As a supporter of eventual Habsburg restoration, I naturally welcome progress in His Imperial Majesty's beatification.
I do not, however, approve of the condescending and accusatory tone against Kaiser Wilhelm, another of my personal heroes. Germany's support for Austria-Hungary after the murder of the Archduke and Archduchess was in fulfillment of a debt of honour, and most assuredly NOT in Germany's best practical interests, as members of the General Staff and other imperial advisors had pointed out to Kaiser Wilhelm.
German conduct in this matter had been as virtuous as Italy's and Russia's had been despicable. The houses of Romanov and Savoy had, in effect, put themselves squarely in support of regicide and nationalistic terrorism.
Had Kaiser Wilhelm been of the same moral quality as his illustrious but unscrupulous ancestor Frederic II, he would have colluded with "the Allies" in divvying up Austria-Hungary much as the violators of the Pragmatic Sanction wanted to do in 1740. He could certainly have gotten deutsch-Oesterreich in return for betraying Franz Josef to the Russians.
While we can praise Kaiser Karl as "the Peace Emperor", it should nonetheless be borne in mind the moral quality of the people with whom he was negotiating such a unilateral and dishonourable peace -- the English, the French, and the Americans. Minions of Satan, all.
It is unfortunate, but in dealing with these people, he was basically willing to sacrifice Germany to preserve Austria. Had Kaiser Wilhelm had the same attitude towards Austria in 1914, the Great War may have been postponed, but there would have been no Austria-Hungary left for a Kaiser Karl to rule.
Alas, Wilhelm II has been singled out as 'scapegoat #1' for the Great War, with all of his good qualities ignored and all of his shortcomings magnified to absurd proportions.
I do not think the soon-to-be Blessed Kaiser Karl I was willing to sacrifice Germany for Austria, he could see where this war was going and urged Germany to give up Elsass-Lothringen, for which he would compensate them with territory of his own--better to lose a province than the whole empire after all. In fact, he was about the only world leader willing to concede in the name of peace.
However, that being said, I have bored many an individual with my explanation that Wilhelm II was not being entirely obstinate, but simply more realistic than his Austrian kamerad (though as half-English obstinancy was in his nature). Karl I suffered from a common disorder of the saintly: his purity inhibited him from seeing the impurity of others. He deserves every honor for his heartfelt desire to make peace, but Wilhelm II realized that the Allies were bent on nothing less than their total annihilation and that any attempt to negotiate only served to show that the Central Powers were become desperate.
Wilhelm II (like Franz Josef) was simply out-of-date. He still believed a monarch was answerable to God rather than politicians or ever shifting popular opinion.
Gott Erhalte Unser Kaiser!
posted on 01/05/2004 12:20:22 AM PST
(“Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et tibi dabo claves regni coelorum”)
"Italy's and Russia's had been despicable."
Don't forget Russia's ally, France -- without whom she would not have moved . . .
posted on 09/28/2004 4:49:33 PM PDT
(Proudly served in the National Guard)
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