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What was Kaiser Wilhelm's (and it seems his forebearers) stated reason or purpose for their custom of visiting Jerusalem? Also, why where the anarchists trying to kill him?

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2 Answers 2

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This contemporary NY Times article most likely contains all the information you can get on this:

  • Kaiser Wilhelm II was on a pilgrimage tour, in best Christian tradition.
  • It's not clear whether anarchists actually tried to kill him, these were rumors. There is no definitive evidence and there was no assassination attempt.
  • Left-wing anarchists opposed the monarchy in Germany and sought to replace it by means of individual terrorism. This idea wasn't uncommon at this time, e.g. there were at least two assassination attempts on Kaiser Wilhelm I, the grandfather of Kaiser Wilhelm II: by Max Hödel and by Karl Eduard Nobiling. There were also numerous assassination attempts on Alexander II of Russia, one actually succeeded.
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It would be kind of cool if two assassination attempts on the same target both succeeded. –  Lohoris Jun 1 '12 at 9:45
    
There are pictures of his visit to Jerusalem. spiegel.de/fotostrecke/… –  jjack Aug 4 at 17:23

The Kaiser wasn't there for mere pilgrimage. At the time Germany was heavily invested in developing the Ottoman Empire. Germany had no significant colonies, so sought to make the weak Ottomans their economic vassal. The major project was a rail system from "Berlin to Baghdad" which would compete with the Suez Canal. There was also a lot of German non Jewish settlement in Palestine, notably the German Colony of Jerusalem. There is a hospital in Jerusalem founded by and named after Augusta Victoria, the Kaiser's wife.

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