Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nefertiti & Kaiser Wilhelm II

Kaiser Wilhelm II
Having been buried under the desert sand of Egypt for 1,500 years, the bust of Nefertitiwas dug up in 1912, and taken to Germany. 
The man who funded the expedition which found her, Henri James Simon, a Jewish German entrepreneur, had a copy made of the bust and on October 3, 1913 gave it to Kaiser Wilhelm II. The photograph to the left was inscribed by the Kaiser to Simon.
The Kaiser ruled as emperor of the German empire and as king of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 18 November 1918.
The Kaiser, who believed that Germany had a right to use force to gain its rightful place in the sun, fled to the Netherlands on November 9, 1918, after disasterous defeats of the German army. 
He lived in exile for 22 years, having been banned by the Dutch authorities, who restricted his movements to 30 kilometers around the town of Doorn, and censored his letters.
Queen Wilhelmina of Holland resisted the intense pressure put on her by Britain and America to hand the Kaiser over to face hanging as a war criminal.
The Kaiser bought an estate of 60 hectares known as Huis Doorn in August 1919, and lived there until his death on June 4, 1941. 
Despite Hitler's desire to give him a state funeral, the Kaiser's wish to be buried in a small mausoleum on the lawn of his home was honored; he wanted his body to remain there in what he regarded as German soil until the monarchy was restored in Germany.
Kaiser Wilhelm II's saddle-chair
The Kaiser was not a lover of trees: between 1926 and 1929 the fit old man cut down 17,300 trees on his estate, leaving large areas denuded, much to the horror of his Dutch hosts.
He also had unusual work habits, dispensing with a chair in his office and using a stool with a saddle placed on top. The Kaiser claimed that this helped him concentrate.
The Kaiser kept his copy of the bust of Nefertiti in the study of Huis Doorn.
A copy of the lonely queen, kept by the lonely emperor in exile in a foreign land, and unable – due to opposition by people in power – to return to their homes.

Huis Doorn - exile home of Kaiser Wilhelm II

James Simon - who gave a copy of the Nefertiti bust to Kaiser Wilhelm II

Study of Kaiser Wilhelm II in Huis Doorn 

Copy of Nefertiti bust given to Kaiser Wilhelm II by James Simon in 1913

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