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REFLECTIONS OF AN EXILE

From the book “REFLECTIONS OF AN EXILE” by Raja Mahendra pratap Singh

My INTERVIEW WITH KAISER Wilhelm 2

 

It was in February 1915 that I went over the frontier of Switzerland and entered Germany. It is difficult to depict the state of my mind when i jumped into the unknown. What was I doing, how would I fare and what could be the result of this adventure was too early to guess. I took a small room at the Continental, Hotel, Berlin. Why a small room? If I could decide that i was already a colleague of the German warriors I would have gladly accepted the Imperial hospitality of the German Reich. But I had not decided. I considered myself still studying the war situation. It was no secret. I had not run away from my country.1 had applied for a British passport to study the war situation in Europe. I was still thinking that if things did not go to my satisfaction I could return back to Switzerland, and in such a case I could not conscientiously accept the hospitality of the Germans.

 

I was, therefore, living as economically as possible. The Germans, however, were lavishly entertaining me. Banquets after banquets followed. To my astonishment our views coordinated and I soon found that we were in the same boat.

 

The day that I was taken to see the Kaiser was the red day of that boisterous life. Even to-day the picture of that day appears
fresh in my memory. I very well remember how the news was brought to me that His Excellency Mr. Zimmerman had brought a car to fetch me to the Imperial residence.

 

I went with him to the Kaiser at the Tier Garten Palace. As soon as our car stopped, a man came up to attend on us. We were shown in Mr. Zimmerman looked into a looking glass and made his mustaches a bit more straight-up in a right Kaiser fashion. As we entered the big hall I saw a stately figure standing all alone in the middle. As I went forward followed by Mr. Zimmerman that figure in the middle of the hall took a couple of steps forward.

 

He was Kaiser himself and we cordially shook bands. It was interesting for me to hear from His Majesty’s own lips that he was interested in a prophecy which foretold the end of the British Empire in India.

 

Kaiser seemed to know some details of my family. He spoke of my relation with H.H. the Maharaja of Jind and said that the Sikh States occupied a very strategic position in the middle of the Punjab. When I took leave of the Kaiser after a very friendly conversation of over 20 minutes and I was on the point of leaving the hall Kaiser shouted and said, “Give my greetings to the Amir of Afghanistan”.My Indian friends explained to me later that the Kaiser was specially coached for every interview that he granted and that before my visit to the Kaiser he was already informed about a few facts of my life and my family. In any case it was marvellous that the Kaiser could speak as he did about things Indian.

 

I got 27 letters from the German Prime Minister or Reich-Chancellor addressed to Rajas, Maharajas and Nawabs. Every one of these letters was written or rather printed in German language. Letters addressed to the Maharajas were translated into Hindi while the letters addressed to Nawabs were translated into Urdu. All the letters were beautifully printed on very fine paper and each of them was encased in expensive morocco binding. It was quite a bulky load. I had two . more letters besides these Imperial messages to the Ruling Chiefs. One was a simple one-sheet letter addressed to the Amir of Afghanistan, His Majesty Amir Habibullah Khan. This was signed by Kaiser himself.

 

The other letter was addressed to His Majesty the King of Nepal. It was however signed by the Prime Minister of Germany. It is to be noted here that I had quite a bit of quarrel with the German Foreign Office in getting the letter. to Nepal addressed as His Majesty Foreign Office had to say that they could address the king of Nepal as His Majesty because the British called Maharaja only Highness. I argued that it was funny being in war with England, Germany should still follow the etiquette established by the English. Finally I won the point. In this connection it is interesting to note that after the arrival of this letter in Nepal in 1917 the BrItIsh began to address the Maharajadhiraj of Nepal as His Majesty.

 

The Indian Committee with about hundred Indian members was the only Indian
representative body at Berlin in those days and Mr. V. Chattopadhyaya, a brother of Madam Sarojini Naidu, was the most active .figure of the Indian Committee. He was the man who brought me from Switzerland to Berlin and he was constantly visiting me at the hotel.

BOOKS CORNER

scan0001The book named Raja Mahendra pratap in Hindi hindi written by Dr.Ompal singh Tugania has been launched.It is the first complete hindi version.To order a copy click here.

PREM MAHA VIDHYALAYA

pmv2It was founded on May 24th 1909 by Raja mahendra Pratap singh. He converted his own residence into a technical school which stood beautifully on the bank of river Yamuna in the holy land of Vrindavan. PMV was one of its own kind and one of the first polytechnic institution in India. More

FAMILY

grandmomThis is the picture of Georgiana,my grand mother.She went back to England when my father was 6 and we still have not been able to find out about her.If any one has any information please do get in touch. To Know More.

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