Fifteen

HOHENZOLLERNS AND NAZIS:
THE PATH TO THE PALACE

WILHELM II's miniature court at Doorn, enlivened through his marriage to Hermine, provided him with an agreeable setting from which he could pursue his cultural interests and political ambitions. The grounds at Doorn, denuded by the Kaiser's woodchopping only to be reforested, were subjected to the sort of archaeological excavations he had once enjoyed at Corfu, with his occasional finds sent to the provincial museum in Utrecht. Wilhelm was an eager host, and during his long residence in Holland a steady stream of guests appeared at Doorn, welcomed cordially and then ensnared in protracted royal monologues. 1 There were a few, but not many, old friends from better days, a horde of curiosity seekers, and a few adventurers who claimed that, for money, they could arrange Wilhelm's return to the throne. 2 A procession of historians, cultural anthropologists, and pastors paid homage to the Kaiser, who in spite of his protestations of financial debility, occasionally funded digs and museum exhibitions dealing with the Greco-Roman era, as well as anthropological expeditions to Africa. 3

The Kaiser's most eagerly expected guest was Leo Frobenius, the president of the Research Institute for Cultural Morphology at Frankfort on the Main, who was, Wilhelm declared, a universal intellect devoid of the arid specialization that dessicated less talented professors. Frobenius was an accomplished courtier always ready to encourage Wilhelm's hopes of a Hohenzollern restoration, to praise Wilhelm's archaeological expertise, and to share his strongly anti-Socialist views. 4 Frobenius was famous for his ethnological explorations and for his theory that human civilization had developed organically in a way similar to plants and animals. Wilhelm, however, was less interested in these theories than he was in having the learned professor give ballast to his own ideas through their "close, intellectual connection." 5 He was therefore happy to help Frobenius fi

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