Talk:Wilhelm II, German Emperor

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Harden-Eulenburg affair

Why is there no mention at all of the Kaiser's likely bisexuality, in particular the Harden-Eulenburg Affair, which in Wikipedia's own words is "considered the biggest domestic scandal of the German Second Empire"? (talk) 11:51, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

First of all, why is everyone on Wikipedia so obsessed with accusing every single Prussian King of being homosexual? Not only does it make no sense that they all were, but also, this obsession is really something that feels out of place to me in the 21st century. All that aside, there is no indication whatsoever that the Eulenburg Affair points to a possible homosexuality of Wilhelm. No serious historian today would make that assumption. Zwerg Nase (talk) 12:26, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Every modern serious study addresses the issue of Wilhelm's sexuality in some form. e.g Kaiser Wilhelm II New Interpretations: The Corfu Papers published by Cambridge University Press: "The view of Wilhelm II as a repressed homosexual is gathering support as the Eulenberg correspondence and similar new evidence is studied and digested. It is a view which certainly helps explain several of the peculiar characteristics of the emperor and- some would say - of his empire….Nevertheless, repressed homosexuality…was surely not the most basic fact of his life. The disturbance lay deeper, at a more primitive level." p48-50.
However, aside from this, the Harden-Eulenberg affair needs to be in the article in some form because it was one of the biggest scandals of Wilhelm's reign - probably the biggest. And like the Kotze affair (äre) which is also unaccountably missing from the article, damaged the reputation of Wilhelm and popularity of the monarchy. Their omission is akin to leaving out Watergate from Nixon's article. Eulenberg was his closest friend for God's sake: the impact of the scandal on his public image was immense. I'm presuming at least one or both had been in the article earlier but possibly written in a non-neutral tone guaranteed to incite bigots and/or mad monarchists. They need to be mentioned for historical accuracy. Engleham (talk) 13:12, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I will include all the affairs once I get to a do-over of this article, which will probably be towards the end of the year. However, if anyone can do it before that, feel free to start :) Zwerg Nase (talk) 15:36, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I've added three sentences on the Eulenberg scandal: its most important impact was, of course, the change it created in foreign policy. Have also added one sentence on the Kotze affair. Engleham (talk) 17:17, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
The Harden-Eulenburg affair should be mentioned in the lede as it began in 1908 at the same time as his Telegraph interview. (Jdkd44 (talk) 19:59, 9 September 2016 (UTC))
@Jdkd44: No it did not. It began in November 1906. Zwerg Nase (talk) 14:13, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Whatever was written on the Eulenburg affair appears to have been removed again for unclear reasons. While the Daily Telegraph affair was damaging for Wilhelm's personal prestige, the Eulenburg affair undermined confidence in the whole ruling elite of the German empire (so much so that Harden later regretted his role in publicizing it). It should be included, and prominently as well.--Ilja.nieuwland (talk) 17:51, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Ribbentrop's father was sacked from a government job for saying the Kaiser was gay. Valetude (talk) 23:57, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Mental disorder?

Has it ever been determined what mental problem he had? (Jdkd44 (talk) 19:46, 9 September 2016 (UTC))

He was a little too full of himself. He was also not too bright. Those are not really mental problems. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 19:53, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Was he clinically insane? (Jdkd44 (talk) 19:58, 9 September 2016 (UTC))
No, I've never heard of any indication of that. He was a very inept monarch, remember that the German Emperor carried considerable powers in theory. He just wasn't up to it. But we are not dealing with an insane person here. Basically a victim of circumstances he was unable to deal with. But that's just my opinion... The trouble was also that the same thing applied to the Russian Tsar at that point in time. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:02, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Wilhelm might have had his problems, but he was not a stupid man. Do not underestimate the influence of WW1 propaganda, and the desire after the conflict by many in Germany, particularly in the military, to cleanse themselves of responsibility for the debacle and shift the blame to a Kaiser that was now safely locked away in the Netherlands. That, in turn, influenced the nazi image of Wilhelm as a beacon of ineptitude (in contrast to, for instance, Bismarck and Hindenburg) that still haunts his image today. --Ilja.nieuwland (talk) 17:41, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

The article already briefly mentions that his physical disability may have affected his mentality and emotions: "A traumatic breech birth left him with a withered left arm due to Erb's palsy, which he tried with some success to conceal. In many photos he carries a pair of white gloves in his left hand to make the arm seem longer, holds his left hand with his right, or has his crippled arm on the hilt of a sword or holding a cane to give the effect of a useful limb posed at a dignified angle. His left arm was about 6 inches (15 centimetres) shorter than his right arm. Historians have suggested that this disability affected his emotional development"

Then again, I would guess most people with crippling disabilities may be self-conscious about them and/or have some emotional issues to deal with. Dimadick (talk) 08:31, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Documentaries and Films

Under this section heading, proposed addition: Christopher Plummer plays an elderly Wilhelm II in exile, in the 2017 film The Exception. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Sidney Reilly

I wonder if Sidney Reilly really did impersonate one of the Kaiser's generals, as was alleged in the book Reilly: Ace of Spies Glammazon (talk) 17:18, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

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