Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The typical right-wing militarist - Frederick the Gay

Hans von Katte

Frederick II, was King of Prussia from 1740-1786.

He was called Frederick the Great and he has always been popular with right-wing, militaristic Germans, such as Hitler.

In Frederick's Prussia, the death sentence was mandatory for sodomy.

Frederick was brought up in a strict militaristic way. He took a keen interest in academic matters.

During his childhood, Frederick had two 'intimate' friends: Keith from a Scottish Jacobite family and Hans von Katte. Hans was the nephew of the mistress of the English king, George I.

Frederick plotted with Keith and Hans to escape from Prussia.

The plot was discovered.

Frederick's father had Hans von Katte beheaded and made Frederick watch the execution.

Frederick became King of Prussia in 1740. During his reign he fought several bloody wars and doubled the size of his country. Frederick could be seen as one of the founders of modern Germany.

Frederick took little interest in his wife and had no children.

He collected statues of Antinous, who was Roman Emperor Hadrian's lover, and of Ganymede.

He liked pages and 'was known to caress, tickle, or pinch the ear of some favoured page'.

Frederick used to relax with his buddies at the Sans Souci palace at Potsdam, a palace like Hadrian's one at Tivoli. San Souci had statues of beautiful boys.

Some of Frederick's love poems, printed at Sans-Souci in 1750, are addressed to one of his favourites, Count Von Kaiserlinck (given the name Cesarion):

Cesarion, let us keep unspoiled
Our faith, and be true friends,
And pair our lives like noble Greeks,
And to like noble ends !
That friend from friend may never hide
A fault through weakness or thro' pride,
Or sentiment that cloys
Thus gold in fire the brighter glows,
And far more rare and precious grows,
Refined from all alloys.


Frederick's valet was called Fredersdorf. Frederick addressed him as "du".

When Frederick's father was dying, Frederick wrote to his close friend Algarotti:

My dear Algarotti, my destiny has changed. I await you impatiently; don't let me languish for you.


My dear Algarotti, I await you with great impatience, happier to possess you as a friend than to receive your letters as an envoy.

Books on Frederick:

Robert B. Asprey, (1988), "Frederick the Great: Magnificent Enigma", Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Costello.
Thomas Carlyle (1858-65), "The History of Friedrich II of Prussia, Called Frederick the Great", 10 volumes, London: Chapman and Hall.
David Fraser, (2000), "Frederick the Great", Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 704 pages, ISBN 0 713 99377 4/0 14 028 590 3.

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Blogger Se├ín McGouran said...

This appears to be an attempt at the queers = reactionary ploy. In what sense was Fred the Great of Prussia 'right wing'? (The terms 'left' & 'right' 'wing' are drawn from the disposition of the Govt. & opposition in the Prussian parliament in the 1840s - the lead up to the 'Year of Revolutions' 1848). 'Sodomy' was a crime in Prussia, it was a crime nearly everywhere else, Peter ('the Great') of Russia made sodomy a crime in 1610 - as part of his 'modernising' of his monarchy...

4:10 AM  

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