PIERRE's PHOTO IMPRESSIONS of the WESTERN FRONT
1914-1918
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              Pierre Grande Guerre
              shows his
              photo impressions
              of his trips along
              the Western Front
              with his selfmade photo's,
              historic pictures,
              and maps.
              Few words,
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              and many links.
               
              Pierre
               
               
              Warning: Sometimes on the battlefield
              you will still find relics of explosives.
              All these shells, hand grenades, and
              mortar rounds can even nowadays still
              be very dangerous.
              Some of the artillery bombs may contain
              poison gas, which can cause severe
              blistering or worse injuries.
              In France it is by law forbidden to
              remove relics from the battlefield.
              So, it is for your own safety:
              take a picture of the steel harvest,
              but leave these relics untouched!
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              Pierre is a Dutch member
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              LINKS TO THE SPECIAL

              PHOTO IMPRESSIONS

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              Pierre's Illustrated

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              het L.I.R. 123 - (Dutch)

              De Rode Duivels

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              More Special

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              Armistice Clearing Compiègne

              Kaiser's Exile Huis Doorn

              Cambrai

              Fort de Mutzig - Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II

              Colmar and Hansi, the Illustrator 

              The Red Baron's Crash Site

              Canadian National Vimy Memorial

              SOMME 1918 The Australians

              Fricourt Archeological Excavations

              Traces of Bairnsfather  - Xmas Truce

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              Bayernwald Trenches Inside 

              LINKS TO ALL
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              AISNE 

              Chemin des Dames part 1 

              Chemin des Dames part 2 - Dragon's Cave

              Chemin des Dames part 3     

              ALSACE LORRAINE

              The Gap of Charmes - La Trouée de C.

              Avricourt - Leintrey - Reillon - Montreux - Parux 

              Montreux German Front Walk

              The Battle of Morhange - 1914

              French Bunkers - Mnt. Grand Couronné 

              South of Metz - German Bunkers -

              Feste Wagner 

              ALSACE VOSGES NORTH

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              Hohrodberg-Giragoutte-Trois Epis  

              Reichackerkopf  

              Munster Valley Petit Ballon  

              Le Tanet - Bichtstein - Villa Sidi-Brahim

              Route des Crêtes - Hohneck -

              Gr. Ballon - Sudelkopf 

              Hartmannswillerkopf - Vieil Armand  

              Guebwiller - Rimbach - Hirzstein  

              Moosch Nécropole Nationale  

              ALSACE SUNDGAU  

              Zillisheim Illfurth Largitzen Pfetterhouse 

              Burnhaupt-le-Bas Bunker Path     

              ARGONNE

              Mort Homme Côte 304

              Montfaucon- Romagne s/s Montfaucon

              Butte de Vauquois

              Haute Chevauchée

              The Bunker of the German Crownprince

              ARTOIS

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              Neuve Chapelle - Richebourg

              Aubers - 1915 

              Fromelles - 1916  

              Neuville-St. Vaast - Souchez

              Notre Dame de Lorette 

              Loos

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              Sommepy Mont de Blanc Mont

              La Main des Massiges

              MARNE 

              Verberie Néry Villers Cotterêts  

              First Battle of the Marne   

              Belleau Wood - Château Thierry  

              Second Battle of the Marne

              SAINT MIHIEL

              Les Eparges Ridge

              Calonne Trenches Tranchée

              Fort de Troyon

              Apremont Forest Trenches

              Butte de Montsec

              Rémenauville Destroyed Village

              le Bois le Prêtre / das Priesterwald 

              SOMME British Sector

              SOMME INTRODUCTION

              Auchonvillers Trench

              Mine Craters Lochnagar Hawthorn

              Thiepval Memorial Mouquet Farm  

              Thiepval Wood - Ulster Tower

              Ovillers La Boiselle

              Hawthorn Ridge Beaumont Hamel

              Redan Ridge 

              Newfoundland Memorial Park  

              Serre Hébuterne 

              Sheffield Memorial Park Serre

              Gommecourt 

              Fricourt Deutsche Kriegsgräberstatte 

              Contalmaison 

              Mametz Wood 

              Trones Wood Montauban Guillemont

              Caterpillar Valley Longueval 

              High Wood Longueval

              Delville Wood Longueval

              Pozières  

              Martinpuich

              le Sars Butte de Warlencourt

              Flers Gueudecourt

              Adanac Canadian Cmty. Mireaumont

              SOMME French Sector 

              Bouchavesnes

              Rancourt Cimetière National

              Rancourt Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof

              Dompierre - Becquincourt Fay Soyécourt

              Flaucourt Biaches

              VERDUN

              VERDUN Citadel 

              Thiaumont - PC 118 & 119 - A 320

              Road To Fort Douaumont       

              Fort de Douaumont

              Douaumont Nécropole Nationale  

              Côte Froideterre - Les 4 Chéminées 

              Fort de Souville 

              Fort de Vaux 

              Tunnel de Tavannes Fort

              La Voie Sacrée

              Bois des Caures - Col. Driant's C.P. 

              Flabas German Reprisals Camp

              The German Camp Marguerre 

              Duzey German 380mm Artillery Base

              Destroyed Villages Bezonvaux - Ornes

              Azannes - Damvillers - La Grande Montagne 

              YPRES

              Menin Road Railway Wood

              Maple Copse - Hill 62 - Hooge

              Clapham Junction Zandvoorde Bunker

              Polygon Wood Zonnebeke

              Hill 60 - Hollebeke -

              St. Elooi - Lankhof Farm

              Messines Ridge

              Pilkem Ridge

              Boezinge Essex Farm Ziegler Bunker

              Langemark Poelkapelle St. Juliaan

              Passchendaele Ridge

              Mount Kemmel Lettenberg Bunkers

              Ploegsteert Wood

              YZER

              Nieuport Ramskapelle

              Pervijze  Stuijvekenskerke

              Diksmuide Trench of Death 

              Leke Vladslo Houthulst

              OTHER GREAT WAR LINKS

              Pierre's Nederlandstalige
              artikelen en columns
              over de Grote Oorlog
               
              (Copy & Paste de titel in de
              zoekmachine!) 
               
              Bochkareva en haar Vrouwenbataljon
              Bretonse Bécassine tijdens de Oorlog
              De Vanceboro Bridge Bomaanslag
              Beneath Hill 60
              Tijdreizen Op Internet
              Leutnant Von Forstner Koopt Chocolade
              Duitslands Oudste Oorlogsvrijwilliger
              Marcel's Bajonet
              Souvenir de Bezonvaux
              Namibië-Etnische Zuivering-1904-1908
              Het Beleg van Fort de Vaux
              Explosiecatastrofe In Fort Douaumont 
              Franse Aas der Azen: René Fonck
              Chasseurs Alpins, Franse Alpenjagers
              Prowse Point Cemetery
              Hoe Sgt. Kunze Fort Douaumont
                 veroverde op 25-02-1916.
              Frank Hurley: Fotoshoppen In 1917
              De Kaiserschlacht,
                 een beknopte samenvatting.
              Herdenking Op Douaumont 2008
              Wapenstilstand 1918 -90 Jaar Geleden
              Vijfde Lustrum WFA Nederland,
                 11-10-2008.
              Geur van Drukinkt
              De Vallei van Munster
              Der Rote Baron Versus Flyboys 
              De Fantomen van Landowski
              Louise de Bettignies -
                 Queen of English Spies
              Monument Op Vimy Ridge
              De Erewacht van
                 Notre Dame de Lorette
              Tank Tegen Tank 90 Jaar Terug
              Von Richthofen's Laatste Noodlanding
              Generaal Von Lettow Vorbeck
              Grafschennis Notre Dame de Lorette
              Google Earth 
              De Kaiserschlacht 90 Jaar Geleden 
              De Wolfsberg - le Hamel
              Overleden Veteranen
              Franse Sector Aan De Somme
              Kerstbestand 1914
              Raadselachtig Graf
              Caporetto; Kiem Van Fascisme
              Lenin's Treinreis
              Tsjechen Aan Het Westelijk Front
              Mata Hari
              325 Miljoen Voor 12 Zeppelins
              Slagvelden Van de Somme
              Schroot
              Op de Lingekopf
              Weinig Duitse Monumenten
                  Somme
              Soldaten Standbeelden
              Mosterdgas 1917
              Schwaben Redoubt
              Oogst Van Roest
              Mortier
              De Tekenaar Hansi
              Gifgas Bij Vancouver Corner
              Nationaliteit Kwijt?
              Beloond Geduld
              Prins Harry Naar Irak
              Thiepval
              De Arm Van De Kaiser
              Artilleriebunkers Nabij Duzey
              Kamp Flabas
              Eerherstel voor "Deserteurs"
              Vredig plekje?
              Moslimmonument in Verdun 
              Bayernwald
              De Slag aan de Somme
              De Tunnel van Tavannes
              Kapitein Joost van Vollenhoven
              Huis Doorn
              Update
                 “Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje II
              Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje I 

               

               












              Kaiser's Exile Huis Doorn
              The Netherlands: 
               
              The Kaiser's Exile  - Huis Doorn  
               
              year of visit: 2006. 

               
              This time not a visit along the Western Front,
              but a visit to an important post-war location in
              the "neutral" Netherlands.
              In the centre of the country,
              between the cities of Utrecht and Arnhem,
              the village of Doorn.
              Southeast of Doorn, just outside the village,
              the Country Estate, the Manor, and the Mausoleum of "Huis Doorn",
              place of exile of  Kaiser Wilhelm II until 1941.
               
               
              The outer gate to the country estate of Huis Doorn.
              The estate around the Manor is nowadays a public park.
                

               

               
              In the early morning of 10 November, Kaiser Wilhelm II is impatiently pacing to and fro,  to wait at Eijsden station, close to the Dutch border. In Germany the defeat of the Great War was generally considered as Wilhelm’s personal failure, which resulted in a mutiny within the Kaiserliche Marine, a revolution, and the proclamation of the republic on 9 november 1918. Wilhelm was at his Belgian headquarters when this happened, and couldn’t return to Germany.  
              Some days before 9 October 1918 the French Secret Service had already intercepted and deciphered a German telegram to the Dutch Government, applying for the Kaiser's Political Asylum . The Dutch Queen Wilhelmina later said, the Imperial request in the early morning of 10 November came as a complete surprise to her.
              After much deliberation, the neutral Dutch government gave Wilhelm permission to take up residence in The Netherlands. Before purchasing the Huis Doorn country estate from Baroness Van Heemstra - de Beaufort, Wilhelm spent 18 months at the nearby "Amerongen Castle" as the guest of Count Aldenburg Bentinck. At Amerongen Wilhelm announced his official abdication on 28 november 1918.

              In front of the gate one can see the Manor in the background.
               
               
              As we walk in the direction of the Manor,
              we pass this folly, a pigeon house.
               
               
              Although the small castle of Huis Doorn looks more
              like a Manor ("Huis"),
              and although it is much smaller than a Imperial Palace,
              the Imperial Family settled themselves quite comfortably
              and kept a modest Court at Huis Doorn.
               
               
               
              Around 1923 my grandfather was working as a forester on the country estate of Huis Doorn. When I was a boy, he used to tell me how he often see the Kaiser chopping wood and cutting trees trunks in slices in the wood of the vast estate of Huis Doorn. For well regarded guests the Kaiser used to sign his autograph on a wooden slice and give it to them as a souvenir.
              During his stay at the country estate thousands of trees were chopped down to humour the Kaiser. My grandfather used to tell me: "It looked like the Kaiser wanted to recreate another devastated battlefield around Huis Doorn!" 
               
              A proud bust of Wilhelm II, showing a realistic portrait,
              in front of the Manor of Huis Doorn.
               
               
              Kaiser Wilhelm II sitting on a park bench with
              one of his dachshunds, Senta, in 1923....
               
               
              This may have been one of his views... 
               

                

               
              Prinz Wilhelm von Preussen was born in Berlin on 27 January 1859 as the eldest son of Crown Prince Friedrich and Victoria , Princess Royal of the United Kingdom . By his grandmother, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , Wilhelm was closely related to almost every European court.  He married Auguste-Victoria von Schleswig-Holstein in 1881.
              In 1888 Germany buried both Emperor Wilhelm I and, after a reign of only ninety-nine days, his son Emperor Friedrich III. Wilhelm II became King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany at the age of 29. He replaced his experienced advisors with a "Persönliches Regiment" and it wasn’t long before his self-willed and stubborn political actions began to meet with criticism both at home and abroad.
               
              The Manor of Huis Doorn,
              still with the yellow Hohenzollern flag flying.
               
               
              Before we enter Huis Doorn later,
              we continue our walk through the beautiful park on our way
              to the Kaiser's Mausoleum.
               
               
              The Kaiser loved baroque, folly statues,
              like this romantic mermin craving for love.
              Pairs in love have rubbed the knee of Narcissus,
              believing it will bring them luck.
               
               
              The red marker in the photo below indicates the spot,  
               
               
              ... from where I took this picture of the statue of
              the German Imperial Eagle and the Mausoleum
              some 100 m away. 
               
               
               
              This statue of the Imperial Eagle was erected by the Kaiser, when his favourite Dachshund, Senta, died in 1927.
               
               
              The German Imperial Eagle, right behind it, but inconspicuous,
              the 5 gravestones of the Dachshunds of the Kaiser.
              In the background a glimpse of the Mausoleum...
               
               
               
              Before we visit more closely the last resting place of Wilhelm,  a short survey of the more glorious days of the Kaiser's eventful life in period photographs.... 
               

              Portrait of the Kaiser as a young man. 
               
               As always on almost every picture of  a later period, the left arm of the Kaiser is resting on his sword. This is one of the rare photos, in which one may detect the handicap of the Kaiser. His left arm is shorter and his left  hand is smaller than the right one. This handicap has been caused at the time of  his birth. His foetus was in "breech presentation". The gynaecologists of those times did not discover  yet the knowledge of the "ceasarian section". So while being born,  the gynaecologists probably hurt Wilhelm's left arm.
              The withered left arm is usually disguised.That's why most of the time the left arm in the picture is resting or hidden in the pictures, somewhere by posing the left side more to the background or under a battle cape,  etc., to distract attention from the arm. Watch for it in the next period photographs! 
               
              The Kaiser attending army exercises, manoeuvres, in 1913... 
               
                
              In October 1914 with Von Moltke.... 
                
               

              Sepia pictures of the Kaiser in battle dress, or field uniform, around 1915-1916. 

               

              The Kaiser with his son, Crown Prince Wilhelm, "Little Willie", on 30 May 1916, one day before the attack at Fort   Vaux near Verdun . "Little Willie" would also end up in exile in the Netherlands , on the former Dutch island of Wieringen .
              ( Visit also my page about the Crown Prince's exile and click to "L'Abri du Kronprinz") 
               

              The Kaiser inspecting the troops on the front near Verdun in april 1917.

               

              Wilhelm and his Oberste Heeres Leitung in 1917. 
               
               
              Wilhelm visiting the troops at the easten front in november 1917,
              at the end of the campaign in Russia . 
              Left; a trench near the "Tartarenpass". Right; inspecting troops at Tarnopol.
               
               
               
              One of the last war period pictures of Wilhelm.
              The Kaiser visits in naval uniform a shipyard in Kiel in October 1918
              to decorate some labourers. 
               
               
              Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1930,
              a portrait which would slightly alter by ageing until his death. 
              We continue to the Mausoleum. 
               
               
               
              Kaiser Wilhelm's Mausoleum.
               

              Wilhelm II assigned Hanns Martin Kiessling to be his architect of his Mausoleum short after 1935.
              Until 1935 Kiessling was a famous architect in Berlin , also designing his buildings in the style of the Nazi architecture of those times. In 1935 Kiessling layed down all his important architectural and governmental functions. Kiessling principally refused to become a member of the Nazi Party, which ruined his career.
              The Mausoleum is now also known as "the only Nazi architecture building to be found in the Netherlands ".
              Perhaps this remark fits the architectural style of this building, but not for Kiessling himself.
              Kiessling managed to finish the Mausoleum some weeks before 4 june, 1941 , the day the Kaiser died.
               
              On the outside no name or indication to Wilhelm II, only the globe with the Christian Cross, the heraldic sign of Wilhelm II on the architrave... 
               
               
                
              ... and an Imperial Crown, on the lock of the doors...
                
                
              We were not allowed to enter the mausoleum.
              Through the green glass windows
              we could detect from the outside
              fresh flowers on the Imperial flag, 
              spread out over the coffin.
               
               
               
               
              We continue from the Mausoleum
              to visit the interior of the Manor....  
               
                
              Huis Doorn
              Interiors
                

              Warning. 
               
              By exception most of the pictures  about  the interior of Huis Doorn are not my photo's! 

              Alas,  but it is for understandable reasons not allowed to take pictures inside. 
              For my friends overseas I scanned the postcards, which I bought at the museum shop. 
              Just to share my impressions of the interior during my visits into the Manor, 
              and just to show you a little of the impressive  collection of uniforms, I  posted these scans, trying to respect as much as possible the copyrights of  Huis Doorn
                
              Grateful for the hospitality of the staff of guides,  I do honestly and highly recommend to visit yourself  Huis Doorn  or at least it's website!

               

               

                
              From September 1919 until February 1920 the Kaiser imported 59 trainwagon loads with a limited selection of his possessions. Furniture, paintings, silver work, china, crystal, his huge collection of snuff tobacco boxes, and more than 300 uniforms, were transported from the "Stadschloss" and the "Schloss Bellevue" in Berlin to Huis Doorn.
                
              Now some views of some of the interiors of Huis Doorn, still left in the state of 1941; a time capsule.
                
              A realistic view, as I have seen it myself, of the Kaiser's study.
                
               
              This saddle-shaped stool always has been
              the Imperial desk chair.
                
                
              Before more photoscans of the interior,
              Huis Doorn possesses the complete collection
              of Wilhelm's uniforms and Pickelhaube helmets.
              Unfortunately Huis Doorn only displays 3 Imperial uniforms
              for its ordinary visitors...
                
                
                
              In his childhood long before the war,
              young Wilhelm had to wear this Scottish uniform
              on the occassion,
              he had the duty to pay his respects and visit his Grandmother, Queen Victoria, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
                
                
              One Pickelhaube Helmet and two Uhlanen Tchapka's ....
                
                
              Some "inside views" of other parts of
              Wilhelm's personal uniform collection,
              which alas is not shown to the public by Huis Doorn.
                
                
              The left sleeve of the uniform jackets a little shorter...
                
                
              Back to the living spaces of the Imperial pair in Huis Doorn .
              The sleeping room of Wilhelm and his wife, Hermine..
                
                
              The dining room;
              the table still dressed with damast tablecloth, Imperial china, Imperial silver and Imperial crystal.
                
                
              Above the mantlepiece of the fireplace hangs
              this highly remarkable painting of Alfred Schwarz from 1928:
              a portrait of the Kaiser,
              overlooking a battlefield at the summit of his power.
                
                
              The smoking room.
              After dinner the Kaiser and his male guests withdrawed
              to this room for some gentleman's conversation.
                
                
              The Yellow Salon.
                
                
              The room where Kaiser Wilhelm used to rest,
              his private sleeping room.
              In this bed he died on june 4, 1941, at the age of 83 years old.
                
                
              Insert in the photo above:
              a portrait  made shortly after his death.
              With this view
              at the buste of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Huis Doorn,  
              this Special Theme Impression from the Netherlands
              about Huis Doorn comes to an end....
               
                
                
                Back to the Front Page .









              Reacties

              Doyle Rowntree op 21-03-2009 19:15
              Thank you for the informative tour and associated information. I feel as if I had almost personally visited "Huis Doorn"!
              Pierre op 21-03-2009 19:49
              @ Doyle Rowntree. You are welcome, Doyle, and thanks for your message!
               
              Pierre
              Pierre op 26-03-2010 13:40
              Dr M. B.-C. from France wrote me:

              "I was amazed by the quality of your website re Huis Doorn. You have studied this man - an awful man in terms of his arrogance, lack of insight, aggression & irresponsibility - with great sympathy. It is an achievement.

              Could I suggest that you change your reference to the Schwarz painting (1928), slightly?
              It surely does not show W at the height of his powers, bec though he is in uniform - one of his 300 - it is painted in 1928. I would say that Schwarz has shown great care in making the man look 'powerful', but actually has evoked something like pensiveness or regret; both characteristics which, I believe, W would have found v difficult to understand, let alone to manifest.
              W grew his beard only in exile; so the painting actually shows a fantasy: the man looking powerful as if still a commander of mighty armies, but actually living in a dream world which insulated him from reality like all his actual days of power: that absurd saddle chair, that title of All Highest etc.
              One thing is especially moving. That is the picture in October 1918 when W decorates a worker in Kiel. The labourer stands to attention, excited, deeply touched. W looks almost human; as if he recognizes, for once, some of the enormous human costs which he extracted from Germany and other nations because of his total vanity.
              I think it is an important picture for 2 other reasons. Firstly, he is in his admiral's uniform; and W loved his Navy wh he did, in fact, push forward against the advice of the Ministers who realized what a great financial cost it was. He made the KM superior in many respects to the Royal Navy; and the submarines almost succeeded in defeating Britain. W also wears the officer's dirk which he decreed should be worn by all officers, not only midshipmen. And the scabbard appears to be richly ornamented.
              With every good wish,
              Yours sincerely,
              Dr Michael Brett-Crowther"

              Dear Mr. Brett-Crowther,
              Thank you for your kind words about my webpage about the exile of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
              Your interpretation about Schwarz’s painting above the mantelpiece is without dispute right. It shows the Kaiser on the age of his exile, but in full field dress, like he used to wear during his visits along the fronts.
              Thanks again!
              Pierre
               
              George op 25-03-2012 16:00
              I totally enjoyed this article, little known tidbits regarding the Wilhelm's private life after the war. As always, wonderful photos!
              Pierre op 26-03-2012 13:32
              @ George W. Thank you, George, for your compliments!
               
              Pierre
              H.Kamphuis op 11-11-2012 09:11

               Prachtige foto reportage en zeer interessante informatie over  W.

              Feitelijk een klungel van een praalhans die man.

              Pierre Grande Guerre op 11-11-2012 13:01

              @ Hans K. Dank je wel, Hans, voor jouw reactie! Praalhans lijkt mij hier zeer gepast! ;)

              Pierre

              j.hoekstra op 26-03-2014 12:12

              dank voor deze informatie;het zou goed zijn indien de geschiedenis en het geschiedenisbesef rond deze man helder en grondig herschreven zou worden;fischer,rohl en vele anderen hebben het failliet van het pruisendom onmiskenbaar hard gemaakt;detail mbt tot het falend besef,ook in huis doorn,is toch wel de aanwezigheid van de hondengraven,terwijl hij zich tijdens zijn ballingschap amper bewust is geweest- willens en wetens- van de onoverzienbare ellende welk onder zijn bewind plaatsgreep;als er ooit een andere bestemming voor huis doorn gevonden moet worden,dan een als het museum flanders fields in ieper.met vr.groet,jan hoekstra,de gouden leeuw 9,1531 pn wormer

              Pierre Grande Guerre op 27-03-2014 14:20

              @ Jan Hoekstra. Bedankt voor uw reactie. Voor veel bezoekers van Huis Doorn, zoals ik, vormt het landgoed al die functie van een Nederlands Grote Oorlogsmuseum, een tijdcapsule, waar de tijd bijna letterlijk heeft stil gestaan. Het behoud en de opening van het Huis Doorn is daarom toch van nationaal belang, omdat het hoe dan ook onze grootste tastbare schakel vormt tussen het zogenaamde neutrale Nederland en een van de grootste oorlogvoerende mogendheden. Wellicht ongewild en opgedrongen, maar toch een belangrijk stuk erfgoed. Ik deel uw opmerking tot de enigszins overdreven aandacht voor de graven van de teckels i.t.t. het rustige gemoed van de Kaiser over alle menselijke slachtoffers.  Wij zijn het eens: Laat Huis Doorn geopend blijven!

              Pierre

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