Thanks, Eleanore. I have read Royals and the Reich and I agree that it is excellent. I guess there is some skeptical part of me that is always suspicious of royalty-specific books (which are most of what I read!) understandably overemphasizing royalty, so when I come across primary source confirming that monarchy was really an issue on people's minds I am a bit surprised!
Especially in the early days of nazism, Hitler and his entourage were keen to flaunt the possibility of a restoration of the monarchy/ monarchies in Germany.
They did so for two reasons:
1. To get support from certain princes which would make them (Hitler, Goebbels etc) more socially acceptable among the upper echelons of society;
2. They were keen to get the support of the military and conservative fractions of society, both fractions (like the Prussian junkers) wanted a restoration of the monarchy and the old social structure above almost everything else.
Now it is highly unlikely that once into power, Hitler seriously contemplated a restoration of the monarchy. But by flaunting the idea prior to 1933 and in his early years as Reichskanzler, he was able to secure the support from groups within society who all fell for it.
That a Prince of Hessen was contemplated (or at least mentioned as a candidate) should not surprise anyone; the four Hessen-brothers were firm nazi-supporters almost from the very beginning.
I can highly recommend the book Royals and the Reich on the issue. And as a counter-balance also the book 'The Palace and the Bunker' about royal and noble resistance against Hitler's Third Reich.
I am reading the very interesting diary of William Dodd, US ambassador to Germany from 1933-37. It's not a royalty book, but it is interesting to note how often royalty and the nobility come up. It is especially interesting that even after the accession of Hitler (I am only up to 1934), restoration of the (national) monarchy seems to have been generally considered a real possibility, either under a Hohenzollern, probably but not necessarily Louis Ferdinand, or perhaps under the "Duke [sic] of Hesse."
My question, though, has to do with occasional off-hand references to men making a "Prussian bow." He contrasts this with the more "easy going" British or American bow. Does anyone have any idea what he means? Was it just crisper? Perhaps deeper?