenly had a lot of spare time on his hands. He was quite good about answering letters from admirers. He would answer people who had written to him and send autographed photos or postcards when asked by them or if he felt the people would like it. Wilhelm II had always been very generous with gifts. He continued that to some extent, giving items that he had brought with him from Germany in 50+ railroad boxcars.
The former Kaiser also tried to keep himself fit. He was constantly involved in the cutting down of trees to feed the fireplaces and cooking stoves. The first photograph measures 3 ¼” x 4 ¼.” It shows the Kaiser and four other men seated at a table in the wood-cutting area. A large pile of firewood can be seen behind him. The Kaiser and the other men are all wearing business suits and ties. A large German Shepherd sits near the Kaiser. Actually, the primary dogs that Wilhelm II owned were Daschunds. Between Kaiser Wilhelm II’s crypt and the main home are several small graves where the house dogs are buried.
The second photo is much larger and measures 7″ x 9½.” In this photograph Wilhelm II and seven other men are involved in cutting down trees. In an interesting note, I see no less than three of the men (possibly more) are wearing military trousers. As Wilhelm II had a withered arm, he chopped wood one-handed with a hatchet.
This is a wonderful two photo set that gives you a glimpse into a deposed-emperor’s life in exile.