Wilhelm von Moltke, who presided at Kreisau from his uncle’s death in 1891 until his own in 1905, rose to the rank of lieutenant-general. The family said that if he had not offended the Kaiser, the post of Chief of the General Staff might have gone to him rather than to his younger brother Helmuth. He was sometimes called ‘the dwarf violinist’ — a somewhat perverse description because, although he certainly played well on the Steiner which the Field-Marshal had given him, he stood over six feet high (as did his three brothers, one of his sons, three of his grandsons and four of his great-grandsons). He married in 1874 Countess Ella Bethusy-Huc, whose mother was a talented singer. Although her family is said to have been French in origin, they had lived in Silesia for some time and the father was a Free Conservative deputy in the Reichstag from 1871 to 1880. The daughter was a vivacious and attractive but rather easy-going person inclined to think that she had done enough for the five children born between 1875 and 1886 by bringing them into the world as Moltkes. Even the arrival of another son in 1897 did not keep her from being bored by the long summers in Kreisau.
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- 3.W. K. Hancock, Smuts (1968), Vol. II, p. 260.Google Scholar