Der Kaiser und der „Evangelist des Rassismus“. Houston Stewart Chamberlains Brief an Anne Guthrie über seine erste Begegnung mit Wilhelm II


Authors
Kinzig Wolfram
Universität Bonn
Abstract
Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the „Evangelist of Racism“, had a major influence on German Emperor Wilhelm II, especially in forming his nationalistic and anti-Semitic views. The monarch and the author developed a mutual understanding and appreciation that lasted over 25 years. This article illuminates the circumstances of their initial acquaintance through the edition and analysis of two documents which were two hitherto unpublished documents: Chamberlain's diary for the dates 28.–31. 10. 1901 and a letter to his aunt Anne Guthrie of 11. 11. 1901. Both documents are compared to other known reports of this meeting. Chamberlain accepted Wilhelm's invitation to Germany where they met in Liebenberg in 1901 in a circle of select members of the German aristocracy. Their first contact is reconstructed here showing the extent to which Wilhelm's thoughts coincided with those of Chamberlain. The author concludes that the meeting with Chamberlain in 1901 was most decisive in the development of Wilhelm's own thinking and had serious consequences for the later course of historical events. In addition, this first meeting is particularly interesting because of the participation of Adolf Harnack who was at that time very close to the Emperor and also corresponded with Chamberlain. The differences in character and views between Chamberlain, Wilhelm and Harnack also surfaced during this memorable meeting.
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DOI 10.1515/znth.11.1.79
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