Wilhelm II, German Emperor

German Emperor and King of Prussia from 1888 to 1918
(Redirected from Emperor Wilhelm II)

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia and Germany (Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Hohenzollern, 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor and the last King of Prussia. Ruling from 1888 to 1918, he went to live in the Netherlands and abdicated (resigned) as King and Emperor. This was the end of the Hohenzollern dynasty. He died in the Netherlands at Huis Doorn, and he is buried there because he ordered not to be buried in Nazi Germany. He died on June 4, 1941.

Wilhelm II
Photograph of a middle-aged Wilhelm II with a moustache
Portrait by T. H. Voigt, 1902
German Emperor
King of Prussia
Reign15 June 1888 – 9 November 1918
PredecessorFrederick III
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Born(1859-01-27)27 January 1859
Kronprinzenpalais, Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia
Died4 June 1941(1941-06-04) (aged 82)
Huis Doorn, Doorn, Netherlands
Burial9 June 1941
Huis Doorn, Doorn
Full name
German: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert
English: Frederick William Victor Albert
FatherFrederick III, German Emperor
MotherVictoria, Princess Royal
ReligionLutheranism (Prussian United)
SignatureWilhelm II's signature

He was involved in the Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1901 fighting against the Qing Dynasty Empire. In July 1914 he promised to support emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria against Serbia. This led to World War 1. He fled to the Netherlands in 1918 after Germany surrendered in World War 1 after losing many battles. Germany lost its Colonies and became the Weimar Republic .

Early life


Wilhelm was born on 27 January 1859 and was the oldest child in his family. His father was Prince Frederick of Prussia. His mother was Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. He was born with a disabled left arm.

He married in 1881 Augusta Victoria. He and his wife had seven children. He studied at the Kassel Gymnasium and then at the University of Bonn.

He became leader of Germany in 1888, when his father died. He disagreed with his father's longtime chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, and dismissed him in 1890.

Wilhelm believed in strengthening Germany’s armed forces, especially the navy. He led Germany during World War I. In November 9th, 1918, Wilhelm II stepped down from the throne, ending the German Empire.

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