Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dietrich von Hülsen-Haeseler

Dietrich von Hülsen-Haeseler was a German army officer from a titled Prussian family who succeeded in gaining a position as an aide to camp to Kaiser Wilhelm and ultimately achieved the rank of Major General.  One of his less savory duties was assisting in a cover-up when it came to light that one of the Kaiser’s favorite companions for all male excursions turned out to be homosexual even though he was married with 8 children.  I’ve often wondered if the history of 20th century Europe would have been dramatically different if Kaiser Wilhelm’s mother hadn’t had such a horribly difficult delivery which permanently damaged the future Kaiser’s left arm. And I wonder if maybe Kaiser Bill didn’t get enough oxygen at a critical stage in delivery.  Kaiser Bill certainly had a really bizarre sense of humor, which his close aids and senior government officials played along with.  Hearing about some of their antics reminds me of Lord Acton dictum: “power tends to corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  During one black forest hunting trip (apparently this stag hunt was a stag affair), Major General Hülsen-Haeseler, by this time in his late 50s, helped provide the evening’s entertainment by dancing for the Kaiser wearing nothing but a pink ballerina’s tutu.

What an extremely inopportune time to have a massively and instantly fatal heart attack!!! This time, the Kaiser had to ask someone else to clean up the scandal. 

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