Old fritz

Fathers and Sons

Frederick could not become a monarch at all. For a long time, his father, King Frederick William I, impressed one of the younger heirs much more than the oldest. This was due to the peculiarities of the personality of the young Frederick. The prince was fond of music, literature and dance much more than military affairs. Yes, and the best friend of the boy was his sister Wilhelmina.

Frederick and Wilhelmina. Source: wikipedia.org

The conflict with his father reached its climax when Frederick turned 18 years old. The prince dared to flee to England, but was stopped and thrown into the fortress. At first, the enraged father even intended to execute the son of a traitor, but later changed anger to mercy and forgave the heir. However, beforehand Frederick had to endure the burden of life in prison, and then in exile.

Hobbies and entertainment

Frederick II was interested in Freemasonry and was himself in the box. It was thanks to him that the first national great lodge was formed in Germany, and Freemasonry began to spread at an accelerated pace on the lands subject to the king.

Frederick plays the flute. Painting by Adolf von Menzel "Concert in Sans Souci." Source: youtube.com

Another fad of Old Fritz was music. According to his order, the Royal Opera in Berlin was founded, and the king himself was not averse to pomuzichirovat (the monarch preferred the flute) and even compose his own compositions. He became the author of about a hundred sonatas and four symphonies. In addition, the greatest musicians of his time, who could create in the most comfortable conditions for themselves, found refuge at the court of Frederick. Bach, for example, at the request of the king composed the famous series of works "Musical Offering".

Enlightened absolutism

King Frederick II could give odds to modern presidents of many democratic states. He stated that "Berlin newspaper writers should be given unlimited freedom to write without prior censorship about all the capital news," and steps were taken to abolish censorship.

Frederick II. Source: wikipedia.org

Also, the monarch was distinguished by an amazing tolerance for those times. Frederick believed that “all religions are equal and good if their followers are honest people. And if the Turks and pagans arrived and wanted to live in our country, we would have built mosques and chapels for them too. ” During his reign in the Protestant state, the Catholic Cathedral of St. Hedwig was founded, which became a real sensation for contemporaries.

Frederick in the Third Reich

Hitler and his supporters actively exploited the image of Frederick II in propaganda. There were constant parallels between Hitler and “Old Fritz” - it was necessary to emphasize how much the Führer resembled the monarch-enlightener, even if true similarities were not observed. For example, both Nazi propaganda exhibited as lonely fighters who did not feel the need for love and professed a very modest, almost schematic life.

However, the contemporaries of Friedrich would hardly have agreed with this approach. Gossipers often reproached him for his depravity and not at all a platonic burden, not only for women, but also for men; his character was called nasty, and his manner of communication was caustic.


Maltsev V. "In Defense of Tolerance"
Encyclopædia Britannica

Photo for the announcement on the main page: wikipedia.org
Photo lead: lempertz.com



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