The History Place - World War I

Former German Kaiser, Wilhelm Hohenzollern, who continued his habit of wearing uniforms even after his downfall. As Emperor of Germany, he had yearned to rule an empire to rival Great Britain, but failed. Below: The ex-Kaiser walks in the garden of a small estate in Holland that he was allowed to live on after his abdication. He left German Army Headquarters in Belgium at 5 a.m. on November 10, 1918, and was reluctantly admitted into Holland. On November 28, 1918, he signed the abdication instrument formally renouncing the Crown of Prussia and the German Imperial Crown, and releasing Germany's military from its oath of allegiance to him. In March 1919, he gave his only post-war interview to a British reporter, denying all responsibility for the war while pinning the blame on the Russians for the war's outbreak. In 1922, his memoirs, similarly themed, were published by newspapers in serial format, generating worldwide scorn for him. Forbidden by the Dutch government from engaging in any political activities, the ex-Kaiser lived a quiet retirement until his death in June 1941.

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