06.05.

1882: Kronprinz Wilhelm – Last Crown Prince of the German Empire

1882: Kronprinz Wilhelm – Last Crown Prince of the German Empire
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Wilhelm Meeting Adolf Hitler in 1933

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 6 May 1882
  • Crown Prince Wilhelm supported Adolf Hitler at the time of the rise of Nazism. He probably hoped that Hitler would allow the return of the royal family to the Reich throne. 
  • Crown Prince Wilhelm supported Adolf Hitler at the time of the rise of Nazism. He probably hoped that Hitler would allow the return of the royal family to the Reich throne. 

On this day in 1882, the last Crown Prince of the German Empire was born. He was the eldest son of the famous Emperor (Kaiser) Wilhelm II and had the same name as his father – Wilhelm.

In German history he is best known as the “Kronprinz Wilhelm” (Crown Prince Wilhelm). The German Empire was established in 1871 and extinguished in 1918, after its defeat in World War I.

Crown Prince Wilhelm was one of emperor’s six sons. When all six of them grew up, their appearance in public with their ​​father was an impressive sight, especially considering that all six were taller than their father.

In uniform, they looked like an entire military unit that was born to the emperor. All six were born in a span of only about eight years.

Wilhelm, the eldest, was supposed to inherit the throne from his father. This, however, never happened because the German Empire was abolished in 1918.

The Emperor went into exile in the Netherlands, specifically to a castle near the town of Doorn near Utrecht. On the contrary, Crown Prince Wilhelm settled on the island of Wieringen near the Dutch coast (due to the Dutch draining efforts, that island is now part of the mainland).

The Crown Prince was in exile for about five years, and then in 1923 he was allowed to return to Germany.

Recall, in the same 1923 Adolf Hitler tried for the first time to take power in Germany in a failed “Bear Hall Putsch” in Munich.

It seems that Crown Prince also had political ambitions. He even considered running for president of Germany in the 1925 elections, against Hindenburg, but his father the emperor banned it (the emperor was still alive in the Netherlands at the time).

Crown Prince Wilhelm supported Adolf Hitler at the time of the rise of Nazism. He probably hoped that Hitler would allow the return of the royal family to the Reich’s throne.

Of course, Hitler did not find it particularly interesting, so the imperial family was marginalized during the majority of World War II.

Crown Prince Wilhelm survived the end of that war, nevertheless staying in Germany on family estates, and died only in 1951. He died in the town of Hechingen south of Stuttgart, aged 69.

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