Amerongen Castle – Help the Kaiser is coming!

On 11 November 1918 the armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France. Two days earlier Margrave Max von Baden, who was the Chancellor, announced the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who fled the country He officially only abdicated on 28 November 2018 at Amerongen Castle. The monarchy and the German Empire had come to an end.

On 10 November 1918 Wilhelm travelled by train to the neutral country of the Netherlands to go into exile. On 11 November 1918 he arrived at Amerongen Castle, where Count van Aldenburg Bentinck gave him a shelter, on request of the Dutch government. He was supposed to stay for three days, which in the end became 18 months. He only left on 15 May 1920 when House Doorn, which he had purchased, was ready.

Life at Amerongen Castle changed after the arrival of the Kaiser. The castle area was closed down and media, threatening letters and kidnap attempts caused lots of stress. This period is the theme of the newest castle exhibition “Help, de Keizer komt!” (Help, the Kaiser is coming!), which can be visited from 3 June to 2 December 2018. The rooms at the castle are again decorated as at the time, the kitchens shows dishes for the Kaiser and his staff, and the imperial service is back in the dining room. Also the old four-poster bed the Kaiser slept in, is back. Furthermore shown are menus, letters, historical documents, newspapers and photos. In the garden and the castle traces of the Kaiser can be found.

To be fully informed there is a thematic tour which takes place from until the end of October from Tuesday to Sunday at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Also in November until the end of the exhibition from Thursday to Sunday at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. For people with a Dutch Museumkaart there are special tours by the curator of the castle, Lodewijk Gerretsen, on 8 June, 22 June and 3 August (12.30pm and 3.30pm).

On Friday 1 June 2018 the exhibition and thematic tour were officially opened. Especially for this occasion Wilhelm’s great-great-grandson Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and his wife Princess Sophie travelled to Amerongen. Georg Friedrich gave a speech and opened the exhibition. On Sunday 3 June by the way, according to Museum Huis Doorn, where the Kaiser lived after 1920, about 50 guests came to their castle, including Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie, as well as Fürst Alois-Konstantin and Fürstin Anastasia zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (née Princess of Prussia).

Royal Press Europe was present on 1 June and took the lovely photos in this article. Fore more pictures by them of this event see here. They have been so kind to allow me to use them. If you click on them you will see a somewhat bigger version.

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