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A personal note from the writer of this story:

Frederick II was one of the most illustrious sovereigns in eighteenth century Europe. Historians bestowed on him the predicate "The Great".

After the second world war, the Allies degraded Frederick's Prussia by declaring it the source of militarism and the root of all evil. They did not even shy away from calling the Prussian King a forerunner of Adolf Hitler, which deeply offended me. This attitude explains the selection of the meeting place between Truman, Churchill and Stalin in the summer of 1945: The Palace of Cecilienhof in Potsdam, which was the residence of Prussia's last crown princess until February 1945, when she left Potsdam for the west because of swift advances of the Red Army. She was the daughter- in- law of Emperor William II, who was forced to abdicate in 1918 and was exiled to Doorn in Holland. I would like to mention here that I found it interesting that all through the years of communist East Germany, the palace of Sans Souci as well as all the property of the Hohenzollern family was under the protection of the Red Army. It is there today for all to enjoy.

As if this besmirching of the name of the great King was not enough, the Allied Control Council felt compelled to pass Law No.46 on February 25, 1947 and with an unbelievable insolence for modern times, formally dissolved the state of Prussia. I could understand the demand for reparations to the victorious nations to be paid by the aggressor. I could even understand trying war criminals for their crimes against humanity at Nuremberg. But I could not understand to dishonor Frederick the Great, nor could I forgive that representatives of strange nations took it upon themselves to eradicate our state of Prussia from history. Conveniently is was forgotten, that members of the Prussian nobility tried to stop the insanity of Hitler. No one ever mentions the sacrifices they made.

It is my opinion that it was a grave mistake to abolish the House of Hohenzollern at the end of the first world war. When the powers who decided Germany's and Austria's fate, called for the abdication of the German Emperor, they could have entrusted one of his sons to form a government under a constitutional monarchy, just as their relatives in England do still to this day. An Austrian immigrant called Adolf Hitler would never have assembled such a large following in the dark and desperate years after the first world war, when the harsh treaty of Versailles punished a nation who was already down and defeated. One has to keep in mind too, that William II, although he seemed as anxious to get some hostilities going as the rest of Europe, honored the treaty he had with Austria, after the heir to the Hapsburg Throne, Grand Duke Ferdinand and his wife were ambushed and killed by Serbian revolutionaries in the streets of Sarajewo History would have taken a much different turn and a less violent path if the monarchy would have been kept intact In order that we may effectively shape the future, we must first try to understand the past.

Germany, without the monarchy in 1918, was at first drifting like a rudderless vessel. Economic conditions were deplorable; and when in 1925 the Kaiser's Field-Marshal von Hindenburg took the helm, he could have been the link between the old traditions and the new democratic ideas. But he failed, and eventually he was no match for an ambitious egomaniac who made promises and delivered. People without work, who could not feed their families, did not care if they were put to work building planes, tanks or constructing the Autobahn. I know how hard it was for the people after the first world war; my own mother was a young war widow with three small children in 1918, and I remember the tears she cried at the outbreak of the second world war.

I have come to this conclusion, (which may shock some people) because the relatives of William II were considered to be decent people, and because I have lived through the horrors of the Second World War in Berlin, which I now, having studied historical events closely, blame, in part, on the decision made in 1918. It is of course a rather simple analysis and painfully naive, but it also an honest opinion, which many people in Germany share, but few would dare to voice One can not reach such a profound conclusion by reading history books alone, one must have first hand knowledge of the events as they enfolded, and the suffering they have caused for so many people. They may have belittled our King, but generations to come will learn about Frederick the Great, because he has after all retained his rightful place in history with the respect and honor he deserves.



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