Kaiser Wilhelm II’s instrument of abdication (1918)

The abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II was announced by the German chancellor, Prince Max von Baden, during an eventful day on November 9th 1918. The Kaiser was still equivocating about the matter, however, and Baden’s announcement was made without his approval or endorsement. An official instrument of abdication was not signed until November 28th, by which time the former Kaiser was already in exile in the Netherlands:

“I herewith renounce for all time claims to the throne of Prussia and to the German Imperial throne connected therewith.

At the same time, I release all officials of the German Empire and of Prussia, as well as all officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the navy and of the Prussian army, as well as the troops of the federated states of Germany, from the oath of fidelity which they tendered to me as their Emperor, King and Commander-in-Chief.

I expect of them that until the re-establishment of order in the German Empire, they shall render assistance to those in actual power in Germany, in protecting the German people from the threatening dangers of anarchy, famine, and foreign rule.”

Proclaimed under our own hand
Amerongen, Netherlands,
November 28th, 1918