The Mystery Of

Wilhelm’s Bust

Kaiser Wilhelm I Bust

In the summer of 1914, tensions were mounting among the citizens of what was then known as Berlin, Ontario. As the “Great War” developed, hostility toward Germany escalated and the bronze bust of German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm I – previously erected in Victoria Park as a peace memorial – was dragged down and dumped into the lake.

Not long after, the bust was recovered and taken to the Concordia Club for repair and safekeeping. It remained there until the night of February 15, 1916, when a group of soldiers broke in and stole the bust. There are many reports of what happened to it since that date, but it hasn’t been publicly seen again.

Courtesy of the Waterloo Historical Society Collection

Photo Credits
Waterloo Historical Society Collection
Kitchener Public Library Collection

Additional Reading

Tantalizing whispers about the Kaiser’s long-lost statue

Martin de Groot, Waterloo Region Record, June 16, 2017


Missing kaiser statue ‘a mystery that will never be solved’

Greg Mercer, Waterloo Region Record, August 23, 2014


10 facts about the mystery of the missing Kaiser’s bust

Andrea Bellemare, CBC News, August 22, 2014


Where did the bust go?

H.G. Watson, The Community Edition, January 10, 2014


Don’t expect drained lake to solve mystery of the kaiser’s bust

Terry Pender, Waterloo Region Record, November 2, 2011


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