The last Kaiser – The dramatic story of Wilhelm II, the last emperor of the German Reich

Kaiser Wilhelm, 1902 (© Wikipedia)

“The Last Kaiser”, the life of Kaiser Wilhelm II, grandson of Queen Victoria and emperor of the German Reich from 1888 until 1918. Wilhelm fled to the Netherlands in the last days of the World War I and, in spite of intense international pressure to extradite him as a war criminal, he abdicated and was allowed under strict conditions to live in exile in the Netherlands, where he died in 1941.

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

Broadcast:  November 11, 1998


  • John Rohl, British author of several biographical volumes on Kaiser Wilhelm
  • Willem von Ilsemann, godson of the Kaiser, whose Dutch mother married the Kaiser’s adjutant shortly after Wilhelm temporarily moved into their home, Amerongen Castle. The castle still possesses the desk on which Kaiser Wilhelm signed his abdication, ending the Second German Reich.
  • Wolfgang J. Mommsen, prominent German historian
  • Dick Veroen, Curator-Director of Huis Doorn, the former estate where the Kaiser lived until his death in 1941 and where he is buried. Now a museum, Huis Doorn has preserved the interiors as they were during Wilhelm’s life, as well as his belongings, including his extravagant uniforms and valuable art collections.