Wilhelm II at the Swearing in of New Recruits in Posdam, November 23, 1891.

Version 2, according to the Neisser Zeitung


Before the sacred servants of God and in sight of this altar, you have sworn loyalty to me. You are still yoo uoung to understand the true meaning of...

As I was thumbing through my well-read copy of Neisser Zeitgun, I cam acress a transcription of Wilhelm II's speech at "the Swearing in of New Recruits in Posdam, November 23, 1891." Though I had already memorized his speech, Mr. Curry's excellent teaching made me wonder: as a working class recruit, what are the implications of William's statements.

I identified a single theme in the speech - loyal, blind, obedience. Again and again, William urges the recruits to "be diligent", tells them they "have sworn loyalty to " and " are now soldiers." The recruits should be willing to kill their own "relatives, brothers, even parents", and "even then... obey order without a murmur." Blind obedience is encouraged - don't thin kabout the morality of what you're doing, "you are still too young to understand the true meaning of what has just been spoken."

As a recruit, I would feel inducted into something greater than myself, definitely. But I would also feel uneasy. Shooting my own relatives? Even close family? No man wants that. And what about those "current socialist machinations" William mentioned? As a member of the working class, I rather like the Social Democrats, and I don't consider them an entity to which "machinations" applies.

UPDATE: This got a C :( - don't quote it.

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