There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 11:00
Part Two: Kaiser Wilhelm: The Saddest Warlord In History
Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Survive on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, it's Bobby Bones from the Bobby cast. We are Nashville's most listened to music podcast in depth interviews with your favorite country artists, plus the biggest songwriters and producers in Nashville, all from the comfort of my own home so it gets a little more laid back. They're sharing stories behind the biggest songs in country music and personal stories that you will not hear anywhere else. So if you love country music, I think you will love this podcast. Listen to the Bobby cast. On iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcast. Welcome back to behind the ********. I'm Robert Evans, and this is part two of our episode on Kaiser Vilhelm. The second. Now, before we get into the episode, because I I think it's important that you know about the bastardry being practiced by the hosts of the show. I need to tell everyone that Jamie Loftus is dipping popcorn into salad, dressing like a *** **** monster I got. ******* OK, first of all, yes, that is what I'm doing. I got dragged the last time. I was on this show because I mentioned that I dipped bagels in ketchup and there was a I said that was fine. I'm OK with the popcorn dipping into dressing. I am not OK with the popcorn fully support you because I know. I think that's a sin. You have like taste buds that need more. I need, I need. Yeah, right. Yeah, I have no, I have poor people taste buds. So I hope, I hope very desperately, Jamie, that this makes you less judgmental of the Kaiser. Because I firmly believe that the the millions he got killed. The trenches of Europe and you dipping your popcorn into salad dressing are equivalent crimes. They're OK, Sir. I it's first of all, this is your battle of the Psalm. This is not ideal. I would prefer to dip popcorn in soy sauce. There's no soy sauce here. I go for salad dressing, dipping popcorn and soy sauce is your Verdun. Here's the thing. I like to make dry food wet. I can't explain why. I'm sure there's a very ****** ** motivation behind it, but when the food is dry, I'm like, let's moisten this up. Let's see what happens. Horrible. It's good. Horrible. I've never been so proud to be your friend, Jamie, thank you so much. It actually, I'm. I feel bad because I'm sure the salad dressing is stinky, but I know. But nevertheless, on board. Well, live your truth, baby. Hmm? Does this make you uncomfortable? I was just gonna say, Speaking of living your truth, let's talk about what happens when a profoundly damaged young man becomes the King of Germany and then gets a chance to live his truth. I've got his birth chart upward. Let's figure this out. Let's do it. What does it say about people of his astrological sign was leading the Imperial German military? Well, here's the thing. I did his Natal chart, but that's a little too complicated. What everyone needs to know is he's an Aquarius and Aquarian leaders. You know, they're positive traits. They're open minded, right? They're creative. He was an artist, right? They're free spirited, negative traits. Really bad stuff across the board of fur leaders. Impulsive, unpredictable, inconsistent. Extreme and stubborn. So you know, it was foretold. I wouldn't call him open minded in any way, but yeah, a lot of that tracks. It was crazy. I feel like I'll get dragged more for invoking astrology than I will for dipping popcorn and salad dressing because, you know, they're positive traits. They're open minded, right? They're creative. He was an artist, right? They're free spirited, negative traits. Really bad stuff across the board for leaders. Impulsive, unpredictable, inconsistent. Stream and stubborn. So you know, it was foretold. I wouldn't call him open minded in any way, but a lot of that tracks was crazy. I feel like I'll get dragged more for invoking astrology than I will for dipping popcorn and salad dressing. And they're both horrible crimes against humanity. You know what? I'm living a very vile life over here now. The Reich that Kaiser Willhelm inherited had been built and largely managed by Otto von Bismarck. And above all else, Bismarck wanted peace. The system of alliances he crafted for Germany were essentially again like I said, that era's version of mutually assured destruction. Starting a war with Germany would mean fighting with Russia, too, and Russia controlled 1/6 of the planet's surface. This was a pretty good system while it lasted. Bismarck was a a monster, but not a dumb man knew what he was doing, but Vilhelm came to power with distinct and probably agonizing memories of his father's martial prowess and military victories. He had been insecure his entire life because of his arm and the complete lack of praise he received from Hanspeter. Likewise, his wife in Bismarck had succeeded in inculcating a deep antipathy of his parents and of England in him. Krieser Vilhelm, the second a concise life, describes the mine site. All of this resulted in once the young man came to power and was given the world's most powerful land army quote. Prince Wilhelm's mindset on the threshold of succeeding to the throne was characterized by bellicose ambition and contempt for parliaments and political parties, indeed for civilians in General, Britain must be destroyed was his watchword, and he was already developing a passion for the idea of a strong German Navy. But Paris too had to be destroyed, he railed. Vilhelm was naturally very much in favor of war and hopes it will break out soon, General Waldersee noted with Glee on 25th January 1887. Under the latter's influence, the Prince also advocated war with Russia. That young man once war with Russia and would like to draw his sword straight away if he could, Chancellor Bismarck recorded with dismay in 1888. So, and to be clear, he doesn't come to power until he is nearly 30 years old. That right. So at this point, we're like, this is no longer 29. Yeah. Yeah. He's not a boy anymore. A juvenile young boy who wants to have sex with his mother's hand. This is a grown *** petty man who wants to have sex with his, who wants to have sex with his mother's hand. Of course. Yeah. Now Bismarck was also deeply concerned about the young emperors almost violent hatred of Jewish people. This was the result of the influence of 1 Adolf von Stoker, the court chaplain. Now Stoker was a member of the Christian Socialist Movement, an anti-Semitic far right party that also hated Catholics. Phil Helms parents and grandmother had all been disgusted by discrimination and had pushed to end it in their country. But Vilhelm wanted to blaze a new, much more racist path and he was supported in this by the Prussian officer Corps, who are also thoroughly bigoted. The Kaiser and his new allies wanted to keep the German race pure, stop Jewish immigration, and remove Jews from positions in schools and public office. Before his ascension, Bismarck had rebuked the Prince for his support of anti-Semitism. This sparked a passive aggressive battle between the two men from Van der Kiste biography of Vilhelm. When Bismarck had articles published in the official press taking the religious conservatives to task for using Vilhelm, the latter wrote petulantly to hints Peter that he did not deserve such treatment. As for the chancellor's sake, he had for years locked myself. Out of my parents house and about the same time, Vilhelm drafted a proclamation to the German Princess which was to be published in the event of his session. Bismarck told him to burn it soaking. Vilhelm replied that when he came to the throne, he would have all Jewish influence over. The press stopped. Told that this would be a violation of the Constitution, Vilhelms said grandly that they would have to get rid of the Constitution as well. Sounds like someone we know. Yeah, yeah. If you look up Kaiser Wilhelm, Donald Trump, there's like a dozen different articles that different people have written about. Similarities between the two men, I think, for one thing, I think that's I don't entirely agree with that for a number of reasons. One of them is that Vilhelm is an infinitely more sympathetic figure than Donald Trump, right? But there there are some similarities in that that that would definitely be one of them. Oh, wow. There's a whole, there's a whole *** **** New Yorker article. Yeah, there's a ton of articles about the similarities between the two men. Well, and again, yeah. Vilhelm was fond of making these sorts of grand threats and pronouncements like the one he made against Russia and England. Fortunately, they rarely resulted in anything. He was easy to talk down, and he was liable to balk at the last minute from acting on any of his rhetoric. But the rhetoric itself had a damaging. Effect on international relations. They'll helm deeply worried the rest of Europe when he made this pronouncement to the people of Germany after taking the crown, we were born to each other. I and the army. We were born for each other, and will cleave indissolubly to each other, whether it be the will of God to send us to calm or storm. You will soon swear fealty and submission to me and I promise ever to bear in mind from the world above. The eyes of my forefathers looked down on me, and that I shall one day have to stand accountable for them, for the glory and honor of the army. Also, why can't you have sex with your mother's hand? That should be equal TTYL Vilhelm. Now, the Kaiser had no real military experience and no aptitude whatsoever for warfare, but he felt that he had to portray himself as a mighty warlord, in part because his father and grandfather had been mighty warlords. That was kind of precious whole deal. So to compensate for being just a dude with a bad arm, bill home collected an absurd amount of military uniforms. His cousin, the Queen of Romania, wrote that he changed his uniform several times a day as a smart woman changes her gown now vanderkar. I know it's about to get embarrassing her because Vander kiss book goes into detail about just how extensive Phil Holmes wardrobe really was. OK. In addition to his much cherished foreign uniforms, he had a full one for every Prussian regiment over 300 alone, to say nothing of those of Bavaria, Saxony and Wurttemberg as well as naval and marine uniforms all had their own individual badges, sashes, caps, helmets, epilepsy, shoulder points, belts, swords, lances and firearms. The resulting wardrobe and Armory had to be housed in a hall containing. Huge wardrobes, with a camera diner on duty from morning tonight to select the shortest possible notice any outfit he might require. According to Anne Topham, his daughter's governess, he cut a fine figure in military dress, but in civilian clothes the effect was completely lacking. Many German gentlemen lost much appearance when out of uniform, but none to the extent that their emperor did. He no longer had any shred of dignity, and, curiously enough, that charm of manner was also bereft of its influence and merged into what was an offensive, wearisome buffoonery. He was wise, she added, not to appear. Before his subjects, except in uniform. Ah, God, I like how he's he's just like, how could I possibly not be a war hero? Look at all my shirts. Like, you're like, yeah, that's not how that works. Pause pizzas here. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying. Or for a family. And it meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month, and no one expected plot twists at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet. Very happy at Mint Mobilcom behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people and so alleviating poverty? Is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. You're mirabar mate. Courage already runs in your blood. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. Sisters of the Underground is a new scripted series about fearless women exploring the life and legacy of the Mirabal sisters, Dominican women who were brave enough to challenge decades of oppression. Together, they led their country toward a revolution against Rafael Trujillo, the brutal dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic for 30 years. No, please, please help us. Do you has blood on his hands? From executive producers Dania Ramirez and Eva Longoria, that's me, comes the powerful retelling of this all too relevant narrative. Listen to sisters of the underground as part of Michael Toura podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. O we're we're back. They received pizza in the room, and Jamie and I are talking about all the articles comparing Kaiser Vilhelm to Trump. And one of the things I noted is that, like, nobody ever really defends Kaiser Belham one of my, one of my weird hobbies is I like to go on YouTube, and I like to find collections of Imperial Prussian and Imperial British and Imperial Russian. Like court music, like military marches and stuff like that. And I like to read the comments. I like to read the comments because the comments are filled with monarchists, with people who, like, desperately want to return to monarchy in Europe. And they're all the saddest, dumbest people in the entire world. And it's it's I like to read their arguments between each other, but nobody ever defends the Kaiser. I mean, commenters will defend almost anything. That's I I like to go to the youtubes of like, OK, not the OK, what am I saying? OK, well, you're like looking for a specific song, and so you search it on YouTube and then you accidentally Scroll down to the comments and it's like something that's very depressing. Out of nowhere, I forget what song I was looking at recently, but the top comment was like, my husband died to this song and and it's nice that it's on youtube.com, and it was like a dance song, but anyways. I love comments. There's a story there. Where's the Wilhelm hive? Where's the will hive? Yeah, they they are not not buzzing. Because he was really bad at his job and even the dumbest people in the world. Monarchists can recognize that now. As his reign began, the Kaiser fell under the influence of a number of bad apples. There was the anti Semite Stoker who we already talked about. There was also Count Alfred von Waldersee, the deputy chief of the German General Staff. Now he was a rabidly Pro war nut **** who supported an immediate attack against both France and Russia. Like this was his advice. We just invade them both simultaneously. Right now. Now, when Bismarck heard about the growing friendship between the Kaiser and Waldersee, he is said to have cried. Alas, my poor grandchildren. So Bismarck, being a smart guy, pretty instantly realizes like, oh **** this dude is going to plunge the whole continent into a stupid, stupid war. Was he right? He was not wrong. Like I said, Bismarck is a very is a visionary. He's a he's a bad man, but he's a visionary, and he clearly saw what was going to happen. I hate when the bad people are smart as well. Yeah, and they're effectively bad. Yeah, I mean in Bismarck's defense, like he was just kind of kind of a sociopath. But he wasn't betting like his goals weren't dominate Europe and put all the Jews in camp. His goals were ensured Germany a place of prominence among nations and stop a massive European war and he did gross and manipulative things to ensure that. But he wasn't trying to like. Make the world worse. He wasn't doing chaos for chaos's sake. Yeah, yeah. He wasn't like a yeah, yeah. His goals are like he just wants things to not break into a war and he wants Germany to be popular. OK, well, he failed. Yeah, he definitely didn't succeed in the long run. Now Count Eulenburg, the Kaiser's best friend and probable crush, also led to the Kaiser's break with Bismarck. The Kaiser demanded that a Bismarck promote the count to the position of Prussian envoy in Munich, which was very important. Stop now. Bismarck balked at giving this job to an inexperienced friend of the Kings. The conflict between the two men very much embodied a greater conflict within German governance. A large chunk of the country, including Bismarck, wanted Germany to be a proper nation state, with rules and laws and checks and balances. They weren't Democrats, and I don't mean that like the American political sense. I mean like pro democracy, since at least not all of them. But they didn't want an absolute monarchy where the kaisers will determined everything. The Kaiser, on the other hand, didn't really see why other people should have a say in how he ran. Germany now, Bismarck warned the Kaiser that filling government posts with his buddies would lead to a situation wherein he couldn't actually trust any of his ministers to give him good information because they'd all be toadies at worst, or his friends at best, and in any case, they wouldn't be trustworthy to actually speak the truth to him when the truth needed speaking. The Kaiser ignored Bismarck, and over the next few years the positions of the ministers and the Reich Chancellor Bismarck's job were demoted to what role calls Royal lackeys. So yeah, yeah. Yeah, throughout 1888 and 1889, Vilhelm in Bismarck's relationship degraded. Things came to a head in 1889 when a bunch of miners in the rural district went on strike for better working conditions. Now here, Hanspeter had what you would actually say is a positive influence. As odd as it sounds, Kaiser Vilhelm instantly sided with the striking workers against their employers. This caused another rift between him and Bismarck, because Bismarcks, again, a ***** ** ****. And the chance they didn't move. Yeah, the chancellor didn't give a ****. About the workers and obviously cared mostly about steel production and his friends who ran the companies. But, you know, the Kaiser stood for the working people. And on May 12th he charged into a meeting of the Prussian Ministry of State and declared that Bismarck was wrong for not acceding to their demands and declared the workers were his subjects whom he had to look after. All right, go yeah, no, this is like, yeah, this one. This is good. Now Wilhelm got his way on the rear strike for their frustrating the right chancellor and the summer of 1889 he took his yacht. But for his first cruise across Scandinavian waters, this became a yearly tradition, one he kept up for decades. On his first outing, he brought Valder C and Eulenburg with him. The latter was at least a sane person who didn't support wars of aggression with the rest of the world. But Waldersee was a racist nut **** and during their vacation he convinced the Kaiser that Bismarck was Jew ridden and had been conned into giving control of the Vikes monetary policy to a bunch of Jews. And it's untrue. His crush. Russia is a pretty reasonable guy. This is that racist general who wants him to invade the entire world. The names are so confusing. OK, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry. There's a lot valder, see, is the racist general Eulenburg is his crush now. So Waldersee convinces the Kaiser that Bismarck had been conned into giving control of the Reichs monetary policy to a bunch of Jews. This was a lie, but reality had very little influence on the Kaiser. Now, this month, long annual cruise around the coast of Norway became one of the Kaiser's favorite things. And I have to read you, Vander kiss. Description of it because it sounds like the worst time you could have on a boat. The annual cruise, or Nordland rice with its exclusively male company, allowed him, the Kaiser, to indulge in practical jokes and boyish tomfoolery, like applying a foot to the backside of elderly aides. De Camp engaged in physical exercises. It's purpose was originally to give him a month long break from court life, but in due course his doctor decided it was counterproductive, as he was physically and mentally upset by the long voyage, diet, and exhaustion of various kinds. And it did him more harm than good. His entourage soon tired of these cruises, bored if not repelled by the juvenile atmosphere and behavior of the Kaiser and some of his officers. Who loathed every childish prank and moment themselves, but were too sycophantic to say so. God, it sounds like going on. It reminds me of like that documentary where Jim Carrey goes method, where you're like, oh, he's just a tyrant. He's been waiting his whole life to get people trapped in this, in this enclosed setting to be horrible. Cool. Well, I'm glad they did pranks on the set of you want to, you want to, you want to go on a month long prank cruise with the King boy with the yeah, with the King boy who like has a God. Imagine. He's having a cruise with him and all of his demons. That's wild. I'll guarantee you. He never didn't have an erection and he never knew what it was for. And he's like, he's just walking around with a full erection all the time. Like, do you guys know what this is? Like just kicking people in the **** I think. Laughing hard as around kicking old people around. What? OK, well, he is officially, you know. Well, I mean, he's just a bad. He's a bad man. He's a creatively bad man in this case. Yeah. Really, really punishing everyone around him in very specific ways. Yeah. You know, in January of 1890, Wilhelm told his Crown Counsel that he would celebrate his 31st birthday with two new proclamations, one to protect working people and limit their labor hours, and another to call an international summit in Berlin to improve labor conditions across the continent. So that's pretty cool, right? Yeah. Labor crusader. I'm very surprised that he was, like, gunning for labor like this. He. Well, you know, one of the good things about him, Peter, is he had taken him around to all these factories and mines and stuff when he was a kid. So the Kaiser had seen. Like how tough life was for working people and he wasn't. He's not like a sociopath or anything. He had empathy for these people. So he did care about people. Like he's not a monster. He does monstrous things, but he's not a monster now. Bismarck thought that the Kaiser's love of the working people was super dumb. The two fought over this and another fight broke out in March of 1890 when Bismarck entered into negotiations with the leader of the Center Party. He's like a guy named why do you care about the poor is it's such a bad *******. Look, they're the poorest man. Come on, ******. What the ****? What are you gonna get out of that? So Bismarck enters into negotiations with the leader of the Center Party, a guy named Windthorst, and their goal is to get rid of bigoted anti Catholic legislation in Germany. So again, Bismarck like is trying to fight against discrimination here. So none of these sides are are simple here, right? Bismarck hates working people but also hates discrimination. The Kaiser fights for the working man but gets furious about removing this anti Catholic legislation because he's a bigot. So they just look at a stalemate? Yeah. Now he's particularly ****** that this meeting between Bismarck and the leader of the Center party had been organized by Bismarck's banker, who was a Jewish man. Now, to the Kaiser, this was confirmation that the Jews were secretly running his empire via Bismarck. *** **** it. OK, next. According to Kaiser Willhelm, the second a concise life early in the morning, a 15 March 1890 there took place one of the most highly charged scenes ever played out in Berlin, Center of Government. Vilhelm Strasa Kaiser Vilhelm the second someone, the 75 year old Reich Chancellor, from his bed and upbraided him for receiving windthorst. He went on to complain that Bismarck had dug out a dusty old cabinet order of 1852 that prevented the monarch from receiving ministers except in the presence of the minister. President, he preemptory demanded that the order be rescinded, which Bismarck refused to do. Vilhelm later recounted that Bismarck had become so violent towards him that he was afraid the chancellor would throw the ink stand at my head. After this dramatic quarrel, Waldersee urged the Kaiser in the presence of the chief of the military. Cabinet to sack Bismarck forthwith. The present state of affairs was quite untenable, he argued, and moreover the chancellor was too closely allied with the Jews. Bismarck first sent Honk is like military leader, and then the chief of the civil cabinet, Hermann von Lucanus to the chancellor, ordering him to hand in his resignation, which Bismarck finally did on 18th March, 1890. If Waldersee is, one can safely assume, expected to take Bismarck's place, he was in for a bitter disappointment. That same evening Wilhelm the second, announced to the commanding general's assembled in the Berlinische lost that. In order to remain master of the situation, he had to issue an order to the chancellor insisting that he submit. So the Kaiser accepted Bismarck's letter of you know, he's retired his retirement and made a guy named Caprivi who was a lickspittle, you know, the the new chancellor. So he he forces out the guy who like the the political cartoons in Europe at this time are like, show the Kaiser on a boat kicking Bismarck, the pilot of the boat, off of the ship. And that's generally how this is seen. Germany has, like, jettisoned its pilot in favor of the dumbest monarch in Europe. Man, what a choice. What a choice. All right. It's not great. It's not great. I mean, there's no winning scenario, but they did seem to choose the losing or of the. They definitely chose the losingest scenario. Yeah, but you you know what's not the losing scenario? Jamie, tell me. The products and services that support this show. Ohh, it's true. I love each and everyone. Especially *** **** pills. *** **** pills especially. And, you know, one of the behind the ******** guarantees is that no more than 7% of our sponsors contributed to the outbreak of hostilities in World War One. Wow. OK, so that's a guarantee no other podcast will give you. That's a little wiggle room. That's nice. Yeah, that's nice. Yeah, up to 7%. OK, I'll crunch those numbers and then cancel you later. All right, here's some ads products. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Anything, particularly young children out into nature so that they can experience it and take time off from this virtual world of being always on your cell phones and so on. And get the feel of nature so that you come to be fascinated, then you come to want to understand it, and then you come to love it, and at that point you want to protect it. And then we'll come to the sort of healthy world that I envision as a good future for us. And the rest of life on this planet. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. You're mirabar mate. Courage already runs in your blood. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. Sisters of the Underground is a new scripted series about fearless women exploring the life and legacy of the Mirabal sisters, Dominican women who were brave enough to challenge decades of oppression. Together, they led their country toward a revolution against Rafael Trujillo, the brutal dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic for 30 years. Please, please help us has blood on his hands. From executive producers Dania Ramirez and Eva Longoria. That's me comes the powerful retelling of this all too relevant narrative. Listen to sisters of the underground as part of Michael Tura podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, with Bismarck out of Kaiser, Willhelm was the unquestioned chief power in Germany, and this was not a good thing. Vilhelm was bad at every aspect of the job, particularly diplomacy. He was convinced for years is the most. This was not a shock to anyone. OK, yeah, now he was convinced that his relation to the other crowned heads of Europe and his personal charisma would allow him to negotiate well with other nations. The New Yorker summarizes his talent for this part of the job. Thusly quote he called the diminutive King Victor Emmanuel, the third of Italy, the dwarf in front of the King's own entourage. He called Prince, later Czar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Ferdinando Nasso on account of his beaky nose, and spread rumors that he was a hermaphrodite, since Phil Helm was notably. Discreet people always, yeah. Since Wilhelm was notably indiscreet, people always knew what he was saying behind their backs. Ferdinand had his revenge. After a visit to Germany in 1909, during which the Kaiser slapped him on the bottom in public and then refused to apologize, Ferdinand awarded a valuable arms contract that had been promised to the Germans to a French company instead. One of the many things that Vilhelm was convinced he was brilliant at, despite all evidence to the contrary, was personal diplomacy, fixing foreign policy through one-on-one. Meetings with other European monarchs and statesman. This is one of the reasons people compare him to Trump a lot. In 1890 he let lapse a long standing defensive agreement with Russia, the German empires vast and sometimes threatening eastern neighbor. He judged wrongly that Russia was so desperate for German goodwill that he could keep it dangling. Instead, Russia immediately made an alliance with Germany's western neighbor and enemy, France. I don't like him. The single negotiation? That's nasty. It's bad. Wipe it, Vilhelm decided he would charm and manipulate Czar Nicholas the Second a ninny. And a whimper, according to Vilhelm, Fit only to grow turnips into abandoning the alliance. In 1897, Nicholas told Vilhelm to get lost. The German Russian alliance withered, so he comes to power and within a couple of years scraps the alliance with Russia. And Russia immediately allies with France, which means that Germany is now surrounded on both sides by enemies. So he went from Germany's entire flank to the east, being totally protected by a military ally, to the nation being surrounded. She's just that he's so bad at this. Yeah, it's crazy how I did. Like the speed at which he's bad at it, too. Like, it's not even a slow burn, like, uh, I do something ****** everyone. Like, he's just like, expeditiously ruining everything. No, he is a more stupid, faster guy. Very much so. The worst kind of person. OK, now, one good thing you can say for the Kaiser is that he was better than most modern governments that promoting gay people to positions of high. Authority. The downside of this is that these guys were all his friends and sycophants, and he almost certainly had no idea they were gay. His best friend Eulenburg, of course, occupied high positions in the Reich, but there were too many rumors about him for him to be made chancellor. There were a number of like, they were like trials and like news stories that would come out. So the Kaiser promoted a dude named Bulo for the job. A letter Beaulo wrote in July 1896 shows that things within the German government had degraded exactly the way Bismarck predicted they would. Quote I would be a different kind of chancellor. For my predecessors, Bismarck was a power in his own right, a Pippin, a Richelieu. Caprivi and Hohenlohe regarded or regard themselves as the representatives of the government and to a certain extent, of the Parliament. In relation to His Majesty, I would regard myself as the executive tool of His Majesty, so to speak, his political chief of staff. With me. Personal rule in the good sense would really begin. I'm picturing this as like, an Instagram caption. Yeah, yeah, Bulou would have been tweeting sycophantically about his boss. In this modern era. But he's like, he comes to power and immediately promises, I'm gonna do everything the Kaiser says and not represent the rest of the government in any way. Like that's his promise and these things. That's a good thing. Sure, in an 1898 letter to his mother, Kaiser Willhelm Exalted in his ability to gradually wear down the government of Germany and to acting as just an extension of his ego forever and ever. He exalted in a letter to his mother in 1898. There is only one real emperor in the world, and that is the German, regardless of his personal qualities. But by right of 1000 years tradition and his chancellor has to obey God. Leave your if nothing else, leave your poor mother. Alone. Now, Eulenburg, who'd put bielo up for the job because Eulenburg there were too many rumors about him being gay, wrote the new chancellor. This advice for working under Kaiser Wilhelm. And again, I have to remind you, this man loves Wilhelm, right? Well, I mean, yeah. Wilhelm the second takes everything personally. Only personal arguments make any impression on him. He likes to give advice to others, but is unwilling to take it himself. He cannot stand boredom. Ponder is stiff, excessively thorough. People get on his nerves and cannot get anywhere with him. Vilhelm the second wants to shine and decide everything himself. What he wants to do himself, unfortunately, often goes wrong. He loves glory. He is ambitious and jealous. To get him to accept an idea, one has to pretend that the idea came from him. Never forget that His Majesty needs praise from time to time. He is the sort of person who becomes sullen unless he is given recognition from time to time by someone of importance. You will always accomplish whatever you wish, so long as you do not admit to express your appreciation. When His Majesty deserves it, he is grateful for it, like a good, clever child. If one remains silent when he deserves recognition, he eventually seems malevolence in it. We, too, will always carefully observe the boundaries of flattery. I mean, who among us has not worked for someone exactly like this? Just absolutely. Yeah. I was working for someone like this two weeks ago. Yeah. Hollywood is 30%. People. Like, 30% Wilhelm. Yeah. Oh, God, I mean, but the fact that that's like, one of his closest friends, he's like, yeah, he's an absolute nightmare. He's the worst person. I know, but also, he's my closest friend, so you know I love him. Yeah, and the health insurance is great, so put up with it. Yeah. No, Vilhelm had a bad reputation for basically siding with whatever the last person he talked to had said. Since a number of his generals were war mongering racists, this was problematic. In 1896, the Kaiser impulsively sent a congratulatory telegram to Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic, South Africa, for his victory over a British raiding party. This is like in the Boer War. Now, the Boers are a Germanic people, and there was great sympathy for them within the Reich. But England was the world's preeminent naval power, and by sending this message, the Kaiser provoked rage from a country he really needed to keep on his side, since he'd already alienated Russia. So that's not a great move. Like, no reaching out to the enemy of the greatest naval power in the world. Be like, good job killing some of their guys. Like, it doesn't play well in England again. Petty, petty, dumb, petty, dumb. Now, there there were numerous other insults and slights like that. He was Kaiser for, like 26 years before the war, and this **** happened constantly. I'm just gonna, you know, I'm giving you a couple of examples so, you know, the sorts of **** he was up to. Bit by bit, Vilhelm, alienated basically all of Germany's. Allies, his advisors and ministers, men like Beulah and Eulenburg, proved unable to do anything but praise the Kaiser and hoped to calm him down and reduce his impulsive swings. They were often unsuccessful. In 1900, the Boxer Rebellion in China led to the capture of a number of Europeans, including Germans, in the city of Peking. Most of Europe's great powers dispatched soldiers to deal with the situation. The Kaiser was late in doing so, and his men arrived too late to participate in the fight. But before they left, the Kaiser insisted on addressing them personally with a speech that made him the laughing. Talk of Europe. It ended like this. Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated. No quarter will be given. Prisoners will not be taken. Whoever falls into your hands has forfeited. Just as 1000 years ago the Huns under their king Atilla made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty. In history and legend. May the name German be affirmed by you in such a way in China that no Chinese will ever again dare to look cross eyed at a German. Now you've heard of like how the Huns like Germany was referred to as the Huns in like World War One propaganda by the British and the Americans and stuff. This speech is why this is the Hun speech is what people call it. So they were just getting, they were just like roasting Vilhelm indirectly. Exactly. They're pretty directly actually. Yeah, I guess that's not even a sub tweet because like this is seen as really silly for one thing, like beating China in this. Was not something to brag about, like the European powers had machine guns. And like modern battleships and military tactics and the Chinese military just did not. And so it wasn't really a fight. Also, the Germans arrived too late to participate in the fight, so this was both seen as like a man child pretending to be a warrior. But it was also seen as deeply worrying by the crowned heads of Europe, the other leaders of the European powers, because the Kaiser had Europe's most powerful army, and it's not comforting to hear him say this ****. It's like somebody with a huge gun collection talking about how he could carry out a school shooting. We wanted to be like, ohh **** yeah, this might. This is a problem. Maybe I should call the police. But of course there's no police to call on the Kaiser. No. Don't you love when someone's above the law and therefore thousands of people have to die? Millions. But yeah, I mean, always. I'm so. I'm so sorry. Yeah. Millions nations worth. Now, Speaking of the army, they were the only ones who really gained in power. During Vilhelms reign. He had a habit of promoting generals to ministerial positions. He liked being surrounded and consulted by them. His appointees included General Alfred von Schlieffen, a military tactician who developed an elaborate plan for how Germany could beat both Russia and France in a European war. Wasn't it like a five year plan? It was. Or what was the duration? It was very quick. It was supposed to happen in a matter of months. So basically the idea was that you've got. You're surrounded now because Wilhelm. ****** ** and made Russia an enemy. So Germany has to fight both Russia and France at the same time. So Schlieffen's idea was that the the vast majority of the Germans army, like two or three million men would invade and conquer Paris very quickly. And then you know a small chunk of the German army would hold off the Russian army in the east until the rest of the army could be freed up and sent by rail to go fight the Russians. The only way for them to beat France quickly was to bypass Frances fortresses and like. Like defensive line on the German French border and invade through Belgium. Now this would necessitate Germany break like basically Belgium's and neutral power. So this would like necessitate Germany launch a war of aggression against a neutral power, and Britain had an agreement with Belgium that they would defend them from this sort of thing. So basically the nature of the Schlieffen plan essentially guaranteed that Britain would get involved in a war between France and Germany. So it's not a great plan. It's a very detailed and elaborate plan, but it's not a good idea. Anditsjustlike.com article. He's like, all right, here's what I want to do. And everyone's like, well, at least you came up with a plan. I mean, you could argue that it was the best possible plan in the impossible situation that the Kaiser had Germany in. No, no, no. But like, if you like, if you have to try to beat Russia 1/6 of the world and France the second largest military power. Europe simultaneously. There's really no good way to do that. And in in Schlieffen's defense, this actually came very close to working like Germany almost won World War One very early on. They didn't, and everything else that happened to come to Schlieffen's defense. In this way, it's more just pointing out. Like, I think it's important to note how powerful the German army was. The German army essentially on its own because Austria, Hungary was useless, and their allies, the Italians, turned their backs on them almost immediately. So Germany on their own conquered a huge chunk of France, beat Russia, beat Romania, and conquered the majority. Like almost won a war against the entire world. And that's the force that this guy inherits this, like, young man with anger problems? Yeah, so it's it's it's less like a guy with a gun collection and a guy with a new collection like he's he that's the power of the army that he he gets as birthright, right? Which maybe means you shouldn't get armies by birthright. Yeah, there's something to think about. Yeah. Hold on a second. Yeah. Yeah. So it's a bad. It's a bad idea. So basically, the Schlieffen plan means that, by necessity, there would be no defensive wars for Germany under the Kaiser. So another general close to the Kaiser was Helmuth von Moltke. Molka was one of the relatively few people who was brave enough to criticize Kaiser Willhelm to his face. The cause of his ire in the first case was the annual German war games. Particularly the fact that every year they were arranged so that the Kaiser would win no matter what he did. Von Moltke was convinced that the next European war would be an enormous, bloody affair, consisting of millions of men and entire nations at arms. He did not think set peace war games like Germany practice were adequately preparing her for this sort of conflict, and I'm going to quote a passage now from von Moltke's memoirs. And this is him talking to the Kaiser and what I now look at the strategic war game plans which are put before Your Majesty year after year, regularly ending with the taking prisoner of enemy armies consisting of five or 600,000 men, and that too after only a few days of operations. I cannot avoid the feeling that this in no way meets the conditions of war. I cannot engage in such war games. Your Majesty knows yourself that the army is led by you regularly encircle the enemy, and in this way allegedly in the war with one blow. In my opinion, these results can only be brought about by forcefully distorting. Circumstances in such a way that the basic principle that the war games should be a study for real war, and should take into account all the friction and obstacles that arise in war, is not met. This kind of war game, in which, to a certain extent Your Majesty's enemy is at your mercy with his hands tied from the outset, must give rise to false ideas which can only be pernicious when war comes. But in my view this is not the worst part of it. I hold it to be even more disturbing that the distorted war games have the effect of destroying their interest for the wide circle of officers involved. Everybody has the feeling that it doesn't matter what you do. A higher destiny controls the business and brings it one way or another to the desired conclusion. Your Majesty will have noticed that it becomes increasingly difficult to find officers who want to exercise command against you. This is because everyone says I'll only be wiped off the map. However, what I complain about most, and what I must say to Your Majesty, is that because of all this, the officer's confidence in their supreme commander is severely shaken. The officers say that the Kaiser is much too clever not to notice how everything is arranged and that he shall turn out to win, so that must be the way he wants it. Now, the Kaiser expressed shock to molka that things had been arranged this way and claimed to have no idea that the war games he took part in every year were rigged. I honestly believe that. Yeah, I think he's just deluded. Yeah, I think that he. I mean, it's like, given his upbringing and the fact that just no one has ever pointed anything out to him in his entire life. Like, it it tracks that he's like, wait a second, I'm not ******* the coolest person that's ever. I'm not the best military leader in history, especially at this point where he's been in. Charge for so long too. Like no one has nagged him in decades. Yeah, not since Hanspeter. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, and that a great thing, no? From an early age, Vilhelm the second had been obsessed with warships. Like most boys, but unlike most boys, he came up to own a nation and he was able to indulge in his obsession with naval boats. This quickly became a problem. See, England's thing was being the best at having a Navy, since they were a tiny country with a very tiny army. The Royal Navy was really the only thing that ensured Great Britain safety. Germany was the unquestioned military master of Europe, and the only reason that Britain. Didn't worry more was that they had naval supremacy, but in 1897 Vilhelm made an Admiral named Alfred von Tirpitz, the secretary of the Navy. Now his reasons for this were simple, Tirpitz was good at praising the Kaiser and making him feel included in naval decisions. Tirpitz had realized on their first meeting that the Kaiser quote did not live in the real world and had discovered that he could very easily manipulate the emperor by painting a lurid picture of a gallant and unstoppable high seas fleet in 1897 the year. For the Kaiser's disastrous Kruger telegram, where he praised people for killing British soldiers, Germany passed its first naval bill announcing a massive expansion of the fleet. Coming a year after the Kaiser praised one of Britain's enemies for defeating her soldiers. This was not seen as a friendly move. All right. According to John Satir, a professor at the University of Virginia quote, the Kaiser often indignantly denied that Germany was challenging Britain's domination of the Seas. But there is clear evidence that this was in fact the aim of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, whom he had made Secretary of the Navy in 1897, when the 1904 Britain settled its outstanding disputes with France. The Kaiser, at Bilo's suggestion, went to Tangier the following year to challenge France's position in Morocco by announcing German support for Moroccan independence, his hopes of thereby showing that Britain was of no value. As an allied to France, we're disappointed at the 1906 Algiers Conference, in which the Germans were forced to accept French predominance over Morocco. In 1908, William caused great excitement in Germany by giving, after a visit to England, a tactless interview to the Daily Telegraph, telling his interviewer that large sections of the German people were anti English. He had sent the text beforehand to Bulow, who had probably neglected to read it, and who defended his master very lamely in the Reichstag. This led Wilhelm to play a less prominent role in public affairs, and feeling that he had been betrayed by Bulow, he replaced him with Theobald. Called Bethman Holweg, Bethmann's attempts to reach agreement with Britain failed because Britain would not promise neutrality in a war between Germany and France unless Germany would limit its fleet. This, the Kaiser interprets, refused to do so. There's a chance to stop Britain from coming in against Germany in World War One, but he has to not build a **** load of boats, and the Kaiser really wants a **** load of toy boats. I mean, and he's won. I and and again, you can track that way. The **** bag. Yes, man loves his boats. He loves his ******* boats. Jesus. Now, that Moroccan crisis that was talked about in the quote above very nearly resulted in World War One breaking out in 1906. And in that case the Kaiser and everyone were lucky that cooler heads were able to pull Europe's fat out of the fire. But the fact that things had gotten that close was evidence that the Kaiser's utter lack of competent ministers and gut focused foreign policy. Was basically the world's deadliest game of dice. The series of bad decisions that would lead the world into blood soaked calamity started in 1909 when Austria, Hungary announced the formal annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These provinces had been administered by Vienna since 1878, but they were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. When the Young Turk rebellion swept the Ottoman Empire and imposed a constitution on the Sultan Austria, Hungary saw it as a chance to write what they saw as a historical wrong, now the Ottoman Empire. This is allied with Germany, and that alliance was one of Wilhelm's very few successes. But the Kaiser was unhappy with the Young Turk Revolution because the Constitution they forced on the Sultan was made an imitation of Great Britain, and Vilhelm took offense to this, backing Austria, Hungary. And this was an odd decision, especially given the fact that one of Phil Helms later schemes was to try and win the Muslim world over to his banner, and we're going to talk about that. But before we talk about how Kaiser Willhelm tried to win over the Muslims, let's talk about how these products and services are going to try to win over. Your dollars. Ohh, smooth transition as usual, Robert. Maybe, maybe my best. Yeah. Products. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. 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If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals, like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Your miraval mate courage already runs in your blood. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. Sisters of the Underground is a new scripted series about fearless women exploring the life and legacy of the Mirabal sisters, Dominican women who were brave enough to challenge decades of oppression. Together, they led their country toward a revolution against Rafael Trujillo, the brutal dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic for 30 years. Please, please help us has blood on his hands from executive producers Dania Ramirez and Eva Longoria. That's me comes the powerful retelling of this all too relevant narrative. Listen to sisters of the underground as part of Michael Toura podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We're back. Now we're talking about Kaiser Wilhelm's attempt to make all the Muslims love him. That that may seem weird, but there's logic behind it. See, the British Empire ruled a huge chunk of the Muslim world in the French Empire did as well, and most of those Muslims were unhappy with this fact. If Vilhelm could earn their loyalty, he thought, it would provide him with another weapon to use against England's friendship with the Ottomans. Also helped counter Germany's isolation, which was only a thing because Vilhelm sucked at diplomacy. In 1905 he said this and the present very tense circumstances when we stand almost alone in the face of great coalitions which are being formed against us. Our last Trump card is Islam and the Mohammedan world. So Vilhelm saw The Young Turks and their Anglo friendliness as an attack on his hard won courtship of their empire, so he threw them under the bus to support Austria. Hungary's ambitions. This trend of supporting Austria, Hungary, regardless of what it did, would prove to be all of Europe's undoing. As roles biography notes, from then onwards Kaiser Willhelm ardently supported his allies initiative and as usual overshot the mark in his martial enthusiasm and the possibility of war between Austria, Hungary and Serbia. Loomed, he exclaimed. If only it would start he was fully aware of the danger that Germany. To be drawn into a war against France and Russia by a Balkan conflict. 13 years earlier, on November 1895, Wilhelm the second had assured the Austro Hungarian ambassador countless lettuce law Vaughn. I'm not going to try to pronounce this ******** name, they austrio Hungarian ambassador quite plainly that he would stand at Austria Hungary's side with all the forces that might disposal, without any further inquiry as to whether there's any cause for war that exists in our accordance with our Treaty of Alliance, your all highest sovereign France, Joseph may be quite sure that if at any moment the position of Austro Hungarian. Monarchy is an issue. My entire fighting forces will be immediately and unconditionally at his disposal. So the Kaiser gives Austria Hungary a blank check to do whatever they want. And it's this would wind up probably being the key mistake most responsible for plunging Europe into the First World War. Yeah. Yeah, seems to be the popular opinion, yeah, yeah. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian partisan in the summer of 1914, it made Austria's war against Serbia inevitable. Russia was bound to come to Serbia's defense, and the Kaiser had repeatedly promised loudly and publicly to back Austria, Hungary in any such war. Now, there had been another Balkan crisis in 1912 and 13 that had almost led Europe off a Cliff into war. But again, cooler heads had talk things down this time, however, in 1914. There were fewer cooler heads available. For one thing, the Kaiser's best friend Eulenburg was no longer in the picture. A complex blackmail plot, orchestrated in part by Pro War elements in the German government, had been executed against Eulenburg. The chief cause for this was eulenburg's pacifism. Once he was out of the picture, the Kaiser had no friends close to him who actually cared about him as a human being. Uhlenberg was a lickspittle, but he was a lickspittle who legitimately had Phil Holmes best interests at heart and didn't want a war. Sorry, can you unpack the term lickspittle? Yeah, he's, he's a sycophant. He's somebody who just is gonna praise the leader and not gonna question them too much. Is that your word or is that someone else? No, no, no, no, no. That's a that's a common word. Yeah. Says you learned it from the I learned it from The Simpsons, says, oh, OK. Well, fine. Now, with Muhlenberg gone, the Kaiser's next best friend was Prince Max Egon of Boden, who was closely related to the Emperor of Austria, Hungary, which of course had drawn the Kaiser close to the Austrian royal family, which made him make more and more dumb promises. I'm I'm simplifying things here by quite a lot because we only have so much time, but I think this paints the essential picture of what went on to bring Vilhelm to a point where he was willing to make these bad, bad, bad calls. I mean, it is kind of remarkable deterring it all out in order. Like, how long a massive. Conflict was avoided like that. Yeah. There's been there's so many close scrapes before something actually starts. Yep, Yep, Yep. And, yeah, there were a lot of other things going on. One of them was cold, ugly math. The German General staff had this fabulous plan cooked up by Schlieffen to win A2 front war in Europe, and they'd kept careful tabs on both the Russian and French armies. And they'd calculated that 1914 was basically the best year possible for them to have a war like this if it was fired. Well, sure. You understand that. Fighting. Yeah, exactly. He understood flooding might result, and he was willing to take that risk, but he didn't want it to come to that. He attempted to mediate between Austria and Serbia, and was briefly optimistic of peace once the Serbians yielded the most of Austria's demands. But then his ally decided to go to war anyway, and the Kaiser backed him still. Now Van der Kiss biography paints a more recent picture of Vilhelm. His belligerent words and threats of violence were the same sort of impulsive passing fancies that had steered him his entire life. He was a rich kid with poor impulse control, but he ultimately didn't want war, and when it came he was horribly anxious over the whole affair. Writing years later, Beulah recalled no German and above all no English pacifist was filled with a profounder or more honest love of peace than was William the second. It was his own and our misfortune that his words and his gestures never coincided with his real attitude. In the manner when he boasted or even threatened people in words, it was often because he wanted to allay his own timidity. I think that's right. He's like, he's an awkward, sad, insecure kid who winds up boasting and threatening because he doesn't. He's fundamentally insecure. And because he's a crowned head of a nation, it helps lead to war. I feel like, yeah, that does seem like kind of the story of World War One in a lot of ways, where it's like the, you know, the social conflicts are generally. Directing stuff. But then the ****** ** inbred leaders are, you know, able to be manipulated accordingly. Yeah. And you know there was a there was a big debate and has been for and it's still continues as to who was responsible for World War One. The nation of Germany was forced to take responsibility in the Treaty of Versaille, which was not fair. Germany and the Kaiser are not mostly responsible for World War One because there's so much blame to be shared by different nations. But you could make a strong case that the single individual with the. Largest share of the blame is Kaiser Wilhelm the second. You can make that case. Yeah, I mean, and it was like he was if if it feels like his whole life is setting him up to do this level to **** **. Yeah, exactly. See it coming from so far away, it's infuriating. Yeah. Now, once war was joined, the Kaiser was hopeful that it would be a short, relatively bloodless affair and would leave the overall map of Europe relatively unchanged. He's not a Hitler type guy. He doesn't want to conquer France, and he doesn't want to own and hold. Belgium forever. He wants to move through Belgium and then eventually leave. He wants to beat France in a war and then sign a treaty with them. Take a little bit more of their land. Maybe. But he wants France to still exist. Yeah. He doesn't really want to destroy England as an as a nation. He doesn't want to conquer. He doesn't want to conquer the entire world, you know? He just wants to **** his mom. He wants to **** his mom and he wants to be seen as a military hero. I mean, don't we all? In a way, yeah. Yeah, we all in a way do. Yeah, now Vilhelm believed he'd be able to arrange peace when it was necessary. It basically any point by just working things out one-on-one with his royal cousins, he noted that mere democracies could never make a peace conference work because war was a royal sport to be indulged in by hereditary monarchs and concluded at their will. This was part of the idea about war at the time, which was that war between kings never is that bad because kings are all friends at the end and you know our soldiers will kill each other for a while. I don't want you to lose your crown. I don't want things to be that bad for you. We're just having a spat. And, you know, once this is concluded satisfactorily, we can go back to being friends. Right. This is Bill Hill's idea at the start of this. Yeah. Well, because he's. Yeah. Because he's, like, talking with his cousins. Like, yeah, exactly. It's like being. Yeah. With just no awareness for the fact that there is a rest of the world that this affects. Yeah. And this is not how things worked out. And World War One was instant. No, no, no. Like 1/4 of a million Germans die in the first week of fighting. Like, it's it's like hundreds of thousands of people are dead as soon as the fighting starts. Yeah. And the Kaiser, you know, as the situation grows more serious, the Kaiser is very quickly sidelined by his generals. He actually had almost no role in the conduct of the war throughout the vast majority of it, it was basically ceremonial. You know, he had addressed factory workers and soldiers, and he spent a lot of his time on vacations at his farm. Germany increasingly became a military dictatorship. And by the end of it, the Kaiser was as much of a figurehead as the King of England. And of course, when the war ended in yeah, when the war ended in German defeat in 17 million deaths, they'll helm the second was forced to abdicate and flee the country. He spent the rest of his life in Dorn in the Netherlands, living the quiet life of a country gentleman and a global pariah until his death in 1941 from being old as ****. In the end, I think the best epitaph for this man was written by journalist Charles Lowe, a foreign correspondent for the Times. He called Wilhelm quote, the chief creator of the war spirit which he founded, impossible to exercise or resist, and was thus, so to say, devoured by his own offspring. For at the last moment, when, shrinking from the results of his own creative handiwork, he allowed the sword in his own. Phrase to be thrust into his hand, which was just as much as if he had drawn it of his own accord, thus proving himself to be a weak willed and criminal ruler, the most nefarious of his kind, whoever sat upon a throne. There it is. That hand comparison again. Sorry. Yeah, to see it. You hate to see it. The hand is. It all comes back to the ******* hands. Ohh, always back to hands with this guy. Well, yeah, you know what? What a coward. That was set up to be a ******* loser. That would cost millions of people their lives. Yep, Yep, Yep. And that's why my monarchists are the dumbest people in the world. Yeah, they're horrible in there. And and I and I hate that there is usually an end to feel kind of bad for them because you're like, oh, you're well, why would you not be horrible? Why would you be good monarchs? Like monarchs themselves. Like I absolutely you. You have to have sympathy for a guy like Phil Helm because, like, **** man, there's no good ending to this story, but like the people who want to go back to having a monarchy. I I baffles me. I can't figure. I'm like, do you just like tabloids? Like, where you like fancy costumes? That's what this ****** about like, I mean, like, you can still have that. There's a lot of people that will wear a lot of fancy. You should just start watching Drag race. If you're a Marxist, just start watching drag race. You'll get like, you'll you'll get what you want. And then so are you. I'm sorry. No, no, that's that's the end of my call to action for the monarchists. Has your level of sympathy or feeling about Kaiser Willhelm changed at all over the course of these episodes? I honestly, my sympathy for him went up like I knew I knew I knew that everyone, you know, all all the monarchy like that were involved in the beginning of World War One were dumb as rocks, you know, but dumb as a bag of dead horses. But the but the specificity of. Yeah, like how how would that, how they even got that far is. Oh, it it just sucks. It sucks. I you know, he just wanted to his mom to be in love with him. He just wanted to **** his mom's hand and get a medal. I I feel for her and I feel for Germany and that. Yeah, God, that there I I'm feeling. I'm not feeling as like, indignant and angry as I usually am at the end of of this. I'm just feeling empty. I feel like a husk. Robert. Yeah, absolute husk right now. I watched an interesting movie on Netflix last night called the exception, which is based on a book called The Kaiser's Last Kiss and it's it's a fictional story about a German s s officer who is the head of Vilhelms bodyguard when Germany conquers the country where he's staying at the start of the Second World War. And it's also about this, like British spy. And it's the the the movie is more sympathetic towards Vilhelm than I think the book is watched an interesting. Be on Netflix last night called the exception, which is based on a book called The Kaiser's Last Kiss and it's it's a fictional story about a German s s officer who is the head of Vilhelm's bodyguard when Germany conquers the country where he's staying at the start of the Second World War. And it's also about this, like British spy. And it's the the the movie is more sympathetic towards Vilhelm than I think the book is. The guy who wrote the book had like. The very deep knowledge of the man, so really it's a fun, it's an interesting book that I think gives a good a very fair. Like accounting of the man's personality and doesn't make him into a demon or a good guy. Like he's just like one of the phrases that it says about him is that he was half genius and half child. Yeah. And says he's. There's another one which do we feel he was a genius in any way is that is that do we give him that? I don't I didn't see that. I didn't see it. Yeah. You know, I I didn't see it. There were some parts like his his understanding of Labor rights and like the like that sort of thing like he was really good about certain things throughout his reign. But he was on the whole not a good leader. But he was he was an like the point this guy is making is that the the things about him that he wasn't smart. About led him to make a lot of his worst decisions. Like that mustache. Like, I mean mustache. Yeah. When you're full of yes men, you know, when you're surrounded by yes men who won't tell you you're dumb as **** you end up with that mustache and that life. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. There's, there's there's a lot of good quotes in that book. I'm reading the book right now, and it's fun. So maybe check that out if you want more Kaiser Vilhelm in your life. But yeah, man. That's a hard he, he, he, he, if you'll pardon the phrase, he drew a a a rough hand in life. Don't say don't mention hands in front of him. He loses it, and then he played that hand for ****. God. And then he's just, like shaking his operational fist at the sky. You hate to see it. He might be the worst at a job that anyone's ever been like, really, really bad at being the why you shouldn't just be given the most consequential jobs. Not a job that should have existed. Nope, certainly not. And you get the feeling if he'd been a ceremonial monarch like the King of England is today, he'd have been great at it. He loved marching around and wearing uniforms. Outfit. As I just say, he loved outfits. Yeah. An Instagram monarch. Yeah. He would have been very happy if he'd never had to make a real decision. He if he was just posting fit checks every day, like he would be happy as a little clam. First posting about the Russian army. Fine. They're buzzing about his mom. Yeah, just like another pic of me and Mama. Ohh yeah, no. What a, you know, you know monarchists. You're idiots. You're dumb. You're unnoticed dumb. See in the comments section? Yeah, we're going to really bring the monarchist listeners to behind the ******** out of the woodwork on this board, folks debate me. Yeah, it's one of those things. I had this opinion before I started doing this research that kings were basically the same as dictators. And I don't feel that way anymore, in part because of all this reading about how hopelessly everyone watched this guy slouched towards being in power and couldn't stop it, which, like a dictator, seizes power generally. And like, there's not really a question about it. Like, they take the power and even if everyone, like a lot of people know they're bad at it, like they take it, whereas with this, everyone's like, yeah, this guy is going to be a disaster. Too bad there's nothing to do about it, right? That's The thing is, like, it seems like if he had had been, if he had been given away out where that wouldn't have resulted in an eternal shame upon him and his family. He absolutely would have taken it if he could still have been the Kaiser but not have had to make maybe, I don't know, maybe he was also really arrogant. He just wanted to be a fashion king. Yeah, I do think he wanted. He wanted to be a military power, too, though. And, like, I don't think he wanted to in that. I don't think it was inherently a military. Kind of guy, but because his whole family had raised him to believe that it's shameful to be oppression and not be a great warrior. Yeah, like, yeah. It's ****** man. It's a bummer of a story. It's it's definitely ******. I hate that I feel for him, but I do. You kind of can't. It doesn't mean he didn't get millions of people killed and isn't a ***** ** **** but, like, it also means that, like, well, **** you. You plug anybody into that job with that kind of upbringing. How how does it end? Well, you know? Yeah, it's a I blame society, Robert. I blame very specific ********. Not society in general. I blame a bunch of ****** people, and we live in a society. That's my whole point. I blame George Hanspeter Queen Victoria. Emperess, Agusta and a couple of other terrible ******** and some bad, bad doctors. I blame the the doctors. Oh, I blame the arm stretcher. Whoever made that didn't that didn't help. They really have a lot to answer for, all right? Because it didn't work, first of all. And second of all, it was deeply humiliating. And and and you can sort of trace the death of many people to the humiliation from the arms stretcher. So by an arm stretcher. By the way, this podcast is supported by ARM Stretches had came on for an arm stretcher right now is your child the Prince of Prussia is his arm GIMP. Stretch it out. Of course. Good Lord boy. Yeah, he is. You do have to. You can't really understand him unless you understand that he was also a disabled man who was abused by a bigoted medical establishment. Right by by right. And and there was, like, no option or ability for him to be accepted as he was. It's yeah, it sucks. It ******* sucks. You know what doesn't suck, Jamie? What? You're puggles. That's well, wait and see. No kidding. They're great. You can follow me on Twitter at Jamie Cry or no at Jamie Loftus. Help you can listen to I'm releasing a short form podcast called my year Immensa. That's about my horrible year in the Mensa organization. So excited. I'm very I. Robert, your voice is in it. Thank you. I was editing it in just yesterday. It comes out on Thanksgiving. It's a full blown nightmare. I hope people listen to it. And yeah, then you can listen to the Bechdel cast every Thursday and that's and those are my plugs. Listen to the Bechdel cast. Listen to my year in Mensa, which is jamies year in Mensa. Not my year, my not your year. But you know you. You could if you wanted to, but you know, yeah, I. No, no, I could not. Find us on the Internet at behindthebastards.com. We'll have all the sources for this. Find us on Twitter and Instagram at ******* pod and find some room in your heart to buy a neck stretching machine for the young infant child in your life today and ensure they grow up just like the Kaiser. I gotta go get in a stretch in right now, right after I arrive my mom the scariest letter I've ever wrote in my life. Everybody write your moms about their sexy, sexy hands. Everyone writing about their moms sexy hands. No shame. Just don't hit send. It's some shameful. It's that shame. Robert is gross, shaming people ***** for their mom hands. I'm a little more open minded. That's the ******* episode. Bye. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. 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