AS the world gears up for the First World WAr Centenary remembrances, we bring this video of life in booming Berlin at the beginning of the 20th century. Germany was a land of duchies, grand duchies, principalities and kingdoms ruled by Kaiser Wilhelm II , eldest grandson of the British Queen Victoria, first cousin to Queens Marie of Romania, Maud of Norway and Victoria Eugenie of Spain, and second cousin to Tsar Nicholas II of the House of Romanov, the last ruler of the Russian Empire. Wilhelm would be Germany’s last emperor. Perhaps his most famous act was to urge Germans to put down the anti-Western Boxer Rebellion in China by declaring:
“Just as the Huns under their King Atilla made a name for themselves a thousand years ago which still, in saga and tradition, makes them appear powerful, so may the name ‘German’ be impressed by you for a thousand years, that no Chinese will ever dare again look askance at a German!”
German would from thereon be known as the Hun
It wasn’t all imperial expansion and bellicose leaders. In 1900, the great football club Bayern Munich was founded; women stove for equality by demanding the right to sit exams at universities; and Ferdinand von Zeppelin airships took off in a big way.