John C. G. Röhl (born 31 May 1938) is a British historian.
John Charles Gerald Röhl was born in the German Hospital in Dalston, east London, on 31 May 1938 to a German father, Dr. Hans-Gerhard Röhl, and an English mother, Freda Kingsford Woulfe-Brenan. She was the daughter of Captain Frederick Woulfe-Brenan, the Labour candidate standing against Lady Astor in the Plymouth Sutton constituency in the general elections of 1922, 1923 and 1924, and of Saffie Beechey Kingsford, great granddaughter of the Georgian portrait painter Sir William Beechey.
Dalston is a district of London Borough of Hackney in London, England and is 4 miles (6.4 km) north-east of Charing Cross.
Sir William Beechey was a leading English portraitist of the golden age of British painting.
At the outbreak of war in 1939, John Röhl was taken by his parents first to Forst on the River Neisse in eastern Germany and then to Pécs in southern Hungary. His first languages were Hungarian and German. After the arrest of his father by the SS in late July 1944 the family moved to the relative safety of the remote Hungarian countryside, but in January 1945 with the imminent approach of the Red Army, Freda Röhl and her by then three children joined the stream of refugees heading westwards back to Germany. They were eventually reunited with Gerhard Röhl, who had been conscripted into a punishment battalion on the Russian front, in Ziegenrück in Thuringia, where they were liberated by the US Army led by General George S. Patton.
Forst (Lausitz) is a town in Brandenburg, Germany. It lies east of Cottbus, on the river Lausitzer Neiße which is also the German-Polish border, the Oder-Neisse line. It is the capital of the Spree-Neiße district. It is known for its rose garden and textile museum. The town's population is 18,651. In Forst, there is a railway bridge across the Neiße belonging to the line Cottbus–Żary which is serviced by regional trains and a EuroCity train between Hamburg and Kraków (2011). There is also a road bridge across the river north of Forst.
The Lusatian Neisse, or Western Neisse, is a 252-kilometre (157 mi) long river in Central Europe. Its drainage basin area is 4,403 km2 (1,700 sq mi), of which 2,201 km2 (850 sq mi) in Poland. It rises in the Jizera Mountains near Nová Ves nad Nisou, Czech Republic, reaching the tripoint with Poland and Germany at Zittau after 54 kilometres (34 mi), and later forming the Polish-German border for a length of 197 kilometres (122 mi). The Lusatian Neisse is a left-bank tributary of the river Oder, into which it flows between Neißemünde-Ratzdorf and Kosarzyn north of the towns of Guben and Gubin.
Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. It is the administrative and economic centre of Baranya County. Pécs is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pécs.
After the Potsdam Conference the Americans offered the family safe passage from the Soviet Zone of Occupation to their headquarters in Frankfurt-am-Main, where Gerhard Röhl became an interpreter and later the headmaster of the Helmholtz-Gymnasium, a large grammar school for boys. Freda Röhl returned to England with her two daughters in December 1945; John Röhl was sent under the auspices of the Red Cross to an international children's home in Adelboden, Switzerland. He was reunited with his mother and sisters in Manchester in December 1946.
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented respectively by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.
Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, and its 746,878 (2017) inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. On the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, and its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km (25 mi) to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area.
Gymnasium, in the German education system, is the most advanced of the three types of German secondary schools, the others being Realschule and Hauptschule. Gymnasium strongly emphasizes academic learning, comparable to the British grammar school system or with prep schools in the United States. A student attending Gymnasium is called a Gymnasiast. In 2009/10 there were 3,094 gymnasia in Germany, with c. 2,475,000 students, resulting in an average student number of 800 students per school.
Röhl attended Seymour Park Primary School and Stretford Grammar School, from where he won a state scholarship and a place to read History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Before going up to Cambridge in 1958 he completed his national service as an airframe mechanic in the Royal Air Force stationed at RAF Geilenkirchen on the German-Dutch border near Aachen. At Cambridge Röhl achieved a First on both Parts of the Historical Tripos and in 1961 went on to work for a PhD under the supervision of Professor Sir Harry Hinsley. He spent the academic year 1962–63 in the archives of West and East Germany researching the history of Imperial Germany in the aftermath of Bismarck's fall from power in 1890. The dissertation was published under the title Germany without Bismarck: The Crisis of Government in the German Reich, 1890–1900 in 1967 and in German translation in 1969.
Stretford Grammar School is a grammar school located in Stretford, in the Trafford borough of Greater Manchester, England. It is located on a 15-acre plot in the heart of Stretford, Trafford.
Corpus Christi College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It is notable as the only college founded by Cambridge townspeople: it was established in 1352 by the Guild of Corpus Christi and the Guild of the Blessed Virgin Mary, making it the sixth-oldest college in Cambridge. With around 250 undergraduates and 200 postgraduates, it also has the second smallest student body of the traditional colleges of the University.
Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.
Röhl was appointed to a Lectureship in History in the School of European Studies at the then new University of Sussex at Brighton in 1964. He was promoted to Reader and in 1979 Professor of European History. Between 1982 and 1985 he served as Dean of the School of European Studies. He also taught Modern European History at the University of Hamburg and at the University of Freiburg. He was elected to a Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1970, at the Historisches Kollegin Munich in 1986–87, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at Washington in 1989–90, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1994, and the National Humanities Center in North Carolina in 1997–98. He was given emeritus status by the University of Sussex in 1999.
The University of Sussex is a public research university in Falmer, Sussex, England. Its campus is located in the South Downs National Park and is a short distance away from Central Brighton. The university received its Royal Charter in August 1961, the first of the plate glass university generation, and was a founding member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.
The University of Hamburg is a comprehensive university in Hamburg, Germany. It was founded on 28 March 1919, having grown out of the previous General lecture system and the Colonial Institute of Hamburg as well as the Akademic Gymnasium. In spite of its relatively short history, six Nobel Prize Winners and serials of scholars are affiliated to the university. The University of Hamburg is the biggest research and education institution in Northern Germany and one of the most extensive universities in Germany. The main campus is located in the central district of Rotherbaum, with affiliated institutes and research centres spread around the city state.
The University of Freiburg, officially the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, is a public research university located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The university was founded in 1457 by the Habsburg dynasty as the second university in Austrian-Habsburg territory after the University of Vienna. Today, Freiburg is the fifth-oldest university in Germany, with a long tradition of teaching the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The university is made up of 11 faculties and attracts students from across Germany as well as from over 120 other countries. Foreign students constitute about 16% of total student numbers.
After Germany without Bismarck (1967), Röhl edited the political correspondence of Prince Philipp zu Eulenburg-Hertefeld (1847–1921), the closest friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II until his fall from grace in a series of scandals in 1907–09, in three volumes under the auspices of the Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. This edition, published in the series Deutsche Geschichtsquellen des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts between 1976 and 1983, broke new ground, demonstrating the personal power wielded by the Kaiser, his court and his favourites as distinct from the state institutions in the monarchical-military system that had been bequeathed by Bismarck. A conference organised by John Röhl together with the cultural anthropologist Nicolaus Sombart in the Kaiser's palace on the island of Corfu in September 1979 marked the beginning of a shift in German historiography away from structuralism towards a greater interest in personalities, relationships, cultural assumptions, human emotions and the archival sources that reflected them. The conference papers, edited by Röhl and Sombart, were published by Cambridge University Press in 1982 under the title Kaiser Wilhelm II – New Interpretations: The Corfu Papers. A collection of essays on Wilhelm II and aspects of governance in Imperial Germany then followed entitled Kaiser, Hof und Staat (1987) and The Kaiser and his Court (1994) respectively. In 1981, Röhl began further archival research for what was to become a three-volume biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II, published in German by the C. H. Beck Verlag in Munich between 1993 and 2008, and in English translation by Cambridge University Press between 1998 and 2014. The biography, which was awarded the Einhard Prize for European Biography in 2013, is considered an important contribution to the ongoing controversy on the origins of the First World War. A much briefer study of the Kaiser, Queen Victoria's eldest grandchild, has appeared under the title Kaiser Wilhelm II 1859–1941: A Concise Life (Cambridge University Press 2014). In 1996 in collaboration with the geneticists Martin J. Warren and David Hunt, John Röhl exhumed the remains of the Kaiser's sister Charlotte Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meiningen (1860–1919) in Thuringia and her daughter Princess Feodora of Reuss (1879–1945) in Poland. The analysis of their DNA showed that both women, a granddaughter and great granddaughter of Queen Victoria respectively, had suffered from a form of the dominant genetic disorder porphyria variegata, so demonstrating the validity of the theory advanced earlier by Professor Ida Macalpine and her son Dr. Richard Hunter that this illness had been the probable cause of George III's "madness". These findings were published in the book Purple Secret. Genes, 'Madness' and the Royal Houses of Europe (1998).
An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of various aspects of humans within past and present societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology, and philosophical anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life, while economic anthropology studies human economic behavior. Biological (physical), forensic, and medical anthropology study the biological development of humans, the application of biological anthropology in a legal setting, and the study of diseases and their impacts on humans over time, respectively.
Nicolaus Sombart was a German cultural sociologist, historian and writer.
Corfu or Kerkyra is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the northwesternmost part of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, which also includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The municipality has an area of 610,9 km2, the island proper 592,8 km2. The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality is also named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University.
Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia, reigning from 15 June 1888 until his abdication on 9 November 1918 shortly before Germany's defeat in World War I. He was the eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe, most notably his first cousin King George V of the United Kingdom and Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, whose wife, Alexandra, was Wilhelm and George's first cousin.
William I, or in German Wilhelm I, of the House of Hohenzollern, was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and the first German Emperor from 18 January 1871 to his death, the first head of state of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Despite his long support of Bismarck as Minister President, William held strong reservations about some of Bismarck's more reactionary policies, including his anti-Catholicism and tough handling of subordinates. In contrast to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while staunchly conservative, he was more open to certain classical liberal ideas than his grandson Wilhelm II.
Frederick III was German Emperor and King of Prussia for ninety-nine days in 1888, the Year of the Three Emperors. Known informally as "Fritz", he was the only son of Emperor Wilhelm I and was raised in his family's tradition of military service. Although celebrated as a young man for his leadership and successes during the Second Schleswig, Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars, he nevertheless professed a hatred of warfare and was praised by friends and enemies alike for his humane conduct. Following the unification of Germany in 1871 his father, then King of Prussia, became the German Emperor. Upon Wilhelm's death at the age of ninety on 9 March 1888, the thrones passed to Frederick, who had by then been German Crown Prince for seventeen years and Crown Prince of Prussia for twenty-seven years. Frederick was suffering from cancer of the larynx when he died, aged fifty-six, following unsuccessful medical treatments for his condition.
Georg Leo Graf von Caprivi de Caprera de Montecuccoli, born Georg Leo von Caprivi, was a German general and statesman who succeeded Otto von Bismarck as Chancellor of Germany. Caprivi served as German Chancellor from March 1890 to October 1894. Caprivi promoted industrial and commercial development, and concluded numerous bilateral treaties for reduction of tariff barriers. However, this movement toward free trade angered the conservative agrarian interests, especially the Junkers. He promised the Catholic Center party educational reforms that would increase their influence, but failed to deliver. As part of Kaiser Wilhelm's "new course" in foreign policy, Caprivi abandoned Bismarck's military, economic, and ideological cooperation with the Russian Empire, and was unable to forge a close relationship with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. He successfully promoted the reorganization of the German military.
The Year of the Three Emperors, or the Year of the Three Kaisers, refers to the year 1888 during the German Empire in German history. The year is considered to have memorable significance because of the deaths of two German Emperors, or Kaisers, leading to a rapid succession of three monarchs within one year. The three different emperors who ruled over Germany during this year were Wilhelm I, Frederick III, and Wilhelm II. The mnemonic “drei Achten, drei Kaiser” is still used today in Germany by children and adults alike to learn the year in question.
Karl Peter Wilhelm Maurenbrecher was a German historian.
The Harden–Eulenburg affair, often simply Eulenburg affair, was the controversy in Germany surrounding a series of courts-martial and five civil trials regarding accusations of homosexual conduct, and accompanying libel trials, among prominent members of Kaiser Wilhelm II's cabinet and entourage during 1907–1909.
Philipp Friedrich Alexander, Prince of Eulenburg and Hertefeld, Count von Sandels was a diplomat and composer of Imperial Germany who achieved considerable influence as the closest friend of Wilhelm II. He was the central member of the so-called Liebenberg Circle, a group of artistically minded German aristocrats within Wilhelm's entourage. Eulenburg played an important role in the rise of Bernhard von Bülow, but fell from power in 1907 due to the Harden–Eulenburg affair when he was accused of homosexuality.
Lieutenant General Kuno Augustus Friedrich Karl Detlev Graf von Moltke, adjutant to Kaiser Wilhelm II and military commander of Berlin, was a principal in the homosexual scandal known as the Harden-Eulenburg Affair (1907) that rocked the Kaiser's entourage. Moltke was forced to leave the military service.
Achilleion is a palace built in Gastouri on the Island of Corfu for Empress of Austria, Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sisi, after a suggestion by Austrian Consul Alexander von Warsberg. Elisabeth was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria during the Mayerling Incident in 1889, and a year later she had this summer palace built in the region of Gastouri (Γαστούρι), about ten kilometres to the south of the city of Corfu in Achilleio. Achilleion's location provides a panoramic view of Corfu city to the north, and across the whole southern part of the island.
The Daily Telegraph Affair was the uproar that followed the 28 October 1908 publication in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph of comments by German Kaiser Wilhelm II intended to improve German-British relations. It was a major diplomatic blunder that worsened relations and badly hurt the Kaiser's reputation; after that he played a much smaller role in deciding foreign policy. The episode had a far greater impact in Germany than overseas.
Gustav Freiherr (Baron) von Senden-Bibran was an admiral of the German Imperial Navy. His father was a Silesian landowner who had served in the Austro-Hungarian Cavalry. He entered the Prussian Navy at age 15, never married, and dedicated his life to building a strong German Navy.
Friedrich von Hollmann was an Admiral of the German Imperial Navy and Secretary of the German Imperial Naval Office under Emperor Wilhelm II.
The Wilhelmine Period comprises the period of German history between 1890 and 1918, embracing the reign of Emperor Wilhelm II in the German Empire from the resignation of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck until the end of World War I and Wilhelm's abdication during the November Revolution. It roughly coincided with the Belle Époque era of Western Europe.
Paul Hoffmann was an officer of the Imperial German Navy, who rose to the rank of vice-admiral.
Die Entlassung is a 1942 German film directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner about the dismissal of Otto von Bismarck. It was one of only four films to receive the honorary distinction "Film of the Nation" by the Reich Propaganda Ministry Censorship Office.
The Temple of Artemis is an Archaic Greek temple in Corfu, Greece, built in around 580 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra, in what is known today as the suburb of Garitsa. The temple was dedicated to Artemis. It is known as the first Doric temple exclusively built with stone. It is also considered the first building to have incorporated all of the elements of the Doric architectural style. Very few Greek temple reliefs from the Archaic period have survived, and the large fragments of the group from the pediment are the earliest significant survivals.
Count Albrecht Friedrich Wilhelm Bernhard of Hohenau was a German nobleman.
The Gaze of the Gorgon is a film-poem created in 1992 by English poet and playwright Tony Harrison which examines the politics of conflict in the 20th century using the Gorgon and her petrifying gaze as a metaphor for the actions of the elites during wars and other crises and the muted response and apathy these traumatic events generate among the masses seemingly petrified by modern Gorgons gazing at them from pediments constructed by the elites.
Princess Charlotte of Prussia was Duchess Consort of Saxe-Meiningen as the wife of Bernhard III, the duchy's last ruler. Born at the Neues Palais in Potsdam, she was the second child and eldest daughter of Prince Frederick of Prussia, a member of the House of Hohenzollern who became Crown Prince of Prussia in 1861 and German Emperor in 1888. Through her mother Victoria, Princess Royal, Charlotte was the eldest granddaughter of the British monarch Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.