“It’s not nearly household historical past, it’s German historical past,” he added.
Prinz von Preussen’s great-great-grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm II, was the final emperor of Germany and by far the richest man within the nation earlier than World Battle I. After Wilhelm abdicated in 1918, he retained substantial wealth: No less than 60 railway wagons carried furnishings, artwork, porcelain and silver from Germany to his new dwelling in exile within the Netherlands. The kaiser and his household additionally held onto substantial money reserves and dozens of palaces, villas and different properties.
However after World Battle II, the Hohenzollerns’ forests, farms, factories and palaces in East Germany had been expropriated in Communist land reforms, and 1000’s of artworks and historic objects had been subsumed into the collections of state-owned museums.
Prinz von Preussen’s declare for restitution was first lodged by his grandfather after the autumn of the Berlin Wall, when 1000’s of Germans took benefit of latest legal guidelines permitting them to hunt compensation and restitution for confiscated property. Officers assessed it for greater than 20 years earlier than negotiations with the household started.
If Prinz von Preussen pursues the case in courtroom, success might hinge on how a lot help his great-grandfather, Crown Prince Wilhelm, gave to the Nazis within the Thirties. Below German regulation, if a courtroom deems somebody lent the Nazis “substantial help,” then their household shouldn’t be eligible for compensation or restitution of misplaced property.
The crown prince hoped that Adolf Hitler would reinstate the monarchy, and wrote him flattering letters. He defended Hitler’s anti-Semitic insurance policies and wore a swastika armband in public. If a courtroom had been to agree that Crown Prince Wilhelm’s help for Hitler was “substantial,” then Prinz von Preussen’s claims could be dismissed.
Prinz von Preussen stated his great-grandfather had “acknowledged this prison regime, and it in a short time grew to become clear that he didn’t have the ethical fortitude, or braveness, to enter opposition.” However he questioned whether or not that quantities to “substantial” help, including that this was a “query that must be cleared up by authorized specialists.”