On 16 June 1871, Berliners were called to the streets to welcome the newly proclaimed Kaiser and his victorious army. Following tradition, the army’s parade climaxed in front of the Brandenburger Tor which had been decorated for the occasion ‘by an abundance of green garlands’. As it marched along the Unter den Linden, the parade passed between captured French cannon and beneath a series of triumphal arches bearing paintings celebrating the recent war against France described lyrically by the Prussian correspondent of The Times:

Germania, standing erect in a gold chariot, rushes into battle. She is always the same blue-eyed virgin of mild maidenly type … But her sons, crowding around the sentimental mother, are fierce ...

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