Kawhi vs. Giannis at the rim was basketball nirvana

Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares

Two individual challenges, both fell in Toronto’s favor

Two of the biggest plays of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals were Giannis Antetokounmpo challenging Kawhi Leonard. The individual tilts were split, but both plays still went the Raptors’ way, helping Toronto to its first NBA Finals in franchise history.

The first came with just under seven minutes remaining, when a Kyle Lowry steal turned into a charging Leonard in transition. Antetokounmpo was at the rim to challenge, but to no avail, with Leonard’s dunk sending the home crowd into delirium.

That dunk punctuated a decisive 26-3 run for the Raptors in an incredible 7½ minutes, turning a 15-point Bucks lead to an eight-point Toronto advantage.

The still shots of this encounter are stunning in sequence, showing just how close Antetokounmpo came to thwarting Leonard.

NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

But despite the demoralizing onslaught by Toronto, the Bucks didn’t fold. Giannis got his chance again at Kawhi with just over two minutes remaining. Leonard tried another dunk but this time Antetokounmpo got him.

However, even this positive turn for the Bucks ended up a Raptors edge, with Pascal Siakam in the right place at the right time for the putback layup. Toronto led by five with 2:06 remaining, and never looked back.

Antetokounmpo and Leonard were the two best players in this series, not a surprise since they are two of the very best players in the league. In Game 6 these individual plays both favored the Raptors, sending Toronto to the NBA Finals, where hopefully we can see more incredible moments like this.


Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The Bucks’ season was great, but their future is perilous

Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares

Will they be Spurs 2.0 or a one-year wonder? Five key players are free agents, and the Bucks can’t keep them all.

The Milwaukee Bucks spent 2019 defying expectations as thoroughly as any team in recent NBA history. Before the season, 538 gave the Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz better odds to reach the Finals. Since then, Milwaukee won 60 regular-season games, humiliated the Detroit Pistons, overwhelmed the Boston Celtics, and were two wins from the NBA Finals.

Instead, the Toronto Raptors swept four straight to swipe the Eastern Conference from them, and now the Bucks face some major questions.

At the very least, these Bucks have already established themselves as a terrifying contender. But after a Game 6 defeat to Toronto, they face a perilous summer, one that may alter their identity and deplete the depth that’s made them appear unbeatable.

Two fundamental futures exist. In the first, Milwaukee sustains its success in a way that reminds NBA enthusiasts of the San Antonio Spurs. In the second, this 2018-19 season is remembered as lightning in a bottle—a group expertly built with short, team-friendly contracts that complement Giannis Antetokounmpo.

With Antetokounmpo in Tim Duncan’s role as the transcendently selfless 24-year-old cultural bedrock, and Mike Budenholzer currently the same age Gregg Popovich was for San Antonio’s first title, Spurs 2.0 is in play.

But this specific roster’s success is thanks to several other players. As is increasingly the case in a league dominated by short-term contracts designed to generate parity, some may be too expensive to keep.

This summer, Brook Lopez, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, and Nikola Mirotic are all eligible for free agency, while George Hill’s non-guaranteed contract is unlikely to be paid in full. (Starting point guard Eric Bledsoe was slated to be a free agent before signing a four-year, $70 million extension in January. The contract simplified their summer plans, but may not have been the right allocation of resources given Bledsoe’s shaky postseason play.)

Each has been valuable and some have been indispensable during Milwaukee’s run, and their importance will only amplify in the Finals, should the Bucks qualify. Here’s a quick breakdown of each situation.

Khris Middleton

Let’s begin by saying it’ll be a total shock if Middleton wears a different jersey next season. He’s Antetokounmpo’s only All-Star teammate, and Milwaukee doesn’t have enough cap space to replace his talent. At 28, staring at the last giant payday of his career, it’s only right for Middleton’s representatives to want a five-year max contract, worth about $190 million. The largest deal any other team can offer is one guaranteed season and almost $50 million less, so the Bucks can hunt for a happy medium that satisfies all parties. But when push comes to shove, Middleton is worth whatever he wants to be paid.

His offensive game is potent and self-supporting. He can create his own shot in just about any situation (post-ups, off the catch, in transition), is an underrated defender both on and off the ball, and allows Budenholzer to preserve Antetokounmpo by not overextending his minutes. (The Bucks actually had a higher point differential this season when Middleton was by himself than when he played alongside the likely MVP, a trend that’s continued in the playoffs.) Middleton is integral in the short term, and since Antetokounmpo’s own free agency looms over every short-term decision, disappointing the franchise player isn’t an option. Middleton stays, regardless of cost.

Malcolm Brogdon

Milwaukee’s sharp-shooting off guard doesn’t need the ball to positively impact his team’s offense, and he knows how to make the type of quick decision that severely damages the other team whenever it pings into his hands. On a Bucks team that needs floor spacers who can also put the ball on the floor and make a play, Brogdon is critical. He finished the regular season shooting over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, and 90 percent from the line, plus his ability to funnel ball-handlers into the paint is perfect for Milwaukee’s defensive scheme. He’s sturdy.

The 2017 Rookie of the Year is also a restricted free agent. At 26, he has room to improve and his new contract should cover most of his prime. The Bucks can match any contract offer from another team, but if a rival goes bananas on a long-term deal, all bets are off. Knowing Milwaukee just payed Bledsoe, has to pay Middleton, and wants to avoid the luxury tax as long as it can before Antetokounmpo’s supermax contract kicks in, the threat of a punitive offer sheet from another team is a real possibility.

Milwaukee may just match whatever sheet Brogdon signs, or be able to find some common ground on a deal that makes everyone happy before another team gets to set the terms. Hometown discounts are the lifeblood of any dynastic run.

But Brogdon is the type of plug-and-play professional who functions just about anywhere, be it on a growing team in search of stability or an established group that wants to reach the next level by finding complementary role players for their star(s). The Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, and Los Angeles Lakers should be interested.

Brogdon’s foot injury in the middle of March gave us a glimpse of what life may be like for the Bucks without him. They went 7-1 before he made his postseason debut, with Pat Connaughton, Sterling Brown, and Hill filling in. But none of those guys can make Kawhi Leonard battle for his own personal space, like Brogdon has against Toronto, in addition to his other skills.

As the competition stiffens, players like Brogdon are exactly what the Bucks need. Losing him would be a blow.

Brook Lopez

Lopez is a uniquely critical piece in Milwaukee’s puzzle. He’s also the free agent who’s most likely to flee, due to the nature of his current contract.

Lopez finished the regular season as one of 17 players to launch at least 500 threes, and made 37 percent of them when wide open. He spaces opposing centers out to give Antetokounmpo necessary driving lanes while simultaneously functioning as the backline anchor of a defense that owned the paint.

The bad news is Milwaukee doesn’t own Lopez’s Bird Rights, on account of the bargain one-year, $3.3 million contract he signed last summer. That means that if they want to pay him more than $4 million, they need cap space to do it. The Bucks would have to renounce all their free agents (not including Middleton) and waive Hill to make re-signing Lopez a conversation, but even that probably doesn’t clear enough space to compete with other teams’ check books.

That bad news gets a little worse when scanning this free-agent class for a replacement. There are zero affordable centers who can fill Lopez role and be signed with the mid-level exception. (DeMarcus Cousins is a pipe dream, but as close as Milwaukee could get to replicating Lopez’s two-way impact.) A few bigs, such as DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee, Anthony Tolliver, Mike Muscala, and Mike Scott, can alleviate one side of the ball, but not the other. Internally, the DJ Wilson/Ersan Ilyasova tandem may be able to fill the void, but neither can snuff out layups and drain five 30 footers in the same game.

Losing Lopez will be hard, but it also may force Budenholzer to change his scheme in ways that could benefit Milwaukee in the long run, particularly if it unleashes Giannis as a part-time center (something he hasn’t done much of throughout his career). Great coaches make their style fit personnel, not the other way around.

How the Bucks response to Lopez’s possible departure will be fascinating. It’ll tell us a lot about Giannis’s greatness and how dramatically this team will be able to evolve around him over the next few years.

George Hill

The Bucks might’ve been in legitimate trouble in the second round against Boston if Hill didn’t average 14 points on 60 percent shooting. But unless they’re willing to pay him $18 million next year (about $2.5 million more than Bledsoe is set to earn), he probably won’t be around.

Nikola Mirotic

Mirotic’s shooting tacks onto what the Bucks already have in their frontcourt, but no team will ever say “No thanks, I think we already have enough shooters.” The relevant question then becomes if Milwaukee can find shooting at a cheaper cost. It’ll be very hard for them to stay under the luxury tax if they keep Mirotic, in addition to re-signing Middleton and Brogdon (at a deal that hypothetically starts around $15 million). But if Lopez leaves, keeping Mirotic may be a priority.


Tie all this together and next year’s teams will not look like the one that’s savaged the entire league.

Nobody should feel bad for the Bucks, of course. Their primary competition — Golden State, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, etc. — is about to face more significant existential questions with their own free agents. Milwaukee already has several young players who are (hopefully) ready to step in and assume larger roles – Wilson, Donte DiVincenzo, Brown, and Connaughton — along with a first-round pick. Bledsoe is locked up through 2022 on a sneaky tradable contract, thanks to the non-guaranteed year in 2022-23. Ilyasova is around for at least one more go around, as his contract is non-guaranteed after next season. Tony Snell is alive!

But the only thing harder than going from good to great is staying great for a long time. Even when you have a player that evokes the supernatural, getting this close to the summit against— much less multiple trips to the Finals — are not guaranteed. Antetokounmpo will singlehandedly prevent the Bucks’ floor from dropping below a certain threshold, but when the championship is a goal worth embracing, routine playoff appearances won’t cut it. (Keeping this train on track will be even trickier thanks to previous trades that shipped out their first-round picks in 2020 and 2022.)

The Bucks were a juggernaut this season, but this summer will ultimately determine how long they stay that way. Going forward, their culture, player development, and system that maximizes everyone’s skill will be tested against teams that now have a season’s worth of film to combat it. They’ll go from hunter to hunted, possibly without two or three integral pieces that helped them get where they are.

However arduous their future is, Antetokounmpo and Budenholzer are nothing if not confident in each other. Both will get better as they age, and are positioned to reach a level of excellence that can make everything around them feel interchangeable.

Even in defeat, the Bucks arrived this year. Now, let’s see how long they can stay here.


Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The Raptors risked it all for Kawhi Leonard. Now, they’re going to the NBA Finals

Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares

One of the toughest trades in this franchise’s history has finally, finally paid off.

This is why you go all-in. This is why you make the unpopular decision. The Toronto Raptors traded the face of their franchise for an injured all-world player who can leave in free agency this summer. Now, that superstar player has led them to their first NBA Finals appearance — ever.

That player is Kawhi Leonard, who thoroughly dominated the Bucks, playing on one leg ever since his team went behind, 2-0, in Game 2. Even with that injury, Leonard was still the best player in a series against a team that may have the league’s Most Valuable Player. He willed Toronto to an improbable rally and a six-game series win.

But the story of Toronto’s trip to the NBA Finals isn’t just about one player. It’s about a supporting cast that stepped up when their star, their franchise, their city needed them most.

Leonard was sensational, but so was Kyle Lowry, who took everything we thought about him in the playoffs and turned the narrative onto its head, one timely charge, made three made, or shot created for someone else at a time. Lowry was good, but so was Fred VanVleet, who may have strung together one of the best series of games he’s ever played. VanVleet was special, but so was Norman Powell, whose 19 points in Toronto’s double-overtime Game 3 win sparked this incredible Raptors’ series comeback. Powell was good, but so were Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, who were both brilliant after the Raptors lost the first two games of this series.

None of this was possible without Leonard, who labored on one leg to deliver one of the most remarkable six-game performances the playoffs have witnessed. He punctuated is with one absolute poster of a dunk on Antetokounmpo.

Leonard was brilliant as a destroyer, as a decoy, as a defender and as a facilitator. Maybe most importantly, he was brilliant as a leader, his reserved demeanor steadying this Toronto team to their deepest postseason run, ever.

The Raptors proved they were the better team, better than the best in the East, the darling Bucks who many tabbed as the toughest challenge to the reigning champions. Now, they’ll go toe-to-toe with the Warriors with an NBA championship hanging in the balance.

Here we go again.

Leonard will match up, once again, against the Warriors team that cost him a season when Zaza Pachulia slid under his jump shot in the Western Conference Finals two years ago. Leonard will now have a chance to exact his revenge. The stakes have never been higher.

This wouldn’t have happened had Masai Ujiri never pulled the trigger on the toughest decision he’s made as president of the Toronto Raptors: trading DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard. Last summer. This is why Ujiri is endeared as one of the best at his job in this league.

The Raptors went all-in, and so many hated the decision. It has officially finally paid off. The Toronto Raptors are going to the NBA Finals. And Kawhi Leonard, the soon-to-be free agent, is supposed to leave?


Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?


Posted by
realDonaldTrump on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 10:29pm

38065 likes, 9608 retweets

3617 likes, 1056 retweets


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Banks can hold off handing over Trump’s financial records to Congress – South China Morning Post

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from “deutsche bank and trump” – Google News.

Banks can hold off handing over Trump’s financial records to Congress  South China Morning Post

Deutsche Bank and Capital One will not have to immediately hand over the financial records of US President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump …


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

mikenov on Twitter: Banks can hold off handing over Trump’s financial records to Congress scmp.com/news/world/uni… via @scmpnews

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Banks can hold off handing over Trump’s financial records to Congress scmp.com/news/world/uni… via @scmpnews


Posted by

mikenov
on Sunday, May 26th, 2019 12:23am

mikenov on Twitter


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Banks can hold off handing over Donald Trump’s financial records to Congress pending an appeal, court says

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

“The parties have reached an agreement regarding compliance with and enforcement of the subpoenas” while the appeal to the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals is pending, the filing said.

The New York headquarters for Deutsche Bank is seen along Wall Street. Photo: Getty Images via AFP

Parts of the subpoenas have been included in court filings. The subpoena on Deutsche Bank seeks records of accounts, transactions and investments linked to Trump, his three oldest children, their immediate family members and several Trump Organisation entities, as well as records of ties they might have to foreign entities.

Deutsche Bank has long been a principal lender for Trump’s real estate business and a 2017 disclosure form showed that Trump had at least US$130 million of liabilities to the bank.

SUBSCRIBE TO SCMP Today: Intl Edition

Get updates direct to your inbox

Thank you for your subscription.

The subpoena on Capital One seeks records related to multiple entities tied to the Trump Organisation’s hotel business.

Marc Mukasey, a lawyer for Trump, exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse on Wednesday after a ruling by a judge to allow Deutsche Bank and Capital One to provide financial records to investigators. Photo: Reuters

It followed an informal request to the bank by Democratic lawmakers in March seeking records related to potential conflicts of interest tied to Trump’s Washington hotel and other businesses.

A lawyer for the Trumps argued earlier this week that the subpoenas exceeded the authority of Congress and were “the epitome of an inquiry into private or personal matters”.

US District Judge Edgardo Ramos, however, found that they were allowed under the broad authority of Congress to conduct investigations to further legislation.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

European Royals are ALL from Edom / Esau – The National Newspaper

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Riksavisen.

alpha map_thumb



Not one of the Royal Houses in Europe is from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, probably nor from the tribe of Judah.
There was a coup d’état, and Edomites and Khazars took the power, by killings, lies and deceptions. “You Shall Know themselve by their fruits,” just as Herod was an Edomite ..

Judaized Christianity. Real Lost Tribes of Israel (white European people), hijacked by the Khazars, Edomites and askenazis, by The Crown WHO pretend They are British Israelites, Rothschilds et al. May Cromwell still burn in Hell for beeing paid two allow themselve back into England, and comfortable two do this infltration and identity theft.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Psychiatry, Wilhelm II and the Question of German War Guilt The William Bynum Prize Essay 2016

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Medical History.

1 Introduction

In the morning hours of 10 November 1918, the day after the proclamation of the German republic, Wilhelm II crossed the border in his imperial court train, leaving Germany for his exile in the Netherlands. He never returned, but neither did he leave the minds of his people. A few months later, the socialite, diplomat and ‘red count’ Harry Kessler (1868–1937) noted in his diary: ‘This evening, [the diplomat Conrad Gisbert] Romberg came to dine with me in the Union club. We discussed his assignment to the Foreign Office and my idea for a league of nations. Later, [the composer Max von] Schillings joined us and spoke in his clownishly genial way about the Kaiser, about Roosevelt, etc. He most entertainingly characterised the Kaiser as a pathological figure.’
1
The alleged pathology of Wilhelm II was not just the table talk of Kessler’s elite entourage, the topic also captured the attention of dedicated professionals. Immediately after the end of the war – and the de facto abolition of the lese-majesty legislation that would certainly have made most of these publications punishable before – several psychiatrists and physicians and some laypeople issued their diagnoses of Germany’s exiled emperor. In numerous newspaper articles, pamphlets, contributions to medical journals and whole books, they pondered the alleged mental defects of the Kaiser and their political implications.

The depiction of Wilhelm II as an ‘operetta character suffering from megalomania’ has had a lasting impact on the public image of the last German emperor.
2
Moreover, some of these writings have been also used by historians to support their portrayals of the personality of Wilhelm II, for example John C. G. Röhl, author of a considerable body of authoritative studies on the Kaiser’s life, Nicolaus Sombart and Thomas A. Kohut.
3
Understanding the defects of Wilhelm’s personality, they suggest, means understanding the political actions of a key figure in the outbreak of the First World War. The question whether the Kaiser was a ‘pathological figure’ seems directly linked to the question of who was responsible for the global cataclysm of 1914–18. Therefore, the issue of Wilhelm II’s alleged mental defects became part of the debate about the origins of the First World War; a topic that has since filled entire libraries and resurfaces periodically, most recently in the context of the centenary of the war and Christopher Clark’s widely read account of how European diplomacy stumbled into an avoidable catastrophe, The Sleepwalkers.
4
Although psycho-history is clearly not as fashionable as it once used to be, the step from metaphorical somnambulism to actual psychiatric diagnosis is apparently tempting, and the connection between the mental state of a major protagonist and the ensuing cataclysm seems intuitively compelling.

Yet, using the historical diagnoses of Wilhelm II in this way is misleading. The main problem is that Röhl and other scholars have taken these documents at face value, isolated from their context of origin in both medical and political history. Although the medical authority of some of the authors seems to lend some weight to their assessments of the Kaiser, they do not stand as actual psychiatric diagnoses. None of these self-proclaimed experts ever met Wilhelm II in person, let alone conducted any kind of clinical examination that would allow for a diagnosis meeting contemporary or present-day standards. However, this article is not about the well-known shortcomings of psycho-history. Instead, I argue that these writings may tell us something about the political debates of the immediate post-war period and the Germans’ difficulties in coping with the war, the defeat and the collapse of the monarchy. The numerous psychiatric diagnoses of Wilhelm II, in other words, may tell us less about the mind of the exiled emperor and more about post-war Germany’s political and emotional ‘culture of defeat’, as medical concepts became part of a heated debate about the implications of the war and about the future of the German nation.
5

What did it mean to diagnose the exiled emperor as mentally ill in post-war Germany? As I intend to show, finding out what these diagnoses signified in their specific historical context proves to be more complex than one might initially expect; a problem that is exacerbated by the fact that these writings cannot be situated in a single ideological camp. Quite the contrary, when assessing the mental state of the exiled emperor, left-wing socialist pacifists and jingoist right-wing nationalists came up with strikingly similar arguments. Of course, the most obvious interpretation would be to read these diagnoses as an attack on Wilhelm’s public and political persona. Now as then, calling someone ‘mad’ or a ‘psychopath’ is one of the more strident ad hominem attacks that political rhetoric has to offer. While the explanatory value is usually more than questionable, political ideas are personalised and delegitimised as figments of a deranged mind and the target is effectively excluded from the sphere of legitimate politics. In post-war Germany, the diagnosis could thus be used to counter demands for Wilhelm’s return to Germany and to open the political stage for new actors. This is, however, not the whole story. When the question of legal and moral culpability is raised – as it was in the case of the Kaiser by the allies and parts of the German public – psychiatric diagnoses may function as a defence rather than as an attack. There is a long-standing legal tradition that madness mitigates or fully suspends culpability,
6
and this reasoning could also be applied to the question of who was to blame for the war that had devastated Europe. But in this case, the culpability did not just vanish into thin air, instead, the diagnoses of Wilhelm II were used as rhetorical tools by which responsibility for the war and the German defeat could be shifted and reallocated. Could a nation be blamed for the decisions taken by a mentally deranged monarch? And if the Kaiser had been weak-willed and prone to suggestion, who had pulled the strings? In short, the question of the mental defects of the Kaiser was in fact a vehicle for a debate about the issue of German war guilt.

And finally, one can invert the direction of the diagnosis. What does it tell not about the diagnosed, but about the diagnosticians? Apart from making a political argument disguised as a psychiatric one, the post-war diagnoses of Wilhelm II were also polemical writings fraught with emotion. The recourse to psychiatric concepts betrayed feelings of disorientation and bewilderment about the political events of the previous years and months. Apparently, something irrational had happened and clinical psychiatry offered the concepts to make sense of unreasonable behaviour. Notably, at the same time, there was a parallel discussion going on in German newspapers and medical journals, with eminent psychiatrists explaining why the 1918/19 revolution had been led by dangerous psychopaths and how a nervous collapse of the nation’s collective soul had prepared the ground for the defeat and the upheaval.
7
The figure of the mad leader featured prominently in both debates, as did the corresponding image of a hoped-for ‘true leader’.

Freudians might perhaps be inclined to recognise an oedipal struggle at play here. Psychoanalysts have routinely paralleled the psychological dynamics of political and family life with the monarch and the father holding a similar patriarchal position. Paul Federn (1871–1950), a loyal disciple of Sigmund Freud, coined the phrase of the ‘fatherless society’ in 1919 when describing the overthrow of political authority at the end of the war as a symbolic act of parricide.
8
Writing in Vienna, the father figure Federn had in mind was of course the venerable Habsburg emperor Franz Josef, who had passed away in 1916 after an epochal reign of sixty-seven years, but parts of his analysis may also apply to his Hohenzollern counterpart. Being declared mentally ill was often perceived as a kind of ‘civic death’. Could a psychiatric diagnosis of a monarch, even a recently exiled one, be a symbolic regicide?
9

The following section of this article lays out some of the historical precedents for the psychiatric diagnosis of a German monarch, in particular, the ‘Caligula’ affair and the deposition of Ludwig II of Bavaria. I then move on to the First World War, when physicians and psychiatrists on the other side of the front lines published damning and polemical diagnoses of the German head of state to support their nations’ war efforts. In sections IV, V, and VI, the focus returns to post-war Germany, where psychiatric diagnoses of Wilhelm II emerged as a genre that was used by authors from all political camps to advance a range of different arguments about the political consequences of the alleged mental illness of the recently exiled emperor. In a brief conclusion, I ask what the case of Wilhelm II can tell us about the present, and argue that, although intuitively compelling, psychiatric diagnoses of political leaders are the result of a disputable confusion between different forms of normativity.

As this article shows, the post-war diagnoses of Wilhelm II defy a straightforward interpretation. I situate these writings in their historical context and examine how declaring the exiled emperor a ‘lunatic’ or ‘psychopath’ could be used to advance different and even contradictory political agendas. In particular, I show that the allegedly deranged mind of Wilhelm II became a metaphor for the political situation of post-war Germany, and that the diagnoses became a medium to discuss many of the pressing questions about who was to blame for the war, about the legitimacy of the last Hohenzollern emperor, and about the future of the German polity.

2 Sandals, Scandals and the Madness of Monarchs

Before turning to the debate that erupted after the end of the First World War, it is important to note that the theme of the mad monarch was not without historical precedent. It will not be necessary to go back as far as Roman antiquity and Tacitus, who in his Histories lamented the furor principum that led to the burning of the Temple of Jupiter in AD 69.
10
In modern Germany, the concept first reached a larger audience with a novel by Gustav Freytag (1816–95), Die verlorene Handschrift [The Lost Manuscript], published in 1864. Freytag, one of the most widely read German novelist of his time, translated Tacitus’s concept as Cäsarenwahnsinn [Caesarean madness] and introduced it to the German language.
11
In the last third of the nineteenth century, the figure of the megalomaniac emperor became a common topic in Germany, as novelists, psychiatrists and ancient historians discussed the mental disorders that had led Roman emperors such as Nero and Caligula to engage in their grotesque debaucheries and atrocities.
12

In the historicist nineteenth century, ancient history and present-day politics seemed more closely related than they do today. The eminent historian Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903), for example, used his acclaimed multi-volume history of Rome to advance national-liberal politics in post-1848 Germany.
13
However, it was the issue of the Caesarean madness that pushed Roman antiquity onto the political stage, when a 17-page treatise on the Roman emperor Caligula sparked off one of the largest public scandals in the history of the German Empire. The left-liberal pacifist and future Nobel peace prize laureate Ludwig Quidde (1858–1941) published Caligula, ‘a study on Roman Caesarean madness’ in 1894.
14
Ostensibly, Quidde had written an historical and psychological study of the personality of the first-century Roman emperor, presenting Caligula as a megalomaniac, corrupted by the conditions of monarchist rule. However, Quidde’s contemporaries in imperial Germany had no difficulties in deciphering the true message. Caligula was Wilhelm II in a Roman disguise and Quidde’s booklet was not, or at least not only, a scholarly contribution to ancient history, it was also a thinly veiled condemnation of the rule of the Kaiser and the political culture of the German Empire. Caligula was intended as a provocation, but the intensity of the reaction was surprising nonetheless. It became Wilhelmine Germany’s most circulated political pamphlet, quickly selling some 200 000 copies.
15
Quidde became a celebrity almost overnight, but the ensuing scandal also spelled the end of his academic career. Caligula was controversially discussed in the major newspapers and triggered the publication of a wave of other pamphlets.
16

Historians have since discussed several reasons why Ludwig Quidde’s short text caused such uproar. The implicit depiction of Wilhelm II as a decadent ruler on the brink of insanity must have struck a chord with his contemporaries. Quidde mocked Caligula’s theatrical appearances, his ‘inappropriate passion for grandeur and extravagance’, the ‘gigantic construction projects’ and the ‘lust for military victories’, and many readers easily recognised the eccentricities of the current German emperor in this portrayal.
17
Apart from the obvious anti-monarchist polemic, wide-spread disappointment with the politics of the Kaiser played a considerable role. When Wilhelm II ascended the throne in 1888 at the age of 29, a spirit of optimism took hold of the German Empire, and the liberal members of the middle class in particular. As Quidde wrote about Caligula-Wilhelm: ‘The people cheered him, as the change of government went through all circles like a salvation; an era of reforms seemed to begin and more liberal ideas could circulate freely.’
18
The disillusionment began with the dismissal of Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815–98) in 1890 and Wilhelm II’s blundering and increasingly notorious interference in political matters big and small.
19
Published four years after ‘the dropping of the pilot’, Quidde’s Caligula was an expression of the German liberals’ increasing alienation from the Kaiser. Yet, as Martin Kohlrausch has pointed out, the scandal would not have been possible without the simultaneous transformation of relations between the monarchy, the media and the emerging public sphere. Anticipating the self-referential dynamics of modern media scandals, the logic of the Caligula affair was essentially circular: what made Quidde’s pamphlet truly scandalous was its enormous success, which would not have been possible without the media reactions in the first place.
20

Although Quidde introduced the Caesarean madness as a ‘specific form of mental illness’, he had no interest in issuing a psychiatric diagnosis. There was no reference to medical authorities in the text and the question where Caligula’s affliction might be found in a contemporary psychiatric textbook was secondary to Quidde’s argument. The Caesarean madness was no medical issue caused by individual psychology or physiological anomaly, but a moral and political problem stemming from the conditions of political leadership: ‘The Caesarean madness is the product of conditions that can only flourish due to the moral degeneration of monarchist nations, or at least of the upper classes, of which the closer entourage of the monarch consists.’
21
However, Quidde’s pamphlet introduced a conceptual template on which the Kaiser’s post-war diagnosticians could build.

Moreover, it is important to remember that in nineteenth-century Germany, the issue of royal insanity was not always confined to antiquity and political rhetoric. As the end of the reign of Ludwig II (1845–86) shows, a psychiatric diagnosis had in fact the power to dethrone a king. The king of Bavaria was deposed on 10 June 1886 after a psychiatric assessment had found him mentally ill and incapable of ruling.
22
Three days later, he was found dead in Lake Starnberg, with the body of psychiatrist Bernhard von Gudden (1824–86), who had been the main author of the assessment, floating next to him. The exact circumstances of the double drowning remain somewhat murky, something Bavarian monarchists who indulge in conspiracy theories do not tire of repeating. More importantly, the procedures leading to the dethronement of Ludwig II exemplify that, when a head of state was diagnosed as insane and unfit to rule, there could be no clear-cut distinction between medicine and politics. A medical and psychiatric diagnosis of a king’s natural mind and body necessarily affected his political body as well.
23

Furthermore, it is true that in the case of Ludwig II psychiatric experts were mobilised for dynastic and political motives rather than due to medical concerns. His deposition was a reaction to his way of ruling. Even today, he is well known for having had less interest in everyday politics than in Wagnerian bombast and extravagant architecture. Now the kitschy castles built during his reign attract millions of tourists to Bavaria each year; at the time of their construction, however, they were a considerable fiscal burden to the monarchy and the state. The king’s neglect of his representational duties, his alienation from key political actors and growing debt eventually led Prince Luitpold (1821–1912) to instigate the procedures leading to dethronement. Psychiatry was used to dispose of the Wittelsbach king while preserving the institutional status quo, and avoiding criticism of the institution of monarchy as such. Consequently, the idea of a specific ‘Caesarean’ form of madness as a symptom of a structural problem of monarchic rule could not be applied in the case of Ludwig II, but when the mental state of Wilhelm II became a publicly debated topic three decades later, the memory of the Bavarian royal drama was still lingering in the background, due not only to its political impact, but also to the late Bernhard von Gudden’s lasting prominence among German psychiatrists.

Unlike the somewhat clichéd figure of the delusional mental patient imagining himself as emperor, real monarchs were hardly a common sight in fin-de-siècle psychiatry.
24
Epidemiologically speaking, however, this seems to have had less to do with the prevalence of mental disorders among crowned heads, and more with their small number relative to the general population. In the sixteenth century alone, close to thirty German dukes, landgraves, and counts and one Holy Roman emperor, were considered by contemporaries to be mad.
25
Numerous other examples of allegedly insane monarchs can be found in later centuries as well as in other European countries. For Carl Pelman (1838–1916), a psychiatrist and former asylum director, the Caesarean madness was an occupational disease threatening monarchs – ‘a psychosis, which, by its nature, was caused by the Caesarean vocation’.
26
As Pelman claimed in a 1910 book on borderline states in psychiatry, the Caesarean madness would not develop without a pathological disposition, but in history it had mainly been a result of monarchic rule itself. Unchecked political power and an entourage of adulatory and sequacious courtiers and servants were the conditions leading to a psychosis manifesting itself in ‘suspicion and guile, hypocrisy and pretence, to the most brutal externalisation of bloodthirstiness and cruelty’. This diagnosis could fit in seamlessly with contemporary orientalist tropes. The despotic orient was where the disease had always flourished, and it was Julius Caesar’s import of eastern customs that had brought it to Rome.
27
Pelman arrived in modern Germany only after a lengthy and colourful discussion of the mental abnormities of Roman emperors and Russian czars. The end of the rule of Ludwig II of Bavaria, he argued, was the unlikely example of a case of Caesarean madness in a constitutional monarchy, were most of the atrocities happened only in the monarch’s imagination and in which the individual disposition outweighed the political framework. Pelman neither shared Quidde’s audacity, nor his liberal and anti-monarchist leanings. Wilhelm II was absent here and there is no indication that Pelman saw his text as a commentary on contemporary politics. However, he set the course for the post-war debate in several regards. He claimed the issue of the Caesarean madness for professional psychiatrists, he shifted the focus of the discourse from nurture to nature, and he anticipated the exculpatory function of the post-war debate when he argued that the fact that the mad emperors in history suffered from mental illness mitigated their culpability. ‘To understand all is to pardon all’, Pelman concluded.
28

3 The Chin of Franz Josef, the Arm of Wilhelm and the Nose of Cleopatra

In the three decades of his reign, Wilhelm II repeatedly found himself at the centre of political scandals, caused by impulsiveness, erratic politics, inflammatory speeches and ham-fisted appearances on the international stage. Together with his personal eccentricities, the Kaiser’s political blunders caused many contemporaries to wonder what was going on in the mind of the head of the German state.
29
However, as the consequences of the Caligula scandal had shown, this was clearly not a suitable topic to be broached in public. Only after the outbreak of the First World War did speculations about the mental state of the German emperor begin to circulate again in printed form. However, for obvious reasons, this happened not in Germany, but on the other side of the front line, when psychiatry became embroiled in wartime polemics. Freud lamented in 1915 that even ‘science has lost its sober impartiality; its embittered servants try to extract weapons from it to contribute to the fight against the enemy. The anthropologist has to declare the enemy inferior and degenerate, the psychiatrist must proclaim the diagnosis of his mental defects.’
30
Diagnosing the Kaiser became part of the ‘war of words’, in which European intellectuals supported the fighting troops by using scientific arguments as shells that could be lobbed at enemy nations. I will use two examples, from France and Italy respectively, to illustrate the principal arguments of the debate.

One the first and most widely read diagnoses of Wilhelm II to appear during the First World War was Augustin Cabanès’s (1862–1928) Folie d’empereur, a tome of 460 pages that not only promised to pass a ‘medical judgement’ on the German emperor, but also to diagnose the whole Hohenzollern bloodline as a ‘dynasty of degenerates’.
31
The author was a French physician, medical historian and prolific populariser, whose oeuvre revolved around the role of medicine and sickness in political history. Cabanès applied his familiar historical approach to the Hohenzollerns, recounting the entire history of the dynasty since the Middle Ages and relishing in the detailed description of the alleged physical and mental abnormalities of his protagonists. The current emperor Wilhelm II appeared late in the book, after more than 400 pages. For his portrayal of the Kaiser, Cabanès drew heavily on Quidde’s Caligula, which the journal L’information had published as a timely French translation in December 1914.
32
The scope of his diagnosis went well beyond Quidde’s, as the physician Cabanès was interested not only in Wilhelm’s behaviour, but also in his bodily deformations. Wilhelm’s left arm, crippled due to perinatal complications, became the topic of lengthy elaborations; an aspect that was, notably, conspicuously absent from the diagnoses appearing in Germany after the end of the war.
33

What was missing from Cabanès’s argument was a link between body and mind. As Wilhelm’s crippled arm was not congenital but the result of an injury received at birth, it hardly fitted the fashionable concept of degeneration touted in the book’s title. The ‘imperial ear’ was a more promising object of study; the attached earlobe purportedly visible on some photographs being one of the ‘anatomical stigmas of degeneration’ listed by fin-de-siècle anthropologists.
34
However, Cabanès had little evidence for this interpretation and speculated instead about a range of infections that might have caused Wilhelm’s alleged otological troubles. Without a theory to connect soma and psyche, Wilhelm’s body could offer no explanation for the character traits and motives guiding his political decision making. Alfred Adler’s (1870–1937) concept of the ‘inferiority complex’, introduced in 1912, only became part of the debate about the mental state of Wilhelm II after the war had come to an end.
35
In Cabanès’s account the physical deformation of the German emperor had certainly more to do with medical sensationalism than with a stringent psychopathological diagnosis. After all, the main thrust of his argument was that Wilhelm II was where all the negative traits of the Hohenzollerns culminated: ‘the brutality of the Soldier King [Frederick William I of Prussia], the amorality of the “great” Frederick, the pietism of Frederick William II, the hazy brain of Frederick William IV’.
36
Cabanès’s diagnosis of the Hohenzollerns was a typical piece of wartime propaganda in the guise of historical and medical scholarship, supporting the French Army in their defence of civilisation against a nation of brutes and madmen.

The Italian psychiatrist Ernesto Lugaro (1870–1940) was more sceptical about the political implications that came with diagnosing Wilhelm II.
37
Two months after the kingdom of Italy had entered the war on the side of the Entente powers in late August 1916, he used an extensive editorial in the Rivista di Patologia nervosa e mentale to ponder the question whether German and Austro-Hungarian politics were caused by an individual ‘madness of the emperor’ or a collective ‘national aberration’.
38
It was not as if Lugaro generally disagreed with Cabanès. He found the German Kaiser to be physically, mentally and morally defective, and held the same to be true for his Austro-Hungarian counterpart Franz Josef. That Lugaro included the Habsburg emperor in his deliberations is not surprising, as the Italian troops were facing the Austro-Hungarian army along the hard-fought Isonzo front. The diagnosis of Franz Josef, however, differed considerably from that of Wilhelm II. Franz Josef was known for being dull rather than impulsive, and his old age allowed for speculations about dementia. Moreover, unlike Wilhelm’s arm, the characteristic protruding chin of the Habsburgs, immortalised on numerous portraits since the early modern period, could easily be interpreted as a sign of hereditary degeneration. As successor of Cesare Lombroso (1835–1909) as chair of psychiatry in Turin, Lugaro was certainly familiar with the theories of the Italian school of ‘positivist criminology’ with its focus on the links between physical signs of degeneration and deviant, criminal and political, behaviour.
39
Nevertheless, his argument took another direction.

Lugaro rejected Cabanès’s and others’ jump from medical diagnosis to political conclusion. Questioning whether the deformities of the Habsburg and Hohenzollern emperors could really influence the course of history in the way the previous diagnoses implied, he alluded to Blaise Pascal’s (1623–62) famous counterfactual: ‘The chin of Franz Josef and the arm of Wilhelm count nothing against the nose of Cleopatra.’
40
Lugaro was concerned that the fixation on the personal defects and role of the emperors might obfuscate the real causes of the war, and that, contrary to their intended function, these diagnoses might actually entail an exculpation of the enemy nations. Blaming the emperors was ‘a dangerous mistake, because it tends to veil the true responsible, who is not a man, but a nation, the German one’.
41
While shifting the debate from the individual to the collective, Lugaro nevertheless remained inside the realm of psychiatric diagnosis. Like many psychiatrists of his time he firmly believed in the possibility of collective neurosis, transmitted from a charismatic individual to a larger group of people through a somewhat opaque process of suggestion. But this was not enough to explain the current political situation:
42
‘The national infatuation of the Germans is of another nature: less severe from the psychiatric point of view, but far worse concerning the social and political consequences’.
43
The German nation, Lugaro argued, had over the course of centuries developed a striving for hegemony, which had all the characteristics of a collective mental illness, and was reinforced by generations of reciprocal suggestion. And like a mental patient who was a threat to society, Germany had become a dangerous nation and a threat to its neighbours.
44

4 Madness as a Political Metaphor

The moment the Kaiser left Germany, the questions about his mental state returned. The weeks and months after the armistice saw the publication of numerous treatises discussing the sanity of the exiled emperor. The idea that Wilhelm II suffered from a mental disorder was discussed in party newspapers, professional journals, widely circulated books and obscure brochures, and it occupied well-established psychiatrists and laypeople alike. As I intend to show, the reason that the mental state of Wilhelm continued to haunt the German public after his flight to the Netherlands was that the topic offered a way to discuss the key questions of the post-war period: Who was to blame for the war, who was to blame for the German defeat and how should the victors treat the vanquished? The mind of Wilhelm II became a metaphor for Germany’s political situation, and like every successful metaphor, it could be read in a variety of ways.

The first post-war diagnosis of the exiled Kaiser to be published in Germany had in fact been written in neutral Switzerland. On 22 and 23 November 1918, Auguste Forel (1848–1931) published a two-piece article in Vorwärts,
45
, the newspaper of the German Social Democrats, who after decades in opposition were now in control of the interim post-war government, the Council of the People’s Deputies, but split into a centrist and a left-wing socialist party. During the war, its newspaper had swayed between the majority and the left wing of the party, and in January 1919, the publishing building would become the site of violent clashes between Spartacist revolutionaries and right-wing Freikorps militias supporting the government.
46
That Forel, who had acquired international renown as a psychiatrist, myrmecologist and social reformer, chose Vorwärts to publish his thoughts about the mental state of Wilhelm II and German politics was a logical consequence of both the German Social Democrats’ long-standing quarrels with the emperor and Forel’s own anti-monarchist and left-wing political views. Forel was an avowed socialist who had joined the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland in 1916. He also was a devout believer in scientific progress and a resolute internationalist and pacifist, who soon after the outbreak of the First World War had published his programme for an Esperanto-speaking, teetotal, post-religious and demilitarised world society with radical eugenics.
47
At the core of Forel’s rampant political ideas stood the belief that scientific objectivity, and the understanding of the human brain in particular, could lead the way to an enlightened utopia.
48
A similar translation of psychiatric authority into political expertise was also at work in his diagnosis of Wilhelm II.

Auguste Forel’s diagnosis was based on his authority as a renowned psychiatrist rather than on actual medical evidence. Without the possibility of a physical or psychological examination, Forel had to rely on hearsay and anecdotes, including a caricature in ‘a humorous Viennese paper, whose name I have forgotten’.
49
This was a rather shaky foundation for a diagnosis, but it did not stop him from confidently declaring that Wilhelm II was ‘unbalanced, impulsive, psychically abnormal’, suffering from ‘affective megalomania’ and to be ‘pitied as a congenitally abnormal person, but incurable’.
50
Even the origin of the sickness was no mystery to Forel, who claimed that the bloodline of the Hohenzollern had been spoiled when it was ‘mixed with the blood of an English princess’, that is, Wilhelm’s mother Victoria, Princess Royal (1840–1901).
51
This was a very convenient argument, repeated in several other diagnoses of Wilhelm. It allowed to detach the discussion of Wilhelm’s hereditary pathology from the rest of the Hohenzollern dynasty, while at the same time identifying the source of the illness as someone both foreign and female.

The political thrust of the argument became more visible in the second part of the article.
52
Like Ernesto Lugaro, Forel used the elusive concept of ‘suggestion’ to bridge the individualising perspective of clinical psychiatry and the collective dimension of politics, connecting the mental life of the emperor and the nation. In Forel’s analysis, Wilhelm II was both suggestive and suggestible; able to fascinate and dazzle the masses, while at the same time weak-willed enough to be easily influenced and guided himself. If the mentally unstable monarch could be swung like a hypnotist’s pendulum, the diagnosis of his illness prompted questions about who had held the string. Speculations about a secretive ‘camarilla’ manipulating Wilhelm from behind the scenes of the imperial court had already been voiced during the Eulenburg scandal of 1906–09.
53
A decade later, Forel reframed this narrative as a psychiatric diagnosis, while at the same time linking it to the question of German war guilt and rounding up his usual suspects, including ‘Junkers, military leaders, big capitalists and industrialists, bureaucrats and professors, holders of decorations and titles, pensioners …, the pan-German clique …and many others, not to forget a number of clergymen’. Using the Kaiser as a front, this group created a state of ‘megalomaniac, affective suggestion’ and plunged the docile German people into phantasies of world domination and aggressive expansion.
54

By sweepingly blaming elites and interest groups, Forel exculpated the German nation. An entire people, especially one as conscientious and devoted to duty as the Germans, Forel claimed, could not have recognised the pathology of Wilhelm II. Those individuals who were aware of the situation remained silent for fear of being imprisoned and the industrial and economic boom in the early years of Wilhelm’s rule prevented any major public dissent. Thus, the German nation could not be held accountable for the war and its ramifications. As Forel saw it, his psychiatric diagnosis of Wilhelm had direct political consequences for the post-war order. The French, British and Americans would have to give up their desire for revenge on the vanquished but blameless Germans and instead work to prevent a future repetition of the catastrophe by creating a truly democratic, global league of nations.
55

Diagnosing Wilhelm II soon became a short-lived but popular genre of its own. Among the many books, articles and pamphlets printed in quick succession, one slim booklet stood out. Die Krankheit Wilhelms II. [The illness of Wilhelm II’] quickly sold over 18 000 copies in four editions and attracted so much public attention that the author, Paul Tesdorpf (1858–1936), soon published a second booklet with open letters addressing some of the criticism.
56
Tesdorpf was a largely unknown physician and dabbling poet from Munich, lacking the credentials of a renowned psychiatrist like Forel to bolster his claims. Apart from the wish to render his argument accessible for a lay audience, establishing his role as a psychiatric expert was probably the reason why he spent more than a dozen pages on a lengthy discussion of the general concept of mental illness.
57
Moreover, Tesdorpf named Hubert von Grashey (1839–1914) and Bernhard von Gudden as his teachers; both eminent Bavarian psychiatrists of the late nineteenth century, as well as authors of the medical assessment that had led to the dethronement of Ludwig II in 1886.
58
After establishing his medical authority, and on the basis of some anecdotes, Tesdorpf presented his diagnosis of the exiled emperor. Wilhelm II, he claimed, was a typical case of ‘hereditary mental degeneration’ and suffered from ‘periodic insanity’ (periodisches Irresein), oscillating between normality and phases of intense agitation or depression.
59

Paul Tesdorpf clearly had another audience in mind than Auguste Forel, and, although similar in many aspects, his diagnosis of the Kaiser had very different political implications. The publishing house of Julius Friedrich Lehmann (1864–1935), where both of his booklets appeared, was the link between Germany’s medical establishment and far-right nationalists. Lehmann published medical literature like the high-circulation Münchener Medizinische Wochenschrift [Munich medical weekly] as well as nationalist and anti-Semitic tracts, and used his role as a leading medical publisher to popularise eugenics and racial hygiene and to subsidise other nationalist works.
60
As a ‘fervent ultra-nationalist’ he was a central part of the völkisch scene in post-war Munich, from which the National Socialist Workers’ Party emerged, and a member of several paramilitary organisations.
61
In the aftermath of the First World War, Lehmann began to peddle stab-in-the-back conspiracy lore with numerous publications claiming that the German army had remained unvanquished and that the nation had been betrayed by Jews and Bolshevists. A psychiatric diagnosis of Wilhelm II, with its potential to divert the responsibility for the war away from the German nation and the responsibility for the defeat away from the army and the generals, could fit well in this agenda.

Auguste Forel had used the diagnosis of Wilhelm II to attack the monarchy and the Wilhelmine elites; Paul Tesdorpf used it to defend the emperor. In the preface to Die Krankheit Wilhelms II., signed the same day Forel published his Vorwärts article, Tesdorpf presented his diagnosis as an act of loyalty to the Kaiser. Wilhelm was to blame for the war, but his moral and political guilt was mitigated by his mental illness.
62
Despite a considerable amount of pathos, Tesdorpf’s political position is difficult to discern; as some references to ‘free citizens’ and the idea that all power should emanate from the people suggest, he most likely held national liberal views.
63
His publisher, however, had little qualms about hijacking his author’s argument for his own political agenda. In a foreword to the second booklet published in September 1919, Lehmann personally defended the diagnosis and his decision to publish it against the criticism from ‘various sides’, while at the same distancing himself from Tesdorpf’s political views.
64
As Lehmann claimed, the people had to know about the mental state of Wilhelm to understand ‘that it is not monarchy as such that is an untenable condition, but that it is only untenable when there is a man at the top who does not have the mental powers necessary to hold such a heavy office’.
65
In the hands of the ultra-nationalist publisher, diagnosing the monarch was a way to defend the monarchist status quo ante. By personalising the political responsibility for the war and the German defeat, one could avoid talking about the shortcomings of the pre-1914 political system. Anyway, Lehmann was convinced that democracy offered no alternative. He believed that the revolutionary post-war government of Bavaria, which had been ousted in May 1919 after heavy and brutal fighting with loyal elements of the German army and Freikorps, had consisted of ‘nothing but mentally ill men’.
66

5 Courtroom Psychiatry, International Politics and the Question of War Guilt

Diagnosing the Kaiser could be used to mitigate and to reallocate political and moral responsibility. During the war, the Italian psychiatrist Ernesto Lugaro had warned his colleagues that focusing on Wilhelm’s mental illness might be poorly suited as an argument for wartime propaganda, as it obfuscated the role of the German nation. Physicians like Auguste Forel and Paul Tesdorpf tried to achieve exactly this when they used the exiled emperor’s alleged mental illness to personalise and mitigate Germany’s responsibility for the war. However, the debate about the Kaiser’s illness and culpability could also be framed in the more traditional form of an insanity plea. The German criminal code of 1871, like the legal traditions of many other countries, stipulated that no criminal offence had been committed if the defendant had been in ‘a state of unconsciousness or pathological disorder of mental activity’ at the time of the act.
67
As part of the professionalisation of psychiatry in the second half of the nineteenth century, Section 51 created the legal basis for the increasing presence of psychiatrists as medical experts in German courts, and for the emergence of forensic psychiatry and criminology as distinct disciplines.
68
When Paul Tesdorpf and his publisher Julius Friedrich Lehmann presented the diagnosis of Wilhelm’s mental illness as evidence against his personal guilt for the First World War, they positioned themselves as self-appointed experts in a trial of the exiled emperor.
69

At the time, putting Wilhelm II on trial seemed a real possibility. The Kaiser stood accused not only in the court of public opinion, but also by the victorious powers. The Treaty of Versailles, signed on 28 June 1919, provided for an international tribunal against Wilhelm II ‘for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties’.
70
As the Netherlands refused to extradite the Kaiser, the tribunal never took place. Nevertheless, Article 227 of the treaty marked a momentous shift in international law. For the first time, a head of state was to be held personally responsible for war crimes in front of an international court.
71
The treaty introduced a new concept of personal culpability to international criminal law that set a precedent for institutions like the International Criminal Court in The Hague. To some extent, the psychiatric diagnoses of the Kaiser, although commissioned neither by the tribunal nor the defendant, followed a similar understanding of personal war guilt.

However, this kind of psychiatric exculpation was ambiguous. It made it possible to mitigate both the Germans’ and Wilhelm’s personal responsibility for the war, but, as a kind of collateral damage, also attacked the image and legitimacy of the last Hohenzollern emperor. As the example of the journal Irrenrechts-Reform [Reform of lunacy law] illustrates, critics of psychiatry were particularly sensitive to this double-edged function of psychiatric diagnoses. The journal was the mouthpiece of the Bund für Irrenrecht und Irrenfürsorge) [Association for Lunacy Law and Lunatics Welfare], which was at the centre of a Wilhelmine ‘anti-psychiatric’ movement avant la lettre.
72
Despite fierce polemics in the fight against unlawful confinement and disenfranchisement, the association was part of a bourgeois public and stayed clear of the left-wing politicisation that became characteristic for anti-psychiatry in the second half of the twentieth century. In the aftermath of the First World War, however, the movement temporarily embraced a revolutionary rhetoric, conflating the criticism of psychiatric power with attacks against the toppled Hohenzollern monarchy and calling for another revolution against the ‘imperialists of psychiatry’.
73
Unsurprisingly, psychiatrists’ attempts to use their professional authority for an insanity defence of Wilhelm II were not well received in the Irrenrechts-Reform. Whatever opinion one might have about the mental state of the former emperor, an article in the journal stated, ‘it won’t do that such a man, who fell from godlike heights, is suddenly scientifically “labelled as a lunatic”, just to minimise or conceal his complicity in the war’.
74
And it was not just the political instrumentalisation of psychiatry in the defence of the ancien régime that irked the anonymous writer, but also the fact that Wilhelm II had become a victim of illicit psychiatrisation: ‘It requires a pathetic kind of courage to give the toppled ruler, the unfortunate, homeless fugitive, such a

The ambivalence of the psychiatric diagnosis, oscillating between stigmatisation and exculpation, mirrored the conflicting emotions of the German public. One the one hand, many who had rejected the Hohenzollern monarchy before, or had grown disillusioned during war and defeat, saw Wilhelm II as the main symbol of an outdated political order that had to be overcome. On the other hand, the accusations of war guilt against Wilhelm and the Germans and the strictures imposed by the victorious powers were widely perceived as unjust and duplicitous, and the projected trial against the former emperor as an illegitimate act of victors’ justice. The psychiatric diagnoses of Wilhelm could not neutralise this tension, but they offered a conceptual frame that could contain both the need to symbolically exorcise the Hohenzollern monarchy and to morally defend the German nation.

In the spring of 1919, the Austrian-born neurologist Adolf Friedländer (1870–1949) self-consciously argued that his ‘psychological analysis’ of the Kaiser followed a triple rationale.
76
First, Friedländer believed, his diagnosis answered a ‘psychological and spiritual need’ shared by ‘every thinking German, be he monarchist or republican’. Understanding the Kaiser’s psychology meant understanding his mutual relation with the German people, and thus was necessary to ‘mentally overcome the Kaiser, the Hohenzollern’. For Friedländer, diagnosing the Kaiser was a therapeutic act for the German psyche, part of a spiritual revolution that had to follow the political one.
77
Second, however, Friedländer was also concerned with Wilhelm himself, who had the right to an impartial psychological assessment in the face of moral and legal accusations.
78
Third, Friedländer argued, a psychological analysis of the personality and role of Wilhelm was crucial to improve relations between Germany and foreign nations. Instead of delivering him to the victors’ tribunal, through their own reckoning with their former ruler the Germans would defend their ‘national dignity and sovereignty’. Diagnosing Wilhelm would be first step in a longer, international process of exposing the institutions and individuals responsible for the war in every country. The peoples’ objective and public judgement over the warmongers, Friedländer believed, would create a powerful precedent, forcing the rulers of all countries to pursue their interests peacefully, in the form of a ‘psychologically intensified cultural arms race’.
79
The catastrophe of the First World War and the collapse of the political order in Europe had created a space of possibilities, in which scientific expertise and humanistic ethos could become the foundations of a pacifist utopia. For Friedländer, as for Auguste Forel, diagnosing the exiled German emperor as mentally ill was to bring to bear psychiatric expertise in the creation of a more enlightened and peaceful post-war order.

6 True Leaders

During the long nineteenth century, two notions of heredity coexisted. The older one was aristocratic, with centuries-old bloodlines establishing the identity and legitimacy of noble dynasties. For modern medicine, however, bloodlines carried not legitimacy, but hereditary traits that could often be pathological. Instead of charts of high-born ancestors, physicians and early geneticists drew genealogical trees to trace the transmission of pathologies from one generation to another. Michel Foucault (1926–84) placed the shift from one concept to the other against the backdrop of the political rise of the bourgeoisie, whereas more recent research has challenged this view by pointing out that European aristocrats’ obsession with the roots of their lineage (as opposed to the purity of the pedigree) was in fact a modern phenomenon that emerged only after the French Revolution.
80
For writers from Max Nordau to Thomas Mann, the genealogical downward trajectory of degeneration became a powerful metaphor for European civilisation at the turn of the nineteenth century.
81
Part of what made the psychiatric diagnoses of Wilhelm II politically explosive was that they were situated at the point where both discourses about genealogy overlapped. The alleged mental illness of Wilhelm II raised questions about the heredity of dynastic legitimacy and pathological degeneration at a time when the nation was torn between monarchist, liberal, socialist and right-wing authoritarian notions of governance. In the tumultuous and violent times after the First World War, diagnosing the exiled emperor was a way to discuss Germany’s uncertain and contested political future, the right form of leadership, and the qualities of a ‘true leader’.

As the anonymous writer in the Irrenrechts-Reform pointed out, the diagnoses of the former emperor were a direct result of the revolution. The eccentricities of Wilhelm II, ‘on whom the revolution of 1918 has put a hat’ – in place of his crown –, could only now be psychiatrised in the same way as those of a private citizen.
82
The mental illness of Wilhelm the citizen, however, could retroactively challenge the legitimacy of the rule of Wilhelm the emperor. Moreover, with early twentieth-century psychiatry dominated by a biological and hereditary aetiology of mental illness, the diagnosis could quickly extend to Wilhelm’s ancestry, reframing the history of the Hohenzollern dynasty as a tale of progressing degeneration. This was neither a problem for Augustin Cabanès who in his war-time polemics explicitly attacked the Hohenzollern as a ‘dynasty of degenerates’, nor for several German anti-monarchists after the war. In a letter to Auguste Forel, the German aristocrat, former Reichstag member and pacifist Alexander zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1862–1924) – who, ironically, was himself related to the emperor – wrote that the hereditary illness of Wilhelm II provided a compelling argument against hereditary monarchy as such.
83
Adolf Friedländer made the same point when he claimed that a dynasty as old as the Hohenzollern, which ‘the higher it climbed, the more rigorously it observed the “purity” of the (legitimate) mixing of its blood, had to decline into degeneration’.
84
As a symptom of aristocratic inbreeding, the alleged mental illness of the last Hohenzollern emperor became an argument for a republican meritocracy. However, not everyone was willing to discard the central figures of centuries of Prussian and German history. Without questioning the hereditary aetiology of his illness, Forel and others detached the diagnosis of Wilhelm from the rest of the Hohenzollern bloodline by arguing that the pathogenic influence had come from the side of Wilhelm’s English mother.
85

One of the epistemological problems of modern medicine is that, whereas different forms of illness can be observed, described and classified, health remains an elusive concept.
86
Throughout the history of medicine, this gap often was a gateway to utopian thinking, as health was imagined as more than just an absence of illness, but as an ideal that had yet to be achieved. In the diagnoses of Wilhelm II, the idea of a positive definition of health became an argument about political leadership, based on the juxtaposition of the image of the sick emperor and an ideal, healthy leader.

As Ernesto Lugaro had recognised, diagnosing the Kaiser implied a counterfactual reading of recent history. If Wilhelm’s mental illness had caused the cataclysm of 1914, how would a sane person have dealt with the crisis? Several of the authors who contributed to the debate about the mental state of the former emperor tackled this question. The ultra-nationalist publisher Julius Lehmann remained vague when he claimed that the failure of Wilhelm had shown that the state had to be led by a ‘real man’.
87
For the socialist Auguste Forel, the benchmark of political rationality was the former Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who had orchestrated the unification of Germany and maintained the balance of power by skilfully creating a system of interlocking treaties between the main European powers, and who, in Forel’s imagination, could have averted the war.
88
A strikingly similar argument was also made by Paul Tesdorpf, who wrote that ‘Wilhelm II was a pathological degenerate, a lunatic; Bismarck was mentally sane, a complete human being (Vollmensch) in the highest sense of the word’.
89
While Wilhelm II was diagnosed as mentally unfit to rule, Bismarck became the model for a hoped-for ‘true leader’.
90
Obviously, Bismarck, who had died in 1898, would not be able to return to save the German nation. Nevertheless, the juxtaposition of the irrational Wilhelm and the rational Bismarck resonated with the resurgence of the glorification of the ‘Iron Chancellor’,
91
as well as with more general concerns about political leadership. Germany after the First World War was in search of a leader, and the diagnoses of Wilhelm II were part of this discourse.
92

Where this development was headed is visible in a relatively late contribution to the debate about the mental state of Wilhelm II, published in 1927 by the physician Ernst Müller, author of a number of ‘pathographic’ studies of Roman emperors.
93
Müller’s ‘historical and psychiatric study’ of Wilhelm and the Hohenzollern dynasty was a somewhat uneven book, staggering between political arguments about the monarchy and the war, listings of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities of Wilhelm and lengthy discussions of the Hohenzollerns’ physiognomy as depicted in paintings and on coins. Müller could quote from a plethora of biographical and autobiographical works about Wilhelm II that had appeared in the early 1920s, among them Emil Ludwig’s (1881–1948) heavily psychologising 1925 best-seller Wilhelm der Zweite.
94
Müller arrived at the same conclusions as earlier diagnosticians. Wilhelm, he wrote, was a ‘high-bred degenerate and the diagnosis also includes psychopathy and neurasthenia’.
95
Yet, the political context had since shifted. The question of war guilt, Kriegsschuldfrage, which had framed the earlier debates, appeared only as Kriegsschuldlüge, the false accusation of war guilt.
96
Müller was not interested in why Wilhelm had entered the war, but only in why Germany had lost. Also, as the calls for his extradition to a war crimes tribunal had lapsed into silence, exonerating the Kaiser became less important. Wilhelm’s failure, Müller believed, could be explained through heredity and environment, but it could not be forgiven.
97

Ernst Müller’s diagnosis of Wilhelm II was an assessment of his leadership during the war, as well as an argument about Germany’s political future. Others had blamed Wilhelm for his authoritarian tendencies and had seen them as symptoms of delusion and megalomania; in Müller’s eyes, the Kaiser had not been ruthless and authoritarian enough. With stronger nerves, Wilhelm might have ‘ruled as a dictator’, won the war through massive aerial bombardments of Rome and London, quashed any signs of mutiny and revolution, and returned home at the head of his victorious troops.
98
Müller’s accusation that Wilhelm’s weak nerves had lost the war echoed the wartime rhetoric about the mental strength of the German nation as a prerequisite for victory. It implicitly made the emperor the most prominent of the hundreds of thousands of ‘war neurotics’, soldiers who had suffered mental breakdown in the face of the strains and horrors of industrialised warfare. After the war, right-wing psychiatrists had blamed these ‘weak-willed’ soldiers for the defeat; Müller applied the same argument to the exiled emperor.
99

Wilhelm had failed, and what Germany needed now was a leader to guide the nation out of its misery. Müller’s vision of the future led him where the debate about the mental state of Wilhelm II had begun more than three decades earlier: to Tacitus. His liberator germaniae, who like Arminius would lead the Germans to glory, was Paul von Hindenburg (1847–1934), Chief of the General Staff during the war and German President since 1925. However, the apparent degeneration of the Hohenzollerns that had led to Wilhelm’s failure as a wartime leader had wider implications, Müller argued. To prevent the return to power of the old and degenerated aristocracy, a new concept of nobility, defined by biology and eugenics, would have to be introduced. Germany’s future leaders would be ‘men with blonde hair, slender heads, blue eyes, of good intellect, of noble sentiment, of lean build, self-confidence and restraint and elegant gait’.
100
In the three decades from Quidde to Müller, the mind of Wilhelm II had been diagnosed in the name of liberalism, democracy, a socialist world-society, to support the allied warfare against Germany, in the defence of monarchy and finally for the racialist authoritarianism that would soon become the dominant force in German politics.

7 Conclusion

Wilhelm II was not the last political figure to be diagnosed for mental defects in public and in absentia. Numerous examples from the last hundred years come to mind, and I will confine myself to mention very briefly some of the more prominent cases. The man whom many Germans identified as the ‘true leader’ that Wilhelm had failed to be is certainly the most notorious example. The ideological fervour and ruthlessness of Adolf Hitler and other prominent National Socialists were perceived as signs of mental abnormality by many contemporaries; so much in fact that the American and British governments tasked psychiatrists and psychoanalysts to unravel the mystery of the ‘Nazi mind’ during the Second World War.
101
After 1945, some German psychiatrists seized on the same tropes that had already circulated after the last war, arguing that the ‘Führer’ had probably been a ‘psychopath’ and that the wilful participation of countless Germans in the crimes of the Nazi regime had been caused by ‘mass suggestion’.
102
Even more than in the case of Wilhelm II, such diagnoses implied an exculpation and even self-victimisation, of the German nation. Erwin Stransky (1877–1962), a Viennese psychiatrist who in the aftermath of the First World War had already published an ambitious manifesto for the expansion of psychiatrists’ expertise into every aspect of politics and society, arrived at the conclusion that instead of diagnosing the psychopaths afterwards, preventive action had to be taken before it was too late.
103
The United Nations, or a prospective European Union, Stransky argued in 1952, would have to appoint a commission of experienced psychiatrists to screen political and economic leaders for signs of dangerous mental illness to prevent the next catastrophe.
104

However, even the assertive American psychiatrists of the Cold War would decide that this kind of politicisation of their expertise was a threat to the integrity of their profession. In 1964, the magazine Fact polled psychiatrists about their assessment of the mental state of the controversial Republican senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater (1909–88). As far as the sheer number of diagnoses was concerned, 1964 set a record. Of the 2417 psychiatrists who responded, 1189 were convinced that Goldwater was mentally unfit to serve as president, describing him as ‘megalomaniac’, ‘grossly psychotic’, ‘schizophrenic’ and as suffering from a ‘narcissistic personality disorder’, without any previous personal examination.
105
The case set an important legal and ethical precedent: Goldwater brought in a successful libel suit against the magazine and its publisher, and both the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) condemned the Fact poll. In Section 7.3 of its first ethics code from 1973, informally known as the ‘Goldwater rule’, the APA eventually stated that it was unethical for its members to offer professional opinions about public figures without examination and proper authorisation.
106
In the following decades, psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals by and large stuck to the rule.

Against the background of the recent resurgence of nativist right-wing populism, however, the genre of psycho-political diagnosis flourishes again. Shocked by increasingly aggressive authoritarianism across the world, anti-immigrant violence and a repugnant campaign culminating in a Trump Presidency, numerous journalists and intellectuals have resorted to psychiatric and psychoanalytic concepts to make sense of the emotional dynamics of present-day politics. The apparent eccentricity of the protagonists and the fact that they and their followers routinely employ an obscurantist ‘post-factual’ rhetoric that blurs and distorts not only specific facts, but also the underlying notion of truth and rationality as such, add to the sense that only the diagnostic concepts of clinical psychiatry can help to understand what is going on.
107
During the first year of his presidency, speculations about the mental state of Donald J. Trump and the nation have found their way into major US newspaper and magazines, as well as into best-selling books.
108
To historians, the present often bears an uncanny resemblance to the past. It is not only the structural dynamics that seem to echo earlier periods, but also the recurring tropes of the debate. The popular historian Tom Holland was struck by the ‘fascinating parallels’ between Trump and Caligula.
109
Again, the way from Roman antiquity to Wilhelmine Germany is shorter than one might think. Shortly before the 2016 election, Christopher Clark and Andrew Preston urged the readers of New Statesman to ‘beware the Kaiser chiefs’, pointing out the psychological similarities between the forty-fifth President of the United States and the last Hohenzollern emperor.
110
One year later, political scientist Stephen M. Walt made a similar point when he warned that the ‘Donald Trump-Kaiser Wilhelm parallels are getting scary’.
111

As for now, I would rather leave the present to future historians, and briefly point to some of the criticism that has been raised. In Britain, the editors of Lancet Psychiatry reminded their readers to refrain from using psychiatric concepts to attack political opponents: ‘Perhaps the most that psychiatrists can manage is to realise that while they might not wield scalpels, handle sources of radiation, or have access to cytotoxic drugs, they employ language and concepts that are potentially hazardous in their misuse.’
112
On the other side of the Atlantic, journalists and mental health professionals took a renewed interest in the lessons of the Goldwater affair, weighing the APA’s attempt to protect the integrity of the discipline against psychiatrists’ moral and political responsibilities.
113
Jerome Kroll and Claire Pouncey criticised the professional politics behind the Goldwater rule, arguing that the attempt to ‘prevent individual psychiatrists from misrepresenting or embarrassing the psychiatric profession’ came at ‘the expense of personal, professional, or social values’.
114
Others, however, disagreed with the ‘armchair Freuds’ analysing the then-candidate from a distance, not in order to defend Trump, but, on the contrary, due to fears that this kind of diagnosis risked ‘taking politics and ethics out of the equation’. Wired author Nick Horton was rightly concerned that using allegations of mental illness to discredit Trump and other political figures might backfire by reinforcing stereotypes and adding to the stigmatisation of actual mental patients.
115

The historical diagnoses of Wilhelm II may serve as another cautionary tale. At a time when European and German politics were highly personalised, polarised and in upheaval, diagnosing the Kaiser as mentally ill appeared to be a powerful and popular argument. Psychiatry offered a conceptual framework that made it possible to make sense of seemingly irrational dynamics in politics without the need for an in-depth analysis, and could be used to ward off, shift and re-allocate the political responsibility for the catastrophe of the First World War. However, psychiatric diagnoses were a rather unwieldy weapon in wartime and post-war political debates. The idea that Wilhelm was mentally ill could be used to support almost any political agenda; it could be directed against the exiled emperor, or used in his defence. As the psychiatrist and psychotherapist Arthur Kronfeld (1886–1941) reminded his colleagues in 1921, psychiatry was a normative science, but its norms were not the same as those of politics and society.
116
Adopting psychiatric concepts of illness and health to make political arguments about the situation and the future of the German nation after the First World War was compelling, but these concepts came with a momentum of their own.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Philipp, Prince of Eulenburg – Wikipedia

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

“Byzantinism”: The Courtier at his Court[edit]

The botched birth that left Wilhelm II with a withered left arm had almost certainly caused brain damage as well, which Röhl argued explains much of Wilhelm’s erratic personality.[51] Wilhelm’s mother, the Crown Princess Victoria tried, but failed to hide her horror at her son’s withered arm when he was growing up, which Röhl argued explains much of Wilhelm’s narcissism as an attempt to make up for the love that he never received as a child and his damaged self-esteem caused by his withered arm.[52] Wilhelm’s parents, the Crown Prince Friedrich and Crown Princess Victoria were both classical liberals who were strongly opposed to anti-Semitism; in 1880 when the anti-Semitic historian Heinrich von Treitschke was leading a popular campaign to disemancipate German Jews, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess pointedly attended a service at a synagogue to show their support for the threatened German Jewish community and to show their disapproval of Treitschke’s “disgraceful” attacks on those Germans who happened to be Jewish.[53] In an act of rebellion, Wilhelm become an ardent anti-Semite and embraced everything that his parents hated, becoming, as Archduke Rudolf commented in 1883, “a dyed-in-the-wool Junker and reactionary” who hated democracy.[54]

To compensate for feelings of inferiority caused by his withered arm, Wilhelm had in the words of Röhl a tendency to engage in “sadistic” behavior such as having the rings on his right hand inwards, squeezing especially hard when shaking hands (as result of having the use of only one arm, Wilhelm had an abnormally strong right arm), and watching with pleasure as the other party grimaced in pain.[55] Other antics of the Kaiser included attacking his guests with his field marshal’s baton and making his elderly ministers do a vigorous round of physical exercises, sometimes cutting off their braces first so that they would have trouble keeping their pants up during the exercises.[56] On board the royal yacht Hohenzollern on the annual North Sea summer cruise in 1894, Eulenburg was alarmed to be woken up at midnight by the “loud, laughing, shouting, pealing voice of the Kaiser outside my door; he was chasing the old excellencies Heintze, Kessel, Scholl, etc, through the corridors of the ship to bed!”.[57] After one especially strenuous session of physical exercises under the midday sun on the deck of the Hohenzollern presided over by a laughing Wilhelm, Eulenburg wrote: “It is a curious sight: all those old military fogeys having to do their knee-jerks with strained faces! The Kaiser sometimes laughs out loud and eggs them on with a dig to the ribs. The old boys then pretend that they are particularly delighted over such a favour, but in fact they clench their fists in their pockets and afterwards grumble among themselves about the Kaiser like a lot of old women”.[57] The system Wilhelm created around him was known at the time as “Byzantinism” as the strange atmosphere at his court full of material opulence, factionalism, sycophancy and intrigue was so redolent of the courts of the Eastern Roman Emperors.[58] Wilhelm often made his courtiers dance before him and the rest of the court dressed as ballerinas or poodles while blowing kisses to him.[58] Perhaps the most infamous case of “Byzantinism” occurred in 1908 when General Dietrich von Hülsen-Haeseler danced before the Kaiser and the court dressed while wearing a pink ballerina dress, and then felt so humiliated by what he had been forced to do that he promptly died of a heart attack. Others at the court rather enjoyed participating in these homo-erotic spectacles that Wilhelm enjoyed so much. In 1892, the courtier Georg von Hülsen wrote to Count Emil von Schlitz gennant von Görtz that:

“You must be paraded by me as a circus poodle!-that will be a ‘hit’ like nothing else. Just think: behind shaved (tights), in front long bangs out of black or white wool, at the back a genuine poodle tail a marked rectal opening and, when you ‘beg’, in front a fig-leaf. Just think how wonderful when you bark, howl to music, shoot off a pistol or do other tricks. It is simply splendid!…In my mind’s eye I can already see H.M [His Majesty] laughing with us…I am applying myself with real relish to this ‘work’ in order to forget that my beloved sister — the dearest thing I have on earth — is at this moment dying in Breslau…I feel like the clown in Knaus’s picture ‘Behind the Scenes’. No matter!-H.M shall be satisfied!”.[57][59]

The Kaiser very much enjoyed seeing Count Görtz dance before him wearing the poodle’s costume with the “marked rectal opening”. In this court, Eulenburg found his place as a sycophantic courtier always singing the praises of his master, a role he played very well since in his case the praise was sincere. Eulenburg was an absolute believer in the Führerprinzip and believed in unconditional loyalty to Wilhelm.[59] Eulenburg was one of the few friends of the Kaiser not forced to cross-dress or wear ridiculous costumes at his parties as Wilhelm did not wish to humiliate him; instead Eulenburg—an accomplished piano player with an excellent singing voice—would play the piano and sing one of the songs he had written while Wilhelm would turn the pages of the music sheet in front of Eulenburg.[59] Eulenburg always affectionately called Wilhelm Liebchen (“Darling”) and was one of the few who did not address Wilhelm as “Your Majesty”.[59]

The exact nature of the relationship between Eulenburg and Wilhelm has been the subject of much speculation.
Wilhelm often called Eulenburg “my bosom friend, the only one I have”.[60] There is no evidence that Wilhelm and Eulenburg were anything other than best friends. Since Eulenburg was quite open about being gay in the company of his closest friends, and he had been Wilhelm’s best friend for twenty-two years, Röhl argued that it is extremely unlikely that Wilhelm knew nothing of Eulenburg’s homosexuality as he later claimed.[61] In 2005, Röhl wrote “This view of Wilhelm II as a repressed homosexual is gathering growing support as the Eulenburg correspondence and similar new evidence is studied and digested.”[62] The American historian Isabel V. Hull wrote: “Wilhelm never resolved his feelings for Eulenburg, never understood them, and certainly never labelled them…He seems to have remained unconscious of the homoerotic basis of his closest friendship, and, by extension of the homosexual aspects of his own character.”[62] After coming to the throne, Wilhelm largely avoided female company and had a marked preference for surrounding himself with handsome young soldiers, which led the British historian Alan Sked to conclude that Wilhelm had at very least homosexual tendencies.[63] In a letter written in slightly broken English (despite having a British mother, the Kaiser never quite entirely mastered English), Wilhelm told Eulenburg how he detested women, and that: “I never feel happy, really happy in Berlin…Only Potsdam is ‘my el dorado’…where one feels free with the beautiful nature around you and soldiers as much you like, for I love my dear Regiment very much, those such nice young men in it”.[64] Wilhelm went on to tell Eulenburg that he preferred the company of soldiers to his family for only in the all-male world of the Potsdam garrison could he really be himself.[64] Eulenburg himself speculated on these lines, writing in an essay for the benefit of the “Liebenberg Round Table” as his social circle came to be known that a disproportionate number of the men of the House of Hohenzollern over the centuries had been gay, and there was something within Wilhelm’s blood that made him inclined to same-sex relationships.[62]

Eulenburg’s own sexuality has been the subject of debate as well, with many asking if a man who was married with eight children and had affairs with women could really be a homosexual. Eulenburg was close to his children whom he adored, but was extremely cold to his wife.[65] Eulenburg’s major emotional bonds were with the “Liebenberg Round Table”, which celebrated intimately close male friendship as the ideal basis for a perfect society; there was far more warmth to Eulenburg’s letters to Moltke and Varnbüler than ever was in his letters to his wife.[65] Röhl wrote that Eulenburg was not a homosexual in the sense that most people would understand the term—namely someone who has relationships only with people of the same sex—but was rather a bisexual with a strong preference for men over women.[66] In this regard, it is noteworthy that shortly before his death, Eulenburg wrote that the only woman he ever really loved was his mother. Röhl wrote: “It is now generally recognised that people cannot be classified as either hetero- or homosexual…Instead there were various intermediate stages between these extremes into which Philipp Eulenburg and some of his friends surely fitted…Such fine distinctions perished, however in an intellectual climate in which, following the teachings of the Heidelberg psychiatry professor, Emil Kraepelin, ‘contrary sexual proclivities’ were classified along with ‘idiocy’, ‘cretinism’, and ‘congenital feeblemindedness’ as a form of ‘lunacy'”.[66]


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

mikenov on Twitter: The FBI News Review: The Diagnostic Nostalgia of the historically part-… fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-di…

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The FBI News Review: The Diagnostic Nostalgia of the historically part-… fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-di…


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 9:26pm

mikenov on Twitter


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

3:45 PM 5/25/2019 – #Beware the #kaiserchiefs – #NewStatesman.com trumpinvestigations.org/blog/2019/05/2…

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from mikenov on Twitter.

3:45 PM 5/25/2019 – #Beware the #kaiserchiefs – #NewStatesman.com trumpinvestigations.org/blog/2019/05/2…


Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 7:48pm


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

‘Booksmart’ director Olivia Wilde says “love scenes are love scenes” not boy-girl or girl-girl

Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares

Olivia Wilde on the set of her directorial debut BOOKSMART.
Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

Olivia Wilde is known for roles on The OC and Vinyl, as well as for films like Tron: Legacy has spent most of her life in front of the camera earning accolades for her performances and for her beauty. Maxim named her the sexiest woman in the world in 2009. She and her partner, actor Jason Sudeikis, have two kids.

Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, opens in theatres May 24.

In Booksmart, Wilde takes on the high school comedy genre with a feminist and queer twist. The story follows two best friends and honor students–Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) one straight, the other gay. Not content to graduate without attending any parties in high school, the two set off on the even of graduation to have a night they won’t forget. Along the way, they encounter an uppity gay couple (Austin Crute and Noah Galvin) a would-be influencer (Skyler Gisondo) and a cracked out social butterfly (Billie Lourd), all of whom play a role in making all hell break loose.

We snagged some time with Wilde to talk about her transition to directing, why she wanted to make a film about queer characters, and how to balance deep drama with slapstick comedy.

So this is your first feature. You’re also a mom, and you have a thriving acting career. What made you want to direct, and why this script?

You know, I had wanted to direct a feature for quite a while, but I had to gain the courage to finally go for it. I dipped my toes in the water with producing, which is something I care passionately about. I love facilitating the work of other filmmakers and making movies that otherwise wouldn’t be made. So I’ve been producing documentaries and narrative features for the past seven to ten years. I have had the opportunity to witness the process of development through that experience. Both as a producer and as an actor, I’ve admired the drive and passion of directors. I started experimenting by directing short and music videos and quickly realized that I was my happiest on set as a director. So it was time to make a feature.

So why Booksmart?

Well, Booksmart is an homage to the films that made me fall in love with movies. I grew up watching The Breakfast Club and Dazed & Confused and Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on repeat. This feels like a love letter to those movies that really made me want to be a part of this storytelling industry.

How did this script come to you?

Someone brought it to me, which is very cool. I have a friend named Jessica Elbaum who is a producer and runs Gloria Sanchez, the wing of Gary Sanchez Productions [production company of Will Farrell & Adam McKay] that is focused on fostering female talent and telling female stories. She was co-producing Booksmart with Annapurna [Productions] at the time. She said “Listen, Booksmart is a script you need to look at. I know you want to direct a feature, and I think this could be great for you.” I will always be really moved and grateful that she thought of me. She dared me to pitch on this project.

Actor Kaitlyn Dever and director Olivia Wilde. Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

So I had a strong take on it. I felt very strongly about what I thought it could be. It was an earlier incarnation of this script which was very different but had the same core story of two brilliant young women in a close friendship. So I pitched on it. To my total shock and awe, I got hired, and it became my complete focus. It was such an exciting process. From the beginning of this process up to now, it’s been the most thrilling experience of my life.

That’s awesome. One thing that immediately struck me about this story is that it’s quite diverse.

Yes.

Most high school comedies are about men.

Exactly.

This one is about two women, and it has more queer characters than I’ve ever really seen in a movie like this. That includes one of your leads. Did you encounter resistance to doing a story this diverse?

There was no resistance, which is great. I would have been really disappointed had anyone resisted. It just seemed so reflective of these times, and of Generation Z in particular. This film is created to reflect the instinct and lifestyle of this young generation that I find really inspiring, in particular, the fluidity of sexuality and gender identity. I think that has positive effects well beyond the specifics of sexual orientation. There is so much more that happens when people open their minds and hearts and just rid themselves of hatred.

Absolutely.

This is what I really think about the responsibility of storytelling. We made a story that, at its heart, is about friendship. It’s a simple but universal story. In that, we present a relationship where the two main characters have different sexual orientations and it’s a non-issue. That is how people should live their lives. It should never be something that causes anyone to think of one another, or to prevent them from being close. It’s interesting that 15 years ago, this is something that would have been seen as a niche film.

We are able to be a mainstream film, a very commercial film where several characters are queer and it’s not a big deal. I think that’s reflective of my own personal feelings. It’s never a big deal to me. It’s never the first question I ask anybody. So why would I create a movie where it was more than just one quality of many for each character?

Beanie Feldstein stars as Molly and Kaitlyn Dever as Amy. Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

It’s funny, when we were about to shoot the scene between Amy and Hope [two queer characters] I realized that I hadn’t asked [actresses Kaitlyn Dever and Diana Silvers] if they were comfortable. I just thought love scenes are love scenes. And it occurred to me I never thought about asking them if they were ok. So I went up to them and asked if they had any issues doing the scene. And they were like of course not.

[Laughter]

I realized in my day—not to sound 400 years old—but in my day, being a young person and making The OC, it was a big sensational reveal that we were doing what, in those days, was always referred to as “girl on girl.” Which is a porn term!

Right?

It really is insulting. Why aren’t straight sex scenes called “girl on boy?” I think it’s so crazy that we just kind of accepted that for so long. I just find that really truly insulting. That was accepted for a long time. But, I think we’ve evolved beyond that because of this younger generation saying “We reject your stupid labels. We reject the way you’ve structured your society. We’re just going to be who we are and live our lives.” That’s who I made this film for. That inspires me to be optimistic about the future.

The tone of the film runs the gamut from the very silly to the very sincere without feeling jarring. That’s extremely difficult to do. How do you as a director modulate that? Obviously, your two leads are both quite funny. But their confrontation scene is very powerful, and it plays in one take.

It’s one shot, and that’s a tribute to the talent of the cast and the crew. That was my dream shot. I really wanted to be able to capture characters listening. You know, when we see an argument on screen, we often just focus on the person who is speaking. We don’t have an opportunity to really watch what it feels like to see hurt from a person you love. We don’t really get to see that experience of listening to those words. So I wanted to keep it in one. You know, in order to tell a story about female friendship you have to acknowledge how joyful that relationship can be, and also how deeply painful it can be. The loyalty and devotion is so strong, that any kind of betrayal is deeply upsetting. So I wanted to honor the high stakes of the person who knows and loves you the best. Great filmmakers have taught me that you can make a film that is both hysterically funny, and tragically heartbreaking. That’s something I feel reflects life.

Director Olivia Wilde and actor Skyler Gisondo. Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

You also have a secret weapon that you deploy in this movie. Her name is Billie Lourd…And this is her most prominent role to date. How did she come to your attention?

Well, I put Billie Lourd on my original pitch deck. I had a sense that Billie would be the perfect Gigi. She has an innate fearlessness. There’s a raw energy to her. She is incapable of pretense. She cannot bullsh*t. She’s pure and transparent and incredibly exciting to watch. When I gave her direction in her audition, I said. “There’s a bit of Courtney Love to Gigi. You don’t know if she’s going to kiss you or punch you in the face.”

[Laughter]

That was all Billie needed. I really admire her fearlessness. That’s not easy. She’s also the most professional actress I’ve ever worked with. I was blessed with this cast that everyone was very professional. But she, in a supporting role, made herself so available to the process. She’s an incredibly hard worker who had no issue with staying late into the night because, of course, I wanted to add her to every moment of every scene.

I asked her “Hey Billie, I know you wrapped at 1 am. Would you mind staying until 4am?” And she was like absolutely…not telling me that she had to get on a plane at 6 am to go work somewhere else. She never shied from a challenge. She’s fearless and fascinating to me. I want to make every movie with her because she’s brilliant, and because when you encounter an artist that raw you don’t want anyone to ruin them.

I want her to stay fearless.

Booksmart opens in theatres everywhere May 24.


Spread the love
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

mikenov on Twitter: RT @mms5048: Mueller report shows ‘fake news’ repeatedly came from Trump, not the media news.yahoo.com/mueller-report… via @Yahoo

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Mueller report shows ‘fake news’ repeatedly came from Trump, not the media news.yahoo.com/mueller-report… via @Yahoo


Posted by

mms5048
on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 6:27pm
Retweeted by

mikenov
on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 6:28pm

1 retweet

mikenov on Twitter


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

mikenov on Twitter: RT @authorMelShim: #TheNewYorker shows some remarkable traits that #Trump share with #KaiserWilhelm of Germany. Trump has German heritage s…

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

#TheNewYorker shows some remarkable traits that #Trump share with #KaiserWilhelm of Germany. Trump has German heritage so wonder if #KaiserTrump has any genetic link to Kaiser Wilhelm?)
What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire? newyorker.com/culture/cultur…


Posted by

authorMelShim
on Saturday, June 9th, 2018 2:27pm
Retweeted by

mikenov
on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 6:25pm

1 retweet

mikenov on Twitter


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

mikenov on Twitter: #FBI: The #MissingLink at this point between #KaiserTrump, #WeltKaiserSchroeder, & #RusslandKaiserPutin is #NewAbwehr’s #EnigmaMachine cum #SecretEmailServer under #Melania’s bed in #WhiteHouse. #Barr is going to find this #proof of #FiveEyes #Conspiracy! fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-on… pic.twitter.com/UtzoBmEYqa

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

#FBI:
The #MissingLink at this point between #KaiserTrump, #WeltKaiserSchroeder, & #RusslandKaiserPutin is #NewAbwehr’s #EnigmaMachine cum #SecretEmailServer under #Melania’s bed in #WhiteHouse. #Barr is going to find this #proof of #FiveEyes #Conspiracy!
fbinewsreview.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-on… pic.twitter.com/UtzoBmEYqa



Posted by

mikenov
on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 6:21pm

mikenov on Twitter


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •