The Kaiser's Last Kiss Background

The Kaiser's Last Kiss Background

The author, Alan Judd, wrote The Kaiser's Last Kiss in 2003, a 208 page novel that deals with a fictional storyline that references historical events and has many historical resonances. The book is set in 1940 during the second World War and begins around the time of the German invasion of the Netherlands. An exiled Kaiser, named Wilhelm II is in the Netherlands when the German invasion takes place. A group of German troops are sent to protect the exiled Kaiser from any possible attacks or being caught in the line of fire, and this group of soldiers is led by an SS officer named Krebbs. The German invasion of the Netherlands did take place during World War II and a group of German soldiers were sent to protect him, but the main character Krebb is fictional as well as minor details of the plot. Later, the famous British prime minister at the time, Winston Churchill, tries to persuade Kaiser Wilhelm II to defect to the British side and offer the Allies any possible information. In a war of attrition such as this one, any small hint at the enemy's mind could have been crucial to a quick victory and end of the war. This is yet another piece of the book that follows history step by step. During World War II, Winston Churchill did in fact offer refuge to the Kaiser in the United Kingdom in return for military secrets.

As this information makes apparent, the background of the book is based heavily off of World War II. The author's uncle and father fought in the war, which most likely led to Judd's interest in the event as well as the closeness and detail that allowed him to create the expressive imagery depicted in the novel. Heavy on history, most of the events are real, allowing the author to play with the plot and character depth without the straining burden of setting and theme. An example of additional historical allusions made in the book are his references to the horrors of the Holocaust, the brutality of SS officers and Wehrmacht troops, the Le Paradis Massacre, and the attacks and rebellions against German invasion. By grabbing out and anchoring himself to the pillars of history, Alan Judd uplifts the appeal of his novel and creates a plot and characters intricate enough to develop his altered reality.

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