Hanging the Kaiser

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Tongera, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, what would the reaction of the Entente and the CP if Kaiser Wilhelm II was hanged after WW1? I remember some documentaries talked about putting the Kaiser on trial for some unspecified crimes (starting the war, use of gas?). How would this affect the inter war period?
     
  2. Cymraeg Ebil bocagist CONSPIRATOR!

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    It would have been very, very unlikely. Enough German loyalists would have risen up to fight against it to make it next to impossible. People like Hindenburg were reluctant to have him even just abdicate - to hand him over to be hung? No chance.
     
  3. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Even as part of a treaty? Didn't the Ottomans have to hand over some people for war crimes (Armenian Genocide)?
     
  4. Simon Thread Killer Extraordinaire

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    But not the Sultan. Aside from the French, US, Portugal and Brazil (both of whom are minors) all the other Allied nations had kings as head of state, I would of thought that they'd be rather resistant to the idea of hanging a reigning - or just very recently reigning - monarch just on general principle, even more so with what was happening with Russia.
     
  5. jkarr Well-Known Member

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    plus the UK's royalty is related to the Kaisers family...their cousins...they would never allow it even if all the other countries decided to do it
     
  6. Cook Support iCAN Banned

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    The British had wanted Talat Pasha but never got their hands on him. Talat fled to Sweden and then Germany, where he was assasinated by an Armenian by the name of Soghomon Tehlirian. At his trial Tehlirian made a full confession and was aquitted by the German jury.

    Given the fact that apart from France all of the major European states were monarchies, I don't think you'd see anyone in the Entente calling too loudly for the Kaiser's Hanging, revolutionary Germany would be more likely.
     
  7. Zmflavius Pelor Vult

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    I'm given to understand that Lloyd George wanted to put the Kaiser on trial, but the Netherlands refused to extradite him.
     
  8. Catspoke Member

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    Did the Kaiser really do anything to rate that kind of treatment? No genocide, No slave labor, No months and months premedidated aggression. maybe a too great a fondness for war toys (but a lot of us on this board are guilty of that). Real power was with the generals.

    Maybe the Hottentots if anybody would deserve at shot at him though.
     
  9. Rich Rostrom Well-Known Member

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    Wilhelm made it clear that he and he alone was the head of the German Empire. He did not merely reign; he also ruled, especially in the military sphere. German generals served at his pleasure and did his will. This is not to say that he gave them detailed orders, or that the ministers and generals didn't make plans and present him with faits accompli - but if the buck stopped anywhere, it was with him.

    And Germany in World War I committed more than enough war crimes to merit the execution of Wilhelm and a good many others.

    The German army murdered thousands of Belgian civilians in 1914. These murders were mass shootings in alleged reprisal for purported acts of guerrilla warfare. The Germans claimed these acts were dishonorable and violated the laws of war - which was pretty rich coming from an army and government which had invaded a peaceful neighbor with no provocation whatever.

    In fact the Germans had a conscious policy of schrecklichkeit (frightfulness) -- breaking resistance quickly by overt brutality and thus avoiding further bloodshed (as they rationalized it). In practice this led to the mass murders mentioned above and to atrocities such as the destruction of Louvain. The Germans claimed that Louvain was destroyed because of a treacherous attack on a German officer by the mayor's son or daughter. They used this excuse so often that a U.S. diplomat in Belgium remarked that the Belgians must have a corps of assassins recruited from mayors' children.

    Wilhelm knew about and approved of this policy, and of the actions committed under it. He should have been hanged.
     
  10. Cook Support iCAN Banned

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    The problem is, making a case under international law at the time, and an ironclad case at that. I don't see it happening without opening a can of worms that most would not want seen opened.
     
  11. Zmflavius Pelor Vult

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    Leaving aside that aside that by the mid-war, Wilhelm II had declined to little more than a figurehead, it is a result of Entente propaganda that not only were German war crimes greatly exaggerated (A high estimate for Belgian civilian casualties is around 6000; Events like Leuven were notable precisely for the fact that they were notable, I actually can think of of only one other such event), but that literally every side (excepting the French) committed numerous war crimes for the entire duration of the war. For example, somewhere in the area of 600,000 German civilians died between 1914-1922 due to starvation from the British blockade, which was, in fact, also illegal.

    I usually make a longer post, but this is probably a good starting place.
     
  12. HJ Tulp Vice Admiral, Eutopian Navy

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    Yup, the Netherlands wasn't giving him up.
     
  13. St. Just STOP BUMPING STOP BUMPING STOP BUMPING THREADS

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    Then he becomes a national martyr for Germany- I could see a stronger conservative-monarchist movement as opposed to Nazis TTL...
     
  14. Rich Rostrom Well-Known Member

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    Only 6,000. How trivial. Maybe for Germans - when they put their minds to it, that was a day's work for an Einsatzgruppe.

    But it's still 6,000 murders. Hang 'em.

    Under American law, if anyone is killed in the course of another crime, the perpetrators of the crime are considered guilty of felony murder. This applies even if the person killed is one of the perpetrators.

    Germany caused the war. Germany intended to cause the war. Wilhelm wanted a war. The consequences of the war rest with him and his generals and ministers.

    This is not to say that they are directly responsible for every act of every participant. But they are responsible for conditions resulting from a state of war which they brought about, and of course for specific criminal acts committed by forces under their command executing policies they decreed.
     
  15. kalamona Well-Known Member

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    Ze eviiil germans? All of them? Nice... Einsatzgruppe, eh?

    Well, first of all, i dont really see the connection here, secondly, the war did not fought on American soil...

    Wrong,wrong,debatable,wrong.

    Being remotely responsible for some conditions could apply to many, many people, just saying.
     
  16. Cook Support iCAN Banned

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    American law is entirely irrelevant; Wilhelm would have been tried under International Law as it was at the time.
    Wrong on all counts; the First World War was a catastrophic accident unforseen and unwished for by anyone, except perhaps for Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijvic.
    Again no; unless he gave specific orders of that violated International Law and the Rules of War as they existed at the time, he could not be held responsible.
     
  17. Xgentis Member

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    I doubt it they broke all ties with them and changed their name during the war.
     
  18. Meadow but see, when Meadow does that, Monthly Donor

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    The name, sure, but I believe George and Wilhelm remained in contact. Particularly over the delicate matter of rescuing Cousin Nicholas.
     
  19. euromellows Pro-Praetor Donor

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    Is that right? Fascinating. Do you have further information on that I would love to see it.

    On that point did Wilhelm ever regret authorising Lenin's release to Russia and indirectly causing Nicholas' death?
     
  20. Alex1guy First Of His Name

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    Either you are being deliberately anachronistic or you have no concept of how the world was in the early 20th century and are fundamentally ignorant about WWI in general.

    If you want to be so simplistic about the whole thing, hang everybody associated from both sides from the Kings to Presidents, because ultimately that's the kind of justice you appear to be gunning for. WWI is not clear cut black and white and to act like it is shows a complete lack of historical understanding.