What to do with the Kaiser?

Stephen Sedley

  • The Trial of the Kaiser by William A. Schabas
    Oxford, 432 pp, £24.99, October 2018, ISBN 978 0 19 883385 7

The title of the book is of course ironic: in spite of the clamour at the end of the Great War, the Kaiser was never tried, much less hanged. As Germany prepared to capitulate, Wilhelm II of Hohenzollern with his staff and family quietly crossed into neutral Holland, from where the Dutch politely but resolutely declined to extradite or expel him. Wilhelm lived on in exile for long enough to witness the outbreak of another world war and to blame the Jews for causing it, having already blamed them for his country’s defeat in the previous war.

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