"House Doorn" Doorn by nighthawk

Doorn Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 33 photos

This is the place where former German emperor Wilhelm lived the last years of his life.

House Doorn, it was as if the emperor had gone out to chop some wood and we had sneaked in during his absence....I cannot remember much of it for it was ages ago but I would like going back there to see if my memory serves me right :)

Was it a war criminal or just a emperor not longer wanted who came to live in Doorn on November 10th 1918.
No one ever told me Wilhelm was a war criminal. To me he just was an old fashioned king and warrior.
Surely, he loved going to war but as far as I know he never went for the killing.
WW I caused suffering enough and Wilhelm sure was the one who caused a lot of it.
Yet his nationalistic attitude fitted the time frame of the time round 1900. The extension of the fleet and the army showed German to be a growing country. Germany wanted to play a main part in the European politics.
Those politics showed in the love Wilhelm had for militarism.
It showed in the way Wilhelm liked to dress himself for his wardrobe contained many uniforms which he liked to show at certain occasions.
Wilhelm loved to gather colonies and tried to grab what was left by England and France.
He talked often with the Russian Czar Nicholas II and also with his uncle the king of England, Edward VII. He also contacted the Ottoman Reign. As goal for these talks he thought of alliances with these countries and on the other hand, Wilhelm tried to break with already made pacts, like the Entente Cordiale between England and France.
Despite many conferences with Edward VII concrete deals never were made.
Because of the many alliances between the European countries it was clear that if war came between two countries, many other countries would somehow be involved as well.
And thus happened....in 1914 WW II began.
At the end of the war Germany had no more alliances. Former allies Ottoman reign and Austria-Hungary were defeated.
Thanks to the Americans a break through was forced and Germany had to bow. The German army officers had already lost faith in their emperor and on November 9th the republic was founded by the socialist Scheidemann.
In 1919 the republic got her constitutional law in Weimar.

Refugee in Doorn

The day after the republic was proclaimed Wilhelm II, emperor of the German Reign, stood on the tiny railway station of Eijsden (province of Limburg).
His choice of going to the Netherlands was kinda logic. First of all it was close by and secondly Wilhelm wanted to take some stuff.... 59 wagon loads of furniture to be exactly ... Secondly The Netherlands had remained neutral during WW I and the Dutch harboured no grudge against the emperor. Wilhelm had acknowledged the Dutch neutrality in 1907when he visited here. During that same visit Wilhelm pointed out the close ties between the Oranges and the Hohenzollern, tho this doesn t have to be a motivation for him to choose The Netherlands. They didn t love eachother that much.
Queen mother Emma and her spouse Hendrik did visit Wilhelm, but Wilhelmina *daughter of Emma and Hendrik* never visited 'wilhelm when he lived in Doorn.

Before Wilhelm bought the house in Doorn, he stayed on a castle in Amerongen for a period of time. Here he officially gave up his rights to the emperor throne.
Wilhelm II lived on House Doorn from 1920 up to his death in 1941.
Up to today the house shows what entourage the emperor lived in.
The interior shows 'his' emperor dynasty of the Hohenzollern and also shows the bonds he had with the Dutch Orange family. Graag geziene gast

Nothing in the interior show the brute, cruel dictator.
The inhabitants of Doorn also thought good of Wilhelm and they welcomed him with open arms. At his 70th and 80th birthday he got a gift of the people of Doorn, they showed their affection for the royal inhabitant.
Wilhelm had no freedom of travel and that is why he went to the village quite often.
He also loved to be in the parc which was part of house Doorn. He built a rosegarden and a gateway.
His favourite passing of time was chopping of wood.
During the evening guests had to listen to endless monologues by Wilhelm on political subjects.

Wilhelm II died during German occupation on June 4th 1941 as a result of a faint swoon while he was chopping wood.
A mausoleum was built in the garden of house Doorn in 1942 and his remains were put to rest in this place.

  • Last visit to Doorn: Aug 1987
  • Intro Updated Dec 9, 2002
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nighthawk

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